Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Naruto Ninja Rankings

Here you find information on all of the different Ninja Rankings in the Naruto series. For each ninja ranking we have supplied a description of what that ranking is and an image of a character in that ranking. To prevent any confusion the term Shinobi is another Japanese term for the word Ninja.

Academy Students - This is where everyone interested in becoming a Ninja must first start out. It's almost like a pre-ninja stage. You aren't officially considered a ninja yet, but you're in the training of becoming one. This is usually the stage where you'll see all the little kids. Academy Students usually graduate around the age of 12. During the training of the academy, students don't do any missions, but learn about what becoming a ninja means and practicing basic techniques that everyone should know before becoming a real ninja.

Lower Ninja - Also known as a Genin, this is the stage an Academy Student reaches after successfully graduating the Academy. They are now considered an official ninja. When this happens the passing students from the academy are split into groups of 3 people; each group with their own Elite Ninja instructor. The instructor will supervise them on missions and help prepare them for becoming a Middle Ninja. Lower Ninja's missions usually consist of more tedious / unskillful tasks like Weeding, Finding Lost Pets and so on.

Middle Ninja - Also known as a Chuunin, once becoming this level of a Ninja, much more skill and responsibility is required. Middle Ninja's now not only protect themselves in a mission, but the team assigned to them. Middle Ninjas usually have less time to train themselves, and spend their days serving the Kages and teaching Academy Students. Becoming a Middle Ninja is an extremely hard thing to do, and if accomplished shows a great amount of skill in a ninja.

Elite Ninja - Also known a Jounin, this level of Ninja is extremely hard to achieve, and is quite an accomplishment if achieved. This is the next level above a Middle Ninja, and just like the jump from Lower Ninja to Middle Ninja, the jump from Middle Ninja to Elite Ninja is big. It hasn't yet been shown how to achieve this rank of Ninja, but judging by how powerful an Elite Ninja is, it's got to be extremely hard. Elite Ninjas take on the highest ranked missions and are sometimes required to teach Lower Ninjas (i.e. Kakashi with Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura).

Anbu - Greatly skilled, Anbu Ninjas specialize in 3 categories; Assassination, Espionage, and Protection. You could almost think of this ninja level, as a sub-ranking within Special Elites. Like Hunter-Nins, the identity of these ninjas are never revealed, but we do Sasuke's older brother Itachi used to be one. Like Genins, Anbu Ninjas are split into groups of 3 and lead by a higher ranking ninja, which in this case is a Special Elite.

Special Elite - The same as an Elite Ninja, but specializes in a certain field, like medicine or chakra manipulation. In some ways this can be easier to achieve than a regular Elite Ninja, because you only need to be really good at one aspect of being a Ninja, where regular Elites need to be really good and lots of different things. Anbu captains would fall under this category since they are also very specialized.

Missing-Nin - This is the title given to any ninja, regardless of whatever rank they currently belong to, that have left and abandoned their home village. Because they have left their village, and could leak out important information to enemy villages, they are hunted down and killed. Leaving a village is acceptable, aslong as you are to stay affiliated with it.

Hunter-Nin - Also known as Body Erasers, these Ninjas and trained for the soul purpose of hunting down Missing-Nins and killing them. This is to prevent a Missing-Nin from ever leaking out important information about their home village. Hunter-Nins when trained are taught how to kill people, and learn things like where the weak points in a person's body is. All Hunter-Nins wear face masked and they're identity is not revealed.

Sage - Also known as a sennin, this rank of Ninja consists of Ninjas who are close to, or possibly stronger than that of a Kage Ninja. This type of Ninja was usually choose to live outside of their own village, but are forced to keep in touch with it, so not become a Missin-Nin and get hunted down. 3 examples of Ninjas who fall into this rank of ninja are Jiraiya, Tsunade (Who is now a Kage), and Orochimaru.

