Please comment or suggest ideas at the talk page for this theory page, User talk: GoDai/Ideas and Theories.
Note: I prefer to place manga ahead of anime/movies in my assumptions and theories.
For those of you who get bored of reading all this, I'm sorry, I'm trying to make it more appealing, and I'll (somewhat) try to get some nice diagrams for you picture-lovers! I know a large number of information on this page is simple fact, but there are some decent thought-through hypotheses and theories here and there.
Godai Seishitsu Henka (五大性質変化); Nature Transformation of Chakra
Nature Transformation Mechanics and Theories
Nature Transformation (五大性質変化, Seishitsu Henka) can be better translated as “Property Changes,” “Changes in Behavior,” or “Alteration of Characteristics,” and therefore it refers to the transformation of the characteristics of chakra. Chakra can be changed in five main ways:
- Fire (火, Hi); Fire Release (火遁, Katon): Chakra is increased in temperature and flammability, and is given burning (deconstructive) effects.
- Wind (風, Kaze); Wind Release (風遁, Fūton): Chakra is pressed and grinded to become thin and sharp.
- Lightning (雷, Kaminari); Lightning Release (雷遁, Raiton): The vibration frequencies of chakra are increased, making it unstable and electrical.
- Earth (土, Tsuchi); Earth Release (土遁, Doton): The density of chakra is increased, and its composition is changed, forming an earthen solid (varing from dirt, mud, and clay, to stone and rock).
- Water (水, Mizu); Water Release (水遁, Suiton): The viscosity of chakra is increased, forming water in a fluid form (either liquid or gas), but usually more dense and viscous than natural water.
Some have the ability to conduct two characteristic changes at the same time, forming an “Advanced Nature”. Although anyone can learn to use two or more natures, not anyone can change their chakra’s behavior in more than one way at once simultaneously, as it is only available through a kekkei genkai (or sometimes a Tailed Beast Skill or kekkei tōta). Such a kekkei genkai allows one to change their chakra in one way with each hand, and therefore change their chakra in two ways at once when they form a hand seal.
- Ice (氷, Kori); Ice Release (氷遁, Hyōton): Simultaneous transformation into Water and Wind. Chakra is turned into ice (in forms such as freezing air or levitating ice mirrors). This ice can be generated from existing water.
- Wood (木, Ki); Wood Release (木遁, Mokuton): Simultaneous transformation into Earth and Water. Chakra is turned into wooden structures and trees. This wood can be generated from existing earth, as well as wood, trees, or the user's cells.
- Note: As this element creates life, it seems Yang is also involved in some way.
- Lava (溶岩, Yōgan); Lava Release (熔遁 or 溶遁, Yōton): Simultaneous transformation into Earth and Fire. Chakra is turned into lava and/or other volcanic-themed substances. These substances can be generated from existing earth.
- Blaze (炎, Honō); Blaze Release (炎遁, Enton): Unknown combination, many possibilities. Thus far, it has been shown to utilize some form of modified chakra to manipulate and modify the form of the flames of Amaterasu. This can be generated from an existing fire, in this case being the flames of Amaterasu.
- Storm (嵐, Arashi); Storm Release (嵐遁, Ranton): Simultaneous transformation into Lightning and Water. Chakra is turned into bright, fluid electrical energy. Hypothetically, this energy can be generated from existing lightning.
- Boiling (沸騰, Futtō); Boil Release (沸遁, Futton): Simultaneous transformation into Water and Fire. Chakra is turned into a acidic corrosive vapor. Hypothetically, this vapour can be generated from existing water.
- Dust (塵, Chiri); Dust Release (塵遁, Jinton): Simultaneous transformation into Wind, Earth, and Fire. Chakra is turned into a 3-dimensional solid shape of energy which breaks molecular bonds inside the objects it passes through, turning the passed objects into molecule-sized dust.
- Explosion (爆發, Bakuhatsu); Explosion Release (爆遁, Bakuton): Simultaneous transformation into Lightning and Fire (unconfirmed). Chakra is turned into explosive energy.
- Scorching Heat (灼熱, Shakunetsu); Scorch Release (灼遁, Shakuton): Simultaneous transformation into Wind and Fire (unconfirmed). Chakra is turned into a very hot form of energy, which is capable of evaporating water very fast in order to rapidly dry the object containing the water. Hypothetically, this heat energy can be generated from existing fire.
- Magnetism (磁力, Jiryoku); Magnetism Release (磁遁, Jiton): Simultaneous transformation into Lightning and Earth (unconfirmed). Chakra is given magnetic properties, allowing it to produce powerful magnetic fields and manipulate the attraction and repulsion between objects (apparently even non-magnetic objects, such as people). Hypothetically, this magnetic energy can be generated from existing lightning.
Chakra itself is composed of two energies: Spiritual energy, which governs imagination and form, and physical energy, which governs life and mass. These components themselves can be manipulated to change the nature of chakra:
- Yin(陰, In); Yin Release (陰遁, Inton): Spiritual energy is manipulated, altering thought (idea; concept) and form.
- Yang(陽, Yō); Yang Release (陽遁, Yōton): Physical energy is manipulated, creating life (reality; existence) and mass.
Some have gained access to the ability to utilize both of the above at the same time:
- Yin-Yang (陰陽, Onmyō); Yin-Yang Release (陰陽遁, Onmyōton): Seemingly considered to be the "sixth basic nature of chakra." Both spiritual energy and physical energy are manipulated simultaneously, creating form and mass to bring anything imaginable into reality.
Why it goes Fire>Wind>Lightning>Earth>Water>Fire
Some have difficulty with grasping why the elements move in this system of advantages and disadvantages in Naruto. Before I open my own theory that attempts to make sense of it, I would like to point out that:
- Kishi said so.
If that isn't enough for you, perhaps I can (try to) explain to you how this works. Remember, it depends on your past, background, and culture. I initially didn't get Lightning>Earth; too much Pokemon. Nothing against Pokemon; it's just that Pokemon laws don't exactly match up in Naruto, and vice-versa. Both can make sense in their own ways.
Basically, imagine fanning a flame. Wind accelerates the combustion of the fire by feeding oxygen and other gases into it.
- Ninja A shoots a fireball (rank D) at Ninja B, and Ninja B responds by shooting a air bullet (rank D) at Ninja A. So a fireball and air bullet are travelling towards each other with the same force, same speed. Once they collide and begin to merge, the fireball will be forced to combust faster due to the gases (especially oxygen) being fed to it by the air bullet. The air bullet will be swallowed, and the fireball will burn faster and become more powerful. Now Ninja B is facing an even more violent, hotter fireball.
- Wind can only defeat Fire if it is of a higher rank, in which case it will presumably blow the Fire out.
- Of course, the momentum conservation is questionable here; if the two techniques are flying at each other with the same force, should they not stop each other in mid-air? Apparently not.
- We have not exactly witnessed how this works yet, but it is a key point that allows Naruto to have one advantage over Sasuke, as pointed out when we was learning to master Nature Transformation.
- Wind can cut through things. Keep that in mind.
- Until we see this for ourselves, I will imagine something like this. Someone shoots a stream of lightning at me. I shoot a stream of wind to block off that lightning. Especially if I cut it off halfway through, the current will dissipate. Imagine Sasuke's Chidori Sharp Spear, and I cut it off with Wind Release: Vacuum Wave. Lightning Release is produced by making chakra vibrate faster, making it behave like electricity. A sharp, compressed slice would ruin this set frequency of the vibration, making it unstable and dissipate. At least that's what I imagine for now.
- Some people just don't get this, and that's totally cool. It made no sense to me in the beginning. It just takes time to break in the mind, and open it up to Naruto-like thinking.
- In other media (such as Pokemon), Earth (Ground) can beat Lightning (Electric) mainly because it grounds it. By that, it means the electricity will spread into unnoticeable amounts across the Earth; however, that only happens when the lightning user shoots the lightning, and then has no more control over it. In Naruto, that simply does not happen because all of that electricity is under the user's control as long as they want it to be. In Naruto, Earth cannot ground Lightning chakra. So what actually happens is, the lightning stays focused and concentrated, and the high-energy mass simply rips through the earth, between its particles. In some ways, it's better that earth is a conductor, which is the very thing that allows lightning to rip through it. Earth is brittle, and lightning chakra can easily drive fissures through it. Any solid rock structure created through Earth techniques would be destroyable with the use of a Lightning technique of the same level.
