Tag: Naruto

Hokage Line of Succession

Hokage Line of Succession

Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village

As we all know, because we’ve all watched all 220 episodes of Naruto, 500 episodes of Naruto: Shippūden, and 232 current episodes of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, the Hokage is the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village.

Hokage Rock from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Hokage Rock

However, have you ever thought about who becomes the next Hokage when it’s time for a new one? We’ve seen Hokage be appointed by their predecessors, seize power, and be appointed by the village elders. But those who are recognized as Hokage all have something in common.

Every Hokage has a close relationship with a previous Hokage. There are no exceptions. And this effectively means that anyone lacking one such relationship is barred from becoming the Hokage in the future.

Today, I’m going to go through the Hokage line of succession and use it to make some predictions regarding future holders of the title.

First Hokage – Hashirama Senju

The First Hokage was Hashirama Senju, one of the founders of the Hidden Leaf Village. He became the Hokage after it was decided that the people would more readily accept him as their leader than the alternate option of Madara Uchiha.

There’s not really much else to say about Hashirama because as he was the first Hokage, there wasn’t yet an established line of succession.

Second Hokage – Tobirama Senju

Tobirama Senju was appointed as the Second Hokage after the death of Hashirama. This is where the line of succession really begins, as Tobirama was Hashirama’s younger brother. You can’t really get much closer to the previous Hokage than by being their blood relative.

Of course, Tobirama wasn’t made the next Hokage simply because he was Hashirama’s brother. Tobirama was also one of, if not the, strongest shinobi in the village at the time.

And since Hashirama was killed by Madara, a member of the Uchiha clan, Tobirama’s anti-Uchiha policies would have been pretty popular at the time. It’s no wonder he was selected to follow in the footsteps of his brother by leading the village.

Third Hokage – Hiruzen Sarutobi

Hiruzen Sarutobi wasn’t related to Hashirama and Tobirama Senju. So, how did he become the Third Hokage? Well, he was a student of Tobirama Senju. When blood relations aren’t available, teacher-student relations are the next best thing.

Hiruzen Sarutobi as Hokage from the anime series Naruto
Hiruzen Sarutobi as Hokage

Hiruzen was named as the Third Hokage directly by Tobirama before his death. Tobirama fought against the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist on his own in order to allow his students to escape. He knew this would be his final battle, and so he named a successor.

Again, though, that doesn’t mean Hiruzen wasn’t worthy of this title. He’s been called the strongest of the Hokage (probably not including Naruto). But, his relationship with the previous Hokage played a major role in him becoming Hokage.

Fourth Hokage – Minato Namikaze

Of all the Hokage, Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage, has the most tenuous connection to previous holders of the title. He’s not related to any of the previous Hokage and he wasn’t even a student of any of them.

So, doesn’t he break the rule then? Well, not exactly.

Minato was the student of Jiraiya, who was the student of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen. There’s still a direct teacher-student path to the previous Hokage. And, Minato’s teacher, Jiraiya, was even offered the title of Hokage multiple times, both before and after Minato received it.

Fifth Hokage – Tsunade

Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, is the one with the most connections to prior Hokage so far on this list. She’s the granddaughter of the First Hokage, (grand?)niece of the Second Hokage, and student of the Third Hokage.

But, her connections go beyond just those. She was also the teammate of Jiraiya, the teacher of the Fourth Hokage. Of everyone so far, you could argue that Tsunade is the most qualified for the title of Hokage based on the importance of relations to previous Hokage.

Sixth Hokage – Kakashi Hatake

The Sixth Hokage, Kakashi Hatake, is in very much the same position as the Third Hokage. Just as Hiruzen was the student of the Second Hokage, Kakashi was the student of the Fourth Hokage.

And if you follow the teacher-student relationship of Kakashi back far enough, you get to the Second Hokage, Tobirama. Kakashi was the student of Minato, who was the student of Jiraiya, who was the student of Hiruzen, who was the student of Tobirama.

Hopefully, that illustrates just how tightly this line of succession is connected. Outsiders don’t make their way in. There’s always a blood relative or student of a previous Hokage.

Seventh Hokage – Naruto Uzumaki

With Naruto Uzumaki as the Seventh Hokage, Tsunade no longer holds the record for most connections to previous Hokage. Naruto has a pretty solid connection to all of them except for the Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju.

Naruto Uzumaki as Hokage from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Naruto Uzumaki as Hokage

Naruto’s relationship with Kakashi is simple; Kakashi was his teacher. His connection to Tsunade is a bit more complicated. Naruto was the student and godson of Tsunade’s teammate, Jiraiya. And he’s also a descendant of the Uzumaki clan just like Tsunade is.

Naruto is also the son of Minato. Simple. And he was kind of like the adopted grandson of Hiruzen. Before Minato died, he asked Hiruzen to watch over Naruto for him, and that’s exactly what Hiruzen did up until his own death.

Lastly, Naruto is also the reincarnation of Asura Ōtsutsuki just like Hashirama Senju was. So, Naruto wasn’t the reincarnation of Hashirama, but they were both reincarnations of the same person.

Eighth Hokage – ???

Who’s going to become the Eighth Hokage after Naruto’s done with the title? Well before I answer that, I just want to point out that all of the deceased Hokage died in combat. So let’s first assume that Naruto is killed in battle.

