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Etrurian emperor

The official Naruto thread

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I didn't really want to get too anime in the unpopular opinion thread so I'll just say it here.

Its very much true that talent vs hard work is not the primarily theme of Naruto. It is not the central theme that all others resolve around. 

And yet I wouldn't dismiss it entirely because its at least a theme. A theme that consistently comes back and the narrative has a very recurring message about it. Naruto and Sasuke, Jiraiya and Orochimaru, Obito and Kakashi, Lee and Gaara. The plucky go getter underdog vs the cold elite and the plucky one ultimately being the admirable one of the pair is a really common pattern in the series. So I wouldn't really resent people for placing importance on it because it seems Kishimoto does too.

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Its very much true that talent vs hard work is not the primarily theme of Naruto. It is not the central theme that all others resolve around. 

And yet I wouldn't dismiss it entirely because its at least a theme. A theme that consistently comes back and the narrative has a very recurring message about it. Naruto and Sasuke, Jiraiya and Orochimaru, Obito and Kakashi, Lee and Gaara. The plucky go getter underdog vs the cold elite and the plucky one ultimately being the admirable one of the pair is a really common pattern in the series. So I wouldn't really resent people for placing importance on it because it seems Kishimoto does too.

True, though I would say it's more of a topic or a recurring motif than a theme, as while it is present in the story, it isn't really explored much. The closest I would say it comes to getting explored would be when it gets deconstructed a bit by Lee losing the fight against Gaara.

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I haven't watched much Naruto, but I spoiled myself a ton about it. One thing I really like, is Kishimoto's play on character parallels, and especially with this rivalry Naruto/Sasuke dynamic with multiple characters:

Kakashi and Obito

Rock Lee and Neji

Orochimaru and Jiraiya

 

Also other parallels, like Naruto reminding Tsunade of Nawaki and Might Gai's story because a lot like Rock Lee's. The underdog story of hardwork overcoming inborn abilities is the most inspiring thing about the series, and you can feel the heart in it.

Edited by ♠Soul♠

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5 hours ago, ♠Soul♠ said:

Also other parallels, like Naruto reminding Tsunade of Nawaki and Might Gai's story because a lot like Rock Lee's. The underdog story of hardwork overcoming inborn abilities is the most inspiring thing about the series, and you can feel the heart in it.

For me, the theme I like the most and that I think has the most heart in it is that of overcoming loneliness. Naruto does start off as an underdog in the sense that he's untalented, but that's really just an obstacle for him; what drives him and his character journey is his need to overcome his loneliness. He grew up hated by almost everyone in the village, and was raised with no one to return home to. Out of everyone in the series, he would've had the most reason to want vengeance against the Leaf Village and the shinobi world... yet he doesn't; he just wants everyone to treat him with basic human decency.

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Oh, that's another one of the parallels played between him and Gaara, and then like Kakashi/Obito. There's a lot of those similiarities between characters, and it's pretty cool. I don't know much about Obito, but I really like he's basically Uchiha Naruto. His relationship with Rin was also really cute, and it's heartbreaking how things end up.

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10 hours ago, ♠Soul♠ said:

Oh, that's another one of the parallels played between him and Gaara, and then like Kakashi/Obito. There's a lot of those similarities between characters, and it's pretty cool. I don't know much about Obito, but I really like he's basically Uchiha Naruto. His relationship with Rin was also really cute, and it's heartbreaking how things end up.

Indeed. One of my favourite moments in Naruto (not my absolute favourite, but definitely within the top 5) is after Naruto beats Gaara and this conversation happens:

Naruto: "They're my friends! I won't let you hurt them"

Gaara: "Why? Why would you do this for someone other than yourself?"

Naruto: "Because they saved me from myself! They saved me from my pain and loneliness"

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Here we were discussing Naruto overcoming his loneliness and all that, and crunchyroll's YouTube channel completely coincidentally posted this clip on the same day:

 

Definitely another one of the best moments in the series.

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I don't feel like I agree with the ninja ranking system to measure a character's power. I hear people throw around things like "kage level", "genin level", etc, but it doesn't seem to apply at all for a lot of the main Genin. Characters like Naruto, Sasuke, Gaara, Rock Lee and Neji all have ridiculous feats and I could easily see them as Jonin level, and I wouldn't be surprised if they could beat actual Jounins. And then there's guys like Kakashi and Guy, who are clearly no average Jounins. Gaara can probably beat many Jounins at once without even trying, while I'm sure Kakashi and Gai could just oneshot him.