- Simply put, rocks don't slurp up electricity off Sasuke's hand like a noodle when he's using Chidori. Sasuke chooses where the lightning will go, so Earth's conductibility is its weakness.
- This is one is rather easier. In all cases possibly seen, Earth is superior to Water in most ways. Earth takes the forms of either the hardest rock, or the softest mud. Water takes the forms of fluids; either liquid or vapor. When a solid and fluid collide with the same amount of force, the solid will be the winner (And therefore Earth Release: Earth Style Wall was used to block Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique). Also, although not seen, Earth's mud form is superior to water's forms. Earth Release manipulates density, so absorbing water won't affect it, and the point of using the mud form is for the qualities of mud; fluid, sticky, slippery. Water only increases these qualities, meaning water cannot beat earth because it has control over both rock and mud.
- Tell me if I need to go over this. Seriously.
Why Lightning does not beat Water
Lightning, contrary to common belief, is not effective against Water. This is because Lightning doesn't do much to stop, or overwhelm, water.
- Ninja A shoots a bolt of lightning. Ninja B responds by spitting a tidal wave. While the bolt of lightning may travel through the water and hit Ninja B, the tidal wave will become electrically charged on the way, and therefore hit Ninja A with a shocking wave, which gives him a taste of his own medicine.
So basically, Lightning only beats Water if there's something alive in it which is advantaeous to damage (That's how it works in Pokemon, the Water Pokemon are aquatic creatures). A primary example is Suigetsu's Hydrification Technique, which makes him weak against Lightning, since he himself is turning into liquid form.
Water's ability to channel Lightning has been noted, as Darui's techniques often involve amplification when used with water (Lightning Release: Wave of Inspiration and Lightning Release: Black Panther). While the combination is noted, no particular advantages and/or disadvatanges between the two are seen.
- In the anime only, Shikamaru utilizes a Portable Water Field to redirect Lightning Release: False Darkness.
Converted Chakra, Chakra and the environment, and Mass of Chakra
Chakra can be seen as a form of energy that can be converted into other forms of energy (e.g. lightning) or matter (e.g. earth, water, etc.). It never defies the law of conservation of mass and energy. When changed in nature, chakra takes on the appearance and behaviour of another substance or energy. This chakra can be used for two main purposes: Being used to control the corresponding element, or being used as the element itself. When used for controlling, little chakra is required, but the pre-existing element must be in reach of chakra. On the other hand, when producing the material itself, a large amount of chakra would be needed, equal to the mass of the material being produced. It is also hinted at several times that more skill would be required to produce the element, either due to training likely beginning with controlling first, or due to lack of efficiency.
- This explains how Tobirama Senju and Kisame Hoshigaki could produce and spit out large amounts of water in dry areas. The Nidaime's efficiency has been hinted at, and Kisame was known to wield large amounts of chakra.
When chakra takes on the "disguise" of another element, it can then be used to meld into a larger pre-existing mass of the correponding element, and consequently allow the user to manipulate the assimilated mass. With elements such as earth and water, this would be preferred, as those two elements are often available in large expanses, while lightning and fire are rather situational and are not available in such large amounts.
- This is shown in the various uses of Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique. In the Land of Waves during the clash between Kakashi and Zabuza, both use the technique utilizing the water around them, and therefore requiring much less chakra. However, when later used by the Second Hokage, he spits the technique out without the need of nearby water, which is noted to be a sign of his skill.
- This may also explain why certain techniques of Fire and Lightning Releases seem to be on a much lesser scale, or seem to be much more exhausting, than Water and Earth Release techniques of the same rank. An example would be Chidori (and Lightning Cutter), a high-level technique than requires a large deal of chakra, although all it seems to do is discharge lightning chakra through the user's hand.
- Compared to the above, Water and Earth Release users seem to use their respective techniques with much more freedom, not to mention a large number of ninja possess knowledge of Water and Earth techniques, to the point of making them seem almost "basic."
Manipulation of already-existing elements
- Fire chakra can (hypothetically) manipulate pre-existing flames. Not preferred, as fire is not widely available in large amounts in nature.
- Wind chakra can manipulate pre-existing air currents (like in Wind Release: Wind Cutter). Not sure, but my idea is that it is situational. Positioning has been mentioned, relative to the current wind direction and strength.
- Danzō Shimura's vacuum-based Wind Release techniques, which require extensive inhalation, may be doing this by infusing pre-existing air into the techniques. Danzō's techniques were significantly more powerful when used in conjunction with the Baku's suction in the correct direction.
- Temari seems to do this by simultaneously creating a wind with her fan and amplifying the wind created.
- Lightning chakra can manipulate naturally-existing lightning. Not preferred, as environmental lightning is not too common.
- In a storm, the user can gather all the lightning into one mass to use in one shot, which is much more powerful than using only chakra, as well as more energy-efficient for the user. This technique, used by Sasuke, is known as Kirin.
- A storm can be created by sending an extremely powerful Fire Release technique into the sky, causing drastic changes in the temperature of the upper atmosphere to form thunderclouds. Then, the user's chakra sent into the sky inside the Fire technique can be converted into a Lightning type to manipulate the static electricity built up inside the clouds.
- In a storm, the user can gather all the lightning into one mass to use in one shot, which is much more powerful than using only chakra, as well as more energy-efficient for the user. This technique, used by Sasuke, is known as Kirin.
- Earth chakra can manipulate pre-existing earth. Much preferred, as earth is usually found anywhere on land.
- Kakashi's repeated usage of Earth Release: Earth-Style Wall, which emerges from the ground, is a good example.
- Water chakra can manipulate pre-existing water. Somewhat preferred, as water sources are quite common, although not always present nearby.
- Kakashi and Zabuza's usage of Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique is a good example.
Chakra being changed into the element
When a pre-existing nearby source of the element is not available, larger amounts of converted chakra must be used to replace the normal amount of the element that would be used.
- Fire chakra can be exhaled, releasing fire through the mouth. Preferred, as large amounts of natural fire are uncommon.
- Most Fire Release techniques shown thus far depict the user spitting flames.
- Wind chakra can be released through the body, such as from the hands or arms. Situational, as air conditions and currents differ by time and location.
- Lightning chakra can be released through the body, such as from the hands or arms. Preferred, as pre-existing lightning is uncommon.
- Earth chakra can be spit out, providing earth in higher earth-free surroundings. Not preferred, Earth is usually anywhere.
- Water chakra can be spit out, providing water when there are no water sources nearby. Somewhat preferred, some areas don't have much water.
- Kisame's usage of the Water Release: Great Exploding Water Colliding Wave depicts this, as he spat out water converted from his chakra.
Other Chakra-converted Techniques
Also, it seems there are some other techniques that involve chakra conversion (also called kneading), other than well-known nature transformation techniques:
- Jiraiya could convert his chakra into oil, in techniques such as the Toad Oil Bullet and the Sage Art: Goemon. This oil could be absorbed by the Blocking Technique Absorption Seal, further showing that the oil was made of chakra, not a body secretion. While this is not called a nature transformation, it is technically altering the nature, or property, of chakra.
- Shizune could "knead" her chakra into special chemicals inside her body, then exhale them. The moment it was released and made contact with the air it would turn into a Poison Mist.
It should be noted converted chakra still contains the properties of actual chakra, and it can be considered "wearing a disguise." Therefore, a chakra absorption technique such as the Blocking Technique Absorption Seal can absorb converted chakra. In theory, chakra has two ways of "disappearing," instantly or gradually. Instant dissipation would be commonly seen in the Shadow Clone Technique, where a disturbance would cause the chakra to dissipate, sending an amount back to the user. Also, it can be hypothesized that increased masses such as water and earth will return to normal as time goes by, as the chakra will dissipate and lose its "disguise." One example is a technique such as Earth Release: Earth Flow Rampart, which seems to either produce, or raise a huge mass of earth. In my theory, the Earth technique would undergo gradual dissipation, where the effects and changes caused by the user's chakra would slowly wear off and return to its natural state if control over that chakra is not maintained by the user. I believe that in this case, the chakra would spend itself to maintain the change on terrain, and in the end, the environment will be returned back to its normal state and all the chakra will have become waste energy, following entropy.
Pattern Theory: Opposite and Adjacent Recompositions
There are 2 types of elemental recomposition: Opposite and Adjacent.
