10 Anime Characters Who Can Beat Hiruzen SarutobiThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
When it comes to scaling Hiruzen, Naruto fans fall under two broad categories:
“The God of shinobi” and “funny roof man go brr”.
I fall closer to the first category. But I also love meme’ing his power level and thinking of situations where he eats dirt.
And this list is pretty much that, where I’ll be ranking anime characters that would beat old man pre-Edo Hiruzen.
Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
Prosciutto is definitely the most “troll-y pick” on this entire list.
But I just couldn’t help myself.
Hiruzen is pushing 70 and should have honestly retired a long time ago. So you can’t really blame me for thinking that a character who can age other people would counter him pretty hard.
In the show, we’ve seen Prosciutto use The Thankful Dead to age characters like Narancia so quickly that he barely even knew what was going on.
And that’s pretty significant, since Narancia is basically a kid.
So my head cannon is that it would take roughly half a second for Hiruzen’s flesh to just start falling off of his bones, given that he’s already way past his prime.
Since Hiruzen wouldn’t be able to see the Stand (or at least understand it immediately), he would probably be a bit on the cautious side – and that would be the end of him.
However, if both characters are aware of each other’s abilities, Prosciutto gets absolutely stomped since Hiruzen would decapitate him with his hand dandy extendable stick.
9. Tatsuhiko Shibusawa
Anime: Bungo Stray Dogs
Okay, one more funny matchup.
Hiruzen’s whole deal is the fact that he basically knows every jutsu there is. And we’ve seen him spam all the elements like it was nobody’s business.
However, his vast kit would absolutely get him killed in this fight.
Tatsuhiko’s ability allows him to yank a person’s powers and then have them kill the new defenseless user.
I can’t even begin to explain how much this would suck for Hiruzen.
First off, we know that his now-frail body limits his powers quite a bit, since prime Hiruzen was stated to be comparable to Tobirama.
So he would be facing an absolute powerhouse from the very start.
But it gets even worse.
You might think that Hiruzen would still have his taijutsu abilities – but given how physical strength in Naruto functions by funneling chakra into your limbs, he wouldn’t really have those benefits.
In translation, it would be a withered old man who can barely throw a solid punch facing off with the accumulation of hundreds of jutsu’s that once made him carry the name of God.
Yeah, he’s not making it out of this one alive.
Anime: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
This matchup isn’t as funny as the previous ones, but it’s a lot more clear-cut.
This fight is what we in the business like to call a “clear speed-diff”.
Sure, Edo Hiruzen had some impressive speed feats, being on par with Tobirama and all that. But I don’t think he could keep up with Hakurou.
This dude managed to cut a guy’s head off so quickly that his opponent didn’t even realize what was going on before it was too late.
That might not sound all that impressive, but let me give you some extra context.
The enemy in question had an ability that accelerated his thought process & the rate at which he could observe the world by x30.
But even with all of those amps, he managed to have an entire monologue and question every decision he ever made, all before the reality of him getting decapitated managed to set in.
Even by Naruto standards, that’s just an insane feat.
And the fact that Hakuro didn’t even break a sweat doing it (plus that he’s only going to get stronger from here on out) makes this fight a very safe bet for the rest of time.
Anime: Naruto: Shippuden
Although I do agree that people should not underestimate Hiruzen, I also think we should be able to acknowledge that Pain counters most characters.
Yes, Hiruzen is very clever. And he would probably figure out how the Paths worked after a bit.
But he would also die in the process.
Hiruzen has plenty of long ranged AoE attacks that are now completely useless thanks to the Preta Path.
His Reaper Death Seal is just an edgier version of the Human Path, and his pet monkey would have his hands full when faced with all the summons from the Animal Path.
We also have to keep in mind that Hiruzen’s stamina at this point isn’t exactly the greatest.
So, the fact that the Paths would also get a resurrect or two before Hiruzen figures out who he has to delete only makes the situation worse.
And, of course, one Shinra Tensei or Chibaku Tensei would pretty much wreck his entire world.
Maybe you could make a case for Edo Hiruzen taking them on thanks to the chakra and stamina boosts, but that wouldn’t really seem fair in this context.
6. Ainz Ooal Gown
I was initially going to put Sebas Tian on here, so as to have a few grandpa battles.
But since he lacks feats, I’ll go for the next best thing and just rank a skeleton.
Ainz being the protagonist and incredibly overpowered also helped my decision making.
One of the main things Hiruzen has going for him is his versatility. And even though we don’t see him using that many different abilities, we theoretically know that he has them.
But I have my doubts that even his entire kit could ever scale to Ainz, with his novel-long list of an ability sheet.
When it comes to destructive powers, Ainz easily wins. Since he can literally summon a miniature black hole that wipes out anything it comes in contact with.
In durability, Ainz also wins, because Hiruzen mostly uses elemental attacks and Ainz can cast shields for each individual element to render them useless.
Even in terms of summons Hiruzen is far outmatched, as Ainz can summon an entire army if he so pleased.
One could make the argument that Hiruzen could win with his Reaper Death Seal.
But I don’t think that ability would really work on a necromancer. It just seems counter-intuitive.
