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cephiedvariable in ship_manifesto

Thicker Than Blood - Naruto and Sasuke

Title: Thicker Than Blood
Author: cephiedvariable
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: Naruto Uzumaki/Sasuke Uchiha
Spoilers: The entire series, more or less, up to about Chapter 295
Author’s Notes: This essay is extremely image heavy. This is because a lot of the subtext between these characters speaks for itself (rather, it's in the subtleties of the art). Also, everything you'll read here is predominently manga focused since I'm an elitist who doesn't particularily appreciate the anime. I also, uh, kinda went over the word count. All this aside, hope you all enjoy! ^___^;;

If both you and your opponent are first class ninja, you can read each other's minds when your fists meet. There's no need for words.Collapse )


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That's _brilliant_.

I haven't read anything this powerfully motivating in such a long time. It makes me wanna go out and find SasuNaruSasu haters and rub it in their faces saying 'haha, it _is_ possible! Take THAT!'. :P.

But _damn_ that's good. Excellent work.
People keep commenting on it, it's amazing. :D I just wanted to say that you made a great work, I loved reading it! I don't even know what to say, just wow!

Also, I'm working on a sasunaru FST and thought of linking your essay so people could read it, 'cause really, I'd never explain myself this good. :P Do I have your permission to link this post in my FST? :)

Thank you for sharing this wonderful essay with us all. ♥
Hey- I'd be honored if you used me as a reference in your SasuNaru manifesto. ♥ Thank you!


Great Job!

I will admitt this outright: I don't like slash.

At all. I mean, I don't mind it, and I don't go flailing around the internet going "ZOMG!" at people. To each, his own. But me? Don't like it.

So, I mean every bit of it when I say that this was very intelligent, well-thought out, descriptive, and had superb support. You supported every point you made -reasonably-. None of that stupid "they stood next to each other-- it must be love!" nonsense. You really did a very good job.

Actually, I don't like the anime either. XD

Too much of opponents just standing there staring at each other when they're supposed to be, y'know, fighting or something. The manga-right-to-anime transition didn't work very well for some aspects.

Anyway, cool points to you for making a great essay in support of something! Extra cool points for being reasonable and using punctuation. :B
"Their relationship may drag Naruto down, but in the end he is the only one who can save Sasuke's soul, just as Sasuke's return is the only thing that could ever make Naruto whole again.

If that's not love, I don't know what is."

You got the point here. Especially with this: "Sasuke's return is the only thing that could ever make Naruto whole again". Since part two begun, Naruto wasn't like himself for a single moment. And when they found Sasuke... even during those few minutes he started to live again.

He _needs_ Sasuke, damn. Though I'm not sure what would happen if he came back. Because nothing can be the same again.


Sally here !

WOW ! That's all I have to say.

Of all ship manifesto's I have read (and that are a lot), this one was definitely the best. Though I disagree on the small "Romantically, I tend to believe that a romance between Sakura and Sasuke would not be possible. Once upon a time I felt that the manga was leaning in this direction, however lately it seems that if any Team 7 pairing will become canon, it will be Naruto/Sakura. While I'd prefer Kishimoto kept everything nice and platonic (it's more fun that way afterall), I trust his ability to pull either of these relationships off brilliantly." part.

I never had the feeling that the manga was leaning in a Sasuke/Sakura direction because then, Kishimoto would have had to include at least some sort of "signs" that Sasuke slowly starts falling for Sakura in a romantic way, what he didn't. On the contrary, he made it plainly obvious that Sasuke only and always liked her as a mere friend.

As for Naruto/Sakura, I hope Kishimoto won't destroy their beautiful friendship by turning them into a couple. This would be pretty cliché and I hate it when in stories the main guy and main girl cannot be just really good friends. On top of that, I don't want to get the feeling that Sakura's (or females in general) only purpose in the story is and always was to be a love interest. If Sakura and Naruto fell in love with each other it would be also very ironic, because both, Naruto and Sakura, love Sasuke more than they love each other. But whatever. I am all for no pairings with Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi at the end.

Back to topic. The only thing I would suggest is to include part 2 in your manifesto as well. That would make it perfect ;) !

