Famous Sayings: #26 — ‘Hard Work Beats Talent…’

September 4, 2016

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

hard work beats talent, hard work, naruto manga, famous sayings

This feature is going to be different. Instead of looking deep into the origin, I want to focus more on the meaning and application of this saying. And since Labor Day is tomorrow in the U.S., I wanted to find a quote that was dedicated to hard work.

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Sexism in Naruto: It’s Not about Feminism

As you can see, there pretty much are some sexist undertones in this story. It’s not malicious on Kishimoto’s part, but the undertones are still there. While there is somewhat of an understanding that there are no specific policies ruling the Narutoverse based on gender — and females are generally treated with respect by their peers and subordinates — they are not always treated as equal to a man by virtue of the dialogue and  by their perceptions of women. This is ultimately a reflection on the mangaka.

This is not to say that anyone and everyone complaining wanted the girls/women to overpower ALL the males, let alone surpass Naruto and Sasuke. That is a strawman. It was always understood that Naruto, at the very least, would be among the strongest characters in the end. As Naruto’s rival, the same was true for Sasuke. That was not the issue.

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Sexism in Naruto: Weighing the Differences in Treatment

Before I dig into this part, I would just like to make the following points. This issue is complicated.

To be quite honest, I am comforted when readers have nice things to say about Kishimoto’s female characters. It shows he did something right in their creation and development in order for a number of people to be interested in them in the first place — and it is often their characterization that sticks out the most. Kishimoto in particular did enough for people to build interest in characters like Hinata, Temari, and Tsunade, for example. Personally speaking, I was already hooked to Naruto’s story by episodes of the Land of Waves Arc in the anime, but Tsunade’s introductory arc sealed the deal for me. Kishimoto made a number of his females sympathetic, and for that he deserves a tremendous amount of credit.

Another positive thing to say is how he largely shied away from using females as fanservice. Tsunade may be the outlier here, as she had abnormally large breasts and there was in-manga commentary on them by male characters. And while she and some other ladies in Naruto can be described by their beauty, I don’t believe it was the mangaka’s intention to reduce all the females to their sexuality.

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Sexism in Naruto: What Do the Characters Say?

When you have a story where men and woman work closely together, they will inevitably mention gender. It’s true in real life, so of course this will be reflected in fiction. As one can rib another and make harmless jokes based on appearances, voices, opinions, and performances, men and women will make jokes about each other. Although many comments people make about each other are mean-spirited, other statements made can be relatively harmless.

As it pertains to Naruto, I think the in-manga statements about gender are quite troublesome. While many of the quotes one can find in this group may be harmless on the surface, I feel there were clearly times when Kishimoto inserted lines and references about gender that really had no place in the story. Of course, Shikamaru is the worst offender, and I feel that most if not all of his quotes were out of place.

I have made this list of the various examples I could think of and find from various chapters. This encompasses what was said and done to put things into context. However, it should be noted that I have left out some pages where Tsunade and Chiyo were call old hags. Take a look.

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Sexism in Naruto: About the Male Villains

To be perfectly honest, there were only about two female villains/antagonists in the whole series, Tayuya and Kaguya. There is so much to say about Kaguya, but it’s mostly about things surrounding her.

Anyway, this is about the males and there were quite of bit who were antagonists. The six I list here are pretty much the only ones I think were hurt most story-wise.


From all of the male antagonists, I firmly believe that Nagato received the worst treatment. Even though I personally never liked Nagato, I can recognize that much.

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Naruto Characters I Dislike

This topic was originally posted as two parts on NF, due to the dreaded 10,000-character limit.

Here is the list where I go in the opposite direction. My list of likes can be found here.

The following list is strictly based on who can be found in the manga. I think I like most of the characters in Naruto, but they overlap with some I’m just disappointed in. There are other characters I don’t care too much about either way. The characters described by above are not listed, with a few exceptions. This list is for those characters I have more of a dislike for and don’t like at all. There are also two characters from my likes list who are here, as well.

I know plenty of people will like most of the characters I mention here. And since I was never one to really enjoy character-bashing (for the most part), I will try to avoid bashing the characters and tone down some of the things I originally posted.

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Naruto Characters I like

For some reason, I never bothered to make a list about the Naruto characters I liked. Part of that was laziness, because for the most part, there were only a small number of characters I disliked in Kishimoto’s story. Most were likable and Kishimoto had a knack for making those he focused on relatable and/or sympathetic.

Following is a list of the top characters I liked from most to least. I have a surprise concerning two of them.

Naruto: Tbqh, I only feel the need to list Naruto first because he was the first favorite character for this series and as the titular character he deserves as much respect. I really like Part 1 Naruto and feel that Hokage Naruto holds promise (but the latter was not really showcased in the canon proper). I will reserve a post to discuss how I feel about this character fully.

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