Tag: Naruto

How Naruto’s Chakra System Functions as a World-Building Tool

How Naruto’s Chakra System Functions as a World-Building Tool

Power Systems and World Building Continuity

Back in 2020, I wrote an article about world building in anime. I discussed how story, characters, locations, culture, and scale all play a role. But, one thing I left out of that article was how a power system can be one of the most effective forms of world building.

Obviously, power systems don’t apply to all anime. They don’t even apply to most anime. But, a power system is instrumental to the world building of my favorite anime series, Naruto.

So, today, I’ll be exploring how the chakra system from Naruto, Shippūden, and Boruto helps to build the world. More specifically, I’ll be focusing on how it’s used to expand the scope of the world. What we know about chakra evolves throughout the series, but never feels like it breaks the rules.

Laying a Foundation for the Chakra System

We’re introduced to the concepts of chakra and natures almost immediately in Naruto. In the very first episode of the series, we learn about the Shadow Clone jutsu. This is a jutsu that uses chakra but involves no transformation in nature.

It doesn’t take long for nature transformations to show up, though. By Episode 5, we see Sasuke use the Great Fireball Technique against Kakashi. So, right from the start of the series, we could see that elemental jutsu were possible. But, at this stage, we didn’t have much in the form of explanations.

Sasuke using the Great Fireball Technique from the anime series Naruto Episode 5
Sasuke using the Great Fireball Technique

Chakra natures aren’t formally explained until pretty far into the series. But, even before that occurs, we know that there are differences between the natures. Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water are the natures that encompass most of the jutsu we see early on.

These five basic chakra natures are the foundation upon which the rest of the power system is built. That’s not to say they’re the only basic chakra natures. But, I’ll get to that soon.

Building Upon the Chakra System

It doesn’t take long for the first expansion of the chakra system to appear. In Naruto Episode 13, we see our first Kekkei Genkai, Haku’s Ice Release. Though, at this point in the series, it’s referred to as a “secret jutsu” instead of a Kekkei Genkai.

Kekkei Genkai are the next logical step within the chakra system. We had basic chakra natures, and now we have combined chakra natures. Haku’s Ice Release is a combination of Water and Wind Release. This sets the stage for later Kekkei Genkai nature transformations.

Haku using the Crystal Ice Mirror jutsu from the anime series Naruto Episode 13
Haku using the Crystal Ice Mirror jutsu

Some examples that show up later in the series are Lava Release and Magnet Release. Lava is a combination of Fire and Earth while Magnet is a combination of Wind and Earth. There are many other combined chakra natures like these. And after seeing a few, you can start to figure out how they’re created.

If you already know about Ice, Lava, and Magnet Release, it’s not hard to figure out Boil Release. It’s just a combination of Water and Fire.

With Kekkei Genkai established, we’re then introduced to Kekkei Tōta, which are the next step up. Kekkei Tōta combine 3 basic chakra natures instead of 2. That makes sense, right? If 2 natures can be combined, why not 3?

Expanding the Scope of the Chakra System

The chakra system as I’ve explained it so far is surprisingly limiting. There are only 5 basic natures and only so many ways they can combine. So, you might expect that we’d learn of all the possible combinations and that would be the end of it.

Well, it’s time to expand the scope of the chakra system. And this expansion happens in two ways. First, there’s the introduction of additional Kekkei Genkai created from the same combinations. The most famous examples of this are Wood Release and Mud Release.

Both of these natures combine Water and Earth. So, does that mean that anyone who can use Wood Release can also use Mud Release? No. A key part of Kekkei Genkai is that they’re unique to specific bloodlines. So different bloodlines have access to Wood and Mud Release.

A reanimated Hashirama Senju using the Deep Forest Emergence jutsu from the anime series Naruto Episode 71
A reanimated Hashirama Senju using the Deep Forest Emergence jutsu

The other way the series expands the system is by introducing Yin and Yang natures. These are basic natures just like Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water. So, shouldn’t their introduction break the rules of the world? Not exactly.

You see, Yin and Yang natures are separate from the elemental natures. They don’t interact with the strength/weakness chart of the elemental natures. And they also don’t combine with the elemental natures. So, they don’t interfere with the rules already in place.

Additionally, they help to explain some jutsu that seemed to fall outside of the rules. The Shadow Paralysis jutsu is one such example. Now, instead of saying it’s a natureless jutsu, we can point to it being a Yin Release jutsu.

Applying the Chakra System to Characters

Up to this point, I’ve explained how the expansions to the chakra system never broke the rules of the world. With each expansion, the system gained more depth. And with an understanding of that depth, viewers can make predictions about unknowns.

