Hello readers, I’m back with the final part of my Naruto Bondage (though not the last part of this series, I’ll be moving on to other animes after this.)
You all seem to like this series so far, thanks for the support.
This time I want to talk about MC himself.
Again, I have not finished the show yet. So I won’t discuss how I feel about it. I’m using these characters for examples, not reviews, I just don’t want any fans to think I’m criticizing or praising the show itself for anything except a portrayal of the issues.
With that out of the way, let’s begin.
I was gong to just talk about Naruto’s fox spirit problem, but with Shippuden, I’ve come to realize in technicolor that his issues are two-sided.
In Naruto, the OG show, the Fox Spirit inside Naruto was treated like an eccentric old bachelor living alone in his weird mansion, Naruto could sass it and it complied, briefly, it almost seemed like it might get fond of him.
While it was less freaky than Gaara’s problem, I did think it was problematic to portray having a demon inside you as a chill thing. I love MHA, but Tokoyami’s quirk really can’t be taken too seriously without very disturbing implications.
I have been greatly satisfied to find it was treated as an actual problem in the follow-up show, and very accurately.
Naruto begins to struggle with the Fox spirit tempting him to use it more, it’s getting stronger every time. Hurting his body now, where it didn’t used to, and now controlling him, whereas he used to retain his own mind when he used it.
The fox goes form being mildly annoyed when Naruto uses it, to tempting him too. It seems like a bit of a shift, but it’s reasonable to think the Fox realized it would have more freedom if Naruto began to lose himself to it, and so began to actually wish him to rely on him.
I want to note that this show portrays beautifully a very overlooked truth: You are what you rely on.
The Bible says “Do not be deceived: God is not to be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
If you sow to the flesh, you are entrusting yourself to it, and you reap destruction. If you sow to God, you reap life.
The fox spirit tempts Naruto based on his flesh, his weakness is feeling he is never enough. He fails to save the people he most wants to save.
Yamato (I do not remember his real name) tells Naruto that he needs to save Sasuke with his own power. That he can do this and does not need the Fox.
Naruto, horrified at how he’s hurt people he loves by using the Fox, agrees, and from thereon begins to resist the Foxes’ efforts to take over. He does not always succeed without help, but he begins digging himself out of the hole.
It was shown with Gaara that he also did this, he began to choose not to tap into the power.
The show interestingly made the statement that free will is involved with the corruption of the Jinchuri (the people with demons in them.)
Naruto also is shown to be in contrast to Sasuke here, in that Sasuke was also cursed, but chose to rely on that curse and corrupt.
In real life, with demonic activity, the question of free will is tricky. Demon possession is horrifying mostly because it undermines a person’s free will.
Usually, at one point, the person opened a doorway, as we call it, and allowed it to come in. In that moment they sacrificed their free will. hey had a choice, you can choose to lose free will like you can lose a driver’s license, by making poor driving choices.
However, like I said in my Gaara post, someone can have a curse put on them by someone else, and it not be their fault that they suffer from the problem.
The Bible says a curse without a cause falls void (Proverbs 26:2). And as a popular christian children’s book, Punchinello, put it “The stickers only stick if you let them.”
It is sadly true that human beings could not be cursed if we had no sin. Sin breeds death and allows curses to have power over us. Most people activate curses by sinning. If we were all pure, it wouldn’t matter.
Gaara, Naruto, and Sasuke all deal with this in their own ways. Gaara was never given a fair chance to control himself, but he chose to make it worse by playing along. When he chooses to stop, his curse becomes weaker, and eventually, he gets freed from it entirely and gets a new life. (Literally, it was awesome.)
Naruto has a harder path because it does not seem likely he will lose his curse any time soon. He’s trying to manage it the way people mange mental illness…with about as much success. Good days, bad days, trying to live his life despite having that hang over his head.
But unfortunately, he has other issues the curse only makes harder.
Naruto’s emotional scarring about Sasuke becomes more and more of a problem with each time he fails to get Sasuke back. He blames himself each time for not being powerful enough.
