Hey, it’s been a while since I last wrote anything for Shannaro, so in case you don’t know, I love contemplating battle, battle stratgies and most of all who is the strongest fighter. I’ve read quite a lot of shouhen manga (if you’re looking for a good read other than the top three I like Fairy Tail, Flame of Recca, and Full Metal Alchemist amoung others).
Anyway, I love to analyze ninjutsu styles (a.k.a. how ninja use different ninjutsu in collaboration.) One thing I’ve always been disatisfied with was the Naruto Databook Statistics which doesn’t give a great feel for most ninja’s abilities (For instance a high speed or Taijutsu rating is useless against Tobi). Because I’ve also read several other shouhen type manga, I’ve come across quite a few chakara-esq energy forms and thought it might be interesting to compare the forms of ability analysis from those manga to the abilities of ninja. For this post I’ll be using Naruto and Sasuke as my examples.
History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi:
This is a martial art’s manga that occasionaly mentions “Aura” which seems to be closer to the naruvesre equivilent of the killer intent Orochimaru used in the chunin exam than chakra. However almost every (fighting) character can be put through two forms of analysis. First their moral fighting beliefs: in this manga it falls into either the Satsujin Ken (Fist of Death) or the Katsujin ken (Fist of Life). Second their fighting style: Either Dou (Motion) or Sei (Silence).
Katsujin Ken users fight to protect others. They believe that martial arts are a way for the weak to protect themselves from being bullied by the strong. They fight for others and abhore killing. Conversly Satsujin Ken users fight to win. They believe that victory is the only thing that matters and that the weak should die. They fight only for themselves and usually kill their opponents in battle.
Sei users are calm analytical fighters that use talent, skill and wit to analyze a foe’s weak point and then exploit it in quick bursts of energy. They are aware of their limits so they use the utmost control to fight within them. Sei users tend to be more defensive fighters. Conversly, Dou users are angry, agressive and even beast-like fighters who attack continously. They use anger and other strong emotions to help them exceed their limits. Dou users tend to be more offensive fighters.
If we look at Sasuke and Naruto in terms of Katsujin Ken and Satsujin Ken it seems obvious that Naruto is a Katsujin Ken user while Sasuke believes in the Satsujin Ken. Additionally Naruto seems closer to being a Dou user while Sasuke seems to be a Sei user. These are just my oppinions though and the classifications aren’t as cut and dry as they are for characters from Kenichi, but I do find in interesting that Naruto and Sasuke are polar opposites in both categories and that they mimic a similar relationship in Kenichi between Shio Sakaki and Akira Hongo.
Hunter X Hunter:
Hunter X Hunter employs the use of a chakra like energy form called Aura, though most of the time it talks about Nen, the ability to utelize Aura in combat. Nen can be split into for categories ren, ten, zetsu and hatsu. Ren, ten and Zetsu are the abilities to see/sense, defend against, and hide Aura respectively. Because most Nen using characters in Hunter X Hunter have some level of ability in each of these fields, the last category, Hatsu, the ability to externalize Aura, is what really sets them apart. Hatsu can be further categoriezed into six different types: Reinfocement/Enhancement (mainly increasing physical abilities such as speed, stamina, or physical strength), Emision (The ability to shoot out bursts of energy), Manipulation (The ability to control objects at a distance), Conjuration (Summoning/Creating an object out of energy for use), Transmutation (Basically their equivilent of nature transformations), and Specialization (Weird unique abilities or abilities that draw from multiple categories) . Each Nen user excells in one type of Hatsu category more than any other. This type can be determined via a Water Divination Test (A test frequently used in Hunter X Hunter that causes a leaf floating in a glass of water to be effected in different ways similar to the chakra paper’s used to determine that Naruto had an affinity for the Wind Element) or generally by personality type, which generally coresponds to a particular Hatsu specialty. Similarily based on their main type they will be better at certain types of secondary abilities and worse at others (see chart below).
If we look at Naruto, a Nen personality analysis points to him having the “Simple and determind” mentality that most enhancers have though a case could also be made for the “Impatient and not detail oriented” mentality of emitters. Therefore it’s not surprising that most of his jutsu fall under these two types ex. Rasengan (emmision), Senjutsu and Jinkuri modes (Enhancement). While his other jutsu seem to stem from his positive secondary abilities of Transmuting (Wind element) and Manipulation (Shadow Clones). Meanwhile his negative secondary abilities Conjuring (Toad Summoning) and Specialization (Kekkai Genkai) seem to be where he strugles more.
Again, Sasuke seems to be the polar opposite of Naruto. He seems to be the “typically high strung” conjuror or the “independant and charimatic” specialist. (For the record the two types not discussed are Manipulators who are “a logical person who advances at their own pace” and Transmutors who are “whimsical lyers” which oddly enough seem to fit Sakura pretty well.) This seems to fit Sasuke to a T as his multiple high class kekkai genkai certainly make him a specialist, and while he might not show any particular aptitude for summoning (given how much of a broken character he is, since he can summon snakes, hawks, sussano, and amatseru (does that count?) ) but is great at it’s secondary ability Transmutation (Fire, Lightning, and Blaze elements) as well as pretty good at Manipulation (Tsukyoumi or whatever his genjutsu is) further more he has always had problems with keeping up with Naruto in terms of chakra reserves (well who wouldn’t?) and thus had trouble with Emision and Enhancement.
I find it kind of awesome and kind of scary and kind of awesome that Yoshihiro Togashi’s system of analysis fits Naruto so well. I think his manga Yu Yu Hakashou and Hunter X Hunter are great reads (Don’t watch the Hunter X Hunter anime though because the story is dull in the first arc and the anime cuts out the few parts that make it worth getting through). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post, and if anyone knows of a good shouhen manga I’m very interested as I’ve read pretty much all of them.
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