In a previous article, we talked about what it’s possible to learn from the protagonist of the Japanese anime and manga Boku no Hero Academia, Izuku Midorya. Then we touched on the similarities between him, also called Deku, and the protagonist of another well-known Japanese anime and manga that turned 20 last year, Naruto.
In this new article, we talk about what it’s possible to learn from Naruto Uzumaki, the protagonist of the series with the same name but first, for those who haven’t had the pleasure to read the manga or watch the anime, some useful information.
NARUTO BY MASASHI KISHIMOTO
Naruto is a manga written and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto, published for the first time in 1999 on the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump by Shūeisha. It is composed by 700 chapters included in 72 volumes, from which derive two anime series titled Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden. From these tv series derived also books, movies and videogames.
Naruto is at the third place among the anime and manga series most known with over 250 millions of copies sold all around the world. Indeed, it has been translated in various languages and, after 20 years, continues to be much appreciated and to be in the ranking of the most read and known manga.
The story follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, a 12 years old boy with blonde hair and blue yes, a ninja of the Leaf Village who dreams to become one day the Hokage, the most important ninja of the village. Naruto in his early years lives a difficult life, without parent, he is discriminated and isolated from all the inhabitants of the village who fear him due to the Nine tailed Demon Fox, Kurama, sealed off in him, who caused the almost total destruction of the village. Naruto discovers his story during his adventures where he fight to be recognized and accepted, passing through numerous challenges and battles, making a lot of sacrifices.
Naruto’s story is divided in two arcs. The first follows his adventures to bring back his teammate Sasuke Uchiha, as he promised to his other teammate Sakura Haruno, until he decides to leave for a special training with Jiraya Sensei. The second instead is based on the battle against the Akatsuki organization who wants to capture all the 9 demons, included Kurama, to destroy all the villages.
In the first part of the manga and the anime, Naruto is presented as a young boy with blond hair, blue eyes and a lively character, who tries in every ways to drag attention on him, making troubles all over the village. Initially he is presented as a not good young ninja who doesn’t even perform the simplest techniques like the multi shadow clone technique. Instead he invents useless and embarrassing technique like the sexy technique.
His master Iruka Umino and the Third Hokage are the first people he connects with. The Third Hokage is also one of the few people to know the real story about Naruto.
Indeed, Naruto is the son of Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki. His father was the Fourth Hokage of the Leaf Village, one of the strongest ninja ever existed, called yellow flash of the Leaf for his unique technique that allowed him to move very fast and not be seen. His mother instead was the previous carrier of the Nine Tailed demon Fox. Both sacrificed themselves to protect their child and the village. Naruto so has lived completely unaware of his story, mistreated form all the village without knowing and understanding the reason until he discovers it.
Naruto is fisically like his father but temperamentally like his mother, despite all the sufferings he has always been friendly, exuberant and kind towards everybody. Therefore, he has been able to bond with his teammates, his masters, even with the Fox Demon Kurama.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM NARUTO?
In the light of what has been briefly said before, it is possible to guess what Naruto can teaches his readers. We can summarize 5 lessons.
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
This is the first lesson we can learn from Naruto who is the example that it’s necessary to believe in ourselves if we want to achieve our goals. He shows to believe in himself during his entire story. Despite what the others say about him, what they think about him, that he is a troublemaker without a future, he has never stopped to believe in his dream to become the Hokage, on the contrary he has fought strongly to prove himself, to be worthy and to have the capacity to do it.
Likewise Izuku Midoriya, the protagonist of Boku no Hero Academia mentioned at the beginning of this article, proves himself, fights strongly to be accepted and to became the most powerful hero like his mentor All Might, never stopping to believe in himself and in his dream.
2. NEVER GIVE UP
Believe in yourself is strongly linked to never give up. Both Naruto and Midoriya never give up in front an obstacle or a problem but instead they fight to overcome or solve it.
Naruto does not give up when he fails to perform the multi shadow clone technique but he keeps trying until he performs it perfectly, even better than his friends do. He does not give up when he fails to bring back his teammate Sasuke or when he cannot control the Demon Fox but in both the case he keeps trying until to do it. Likewise Midoriya does not give up to follow his dream to become an hero despite to not have a Quirk and when he gets it he does not give up when he cannot control it properly but he trains hardly until he breaks all his bones to do it.
3. TRY HARD
After believing in yourself and never give up, the third lesson we can learn from Naruto is try hard. It’s not a surprise, if you want to achieve your dream you have to try hard, you have to do everything you can to make your dream come true. Naruto tries hard to learn the Rasengan technique until to pass out. Izuku tries hard to be accepted in the U.A, the most important high school for heroes, until to breaks his bones.
It’s important to understand that try hard does not mean to exaggerate, to hurt yourself for achieving your dreams but to do everything you can, respecting your limits.
4. NEVER JUDGE FROM THE APPEARANCE
This is one of the particular traits of Naruto, he has never judge someone from the appearance. Gaara is an example.
Gaara is the son of the fourth Kazekage of the Sand Village and carrier of the one-tailed demon Shukaku. He has lived like Naruto, isolated and hated from all the inhabitants of his village, even his older brother and sister Kankuro and Temari fears him. His uncle tried to kill him without success. For this, Gaara develops, at the young age of 12, an aggressive and bloody personality. Naruto meets him at the Leaf Village for the Genin exam and fights with him but he does not judge him, on the contrary, he understands him and helps him, offering him his friendship and encouraging him to change himself.
So we do not have to judge someone from the appearance like we do not judge a book from its cover. We can find the same lesson in My Hero Academia.
There are things that we can do all alone but sometimes we have to work in team with others people. This is the first lesson that the master Kakashi Hatake tries to teach Team 7 composed by Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura with the doorbells test. The three young ninja should take the doorbells from their master, so they tried singularly but failed. Naruto was even punished, not having lunch, but Sakura and Sasuke shared theirs with him, learning in this way one of the most important lesson for a team and starting to develop their team bond.
These 5 lessons are some of the different lessons we can learn from Naruto that for 20 years has accompanied millions of boys and girls all around the world and it still continues with its sequel Boruto: Naruto Next Generation, published in 2019, written and drawn always by Masashi Kishimoto.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generation is the spin-off and the sequel of Naruto, it follows the adventures of the next generation of ninjas, Naruto and the others’s children. In this new series, we find an adult Naruto who has to deal with new challenges and problems, linked to being a parent, a Hokage and above all an adult.
In this spin-off, it is possible to find many other lessons to learn that will be the subject for a next future article.