4 Characters Naruto is Stronger Than Post-Kurama
Naruto Uzumaki’s struggle and eventual triumph in gaining the trust of the 9-Tailed Fox, honing it’s power and making it his own was a major arc in Naruto’s journey and growth as a character. His Kyuubi-chakra mode forms proved formidable and has since become a staple in Naruto’s arsenal despite the Kyuubi being a power that, for many years, hurt Naruto and the people around him more often than it helped so to see Naruto lose not only his greatest power but also his closest friend was a painful shock for long-time fans of the Naruto anime.
Kurama’s sacrifice carried so much emotional, but also narrative weight as now the previous (arguably) strongest shinobi in the world is now a lot weaker having lost his most powerful weapon. The balance of power within the Naruto/Boruto universe has been completely shaken which now raises questions such as “Can the Hidden Leaf still defend itself?”, “How strong is Naruto now?” etc. Whilst Naruto’s current level of strength is still mostly not clear, here are 4 formidable characters in the Naruto franchise our 7th Hokage can still beat.
Whilst this will be clear to some, many in 2021 (4 years after the end of the Naruto anime!) are still unsure as to whether Naruto and Sasuke retained their Sage of Six Paths (So6P) powers from the Fourth Great Shinobi War at the end of Naruto Shippuden. Therefore, if you are under the impression that Naruto and Sasuke did lose their So6P power-up, then I guess whether Naruto is stronger than Pain is still somewhat of a discussion as all Naruto would have is Sage Mode to supplement his nearly 20 years of training since the Pain fight.
However, it’s been made clear multiple times that Naruto and Sasuke did keep their So6P power-up such as in Naruto’s fight against Toneri on the moon as well as Sasuke keeping his Rinnegan and also his performance against Kinshiki in Boruto (Toneri and Kinshiki both being Otsutsuki level threats). Taking all this into consideration, whether or not Naruto is still stronger than Pain should not be in doubt.
3. SAKURA (Boruto-era)
Sakura’s growth as a shinobi should not be overlooked. She went from, essentially, another body in combat to a very powerful ally that would play a key part in sealing Kaguya away as well as holding her own on the battlefield in the Fourth Great Ninja War. Her elite chakra control, immense strength coupled with her mastery of the Byakugou seal which made Tsunade herself a powerhouse has led to Sakura becoming one of the strongest shinobi in the series.
Having said all of that, she still falls short of Naruto’s strength even without Kurama. Sakura never quite bridged the gap between her and Naruto and Sasuke despite her huge improvements. Her Byakugou seal is never once implied to provide an amp on the level of Sage of Six Paths let alone when you add Sage Mode on top of that along with Naruto’s base power always being above Sakura throughout the series. Boruto era, Adult Sakura while overtaking many characters in power will always be behind her fellow Team 7 comrades.
2. MADARA (all forms)
This is one actually fairly straightforward. Madara Uchiha’s character made him a fan favourite among the Naruto fandom with his otherworldly arrogance backed up by his overwhelming strength which only grew throughout the final arc of Naruto Shippuden. From having both his Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan to going blind, to becoming the 10 tails Jinchuuriki, Madara underwent many developments in his power with each iteration being stronger than previous. As much as it would surprise many considering the levels of power Madara managed to attain, Naruto as an adult is just that much more powerful.
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a fairly straightforward comparison as we’ve already seen a base (but much younger) Naruto without Kurama chakra severely wound 10 tails Jinchuuriki Madara with a single lava-style Rasenshiruken after receiving Sage of Six Paths power from Hagoromo. Now add on top of that 20 years of training as well as Sage Mode, and the result is still the same.
Madara’s Rikudo form with the Rinne-Sharingan eye in his forehead after absorbing the God Tree is stronger than the form base Naruto took out but the extra couple decades worth of training plus the Sage Mode amp would be enough to compensate. However, if you don’t think that’s enough justification for Naruto beating Madara’s final form then this next entry should convince you.
Yes, Kaguya Otsutsuki. Your initial reaction is probably of disbelief and maybe even disgust. However, how much more powerful Naruto becomes in the interval between the end of Shippuden and the beginning of Boruto is very underappreciated by many. In the beginning stages of the Momoshiki battle in the Boruto manga, Naruto was swapping blows and able to keep up with fused Momoshiki…in base with no Sage Mode, after having 50% of his chakra drained by Momoshiki himself. This is the same Momoshiki who Kaguya herself planned to prepare an entire planet of Zetsu soldiers to fight as she was worried about the threat that him and Kenshiki posed. This obviously would imply the Momoshiki (pre-fusion with Kinshiki) is at the very least relative in power to Kaguya.
Taking this into account, Naruto in base being able to trade blows with an even stronger version of Momoshiki than Kaguya was already scared of can only imply that Naruto can handle the once ominous threat of Kaguya Otsutsuki perfectly fine without Kurama’s power. When you then also stack Sage Mode on top of this, then the adult version of Naruto even post-Kurama’s death is still able to tango with Shippuden’s strongest. (This Momoshiki feat by proxy also means that any version of Madara Uchiha doesn’t stand a chance against adult Naruto, in case you needed more convincing).
Naruto is definitely worse off without Kurama. The levels of power the 9-Tailed Fox granted the 7th Hokage meant he could overwhelm powerful foes such as Momoshiki and Isshiki who are leagues stronger than Kaguya. The intelligence and battle smarts of Kurama also helped Naruto on multiple occasions but it is definitely the case here that Naruto’s reliance on Kurama’s power has undervalued his own strength as shinobi.
Through the work Naruto put in to improve his own combat abilities before befriending Kurama, Lord 7th laid the foundations for the rest of his life as a shinobi who could look after himself without the Kyuubi’s power which should stand him in good stead for the remainder of his time as Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. Whilst Isshiki-level threats are well beyond him now, he definitely won’t allow himself to become a liability on the battlefield and will continue to defend Konoha with honour.