Opposite recomposition includes five elements: Ice, Lava, Storm, ? (Wind+Earth), and hypothetically Explosion, where the both components have relationships with a third element, with one being superior and the other inferior. This type of recomposition produces an advanced element that is an "opposite" of a basic element. By this theory, Ice is the opposite of Fire, Lava is the opposite of Water, ? (Wind+Earth) will be the opposite of Lightning, Storm is the opposite of Earth, and Explosion is the opposite of Wind.
- (Water→Fire→Wind) Ice←→Fire: In Sasuke's fight with Haku, Haku stated Sasuke could not melt his ice with his Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique, suggesting that the Demonic Mirroring Ice Crystals could be melted with a higher level of Fire. This could show how Fire and Ice are equally opposed, and one can defeat the other only by level of skill.
- (Earth→Water→Fire) Lava←→Water: Rōshi's lava could be cooled and extinguished by Kisame's water, although Kisame also complained about the difficulty, possibly saying their powers were matched.
- (Lightning→Earth→Water) Storm←→Earth: Storm is energy-based, while Earth is matter-based. If we stretch the symbolism, the former also represents "Heaven", while the latter represents "Earth".
- (Wind→Lightning→Earth) "Pressure"←→Lightning
- (Fire→Wind→Lightning) Explosion←→Wind
- Hypothesis 1: The combination of Fire and Lightning seems to be Explosion. Lightning's characteristics would be applied to Fire, resulting in a sudden unstable combustion, possibly related to the vibratory nature of Lightning. Both Wind and Explosion are pushing forces, although Wind slices while Explosion would literally explode.
- Hypothesis 2: If (and only if...) Sasuke's new element Blaze is a combination of Fire and Lightning, Naruto's Wind chakra will be the only equal counter to it. This was inspired when Yamato explains elemental relationships, about how Naruto's Wind cannot defeat Sasuke's Fire Release techniques, but can defeat his Chidori, and Naruto talked about how he was the only person that could be the one to oppose Sasuke. I especially believe that Sasuke's new element Blaze is somehow related to the two natures he was able to learn at such a young age, and I was mainly motivated by Yamato's lesson, where he showed Fire→Wind→Lightning, which means Naruto and Sasuke are, also in this way, opposites (Wind←→Blaze in this hypothesis).
Also, it seems that natures of this element are formed by applying the inferior element’s characteristics to the superior element’s composition.
- Water is superior to Fire, Wind is inferior to Fire.
- Ice is Water frozen by Wind.
- Earth is superior to Water, Fire is inferior to Water.
- Lava is Earth molten by Fire.
- Lightning is superior to Earth, Water is inferior to Earth.
- Storm is Lightning fluidized by Water.
- Wind is superior to Lightning, Earth is inferior to Lightning.
- "Pressure" is Wind "solidified" by Earth.
- Fire is superior to Wind, Lightning is inferior to Wind.
- Explosion is Fire unstabilized by Lightning.
If this theory wasn't true, why isn't Storm some kind of electric water? The fact that Kishimoto would select such an unnatural combination suggests that he's following some sort of rule. If he chose to make Storm be lightning-charged clouds like the movie makers did with their version of the Storm Release, it would have been Water enhanced by Lightning. However, as we see with Storm Release: Laser Circus, it is clear that it is actually the other way around - Lightning enhanced by Water.
Therefore, if this pattern is correct, wind does NOT enhance earth, as opposed to what many would believe. According to this pattern, the earth will enhance wind. While this may sound crazy, the level of insanity is the same case with Storm. The result will be a denser, solidified wind. I theorize this sort of dense wind is what Gaara uses to lift, move, push, and press sand. Therefore, the nature does not produce sand (if it did, it would be earth enhanced by wind), but rather produces a force to manipulate already-existing sand. This would be similar to how Magnet Release does not produce any metal, but rather a magnetic chakra that allows the user to manipulate metallic weapons. See here for my ideas of sand control.
Also, the basic opposites of the corresponding advanced elements would reduce them.
- Fire would melt Ice by overpowering Wind, but leave Water.
- Water would cool Lava by overpowering Fire, but leave Earth.
- Earth would destabilize Storm by overpowering Water, but leave Lightning.
- Lightning would depressurize "Pressure" by overpowering Earth, but leave Wind.
- Wind would smother Explosion by overpowering Lightning, but leave Fire.
Adjacent recomposition includes Wood, Boil, Scorch, ? (Wind+Lightning), and hypothetically Magnetism, which is a case where component elements may affect each other in relationships outside of recomposition (Earth → Water, and Water → Fire). In this case, it forms a nature where the inferior nature enhances the superior nature.
- (Earth beats Water, so Water enhances Earth) Wood: Wood is mainly composed of substances from the Earth, but instead of being concrete and unchanging, Wood moves in a more fluid movement, like water. Wood is formed from earth, but not from water.
- (Water beats Fire, so Fire enhances Water) Boil: Boil is a mist or vapour, however it also has acidic and corrosive qualities that gives it a burning nature like Fire. Presumably, it can be formed from water, but not from fire.
- (Fire beats Wind, so Wind enhances Fire) Scorch: Scorch is very much like fire, except its chakra floats and passes through physical objects, evaporating liquid from within. Wind's airborne, intangible nature would allow the Fire to do this. Presumably, it can be formed from fire, but not from wind.
- (Wind beats Lightning, so Lightning enhances Wind)
- Hypothesis 1: I call this combination Thunderclap. Lightning will enhance Wind, most likely granting its shocking, unstable, vibrating qualities into the pressurized, sharp force of Wind. The result will most likely be somewhat of an oscillatory (?) shock wave. Hypothetically, this can be formed from wind, but not from lightning.
- (Lightning beats Earth, so Earth enhances Lightning) Magnetism: Magnet Release does not produce magnets or metal, but rather produces magnetic energy. This means Lightning does not enhance Earth. Earth is the enhancing agent and Lightning is the nature Magnetism is based on, since it is an energy, not matter (If Lightning were to enhance Earth, it would produce magnetic rocks or metal, but it does not.). Presumably, magnetic energy can be formed from lightning, but not from earth.
Therefore, the rules for opposite recompositions also apply in similar fashion.
- Wood can be produced from Earth, but not Water.
- Boil can be produced from Water, but not Fire.
- Scorch can be produced from Fire, but not Wind.
- Thunderclap (like a shock wave) can be produced from Wind, but not Lightning.
- Magnetism can be produced from Lightning, but not Earth.
Simplified Conclusion: See the Pattern?'
- Ice is primarily Water, and secondarily Wind.
- Explosion is primarily Fire, and secondarily Lightning. (Unconfirmed)
- Pressure is primarily Wind, and secondarily Earth. (Hypothetical)
- Storm is primarily Lightning, and secondarily Water.
- Lava is primarily Earth, and secondarily Fire.
- Boil is primarily Water, and secondarily Fire.
- Scorch is primarily Fire, and secondarily Wind. (Unconfirmed)
- Thunderclap is primarily Wind, and secondarily Lightning. (Hypothetical)
- Magnetism is primarily Lightning, and secondarily Earth. (Unconfirmed)
- Wood is primarily Earth, and secondarily Water.
Pressure and Thunderclap are just basic theories of my own, just placeholders, really. I'm not predicting their names; I only care about what the nature does.
Origins of the Elements, and Connections to Chinese Five Elements (Gogyō (五行); Wu Xing)
It is most definitely true that the Five Great Nature Transformations (五大性質変化, Godai Seishitsu Henka) are based on the Godai (五行), or Five Great Elements, of Japan. However, Japan is also equally influenced by the Gogyō (五行), basically Japanese for the Chinese Wu Xing, the Five Phases.
The Fire>Wind>Lightning>Earth>Water>Fire thing especially points this out, as there is no overcoming relationships in the original Japanese elements, although the "order of power" does match, albeit in reverse.
Also, the Godai are composed of, in ascending order of power:
- Earth (地; "land"), as opposed to Naruto's Earth (土; "dirt; soil")
- Water (水)
- Fire (火)
- Wind (風)
- Void, Sky, or Heaven (空; "emptiness"); replaced by the more physical element-like Lightning (雷) in Naruto.
And hence, Earth<Water<Fire<Wind<Heaven, Earth is lowest, Heaven is highest. It seems that Masashi Kishimoto took these elements and bent this "tower" into a "circle".
