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After reading all these arguments and points of evidence which the many sides are presenting i am actually unsure as to whether there is a definite answer or not. the recent 2010 interview has made me pretty confused about what may happen in the manga. The interview for me at least was a slight dissapointment showing Kishimoto's general disregard for Naruto's character. I still believe that overall in the whole story that Naruto can be argued as being the main character but Kishimoto in many ways is making Naruto into a character who once was the main character but now only serves as support for a primary character. Kishimoto's switch of characters does give the ominous feeling that nothing will happen with Naruto until he fights Sasuke. Naruto's developements even seem secondary he is supposed to be the main character but is given an incredibly small amount of jutsu's even after the discovery of many things that could cause an increase in jutsu developement (realization of his lineage, sage mode, wind nature), His story developement has actually been focused on sasuke once a secondary character who has now become one of the major focal points of the manga. Naruto's character at least in my opinion has so much developement potential many things have been revealed that can make him a more deeply developed character all around (lineage, senju ideals, jutsu potentials, recognition from village) but Kishimoto so far has seemed like he has scrapped some of these stor points and the fact that he has introduced so many characters but has narrowed the focus and developement to two characters. I have the feeling that kish is trying to rush naruto's and the stories developement and disregarding many things he brought up in parts I and II (rookie 12, developement of relationship between naruto and sakura in part II, danzo's impact, naruto 's lineage(brought up before but still seems scrapped). I think that even recently brought up plot developements have helped further my frustrations the whole senju uchiha thing seems like a device made so naruto will still enivitably try to save sasuke and be peace oriented or whatever but these developements only give more hints to the sasuke focus of manga naruto saving idea. I understand that Sasuke is meant to be the rival that pushes naruto but Kishimoto has put this idea to an extreme which is shown by how much better he makes sasuke by
1. making him have more jutsu
2. making naruto look pathetic
3. making sasuke receive attention from not only the main potential love interest but almost every female character.
4. giving him more screentime and intertwining the main characters actions with sasuke
5. making him look japanese and being ultra cool (not really argument but opinion) making the foreign looking blonde main character look stupid.
6. making naruto have the same attack pattern while shouting "i won't give up" but making sasuke learn a new move every fight on top of his already gant diverse array of jutsu.
I understand that in many manga's the main character is the underdog with a charming motto that has to work hard etc. but Kishi almost makes Naruto fail in so many ways scraping many developements that would benefit him and showing feelings between him and sakura just to say just f@*kin with you she still loves sasuke and having him train for three years to learn odama rasengan and better clones and give him wind nature so he can use the same moves with added wind manipulation i mean he seems to almost make naruto a less popular character so he can write more about sasuke. I really hope that these recent chapters show that naruto has slightly changed his opinion of sasuke and may at least slightly alter his actions or not be obsessed with his man crush anymore. If kishi actually gave Naruto some developement i might not be so mad that sasuke's character is the way he is but him turning his main character into essentially part I sakura isn't what i imagined would happen. I plan on waiting to see how this manga unfolds but i hope that kishi will actually make naruto better developed instead of the be sidelined than save sasuke idea
about the focus and 'sasuke-centric' events+prediction:
neither akatsuki,nor madara's current threat (2 main lines so far) seems sasuke's threat at all...a reason why he still isn't considered a serious antagonist yet.only itachi-sasuke-naruto was really sasuke-centric,even that at the end felt more itachi-centric.Quote:
Last edited by pimp naruto kun; February 23, 2010 at 04:53 PM.
naruto had to save gaara,deal with pain,and with jiraya's death and understand revenge and get over it,which wasn't uchiha-centric primarily.of course it was later on linked to sasuke,because,as i've said before its a personal story about bonds,a story that gives more emphasis on characterization and interaction between them rather than twists and plots.that's why whatever choice sasuke makes about whatever thing,it naturally draws an anti-parallel in readers' mind(at lest to mine) to naruto,even if its not directly spelled out.
at the end of the day,kishi made sasuke more macho,and made naruto not-so.......from what i understood from ur post,u don't like that.i on the other hand am perfectly happy with it.my 'main character' of preference doesn't have to be the most amazing,most badass guy,he has to be most relatable,his goal has to be something that i feel for.
about naruto storylines like uzumaki clan or whatever,yes they can be there but they need to be linked to sasuke somehow as well,just like uchiha storylines couldn't remain just for sasuke,rather they linked out to konoha and so to naruto as well.
