Naruto – Power Ranking (Chapter 560)
Naruto fans know that Kishimoto dropped a huge bomb in Chapter 559 (for the uninitiated, see here). It leaves the series at a pretty interesting point for loads and loads of conjecture about the plot and where it’s headed. But I’m a bit more interested in how the latest reveal affects the power scaling. Dragonball Z got a bit ridiculous with its power scaling — characters became so radically powerful that Toriyama completely abandoned trying to assign numerical values to their strength. Since Naruto has nothing that can really be measured as a concrete means of power, fans have to make their own decisions. That said, this list contains heavy spoilers, so read at your own risk!
#1 – Uchiha Madara
Era: Shinobi World War Arc.
Notable Abilities: Rinnegan, Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, Immortality, Susanoo, Wood Element, Tailed-Beast Summons, Six Paths, DNA modification.
The man responsible for this list. In his current form, Uchiha Madara is a peerless engine of destruction. This is probably the most rigged character in a manga or anime series that I have ever seen, considering the number of character-exclusive powers that he just so happens to have. He has a Rinnegan, which potentially allows him to mold chakra of all elements but for some reason he is still capable of using his Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan (EMS) abilities, including a four-armed form of Susanoo that will never expire due to the Impure World Resurrection’s (IWR) notable side effect of providing a limitless or self-replenishing source of chakra. Since he’s under the influence of IWR, that also means that he is immortal. He was also infused with the cells of the only man ever to defeat him while he was alive — Senju Hashirama, so he can also use the powerful Wood Element. This man is about to take on an entire army of ninjas, plus all five Kages by himself. He isn’t even at his ‘prime’ capability since he can also supposedly summon a Tailed Beast like the Nine-Tails, which is now with Naruto. I don’t want to see this guy with Tailed Beasts at his beck and call, especially if you consider that with a single move, Madara was able to force the entirety of the Nine-Tails chakra to be expended through Naruto. How do you even begin to try beating this guy? The way that Kishimoto handles this wildcard will be important. Madara is so powerful that any conflict after this will seem completely trivial. There’s a reason Watsuki never included Hiko Seijuro in a ‘real’ fight throughout the entirety of Rurouni Kenshin — you can’t let God lose. It just doesn’t make sense. Madara is the king of kings for the time being.
#2 – Senju Harashima
Era: During the founding of Konoha.
Notable Abilities: Wood Element, Tailed Beast chakra suppression, Bringer-of-Darkness.
By Madara’s own admission, Senju Harashima was the most powerful ninja of his time. The fact that the first Hokage was able to defeat the combination of both Madara and the Nine-Tails, is a testament to his strength. Tobi even suggested that Madara never ‘fully recovered’ from the wounds inflicted by Harashima. We don’t see much of the first Hokage in action, but with so many characters confirming his power throughout the history and his collaboratively confirmed victory over Madara definitely seals him as the most powerful character in the series, bar the #1 slot, who is less of a person and more of a god anyway. He was so feared and respected that he was able to found a nation between two clans that had been at the mercy of a bitter feud for countless years. And the clan opposite the Senju just so happened to have one of the most powerful kekkei genkai in the series. His power and influence is still seen even to this day, where his cells are greatly sought after to not only unlock the Wood Element, but to bolster chakra levels to enormous levels. This guy is an absolute monster.
#3 – Namikaze Minato
Era: During the Nine-Tails’ invasion of Konoha.
Notable Abilities: Flying Thunder God Technique, Space-Time control, Rasengan, Dead Demon Consuming Scroll.
Anyone remember Minato’s reputation during the Great Shinobi War? Flee on sight. Those were the three words that described the mysterious Yellow Flash who eventually became the fourth Kage of Konoha. I know I give Sasuke a lot of flack for relying almost purely on his Mangekyo eyelasers but if you’re looking for a one-trick pony in the series, look no further than Minato.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter, because the Flying Thunder God seal is so good, he barely needs anything else to win a fight. His precise control over space-time jutsu allows him to transport not just himself, but other objects and people. The implications for this are mesmerizing: most of the combat he engages in is extreme-speed taijutsu supplemented by a technique that lets him teleport anywhere without the use of chakra. Which means that his skills are on level with someone like Gai, but with the ability to use powerful ninjutsu. Enter the Rasengan, an A-rank technique of his own creation that requires no hand seals at all. Given enough time, he would’ve surely been able to fuse elements with the technique and form something like the Rasenshuriken. I gave the #1 and #2 slots to Madara and Harashima, respectively, based their raw power, but I would bet on Minato to take out nearly anyone in the series with the least amount of effort possible. Simply put, this guy is an assassin. And his trump card, the Dead Demon Consuming Scroll, allows him to forcibly seal any living being at the cost of his own soul. So no matter how you look at it, anybody put up against this guy in single combat, barring true immortality, will lose, and lose very quickly.
