Naruto vs. Sasuke: current status
I'll start by introducing myself. I got hooked on anime two years ago, Naruto a month ago and I've been browsing these forums for a while now.
One of the most heated discussions on the net about Naruto his whether Sasuke is getting a disproportionate amount of character and skill development in Part II and whether the title character is getting neglected in comparision. I'm in the camp that agrees to the above two points, but for the sake of neutrality, I decided to make up a table comparing both characters' skillsets and techniques, as of chapter 406.
EDIT: And since I don't know how to post tables on this forum, I'll just list the comparable abiltities by number here. A star mark(*) indicates where a character has an advantage over the other.
1.Rasengan(and melee variations)
2.Rasenshuriken<Not perfected yet.>
3.<None. Hasn't mastered second element yet. May learn water jutsu.>
4.Kage Bushin no Jutsu*
5.Kyubi Transformation(1-3 tails)<Can be controlled, but can't be prevented from 'escalating' into 4-tail mode, hence avoided.>
6.Kyubi Transformation(4 tails onwards)<Can't be controlled yet.>
8.<None. Possibly this is where Itachi's power gift comes into play.>
9.Average taijutsu skills.
1.Chidori(and ranged derivatives)*
3.Katon Jutsu(and variations)*
5.Curse Seal(Level 1-2)<Now lost.>
6.Orichmaru/White Snake Powers<Now lost.>
7.Snake Summoning<Manda is dead, but smaller snakes available.>
8.Mangekyou Sharingan<Seeing eye, Ninjutsu, Genjutsu and Taijutsu techniques incuding Itachi's.>*
9.Excellent taijutsu skills, also has Sword of Kusanagi*
That's two points in Naruto's favour and five in Sasuke's. The situation looks bad for our main character.
From the above, it seems that the notion of Naruto being unfairly underpowered does hold some truth(Although it's slightly less uneven now that Sasuke doesn't have the Curse Seal or the Orochimaru abilities). If Naruto must eventually surpass Sasuke(both to defeat him and to become capable of being able to 'change the world or destroy it' as per the prophecy) then the way I see it he'll have to master the Kyubi chakra AND complete Rasenshuriken AND learn to use a second element AND a useful space-time jutsu AND learn to counter the Mangekyou Sharingan.
Any opinions? And please DON'T FLAME ME, Sasuke lovers. I'm just trying to look at the issue from a neutral standpoint.
EDIT: By the way, despite the title(which I regret and am unable to change), I don't intend this to be a typical 'versus' thread about how either one will win against the other; with people posting stuff like '4 tail Kyubi will kick Sasuke's ass' and 'Naruto pwned by Sharingan'. I put it up to list and compare all their abilities and see exactly how much of an advantage either one has over the other and where; and how much more Naruto needs to grow.