If this were to happen, I think the most likely scenario would be that Kakashi reclaims his title of Sixth Hokage. At the moment, I don’t see anyone else who’s both a good and willing candidate. There’s also precedent for this, as Hiruzen did the same thing following the death of Minato.

Okay, but what about after Kakashi, or if Naruto survives into retirement? Who would be next in line? Again, I see one, very likely candidate: Konohamaru Sarutobi.

Konohamaru is both the grandson of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen and the student of the Seventh Hokage, Naruto. Therefore, I’d say he has all the connections required to become Hokage. And, by that point, I think Konohamaru would be strong enough.

Ninth Hokage – ???

Of course, there has to be another Hokage after Konohamaru. We know that Sarada Uchiha’s goal is to be Hokage. And, I think she’ll succeed in that goal with Boruto playing the role of the “shadow” Hokage as Sasuke does currently.

Sarada will be the student of the Eighth Hokage, teammates with the son and grandson of the Seventh and Fourth Hokages respectively, and she’s the daughter of the student of the Fifth Hokage.

Oh, and I think she’s technically the student of the Seventh Hokage, too. Though, this hasn’t really panned out as Sarada probably expected. I think she may have trained with naruto like once.

Conclusion

Do you think it’s fair that every Hokage is connected to the previous Hokage in some way? Kiba probably wouldn’t be very happy if he ever figured this trend out. Also, do you think anyone other than those I predicted will become the Hokage in the future? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

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Naruto Chakra Nature Tier List

Naruto Chakra Nature Tier List

Revisiting the Chakra Natures

Chakra nature tier list from the anime series Naruto
Chakra nature tier list

It’s been a while since I last wrote about one of my favorite anime series, Naruto (excluding my weekly Boruto episode reviews). And, it looks like it’s been almost two years since I last wrote about chakra natures from the series.

So, for this article, I placed all of the chakra natures on a tier list and will be going through each tier explaining the placements of the natures. S-Tier is the best and F-Tier is the worst. Natures are also ordered from strongest to weakest within each tier, with the stronger natures to the left.

As for which natures are included in this list, the answer is simply: all 23 of them. Every nature covered in my original article ranking the chakra natures, the extra kekkei genkai natures, and the upgraded natures are all included on this tier list.

S-Tier Natures

S-Tier chakra natures (Yin-Yang, Dust) from the anime series Naruto
S-Tier chakra natures (Yin-Yang, Dust)

If you’ve read my original article on the strongest chakra nature in Naruto, it should come as no surprise that Yin-Yang release is at the top of S-Tier. It’s broken, evidenced by the fact that it can even nullify the effects of all other jutsu.

The other S-Tier nature is Dust release. This is the only kekkei tōta nature (combination of three basic natures) known, so you’d expect for it to be powerful. But, that distinction isn’t enough to put it in S-Tier. This nature earns its spot because it can disintegrate anything it comes in contact with.

A-Tier Natures

A-Tier chakra natures (Wood, Magnet, Crystal) from the anime series Naruto
A-Tier chakra natures (Wood, Magnet, Crystal)

The top A-Tier nature is, unfortunately, Wood release. Canonically, Wood release is the strongest, aside from the two S-Tier natures. However, that’s only because of the religious significance of wood. If Wood nature acted like real wood, it wouldn’t be anywhere near this high up.

Magnet release is my pick for the second strongest in A-Tier because of how versatile it is and how strong its users are. While Dust release is the best offensive nature and Wood or Crystal release is the best defensive nature, Magnet release is extremely good at both offense and defense. It can even disrupt opponents who use weapons.

Speaking of Crystal release, it’s the final nature within A-Tier. From what we’ve seen of it, Crystal release is effectively Earth release, but indestructible. If Wood release wasn’t magic instead of ninjutsu, Crystal would be the definitive best defensive nature.

B-Tier Natures

B-Tier chakra natures (Explosion, Lava, Steel, Dark, Scorch) from the anime series Naruto
B-Tier chakra natures (Explosion, Lava, Steel, Dark, Scorch)

Starting off B-Tier we have Explosion release simply due to its destructive nature. Unless you have a giant snake named Monda to hide inside of (or Crystal release), Explosion release is going to do some serious damage to you.

Lava release is very close to Explosion release in my mind. It’s lava, so it’s a dangerous nature to go up against. But, it’s also very versatile. It can be used to produce molten rock, acidic mud, corrosive quicklime, and even vulcanized rubber. It’s just not as destructive as Explosion release.

Like Crystal, Steel release is an improvement upon the standard Earth release. Steel is stronger than Earth, and Crystal is stronger than Steel. So, naturally, Steel would fall somewhere between them considering the same types of jutsu can be used with all three, just to varying levels of effectiveness.

Something interesting about Dark release is that we’ve seen a fair amount of people use abilities that work just like it without them being stated to have Dark release. For example, the Karma’s ability to absorb chakra in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is effectively Dark release. And because that ability is so useful, I think it deserves to be in B-Tier.

Finally, Scorch release is B-Tier as well due to how lethal it is to humans. This nature can quickly evaporate all the moisture in the air, and within living things, causing death. It is, however, weak against Water release, which is why it’s at the bottom of B-Tier instead of in A-Tier.

