The long-running Naruto anime gradually upped the ante with ever-stronger characters and devastating new ninjutsu techniques, which helped give the series a sense of progress. As protagonist Naruto Uzumaki got stronger, so did his friends and enemies, but sometimes, the power creep raised some eyebrows among Naruto fans.
At times, the power creep in Naruto abruptly made everyone much stronger than expected, or an ultra-powerful new jutsu made everything else around it feel obsolete. This can sometimes hurt the immersion, with the creators throwing in overpowered characters or techniques as an excuse for more action sequences. Or, certain characters positively break the laws of physics or ninjutsu to do the impossible just because it looks cool.
10 Obito Uchiha's Kamui Technique
The bizarre Kamui jutsu made its debut early in Naruto Shippuden, when Naruto's mentor, Kakashi Hatake, used it on Deidara. With his Mangekyo Sharingan, Kakashi activated Kamui and teleported away one of Deidara's arms. Later, Obito Uchiha took this to the next level with his own Kamui.
Obito didn't just use Kamui on defense. He also used it to teleport people to and from different worlds, which felt like a strange and borderline OP way to use dojutsu, or eye jutsu. Suddenly, portals were a big deal in Naruto's final fight, and it felt odd indeed — and too strong.
9 Madara Uchiha Fighting Everyone Barehanded
It's never easy to balance a shonen anime's supervillain, since if they're too weak, they're not a threat, and if they're too powerful, the heroes might need contrived ways to actually defeat them. Looking back, Madara Uchiha wasn't that bad, but he also represented serious power creep.
Madara took on an entire united army of shinobi and fought them all off bare-handed. That was exciting to watch, but it also made entire battalions of ninjas feel pointless because the supervillains can win the day with their bare hands, no jutsu required.
8 Ten-Tails Fighting The Heroes
The tailed beasts all represented power creep in Naruto, such as Kurama's chakra powering up Naruto Uzumaki so hopeless fights are suddenly winnable. All this reached outrageous new heights in Naruto Shippuden, when the bizarre Ten-Tails creature appeared.
Somehow, the nine-tailed beasts weren't enough anymore, and the Naruto anime needed the awe-inspiring Ten-Tails to keep the action moving and threaten the heroes. Then, the Naruto anime created lore around the Ten-Tails to justify its presence in the show and make it relevant.
7 Using Edo Tensei On Hundreds Of People
During Orochimaru's battle with the Third Hokage, the first two Hokage came back from the dead via Edo Tensei, which added personal stakes for Hiruzen, who had to fight his undead predecessors. In small doses, Edo Tensei is a fascinating way to bring dead characters back.
For the Fourth Great Shinobi War, the villains used the Edo Tensei technique en masse, reviving hundreds of dead ninjas, ranging from Zabuza to Kimimaro and Chiyo, among others. It made the concept feel far less special and pushed Edo Tensei to its absolute extreme.
6 Kisame Hoshigaki's Endless Strength
Overall, Kisame Hoshigaki is a fun Naruto villain who is always welcome on the screen, but over time, his sheer power levels become ridiculous. In his first appearance alongside Itachi Uchiha, Kisame was a brute-strength warrior who easily threatened the heroes, but in his later appearances, he was downright unstoppable.
Kisame kept getting stronger just so he could stay in the fight, to the point he seemed downright indestructible. He could even heal life-threatening injuries in seconds and could fuse with Samehada to become a bizarre shark-man who was nigh-unbeatable in water. Kisame did die in the end, but his power creep was somewhat concerning.
5 Sasuke Uchiha Having Every Eye Power
Early on, the Naruto anime set up dojutsu as a major part of the combat system, such as the Byakugan seeing chakra points and the Sharingan being able to see and copy jutsu. It felt fun and balanced at first, only for Naruto Shippuden to make eyeballs outrageously overpowered.
Over time, Sasuke Uchiha collected practically every eye power there was aside from the Byakugan, allowing him to see and do whatever he wanted. Eyes became a serious plot point to make Sasuke unstoppable, and it almost seemed like parody when he had so many eye powers overlapping on his face.
4 Naruto Uzumaki's Six Paths Sage Mode
Even more so than Sasuke Uchiha, Naruto Uzumaki was destined to get endless power-ups so he could fight ever-stronger foes and push the series' power creep to the max. This power creep was gradual enough, so it felt natural at the time, but looking back, it's pretty extreme.
Naruto's final form was Six Paths Sage Mode, making him a one-man army who felt more at home in Dragon Ball Super than in an anime that's supposedly about ninjas. By then, Naruto didn't have the faintest trace left of stealth, trickery, or deception — he was all power, because that's what he needed to win.
3 Might Guy Using All Gates & Surviving
The taijutsu master Might Guy explained the eight Inner Gates early in Naruto, and over time, he and Rock Lee opened more and more of them to power up without needing ninjutsu. Opening them is risky and will prove fatal with the 8th Fate, but the Naruto anime cheated with that.
Might Guy's power creep demanded he open the 8th Gate to defeat the villains, and he should have paid the ultimate price. However, Naruto used yin-yang release to spare Might Guy that fate, eliminating the consequences of opening those Gates. It felt cheap, and Might Guy largely got away with it.
2 Pain Destroying An Entire Village Single-Handedly
It was a series-defining moment when the Six Paths of Pain used the Almighty Push technique to destroy the entire Hidden Leaf Village with a single effort. That allowed Pain to spread his message by example, and it provided some serious stakes for the heroes.
However, this is also silly power creep, allowing a villain to single-handedly wipe out a sizeable town just like that. By this point, it was clear that subtlety was gone, and DBZ-style super-attacks were now in vogue, whether or not it helped reinforce a storytelling theme.
1 Kaguya Otsutsuki's Appearance
By the end, the Naruto Shippuden anime was rapidly shuffling between different villains to up the stakes and challenge the heroes in new ways, to the point it felt rather ridiculous. Just when Obito and Madara were established as the final antagonists, Kaguya Otsutsuki suddenly made her debut.
It seemed Kaguya appeared just to give the heroes another fight, and she was overpowered as the mother of all chakra. Her entire concept felt like power creep as an alien who can eat an entire world's worth of chakra, which didn't sit right with most Naruto fans.