At the start of the 21st century, Shōnen Jump, the most important manga publication in the world, had the luck of having three of the most popular series ever, running at the same time.
“The Big Three”, as they called it, was a group composed of One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. Naruto and Bleach are finished, but their protagonists, Naruto Uzumaki and Ichigo Kurosaki are still loved by millions around the world.
Regardless, a question has always bothered fans since the day this series started. Who wins in a fight, Naruto or Ichigo?
Taking all their abilities and the way they have fought throughout their respective series, we have come to the conclusion that Ichigo would be the winner in a battle between the two. This decision is, of course, controversial as these two inhabit different universes. And yet, it feels right for Ichigo to win.
The next comparison between both characters will, of course, include spoilers for both Naruto and Bleach, as we need to explore each character’s exploits to see who will win at the end of this anime fight.
How Strong Is Ichigo Kurosaki?
Ichigo Kurosaki is Bleach’s protagonist. He is a rather particular protagonist when it comes to shōnen manga.
Most shōnen protagonists develop a sense of innocence and loyalty that makes the characters pure of heart. They are childish to a certain extent, and maybe too good for their own good. Characters like Monkey D. Luffy, Naruto, and Goku fall into this category.
However, while Ichigo shares a sense of loyalty with these characters, he leaves his childish persona behind very early on into the show and from then on he becomes one of the most serious shōnen protagonists in recent memory. This translates to a more ruthless and to the point fighting style, with zero time for theatrics or monologues in the middle of battle. Actually, this shōnen stereotype falls more often than not on the Bleach villains.
Ichigo is also a sort of perfect being in the world of Bleach. He’s the combination of basically every faction in the Bleach Universe. He’s the son of a Shinigami Captain with Quincy royalty, and he also has part of a hollow inside him.
This unique combination of powers makes him a powerful thread to everyone who tries to face him. He has access to a variety of transformations that bring him ever closer to becoming a being of supreme power, so powerful that even gods cannot stand against him.
Ichigo has enhanced super strength, speed, and reflexes. It is his speed and his infinite amount of stamina that makes him one of the most powerful beings ever.
Even when facing the last bad guy in the series, the omnipresent Yhwach, Ichigo comes out on top using his simple but powerful technique, the Getsuga Tenshō. His super speed grants him the upper advantage, catching enemies with their guards down most of the time. At his pinnacle, Ichigo is just invincible.
How Strong Is Naruto Uzumaki?
In contrast to Ichigo, Naruto falls on the side of the most classic shōnen protagonist. He’s a very good person, a bit clumsy and lazy, but his will to learn and practice to better himself is just admirable. He remains childish even after growing up. This makes him a very relatable character and someone you want to follow along on the adventure.
Naruto also has a powerful sense of loyalty that makes him push himself to the limits when it comes to fighting for something he cares for. When in that mode, Naruto is an imposing fighter. His power doesn’t come as a surprise as he is trained by some of the most powerful Shinobi in the Naruto Universe, he learns ancestral techniques and receives the best training someone can hope for.
Naruto also has a trick under his belt that makes him unique. He has part of Kurama, the Nine Tails Beast, inside him. Kurama is the most powerful of the beasts, and thanks to this symbiotic relationship, Naruto can extract enormous quantities of chakra energy out of Kurama and use it during his fights. This ability makes Naruto take the upper hand on more than one occasion.
By the end of the story, Naturo has surpassed most of the great Shinobi and has taken the role of Hokage of the Leaf Village. It is quite a story of self-improvement and perseverance. And yet, Naruto, as a warrior, stands as someone who still works under certain limits. These are limits that Ichigo doesn’t even care about.
How Would the Fight Between Naruto and Ichigo Go?
Naruto is a close-range fighter, and he uses his powerful techniques as a way to close the distance and hit the enemy straight in the face with a powerful Rasengan or other of his techniques. Naruto’s main problem in a fight with Ichigo would be closing that gap, as Ichigo speed is clearly superior to Naruto’s, and Ichigo can also fight from a long range thanks to his Getsuga Tenshō shockwaves.
Even if Naruto manages to close the distance between the two, Ichigo’s reactions at his most powerful are just too broken, he can see Naruto coming a mile away. Ichigo wouldn’t even need to fight Naruto for most of the fight, because while Naruto’s energy reserves are immense, they are not infinite, like Ichigo’s. This last fact puts Naruto at a real big disadvantage. He just can’t fight forever.
Naruto can even summon kaiju level creatures when he’s at the peak of his power, but these creatures, just like Naruto, work on a limit on how much they can fight. Naruto and his summons also work in the realm, where physical attacks are the norm. Ichigo is a being that works not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual one. While Naruto can do damage to this part of Ichigo’s being, he will always be one step behind.
In our eyes, Ichigo prevails thanks to a superior level of speed and infinite amounts of stamina that just keeps him fighting forever, while Naruto just can’t do this. This is the critical difference between the two.
Of course, all of this is conjecture. We can all analyze these two characters in different ways and come up with different results. It is an interesting and fun experiment.