Naruto Chapter 602 Breakdown: What it means to be alive.
Sometimes in life, we are affected by unexpected events that may change our lives in a very significant manner. Whether it’s through an injury that causes a disability or through the loss of someone close to us, these events can drastically affect how we see our lives or even affect our will to live as a whole.
To be strong enough to move forward in spite of these events takes a particularly strong will or a lot of support from those around us, but one things for certain, there’s something special about an individual who can look into the heart of their own nightmares and still have the strength to move forward and smile again.
Alright, so when I spoke about life-changing occurrences, I doubt being crushed by a boulder is something that many people have experienced, so Obito’s situation is a little extreme given the circumstances. In saying that though, we can learn a lot about his character just by observing how he reacts to his own predicament.
Surprisingly enough, despite his physical condition – with the loss of an eye, having half his body crushed and being held together by bandages and tape – Obito’s spirit remains the same as it was before. His reaction to Madara’s appearance and the possibility that he is about to transcend into the afterlife is very comical in nature and quite Naruto-esque. What struck me most though was that despite all his hardships and this newly formed predicament he’s found himself in, Obito still hasn’t lost his ability to smile.
Now, I’m sure by now some of you are wondering what I’m going on about, but I do believe that understanding Obito’s nature as it is now in this flashback will go a long way in helping us also understand just how much meaning there is in his eventual fall. It would have taken a lot of pressure and many hardships for Obito to undergo such a drastic change regarding his outlook on life and the world as a whole and it makes me wonder just how far Madara pushed his mind to the point where it eventually broke his will or how much Rin’s death had to do with it.
When we look at clues as to what may have happened to catalyze that change, these questions also marry back to a few chapters ago where Obito, still masked as Tobi, challenged Naruto with questions of his own.
I think Obito sees a lot of his old self in Naruto and, much like he once had a strong will and a positive outlook on the world even despite all of his hardships, Naruto as he is now still shares the same optimism and hope that the old Obito once upheld. I think this is why Obito challenged Naruto with his words, because in many ways, he himself was probably crushed by his own failures (all falling boulders aside) and his inability to change reality and the cruel fate it carried for him and those he loved.
Obito mentioned before that he wouldn’t waste time blaming “this reality” for what happened to Rin and he doesn’t seem to want to take revenge on Kakashi, so it got me thinking that maybe it’s because deep down inside, he’s really just blaming himself for everything that has happened. In a way, I think that Naruto is acting as a form of a catalyst, igniting Obito’s feelings from the boy he once was in the man he has now become. Because Naruto is very much like the old Obito used to be, this may simply be a case where Obito is loathing the visage an old reflection he once saw standing in a mirror before him, thus, he questions what Naruto will do if he fails much in the way he did.
I suppose more details will be revealed in due time, but despite all of these clues about Obito’s nature, for me, the real focus of this chapter was Madara himself.
Although most of the clues about Obito’s change in personality are hypothetical in nature and thus, subject to interpretation and theorization, the information we have been given about Madara is far more solid and concrete. For one thing, I found his outlook on the world to be very interesting and also somewhat accurate in many regards.
In particular, the way he spoke about the contrast between winners and losers – or lights and shadows – was very intriguing. When you consider his words, much of what he says is true, after all, when you create a source of light then naturally the stronger that light is, the darker the shadow it it casts will become. In fact, the intensity of the shadow is really directly proportional to the intensity of the light. It’s also ironic that shadows cannot exist without the presence of light itself and this concept marries with that of winners and losers as well. To put it plainly, in life you cannot have a winner without having a loser. For someone to succeed, others have to fail and it is within this contrast that we are able to measure success and its subsequent value. It’s not a pretty outlook, nor does it sound fair, but in the end, it is not inaccurate either.
You can’t have a business owner without having employees. You can’t have an Olympic gold medalist without having someone who comes in last place. You can’t have a doctor without having patients. It’s a cruel irony that in many cases, the success of some can only come about through the suffering of others. When you look at things from Madara’s perspective, in the end – at face value – it’s difficult to fault his reasoning. It’s the world seen through cold, logical and methodical eyes and in many ways, it is significantly accurate. Even the concept of hatred born through love is something one only has to look at the real world to understand as being true.
However, I also think that Madara has inadvertently contradicted himself because through his own words, he has proven the folly of his plans to create a perfect utopia.
Madara pretty much put it best himself with what he said here. “When you feel pain… you know that you are alive.” It’s a statement that all on its own, destroys the very foundation around which Madara has built his own understanding of what life should be, and that brings with it the realization that the sensation of living is one that is synonymous with feeling the extremes of both pain and comfort, or of hatred and love.
Without these feelings, both high and low, how do we know that we are in fact alive? How can we appreciate the arrival of spring without first experiencing the icy chill of winter? How can we appreciate happiness if we do not understand sorrow? How can we understand the value of love if we do not know what life is like without its presence? In essence, how can we possibly measure an existence that is flat or one-dimensional and that has no scope to it?
In the end, Madara’s outlook on life is ultimately flawed because he has lost the understanding of what it actually means to be alive in the first place, despite the fact that he himself mentioned it indirectly. He has failed to understand his own words in that sometimes we need to feel pain in order to know that we are still alive. The world he wants to create is essentially a world of death where there are no feelings, where there are no highs or lows and where only a single sensation of emptiness remains. It isn’t a utopia, it is simply an end to what it means to exist in the first place.
Despite Madara’s words though, Obito remains rebellious about his fate, proving in an act of desperation that even when living through hardship, the will to live is still strong. It marries back to what I said in the beginning about how there’s something special about how those who live through hardships can still have the will to live, but I also think that it’s because of the fact that those people have suffered that they can understand the true value of happiness.
On a last note, I also felt that Obito’s last thoughts about how he and Kakashi can protect Rin together – based on Madara’s words of how the true potential of the sharingan can only be unlocked if you have both eyes – may be foreshadowing an alliance between Obito and Kakashi in the future. If the true potential of their eyes can only be unleashed when they are united, then perhaps only through working together will they be able to defeat Madara.
In the end, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Obito. Seeing him struggling so desperately even though we know its a struggle in vain really hit a cord and it goes at least some way in creating some form of connection with him as a character. In any case, that’s all from me this week. Here are your Bubbliton Contest winners.
Katsuya: Now what have we learned?
Tsunade: That when Madara says he’s gonna show you his wood… it’s not a euphemism.
Caption: Don’t feel too badly Tsunade, no one else ever thought an Uchiha would be on the delivering end of one of these jokes either.
Katsuyu: You just had to pull an Obito, didn’t you?
Tsunade: I couldn’t let that swirly bastard take all the crushing. Now bring me them Kages.
Caption: Tsunade: Fame whore.
Katsuyu: Tsunade where are you?!
Tsunade: Im over here…
Caption: and over there… <__<
Katysuyu: Want me to spot you?
Tsunade: I think i sprained a muscle…
Caption: The Splits… you’re doing it wrong.
Nope. It looks like you submitted on time Coolbeans. Congrats for winning.
Here is this week’s Bubbliton.
See you in the comments! ^ ^