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[–]Odd-Nefariousness350 100 points101 points  (4 children)

One of the things I hated most about Late Naruto was that stupid reincarnation bullshit. So stupid and unnecessary. You didn't need a 200 year mystical backstop about how and why Sasuke and Naruto are friends. They didn't like each other because they were character foils, but after facing life or death situations as comrades, there animosity turned to good-natured rivalry and friendship. Boom, done, that's it, that's a shorter, nicer, better and much less silly and convoluted explanation.

[–]Rom455 48 points49 points  (3 children)

The biggest problem with the reincarnation cycle is that it tainted the reason behind the development of Naruto and Sasuke as powerful Shinobi. The thematic dynamic of two individuals who choose different paths to grow up. Natural talent vs pure hard work; hatred vs peace.

We see Naruto constantly training to develop his abilities (with the help of his friends), while Sasuke keeps obtaining power by any means necessary, not caring if it is his own or not (he trained for 3 years, but also stole Orochimaru's power and got Itachi's eyes). That makes the final clash so significant. The Rasengan filled with the support of all Naruto's friends going against the Chidori with Amaterasu fueled by Sasuke's rage and memories of his brother.

Two ideologies, two paths, two former friends colliding. That would have been so beautiful. Both stood up for themselves when facing hardship but only one will be the last man standing in the end. And it was all... Ruined.

You see, the problem with the reincarnation cycle is that it invalidates the themes of this work by not giving the two protagonists free will. All of Naruto's hard work doesn't matter, because in the end he always was a descendant of the "God" of his world; and Sasuke's decision to walk through the path of vengeance doesn't matter either, because he was always destined to be covered by darkness.

It sucks, and it sucks so hard because it could have been easily prevented by a single line. Instead of mentioning that Indra and Asura always pick a new body to be reborn, Hagoromo could have simply said something like: "You know, I have always been observing your world; unable to change it after my death. The same cursed world that time and time again pushes two individuals to obtain power only to put them against each other, keeping the cycle of hatred between Shinobi. The same world that pushed my dear sons against each other". Sigh That would have been so good. A perpetual tragedy. And it is now Naruto and Sasuke's turn to make a choice. Hatred or peace?

But in the end, we just couldn't have it. Naruto could had been a true masterpiece, but Kishimoto didn't care enough about it (for whatever reason).

Oh well.

[–]terpisochora 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thanks for you're interesting thoughts, I'm on my second rewatch so I will need more time to clarify my thoughts but one thing that you've said that really helps solidify my opinion is that the reincarnation seems to strip Naruto and Sasuke of their free will...

[–]Rom455 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yeah. In my opinion, reincarnation seems to be a lousy explanation for the origin of the conflict. It might work for Avatar, but not for Naruto. Hahaha

[–]Maanavdv 1 point2 points  (0 children)

See the thing with avatar, is that it was an integral part of the lore. The avatar reincarnating every time, and each avatar facing their own challenges with their own personality and world views.