Naruto's story is one of the most compelling animes out there, although it is not perfect. Sometimes, because the plot needs it, some of the strongest characters in the franchise are made to look weaker than they really are.
This could be because they are used as plot devices to hype a more powerful individual and keep the show more entertaining, or is a result of inconsistent writing.
This list will talk about 10 such moments where the most powerful Naruto characters looked uncharacteristically weak.
Disclaimer: This list contains spoilers and will reflect the author’s opinion.
Hayate’s murder and nine other moments where Naruto’s powerhouses became weak
1) Orochimaru falls for Itachi’s Genjutsu
The title of Sanin is not something Orochimaru and his former teammates got out of nowhere. They had to prove they were amongst the strongest Shinobi to ever live in order to acquire it. They were feared and respected throughout all the elemental nations in Naruto’s world for decades.
You would imagine that a being as powerful as Orochimaru would be able to fight back against any kind of Genjutsu, but this does not seem to be the case.
When he tried to take over Itachi’s body, the snake Sanin easily fell in the Uchiha’s illusion. This moment worked perfectly in showcase Itachi’s enormous power, yet it seemed out of character for a Shinobi as powerful as Orochimaru.
2) Ten-tails Obito cannot use Kamui
The Juubi, or Ten-tails, unlike the other Bijuu in existence, was nothing but a massive ball of Chakra that wanted to destroy everything around it. If anyone managed to tame the beast and absorb its power, they were transformed into one of the strongest beings in the universe. Obito was one of the few people who managed this feat, so he should have been unstoppable.
However, he had a flaring weakness that messed with his fighting style. He was unable to use his Kamui at all, implying that this was because of the Sage of Six Paths Chakra. Nonetheless, when Madara took Kakashi’s eye and obtained the Kamui, he made use of the ability with no issues.
This made fans question why Obito could not have used this power, outside of making him look weaker than Madara.
3) Five Kages vs Madara
The Five Kages are people who need to be strong, seeing as a whole village depends on their power. For most ninjas in the Shinobi World, fighting a Kage is synonymous with a death sentence. The idea of defeating all five at the same time is pure fantasy for most Naruto characters.
Nevertheless, that is exactly what Madara did during the Fourth Great Shinobi War. The Kages never stood a chance against Madara, even though they were supposed to be some of the strongest ninjas in the world. This obviously worked in hyping up Madara as the final villain but also made the Kages look like average Shinobis.
4) Baki kills Hayate
Hayate was not seen much in the franchise because of his early demise at the hands of Baki. He was a very respected Shinobi, with even Kakashi mourning his death, and a master swordsman.
Gaara’s teacher (Baki) killed him while fighting during the Chunin exams with amazing ease. Baki’s Blade of Wind totally overpowered Konoha’s Tokubetsu Jonin, with Hayate not being able to defend himself at all. This portrayed Baki as a major threat to Konoha, making Hayate look really weak in comparison.
5) Kakashi is defeated by Itachi
Kakashi is one of Naruto’s strongest and smartest characters, something that he has proven countless times throughout the show. He fought against some of the toughest opponents the Shinobi World had to offer, coming out victorious time after time.
Regardless, during his fight against Itachi, Kakashi looked like a powerless Genin fighting someone much stronger. Their hand-to-hand skills were relatively similar, but the moment Itachi used his Sharingan, the battle was over for Kakashi.
He was trapped inside Itachi’s Tsukuyomi, barely coming out of it alive. Again, this proved how powerful Itachi was, but it was not a good look for Kakashi.
6) Konan vs Obito
Konan may not have been as powerful as Nagato, but she was not weak by any means. She dominated most of her fights during Akatsuki’s invasion of Konoha, and defeated people as powerful as Sasori without even breaking a sweat.
After Nagato’s death, she stayed behind in Amegakure, knowing that Obito would soon come for her. Fans expected an amazing fight that would have allowed them to see Konan use all of her power, but instead got a one-sided match where Obito did not give the Kunoichi a chance to defend herself.
The hype for Obito’s power started to grow faster after this fight, but Konan died humiliated.
7) Orochimaru kills Rasa
The Fourth Kazekage was not someone viewers thought would fight unprepared, considering he was one of the strongest Magnet Release users ever. His Gold Dust could overwhelm beings as powerful as the One-tailed beast with ease, a monster he sealed inside his own son.
Before the events of Orochimaru’s invasion of Konoha, Rasa allied with the snake Sanin to attack Konoha together in hopes of making his village look stronger. Orochimaru had other plans and promptly killed Sunagakure’s leader without any resistance. It is wild to think that a man who reached Kage’s level would have been defeated so easily.
8) Yagura was controled by Obito
Most former Kages on Naruto seem to be a lot weaker than they should have been. Alongside Rasa, Yagura is another perfect example of a Shinobi who reached the highest level possible for a ninja, and still got defeated like he was still an Academy Student.
Yagura was a ruthless and cold-hearted individual who wanted to create monsters to protect his village. During his reign of terror, he fought against Obito, who won without any complications and placed the Mizukage inside of a Genjutsu that made him follow all of Obito’s orders.
Yagura’s power as a Kage and a Jinchuriki should have made Obito struggle at least a bit, which obviously was not the case in the end.
9) Juzo died impaled with his own sword
The members of Akatuski should never be underestimated in a fight, considering that only the strongest renegade Shinobi are allowed to join the organization. Juzo was the forgotten former partner of Itachi, as well as one of the Seven Mist Swordmen.
After a successful mission in Kirigakure, Juzo and Itachi were ambushed by Yagura and his soldiers. Yagura was overpowered by Itachi and had to enter his Two-tails mode to keep fighting. He charged a Bijudama that impacted Juzo's weapon directly.
His sword was broken, and he was impaled by half of it, dying moments later. For a member of an organization that wanted to capture Jinchurikis, Juzo did not seem to be ready for the job.
10) Hanzo vs Six Paths of Pain
Hanzo of the Salamander was the most feared man during the Second Great Shinobi War. His name was enough to send shivers down his enemies’ spines. He was a monster who ruled Amegakure thanks to his inhuman strength and skills with weapons. The legendary Sanin got their nicknames after fighting this imposing opponent and barely surviving, not defeating him.
Seeing how he defeated all three of the Sanin during their youth, Hanzo’s power should have been enough to defeat entire armies alone. Despite this, Hanzo was killed by the Six Paths of Pain in seconds, like he was not a legendary Shinobi. This helped cement Nagato as a major threat to the Shinobi World but took away all of Hanzo’s hype in seconds.