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In Defense of Kishimoto - Even Homer Nods

Discussion in 'Konoha Library' started by hcheng02, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. hcheng02 Active Member

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    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.

    X

    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.

     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  2. SacredX Hates Haki

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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.
     
  3. PikaCheeka wants to believe

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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.
     
  4. Gaawa-chan Telocvovim

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    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.


    Because that is not an exaggeration at all. Pika, you really could not be any more biased, could you?
     
  5. hcheng02 Active Member

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    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.
     
  6. PikaCheeka wants to believe

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    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.
     
  7. hcheng02 Active Member

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    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.
     
  8. Raventhal Sage of the Six Pack

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    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.
     
  9. 8Apedemak8 away fighting dragons

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    Well that's sad....I guess I'm in the minority here..
     
  10. Drums Active Member

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    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.
     
  11. wibisana still newbie

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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
     
  12. gershwin blargh

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    I`m not against Kishi`s inconsistencies but comparing his errors to Homer`s is not right :lmao
    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.
     
  13. AeolusXII Member

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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.
     
  14. Stratogabo Member

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    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?
     
  15. DarkTorrent &#32

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    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.
     
  16. serger989 Dovahkiin

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  17. kluang The Cavalry's Here

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    Please do not put Homer and Kishi together in one sentence, paragraph or even a thread.
     
  18. Star★Platinum That's Mr.Kaneda to you, Punk!

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    "Someone else did it, so that makes it okay".

    Yeah, no.
     
  19. UrBusted it.is.over

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


    Deal with it.
     
  20. SixPartFugue Vat Scrappings

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    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.
     
  21. Lord Stark King of Winter

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    My that's a large Red Herring you have there :maybe
     
  22. Yamata no Orochi Active Member

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    Guys, leave PikaCheeka alone, he/she's been having a hard time lately what with all that's been happening in the manga lately :zaru
     
  23. stubborn_d0nkey New Member

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    But mom, he did it too!
     
  24. Revolution Uchiha

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    While J.K. Rowling was writing her books, she used X to fix her mistakes (as she confessed to have made a continuation error in her second book which she didn't know about till a fan pointed it out to her) she found Harry Potter Lexicon very helpful. She would refer back to it as a tool. This was before the popularity of wikipotter.

    In this day and age, authors have many tools, specifically their computer and the internet, to sort out continuity errors.
     
  25. hcheng02 Active Member

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    JK Rowling had a lot more time to write and edit her novels. Her later books took 2-3 years to write which gave her leeway to do research and such. If she has writer's block she can ask for an extension or take a break for a couple of days to sort things out in her head. Note that even then, there are mistakes and inconsistencies within the books.

    X

    Kishimoto has to crank out a comic a week who doesn't have these luxuries by the inherent demands of the medium. I imagine if JK Rowling wrote her books like a newspaper serial (every 3-4 pages a week) we would see a lot more errors.
     
  26. ovanz ______

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    I came to this thread expecting Homer Simpson. But you can't compare Kishi to classic literature.
     
  27. Revolution Uchiha

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    Elitist! Says who? We just did and don't care. Homer's work was once just a weekly or monthly serial anyway.
     
  28. wibisana still newbie

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    umm I remember Jugo and kimimaru was special
    one of their kind
     
  29. stubborn_d0nkey New Member

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    Define serial.

    P.S. You tingled my curiosity, can you give a link or reference to where I can read more about homer's work, particularly about how he "shared" it?
     
  30. Yakkai Domming Your Mom

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    Kishi has so many continuity errors that people just laugh when you mention the word timeline. "Timeline LOL" could be a tagline to just about any panel in the last few issues. I mean everyone is going to have some continuity errors because its not possible to keep all this straight 100% even with editors, but come on.
     
  31. Mack555 New Member

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    Even Homer Nods

    And then Kishimoto took his character which had bordered on the slippery slope ... If you disagree with me I don't need to meet you or even know your name or ..... Homer Simpson - The Simpsons .... "Sarcasm is a body's natural defense against stupid. .
     
  32. Maz ~

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    Anyone else think that after 600 chapters Kishi just doesn't remember or plans to ignore some of the things we say cause these inconsistencies?
     
  33. Kaix Goodbye

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    Considering that this is probably his magnum opus, the one thing that people will remember him by regardless of whatever else he goes on to do, I doubt it.

    It's more like "No one is perfect, so it's okay that Kishimoto isn't either" Homer is just the example because the Iliad is one of the greatest pieces of literature. If you want to be ignorant enough to excuse the argument then please go right on and excuse every long-form story teller in human history.

    No, seriously, go ahead and excuse them all. I'd really love to hear how much you hate Kishimoto that you excuse every inconsistency ever written by anyone except him.
     
  34. thinkingaboutlife Active Member

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    Who cares? You niggas need to get some pussy. Who really cares about plot holes and inconsistencies.?
     
  35. jajanken Owner of all the base.

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    I made it to the second paragraph.

    for example, It's kind of like reading Spiderman, and the final villian turns out to actually be the spider that Peter killed in the beginning of the series that bit him, and the spider knows all of his abilities and knows how to counter him. It's just bad writing. Kishi went to school for this too. :giogio
     
  36. Disquiet Devil's Advocate

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    The themes and characters of a story are not the only elements involved in enjoying them. Lovers of good world building enjoy consistency, and when that is broken, so may the suspension of disbelief be. Whether you lose your suspension of disbelief over this is obviously a matter of perspective, but it's hardly unreasonable.

    Always be aware that not everyone reads fiction with the same mindset as you.
     
  37. Revolution Uchiha

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    The beauty about fiction, is that with the technology of this day and age, the story can be changed/adulterated to fit the tastes of every generation as the USA has done to its' comic book lore.

    Edit: The bad thing is that it adds more inconsistencies and makes it impure.
     
  38. ButterflyGod AsunaxKirito4Ever

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    To be perfectly honest, I didn't really get excited about the manga again until the Tobi-is-Obito plot twist. I don't like that it was Obito, but I don't hate it either, and I completely disagree with it being bad writing. I have seen worse when it comes to inconsistencies and errors in serial fiction, this is just a dime in a dozen. While I don't agree with The Iliad being a good comparison, the comparison itself serves the point in saying authors of serial fiction are going to make errors. The way I look at it is, if it doesn't interfere with my ability to enjoy the story, I'm not going to mind too much. It's not like non-fiction where making factual errors is nigh unforgivable.
     
  39. Donquixote Doflamingo Master Puppeteer

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    Did this guy just bring up Homer.

    No dude just no.
     
  40. Not Sure King of Uncertainity

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