5. Mori Jin
Anime: The God of High School
Since both Jin and Hiruzen have some Sun Wukong themes and the Monkey King stick, it only made sense to compare the two in battle as well!
Basically, if we read ahead in the God of High School, Hiruzen loses miserably.
If we only stick to anime feats, I still think Hiruzen loses, but with slightly less humiliation involved.
This is mostly because Jin is way more proficient at using the Monkey Stick.
And yes, that’s how I’m exclusively going to call it.
While Hiruzen does have some good feats, like pushing back the Nine Tails with his Monkey Stick, and later on destroying parts of the Gedo Mazo, he doesn’t really seem like he knows how to fully use it.
Jin, on the other hand, uses it like a pro – and utilizes its shrinking & growing powers as a form of combat that’s incredibly difficult to counter or predict.
Plus, Jin is way better at hand-to-hand combat.
You could make the argument that Hiruzen has the advantage as he has other jutsu as well. But I honestly don’t think he would have the time to cast any of them, as an awakened Jin is extremely quick.
He’s also quite literally a god, unlike Hiruzen, who only has the title.
So, you know, there’s that as well.
4. Julius Novachrono
Anime: Black Clover
First off, I have to point out the fact that Julius would be Hiruzen’s number one fan immediately.
The dude drools as the prospects of seeing new magic.
And since Hiruzen knows almost all of it, I think Julius would reach a state of Nirvana that could also be comparable to Charmy at a buffet.
That being said, Julius would stomp Hiruzen if he had to.
First off: he trumps him in terms of speed, as this dude literally controls time magic and was able to react to light magic like it was nothing.
Secondly: all of his spells seem to be of the one-shot variety, with him either leaving you in suspended animation, or just taking you out.
Thirdly: we once again return to the point of Hiruzen already having one foot through the door, and I’m sure that you can piece together the rest.
Even if Hiruzen managed to get his Reaper Death Seal off (arguably his most powerful ability), Julius can just reverse time and nope the entire process.
I mean, he did for a country destruction level spell.
So I don’t think some spooky ghost with a knife would fair that much better.
These two either become best friends, or Naruto gets another sad solo-swing montage.
3. Master Roshi
Anime: Dragon Ball Super
I usually avoid Dragon Ball characters like the plague for these matchup rankings, because it never seems satisfying to include them on scaling lists.
But I think Roshi is somewhat of an exception, since he isn’t as conventionally overpowered as the rest of the cast.
That being said, he would make Hiruzen pray to a shinobi god rather quickly.
And surprisingly enough, this isn’t just the usual “kamehameha obliterates everything in its path” discussions.
Roshi could legitimately just beat Hiruzen up in hand-to-hand combat.
In Dragon Ball Super, this dude could pick apart and counter fighting styles from enemies that weren’t even from his planet in a single second.
Not only that, but he actually has the movement speed and strength necessary to launch these same enemies across the arena.
Bust most surprisingly, at least for me, was the fact that this old man has quite the tenacity on him.
He got thrown around quite a bit during his three consecutive battles, and although he did end up rather hurt in the end, we have to remember that he was fighting the universe’s greatest.
Anime: The Seven Deadly Sins
If you didn’t catch this from my earlier writeup about the Ainz battle, Hiruzen gets pretty wrecked by most upper-class mages.
For example, Merlin has shown time and again that she can put up a protective barrier and throw away any oncoming spells that are not at least city-busters.
There goes Hiruzen’s entire kit.
Plus, how is he supposed to ever Reaper Death Seal an opponent who can fly? And who could never have any reason to get remotely close to him?
In fact, she can basically teleport over short distances – so the odds of Hiruzen ever grabbing onto Merlin are slim to none.
Plus, Merlin is basically made for drawn-out fights, while Hiruzen does not have the stamina to go on for long stretches of time.
She can cast multiple elemental spells and then bugger off. Iit costs her no mana to keep the attack going, while Hiruzen would have to expend his chakra to counter the attack or defend himself.
I mean, Merlin basically met gods and told them to screw themselves.
So I don’t think the title of “God of shinobi” would have her shaking in her wizard boots.
1. Makarov Dreyar
Anime: Fairy Tail
Makarov is the most similar to Hiruzen in terms of personality, and maybe even power.
Both are elderly leaders who love their students, and have that one evil pupil who they can’t get over.
Plus they both have a powerful protective spell that includes pillars, and they both have a last-ditch effort one-shot move.
Hiruzen fought the Nine Tails, Makarov fought a dragon.
Hiruzen extends his staff and Makarov extends his entire body.
It truly is fascinating to think just how many similarities these two actually have!
But in the end, I do think Makarov has more impressive feats.
Point one: Fairy Law seems like a much more direct and reliable one-shot ability than the Reaper Death Seal, as it’s long ranged, AoE, and with no significant cast time.
Point two: pushing the Nine Tails was impressive – but holding back a dragon is just insane.
That same dragon destroyed a forest just by breathing, and would later go on to nuke an entire island without breaking a sweat.
Therefore, I think that Makarov would win out at the end of this fight, using his barrier to deflect elemental jutsu and then enlarging himself to stomp Hiruzen to death – or something of that nature.