The power of friendship in a manga world of death
Naruto is big. Compared to most comics and manga, Naruto is huge and growing in popularity. It is among the biggest Japanese titles, which include Bleach, One Piece, Full-Metal Alchemist and Death Note.
What’s it all about?
Naruto starts as a misfit ninja, orphaned, despised and alone, who progresses through trial and tribulation, to become the hero of the village. In the first half, we follow Naruto as a child, and Team 7 (Consisting of Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi) as they complete various missions and train as ninja.
What drives Naruto is his desire to be recognized and loved by his village by becoming Hokage (Leader) and protecting his friends.
A twist in the tale
About half way through the series, one of the characters Sasuke sacrifices his freedom and friendships to pursue power to avenge the death of his clan. After this the main aim of Naruto and co is to bring Sasuke back.
In the second half of the story Naruto returns, after years of training under ‘pervy sage’ Jiraiya in Naruto Shippuden. Still determined to bring Sasuke back, Naruto and the others fight for each other and to defend their village and their peace.
The power of friendship
A lot of Naruto’s philosophy throughout the series centres around friendship. Naruto claims that it is his friendships and the strength of his bonds that helps him defeat his enemies. Most of his foes see friendship as a weakness, yet Naruto, upon overcoming them, informs them that it is this love that helps him win.
Many of the people Naruto meets are changed by his warmth and optimism and yet Sasuke, the main antagonist at this point, stands firm against it.
It’s a brilliant and heart-warming ideal that friendship can overcome everything, but reality doesn’t match this. As fallen beings we are not always good friends. We are often not there when we are needed, preferring to meet our own needs or simply avoid the hassle. We backstab, slander and hurt those we claim to love and annoy the heck out of them at times!
The best friend you could ever have
Friends are a great support when we mourn, need support or just go about our daily lives, but this is still only a mere shadow of what true friendship is. Only in Christ can we ever have a true friend in this world.
Although friendship with humans doesn’t always work, friendship with Christ does.
Through thick and thin, pain and joy, the good times and the bad, Christ stays by our side and encourages and strengthens us.
That is the true power of friendship, Believe it!
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