Last edited by ashher; March 01, 2010 at 12:55 AM.
After last week chapter, I think it's pretty much clear who's the main character.
Sasuke is the best friend turned-evil character
Naruto is the hero of the manga
It's 100% clear.
Naruto is the main character
The main issue with his character that people still seem unable to acknowledge is that Naruto is incapable of being revelent without Sasuke being around. Even his newfound goal of bringing peace to the ninja world has to somehow be linked to "saving" Sasuke.
- Naruto must end the chain of hatred: Sasuke symbolizes that
- Naruto must change the ninja world: The ninja world wants Sasuke dead
- Naruto must save Sasuke: You do the math
This is even more evident by Naruto's passive state. He hasn't made any major contributions to the plot ever since the Gaara Arc, which was then incorporated in Naruto's main goal of chasing after Sasuke as he has been doing since chapter ~200. And thanks to Kishimoto's interview at the latest SJ Fiesta, we know the Sasuke chasing won't end until the story's conclusion. In other words, Naruto will continue to remain in a passive state until the end of the manga as (1) all major plot threads continue to revolve around Sasuke and (2) Sasuke's actions continue to drive the plot.
I'm sorry to say, AGAIN, but Sasuke was pretty relevant to Naruto's life in the first part too. He was training hard because of his rivalry with Sasuke, he saved Sasuke and Sakura out of trouble from Gaara (that was his point at least, to save his friends, not exactly stop the monster). He learned Rasengan because of his rivarly with Sasuke and his Chidori jutsu. In the end, he went on a mission to save Sasuke, which leaded to end of the first part.
To see if Naruto can be classified as the protagonist of the series, the following question needs answered: What is a protagonist? The protagonist is the central figure of a story. Often times the words hero and main character are used interchangeably with protagonist, but they're not necessarily the same exact thing.
So, what do you look for to identify to identify the protagonist? The simplest means is to see which character is the largest driving force behind the plot. Furthermore, you look to see whether or not the majority of plot threads revolve around said character. Now let's apply these standards to Naruto. Has Naruto caused the majority of plot developments for Part II? No. Are the majority of plot threads tied to Naruto? No. In truth, the plot threads that were linked to Naruto's character (Hogake, Kyuubi, Akatsuki, Cycle of Hatred, etc.) have been directly linked to Sasuke's character at Naruto's expense.
This is a stark contrast to Part I. Whose actions caused the Wave Country to become a better place? Naruto. Whose actions brightened the lives of people such as Gaara, Neji, Tsunade, and Hinata? Naruto. Whose actions were pivotal in saving Konoha from absolute destruction during Oro's invasion? Naruto. Whose actions helped bring Konoha a new Hogake after Hiruzen was killed? Naruto. Whose actions helped Team Shikamaru catch up to Sasuke? Naruto. Sure, Sasuke played an important role in Naruto's character, but he was one of several characters that added to Naruto's character. Other characters who played important roles were Haku, Zabuza, Kakashi, Hinata, Lee, and Jiraiya. At this point in time as well, Sasuke had little to do with Naruto becoming Hogake, Akatsuki, etc. Thus, Naruto was the protagonist since his actions were one of the largest driving forces and the majority of plot threads revolved around him. Sasuke couldn't even be considered the protagonist at this point in time, especially since a good chunk of his screentime was Sasuke reacting to Naruto's actions.
