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Old 08-31-2012, 02:34 AM   #1
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Default In Defense of Kishimoto - Even Homer Nods

Quote:
Those oft are Stratagems which Errors seem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream.
- Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism
Obviously with the latest reveal that Tobi is Obito, many Naruto fans are in an uproar over the supposed inconsistencies shown by Obito's flashbacks. Mainly, most significant complaint is over the supposed timeline and how certain character's ages don't match up. As such, it has lead to attacks on Kishimoto's competency and professionalism as a manga author. However, I would argue that there are different grades of inconsistencies, and that we should give Kishi the benefit of the doubt by way of human fallacy and that sometimes they simply don't impact the plot or themes.

Everyone who has even a passing understanding of Western literature has heard of the Greek poet Homer and his work the Iliad, which is part of the Trojan Cycle of mythology. Its regarded as one of the greatest literary works of all time. However, its not perfect. Homer actually makes a continuity error in the story. For example, in Book 5.576-9 of the Iliad Menelaos kills a minor character, Pylaimenes, in combat; but later in Book 13.643-59 he is still alive to witness the death of his son. In Iliad 9.165-93 three characters, Phoenix, Odysseus, and Ajax set out on an embassy to Achilles; however, at line 182 the poet uses a verb in the dual form to indicate that there are only two people going; at lines 185ff. verbs in the plural form are used, indicating more than two; but another dual verb appears at line 192 ("the two of them came forward"). Do we say that Homer is a hack and that the Iliad is a shitty piece of work because Homer can't keep a consistent timeline or mixes up his numbers? No, of course not. We accept these mistakes and move on because they ultimately are minor details. These mistakes are jokingly attributed to Homer nodding off when recalling the story.

Now this is not to say that Naruto is on par with Homer's Iliad, its obviously not. However, they do share some similarities. For one thing, they are both meant to be a form of popular serial entertainment told over a length of time. As such, both Kishi and Homer have to cover a large amount of plot and characters over a long amount of time and neither have the ability to retract what has been said before. And as both are human, you get the occasional minor error.***

A story and character can still be interesting even if it doesn't make sense from a strictly timeline point of view. Refer again to the Trojan Cycle in Greek myths. The Trojan War was prophesied to never be won by the Greeks until Achilles son is supposed to take up his father's armor. Achille's son was supposed to be born from the sister's Achilles stayed with while he was hiding as a girl. Of course, going by that timeline that would mean that Achille's son was only 10 years old when he fought the Trojan War, and yet he was fighting toe to toe with all the other Greek heroes. It doesn't really make sense, but does it really matter? Not one bit. A son taking up his father's sword sounds cool, so the Greek authors rolled with it. So did the Romans, even though they were separated from the Greek stories by centuries and thus would have even more time to notice things like age discrepancies. Virgil wrote about how Achille's son killed Priam in front of his wife and daughters during the sack of Troy in his epic the Aeniad, and it was one of the best written and most harrowing sequences in the entire epic.

In short, Kishimoto like other decent writers will write his story from the perspective of emphasizing emotions and themes, not numbers and ages. Its possible that this messes with the timeline. But from the perspective of Naruto's story themes of generational conflicts, fallen ideals, and mirror antagonists it fits. Turrin explains it better on his thread here.

http://www.narutoforums.com/showthre...266&highlight=

All in all, one should worry more about inconsistencies in the manga that contradict the story's themes and characters rather than inconsistencies in the secondary canon databook that contradicts numbers in minor characters.

***On a separate note, do we even know what the exact timeline is? I don't recall it ever being established in the manga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkTorrent View Post
Can someone explain to me how changing ages of Hayate and Anko, that were only mentioned in the databook, changes the timeline, that was never established in the manga in the first place. Yes, never established. All we really know that Kyuubi's attack happened 12 years before the start of the manga, that Kakashi became Chuunin when he was 6 years younger than Naruto during CE arc, that Kumo and Konoha signed a peace treaty when Hinata turned 3 finally ending the war, that Itachi was an Anbu captain at 11, and that Itachi saw the war when he was 4. Everything else happened either before, in between, or after those events. So how does this chapter messes up this timeline?


Last edited by hcheng02; 08-31-2012 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:46 AM   #2
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There was a brief moment where the ages of Anko and Hayate bothered me a little bit, but dismissed it when I realized it didn't really mean a damn in terms of the main plot.

