Masashi Kishimoto’s smash hit Naruto series tells the tale of Naruto Uzumaki, a cursed boy who sets his sights on the goal to become his village leader and the world’s number one ninja. On his quest, he learns all kinds of new jutsu, or combat techniques, and many of them are very tricky to use in battle.
Naruto is an anime about ninjas and in the story’s first half, each battle is in fact a battle of wits, tricks, and deception. That’s what ninjutsu is all about, and ten particular jutsu in the series’ first part are some really sneaky tricks to use in a fight. What are the 10 most clever jutsu seen in Naruto Part I? Read on and find out if your favorite technique made the cut!
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This is a very basic tool in any ninja’s toolkit, and in fact Ninja Academy students learn it before they graduate. The idea is simple: focus your chakra, and morph your appearance into that of someone else.
No one needs Groucho Marx’s gag glasses when they can do this Mystique-like jutsu. It’s used a few times early on, but not much after that. What a shame, too, since shapeshifting is incredibly effective in many fictional universes.
9 Sexy Jutsu
Yes, really! And who else to invent a jutsu like this other than the prankster Naruto himself? At first, Naruto devised and used the Sexy Jutsu just to annoy Iruka. Later, Konohamaru tries to learn it, too.
But if you think about it, this jutsu’s end result is so outrageous and unexpected, it could actually confused and disarm an opponent for a moment. Ninjutsu is about striking in an unexpected way, and no one is going to count on a stark-nude lady on the battlefield. It’s a bit tasteless, but hey, if you’re desperate enough…
Now we get a defensive jutsu. When used right, this substitution jutsu can really put a hole in your opponent’s plans. It’s not even complicated to pull off: just swap your body with a nearby object at the last moment, and let that dummy take the blow for you.
Kakashi is the first person seen doing this, and he swaps out his body with a shadow clone, to Naruto’s deep confusion. More than once, it looked like a hero had taken a mortal wound only for a nearby log to take the fall instead.
7 Water Emergence
It only takes a few episodes for Naruto and the rest of Squad Seven to try their hand at their first real ninja mission. In this case, they are asked to escort a bridge builder back to his homeland, but some Mist Village ninjas have other ideas.
In true ninja style, they wait patiently for the right moment to strike, and place an innocent puddle of water on the country road. When our heroes happen by, the ninjas emerge from the water and strike from behind! Watch your six!
6 Mist Assassination
If the puddle trick wasn’t enough to get the upper hand on Squad Seven, how about a fog assassination trick instead? Zabuza is a jonin (i.e. an elite ninja) who earned a reputation far and wide for his extreme assassination skills.
Naruto and the others are frozen in terror when Zabuza corners them, shrouding the area in an unnatural mist. Once this mist has cloaked the entire area, Zabuza can appear from nowhere and slice someone in half. Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura were taken by total surprise.
5 Eight Trigrams, 64 Palms
Not just anyone can pull this off. Only members of the Hyuga family can perform this jutsu, and it’s a very resourceful and clever move to make. With the aid of the Byakugan (aka White Eyes), the user can strike their opponent with their open palms. But these aren’t just random blows; rather, the user is hitting the target’s 64 different chakra points, the vital parts of their body’s chakra flow.
Once all 64 points are struck, the target can’t summon any chakra for ninjutsu! It’s a disabling technique, and a brilliant one at that. Neji Hyuga in particular is a master at this.
4 Puppet Jutsu
A ninja doesn’t have to act alone. In fact, why not bring some company in the form of toys? Kankuro of the Sand Village takes the “creepy doll” trope to a new level with one (and later three) ninja puppet, built specifically for battle. It’s tricky to pull off, requiring the use of chakra strings attached to those puppets. But if done right, the user can send out battle proxies loaded with weapons, ranging from poison gas to blades and more.
During the Chunin Exams arc, Kankuro uses his puppet for a substitution jutsu to escape his opponent’s grip. Right after that, Kankuro delivered the final blow. What a clever boy!
3 Chakra Scalpels
Anyone can use a basic substitution jutsu or throw some shuriken, but many of these jutsu require some serious expertise to use correctly. This trend continues with chakra scalpels, which are exactly what they sound like.
A medical expert like Kabuto can place sharp blades of chakra on the hands, and then start attacking. These scalpels can pass through clothes and skin, and slice up the target’s tendons, muscles, and more. In this way, the target is crippled and can’t move an inch. The doctor is in!
2 Dead Demon Consuming Soul
Even on a list like this, the dead demon consuming soul jutsu is extraordinary. It is a forbidden and terrifying jutsu that is no doubt very difficult to learn, and doing so exacts a heavy toll. But Hiruzen Sarutobi does just that against Orochimaru, and he nearly destroys Orochimaru’s soul. Ultimately, Hiruzen lacked the strength, so he devised an excellent Plan B: get a hold of Orochimaru’s soul’s arms, and cut them off!
This cost Hiruzen everything, but it did the trick. Orochimaru was rendered unable to perform any jutsu while in this state, and Orochimaru wailed in despair. He later found a way out of this, but all the same, it’s a cunning move on Hiruzen’s part.
1 Genjutsu Decoys
This devious jutsu comes courtesy of Itachi Uchiha. We don’t actually see him perform it, but the results are clear. Being an assassin on a mission, Itachi needed to get Naruto and Jiraiya apart. So, he took advantage of Jiraiya’s lecherous ways and lured him away with a beautiful woman… who was in fact a genjutsu!
Genjutsu doesn’t get nearly the same screen time that ninjutsu does, but its results speak for themselves. Itachi corners Naruto while Jiraiya is far away, and only Sasuke’s interference prevents a total kidnapping. If it’s too good to be true, it’s a genjutsu!
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