Naruto Anime/Manga (Manga Spoilers Not Tagged) [WSJ]

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
They really nailed how all of the different layers of conversations fall in place. She's excited and wants to be like her dad, her dad knows that he's gotta eventually explain some hard truths but doesn't want to ruin the moment where she's feeling successful, and her mom is worried that her kid's gonna do the same thing her husband did, and then they have to have a discussion about that while not letting the kid know.

This is what makes generational storytelling so interesting.


X :neo:
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
Whelp. The hard shonen transition to Boruto as the core main character has ramped up hard. Sucks they had to do it this way. But it's to be expected.

Clearly the writers and editors don't want this series having to ride/share the Naruto clout so they gotta make the previous gen step aside and move the focus on Boruto and the others. It's the reality of making the story sell itself. That was a pretty sad chapter.


Btw who the hell is Code and why should we care, lol?
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
The way that Kurama was able to trick Naruto by knowing him so well really hits at the core of their whole relationship throughout Naruto. Like... there isn't a better way to show that Kurama really genuinely truly loved him, 'cause he literally just did the exact same thing for Naruto that Naturo's parents both did for him. The transition from Naruto reaching out to Kurama and then gaining consciousness and seeing his kid looking down at him really hit the note that Naruto's really not that kid anymore.

He grew up, and he had a family. He still held those things that formed who he was close, but man... that transition was really that hit that shows that he's not reaching up to hold onto things anymore for himself, he's reaching out to hold on to his kid and all of the things that allowed him to get this far are what gave him what he needed to do that. That sorrow he felt losing Kurama is exactly what he saw in his own kid's face when he thought his dad was dead. That's some fucking masterful visual storytelling.

Even if the tailed beasts come back as a part of the mystic force of the world itself, that original the seal and the nature of Naruto's bond with Kurama is gone forever. It's not an exaggeration to say that those formative bonds are the core defining story feature in Naruto. For an example from another piece of fiction: the passing of Gandalf the Grey when he falls in Moria isn't any less sad because he comes back as Gandalf the White. There is a comfort to be had in his continued existence, sure – but what his sacrifice and death meant still mattered and the Elves still mourned him. While a Gandalf came back, he wasn't the same as the Gandalf that they lost.


Insofas as Code – They establish some important foundational themes with him. He's idealizing something that he always wanted without really understanding what it was. It's giving him the path to something that he always craved but wasn't every worthy of. Most importantly though, he's put in the position of being a near-blank-slate defining himself by who he's against. He's building a legacy off of that which defines his sense of purpose and the rules he follows, hence the name, "Code"

Essentially when building a good antagonist you have to give them a path to define themselves that is in juxtaposition to the hero. When you're doing it with developing characters, they have to learn about themselves through confrontation. This means that over time, they start to learn what similarities and differences they have from each other in order to determine what's right and wrong outside of just how they were raised.

This is why you have Kawaki (whose name means dry/parched) as someone without Karma who deeply hates it, Boruto (whose name continues the spiraling metaphor from Shippuden) as someone with Karma who feels trapped by it and is between the two forces, and Code (whose name refers to the rigid set of behaviour) who has a replica of Karma who idealizes it. It's an examination of the ideas around Karma as they're the generational product of what came before them, and they're looking at how those things have shaped them, as well as how free they are to define themselves outside of a pre-established destiny that's already been put in place into the world in which they've found themselves.

Thematically, if you're curious on a little bit of related insight into a small part of the research that I've been doing for the article that I've been working on for the last... lots of months now:

The Otsutsuki Clan's name is "大筒木" is a reference to Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, one of the consorts of Emperor Suinin, and the literal translation of the name means the "great tube-tree." That's selected specifically so that it works as a reference to how their clan is focused on using the Ten Tails as a God Tree for sucking out all of the chakra out of worlds, where it blooms into a Lotus – which is meant to represent something that is a form of transcendent purity beyond desire & attachment which bears the Chakra fruit ...which they consume for their own personal power at the expense of everyone on those worlds.

When you're looking at this being intentionally constructed as a commentary about Japan & real-world moral examinations of the positions that we should be considering as people and how we look at the world and others in it – this is literally the exact same metaphor that Final Fantasy VII establishes with Shinra & the Mako Reactors sucking the life out of the Planet. There's actually a shitton more overlapping thematic context and more specifically there are several points of naming wordplay that they use throughout the series that Final Fantasy VII actually established to help iterate on how those themes are looked at. That thematic evolution is the same reason that Devil May Cry V used the demon tree Qliphoth, which is a more direct reference to the other primary origin: the Tree of Life – Sefirot from End of Evangelion. One of the biggest underlying drives for that as such a specific storytelling choice in modern pop-culture from Japan is because it's also building off of a history of other media that built the framework for that by looking at the strained relationship that Japan has with the West & late-stage capitalism post-WWII.

Essentially, Boruto is examining the concepts of Karma for the same reasons that Final Fantasy VII Remake has to address the framework around the concepts of fate – because they're important underlying questions about how that struggle is understood.

If everything that you do has already been predetermined by what happened before – is it right to accept that as reality and ensure that those who come after you have a better life in this reality, or is it right to reject the binding framework itself and build a future where those who come after you aren't trapped by those same forces of guiding predestination? Which one of those paths is evil and why?

The answer is always that the path that's evil is the one that's walked by someone who's truly just doing it for themselves at the expense of the needs of others, rather than actually having a primary focus on the greater good. This is because it makes them believe that their pain more egregious than the pain of anyone else and they're allowed to ignore the ends to justify their means. The path that is good is the one that leads towards understand that the pain that they feel is exactly like the pain that everyone else suffers from, and that the only way to achieve a better future is to operate with that understanding.



X:neo:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
Also, as I was thinking about this more today, the fact that the Biju re-emerge actually presents its own wrinkle in the state of things – If Naruto remains in his position, Kurama's reemergence will be a MASSIVE signal to all of the other lands that the Hokage is significantly weakened. It's not an exaggeration to say that Naruto being one of the most powerful shinobi is something that also helped to ensure a general state of peace. It's like the equivalent of the power vacuum that came into place that's been fueling the story in My Hero Academia. You can't cover that up, so there has to be a specific plan in place. Luckily with Shikamaru as his advisor, he's in the perfect hands to figure out what they need to do.

This might end up being something like where the 3rd Hokage passed on the title to Minato, but in the reverse where Naruto passes it over to someone like Konohamaru who had been following that same path it would be the disruption that their former 3-man team would need to respond to. Essentially there's an advantage to giving the external appearance that this was an act related to Naruto abdicating the position. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, since Kishimoto has been fully back on it again for the last 2 chapters, you can really tell that he's wanting to continue examining a different perspective that he was working with on Samurai 8 about how those things play out for a father & son, and that adjusting the focus and perspective of those characters is critically important.

Lastly: I don't think that it's a coincidence that Code's body is was unsuitable for Karma, he's has been the one assigned to be hanging out with the Ten Tails, and he's got the same brilliantly red hair that's a trademark feature of the Uzumaki clan who were known for proficiency in sealing ninjutsu. Since Team Konohamaru's third member is Mitsuki, Orochimaru's prodigy, that gives some ways for the story to look into what happened with the remnants of the Uzumaki clan after their village was destroyed that also share some links to things that parallel to Orochimaru's own original goals of using host bodies.

All-in-all, the dynamic that's set up is extremely interesting.



X :neo:
 
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