[Discussion] Groups Hierarchy: Akatsuki vs Kage

Infant

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The various groups, with their members, are often compared in the story.

The first of these were the ranked groups, with Jonin being stronger than Chunin being stronger than Genin.

After these Kage were added in, after whom the Sannin were added in as being stronger still.

The first time a weaker group was added was when the Seven Swordsfolk were bought up as stronger than Joining but weaker than Sannin. The Uchiha were added in to that gap. It was not made clear, but I've since compared and consider the Uchiha as weaker than the Seven Swordsfolk.

While they were shown, the Akatsuki were only properly introduced later and their power was also capped below the Sannin (Deidara vs Sasuke). While I disagree, even their strongest (SPoP) conceded to them.

Other groups, such as Prodigal Talents, were referenced without being explicitly noted. These usually just fell at the top of whatever rank they held (Neji being the strongest genin, Kakashi as the strongest jonin etc) and were more of theme than a group.

Of course, with the more elite groups often having fewer members, it could be argued that overall group powers equal out in some fantasical them. Of course I disagree, but that's not the point of this thread. I just noted this to call for the focus to be on the strength of group members, as opposed to the whole groups themselves.

In terms of their hierarchy, I always had it with Akatsuki Leader > Sannin > Kage > Akatsuki > Seven Swordsfolk > Uchiha > Jonin = Anbu

However, I'm questioning that as of late.

Firstly, with the Akatsuki Leader being stronger than the Sannin. But that's not for this thread.

For this thread, I'm wondering if the Akatsuki aren't meant to be stronger than Kage.

I always had Kage as stronger because the Akatsuki were always defeated by teams, subordinates of Kage. Additionally, there are fewer Kage than Akatsuki and the qualifications are the strictest possible - be the outright strongest in an entire region.

However, a Kage is not always chosen out of strength (Kakashi) and the title of 'strongest' is relative, not absolute. For Akatsuki, they have to be able to beat a Beast Bearer, which is almost always an absolute measure of power. This is even more important when one considers that Jinchuuriki are implied stronger than Kage twice over. Firstly, because Tailed Beasts often require more than a Kage to deal with. Secondly, because Beast Bearers are supposed to tame and thus focus the power of a beast, making them even stronger than the beast alone. Additionally, the deaths of Hashirama and Tobirama clearly put it to us that Kage are also killed by teams. If nothing else, these teams consist of the strongest after the Kage, who are essentially Kage before they get the title. So the Akatsuki losing to these teams is not a proof of weakness. This point is strengthened when one considers the context associated with many of their losses, such as Sasori and Deidara effectively committing suicide. Finally, the Akatsuki always conducted their missions alone, adding to the idea of their individual strength.

Of course, all these are just pointers and guidelines. Actual ability level has to be sourced from the actual characters. In this case, I noted something interesting: the Akatsuki are kage killers! Not only, but killers of elite kage. In their stories, the Akatsuki were introduced as such. The first was Deidara - also the youngest Akatsuki, called a weakling by another - defeating Gaara in his own village, seemingly while not at full power. Then we had Sasori being said to have defeated a far stronger kage in the 3rd KK, again while not at full power (before he had his multitude of puppets, which he got after leaving his village). After him we had Kakuzu who challenged and survived against Hashirama in his own village. His story, however, doesn't end there. Kakuzu uses an ability, Earth Spear, which seems to have been used by the 1st Tsuchikage. Since he sources his abilities from his hearts, it fits then that Kakuzu killed the 1st TK. After him there is Obito, who somehow toyed with a Beast Bearer of a kage in Yagura. Finally, there is Nagato who defeated Hanzo, who is said by a Sannin to have been powerful beyond challenge. There seems then to be a consistent occurance of Akatsuki being kage killers. Even the ones who lack such showings are either given the highest mission scores (Konan) or noted as new to the group. It seems as though the author was purposefully excusing a trend he had broken. Even so, Hidan was given the showing of defeating a near perfect Beast Bearer. So one can't even argue him being an exception since Beast Bearers are already put ahead of Kage. Even if one makes a case about his abilities lacking, it hardly matters if they somehow allow him to defeat such opponents. So if the Akatsuki are kage killers, then surely that puts them ahead of Kage in group hierarchies?

With all these factors considered, how would you rank Akatsuki against Kage?

