As one of the “big three,” Naruto is one of the most popular anime of all time. As such, its characters are quite well-known even outside the anime community. The complexity of their designs gives Naruto characters a depth that many other anime can’t easily replicate. Each character’s abilities and jutsu add to their complexity and popularity with the audience.
Many Naruto characters don’t get enough screen time to flesh out their jutsu as much as the main cast. These characters are able to keep up with Naruto and Sasuke, and are known for their strength – though their jutsu seems weak by comparison. Their ability to adapt and change proves how strong these characters are despite their weaker jutsu.
10 Sakura Haruno
Sakura Haruno is one of the most controversial Naruto characters due to how her strength was portrayed by the show’s creators. In Naruto Part I, Sakura had no hand-to-hand combat skills yet she was described many times as an advanced student which is why she was teamed up with Naruto to balance out his lower grades.
Sakura couldn’t adapt taijutsu like Sasuke and Naruto who based their Lion’s Barrage and Uzumaki Barrage on the Front Lotus. While still a genin, Sakura was known for her detailed knowledge of the chakra system, ability to release genjutsu, and her impressive chakra control. Despite her weak taijutsu, she was already a force to be reckoned with because of her intelligence and adaptability.
9 Kiba Inuzuka
Man Beast Clone Jutsu
Kiba Inuzuka is known as a strong fighter because of his incredible taijutsu and teamwork with Akamaru. As a member of the Inuzuka clan, he has inherited strong jutsu like Fang Over Fang, but the majority of his jutsu only slightly increase his speed and agility.
Even his Man Beast Clone Jutsu that improves his reflexes and transforms Akamaru into his identical clone, isn’t much stronger than the more common Shadow Clone Jutsu. Despite normally using jutsu that only slightly improve his abilities, Kiba is an outstanding shinobi as his work with his his partner, Akamaru suggests.
Despite having very little meaningful screen time, Tenten’s strength is implied by the company she keeps. As Guy sensei’s student, and Lee and Neji’s teammate, Tenten has to keep up with their high energy and overly enthusiastic training. Since Tenten uses Bukijutsu, a weapon-based fighting technique, she also uses Sealing Techniques to hide and summon her weapons. Though this calls for intellect, it doesn’t require much strength.
The majority of her jutsu only summon weapons, meaning that in order to fight she has to have strategic and innovative thinking. Unlike other Naruto characters, Tenten’s attacks don’t end with her performing a jutsu. Instead, she has to figure out how to use the weapons she summons which proves her strength goes beyond the jutsu she’s learned.
7 Choji Akimichi
Human Bullet Tank
Choji Akimichi is one of the most adaptable shinobi in the Konoha 11. His clan’s Expansion Jutsu, uses brute strength and can be quite intimidating. When using his clan’s jutsu, Choji’s strength has done quite a bit of damage. However, not all of the Akimichi Clan’s jutsu serve as a particularly strong offense or defense. His Human Bullet Tank Jutsu, for example, allows him to transform into a giant ball, but doesn’t do much but improve his speed.
During the Chunin Exams, Choji was able to hold his own using the Human Bullet Tank Jutsu, but it eventually worked against him. Even so, Choji’s adaptability improved his use of his clan’s jutsu as he became a more experienced shinobi.
6 Shino Aburame
Similar to his teammates, Shino Aburame’s jutsu are best for reconnaissance and tracking. The Aburame Clan’s Insect Technique allows Shino to control bugs that live in his body, and discretely release them when the time is right. Although adaptable, this jutsu is not particularly strong. Shino doesn’t have much offense because the majority of his bugs aren’t hostile.
Even his defense can only do so much because his bugs are easily damaged. However, Shino’s strength as a shinobi comes from how he’s made the most of this unsteady jutsu. He used his technique to win his match during the Chunin Exams and was able to save Sasuke from Kankuro during the Konoha Crush. Shino’s knowledge of insects als allowed him to use his bugs to save thousands of people from a deadly disease during the Fourth Shinobi War, which goes to show application is more important than ability.
5 Kurenai Sarutobi
Demonic Illusion: Tree Binding Death
Kurenai Yuhi is a strong kunoichi who doesn’t get much screen time, even though she’s Team 8’s leader. Kurenai is known for her knowledge of genjutsu which causes many characters to go to her for advice. However, in a fight with Itachi, her Demonic Illusion: Tree Binding Death Jutsu was essentially useless and was no match for Itachi’s genjutsu prowess.
Kurenai doesn’t have a famous kekkai genkai or even a well-known jutsu. Despite this, she was chosen to lead descendants from powerful clans. If that weren’t enough, she’s also a jonin-level ninja which proves her strength was underrepresented in the series.
4 Asuma Sarutobi
Weapon Technique: Flying Shadow
Asuma Sarutobi is the leader of Team 10, and the Third Hokage’s son. Rather than using any long ranged attacks, Asuma’s Flying Shadow Jutsu uses chakra-infused blades in hand-to-hand combat. Although he’s known for his close-range fighting, the Flying Shadow Jutsu didn’t hold up well in his fight against Hidan.
He may not have many flashy jutsu, but Asuma’s expertise is what sets him apart. Asuma has detailed knowledge of his chakra nature and its applications due to his title as one of the 12 Guardians. Kakashi even advised Naruto to ask Asuma for help with his wind-style chakra. Similar to his wife, Asuma’s knowledge gives him the upper hand.
Kankuro, from the Hidden Sand Village, is the second oldest of the Sand Siblings. Kankuro’s Puppet Technique allows him to control Black Ant and Crow, and use them for long range attacks. His technique uses chakra strings to control his puppets and manipulate their movements.
Since Kankuro’s ability relies on controlling puppets, it’s expected that he is only as strong as the puppet he uses. However, as the son of the Fourth Kazekage, Kankuro’s skills go far beyond that. Kankuro’s real strength lies in his ability to design plans and use his puppets and chakra strings in innovative ways.
2 Rock Lee
While his green jumpsuit is iconic, Rock Lee is most known for his perseverance and enthusiasm. Lee has never been able to use ninjutsu or genjutsu which pushed him to practice taijutsu more once he became a ninja. Despite having little innate talent, under Guy’s tutelage, Lee became a fearsome shinobi.
The basis of taijutsu is punches and kicks. Both attacks are close-range and only as powerful as the user. While Lee can only use taijutsu, his consistency and dedication to his training make him a legendary fighter.
1 Might Guy
Longtime rival of Kakashi and otherwise known as the Green Beast or Handsome Devil of the Leaf Village, Might Guy is undoubtedly one of the strongest characters in the entire series. Like his student Lee, Guy can’t use the Shadow Clone Jutsu, Water-Walk Technique, or any other basic ninjutsu technique. Instead of getting discouraged, however, Guy took this as more of a reason to practice taijutsu.
Guy can’t perform many of the jutsu most genin can but through his dedication he mastered the incredible Eight Gates Jutsu. Taijutsu techniques are often only as strong as the user’s body, and Guy’s years of practice gave him the strength to go toe to toe with Madara Uchiha who recognized him as the strongest opponent he’s faced.
NEXT: The 15 Strongest Uchiha Clan Members In Naruto, Ranked
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