I've seen this discussed loads of times, but still not 100% on the outcome. As it stands I would go with Itachi, who is a beast when it comes to 1v1 matches. Skilled though Minato is he has no way of getting through Itachi's susano. At best he could seal him with the reaper death seal, thought that would end in a tie.
the 4th got no experience with tsukuyomi, and differently no experience facing itachi's genjutsu. And itachi could beat tobi, he almost killed him with out even being there by sealing his eye tech. in sasukes sharingan.. itachi's will save him this fight bc hes fast enough to dodge close range attacks by the 4th that his sharingan will be showing him..
(Itachi is a master with kunai)
Even in his youth, Itachi could perfectly hit an intricate set of nine targets, one of which was hidden in a blind-spot, by accurately deflecting one kunai off another to ensure they struck mark. During his fight with the controlledNagato, he was able to blind Nagato's summons despite the shared field of vision granted by the Rinnegan.Itachi was also very skilled with shuriken, with Sasuke stating that Itachi was best with such tools, even more so than their own father. During their fight at the Uchiha Hideout, Itachi was able to counter every one of Sasuke's shuriken with his own whilst simultaneously making ashadow clone, all despite his extremely deteriorated vision.
Itachi is very powerful in genjutsu.
Itachi was especially praised for his skills in genjutsu, such as casting one by merely pointing at someone or turning opponents' genjutsu against them.According to Ao, he could even use his genjutsu to take control of other individuals from a long distance. With the Sharingan, Itachi reached the point where he could even make use of one of the Uchiha clan's ultimate dōjutsu, Izanami, and had knowledge of its counterpart, Izanagi.
Itachi is very smart..
Itachi has been shown to be analytical and perceptive, being able to deduce the inner workings and weaknesses of powerful techniques, even while under pressure. He orchestrated his battle against Sasuke to bring about his desired outcomes, and even account for the possibility that his plan wouldn't go as intended by sealing his powerinto Sasuke and placing a special crow inside of Naruto Uzumaki. Even Tobi himself admitted that if he hadn't kept a few secrets from Itachi he would be dead.
On top of his perceptive skills, Kabuto also noted that Itachi possessed skill in deception due to Itachi's ability to read people's feelings, and this made him a ninja of lies up until his death.
Itachi is winning this, if anything.. hes prolly one of the most powerful ninjas in the naruverse.. id even say hes above most of the kage, snot nose sasuke fought 4 or 5 all at the same time in a weakened state, so yea..
The current kage seem to be the weakest set yet. Tsunade isn't anywhere near up to par. A isn't nearly as good as the Kage before him who was pretty much invincible and Minato had the upper hand against him in their scuffle. Tsuchikage is old and out of his prime. The 2nd Mizukage seemed to have been a lot more powerful than the current and was able to take the Tsuchikage out (even though it ended up being a clone). Only Gaara seems to be more powerful than his predecessor. The point is don't compare the old Kage to the current Kage because the new ones aren't as good imo.
As for this fight I think Minato is being severely underestimated and once again Itachi is being massively overestimated. Itachi himself admitted that if he had fought Jirayai the fight would've ended in a draw and both Itachi and Kisame ran from Jirayai after. Tsukiyomi's a powerful genjutsu but it only works if you make eye contact and Minato moves so fast it would be hard to for Itachi to make eye contact intentionally. It's probably the same reason why Sasuke didn't just use Tsukiyomi on the Raikage or any of the other kage.
And on the topic of Raikage.
Then Minato got an order to retreat. But Raikage tried attacking him again and this happened.
Minato would've killed the Raikage in one move if Bee hadn't intervened and he would've killed Bee too (although Bee would've also possible killed him). There's a reason why it was common knowledge that if you saw Minato you were to flee on sight and once he's flung those kunai around the battlefield it's nigh on impossible to stop him and Raikage himself stated that there "was never a man who could surpass him".
He also defeated Tobi and that's no easy feat given Tobi's intangibility. Btw Itachi didn't defeat Tobi, he merely set a trap for him which could've killed him but I don't believe Itachi was even aware of Tobi's space time ninjutsu.
Itachi's Susanoo could prove a problem but it has such a high chakra cost it's unlikely Itachi could maintain it for long. Minato could easily teleport around avoiding Susanoo's attacks until Itachi ran out of chakra or if necessary Minato can easily do BFR on Itachi as was shown during his fight with the Kyuubi.
Minato's not stupid either, he had the foresight to tag B during his fight with A and B and he figured out how to defeat Tobi in their brief scuffle which shows that in terms of battle intelligence he is as smart as Itachi.
I'm giving this fight to Minato.
@All_StarSupes: That's just one example and unfortunately we don't have many more examples but it doesn't matter whether you charge him or not, he's still going to be charging around the battlefield and as soon as you attack him he'll have tagged you and then you're boned. He even tagged Tobi who's only tangible for seconds and then after that he could just teleport to wherever Tobi was, trust me tagging Itachi wouldn't be too much of a problem. Intelligence isn't much of a problem, unless you're saying Tobi is stupid?
