Naruto has always been close to my heart. Being that it was the anime that re-introduced me into the anime medium, I still look back at it with good memories despite all of its flaws. In my shōnen rant about everything I hate about the shōnen anime, I expressed my issues with Naruto not only with its villains but with its combat system as well. That being said I still adore the chakra system in Naruto and it has led to a lot of interesting battles that are both strategic as well as entertaining. I have decided to rank my Top 10 favourite Naruto: Shippūden fights; I only focused on the sequel series as it offered more fights overall. I might do a Top 10 favourite Naruto fights but that is still undecided as of right now. Now with that done, let’s get underway.
10. Naruto vs. Pain
Yes yes, I did just put Naruto vs. Pain at the every last spot on my list. Quite frankly I wanted to love this fight I really did. It had everything going for it before it had even started: Naruto learning sage mode; The 6 Paths of Pain destroying almost everything in the leaf village and killing Kakashi; Pain having killed Naruto’s mentor Jiraiya. It had so much hype behind it, but it fell flat to me. It did have a lot of great moments like Naruto learning how to properly use the rasen shuriken to him unlocking the 9 tails power to Pain even using his ultimate move: Planetary Devastation as a last resort. But the fight was never heart racing as it should have been. Naruto dealt with The 6 Paths of Pain way to easily in my opinion considering that they had just destroyed the leaf village single-handedly. The whole fight seemed geared towards Naruto winning it and never felt like a fair fight. And the ending was the worst part of all, the bullshit ending on everyone getting restored back was so underwhelming it put the nail in the coffin for that fight.
9. Sasuke vs. Danzo
This fight admittedly did open up Naruto to a whole lot of holes that it already didn’t need. The introduction of the Izanagi ability propelled the sharingan into next level OP ability. But that not saying the whole fight was full of holes, the fight in general was very well done. Being that Sasuke is one of my favorite characters in Naruto seeing him unlock and use the full extend of his abilities in a 1-on-1 fight was one of the most enjoyable moments in the show for me. This fight was one of the few times that Sasuke ever used genjutsu and although it being lackluster in comparison to Itachi’s it was still a welcome sight to see. Overall a solid fight but not as great as others on this list.
8. Sakura vs. Sasori
I’ll give credit where it’s due, and this is one of the few times where Sakura was ever useful in the entire series. This was the re-introduction of the Akatsuki: the deadliest group of S-rank villains all together for 1 common purpose. After seeing a glimpse of the in the original Naruto with Itachi and Kisame and former member Orochimaru; many people myself included were wondering how strong the other members where. Sasori lived up to those expectations, even though he was defeated at the end of the fight he still proved his dominance for most of the fight and really felt unmatched. From his use of the 3rd Kazekage to him using his own puppet body, to eventually pulling out his 100 men puppet army special ability; Sasori was a great villain for the short time he had onscreen. And Sakura was good as well, even though she still is a bad character.
7. Sasuke vs. 5 Kages
This is one of the greatest moments Sasuke ever had in the entire Naruto series. After his battle with the 8 tails: Lord Killer Bee, Sasuke had pissed off a lot of important people including the 4th Raikage who was brothers with Killer Bee. And with the Akatsuki still manipulating Sasuke to attack the summit of the summit, it led to some interesting battles. To be honest this isn’t 1 fight as so much of a collection of different fights that happened one after the next. But nevertheless I still count it as 1 overall fight, and every moment of it was amazing. From the first battle between Raikage A and Sasuke to the Mizukage using both her kekkei genkai’s to even the Tsuchikage using his special kekkei genkai. This was Sasuke fully showing the limits of his abilities; although he did get saved a lot in this fight, from Gaara saving his against the Raikage; Zetsu saving him from the Mizukage; to Obito saving his from the Tsuchikage. I still applaud him for going the distance against some of the strongest fighters in the Naruto universe at that moment.
