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Story arc: Sasuke Retrieval
Manga: chapter
Anime: episode 115-117

Prelude:
During their pursuit of Sasuke, Shikamaru’s team is ensnared by the chakra infused webs of Kidomaru, the spider-like member of Orochimaru’s Sound Four. Being the only one in the group who can adequately defend against Kidomaru’s long range attacks, Neji convinces the others to continue on and leave him to face their opponent alone. But Kidomaru is more than just a shinobi with good aim; he is a highly intelligent fighter and will test Neji to his limits in order to find his sole weak point.

The Battle:
From the outset, the battle seemed to favor Kidomaru. The forest terrain was well suited for his web spinning abilities. Kidomaru single-handedly outplayed Shikamaru, Naruto and Kiba and even dodged Neji’s sneak attack. Everyone was entangled in his spider webbing and Neji was helplessly trapped inside a cocoon Kidomaru had spun.

Neji knew immediately that they were facing an opponent far stronger than any of them. He calmed himself down and used Byakugan to carefully analyze Kidomaru’s webbing. It was synthesized from mixing chakra with Kidomaru’s own body fluids, this made the webbing incredibly tough and flexible. However, using his Gentle Fist technique, Neji can push his own chakra into the threads and break them down. Using this method, he was able to free himself from the cocoon and help his teammates. It was obvious that Neji was the only one in the group capable of standing up against Kidomaru. He persuaded Shikamaru and the others to continue pursung Sasuke while he holds off their foe.


The spider-like Kidomaru treated his battles as games and planned to fully enjoy toying with Neji. He began by rapidly firing a series of spider webs. Neji attempted to cut through them with his Gentle Fist, but was quickly overwhelmed and pinned to a tree trunk by the webs. Kidomaru believed Neji to be helpless and launches a Spider Sticky Gold spear from his mouth to finish him off. Unbeknownst to Kidomaru, Neji is able to emit his Gentle Fist style chakra from every pore in his body and breaks free in the last second. Neji lands himself right next to Kidomaru, who is in range of his Sixty-Four Palms jutsu. Neji initiates his attack and batters Kidomaru to the forest floor. However, Kidomaru has the ability to secrete his Sticky Gold from the pores of his body and formed a temporary armor to cancel out Neji’s attacks.

While Neji knows he must find a way to close the range between them, Kidomaru adopts the opposite strategy and aims on assassinating Neji from afar. In the next instant Kidomaru disappears into the trees and begins setting up trigger traps using Sticky Gold kunais as projectiles. Kidomaru silently launches multiple kunais from different directions, but is stunned when Neji deflects them all using his Heavenly Spin technique. When Neji then instantly locates his hiding place, Kidomaru comes to realize that his opponent possesses a very powerful eye ability.

Kidomaru comes out from hiding and admits that Neji is a worthy opponent. He activates his Cursed Seal to level one and summons his giant spider, Kyodaigumo. He then slits Kyodaigumo’s egg sack and releases hundreds of smaller spiders that rain down onto Neji. Because of the sheer number of spiders, Neji is forced to double his hand speed and use the One Hundred Twenty-Eight Palms jutsu. However, Kidomaru mixes in his kunai attacks, forcing Neji to use his Heavenly Spin as well. The webbing produced by each spider begin to slow down Neji’s ability to spin. During one volley, one of the kunai was able to graze Neji. Using this information, Kidomaru was able to determine the weakness in Neji’s 360 degrees field of vision. Neji’s worst fear has come true; his enemy has discovered the only blind spot in his Byakugan vision – a small cone projecting out from his first vertebrae.

Kidomaru exploits Neji’s blinds spot and lands more and more kunais into his back until the valiant shinobi falls to the ground. Disappointed at how easily his opponent was defeated, Kidomaru turns to leave. But Neji had somehow avoided a fatal hit in the last attack and rises to his feet again. Pleased by his opponent’s stubbornness, Kidomaru activates his level two Cursed Seal, allowing him to use his spider war bow. He fires a harpoon sized arrow at Neji, who manages to avoid a fatal strike by deflecting the arrow’s trajectory slightly with the aura of chakra he emits. But Neji’s chakra is nearly depleted and he knows he will be a sitting duck for Kidomaru’s attacks. After another of his arrows barely misses its mark, Kidomaru decides to ensure that his next shot hits by using a web line from his mouth to guide the arrow during flight. Knowing that he cannot dodge the next attack, Neji faces it head on and tries his best to avoid an instant kill. The arrow pierces Neji in the chest and pins him to a tree, but this is also the beginning of his counterattack. Neji grabs hold of the web line and transmits his Gentle Fist chakra through the line and back into Kidomaru’s body. Kidomaru is immediately paralyzed by the attack, he falls from his perch but is able to catch himself in time. But Neji is not about to let him recover. Despite his injuries, Neji dashes forward and closes in on the unsuspecting Kidomaru to deliver multiple Gentle Fist strikes into his body.

Kidomaru falls to the ground, most of his internal organs are in critical condition and he soon dies. But Neji is no better since he has lost a lot of blood. He had hoped to catch up to his teammates, but his injuries prove to be too severe and he collapses. This would have been the end of Neji, but fortunately Shizune’s medical team discovered him in time to bring him back to Konoha for emergency treatment.

Winner: Neji Hyuga

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2 Comments

  1. One of the best battles in Naruto. It required genuine skill and knowledge of both yourself and your opponent, as well as the nature of your techniques in themselves.

  2. NEJI’S THE BEST !


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