#4 – Tobi
Era: Shinobi World War Arc.
Notable Abilities: Rinnegan, Sharingan, Space-Time control, Izanagi, Six Paths of Pain, DNA modification.
We haven’t seen this guy in action since he powered himself up with a Rinnegan/Sharingan eye combination, but from the outside view he looks just as rigged as Madara. He has a Rinnegan, just like Madara, and he has a Sharingan as well. It’s unknown whether his Sharingan is actually a Mangekyo, since he is never seen using it, but even with just a normal Sharingan, Tobi has access to all the advantages of the movement-tracking, chakra-tracing dojutsu. Given that he’s infused himself with some of Harashima’s DNA, he also has access to Izanagi, which effectively serves as a reset button for any fight if he happens to ‘die.’ In that sense, he is immortal just like Madara.
While he may not have control over Wood Element (as far as we know), he has extensive knowledge of Space-Time techniques as shown with his duel against Minato during the Nine-Tails’ Invasion of Konoha. He has his own pocket dimension that he can enter and exit at will, and seems to be able to recompose his body or even make it non-corporeal, which allows him to avoid any attack that he can telegraph — a feat easily accomplished with the Sharingan.
The real power boost for Tobi came in the form of the Six Paths of Pain, which he is now in control of. Not just the power of the Paths, like Madara, but the full-bodied, shared-vision deal. Considering that it was Tobi that gave the Rinnegan to Nagato, it would seem that Tobi himself is the true possessor of the Paths, which means he is more closely related to the Sage of Six Paths than probably any other character in the series. And it’s not like Tobi picked random, arbitrary ninjas to serve as his corpse puppets … he chose deceased jinchuriki that apparently still have their techniques intact (like Gaara).
So now Tobi has mastery over life and death. He has a variety of techniques to avoid death, Izanagi to reset the situation should he find himself in an unfavorable position, and the Outer Path of Pain to resurrect the dead (arguably on par with Impure World Resurrection, if you consider free will and a mortal body advantageous). I can see Tobi slugging it out toe-to-toe with Madara if push comes to shove. That says a lot.
#5 – Uchiha Itachi
Era: Shinobi World War Arc.
Notable Abilities: Mangekyo Sharingan, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukuyomi, Yata Mirror, Sword of Totsuka.
Sasuke’s big brother is always a step ahead of him. There’s really no comparison, even though on paper Itachi’s abilities are much less powerful than Sasuke’s. The difference is that Itachi makes better use of his powers, often to a greater effect than initially intended. The biggest limiters on his power only existed while he was alive: diminishing chakra reserves, an illness consuming his body, and deteriorating eyesight. Now that he’s technically dead and in zombie-mode thanks to Impure World Resurrection, he can finally use all of his abilities to their greatest effect without any drawbacks. With the exception of possibly Tobi, it doesn’t seem like there’s a character in the series that can match Itachi when it comes to knowledge and use of Genjutsu. Heck, he basically pulled a Lelouch and Geass’d himself using his Mangekyo Sharingan to free himself from Kabuto’s control. That takes some skill, planning and intuition, which Itachi has in spades.
Arguably, his Susanoo is weaker than Sasuke’s, since it’s incomplete. But with an infinite chakra reserve, I don’t think that really matters much. He still also has the Yata Mirror to repel any attack and the Totsuka Sword to seal away any being without, say, having to lose his own soul in the process. He’s also one of the fastest wielders of ninjutsu in the series — Kakashi couldn’t even follow his physical hand seals using the Sharingan. He lacks the raw power of some of the higher-ranked ninjas but he has so many tools and ancient treasures that it doesn’t really matter, especially since he’s immortal.
#6 – Uzumaki Naruto
Era: Shinobi World War Arc.
Notable Abilities: Jinchuriki of the Nine-Tails, Tailed-Beast Mode, Nine-Tails Chakra Mode, Sage Mode, Mass Shadow Clone Technique, Rasengan, Frog Summons.