C-Tier Natures

C-Tier chakra natures (Boil, Typhoon, Storm, Ice, Mud) from the anime series Naruto
C-Tier chakra natures (Boil, Typhoon, Storm, Ice, Mud)

I’m putting Boil release at the top of C-Tier because it’s very similar to Lava release but generally less dangerous. Like Lava release, this nature can be corrosive. But, the majority of the time it isn’t and is instead used to produce hot steam.

Typhoon release is also in C-Tier because as far as we know, it’s just a more powerful version of Wind release. However, I wouldn’t say it’s as much of an upgrade over standard Wind release as Steel is over standard Earth release.

My placement of Storm release may be a little controversial. This chakra nature allows the user to control powerful beams of electricity as if they were a fluid. You might think that should be above Typhoon release. But, the reason I’m putting it below Typhoon release is that Wind release is strong against Lightning release, and so Typhoon release should be strong against Storm release.

Ice release is everyone’s favorite kekkei genkai chakra nature from the beginning of the original Naruto anime. We know it’s strong enough that its users were hunted down and persecuted. But it’s not really anything special as far as kekkei genkai go. If there was an improved version of it, like Crystal is to Steel, then that would be higher-tiered.

Rounding out the bottom of C-Tier is Mud release. As a kekkei genkai combining both Earth and Water release, it’s naturally tiered above them. And while I do think it deserves to be above D-Tier, it only barely makes it into C-Tier. It’s doubly weak to Storm release above it, so that’s not good.

D-Tier Natures

D-Tier chakra natures (Blaze, Yin, Lightning) from the anime series Naruto
D-Tier chakra natures (Blaze, Yin, Lightning)

My pick for the top of D-Tier is both unique and probably controversial. Blaze release is the only nature on this list that’s not officially recognized as a chakra nature. However, because it’s referred to as a “release,” we can assume it is.

Now, Blaze release is what Sasuke Uchiha uses to manipulate the black flames of Amaterasu. That seems like it should be higher up, right? Well, it can only manipulate those flames, making it extremely niche. Just having Amaterasu alone is good enough — you don’t need Blaze release as well.

Yin release is the best of the basic chakra natures. This is the “mind” part of the “mind and body” of Yin-Yang release. It’s responsible for powerful genjutsu as well as shadow-based jutsu. Yin is extremely good as far as basic natures go.

The bottom of D-Tier is another great basic nature, this time the best of the basic elemental natures, Lightning release. Not only is this the most offensive basic nature, but it’s also effective against two other basic natures, Earth and Water release.

E-Tier Natures

E-Tier chakra natures (Earth, Fire, Wind) from the anime series Naruto
E-Tier chakra natures (Earth, Fire, Wind)

As the only tier comprised of only basic natures, E-Tier starts off with Earth release. Despite not being as good as Yin or Lightning release, Earth release is probably the most versatile of the basic chakra natures. For this reason, it gets to sit at the top of E-Tier.

Fire release is right in the middle of the basic chakra natures. It’s the standard, which makes sense since it’s what the shinobi of the Hidden Leaf Village tend to specialize in. It’s good against one nature and bad against one other. There’s not much else to say about it.

The final nature of E-Tier is Wind, which is both weak to fire and less damaging than fire. So, naturally, it’s going to sit below fire on the tier list. Again, there’s nothing special about this nature. It just exists.

F-Tier Natures

F-Tier chakra natures (Water, Yang, Swift) from the anime series Naruto
F-Tier chakra natures (Water, Yang, Swift)

The best of the worst chakra natures is Water release. The reason this basic elemental nature is in F-Tier is that it’s weak to both Lightning and Earth. Yes, it’s also strong against Fire and Scorch release. But there’s only one known Scorch release user (who’s dead), so that’s doesn’t really matter.

Yang release is the worst basic chakra nature because it allows users to manipulate their physical attributes. An example is the Akimichi clan’s Expansion jutsu. But, you can be physically strong without being able to use Yang release. It’s fine when paired with other natures. However, I wouldn’t want just Yang release.

And, the worst of the worst when it comes to chakra natures is Swift release, a kekkei genkai of all things. It allows the user to move extremely quickly to the point their movements can’t be tracked. Do you know who else can do that without needing Swift release? Basically everyone. Think about Rock Lee’s speed without his leg weights or Minato’s various Flying Thunder God techniques.

Conclusion

What parts of my chakra nature tier list do you agree with? And what parts don’t you agree with? Let me know in the comments. And if you want to make your own chakra nature tier list, make sure to tweet it at me when you’re done.

If you enjoyed this article, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Naruto: Kaguya’s Descendants

Naruto: Kaguya’s Descendants

Kaguya’s Family Tree

Back in my discussion about why shinobi of the modern day are weaker than their historical counterparts, I mentioned how all chakra on Earth has a singular origin. That origin is Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, and more specifically, the divine tree she planted.

Kaguya then passed a portion of her chakra down to her two sons, Hamura and Hagoromo. When these two eventually sealed their mother within the moon, Hamura went to live on the moon, leaving Hagoromo the sole heir to the Ōtsutsuki clan on Earth.

Hagoromo had two sons of his own, Indra and Asura, and these two traveled the world gathering followers. Indra and Asura passed their chakra to their followers, and then their followers passed on that chakra down subsequent generations of their clans.

