7 innovative jutsu uses in Naruto

Hidan restrained by Shikamaru's Shadow Possession Jutsu (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Hidan restrained by Shikamaru's Shadow Possession Jutsu (Image via Studio Pierrot)

The Naruto franchise has portrayed a plethora of interesting ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu over the years. Fans have gone gaga over the many overpowered abilities and techniques shown in the series, and have compared them to similarly overpowered characters in other series.

However, not all wars can be won with strength alone and the series has shown that numerous times. Here is a list of some of the most innovative ways jutsu was used in the Naruto series.

Spoilers for the Naruto and Shippuden anime ahead.

7 smartest and most innovative ways Naruto characters have used jutsus

1) Team 7 versus Zabuza


Zabuza was the first of many powerful antagonists that appeared in the series. The newly formed Team 7, consisting of the barely graduated genins of Konoha, were no match for one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, and even Kakashi was captured and imprisoned within his ninjutsu.

While they could not defeat the shinobi themselves, Naruto and Sasuke used the simple transformation jutsu to disguise the former as a giant windmill shurikan which Sasuke launched against Zabuza, forcing him to release Kakashi.

2) Naruto defeats Neji


In terms of raw strength and technique, Neji was far superior to our blond blue-eyed protagonist. But from the very beginning of the series, he was shown to have a knack for unusual strategies and improvisation, leading to Kakashi even nicknaming him the “No. 1 Unpredictable Ninja.”

True to the name, Naruto used the only jutsu he was proficient at, the Shadow Clone Jutsu, as a decoy to make Neji drop his guard. He then used the opening to land a direct hit on the latter, knocking him out and winning the Chunin exam fight.

3) Shikamaru outsmarts Tayuya


Shikamaru is canonically one of the smartest characters in the series, with an IQ over 200. While his Shadow Possession might not be the strongest, his intellect and tactical skills more than make up for it. During the Sasuke Retrieval arc, Shikamaru was left to face one of the Sound Four, Tayuya. Amplified by Orochimaru’s curse marks,

Tayuya was able to generate a huge amount of chakra and use her demonic flute to control the demons she summoned. Shikamaru followed the movements of her fingers to figure out the pattern she was playing and reversed it to hijack control of her demons, binding them with his Shadow Possession Jutsu.

He then proceeded to use her own summoned demons to trick her and bind her with his jutsu, buying enough time for Temari to come to his rescue.

4) Naruto kills Kakuzu


The Akatsuki played a more prominent role in the Shippuden era, and Hidan and Kakuzu were the thto come who came into conflict with Konoha shinobi after Itachi and Kisame, and Deidara and Sasori.

When Hidan was lured away by Shikamaru and Kakuzu was left to deal with the rest of them, his multiple hearts and forbidden jutsu appeared almost unbeatable.

Naruto came to the rescue with his newly-invented Rasenshuriken. However, due to the jutsu not being yet perfected, he resorted to an old familiar technique, hiding himself among his clones to confuse Kakuzu.

5) Shikamaru captures Hidan


Hidan’s immortality made him especially difficult to defeat, but Shikamaru was determined to avenge Asuma and punish his killer. Once more using his brilliant planning, Shikamru set a trap and used Hidan’s own ability against him. Stealing Kakuzu’s blood during their initial attack using Kakashi’s help, Shikamaru then proceeded to lure Hidan into the forest.

He fooled Hidan into believing that he obtained Shikamaru’s blood by swiping at the latter, but on conducting the ritual, injured Kakuzu instead. Shikamaru then used his Shadow Possession jutsu to trigger an explosion, beheading Hidan and leaving his chopped up remains inside a deep pit in the Nara forest.

6) Sasuke uses Kirin


During the much-anticipated showdown between Sasuke and Itachi, the older Uchiha’s Mangekyo Sharingan made him far superior to his younger brother's Sharingan. But Sasuke had already accounted for it, and when facing Itachi’s Susanoo, he used the powerful Lightning Release jutsu, Kirin, that he had created.

However, Kirin depends on thunder clouds, and where none are present, the user must use fire to heat up the moisture in the air and recreate storm-like conditions. Sasuke used the Uchiha’s Great Fireball Technique, both as a means to buy time to activate the technique and to create the necessary thunder clouds.

7) Naruto distracts Kaguya


Probably one of the most expected ways that jutsu has been used in the series was Naruto’s use of the Reverse Harem jutsu on Kaguya Otsutsuki. After Madara was absorbed and transformed into Kaguya’s body, Team 7 found themselves facing an almost-insurmountable obstacle.

While Sasuke and Naruto were able to somewhat keep up with Madara, their efforts seemed to be futile against Kaguya’s Rinnegan, Sharingan and her arsenal of abilities, including dimension-hopping.

They were only able to land a single hit on her. Even that happened only when Kaguya was too flabbergasted to react to Naruto using Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu and having his clones transform into naked men with his Reverse Harem Jutsu.

While comical and very much clashing with the mood of the tense battle, Kakashi could not help but agree that its unpredictability was effective.

The series proves that while power does matter, it can be useless in the face of brilliant strategy. Naruto himself began as an underdog, unable to even pull off a Clone jutsu properly. Over time, his Shadow Clone Jutsu became his specialty and throughout the span of the series, he learnt to use it in a variety of ingenious, if bizarre, ways.

The same is true for characters like Shikamaru, whose strategic use of his Shadow Possession Jutsu became obvious during his fight against Temari during the Chunin exams. While not major enough to make the list, Ino’s use of Mind Body Switch Technique to seal Kinkaku back into the Kohaku no Johei was another clever way of using her jutsu.