#26 What Is My Favourite Fight?
Naruto vs. Sasuke, the Final Fight – Naruto Shippuuden
You’d think, given the amount of fantastic fights in anime, picking just one, my favourite one, to write about would be quite the challenge. However, when considering the topic, only one floors all other contenders: Naruto vs. Sasuke, the final fight.
As I’ve said before, I’m a complete novice when it comes to animation. Someday I’d love to learn more about what goes into making the anime that I love so dearly – though I suspect that learning about it is far less entertaining than watching the fruits of it! That said, you don’t need to be an expert on animation to notice the care and skill that went into animating this battle. Sasuke and Naruto’s movements are fast-paced, fluid, and dynamic and whilst they’re almost superhuman in terms of speed, they still retain an extremely human quality. And, unlike another (now infamous) Naruto fight, Naruto vs. Pain, they never look goofy or off-model. All in all, this battle is a real treat for the eyes!
Also impressive is the sheer scale of this battle – it is literally and metaphorically landscape changing. At one point in the fight Naruto, in Kyuubi form, and Sasuke, using his battle avatar, Susanoo, trade blows that utterly decimate the surrounding hillside. But their battle doesn’t just affect the physical world around them, but the rest of the characters’ worlds to boot. Should Naruto fall to Sasuke they will all be doomed, either to remain under the Infinite Tsukuyomi or to endure life under Sasuke’s tyrannical rule.
Even more than it is high-stakes, high-tension viewing, this battle is extremely moving. Whilst watching it I couldn’t help but feel the weight of all 795 episodes preceding it. I truly felt like everything had led up to and was culminating in this single bout. Contributing to this awareness were the flashbacks that took place during this fight. These revisited times and places important to Naruto and Sasuke and their relationship with each other. They reminded me, not just what brought these two to this exact point in time, but also how far Naruto has come since the very beginning. The use of background music that we’ve not heard since the original series was also a nice touch. It tapped into my sense of nostalgia and made me wistfully consider the passage of time that has elapsed since I first began my journey with these two idiots.
Other moving aspects of this battle include: Kurama finally acknowledging Naruto as his partner and equal, Naruto drawing upon the strength of everybody who had ever impacted his life in a significant way (including many who had tragically died), the new perspective that I was able to gain on Sasuke’s character (which, after 795 episodes of loathing the guy, finally redeemed him to me), and the big reveal at episode 478’s end. Seeing the bloody imprint left by their severed arms brought a lump to my throat.
I want to conclude this blog post by talking about my favourite part of this battle. It’s not the fantastical, kaijuu-esque battle or the impressive taijutsu, but when an exhausted Naruto and Sasuke are simply wailing on each other. Teeth are lost, black eyes are given… It’s raw, bloody, and brutal – completely unlike anything we’ve seen thus far! As Sasuke stated during the original series, full-fledged ninja are able to communicate what is on their hearts with a single exchange of blows. It feels that, more so than at any other time, the two are truly bearing their souls to one another. This is mere conjecture, but it feels like Naruto and Sasuke are communicating how far they are both willing to go for the other – Naruto to save his best friend, Sasuke, to sever his bond with him.
Alright, that’s enough from me! But before you go, let me know: what’s your favourite fight in anime? And how does it compare to this one?