However, there are some modern clans that are the direct descendants of Kaguya’s lineage. These include the Kaguya, Hyūga, Uchiha, Senju, Uzumaki, and potentially Kazamatsuri clans.

Kaguya Clan

The Kaguya clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Kaguya clan’s symbol

As you can probably tell, the Kaguya clan gets their name from their “founding” member. What’s interesting about them is that we don’t actually know how they’re related to Kaguya herself, and yet they’re the first clan in the series with a distinct connection to her.

In fact, despite some of the other clans having more traceable lineages leading back to Kaguya, it’s the Kaguya clan that appears to be closest in relation to her. Their skin is pale like hers, their hair is parted in the same way at the scalp, and their eyebrows are shaped to look like the dots she has on her forehead.

But, the similarities to Kaguya aren’t merely surface level. If this was the case, the argument could be made that the Kaguya clan is nothing more than a cult that worships the founder of chakra. Instead, certain members of the clan actually possess a kekkei genkai that’s known to originate with her: Shikotsumyaku.

Way back near the start of the Naruto series, there was a minor antagonist by the name of Kimimoro. You’ll remember him as the boy who was able to manipulate his own skeleton. That jutsu is the Shikotsumyaku, which itself is a derivation of Kaguya’s Ash-Killing Ash Bones kekkei mōra.

Unfortunately for the Kaguya clan, they’re now extinct. Kimimoro was the last of his clan, so the Shikotsumyaku jutsu died with him.

Hyūga Clan

The Hyūga clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Hyūga clan’s symbol

The Hyūga clan’s lineage to Kaguya is known, unlike the Kaguya clan’s. We know that they descended from Kaguya’s son Hamura, who lived on the moon. I haven’t seen the movie that deals with that, but I’m assuming the clan got its start while Hamura was still on Earth — though I guess they could have traveled back to Earth from the moon.

Anyway, how they got to be on Earth isn’t what’s important for this discussion. The important pieces of information here are that they’re direct descendants of Hamura, who’s the son of Kaguya, and that they have one of the Ōtsutsuki clan’s kekkei genkai to prove it.

You’ll notice that the Hyūga are the only clan with the Byakugan, even among the other clans that descended from Kaguya. This comes down to their lineage through the Hamura side of the family rather than the Hagoromo side.

While Kaguya herself had the Byakugan, they were only passed down to Hamura. Hagoromo instead received the Rinnegan, after which he was named the Sage of Six Paths. So the reason we could tell that the Hyūga clan descends from Hamura rather than Hagoromo (other than the aforementioned movie) is due to their eyes.

And, even the Hyūga’s Eight Trigrams technique is a derivative of Kaguya’s original Eighty Gods Vacuum Attack, so there’s that too.

Uchiha Clan

The Uchiha clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Uchiha clan’s symbol

The Uchiha clan is the first of three clans known to have descended from Hagoromo’s side of the family. Specifically, they’re the descendants of his son Indra, who was the first person to awaken the Sharingan. As such, the connection between the Uchiha clan and Kaguya is pretty clear.

Also, much like the Hyūga, the Uchiha married within their own family for centuries as a way to keep their kekkei genkai from spreading elsewhere. This is why we don’t see any other clans in the entire world who possess either the Byakugan or Sharingan — and that makes it even easier to trace their lineage directly to Kaguya.

There’s not really much else to say about the Uchiha clan here, except that another piece of evidence connecting them to Indra is that the “reincarnation” of Indra is always a member of this clan.

Senju Clan

The Senju clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Senju clan’s symbol

The Senju clan is effectively the opposite of the Uchiha clan. They also descend from Hagoromo’s side of the family. However, rather than being the descendants of Indra, they’re the descendants of Asura.

What’s weird about the descendants of Asura is that they don’t have any visible attributes that would suggest this is the case. Asura wasn’t born with the ability to awaken the Byakugan or Rinnegan. But, he did receive the wood release kekkei genkai, which I’ll get to in just a moment.

First, what makes Asura truly unique from the other members of his family is his life force. Asura and his descendants all have an extremely strong life force. This is the reason Hashirama (the first Hokage) and his granddaughter (Tsunade) were able to use regeneration jutsu so masterfully.

So, what about the wood release? The issue is that we only know of three other wood release users throughout history. One of those three is Yamato, who had Hashirama’s DNA spliced into him, so he doesn’t really matter for this discussion. The other two are Hashirama and Moegi.

Starting with Hashirama, he’s the only member of the Senju clan to naturally awaken wood release. This suggests that it’s not exactly genetic, and doesn’t merely skip a few generations like the Kaguya clan’s Shikotsumyaku. Also, the wood release isn’t connected to being Asura’s reincarnation, because then Naruto would have naturally awakened it as well.

If that wasn’t complicated enough, the fact that Moegi somehow has wood release as well makes it even worse. Moegi is a member of the Kazamatsuri clan, and we simply have no idea how or if they’re related to any clan with a connection to Kaguya.

So for now, I’d say that wood release alone isn’t enough to link a clan to Kaguya. And if it is, then the Kazamatsuri clan must be descended through Asura as well.

