In the Naruto universe, a jutsu, or ‘technique’ in English, is essentially a ‘spell’ that is cast by the user. This can satisfy combative needs as well as summonings, transformations, mind control, substitution, and many, many more.
Which jutsu a shinobi can use is often dependent on a few things, but mainly with the genetics of the caster. A shinobi may have more affinity for yin or yang release, which are two different manifestations of chakra.
Moreover, each shinobi can master nature releases which may also help them use jutsu. There is also kekkei genkai which are jutsu that have been passed down via blood, such as the Sharingan eye for the Uchiha clan.
However, neither Chidori or Rasengan are kekkei genkai, technically any shinobi can use these two independent jutsu, and both operate differently, if even opposingly.
It’s fair to say that Sasuke is one of the most honed users of the Chidori, as it was taught to him by Kakashi Hatake. It’s also justified to say that Naruto is one of the most adept at using different Rasengan techniques.
But, how do these two techniques compare? Read on to learn about these two jutsu and how they operate.
The Rasengan is a technique that not too many shinobi have managed to master. THe power was initially created into a jutsu by Minato Namikaze, Nartuo’s father, but exists in other forms previously.
For instance, Minato based the Rasengan on the Tailed Beast Ball which is a common technique used by Chakra Beasts.
To achieve either, a serious amount of chakra control is required. Directly translating into English as ‘Spiralling Sphere’ this is essentially what a Rasengan is.
The Rasengan is a ball of chakra that has been controlled and moulded by the caster. The Rasengan requires a mastery of shape transformation, the basic concept that forms things like Susanoo.
Like Minato’s other created jutsus, one serious advantage of Rasengan is that it doesn’t require any hand signs to cast. Moreover, when it has been cast the user can hold it in their palm for an indefinite amount of time.
Before Minato’s tragic death, he attempted to combine his Rasengan with his nature release, but he couldn’t achieve this before dying. Naruto, though, does eventually find ways to combine his Rasengan with other natures and releases.
Naruto achieves this with the help of his shadow clones, another jutsu he has mastered, while he has multiple clones of himself he can make each clone use a nature release while he creates the Rasengan.
The first improvement on the Rasengan that Naruto procures is Wind Release: Rasengan. He later develops this into Rasenshuriken and other flourishes on the original Rasengan.
When Naruto gains KCM2 after fully bonding with Kurama he gains some serious improvement on the original and allows him to use Tailed Beast Ball the same way he uses Rasengan.
Moreover, Naruto’s mastery of sage art also lets him use some seriously strong Rasengan manifestations, one of which is ‘Ultra-Big Ball Rasengan’ which is a seriously intense version of the original technique.
In Boruto, Boruto accidentally combines his lighting release with Rasengan and creates a form of Rasengan that can be thrown, improving it further.
Chidori is a technique that was created by Kakashi Hatake. Kakashi himself tried to apply his lighting release to the Rasengan but failed to do so, and instead he chose to create Chidori.
Chidori means ‘thousands of birds’ when translated directly into English, and in the anime there is a bird noise when the user casts Chidori. Apparently, the bird sound comes from the noise the electricity creates.
In essence a Chidori forms a blade from electricity that can be fired as fast as a lightning bolt. The user can stab through a target with the lightning blade, but the main advantage of this technique is serious speed and precision.
In its initial stages the Chidori was so fast it was almost unusable. Minato teaches the young Kakashi that his Chidori actually makes him vulnerable to attack,
he goes so fast that it creates a tunnel vision where Kakashi cannot see his enemies, and travelling in a straight line means that the enemy can dodge and counter easily.
It is only when Kakashi gets his Sharingan that he can truly master the Chidori technique. The sensory abilities of the Sharingan means that Kakashi, even when in–flight, can see where his enemies move and follow them rather than be stuck in tunnel vision.
This adds a certain dimension to the Chidori that is absent in the Rasengan, the Chidori requires a Sharingan in order to truly master it.
This is why there are only three people who can actually use the Chidori, Kakashi himself, Sasuke, and Sarada Uchiha – all three have Sharingan.
Sasuke definitely improves the Chidori in many ways, when he has Orochimaru’s curse mark he can draw on the curse marks chakra to form ‘Flapping Chidori’ thanks to the wings he is endowed with when in transformation mode.
Moreover, when Sasuke gets a better grasp of shape transformation in part two he can conjure the Chidori into different shapes and projectiles.
How Do The Attacks Compare?
Well, there is a point where, as students, Naruto and Sasuke rather objectively compare the power of the two attacks alongside Jiraiya, in the manga. Jiraiya suggests the Rasengan is clearly more powerful than the Chidori, which Sasuke himself agrees with.
They agree that the grinding operation of the Rasengan makes it much more powerful. Which sends the target away from the caster. They also agree that the Rasengan upon exploding does some additional damage.
It’s not wrong to say that the Chidori is clearly more accurate and precise than the Rasengan and makes it more suited for assassinations and silent combat. Kakashi uses it alot within the Anbu for this reason.
Moreover, the Rasengan has been improved a lot by Naruto to the point where it is comparable to an actual Tailed Beast Bomb, Naruto can even surpass this in Sage mode with Ultra-big Ball Rasengan which is arguably more powerful.
Ultimately, the Rasengan vs Chidori debate was settled when Sasuke and Naruto battled in the Valley of the End. Sasuke combines his Chidori with his Blaze Release which clashes with Naruto’s improved Rasengan,
the outcome is what leads them both to lose their arms. They can both be as powerful as each other in certain situations, but when complimenting each other rather than being used against each other they can work perfectly.
This guide has deconstructed each ability into its component parts so you can understand each attack better. What’s clear is that they both prioritise different things. Chidori is about speed, precision, and accuracy; Rasengan is about power, explosion, and spread.
Both have their own applications and uses. It’s clear that Rasengan is probably more powerful than Chidori in the long run, when Naruto combines it with Sage Mode or his Kurama’s Chakra there can be some devastating consequences.