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People are arguing over hypotheticals:
If Kishi changes his mind, he can focus on Naruto and give him a few plot threads of his own, make him a main character in more than name. Sure this will happen.
For the manga until now, Franckie said it best:
"- Who drives the majority of the action? Sasuke.
- Who does the plot revolve around? Sasuke.
- Who has had more fights from start to finish? Sasuke.
- Who does the Japanese audience care more about? Sasuke."
For the future manga, Kishi himself, in the 2010 interview, all but shouted that he'll continue to focus on Sasuke and Naruto's only purpose will continue to be chasing after Sasuke; he said directly that Naruto will convert Sasuke AT THE END of the manga - meaning Naruto will do no "bringing peace" beyond this in the manga.
I agree, he didn't change that much and Kishi could have very easily used a lot less page time to develop Sasuke (indeed, this would have been preferable - quality wise). The fact that Kishi insisted so much on Sasuke's development - more than a good writer should have, in fact - proves that Kishi decided to make the manga Sasuke-centric.
About Naruto (and the pain arc):
"Naruto is pathetic.
The only development he had has been to becoming even more obsessed with Sasuke. The Pain arc developments - which seemed to finally advance Naruto beyond his static, pathetic state - were quickly negated. As for the pain arc itself, it was most likely degraded from the final arc of the manga (with Pain as final villain) to some forgotten interlude.
Power-wise - he gained his powers by training, unlike Sasuke. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that Naruto gained his up-grades almost instantaneously (like a true secondary character), while Sasuke gained his gradually.
And, since this is an action manga, let's not forget the amount of fights Naruto and Sasuke had in Part 2 - Sasuke emerges as more developed, by far."
Last edited by SeventhPath; February 08, 2010 at 05:35 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Ohh, how wrong can several persons be . Sure, it's all a matter of personal opinion, but you really omit some things, methinks.
ALERT: BIG POST AHEAD
First, Sasuke WAS an important part of ... Part I. Just as now, he made lots of changes in the manga. Let's remember them, shall we?
- The small Sharingan drama in the Zabuza arc. Kakashi having a Sharingan, Sasuke activating it himself.
- Orochimaru entered the chunin exam just to put a curse seal on Sasuke.
- The sound genins were deployed to fight with Sasuke and thus, activate his seal.
(so, Orochimaru never gave a damn about Naruto. His only plot was to destroy Konoha and get Sasuke)
- Itachi was one of the 2 Akatsuki members deployed to hunt Naruto. He is Sasuke's brother. Through him, we get to know info about Sasuke's tragic past and his motives. We also get a foreshadow of what he powers is he going to get (Mangekyou Sharingan).
- Sasuke rescue arc, basically the same hunt Naruto obsessively deploys in part II.
At the end of part I, we basically know that Naruto's future will be revolved about getting Sasuke back and not being captured by Akatsuki. Both of them happened in the second part.
Part I was not necessarily about Naruto and his importance in the world. The story focused on Konoha, and its citizens. Naruto was always a subplot to this main topic.
* Land of the waves arc - a mission. Naruto does not change its real course in anyway, he just helps finishing it with success.
* Chunnin exams - The plot was about Orochimaru coming in Konoha, Sasuke being his prey, and all characters (new or not) trying to pass the test. Lots of battles were here, and Naruto's battle with Kiba was (I mean, it's cristal clear that Lee and Gaara had the best battle).
* Invasion of Konoha - Orochimaru and his henchmen wage war against Konoha. He fights and kills Sandaime. Gaara is their secret weapon, that Naruto actually defeats. He defeats one major point in the siege, but Orochimaru is defeated by Hiruzen. So Naruto had some importance, but not too much.
* New Hokage arc - Some weird organization wants Naruto but we find out more about Sasuke then about this Akatsuki. Jiraya trains him stuff and the main plot is about the 3 sannins. He changes the heart of Tsunade, has a little spare off with Kabuto, and the main battle between the giants take place.