That's a stark contrast to Part II. In Part II, the majority of chapters "dedicated" to Naruto have Naruto explicitly mentioning Sasuke by name/flashback panel. Never mind that Sasuke is the sole driving force behind Naruto's actions since he found out Sasuke skipped town. Even arcs that initially had little to do with Sasuke (Gaara Arc, Pein Arc) inevitably end up being tied to Naruto chasing Sasuke. In the Gaara Arc, the chief reason Naruto began pursuing Akatsuki was because it could lead him to Sasuke. In the Pein Arc, you have Pein telling Naruto his Sasuke chasing is useless and Naruto's remarks about understanding Sasuke's reason(s) for pursuing vengeance.
In addition, the big picture in Part I was that Naruto was going to reform the Shinobi World with his Nindo of giving a rat's ass about others whether they liked it or not. See: Zabuza; Neji; Gaara; Tsunade; Sasuke. The big picture in Part II is that the Uchiha are cursed with awesome and magical and planning on taking over the world and Naruto wuvs one of them.
As you can see, Naruto doesn't fit the definition of a protagonist since he's so passive and is incapable of holding any revelence on his own without Sasuke being around. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean Naruto still doesn't have an important role to play. He's still a main character for the following reasons: (1) He is the viewpoint character since the story is told from his perspective, (2) he is the focal character since his reactions to Sasuke's actions dominate a good chunk of the story, and (3) he is Sasuke's chief antagonist. Nevertheless, he will continue to play second fiddle to Sasuke until the end of the manga, and for that, he can no longer be considered the protagonist of the series named after him.
Last edited by Franckie; March 01, 2010 at 05:39 PM.
Also what does "at naruto's expense" even mean?It's clear that Kishi intends to develop his characters in multiple ways...he treats them with majestic words, fights or great failures...so it's obvious that naruto's goal was connected with sasuke, becuz they are protagonist and antagonist...they need something in common to oppose each other...so it's not a loss for either that they were connected...this how it's like since the beginning
Take a look at part 1...except the Wave arc,every plot thread that revolved around naruto was started by?It's easy...Orochimaru...becuz he was the antagonist of part 1...can U say that this was at the expense of naruto's character?I don't think so...
Now that sasuke has risen to the level and he needs character development, along with others who might have a contribution to the upcoming war, everybody is sayin that naruto's characters is dropping...not naruto is on the top and the others need to catch up with him IMO...
Also how can U say that Naruto can't hold any relevance on his own? His goal is Sasuke(whatever in what way)...basically all he does sasuke's name will appear...that's logical and expected since I say it again:the protagonist is not real protagonist without an antagonist, in these type of stories...
Also to comment the last paragraph...it's the common line for all who doesn't see Naruto as main character...and it's one of the biggest @#$% that I heard ever...why?
Becuz U judge a story which is not over, at least part 2...part 2 is not over, so stating that naruto will be sasuke's fiddle until the end(are U kishi?)is just a weird assumption based on whatever...
And what logical arguments U use...U use it for a part of the story...and clearly Naruto the manga it's the same story which started 10 years ago...
Terms like part 1 and part 2 are just help to guide us in the timeline of the story...who is the protagonist of the manga, from teh beginning until this last chapter? Naruto...who were his antagonist until now...Oro, Akatsuki, Sasuke...looking back to naruto's relationship with sasuke, we can logically predict that sasuke is the main antagonist in every way, without reading misleading interviews, or relying and terms which used in a way would satisfy our reasoning...
Terms like driving force are irrelevant becuz...every arc has it's own driving force...so if kakashi is the driving force for 50 chapters that doesn't mean he will become the protagonist of the manga...the story itself is driven by naruto and sasuke...I don't think U can deny that...the relationship between the two will probably settle the outcome of things(the end of the manga)and that's why Naruto can't do anything without sasuke appearing somewhere...the term pair needs two people
With Naruto we can only guess based on what happened until now...