But, there are times when these predictions fail. And Wood Release is the biggest culprit of this in Naruto. We know Wood Release is a Kekkei Genkai of the First Hokage, Hashirama Senju. But, his granddaughter, Tsunade, can’t use it. In fact, nobody else in the Senju bloodline can.

The explanation for this? That simply being a member of a specific bloodline doesn’t guarantee a Kekkei Genkai. So, is this an issue with the world building? Not yet.

Yamato using the Domed Wall jutsu from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden Episode 41
Yamato using the Domed Wall jutsu

There are other characters we meet who can use Wood Release despite not being members of the Senju clan. Yamato is the most important. Now, when he’s introduced, it’s easy to think that this breaks the rules of the world. But, that’s not the case.

Yamato can only use Wood Release because he has the DNA of Hashirama implanted into him. And that logic is the same for most other characters who can use Wood Release. Generally speaking, they all have Hashirama’s DNA or are the Jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails.

There’s one exception to the rule who I’ll get to in a bit.

Kekkei Genkai Without the Bloodline

I mentioned that Jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails can use Wood Release even without Hashirama’s DNA. This isn’t a phenomenon unique to the Ten-Tails. Multiple of the Tailed Beasts have Kekkei Genkai that they pass on to their Jinchūriki.

Three other Tailed Beasts also have Kekkei Genkai. These are Shukaku with Magnet Release, Son Gokū with Lave Release, and Kokuō with Boil Release. This means that the Jinchūriki of each of these Tailed Beasts can also use these chakra natures.

Naruto using a Lava Style Rasenshuriken from the anime series Naruto: Shippūden Episode 242
Naruto using a Lava Style Rasenshuriken

Technically speaking, Naruto is the Jinchūriki of all 9 Tailed Beasts (not the Ten-Tails). Because of that, and the chakra he received from Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, he has access to a lot of chakra natures. Naruto can use Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, Water, Lava, Magnet, Boil, Yin, Yang, and Yin-Yang Release.

However, the only chakra nature Naruto can use naturally is Wind Release.

At this point, it’s a bit strange to look back at the history of chakra natures in Naruto. Seeing Naruto be able to use this many natures doesn’t at first seem like it fits within the rules set at the start. But, even at this point, none of the rules have been broken.

So, now we need to make the jump to Boruto.

Does Moegi Break the System?

Look, I know a lot of people hate Boruto. But, one of my favorite things about watching it is seeing how it sticks to the system set up throughout Naruto. This is why the chakra system is such a great tool for world building.

I can see characters use a jutsu and figure out what chakra natures they must have based on it. Or I can see what clan a character is from and infer their chakra natures and jutsu. And for the most part, these kinds of predictions work.

There’s one exception, though. And, of course, this exception ties back to Wood Release.

Moegi using the Gravel jutsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 212
Moegi using the Gravel jutsu

For some unknown reason, Moegi can use Wood Release. She’s not related to Hashirama. She’s not the Jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails. And, as far as we know, she doesn’t have Hashirama’s DNA implanted in her. So, is the chakra system finally broken? Maybe.

It’s been a few years since Moegi’s Wood Release was revealed and we still don’t know how she has it. The series as a whole is coming up on its 20th anniversary this October. And in all that time, Moegi’s the one character who seems to break the rules.

Even filler characters follow the rules of the chakra system. So, let’s hope that one day we get an explanation for Moegi. It could be as simple as saying that she does have Hashirama’s DNA in her. But, we’ll also need an explanation for why that’s the case.

Conclusion

Not every anime can use a power system as a tool for world building. Generally, this is something reserved for shounen battle series. Not only because they’re the ones that have power systems, but also because they’re long. It takes a lot of time to make a power system complex and consistent enough for this.

That’s not to say you need hundreds of episodes. Fullmetal Alchemist does a good job in about 50 episodes. But, even 50 episodes is longer than most anime.

If you enjoyed this article, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Is Kisame Hoshigaki a Sage?

Is Kisame Hoshigaki a Sage?

What is a Sage in Naruto?

Let’s just answer the question from the title right now. No. Kisame Hoshigaki is not a sage. But, that’s not a very fun answer. And since the latest arc in Boruto has me thinking about Kisame, I figured it’d be fun to make an argument for him being a sage.

Before I get into that, though, I should probably explain what a sage is within the Naruto universe. A sage is someone who has the ability to absorb and use chakra from the nature around them.

