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While watching Naruto, I had this same question,

How were there 80,000 ninjas in the Shinobi World War in Naruto?

And one of the conclusions I came up with was also the conclusion of the accepted answer:

As you can see, the village is quite large. I can estimate a population of over 100,000 easily. Since many of them are shinobi, I don't think it's exaggerated to think that there are at least 12,000 shinobi there (probably more).

(I think the wikia stated somewhere that it has around 80,000 persons, so I thought may be the thousands of ninjas actually came from there)

But that doesnt explain very well why was Tsunade always short of ninjas for the missions. How is this explained? Is there an elite of ninjas that can only be chosen for missions, are the rest of ninjas from the land of fire in the 4th shinobi war actually coming from other villages in the land of fire or what?

If there are thousands of ninjas in Konoha, why was Tsunade always short of ninjas for the missions in the anime?

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    Not really a full fledge answer, so posting as comment: I highly doubt there are 80,000 ninjas in Konoha. Perhaps the wiki meant 80,000 residents, as there are many villagers who are not apart of Konoha's military. Perhaps on a regular basis, Konoha has only a handful of active shinobi and the spike of numbers were through some required military draft Jun 23, 2021 at 17:13
  • @Wondercricket sorry I meant persons and I wrote ninjas. Edited.
    – Pablo
    Jun 23, 2021 at 18:25
  • Also, supposing Naruto belonged to an elite class of ninjas both when graduated and in the academy (the ninjas chosen for the missions are always the ones Naruto had as classmates in the academy) , why was he always portrayed as a loser? Doesnt this rule out that possibility, leaving only other options such as most ninjas in the 4th shinobi war came from other villages? Also, if there were around 16,000 ninjas in Konoha, shouldnt they have been able to counter Pain? Otherwise which use did they have against 5 pains, 5 kages , several other top ninjas and the 100,000 white zetsus?
    – Pablo
    Jun 23, 2021 at 18:31

2 Answers 2

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There are several points to answering your question.

  • There is a special division of Ninja called Black Ops, which is used for keeping village safe by reconnaissance, guarding the village, and hunting the rogue ninja, in the great ninja war, all the great nations were allied, so there was less need for these ninjas to do that, and some of them participated in the war.
  • Like Black Ops there are several more divisions like Intelligence division and Interrogation Divisions and more, which usually work on their respective missions, and not usual missions which we see in the series.
  • Missions are assigned a rank based on the level of difficulty, so if a mission is S rank, it can't be assigned to a Genin, and if a mission is D rank, there's no point assigning it to a Jonin.
  • And there is also a part, when Tsunadae usually says this, village is trouble, like when she was appointed the Hokage, Hidden Leaf Village was recovering from Orochimaru's attack where several ninja had been killed, in most of the Shippuden several Ninja were assigned to safeguard Naruto and in the Pain Arc, village was to rebuilt, so effort was to be distributed there as well.

There were 80,000 soldiers in the Fourth Great Ninja War. By soldiers I mean there were Samurai as well not only Shinobi, of all ranks and divisions. Following were the key villages who participated in the war, and any of the small villages which were allied to any of these villages:

  • Hidden Leaf Village
  • Hidden Mist Village
  • Hidden Sand Village
  • Hidden Stone Village
  • Hidden Cloud Village
  • Land of Iron
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I'm not exactly sure but I think that some of the missions that Tsunade assigns are like B, A or S rank missions, and most of the ninja aren't very competent, furthermore, about 75% of the Village Hidden In The Leaves are civilians. Another possibility is that most of the teams are out on other missions.

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