The moment is unforgettable. Team 7 is waiting for their sensei, and suddenly a man with a mask over his mouth appears. This character is Kakashi Hatake, and he would quickly take the fandom by storm. From his early arc as a jonin leader to the protagonist to his time as Hokage, Kakashi never stopped impressing viewers. His sleek design and impressive catalog of jutsu made him a favorite quickly.
With that favoritism came a pedestal. Kakashi is considered one of the strongest shinobi in the entire Naruto series by fans and critics alike. His notoriety as the copycat ninja and Chidori creator bulked up the legends of his strength. Many fans cannot imagine him being beaten. Kakashi is a master of the Sharingan and wins most of the battles he is involved in over the series. However, all of this strength does not mean other shinobi are not stronger.
To be clear this list is about 20 characters that are stronger than Kakashi, but stronger does not mean overwhelmingly stronger. To gain entry on this list a character only needs to be able to stalemate with Kakashi. Also, some of these shinobi may just be notably stronger in one form of jutsu. Kakashi defeats some of the characters on this list, but if he struggles significantly, then that character can be included. No entry is meant to assert that the character is more powerful; instead, these entries are opinions that speak towards a character that may possibly overcome Kakashi in a one on one battle. Obviously, Kakashi is one of the strongest characters in the series, but that does not mean some characters have enough strength to match the Hero of the Sharingan.
With all this overhead out of the way, it’s time to jump into Naruto: 20 Characters That Are Stronger Than Kakashi.
Itachi is one of the strongest members of the Uchiha clan. He is one of the youngest graduates of the ninja academy in Konoha. On top of this, he mastered the Mangekyo Sharingan and knows how to utilize the Susanoo fully. Ultimately, Itachi is an overwhelming opponent with all the combat skills necessary to match up with any character in the show.
Kakashi does battle Itachi early in the series. Itachi ends up trapping him in a genjutsu and draining Kakashi. The contest basically ends up in a loss for Kakashi, but that is somewhat debatable. Still, Itachi shows more control over his Sharingan and the ability to match Kakashi.
Gaara is one of the youngest kage ever. Gaara is known for his ability to manipulate sand and his dominant defense. He lacks taijutsu, but his talents usually make up for that. Having these two kage square off would be worth the view.
Kakashi can penetrate most of Gaara’s defensives jutsu, but the two have not faced off. Gaara’s sand coffin is nearly impossible to escape, and Gaara has displayed the ability to square off against Sasuke with a semi-developed Susanoo. However, Kakashi is a skilled tactician and would likely be able to defeat Gaara. Still, Gaara is a worthy opponent and is stronger in some areas.
A legendary Sannin is always worth considering for a list like this. Jiraiya is the toad sage and shows consistent ability throughout the series. His fight with Pain highlighted the totality of his ability. That being said, it is hard to say Jiraiya is definitely stronger.
On the one hand, Jiraiya seems to have the durability and ninjutsu to match Kakashi. On the other hand, Jiraiya does not seem capable of matching the Sharingan. The two both have incredible strength, and Jiraiya’s sage mode may give him a distinct advantage. His toad jutsu give him astonishing range and the durability will allow him to hold up to Kakashi’s early barrage.
Killer B is one of the most talented jinchuuriki. His skill with swords is nearly unmatched in the series. He is capable of controlling the eight-tailed chakra to its full potential. This strength means Killer B has speed and chakra reserves roughly unmatched in the entire manga.
Kakashi is familiar with dealing with the strength of a tailed beast. He is assigned to Naruto’s team to monitor Naruto’s development as a jinchuuriki. Ultimately, this aspect of Kakashi’s skill set means he can likely match up to Killer B well. However, Killer B’s talent with swords is a distinct variable. This ability may give him an upper-hand to at least stalemate Kakashi.
In the early moments of the series, Kabuto is said to match Kakashi in strength. Kabuto is a talented medical-nin with a distinct knowledge of the human body. His inability to match a shinobi in one on one contact is a notable weakness, but Kabuto makes up for it with his intellect.
Kabuto has the reanimation jutsu that gives him a numbers advantage, and he is connected with Orochimaru’s strength by the end of the show. If Kabuto is on the same plane as Kakashi early on in the series, then it is safe to say that does not change by the end of the manga/show. Kabuto is not the strongest shinobi, but he is never an easy opponent. This entry would give Kakashi a lot of trouble.
This Akatsuki member actually battles Kakashi in the series. Kakuzu is difficult to eliminate and shows an ability to capture jinchuuriki with ease. He cannot pass away easily because he has multiple hearts. The unique ability gives Kakashi trouble in their battle.
