an incredible display of skill

Hiten Encyclopedia: Character Anaylsis: Kamiya Kaoru

Hi, everyone! So as everyone in the RK fandom may or may not have seen, there has been a huge 6-minute sneakpeak/trailer for the latest Rurouni Kenshin film: Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto Taika Hen as we inch closer to the release with every passing moment. If, by chance, you haven’t seen it, here is a link to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emy8JkKV6LQ. Be sure to watch out for Densetsu no Saigo Hen (The Legend’s End) to conclude the Kyoto arc! SPOILERS for those who haven’t seen Kyoto Taika Hen or read Jinchuu from the manga!

Anyway, I’m going to preface that I decided to start this project due to all of the negative attention I see some of the characters get and usually the opinions and justifications for said opinions tend to be superficial at best. I want to dive deep into the characters themselves the same way I have into their fighting techniques, so if you can bear with me through this tremendous post, I would be very glad. Without anymore distractions, here is the very first Hiten Character Analysis: Kamiya Kaoru

                                         KAMIYA KAORU

Kamiya Kaoru, frequently called Kaoru-dono by Kenshin and Jo-chan by Sanosuke, is the headstrong, sweet, beautiful, and passionate Assistant-Instructor of Kamiya Kasshin-ryu, a family-owned style of sword techniques (Kenjutsu) that emphasizes on principles such as “Katsujin-ken” which is the “Life-preserving sword” as opposed to “Satsujin-Kin” or “The Killing Sword”. 

Now, this character is one that has divided the fan base for a long time, especially since the reveal of Tomoe’s character in the manga. Some people love her and praise her gung-ho, no-nonsense attitude and others have dismissed and even berated her (and Watsuki by proxy) as a sexist, poorly written female character who is given very little to do and is often eclipsed by the more powerful members of Kenshin-gumi. Even Yahiko gets more time to shine that Kaoru does. Some of these individuals even go as far as to hate her primarily due to the false juxtaposition to Tomoe’s character who was introduced as Kenshin’s first love interest 10 years prior to the beginning of the story.

The truth of the matter is Kaoru’s character goes beyond the superficial; she’s more than just her character and the situations which she is put in or the events that happen to and around her character. She is the backbone of RK as a whole. She is the sticky glue that holds the broken family known as Kenshin-gumi together. But more importantly, she is the center of the entire story and probably more important than Kenshin himself.                         

                                              Birth of an Era

            

Hitokiri Battousai slashed his way into a new era as he toppled the Tokugawa Shogunate and brought in an era free from Samurai, where man can chose its own destiny. 11 years later, the hitokiri-turned-rurouni wanders place to place to see how much the times have changed, even in as small a time as a decade. Via his wanderings, he finally saw how different the world he changed is. The live action movie cleverly indicates this via the use of color palettes. The flashback scenes in Kyoto are a cold-blue coloration where the colors are desaturated. Sakura petals fall down on the scene like rose petals and during certain parts, they are a monochromatic grey color and everything feels cold and eerie.

The Meiji Era was the era that Kenshin helped create was a time for modernity, growth, prosperity, and economics. The color palettes are a lovely brown hue with warmly lit colors, and often sunny backdrops with beautiful vivid colors in the background. Swords were banned, sword smiths lost their jobs and began forging household items and utensils, and kenjutsu was dying as it was deemed a relic of a shameful and brutal era. In this new era, swordsmen were useless. They no longer held the power and didn’t know how to do anything else. Kaoru’s father was also a vestige of this era but saw something beautiful in his meditations on the sword and passed those teachings unto his daughter who was born in the waning years of the Bakufu and was raised in the Meiji Era. These principles are what make Kaoru so central to the story. 

                                 From Kenjutsu to Kendo

Realistically speaking, Kaoru’s strength doesn’t really compare to the stature and incredible skills displayed by Kenshin-gumi and the enemies they face. I have seen complaints that this is sexist on the writer’s part as she is a female character and given nothing to do. This was kicked up, considerably I’m sure, with the first film giving her nothing to do but get kidnapped in order to annoy the male protagonist. I remember having old arguments when the new Taika Hen/Densetsu no Trailers showed her apprehended by Shishio as Kenshin screamed helplessly on the rengoku before she is violently kicked off by Houji. Our very own Kateviardo expressed discontent with her possibly getting kidnapped because Kaoru should be a stronger character as one of the only female leads in the series. But she is far more central than what meets the eye and she plays a role larger than arguably even Kenshin himself did. 