Every living thing has chakra within it, even if they can’t directly mold that chakra like Rock and Metal Lee. Even those two can still use chakra by releasing their Eight Inner Gates. But a sage can use both the chakra stored within their body and the chakra outside of their body.

Kabuto Yakushi's Snake Sage Mode from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Kabuto Yakushi’s Snake Sage Mode

Often, when this nature chakra is absorbed into the body (called Sage Mode), it causes the user to develop animal-like traits. The more the nature chakra overwhelms them, the more animal-like they become. Kabuto (pictured above) gained snake traits, while Jiraiya and Naruto gained toad traits.

The traits one develops are connected to how they learned to use Sage Mode. If Konohamaru were to learn Sage Mode from the monkeys, like Enma, he would gain monkey traits. But, achieving a “perfect” sage mode can eliminate these traits, as seen with Hashirama Senju and Koji Kashin.

Additionally, sages generally excel in jutsu that relate to their particular type of Sage Mode. Orochimaru (formerly) and Kabuto could use a bunch of snake jutsu. And Jiraiya could use a bunch of Toad jutsu. If only there was a slug sage to use slug jutsu.

Tailed Beast Without a Tail

Kisame Hoshigaki is known as the Tailed Beast without a tail because of his massive amounts of chakra. I want to bring this up for two reasons. First, all sages must have a massive amount of chakra so that they aren’t overwhelmed by the nature chakra they absorb.

Second, it’s very possible that some of Kisame’s massive chakra reserves aren’t his own. Yes, he has a lot of chakra. But Tailed Beasts have insane amounts of it. How could one person have that much without being a Jinchūriki?

The answer is simple: They absorb chakra from their surroundings. If Kisame was a sage, that would perfectly explain how he never runs out of chakra despite expending huge amounts of it constantly. Nobody aside from Jinchūriki and sages can do what Kisame does — and we know he’s not a Jinchūriki.

Kisame holding Samehada from the anime series Naruto
Kisame holding Samehada

Consider for a moment some of the things we’ve seen Kisame do that use up his chakra. For starters, merely holding his sword Samehada drains his chakra. Samehada is a living weapon that feeds on the chakra of its wielder. And anyone who doesn’t have enough chakra will be sucked dry.

On top of that, we’ve even seen Kisame use extremely large-scale Water-style jutsu. In his fight against Team Guy, Kisame flooded the entire battlefield to give himself an advantage. And after doing that, he summoned a bunch of sharks and continued to use other jutsu.

The source of Kisame’s chakra has, unfortunately, never been confirmed. But, it seems pretty clear that even if Kisame isn’t actually a sage, he’s was a prime candidate to become one simply due to his chakra.

Oh, and he can use four chakra natures, which also shows that he’s exceptionally skilled when it comes to chakra usage.

Shark Sage Kisame

Clearly, if Kisame was a sage, he would be a shark sage. He has the traits of a shark, has a summoning pact with sharks, and uses a bunch of shark jutsu. Also, even his sword is shark-themed.

As for his physical traits, Kisame has gills that allow him to breathe underwater. It’s unclear if the gill slits we see below his eyes are functional. But even if they aren’t, we know he has functional gills on his shoulders, as pictured below.

Additionally, Kisame has sharp teeth, though this can be discounted because that’s a common trait within the Hidden Mist Village. Even the current Mizukage has sharp teeth, and there’s no reason to suggest that he’s a sage of any kind.

But, Kisame’s shark traits do make it seem like his body has been altered due to his use of nature chakra just like Orochimaru, Kabuto, Jiraiya, and Naruto.

Kisame showing off his gills from the anime series Naruto Shippuden
Kisame showing off his gills

It’s pretty crazy that I have to say Kisame isn’t a sage when he checks literally every box. The only thing that’s missing is official confirmation that he is one. But, unfortunately, there’s one more nail in the coffin for Kisame’s sage dreams.

If everything I’ve described so far was all there was to it, we could safely assume Kisame is a sage. However, the Boruto anime series messes this all up. We can’t assume Kisame is a shark sage anymore because there are other characters with the same traits in Boruto who clearly aren’t sages.

Shizuma Hoshigaki, a relative of Kisame, also has a shark-like appearance and could wield Samehada. But I don’t think anyone would argue that he’s a sage. And then there’s a member of the Funato clan in the current arc who also has fish traits, such as gills on his neck. And again, I can’t see anyone arguing he’s a sage either.

