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Senju Hashirama (Shodaime)
Senju Tobirama (Nidaime)
Sarutobi Hiruzen (Sandaime)
Namikaze Minato (Yondaime)
Oro survived b/c he experimented w/ his body and thus his body is not normal. Any other ninja hit by that would be down and out
U underestimate her b4 u even have seen what she can do full out. Considering how strong oro and J-man are at full power, tsunade is at least at that level
I believe Minato is stronger simply because of all of his elements. Not elements as in fire, water, etc., but elements as in skill. I haven't really seen Hashirama to be a speedly type of person. He has a truckload of power and some pretty impressive jutsu. Minato on the other hand has so much speed that he was known throughout the entire world for it and single-handedly took out 50 Rock shinobi. His comrades told each other not to blink or they might miss out on the action. He has the Rasengan in his arsenal and even though he didn't finish it defenitely mastered it to some extent.
Hashirama is apart of one out of two of the most feared clans in ninja history and helped to build one of the most powerful villages. He did defeat Madara so we know he has strength and lots of it. However I would still go with Minato here.
Guys its simple as that
1st. 1st hokage was admired and respected by people whos ability is beyond dreams (just like madara)
2nd. 1st Hokage had an ability which once in a lifetime would appear
3rd. 1st Hokage was the leader of one of the two strongest shinobi clans
4th. 1st Hokage Controlled 8 Bijus, considering the fact Uchihas had the kyuubi
5th. 1st Hokage Created/Build Konoha with his mokuton super duper rare jutsus
6th. 1st Hokage was and is the symbol of konoha as shown as from his motto "Will of fire"
7th. 1st Hokage inspired all the following Hokages with his "will of fire" and ambitions
8th. 1st Hokage has trained " da small Monkey" (also known as sarutobi)
9th. 1st Hokage is someone who has experienced war and has grew up with war just like Madara
10. 1st Hokage is so EPIC! Hes so godlike in these chapters he was shown as presented by madara!(not really a reason but...)
We don't know if he controlled all 8, but hey I agree with you.
The 1st's ability to control 8 Biyuus is attributed to his Moukuton bloodline. Yes, it takes skill to use it to attain that level of proficiency, but it is mostly an innate ability of his rather than a straightforward show of skill IMO. Just as I won't say Madara's great because he can control Kyuubi(he is great for other reasons though), because that is MS's power. The only 'skill' I attribute with that is the ability to reach that level of the Kekkei Genkai, but who knows if anyone else could've as well(ex: if Minato had MS or Moukuton, would he be able to accomplish the same?) so that argument is at best questionable.
As for actual 'strength', both of them are more or less in the same boat. We haven't much from them. We've heard a lot, but we haven't seen it. We've heard Madara praise Hashirama as a god, but in the short battle with Sandaime, lots of people weren't that impressed with his performance. Same with Minato, we hear great stuff about him, but lots of readers weren't blown away by what he showed in Kakashi Gaiden. Heck, eliminate Madara's recent stories and people would probably still not be thinking that much of him right?
Having a KG does not mean u are strong. Look I am not denying that the first is strong, in fact I think he is up there in pein level along w/ hokage 1-4. However if u were to take mokuton's ability to control bijuu away or madara's EMS ability to control 9-tails, can they beat the 9-tails. I really doubt it. 9-tails is feared b/c w/ one swing of its tail it can cause earthquakes and tsunamis.
In the end all we can really do is use the praise that the ninjas have given them. Based on that praise, Minato is the best. Praised by both Tsunade and J-man, the 3rd, kakashi, anko, and even other villages. I am sure everything the author does, he do it on purpose. Would he have given Minato all this praise if Minato was not that great? Would he have said Minato is unsurpassed or Minato was a ninja that puts fear in all if he didn't mean it? Everything that is given to us is the author's plan. Based on his writng Minato was the best that there is, w/ naruto being the only one capable of surpassing him
^ Here is the thing:
You can't simply say, If Hashirama didn't have his mokuton, he would be nothing. These abilities are their personal traits and cannot be taken away. Example: If Jiraiya didn't have his HM, he would be weaker. But he still has it, and used it against Pain.
Point of the matter, in most cases, as well as these, the end justifies the means.
Hashirama and Madara proved capable of controlling Bijuu, while the 4th died while dealing with one. Not to say Minato is weak, he isn't, he was Hokage.
But Minato couldn't do what the 1st or Madara could do. And that is a direct consequence of their own ability.
But as i said earlier. Each Hokage is the strongest in his/her own respect, and cannot be compared to find an alpha Hokage.
For example, Tsunade isn't a warrior so she might seem weaker than the other hokages, but she is the best there is in healing and medicine; i.e she is triumphant in that field.
I agree with sarry in the sense that we cannot determine it so much as a>b>c because it will never be like that in life. Yes, Kekkei Genkais are part of their power, but that also happens to be a part of their genetics and the luck of the draw to be born in the clan they were. Someone once said luck was a part of skill, so that much is attributed to them as well as having the ability to further and develop their bloodline to the point it is now.
BUT.... I am not going to directly attribute facts about the bloodline vs a non bloodline person, because then it becomes unfair. Both Hashirama and Minato dealt with Kyuubi in their own right with the tools at their disposals. Hashirama just happened to have better tools. Does that make Minato less of a person? No it doesn't, it just means he dealt with it in a different way. It's like saying that a Sharingan user like Kakashi learns a jutsu faster than another genius because he has Sharingan. The Sharingan obviously helps and I give props to Kakashi for learning it still, but I do not use this as a main point to differ that Kakashi is a better learner than the other person, simply that he had better tools and used them better.
I agree each hokage is the best that there is in a certain area, but IMO the 4th is the greatest ninja that there is or not the author wouldn't have mentioned it so many times