What does this have to do with her fighting style and her role in the story though? This: Jin-e didn’t kidnap Kaoru; he kidnapped The Future. All of the opponents they face are from the old world that Kenshin assisted in burning to the ground. Udoh Jin-e, Shishio Makoto, and Yukishiro Enishi each were people born in the old era, each rejects to the world Kenshin created. 

Unlike these men, Kaoru never went to war. She was never a hitokiri. She never killed anyone. She’s just a lonely kendo teacher who carries on her family name and style with pride. She’s naive and acts childish because she IS a child of the new era. The new era, like her, is still in it’s inception, It’s not that old, the era of violence is still fresh in memory of most of the people alive, and therefore the new era hasn’t had the chance to cement itself in time. She never saw the kind war, brutality, or depravity that the others faced. She never sold or manufactured narcotics, saw her idol beheaded and displayed in public, or killed more people than you could honestly care to count. She wasn’t born in an era where she either fought and died on the battlefield, sold your body for money, or risk poverty and starvation. She wasn’t betrayed by a government she fought for as they brutally tried to excise her from existence because she knew too many secrets. She never became a monstrosity born of the hellfires of vengeance and lived her life singularly trying to avenge her sister who was brutally butchered.  And THAT is what makes her so special.

Kaoru is beautifully ordinary and that makes her easily overlooked. We’re more interested in the characters that have seen and done some shit because it’s part of the fantasy. It’s escapism at best. No one wants a story of a kendo teacher just trying to make money and live an ordinary quiet life. What we forget, though, is that the world she lives in doesn’t NEED that kind of sword. It doesn’t need a killer, a murderer, a manslayer. The sword in this era could be a tool to inspire people. It could be a tool to gain a sort of spiritual or mental capacity to develop an appreciation of life and it’s preservation, discipline, inner stillness, and strengthening of the body, mind, and heart. Anyone who practices kendo can tell you these are some of the numerous benefits one can derive from Kendo. But Kendo didn’t exist in the previous era. The Sword was a weapon and Kenjutsu was a method of killing. But Kaoru’s truth was one that Kenshin desperately wanted to believe in. He wanted to see a world so peaceful that one can take a weapon like a sword and turn it into something with positive benefits; this dream was so beautiful to him that he murdered people for a chance at creating it. 

She is the embodiment of all the silly ideas that Kenshin simultaneously scoffed at and deeply believed in. Something about her was so pure and so convincing that she actually began changing Kenshin. In the live action film, this was done by Kenshin being surprised when he first encountered Kaoru in her dojo and she explained her swordsmanship philosophy and he looked surprise and happy.  This returned again when she gave Kenshin his signature kimono. The kimono symbolized his new life and reinvigorated hope that maybe he did make a difference. He then smiles ever so gently at the sign above the alcove in the dojo that says “The Sword that Revitalizes”. 

                                   The Era of Kindness

Much of the importance of Kaoru’s character is narratively diminished because we are disconnected from the character by a 140 year or so time gap. The information is presented the way it would be if we were living in the 1860s, but let’s stop and consider this a moment. Let’s consider her little family in a modern context.

Megumi is a DRUG MANUFACTURER for the Japanese equivalent of a Mexican Cartel. You know those stories you hear on the news of victims mangled and gored to send messages to other gangs in the area? That was Kanryu. She served drugs so destructive they are a reason why Hong Kong was a friggin’ British Colony. This cartel was so brutal that if someone betrayed or crossed them, they would hire an assassin to find them and execute them in such a way that their corpses are hardly recognizable and to top it off, they leave little messages on the bodies in way a cartel might and the fruits of Megumi’s labor were used to buy weapons, police officers, and politicians. 

Then, she had to realize that her drug was enslaving the minds of countless men and women until they OD’d. They would neglect their lives, families, work, everything to satiate the habit that her drug formed and she did this so she could secure a decent freaking life and survive. Would you allow someone like this to live with you? Someone who is the rough female equivalent of Walter White? 

