In a 2021 Reddit post that asks if the “Pain’s Assault” Arc could be considered one of the best arcs of all time, Naruto fans didn’t appear too divided in their answer. In fact, one fan may have answered best by posting, “Absolutely, yes. The world shall know pain.” In the story arc, which spans episodes 152-169 and 172-175 of “Shippuden,” Naruto has to contend with the Akatsuki member known as Pain, who invades Konoha, leaves a massive path of destruction, and ultimately forces Naruto to step up his abilities.
Pain’s actions in Konoha serve as the biggest threat at that point to Naruto and his friends. But as one fan noted, they also make the Akatsuki appear as the significant threat they were always poised to become in the series. “Believe it when I say this, I have yet to find a villain organization that matches the Akatsuki In how well they act, look, and work,” u/hdudbdhdvd wrote.
“Pain’s Assault “is a pivotal moment where Naruto finally gets that coveted Shonen power upgrade. The hero appears for the first time in Sage Mode during this point, with abilities that feel more in place with “Dragon Ball Z,” only because Pain is also at that level. But as some fans pointed out, what makes the arc shine, is that Pain is also the first villain who personally forces Naruto to confront the concept of hatred. “Pretty much, I mean, not only did it have a big impact on the story but also its main character, as Naruto was faced with the reality of hatred in the world he lived in and thus grew up,” u/Eloquence wrote. Pain takes Naruto’s patented “Talk No Jutsu” through the ultimate test.