- 1. He takes this hierarchy and makes it possible for the bottom, earth, to connect to the top, heaven.
- 2. He reverses all the relationships in reaction. Now, **Earth>Water>Fire>Wind>Heaven>Earth.
- 3. He changes Earth (地) into Earth (土), and Heaven (空) into Lightning (雷).
And as a result, here we have the Five Naruto Elements we know today.
However, another interesting thing to note it that this set of elements and its properties is almost like a crossover between the Japanese Godai, and the Chinese-inspired Gogyō. The actual elements are obviously taken from the Godai, but the "overcoming", "what beats what" idea most likely originates from the Wu Xing, known as Gogyō in Japan. In Asia (China, Japan, Korea, etc.), the Wu Xing is a very common variant of a Rock-Paper-Scissors stereotype.
In the Wu Xing, there are also five "elements", although that is not really the best interpretation:
- Earth (土)
- Water (水)
- Fire (火)
- Metal (金)
- Wood (木)
As you can see, the set is nearly the same as the Godai, besides Wind and Heaven being missing and Metal and Wood being present. If I would have to talk about my own ideas, the Chinese philosophers believed "qi" (氣, can be translated as "air") to be present everywhere, between every space. To them, there were two boundaries: Earth (地), composed of Earth (dirt), Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood, and Heaven (天), composed of Qi (air). Air is excluded because it is present within every reaction, it is always involved. It provides the environment in which the other elements reside. It's not contained in the list because the list is contained inside it.
Now onto the similarities. There are two notable cycles in the Wu Xing:
- Wood ignites into Fire
- Fire leaves ash, Earth
- Earth yields Metal
- Metal collects Water (yeah.)
- Water nourishes Wood.
- Earth absorbs or blocks Water
- Water extinguishes Fire
- Fire melts and shapes Metal
- Metal cuts Wood
- Wood breaks into the Earth.
The more prominent one here would be the overcoming cycle. When simplified and compared to the Naruto representation, we get:
- Wu Xing: Earth>Water>Fire>Metal>Wood>Earth
- Kishimoto: Earth>Water>Fire>Wind>Lightning>Earth
As you can see, they are nearly identical, except in Naruto, the Metal and Wood are Wind and Lightning, respectively. Some may say this is completely different, but I would say otherwise.
- Metal and Wind have a correlation. Wind is portrayed as a cutting, forceful power in Naruto. Is that not what Metal represents in the Wu Xing? Metal chops Wood, symbolizing its penetrating force. Wind is also seen to penetrate. Metal can have either sharpness or blunt strength, which Wind Release is also seen to have, either cutting or blowing away. Wind-related natures are also either very durable (Ice) or penetrative (Dust, Scorch).
- Wood and Lightning also share similarities. Wood is seen as an adaptive, radiating force, cutting its way through the Earth, and nourished by Water. Lightning in Naruto is literally a force that travels through Earth in branching fashion, and is amplified by Water. Wood produces Fire, and natural lightning can also produce Fire due to its high temperature. Metal is seen to be able to control Wood by cutting it, and we all know metal can be used to conduct electricity in order to control it.
- Finally, as Metal chops Wood, I expect Wind to cut Lightning, although we haven't exactly seen that in the manga. Hopefully Naruto vs. Sasuke will actually show some of this, instead of completely ignoring it.
As one can observe, the set of Five Natures used in Naruto are actually somewhat a crossover of the Chinese Five Phases and the Japanese Five Elements. The actual elements are derived of the Japanese elements, but their properties and relationships are more similar to that of the Chinese elemental phases. This also signifies that symbolism can easily be drawn from either.
Deidara has stated that he has access to the Explosion Release, as he compares it to the Tsuchikage’s Dust Release. However, his Explosive Clay was establshed earlier to be an Earth-based Hiden Jutsu, and derived from the Iwagakure Kinjutsu. There is one solution:
- Deidara naturally possessed the Explosion Release advanced nature kekkei genkai, like Gari. However, to "complete his art," he stole the Iwagakure Kinjutsu, allowing him to knead his explosive chakra into his clay sculptures.
- NOTE: This information has since been added to the Explosive Clay page.
The kanji for landmine, "地雷火" (Jiraika), includes the kanji for "Land," "Lightning," and "Fire." It is likely that Explosion Release is a combination of Lightning and Fire.
Considering that there are only 10 possible kekkei genkai natures composed of the 5 basic natures, the choices are:
- Wind + Lightning (Wind - X)
- Earth + Wind (Wind - X)
- Earth + Lightning (Magnetism...)
- Fire + Lightning
Well the first proof is Deidara's battle against Sasuke. Sasuke used Lightning Release techniques against Deidara numerous times, yet Deidara did not even attempt to counter them with any Wind Release. This most likely means Deidara does not possess Wind Release. (Unless Deidara is quite stupid which is imaginable and acceptable.)
Now, while it is very possible that Earth is a component because Deidara was clearly mentioned to use it, the only choice available is Earth+Lightning, which is most likely the composition of Magnet Release. Also, because Kurotsuchi possessed Water Release despite it not being a component of Lava Release, it is definitely possible for Deidara to possess Earth Release without it being a component of his kekkei genkai. While it seems Explosion Release is an Iwagakure-based kekkei genkai, Lava Release is also used by the Mizukage so the issue of neither of the components matching the native nature of the region doesn't seem to be an issue either.
Therefore, one choice remains: Fire+Lightning. This makes sense because both are generally viewed to be destructive, unstable energy-based elements, which Explosion Release is also clearly. If Explosion Release follows the Pattern Theory, Lightning is the enhancing agent and Fire is the element being enhanced. This also makes sense since it keeps the characteristic of combustion (Fire), but adds the effect of being a sudden surge (Lightning).
Therefore, the best choice for the composition of Explosion for now is Fire+Lightning.
Magnet Release converts chakra into magnetism, utilising its attractive and repulsive properties on materials that react magnetically. Since this nature does not produce any magnets or metals, the central element is Lightning, and Earth is the nature being used to enhance it.
- This stays loyal to the Pattern Theory.
Magnet Release has been seen imitating the Shukaku's sand manipulation abilities, in the form of Iron Sand and Gold Dust. It seems this is done by infusing magnetic chakra into metallic powders similar to how the Shukaku infuses its chakra into sand. This also suggests they have some similar properties.
Magnet Release seemingly does not produce any visible energy, unlike its components. This may be due to Earth's density and composition changes being applied to Lightning, making it more subtle and affect only some types of matter (in this case, magnetic materials and metals). An invisible force was seen in the effect description of Magnet Release: Magnet Shuriken.
Considering common classical elements, Naruto lacks the element of metal, which is what Magnetism may be replacing.
Earth Release was seemingly unable to manipulate metallic objects, despite being able to turn earth as dense as metal. A good observation here is that while Earth Release's property-changing effects can be used on almost any object, including people, in cannot always manipulate them. As Lightning is effective against Earth partially because it conducts it, metal is also affected by lightning due to conductivity, but lightning cannot break and cut through metal as it can do with earth because metal is not composed of separate grains. This may be the basis of the combination: the electrical force is instead used to manipulate an earthen substance that does not break apart when lightning is driven through it.
Source of Sand Manipulation / Chakra Type
A common theory for Wind+Earth is a so-called "Sand Release." However, while I do believe that sand manipulation most likely stems from a chakra nature, I find it quite likely that it is rather a similar case to Magnetism Release, where the chakra itself does not become the material, but rather the energy required to manipulate the material.
- Magnetism Release is used to imitate sand manipulation through Iron Sand and Gold Dust. It is quite possible that the "imitation" also refers to how the chakra is used to manipulate the material.
- Gaara's (and Shukaku's) chakra is said to be infused into sand to manipulate it. While no nature type has been mentioned, saying that "Sand chakra" is being infused into sand to manipulate it sounds a bit strange. While manipulating already-existing materials using chakra is quite common, Gaara's great need for his gourd of sand seems to serve a purpose of something a little more than just efficiency; it seems Gaara really cannot produce sand just out of his chakra (although he can use his sand to produce more sand out of earth). This hints that Gaara's chakra works similarly to Magnetism Release where Gaara's chakra has a special quality to it that allows him to manipulate sand, but NOT turn the chakra into sand.