Conclusion

What do you think of Kisame Hoshigaki’s sage status? Have I convinced you that he is in fact a sage despite what Boruto would have you believe? Personally, I still like to think Kisame is a sage even if it’s not confirmed.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Hokage Line of Succession

Hokage Line of Succession

Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village

As we all know, because we’ve all watched all 220 episodes of Naruto, 500 episodes of Naruto: Shippūden, and 232 current episodes of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, the Hokage is the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village.

Hokage Rock from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Hokage Rock

However, have you ever thought about who becomes the next Hokage when it’s time for a new one? We’ve seen Hokage be appointed by their predecessors, seize power, and be appointed by the village elders. But those who are recognized as Hokage all have something in common.

Every Hokage has a close relationship with a previous Hokage. There are no exceptions. And this effectively means that anyone lacking one such relationship is barred from becoming the Hokage in the future.

Today, I’m going to go through the Hokage line of succession and use it to make some predictions regarding future holders of the title.

First Hokage – Hashirama Senju

The First Hokage was Hashirama Senju, one of the founders of the Hidden Leaf Village. He became the Hokage after it was decided that the people would more readily accept him as their leader than the alternate option of Madara Uchiha.

There’s not really much else to say about Hashirama because as he was the first Hokage, there wasn’t yet an established line of succession.

Second Hokage – Tobirama Senju

Tobirama Senju was appointed as the Second Hokage after the death of Hashirama. This is where the line of succession really begins, as Tobirama was Hashirama’s younger brother. You can’t really get much closer to the previous Hokage than by being their blood relative.

Of course, Tobirama wasn’t made the next Hokage simply because he was Hashirama’s brother. Tobirama was also one of, if not the, strongest shinobi in the village at the time.

And since Hashirama was killed by Madara, a member of the Uchiha clan, Tobirama’s anti-Uchiha policies would have been pretty popular at the time. It’s no wonder he was selected to follow in the footsteps of his brother by leading the village.

Third Hokage – Hiruzen Sarutobi

Hiruzen Sarutobi wasn’t related to Hashirama and Tobirama Senju. So, how did he become the Third Hokage? Well, he was a student of Tobirama Senju. When blood relations aren’t available, teacher-student relations are the next best thing.

Hiruzen Sarutobi as Hokage from the anime series Naruto
Hiruzen Sarutobi as Hokage

Hiruzen was named as the Third Hokage directly by Tobirama before his death. Tobirama fought against the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist on his own in order to allow his students to escape. He knew this would be his final battle, and so he named a successor.

Again, though, that doesn’t mean Hiruzen wasn’t worthy of this title. He’s been called the strongest of the Hokage (probably not including Naruto). But, his relationship with the previous Hokage played a major role in him becoming Hokage.

Fourth Hokage – Minato Namikaze

Of all the Hokage, Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage, has the most tenuous connection to previous holders of the title. He’s not related to any of the previous Hokage and he wasn’t even a student of any of them.

So, doesn’t he break the rule then? Well, not exactly.

Minato was the student of Jiraiya, who was the student of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen. There’s still a direct teacher-student path to the previous Hokage. And, Minato’s teacher, Jiraiya, was even offered the title of Hokage multiple times, both before and after Minato received it.

Fifth Hokage – Tsunade

Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, is the one with the most connections to prior Hokage so far on this list. She’s the granddaughter of the First Hokage, (grand?)niece of the Second Hokage, and student of the Third Hokage.

But, her connections go beyond just those. She was also the teammate of Jiraiya, the teacher of the Fourth Hokage. Of everyone so far, you could argue that Tsunade is the most qualified for the title of Hokage based on the importance of relations to previous Hokage.

Sixth Hokage – Kakashi Hatake

The Sixth Hokage, Kakashi Hatake, is in very much the same position as the Third Hokage. Just as Hiruzen was the student of the Second Hokage, Kakashi was the student of the Fourth Hokage.

And if you follow the teacher-student relationship of Kakashi back far enough, you get to the Second Hokage, Tobirama. Kakashi was the student of Minato, who was the student of Jiraiya, who was the student of Hiruzen, who was the student of Tobirama.

Hopefully, that illustrates just how tightly this line of succession is connected. Outsiders don’t make their way in. There’s always a blood relative or student of a previous Hokage.

Seventh Hokage – Naruto Uzumaki

With Naruto Uzumaki as the Seventh Hokage, Tsunade no longer holds the record for most connections to previous Hokage. Naruto has a pretty solid connection to all of them except for the Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju.

Naruto Uzumaki as Hokage from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Naruto Uzumaki as Hokage

Naruto’s relationship with Kakashi is simple; Kakashi was his teacher. His connection to Tsunade is a bit more complicated. Naruto was the student and godson of Tsunade’s teammate, Jiraiya. And he’s also a descendant of the Uzumaki clan just like Tsunade is.

