The 9 Most Hype Akatsuki Fights From Naruto Shippuden

Pain Vs. Jiraiya

The Akatsuki serve as one of the biggest groups of villains in the Naruto universe. Their goal is to capture the tailed beasts, take control of them, and use them as weapons of war. However, each member has their own set of motivations that keep them going – Deidara lives to create explosive art, Hidan sets out to serve his god, Itachi wants to protect Konoha from the Akatsuki, and Obito wishes to restart the universe according to his manipulative ancestors’ plan. 

Whether it’s their personal goals or those of an organization, every member of the Akatsuki takes part in multiple battles that are varying levels of epic. The best Akatsuki fights in Naruto Shippuden are showstoppers, and they show off the visual panache that makes Naruto such a beloved programAmong the top contenders are Sasuke’s showdown with his older brother Itachi, Naruto taking down Pain, and Shikamaru’s revenge on Hidan – but even less dramatic fights like Suigetsu’s sword fight with his old mentor Kisame are still pretty riveting. 

1. Naruto Vs. Pain

Naruto Vs. Pain

When Pain attacks Konoha, it takes the entire village to subdue him – but the one who ultimately takes him out is Naruto Uzumaki. After wreaking havoc on the village, Pain has nearly defeated Naruto – but Hinata unexpectedly jumps in to save his life, and admit her romantic feelings for Naruto as she does so. Though her attempts buy Naruto some time, Pain ends up stabbing Hinata in the chest. Crazed with grief, Naruto nearly releases the Kyuubi to take on Pain, but thanks to guidance from his father’s spirit, he retains his humanity, enters sage mode, and defeats Pain with a combination of physical attacks and discussion.

Some people hate when Naruto does this – they call it Talk no Jutsu and feel like it gets in the way of the excitement. But others value these moments because it shows Naruto’s incredible empathy. After overpowering Pain, he’s able to talk to him about completing his mission to become the greatest Hokage in Konoha’s history.

2. Sasuke Vs. Itachi

Sasuke Vs. Itachi

Sasuke’s showdown with his older brother is possibly the most powerful scene in all of Naruto, battle or not. Sasuke has spent the entire series putting himself in horrifically dangerous situations to be ready to take on the brother who slaughtered their clan. Sasuke’s utter hatred for Itachi contrasts with Itachi’s overpowering love for Sasuke as they do their best to take each other down. They use every attack in their arsenal, including Sasuke’s Kirin, which draws lightning out of the clouds. Coupled with Itachi’s powerful genjutsu techniques, it becomes a real grudge match, an utterly epic showdown.

By the end of the fight, both of them are so exhausted that they can barely move. As they’re on the ground struggling to survive, Itachi tries to connect with Sasuke one last time by poking him in the forehead – a symbol of his affection during their childhood. This scene is all the more impactful in retrospect after learning Itachi’s true motivations for slaughtering his clan. 

3. Pain Vs. Jiraiya

Pain Vs. Jiraiya

Jiraiya is forced to battle his former disciples from Amegakure during an information-gathering mission to find out more about the Akatsuki. Though he’s able to hold his own against Konan, he’s overpowered by Pain, who defeats him by summoning powerful animals and reanimating human corpses he controls via his Rinnegan. Over the course of the battle, Jiraiya discovers not only what Pain is planning and how his attacks work, but also what happened to Konan, Yahiko, and Nagato (now Pain) after he had trained them to fight, then left them to fend for themselves. 

This fight combines a badass, suspenseful battle with the devastating reality of war. It also serves to humanize both Jiraiya and the villains who will soon attack the village. It ends with Jiraiya’s death – which occurs before he can pass on the information he had gathered to his comrades. 

4. Team Asuma And Team Kakashi Vs. Hidan And Kakuzu

Team Asuma And Team Kakashi Vs. Hidan And Kakuzu

After Asuma’s death at the hands of the Akatsuki, his students are devastated and want revenge. Originally, they want to take on Hidan and Kakuzu without any assistance, but they end up accepting Kakashi’s help. It isn’t going to be easy – Hidan is functionally immortal, and Kakuzu has five hearts that he stole from other shinobi, all of which allow him to use different jutsu.