Kage - The highest level of Ninja that can achieved, Kages are extremely powerful, and know many different techniques. There can only be one Kage per village, and this Ninja is the one in charge of that village. Having strength matched by virtually no one (except perhaps a Sage), they are extremely respected by others. Each of Ninja villages calls their Kage a slightly different name. Here are the names used by the villages, along with what that name means. Ho (Fire), Kaze (Wind), Mizu (Water), Rai (Lightning), Tsuchi (Earth). Each of those names is put infront of the word Kage. For example, Ho (Fire), would be Hokage, and Kaze (Wind), would be Kazekage.

Naruto Chapter 452 – Leaf vs Cloud Ninja

Since this week’s chapter wasn’t all that long or informative and since I don’t really have that much time, I won’t go into details too much.

Naruto and Sakura are absolutely furious when they hear about Danzo’s orders. Kakashi however is not surprised, because he had been expecting such a development. He explains that the only reason why Sasuke hasn’t been killed yet was because of Tsunade’s protection. The two young ninja make a decision to go talk to Danzo and let him have a piece of their mind, but are stopped by their master. Kakashi manages to persuade them not be too rash, because the consequences might be even more severe. Because Naruto is the Kyuubi jinchuuriki, Danzo wants to keep him under constant surveillance, so if Naruto were to act against him, Danzo would have the perfect alibi, as Hokage, to isolate him. Kakashi reasons that if Naruto is locked up, he won’t be able to search for Sasuke. A small light of hope on the whole Danzo-is-Hokage situation is that the jounins of the village must vote for or against his appointment. If most of them vote against him, his position will be revoked and Tsunade will continue to be Hokage.

06Meanwhile the new “beloved” Hokage has similar thoughts. Danzo seems pretty confident that he can win the election, as long as everything goes smoothly. He reappoints Sai as Naruto’s observer, thinking Naruto might do something wild or unexpected again. The blond is the villagers’ favourite now and any action against him would bring loss of authority for Konoha’s leader. Sai is curious about his master’s plan for Naruto, but is simply reassured that nothing bad will happen to him for the time being. Whatever the case, it’s certain that Danzo has some evil plan in mind. What it is, we might find out next time, when the kage meeting is supposed to start.

Soon after Naruto, Sakura and Sai meet up at the river. When asked to share some more information on Danzo, the ROOT member refuses, though unwillingly. Danzo has been known to use the severe training methods of the Mist village, now it’s revealed that he also uses secret seals to prevent his troops from spilling any information that might compromise him.
08The tattoo on Sai’s tongue is a seal that instantly renders his body useless if he speaks anything concerning Danzo. Of course Sakura thinks that such methods are appalling and inhumane. Sai explains that though it may seem as brutal Danzo’s organisation and approach are actually very important to Konoha, as they protect it from many dangers.
The discussion then changes to Sasuke’s predicament. Sai is surprised to learn that Danzo gave an order to hunt the Uchiha down. Their conversation is rudely interrupted by the Cloud ninja who suddenly appear beside them. 10

Komui points a sword at Sakura’s neck, demanding to hear information about Sasuke. Of course Naruto can’t tolerate someone pointing a weapon against his teammate and immediately attacks. With an amazing speed he takes Sai’s short sword out of its sheath and pushes away Karui’s sword. He goes for her face, but is stopped by Omoi, who blocks Naruto’s elbow with his sword’s hilt.
The two Cloud ninja display amazing teamwork, using each other as extensions and for support. While in the air, Karui makes a back flip to get on Naruto’s other side, but is warned by Omoi not to cut him, because Konoha’s ninja are supposed to be allies to the Cloud village.
13However, as soon as Omoi stopped Naruto’s attack, he later started performing his trademark technique – Kagebunshin. Before Karui could get a hit, a clone of Naruto appears, blocking the girl’s sword with his bare hands. Both foreigners are impressed by Naruto’s incredible agility and taijutsu and are caught off guard by Sakura and Sai. The two Konoha ninja are too slow and are completely unable to catch up with their opponents’ speed. Sai aims a kick for Omoi and Sakura tries to punch Karui, but Omoi is one step ahead of them. he combines dodging and attacking to both evade Sai’s kick and send Sakura flying. Naruto immediately rushes to Sakura’s aide, catching her before she hits the rock wall behind her. Karui knocks Naruto’s clone out and both Cloud ninja jump onto the river’s surface to get away from their adversaries.