Sanosuke was a underground fighter and a mercenary. Horrible and evil men would hire him to use violence to subjugate or terrify enemies or rivals. Sano would provide this service and charge them a rate that depended PURELY on how much he enjoys beating these men within an inch of their lives because it vents his frustration at being betrayed in the past and watching his hero’s head get served on a plank of wood in public. To make it worse, he’s rude, occasionally sexist, obnoxious, a free loader, and he doesn’t pay for his food. Would you befriend someone like this and even feed them? Would you allow him to live with you if something happened to his residence?

Yahiko is a pickpocket, a thief and a scoundrel who works for the mafia, an organized crime syndicate. He will rob you blind before you even have time to notice. He wouldn’t blink about it either. It meant his survival. He had no future. He would continue working an imaginary debt and sink further into destitute until he was inevitable, caught or killed. Could you adopt this child? One who is more trouble than they’re worth and will rob you blind if he has the chance?

And finally, Kenshin is an ex-assassin/mass murderer turned soldier. His brutality was so notorious that it became legendary and the body count he left behind was so large that he lost track somewhere in the lower three digit numbers. He is mentally unstable and trouble follows him like a housebroken puppy. Everyone wants his head and the longer he stays with someone, the more danger they will be put in. If pushed far enough to protect you, he will kill again. He’s shaky at best and what’s worse, he murdered his ex-wife. Could you love someone like this? Could you be with them? Could you forgive them, if Kenshin was a real person?

Kaoru did. She gave all of these people a home and she, along with Kenshin, slowly rebuilt them. She offered them a place where they can come and laugh, have some semblance of normalcy and be in a place where they won’t be judged for their past actions. They can go out for beef pot at a nice restaurant, paid for by Kaoru; her only thanks is the smiles of her friends and that’s enough for her. These are the principles her swordsmanship preserves and she lives these truths outside of the dojo. They touched lives. She is able to do all of these things and endure hell for these broken friends and all of this because of Kenshin’s new era. He was looking for a place to belong and he found it. Kaoru is more than just a silly little girl; she’s the embodiment of everything Kenshin fought for. She became the new era he wanted so badly to create, and like happiness itself, she’s small and she’s fragile. She is not on the same caliber as the manslayers that preceded her. She is not strong enough to take on an entire syndicate and not because Nobuhiro was sexist but because she is a NORMAL person, living in what could be loosely seen as the real world. 

In the world Kaoru would ordinarily live in, there is no giant monster like Fuji or burnt men waging an army like Shishio. In her world, normal people can’t destroy an entire cartel who wield the post powerful weaponry of their time with a freaking Sakabatou. She CAN’T do these things because if she does, she will become like Kenshin: mystified and idealized. We all wish we could be like Kenshin but often forget that ordinarily little Kaoru is the goal even Kenshin aspires to. She is the embodiment of his beliefs that everyone is equal and that there’s always a second chance for people willing to repent. 

Kaoru gave them all a future. She played a part in rebuilding these broken, awful people and through her example made them beautiful and whole again. Megumi went from being the drug cook for a cartel to a doctor who saves lives. Families can remain together because of her, where her past self made drugs to tear them apart. She wages war with death everyday as she treats her patients in order to keep them healthy. Sanosuke left to see the world and live life to its absolute fullest, wandering place to place as Kenshin did, free and unencumbered by violence or being the pawn of evil men. Yahiko went from being a pickpocket to an honorable swordsman and the successor of the man who saved Japan. He carries the legend and the Sakabatou at his side as he stands between the weak and the strong who wish to prey on them, just as his teacher and her lover did. He has a future now. He can be happy with Tsubame and have the strength to protect her and those around him while advocating non-violence and passing on the life-giving principles of Kamiya-Kasshin Ryu.

Kaoru is so much more than a damsel in distress. She’s the rock that keeps all of RK together. Enishi “killing” her showed how they all fell apart and should us how beautiful and rare she was and why it crushed Kenshin that he couldn’t protect her.  It wasn’t JUST because he loved her: it was because she was the thing he spent his life searching for, fighting for, killing for, and he failed to protect this precious flower of the new era. He allowed the horror of the world to swallow her and it was HIS fault. 

That’s also what makes his redemption so much more powerful. He will continue carrying her legacy and kindness with him and change others the way she changed him. Their love was rooted in acceptance and tolerance. In forgiveness and trust. Kaoru IS the new era and she is the true heart of Rurouni Kenshin. So remember, next time someone insults Kaoru, you should remember that maybe we should be more like her and that we too should become students of Kamiya-Kasshin, even if we never hold a sword or fight epic battles. The world might be a better place if we all did. 

