Understanding Kisame's Power
Coming to a grounded conclusion on Kisame from Naruto.
Kisame, in my opinion, is a character often under-looked with a skeptical lens. Being an Akatsuki member and Itachi's partner, it is easy to assume Kisame is a powerhouse like none other. He has to be, right? He didn't die for quite some time in the story. He was a War Arc opponent afterall.
I'm here to toss a new opinion in the ring; that being Kisame is actually a small baby who needs his diapie changed. I will be basing this on every drawn out fight scenario Kisame lands himself in.
Kisame Vs Itachi:
We are starting off with canon from game lore. Kisame attempts to try Itachi and loses to a Genjutsu. Trying to guess where the physical altercation began and where it ended is extremely difficult. What can be noted is Itachi seems to have hardly tried and came out without any sign of exhaustion or damage.
Conclusion: Kisame is less tactically sound and possibly less powerful than Itachi. Not a surprise.
Kisame and Itachi Vs The Leaf Jonin:
In the Search for Tsunade arc, Kisame and a (reluctant as always) Itachi face off against Asuma, Kurenai, and Kakashi. It is thought that without the aid of Kakashi and later Guy, Asuma and Kurenai would have lost their battle. In a Kisame v Base Kakashi clash, the two seem to have similar power and output in jutsu ability.
It should be noted that Itachi makes a statement that suggests Kisame could take on both shinobi (minus Kakashi), but that inadvertent claim isn't substantiated and may be under the assumption that Kisame is willing to go all out.
As things heat up, Guy interrupts the fight further. His inclusion prompts Itachi to take back his statement.
Conclusion: There may be a way for Kisame to take on 2 Jonin, but 3 may be too many. Kisame is similar to Guy/Kakashi in physical prowess and energy output when preoccupied a bit.
Kisame vs Team Jiraiya:
Still in the Search for Tsunade arc, Kisame takes on Kid Naruto. This isn't much of a fight, and even gives Kisame a bit of Naruto's chakra.
Directly after this, Gama, an adult sized toad, catches Samehada. Jiraiya throws down a move that traps both Kisame and Itachi, and Itachi uses drastic measures to escape the jutsu.
Note: I personally believe Itachi is the Akatsuki informant that Jiaiya mentions. I don't think Itachi would have attempted to fight Jiraiya, as they are at the very least allies unknownst to the sage.
Conclusion: Kisame does very well against a Chunin level threat but is probably lacking against a Sanin level threat.
Kisame vs Team Guy:
In the Kazekage Rescue Arc, a 30% Kisame Clone ties up the Genin/Chunin in water prisons and proceeds to 1v1 Guy.
This is the first large fight we see, and I'll now switch into longer form breakdowns.
The facts are as follows:
- Kisame is only at 30% power. I assume this means 30% chakra supply and possibly 30% energy output. This should also work as a physical nerf seeing as though physical prowess is effected by chakra.
- Samehada's power percentage and clone mechanics are unknown. Kisame doesn't appear to attempt to fuse with his sword, but Samehada is seen acting with its own will. I don't know what this Samehada does differently.
- Guy is on a timer. Guy is in charge of a team and his team is on the verge of drowning.
- The move sets of the two competitors are at odds. Kisame is a medium range, large scale fighter. Guy is a close range, taijutsu specialist who can only mirror Kisame's tactic while in gates.
After going back to watch the fight, what I find most surprising is Team Guy's competence when using teamwork. Not only is Guy keeping pace just fine in base, but TenTen, Lee, and Neji all land hits, culminating in a formation that makes Kisame retreat momentarily. On his way back, Kisame makes a point to call the team troublesome. This leads him to a break in tactic, choosing to trap the squad in order to force a one on one with Guy.
Going into the one on one, Guy in base seems to be a complete statistical match in physical prowess. Response speed, movement speed, and strength are seemingly identical.
What sets them apart is Kisame's ability to overwhelm underwater. Kisame summons sharks that distract Guy up until Guy adapts to the water. After this, we get a guy who acts as though his hand has been forced and opens the Sixth Gate.
