Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto series is filled with interesting jutsus and abilities, and that’s one of the reasons why we love the show.
Who doesn’t love badass fireballs, towering mud walls, and darkly forbidden abilities that can raise the dead, summon meteors, and create a thousand clones of yourself? Not to mention the iconic hand seals used to mold one’s chakra for different abilities.
Naruto has given us some of the coolest fight scenes in anime, and a lot of that is due to the character motivations that collide in conflict—but it’s all capped off by the awesome abilities on display.
Here are our picks for the best jutsus and abilities featured in the Naruto series and why each one is so awesome.
16. Shadow Clone Technique
One of the very first jutsus showcased in Naruto became the most iconic ability of the entire series.
The Shadow Clone Technique is conceptually similar to the basic Clone Technique, except the Clone Technique only creates an afterimage without substance while the Shadow Clone Technique creates real copies that can attack and cause damage.
When using the Shadow Clone Technique, the user’s chakra is equally divided between each clone, making it more powerful than most other cloning techniques that only share a little bit of chakra to each clone.
Because of this, the Shadow Clone Technique is dangerous and forbidden because it quickly depletes the user’s chakra reserves.
15. Human Puppetry
Puppetry techniques are most prominent among the Sand ninjas, but Akatsuki member Sasori developed a puppetry technique that’s unique… and grotesque. He uses human corpses as his puppets, which he preserves to prevent decomposition.
Unlike normal puppets, human puppets retain their chakra attributes and thus grant the puppeteer access to the puppets’ techniques—like the Third Kazekage’s Magnet Release: Iron Sand.
The human puppetry technique employed by Sasori made him a deadly rogue ninja, not to mention his signature Red Secret Technique: Performance of the Hundred Puppets.
14. Lightning Release: Chidori
Chidori is the signature move of Hatake Kakashi, which he taught to Uchiha Sasuke. The Chidori technique was developed as a result of Kakashi trying to add his Lightning Release to a basic Rasengan.
It concentrates the user’s lightning-based chakra into the hands, which creates a lethal elemental weapon. While Rasengan blows an enemy away with raw chakra, Chidori pierces the enemy with precision.
13. Fire Release: Phoenix Sage Fire
Sasuke starts off with the impressive but basic Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique that incinerates everything with a huge ball of flame.
Later on, Sasuke breaks out the evolved form in Fire Release: Phoenix Sage Fire Technique, which spits out multiple fireballs that can be aimed at a target. It’s a more refined and efficient use of chakra that can precisely burn targets rather than letting it burn wildly.
Sasuke’s brother Itachi even used this technique, except he hid shurikens inside the fireballs and made them even more dangerous.
Rasengan is a technique developed by the Fourth Hokage, passed down to Jiraiya, and then taught to Naruto. After the Shadow Clone Technique, Rasengan became Naruto’s signature move of the series.
The Rasengan itself was meant to be a training tool for chakra control, as the resulting chakra control is needed for learning more powerful techniques. However, the violent rotation of concentrated raw chakra itself can be deadly in the hands of a skilled user.
11. Summoning Technique
The Summoning Technique allows a user to instantly summon animals with whom they’ve made a contract. To complete the summon, the user needs to smear the blood with which they signed the contract.
Notable animal summons include Gamabunta (Jiraiya and Naruto), Aoda (Sasuke), Manda (Orochimaru), and Katsuyu (Tsunade). The Summoning Technique can also be used with humans, like Shima’s Reverse Summoning and the Rinnegan’s Animal Path.
10. Edo Tensei (Reanimation Technique)
The Reanimation Technique was created by the Second Hokage, but was utilized for battle by both Orochimaru and Kabuto. Due to its grotesque nature, it’s tagged as a forbidden jutsu.
The Reanimation Technique summons a soul from the afterlife and binds it into a living sacrifice, but requires a part of the summoned dead in order to be successful. The worst part is that this technique can only be undone by the caster, and can’t be undone if the caster dies.
The reanimated beings are perfect killing machines because they can’t die while reanimated (even if their body is torn apart).
When an Uchiha’s eyes evolve to the Mangekyo Sharingan, they can form their chakra into a huge humanoid figure called a Susanoo. It’s one of the many techniques unique to the Uchiha clan, and it’s known for its impenetrable defense and ability to deal massive damage.
