Name a better rivalry in anime than Naruto x Sasuke. We’ll wait. Some do come to mind like Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball, Asta and Yuno in Black Clover, or Midoriya and Bakugo in My Hero Academia.
But are they really more influential than Naruto vs Sasuke? We don’t think so. So today, we’re exploring everything there is to know about the Naruto x Sasuke rivalry.
We’ll take a look at every real fight they’ve had, try to figure out who’s the strongest among the two, and more! We’ll start with the very first time the two ever fought in the anime.
What Episode Does Sasuke Fight Naruto for the First Time?
Even before the two fought, they were often at each other’s throats taunting and teasing each other. But the first time they battled was an iconic scene where the two rookie shinobi unleashed the techniques they had learned.
It was a relatively tame fight, but this was building up their rivalry against each other. Soon after that, we witnessed an intense fight which we’ve featured below.
Another interesting note about their first fight was the intention of it. The reasoning for their fight was a gradual build-up of jealousy and power. Sasuke was not happy that Naruto was accomplishing more and growing stronger.
The scenes right before the fight show how Naruto was responsible for saving Sakura from the Sand Ninjas. He also recollects his brother, calling him weak.
The main reason they fought was that Sasuke wanted to be stronger, especially stronger than Naruto.
But in reality, Naruto and Sasuke kissed before they ever fought.
Naruto and Sasuke accidentally kissed each other when someone bumped into Naruto as he was trying to stare Sasuke down.
This happened in Episode 3 of the original Naruto series.
This was just the first real fight between Naruto and Sasuke. Their rivalry and brawls will only intensify from here. Let’s take a look at every fight between Sasuke and Naruto and the winners of each bout.
All Naruto VS. Sasuke Episodes
Naruto vs. Sasuke in the Manga. Naruto Vol.25 Chapter 226: My Dear Friend…
There are a total of 5 major fights between Naruto and Sasuke throughout the series. As they grow older and more powerful, the fights also increase in terms of combat prowess, abilities, and animation.
1. Hospital Fight
This is the first major battle between Naruto and Sasuke and while it technically ended in a draw, Naruto was the actual winner. The only reason Sasuke and Naruto ended the fight was because of Kakashi’s interference.
If he did not get in between the two, Naruto’s Rasengan would have obliterated Sasuke. After Kakashi separated them, they both ended up firing their jutsus into water tanks.
At first glance, Sasuke was a clear winner as his Chidori pierced the tank, resulting in a big hole.
Naruto’s Rasengan only caused a tiny bump and a small leak to the water tank. But after Sasuke ran away, he noticed the rear of Naruto’s water tank was completely blown apart. It had a much bigger impact internally compared to his Chidori.
This highlighted the stark difference between their power levels at the time. Sasuke then resolves his will to get stronger by searching for Orochimaru.
Winner – Naruto
2. The First Valley of the End Fight
Anime Series – Naruto | Episodes – 128 – 135 | Where to Watch – Netflix, Crunchyroll, Funimation
This is the most iconic battle between the two as it showcases their skills as Genin Shinobi. It’s also the longest fight in the original Naruto series. Naruto finally catches up to Sasuke at the Valley of the End and pleads for him to return to the village.
Sasuke however, is determined to continue on his path to get stronger and take revenge on his brother, Itachi Uchiha. Enraged at the thought of Sasuke throwing everything away for power, he starts punching Sasuke.
Sasuke then uses the power of the Cursed Seal to beat Naruto back.
The battle intensifies and Naruto is soon engulfed with the Nine-Tails’ chakra, healing and empowering him. At this point, Sasuke was no match for Naruto’s First Jinchuriki form. Sasuke in turn levels up his Cursed Seal to keep up with Naruto.
At the end of the fight, both Naruto and Sasuke end up pulling back their attacks. They both cause an explosion from the force of the Chidori and Rasengan. In the process, Naruto crossed out Sasuke’s forehead protector.
This symbolizes Sasuke cutting ties with the Leaf Village. As he was left standing, Sasuke was the clear victor here. He could have killed Naruto but chose not to.
Winner – Sasuke
3. Reunion Fight
The next big fight between Naruto and Sasuke happens in Naruto: Shippuden and the team finally catch up to Sasuke. They received intel that Sasuke was at Orochimaru’s hideout, and went to capture Sasuke to bring him back to the Leaf Village.
After searching the hideout, they eventually find Sasuke with Sai.
Sasuke then starts a monologue explaining he’s after revenge and that anything else didn’t matter to him. A fight ensues to capture Sasuke, but Naruto, Sakura, Sai, and Yamato could not handle a lone Sasuke.
Even though both Sasuke and Naruto left relatively unscathed, it was only because Orochimaru stopped Sasuke from unleashing a deadly Jutsu.
If Sasuke had unleashed his power, who knows what a devastating impact it would’ve been?
Winner – Sasuke
4. After Danzo’s Death / Bridge Fight
Anime Series – Naruto: Shippuden | Episodes – 215 – 216 | Where to Watch – Netflix, Crunchyroll
This is a small fight between Kakashi’s team and Sasuke after Sasuke killed Danzo. It wasn’t a 1v1 fight against Naruto and Sasuke since Kakashi and Sakura also tried to apprehend Sasuke.
