While many may recognize him as the ever so friendly, kind and charming boy who grew up with lots of difficulties, Naruto’s story is far from what people might imagine it to be as he is someone who not only had a bad past and relation but also had a path to adulthood which was filled with blood, sacrifice, separations, heart-breaks and countless painful moments. He cannot be compared to any other kid on the block as he is different than the rest and lives out a life that does not show his actual pain as he keeps on hiding it behind that smile of his and faces every painful moment head-on.
“Naruto Uzumaki is a shinobi of Konoha Akure’s Uzumaki clan. He became the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails on the day of his birth — a fate that caused him to be shunned by most of Konoha throughout his childhood.” This is a statement that most might be familiar with but along these lines there are also moments that are unspeakable of as they show us the dark side of his youth and tell us about how he was a young boy who grew up from nothing and went on to take a path where we made it possible through his efforts to get everything that once lacked in his life, most of it being the love of friends and family. Just from the start of the anime itself we learn that Naruto is a young shinobi whose life goal and dream from birth itself is to become a Hokage and while he is on his journey to take the step to becoming one, he also wishes that he is acknowledged by his village and those that live around him. Naruto’s first step towards completing his dream comes from the time when he decides to join Team Kakashi. Hereafter, Naruto goes on to accomplish many feats and finally after having saved The Hidden Leaf Village for sometime he became a capable ninja regarded as a hero both by the villagers, and soon after, the rest of the world, becoming known as the Hero of the Hidden Leaf.
As many may look at Naruto as a kind and charming person once you get to know him, we can understand by his birth and childhood as to why he has such a behaviour. Because he never received the love that others were given for free and in such an extent by their parents and close ones, he can to know just how important it was to look at the world with positivity and keep a smile on your face. However, Naruto did go on to inherit his mother’s verbal tic, as he ends his sentences with “Dattebayo!” when emotional and because of this particular reason Naruto is noted as boisterous, exuberant, and unorthodox, making him turn out as an outcast from his own village. While we may see Naruto in the light as he is naïve and slow to understand principles or situations, he is someone who understands the meaning of being helped and helping. He is not the kind of person who takes it all on himself and has sense and pride enough to ask for help making him a humble and down to earth person, because while other characters risk the life of 1000 others to get involved in a fight that is not possible to win and only for show-off, Naruto practically thinks about the situations when it comes down to beating strong opponents, which makes him different and more unique as he has a sense of responsibility inside of him and does not let his mind succumb to the sense of pride any time of the day.
While many may wonder upon the real question as to who really is Naruto Uzumaki, we can agree on one of the facts that he is someone who has the tendency to draw people closer to him. Unlike the other characters we see in the anime, Naruto is the only one who has the capability to draw people closer to him. Even though Naruto has slightly outgrown this trait as he has picky eating habits of ramen, his favourite food; he has a perverted side that manifests as uses of the Sexy Technique or attempts to peep into women’s baths. Despite his quirks and the criticism, they earn him, he is actually a pretty tempting person as his inspiring friendship and loyalty through acts of genuine kindness that changes a person’s world view and thus, built meaningful relationships that he lacked in early life. As one can see from these many encounters and few of his traits, we can say that it was not only his adult life which was kind to him but also his efforts were the ones that made all the difference when it came down to changing his life and searching for the love that he always had longer for.
Throughout the anime, we get to see that there are few things which is precious to Naruto and he as a fighter will go to any lengths to protect them. Among all the things that lie precious to him, the one feeling to save his loved ones and get closer to them is something which he always cherishes as he does not want to lose those that he loves once again in his life and this is a feeling of his which we get to encounter every time that he fights for his loved ones having being paired up well with Sasuke and few of his other friends like Hinata, Sakura, Kakashi, etc.
“Naruto’s time at the Falls of Truth revealed that a part of him hated the villagers for ostracising him, only to admire him after he saved them during Pain’s Assault. Upon confronting it, he learned to be at peace with it, willingly becoming greater than what he suffered.”
This is a line which brings the anime closer to reality as it gives us a sense of what we are facing in our daily lives, and also shows Naruto in a scale that is on par with us when it comes down to hating or loving someone. His hatred for them is understandable as this is a case which would be similar for each and every one of us. We cannot blame him in the slightest as his heart too was affected when nobody took his side at the time when he really needed them (where the instead bullied him around, down told him and cursed) and now that he has gone on to risk his life to save their pitiful lives, they all of a sudden praise him like a god and admire him for the deed that he has done.
One of the other traits that makes Naruto closer to reality and give him a side of his own is his hunger for acknowledgement and desire to be noticed. While growing up Naruto has all the time in the world to do the things that he needed but, what he longed for like any other child was the desire to be noticed and acknowledged by others that lived beside him. Though he never boasted of the deeds that he did for others and all the things that he sacrificed for them, he still had a side in his heart which wanted to be recognised and praised like the other kids were and it was because of this desire to be noticed and seen by others that he went on pulling pranks in the village, even if the outcome led to scolding him. Like adding fuel to the fire, this strong urge to being recognised and noticed only went on to give more of a push to his dreams as he dreamed of one day becoming Konoha’s Hokage, the epitome of acknowledgement and respect from everyone in the village. This side of him gave him the push that he needed and thus, helped him to create a saying of his own, where he never backed out of any words that he said and took it upon himself to see the fruits of his words by never going back on his words.
Just like any other teenager, Naruto too goes under some hormonal changes, which takes turn and later on changes his life long goal or rather adds another aspect to it, i.e., the desire to help and protect the people that he loves and admires. This subtle and small addition in his life long goal also helps him to add a spark to the fire inside of him, where he decides to never take shortcuts to become strong and his belief in hard work and perseverance makes him come out as a strong individual ninja than other of his classmates who at some point in time succumb to their inner desires and take up a way which is not fit for a ninja warrior and only brings pain rather than joy. The most noticeable moment of this side of Naruto is depicted to us at the time when he trains with Jiraiya about summoning Toads that reside in Mount Myōboku. Throughout this intense training, Naruto never gives in to his mind and keeps pushing forward without taking any shortcuts and finally at the time when Jiraiya puts him in a life-or-death situation by pushing him off a cliff, that he finally manages to extract the chakra by the Nine Tailed Fox and finally pursues the Summoning Jutsu. To prove the tendency of Naruto of not ever taking a shortcut, we also have Jiraiya who says that, “Looks like he extracted the Chakra of the Nine Tailed Fox all on his own this time.” This line here only goes on to prove Naruto’s dedication as a Ninja warrior and also shows us the fighter spirit inside of him, where he may be slow at learning and a little naïve when it comes down to real life talks but then again, it is so because Naruto despises to take shortcuts like the rest and depends upon his body to become something that is worth admiring and achieving.
Lastly, coming to the saddest part in the Naruto’s life, we have the time when Jiraiya finally passes away and after that Naruto taking to his father, Minato and listening to Nagato’s story of tragedy, became well aware that this was a world which is different and divergent from what he imagined and unlike the things that he experienced in his childhood, there were far bad things which could have happened and are currently taking place in lives of other children and adults. He vowed to break the chain of pain and bring true peace in the world. It was only during the Fourth Shinobi World War that he realised that he could not handle everything and had to rely on his friends for help to support and fight alongside him. This part made him stronger as a person and gave him a sense of duty rather than pride as he realised that everyone must work together if the world had to be saved and those that he loved along with the world.
Naruto Uzumaki sense of responsibility and dedication makes him different from other ninjas in his village and it is because of that that he decided to walk on a path which is given to all but taken up by the very few.