The Hunger Games- Foxface [INTP]

UNOFFICIAL TYPING by dragonstoning 

Introverted thinking (Ti): Foxface is very detached and logical, always looking for the most logical solution out of things. She is often described as “sly” and very clever, and her only line in her interview with Caesar was “I will always analyze the situation and apply myself”. She can always think her way out of things and sees the way the society of Panem works, which later brings her torment as she wrestles with the decision over whether to kill herself.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Foxface can easily see all the ways she can work with a situation and picks the one she thinks will be most advantageous. Her ways of coming up with solutions often helps her in the games, such as when she steals food from the careers’ pyramid and quickly and easily steals her package from the feast. She is not afraid to take risks in dangerous situations.

Introverted sensing (Si): Foxface has an incredible memory, displayed through her skills to remember different plants both in training and in the games. She used a strategy that was shown to work before by other tributes: do not show your strengths and your other tributes will underestimate you.

Extroverted feeling (Fe): Foxface doesn’t want to be in the games- she just wants peace. Despite possessing the skills to win, she avoids conflicts and stays on her own to avoid killing other competitors. When she comes across Katniss, rather than try and injure or kill her, Foxface runs away. There is a fan theory that Foxface knew the nightlock would kill her when she ate it, so she would be committing suicide, possibly so she wouldn’t have to hurt anyone in the games.

anonymous asked:

Actually Sasuke has been shown to display jealousy once before in regards to Sakura. After the Sand attack at the Chuunin exams when Sakura is thanking Sasuke for saving her, he tells her it was actually Naruto. Then she thanks Naruto and Sasuke gets kinda bent out of shape after that, which is a sign of jealousy/feelings of inferiority. Being good looking has nothing to do with self-esteem or jealousy tbh. It's not like Sasuke walks around like he knows he's hot shit and girls love him.

Firstly, I didn’t say that Sasuke walks around like he’s hot shit. I said that because he’s no stranger to female attention, he wouldn’t feel insecure due to doubts regarding his attractiveness in comparison to Sakura.

Secondly, I’ve touched upon this plenty of times before, but I said that a romantically jealous Sasuke doesn’t exist in canon, and the scene you’re referring to doesn’t indicate otherwise. Sasuke feeling jealous of Sakura smiling towards Naruto wasn’t what that scene was about. Sasuke was irritated that Sakura was now yet another person who was acknowledging Naruto’s strength and growth, and this made him feel as though his own progress had stagnated.

That time Sakura smiled at Naruto was only there to worsen Sasuke’s inferiority complex. Sasuke was jealous of Naruto, but it was only because while saving Sakura, Naruto managed to display several incredible feats of skill that only made Sasuke feel worse about himself; that he was weak. It had nothing to do with Sasuke feeling possessive over Sakura or her smile; he wasn’t jealous in a romantic sense, that’s what I said.

After he told her that Naruto was the one who saved her, his irritation builds:

Why? Because it was yet another example of Naruto getting stronger while leaving him behind. The very next few panels illustrate what Sasuke was thinking at that very moment. So what was going through Sasuke’s head as he was watching her smile? He wasn’t thinking some juvenile thoughts such as how upset he was that Sakura was smiling at Naruto instead of him, nor was he thinking that it was somehow his responsibility to protect Sakura and Naruto got the better of him in that regard.

No, he was thinking about When Naruto demonstrated his powerful techniques, and he asked himself how much more he needed to grow in order to keep up with him:

He was thinking about how inferior he felt, and he also thought about when Naruto displayed his “thunderous power”, such as when he summoned Gamabunta, and found it hard to believe since he never demonstrated such potential in their academy days:

He was thinking about how Naruto’s “incredible power” essentially came out of nowhere, and how it even sometimes emanated an aura of fear:

And he was thinking about how envious he was of Naruto’s power, and wondered how he could obtain an equivalent level of strength:

That’s what was going through Sasuke’s head as he was watching Sakura’s smile; His head was full of thoughts about how strong Naruto had become and how envious he was because he was the one meant to be obtaining power in order to defeat Itachi. Yet, Itachi manhandled him and was showing a lot of interest in Naruto because he acknowledged his strength, (just like Jiraiya and now Sakura as well).