Then there's Tsunade, who's a literal Hokage, and yet some guy with medical ninjutsu beat her (granted, Kabuto is pretty good).

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16 hours ago, ♠Soul♠ said:

Then there's Tsunade, who's a literal Hokage, and yet some guy with medical ninjutsu beat her (granted, Kabuto is pretty good).

I think that's mostly due to her crippling fear of blood. 

But otherwise I think you're correct. There are indications that power isn't the primary trait that gets a ninja their promotion. Chunins originally were differentiated from genin not because they were so much stronger but because they had leadership skills. That's why Shikamaru got promoted over the likes of Sasuke or Gaara. And even Naruto with all his power and accomplished gets told after the war that he really must start hitting the books if he wants to advance his ninja career. 

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yeh I don't doubt that

Also, anyone else weirded out how people just take each other's eyeballs and implant them like it's nothing? v:

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1 hour ago, ♠Soul♠ said:

yeh I don't doubt that

Also, anyone else weirded out how people just take each other's eyeballs and implant them like it's nothing? v:

That is a bit weird. Perhaps the weirdest part is that, in the genjutsu where Itachi removes one of Sasuke's eyes, it definitely isn't treated like it's nothing, and that was just a genjutsu.

Part of it can be explained with healing jutsu, but it still is weird.

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On 12/27/2021 at 12:53 PM, ♠Soul♠ said:

Do they just remove someone's eye out and put it on themselves without any sort of "surgery" or medical jutsu?

Hm... Good question.

In the genjutsu Itachi placed on Sasuke, Itachi just removes one of Sasuke's eyes and places it in a jar to preserve it, and it is shown to be extremely gruesome.

When Obito's sharingan is removed and placed in Kakashi, it is shown to be a delicate process involving "surgery"/medical jutsu.

We are never shown how Madara implanted his rinnegan into Nagato, but we do know that Uzumaki descendants often have a minor healing factor and can survive things that would kill others, so that probably made the process easier.

Sasuke receiving Itachi's eyes is a surgical process that happens entirely off-screen.

Every time I can think of where it's a case of someone just removing someone else's eye and inserting it in one of their empty eye sockets, it's with characters like Madara and Obito, which can be somewhat justified by the healing factor that the Hashirama Cells in their bodies provide.

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10 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Every time I can think of where it's a case of someone just removing someone else's eye and inserting it in one of their empty eye sockets, it's with characters like Madara and Obito, which can be somewhat justified by the healing factor that the Hashirama Cells in their bodies provide.

I always assumed that Madara didn't need a medic to implement an eye while Kakashi did was just the rules not applying to Madara as per usual. I also suspect that the end of Naruto was written under much more crunch and publisher duress that we are aware of, that the writer didn't feel he had time to get into specifics or check back how he handled these things previously. 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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2 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I always assumed that Madara didn't need a medic to implement an eye while Kakashi did was just the rules not applying to Madara as per usual. I also suspect that the end of Naruto was written under much more crunch and publisher duress that we are aware of, that the writer didn't feel he had time to get into specifics or check back how he handled these things previously. 

I figured that was the case as well; I'm just saying that the hashirama cells do provide some in-story justification for it.

 

Anyway, I forgot two other cases of eye removal in the Naruto franchise: Toneri taking Hanabi's eyes in The Last (and Hinata taking those eyes back), and Urashiki Otsutsuki ripping out his rinnegan and eating them in the Time Travel arc in Boruto.

With Toneri, it's entirely offscreen and the only in-story justification for Toneri having the means to carry out this procedure is that the branch family on the moon always had their eyes removed to power the Tenseigan. Hinata removing Toneri's eyes and giving them back to Hanabi is offscreen and can be justified by Sakura being there to do the procedure.

For Urashiki, it's entirely on-screen, and it is framed as being extremely gruesome (as it should; it's him removing his own eyes and eating them). He doesn't show any visible pain when doing this, but that is thoroughly justified by him having completely snapped at that point, to the point where he was vocally willing to kill Boruto despite him knowing that Boruto is Momoshiki's Vessel and him being forbidden from killing other Otsutsuki.

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One thing I think the Boruto fillers should be given props for is that they avoid the usual problem with Fillers. In the original Naruto, or in other series like Bleach fillers are easily dismissed because nothing relevant ever happens in them. No matter what happens the status quo will always be preserved.