But the question arises: If Kisame is statistically similar and can even be held off after using large scale jutsu, why power up to Gate Six? If the first Gate is a multiplier and each one should increase power exponentially, there should be no reason to use anything above Gate One or Two.
I believe Guy was forced in the sense that his timer was running out, and he decided to cut his losses. Even if the first couple Gates would secure a win, they may not secure one quick enough. Also, the Sixth Gate has an aura that forces water out of the way. If anyone knows this watery factoid, it would be Guy.
The fight concludes with the children finding their own way out of the water prison and Guy proceeding to defeat Kisame in a single taijutsu combo, suggesting that Kisame would have most likely lost to Team Guy with minimal Gate usage.
Conclusion: 30% Kisame is somewhat above all of Part One Team Guy. He is also an equal to Part One Guy with minimal Gates. Using some estimation, if 30% Kisame equals Guy with 1 Gate, and each Gate is exponential growth, regular Kisame would be probably in a range of Part One Guy using 2-4 Gates, although 4 should be overkill.
Kisame vs Bee:
Now in Part Two, during the 5 Kage Summit, Kisame has a go at Bee in what is probably the most misinterpreted fight in Naruto.
The fight starts. Kisame lands a strike while Bee does his classic casual warm up. This allows Kisame to take almsot all the V1 tails that Bee was utilizing.
First, a mini theory:
With good chakra control, chakra directly effects stats. Chakra control is needed to utilize the spirit energy properly, and one must pump their body with said energy to see the effects. The more you can pump, the crazier you can perform.
So what happens when someone, with great chakra control, who previously had trouble with Minimal Gates Part One Guy, starts a fight with 5-6 tails of V1 tailed beast chakra?
Well, he gets stronger. A lot stronger.
Keep in mind, this isn't an early excuse to dismiss the win. This is a deep dive into the nature of chakra absorption, and it's inherent ability to allow a character to punch up. If Adult Naruto can be given credit for fighting Momoshiki with low chakra, Kisame can be reviewed skeptically for fighting Bee with higher than average chakra.
Not to mention that Kisame calls the V1 tails absorbtion a rare event, making Samehada shake in pleasure (gross). It's safe to say that just this initial absorption supplies Kisame with a very abnormal amount of energy compared to his base.
Following this, Bee goes in for an attack with seven V1 tails without the knowledge that Samehada is an entity that scales with the swordsman. Bee loses six more V1 tails, more than doubling the amount that Kisame has stolen. If Kisame has less than 6 V1 tails worth of chakra while in base, and steals 12 or more, he has at least tripled his supply. Kisame makes the point to tell Bee that Samehada has never been that large before, hinting that this 3x boost is both beyond Peak Kisame & Samehada.
Bee then enters V2 state, rushes his foe, and swings for lethal. And as always, he loses about 6 V1 tails worth of chakra, now giving Kisame access to about four times his base supply. Bee, confused, needs it explained to him by Kisame that he grows proportional to the enemy he has landed strikes on. He says this is why he is compared to a tailed beast, seemingly having nothing to do with his base chakra supply or physical power.
The lesson comes to an end and Kisame fuses with Samehada.
Now we really open up the fight.
The facts are as follows:
is at around 400% power.
- Kisame has now fused, adapting him completely to the water and possibly amping him further.
- Bee is on a timer as he will drown if not in his Tailed Beast State.
- Bee is on a secondary timer as his goal is to save the bystanders.
Fused Kisame (Ground) vs Initial KCM Naruto:
Often overlooked, this little skirmish during the beginning of the Fourth Shinobi War is an interesting look as to how Kisame stacks up against high tiers in the verse.
To give Kisame props, he starts the fight with no sleep, although he does have Samehada's chakra supply. It is unclear if Bee took back all the chakra Samehada stole or allowed the sword to keep it. What can be assumed is that Samehada has at least siphoned some as that is his nature. Kisame should not only be mostly recovered physically, but definitely has more chakra than normal while fused.
This is seen when he scurries across the floor and outruns Bee despite being literally tied up.