Naruto is also the son of Minato. Simple. And he was kind of like the adopted grandson of Hiruzen. Before Minato died, he asked Hiruzen to watch over Naruto for him, and that’s exactly what Hiruzen did up until his own death.

Lastly, Naruto is also the reincarnation of Asura Ōtsutsuki just like Hashirama Senju was. So, Naruto wasn’t the reincarnation of Hashirama, but they were both reincarnations of the same person.

Eighth Hokage – ???

Who’s going to become the Eighth Hokage after Naruto’s done with the title? Well before I answer that, I just want to point out that all of the deceased Hokage died in combat. So let’s first assume that Naruto is killed in battle.

If this were to happen, I think the most likely scenario would be that Kakashi reclaims his title of Sixth Hokage. At the moment, I don’t see anyone else who’s both a good and willing candidate. There’s also precedent for this, as Hiruzen did the same thing following the death of Minato.

Okay, but what about after Kakashi, or if Naruto survives into retirement? Who would be next in line? Again, I see one, very likely candidate: Konohamaru Sarutobi.

Konohamaru is both the grandson of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen and the student of the Seventh Hokage, Naruto. Therefore, I’d say he has all the connections required to become Hokage. And, by that point, I think Konohamaru would be strong enough.

Ninth Hokage – ???

Of course, there has to be another Hokage after Konohamaru. We know that Sarada Uchiha’s goal is to be Hokage. And, I think she’ll succeed in that goal with Boruto playing the role of the “shadow” Hokage as Sasuke does currently.

Sarada will be the student of the Eighth Hokage, teammates with the son and grandson of the Seventh and Fourth Hokages respectively, and she’s the daughter of the student of the Fifth Hokage.

Oh, and I think she’s technically the student of the Seventh Hokage, too. Though, this hasn’t really panned out as Sarada probably expected. I think she may have trained with naruto like once.

Conclusion

Do you think it’s fair that every Hokage is connected to the previous Hokage in some way? Kiba probably wouldn’t be very happy if he ever figured this trend out. Also, do you think anyone other than those I predicted will become the Hokage in the future? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Naruto Chakra Nature Tier List

Naruto Chakra Nature Tier List

Revisiting the Chakra Natures

Chakra nature tier list from the anime series Naruto
Chakra nature tier list

It’s been a while since I last wrote about one of my favorite anime series, Naruto (excluding my weekly Boruto episode reviews). And, it looks like it’s been almost two years since I last wrote about chakra natures from the series.

So, for this article, I placed all of the chakra natures on a tier list and will be going through each tier explaining the placements of the natures. S-Tier is the best and F-Tier is the worst. Natures are also ordered from strongest to weakest within each tier, with the stronger natures to the left.

As for which natures are included in this list, the answer is simply: all 23 of them. Every nature covered in my original article ranking the chakra natures, the extra kekkei genkai natures, and the upgraded natures are all included on this tier list.

S-Tier Natures

S-Tier chakra natures (Yin-Yang, Dust) from the anime series Naruto
S-Tier chakra natures (Yin-Yang, Dust)

If you’ve read my original article on the strongest chakra nature in Naruto, it should come as no surprise that Yin-Yang release is at the top of S-Tier. It’s broken, evidenced by the fact that it can even nullify the effects of all other jutsu.

The other S-Tier nature is Dust release. This is the only kekkei tōta nature (combination of three basic natures) known, so you’d expect for it to be powerful. But, that distinction isn’t enough to put it in S-Tier. This nature earns its spot because it can disintegrate anything it comes in contact with.

A-Tier Natures

A-Tier chakra natures (Wood, Magnet, Crystal) from the anime series Naruto
A-Tier chakra natures (Wood, Magnet, Crystal)

The top A-Tier nature is, unfortunately, Wood release. Canonically, Wood release is the strongest, aside from the two S-Tier natures. However, that’s only because of the religious significance of wood. If Wood nature acted like real wood, it wouldn’t be anywhere near this high up.

Magnet release is my pick for the second strongest in A-Tier because of how versatile it is and how strong its users are. While Dust release is the best offensive nature and Wood or Crystal release is the best defensive nature, Magnet release is extremely good at both offense and defense. It can even disrupt opponents who use weapons.

Speaking of Crystal release, it’s the final nature within A-Tier. From what we’ve seen of it, Crystal release is effectively Earth release, but indestructible. If Wood release wasn’t magic instead of ninjutsu, Crystal would be the definitive best defensive nature.

