[Discussion] Is Jiraiya the most balanced shinobi?

Michael

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In close range, he can use his Shadow Form to capture any enemy and make them kill themselves with an explosive tag. We know from Kakashi vs Deva that jutsu which require only a few tags can be completed faster than common taijutsu moves. We know Jiraiya himself was fast enough to complete the move faster than Konan, who was fast enough to stop Kamui, can intercept him.

In mid range he has his hair and summons which beat Pein and Samehada for application speed.
Now this was a Pein who was only focussing on a single target with Jiraiya and using fewer paths (fewer distractions). Compare that to Kakashi who due to shared vision alone couldn't land a Chidori on Pein from point blank range. He was already mid flight when Pein first saw him yet was still fast enough to process that info and dodge. Jiraiya took that path from affront. When Kakashi fought Pein the latter also had an entire village to occupy himself with and look out for, such that even Konohamaru got a hit in, yet Chidori wasn't fast enough. For Jiraiya, it was just him that Pein was occupied with.
Samehada has KCM reaction and V2 application speeds, as per feats. She couldn't detect the summoning (and consume chakra) until after the block.

In long range, he has his Toad Army.
Gamabunta can spam Water Bullets that cleave through forests. The other toads also seem to have senjutsu attacks.
Ma and Pa have their genjutsu and can cast Toad on anyone who tries to get close
The frogs are also physically powerful. Bunta can jump to the clouds and the smaller guys can block a strike from Kisame, serious Kisame, with one arm.

In special circumstances, he has his trickery
His seals can take care of things like Ama
His toads can jump or overpower him out of most barriers
His reactions are good enough to get him into favourable positions even against numbers.

In light of all this, is Jiraiya the most well-rounded shinobi?
Jiraiya is definitely well rounded but he's nowhere near top tier. Characters like Naruto, sasuke,madara,hagaromo,etc are far above jiraiya. Unfortunately, it's why he lost.
 

Tauren Chieftain

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It would be 3 Hokage Sarutobi, Databook 4 confirmed what was said in part 1 :

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Databook 4 says he knows all 5 nature elements , all ninjutsu and genjutsu in Konoha and it also specifically mentiones hiden ones like Nara or Akimichi clan jutsus which Hiruzen can perform.

He is only one in Databook to have perfect score in all 3 categories Ninjutsu , Taijutsu and Genjutsu.
 
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