He wasn’t actually thinking about Sakura’s smile, nor was he upset that she directed it at someone other than him. That’s creating a SS moment out of nothing. Both of the scenes in chapters 144 and 173 respectively are about the same thing; Sasuke’s inferiority complex beginning to surface due to Naruto’s growth, everyone acknowledging said growth, and his utter defeat by Itachi plaguing his mind.

Ever since that confrontation with Itachi, his lack of progress had been eating away at him, because Sasuke really thought that he had gained significant strength since the Uchiha massacre. However, he was manhandled:

Itachi made it clear that Sasuke was still weak, and this tore him up internally, because he made it seem as though Sasuke’s progress had ceased. This, coupled with the fact that many prestigious figures seemed to have an interest in Naruto, made Sasuke feel progressively more worthless.

Itachi had a strong interest in Naruto, whereas he just brushed Sasuke aside:

And Jiraiya took an interest in Naruto as well:

To Sasuke, their interest stemmed from Naruto’s power, his potential, and it made him feel small. And now that Sakura was acknowledging Naruto’s strength too, it only added to his sense of inferiority, and his frustration that he had apparently not closed the gap in strength between himself and Itachi at all.

Sasuke was irritated at the fact that Naruto had managed to do something that he couldn’t, by “Unleashing a power [they’ve] never seen before”. This further added to Sasuke’s inferiority complex, because there Naruto was, learning all these powerful jutsus, while he was doing nothing:

I know several people in the fandom like to think that a sizable portion of Sasuke’s annoyance was directed at Sakura’s smile towards Naruto, but that’s the case at all. The entire scene concerned Sasuke’s feelings of inferiority due to everyone being interested in and praising Naruto, along with the fact that Naruto demonstrated unprecedented levels of skill, whereas Sasuke was being left behind, and his ambition to kill Itachi was getting further and further away from him because as Itachi said, he was still too weak:

And you can see in the images above, that Sasuke was once again thinking of all the times Naruto demonstrated those incredible feats of skill and power, such as when he used the Mass Shadow Clone jutsu to subdue Mini-Shukaku Gaara, or when he summoned Gamabunta, one of the most powerful summons in existence. That’s what Sasuke was irritated about; he felt that Naruto was just getting stronger and stronger, a fact which was acknowledged by Itachi, Jiraiya and now Sakura, while he felt he wasn’t getting anywhere, nor was he getting any closer to defeating Itachi.

Thus, he challenged Naruto to a fight, so he could really determine where he was in comparison to Naruto, and if he really had stagnated for all this time:

That’s what the scene was about. Sasuke getting irritated that Sakura was smiling at Naruto wasn’t the point. It was the reason she was smiling at him, that’s what annoyed Sasuke. Because she was acknowledging Naruto’s strength, something which everyone around Sasuke seemed to have been doing, and it was worsening his inferiority complex due to feelings of stagnation on his part. So allow me to reiterate this - a romantically jealous Sasuke doesn’t exist in canon.

An open letter to the NBC Network

So. The Olympics are coming to a close- coming to a close after an incredible, ground breaking (and record breaking) display of talent and skill from athletes across nations. From Simone Biles to Usain Bolt, from Michael Phelps to the O’Donnonvan brothers, records have been shattered at an astonishing level this year. But, with these Olympics, another issue has been brought to light, one bigger than this competition, and bigger than any one of those athletes. It’s the same issue that caused Fox news reporters to criticize our new American gold medalist gymnast for her hair, and commenting that he would not like to watch women compete if they finished their race, routine, or game looking like “a washed out rag” or that “her zits are showing.” It’s the same issue that caused countless news stations to credit a woman’s gold medal to her husband’s work rather than her own. It’s the same issue that made an Olympic swimmer mentioning the challenges posed by her menstrual cycle, be considered “groundbreaking” and “shocking.” And it’s the same issue that I cannot ignore when I am unable to watch the sports I love and the athletes I admire because my broadcasting service decides that I, as a woman, don’t really care about the competition or sport, but really only actually care about the Olympics as a “reality show” designed as simple, mindless entertainment.