Last edited by benelori; March 05, 2010 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
it wasn't on naruto's expense. because we didn't see hundred pages of orochimaru's flashback. neither we saw how orochimaru built otokage or how he gained immortality etc. all we saw that orochimaru is in action and wants to destroy leaf, and it was good enough.
and the development of others who will have contribution in the upcoming wars, we will see how many characters have the kind of development that sasuke had.
how influential the protagonist is? at this point, Madara cannot start the war without sasuke. naruto cannot save the world without sasuke.
sakura cannot become a horrible fangirl without sasuke.chain of hatred cannot be broken without sasuke. but without naruto? everything can happen with a little change in the plan. it has become that type of manga in which the manga cannot continue without the antagonistic, but can very much continue without the protagonist.
I'm aware of the fact that a protagonist can change in the middle of the story...but until now...it's still naruto
Kishi's interview mentioned that great changes will occur after the fight with danzou...he also said he would write naruto vs. sasuke as a final act...how are the latest chapters supporting this...
Kishi didn't decide on the details of the story, yet IMO...so using terminology while we don't even have a clue what the story is about is not helping the discussion...it's good to have UR opinion and I respect every opinion...cuz that's why I visit this place...to see opinions of other people...but terminology is general, and while certain works might twist certain terms, it's not the case here IMO...
I don't think the future isn't so promising...we had naruto sharing screentime with sasuke...if U are curious, a few members posted this pages ago
Basically I don't agree, but that's all...we're challenging each other's opinions and not the knowledge and interpretation of objective terminology
And I can't believe U can't remember majestic words, fights and failures of Naruto, except "I have to save Sasuke"...
Probably U don't like that, or becuz of that U think that the current plot is better...that's okay....but that holds no relevance to who is protagonist or antagonist...
We didn't know how did he feel being a jinchuuriki? Was the Gaara arc a waste then?Or every arc after that where Naruto appeared...
And Naruto discovered that Minato was his father in that moment so...I don't quite see where these elements in Naruto's development(to note: they are not the only ones) are lesser than Sasuke's development...
None of the characters who will participate in the war won't receive such development as Sasuke...becuz Sasuke is the antagonist...at least until this point in the manga...he is clearly the primary character who opposes Naruto, the protagonist...that makes him the antagonist...
Naruto wants to bring peace?
Naruto lost somebody who was like a bro to him after a crappy childhood...
I don't see what is the problem if Sasuke is the common point of all these...putting aside the fact that currently Madara is threatening world peace...
That's what ties Naruto to Sasuke...but the relationship is not unidirectional...
Naruto represents a constant obstacle for Sasuke, Naruto represents Leaf the village that murdered the Uchiha...
So it's like Senju vs. Uchiha in this conflict, which in the end comes down to 2 character:Naruto and Sasuke
Sasuke is within the chain of hatred...of course defeating him won't be enough, cuz madara is still there...but when Madara won't be alive, sasuke might take over his place...so that's why the chain of hatred is related to Sasuke...but saving Sasuke won't break the chain, I think U misunderstood the concept of chain
And there's no way Naruto can miss from the story...to not enter in terminology and character development area again...just take the simplest example, one plot element:the Jyuubi...
Bottom line: subjectiveness and random examples are not enough to determine character types...opinions are valuable and are to be respected, but I think it's no help when a little bit of objectivity comes into play
Last edited by benelori; March 06, 2010 at 09:25 AM.
The real plot driver in the above mentioned mangas is not the protagoist, but the main antagonist.
In Bleach, it is Aizen, who triggered the two greatest arcs, in Reborn it is Byakuran and the last main events of One Piece happened, because Black Beard captured Ace.
In Naruto, Sasuke could be the main driving force behind the plot because he is an antagonist right now, but he isn´t even that. The real plot driver is no other than Madara.
The guy is pretty much the source for all events in Part II. Beginning from the foundation of Akatsuki, over the Pain Invasion and other Akatsuki attacks to all of Sasuke´s actions after the revelation of Itachi. Sure, Sasuke did the fighting instead of Madara, but in the end Sasuke did exactly what Madara wanted. It was Madara, who guided Sasuke to his fights and decided when, where and who Sasuke fights. To put it harshly, Sasuke is nothing more than a tool to Madara with the purpose of serving him.