And before anyone says Itachi can keep up with his sharingan, what happened when Sasuke tried to do a point blank Amaterasu to Raikage? Minato is simply too fast and he can BFR. The only possibly threats that I forsee in this battle are Tsukiyomi (If he can connect) and Susanoo (If he can connect).
@All_StarSupes: Exactly, if Minato had more feats and showed techniques with more power I'd say a victory for him here is feasible.
@FMStyyx: At that level, having skill with shuriken isn't that big a deal. And whilst the 4th has no experience with tsukuyomi, he would have knowledge of the sharingan and its abilities (certainly enough to know not to look right into his eyes). And Minato also has genius level intellect, he was hailed as the 'genius hokage'.
@ohgodwhy: Yeah, I could see this going either way. But with regards to the Jiraiya statement, I really don't think we can take it as truth anymore (I could definitely see Itachi beating Jiraiya, he wouldn't give him the time he needed to go sage mode); there are just too many feats to suggest otherwise. I wouldn't give Jiraiya a chance unless he began in sage mode, and even then I would lean towards Itachi. Not to overrate him or anything, but he has a plethora of hax techniques and feats.
Minato was capable of wiping out armies in a matter of seconds (hence the order to flee on sight), Itachi is not. But that's what I meant when I said that Itachi is a beast in 1v1s; his attacks are so deadly that he is better suited for them.
I don't really see Minato getting caught in a genjutsu here, nor do I see him being tagged by amaterasu (if Raikage could dodge it, so can Minato). The major problem here is Susano, which Minato has no means of getting around; from what he's shown, none of his techniques have the power to do so.
Therefore, I believe that the fight will have one of the following two outcomes:
1. Minato is dodging Itachi's attacks, and using a few of his own, which Itachi is also able to counter. Minato gets the chance to land a rasengan, but is repelled as Itachi activates his Susano. Minato, with his intelligence, attempts a variety of different methods of breaking through it/getting around it, all in vain. He keeps trying but is eventually caught by one of Itachi's attacks (an onslaught of amatersau, fire-based techniques, shuriken, the totsoka sword and genjutsu), Itachi also having genius level intellect. Itachi wins.
2. The same as the first one, but as soon as Itachi activates Susano Minato realises early on that it's impenetrable and goes straight for the reaper death seal, sealing them both. Both of them die, resulting in a draw.
Given Minato's intelligence, I'd be more inclined to say the latter is more realistic, so I will say it's a draw.
We really need more Minato feats and battles to call this one either way. His biggest feat was making Tobi look like a clown level fighter but you can't really extrapolate that too Itachi because Tobi used a totally different skillset in that battle than Itachi does.
I don't know who would win but some things to note are:
1) The 4th was alive when there were Uchiha in abundance so he isn't completely unaware that you shouldn't look them in the eyes.
2) Itachi has only cast Tsuyomi via eye contact.
3) Itachi can cast regular genjutsu without eye contact, but regular genjutsu can be broken with careful chakra manipulation, something Minato would seem to have given how he can do one handed rasengan and other high level chakra techniques.
3b) Additionally, Itachi has never shown himself as one to do simple tricky genjutsu (ie subtle things like Sasuke making Danzo think that he had another eye for Inazami). His attacks are blowing up into crows and other things which would make it painfully obvous that you were in a genjutsu.
4) At worst, Minato's combat speed is equal to Itachi's.
5) Itachi is god level and has more hacked, instant game over techniques than anyone can shake any number of sticks at... having said that, Kabuto was able to bring it to the duo of non-sick but infinite chakra zombie Itachi and fully powered/rested EMS Sasuke.
@GIRUGAMESH: Jiraiya was an amazing ninja. I think Itachi's statement does still stand, at least until Itachi's death. Jiraiya would have beaten Pein if he hadn't been hit by a surprise attack and lost his arm. A ninja without an arm is pretty much useless because they can't form seals anymore. Pein himself admitted that there was no way he would have won had he not kept his secret. I'd wager Jiraiya was more powerful than any of the current Kage and we know that he would've been the Leaf's Kage if he hadn't turned the position down. Think about how easily he took Konan down, he made her look like a rookie if you need further proof of his power. He just didn't get a lot of fight time so people tend to think he's weaker than he actually is.
But like I said even Pein admitted he would've lost to Jiraiya, Itachi said the best he could hope for was a draw and Kisame outright stated that he couldn't beat him.
Itachi isn't as powerful as he's made out to be. We have to completely disregard Izanagi and Izanami because he would never use them unless he wasn't planning on living much longer after this fight. He's definitely a great ninja, easily Kage level, but he's not the greatest ninja in the Narutoverse as a lot of people seem to be thinking, not even close.