- However, the amount did seem to increase when Gaara went through a transformation, although this is unclear.
- When Gaara transformed, he used a particlar technique: Wind Release: Infinite Sand Cloud Great Breakthrough. While not entirely obvious, there is a huge hint in this technique: the force being used to move sand may be based on air. While in this technique, all Gaara had to do was fire the mass of sand with blunt wind, when Gaara normally moves the sand, he may have to modify this air. This is where the concept "Earth enhances Wind" comes in: he may be using a denser form of wind to move the sand.
- Now a question is why can't Gaara move other objects with this "denser air"? My guess is that there is a certain size, weight, and form of matter that is ideal to manipulate, and it happens to be sand and the minerals it contains.
- This also means that this denser air probably has little effect on its own, since it has lost the sharp and intangible characteristics of Wind Release. This is why Gaara must use a sand along with it to add force and interaction.
- This also explains why the sand in Gaara's gourd is the most efficient. It is already well mixed-in with his dense air chakra. Desert sand is quite fine, so Gaara can quickly infuse this dense air chakra into it. Soil-produced sand has to be ground by Gaara himself using his own sand, so it is not as efficient.
- In conclusion, this theory states that Gaara's (and Shukaku's) chakra takes the form of a denser air, which he keeps mixed in invisible bubbles between the grains of his sand, so when he moves this chakra the sand will follow along, and he is essentially manipulating sand. Using this dense air mixed in between the sand would be how he lifts and levitates sand, presses targets in sand, increases the density of sand, and selects minerals and other materials to add and remove from his sand.
Main idea: Gaara's chakra nature is the nature of dense air. This follows the pattern theory of Earth's qualities being applied to Wind. Pressure Release would be a good name for this nature.
Utakata's Soap Bubble Ninjutsu, and the Six-Tails' Alkali Ability
It was widely speculated earlier that the Six-Tails granted Utakata the ability to use his signature Soap Bubble Ninjutsu, although in most cases where it was seen, it just seemed to be ordinary water techniques with a little side effects to them. Many also speculated that this could be a new nature, like another Water+Wind, although I personally disliked the idea of a Bubble Release, since it just didn't make sense to me. However, there are new revelations that may explain this style of ninjutsu:
- It's called soap bubble ninjutsu. While "shabondama" can just mean bubbles, they form better when made with substances such as soap.
- Soap Bubble Ninjutsu is Water Release-based, just as Explosive Clay is Earth Release-based. However, like Explosive Clay, it seems to be a unique style, which may involve a little more than just water.
- The Six-Tails has the ability to produce powerful alkali to attack, as seen with Leech Gap. It also expels large waves of it from its mouth, which also seems to have a foamy look.
- Utakata uses this alkaline ability much more when the Six-Tails is in control. This suggests Utakata may not have enough control to use just the alkali, without water.
- Soapy water has a very high pH, making it alkaline. Bases have a soapy feel. Soaps are created from alkali and fat. Various other connections between alkali and soap can be made.
And therefore, it seems that when Utakata creates bubbles, he may be mixing his water with the alkali provided by the beast, blowing the mixture through his bubble blower.
(But don't be mistaken, nothing says this is an Alkali Release, although that really would intrigue me on where it would fit, if it was a nature.)
Origins: Rinnegan and Sharingan
I decided to write about this because it's quite a popular topic. This is one possbility, I don't fully believe in it; I prefer staying open-minded.
This theory assumes that the Sage didn't have the Rinnegan before sealing the Ten-Tails into himself. The Ten-Tails's eye looks nearly identical to the Rinnegan, except having nine tomoe.
Some would argue that the eye is actually the genjutsu that the Sage is using on the Ten-Tails, but I see no strong reason to why it would be on the moon, and why would we see that moment of the genjutsu when Tobi is introducing the Ten-Tails for the first time? Possible, but unlikely.
My idea is that each tomoe on the eye of the Ten-Tails represents something like hatred. The Sage suppressed these concentrations of hatred, leaving only the concentric circles. Therefore, by suppressing these tomoe, the Sage turned the "eye of the beast" into the Rinnegan. This would mean the Rinnegan is, in a way, an altered Tailed Beast Skill.
- As Gaara's Sand abilities remained with him after extraction and resurrection, it is likely the Rinnegan also remained with the Sage's body after the Beast was separated and sealed.
Now, about the sons.
- The older brother, the Uchiha Clan Ancestor, inherited the Sage's "eyes", his powerful chakra, and spiritual energy (Yin). He believed that power was the key to peace.
- The younger brother, the Senju Clan Ancestor, inherited the Sage's "body", his willpower, and physical energy (Yang). He believed that love was the key to peace.
Among these contrasts between the sons, there are a few noteworthy ones:
- The contrast between the Sage's "eyes" and "body" implies that the two are different somehow.
- I believe the eyes represent the abilities gained from the Beast, and the body represents his natural abilities.
Also, it seems that Tailed Beasts leave permanent changes within their hosts, possibly due to the two different chakras melding together; Gaara still has the ability to manipulate sand. While unconfirmed, this permanent change within the host may be able to be passed onto their offspring.
My theory is that the chakra of the Ten-Tails mixed with the Sage's own chakra over the years, and the "eyes" and "powerful chakra" that the older brother inherited were partially derivative of the Ten-Tails. The older brother had the Sharingan ancestor, which was more similar to the Rinnegan than to the Sharingan. This would represent the state of suppressed hatred. However, from the moment the older brother felt anger towards his brother and attacked him, a hatred was sparked, possibly releasing the suppressed hatred. Over the years, this hatred would manifest itself in the form of tomoe once more, changing from the Sharingan ancestor into the Sharingan that we know today.
- The Sharingan seemed to awaken tomoe one by one as the user experienced times of emotional conditions such as stress.
This would explain why the Sharingan's development requirements involve so much suffering. One needs to experience emotional turmoil and stress in order to reach 3 tomoe. One must feel the emotion of losing their closest friend in order to awaken the Mangekyō Sharingan. One must take the eyes of their sibling and transplant them in order to reach the Eternal Mangekyō.
A simplified representation of these theoretical origins of the Sharingan is:
- Eye of the Beast - (All Hatred) = Rinnegan
- Rinnegan - (Senju DNA) = Sharingan ancestor
- Sharingan ancestor + (Spark of Hatred) = Sharingan
Therefore, the Will of Fire and the Curse of Hatred have actually existed from the age of the invention of ninjutsu: The conflict between the Sage and the Beast were the first conflict of these principles. The Sage acknowledged the younger brother's ideology that love was the key, and he chose him to be his successor, and so the younger brother inherited the Will from the Sage. The chakra of the Sage mixed with the Ten-Tails was passed onto the older son, and the Beast's suppressed hatred was awakened when the older brother felt contempt, anger, and jealousy, and so the older brother inherited the Curse of Hatred, caused by the Beast. The battle between the Sage and the Beast would transition into the battle between the Senju and Uchiha, and eventually between Naruto and Sasuke.
Chakra and Body of the Ten-Tails
The Ten-Tails was divided into nine living pieces of massive chakra and hatred, known today as the Tailed Beasts. I believe the nine small portions of suppressed hatred were given to each of the beasts, but clearly the Tailed Beasts have been shown to have more emotions and intelligence rather than just pure hatred, possibly a characteristic granted by the Sage of the Six Paths, considering how he also gave them names and treated them with more respect than shinobi today do.
One major element related to the Ten-Tails is the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path. This apparently sentient being is where the Tailed Beasts are sealed into. As Tailed Beasts are sealed into it one by one, the eyes on its blindfold open.
One popular theory on the internet is that the statue is the new body for the Ten-Tails, which makes sense as when all the Tailed Beasts are sealed into it, the combination of their chakras will most likely take place within the statue. One clue that many seem to point out is the stumps on the statue's back. These stumps seem to be some kind of cut-off pillars. The Ten-Tails had ten tails, but also had a number spikes on its back. The protrusions on the statue's back are most likely these tails and spikes, to be restored once the Ten-Tails is awakened.
Since the statue seems to be a summoning of the Rinnegan, it may have the Rinnegan, like other summonings, under its blindfold. In my theory, each eye on the blindfold represents one piece of hatred, and once all nine are opened, the nine tomoe should be returned to the Rinnegan, turning it back into the "eye of the beast". The blindfold will then be removed, to reveal the eye of the Ten-Tails. I imagine that the statue contains the body of the Ten-Tails within, and it will break apart to reveal the initially sealed body once the chakra of the Ten-Tails is reformed.