I´m not going to downplay Sasuke´s role in the manga, because he plays too many important roles. He is a source of determination of the hero and with that a catalysator for the heros growth. He is also a character, that opposes the hero and represents the things, that the hero is set up to change (the history of the uchia is a prime example for the chain of hatred), albeit an antagonist. In the end, he is the main goal for the hero. Being a goal just not makes you the protagonist or lead character.
I will try to explain it a little bit more on the most used scenario in fighting shonen.
You have a hero, who has people dear to him. A bad guy appears and sets the plot in motion, because he attacks the hero and his friends. The hero becomes stronger to protect himself and his dear ones and to save them. They represent the goal of the hero and the rescue and protection of them becomes the centre of the plot.
Who is now the protagonist/lead character? According to your definition of the plot driver, it is the bad guy and according to the centre of the plot, it is the persons dear to the hero.
By that definition, Goku, Ichigo, Tsuna, Ikki, partially Luffy, Inuyasha, Yoshimori and many other shounen heros are not protagonists.
Do you agree with that?
Yes, some plot threads are linked to Sasuke, but that doesn´t take them away from Naruto. And since Sasuke´s revenge plot is now directed to Konoha, it is also linked to Naruto. Does that damage his role in the manga? No.Quote:
In my opinion your sentence shows exactly, what the dependent factor is for Sasukes importance in the manga: The bond to Naruto. Wouldn´t Naruto care that much about Sasuke, wouldn´t he be an important goal for Naruto, Sasukes role would be significant smaller. In this case, Sasuke would just be a villian like Nagato with a more fleshed out background.
Would Sasuke be the main character, he wouldn´t need to be tied so closely to Narutos character in the first place. But again, Sasuke is not the protagonist. He is Naruto´s goal and also an obstacle. To make that goal greater, Kishimoto tied the rescue of Sasuke with the other goals of Naruto.
On the other hand, Naruto has also plot threads that have very little to do with Sasuke. The connection with Kyuubi and his role in the next war are such examples. Even without Sasuke, Naruto would be the Kyuubi Jinchurriki and Akatsuki would hunt him. That also makes his role in the upcoming way more vital than Sasuke´s. Sasuke is right now nothing more than a soldier for Madara. Naruto however is the main reason for that war.
After that you listed Narutos accomplishments in Part I. This has not that much to do with the question, if Naruto is the protagonist, but I bite. Lets see, if I can find instances in Part II like you listed.
Who saved Gaara with the help of Chiyo? Naruto. But I guess, this doesn´t count, because Narutos main reason to went after Akatsuki in this arc was Sasuke, right? Is had nothing to do with the intimate Danger to Gaaras life, right?Quote:
The mentions of Sasuke and Orochimaru, who were mostly at the end of the arc was a common used plot device by authors: An arc bridge. A device to connect two different arc.
Oh yeah, he didn´t do that in Part II..........., if we forget about Chiyo, Sai, Jiraiya and Nagato.Quote:
Who defeated Pain, saved Konoha and is since then viewed as a hero? Naruto. That doesn´t count either, because one of the effects of Narutos character development was a better understanding of Sasuke, right? It was not about Jiraiyas memento, which became his new ideology, the dark actions of the leaf and the chain of hatred...Quote:
Just a small question: How many times did Naruto mentioned Sasukes name in this arc since he found out about Jiraiyas death?
Kishimoto used here the same plot device like in the Gaara arc.
Who defeated Kakuzu? Naruto, but that also don´t works, because Sasuke was used as a foil here, huh? Nevermind, that this happened numerous times in Part I aswell.Quote:
Do you really believe, that Sasuke was the only influence on Naruto in Part II? What about Yamatos advice about Kyuubi, Jiriayas death, Shikamarus cheering words or Nagatos speech about the chain of hatred?Quote:
He was still his rival, a boy he wanted to fight and surpass. For a boy, who wants to be Hokage, albeit the strongest ninja in the village, it is pretty important.Quote:
Not really. Here is a short overview of Part IQuote:
Plot driver: Mizuki, later Kakashi
Introduction of Naruto. Naruto becoming a Genin was triggered by Mizuki tricking him to steal the scroll.
