Who says shonen anime is just mindless entertainment for little kids? Naruto, one of our all-time favorite anime series, is all about principles.
It teaches viewers about the importance of sticking true to one’s ideals. The show reminds viewers that the past does not dictate your future. You are free to do whatever you want.
Naruto also depicts the consequences of letting a misguided belief system overcome you and dictate your actions. Not all belief ideologies are justified.
In no particular order, here are the most important life lessons we can take from Naruto:
1. Love Your Family
The entire show constantly reminds us of the importance of family. We are taught to be happy and content because a lot of people would do anything to have the things we take for granted. In Naruto’s case, he lived his childhood without parents, siblings, or even friends.
One of the most prominent parts of Naruto that truly teaches us about the importance of family is the film Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie. In the first part of the movie, Sakura has seen squabbling with her parents. She confides in Naruto about her problems but is disappointed that Naruto tells her to appreciate and love her parents.
Soon, they are transported to another world by Tobi where the roles were reversed. Naruto had his parents, while Sakura’s parents were gone. This is a very heartbreaking movie as we see Naruto interacting with his parents for the first time. It might be an imaginary world created by Tobi, but it’s still nice to see how things would have gone if Minato and Kushina had lived.
2. The Ends Do Not Justify the Means
This life lesson can be taken from Sasuke’s character plot. Throughout the show, Sasuke is portrayed as a vengeful rogue ninja with nothing on his mind but the desire to kill enemies. To a certain extend, you might be able to sympathize with him. His entire clan was murdered, after all.
As the show progresses, however, we see characters such as Naruto and Kakashi convincing him to change his ways. Hatred cannot deliver justice. In the end, if Sasuke were to act on his hatred toward the village, he will only end up destroying himself, both physically and emotionally.
3. Love is Different from Liking Someone
Some fans are complaining that Naruto and Hinata’s relationship feels forced. Well, it’s not. It just moved at a very fast pace.
In The Last: Naruto the Movie, Naruto finally understands that the feelings he harbored toward Sakura were not love. The desire to start a family and be together with someone forever was far different from infatuation. These realizations were explicitly stated in the movie.
So in case any of you are still wondering: yes, Naruto does love Hinata! He clarifies that he finally understands what love is and he has never felt this way before, not even toward Sakura.
Note: Plus, keep in mind that Naruto is a shonen anime, so the mangaka and publishers won’t focus too much on love and romance.
4. Have a Good Set of Ideals
(image credits: itl.cat)
What makes the show Naruto so amazing is that everyone has their own set of ideals. Some of them fall under lawful good, some under chaotic good, and others are just pure chaotic evil.
Pain wanted to achieve a peaceful world and he was willing to do everything in order to do so. Sasuke’s goal was to avenge his clan. Meanwhile, Naruto’s strived to become someone the village would recognize and respect.
All of these are respectable principles and goals. The only problem is that some of them did not have the right means to execute their plan. In Pain’s case, for example, he was willing to kill the village in order to achieve peace.
5. Never Give Up!
Naruto is basically the story of a boy who never gave up. Through his continuous efforts, he was able to achieve all his goals. This includes bringing his friend Sasuke back to the village, restoring peace, ending wars, and of course, becoming the Hokage.