This fight showcases Shikamaru’s incredible strategic mind – he decides to separate Kakuzu and Hidan, letting the rest of his squad handle Kakuzu while he takes on Hidan alone in the Nara forest. He covers him in explosive tags, buries him underground, and sets off the tags with Asuma’s lighter. It’s an incredibly chilling moment.

Meanwhile, the rest of Team Kakashi is tasked with taking down Kakuzu, which they accomplish through a series of impressive attacks, including the debut of Naruto’s Rasenshuriken. The fight offers a combination of emotional catharsis and utterly impressive moments. 

5. Kakashi Vs. Obito

Kakashi Vs. Obito

Obito and Kakashi have a long and painful history, and they carry their unresolved feelings into their fight. The two decide to stop using genjutsu, and face each other head-on using only physical attacks. As they move through this gorgeously animated fight sequence that easily rivals anything else Naruto has to offer, they remember what it was like to fight each other as children.

This underscores how devastating it is that they’re now on opposing sides of a war. It also highlights how much both of them have changed – Kakashi for the better, and Obito for the worse. The fighting is clean and uncomplicated, and it helps to reinforce the scene’s emotional resonance. 

6. Sasori Vs. Chiyo And Sakura

Sasori Vs. Chiyo And Sakura

Sakura was never provided a real opportunity to show how strong she could be, but this fight remedies that in a major way. With help from the powerful Sand Village ninja, Chiyo, Sakura is finally able to showcase her talents. The fight itself is epic, between watching an old lady perform unbelievable backflips, watching Sakura punch the heck out of her enemies, and watching Sasori blot out the sun with hundreds of puppets, it’s truly a memorable battle.

The fight is also incredibly suspenseful – viewers can probably tell that Sakura has enough plot armor to get her through her first major battle, but will Chiyo survive? That’s not clear during the fight itself. 

7. Gai Vs. Kisame

Gai Vs. Kisame

It’s always awesome when Gai actually gets serious. This battle, which takes place partially underwater, stretches both Gai and his opponent to their limit. Gai opens the seventh gate and uses Daytime Tiger, a super-fast punch that visually resembles a tiger. Meanwhile, Kisame summons a giant shark (one that’s holding a scroll full of information Gai is trying to obtain), as well as thousands of sharks that form a wave that Gai has to fight through.

Kisame is ultimately defeated and restrained by Yamato’s wood release, but he presents a real challenge for one of Konoha’s greatest sensei. 

8. Deidara Vs. Sasuke

Deidara Vs. Sasuke

In addition to being an awesome fight, Deidara’s battle with Sasuke is also a character study for the Akatsuki member. Deidara sees himself as an artist first and warrior second, so he focuses more on the aesthetic appeal of his explosive techniques, rather than their actual efficacy. When he goes up against Sasuke, whose electric abilities nullify Deidara’s explosive clay, he starts angrily attacking him without a clear plan in mind.The fight also flashes back to when Deidara was recruited into the Akatsuki – he was forced to join when he couldn’t defeat Itachi in a fight, buthe ultimately ended up accepting his fate because Itachi’s attacks – as well as Itachi himself – struck him as a work of art. Deidara isn’t as badass in this fight as he appears at other times, but he really shines from a character development perspective. 

9. Asuma Vs. Hidan And Kakuz

Asuma Vs. Hidan And Kakuzu

This battle, which pits Asuma and the rest of his team against Hidan and Kakuzu, is one of the most heart-wrenching in the series because it ends in Asuma’s death. At first, it seems like they’ll be able to take down Hidan – they even manage to remove his head. However, thanks to his immortality, Hidan’s able to re-attach his body to his head and activate a curse jutsu that links his body to whomever’s blood he tastes.

When Hidan stabs himself, he kills Asuma in the process. This isn’t wholly unexpected even for first-time viewers since the episode is titled “Asuma’s Death,” but that doesn’t take away from its emotional impact.