Later introduction of the rest of Team 7 and other characters.
Plot driver: bridge builder, Gatou/Zabuza/Haku
Began with the mission request of the bridge builder (forget the name), followed by Zabuzas first attack--> Team 7 reacted. After that was a short training arc. Zabuzas second attack--> Team 7 reacted. The real plot driver was here Gatou, who was Zabuzas superior.
Plot driver: Orochimaru, Tournament
Typical tournament arc. Plot driver was here the tournament itself in the beginning. Later Orochimaru took over. Then the one on one battles happened. Plot thread "loser" was introduced, but this was nothing for Naruto alone. He shared it with Lee and Hinata. This plot tread was resolved in the Neji fight.
Plot driver: Orochimaru
Sand and Sound attacked, Konoha reacted.
Introduced the plot thread "loneliness" and "will of fire". "Loneliness" was shared by Naruto and Gaara. "Will of fire" was shared by Hiruzen, Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke.
Concluded with the death of Hiruzen and the victory of Naruto.
Intro of Itachi and Akatsuki
Plot driver: Itachi
Itachi appears and Akatsuki is introduced. Kakashi is put in a coma. Jirayas is offered the position of the 5th hokage. He declines and refers to Tsunade. Sannin arc begins (This is a perfect example for an arch bridge, by the way)
Plot driver: Jiraiya, Itachi and later Orochimaru
Jirayas asks Naruto to come with him. Naruto declines at first, but agrees when Jiraiyas offers him to teach a jutsu that rivals Sasukes chidori (Naruto reacts once again). They begin training, encounter Itachi and meet Tsunade. Smirkish between Tsunade and Naruto, which leads to suggestion of the bet by Tsunade. Naruto accepts (Reaction). Further training and Sannin battle. Naruto intervenes Tsunade vs. Kabuto and the "gutsy ninja" plot thread is further inforced. This is a plot thread which is pretty special (Jiraiya takes it at the end of the Pain battle, though) to him and is it even now. Orochimaru retreats and Tsunade accepts the offer of the hokage seat.
Rescue Sasuke arc:
Plot driver: Orochimaru/Sound 5, Tsunade, Sasuke
Begins with Tsunade healing Kakashi and Sasuke. Followed by the rooftop fight (Naruto accepts Sasukes challenge). Sound 4 comes to Konoha and influence Sasuke-> Departure of Sasuke. Tsunade gives Shikamaru the mission to bring Sasuke back. Several fights and of course the VotE. Concludes with Sasukes victory and Jiraiyas offer to train Naruto.
As you can see, only a very small amount of plot was really driven by Naruto. He does that, what many protagonist do. He flows with the plot and challenges the obstacles the plot brings up.
No. The action-reaction quota between them is in Part I actually pretty even. They impressed each other and pushed each other forward. Typical for a rivalry.Quote:
So, now I´m tired and I think I answered the other questions in your post already. The post is long enough.
Last edited by Sphaero; March 06, 2010 at 02:15 PM.
EDIT: Sorry for not reading Sphaero's post, he said mainly the same thing I did, but better.
That's hypocrisy, to say that Naruto's every action is revolved around Sasuke while denying that in the first part it wasn't so. He learned FRS and Rasengan originally, just to rival Sasuke's Chidori, nothing more, nothing less.
Naruto was pursuing Akatsuki to save Gaara, it didn't had anything to do with Sasuke. He was with Orochimaru during that time. And with Pain, that doesn't mean anything. He fought Nagato to save his village, not Sasuke. Being mentioned just showed that he is important to Naruto, nothing else.
Sasuke is more important to the plot, but still not a protagonist. If the author keeps his streaks of Sasuke-oriented chapters, then I say that he is the main character. But, at the moment, I still see Naruto as the one that really matters.
Last edited by kthy0056; March 08, 2010 at 06:54 AM.