Wonderful essay, it pretty much sums up my thinking. I especially love your rant on the whole seme/uke bullshit. Speaking as a gay person, that is more fetish then it is a mainstream relationship. I mean sure, somebody has to be the top and someone has to be the bottom, but normal gay guys usually take turns with their partners ;-). Besides, Naruto's personality is diametrically opposite a submissive personality; it really boggles the mind how some fanfiction/manga-artists can portray him as such. Naruto is nothing if not direct when it comes to expressing how he feels and what is on his mind. Anywho, kudos on the essay and hope you'll update it once the new "kill the pedophile snake" (finally!!!!) arc is over ;-).
Thank you! It's nice to see that not everyone in this fandom has a fondness for seme/uke dynamics. I know that they work for some people, but nothing turns me off faster. :P

kill the pedophile snake

T___T I hope that's not what this arc comes down to. I love Orochimaru somewhat passionately. Either way, I probably won't be updating just yet. There's not enough Naruto/Sasuke subtext to talk about except for pointy-hugging and more Naruto pining over Sasuke in a kinda, sorta creepy way.
This really gave me a whole new viewpoint to the relationship between Naruto and Sasuke. I've never been a big fan of this pairing and this essay couldn't change my mind on that, but nevertheless it made me see how deep their bond actually is. Still I just can't see them as lovers. It is true that there are huge amounts of feelings flowing between them, but anything romantic? No, I don't think that they even _need_ that. Even without romantic love there is enough tragedy in their relationship.

I hope you'll continue this soon. It seems that we'll get some more information about Sasuke in the manga now:) By the way, referring to the stab-hug you mentioned in one of your comments, do you really think that Sasuke intended to hurt Naruto when he did it? It seemed more like a warning. I mean, when Sai blocks the stab, Sasuke says that it was the right decision. As if he knew that someone was going to stop him and he let it happen. Later in the same chapter Yamato gets hurt in a very similar situation. (Interesting, that the only person who Sasuke tries to kill is the one he doesn't know. He ends up doing and saying very different kinds of things, doesen't he?)
1. I like Sasuke and Naruto's relationship any way truthfully, which is why I tried to make this essay as much about their canon relationship as I could while still arguing the viewpoint of them as a pairing. I guess I wanted to have my cake and eat it too by making this a definitive relationship manifesto even with the decidedly romantic bent. ^__^ That being said, I'm glad you enjoyed it anyways! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

2. I think Sasuke just wanted to look cool so everyone would forget how dumb he looked when he said: "I am more special than you."

Unfortunately he just turned into SSSJ3!Sasuke again in chapter 344, so now we all remembered how foolish he is.
First off I want to say, wonderful Essay. I always detested essays when I was in school, but (momentarily disregarding the subject of the essay) you managed to make it interesting, quite a feat whilst using essay form.

Moving on, though, for the longest time now I've adored the Sasu-Naru pairing, though I could never place my finger on why I loved it so. My friend had me converted to the pairing before I'd even begun to watch the anime (which I have to say, simply doesn't compare to the manga a lot of the time) ... I still wanted to watch it and discover the thing that was "Sasu-Naru" for myself however ... And since that moment I've been an avid Sasu-Naru fan though, as I mentioned above, could never quite place why.

... I think you summed everything up for me though, lol. I was never one to think "My god! They look so good together!" (Though, admittedly, they do) ... Rather, there was something about their relationship that fascinated me.

Essentially, their relationship is a beautiful tragedy ... There really can be no happy ending for the two however (or so it seems thus far)

But, I'm going off on a tangent. I just wanted to say, absolutely wonderful essay, and thankyou for pointing out the differing views that surround the relationship between Sasuke and Naruto ... It's helped me realised exactly why I adore the pairing.

If you should chose to post a follow up once the second part of the manga has developed enough, I'd love to know!

Ah, I also avidly agree with what you said about the Seme/Uke aspects of fanfiction/fanart ... While there are some good fanfics/art/doujinshi with a, constantly, Uke Naruto ... I don't think they're truly doing Naruto justice by making this the case. His personality would not allow him to be a willing Uke all of the time, and, I believe, that only by swallowing his pride and being submissive once in a while, could Sasuke actually prove to Naruto that he actually cares for him ... But, that's just my opinion ^^;

I'm sure I've rambled enough now and probably just repeated alot of things that have already been said so I'll just finish with saying;
Concerning the Sakura aspect ... I have to admit I was one of those girls who initially disliked her because she was "in the way", but it was also because back then I couldn't stand her personality (Though, now that she's matured to much, she's one of my favourite characters ... maybe). Perhaps I didn't like her because she seemed to 'dumb' herself up in front of others ... But, this is neither here nor there ^^;

Once again, wonderful essay and hoping for a follow up sometime in the future (As someone else above has commented, your views on everything in the recent chapters would be most interesting!! ^w^)
Ahaha, I'm glad I was able to articulate your feelings on the pairing so effectively for you. I'd hardly say this was written in proper essay format, however I have fun writing "real" essays as well (I'm going to be an academic, so this is all well and good).