Nagato summoned the Statue when he was angered by the deaths of his close ones. I'm not an expert on this, but the "Outer Path" represents crossing off the harmonious "Middle Path", the doctrine of the other Six Paths. The Six Paths represent the inescapable Samsara, and that is why the Outer Path allows the user to transcend Life and Death. In the case of the plot, this represents how Nagato allows rage to take over him, and in turn summons the Statue of the Outer Path, which synchronizes with him. This transition from the harmonious Middle Path to the heretic Outer Path relates to the conflict between Will and Hatred. Nagato and his teammates originally learned ninjutsu from Jiraiya, and he taught them principles based on his own: the Will of Fire, derived from the Senju, whose ancestor was chosen to succeed the Sage of the Six Paths. This would parallel the relationship between the Sage and the Beast to that of the Middle Path and the Outer Path, respectively. Nagato would have followed the principles of the Will until the moment of his fall: when he decides that he must show his pain to the world. In a way, Nagato is showing hatred towards the world, under the false justification that he is doing justice in the place of God. The moment he turns to hatred, he summons the future body of the ultimate mass of hatred: the Ten-Tails.
(Feb 01, 2012) This theory is now more viable, as in Chater 572, the Sage of the Six Paths is wearing a coat displaying the Rinnegan, as well as none tomoe (probably to represent the nine Tailed Beasts). Combining these nine tomoe back into the Rinnegan would result in the "Eye of the Beast".
(Nov 14, 2012) The Ten-Tails has been revived, and its eye is indeed the pattern. The idea that the eye pattern is only a reflection of its illusory trance has now been proven false.
The movie's usage of Ice Release
In the first movie, the ninja of Yukigakure seemingly possessed an affinity for Ice Release. However, this was not as a kekkei genkai as Kakashi could copy these techniques, and therefore this Ice Release was a basic nature, if a nature at all. This nature focused on the manipulation of ice and snow as well as freezing, unlike the manipulation of solid structures Haku employed in battle.
If I must attempt to explain this version of Ice Release, I would say that it was actually a poorly-named variant of Water Release altered and adapted to the snowy surroundings of Yukigakure. The ice used in their techniques did not have any strange unique properties like Haku's, and were simply identical to the ice in the environment. Therefore, they simply manipulated frozen water, and these techniques probably would not have been the same if attempted in a non-snowy environment.
Of course, it is likely that this nature is a mistake, as the Nature Transformation concept hadn’t been explained at that point (Kakashi would later teach Naruto about it in Part II, where it would also be officially stated in the manga that Haku's ability was indeed Ice Release), possibly giving the movie creators an excuse to make up their own "-ton" nature series. This overall situation shows how unreliable the Naruto movies are, although another problem would arise later on with the awkward revelation of 3 more strange natures.
Successful hypotheses and theories
These are some of my numerous ideas that have succeeded, and I am definitely not the only one that succeeded to predict such outcomes, nor did I have no doubts about the ideas.
- Although we all had doubts, Deidara's explosive chakra was revealed to be a Nature Transformation. I began to question this when I saw the mention of "explosive chakra" in the databook entry for CO.
- Similar to the explosive chakra, the Third Kazekage's magnetic chakra was revealed to be a Nature Transformation. Most people guessed this when it was mentioned to be a kekkei genkai, and it was supported by the fact that the chakra is literally gaining a magnetic nature, relating it to the literal definition of Nature Transformation.
- Earlier on, I was one of many who felt Zetsu had been "created by Madara from the First's cells," and that Madara's body must be composed of the same material as Zetsu. Zetsu was indeed connected to the Wood Release, making the Wood nature even more special.
- I theorized that Fire+Wind would be something that possessed the characterisitics of both, like "hot air." Scorch Release confirmed this, although not perfectly what I imagined.
- The statue was recently stated to be the body of the Ten-Tails.
Notes and Things To Be Organized
- Wood Release seems quite "special" among the Natures as it possesses a quality that suppresses the chakra of Tailed Beasts.
- This could be related to the Sage of the Six Paths, the first Jinchūriki, as with the Sharingan's case.
- Very often, little emphasis is placed on its components, and Wood Release is often discussed as if Earth and Water play little parts in its overall effects, such as the manipulation of Tailed Beasts.
- Explosion Release utilizes "explosive chakra" as we know. It may have been mentioned in CO as "explosive chakra." In his fight with Sasuke, he mentioned "increasing the level of his chakra," likely meaning his techniques C1, C2, C3, and C4 use higher "levels" of chakra in succession. Deidara also seemed to give some random number to some techniques, and graded his clay's quality, although that is something I am not sure about.
- Elemental kekkei genkai can be extremely rare even within the clan. Besides Ice Release, it seems that only one member of each elemental kekkei genkai-possessing clan is seen possessing an elemental kekkei genkai.
- Chakra natures are chakra properties, or types. Advanced natured chakra is chakra with more than one specialized property.
- Deidara has explosive chakra, which later became Explosion Release.
- The Third Kazekage had magnetic chakra, which later became Magnetism Release.
- In the same manner, the Rinnegan grants manipulation over attractive and repulsive forces, the Deva Path, which could potentially turn out to be a nature, although not very likely.
- Dissolution Release could possibly be different from Lava Release. Why else would Kishimoto change from 熔 to 溶 and back again to 熔 then? Other reasons perhaps?
- However, this is discouraged by the anime's display of Lava Release: Melting Apparition Technique, clearly showing it as lava, and not some other fluid.
- Wood Release and Storm Release have components that are clearly in one hand each.
- Lava Release is possessed by Son Gokū, and is the only Tailed Beast-derived nature. The Tailed Beasts do seem to have unique substances though, including Sand, Blue Fire, Coral, Lava, Steam, Alkali, Scale Powder, and Ink.
- Kurotsuchi may be related to Rōshi or another jinchūriki of the Four-Tails, if Tailed Beast Skills pass on to offspring. They have been observed to remain within the host's bodies, even after extaction and death. It is possible that the beast's and the host's chakras have mixed, and can be passed down. However it could be an ordinary kekkei genkai effect utilised by a certain clan that the beast also just happens to have access to.
- While it is impossible for Jiraiya's Toad Oil Bullet, which turns chakra into oil, to be a kekkei genkai because it is ranked, it is possible that combining Yin or Yang with Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, or Water is actually possible for people without kekkei genkai, although with other conditions. As shown by the Mizukage, Water+Yin could possibly result in Oil, and this could also explain the mechanics of Blaze Release, which seems to be Fire+Yin (left eye: Amaterasu/Fire + right eye: Tsukuyomi/genjutsu/Yin). In other words, this theory is saying that people without kekkei genkai can still combine Yin or Yang with the five elements.
- Just an idea: Boil Release and its acidic effects may have been used to subdue the Six-Tails' alkali by neutralizing it when it went rampant, although it is known that kekkei genkai was feared in the past and it is unknown how common Boil Release is.
Wood Release (and Tailed Beast control, and Sage of the Six Paths)
Hashirama Senju possessed the Wood Release, which he used to create the foundation of Konohagakure. Yamato and Danzō Shimura later gained access to this nature through Orochimaru’s experiments with Hashirama’s DNA. The user converts their chakra into a life force, and then creates trees from their own cells, or the ground.
Hashirama also used a technique known as the Hokage-Style Sixty-Year-Old Technique - Kakuan Entering Society with Bliss-Bringing Hands, which suppressed the chakra of Tailed Beasts. This is mainly why Wood Release is seen as synonymous to “Tailed Beast control” to some characters, as both Yamato and Danzō were mentioned that they gained access to this power for the ability to control the Tailed Beasts. As it is unknown why particularly Wood is necessary for this ability, it is quite possible that “Tailed Beast control” and “Wood Release” are two different powers Hashirama possessed, and all the other users gained the Wood Release as a “by-product” in their quest to gain control over the Tailed Beasts.
Madara also stated that, as both Uchiha and Senju blood (together forming the blood of the Sage of the Six Paths) is required to use Izanagi, he stole some of Hashirama’s DNA, which he used to grow a mindless “clone” of Hashirama in the form of a flower. He uses this flower to produce Zetsus, which have plant-based abilities. It also seems quite possible that some part of his body is like Zetsu, as he removed and replaced and arm, seemingly made of the same substance as Zetsu. This may be what grants him the use of Izanagi.