B-Tier Natures

B-Tier chakra natures (Explosion, Lava, Steel, Dark, Scorch) from the anime series Naruto
B-Tier chakra natures (Explosion, Lava, Steel, Dark, Scorch)

Starting off B-Tier we have Explosion release simply due to its destructive nature. Unless you have a giant snake named Monda to hide inside of (or Crystal release), Explosion release is going to do some serious damage to you.

Lava release is very close to Explosion release in my mind. It’s lava, so it’s a dangerous nature to go up against. But, it’s also very versatile. It can be used to produce molten rock, acidic mud, corrosive quicklime, and even vulcanized rubber. It’s just not as destructive as Explosion release.

Like Crystal, Steel release is an improvement upon the standard Earth release. Steel is stronger than Earth, and Crystal is stronger than Steel. So, naturally, Steel would fall somewhere between them considering the same types of jutsu can be used with all three, just to varying levels of effectiveness.

Something interesting about Dark release is that we’ve seen a fair amount of people use abilities that work just like it without them being stated to have Dark release. For example, the Karma’s ability to absorb chakra in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is effectively Dark release. And because that ability is so useful, I think it deserves to be in B-Tier.

Finally, Scorch release is B-Tier as well due to how lethal it is to humans. This nature can quickly evaporate all the moisture in the air, and within living things, causing death. It is, however, weak against Water release, which is why it’s at the bottom of B-Tier instead of in A-Tier.

C-Tier Natures

C-Tier chakra natures (Boil, Typhoon, Storm, Ice, Mud) from the anime series Naruto
C-Tier chakra natures (Boil, Typhoon, Storm, Ice, Mud)

I’m putting Boil release at the top of C-Tier because it’s very similar to Lava release but generally less dangerous. Like Lava release, this nature can be corrosive. But, the majority of the time it isn’t and is instead used to produce hot steam.

Typhoon release is also in C-Tier because as far as we know, it’s just a more powerful version of Wind release. However, I wouldn’t say it’s as much of an upgrade over standard Wind release as Steel is over standard Earth release.

My placement of Storm release may be a little controversial. This chakra nature allows the user to control powerful beams of electricity as if they were a fluid. You might think that should be above Typhoon release. But, the reason I’m putting it below Typhoon release is that Wind release is strong against Lightning release, and so Typhoon release should be strong against Storm release.

Ice release is everyone’s favorite kekkei genkai chakra nature from the beginning of the original Naruto anime. We know it’s strong enough that its users were hunted down and persecuted. But it’s not really anything special as far as kekkei genkai go. If there was an improved version of it, like Crystal is to Steel, then that would be higher-tiered.

Rounding out the bottom of C-Tier is Mud release. As a kekkei genkai combining both Earth and Water release, it’s naturally tiered above them. And while I do think it deserves to be above D-Tier, it only barely makes it into C-Tier. It’s doubly weak to Storm release above it, so that’s not good.

D-Tier Natures

D-Tier chakra natures (Blaze, Yin, Lightning) from the anime series Naruto
D-Tier chakra natures (Blaze, Yin, Lightning)

My pick for the top of D-Tier is both unique and probably controversial. Blaze release is the only nature on this list that’s not officially recognized as a chakra nature. However, because it’s referred to as a “release,” we can assume it is.

Now, Blaze release is what Sasuke Uchiha uses to manipulate the black flames of Amaterasu. That seems like it should be higher up, right? Well, it can only manipulate those flames, making it extremely niche. Just having Amaterasu alone is good enough — you don’t need Blaze release as well.

Yin release is the best of the basic chakra natures. This is the “mind” part of the “mind and body” of Yin-Yang release. It’s responsible for powerful genjutsu as well as shadow-based jutsu. Yin is extremely good as far as basic natures go.

The bottom of D-Tier is another great basic nature, this time the best of the basic elemental natures, Lightning release. Not only is this the most offensive basic nature, but it’s also effective against two other basic natures, Earth and Water release.

E-Tier Natures

E-Tier chakra natures (Earth, Fire, Wind) from the anime series Naruto
E-Tier chakra natures (Earth, Fire, Wind)

As the only tier comprised of only basic natures, E-Tier starts off with Earth release. Despite not being as good as Yin or Lightning release, Earth release is probably the most versatile of the basic chakra natures. For this reason, it gets to sit at the top of E-Tier.