It's not like they turned around and said "Naruto's dad was never Hokage" or something big like that.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:50 AM   #3
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This is pretty fucking funny.

You trying to say a continuity error in one of the greatest classics of all time excuses a modern-day manga author for having 417 continuity errors.

Oh yea, and let's bring up inconsistencies in mythology. Which, you know, have been created and recorded by dozens of authors over hundreds of years. Legit comparison.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Oh yea, and let's bring up inconsistencies in mythology. Which, you know, have been created and recorded by dozens of authors over hundreds of years. Legit comparison.
A better comparison might be the inconsistencies in the works of JRR Tolkien; there were many due to him editing stories and changing his mind and coming up with new ideas over the many years that he wrote about the LotR-verse. Doesn't help that he died before he finished everything.


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for having 417 continuity errors.
Because that is not an exaggeration at all. Pika, you really could not be any more biased, could you?

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
This is pretty fucking funny.

You trying to say a continuity error in one of the greatest classics of all time excuses a modern-day manga author for having 417 continuity errors.

Oh yea, and let's bring up inconsistencies in mythology. Which, you know, have been created and recorded by dozens of authors over hundreds of years. Legit comparison.
I don't recall Kishi having 417 continuity errors but in any case, continuity errors are the inevitable result of a long story with loads of characters being told by fallible human beings over a lengthy stretch of time. Its inherent to the medium of serial story-telling which both Homer and Kishimoto engage in.

Those myths are told in order to illustrate important morals, or highlight character flaws and whatnot. Just as Vergil didn't let minor age discrepancies interfere with telling a good scene or a story, so does Kishimoto not care about a minor characters supposed age - one that was given by a second hand source mind you - interfere with a good mystery and character reveal. Its a perfectly valid comparison.

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gaawa-chan View Post
A better comparison might be the inconsistencies and such in the work of JRR Tolkien, of which there were many. Doesn't help that he died before he finished everything.

Because that is not an exaggeration at all. Pika, you really could not be any more biased, could you?
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Tolkien does have his inconsistencies, and I am perfectly willing to chastise him for them, but overall, they didn't ridiculously compromise the work.

417 may be an exaggeration but there are an excessive amount of inconsistencies and plotholes. The majority of the people who have told me to chill have told me that my expectations were too high and that, like them, I should have accepted long ago that the manga is crap and/or makes no sense.

I'm pretty sure very few Tolkien fans ever said "Why are you so mad about the inconsistencies? You should have kept your expectations low."

Granted, some fans of Kishi's current direction believe he can explain everything, but very, very few seem to. Most have simply taken the "Lol whatever" route, turning to things like time travel and amnesia and acting as if they are perfectly legitimate explanations. Maybe if more of the people who liked where Kishi is going actually had faith in him and gave a shit about the manga, I'd have a bit more faith, too. But as it is? Sorry. I made a post about this last night and barring one random response about yaoi (?), everyone just told me I should never have expected anything.

Do you see a problem there? I do.

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Tolkien does have his inconsistencies, and I am perfectly willing to chastise him for them, but overall, they didn't ridiculously compromise the work.

417 may be an exaggeration but there are an excessive amount of inconsistencies and plotholes. The majority of the people who have told me to chill have told me that my expectations were too high and that, like them, I should have accepted long ago that the manga is crap and/or makes no sense.

I'm pretty sure very few Tolkien fans ever said "Why are you so mad about the inconsistencies? You should have kept your expectations low."

Granted, some fans of Kishi's current direction believe he can explain everything, but very, very few seem to. Most have simply taken the "Lol whatever" route, turning to things like time travel and amnesia and acting as if they are perfectly legitimate explanations. Maybe if more of the people who liked where Kishi is going actually had faith in him and gave a shit about the manga, I'd have a bit more faith, too. But as it is? Sorry. I made a post about this last night and barring one random response about yaoi (?), everyone just told me I should never have expected anything.

Do you see a problem there? I do.
I don't see how this reveal actually compromises Kishimoto's work at all. Anko and Hayate's ages for graduation are inconsequential to the main storyline. Seriously, if you are willing to throw out all of Kishimoto's work over a minor error like that you might as well throw out Homer and Tolkien's works as well because they also have similar continuity errors. And for fucks sake, Kishimoto HASN'T EVEN BEGUN EXPLAINING THIS YET. At least wait a couple of chapters before screaming murder.