Uzumaki Clan

The Uzumaki clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Uzumaki clan’s symbol

The final clan that we know descends from Kaguya is the Uzumaki clan. It was stated that the Uzumaki’s and Senju’s are closely related, and we can see that the Uzumaki’s also wield Asura’s strong life force. This is part of the reason why they’re so useful as jinchuriki and is also the source of Karin’s signature healing ability.

And speaking of Karin, she, Naruto, Boruto, and Himawari are the only four living members of the Uzumaki clan we know of. Nagato and Honoka were also alive during the present timeline of the story, but have both since died.

There’s not really much else to say about the Uzumaki clan though. As far as we know they haven’t received any kekkei genkai from their lineage. But, at least with Naruto being the reincarnation of Asura, we know that any one of his descendants can reincarnate as him, not only members of the Senju clan.

And, since the Senju and, especially, the Uzumaki clans didn’t solely marry within their own clans the way the Kaguya, Uchiha, and Hyūga did, there may be many other clans that are related to Kaguya through Asura that we simply don’t know about — such as the Kazamatsuri clan.

Conclusion

What’s interesting is that of the five clans we know are descended from Kaguya, only one is still going strong: the Hyūga. The Kaguya clan has been eradicated, the Uchiha clan has a sole heir in Sarada, the Senju clan seems like it’s going to die off with Tsunade, and the Uzumaki clan has Boruto and Himawari making up the next generation.

Basically, if anything bad were to happen to the Leaf Village, Kaguya’s known descendants would be wiped out. Sure, Sasuke might be somewhere else and Karin doesn’t live within the village borders, but it’s a real threat.

If you enjoyed this post, click the like button ❤ down below to let me know. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

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Naruto: Which Summon is Best?

Naruto: Which Summon is Best?

Summon Animal Rankings

Summon animals (and non-animals) have been around since the beginning of the Naruto series. And what you may have forgotten is that there are many more summon animals than just toads, snakes, and slugs. So today I’ll be ranking the summon animals featured throughout the series.

Unlike my post on which chakra nature is the strongest, in most situations, we can’t really compare summon animal types directly. Instead, I’ll be discussing the abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of each and listing them out from worst to best.

And as one final note before we begin, this list will only cover summons that are animals (including demons and chimeras) that either have more than one entry or are significant enough to include.

That means Tenten‘s weapon summoning doesn’t count, and neither do many of the one-off animal summon’s like Kamatari the weasel, Moguranmaru the mole, and a few of Pain’s summons such as the giant panda.

14. Dogs

Ninja dogs were the very first animals to be summoned in the series, all the way back in episode 17. There have been nine summoned dogs in the series, with eight of them being Kakashi’s summons and one being the two-headed guard dog of Hozuki Castle in Boruto.

Kiba with the ninja dogs Pakkun, Bull, Ūhei, and Guruko from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Kiba with the ninja dogs Pakkun, Bull, Ūhei, and Guruko

Pain also has a multi-headed dog summon, but that one is actually classified as a chimera, not a dog. And the dogs used by the Inuzuka clan aren’t actually summons, so they don’t count either.

Unfortunately, despite being the summon with the longest history in the series, dog summons just aren’t that good compared to other options. While we’ve seen that there can be larger, more unique variations, they’re generally normal dog-sized and don’t have any special abilities beyond tracking.

13. Fish

Fish summons are barely better than dog summons from what we’ve seen. I can think of two notable examples, which are the giant marlin with a sword for its snout and Kisame’s sharks. There were other fish summons in one of the novels, but I’m sticking to anime series summons for the sake of this ranking.

There are two reasons I rank fish above dogs. The first is that with the giant marlin, we saw that there’s the possibility for giant, unique fish as a summon. The second reason is that they’re generally going to be more dangerous than dogs. For example, sharks.

However, the reason fish are so low on this list is because they require there to be water. If the giant marlin is your summon, you can only really use it in a large body of water — but it’s a powerful summon in that terrain.

Kisame’s sharks are much more versatile because of their smaller size. You probably wouldn’t have a fish summon unless you’re proficient at using water-style jutsu. So as we see Kisame do, you can simply create water and then summon the sharks within it. You wouldn’t be able to create enough water for the giant marlin, though.

12. Birds

I really wanted to put birds higher up on the list, but the more I looked into them, the worse they seemed. There have been a few birds throughout the series. These include Sasuke’s hawk Garuda, Pain’s giant drill-beaked bird, the giant eagle, Fukuemon the owl, and Itachi’s crow.

You’d expect that bird summons would be powerful considering Sasuke, Pain, and Itachi all use them. But the problem with bird summons is that they’re generally just large versions of regular birds. They don’t have any special abilities that make them particularly strong.

But, I still have to put birds above dogs and fish because there is one benefit to using them: Flight. Garuda is the best example of this. While he’s large enough to be used in combat, such as against Danzō, Sasuke generally only summons him when he needs to fly.

11. Bugs

Some people are definitely going to think that bugs should be at the bottom of the list, but they’re actually extremely versatile. Every bug summon we’ve seen in the series is a giant bug, so basically just think of all the amazing things normal bugs can do and then imagine there was a giant version that can do the same thing.

Shino rescuing Boruto and Mitsuki with his giant insect summon from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Shino rescuing Boruto and Mitsuki with his giant insect summon

Examples of bug summons are Pain’s giant centipede, Susumebachi’s giant bee, Shino’s giant insect (not the normal insects he controls), and Kidōmaru’s eponymous giant spide Kyodaigumo. I’m not including the slug Katsuyu here with the rest of the bugs because she has additional abilities beyond simple “bug abilities.”