Naruto is quite pissed at them for attacking them all of a sudden for nothing. Sakura is confused as to what business Cloud ninja have in the fire country, while Sai just remains as silent as ever. Omoi explains, or rather shouts, that they’re looking for Sasuke, who attacked their village not so long ago. The statement that Sasuke abducted a respected Cloud ninja stuns the members o Team 7. But an ever further shock awaits them, when Karui announces that Sasuke has joined Akatsuki. While Omoi is busy speaking of revenge and whatnot, Naruto can’t help but take doubt in Sasuke’s behavior. His best friend’s action have been getting more and more violent lately, and now, after killing his brother, the young Uchiha suddenly decided to join an evil organisation like Akatsuki. The same organisation that wants to capture Naruto and take over the world.

Naruto Chapter 451 – Let’s Kill Sasuke

Now isn’t this nice? Two characters, who we haven’t seen in over 420 chapters suddenly reappear, asking: “Hey, where’s Sasuke?” And the logical answer is: “He’s on the hunting list!” Sounds a bit messed up, but that’s Kishimoto for ya. It seems he’s into reintroducing characters and problems that haven’t been mentioned for hundreds of chapters; just like Eiichiro Oda.

The good villagers of Konoha have already started cleaning up the remains of the old buildings and creating new ones. Wood and other materials are salvaged from the old houses, thus reducing the needs of cutting down the Fire country’s forests. Some of the citizens are worried and frustrated about their current situation and the fact that the results of all of their predecessors’ work has been obliterated. A good reminder, however is truth that a country is made of its people and that as long as the people are still there, everything else is just details.02-03Yamato shows off his impressive skills by creating an entire neighbourhood in seconds. The first Hokage probably used the same technique to start off Konoha. The ANBU agent is quickly exhausted, the crowds cheering him on. Let’s just hope he rebuilds the ramen shop soon, ’cause poor Naruto is probably starving.

At the other side of town we see Naruto and Sakura, who are both pretty down because of Tusnade’s condition. Naruto probably wants to ask Tsunade about his parents, Jiraiya or maybe even Pein, while Sakura is simply worried about her master’s health and the results of the recent events. They’re both in for a surprise, due to the sudden appearance of Inari and Tazuna. For those of you who don’t remember, these two were main characters in the manga’s very first ark. Back then the newly founded Team 7 helped them get rid of the mafia boss Gato, which led to a prosperous age for the Wave country. Now the two have come repay their debt to the Konoha ninja by lending a hand in the reparation process. Normally I wouldn’t pay this much attention to minor characters like Tazuna and Inari, was it not for the following two reasons:
The first, and quite ridiculous one, is the newly formed theory that Tazuna is none other than… Uchiha Madara! Yes, you saw correctly and no, you don’t have an eye problem. This scandalous theory comes along with the Tobi is Obito and/or Danzo theory. It suggests that Madara, like Pein, can take over multiple bodies with his Sharingan. Another “possibility” is that its Zetsu, who gains the power to morph into anyone he eats. There have also been a lot of speculations that they’re both the same person, or that Danzo is actually Madara’s supposedly dead brother. But if you ask me, I think it’s just Santa fooling you all!! Think about it – Santa can travel the entire world in just one night, so that must mean he’s using Madara’s teleportation jutsu. He’s also evil to the bones, so there’s just no doubt about it.