Eventually, the two ended up brawling and unleashing Chidori and Rasengan once again. The two Jutsus meet and cause an explosion, throwing them back from the impact. White Zetsu picks Sasuke back up and prepares for combat.
Since Sasuke looks severely beaten at this point, Naruto is a clear winner of the scuffle. This isn’t as big a fight as the previous battles, but it was a good level marker for the two. In this instance, Naruto was stronger.
Another reason this fight was important is that Naruto and Sasuke talk about their future battles and fate. Naruto explains if the two were to fight, they’d both end up dying.
This fight also solidifies Sasuke’s will to become stronger and to defeat Naruto by taking Itachi’s Mangekyo Sharingan.
Winner – Naruto
5. The Second Valley of the End Fight (Final Battle)
Anime Series – Naruto: Shippuden | Episodes – 476 – 478 | Where to Watch – Netflix, Crunchyroll
This is the final fight in the Naruto: Shippuden anime and the battle that finally ends Naruto and Sasuke’s rivalry. After the fierce fight against Kaguya, things settle down but Sasuke is not done yet.
Even though he had exacted his vengeance, he now had a new goal; the destruction of the shinobi world and the start of a new one. Since the Five Kage were trapped by the Infinite Tsukuyomi, it would be easy for Sasuke to kill them.
Naruto disagrees with the sentiment and the two travel to The Valley of the End to end their long-fought rivalry once and for all.
The fight is an incredibly powerful scene and is often contrasted with the First Valley of the End fight they had as children. The cutscenes depicting their previous fights and memories stir emotions between the two.
This was their destiny and they understood it needed to happen.
The major reason for their rivalry was that both Naruto and Sasuke realized they were each other’s closest friends.
But by a twist of fate, they became natural enemies. Naruto is on an endless chase to bring Sasuke home, while Sasuke was determined to cut everyone out of his life in pursuit of his ideals.
Naruto is trying to save a dear friend while Sasuke wants to be alone.
By the end of the fight, the area surrounding them is obliterated. They’re both exhausted and are in a fistfight to the death. After unleashing their final attacks, the two eventually stop and reminisce about everything they went through.
The two awaken in a badly beaten state, and both have lost an arm.
Sasuke finally admits his defeat and reunites with the original Team 7.
Winner – Naruto
Who is Stronger, Naruto or Sasuke?
After checking out all the fights, there are certain parts where Sasuke was overwhelmingly more powerful than Naruto. But there are also instances of Naruto having the upper hand against Sasuke.
It’s hard to quantify who is truly the stronger one between the two. But the simplest answer is Naruto is stronger than Sasuke.
You might disagree and that’s fine. Many fans have their interpretation of this debate. But when you take into account how Naruto can pull off the things he can (Jinchuriki mode, Sage arts, etc), he’s much more versatile than Sasuke.
Not to mention the strongest thing about Naruto is his determination. Sasuke is an excellent fighter and is undoubtedly strong. But he lacks Naruto’s willpower and sheer perseverance through tough situations.
He also has a never-say-die attitude which is essential for Shounen MCs.
But if you’re speaking solely on a skill-based level, the two are almost equally matched. The best comparison I can make is between Luffy and Zoro in One Piece. The two are undeniably powerful but people think Zoro is weaker.
In reality, the two are almost the same level with Luffy being a slight step above Zoro.
This power difference is negligible in the grand scheme of things and also applies to Naruto and Sasuke. They’re both equally powerful in their way. Naruto just does some things a bit better than Sasuke.
However, there is another big consideration when comparing Naruto x Sasuke. Naruto might have been holding back.
Was Naruto Holding Back Against Sasuke?
Several incidents support the notion that Naruto held back against Sasuke. We mentioned this in the First Valley of the End fight where Naruto purposefully held back his Rasengan.
After witnessing the power of his Rasengan at the Hospital fight, we can assume it was more powerful than Sasuke’s Chidori at the time. If Sasuke was hit by the Rasengan, he probably would have died.
Even in the Second and Final Valley of the End fight, Sasuke asks Naruto if all he’s going to do is “defend”. This shows the difference in fighting styles where Sasuke was out to kill, but Naruto was simply deflecting and defending the attacks.
The major difference between Naruto and Sasuke is that Naruto wasn’t trying to kill Sasuke. Sasuke tried his best to kill Naruto in almost every fight. Naruto was simply trying to defeat & immobilize Sasuke to bring him back home.
This difference means Naruto possibly could have defeated Sasuke if he pleased.
But again, this is open to interpretation. You may disagree with this, but based on what we know, it seems Naruto held back against Sasuke in certain situations.
We can also consider the opposite, there are multiple instances where Sasuke could have easily killed Naruto. It’s a two-way street that further complicates the debate on who’s stronger.
That said, we’ve reached the end of our exploration of Naruto & Sasuke and their iconic rivalry. There’s a lot more to it than just these few fights. It’s a constant build-up from both seasons of the anime.
But we wanna know what you guys think?
Is Naruto stronger than Sasuke? Any other matchups you’d like to see?
Leave us a comment!