But as you can see, bug summons are very diverse. The giant centipede is basically the bug version of a giant snake; the giant bee is extremely agile, can fly, is venomous, and can trap people in honey; the giant insect can be used to fly like a giant bird; and Kyodaigumo can do everything a spider can, but on a much larger scale.

10. Tortoises

While there’s only one tortoise summon we know of, I think Ningame is significant enough to include on this list. He’s the personal summon of Might Guy and has been in the series for almost as long as Kakashi’s dogs have. Unfortunately, Ningame doesn’t get quite as much screen time as they do.

Ningame is the most difficult summon for me to rank. Part of the reason is that he’s the only tortoise we know of, and part of the reason is that he doesn’t really do all that much. But what we do know about him is that he basically has the highest defense stat of any summon animal.

So why did I place Ningame (and summon tortoises in general) higher than bugs that have much more variety? First, I honestly don’t think any of those bugs could defeat Ningame. The giant centipede could probably come to a draw with him though. Second, unlike the bugs, Ningame is shown to have a personality of his own.

Almost every animal summon can think for itself, but the only ones that we really see acting on their own rather than simply following orders are those with a distinct personality. And the reason this is a benefit is that it allows the summoner and the summoned animal to work in tandem — such as pairing Guy’s monstrous attack with Ningame’s unbreakable defense.

9. Chameleons

Chameleons are the first of what I would call the mid-tier summons. Everything before them is a low-tier summon (though any summon is better than no summon). There have been two chameleon summons in the series, and both were pretty formidable opponents with unique traits.

The first is Shiromari, the personal summon of Kōza Kubisaki. Shiromari is a giant chameleon that can shape-shift into any form. Most notably, it turned itself into an immense castle and ate anyone who ventured inside. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty powerful summon.

Pain’s giant snake-tailed chameleon is the second chameleon summon. While technically a chimera like the multi-headed dog, I’m including it in the chameleon section due to its primary ability. This summon animal can perfectly blend into its surroundings to effectively become invisible. Its user can also hide within its mouth.

I wouldn’t really say that there’s a downside to using chameleon summons. The only thing to remember is that they’re not exactly the most offensive creatures. Instead, they’re better suited for ambush tactics.

8. Chimeras

There are a decent number of chimera summons throughout Naruto and Boruto. The aforementioned snake-tailed chameleon is technically one, the multi-headed dog is one, and the conch king is one as well. There are also more traditional chimera summons such as the ultimate summoning beast and Nue.

For the purpose of this category, I’m including the multi-headed dog, the ultimate summoning beast, and Nue.

The multi-headed dog is classified as a chimera and not a dog summon because of its hydra-like ability. When one head is destroyed, two new heads grow in its place. The ultimate summoning beast is a man-made creature that can transform into a variety of forms. And Nue is just a nue, which is a traditional Japanese chimera.

While chimeras are often more on the offensive side and have a variety of abilities, their main drawback is that they simply aren’t specialized. As the saying goes, “jack of all trades, master of none.”

7. Demons

Under the umbrella of demons, I’m including any demonic summons. That means there are four or five different summons depending on how you want to classify them. These are the doki, the demonic statue, Rashōmon, possession demons, and the reaper.

The doki are three demons summoned by Tayuya of the Sound Four. Despite being extremely physically strong, the drawback to using the doki is that they have to be controlled by their summoner and don’t have the ability to act on their own.

Tayuya controlling the Doki from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Tayuya controlling the Doki

The demonic statue can only be summoned by someone who possesses the Rinnegan. The statue can then absorb the chakra (life force) of anyone nearby. Rashōmon is a demonic, defensive wall summon that can be layered. It’s unclear whether the demonic statue and Rashōmon can really be considered living things, but whatever.

Demonic possession-type summons were only introduced in Boruto with Enko Onikuma. The Onikuma family has a secret jutsu where they form a pact with a demon that allows the demon to possess their bodies.

Finally, there’s the reaper. It’s unclear whether the reaper should be counted as a true summon, but it does work in a similar fashion to standard summons. Normally, you would form a two-way pact with the being you want to summon beforehand. But with the reaper, everything is done at once.

When you summon the reaper, such as to use the reaper death seal jutsu, you have automatically entered into a pact with it. Regardless of what transpires beyond that point, the reaper will take your soul as payment (which could be seen as the two-way nature of the summoning).

Basically, demonic summons are very powerful, but they also all have fairly severe drawbacks. I don’t recommend using them.

6. Shellfish

If you’re thinking that it’s odd for shellfish to be this high up on the rankings, I completely agree. But they’re actually quite strong. The three shellfish summons we see in the series are Pain’s giant crustacean, the Second Mizukage’s giant clam, and Kandachi’s conch king.

All three have high defense stats like Ningame but also come with other notable abilities. The giant crustacean is the least impressive, only being able to use the wild bubble wave jutsu. The giant clam is able to produce a mist that creates mirages. And the conch king can shoot spikes, use its tongues like whips, and freeze enemies with genjutsu.

Both the giant clam and conch king are why shellfish made it so high on this list. The giant clam was used extremely effectively during the Fourth Great Shinobi War and the conch king even gave Jiraiya trouble.

