One of the most long-standing arguments in the Naruto fandom is this: which jutsu is more powerful- the Sharingan or the Byakugan? Fan-favourite characters like Kakashi, Itachi, Sasuke, and Madara from the Uchiha clan sport the sharingan. As a result, Naruto fans have long been obsessed with the sharingan's greatness.
However, with the byakugan and the Otsutsuki clan gaining importance in the Boruto anime, fans wonder which occular ability reigns supreme.
While neither is absolutely superior in all respects, there are certain advantages that each kekkei genkai offers above the other. In terms of origin, they have certain similarities as well, both having originated in the Otsutsuki clan.
Naruto series' Sharingan and Byakugan compared: Which visual jutsu is superior?
1) Heightened perception
Both the sharingan and byakugan allow its wielder to analyze their opponents' moves and tactics along with granting them improved reflexes. However, the Naruto series shows the Sharingan's abilities to overshadow the Byakugan's in this aspect.
The sharingan allows its user to not only analyze but also memorize and copy most ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu, barring only kekkei genkai and unknown nature-transformations.
Sharingan: 1, Byakugan: 0
2) Manipulation of chakra points
While the sharingan excels at memorizing and copying jutsu, the byakugan is superior with regard to sensing and seeing chakra. They can see and feel chakra both outside the body, and inside it.
The Hyuga clan's signature taijutsu technique, the 'Gentle Fist', allows them to forcefully close or open chakra points in their opponent's body to subdue them. During the Chunin exam arc in Naruto, Neji uses this technique on Hinata.
Sharingan: 1, Byakugan: 1
Despite being the two most important visual jutsu in the Naruto series, the Sharingan receives more attention due to its connection to the Uchiha. The mangekyo sharingan can transform into eternal mangekyo sharingan. Similarly, the Byakugan can transform into a tenseigan if implanted from a Hyuga to an Otsutsuki.
While both have the ability to transform, the sharingan's transformation is not as much of a rarity as a byakugan's. Moreover the byakugan lacks natural transformations like the increase in tomoe from one to three,and subsequently into mangekyo.
Sharingan: 2, Byakugan: 1
The major difference between these two kekkei genkai is the condition for their activation. In the Naruto series, we've seen that while proficiency increases with skill and experience, the byakugan can be wielded from birth.
The sharingan, however, usually appears after severe emotional upheaval and maturation. Naruto's daughter awakens her byakugan automatically under stress, but it is not a necessary condition.
Sharingan: 2, Byakugan: 2
5) Jutsu enhancement
Both sharingan and byakugan are variants of occular jutsu in the Naruto series. However, sharingan vastly enhances and hones the ability to cast genjutsu, thus making genjutsu a specialty of the Uchiha clan.
Despite the byakugan being an occular jutsu too, the Hyuga clan's skill lies in specific taijutsu like the Gentle Fist and the Eight Triagrams. These styles can be practiced only while possessing the keen visual and observational abilities of the byakugan.
However, being able to sense and see chakra paths makes it easy for byakugan holders to break out of genjutsu, and sense it when genjutsu is being cast.
Since, both the Uchiha and the Hyuga clans were skilled at combat, the sharingan's genjutsu gives them an advantage over the Hyuga.
Sharingan: 3, Byakugan: 2
6) Miscallaneous Powers
Throughout the Naruto and Boruto franchise, evolved forms of the sharingan and the byakugan are shown to develop specific individual abilities. These abilities appear more regularly among sharingan-holders, such as the ability to cast a perfect susanoo with a mangekyo sharingan.
However, certain powers such as 'amaterasu', the ability to cast inextinguishable black that both Uchiha Sasuke and Uchiha Itachi had, and the 'kotoamatsukami' ability of Uchiha Shisui, or Obito's 'kamui' are quite rare.
The byakugan's uniqueness lies more in its appearance than ability in specific members of the Hyuga clan. However, its transformation into a tenseigan unlocks the tenseigan chakra mode granting the user Otsutsuki Hamura's ability to use truth-seeking orbs, as seen in the movie Naruto: The Last.
In this case, it is very difficult to judge which power is superior and cannot be compared. But since we do not get enough information on the tenseigan in the Naruto series, sharingan wins by default.
Sharingan: 4, Byakugan: 2
The sharingan wins over the byakugan in the Naruto series. But the scales may dip in the other direction as we see more of the Otsutsuki clan in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
Since the clan is the original source of both of these unique and powerful kekkei genkai, new information about the jutsu is expected to come to light.