To the point where he pushes himself beyond healthy limits in order to get stronger. He is obsessed and driven, to where he will not rest, and finally ends up hurting his own body in the process.
The absolute insanity of it is that his friends and teachers allow this, they even encourage it, shrugging off the consequences because “Naruto can handle it, he’s got stamina.”
At no point so far has he been told it’s a bad idea to desultory himself on Sasuke’s account.
I do not know if he is later, but I find that it has gone on so long already to be disgusting to my sense of wisdom.
The same thing happened with Sasuke. Kakashi waited until Sasuke was already ready to kill Naruto to tell him revenge might not be the best plan ever… long after Sasuke was past the point where that might have helped.
And it’s horrible for Naruto himself.
Naruto lives in guilt and shame over never being enough. It actually ties into his complex still left over from being an outcast. Nothing he ever did was good enough for Leaf Village to accept him. He was isolated just for being cursed.
Now he brings that into how he views Sasuke. He projects his own feelings onto Sasuke, and thinks it’s not right if he can be free but not free his friend.
It’s noble to want to help your friend, but if you are willing to destroy your own life over it…you have a problem.
Naruto however, is hardly an unrealistic example here. There are many people who sacrifice themselves for others in a way they shouldn’t. In my own family, it was what contributed to years of an abusive cycle.
That may be why I feel so strongly about Naruto’s case. I have lived to please and help someone who would neither be pleased nor helped, and I have damaged myself a lot in the process. I’ve seen my family damaged themselves even more than me.
Thank God we are beginning to heal, but it took so long.
I blamed myself too for not being better at loving, I had to realize that if someone will not receive love, it doesn’t matter how good you are at it. God himself cannot help someone till they receive it from Him (directly, of course He is always helping us in other ways.)
So, I know all about Naruto’s problem. And I know it’s common.
I will put this kind of bondage down to two things, neglect and abuse.
Naruto was abused by having a demon sealed in him. You could liken it to how all of us are programmed with bad behavior by our parents, at least if we have parents with issues.
Naruto was then neglected for most of his life, ad still is because people thing he is stronger than he really is. His strength is often brittle, and superficial. While his true strength is not nurtured by the people around him.
This combination would give anyone unworthiness issues. Naruto simply puts himself on the back burner.
I do the exact same thing. I shelve my needs in favor of my family’s.
I am so glad that I have God, because I do still take my needs to Him, even when I don’t to others. And if you take your needs to God, you will still get healed, even if God and people combined is faster.
But people alone is an imperfect solution, and for Naruto it’s not even a viable one most of the time. There’s a couple people in his life who would help hi,m, but he pays the least attention to them.
It’s not his fault, for it all comes of what he is used to. You tend to go with what feels normal to you. If being treated meanly or neglected is normal, you’ll hang around people who treat you that way.
I know I have. To me, that was just how people treat me.
If you are blessed enough to meet someone who treats you better, and you like theme enough to let yourself get sued to it, you are one of the lucky ones.
Often it has to be a choice to start seeking out better relationships.
What I would say in Naruto’s case, is that the best thing for him is to finally admit he is valuable enough for what’s been done to him to be worth getting angry over. He needs to cry about it. For himself, not for his friends.
He needs to start saying he deserved better.
And he needs someone to come alongside him and help him to stand by that.
For me, that’s God. I don’t think anyone else is as good, but even human beings can bring immense healing to each other.
The last thing, is that, Naruto (and us by extension) needs to let go. He can’t save everyone. He does not need to save everyone. We human beings are not the savior of the world. That position is filled already.
It is in God’s hands whether people are saved or not. And it also is on each individual themselves.
And it is not his fault. It is not your fault if someone in your life refuses help. Whether it’s your sibling, your child, your parent, your friends, your spouse, they have to want it.
You cannot make them want it. You cannot do that for them.
That’s a good thing.
And once you accept that you are merely human, you can begin to heal.
That is all for this post, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.