When I hit the water in a rowing shell, when I move in unison with my teammates, I do not do it for the fun of it. Often, it’s not fun at all. It hurts. It hurts like hell and back, hurts like fire and electricity rippling through my muscles. But I do it because it makes me feel powerful. I do it because when I am hurting like words I cannot voice, like I cannot explain, I know that every woman in front of and behind me is feeling the same, in time and in harmony with me. It is an orchestra of pain and determination and strength and passion. It is beautiful. That is the essence of the Olympic games, the beauty and passion and flow of sport, the pain turned to pride, the failures building to victory. This is what I know in my heart as a rower- this is what all of the women who stand by me as my teammates and my friends know as rowers, as runners and gymnasts, as swimmers and divers and hurdlers and weight lifters. This is what we, as women, know. It is what we have earned as athletes. So no, I do not want to watch a washed out reality show when I turn on the Olympics. I don’t care about the gymnasts’ diets, or exactly who so-and-so was seen flirting with in the Olympic village. What I care about is turning on the TV and seeing women who aspire like me, who push like me and fight like me and refuse to give up. I want to see women I can look up to and admire for their persistence and strength. I want to see women valued for the very same things their men counterparts are valued for: their form, technique, strength and talent.

Perhaps, just now, we are too entranced with the glitter and flash of media’s vanity to reach that point just now. Possibly, then, we women just have to “be patient” until the time comes when we can be judged by our ability over our skin or hair or makeup. Maybe we just have to wait a few more years until we can openly talk about our bodies, the functions they perform and how they affect our athletic performances and abilities, without being considered radicals.

It might be a personal flaw, but I’m not terribly patient. I understand, as a network, the goal is the same: to attract views. But perhaps then the ideal way to do that is to consider real women and the athletes that they are, to consider that women fight and sweat and achieve in the same way and with the same passion as men, and that maybe, just maybe, if you can show five hours of unadulterated football, that they can honor the conglomeration of culture, passion, talent and spirit that is the Olympics enough to show all athletes of any gender, equal respect. And the same respect, in fact, to both of their viewers.

Sincerely,

@falltoash

Once Upon a Time: Graham/The Huntsman [ISFP]

UNOFFICIAL TYPING by gavillain 

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Graham is heavily motivated by a desire to “feel something.” He doesn’t tend to physically emote often, but his emotions tend to be at the center of his decisions (i.e. sparing Snow White, hiring Emma as a deputy, trying to find his heart, etc.). He keeps to himself predominantly, but to those who get close to him, he’s very warm and caring. He has strong moral standards in the form of his code of honor, and he has immense respect for animals due to the fact that they have the honor that he holds dear. When Regina removes his heart, rendering him unable to feel anything, it very clearly has very painful repercussions on him due to the high importance of his emotions.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Graham was The Huntsman in the Enchanted Forest, and he displayed incredible sensory skills in this trade. He was able to hit and kill a moving deer from a distance, and do so in a way that would not prolong suffering. In Storybrooke, he was a skilled darts player and always hits his mark exactly. Even drunk, he shows incredible aiming talent. He’s also able to fight off three other experienced hunters in a bar fight and win against them. He has a deep respect for nature and freedom.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): When Snow White gives Graham a letter to deliver to Regina, he quickly recognizes her sincerity and her nature. He recognizes the “good instincts” of others, as well as being able to see the darkness inside Regina. When Graham wants something (such as his heart), he chases after it without straying from the path.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): Graham likes to have control over his own life, and the prospect of living in Regina’s cage is appalling to him. He’s a clever and resourceful hunter, but logic tends to take a backseat to his emotional needs.

anonymous asked:

Do you think Sasuke gets jealous of other guys talking to Sakura or flirting with her? He was pretty jealous when he told her it wasn't him who saved her and she smiled at Naruto. Sakura did have a lot of fanboys and I think Sasuke would get at least a little jealous if he saw any of them flirting with her.

Firstly, anybody would get upset if they saw someone flirting with their partner. Sasuke wouldn’t get any more upset than Sakura would get if she saw one of Sasuke’s many fangirls openly flirting with him.

Secondly, I’ve touched upon this before, but I highly disagree with the notion that Sasuke was jealous because Sakura smiled at Naruto. That’s not what the scene was about. Sasuke was irritated that Sakura was now yet another person who was acknowledging Naruto’s strength and growth, and this made him feel as though his own progress had stagnated.

