When it comes to shonen anime, fans expect to see fights and a lot of them. The genre is fueled by its love of martial arts and unadulterated badassery, so it should come as no surprise that long-running series like Naruto have tons of stellar battles. With hundreds of episodes, Naruto Shippuden stands as one of the most popular anime franchises of all-time, and the anime is stuffed with thrilling fights between both friends and foes.
Here at ComicBook.com, we are going through the backlog of Naruto Shippuden’s fights to crown an ultimate victor. So, if you want to check out five insane battles from the anime that you’ll never forget, you might want to grab your hitai-ate.
Just, don’t scratch it like Sasuke did.
Team 10 & 7 v Hidan & Kakuzu
When it comes to Naruto Shippuden, there are few battles are gut-wrenching as the one between Team 10 & 7 versus Hidan and Kakuzu. The latter two are some of the most dangerous members of the Akatsuki, and fans watched as the pair brutally killed Team 10’s sensei episodes before. Struck with grief, the growing ninjas decide to get revenge for Asuma’s death, and Team 7 offers their help when things get out of hand.
The fight is filled with over-powered jutsu and even features the first full-fledged Wind Rasenshuriken from Naruto. However, fans knew the battle would never replace what Team 10 had lost, and it was a somber reminder of death’s finality.
Sasuke v Itachi
Sasuke Uchiha is a divisive character in the Naruto fandom, but even the most obstinate hater had to feel bad for him during his fight with Itachi. After having spend years training to kill his older brother, Sasuke was finally gifted the chance to do so when he ran into Itachi. However, as the intense battle waged onwards and genjutsu tricks were played, fans began to sense something was not quiet right. And, by the end, audiences were left stunned by Itachi’s last moments.
The elder Uchiha who had allegedly killed his entire clan gladly died before Sasuke with a gentle poke to the forehead. The easy death shocked fans more so than even Sasuke, and audiences were then sent reeling when they learned the truth about Itachi and his truly heroic actions from years past.
Naruto v Pain
Naruto Shippuden has plenty of earth-shattering battles thanks to warriors like Sakura and Tsunade. But, when it came to Pain’s infiltration of Konoha, fans watched as the purported Akatsuki leader leveled the entire village. With his Rinnegan in play, Pain destroyed the city and a sizable chunk of its ninja forces all in order to find Naruto Uzumaki.
When the destined, knuckle-headed ninja finally made his appearance, the boy was armed with his new Saga transformation. But, sadly, not even his newfound powers were enough to stop the rampage. It was only after Naruto’s friend Hinata was struck down before him did he gain the power to physically takedown Pain, but he nearly let loose the demonic Kyubbi he held inside of him.
All Shinobi v Madara Uchiha
In terms of scale, there is no battle in Naruto canon that can compare to the Fourth Great Ninja War. The battle takes place shortly before the anime’s final arc, and fans were treated to one epic show because of such. The war forced all the major ninja countries to band together against Madara Uchiha, an immortal relic from the past who wished to enslave humanity. The immensely powerful character allied himself with literal gods to help see his plan through, and the secret nations had no choice but to work together to stop Madara.
The battle waged for dozens of episodes, and audiences were left aghast when major characters met their end during the ordeal. However, there were bright spots throughout the carnage as Team 7 finally reunited in battle to defeat Madara after so many years apart. And, of course, Naruto got to have his say against Madara and his godly allies thanks to his inspirational speeches.
Naruto v Sasuke
The greatest battle in Naruto Shippuden hasn’t even been finished yet. The long-running anime will come to a close this year, and it will do so after Naruto has his final showdown with Sasuke Uchiha. The latter, who has defeated Madara, looks to kill Naruto and take over the ninja world as a better Hokage. Determined to honor his late brother’s wishes, Sasuke will do anything to get Naruto out of his way. But, as always, Naruto is not willing to let his best friend and rival go so easily into the dark.
The battle has been mostly animated, but the conflict’s last few moments have yet to be drawn out. Fans are stuck in a cycle of endless filler episodes at the moment, but when Naruto Shippuden returns in force, the final episode will see Naruto and Sasuke’s battle finished. And - oh yes, there will be tears.