5. Monkeys

Monkeys are the final mid-tier summons. There have only been two in the series: The Monkey King Enma and Enra. Enma was the personal summon of Hiruzen Sarutobi while Enra is the personal summon of Konohamaru Sarutobi. Saru means monkey in Japanese, which is why the Sarutobi clan has summoning pacts with monkeys.

Originally I wasn’t going to put monkeys this high up, but after some extensive consideration, I think they deserve it. Enra isn’t exactly all that strong, but Enma definitely was considering he’s the leader of the monkeys (similar to the conch king, Manda, and Gamabunta for their respective species).

Enma was able to take down the reanimations of both Hashirama and Tobirama Senju, so he’s pretty strong. The only reason I don’t have monkeys higher up on the list is actually the reason I didn’t think they would be this high to begin with: Their jutsu.

Both Enma and Enra are able to transform into expandable staves that are wielded by their summoners. The reason I don’t like this jutsu that much is because it means the summoner is effectively summoning a weapon as Tenten does. But in staff form, Enma was able to push Kurama out of the Leaf Village, so I guess it’s still a good jutsu.

4. Salamanders

I almost want to put salamanders higher up on this list, but I’ll refrain from doing so. As with tortoises, there’s only one salamander summon in the series, Hanzō’s giant salamander Ibuse. But despite being the only one of his kind (that we saw), Ibuse is strong enough to reach position number four.

Hanzō and Ibuse standing over the Sannin from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Hanzō and Ibuse standing over the Sannin

Ibuse was able to help Hanzō fight off the Sannin (Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade), Granny Chiyo of the Hidden Sand, and even the original formation of the Akatsuki. While that says a lot about Hanzō’s strength, we can’t ignore Ibuse’s role in those fights.

The primary ability Ibuse has is to expel poisonous gas from its body. Not only does this obscure Hanzō and Ibuse’s movements from sight, but it can also paralyze and outright kill anyone who breathes it in. Ibuse has also been seen burrowing underground and appearing beneath its opponents, eating them.

The reason Ibuse is so high on this list is due to the wide-spread nature of its poisonous gas. Without the right equipment, even an army can do little to stop it.

3. Slugs

As you can tell at this point, slugs, snakes, and toads make up the top three summons. I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case, but these summons really are extremely powerful. The only other summons that can compete with them are salamanders like Ibuse.

Katsuyu is the only slug summon in the series. She has two main abilities: acid spitting and body division. Katsuyu’s acid is a sticky substance that she shoots from her mouth. It’s so potent that it can even disolve rock. However, she doesn’t use this ability all that much, and typically plays a more supportive role.

Her second ability, body division, plays much more into this role. She can break her massive body down into tens or hundreds of thousands of smaller slugs and disperse them throughout the battlefield. Her summoner can then channel their chakra through these smaller slugs to other people.

During the Fourth Great Shinobi War, we see her use this body division in three ways. First, she could be used to heal the allied shinobi. Second, she could be used to share Kurama’s chakra with the allied shinobi. And third, she could gather and share information throughout the battlefield thanks to her small slugs having a shared mind.

Although we never saw this happen, I would also assume that Katsuyu can be used to spread genjutsu over a wider range as well. For example, if someone like Sasuke or Itachi had a pact with her, they could affect anyone Katsuyu is in contact with.

2. Snakes

Snakes are pretty straightforward when it comes to summoning animals. They’re giant and strong. Manda and the later Manda II were the strongest of the giant snakes. Then there’s also the so-called three giant snakes summoned by Orochimaru, Aoda who is Sasuke’s summon, and Garaga who was temporarily Boruto’s summon.

Ignoring the three giant snakes, Manda is basically just the physically strongest snake summon — or at least he was until Sasuke decided to use him as a meat shield. But despite dying from it, Manda’s body withstood the blast from Deidara’s ultimate technique

Aoda isn’t quite as strong as Manda was, but he’s much more agile. He’s also more willing to cooperate with Sasuke, effectively being completely subservient to him.

Garaga is the only one of the giant snakes we’ve seen that actually has a special ability. He’s able to spit venom that can petrify victims (I wish Chouchou was still petrified). Aside from that, he’s basically like a newer version of Manda, which is to say that he’s strong.

The reason the snakes are this high up despite being so simple in their abilities is because of the battles we’ve seen them in. Specifically, Manda was able to hold his ground against both Katsuyu and Gamabunta at the same time.

1. Toads

It probably comes as no surprise that Toads are the best summon animals in Naruto. However, I’d like to point out that the reason for this is likely because we’ve seen the most toads compared to the other summon animals. There have been at least 13 different toads summoned throughout the series.

These include Fukasaku and Shima, Gama, Gamabunta, Gamagorō, Gamahiro, Gamaken (my favorite), Gamakichi, Gamariki, Gamatatsu, Gerotora, Kōsuke, and the giant, fire-breathing toad.

Most toads we’ve seen can use either water-style jutsu, fire-style jutsu, or both. That, combined with their wide variety (similar to bug summons) makes them formidable in battle. There’s basically a toad for every situation.

