as the Naruto franchise approaches its 20th anniversary, there has been no shortage of opponents that Naruto has gone up against. While its no doubt Naruto is one of the strongest ninjas and has some of the most powerful jutsu seen in the franchise, there have been several occasions where Naruto uses his inspiring and heartfelt words to win fights against his opponents.
Whether it’s a washed-up shinobi, a madman set on brainwashing the entire world, or an evil cutthroat, Naruto has shown time and time again that he doesn’t need to physically beat his opponents in order to win battles.
As the first arc of the entire show, “The Land of Waves” saw Team 7 go up against the heartless mercenary Zabuza and his companion Haku. After Haku sacrifices himself for Zabuza, Naruto causes the emotionless Zabuza to develop compassion and even sacrifice himself for Naruto and his team.
In a riveting emotional moment, Naruto showed what would eventually make him the greatest shinobi of all time. As the first example of what is now dubbed Talk no Jutsu, there’s no question that Naruto’s emotional plea to Zabuza showed why Naruto is a step above the other anime of its kind.
Naruto and Gaara had very similar childhoods of being treated as threatening outcasts feared by the entire village. However, while Naruto would go on to become the fun, optimistic shinobi he is today, Gaara becomes a heartless ninja who only received joy from defeating others – that is, until he meets Naruto. In a showdown that left both of them physically demolished and unable to move, Naruto won over his opponent by using his chin to crawl to Gaara, demonstrating the love he has for his comrades and causing Gaara to give up the fight.
In showing Gaara what love means, Naruto caused Gaara to become a completely different person and one of the best side characters in Naruto. As Gaara would become changed forever and one of Naruto’s closest friends, Naruto showed proved that he doesn’t even have to throw a punch to win over his opponent.
After finding out that Tsunade rejects Jiraiya’s offer to be the Fifth Hokage of The Hidden Leaf Village, Naruto challenges her to a fight. Despite Naruto getting easily defeated with one finger by Tsunade in their first fight, Naruto does later win in their second bout against each other.
Reminding Tsunade of both her former lover and brother, Tsunade ends up admiring Naruto for his sheer determination of following his dream to become Hokage. While this wasn’t one of his signature Talk no Jutsu victories, Naruto proved that he can turn any opponent from foe to friend.
Kakashi is one of the best teachers in anime, and seeing Naruto and Sakura’s bell test rematch against him was just the fun and action-packed face-off fans needed to kickstart Shippuden. The fight ended when Naruto creatively decided to use Kakashi’s attachment to his novel against him, causing him to let his guard down and give Naruto the opportunity to take the bells.
Here fans saw Naruto’s growth and maturity as a shinobi after the time skip, and that trying to physically overpower an opponent is not always the best option.
6 Dark Naruto
The War Arc saw Naruto go up against many opponents, but one of his most interesting fights came when he had to fight an evil version of himself. Instead of Naruto deciding to fight his evil half when he charges at him, Naruto hugs the dark version of himself, causing his dark half to be eradicated in one of the shows most emotional moments.
While it wasn’t the jutsu showdown fans expected, the fight was arguably much more powerful as Naruto confronts the anger and loneliness he experienced as a child. Seeing Naruto embrace the physical manifestation of his loneliness and hatred showed that Naruto was more than just a show about ninjas fighting each other.
Initially being one of the most cunning and ruthless characters in all of Naruto, Kurama was set up as one of the biggest antagonists earlier on in the show. Naruto would win an early encounter with Kurama, but his true victory over the tailed beast came when Naruto eliminated all of his hatred and softened the Nine-Tail’s heart, causing an unbreakable bond between the two to form.
In winning his life-long battle with Kurama, a character only thought of by the shinobi world as a force of evil, Naruto showed that he doesn’t need to actually defeat his opponent to win them over.
4 Fourth Raikage
In a face-off between Naruto and the Fourth Raikage, the Raikage refuses to let Naruto help the Allied Shinobi Forces in the war. After multiple failed attempts to get past the Raikage, Naruto ends up dodging his lightning-fast punch to prove that he is now the fastest ninja in the world.
This fight showed the extent of Naruto’s newfound Kurama mode and that he is on a whole new level of power. While never actually throwing a single punch, Naruto won his face off with on of the strongest Kage of all time by earning his respect the same way his father did in the Third Great Ninja War.
In one of the best fights in the series, Naruto takes on Nagato (aka Pain) after he completely decimates the Hidden Leaf Village. While Naruto would eventually defeat Pain, his true victory came when he convinced Nagato, another former student Jiraiya, to believe in his former sensei’s ideals once more and give his life to save all of Konoha.
Despite Naruto proving that he could definitely pack a punch and possibly defeat the Rinnegan user, deciding to reason with his enemy instead of physically overpowering him showed how Naruto will always choose unity and compassion over violence.
A villain thought to be irredeemable, Obito loses the battle with Naruto after Naruto reminds him of the shared aspirations of being Hokage they had when they were children. Remembering who he truly was, Obito would go on to become a vital role in defeating Kaguya Otsutsuki.
Seeing the main antagonist of Naruto become yet another victim to Naruto’s inspirational words was a very heartwarming moment for fans and proved that Naruto was unlike any other hero seen in anime.
The most prominent conflict in the entire show, if not all of anime,ends in one of the most emotionally satisfying ways possible. After years of begging and pleading for Sasuke to turn away from his hatred, Naruto fights his best friend, leaving the both of them without an arm and on the verge of death.
It was right after this fight though, when Sasuke would finally give in to Naruto’s persistence. While the fight technically ended in a draw, Naruto won the battle for Sasuke’s soul and showed that his Ninja Way of never turning his back on his friends and always keeping his word has no limits.
Next: The Coolest Ninja Abilities In Naruto, Ranked
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