That time Sakura smiled at Naruto was only there to worsen Sasuke’s inferiority complex. Sasuke was jealous of Naruto, but it was only because while saving Sakura, Naruto managed to display several incredible feats of skill that only made Sasuke feel worse about himself; that he was weak. It had nothing to do with Sasuke feeling possessive over Sakura or her smile. Ever since his confrontation with Itachi, his lack of progress had been plaguing his mind, because Sasuke seriously thought that he had gained significant strength since the Uchiha massacre. However, Itachi manhandled him:

Itachi made it clear that Sasuke was still weak, and this tore him up internally, because he made it seem as though Sasuke’s progress had stagnated. This, coupled with the fact that many prestigious figures seemed to have an interest in Naruto, made Sasuke feel progressively more worthless.

Itachi had a strong interest in Naruto, whereas he just brushed Sasuke aside:

And Jiraiya took an interest in Naruto as well:

To Sasuke, their interest stemmed from Naruto’s power, his potential, and it made him feel small. And now that Sakura was acknowledging Naruto’s strength too, it only added to his sense of inferiority, and his frustration that he had apparently not closed the gap in strength between himself and Itachi at all.

Sasuke wasn’t jealous of the fact that he couldn’t save Sakura, or that Sakura was smiling at Naruto. He was jealous because Naruto had managed to do something that he couldn’t, by “Unleashing a power [they’ve] never seen before”. This further added to Sasuke’s inferiority complex, because there Naruto was, learning all these powerful jutsus, while he was doing nothing:

I know several people in the fandom like to think that a sizable portion of Sasuke’s annoyance was directed at Sakura’s smile towards Naruto, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. The entire scene concerned Sasuke’s feelings of inferiority due to everyone being interested in and praising Naruto, along with the fact that Naruto demonstrated unprecedented levels of skill, whereas Sasuke was being left behind, and his ambition to kill Itachi was getting further and further away from him because as Itachi said, he was still too weak:

And you can see in the images above, that Sasuke was thinking of all the times Naruto demonstrated those incredible feats of skill and power, such as when he used the Mass Shadow Clone jutsu to subdue Mini-Shukaku Gaara, or when he summoned Gamabunta, one of the most powerful summons in existence. That’s what Sasuke was irritated about; he felt that Naruto was just getting stronger and stronger, a fact which was acknowledged by Itachi, Jiraiya and now Sakura, while he felt he wasn’t getting anywhere, nor was he getting any closer to defeating Itachi.

Thus, he challenged Naruto to a fight, so he could really determine where he was in comparison to Naruto, and if he really had stagnated for all this time:

That’s how I view that scene. Sasuke getting irritated that Sakura was smiling at Naruto wasn’t the point. It was the reason she was smiling at him, that’s what annoyed Sasuke. Because she was acknowledging Naruto’s strength, something which everyone around Sasuke seemed to have been doing, and it was worsening his inferiority complex due to feelings of stagnation on his part.

TITLE: Fixing Cracks

CHAPTER NO./ONE SHOT: Chapter 1, Chapter 2

AUTHOR: Anon

ORIGINAL IMAGINE: Imagine attending an Asgardian ball just to see Loki even though he doesn’t even know you exist. Imagine a guest trying to force himself on you when Loki comes to your rescue. He is violent towards your attacker but tender towards you.

RATING: T+

NOTES/WARNINGS: Aahhh ok so after I aced all my finals and memorized my script I FINALLY got around to writing this chapter!! I’m really excited about this fic (it’s my first one, if I didn’t mention that before) so I’ll hopefully have another update ready by the end of the week! Ok, same warnings as before, but none of the trigger-y stuff is in this chapter, that’s coming later. Also, good to keep in mind while you’re reading this: Asgardians worship the sun so their ideal physical traits for both men (and women for that matter) are based a lot off of that, at least in my story. If you know anything about sun symbolism, you’re hopefully following my train of thought here. So, by Asgardian standards, Thor is panty-dropping, porn star hot to them. Loki…not so much. :P Also, Sif is OOC and I don’t give a shit! :3 Italics are the reader’s thoughts.

You could feel a near-tangible excitement zap sharply through your bones as Sif and yourself strode confidently through the wide marble halls. The palace was huge; far larger and more intricately woven together than your initial perception of the place had led you to believe.

“This thing’s massive, Sif.” you muttered, voicing your thoughts to the nearby shieldmaiden.

She smirked, albeit gently, at the statement before responding, “You’ll figure it out soon. Took me a couple months, sure, but the palace is your home now.”

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