So in that sense I think its somewhat gutsy that Boruto filler do have lasting effect. In one of the earlier fillers a very important Naruto character got killed off. Now he was relatively safe to kill since his arc and story had long since ended, but its still a sign that fillers will have an impact going forward. So while a main character like Sarada won't die in a filler many more minor characters can still die in fillers. And I think that's kinda unique with Boruto.

Spoiler

Case in point, aside from Onoki we currently have the wanabe swordsmen dropping like flies. 

One thing that fillers should not be given props for is that the writers don't always seem on the same page. Boruto's intelligence tends to fluctuate with him either being a clever lad or more akin to his dad. But currently the inconsistency that's annoying me has to do with Denki. Someone in the writing team decided to throw the guy a bone and give him an upgrade. Last arc they made it a point to show him shedding his status as the weakest link, and even beat one of the stronger genins to earn his promotion. Additionally the current arc begins with some guy dismissing Denki as just a weak kid only to be proven very wrong. And then after all that Denki still got kidnapped. Not by the big bad pirate captain, not by a dangerous henchmen, but by mooks. A whole arc about Denki growing stronger and more confident, and then he's still kidnapped again by random mooks as if he's the same non combatant as he was in the first few episodes.

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

One thing I think the Boruto fillers should be given props for is that they avoid the usual problem with Fillers. In the original Naruto, or in other series like Bleach fillers are easily dismissed because nothing relevant ever happens in them. No matter what happens the status quo will always be preserved.

So in that sense I think its somewhat gutsy that Boruto filler do have lasting effect. In one of the earlier fillers a very important Naruto character got killed off. Now he was relatively safe to kill since his arc and story had long since ended, but its still a sign that fillers will have an impact going forward. So while a main character like Sarada won't die in a filler many more minor characters can still die in fillers. And I think that's kinda unique with Boruto.

  Hide contents

Case in point, aside from Onoki we currently have the wannabe swordsmen dropping like flies. 

 

Part of that is that the Boruto "filler" isn't trying to be filler; the creators of the anime and those of the manga have said that both are canon; most of the anime-only content is supposed to be canon, with the idea being that the anime would take the time to flesh out things that the manga, being a monthly release, wouldn't have time to get to.

Of course, that's the idea; I'd say the results have been mixed in practice, likely due to poor planning and the manga being rather inefficient with its pages.

 

As for those examples in the spoiler tag:

Spoiler

Ohnoki's death was definitely well-done; easily one of the highlights of an overall really good but overly-long arc. However, I have mixed feelings on the deaths of the wannabe swordsmen.

Kagura's death was strongly hinted at, but I really didn't think it would happen because I was thinking, "You really think I'll be fooled into thinking you're going to kill off the only Mist ninja besides the Mizukage to have a nametag?" I understand it in terms of plot and character development, but it still felt cheap, and I'm not sure if I can explain why.

That said, I can easily explain my problems with killing off Hebiichigo:

1. her death does absolutely nothing; it does nothing for the plot, it does nothing for any other character's development, and while I dislike character deaths that are just for empty shock value, this one doesn't even have that, as we saw Kagura get killed two episodes prior and the episode stapled on a very unsubtle death flag where she tells Metal Lee that she survived her other fights because she didn't care about anyone's survival but her own.

2. They spent a huge chunk of the arc developing the three former delinquents, with the most attention having been given to Hebiichigo, even having her bond with Metal Lee and giving them a ton of ship tease. I was thinking, "Alright; I didn't really think much of these three in the last arc they were in, but let's see if you can make them interesting". Abruptly killing off Hebiichigo like that feels like they were taking my investment that they cultivated in the first place, throwing it in my face, and laughing at me for having it. "What? You actually thought we were going to do anything with these characters? Ha; what a dummy!"

3. This undermines Kagura's death, as his whole thing was he went out trying to protect everyone.

4. Her death makes no sense; Lee was right there, with literally no other purpose in the fight than to protect her, and he unlocked the first gate over 100 episodes ago; he could've easily protected her. I get that they're tired and hungry after what's essentially a drawn-out siege, but he was literally right there. This is just like Neji dying when Hiashi was right there and could've (and definitely would've) sacrificed himself to save Neji, except in this case Metal Lee wouldn't have needed to die.

Killing off characters is a very delicate balance, especially when having multiple characters drop like flies; one wrong move and your audience will stop caring about the characters because you've basically told them not to care, and Hebiichigo's death, in my opinion, is definitely that one wrong move.

 

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