The titular character. He’s become the powerhouse as of late and up until Madara showed up in immortal form, it didn’t seem like Naruto could conceivably be defeated by anybody. He’s finally managed to master the power of the Nine-Tails to the point where he can willfully activate Nine-Tails Chakra Mode, which gives him access to notoriously powerful techniques like when he’s in Tailed-Beast Mode. The thing about Naruto is that he’s raw, unbridled power and chakra reserves. If you need somebody to level an entire field, this is your guy. Not that his single-combat is lacking: Sage Mode and frog kata gives him a considerable advantage over other taijutsu users, since he doesn’t even need to make physical contact for his attacks to do damage. He also possesses the most powerful (if not the only) form-and-element combination technique in the series, making him an extremely dangerous opponent. He’s similar to his father, Minato, in that he relies on very few tricks but is able to use them to their utmost. You can’t overlook Mass Shadow Clones, especially considering that even with his power split among several clones, he was still able to defeat a majority of the opposition during the Shinobi World War Arc.
The only area that he lacks in is Genjutsu, but now that he’s established a more relaxed relationship with the Nine-Tails, it’s very likely that we’ll be able to see Naruto show extreme resistance to illusions, just like Killer Bee. At this point in the series, I’d say that Naruto has the most chakra reserves of any character with the exception of the Impure World Resurrection ninjas, who supposedly have limitless chakra while in that form. Naruto shows a lot of versatility and longevity, as shown when he seamlessly switched from Nine-Tails Chakra Mode and Sage Mode to deal with differing attacks. If he’s able to keep this up and shift between modes at will throughout a fight, the opponents will have trouble time adapting, especially with how relentless Naruto is when it comes to offense.
#7 – A
Era: Five Kage Summit Arc.
Notable Abilities: Nintaijutsu, Lightning Release Armor, Liger Bomb.
Probably the most powerful of the current Kage, A is a monster of a ninja. He clashed several times with Namikaze Minato in the past, but a winner was never explicitly determined. We catch a glimpse of his power during the Five Kage Summit Arc, where he trades punches with Uchiha Sasuke. Despite Sasuke’s desperate use of Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi and a full-power Susanoo, he was unable to really do any lasting damage to A until finally catching the Raikage’s arm with black flames. Sasuke was nearly brought to the brink of death despite being saved by Susanoo multiple times. A was so powerful that he was able to shatter the Susanoo armor with his bare fists. That is impressive.
Despite his power, A is also extremely fast. Until Naruto was able to achieve Nine-Tails Chakra Mode, the only ninja to ever surpass A’s speed was Minato. That said, the Lightning Release Armor speeds him up even further, allowing him to react to situations far beyond the capabilities of a regular human.
It’s unfortunate that he had to lose an arm because he had the gall to throw a horizontal chop at Sasuke while Susanoo was coated in Amaterasu flames. Somehow I don’t think it affects him too much, though with the emphasis he places on takedown moves, the loss of an arm might be considered a glaring weakness. But since we’re talking about the Five Kage Summit era Raikage, it’s a non-issue for the purposes of this list. Plus … for some reason Kishimoto decided to draw A with his arm restored in the latest chapter. Whether it’s an oversight or Tsunade being overly generous, we’ll have to see.
#8 – Uchiha Sasuke
Era: Shinobi World War Arc.
Notable Abilities: Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, Perfected Susanoo, Kirin, Chidori.
I hate this guy. I hate him a lot. Everything gets handed to him on a plate, then he goes and wastes everything he has and is rewarded with more power. But man, is this guy strong. He took on all the Kages by himself for a time and even though he struggled, he managed to survive and still kill Danzo, who was candidate Hokage. Prior to the Shinobi World War Arc, his greatest weakness was the same as Itachi: he could not use his Mangekyo abilities for prolonged periods of time, else risk complete blindness. And he went blind really fast. Now that he has the Eternal Mangekyo, his greatest liability is neutralized, leaving him only needing to manage the amount of chakra he uses. Besides that, all of his ninja techniques are more powerful versions of Itachi’s, with the Tsukuyomi being his only mis-managed Mangekyo technique.
The most powerful technique that Sasuke has, however, is his perfected Susanoo. It’s a ridiculous combination of defense and offense, and allows him to attack and defend from any angle and any range. Gaara’s shields and defenses have nothing on this guy. Did I mention that he can coat the armor in Amaterasu flames? Yeah, stupidly powerful.
But don’t count out his lightning techniques. Kirin is an instantaneous, one-shot kill technique, and Sasuke has refined the Chidori to a point where he can use it as an extension of his own body or even transfer its properties to other objects.
Now that every living Uchiha is on this list, what else do they have to accomplish?