Fire release is right in the middle of the basic chakra natures. It’s the standard, which makes sense since it’s what the shinobi of the Hidden Leaf Village tend to specialize in. It’s good against one nature and bad against one other. There’s not much else to say about it.

The final nature of E-Tier is Wind, which is both weak to fire and less damaging than fire. So, naturally, it’s going to sit below fire on the tier list. Again, there’s nothing special about this nature. It just exists.

F-Tier Natures

F-Tier chakra natures (Water, Yang, Swift) from the anime series Naruto
F-Tier chakra natures (Water, Yang, Swift)

The best of the worst chakra natures is Water release. The reason this basic elemental nature is in F-Tier is that it’s weak to both Lightning and Earth. Yes, it’s also strong against Fire and Scorch release. But there’s only one known Scorch release user (who’s dead), so that’s doesn’t really matter.

Yang release is the worst basic chakra nature because it allows users to manipulate their physical attributes. An example is the Akimichi clan’s Expansion jutsu. But, you can be physically strong without being able to use Yang release. It’s fine when paired with other natures. However, I wouldn’t want just Yang release.

And, the worst of the worst when it comes to chakra natures is Swift release, a kekkei genkai of all things. It allows the user to move extremely quickly to the point their movements can’t be tracked. Do you know who else can do that without needing Swift release? Basically everyone. Think about Rock Lee’s speed without his leg weights or Minato’s various Flying Thunder God techniques.

Conclusion

What parts of my chakra nature tier list do you agree with? And what parts don’t you agree with? Let me know in the comments. And if you want to make your own chakra nature tier list, make sure to tweet it at me when you’re done.

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Naruto: Kaguya’s Descendants

Naruto: Kaguya’s Descendants

Kaguya’s Family Tree

Back in my discussion about why shinobi of the modern day are weaker than their historical counterparts, I mentioned how all chakra on Earth has a singular origin. That origin is Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, and more specifically, the divine tree she planted.

Kaguya then passed a portion of her chakra down to her two sons, Hamura and Hagoromo. When these two eventually sealed their mother within the moon, Hamura went to live on the moon, leaving Hagoromo the sole heir to the Ōtsutsuki clan on Earth.

Hagoromo had two sons of his own, Indra and Asura, and these two traveled the world gathering followers. Indra and Asura passed their chakra to their followers, and then their followers passed on that chakra down subsequent generations of their clans.

However, there are some modern clans that are the direct descendants of Kaguya’s lineage. These include the Kaguya, Hyūga, Uchiha, Senju, Uzumaki, and potentially Kazamatsuri clans.

Kaguya Clan

The Kaguya clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Kaguya clan’s symbol

As you can probably tell, the Kaguya clan gets their name from their “founding” member. What’s interesting about them is that we don’t actually know how they’re related to Kaguya herself, and yet they’re the first clan in the series with a distinct connection to her.

In fact, despite some of the other clans having more traceable lineages leading back to Kaguya, it’s the Kaguya clan that appears to be closest in relation to her. Their skin is pale like hers, their hair is parted in the same way at the scalp, and their eyebrows are shaped to look like the dots she has on her forehead.

But, the similarities to Kaguya aren’t merely surface level. If this was the case, the argument could be made that the Kaguya clan is nothing more than a cult that worships the founder of chakra. Instead, certain members of the clan actually possess a kekkei genkai that’s known to originate with her: Shikotsumyaku.

Way back near the start of the Naruto series, there was a minor antagonist by the name of Kimimoro. You’ll remember him as the boy who was able to manipulate his own skeleton. That jutsu is the Shikotsumyaku, which itself is a derivation of Kaguya’s Ash-Killing Ash Bones kekkei mōra.

Unfortunately for the Kaguya clan, they’re now extinct. Kimimoro was the last of his clan, so the Shikotsumyaku jutsu died with him.

Hyūga Clan

The Hyūga clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Hyūga clan’s symbol

The Hyūga clan’s lineage to Kaguya is known, unlike the Kaguya clan’s. We know that they descended from Kaguya’s son Hamura, who lived on the moon. I haven’t seen the movie that deals with that, but I’m assuming the clan got its start while Hamura was still on Earth — though I guess they could have traveled back to Earth from the moon.

Anyway, how they got to be on Earth isn’t what’s important for this discussion. The important pieces of information here are that they’re direct descendants of Hamura, who’s the son of Kaguya, and that they have one of the Ōtsutsuki clan’s kekkei genkai to prove it.

You’ll notice that the Hyūga are the only clan with the Byakugan, even among the other clans that descended from Kaguya. This comes down to their lineage through the Hamura side of the family rather than the Hagoromo side.

