|Reviews for A Teacher's Glory|
| Guest chapter 1 . 19h
Oookay. I have a moment now, so I want to go and give my thoughts on the Chunin Exam Arc. This is where the story became more than an idle curiosity to me and became a page-turner, and as a result I... may have read a bit ahead. I was actually impressed by how Kishi took what is, ostensibly, a tournament arc and managed to make it feel tense-and I credit this to the presence of characters like Gaara and Orochimaru, who add a certain amount of tension to the proceedings.
The Chunin Exams
Chunin is a rank of Ninja that roughly corresponds to being a Non-Commissioned Officer. To be a Chunin means one is qualified to lead a team in high risk missions. As clarified by the Third Hokage in Chapter Eighty... seven, I think, it is not necessary to actually win the exam to become a Chunin either. One simply has to get past the first two qualifying rounds (and preliminaries if applicable) and give a good showing to the representatives of their country in the final tournament. It's actually possible for all members of that final round to become Chunin. Before starting the series, the idea of the Exams struck me as absurd and unsustainable, but looking at it now... it makes a lot of sense. I think there might be a problem with looking at becoming a Chunin as something like graduating from High School; on the contrary, it's not something that everyone has to accomplish. It also helped once I divorced power-levels from Ninja ranks in my head (with the exception of Kage).
On the topic of ranks, we get a new one (sort of) during the Exams: Special Jonin. How that differs from being a normal Jonin I'm not sure, though I assume it involves greater responsibility-Anko's in charge of administrating the first lethal section of the Exams, and Ebisu was a private tutor for the Hokage's grandson.
The bigger point of the Exams, however, is to function as yet another tool for the warring states of Naruto's era to compete with each other. I can't imagine that this was the original intent behind their creation, but such is the reality of such a militaristic world. It's simultaneously a way to show the flag, insert spies into village and place important military assets (Gaara) where they can do the most damage. Given all these problems, one might question why Konoha even opens the Exams to other countries (even allies), but it would appear that their value as a safety valve for aggression and a way to gauge the next generation of possible enemies trumps these concerns. And, if some of those possible enemies don't make it through the Exams... well, I honestly doubt that is the intent (Sarutobi's a pretty nice guy) but it's hard to deny that's a benefit. As the Third says, the Chunin Exams are supposed to be a replacement for War between the countries-though given there's been like three world wars one has to ask how well that's working out.
A few notes on how dangerous the Exam is-while it's quite likely there's always a possibility of someone dying, it's almost certainly never this dangerous. Here you've got a bloodthirsty, unhinged Jinchuuriki and goddamn Orochimaru in play, and when the latter isn't directly threatening everyone he's got enough peons to to make things threatening. The Exam we see is pretty much an outlier in many ways.
A lot of people complain that Part 2 would shift the focus from Naruto to Sasuke too often, but the fact of the matter is that in many sections of this arc Naruto really isn't the main focus. Indeed, the Chunin Exam Arc is very ensemble focused.
The major thing in Naruot's development is that his rivalry with Sasuke continues to develop during the exams, and goes from simple jealousy in the beginning to an honest desire to test himself against the Uchiha. Really, he has the same desire to prove himself as Sakura has. That earnest drive to be more than what people expect of him is what allows him to defeat Kiba and drives him to defend people with the same desire, and to try and pick fights with much tougher opponents. It's a lot easier to break the kid's bones than his spirit. As I mentioned when looking at Wave, in Naruto's mind there's no worse thing than a regret. That consideration overrides his fears, his doubt, occasionally even any rationality he has.
Other than that, there's something interesting I want to note: how misdirection focused his fight with Kiba is. Naruto wins by hanging in there and using some impressively clever tricks to drag the fight out until he has a perfect opening. Naruto isn't the smartest guy, but his ability to think creatively here was on full display. The fight is a far cry from the idea that he only wins his fights through raw strength.
I think there's one key realization that helps in understanding Sasuke (and unfortunately, it's a realization that may come too late for the rest of our heroes): he does not take pride in his abilities. He takes security in them. Sasuke's skill gives him the sense of safety his psyche desperately needs to function. When Rock Lee hands him his ass, what crushes him is that he got kicked around by an unknown threat right after he believed he had gotten stronger (Sharingan). It's not simple arrogance.
Any confidence he portrays to the world strikes me as a facade. When faced with a dangerous situation-Kakashi releasing his killing intent, or Orochimaru being, well, Orochimaru; Sasuke's first thought is to run. Compared to Naruto and Sakura, of whom only the former has an instance of cowardice impacting his ability to fight (and he got over it), this is pretty interesting. And I want to note that I'm not insulting Sasuke here: this makes perfect sense for his character. Itachi's actions fucked him up so bad and made him so conscious of his own weakness that fear of that weakness and fear of the strength of others eventually begins to define him. The interesting thing is how this contrasts with his idea of making someone like Itachi pay for his crimes.
