Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Naruto (DUH!)
The Naruto manga ended 2 years ago on 10 Nov 2014. And while the TV series of it (Naruto Shippuuden) is still on-going, the epic final battle between Naruto and Sasuke finally aired, so technically the end of Naruto is upon us.
After spending literally more than half of my life watching/reading the series, I realised that Naruto really impacted my life. It has not just brought entertainment to my life, but has also taught me lessons about family, friendship and more. So as Naruto is reaching it’s final conclusion, here are 10 things Naruto taught me.
1. You don’t need anyone’s approval
Naruto started off being goofy and was constantly causing trouble because he was craving attention from everyone. This is due everyone shunning him out calling him a “monster”, even though he did know anything about the nine-tales inside him and he did not do anything wrong.
In time, he learned that he did not need approval from anyone, as he had people who would go through thick and thin with him and would be there constantly for him. It taught me that you don’t have to please every single person for some sort of approval. People who truly love and care about you won’t care about these things.
2. Family doesn’t just mean blood ties
This is pretty self-explanatory. Family according to the dictionary means “descendants of a common ancestor”. However, this is not necessarily true. Well it is technically true, but there are some exceptions. Naruto acknowledges Sasuke as his brother even though they are not blood related. I know they very distantly related and are the reincarnations of the Sage of the Sixth Path’s sons, but that is not the point I am making!!!
Team 7 or even Team 10 and Team 8 (and all the other teams!) deeply care for each other as if they were part of their own family. Another example would be Obito and Kakashi. This proves that family is anyone who forms a close enough bond with each other that they would go great lengths for that person.
3. There are times when you must break the rules.
One of the most famous quotes from Hatake Kakashi (originally from Obito) is “those who break the rules are scum, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scums.” This quote stayed with me for a long time and I can remember it word by word. I mean, rules are there for it to be broken aren’t am I right?
I broke my fair share of rules back in my days (I was so young *sigh*); there are times when the rules need to be broken to protect something (or even to have fun ^_<). However kiddies, remember there are always limits. DON’T CROSS the line. Be good and stay within the line okay?
4. Treasure the living and keep those who have passed in your hearts
Living are finite. Some day, everyone will pass away and there are no exceptions. Always remember the lessons from those who have passed, because there is always something to learn from someone who lived and those who have left. I learnt this throughout the series anytime when someone important died. Especially the whole Itachi thing T_T
When you know someone who have ventured through the light, you will definitely appreciate the living. As I said, lives are finite, so treat those who are still around with love. Definitely don’t go around pulling some Sasori stunts, turning your love ones into puppets.
5. There are always something to learn from someone else
Everyone leads different lives; even those who grew up side by side with you will eventually lead different paths. Including the most minor of characters, everyone in the Naruto-verse has something to teach. This is due to the fact that they all had contrasting pasts and had to go through different types of suffering and obtained varied blessings.
For example, Hinata was supposed to be the leader of the Hyuuga Clan but because of her gentle nature, her position was given to her younger sister Hanabi instead. She was thought to be a disgrace to her clan and especially her father. But she ended up being one of the most powerful kunoichi in Konoha and married Naruto due to her perseverance and inner strength.
6. Self-sacrifice, selflessness and unconditional love
This lesson was taught to me mainly by Uchiha Itachi as he taught – not only me, but I think, everyone who watches/read the Naruto series – us so many things. I could go on and on about what Itachi did and he really deserves a whole post to himself, but I am just going to summarize it to a short sentence.
Basically, everyone thought he betrayed his clan but the only way to keep the peace in Konoha and save his younger brother was by massacring his entire clan. He even told his brother, Sasuke, who spend his entire life on the whole idea of revenge that he would always love him not matter what he chose. But seriously, Itachi, you the MVP of the whole Naruto series. I’m tearing up by just thinking about what you did.
7. Everyone deserves second chances
I think the whole plot of Naruto chasing Sasuke is focused on this point in the end. Everyone, and I mean everyone, deserves second chances. Sasuke strayed wayyyy off the path, but Naruto still believed in him and finally brought him back to Konoha, giving him a second chance. Not only him, Kabuto, Orochimaru also was given second chances to make things better.
So yeah, those Sasuke haters out there, if you are reading this, EVERYONE deserves second chances. Everyone strays away from the path one time or another, but they all deserves a second chance at life.
8. Hard-work and determination
Rock Lee is the epitome of what hard-work and determinations brings. Being a ninja who can’t do genjutsu or ninjutsu, he was told that he was a failure. But he worked hard and became one of the best at taijutsu which focuses more on physical strength.
Not only Lee but Naruto, the main hero, worked hard to become stronger so he could bring Sasuke back to the village. Hinata worked hard to change herself so that she will not be a burden to her team. And well… Sasuke worked hard to take his revenge? That wasn’t a very good example ^^”
9. The Perspective of Good and Evil is in the mind
I realized this when I reread the whole Naruto series over and over again (and also due to my college English assignment). The side of Justice is based on what the person believes. Obito wanted to create an “ideal world” where he wanted to bring “peace” to the land where there was no suffering.
I mean, if you really think about it, Obito and Madara thought it was the best for mankind. They thought that trapping everyone in a dream was the best thing to do. They believed that they were doing the RIGHT thing. So in the end, what is good and evil is based on each person perspective. What may seem wrong may seem right to another.
10. NEVER GIVE UP!
The whole Naruto series can be summarized into this 3 words. Naruto did not give up and eventually he obtained his dream of becoming Hokage. He also did not give up on saving and bringing back Sasuke. So kiddies, NEVER GIVE UP!
I think this message applies to most shonen mangas. You can even see this lesson in One Piece. So the next time you want to give up on something, DON’T! Unless you want to take revenge on someone or murder someone then… maybe you should give up, haha.