• A look at some of the best fights in Naruto Shippuden

    Why do we watch anime? The same reason we watch anything – because it’s entertaining. If you want entertainment, you need drama. If you want drama, you need conflict. And conflict…well, conflict is one thing Naruto is definitely good at.

    We thought we’d take a look back at some of the best battles from the series’ first 100 episodes. If you get a chance, go back through the archives and relive some of your favorite fights – and here’s hoping we’ll see some even better ones over the next 100 episodes and beyond.

    SakuraSakura vs. Sasori (Episodes 20-27)
    Get a bowl of popcorn for this one, because Sakura and Chiyo’s final battle with puppeteer supreme Sasori definitely goes into the championship rounds. (To be fair, it’s cut together with two other battles, but still, eight episodes is a long time to wait for an outcome.) Sand ninja puppet techniques have made for fascinating scenes ever since Kankuro first showed them off in the Chunin Exams, and Sasori takes them to a completely different level. Meanwhile, this is where we get to see just how much Sakura’s developed as a character over the series’ two-year time-skip.

    Might Guy vs. Kisame (Episodes 13-15)
    Strictly speaking, Guy doesn’t actually fight Kisame here – the Akatsuki ninja pull a little bait-and-switch at the end. He fights the next-best thing, though, in a cracker of a brawl. Guy and Rock Lee are always fun as the cornballs that everyone else in the series snickers at, but it’s cool to see them get to dish out a little serious pain for a change.

    Team Kakashi vs. Kabuto & Orochimaru (Episodes 39-44)
    This battle has plenty of complicated threads crossing each other in the background. Whose side is Kabuto on? Whose side is Sai on, for that matter? At center stage, though, is Naruto, and the Nine-Tailed Fox Spirit comes as close as it ever has to raging all the way out of control. If you like a storyline with real fireworks, this is it.

    Naruto & Shikamaru vs. Hidan & Kakuzu (Episodes 83-8 cool
    Now, this one has it all. Shikamaru provides the brains. Naruto backs him up with his Rasengan-powered brawn. Together, they face off against a couple of genuinely bizarre opponents – even by Akatsuki standards – with revenge for Squad 10’s mentor on the line. It’s hard to ask for much more potential than that, and the fight itself uses every bit of it. There are more cool moments than space to mention them, but let’s just say that Shikamaru finds the perfect use for his teacher’s cigarette lighter.

    Naruto & Sakura vs. Kakashi (Episode 3)
    There’s hardly a punch thrown here, but it’s one of the most entertaining fights in the entire Naruto canon. It’s also one of the few times you’ll see Naruto actually think his way out of a problem. He doesn’t win this fight with overpowering chakra, he wins by exploiting Kakashi’s weakness for trashy romance novels. Now that’s an unbeatable technique for you...