* Rescue Sasuke - Sasuke leaves Konoha, lots of battles follow. Naruto's battle with Sasuke is just one of them, albeit the most important.
That's it. You need to get clear of yourself, Naruto wasn't such an important part in the manga and Sasuke was a big deal.
Even the thing about powers. You all complain that Sasuke gets free dosage of abilities by doing nothing, and Naruto is always forced to take his time by training. Same crap happened in the first part too:
- Sasuke trains for Chidori (off-screen, so with no real visible danger), Naruto has to face dangers such as falling through a big chasm or staying on the back of a giant toad.
- Sasuke gets a big power-up (CS/CS2) by just staying in a box. Naruto takes his time to learn Rasengan.
Second, people keep complaining about Naruto being obsessed with rescuing Sasuke. Again, this is a recurring theme from part I. In the first arc (second if you count the introduction chapters), when Sasuke is supposedly dead, Naruto goes in "rage mode" and viciously attacks Haku. Also, Sasuke is the reason Naruto forces himself to fight Zabuza (remember the oath he takes when he stabs himself with a kunai) or for his exhausting training. Sasuke was the reason Naruto continuously improved himself (as you can remember when he begged Kakashi to teach him Chidori too). In the end of this part, he even shows his obsession in saving Sasuke. Just try to remember how he was raging when he was trying to defeat Kimimaro.
Also, I don't know if you followed, but Naruto seems to have this trait of saving/rescuing/converting people. He converted (or befriended) Zabuza, Lee, Neji, Gaara, Tsunade just in part one (followed by Sai and Nagato in the second). He saved Konoha twice, during the siege of Orochimaru and Pain, and Sakura when Gaara captured her. That's what he's meant to be, a live savior and changer. So, Sasuke is obviously his biggest capture, he tries (and will probably succeed) in converting the biggest and sickest evil/avenging soul existent. So it's not a problem of personality, it's the main theme this manga tries to follow.
Speaking of personalities, I don't understand why exactly you consider Sasuke's personality to be interesting and evolving through time? I mean, Naruto at least matured after Jiraya's death. Sasuke is the same avenger who wants more power and succumbs to hatred as he was in the end of the first part (remember: he tried to kill his best friend). He's the same manipulated kid that punches holes through his problems. He recently killed Danzou and his healer just for the spite of it. Naruto sparred Nagato's life, despite him destroying so much of what he loved.
The only "development" Sasuke got was regarding battles, regarding screen time and regarding his abilities. True, he fought more than Naruto did and with a bigger diversity of jutsus. Yet, I still enjoyed Naruto's battles and abilities for that matter. Here I'll explain why:
1. The most obviously one, Sasuke does nothing for gaining extra powers. He mostly receives them just for the sake of it. Naruto trained for wind manipulation and sage mode (albeit not too much) and Sasuke received free gifts from Itachi. I know, he did training too, during the timeskip. But it was off-screen, we don't know what exactly was he involved in. As far as I care, Sasuke simply was drugged a lot so he can learn lots of jutsus easily. With Naruto I have to witness how he tries and succeeds in getting new abilities. And I honestly like to see less powers obtained fairly than lots of powers received as free gifts. Just sayin'!
2. Most of Sasuke's battles are just show-offs for his new jutsus. For example:
a) Deidara - A random Akatsuki dude standing in his way. I don't see any reason why Sasuke had to fight with him, despite showing his prowess. A good battle in which he used his brain (I honestly liked it, especially since it was the first real battle I read).
b) Itachi - I have no quarrels with that battle, it was just as it was supposed to be. We were all expecting to see it sometime.
c) Kirabi - Again, a battle that showcased his new MS techniques such as Amaterasu. And to introduce a new and cool character
d) Battle with several Kages - As with Kirabi, it was meant to show his new abilities and develop them. The new one in here was the incomplete Susanoo.
e) Danzou - I think it was just as with Itachi, but it was WAY too soon. Anyway, I kinda liked it (minus Hokage's ability of Mokuton ... ).