6. Deidara vs. Gaara
This was the first fight in Naruto: Shippūdean, after a long break we find out that Gaara has now become the Kazekage and that the Akatsuki are on the move. The first duo from the Akatsuki we meet in Shippudean is Deidara and Sasori and they both flexed their might. Deidara infiltrating the sand village alone and killing a large part of the ninjas on watch there whilst still being silent about it was really impressive. The actual fight between him and Gaara was entertaining as well as being strategic without being boring. The audience was fully aware of both their abilities and how they were advantageous in some situations and disadvantageous in others. This was a battle of minds as much as a battle of ability.
5. Obito vs. Konan
Now this was another strategic battle that proved Naruto can master the mix between strategy and entertainment which is had been lacking for a while. Konan was a powerful chakra user and Pain’s closest friend and lieutenant. We all knew she was strong having been in the Akastuki and having terrorized the leaf village alongside Pain; but no one knew exactly how strong she was as we hadn’t seen her go 1-on-1 with anyone significant. But this was the fight we got to see her go all out against her former Akastuki member and co-founder Obito. The whole fight seemed equal enough to where you couldn’t predict who would win, and engaging enough to make you watch the whole fight to see if your prediction would come true. The ending of the fight was an ass pull with Naruto against exploiting the use of the sharingan, but after such an excellent fight I will let it slide.
4. Sasuke vs. Itachi
Okay, this is the last Sasuke fight on this list. Sasuke has had most of the great moments in Naruto, but that is just because Sasuke is the most exciting fighter in Naruto. He has a wide range of moves even before unlocking the mangekyou sharingan after this fight. His 2 chakra elements: Fire and Lightening have opened him to different strategies as move sets; while his sharingan cover him defensively and give him an extra edge in battle. This fight was built up since Sasuke’s introduction in Naruto, the avenger Sasuke solely driven to becoming strong enough to bring the man responsible for killing his entire clan to justice; that man just so happened to be Sasuke’s brother Itachi. This fight had everything I wanted from it; genjutsu battles, different techniques such as the Amaterasu and Susanoo. Hand-to-hand taijutsu combat and even a new secret move developed by Sasuke. Itachi is one of the strongest fighters the hidden leaf village has ever had. He was a prodigy that had become an Anbu division captain at the age of 13, had immobilized Kakashi in Naruto with just one use of the Mangekyou Sharingan’s genjutsu: the Tsukuyomi. This fight was satisfactory and entertaining the whole way through.
3. Jiraiya vs. Pain
Our first real introduction to the leader of the Akatsuki was definitely a sight to see. Jiraiya had infiltrate the village hidden in the rain to find the leader of the group only to be confronted with 2 of his former students that he had believed to be dead. This was also the first time we got to see sage mode, and it also showed to be a great tool to have in your arsenal; as even Jiraiya who had an incomplete version was still infinitely stronger than his base form. We got to learn about the rinnegan through Jiraiya’s fight against Pain, as well as see how powerful it was and it’s weaknesses. Even though Nagato only brought out The 6 Paths of Pain towards the end of the fight, it was still amazing to see what only 3 Paths could do against a legendary warrior. It also ended in one of the saddest moments and deaths in Naruto.
2. Team 10 vs. Hidan and Kakazu (Team Immortal)
Our third Akatsuki duo Hidan and Kakazu just happened to be Immortals. I’m ranking their second encounter with each other after Team 10’s teacher Asuma had died in his fight against Hidan. This was strategy at it’s finest; with Shikamaru and Kakashi taking the lead in handling Hidan and Kakazu respectively. This was what I would consider the end of strategy in Naruto and the start of “Whoever has the biggest jutsu wins” mentality with the series. The whole fight was expertly done and was 1 of the best battle of minds in anime.
1. Obito vs. Kakashi
In no surprise at all, this is the best fight the whole of the Naruto franchise has ever put out. This fight had everything I wanted in a fight. Great back story, intelligent use of ones own power, great fight choreography and other crucial aspects that made it was it is. I have already said a lot on this fight in my Top 5 Fights in Anime piece, and that should just show you how high I hold this fight.
And there you have it; my top 10 favourite Naruto: Shippūden fights. Since the Naruto: Shippūden anime is about to end having finished the final fight and arc in the manga, I felt it would be appropriate to stroll down memory lane and reminisce about the great moments of Naruto. Again this is my own opinion, and yours might be different.