#9 – Hanzo
Era: During the Second Great Shinobi War.
Notable Abilities: Powerful summoning techniques, Ibuse the Salamander, toxic breath.
As much as I want to put Jiraiya or even Orochimaru in this spot, I just can’t. Hanzo took down all three of the Sannin simultaneously, by himself, back when the three were in their physical prime. That is terrifying. Heck, the title of Sannin was only so feared because the three were able to fight the Salamander and manage to stay alive. Granted, Orochimaru’s prime is arguably sometime after he leaves Konoha and really starts going with kinjutsu, but Tsunade and Jiraiya were probably never stronger. Hanzo’s summon, Ibuse, is a powerful salamander whose power exceeds that of Manda and Gamabunta, and it probably won Hanzo several battles on its own. When push comes to shove, though, Hanzo shows an extremely devious style of fighting, emphasizing on fire traps and other nasty things to catch an opponent off guard … like his toxic breath. The huge respirator isn’t just for show. The venom sac that he keeps in his body is a big gamble, but can offer him an extra edge in combat if he decides to fight without his mask.
According to many ninja, Hanzo was one of the most powerful ninja of his time, and it’s not hard to see why. We scarcely see him use any jutsu at all, preferring to rely on his weapons skills. He was able to defeat Mifune with very little effort back in his prime. Unfortunately, his skills dulled as his reputation swelled — so few were willing to risk their lives to face him in combat, that his abilities deteriorated. Even Pain was able to defeat him, despite Hanzo sweeping the original three of Nagato, Yahiko and Konan. With his skills lacking and his conviction wavering, it was no surprise that he lost in the Shinobi World War Arc. But I won’t hold that one against him — even Mifune acknowledged the difference in power between the Hanzo he was fighting and the Hanzo he had fought before. The Salamander slithers into the top ten, if barely.
#10 – Hatake Kakashi
Era: Shinobi World War Arc.
Notable Abilities: Mangekyo Sharingan, Kamui, Raikiri, Rasengan, countless other ninjutsu.
This one was the most difficult to pick, and will be the most difficult to argue, if only because Kakashi’s presence is to the exclusion of other fine candidates for this top slot. But I picked Kakashi on an act of good faith, considering that he is one of the few candidates that is still alive, ticking and improving. In fact, only the two main characters Naruto and Sasuke have improved more than Kakashi over the series. Every time Kakashi engages in a battle, he’s brought to near-death after using every last ounce of strength … and the next time we see him, his ability has increased dramatically. This guy may not be a powerhouse, but he will always get better, and that’s something to take into consideration.
It also means that every single living Sharingan wielder is on this list. But Kakashi’s knowledge of the Sharingan itself is certainly greater than Sasuke’s and probably on par with Itachi. Sasuke’s brother even acknowledged Kakashi’s superior use of the Sharingan compared to most Uchiha, and that says a lot. With the exception of Madara and probably Tobi, no other character in the series has a greater arsenal of ninjutsu than Kakashi. It might have slipped everyone’s minds, but the Sharingan can actually let you copy ninjutsu as long as you can weave the handseals. As the longest-lived Sharingan wielder in the series, he’s got a heft arsenal of techniques. They don’t call him Copy Ninja Kakashi for nothing.
His Mangekyo power is also a dreaded space-time technique that lets him seal reality away in a pocket dimension similar to Tobi’s. He has working knowledge of the Rasengan, and he makes effective use of something as simple as a straight thrust with lightning chakra. Given his reputation and power, this is the go-to guy for Hokage candidacy once Tsunade kicks the bucket. He’ll take on anybody without regard to his safety. That’s just how he is, and that’s why he wins.
Close, but not quite:
Jiraiya / Orochimaru: The two of the stronger Sannin, but we were never able to see either at their fullest potential due to Jiraiya dying early in the Pain fight and Orochimaru losing stupidly to Sasuke’s genjutsu and then to Itachi’s Totsuka Sword.
Sarutobi Hiruzen: He’s called the “God of Shinobi,” but we never get to see him in his prime. I want to rank this guy highly, I really do, but with the current power scaling in place, it’s an impossibility unless Kishimoto gives us a nice flashback to Hiruzen’s prime. Something like the Minato – Tobi fight would be perfect.
Pain: When he invaded Konoha, he was in top form. But he just doesn’t seem as overpowering when you compare him to the others on the list. The Six Paths feel extremely gimmicky.
Onoki / Mu: Two words: Dust Release.