Blog Archives

top ten reasons to watch naruto.

To those who do not follow Naruto, they might just write off this post; some may not even read it; and for those who do read it, they may probably just glance through it. I have a tendency to dramatise my expressions, but to a certain extent, Naruto has made a positive impact on my life. I’ve always been able to identify with Naruto’s personality – I know this is crazy coming from a 27-year-old, but reading his character profile is like reading mine. So here goes the top ten reasons why, if you are not watching/reading Naruto, it’s time you got started!

1. Naruto educates you about mentoring – There are so many examples! Positive ones include Iruka/Naruto, Jiraiya/Naruto, Tsunade/Sakura, Asuma/Shikamaru and Gai/Rock. It also paints realistic pictures of mentoring, that sometimes investing yourself in someone may not always result in a golden ending. Heartbreaking ones include Kakashi/Sasuke, Jiraiya/Nagato and Sarutobi/Orochimaru.

2. Naruto enlightens you on friendships – one of the most touching scenes was when Choji gave up his life to save Shikamaru and Ino. Massively tear-jerking! Another classic moment is a scene from Kakashi’s past, “Those who break the rules of the ninja world are called scum… That’s true… But those who abandon their friend are worse than scum”. Let’s not forget the value of loyalty in friendships.

3. Naruto teaches you about believing in young people – This is a topic really close to my heart; I believe in young people very much and I believe that the role of the present generation is to help the future generation surpass two things in life – the present generation’s legacies and abilities, as well as the future generation’s own potential. The saddest thing to hear at your funeral is, “He was a great potential”.

4. Naruto advocates that young people can change the world – I loved it when Shikamaru told Naruto that it was time for them to inherit the will of fire and to stop behaving like kids; I’m a sucker for hero-themes and enjoyed it very much when Naruto was revealed as the child of prophecy, “The gutsy ninja”, and how he singlehandedly overcame Pain. Do not underestimate the power of one and what God can do through you.

5. Naruto has a tailed-beast within him, like how everyone has an inner beast – The part of us that’s innately evil and sinful. We try ways and means to subdue it, be it by placing the right people in our lives or by doing the right things. But I believe that this inner beast in everyone is spiritual and it cannot be overcome by a physical method. We need something/someone greater than us to overcome the darkest parts of us.

6. Naruto talks about social issues – Anything from acceptance, to power struggles, to standing up for what you believe is right, to doing things that make you look cool, to succumbing to bad influences. I believe that Naruto is able to reach such a wide audience is that it covers a huge spectrum of subjects that everyone can relate to, regardless of age. Naruto’s outspoken character encourages you to never waver in your beliefs.

7. Naruto makes you laugh really hard – The episode that cracked me up the most was when Team 7 tried to unmask Kakashi. I was ROTFLMAO when they were speculating what Kakashi really looked like. And the one where Kakashi debuted the “Thousand Years of Pain” jutsu. Sasuke: “What… That’s not a Ninjutsu… That was just a super powerful ass poke.” Absolute comic genius! Everyone needs a good laugh from time to time!

8. Naruto gives you the platform to dream and reflect – That’s what anime does, after all. Each time I watch Sasuke, CC comes to my mind; Shikamaru reminds me of LK; When I watch Naruto reminisce about Jiraiya, I thank God for RY’s role in my life; Iruka evokes how JH invested in me when I was younger. There’s a moment in each episode that temporarily removes me from reality into utopia, and I think that’s not a bad thing.

9. Naruto inspires you to ponder over what you stand for in life – This is shown in every ninja having their “way of the ninja”, which empowers them to accomplish their goal in life. Naruto’s extremely simple way of the ninja is to “Never go back on [his] word” and to “Never give up”. My way of the ninja is found here. That’s the reason why I strongly believe in writing personal vision statements. What’s yours?

10. Naruto enables you to have conversational currency with young people – I’ve always found it quite amazing when youths suddenly express interest to chat with me when they realise I’m a Naruto fan; it’s like how men bond with army talk, except kids bond when they discuss Naruto. Somehow, I think kids think you are cool when you start using Kage Bunshi no Jutsu in your vocabulary.

I think I may have proven that I’m a big fan by now. My Shanghai cell leader insisted that I was crazy to spend sleepless nights trying to catch up to the latest episode. When I discovered that my youth pastor watches Naruto with his wife and two girls, it gave me the guts to tell my cell leader that Naruto is a family-bonding and youth pastor-endorsed activity. He was speechless. HAHA! Believe it or not, I’ve even written a song called “Watching You”, inspired by Hinata’s battle with Neji with Naruto cheering her on, and how she was fighting to be recognised by Naruto. The entire scene had traces of the I’m-watching-you-watch-over-me feeling; I thought that was a rather poetic moment.

Anyway, I’ve come to the end of my fourth installment of Top Ten Tuesdays, and I’ll probably write on something more serious next week. The ones who would enjoy this post the most are the ones who have been enjoying Naruto religiously. For the rest of you – seriously, you have no idea what you’re missing.

knowledge should lead to action.

The older I get, the more I see value in books as gifts. I’m not an avid reader – still am not – but I have made deliberate efforts to enhance my mind. It is in recent years that I delight most in receiving books as well as to spend time in a book store reading or just choosing a book. On a less serious note, this whole idea of buying a book is similar to buying a DVD in Shanghai; it’s therapeutic because you enjoy the idea of watching/reading it, but you may not actually get down to doing it.

Many people boast of an impressive arsenal of books, magazines and films but their purchases are still sitting on the shelves waiting to be devoured. We enjoy shopping for books and films because it makes us think that we actually have the time to pursue it. It’s like the photography outings I’ve convinced myself of embarking on but my archives reflect otherwise. It’s like the massively-innovative home improvement ideas that I’ve yet to implement for my room. My thoughts are incoherent but these things come to my mind when I purchased Leonard Ravenhill’s Why Revival Tarries at SKS today, together with RY and BB.

Without a shadow of a doubt I will complete reading this classic. Actually I’ve read quite a lot this year, well, at least relatively, and I am pleased with my knowledge-acquiring efforts. But I sense it’s just not enough. The plethora of books at SKS remind me that there is no end to acquiring knowledge. Knowledge could either be the most powerful tool or the whitest elephant. Read books represent knowledge. Books were written to be read. No one writes a book for the purpose of not wanting anyone to read it. Okay, I don’t know why this entry has skewed itself into a read-more-books-to-save-your-mind plea.

I reckon that something scarier than untapped potential (in unread books) is unused knowledge (in read books). I pray that I will never get so puffed up in knowledge and argument that it remains only in my head, untransferred to the way I live. Imagine if we actually lived out the instructions of just one book; it may actually change our lives. Imagine the impact of reading one book a month and taking the actions prescribed in it. We would be supremely successful, effective and influential.

But the even scarier thing is how we approach the Word and how we approach sermons thinking that it’s all “old” and “familiar” stuff respectively. We should always be filled with wonder and freshness as we get to know God more, in this instance, through the knowledge available in books. This should enable and empower us to read books, regardless of whether they are Christian, secular, fiction or non-fiction, for the glory of God. May I learn to approach acquiring knowledge with the attitude of knowing God more. After all, there is nothing new (to God) under the sun.

%d bloggers like this: