Warnings : Ninja. War. Child Soldiers. You know, all the things we put in children’s anime! Also, I genderbend several characters. No, I don’t care if you don’t like genderbend. There are literally a million Naruto fics, go find something else. Yes I did change the genders of characters, but not their names — mostly, because I don’t speak Japanese. These people can breath fire and pull their own bones out of their bodies to use as weapons — I don’t think non-typical names will be too reality-defying. Further warnings for an anime fan's (mediocre) understanding of Japanese language and culture.
FYI Note : Please do not tell me that someone’s age is wrong, or that they were on a different team, or this happened first and not then — either I already know, and changed it on purpose, or I don’t know and could not care less. Seriously, I know more about the last half of Naruto from fanfiction then from watching it — I love anime, but I frequently lose patience with the endless stream of nesting doll villains. Yes, we beat the bad guy — but he was being manipulated by another bad guy. Great, let’s spend another 120 episodes — which we could cut in half if not for the five minute recap in every episode, and the full episode recap every ten episodes. And then, we’ll discover that the new enemy is just a front/puppet of another bad guy, who is actually the embodied spirit of a dead warrior/kami/demon/betrayed person/insert shonen trope here. And Naruto wins the prize — previously held by InuYasha — for longest amount of time spent getting nowhere close to defeating the actual antagonist. At least Rurouni Kenshin had separate, unrelated, story arcs.
So, the point of that rant was to tell you that I don’t care about keeping exactly to canon — I wrote an AU. I changed a character’s gender not to retell the same story using a character with boobs, but to tell a story that changed from that point forward. Let me give you some advice — when you write a story that explores the changes made by a different event, you actually need to explore those changes . It’s a pet peeve of mine to read a story which has the premise of what would happen if: character A was raised by . . . character B was . . . event X happened like . . . only for the author to keep all the major events the same. It’s like time travel, where the character tries not to change things because then they can’t predict what will happen — moron, you changed time , things are going to be different or what was the point of getting physics wasted and stealing the credit card and keys while she was sleeping off the hangover?
Basically — I fucked canon with a strap-on. If you can get through the genderbent and the deliberate changes made to a pivotal point in a major character’s backstory, but the changing of much smaller details upsets you, or itches at your orderly, canon-devoted soul — hit the back button, don’t leave a review explaining what I got wrong. I either don’t care or did it on purpose, possibly both, and I’m definitely not going to change anything after the fact.
Glossary: Don’t expect too much consistency in Japanese usage; mostly I stuck to the Japanese term if it sounds better to me.
Konoha - short of Konohagakure no Sato, literally ‘Village Hidden by Tree Leaves’ or Village Hidden in the Leaves; the ninja village of Hi no Kuni, the Land of Fire, one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. Led by the Hokage.
Iwa - short of Iwagakure no Sato, literally ‘Village Hidden by Rocks’ or Hidden Stone Village; the ninja village of Tsuchi no Kuni, the Land of Earth, one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. Led by the Tsuchikage.
Kiri - short of Kirigakure no Sato, literally ‘Village Hidden by Mist’; the ninja village of Mizu no Kuni, the Land of Water, one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. Led by the Mizukage
Kumo - short of Kumogakure no Sato, literally ‘Village Hidden by Clouds’; the ninja village of Kaminari no Kuni, the Land of Lightning, one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. Led by the Raikage.
Kusa - short of Kusagakure no Sato, literally ‘Village Hidden in the Grass’; the ninja village of an unnamed land. Led by an Oyabun
Shimo - short of Shimo no Kuni (Land of Frost) or Shimogakure no Sato (literally ‘Village Hidden in Frost’). A land and ninja village, not one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. Led by a Daimyo and Oyabun respectively.
Kage - literally ‘shadow’; the leader of one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. Example: Hokage (fire shadow).
Daimyo - powerful feudal leaders, answering only to the Shogun from the 10th to 19th century. Leaders of the various nations.
Oyabun - literally ‘the Father’, the head of a Yakuza family. Yes, that’s right. I’ve seen this used by several other authors, I like it, I’m using it. Shodai, Nidaime, Sandaime, Yondaime - first, second, third, and fourth Kage, specifically the Hokage.
Hancho - as in Jounin Hancho, the Jounin Commander; head of the Jounin forces. Highest ranking general ninja in the village though formally still a jounin.
taicho - captain, leader
genin, chunin, jounin - yes, you already know what these are, but everyone uses different romaji spellings; these are mine. Primary three ranks of ninja; there are also tokubetsu jounin, who fall between chunin and jounin; ANBU is a department rather than a rank, but is often treated as such.
seppuku - ritual suicide by disembowelment, original reserved for samurai. Used voluntarily as a way to die with honor rather than be captured, because they had brought shame upon themselves, or as capital punishment. Could even be done ceremonially, in front of spectators. Who else is happy to romanticize the past, while living in the modern era?
