Why Naruto’s Best Mentor Is Also His Worst Enemy

Why Naruto’s Best Mentor Is Also His Worst Enemy

Despite being an inspirational & endearing paternal figure to Naruto, Jiraiya was responsible for much of Naruto’s childhood trauma. Here’s why.

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Why Naruto’s Best Mentor Is Also His Worst Enemy

Jiraiya has been an incredible influence in the life of Naruto Uzumaki, molding the shinobi’s worldview throughout his formative years in Naruto. Despite being instrumental in providing Naruto with a father figure and essentially teaching him to master a powerful move like the Rasengan, Jiraiya was, in many ways, Naruto’s worst enemy. Although Jiraiya remains one of the most beloved characters in the anime and is undoubtedly a legendary warrior, his relationship with Naruto, especially right after the latter’s birth, requires closer introspection.

While Naruto had individuals such as Iruka Umino and Kakashi Hatake care for and mentor him through his initial years as a shinobi, he was utterly devoid of a true parental figure who he could count on during tough times. Orphaned and no one to care for him, Naruto received monetary aid from Konoha in order to afford his daily necessities. While this was heartbreaking enough, Naruto was also shunned by most of the residents of his village due to the fact that he became the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails on the day of his birth. This fear and resentment harbored by most manifested in young Naruto’s everyday interactions, which made him feel further isolated from his community at large. Traumatized and isolated, it was natural for a child of Naruto’s age to crave acknowledgment, which he would often attempt to garner via his boisterous personality and many tricks.

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Naruto’s fate feels especially cruel if one were to consider the wilful absence of Jiraiya when he needed him the most. It is important to note that Naruto was named after Naruto Musasabi, the protagonist of Jiraiya’s first book, “The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi,” which essentially made him the child’s godfather. Despite being aware of Minato and Kushina’s wishes, along with his responsibilities as godfather, Jiraiya did virtually nothing to provide for Naruto or take care of him during his most vulnerable years. Although Jiraiya was involved in his prophetic mission and spent most of his years hunting down Orochimaru and the Akatsuki, it was especially cruel of him to not check upon his godson even once throughout the latter’s formative years. While it is unfair to expect Jiraiya to completely abandon his mission and settle in Konoha village, as a Sannin of his stature would inevitably be embroiled in strategic, life-long goals, the least Jiraiya could do was visit Naruto once in a while.

However, as Naruto was unaware of his true parentage and had not had a close paternal figure who he could base as a role model, he had to endure intense psychological trauma through most of his childhood. Even if Jiraiya was unable to raise Naruto himself, he could have at least made sure that the child was aware of his existence, as it would impart him with much-needed affection and the feeling of home. As childhood trauma often seeps into the mindsets of and actions carried out by adults much later in life, Jiraiya’s wilful neglect of Naruto for the first 12 years of his life can be arguably deemed as an unforgivable act. It is also crucial to note that it was not until his enrolment in the Academy that Naruto was able to forge bonds with the likes of Kakashi, Sakura, Shikamaru, and the others, and these friendships undoubtedly overwhelmed him on a deeper, more psychological level.

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Moreover, Jiraiya’s absence influenced Naruto’s innate personality in a number of ways. Due to years of social renouncement and isolation, Naruto was oblivious to social standings and honorifics, and was ever-eager for acknowledgment, no matter what the cost. While these traits are not inherently negative in any matter, they are manifestations of childhood trauma and the innate need to be accepted, and to belong. On the other hand, Jiraiya’s presence in his life, later on, did affect him in a positive manner, and it is endearing to witness their relationship unfold, as it is often in Jiraiya’s presence that Naruto seems happiest. After all, Naruto does inherit the notion of fighting for peace from his godfather, which plays out in interesting ways throughout his arc in Naruto. Nevertheless, despite Jiraiya’s actions, and the circumstances surrounding his childhood, Naruto evolves into a genuinely kind shinobi and human being, cherishing bonds closely and protecting those he loves.

Link Source : https://screenrant.com/naruto-jiraiya-mentor-best-enemy-worst-why/

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