All anime fans and also a substantial number of non-anime fans have probably heard of the animanga Naruto, one of the most popular and longest-running franchises in the branch (others being One Piece and Bleach). Naruto focuses on the protagonist Naruto Uzumaki and his adventures in the land of the shinobi, where he and his friends fight against different forces of evil. In today’s article, we are going to resolve the eternal debate on who’s stronger – Naruto or Sasuke?
Although Sasuke was more gifted and had more success in their fights, in the end it was Naruto who proved to be the stronger one of the two.
Naruto (ナルト) is a Japanese franchise that started off as a manga written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks to gain recognition from his peers and also dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village.
The story is divided into two parts; the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto. Naruto was serialized 1999 to 2014, and was later released in book form. The manga was adapted into an anime television series that broadcast a total of 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after an incredible 500 episodes. Besides the two anime series, Pierrot has developed eleven movies and twelve original video animations (OVAs). Other Naruto-related merchandise includes light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.
The story of Naruto today continues with Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Boruto wishes to create his own ninja way instead of following his father’s.
Now that you know all the general details, let us see the main issue.
Who is Naruto Uzumaki?
Naruto Uzumaki (Japanese: うずまき ナルト, Hepburn: Uzumaki Naruto) is the main protagonist of the anime and manga Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto. He is a young ninja from the fictional village of Konohagakure. The villagers ridicule Naruto on account of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox—a malevolent creature that attacked Konohagakure during its history—that was sealed away in Naruto’s body.
Despite being ridiculed and ostracised, he aspires to become his village’s leader, the Hokage. He is carefree, optimistic and boisterous (sometimes described as “simple and stupid”), which enables him to befriend other Konohagakure ninja, as well as ninja from other nearby villages.
Naruto appears in the series’ films and in other media related to the franchise, including video games and original video animations (OVA), as well as the sequel Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, where his son, Boruto Uzumaki, is the protagonist.
Who is Sasuke Uchiha?
Sasuke Uchiha (うちは サスケ, Uchiha Sasuke) is Naruto’s rival in the anime and manga. He was designed by Kishimoto to take the role of the “cool genius”, since he felt this was an integral part of an ideal rivalry.
Sasuke’s older brother, Itachi Uchiha, killed the rest of their family, which is why Sasuke’s sole desire is to kill his brother, and he develops a cold and withdrawn personality, seeing people as tools to further his goals, although also gaining the affection of most of the girls he knows, much to his annoyance.
Later on, though, Sasuke seems to begin considering his future teammates precious to the point of risking his life to protect them, while focusing on revenge less than at the start of the series. Following an encounter and a subsequent defeat at the hands of his brother, Sasuke severs his ties and leaves the village to seek more power from a man named Orochimaru.
By the events of the Boruto franchise, Sasuke has become a vigilante investigating the Otsutsuki clan while aiding Konohagakure.
Comparing their powers and abilities
Before we actually give our verdict, we have to see what powers and abilities the two protagonists of our article have.
We’ll start off with Naruto Uzumaki. He is quite an interesting character, as he started off as a very inept and weak ninja (shinobi), only being able to master the completely useless Sexy Technique. On the other hand, with time, Naruto not only mastered more complex techniques but also became – as most think – the most powerful shinobi in history. At the height of his abilities, he was able to face and defeat some of the most powerful fighters in the franchise. He also has massive reserves of very strong chakra, which are activated gradually as the anime progresses. As for his jinchūriki transformations, Naruto also gradually enhanced his skills, but for most of the time, he only used half of Kurama (the Nine-Tailed Beast) during his transformations, meaning that he only used half of his full potential. Now let us see how the official databooks list his powers:
As for Sasuke, he was considered to be a natural talent and was for most of the time considered to be stronger than Naruto, although this was never proven. His general skill level was always very high and Sasuke was a truly powerful and talented shinobi, mastering even the most complex of techniques. He also has a very strong chakra, but unlike Naruto, his chakra is dark and mostly consists of negative energy from which Sasuke draws his enormous powers. Unlike Naruto, Sasuke only has one Rinnegan so, in this aspect, Naruto’s abilities are higher. Let us see the official numbers:
As you can see, the official numbers stare that Sasuke is stronger, but neither the manga, nor the anime have supported this, as Naruto was usually the stronger among them, with even Sasuke affirming on several occasions that Naruto was stronger than him.
We are going to give you our final verdict in this section, but before that – let us see how the fights between Naruto and Sasuke played out. The two of them fought five times – twice in Naruto and thrice in Naruto Shippuden – and this is how it played out:
- “The Battle Begins: Naruto vs. Sasuke” (Naruto, ep. 107) – Sasuke challenges Naruto to a fight and Naruto accepts. The two of them head to the roof and exchange blows, after which Naruto forms his Rasengan, while Sasuke prepares his Chidori. The fight is ultimately interrupted by Kakashi, but it seems that Naruto’s Rasengan was stronger than Sasuke’s Chidori, which angers Sasuke as it seems that Naruto is stronger.
- “A Cry on Deaf Ears” (Naruto, ep. 128) – this is actually a several episode-arc that included not only the battle between two bitter rivals, but also an exploration of Sasuke’s past. Naruto constantly hit Sasuke during the battle, but Sasuke seemed to take no damage at all. At one point, he beats Naruto to the ground and later admits that he has to kill him to become stronger. The two continue to fight, increasing their powers gradually. Not being able to counter Naruto, Sasuke achieved his Cursed Seal level 2 and ultimately manages to defeat him, but not without being heavily injured himself.
Outcome: Sasuke Wins
- “Two Fates” (Naruto Shippuden, ep. 215) – this two-episode fight presented a small-scale fight between the two, which ended in a discussion and Sasuke leaving. This was more of a character examination than an actual fight.
- “Meeting” (Naruto Shippuden, ep. 257) – this was a flashback episode showing Naruto’s childhood and his constant fights with Sasuke in the Academy. Irresponsible and clumsy as he was when he was a child, Naruto wasn’t able to defeat Sasuke at the time.
Outcome: Sasuke Wins
- “The Final Battle” (Naruto Shippuden, ep. 476) – the epic clash between Naruto and Sasuke also marked the end of the whole saga and a fitting, emotional end to their rivalry. We’ve already talked about the battle in a previous article, where we told you of its epic proportions and importance. Here, we can only state that Sasuke ultimately admitted defeat in this final battle, thereby admitting that Naruto is the stronger one.
Outcome: Naruto Wins
As you can see, although Sasuke seemed stronger, when the fate of the shinobi world had to be decided, it was Naruto who proved to be the stronger one. He is, by most – and ultimately even Sasuke – perceived as the strongest shinobi in history, so it’s natural that he is stronger than even the naturally talented Sasuke. In the end, the two once again became friends and two very powerful shinobi whose combined power is said to be able to destroy the whole world.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!