As the Sharingan and Wood Release are the only abilities that seem to grant manipulation of the Tailed Beasts, it is possible that Uchiha and Senju only possess the power to control Tailed Beasts due to their common ancestor, the Sage of the Six Paths, being the first Jinchūriki.
Lava Release (and Mei's Dissolution Release confusion)
This does bring up the possibility of Tailed Beast Skills being able to be passed down as kekkei genkai, as the One-Tailed Shukaku left permanent changes in Gaara, as Gaara still had the rings around his eyes, as well as the ability to manipulate sand, after the beast was extracted from him.
If this is true, it becomes likely that Kurotsuchi is related to a Jinchūriki of the Four-Tails.
However, there is another confusion with this nature. While the Lava Release (熔遁) is used by Rōshi (a Jinchūriki) and Kurotsuchi, both from Iwagakure, there is another nature, the Lava/Dissolution Release (溶遁), which is used by Mei Terumī, from Kirigakure. Although normally there would be no confusion at all between Lava and Dissolution, both “熔” and “溶” can be used for the word Lava (“溶岩/熔岩”; Yōgan), and Kishimoto himself writes Lava like 溶岩, while naming the nature that manipulates it as 熔遁. On the other hand, Mei’s “Melt” is written as 溶遁. However, as there must be some reason for why Kishimoto uses different characters to name the natures, I believe they are different. Mei’s only seen “Melt” technique, the Lava Release: Melting Apparition Technique (Yōton: Yōkai no Jutsu) is a pun on the term “dissolution” (溶解; Yōkai), which strongly suggests to me that it is a dissolving substance, rather than lava.
- This idea has been discouraged by Mei's anime appearance, where she simply spits lava.
- Also, as seen with Magnetism Release being in both Suna and Kumo, the idea of different villages possessing the same kekkei genkai seems more possible.
Crystal Release (Anime-only)
In the anime only, Guren possessed the Crystal Release. It was assumed by several characters to be related to Earth Release. It had the ability to crystallize any physical matter, including earth, rock, water, wood, human bodies, and even the moisture in the atmosphere. However, it could not crystallize non-physical energies, such as Fire, Wind, Lightning, or plain chakra. A certain sound frequency, available to bats (See Bat Controlling: Ultrasonic Mind Waves) could disrupt the molecular bonds inside the Crystal, dispersing the particles back into the air. Shino could also conduct selective breeding with his kikaichū, which would produce bugs that were immune to crystallization.
One possible flaw with this element is that it literally cannot produce its element out of chakra, but rather only produce it from other elements. However, the Wood Release also wasn’t seen producing trees from just chakra, but rather the user’s body or the ground.
Also, Magnet Release cannot produce metal, but produces a force that can manipulate metal (magnetism). Similarly, it is likely that the Crystal Release allowed one to convert chakra into some form of crystallizing energy.
One other possibility for Crystal is that it was a kekkei tōta. Orochimaru had never heard of such a nature, and all of the characters that encountered it were quite confused on what it entailed. This level of rarity makes it very possible since if no one knew where it originated from, it is quite likely Shikaku wasn't aware that it was a kekkei tōta when he was shocked that there was another kekkei tōta user other than the Tsuchikage.
Blaze Release (Clarification & Theories)
Sasuke Uchiha has used a technique known as Blaze Release: Kagutsuchi, which allows him to manipulate the black flames of Amaterasu. This ability is used through his right eye (whereas Amaterasu itself is cast with his left). There are three possibilities for this nature:
- 1. Sasuke was only boasting, comparing his ability to an actual nature. (Highly unlikely, as this makes the "~ton" suffix a "coincidence")
- 2. This nature is a combination of Fire and Yin, applying the form aspect of Yin to the flames of Amaterasu. This would make sense in the fact that Sasuke and Itachi both have control over Amaterasu(Fire) and Tsukuyomi(Yin) in one eye each, and therefore the casting of Amaterasu(Fire) and the form manipulation(Yin) may be what is being combined to form this nature. However, it is strange that only his right eye is needed for the actual technique. Also, the Uchiha have connections to the Fire and Yin natures, possibly meaning they can be combined in this way. (More likely, as the kanji for "Blaze" (炎) is two kanji for "Fire" (火), one on top of another, making the inclusion of another natural element unlikely. However, adding Yin or Yang to modify the flames while leaving them purely fire-based would make more sense.)
- 3. This nature is a combination of Fire and Lightning. Fire is modified to move and behave like Lightning, forming forks and Lightning Chakra Flow-like auras. It just happened so that Sasuke was using the flames of Amaterasu for this, although he can utilize other existing flames. (Viable, although a bit unlikey)
- Also, the flames of Amaterasu are as hot as the flames of the sun, meaning they are composed of ionized plasma. The Lightning may be what is being used to change the shape of the charged particles, forming spikes, or forks.
- Sasuke was able to learn the two natures pretty quickly, making it possible that he has affinities for both. Kakashi once said Sasuke was the same type as him, leading to his learning of the Chidori.
Storm Release: Support of Pattern Theory
Darui possesses the Storm Release. The fluid motion of Water is applied to the electricity of Lightning, creating a bright, fluid, electrical energy. In this case, Water is the enhancing agent and Lightning is the element being enhanced. Therefore, Storm Release (bright energy) cannot be produced from water because it is not composed to water, but can be produced from lightning.
Hiruko had stolen this nature, although in his case, it manipulated dark thunder clouds. Thunder clouds was a much more logical, expected result of Storm Release, as they were clouds (Water) charged with Lightning.
Why did Kishimoto choose such an unexpected effect for Storm Release?
In my theory, I believe that Kishi did this on purpose to create a pattern (See pattern theory). In accordance with the Pattern Theory, Water must enhance Lightning, and Lightning must be the element being enhanced, the element Storm is truly based on. Because this pattern theory is consistent so far, this makes Kishimoto's intentions of forming a pattern much more possible.
On another note, the movie Hiruko was featured in did premiere before the chapter Darui was introduced, suggesting a possibility of Kishimoto collaborating with the movie. The kekkei genkai-bearing ninja from the movie did appear in the manga, revived by Kabuto for the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Boil Release (and Mei's multiple Kekkei Genkai)
Mei Terumī also possesses the Boil Release as well as the Dissolution Release. It is possible that these two natures were possessed by separate bloodlines that joined at some point, or that they were part of the same bloodline from the beginning. Mei has control over Fire, Water, and Earth, and has Boil(Water+Fire) and Lava(Earth+Fire).
Dust Release (Theory on Kekkei Genkai passage)
Ōnoki possesses the Dust Release, which has the power to reduce anything into molecule-sized dust. It seems that his granddaughter, Kurotsuchi, does not possess the kekkei tōta, raising further questions of how it works.
Because kekkei tōta seems to refer to something along the lines of "bloodline selection", there's a chance it is involved with the concept of evolution and gene manipulation. The theory of gene manipulation (and the like) is quite well-supported by the fact that Mū passed down its secrets to his student, and the chances of a triple nature combination may be so rare that such manipulation may aid in gaining said abilities.
Dark, Steel, and Swift Releases
Hiruko had also stolen the Dark, Steel, and Swift natures, from the ninja who resembled Chūkichi, Gari, the Toroi and Pakura. However, Pakura, Gari, and Toroi possessed the Scorch, Explosion, and Magnetism Releases repectively, likely meaning the Dark, Steel, and Swift natures will not be used.
At the same time, Dark Release, Steel Release, and Swift Release cannot be triple combinations because Hiruko and the other characters in the film emphasized the fact that they were kekkei genkai over and over. Also, seeing how Shikaku stated that he thought there was no one in the world besides Ōnoki who had a kekkei tōta, Dark, Steel, and Swift Releases should not be kekkei tōta were so rare.
Yin/Yang Relationship Theories
In general philosophy, Yin and Yang are viewed to be what the entire universe is really made of. They also represent "difference" in some cases, forming reality through relativity. Hot and cold, high and low, hard and soft, dark and light, solid and fluid, fast and slow, etc. all are created by Yin and Yang.
