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Manga & Anime:

The World of Naruto

Andre Abadilla
CSU San Bernardino

Manga & Anime: WoN 1

Andre Abadilla

Manga & Anime:
World of Naruto

This case study is a look into the Naruto chronicles. In this comic book turned TV show, we
analyze the important characters and symbols that create the reality around the series. The
series itself is classified as a shonen referring to a period of youth, specifically a young male.
The author analyzes the significance of the character and their relationship to each other, the
messages conveyed in the stories, images portrayed and how it all influences the way readers
breathe, eat, and act. Most of the animes start off as manga (comic type novels). The goals and
visions that these characters set for themselves are ones of hard work and perseverance. He
argues that the messages in the story gets to the reader in a more effective way consistently.
Keywords: Naruto; Anime; Manga; Animation; Japan; Good; versus; Evil; Light; vs; Dark;
Sasuke, semiotics, Character; analysis; symbolism; world; life; aspire

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The world is populated with ninjas in which every one of them strive to live the way of the
Shinobi. This pride and honor is similar to those of what a samurai might value. Tsunetomo
says, Ill give you the answer to the question What is most important to the heart of a warrior?
The answer is, To desire with ones very soul every second of every day to accomplish ones
aim (p. 23). All those young boys who saw 9/11 all over their T.V screen have aspired to
become those same heroes they saw helping out that day. The same way they marines hype their
status is comparable to how these ninjas would act. Shinobi utilize themselves as an army for
their countries and each country has a hidden village that acts as a base for the troops. All of
them are identified by headbands that are marked with the village you are associated with. These
ninjas are not ordinary. The art of ninjutsu is essentially the art of stealth, camouflage, and
sabotage. The jutsus in the series allow them special abilities like manipulating surrounding
elements, formation energy, super strength, etc.
Team formation
Starting as younglings, shinobi train together & learn the basic until a certain level. Once
capable/ old enough, you would be assigned to a team under the mentorship of a higher leveled
ninja. I noticed that each team was a group of three. A pair of boys and a girl. The role of the
characters are practically the same throughout the teams. You got the strong boys who become
rivals and the girl that takes care of them both. Immanuel Kant's words could not have done
better, We indeed create our own worlds; but these worlds, in turn, create us (p. 74).
Although each team member plays a critical role, the female team member seems to always be
the medic. The mangas market is aimed towards younger males. The balance of abilities are
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important when making the teams but, the idea of women taking care of their soldiers is apparent
in the depiction of the female characters. A younger boy does not know better. The creators have
normalized this idea. I also think the creator did this to easily create a love triangle between each
team. Joe Masons input on the number says, The symbol of the triad or trinity has existed over
immeasurable time and throughout the world; it can be understood as a key to the integrity and
interdependence of all existence (Significance of the Number 3) The fact that they separate them
into 3s is metaphorical, for you need 3 lines to form a shape. The symbol of 3 represents a plan,
solidness like a cube
Light & Dark
Naruto Uzamaki, the main hero & a member of Team 7, always dreamed of becoming the leader
of The Hidden Village of the Leaf obtaining the title of Hokage; living by the words that come
out of his mouth is his way of the ninja and this concept is carried throughout the whole story.
Despised by everyone around him for being different all his life
, he seeks acceptance. In both
the manga and the show a lot of the close-ups are angled looking up at him. This type of shot
creates an intimate effects, giving Naruto a look of power to him. He is always the stubborn
light-hearted boy, always standing for his beliefs even in the face of death.
Sasuke Uchiha is Narutos rival and also a member of Team 7. Unfortunately, Team 7 broke up
when Sasuke decided to go rogue ninja on them, for the purpose of becoming strong enough to
defeat his brother
. He is has a more dark and eerie vibe compared to Narutos uplifting-
borderline-annoying spirit. The camera angles usually does not show his whole face creating a


*Naruto is hosting a demon fox that once almost destroyed the village in his body