There are only a few Susanoo users featured in the series, and every time it appears on screen, you know it’s going to be a badass fight.
Amaterasu produces a jet-black flame that can burn anything and can’t be put out until the target is completely burned. The flames of Amaterasu can burn even fire itself.
We’ve only seen this used by Itachi and Sasuke, who can release Amaterasu from their Sharingan without using the hand seals of their traditional fire release techniques. Instead, the black flames appear at the focal point of their vision.
Sasuke later created a variation of Amaterasu by combining it with Naruto’s Wind Release: Rasen Shuriken, forming a swirling black projectile at incredible speeds that can burn anything it touches.
7. Jinchuriki (Sealed Tailed Beast)
Jinchuriki are people who have Tailed Beasts sealed within them, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to access the Tailed Beasts’ powers. Most of the time, it only happens after the person befriends the Tailed Beast within them and they agree to worth together as one.
Once they have control, a Jinchuriki can access the unique chakra of their Tailed Beast to unlock superhuman power and reflexes. The notable feature of a Jinchuriki in Tailed Beast Mode is the thick dark-red chakra that engulfs them—or even turning into the actual Tailed Beast.
6. Shinra Tensei
Shinra Tensei (more commonly known as “Almighty Push” among dubbed anime viewers) is a technique of Rinnegan users, derived from the Deva Path of the Six Paths. It creates a repulsive force that can immediately push anything away from the user.
To demonstrate his power to the world, Pain uses Shinra Tensei to completely flatten the Hidden Leaf Village in an instant.
5. Tengai Shinsei
While the Shinra Tensei of Pain was able to destroy the Hidden Leaf Village, Uchiha Madara’s Tengai Shinsei is able to bring humanity’s extinction. While clad in his Susanoo, Madara and his Susanoo perform hand seals that call forth a meteor from outer space.
It’s a clear demonstration of the power level that the Allied Shinobi Force is up against—and even when Onoki is able to stall that meteor, Madara mocks his resolve and summons a second one.
Genjutsu isn’t as flashy as ninjutsu or taijutsu, but Uchiha Itachi’s Tsukuyomi is an exception.
Imagine being tortured for days upon days while trapped in the illusory world of the Tsukuyomi, only to come out of it and realize that it all occured in under a split second. And yet, the pain and damage are real, often resulting in heavy emotional and psychological damage.
Later on, Madara casts a large-scale version called the Infinite Tsukuyomi, which traps an entire population in a “peaceful” dream world.
3. Senjutsu (Sage Mode)
Contrary to ninjutsu, which relies on basic principles of internal chakra manipulation, senjutsu instead manipulates natural energy around the user. It’s one of the hardest techniques to master because there’s great risk if you lose concentration for even a second.
Those who master senjutsu are called Sages, and there are only a few known Sages throughout Naruto. Sages can imbue their own chakra with nature energy to make it more powerful and create senjutsu-based techniques, like the Wind Release: Rasen Shuriken.
2. The Eight Gates
The Eight Gates are the body’s chakra points that limit a person’s flow and access to chakra. Removing the limiters—or “opening the gates”—floods the user with extraordinary human strength, far beyond what’s normally capable with the human body.
Those limiters are there for a reason, though: they protect the body from overworking itself and causing itself harm. The more gates opened, the more the body breaks down—torn muscles, broken bones, and in the case of opening the last gate, death.
It’s a very useful last resort ability when the right time comes, like when Guy opened up the final gate in his fight against Madara.
1. Flying Thunder God
The Flying Thunder God was originally created by the Second Hokage (Tobirama Senju). The Fourth Hokage (Minato Namikaze) later learns to use the Flying Thunder God technique and becomes the fastest ninja in the world, earning the alias “Yellow Flash of the Leaf.”
The technique works by first placing seals at a certain location or on certain objects, and then being able to instantly teleport to any location or object that’s been marked by the seal.
There are other fast ninjas—such as the Raikages—but they have to physically move from one point to another (and can be blocked) whereas Minato and Tobirama literally disappear from one point and reappear at another point, making them effectively unblockable.