The seme/uke thing doesn't just bother me because Naruto's potrayed as the uke too often (ALTHOUGH THAT IS DEFINITELY A LARGE FACTOR IN IT :P), but rather that I just don't like seme/uke roles period. I like balance and challenge and equality and when people attempt to write to seme/uke dynamics, they don't really write the characters, they write what they think a seme or uke is supposed to act like. That being said, I don't mind relationships where the couple APPEARS to be traditional seme/uke (a lot of CLAMP couples are like this), I just like there to be a little more complexity to my favorite pairings than that. Seme/uke dynamics are oversimplifications by their very nature. Also, they don't apply to Sasuke and Naruto anyways. :P < /RANT>

.... besides, Naruto would totally top anyways!!!! :O :O :O

Yes, even though Sasuke is all bad ass now.


Truthfully, I didn't like Sakura for the majority of part one either. But damn, she grew on me. My irritation with her was for one of the reasons you mentioned: the way she dumbed herself down for other people's sake. However, the story about her relationship with Ino made all of that a little more sympathetic since it showed that she wasn't just doing it for the sake of dumb romance- she'd worshipped Ino in the same way. It was just in her personality when she was younger. Besides, if Sakura hadn't been so immature and, more often than not, "useless" in the majority of part one, her transformation into TOTALLY THE MOST AWESOME MEMBER OF TEAM 7 DAMN STRAIGHT would have been much less powerful. As it stands now, I'd venture to say that she has the best character development in the entire series. ♥

I plan to do a post-timeskip update when we see more of Sasuke and Naruto's relationship. All I'd be adding right now was the infamous "on a whim" scene and my opinion on it. I need more Sasuke in general in order to write it.
I enjoyed this reading; it's a very well-written, very well-presented essay. I might not agree in some points (there are more concrete evidence, and also ways to explain their relationship that, without the romantic-interest consideration, become incomplete) but earns one's respect.

I, above all, loved the images escorting every idea (are they all, except the dounjin, from the original manga?) and worship the fact that you link us to some good fanfics! =D Which I'm on my way to read.

I share your taste for the tasteful, not overly-slashy (and especially the non-pornographic) fanfics in lieu of respecting the canon - and I won't even start in the dumb uke/seme problems. So you have earned my trust.

I wrote an essay myself, very long, on these same terms. If you are into Draco/Harry ship fandom, you can read it at hatewithpassion at greatestjournal.com and I also can link you to some good H/D fanfic. Peace out.
Your avatar is made of fantastic and win. ♥ Oh Gaav. Oh Valgaav. ♥

Thank you for your kind words. When I go to add the part two analysis, I plan to clean the rest of the manifesto up a little bit to make my conclusions more concrete. I was in a rush to finish this, and I think that shows. :P

Either way, I will check out your manifesto as well. ^__^


cephiedvariable, your essay made me realize that Sasuke and Naruto are the one and only couple in Naruto that actually has any real depth to it and makes the most sense. And it is such a new and just.... diffrent kind of relationship. I hate sterotypes and clichés :/.

Sasuke needs Naruto and Naruto needs Sasuke. I hope Sasuke will one day in the manga realize this too. Even if there wasn't much interaction lateley I have the firm hope that Kishimoto will surprise us all with a wonderful moment between those two characters in the end.

I love you for writing this essay :3.
Yours shinja_chin.

Mau...interesting read there. Very long.

mmm. I still don't really see it happening in the show though.

but interesting read.
**ah, have you read the naruhina essay that's around somewhere? someone of your devotion to reading may find it interesting.
i really loved it. those two are meant to be together.. and as you pointed out.. there is tons of evidence hinting it.
I've had this essay on my favorites for over a year now, I don't remember if I ever commented before, but I agree what makes this pairing interesting is the fact that they are so unhealthy for each other. My favorite doujinshi, fanart, etc all revolve around the most angsty stuff. Such as this: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/nekomataE22/SasuNaruNEEHEA.jpg sorry for my photoshopped goodness, I was too lazy to go and find the original image XD
I think I'm gonna friend you, so watch out ;D

<3 <3 <3
A truly well-written essay. <3 But. Naruto's not only about fighting and all that typical shounen stuff. From what I remember reading, it's also about friendship- that may be what Naruto is 75% about, while 27% is probably focused on fighting, and 3% is focusing on romance and other. xD Well, all I know is that it's focused on friendship too. :3
WOW.... absolutely awesome and spot on. It's everything written here and more as evidenced by the new episode (the very first episode of Naruto Shippuuden) of their connection.

There is a fanfic though that I think does a good job of portraying Sasuke and Naruto, the darkness, the light, and everything evil and good in between.

The Sound of Dreams by Zrina.
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blue by darkhavens

January 2018



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