8 Naruto rivalries that created the strongest characters in the series
Naruto is one of the most popular shonen anime and manga series of all time. The show is well-known for its action sequences and some of the best anime rivalries.
Some of these rivalries were quite friendly, with the rivals pushing each other to become better shinobis. These rivalries gave birth to some of the strongest characters in the series. Let's take a look at some of these rivalries that absolutely shook the shinobi world.
Naruto rivalries that shocked the entire shinobi world
1) Sasuke and Naruto
The rivalry between Sasuke and Naruto is arguably one of the most popular in the series. They pushed each other to the absolute limits and became some of the strongest characters towards the end of Shippuden. One became the strongest reincarnation of Indra, and the other was keeping up against a literal God. This rivalry gave birth to two absolute monsters in the series.
2) Might Guy and Kakashi
Might Guy always considered Kakashi to be his rival. However, Kakashi didn't feel the same way about him initially. As the years progressed, the two pushed each other to become better shinobis, and Guy showed what one could achieve through hard work and effort. He pushed Ten Tail Jinchuriki Madara to the absolute limit using only Taijutsu, and that's when Kakashi acknowledged his father's words. He realized that Guy had surpassed him as a shinobi.
3) Hashirama and Madara
Hashirama is someone who defeated EMS Madara, who also cloaked the Nine-Tailed Beast in a Susanoo (which shows just how powerful he was as a character). Madara was strong enough to summon meteors after activating the Rinnegan, and he showed just how strong and manipulative he was towards the end of Shippuden.
4) Jiraiya and Orochimaru
Jiraiya and Orochimaru were rivals, and they were quite strong since they belonged to the Legendary Sannin. However, one of them stooped to the deepest pits of darkness in search of knowledge, while the other dedicated his life to protecting Konohagakure and training those who had potential.
Jiraiya was ridiculously strong and could have beaten Pain if he knew his secret. Orochimaru was equally capable and was able to subdue Demon Fox Cloak Naruto.
5) Rock Lee and Neji
Rock Lee, much like Might Guy, wasn't gifted with the ability to utilize his chakra for ninjutsu. That being said, he trained extremely hard and always considered Neji his rival since he was one of the best students at the time.
Neji didn't consider him a rival initially, but Rock Lee continued to prove that he was not to be taken lightly. Rock Lee is so strong that he is capable of opening all Eight Gates at this point in the series. Neji's contributions were crucial in various situations, especially during the Fourth Great Shinobi World War arc.
6) Rock Lee and Gaara
Some fans consider the Chunin Exams arc to be one of the best story arcs in the Naruto series. The fight between Gaara and Rock Lee was one of the most hyped fights.
Rock Lee was a shinobi who aspired to become strong, and he was pitted against a psychopath (who killed a ton of people during that exam) with an intense blood lust. Watching Rock Lee almost defeat Gaara showed his conviction, and that's when fans knew that he was a shinobi to look out for.
7) Danzo and Hiruzen
Hiruzen was chosen by Tobirama, the Second Hokage, as his successor. Danzo was quite distraught and did not like the fact that he wasn't selected as the next Hokage. Naturally, he considered Hiruzen his rival, and fans know just how far Danzo would go to achieve his goals.
Danzo was highly manipulative, to the point where he convinced Itachi to murder his entire clan. Meanwhile, Hiruzen was so strong in his prime that he was given the title of God of Shinobi, something that was given only to Hashirama prior to Hiruzen.
8) Obito and Kakashi
Obito was a bright shinobi who once aspired to become the Hokage. He viewed Kakashi as his rival and always pushed himself to outperform the shinobi.
What was once a healthy rivalry, went south pretty fast after Madara's manipulation and the death of their close friend, Rin Nohara. Obito showed his true strength during the Fourth Great Shinobi World War arc. This rivalry truly gave birth to some monsters in the series.