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anonymous asked:

I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but what are your thoughts on how empathy (or lack of) is used as a plot device in Naruto (the series)? Then, specifically (if you're up to it), in how Naruto (the character) empathizes with various good and bad characters.

Ohhhh this question is SO GOOD because it gets to the heart of what I saw as the driving story of what made Naruto both great and distinctive. Part one and Shippuden Naruto is this irrepressible revolutionary character out of a driving desire to connect. Yes Naruto wants to be Hokage but he wants to be Hokage so that he is acknowledged as somebody important. Wanting to be Hokage is initially about desire for validation and connection. It’s only as Naruto’s journey picks up and he meets Haku and Zabuza that he comes to change why he wants to be Hokage. Rather than “if I’m Hokage, everyone will have to respect me”, Naruto’s motivation changes to “I’ll become Hokage to…” change the Hyuuga, “I’ll become a shinobi in my own way”, and of course, “I’ll never go back on my word”, which means both not giving up and being trustworthy and unconditionally loyal.

That unconditional part is important because Naruto’s inner emptiness results from lack of family and parents, people whose love and acknowledgement does not rely on his deeds. That above “if I’m Hokage, everyone will have to respect me” really masks an even deeper desire to have someone who will give Naruto love unconditionally. Not because he’s Hokage or a great shinobi or a hero.

So this comes back to both Sasuke. Naruto empathizes with Sasuke, perhaps even more so because of their differences. Sasuke has the superficial acknowledgement by the village and the establishment that Naruto thinks he craves–but Sasuke acts indifferent to it. He’s not satisfied by it. I think that caused part of Naruto’s initial (academy days) anger and acting out against Sasuke. Sasuke had what Naruto wanted–being the number one student, all the adults and other kids thinking he’s cool–and he didn’t even appreciate it, which to someone of Naruto’s temperament must have been extra infuriating.

But when Naruto finds out why Sasuke’s like this, and then Sasuke challenges him with the main challenge he hurls at him throughout the series–”you don’t know what it’s like to lose important people because you never had them”. And that sets up a critical turning point for Naruto, which is echoed with the fight with Pain: do people’s sufferings have to be identical for them to have compassion and understand each other?

Unfortunately the series falls down by the end on this theme.

Empathy in particular, and emotions generally, are antithetical to the shinobi system. The system can’t function if shinobi have empathy for opponents, targets, or even clients. They have to harden themselves against the client who can’t pay enough, for example. 

In the beginning of Naruto this was a problem to be solved, but by the end of the series, the meta problem was how to keep this cash cow producing milk. Enter aliens! Convenient opponents you don’t need to empathize with; just destroy them!

And after this buffer of two movies about aliens, we are gradually reintroduced to a world that is very familiar: distant adults, pubescents taking life or death missions, rich clients who expect servitude, and snazzy animations of punches and flaming dragons and stuff. Only this time they won’t make the mistake of introduce any kind of plot line that would make the series end.

the signs as lyrics from reputation

aries: “he can be my jailor, burton to this taylor”

taurus: “*cackle* I cant even say it with a straight face”

gemini: “hold on to the memories they will hold on to you”

cancer: “I once was poison ivy but now I’m your daisy”

leo: “they’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one”

virgo: “I’m a mess but I’m the mess that you wanted”

libra: “the ties were black the lies were white”

scorpio: “all the liars all calling me one”

sagittarius: “you’ve ruined my life by not being mine”

capricorn: “salute to me I’m your American queen”

aquarius: “radididididididididada”

pisces: “I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put them”

Scenario where Keith is almost late for a class he has a major test in and accidentally grabs Lance’s jacket instead of his own (Which had his chew stims that help him focus) and by the time he realizes this he’s already at school/campus.

Keith: Fuckfuckfuckfuckfu- *phone rings*

Keith: Hello?

Lance: Hello Keith, light of my life, beacon of light in the ever pressing darkness, my very reason for smiling every day even if you do have that stupid mullet, did you by any chance take my jacket when you left.

Keith: …maybe

Lance: Okay cool, check the front left pocket real quick.

Keith: *pulls out a few granola bars*

Keith: Why are there granola bars?

Lance: Hmmm check the other pocket?

Keith: *pulling out his chew stims*

Keith: …How

Lance: You always seem late when it’s a test day and forget them at home and somehow “accidentally” steal my jacket in the process so I improvised. Okay I gotta go I think Allura’s calling, love you!

Keith:

Keith:

Keith:

Keith: *calling Shiro*

Shiro: Hello?

Keith: Shiro I’m gonna marry Lance.

Little comic with Remington and Emilia (ok?)

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I’m inlove with this AU @tuckerenthusiast (please check their profile if you haven’t yet, it’s gorgeous af)
[first photo] Consider this; since Craig and his team moves a lot when fighting or running away — imagine having their clothes get stuck on a door/metal and ended up ripping bits of it off 👀

Besties!!!

ok so i was at college today, and as i walked into my class there were 2 boys, wearing red and blue sweaters arguing over something i didn’t quite get. so i was like. ok i gotta stop this nonsense bc im a good person. so i went towards them and as i was walking i heard the blue one yell “YOU BETTER FUCKING ACCEPT THAT YOURS IS NICE YOU MOTHERFUCKER” and the red one yelled back “NO, YOURS IS NICER YOU SON OF A BITCH” and i was like ok i do not want to interfere w these dudes but i don’t want them to be too loud and i was like “hey guys what’s going on” and the red one looked at me pointing at the blue one and was like “HE WONT FUCKING ADMIT THAT HIS SWEATER HAS A NICER SMELL THAN MINE” and i stg wtf…….. and i realised they were both exchanging sweaters and they both think each other’s sweater had a nice smell and if that’s not keith and lance then idk what is.