Is Kakashi Really That Strong?
In the Naruto world there are a lot of ninjas who are renowned for their abilities. This could go from some unique Jutsu only they can perform, or even just their brute strength.
One of the first strongest ninjas we meet in the show is Kakashi. The “copycat” ninja.
In the beginning it is apparent to everyone that he is certainly strong. And once his sharingan is revealed to us, I think everyone’s reaction was “we shouldn’t fu*k with this guy”.
Not only this but tons of characters and elders in the leaf village, and even strong villains in the show, have all heard of Kakashi. Since his name is known far and wide across the ninja world, he must be super strong right?
But honestly… by the Shippuden arc I didn’t really see it anymore. Sure, he pulled off a couple GREAT moves to save the day. Such as taking on villains like the Akatsuki member Kakuzu, Pain and even Orochimaru.
These were some of the strongest enemies in the show during their respective time in the arc. So there is no doubt as to why his name is known throughout the different villages.
But there’s something that just didn’t sit with me the right way…
He just seemed unimpressive. You’re probably like “what are you talking about you JUST said how he defeated some of the strongest ninja in the show?!?”
Hear me out…
Later in the show we learn about Kakashi’s backstory. He was an INCREDIBLY gifted child who by at the age of 12 years old reached Jounin level ninja. For those that don’t know this is the 3rd and final rank (excluding the “kage” or leader).
Many ninja in the world never even reach this level. So to do so at 12 is HUGE. Most 12 year olds can barely reach the second rank of ninja. And most stay there when they do finally achieve it.
So if he did this at only twelve years old, then why the hell isn’t he an absolute GODSEND by the time Naruto takes place.
Minato (Naruto’s dad) is known to be possibly the strongest ninja to have lived. His skills really only surpassed by Naruto himself at the very end of the show ( a few others perhaps but it is up for debate).
Literally at TWELVE he would spar with Kakashi, his student, and Kakashi would give him a run for his money.
THIS WAS AT TWELVE YEARS OLD!!!!
This just doesn’t add up for me. Kakashi was basically a godsend as a child. One would assume that by the time he is a full-grown adult in Naruto that he would be completely unstoppable. It’s almost as if he just stopped training completely in his teens.
Again, I am not arguing that he is certainly a force to be reckoned with. But in my eyes, given that he continued his training, he should be unstoppable by anyone in the Shippuden arc.
But I think there is a reason for this…
I think Kakashi was placed in the show to be a “benchmark”. What do I mean by this?
The show isn’t called “Kakashi” it’s called “Naruto”. So there is no way that they can have someone else be the strongest hero always saving the day. But at the same time it wouldn’t be believable if Naruto was just super strong right off rip either.
And in the Naruto world there are tons of different Jutsu and moves that are completely new to viewers. It’s not like an anime about swords or guns where it’s easy to watch and say “wow that person has a really big gun so they must be strong”. We had nothing to compare strength to.
By having a ninja that is known by all the characters to be powerful and who can do some really cool shit, we can understand the strength of others.
For instance, when Itachi just totally shit on him we as viewers were able to think “o wow Itachi must be crazy powerful”.
It gave us the perfect benchmark. It was easy to understand that anyone who could go toe to toe with Kakashi was strong, and that anyone who can beat him with ease must be REALLY strong.
So what does this mean? Is Kakashi really that strong?
Yes. He is. He is an incredibly powerful ninja who seems to have been “written down” in terms of his abilities in order not to outshine Naruto. And it worked really well. Because all along Naruto HAD to be the greatest hero. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been the star of the show.