I won't break this one down. Initial KCM Naruto is much faster. What is interesting is Kisame scurries away after being punched by this Naruto. I plan to do one of these write ups for Post Pain Naruto. With that info readily availible to me: Trust me. Kisame just tanked one of the hardest punches seen at this point in the story.
Conclusion: Initial KCM 1 Naruto is massively stronger than a somewhat amped Fused Kisame (Ground). Time for some A, B, C's:
Knowing Initial KCM 1 Naruto is probably somewhat above Lightning Cloak Raikage in physical prowess, and Bee can keep up with Base Raikage physically, and assuming V2 amps most likely nearly bridge the gap between Bee and L.C. Raikage, you could conclude that V2 Bee is too much for Kisame. This implies that had Bee never gone easy on Base Kisame, he would have won easily.
This argument doesn't take into account Bee's lack of intelligence or will to fight, so don't drop this take in a text chat somewhere.
Fused/Base Kisame (Ground) vs Part Two Guy:
I'll piggyback off of the previous chapter. No intro necessary.
The facts are as follows:
is at 100%+ power. Probably 200% to be conservative. He may be much higher.
- Kisame starts fused and tied up, rendering him nearly immpobile but possibly amping him. Considering he just ate a KCM punch, I'm assuming the ladder.
- Guy for once has nothing holding him back.
The facts are as follows:
- Kisame is at around 300%+ power.
- Kisame has lost Samehada.
- Guy essentially starts in the Seventh Gate.
Conclusion - Part One Kisame:
As stated earlier, 30% Kisame is close and possibly edging to Single Gate Guy in physical prowess. I believe he is more of a match up for Second or Third Gate Guy when at 100%. This makes sense when you recall his scuffle with the Kurenai, Asuma, Kakashi team. Itachi seems to think Kisame had two Jonin for sure, but it's unclear if Kisame even had Kakashi in the bag originally. Considering Kakashi is essentially just Guy with all other stats equated to physical prowess, its easy to see why someone around Kakashi's level would have a hard time with Guy, a person generally at Kakashi's level.
This would further explain why three Chunin (or near Chunin) kids and a single Jonin could punk a weakened Kisame and force him to try hard.
My final estimation:
Kisame is swordsman of the mist level. Woah. Crazy. He is a very difficult opponent for an elite Jonin and would prompt someone like Guy to use a couple Gates or someone like Kakashi to use his Sharingan. Sound familiar? That's how strong Zabuza is. Both Kisame and Zabuza are elite swordsmen from the same village.
What Kisame has that none of his peers have though is his ability to punch up. Samehada makes fights much more even, if a sword swipe can be landed. What I don't do is use single punch up events as reasoning to put a character's deadliness level on a pedistool. Kisame's win rate is case by case, but his base deadliness level rests in Elite Jonin to Low Kage tier.
Conclusion - Part Two Kisame:Part Two is much harder to pin. You could argue that Kisame being swordsman level made him nearly low Kage level in Part One, so his ability to keep up with Base Bee in Part Two, someone who was Kage level at the time, means that he grew minimally in power. I generally hold the belief that the time skip from Part One to Part Two was mostly a power boost for the children characters rather than everyone equally. So hey, I'd love to ground Kisame's growth.
- Team Taka: Kisame doesn't do great when outnumbered. Everyone in Taka is vastly below Bee, but they're a fine group when using teamwork. They beat Bee afterall. Even more fuel to this fire is Suigetsu's little sword skirmish against Kisame. I could see Kisame stacking a body or two (or three) before losing.
- Zabuza and Haku: If Zabuza can assasinate a Kage and Haku is supposedly more impressive, possibly low Kage level, Kisame should have some fun with this one. I think Kisame could weasel a win out here.
- Danzo: If Danzo can tire Taka Sasuke out to almost complete exhaustion, Danzo should be able to do some damage in this match up. I could see Kisame grabbing a bunch of chakra with a lethal swipe and feeling it dissapear when Danzo comes back to life (is that how that'd work?). I couldn't tell you who wins here.