Now enough with the ridiculousness and back to the important stuff. This method is practically another way for Kishimoto to emphasize on the story’s dramatic plot by returning to the beginning. It’s as if the story begins all over again – the characters are back where they were, only now they’re finally stronger and their goals no longer seem unreachable. In the beginning the characters’ main goals were, respectively, to become Hokage, to get revenge, to win the heart of the beloved, to fix the team bonding. Now the situation hasn’t changed much, with the only exception being that Sasuke isn’t even in the team (we can’t say he was really that much into team stuff before).
Sasuke separation form the group was a heavy blow to Team 7, but many of the reasons lie within the group. When Tazuna asks whether it was because of a love triangle, Naruto quickly disperses such thoughts, though this was also a problem within the team, if not a very important one. Wat Tazuna had to say to Sasuke will remain a mystery, but it was probably some advice concerning Sasuke’s worldly views.
After Tazuna and Inari leave Naruto has a flashback of his fateful battle with Sasuke. He remembers his best friend’s words regarding his personal pain. Naruto realises that the reason why he couldn’t bring Sasuke back was because he couldn’t understand his feeling. He thought that since he had no parents or siblings, his emptiness was the same as the Uchiha’s, who had felt the warmth and love of a real family, but tragically lost it. They say: “It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”, but in reality both options are horrifying, it’s no wonder loneliness is the worst death aspect as Kubo Tite shows us in his mangas.

Once again everything spins around the same point – understanding. As Jiraiya stated many times in his philosophical teachings, understanding each other is the key to ending the world’s pain. Sasuke, like Pain, felt and still feels misunderstood. Pain and hatred are an emptiness inside one’s soul, a void that slowly evolves sucking in everything around them and creating more emptiness. Even Naruto was tempted by the Kyuubi when he was about to lose his batle with Pein. And had it not been for the reassurement that was given to him by his father, he too would’ve lost his soul to the darkness.


Overcoming his own confusing emotions and defeating Pein helped Naruto to mature into a person who is truly capable of not just understanding people, but perhaps even more. Naruto’s new goal is to restore Sasuke to the person he used to be, so that “Team 7 can laugh together again.”

Meanwhile the three ninjas from the Thunder village arrive amongst the ruins of Konoha, carrying a message for the Hokage. Unfortunately, Tsunade is still in a coma and can’t perform her duties. Samui demands that she meats the person who’s supposed to be in charge in case such a situation occurs. Shizune is baffled, because Konoha probably has no such person and humbly requests that she take the letter. The two kunoichi’s conversation is rudely interrupted, howerer, as Danzo rushes into the medical tent, claiming that he is the new Hokage. Apparantely, after new Hokage has been chosen, the old one is forcefully retired. As soon as he enters, Danzo demands to see the letter meant for Tsunade. What’s written in it, we can’t exactly see, but judging from the situations it’s a request from the Raikage to discipline Sasuke. Danzo makes a harsh decision and word about it quickly spreads around the village. Naruto, Kakashi and Sakura are personally informed by Kiba – the counsil’s decision is to dismiss Tsunade from her position, but even more shockingly – an order has been issued to bring back Sasuke’s head on a silver platter.

Finally, at Konoha’s telephone station or rather birdkeep, the request for a meeting of the five kages arrives. What will be decided there reamins to be seen. We know that the Raikage is very excentric and crazy, Madara and Danzo can’t be trusted, the Stone village’s leader is unknown, but is famed for his brutality and bloodthirst, which only leaves Gaara as someone who can stand up for Naruto and Sasuke.

The hand signs for lightning blade :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Naruto Chapter 450 – Danzo The Sixth Hokage!?

nother week, another chapter… First off, let’s start with the results from last week’s poll on the question: “Is Naruto stronger than Sasuke?” It wasn’t a surprise that Naruto won the vote by a landslide, which just raises a new question: is Sasuke strong enough to take on Danzo? Considering the fact that the young Uchiha almost got killed by Killerbee, while the ROOT leader was just appointed as the new Hokage makes me think there’s just no way for Sasuke to complete an assassination attempt like that.

But enough about the emo kids, it’s time to concentrate on the main character! Naruto arrives back in Konoha after the grandiose spectacle that was his battle with Pein. The hero is exhausted and can barely move. Luckily his sensei shows up just in time to help him on the way home. It’s good to see that Kakashi’s made a nice recovery in such a short time. My expectations were that he’d need to rest for a few weeks, like after his clash with Deidara.
As Naruto enters the city limits, he is welcomed by the cheering of a gigantic crowd – the citizens of Konoha, who have gathered to thank their savior. In the three years since Naruto became a ninja he has managed to earn the respect he vowed to obtain.


