Are Shinobi Getting Weaker? (Naruto – Boruto)

Are Shinobi Getting Weaker? (Naruto – Boruto)

A Land Before Chakra

Did you know that chakra equals power in the Naruto universe? The reason why the tailed beasts are so powerful? They’re anthropomorphic balls of highly dense chakra. The reason why Kisame was one of the strongest Akatsuki members? He had the most chakra. How various jutsu are used? You guessed it, chakra.

But something that I discussed in my article on chakra-less people is that there was a time before chakra — a land before chakra, if you will. This means there was no such thing as ninjutsu, or genjutsu, or anything else which relies on chakra. So basically, everyone was extremely weak and fragile — like a real human.

However, that all changed one day, when chakra was introduced to the world. Suddenly there were those who had chakra and those who didn’t. Although to be fair, for a while there was only one person with chakra, Kaguya, and everyone else was just a fragile human.

Kaguya Descends

So I’m not going to go into the origin of chakra all over again considering I just did that in the chakra-less people article. But it is important to reiterate that all of the chakra on Earth comes from a single point: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki. Technically it comes from the chakra tree which devours life, but whatever.

The point is that in the beginning Kaguya was the only person on Earth with chakra. She then had two sons who each inherited a portion of her chakra. So it’s safe to say that Hagoromo and Hamura individually didn’t have as much chakra as Kaguya who got it from the source — the chakra tree.

Kaguya Ōtsutsuki from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki

Hagoromo then had two sons of his own, Indra and Asura who each received a piece of his chakra. Additionally, Hagoromo handed out pieces of his chakra to the followers of his new religion based around it, and those people passed it on to their offspring.

What I’m getting at is that with each successive generation, the amount of chakra within an individual reduces because it’s further from the source. In this sense, chakra works a lot like DNA. If we say Naruto is 100% Uzumaki (which he’s not) and Hinata is 100% Hyūga, then Boruto is 50% of each. He has less Uzumaki and Hyūga DNA in him than his parents.

Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone within the same generation is equal. That’s why there are outliers, like Kisame who has an extremely large chakra pool. We don’t know how this came to be, but he could be from a clan with a very chakra-dense bloodline.

The Hidden Leaf Village

But aside from Kaguya and the other Ōtsutsuki clan members who are protagonists have had to fight, we don’t actually know how strong shinobi were until the founding of the Hidden Leaf Village. This is when the history shinobi really begins.

So, to illustrate my point about shinobi getting weaker over time, let’s compare Naruto’s generation to those who came before them as we see them in Shippūden. Now, obviously Naruto and Sasuke are outliers, but we’re still going to count them and everything still works out.

The strongest shinobi to live all the way back to the founding of the Leaf village were Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju. They founded the village, and nobody born since then has been stronger. Using Madara as an example, he was the first, and only, person we know of to awaken the Rinnegan. He also single handedly defeated all five Kage, though there was some cheating at play.

The Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju statues at the Valley of the End from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden
The Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju statues at the Valley of the End

The second Hokage was from the same generation as the first and Madara, and he too was extremely strong, though we don’t get to see much of him. Then there’s the third Hokage, one of very few people to naturally master all five basic chakra natures.

After Hiruzen we get the legendary sannin, Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade, all powerful, yet all less powerful than their predecessors. And the list goes on with the Minato as the fourth hokage, Might Guy and Kakashi, and then Naruto’s generation.

We can also look at other villages and see the same pattern, specifically looking at the progression of the various Kage. The first Kage for every village was always the most powerful, and they got less powerful with each passing Kage.

Yeah, the fourth Raikage is extremely strong, but even he’s no match for the first.

From Naruto to Boruto

Even counting Naruto and Sasuke, their generation overall is weaker than their predecessors. Also, Naruto’s power mainly comes from the tailed beasts — not his own chakra. So really Sasuke is the only naturally, obscenely powerful shinobi of their generation.

But how do they compare to the next generation? It would be easy to say that Boruto’s generation is stronger than his father’s. After all, one of his goals is to become stronger than his father so he doesn’t have to live in his shadow — that has to come true, right?

Another sign you could point to is that Boruto already knows three chakra natures, while Naruto knew none when he was the same age. That must be a sign that he’s going to end up stronger.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Yes, the members of Boruto’s generation are more technically skilled than their predecessors — they know more jutsu, etc., but that doesn’t mean they’re stronger. It just means they were taught how to do more than their predecessors were.

Generations build upon the knowledge of those who came before them.

So yes, Boruto and Sarada can use more jutsu than their parents could at their age, but they’re also weaker overall as well. I mean, do you really think Metal is going to become as powerful as Rock Lee in the future? And even Rock Lee is no match for the power of Might Guy.

Conclusion

Shinobi are getting weaker with each passing generation as the chakra reserves of the planet are spread more thin. Unless new chakra is harvested from a chakra tree, one day there won’t be any left on Earth. Perhaps this is what caused the Ōtsutsuki clan to start harvesting chakra from other planets with the chakra trees.

Maybe their civilization was beginning to lose all of its chakra after hundreds or thousands of generations.

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