As for my overall group hierarchy:
1. Sannin/Akatsuki Leader
2. Akatsuki/Kage/Beast Bearers
3. Seven Swordsfolk/Elite Units
4. Uchiha/Clans
 

ParadoxBJJ

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Hidan - High-level Chunin / Low-level Jonin
Sasori - Decent-level Jonin
Kakuzu - Average-level Jonin
Konan - Average/high level Jonin
Kisame - High-level Jonin
Deidara - Weak-level Kage
Itachi - High-level Kage
Tobi - High-level Kage
 

ParadoxBJJ

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What's your benchmark for your ranks?
Hidan lost to Shikimaru in a 1-on-1 fight. Other than that it seems like he only looks impressive with Kakazu's help. Even when he ambushed Asuma's team- he got decapitated and Kakazu stitched him. I think that it's fair to rank him low. I feel that most average-to-high level Jounin would figure out to decapitate him when most of the lethal attacks wouldn't work and Kakazu wouldn't be there to stich him up.

Sasori is decent-level Jonin but not necessarily elite based on his performance against Sakura & the old lady. I know the old lady is elite but we, like the 3rd Hokage at the end of his life, probably lost a step. She's not completely a combat shinobi either. He didn't pose too much of a threat to Orochimaru either.

Kakazu I'm ranking as average-level. I think Kakaashi was well-suited to defeat him and that the Chunin around him were only distractions/hindrances. Then Naruto came and Kakashi let him finish him off for practice.

With Konan we could only make guesses. She was like a bug to Tobi and based on the flow of things it didn't seem like she could do anything to stop a battle-exhausted Naruto from doing whatever he wanted to with Nagato if he wanted to kill him. Also just doesn't seem like a battle-focused shinobi like Zetsu.

Deidara I'm ranking as a weak-level Kage because he bagged Gaara and Gaara I think was a weak level Kage at that point.

Kisame I'm ranking as a high-level Jonin because it seems like he gives every single Jonin huge problems with the exception of Might Gai. Maybe I should re-rank him as mid-level Jonin.

Itachi I'm ranking as a high-level Kage. He 1 second Genjutsu'd Orochimaru. 1 second Genjutsu'd Deidara. Led Naruto & Killer Bee into an easy defeat over Pain. Just an all-around excellent shinobi. The Shadow Hokage of the Hidden Leaf.

There's reason to think that Itachi is even better than Pain.

Tobi, we all know, got beefed up by Madara and the Zetsus to become a ridiculous beast.
 

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Hidan lost to Shikimaru in a 1-on-1 fight. Other than that it seems like he only looks impressive with Kakazu's help. Even when he ambushed Asuma's team- he got decapitated and Kakazu stitched him. I think that it's fair to rank him low. I feel that most average-to-high level Jounin would figure out to decapitate him when most of the lethal attacks wouldn't work and Kakazu wouldn't be there to stich him up.

Sasori is decent-level Jonin but not necessarily elite based on his performance against Sakura & the old lady. I know the old lady is elite but we, like the 3rd Hokage at the end of his life, probably lost a step. She's not completely a combat shinobi either. He didn't pose too much of a threat to Orochimaru either.

Kakazu I'm ranking as average-level. I think Kakaashi was well-suited to defeat him and that the Chunin around him were only distractions/hindrances. Then Naruto came and Kakashi let him finish him off for practice.

With Konan we could only make guesses. She was like a bug to Tobi and based on the flow of things it didn't seem like she could do anything to stop a battle-exhausted Naruto from doing whatever he wanted to with Nagato if he wanted to kill him. Also just doesn't seem like a battle-focused shinobi like Zetsu.

Deidara I'm ranking as a weak-level Kage because he bagged Gaara and Gaara I think was a weak level Kage at that point.

Kisame I'm ranking as a high-level Jonin because it seems like he gives every single Jonin huge problems with the exception of Might Gai. Maybe I should re-rank him as mid-level Jonin.

Itachi I'm ranking as a high-level Kage. He 1 second Genjutsu'd Orochimaru. 1 second Genjutsu'd Deidara. Led Naruto & Killer Bee into an easy defeat over Pain. Just an all-around excellent shinobi. The Shadow Hokage of the Hidden Leaf.

There's reason to think that Itachi is even better than Pain.

Tobi, we all know, got beefed up by Madara and the Zetsus to become a ridiculous beast.
That's your evidence.

I meant your standards for evaluating the evidence itself. Like, what makes any showing to be equal to jonin or kage level for you?
 
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