Personally, I find summons to be corny. Granted, it may have a lot to do with the fact that I'm somewhat obsessed with each character's skill & power levels - but, in my view, I've yet to see a GREAT fight that involved summons. To explain why I dislike summons, I'm going to use Jiraiya as an example: I think the main reason I'm reluctant to place a character like Jiraiya on the level of Itachi is because of his summons. He seems to handle every problem with a summon, and I just can't see how that makes HIM powerful. If Gamabunta were to stomp someone with his foot, put them in his pipe and smoke them - how does that make Jiraiya a powerful shinobi? It makes him hard to kill, because you have to get past a 400 foot tall Toad to get to him - but the toad does all the work. Jiraiya can't stomp you with his foot with the same amount of pressure as Gamabunta, so why give credit to Jiraiya for what his summons do? When people say Itachi and Kisame ran away from Jiraiya ... they technically didn't run from Jiraiya. They didn't retreat until he unleashed a giant frog esophagus. If anything, they ran from the toad. If I'm walking around with a couple heavy-weight boxer as my body guards - who are you afraid of me - Me, or my bodyguards? You may be able to actually break my skull without effort - but the fact that I have two individuals protecting me that could probably snap you in two, makes me someone you don't want to fuck with... This pretty much means that, someone can base their entire fighting style around summoning big snakes, toads, and dogs, not really have much fighting ability, and live longer than someone like Sandaime ... who may have had a summon, but in his prime, probably could do a great deal of damage without it. Would that person be worthy of being called a great shinobi? I think someone like Orochimaru balanced it out perfectly. He definitely had his summons, but he apparently had a lot of other great jutsu's that didn't involved summons. However, even as much as I loved Edo Tensei ... it made me lose a little respect for Orochimaru, 'cause I would've prefered to have seen HIM use his jutsu's to defeat Sandaime. I know Edo Tensei is a jutsu ... but, it's just not the same. Sandaime had to contend with three three Kage level shinobi's, and he still held his own... Your thoughts?