The only problem I'm seeing is a fan who is raging that his personal pet theory on who Tobi is has been disproven.

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Tolkien does have his inconsistencies, and I am perfectly willing to chastise him for them, but overall, they didn't ridiculously compromise the work.

417 may be an exaggeration but there are an excessive amount of inconsistencies and plotholes. The majority of the people who have told me to chill have told me that my expectations were too high and that, like them, I should have accepted long ago that the manga is crap and/or makes no sense.

I'm pretty sure very few Tolkien fans ever said "Why are you so mad about the inconsistencies? You should have kept your expectations low."

Granted, some fans of Kishi's current direction believe he can explain everything, but very, very few seem to. Most have simply taken the "Lol whatever" route, turning to things like time travel and amnesia and acting as if they are perfectly legitimate explanations. Maybe if more of the people who liked where Kishi is going actually had faith in him and gave a shit about the manga, I'd have a bit more faith, too. But as it is? Sorry. I made a post about this last night and barring one random response about yaoi (?), everyone just told me I should never have expected anything.

Do you see a problem there? I do.
The problem is this is weekly story where even books like Wheel of Time and Song of Ice and Fire have had up to 7 years between books have errors. Fast turn around is going to leave editors without the ability to go through and vet 10 years of history fully. The fact is that Obito was Tobi from the start as blunt or obvious as it looked.

As I have been saying all along many of these canon facts you guys are butt hurt about are assumptions based on what we've seen. People still believe Nagato was given Madara's eyes when we have Madara brought back EDO and he still has his eyes. This despite the fact we're told very specifically that EDO brings you back at your soul at the point of death and obviously Madara still has his eyes.

To me Kish's worst writing parts comes with writing Tobi's identities in ways that are just to fool the reader and don't make sense in the manga.

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Old 08-31-2012, 04:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Tolkien does have his inconsistencies, and I am perfectly willing to chastise him for them, but overall, they didn't ridiculously compromise the work.

417 may be an exaggeration but there are an excessive amount of inconsistencies and plotholes. The majority of the people who have told me to chill have told me that my expectations were too high and that, like them, I should have accepted long ago that the manga is crap and/or makes no sense.

I'm pretty sure very few Tolkien fans ever said "Why are you so mad about the inconsistencies? You should have kept your expectations low."

Granted, some fans of Kishi's current direction believe he can explain everything, but very, very few seem to. Most have simply taken the "Lol whatever" route, turning to things like time travel and amnesia and acting as if they are perfectly legitimate explanations. Maybe if more of the people who liked where Kishi is going actually had faith in him and gave a shit about the manga, I'd have a bit more faith, too. But as it is? Sorry. I made a post about this last night and barring one random response about yaoi (?), everyone just told me I should never have expected anything.

Do you see a problem there? I do.
Well that's sad....I guess I'm in the minority here..

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Old 08-31-2012, 04:49 AM   #10
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Well that's sad....I guess I'm in the minority here..
Same here. Maybe there will be one or two inconsistencies that Kishi wont explain in the end but for the majority of them, I believe that he will.

And btw, Pika, whether you have faith in Kishi or not is your problem and your own business. People shouldnt expect from other fans to inspire faith in them. You either appreciate and know what Kishi's about or you don't.


@OP

Even if I agree with your points in general, I dont agree with the use of that comparison. I love Naruto but I think it's offensive for Homer to compare Troy to it.

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:11 AM   #11
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people are too biased and double standard

1. Anko and Jugo's cursed seal relation timeline simply wont fit. yet people ignore it.
2. now Ankon timeline more messed up. if she is Kakashi's age, Jugo would have not born when she got cursed sealed.
btw people cry it out loud just because to support their anti-Tobito theory... not because objectivity

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:29 AM   #12
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I`m not against Kishi`s inconsistencies but comparing his errors to Homer`s is not right
Homer was blind and told stories verbally which were probably recorded by someone else. Unlike Kishi he didnt have written information before his eyes to check and correct mistakes.

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:57 AM   #13
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^Not to mention editors, personal assistants, the internet. A multitude of other things.

Whether or not it's a good parallel doesn't change the OP's point though, Kishi is allowed some room for error.