Kakuzu is incredibly fast and even catches Kakashi’s Lightning Cutter at one point. He shows the strength to overwhelm Kakashi in pure combat, but the tactical ability is not the same. Kakashi holds the intellectual advantage, and that advantage is how he gains leverage over Kakuzu. Still, Kakuzu literally holds Kakashi to a stalemate, and that is worth an entry to this list.
It is hard to compare Hokage to Hokage. The Third Hokage is the first one fans are introduced to in the show. Hiruzen Sarutobi shows a distinct ability to use nature release and master a multitude of Justus. He is the professor for a reason. His leadership and intelligence are remarkable.
Fans never see the third Hokage at his peak, but it is safe to say that he matches Kakashi. Kakashi is capable of using all five nature releases and can copy nearly all jutsu. The two are masters of similar areas, but that does not mean the third is not stronger. At his peak, Hiruzen Sarutobi matches Kakashi. The two would give the fans an excellent fight, and many want to see this hypothetical matchup.
Fans never thought they would see Kakashi pass away, yet it happens during Pain's assault. Nagato’s Six Paths of Pain is a deadly combination that Kakashi struggles against. The Deva Path matches up against Kakashi and nearly eliminates him once. Then, to save Choji, Kakashi uses the last of his Chakra and passes away.
Nagato pushes Kakashi to the limit with two of his paths. However, if Kakashi was in better tactical position, then he likely could have overcome this opponent. Still, the fact the battle technically eliminates Kakashi means Nagato is stronger than Kakashi in at least some ways.
Might Guy always finds his way onto these lists. The handsome devil of the Leaf Village is a taijutsu master. His strength and speed are nearly unmatched in the entire series. In fact, Kakashi admits that Guy is stronger in some ways.
Guy can unlock all eight gates and knows how to battle against the Sharingan. He lost to Kakashi in the finals of the Chunin Exam when they were young, but Guy works hard not to lose again to his rival. The goal of beating Kakashi makes Guy a more powerful ninja. He builds his tactics around defeating Kakashi, and his taijutsu is better. Kakashi is not a taijutsu scrub, but Guy is one of the best. This advantage means Guy is definitely worthy of inclusion.
Shisui Uchiha is more myth than fact. Fans do not see Shisui battle much in the actual series, but characters claim he is as strong as Itachi. Shisui is an elite member of the Uchiha clan and also had the Mangekyo Sharingan. He is also capable of manifesting a full Susanoo.
The argument that he is stronger than Kakashi is similar to the case for Itachi. Shisui likely matches Kakashi on taijutsu talent and is probably a more skilled Sharingan wielder. Shisui’s body flicker ability is a match-buster, and Kakashi would struggle against it. The speed factor is hard to ignore. Kakashi is fast, but probably not that fast.
Hashirama Senju is the founder of Konoha. His abilities and power are legendary in the series. In fact, the first time fans see him fight in battle is his reincarnated body going up against the third Hokage. During the battle, the first Hokage proves to be an overwhelming opponent that takes all of Hiruzen Sarutobi’s strength to defeat.
So, why can Hashirama defeat Kakashi? Well, the first Hokage has one distinct advantage. Yes, Kakashi is able to use all five nature releases, but the wood release that Hashirama can do is a kekkei genkai. It is believed that Hashirama is the only shinobi to ever naturally use the wood release style. The only other ninjas capable of it in the series are experimented on to conjure up the ability. The wood release gives Hashirama unique abilities that Kakashi would have trouble defeating.
Legendary Sannin get the benefit of the doubt on this list. Orochimaru is absorbed by Sasuke before being reincarnated later on in the series, but that does not make him a slouch. After all, during the Konoha crush arc, it appears that no shinobi in the village is capable of taking Orochimaru one on one and living.
Orochimaru is a genius of jutsu, and that would lead him to be a worthy opponent of the copycat ninja. The two both know a vast array of jutsu and are naturally gifted shinobi. Kakashi may have an advantage with his Sharingan and taijutsu ability, but Orochimaru is undoubtedly stronger in some ways.
Yamato feels like a strange addition to this list. For many fans, Yamato is a respected ninja, but not the first character that would come up on this list. However, that does not mean Yamato is not worthy of inclusion.
The character starts out as a test experiment to give a ninja the wood release, and it works on him. Yamato’s name changes a few times in the series due to his work in the Anbu. In fact, his service record is one of the most successful of any Anbu during the third Hokage’s life. Yamato is even chosen by Kakashi to be his bodyguard when Kakashi becomes Hokage. That kind of honor does not go to weak ninja. His wood release and Anbu skills mean that Yamato is likely just as strong, if not stronger, than Kakashi in certain areas.