The way he won this battles was ridiculous. He won against Deidara because his Sharingan was uber, his chakra nature was the natural killer of Deidara's chakra and because he was saved at the last moment by Suigetsu (which annoyed me to no end - what the heck is the purpose of the contract if someone can summon Manda with a scroll?).
He won against Kirabi because he received some gifts and because he was revived from the death THREE TIMES.
He escaped the wrath of 4 kages and saved MULTIPLE TIMES by Zetsu and Madara and even Gaara.
He defeated Danzou, one of the greated shinobi from Konoha with a genjutsu (and quickly discovered his secret, probably without the help of Karin).
His action in the manga is long, repeated and pointless. It's cannon fodder for the majority of fans who enjoy shiny and interesting attacks. Naruto's battles are WAY better. Why? Because he is not the only one participating in them. Let's recap:
- Gaara rescue arc - He fought Deidara alongside Kakashi, and Sakura/Chiyo had their own battle too.
- He defeated Kakuzo with his jutsu after Shikamaru, Kakashi and the others weakened him and isolated Hidan.
- He defeated Pain with the help of Jiraya, the frogs, Kakashi, the chubby family , the interrogation squad, the decoding team and the dudes doing the anatomy.
It's not just him showcasing his powers. Yes, I can say the same thing about Sasuke/Taka and Kirabi, but the real thing Taka managed to do in there was to save Sasuke's ass.
Also, despite Naruto's fights being boring(because he spams his techniques), they are focused more on tactics. Sure, Sasuke uses tactics too, but not on the same level Naruto did all the time.
As for the importance in the plot ... I think Madara is the one that really does all the important thingies in here. Sasuke just kills stuff, he's the muscle.
Who is Sasuke? Madara's bitch.
Who is Naruto? Konoha's hero, Konohamaru's teacher (Rasengan and Kage Bunshin), friend of various ex-enemies, role-model of Hinata.
So, the conclusion I'm drawing out of this big post? Sasuke is truly the character with wider spread on the manga, but he is only there for the shonen factor, just to attract the audience with entertaining battles and unoriginal yet good-working character development, though he has his moments. Naruto and all characters surrounding him are much more interesting and they are the heroes of this manga.
ha,ha,ha, I'm going to put this in my sig just because it's so big ...
Last edited by kthy0056; February 08, 2010 at 01:46 PM.
If naruto is so interesting then why is he absent most of the time. Why is he so low in the character polls.
Good post, I can agree with several things you said. But you were wrong on some parts.
Naruto was always the guy talking with his heart instead of mind. Did he mindlessly killed Haku? Did he killed Gaara or Neji, despite them being assholes? Did he killed Nagato? How many normal ninjas would have sparred Nagato, honestly? Raikage would have sparred him? Or Kakashi?
No, because they just don't get it. They still follow this wrong way of being a ninja, which Naruto never did since the beginning of the manga.
If the whole world of Naruto says that Sasuke is bad and he disagrees, then he is right. Mostly .
Remember: Some persons may be trash but those that don't value teamship are worse than trash. That's one of the first things we learn in Naruto.
Sasuke simply used his might powers to kill everyone and everything.
As for the things set in motion such as Madara acting and the summit, that wasn't his fault. As you said, Deidara fought him because he wanted so, the battle with Itachi was meant to happen sometimes, the fight with Kirabi was set in motion by Madara and so on. He never was a big player in this game, rather a pawn.
As I said, Sasuke is so popular because Kishimoto sold himself out. He's more of a corporate slave trying to make his many fans wet themselves with cool stuff instead of writing a good manga. So many battles of Sasuke that were so overhyped and so many "cool" attacks such as FRS or Susanoo.
What makes Naruto as a character interesting was always the big number of supporting characters that were near him. Even Sasuke was somehow one of them. But Neji, Gaara, Lee, Orochimaru, they were all adding to a complete and beautiful story. At least that's what I believe.
