Kisame was a feared member of the Akatsuki and former shinobi of the village hidden in the mist. He is as deserving of his fierce reputation as his monstrous appearance suggests, easily capable of contending with the likes of Killer Bee, Might Guy, and other ninja legends who are similarly difficult to defeat.
However, there are limits to the shark’s strength that suggest he is not unbeatable. By matching him against a diverse array of characters, we can better distinguish his capacities through what abilities are gleaned from the Naruto canon.
10 COULD BEAT: Kakashi After Losing His Sharingan In The Fourth Ninja War
After the conclusion of the Fourth Ninja War, Kakashi lost his Sharingan. This crippled the caliber of opponents he was able to fight, both for his capacity in copying them as well as the jutsu he used to master (such as Obito’s Kamui or the Susanoo).
Though his Chidori may be an excellent utility against an aquatic opponent, Kisame has been acquainted with Kakashi’s tactics from their first encounter on the outskirts of Konoha. Therefore, if the Akatsuki member does not submerge himself inside his own water, he would be able to overwhelm the former Anbu with staggering power.
9 WOULD LOSE TO: Minato With His Rasengan & Teleportation
It is important to distinguish that while Kisame may be skilled against chakra users (on account of Samehada’s insatiable appetite), he himself is not immune to ninjutsu-based attacks. This would make him an ample victim of the wrath of Minato’s Rasengan.
Moreover, the Fourth Hokage’s teleportation ability would provide a fantastic solution to the water domes that his opponent might attempt to submerge him inside. This would effectively deny Kisame his most valuable technique and prevent him from parrying the Konoha shinobi’s pending attacks with his blade (since he had fused with it).
8 COULD BEAT: Konan Whose Paper Would Be Less Effective Against Kisame’s Water-Based Attacks
Konan had the ability to disperse herself into paper bombs and detonate them on her opponents. Her destructive fury was potent enough to considerably harm Obito even using the full power of his Kamui.
However, despite her mobility on account of her physiology and flight, she cannot teleport. Further, it is possible to stick her pages together with fluid (as demonstrated through her battle against Jiraiya). Therefore, Kisame’s water-based attacks would dampen her, reducing the potency of her explosive tags and preventing her from obviating a direct physical assault (one brutal enough to rival Might Guy).
7 WOULD LOSE TO: Kaguya Who Can Manipulate Their Surroundings To Give Herself The Advantage
Much of Kisame’s strength is predicated on the notion that he can control his surroundings. Even when there is no water nearby, he can produce his own miniature sea by expelling it from his mouth.
However, this advantage is completely lost against Kaguya. Her dimensional manipulations could whisk him to a fiery dimension that would sear his scaly hide, an acidic world that would reduce him to a skeleton in seconds, or a gravitational realm that renders him virtually immobile. Considering that he can’t explicitly fly, the first two possibilities would be fatal for the Akatsuki member.
6 COULD BEAT: Gaara Whose Sand Would Be Weakened By Water
Gaara’s complete ineptitude at taijutsu and overreliance on his sand would prove his undoing. Like Konan, it is palpably weakened when exposed to water and would be virtually useless when placed under Kisame’s dome.
Moreover, since he cannot use his grains to accelerate him to safety, he would be forced to rely on his unimpressive physical skills to navigate out of harm’s way. Even in the unlikely event that he might escape, Samehada would have already depleted enough chakra to skew the fight incorrigibly in its master’s favor.
5 WOULD LOSE TO: Rock Lee With His Superior Taijutsu
In the first confrontation Lee had against Kisame, he struggled just to keep his allies alive. However, it was equally true that his teammates hindered his ability to take the fight to his opponent and therefore held him back.
More importantly, his exclusive reliance on taijutsu proves a natural counter to the Akatsuki member’s voracious nature, and he has improved much since their match at the start of Shippuden. Able to maintain flight and destroy massive meteors with a single blow, Rock Lee’s astounding physical strength would overwhelm Kisame much like his mentor’s once did.
4 COULD BEAT: Tsunade Whose Chakra Would Be Eaten By Samehada
In theory, Tsunade should have all the tools necessary to defeat Kisame. Her raw strength eclipses that of Might Guy’s (outside of his Eight Gates), and her proficiency in healing would amend whatever carnage his thousand hungry sharks might inflict.
Unfortunately for the Fifth Hokage, both her brawn and rejuvenation are fueled through her chakra – the same substance that Samehada feasts on. Though the seal on her forehead may evince more sustainability than the villain’s other opponents, whatever the Akatsuki member devours would only make him stronger as she continues to weaken.
3 WOULD LOSE TO: Itachi Whose Genjutsu Is Too Powerful
Having served alongside Kisame for many years in the Akatsuki, the information Itachi acquired regarding his partner would be exponentially more useful than the converse. This is particularly true since, despite the shark shinobi’s awareness of the Uchiha’s genjutsu, he does not have a means of resisting it.
Even if he did, the Susanoo would provide an impervious defense to keep Samehada from feasting on his chakra directly. Should Itachi place Kisame under an illusion and strike at an opportune moment, he would successfully assassinate his treacherous ally.
2 COULD BEAT: Kankuro Whose Puppets Don’t Have The Upperhand
Kankuro was the brother of Gaara and the most skilled puppetmaster of the Naruto universe after Sasori’s death. His Salamander, Crow, and Black Ant puppets provided a diverse arsenal by which to dispatch his opponent, with many of their tools applicable against Kisame (particularly their poisons).
However, if Kisame unleashes a jettison of water and his thousand hungry sharks, he would be able to strain and rust the metallic joints of Kankuro’s creations. Their weakness was noted by Sasori during their skirmish outside the Sand village at the beginning of Shippuden. Failing that, he would also be able to feast on the chakra threads connecting Kankuro with his puppets directly, thereby forcing him to reattach them and creating an opening to be cut down.
1 WOULD LOSE TO: Pain With His Rinnegan & Versatility
Pain’s Rinnegan provides a creative and versatile number of options by which to confront Kisame. The most useful utility at his disposal would be the Asura path, allowing him to assault the shark with mechanical weapons that he could not easily siphon.
Further, the mist shinobi would not be able to destroy all six of his bodies before they could escape his water dome, and the Paths he did obliterate would shortly be healed through his resurrection jutsu. Perhaps most importantly, Kisame has no means by which to defend himself from a direct assault by the Almighty Push.
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