I say he'd still get outright speedblitzed by Minato, who by Raikage's own admission was a man who could not be surpassed. If anyone needs further proof of his power he was able to warp one of the Kyuubi's blasts and was fighting well against the Kyuubi without the sharingan or senju cells. A lot of people seem to forget just how powerful the kyuubi was because kyuubi keeps getting tamed by the sharingan or senju. Kyuubi was said to be able to destroy mountains and cause tsunami's with the flick of it's tail.
Then, like @sickVisionz said he made Tobi look like a clown. He also made Raikage and B look like clowns too. Plus, as I've stated before he can do BFR. He teleported they Kyuubi at least a couple of kilometers away from the battlefield and the Kyuubi is massive. If necessary he could always teleport Itachi away to wherever. During his fight with Tobi he'd undone Tobi's control over the Kyuubi before Tobi had even realised.
Minato is probably the most powerful ninja in the entire Narutoverse. That is all.
@SpeedForceSpider: He took Tobi out in one hit, would've done the same with A if B had not interfered and would've killed B but B may have killed him too. Taking out Tobi in one hit is his biggest feat though, because not only did he take out Tobi in one hit but he also undid Tobi's control over the Kyuubi, which seems to have been his main intention. Yes, you might say he didn't KO Tobi, but he did enough damage to him to make him retreat. He also showed his genius level intellect during that fight as he figured out who the masked man was, his intentions and how to damage him in the space of a few seconds.
3 fights...all over in pretty much one move. I haven't seen anyone dominate as hard as he has in Naruto, it's sad his feats are so limited though but it's clear that he's a serious force to be reckoned with. Power-wise he cut right through B's tail and in his hands the rasengan was far more deadly than anything Naruto has shown, bar rasen-shuriken. He was able to take out hundreds of ninjas in seconds and a flee on sight order was given to him and that order seemed to apply to every ninja, as was shown during his fight with A.
He also showed that he can use Space-Time ninjutsu to warp away an attack as large as the bijuu bomb, what's to stop him from warping Itachi away or any attack Itachi uses against him? Minato effectively has Kakashi's MS without it causing him to suffer massive chakra loss.
Who do you think can beat him in a fight? I'd say maybe edo Madara, Hashirama or prime Sarutobi but other than that I think he's top.
@ohgodwhy: I understand that, but I feel your underestimating Itachi to a degree, after seeing Izanami and Izanagi in action he has a chance. Sure Minato has Space-Time Jutsu but I don't see it helping much against Susanno. Pretty much the people you said can beat him including Naruto with his recent showings.
@ohgodwhy: I have no quarrel with that, it's true, Jiraiya was a great ninja. I'd agree as well that he was stronger than any of the current kage. I know that there are plenty of people who underrate Jiraiya, but I'm not one of them.
However, had Pain gone all out on Jiraiya from the start I still doubt that Jiraiya would have won, especially as he had to wait a while doing nothing in order to go sage mode. If it had come to it, I doubt Jiraiya could have countered chibaku tensei either. Jiraiya was very strong, but I wouldn't say as strong as Pain, regardless of what was said (feats>statements). And Konan really isn't that impressive, though I take your point.
I also generally disregard izanagi/izanami for Itachi's fights, but then he has more than enough at his disposal without them. As I have already said, Itachi's feats and abilities suggest he could have won against Jiraiya, though I am willing to accept that sage mode would have been his equal.
I don't see, however, how you can think Itachi would simply be speedblitzed. He is perceptive and intelligent enough to take note of where Minato throws the kunai at the start of the match, so he will have at least a decent idea of where he could be appearing from. And if he does appear behind him ready to strike, all he needs to do is activate Susano, resulting in one of the outcomes I outlined earlier.
I'm not saying that Itachi is better than Minato by any means; I'd agree that overall, Minato is superior (as you say, he is the only ninja so far who has put up a fight against the Kyuubi without some means of controlling it, a major feat). If somehow there was a fight in the manga, my money would be on Minato to win it, simply because I'm sure he'd show some new ability in order to win. But with his current techniques and what has been shown, Minato seems at a disadvantage against Itachi, who has a complete defence that is too strong for any of Minato's attacks to break through. Minato can't sneak attack him; the susano protects him from all sides. He can't use the vast majority of his sealing jutsu; the susano prevents him from getting close. And he can't use rasengan, as it will never penetrate it. This and the fact that Itachi is too intelligent, fast and skilled with his sharingan to be warped away mean that the only technique Minato has shown so far that will work is the reaper death seal, which spells a tie.
IMO Minato>Itachi. But this is a bad matchup for Minato, and so Itachi wins/ties based on what's been shown.
And if you're excluding characters with rinnegan or jinchuuriki when you said Minato was the best ninja in the series, I'd be very tempted to agree with you.