However, there's a difference between a few mistakes here and there, and messing up a huge plot point, one that's been argued about for years. (Not to mention messing up multiple times during the most anticipated chapter)

Leading a multitude of fans to believe that Tobi couldn't possibly be Obito, based on Kishi's own writing errors, isn't good writing, and there is no defense.

Btw, I am not some "butthurt" anti-obito supporter. I admit I had hoped it wasn't Obito, simply for the shock value. I never once dismissed Tobi though, and thought him the most obvious and most likely.

Hence my disappointment, I wanted to be mind fucked, all I got was a tickle.

Also, I got my username from the Iliad. Hurr.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Tolkien does have his inconsistencies, and I am perfectly willing to chastise him for them, but overall, they didn't ridiculously compromise the work.

417 may be an exaggeration but there are an excessive amount of inconsistencies and plotholes. The majority of the people who have told me to chill have told me that my expectations were too high and that, like them, I should have accepted long ago that the manga is crap and/or makes no sense.

I'm pretty sure very few Tolkien fans ever said "Why are you so mad about the inconsistencies? You should have kept your expectations low."

Granted, some fans of Kishi's current direction believe he can explain everything, but very, very few seem to. Most have simply taken the "Lol whatever" route, turning to things like time travel and amnesia and acting as if they are perfectly legitimate explanations. Maybe if more of the people who liked where Kishi is going actually had faith in him and gave a shit about the manga, I'd have a bit more faith, too. But as it is? Sorry. I made a post about this last night and barring one random response about yaoi (?), everyone just told me I should never have expected anything.

Do you see a problem there? I do.
Excuse me, but how much does Kishi's inconsistencies ruin the story for you and make you lose interest in keeping on reading? Do they, really?

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wibisana View Post
people are too biased and double standard

1. Anko and Jugo's cursed seal relation timeline simply wont fit. yet people ignore it.
2. now Ankon timeline more messed up. if she is Kakashi's age, Jugo would have not born when she got cursed sealed.
btw people cry it out loud just because to support their anti-Tobito theory... not because objectivity
Juugo doesn't have to be the source of Anko's curse seal. Remember that there was a whole village of people with the same ability.

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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OP, you get it

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Old 09-01-2012, 03:47 AM   #17
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Please do not put Homer and Kishi together in one sentence, paragraph or even a thread.

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Old 09-01-2012, 05:00 AM   #18
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"Someone else did it, so that makes it okay".

Yeah, no.

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Old 09-01-2012, 09:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Tolkien does have his inconsistencies, and I am perfectly willing to chastise him for them, but overall, they didn't ridiculously compromise the work.

417 may be an exaggeration but there are an excessive amount of inconsistencies and plotholes. The majority of the people who have told me to chill have told me that my expectations were too high and that, like them, I should have accepted long ago that the manga is crap and/or makes no sense.

I'm pretty sure very few Tolkien fans ever said "Why are you so mad about the inconsistencies? You should have kept your expectations low."

Granted, some fans of Kishi's current direction believe he can explain everything, but very, very few seem to. Most have simply taken the "Lol whatever" route, turning to things like time travel and amnesia and acting as if they are perfectly legitimate explanations. Maybe if more of the people who liked where Kishi is going actually had faith in him and gave a shit about the manga, I'd have a bit more faith, too. But as it is? Sorry. I made a post about this last night and barring one random response about yaoi (?), everyone just told me I should never have expected anything.

Do you see a problem there? I do.

You have to accept it. The OP is right and is SMARTER than you.


Deal with it.

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #20
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SixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of lightSixPartFugue is a glorious beacon of light
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PikaCheeka View Post
Sorry that my dislike for pseudo-academia irritates you.

Your "dislike for pseudo-academia" translates to being too lazy and/or butt hurt to engage rationally with intelligent and well-read people's naturally formed thoughts and observations. What do you want? For smart people to be banned from the forums? If you honestly think a few inconsistencies in numbers found in a piece of fanservice that Kishi probably was contracted to write completely undermines the thematics of the story then you are just super boring and tunnel visioned. Kishi probably WAS aware that the Obito reveal was going to make some plot-holes, but he was a good enough writer to not let those minor discrepancies derail a subplot that has been planned for a long time now, at least since Kakashi Gaiden.

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