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Friday, January 18, 2008

Naruto: Survival Training.(Naruto Cards)

Naruto Cards

In typical troublesome fashion, Naruto sets a trap for their very tardy Jounin teacher, but Sasuke is not convinced that such a teacher could fall for an eraser trap in the door. The door opens, the eraser falls with a klunk right onto the head of Kakashi, and the students are disappointed. Is this Ninja really a Jounin? And what does Kakashi think of these kids. In a low voice and emotionless mutter he says, "My first impressions of you. I hate you." The kids are stunned!

They assemble outside to introduce themselves. Naruto wants his teacher to start. Kakashi gives his name, says he has no intention of telling them his likes and dislikes, will not remark upon any dreams, and says he has many hobbies. Sakura complains, "So all we found out was his name."

Naruto describes himself openly. He likes cup ramen, he hates the three minutes he has to wait for the ramen to cook, his hobby is to eat and compare cup ramens, and he dreams of becoming greater than all the Hokages before.

Sakura is next. She can't get her eyes off Sasuke. She won't admit she likes him, she never states her hobby, she won't state her dreams, and when Kakashi asks her what she hates, she replies: "Naruto!" The teacher thinks that girls her age are more interested in love than ninjutsu.

Uchiha Sasuke is last to introduce himself, saying simply there are many things he hates, nothing he likes, and his ambition is the revival of his clan and to kill a certain man. While Kakashi looks despondently at these three hopeless students, Naruto angrily glares at Sasuke. "I hope he's not referring to me!"

Kakashi announces they will begin survival training the next day, warning them that out of the 27 graduates, only nine will become ninjas. The rest will be sent back to the academy. They are to meet the next morning at 5 AM sharp along with their ninja equipment and they are forbidden to eat breakfast.

The next morning, the three hungry students assemble, and wait patiently. Once again, Kakashi is late. When he shows up, he is wearing two bells. He notifies them that they must try to take a bell from him. That is their mission. Whoever fails will have no lunch. Naruto proclaims how he will succeed. Kakashi explains this boasting when he says: "In society, those who don't have many abilities tend to talk big. Just ignore the guy with the lowest score."

Naruto is incensed. He has already been called a blockhead by Sasuke. Now, to his teacher, he is just the guy with the lowest score. Back at the academy, Hokage-sama reveals an astounding truth to Iruka-sensei. The children's teacher, Kakashi, has never ever passed anyone.

Back in the training field, Kakashi gives his first advice. "A basic for a ninja is to conceal his presence and hide himself." Sakura and Sasuke run off to hide in the bushes. Naruto, however, stands boldly forth to fight Kakashi then and there. Kakashi mutters, "Aren't you a little weird compared with the rest?" Naruto snaps back, "What's weird is your hairstyle!"

Naruto attacks, losing sight of the teacher, and a voice appears from behind the confused student: "A ninja should not let the enemy get behind him! Idiot!" He then gives Naruto a firm whack from behind, and the boy goes flying into the river. But the young ninja student is not so easily defeated. He initiates a Shadow Replication Technique and sends seven Narutos leaping out from the water and bearing down upon the teacher.

Kakashi correctly surmises that it was the technique he had used to defeat Mizuki, but he knows that Naruto is still Naruto and therefore significantly incompetent. While the seven Narutos attack, a mysterious extra figure leaps from behind. Naruto has created the extra replicant to attack while those in front provided a distraction. From the bushes, Sakura and Sasuke are impressed by their teammate's tactic. However, the teacher vanishes, having transformed himself into one of the replicants, and escaped.

The eager Naruto can no longer see his teacher, but spies a lonely bell lying on the grass. He jumps for it, a trap is released, and the foolish boy winds up hanging upside down by his heels from a tree. Kakashi reappears. "Don't fall for an obvious trap, idiot!" Then he gives him one of the most important teachings he can contribute.

"Ninjas must think beyond the normal." He adds to that, "Your movements are filled with unnecessary motions."

Preoccupied by Naruto, Kakashi fails to see that Sasuke has taken advantage of the distraction and has commenced a shuriken attack from the bushes, sending the hail of knives toward the teacher. The knives pierce his clothes and send Kakashi crashing to the ground. The episode ends with a horrified Naruto thinking that his teammate has overdone it.

The importance of this entire episode is to introduce the students and the audience to the skills and principles of an accomplished Jounin teacher. As the characters learn and absorb their training, the audience follows the action and evaluates the rules and principles for themselves. It is not all magic and invention, but a long and difficult path of study that all students must travel.

-Naruto Cards-

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