If you need raw power, Gamabunta is your toad. Want a bit more agility? Then try out Gamahiro. Need some extra defense? Gamaken has a shield. Is genjutsu more your thing? Fukasaku and Shima are experts when it comes to genjutsu. And then there’s the giant, fire-breathing toad that can trap and dissolve anyone who ends up inside it.

Conclusion

How would you rank the various types of animal summons in Naruto? Keep in mind that my rankings are simply based on what we’ve seen in the anime series. I think if we saw at least 13 examples of each type as we do with the toads, then salamanders might be the true strongest. Or perhaps Ibuse is the only powerful salamander.

If you enjoyed this very long ranking of the summon animals, click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

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Upgraded Chakra Natures in Naruto

Upgraded Chakra Natures in Naruto

Basic Elemental Chakra Natures

In this next installment in my unofficial series on chakra natures, we’re going back to the basics (temporarily). As you should all know by now, there are five basic elemental natures: Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water.

There are also the combinations of these natures: kekkei genkai and kekkei tōta. As well as the Yin, Yang, and Yin-Yang natures which aren’t associated with the basic elements. Today we’re going to ignore all of those and instead focus on the five basic elemental natures pictured below.

Basic Elemental Chakra Natures from the anime series Naruto
Basic Elemental Chakra Natures

And although we’re all familiar with these five natures, did you know that they can actually be upgraded into new natures without being combined? You can have an upgraded Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water nature with far superior properties compared to the original.

There have also only been two confirmed users of these upgraded natures, which are Sasuke Uchiha and Nowaki. We all know Sasuke, but Nowaki was one of the antagonists in the Book of Sunrise arc which takes place during the epilogue of Naruto: Shippūden.

Also, while it’s not entirely clear how these upgraded natures manifest, it’s heavily implied that they’re simply another form of kekkei genkai. The only issue with this is that from what we’ve seen, there are other steps needed before these upgrades can be unlocked, which isn’t generally the case for kekkei genkai chakra natures.

Known Upgraded Chakra Natures

Blaze release is the upgraded version of Fire release which Sasuke can use. Interestingly, Amaterasu is not considered to be a blaze release jutsu — it’s simply the strongest Fire release jutsu. Where the Blaze release comes into play is Sasuke’s ability to manipulate the flames of Amaterasu.

Itachi could also use Amaterasu, but he wasn’t able to manipulate it in the same way Sasuke can, which is part of the reason we know only the manipulation is the Blaze release. The other reason we know this is because of the jutsu name Sasuke uses when he manipulates the flames begins with “Enton” instead of “Katon.”

Now, like I said, these upgraded natures may very well be kekkei genkai, but they aren’t awakened by normal means. Sasuke specifically has to use his Mangekyō Sharingan to use Blaze release. And, what makes this even stranger, is that Blase release only seems to apply to Amaterasu, which is actually a signature ability of Itachi’s Mangekyō Sharingan, not Sasuke’s.

Maybe my next Naruto series discussion should focus on the evolution of Sasuke’s eyes since that would take way too long to explain here.

Sasuke using his partial Susanoo and Blaze release from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden
Sasuke using his partial Susanoo and Blaze release

Typhoon release is the upgraded version of Wind release which Nowaki uses. Some people think this is a combination of Wind and Water, much like Ice (which would be the same as Wood and Mud both being a Water and Ground combination). However, it doesn’t seem like Water is actually necessary for this nature.

I think those people assume Water is involved because Nowaki is from the Land of Water, but that doesn’t actually matter. The Hidden Leaf Village is located in the Land of Fire, but that doesn’t mean everyone there knows Fire release.

Potential Upgraded Chakra Natures

Then there are the other potential upgraded chakra natures which aren’t confirmed and probably never will be. We don’t know what the upgraded versions of Water and Lightning could be, but I will say that it’s very possible Kakashi’s Purple Lightning jutsu is involved in some way much like Amaterasu is related to Blaze release.

The upgraded Earth release is interesting though. There are actually three possible natures which I think could be the upgraded version of Earth release: Mud, Crystal, and Steel.

Mud release is stated to be a combination of Water and Earth, it may actually simply be the upgraded Earth release. After all, Earth style users can use mud jutsu anyway, so what’s the point of the nature being distinct if it’s not an upgraded version? Crystal and Steel are also possibilities because they seem to basically be better versions of Earth release.

And, although this article has been focusing on the basic elemental chakra nature upgrades so far, I do want to point out that there may actually be other nature upgrades. While Yin and Yang aren’t elemental natures, they are still considered basic and therefore, logically, could be upgraded.

My guess is that the Dark and Swift releases are the upgraded versions of Yin and Yang respectively. Yin is based on spiritual energy, and Dark release is able to absorb ninjutsu. Meanwhile, Yang is based on physical energy, and Swift release vastly increases the user’s physical speed.

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on these upgraded chakra natures? Do you think Blaze and Typhoon release are both just single-base nature kekkei genkai? Or do you think there’s more to them considering the fact that Sasuke needs his Mangekyō Sharingan to use his?

Also, what are your thoughts on the potential Earth, Yin, and Yang upgrades? And, could Steel or Crystal be the upgraded Earth? Or does Mud make more sense even though it’s already said to be Earth and Water? How about potential Water and Lightning upgraded natures? Let me know in the comments.

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Want to see how I ranked all 23 chakra natures on a tier list? Check out Naruto Chakra Nature Tier List.

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