Anyone who has watched Naruto knows this ninja has encountered many a powerful enemy. And when the battle gets tough, the tough get talking.
Our favorite jinchuriki grew up with many hardships; his parents were both dead before he even knew them, the Leaf Village shunned the poor orphan, and he struggled throughout his time in the academy. But, slowly Naruto made more of a name for himself and had people recognizing him as that number one, hyperactive, knuckle head ninja to love.
Of course none of this was easy. Who could forget our first introduction to the horrors of the ninja world within the Zabuza saga? Here, we had our first look of what the ninja life could entail for our three young genin: hired hits, differences in village academies, and differences in village ninja in general. Ninja from the Hidden Mist appeared more brutal than our bright and lively Leaf ninja. They took orders without second thought. Fighting to kill was a natural occurrence. Using people, especially, was commonplace.
Behold, the birth of “Talk no Jutsu.”
“Talk no Jutsu” refers to the uncanny ability to change the mind of even the most twisted, evil, and angsty antagonist. We first saw a glimpse of it after Haku’s death. Naruto, saddened by the loss of a ninja who suffered as much as he did, looked to Zabuza’s reaction. Zabuza being the brooding assassin he is gave the impression that Haku was just a tool. Angry, Naruto lashed out in his first of many Talk no Jutsu. And what do you know, Zabuza cried.
This wasn’t a grandious speech; this was Naruto genuinely upset to see the realities of the ninja world right in front of him. After hearing so much of Haku’s tragic backstory (via the first of many flashbacks), Naruto couldn’t help but berate Zabuza for showing no care towards a person who very literally lived for him.
Who would’ve thought it wouldn’t end here? From other genin his age to the most hardened people Naruto has always somehow found the right words and proper persuasion to turn the minds of others. Let’s take a look at his most memorable Talk no Jutsu.
Naruto vs. Neji
Naruto had it up to here with Neji’s “destiny” speeches (though RIP to the real one). We should take a moment to appreciate the fact that this was the beginning of Neji’s character development. Gone were the days when he constantly saw others as trapped in their set destinies. Never will we forget what he did to Hinata because of his clan’s power dynamics. Here, Naruto took it upon himself (with an uppercut) to remind the prodigy that people are able to change their destinies as long as they believe they can and work to do so.
Naruto vs. Gaara
Naruto was basically the first Gaara met that knew exactly what it felt like growing up as a jinchuriki. We got to see the huge difference making bonds can have; wanting to make a name for yourself and loathing everyone around you. Naruto saw what he could’ve became if he didn’t have Iruka-sensei and his own team in his life and empathized with Gaara. And then of course delivered a “You could’ve had a V8” type headbutt to knock some sense into my favorite emo raccoon child.
Naruto and Nagato
This was probably one of the craziest and longest Talk no Jutsus witnessed in this show. Pein was the powerful and terrifying Akatsuki leader with his own godlike background music. He decimated the Leaf Village without flinching. And of course, he killed our lovable albeit perverted sannin Jiraiya. Pein was so set in his ways and ideals that there was no way anything should have convinced him otherwise. Then, low and behold Naruto basically said, “Challenge accepted” and gave an emotional Talk no Jutsu with reminders of Jiraiya’s influence. What Naruto did was peel back all the anger and frustration Nagato felt and dug into his deep hurt and despair. Choosing this method, despite all the hurt he himself felt facing Jiraiya’s killer, is how he finally got through to Nagato and saved the entire Village Hidden in the Leaves.
Naruto and Obito
Obito was HURT, and needed multiple Talk no Jutsus for convincing. He was in a similar situation like Nagato in that all he felt was pain, heartbreak, and betrayal. This wasn’t always the case, but people tend to change their outlook when the love of their life gets killed. His goal was to create an ideal world…albeit through a war. Being around Madara convinces him that his convictions wouldn’t waver and even fighting Kakashi like old times wouldn’t change his mind. Of course, Naruto is the one to knock a bit of sense into him. This took a few flashbacks that the show is known for, some war scenes, and a few filler episodes, but eventually Obito gave in and succumbed to Naruto’s influence.
Try as they might, even the most hardened villains can’t escape the power of Naruto’s Talk no Jutsu.