Honorifics and terms of familiarity - if you don’t know these, you have no place reading anime fanfiction.
- chan/kun/san - used in conjuction with names, either first or last, and sometimes with ranks: chan is for children and females and those closest to you (when used for adults); kun is a familiar term, generally used for males; san indicates equal or nearly equal social status and is not for people you know well.
- sama - formal, high respect. In reality, most often used with a title rather than a name, but anime and fanfiction have little bearing on reality.
Okaa- or kaa- - mother, mama
Oba/Ba-, Oji/Ji-, Obaa/Baa-, Ojii/Jii- - aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather. Children use family terms for adults who are approx. same age as similar relative.
onii/nii-, onee/nee- - brother, sister. Children use family terms for adults who are approx. same age as similar relative.
Imouto/Aniki - little sister/big brother
- sempai/kohai - one’s senior/one’s junior, specifically for colleagues and fellow students; same general social status
- Hime - lady/princess/woman of higher birth.
- Sensei - teacher (or doctor)
- Baka - not actually an honorific, but sometimes used as one; fool/idiot
jutsu - technique, method, spell, trick, or art. Ninjutsu , techniques that use chakra that affect the real world or physical body; often an elemental jutsu or technique. Shurikenjutsu, the martial arts of throwing shuriken (including bo-shuriken , metal spikes with a single or double point). Fuinjutsu , or sealing jutsu; taijutsu or body techniques are the martial arts or natural human abilities; genjutsu , the art of illusion techniques, altering perception. Doujutsu , eye techniques, uses kekkei genkai (bloodline trait, abilities passed down through bloodlines) that affect the eyes and require specific physical traits to perform, like the Sharingan (Copy Wheel Eye) or Byakugan (All Seeing White Eye). example: Kagemane no Jutsu (Shadow Imitation Technique), a chakra based technique of the Nara Clan which utilizes the caster’s shadow to control another person’s body.
Shinobi/ninja/kunoichi - ninja; spies and assassins. Shinobi is the original, kanji spelling and pronunciation; ninja is not historically used (but neither was spitting fireballs, so let’s go with it); kunoichi, a female ninja, is a later usage as well. In this, Shinobi are general or male ninja (or nin) and kunoichi are female ones.
Iryo-nin - medic ninja, who use iryo-ninjutsu and medical techniques to heal the body or in combat.
Ninken - ninja dogs
Hitai-ate - forehead protector, a metal plate on a band of cloth normally worn on the forehead; engraved with the symbol of a hidden village to proclaim loyalty.
Sannin - formally Densetsu no Sannin or Legendary Three Ninja; title given to and used by Senju no Tsunade, the Namukuji Sannin (Slug Sannin), Orochimaru, the Hebi Sannin (Snake Sannin) and Jiraiya, the Gama Sennin (Toad Sage).
Shunshin - body flicker technique, Shunshin no jutsu , a high speed movement that allows for moving across distances at rapid speed. It is not Apparition.
Henge - transformation technique; user takes the form or appearance of another person or object.
Onsen - a hot spring and the bathing facilities (or inns) that surround them.
Tessen - a war fan, often containing metal plates or spikes, made to look like a normal folding fan. These were not, in fact, a woman’s weapon but one wielded by samurai; tessen and other war fans had different uses and were carried by different ranks.
Raikiri - Lightning Cutter or Lightning Blade , an elemental jutsu said to be able to cut through a lightning bolt; created by Hatake Kakashi
Kaiten - literally ‘Revolving Heaven’, a secret Hyuga technique that involves spinning expelled chakra to form a protective dome.
Kamidana - literally ‘god-shelf’, altars in Shinto worship; specifically household altars.
Kami - god, deity, divinity, spirit; the spirits or phenomenon worshiped in the Shinto religion; beings, natural forces, the venerated dead. Singular and plural.
Okami - wolf; a messenger of the kami and protective spirit
Ofuda - a household amulet or talisman, often a strip of paper inscribed with a kami and shrine name; used in different places depending on intention, including inside a kamidana .
Sakaki - flowering evergreen tree native to Japan; sacred in Shinto faith.
byakudan, jinko - sandalwood, aloeswood
Bijuu - tailed beasts; nine living forms of chakra distinguished by the number of tails they have.
- Sanbi, the Three Tails, called Isobu
- Gobi, the Five Tails, called Kokuo
- Kyuubi, the Nine Tails, called Kurama; the Kyuubi no Yoko (Nine Tailed Demon Fox).
Jinchuriki - literally ‘Power of Human Sacrifice’; humans with bijuu sealed within them; living prisons or containers who gain powers specific to the bijuu they contain, as well as large chakra reserves.