Itatchi Uchiha (Sasukes Older brother/former Leaf Ninja) infamous for massacring the whole Uchiha Clan
including his parents. Left only Sasuke alive.
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type of mystery in his personality. Sasuke is always in the shadows, cloaked, and/or covered by a
silhouette. He also carries the attitude of a typical bad boy and makes him popular amongst the
girls. Unlike Naruto, Sasuke once had parents. This is the biggest differences between them
although they both suffer an aching pain. His type of character is not necessarily opposite but
negative compared to Narutos positive light. They counter act each other, keeping a balance in
power of the ninja world. This reoccurring theme is seen in all the types of rivalries
They have met and fought two times in which both ended in a draw. The Light & Darkness
always have to clash or there is no balance. Howard Bahr goes to say, Maybe that's what the
night is for, just so we can know the difference when the light comes again (p. 77). Sasuske is
just as appealing to the audience as Naruto. If anything he is shown to be the stronger one in
most cases. Calm & collected. This rivalry is what makes the Naruto story, it is the main
Headbands & hand signs
At the end of the first battle Naruto knocks Sasukes identifying headband off leaving the Leaf
symbol crossed out. The crossing out of one headband is seen on various rogue ninjas. These
smaller symbols and detail are what build the atmosphere around the ninja world. In Harry Potter
you have magic, wands, and brooms. Fans know the spells, housing system, and syntagms. Every
time a ninja cast a jutsu there is hand formations that need to be presented before performing
their special talent. (Ex: Wingardium Leviosa) This gives the reader a chance to imitate these
characters. Masashi Kishimoto, the creator, added the part where these signs actually produced a
destructible energy. The signs are actually based from what the Buddhist call mudra. This

Uchiha Madara (the most powerful Uchiha) and Harishima Senju (the Founder of the Leaf Village) were rivals and
fought catastrophic type battles. Naruto & Sasuke also have a fight on the same battleground as they did.
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commonly seen when in the state of meditation or when used in the greeting Namaste. According
to Nair (1993), When they accompany specially chosen mantrassacred verbal formulae--or
nadas--musical sounds--repeated in a prescribed manner, the appropriate mudras can set the
body and the mind in a state of vibration. In return this gives the users a magical properties. The
hand seals contain esoteric knowledge and allow users to focus their energy. Kishimoto isnt
known for spreading religious beliefs but the use of Buddhist and Shintoist symbolism shows the
values and morals that are being taught to readers.
History more frequently repeats itself in this world more than anywhere else. The personality
types and problems get passed down from generation to generation. Each mentor has gone
through the same stuff, at different extremes, that their students have. Narutos sensei Kakashi
also lost a teammate in the same way. It also just so happened that Kakashis mentor was
Narutos Dad. Dads mentor Jiaraiya ends up becoming Narutos guru shortly after Sasuke gets
picked up by Orichimaru, team mate of Jiaraiya, also went rogue. You get the picture.
Another example of this is the continuation of Light vs Dark rivalry. Through the years of the
ninja existence, there have been great rivalries that eventually become legends because of how
epic this type of battle is just like Harry Potter vs Voldemort. The two co-exist to spark the flame
on each others fuses. Syd Moore acknowledges that, Disregard for the past will never do us
any good. Without it we cannot know truly who we are (p. 300). Our childhood is usually where
we will find the roots to our passions. To disregard a specific time in our past is to disregard
yourself as of right now because the younger you has an effect on present you, vice versa; if
present you effects the future then past you also effects future and vice versa. All of time
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happens in an instant. We as human beings perceive time a straight line (past/present/future)
because it is in our 3-D nature to view it that way. Naruto lives by his word and what he said
before applies today and tomorrow. I will save & bring back Sasuke are the words spoken
from the day he lost his friend. To disregard the past is to disregard the self.
The world of Naruto becomes highly realistic in the mind of the young
adolescence. The use of manga & anime as a medium of communication are highly effective on
the mind. Mainly because they are animations; therefore, they are surreal. Humans are attracted
to achieve their impossible fantasies. (Celebrity lifestyle, Facelifts, Nicki Minaj) Maybe because
humans are built to always better themselves. We always try to expand our consciousness. I
bring this up because Ive seen the way Naruto has an effect on these kids. The creators made
him so that kids alike could easily relate to him. This strong connection between the fans and
Naruto is similar to the way kids look at the avengers. Anime is more effective on the human
brain because of all the possibilities and colors they could add to the presentation.
In order to survive, we cling to all we know and understand. And label it reality. But knowledge
and understanding are ambiguous. That reality could be an illusion. All humans live with the
wrong assumptions. Isn't that another way of looking at it?
- Masashi Kishimoto

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Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America
Kant, I., & Meiklejohn, J. M. (1999).The critique of pure reason. Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue.
Mason, J (n.d.) The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three. Retrieved
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Moore, S. (2011). The Drowning Pool. London: Avon.
Nair, S. (1993, September). Hands That Speak Volumes. UNESCO Courier, 34+.
Retrieve From
Yamamoto, T., & Wilson, W. S. (2009). HAGAKURE: The Book of the Samurai. Boston:
Shambhala Publications.