I have recently started reading and watching Naruto. I was wondering in what aspect does the clones made by different techniques differ? They all have the same potential and capabilities.
Clone Techniques (分身術, Bunshinjutsu) are techniques that create a copy of the user or objects used by them. Each techniques differ from each other either by the usage of chakra or chakra type. I'm going to save you the trouble of comparing each article on clone jutsu by explaining them here.
The Clone Technique is the most basic cloning technique:
It is a ninjutsu that creates an intangible copy of one's own body, without any substance. Since the clone itself doesn't have the ability to attack, and thus can only be used to confuse the enemy, it is mainly used in combination with other ninjutsu.
The Shadow Clone Technique is an advanced form of the Clone Jutsu and is one of Naruto's frequently used moves:
Similar to the basic Clone Technique, this technique creates copies of the user. However, these clones are corporeal instead of illusions. The user's chakra is evenly distributed among every clone, giving each clone an equal fraction of the user's overall power. The clones are capable of performing techniques on their own and can even bleed, but will usually disperse after hit by a strong enough force. A characteristic that is unique to the Shadow Clone Technique is that any experience the clones gain during their existence is transferred to the user once they are dispersed. Because they are clones of the original, any chakra that the clone possesses will return to the original after being dispelled. Shadow clones can't be distinguished from the original with Sharingan, Byakugan, Rinnegan or Rinne Sharingan.
There are cloning techniques based on the chakra natures.
The Water Clone Technique uses water as a source for making the clone:
The Water Clone Technique is similar to the Shadow Clone Technique except it creates clones out of water that have one-tenth of the original person's power. The range of the clone is limited however, as it can not travel very far from the original body without losing control.
Similarly,the Rock Clone Technique uses rocks as the base for the cloning jutsu:
A clone that is created of rock, after it has been expelled from the user's mouth. Unlike other clones, ones generated by this method do not disappear when struck with sufficient force, but rather break apart.
The Earth Release Shadow Clone Technique uses mud as the source:
This technique creates a shadow clone made of mud of the user. Since its made of mud, it can continue to reform and mould itself back to its original shape. Once reverted to mud, the clone can serve as a powerful restraint that is capable of completely halting the opponents movements.
A clone that is created by using chakra to alter the user's own cells into vegetation. They have the ability to travel far from the user and are able to communicate with the original. By directly touching the wood clone with his hand, the user can absorb the information it gathered and change the shape of the clone.
Other types of cloning jutsu include:
Beast Human Clone is a modified and mixed version of the Transformation Technique and clone technique, which is unique to the Inuzuka clan. It allows a canine-user to transform their animal companion into a perfect copy of themselves. Like any transformation, the technique can be broken by identifying and attacking the animal, thus dispelling the transformation.
A technique that produces a clone by projecting one's own chakra towards dozens of "crows". Because it uses crows as a medium, it requires less chakra than the normal Shadow Clone Technique, while still being able to perform techniques. The dozens of crows come together to form the body of a clone.
What differentiates all these clone jutsu are the chakra consumed for the technique and the chakra release required for the execution. Most of these clones can be distinguished from the original by looking at the imperfections and chakra levels. Dojutsu such as Sharingan and Byakugan can distinguish certain types of clones, but it seems that the Kage Bunshin (Shadow Clones) cannot be distinguished. Although it has been stated that the Wood clone cannot be distinguished from the original,
Unlike other clone techniques, the wood clone doesn't disappear when hit and takes the damage to a certain degree. This according to Madara Uchiha makes it the perfect clone technique that only he with his dōjutsu, was able to see through.
This jutsu doesn't require specific chakra release and is dependent on the user's skill with the technique and the chakra levels. Combined with the ability to fight, use/mould chakra, relay information to the original and avoid detection of being a clone, the Kage Bunshin makes itself as an ideal Cloning technique.
Then comes Taju KageBunshin no Jutsu, or multiple shadow clone technique. The difference b/w a simple Shadow Clone and Taju KageBunshin no Jutsu is just the numbers. Many hundreds to even thousands of shadow clones are possible with multiple shadow clone technique.
Some points that differentiate Shadow Clone Technique from other Clone Techniques are:
- Clones are corporeal instead of illusions.
- The user's chakra is evenly distributed among every clone, giving each clone an equal fraction of the user's overall power.
- The clones are capable of performing techniques on their own and can even bleed, but will usually disperse after hit by a strong enough force.
- The clones can also disperse on their own or be dispelled by the user of the technique.
- Shadow clones also seem to be able to think for themselves and feel the original's pain to some extent.
- Since chakra is equally distributed to all the Shadow clones, Multiple Shadow Clone Technique can be dangerous to the person performing it, hence a forbidden technique.
And the most important characteristic of the Shadow Clone Technique is
- Any experience the clones gain during their existence is transferred to the user once they are dispersed.
Due to the 7th characteristic, Shadow Clone Technique can be used in different places like training (like what Naruto did with Kakashi to learn Rasen Shuriken), or spying where user can learn faster and gain vital information.