However, in Naruto, Yin and Yang strictly refers to the two things that keep things within our realm of perception and interaction: "Form" or "Image" (形) and "Life" or "Breath" (命), respectively. "Form" is only the idea, which is why it is clearly mentioned form can be born from nothingness (無). However, with only form, while it can be perceived, it will not be able to physically interact with anything within the "real" realm, which is what "Life" allows it to do. Here, life most likely does not refer to the organism-based definition of life, but rather the ability to interact with the environment. Personally, I believe the phenomenon of life is overrated, as every other form of matter and energy can interact with their environments as living things do. Even non-living things are viewed to have "life" even though not in the common definition of life.
Yin and Yang are not truly opposed, they are complementary. Yin energy is attractd to Yang energy, and vice-versa, as seen in Demonic Haunts Disorder. The spiritual/mental energy is attracted to the bodily energy, and it takes much power and skill to do separate the two.
- In a technique such as Mind Body Switch Technique, the user's mind (part or whole is unknown) is shot into the target's mind, and therefore gains control of them. However, when the duration ends, or the target's mind forces them out with willpower, their mind returns to their body, proving that the mind recognizes its "true compliment", the original body.
It is possible that nearly all ninjutsu itself is partially based on Yang qualities (Not necessarily Yang Release itself), since it revolves around manipulating the real environment. This would be a true polar opposite to genjutsu, which has clearly been implied to be related to Yin and manipulates imagination, thought, and perception.
In an object, Yin is the concept of it being there, but Yang would be what anchors it down to reality. Therefore, Yang, in a way, is the matter and energy that makes something really be there. However, Yin is what makes us perceive and interact with it. Yin is form, and without form, something would not exist. At the same time, with only form, only perception can be manipulated and no real, physical events would occur. Without Yin, something is outside of our realm of reality, since one cannot even think of the fact that something is there, and they cannot physically interact with it, and it essentially does not exist. However, without Yang, something is merely a false illusion.
This is why Yin and Yang attract each other; they define each other's existence, as with the saying: "There is no light without darkness." Yin and Yang must exist in a certain balanced ratio within a object for it to exist within our realm of reality. Too much Yin or Yang will either cause it to become less real and slip into an illusion, or cause its sense of reality to collapse and disappear. This is also why both natures are required to utilise the Yin-Yang Release, the nature of creation.
Kisame Hoshigaki had a vaguely related logic where he believed lives (Yang) were expendable for the protection of valuable information (Yin).
Also, there are certain other abilities that hint the use of a Nature Transformation through words along the lines of "chakra is converted into" or "chakra is made more...". Several kekkei genkai, unique Tailed Beast abilities, or unknown abilities manipulate substances, and are possible Natures.
Note: I am in no way saying the following are definitely natures. I don't even think half of them should be natures. I'm merely listing out possibilities.
- A Rinnegan user has several abilities possibly related to elements. First of all, it should be noted a Rinnegan user has access to all six Nature Transformation, although unknown if they can combine natures.
- The user and reanimated bodies could produce a black chakra-conducting metal from their body, and use it as a tool.
- The Deva Path has the ability to manipulate attractive force (引力, inryoku) and repulsive force (斥力, sekiryoku), probably using chakra. The black ball of attractive energy used in Chibaku Tensei also suggests this.
- If this ability is a nature, a name such as Heaven Release (天遁, tenton) would be a good name for it, since gravitation, attraction, and repulsion all fall under the universal laws of nature, called 天理 (tenri, heavenly principles) in Japan. The Deva Path's Japanese name, 天道 (Heaven's Path), also relates to this. As for the components, Wind and Lightning would be good candidates, since both are related to push and pull, attraction and repulsion, invisible forces, and traditionally considered to be more "heavenly" than the other elements.
- The Asura Path uses its chakra as a destructive force in its techniques, such as Flaming Arrow of Amazing Ability, Flaming Arrow Missiles, and Laser Explosion. Flaming Arrow of Amazing Ability also has been mentioned to use chakra like a magnet. The primary ability of the Asura Path is to summon a mechanical armor, and it has not been explained how this is done yet.
- Kimimaro's kekkei genkai, the Shikotsumyaku, allowed him to infuse his bones with chakra, and therefore manipulate his skeletal structure. Several of these techniques resembled elemental ninjutsu, but with bones instead.
- Kidōmaru had the ability to infuse his chakra with sweat or spit, and turn it into either a very sticky silk, or a chakra-blocking metal. This ability is known as the Spider Sticky Gold. Kidōmaru also possessed six arms in total, and could form three Hand Seals at once.
- It is currently classified as a Hiden jutsu, probably a result of Orochimaru's experiments, although as a genetic ability (experiment), it could be considered a kekkei genkai. Also, Deidara's Explosive Clay was initially classified as Hiden, but he later revealed that he possessed a kekkei genkai, the Explosion Release. However, it did also utilize the Iwagakure Kinjutsu, which was Hiden.
As the Four-Tailed Monkey possessed the Lava Release, it is possible other Tailed Beasts possess natures, although never mentioned.
- Shukaku and Gaara have the ability to manipulate sand, by infusing sand with chakra to control it. However, this ability cannot be used by other characters, despite having simple mechanics, meaning it is a unique power.
- See my theory for this here.
- The Two-Tailed Monster Cat's chakra coat took on the form of blue flames, likely somehow related to Fire Release. Yugito also uses several Fire Release techniques related to her cat-theme, likely meaning she gained the nature from the beast.
- The Three-Tailed Giant Turtle lived in the water, like how Shukaku lived in the desert. It likely has Water Release (It apparently did in the anime). Deidara also referred to it as a "Water-type", although that probably was just referring to how it was an aquatic creature.
- Yagura, its jinchūriki, could also use Coral Palm, signifying its manipulation of coral.
- Han wears a "Steam Armor" and uses "Steam-based ninjutsu," possibly derived from his beast, the Five-Tailed Dolphin Horse.
- Utakata, the Six-Tails' jinchūriki, could produce a strongly alkaline substance, using Leech Gap.
- Fū could also use Hiden: Hiding in Scale Powder Technique, which was a reference to insectile scales, making this likely that it is an ability of the Seven-Tails.
- Because the Eight-Tails is partially an octopus, Killer Bee can produce ink and manipulate it.
Other than that, there are several other techniques confused with natures, but are likely not actual natures.
- Konan's transformation technique, the Dance of the Shikigami, turns herself into paper and manipulates it into different shapes.
- However, it is ranked (B-rank), so it cannot be a kekkei genkai or hiden jutsu.
- Sai has the ability to draw paintings with chakra-infused ink, and bring them to life with Super Beasts Imitation Picture.
- However, it is ranked (B-rank), so it cannot be a kekkei genkai or hiden jutsu.
- Shizune knew how to use the Poison Mist, which allowed her to exhale a toxic gas, much like Boil Release: Skilled Mist Technique.
- However, it is ranked (B-rank), so it cannot be a kekkei genkai or hiden jutsu.
- Several characters have used sound-based jutsu. Most of these used an instrument (tool) or the user's voices. The majority of these were also genjutsu, and sound-based genjutsu have been mentioned to be the most effective.
- Too many characters have used this type to be considered an Advanced Nature, although an unused aspect of sound may be used (Dosu's Vibrating Sound Drill, Zaku's Decapitating Airwaves, Kin's Illusion Bell Needles, Tayuya's flute sound-based jutsu, Shima&Fukasaku's sound-based jutsu, etc.).
- However, a sound-related nature is still possible. We already had lasers, but Storm Release came out. We already had acid, but Boil Release came out. Even Dust was a bit skeptical at first. The point is, it can be the same theme, but different effect. Of course Storm and Boil look like new natures, but that's because they're like the same thing, but drastically different.
- Too many characters have used this type to be considered an Advanced Nature, although an unused aspect of sound may be used (Dosu's Vibrating Sound Drill, Zaku's Decapitating Airwaves, Kin's Illusion Bell Needles, Tayuya's flute sound-based jutsu, Shima&Fukasaku's sound-based jutsu, etc.).
- Jiraiya could convert his chakra into oil, allowing him to use techniques such as Toad Oil Bullet. This "Oil chakra" could be absorbed by the Blocking Technique Absorption Seal, confirming this chakra-converting process.
- However, it is ranked (C-rank), so it cannot be a kekkei genkai or hiden jutsu.
- Special thanks to Omnibender and Shounensuki!!!
- Also, thanks to anyone else who has given me feedback, especially Elveonora.