Last edited by kthy0056; February 09, 2010 at 12:04 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
For the record neji was more of an asshole than a cold hearted villain. Gaara was psycho. It was somewhat believable when naruto changed them, since they are in the same age. But converting nagato was too inrealistic even for a shonen. It was done to justify sasuke's conversion, so until then naruto will be off screen for the most part which sucks.
Yes Harry Potter was a good movie, twilight was mehQuote:
Yeah I agree, it was the variety of cast members that made naruto good. Too bad japan disagrees as well as kishi's editors
And about him being careless, that happens a lot with out characters. After all, they're 15/16 years old. Sasuke is technically Madara's slave, he knows the perils that he posses yet he still follows him.
Next thing, you would call Zabuza victorious because he allowed himself to get stabbed.
Mizukage was almost killing him when BOOM ... Zetsu comes and instantly traps her after he refreshes Sasuke's chakra.
When Tsuchikage threw that cubic thing at him, Madara saved him. The only 2 attacks made by those Kages, he was saved by someone.
But when he continuously checks them during battle, I'm sure he can easily count them and memorize their numbers. After all, he was one of the best Konoha shinobi, not just some random genin.
We're running in circles. In fact, I think I contradicted myself a little in my original post but I still think that this retcon everyone talks about was not that drastic because Sasuke was the big deal in part 1 too. And I also I like the way Naruto is developed better, because it's more realistic in a certain sense.
I still would have like that Naruto would have actually master some of his Kyuubi forms, Since that was the reason he went off with Jiraiya in the first place. I just don't see the reason to complete screw him on that then have Minato come in and tell him he has to use it to beat Madara. I mean really? With the Kyuubi, Naruto could easy match all the power-ups he got in Sage Mode and it wouldn't be an asspull.
Such treatement would, of course, be a sign of neglect for the character (Kishi would fast forward Naruto's power-ups, as opposed to doing them gradually, during arcs that actually matter to the plot, because he has nothing else to do for the character). This is actually my strongest argument for the prediction.
As for kyuubi mode, I am highly unimpressed by the tailed beasts performances. Akatsuki had no trouble defeating them; 8tails' complete defeat was even shown.
i loved ur essay!!
though i agree with most of the things that u said there......i think u've underestimated sasuke's development a bit.
both sasuke and naruto started going in 2 directions since the end of 1st part...one in the way of revenge/destruction and one in the way of salvation/protection.this won't change until the end of course,but both of them has got layers added to their cores in each arc.its great that u appreciate the less shonen like,more realistic for a sixteen-years-normal-kid way of development of naruto,but sasuke's one has been done very well too though in more shonen-esque flashy sort of way.
u mentioned the flashy part,but i feel there was more things hidden in them......the way he represents the oppressed ppl whom konoha 'sacrificed' for its selfish 'peace'.he also shows how ppl get screwed and turned into evil,not 'by birth'......he shows us that we create our villains,like konoha created him.
so sasuke is the embodiment of the term focal character,right?not main character,eh?
Last edited by ashher; February 11, 2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
But my point was that Kishi is obviously not even trying. For example, quite recently, Kishi didn't let 8tails be captured, so that Naruto is the last tailed beast and at least somewhat focused upon by Madara. And then he let Danzou be killed by Sasuke, eliminating a villain that could have been much better utilised in a Konoha (Naruto?) centric arc - again, proving that Sasuke's development takes priority over Konoha/Naruto.
Kyuubi has been nerfed too often to be seen as a credible final/doomsday technique:Quote:
Kyuubi was Madara's pet; normal sharingan Sasuke surpressed it and MS can completely control it; all the tailed beasts were easily defeated by Akatsuki (without casualties on their side); Juubi appeared.
As for kyuubi's strength, this was 'tell, not show' for the most part. And what kyuubi has shown was far overshadowed by the sharingan (and even other jutsu).
As is the case with Naruto, kyuubi has lost any aura of 'coolness' and any tried rehabilitation would be rather unconvincing.