Quite frequently I am confronted with a series of questions along the lines of; why do you think the way you do; what makes you feel so passionate about X; when did you start to see the world like this; how did you come to that conclusion on the matter, to recall a handful. Other times I am struck with remarks such as; you’re strange, you have an unusual way of seeing things or your optimism is hopeless and painful. Aside from being grateful and rarely insulted by these remarks or questions, my intention is to make sense of these instances and understand these notions to a degree I am satisfied with. Whether verbalized or felt, fulfilling this intention is paramount.
I often conduct an internalized litmus test to pinpoint when these alterations may have taken place: The moment in life when I decided to foster a different approach and broaden my perspective from a point of desolation and narrow-mindedness, to a corridor of curiosity, mindfulness and advanced perceptions. One of perpetrators for this neo modus operandi [arguably one of the most significant] was my inauguration into the world of Japanese animation.
Now, popular belief would have the consensus accept Japanese animation to be nothing more than fictitious cartoons, akin to Spongebob Squarepants, Ren and Stimpy, and The Powerpuff Girls. I determine there to be little to no nuances between the likes of The Wild Thornberrys and Naruto [aside from the blatantly obvious]. And this is where the line in the sand must be drawn to ensure ignorance does not prevent one from extracting the essence of ingenuity from the likes of The Wild Thornberrys and Naruto respectively.
I am no anime buff but even I could throw more into the mix to authenticate this theory for those who see not so clearly. Zoids, Gundam Wing, Bleach, Hunter X Hunter, Akira, Attack on Titan, Death Note, S.A.O and Steins Gate all substantiate my case to be worthy of investigation before confirmed as nothing more than fictitious cartoons. Within these diverse and distorted worlds of fantastical themes, and puzzling story-lines comes the raw element of intellectual sophistication designed in an attempt to insinuate their essential nature. This is cleverly executed through satire and lampooning, in relation to political, personal or social matters relative to all in one way or another. Let us examine Naruto a little closer to ascertain whether this is a matter of certainty or conjecture.
Naruto is an adolescent ninja from Konohagakure [Konoha], The Hidden Village in the Leaves, who grows up in his community an outcast due to being born a jinchūriki – a human sacrifice, or as Naruto would have it – a human with a tailed beast sealed inside of them. All the while Naruto is maturing throughout the series, multiple events are taking place which are having catastrophic consequences that he will be exposed to and have to meet come that time. Antagonists and ‘terrorists’ such as Orochimaru, The Akatsuki, Madara Uchiha and his childhood friend and rival, Sasuke Uchiha, all present impending danger to Naruto and Konoha either directly or indirectly, shifting the dynamic of power and balance as the plot thickens. The Land of Fire, where Konoha resides, is one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries. The others being: The Land of Lightning, The Land of Earth, The Land of Wind and the Land of Water.
“These superpowers are the major players in the politics and trade between the shinobi nations. They are the most powerful of all nations and each has an extremely powerful shinobi village. The Land of Earth has Iwagakure, the Land of Lightning has Kumogakure, the Land of Water has Kirigakure, the Land of Wind has Sunagakure, and the Land of Fire has Konohagakure. These five villages are the only ones to have a Kage as the village head.”
It goes on…
“Although the Five Great Shinobi Countries are equal enough in power and military strength to create a fairly stable balance of power, the Land of Fire is considered the most powerful and influential. Similarly, the Land of Fire’s shinobi village, Konohagakure, is considered the most powerful of all shinobi villages and Konoha’s Hokage has been considered to be the pinnacle of the shinobi world.”
Weighing and considering what lies above presents enough evidence to suggest the infrastructure of this politically layered “cartoon” bears no resemblance to mainstream, simple-minded, laugh from beginning to end cartoons. No offence. But in fact provokingly leads the observer to re-evaluate good and bad, right and wrong and moral obligation as one witnesses a character narrative come to surface over the course of viewing the protracted anime.
“Alone in the world, helplessly clinging to a dream in the face of orthodoxy and demise, a world at differences, political struggles of power and war, poverty, avarice and betrayal, corruption and treachery, lies and deceit. Are these factors only found in Naruto or does this illustrate a much larger picture of the “real” world?”
At this stage of proceedings I honestly feel very similar to how I did when I composed ‘Lets talk Cannabis’. I could go on and further elaborate the association and connectivity on this topic to reveal Naruto is not the only katakana that brings to light the corresponding frailties in society and the Power of One*, which can only be expressed in a cartoonistic fashion as they are still considered taboo or mysterious or non-existent entirely… *But your attention is of the essence.
I sense the reason why I think the way I do is down to acknowledging that like TIME, THOUGHT is not linear, not singular, not exact, but is in fact a pool of infinite parallels. By use of the empirical approach I simply choose to dissect topics of interest to discover their essence, their incontrovertible purpose and reason behind their creation.
“Books are not created to be judged by their covers.”
Be well my friend. Be mindful.
I Am Master, I am Able, I am Noble.