As I mentioned, there are many different abilities in Narutodom.
Several, though, are of the flashy variety that just deal damage but aren’t very interesting – this includes Naruto’s rasengans, the inexplicably high amount of lightning-coated hands, and the fireballs that half the characters in the series seem to be able to conjure up. Of course, there are also the all-powerful eyes that several characters possess that are simultaneously over-powered without being too exciting (I mean, revealing that half the action in a scene was nulled because it was just a genjutsu is basically this series’ version of “it was all a dream”).
Still, there are several interesting techniques, with the following being my favourite:
1. Wood Release: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees (Hashirama Senju)
First Hokage Hashirama Senju was my favourite Naruto character for good reason. Not only was he immensely powerful, he also had a whole assortment of interesting techniques. The user of this technique releases a gazillion trees into the battlefield, all of which release pollen rendering those around them unconscious. This is not only an incredibly useful ability but, given its size, provided great coverage. Plus, it was sure epic to watch in action.
2. Iron Sand (Third Kazekage)
All the Kazekage seem to have had mineral-related abilities but the Third’s one was by far the coolest – even if we only got to see it manipulated through Sasori’s puppetry. A step up from Gaara’s sand and used more imaginatively than Rasa’s gold, the iron (controlled by the Third’s ability to convert chakra into magnetic force) was way cooler and more versatile than I could have imagined. In the (literal) hands of Sasori, the sheer flexibility of their form (from mini bullets to sharp spikes to large metallic structures) meant that they could often take the enemy by surprise, be used in a wide variety of spaces and situations and, being magnetic themselves, render other metallic weapons useless. Very useful.
3. Sage Art: Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands (Hashirama Senju)
Not the most fancily-named technique, perhaps, but it certainly cements Hashirama’s position as head honcho of shinobi (who are not the Sage of Six Paths…or his mother). While the huge statue does seem to fall into the “bigger and harder” category that I was earlier decrying, it is a lot more versatile than just a strong whack in the face. The thousand hands can do, well, a thousand things at once, if need be, and the structure could be used from anything to insane offense to unbreakable defense. Plus, the statue can be detached for further hands-on (geddit geddit?) action. Of course, it also just makes for a visually striking epic scene.
Honorable mention: Wood Release: Four-Pillar House Technique (Yamato)
Yamato might not have the sheer, overwhelming wood releasing power of Hashirama but he does have something a lot more practical. This technique, while not particularly great on the battlefield, is perhaps the most useful technique of all, especially for roaming shinobi on a mission. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take a mid-mission break in an entire mansion conjured from nothing. Given today’s property market, this is the technique I would love to have.
Dear reader, do you read/watch Naruto? What are your favourite Naruto abilities?
[All images from Narutopedia]