Foreshadowing: A Window into the Future
It has come to my attention that Kishimoto has chosen several literary themes upon which to enrich his manga.
He likes to use symbolism. For example, when Sakura cut her hair during the Chuunin Exams, it was a symbol of her ending her weak stance on taking responsibility for protecting her comrades. Those glossy locks fell to the ground along with her hesitation to put herself in danger. From there on out, Sakura’s hairstyle came to represent her new determination to protect her teammates.
Symbolism is constantly used throughout the series in the form of wildlife. A few times now I’ve seen this. For example, a butterfly will fly through the scene and then be eaten by a lizard. The lizard will scurry away before being eaten by a snake and then a hawk will eat the snake. Kishimoto will use these displays in order to introduce a scene in the anime, while actually symbolizing the conflict. Although, symbolism is prevalent throughout the series, foreshadowing comes to mind as the dominant literary element.
Foreshadowing seems to be Kishimoto’s favorite device; it is definitely one that he uses brilliantly. The existence of the Sanin opened many avenues for foreshadowing. Not only were Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura shown to resemble the early personalities of the legendary three, it became easy to predict their individual choices. We were told that Orochimaru was obsessed with the search for power. He wanted to learn thousands of jutsu’s. This obsession eventually drove him from the village, a fate that Sasuke would come to share, also in the search of power.
Jiraiya was benevolent and wanted to help those that he met. He stayed behind to teach Pain, Konan, and Yahiko. We have seen this philanthropic spirit in our knucklehead ninja Naruto, as he never meets someone without leaving them better off than when he found them.
Tsunade was inspired to perfect her craft once those close to her died. As a young kunoichi she was unable to save her lover Dan from death on the battlefield. She even became afraid of blood! Sakura fights fears that stem from the same vein. She is afraid that she will be unable to help those she loves when they need her the most.
For each of the New Sanin, as I like to refer to them, their very fighting styles we caught a glimpse of before they actually obtained them. After seeing the legendary battle of the three, it was easy to see how Team 7’s battle styles would turn out after their training periods.
Another example of foreshadowing is present in the way Team 7 relates to Kakashi’s old team. Kakashi, always ready to learn more, was considered a true genius, much like the early Sasuke. Obito was the underdog and always tried to out-do Kakashi, a lot like the early Naruto related to Sasuke. Rin was outshined by her comrades and generally looked after them. The love triangle of Team 7 was also present in Kakashi’s team, though it was a lot less pronounced. Obito liked Rin, while Rin had a crush on Kakashi, who only really cared about…learning more jutsu’s.
These points bring me to the focus of this blog, to discuss the similarities between Rin and Sakura and to ask how Kishimoto’s knack for foreshadowing might play on these similarities.
Though not much is known about Kakashi’s old teammate Rin, she and Sakura share quite a few similarities. They both held crushes on the “true geniuses” in their teams from very early on. On that note, they were also both liked by the “underdog” of their team. They both began the practice of medical ninjutsu early in their ninja careers. Kishimoto even draws these characters in a way that makes them resemble each other:
At this point, after recognizing the similarities in appearance and past, we can pose questions about possible similarities in their future. After Kakashi’s team grew up, we find that familiar story where Rin was captured and Minato, Obito, and Kakashi went to retrieve her. In the process of saving Rin, Obito got crushed under some rocks and was dying. Obito asked Rin to surplant one of his Sharingan eyes into Kakashi, who had lost his left eye during the mission. Being proficient in medical procedures, Rin was able to successfully carry out the transplant.
While the future of Team 7 will—most likely—not follow this plot, some theories may be formulated.
1) Will Naruto die for Sakura like Obito died for Rin?
This hopefully will not happen, as it would effectively end the Naruto series! However, Sakura does seem to get caught in situations where Naruto puts himself in danger to save her. Personally, I want Sakura to out-do Rin and become self-sufficient, much like Tsunade. Considering that Tsunade trained Sakura, this is likely to happen at some point.
2) Will Sasuke have a change of heart if Naruto nearly dies?
After Obito passed away, Kakashi had a change of heart. He became the Kakashi we all love today—chilled out, late to everything, and most of all a HUGE team player that holds values like comradeship in high esteem. If Naruto NEARLY dies (we don’t want to kill off the main character) will Sasuke have a change of heart?
This theory seems unlikely to me because Kakashi was not in anyway trying to kill Obito when he had his change of heart.
3) Will a dying Sasuke ask Sakura to give one of his eyes to Naruto?
This is a big one to me. Think of the upcoming Naruto-Sasuke conflict. If something happens to where Sasuke is near-death and beyond Sakura’s medical help, will he offer a Sharingan eye to Naruto, in the case that Naruto loses an eye during the fight? It is interesting to consider and just think of the possibilities of a Naruto with Sharingan. Scary? I agree.
4) Kakashi lived to experience the death of Obito and the implied death of Rin. What is the possibility that Sasuke will live to experience the deaths of Naruto and Sakura?
Though I feel that this is unlikely, you have to consider how this might change Sasuke. For a character that has lost so many loved ones, would the loss of the two remaining people that care for him the most change his outlook? It is a question worth pondering.
Thanks for making it to the end of my post! Here are some fun pictures:
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