While Kaguya herself had the Byakugan, they were only passed down to Hamura. Hagoromo instead received the Rinnegan, after which he was named the Sage of Six Paths. So the reason we could tell that the Hyūga clan descends from Hamura rather than Hagoromo (other than the aforementioned movie) is due to their eyes.

And, even the Hyūga’s Eight Trigrams technique is a derivative of Kaguya’s original Eighty Gods Vacuum Attack, so there’s that too.

Uchiha Clan

The Uchiha clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Uchiha clan’s symbol

The Uchiha clan is the first of three clans known to have descended from Hagoromo’s side of the family. Specifically, they’re the descendants of his son Indra, who was the first person to awaken the Sharingan. As such, the connection between the Uchiha clan and Kaguya is pretty clear.

Also, much like the Hyūga, the Uchiha married within their own family for centuries as a way to keep their kekkei genkai from spreading elsewhere. This is why we don’t see any other clans in the entire world who possess either the Byakugan or Sharingan — and that makes it even easier to trace their lineage directly to Kaguya.

There’s not really much else to say about the Uchiha clan here, except that another piece of evidence connecting them to Indra is that the “reincarnation” of Indra is always a member of this clan.

Senju Clan

The Senju clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Senju clan’s symbol

The Senju clan is effectively the opposite of the Uchiha clan. They also descend from Hagoromo’s side of the family. However, rather than being the descendants of Indra, they’re the descendants of Asura.

What’s weird about the descendants of Asura is that they don’t have any visible attributes that would suggest this is the case. Asura wasn’t born with the ability to awaken the Byakugan or Rinnegan. But, he did receive the wood release kekkei genkai, which I’ll get to in just a moment.

First, what makes Asura truly unique from the other members of his family is his life force. Asura and his descendants all have an extremely strong life force. This is the reason Hashirama (the first Hokage) and his granddaughter (Tsunade) were able to use regeneration jutsu so masterfully.

So, what about the wood release? The issue is that we only know of three other wood release users throughout history. One of those three is Yamato, who had Hashirama’s DNA spliced into him, so he doesn’t really matter for this discussion. The other two are Hashirama and Moegi.

Starting with Hashirama, he’s the only member of the Senju clan to naturally awaken wood release. This suggests that it’s not exactly genetic, and doesn’t merely skip a few generations like the Kaguya clan’s Shikotsumyaku. Also, the wood release isn’t connected to being Asura’s reincarnation, because then Naruto would have naturally awakened it as well.

If that wasn’t complicated enough, the fact that Moegi somehow has wood release as well makes it even worse. Moegi is a member of the Kazamatsuri clan, and we simply have no idea how or if they’re related to any clan with a connection to Kaguya.

So for now, I’d say that wood release alone isn’t enough to link a clan to Kaguya. And if it is, then the Kazamatsuri clan must be descended through Asura as well.

Uzumaki Clan

The Uzumaki clan's symbol from the anime series Naruto
The Uzumaki clan’s symbol

The final clan that we know descends from Kaguya is the Uzumaki clan. It was stated that the Uzumaki’s and Senju’s are closely related, and we can see that the Uzumaki’s also wield Asura’s strong life force. This is part of the reason why they’re so useful as jinchuriki and is also the source of Karin’s signature healing ability.

And speaking of Karin, she, Naruto, Boruto, and Himawari are the only four living members of the Uzumaki clan we know of. Nagato and Honoka were also alive during the present timeline of the story, but have both since died.

There’s not really much else to say about the Uzumaki clan though. As far as we know they haven’t received any kekkei genkai from their lineage. But, at least with Naruto being the reincarnation of Asura, we know that any one of his descendants can reincarnate as him, not only members of the Senju clan.

And, since the Senju and, especially, the Uzumaki clans didn’t solely marry within their own clans the way the Kaguya, Uchiha, and Hyūga did, there may be many other clans that are related to Kaguya through Asura that we simply don’t know about — such as the Kazamatsuri clan.

Conclusion

What’s interesting is that of the five clans we know are descended from Kaguya, only one is still going strong: the Hyūga. The Kaguya clan has been eradicated, the Uchiha clan has a sole heir in Sarada, the Senju clan seems like it’s going to die off with Tsunade, and the Uzumaki clan has Boruto and Himawari making up the next generation.

Basically, if anything bad were to happen to the Leaf Village, Kaguya’s known descendants would be wiped out. Sure, Sasuke might be somewhere else and Karin doesn’t live within the village borders, but it’s a real threat.

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