Pictures, Drawings, Words, and Other Ephemera
Fly-By: brb, heading to the UK for Worldcon
Hi there! Sorry to keep you waiting on a new post. I’ve had a somewhat busy schedule the last few weeks and have not had the time to post anything new. Vacation starts in just a few days and I’ve been squeezing as many last-minute things in as I can.
We’ll be heading to the UK this weekend for Worldcon and much sightseeing, so I don’t believe I’ll have time to update the site during that…
Fly-By: brb, heading to Worldcon!
Sorry for the delay in posts here, it’s been a busy couple of weeks! We will be heading to the UK at the end of this week for Worldcon, so I will most likely not be able to provide any updates until I return.
[There is the temptation to post from the UK, as I will be bringing my tablet with me, but that will ultimately depend on if I have the time in between the convention and doing all…
dianahinkle said: This isn't a question I just wanted to say I enjoyed your naruhina post.
Thanks, glad you liked it! :)
Jonc’s Only Shipping Post: Naruhina, Feminism, and Damn Fine Writing
Yeah, I know, I’m way too old to be a part of a shipping war. I’m in my early 40s, so I should be crunching numbers somewhere in some Bay Area startup and working on my DudeBro cred, never mind geeking out over anime, right? Heh.
Well, truth be told, I’m also a genre writer, and a Naruto fan. I was a huge anime and manga fan back in the 90s and 00s as well—not as much now as previously, but I still enjoy it when I have the time. The genre is a huge influence on my own writing. Japanese science fiction and fantasy has quite a unique flavor that you don’t often see elsewhere, and I’ve often used it as inspiration. I got into Naruto when CN started playing it on their 2005 Toonami line-up, and I think it has some of the best world and character building I’ve seen in a long time. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to read.
That said…why am I a naruhina shipper, anyway?
I think it’s because Masashi Kishimoto has some of the strongest female characters I’ve seen in genre fiction. Not just strong physically (given their being kunoichi), but strong in will, in emotion, in conviction. They have their moments of weakness, but so do the male characters. Sakura felt she failed Sasuke when he left Konoha, Naruto felt he failed Konoha and his ’ninja way’ when Neji sacrificed himself to save him. In short: the female characters are just as strong as the male characters, if not stronger.
In particular, I find myself highly impressed by Hinata’s character evolution. She goes from semi-protected princess to bumbling preteen to determined ninja and finds not only her inner strength but learns how to expand it exponentially. She may occasionally and comically faint at Naruto’s unexpected closeness at times, but come Part II/Shippuden, and especially during the war with the Akatsuki, she really comes into her own. She gets Naruto’s ninja way—she doesn’t follow it because he came up with it, but that it’s a worthy goal that she wants to aspire to as well. She doesn’t follow Naruto blindly like an acolyte—she follows him because he’s inspired her to take the same route.
Which is why chapters 437 and 614-15/episodes 166 and 364 work so well: Hinata’s strength—emotional, physical, and psychological—comes to the fore here. She not only takes hold of it, but refuses to rely on assistance. This is HER moment, and hers alone—Naruto serves only as an anchor here. And on a shipping angle: this was ALL about her. It’s not Naruto’s choice to make a move, but hers. She defends him from Pain all on her own, of her own volition. She’s never touched him in a loving way, not daring to, but in 614-15/364 she faces that emotional wall and crashes through it without a second thought, because she knows it’s needed. She loves him deeply and unconditionally and reaches out to him at the moment he most needs it.
And Naruto sees that in her, clearly. He says as much when he defends her against 3 attackers—he won’t coddle her, because he knows she doesn’t need it. And in the process, she’s his anchor as much as he is hers.
To me, that serves not only as a way to bring them closer together, but to tie it into the larger overall plot—Naruto’s resolve to become hokage and unite everyone, because everyone is important to him their own way. In learning how to be an equal to others—a goal of his youth—he makes himself see things from other’s points of view (Pain’s, Sasuke’s, even Obito’s in the recent chapters), and thus he’s well aware of Hinata’s feelings towards him. [We could argue this when Naruto goofily admits Sakura is his girlfriend to Minato, but I’m pretty sure that bit was comic relief and Naruto showing off to his pop.]
Will naruhina ever happen onscreen? Who knows? It’s not entirely vital to the entire plot of the series as a whole, but the possibility is at least there. Personally, I’m happy with the the fact that naruhina has at least partially come to fruition due to Hinata’s actions and determination.