There's a conflict between what he wants to be and what he is-what he wants to be is the man who can deal out punishment to those who deserve it, who can protect the people he cares for. But he gets into these situations where his instincts practically scream at him to save himself, or to turn and run. That friction has got to be hell. To a degree, this arc takes the first steps towards resolving that inconsistency-he overcomes his fear to fight Orochimaru, and his dream sequence after receiving the curse mark shows him coming to the grips with his goal in life and what he needs to be to accomplish it. His first line after waking up? "I'm an Avenger."
EDIT: As uju points out farther down, I was wrong about Sasuke being crushed by being defeated by Rock Lee. He is unsettled, however, and I still maintain that a fear of being powerless is key to his character.
In contrast to Sasuke, Sakura is very good at keeping her head on straight. She's emotional, yes, but she's also capable of pushing aside fear in order to do her job. I've wondered as to what it says about her character that she has "perfect chakra control", and I think it's that she can exercise an impressive level of command over her feelings in crisis situations. I want to clarify that it's not a case of being unemotional-because like Naruto she's outwardly very expressive and clear in her feelings. The exception to that control is Sasuke, for whom her feelings often trump other concerns. It's interesting that Sakura has a good idea of how a proper ninja should act, but this often requires her to go against her own feelings... it's probably one of her primary internal conflicts.
There's a desire to prove herself that is present in many of her actions. Her fight with the Sound Ninja and her fight with Ino are both attempts to prove that she's better than she thinks it is, to be worthy of the respect of those she cares about. Whether she's successful in this is actually irrelevant-going forward to Hinata's fight with Neji, the question asked was not "Was I victorious?", it was "Did I change?" It's both the development of one's character and the honest effort to change that are important. And Sakura, past her tussle with the Sound Ninja (and I want to emphasize again how awesome she was here), seems to have changed. At the very least, she carries herself with more confidence.
I want to be clear here. Kakashi is not a good teacher.
He's a fucking excellent teacher.
He builds important virtues in his team. He has confidence in them that is affirming yet not overly so. He's capable of calmly explaining many different concepts, tactics and scenarios in a way people can understand. When he goes to teach Sasuke, he ensures that Naruto has an extremely capable teacher who can give him what he needs. But, most importantly-he gives a shit about them. Kakashi may not be constantly sociable, but he's there when his kids need it. He lets Sasuke fight, even knowing it's dangerous because he knows the kid needs it. And when he's done, he calmly explains what he needs to do in a way that brooks no argument. When Naruto jumps into the ring to express his anger at Gaara, Kakashi jumps in right behind him to help him cool down and give the kid the support he needs. Kakashi has that all-important capability to be firm and caring at the same time.
Look, when people say Kakashi is a bad teacher, they may think that it's because to them, he doesn't act in the way an instructor should. What they actually think is that he's not a good teacher because he's not relentlessly metagaming the training regimen for perfect results. It's Spacebattles Competent nonsense. If bad things happened to Team Seven, it's because they were an extraordinary team who attracted trouble far in advance of what genin should typically face. Any failures there are not on Kakashi's head. He really couldn't be asked to do more than what he already did.
| SuperVegitoFAN chapter 4 . 9/18
Explosive tag on a rock sounds like a frag grenade...
| kyoanna chapter 19 . 9/4
I don't know if you still read these but your father was a great writer I enjoyed this story quite a bit.
| MaDmAN12435 chapter 1 . 8/22
I like the basic idea of this. It gives a good air of "power isn't everything" that is fantastic for the setting. I'll give another review if I have any other thoughts on the story that I feel are worth saying.
| zeek17 chapter 11 . 8/13
Can you please change every Sanin and Senin to Sannin and Sennin respectively?
| Disturbedhrt chapter 2 . 8/13
Would of been so much funnier if Kakashi came back to deal with an Anko influenced squad 7 great story
| Biblio388 chapter 1 . 8/5
Wow, that came out of left field, falling like a rockslide. Had to laugh when I got what the beginning meant.
| charles2tu chapter 1 . 8/4
but then it said he died
| charles2tu chapter 1 . 8/4
I thought it said that kakashi taught lessons well
| JDH2017 chapter 19 . 8/4
I also lost my father to cancer. I was never the emotional type, but, I can relate. I'm sorry for your loss, he wrote a great story.
| Guest chapter 1 . 8/1
| LysaJane chapter 19 . 7/13
Sad to hear of your loss. It was the first story of your dad that I read and I liked It a lot and would have love the sequel I'm sure. It was fast pace, action packed with the right amount of sarcastic humor that I like. Thank you Larry Huss for this great story.
| breakingheart93 chapter 19 . 6/11
Hello, I would just like to leave my condolences for the death of your father. He was a talented story writer and I’ve read this one in particular many times. I shall continue to come back and reread it in remembrance
| Uzumaki D Narut0 chapter 1 . 6/2
you-you killed him. You MONSTER *sobs*
| Uzumaki D Narut0 chapter 1 . 6/2
(I'm the guest that commented, bothering to sign in to read this)