Even though things looked pretty grim for Naruto at the beginning of the series, through great determination, hard work and “the guts to never give up”, the number one knuckle-headed ninja finally gets a taste of what it’s like to live his dream. I’d say this chapter could under different circumstances be the very last in the series. It seems like just a matter of time until Naruto defeats the bad guys, gets Sasuke back and becomes the Hokage.
The villagers are all very grateful for everything that Naruto’s done for them. They express their happiness in tears, screams and cheers, asking various questions, never for a moment giving Naruto a chance to catch his breath. Perhaps their feelings are best epitomised by Sakura, who first punches Naruto for being so irresponsible towards his own well-being, then hugs him and thanks him for all his efforts.


But while everyone is celebrating, other events are slowly set in motion. We first see Akatsuki’s reaction to Pein’s death. As most of you predicted in last week’s poll, it seems Madara has no intention in dealing with the deflected Konan. It is disturbing to see the demon statue – Gedou Mazou still intact. Hopes were that it would disappear with Nagato’s death, but for one reason or another, it’s still standing, the bijuu inside it ready to be used by Madara. The Uchiha’s words: “We’ll need a new pawn to synchronise with Gedou ” makes me think that the statue requires a living human being that has to be constantly linked to it, in order to keep in the same dimension.


In the outskirts of Konoha we see some development on the Thunder ninjas’ mission. They’ve located Konoha, or at least the remains of it and are about to go scouting for information on the recent events. Their role in the manga so far has been nothing but comic relief, let’s hope they at least have some interesting techniques that could help restore the village to its previous state.

The final and most important events in the chapter revolve around the Hokage. We see Tsunade, who has reverted to her elderly-looking state, because her chakra has been completely drained. She’s fallen in a comatose state, from which she might not wake up anytime soon.


At the same time, the Daymio has gathered all the village elders for an urgent meeting – his five consultants, Homura Mitokado and Utatane Koharu (the third Hokage’s teammates), Danzo – the leader of ANBU-ROOT, the unnamed ANBU agent, who’s in charge of the Hokage’s security and Shikaku Nara – Konoha’s head jounin are summoned to discuss the future of Konoha. Their first worries regard Akatsuki and the rebuilding of the village. A budget must be decided, workers form all parts of the country must be hired, in order to reconstruct the strongest shinobi village to its former glory.
While discussions regarding what must be done on the matters of the other ninja countries take place, Danzo takes to opportunity to address another important issue – the Hokage’s position. With Tsunade unable to perform her duties, a new candidate must be elected, one who has the ability, the intelligence and the reputation required to take up such an important task. The Daymio, who seems a bit naive, wants to wait for Tsunade’s recovery, but is persuaded differently. he notes that his original choice would be the best – Jiraiya, but seeing as the legendary ninja is now deceased, such a thing is impossible. Just as Danzo is about to speak, he is cut off by Shikaku, who, being a smart man, gets an idea of what the elder is up to. The jounin nominates Kakashi as a candidate for the spot, which is welcomed with much excitement on the Daynio’s part, as he is swayed by the idea that the son of the White Fang and student of the fourth Hokage and also a man who has proven himself a great asset to the Fire country is available for the position.
Many of you might wonder why Naruto wasn’t chosen immediately because of his victory over Pein. While it’s true that the blond is probably Konoha’s strongest ninja right now, he’s still too young and inexperienced in the “Kage business”. His nomination would’ve probably been turned down instantly.
5However, things take a turn for the worse. Kaksahi not appointed as the sixth Hokage, his place is surprisingly taken by Danzo. The man who is the cause for so much suffering in the shinobi world finally attains the power he’s been seeking his entire life – to be the leader of the strongest ninja village. By persuading the council that Sarutobi’s teachings were too meek and sympathetic, he proposes a new regime – one of harsh laws that will discourage attitude such as Orochimaru’s and will bring a new meaning of peace to the world. Shikaku’s protests remain unheard, the Daymio’s mind is made up. A new age of darkness is about to begin under the tyranny of Danzo.