This entry sort of feels like cheating. Madara Uchiha is one of the legendary shinobi who helped create Konoha. Madara is one of the first of his people to unlike the Sharingan’s actual abilities and most consider him on an equal level to the first Hokage.
Madara’s Sharingan and talent make him a worthy entry on any of these kinds of list. Kakashi is a powerful Sharingan wielder, but he could not match the originator. Now, it has gone unmentioned to this point in the list, but Kakashi is able to create a Susanoo as well. Clearly, Kakashi is no slouch with his Sharingan, but Madara is an opponent that Kakashi seems overmatched by in the manga/show, anyways.
Tobirama feels like an obvious inclusion on this list, and, if fans are being honest, many would want to see this fight. Tobirama is a gifted shinobi with the ability to use all five nature releases. On top of this, he is incredibly fast with immense chakra reserves, and, in the anime, he is able to cast a dangerous genjutsu that traps the user in darkness.
All of this ability would match up well in a fight with Kakashi, but that is not where the advantage lies. Kakashi is an incredible tactician, and Naruto remarks that he is even smarter than Shikamaru Nara. However, it is likely that Tobirama Senju was actually more intelligent than both of them. The great second Hokage is said to have been shrewd, calculating shinobi and fans see it in his battles. The tactical fight between Tobirama and Kakashi is a sight worth seeing.
When in doubt, always give the benefit to the teacher. In this case, the teacher is Minato, and the pupil is Kakashi. Minato Namikaze is one of the legendary Konoha shinobi, but, before his time as the fourth Hokage, Minato was the squad leader for Kakashi’s team.
Minato never lived long enough to face Kakashi at Kakashi’s peak strength, but Konoha’s Yellow Flash would have been a worthy opponent for Kakashi. For instance, Minato is crazy fast. He can move through space and time. Plus, Minato is familiar with Kakashi’s strengths and weaknesses, since he was Kakashi’s teacher. This distinction means Minato is likely stronger than Kakashi and able to match him in a fight.
Okay, so the previous entry said to give the benefit to the teacher, but that is only if the outcome is in doubt. By the end of the series, there is no doubt that Sasuke is stronger than Kakashi. This entry could go over all of the powers the avenger has, but that would need too much space.
Instead, just look at the end of the series. Kakashi is their teacher, and yes he leads his students to greatness. However, Sasuke clearly passes him by the end and achieves a god-like form to defeat Kaguya. The two would have an incredible fight, but, even with one arm, it is hard to see Sasuke losing that match.
Tsunade is the last of the legendary Sannin to be featured on this list, and Screen Rant saved the best for last. She is the only one of her peers to take the mantle as Hokage (though Jiraiya is offered). Her strength and healing ability are nearly unmatched in the entire span of the series. In fact, she is still so strong that many fans forget she is over 50 years old by the time fans are introduced to her.
Tsunade in her prime is a worthy opponent for Kakashi in his prime. The two are extraordinary shinobi and are remarkably tactical in a battle. Their personalities blend well, and the fight would likely stalemate. Kakashi does have his Sharingan, which gives him an advantage. However, Tsunade’s medical talent is unmatched and would give her a way to make up for that difference.
Being the protagonist of the show comes with certain perks, one of those perks is that character ends up being the strongest character by the end of the series. Naruto grows so much from his beginning as the series titular character. For the longest time, he is doing his best to catch up to Sasuke, but both are well-below Kakashi’s talent.
However, in the end, the two show they have surpassed Kakashi and all the other characters in the show. Kakashi knows this and even makes Naruto his successor. The choice is a Kakashi remarking on how Naruto has surpassed him.
This one is an emotional conclusion to the list. Obito and Kakashi do not see eye to eye in the earlier years (please forgive the pun). The two bicker and Obito is shown to be weaker than Kakashi in nearly every way. However, Obito grows stronger as time goes on. He almost passes away and in the process gives his eye to Kakashi. It is Obito who allows Kakashi to wield the Sharingan.
The two battle near the end of the series in a dramatic, cathartic moment. Obito still cares for his friend and Kakashi the same. However, the two are willing to end each other to achieve their respective goals. Ultimately, the battle is a stalemate and a true testament to Obito’s strength. Kakashi is one of the strongest characters by the end of the manga and the show, but Obito is definitely his equal.
Do you think there are any other characters from Naruto that are stronger than Kakashi? Let us know in the comments!