(#) IWCT 2008-01-01
I read this story a while back, and I thought that it was incredible. For some reason beyond my comprehension, I was too rude to leave a review expressing my thanks for a finely crafted piece of fandom. So, here we go: Thank you for an insightful, amazing read.
You are the first person who has been able to explain to me why Naruto should end up as the head of a village of assassins. I love the fandom, but when I imagine the future hokages, I see ruthlessly competent ninjas like Sasuke, or Neji under the Hokage hat. People who can make the decisions that will possibly send teams to their deaths in order to accomplish the objective. Those who would keep Konoha as sharp as a dagger in the back. Naruto -- I can't see him making decisions like that. His idea of stealth is, well, bright orange, and face on confrontation. There is no shade of gray in Naruto's world. There is good, and there is bad, and his friends can't do bad. Therefore he wouldn't make a good Hokage, because he couldn't order people to do bad.
But if you look at the Hokage's position as an person who protects the people of the hidden village, rather than the head shinobi, the slow evolution of the system would naturally bring Naruto into the Hokage's chair. Under the First the village was founded to protect people from the great Ninja War. Under the Second, the shinobi of Konoha tore into their enemies, as ruthless killing machines, because that was how you protected yourself in a war. The Third's first reign saw to the mopping up of the mess that war is. Up until this point no compassion could enter the system. Then the war is over, Konoha is on the top of the heap, and the Forth takes over the reigns. He is there to see to it that the village prospers, and part of that means that the children are allowed to be normal children. His work got rather unexpectedly interrupted by a demon fox, but the Third takes over again, and tries his best to continue where the Fourth left off, because normal shinobi are possibly just as effective. The children who grew up with war thrumming through their lives like a buzz saw may be sharp, but as the Third knows so well, they are also completely off their respective rockers (wave 'hi' Oro-chan. Good Snake Lord). Tsunade's reign is characterized by keeping Konoha stable enough for the "let's try to give these kids some sense of normality" to really take effect. The Sixth would logically be the one to either break the mold, or establish it in concrete. Therefore we have Naruto, who would make a small quiet time to establish bonds of friendship a requirement for shinobi.
Not certain if my reasoning works out on paper, but you got it stuck in my head. I now see the future of Konoha as being one uphill struggle to change the face of war, and the life of shinobi in general. They can be assassins later. Playing games with other five-year olds comes first.
There are a lot of beautiful lines in /One Candle/. From the ones about how our favorite Yondaime has a nasty temper when aroused, (ta to the characterization of laid-back defenders) to the marvelous ending line.
They will be /children/.
This is just a brilliant piece of dark and light. I bow to you. Thanks for a great read.