When I look back, I can’t remember how I started watching Naruto. As the show progressed, however, I have realized that the majority of it is opposing opinions, and that conflict and rivals are making the central point of the show. Because of that, I give you top 10 of the greatest rivalries in Naruto.
Sakura vs. Ino
At first, these two were quite good friends, growing up together, doing what kids do; collecting flowers and braiding hair to each other. But, the things turned once they enlisted and started attending Ninja Academy. Uchiha Sasuke was the reason for two losing that carefree connection in time, and the words such as “Ino pig” and “Forehead girl” are heard more often. But, despite this, they remain close friends and are caring about one another deeply.
Rock Lee vs. … everyone (but Neji most of all)
At first sight, Rock Lee was a strange character. Looking waaaay different than the rest of the crew I have expected him to be a ridiculous character. And he was, in a manner, until the part of the story about his origin. There, we have seen that the only thing he is gifted for is Taijutsu, and he suffered from this a lot. Because of that, he chose the best of them, Hyūga Neji to be his rival, so that he can improve. Also, along the way, he decided Uchiha Sasuke and Naruto to be his rivals. But he was among those who cried the most when Neji died. Apparently, their bond was much more in-depth than that was shown.
Indra vs. Asura
Two brothers descending from Sage of the Six Paths, Hagoromo, grew up together. Indra being stronger in Ninshū and overall holding much more power, he lacked compassion which was the most apparent feature of his younger brother. Before deciding that Asura will inherit Hagoromo, the two brothers loved each other profoundly and cared a lot about one another. The things got worse after the death of Hagoromo, and once childish play grew to the chasm which separated them beyond repair.
Uchiha Madara vs. Senju Hashirama
The line of two descendants of Indra and Asura continued through years until Madara from Uchiha clan met Senju Hashirama. In the beginning, the two didn’t know that they are from families who are bitter enemies, and they became close friends. This friendship was crucial in building Konoha since by merging two clans Hidden Leaf village became a reality. But, despite this, once close friends grew distant, and conflict rose resulting in a clash of two of the most potent ninjas (perhaps of all time), which led to the death of Madara. However, this rivalry didn’t stop here, after being revived during Fourth Shinobi World War, they continued their fighting, with Hashirama still caring about a dear friend, no matter how far he may fall.
Uzumaki Naruto vs. Uchiha Sasuke
The conflict between these two rivals is what the majority of the show is. Continuing the line of Indra and Asura, after Madara and Hashirama, Sasuke is the prodigal child and the most skilled of their generation, and the whole village rejects Naruto and considers him as the clown. However, once their path crossed, there was no coming back. Starting from trivial reasons of “who is stronger/better” things went pretty far by the end of the show, including the future and deep philosophy. But for the whole time, Naruto considered Sasuke as his friend and did everything he could to bring him back. And if you ask Sasuke, Naruto is just big-mouthed, loud idiot who lacks skill. But what he feels, he won’t tell.
Minato Namikaze vs. A (the Fourth Raikage)
At the time of their conflict, none of these two were Kage, but on the right road to becoming one. While The Third Shinobi World War was raging, the two met for the first time. The tension was high, since Kumogakure and Konoha were on the opposing side, and the fight came fast. This is the only time we see their fight, and it is all about speed. Minato was faster and better prepared than A, but apparently, foundations for better relations between two villages were laid there.
Shimura Danzo vs. Sarutobi Hiruzen
This is one of the rivalries which is not explicitly shown in the series but instead hinted. Of course, we had seen the moment when things went from bad to worse, with Tobirama declaring Hiruzen as his inheritor when Danzo became cold toward his former friend. Their rivalry went to the political field, and two clashed between questions about leading Konoha more than anything else. However, despite that Hiruzen had the power to shut off Danzo and his Root branch of ANBU, he didn’t, until his former friend forced Itachi to kill his entire clan.
Jiraiya vs. Orochimaru
I’m not sure whether these two of the Legendary Sanin can be considered as rivals, but the nonetheless, Orochimaru was regarded as incredibly skilled and powerful shinobi, while Jiraiya was more of a goof. Instead of opponents, again we have the story of two diametrically different characters where the “worst one” chases the “prodigy”. It is likely that at some point Jiraiya considered Orochimaru as his rival, but since latter wasn’t too much interested in trifles of this world, Pervy Sage gave up.
Konohamaru vs. Uzumaki Naruto
One of the best and most entertaining rivalries on this list, Konohamaru was just a kid who held a grudge against Naruto, proclaiming him as his rival. However, Naruto recognized much of himself in Konohamaru’s character and realized that he is, in fact, a guide for him. Because of that, even when Konohamaru went to attack him, Naruto educated him, and unknowingly set an excellent foundation for extremely powerful shinobi, such Konohamaru became as we saw in “Boruto” series.
Hatake Kakashi vs. Maito Gai
Let me be completely honest about this pair. There is no better representation of the word “friend” than the rivalry between Gai and Kakashi. In the beginning, it wasn’t so. Kakashi was annoyed by Gai’s constant challenges and didn’t care much. However, after Obito’s and Rin’s death, Gai stepped up, and they became close friends. During years, their friendship and rivalry grew and may include eating competition, racing, or “rock, paper, scissors” competition.
So, there it is. 10 greatest rivalries in Naruto series. I surely hope that you enjoyed. Let me know what do you think about this matter? Feel free to hit the comment section below.