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Do we have conflicting ideas? The Shogi Game and the King

Discussion in 'Konoha Library Archives' started by QuoNina, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. QuoNina Active Member

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    *I just noticed there is a similar thread posted in the library that overlapped a part of this thread. ^^;; Hopefully, this thread would still contribute to some points not mentioned.
    **And some ideas about Kurenai are not new. Credits to those who brought them up.


    From clues given in past chapters, there is actually a way for both "king = Akatsuki's target" and "king = Kurenai's new child" to work out with some explanations/speculations. :grin

    Shikaramu seems to understand the explanation behind Azuma's out-of-norm behaviors after knowing who is the king.

    (A=Azuma; S=Shikamaru)
    That's why ...what ? Shikamaru might have realized something upon knowing who the king is, something that explains Azuma's behavior that he was confused about.
    Spoiler: Shikamaru's flashback (only read this part if you need to review the manga)
    (Chapter 321 On their way to Asuma's final mission)
    S: Asuma-sensei, what's your relationship to that Chiriku?
    A: Why the sudden interest?
    S: You usually get through 2 packs a day but you haven't touched a cigarette for the last 2 days. Every time you quit smoking, something is going on.
    When you play Shogi, it's pretty obvious what is going on.
    You quit when the thrid died, too.
    A: ... me and Chiriku were two of the 12 protectors of Konoha. Yeah, we were like buddies. ...I appreciate your concern. But I didn't stop because I was upset.
    S: !
    A: I stopped because I couldn't afford any distraction, and neither can any of you!

    (Chapter 316 Shogi game)
    A: Sometimes you have to make moves like this... to protect the king in dealing with stronger opponent. It's like they say to make sacrifice.
    S: Did something happen?
    A: Nah, it's nothing it's just that after all these times, I finally realize the importance of Gyoku. When Gyoku is taken, it's the end of the game. If these are shinobi in Konoha, you are knight... Me? I am just a pawn.
    A: Do you know who would be the king?
    S: Hokage?
    A: I used to think so, too, but then I found out I was wrong.
    S: Then who is it?
    A: You will know when the time comes.
    So what behavior(s) of Azuma was explained by knowing the king he was talking about? It might be one or more of the followings:

    Why did Azuma quit smoking?
    For Chiriki:
    -He might be worried simply because the enemies are too strong. (explicitly stated in Chapter 321.)
    -He might realize it will eventually come to him (Azuma is also on the bingo book. Kakazu mentioned Azuma worth a price, too, just like Chiruku. In fact, all former 12 guards are probly all on the bingo book.)

    For the kid:
    Inhaling smoke during pregnancy leads to complications. :grin (Don't crack up yet.)

    Other doubts from Shikamaru:
    Why did he play chess like that?
    Why did he sacrifice himself?
    Why did he take the initiative move of invading into an enemy's territory, even knowing the enemy might be stronger than himself? To protect? To protect whom? Who is the king?


    The king are the importance pieces, the one to be sacrificed for. And Azuma used to misinterpret it.
    In one of the earlier flashback, it's strongly implied that the third showed him who the king is, which Azuma did not realize back then.
    Leaving Konoha behind and disregarding those in Konoha are probably something the third is not happy about. He wanted Azuma to stay in Konoha, and become one proud member of Sarutobi clan.
    "You widen your wings they surround and protect the whole Konoha. You are willing to sacrifice yourself for the future of us. I am proud of being in such an honorable clan. I'd do the same if I have to," he would say.

    Let's going back to Azuma's misinterpretation again.
    Not only Hokage, he used to think those who are in leader's position is the king, the important pieces. That's probly why even after he left Konoha, he went on serving as one of the 12 guards, protecting the fire lord. But after all these years, he finally realized the meaning of being a hokage. It is not about being the important piece himself that determines the fate of the village, but to serve the people in the village who are the heart of the village itself.

    After all these years, he eventually realized he should return to his root, and now, finally, he did the same thing the third did to serve Konoha and its people, generations after generations. What made him thinking about the people behind his time all of a sudden? Did he just learn that he was gonna become a dad, that's why he started to think for the future generation?

    Here are some speculations this idea is based on:

    -In the hospital, Kurenai seemed to have something important to tell Azuma when he was in the hospital visiting Kakashi. Although Azuma wanted to tell Kakashi something in the first place, he totally ignored Kakashi and went after Kurenai after she appeared. What's he gonna tell Kakashi we are not sure. But KURENAI obviously had something important to tell Azuma. (Pregnancy test result? :p)

    -During Azuma's last mission that would cost his life, the scenes switched back and forth between Kurenai and Azuma, putting emphasis on Kunerai. What can we draw from this connection? It may be a bit too emotionally involved if we are just gonna see Kunerai's reaction.

    - -
    What he might have said:

    (Chapter 328) *replays*
    A to S: Your mind is sharp and your sense of becoming a ninja is very good. You can even become a Hokage one day, although with you as a leader you'd probly just moan...

    A: You wanna know who the king is ? I'll tell you... who it is... Come closer.
    *Shikamaru listens*
    A: The king are your future sons ... and my son to be born ...whom I am willing to die for... The future of Konoha, please take good care of him. (Hopefully one day he would realize this and feels proud of being born in Sarutobi clan.)
    *Shikamaru surprised*
    S: Asuma... you.. That's why...

    - -
    Alternative explanation: Akatsuki-Naruto centric

    Lots of people think the king refers to something more literal, such as the Jinchuuriki the Akatsuki longs to obtain, and pointed out the metaphor from Shogi to illustrate the point that Naruto = king: the game is over after they obtain the jinchuuriki.

    This does make some sense. As you can see, Azuma revealed the secret of Jinchuuriki ear to ear to Shikamaru, implying it was something secretive.

    However, it's a bit too long of an explanation Azuma has to provide before his death. He needs to explain what's Akatsuki and why are they after Naruto. If any information is unclear, it would leads to question marks, not immediate surprise and realization.

    Also, if it's about Akatsuki and Naruto, Azuma is not the only person who knows this. Tsunade who ordered them to chase after Akatsuki has already know this information. Why would Azuma waste this chance to tell Shikamaru something he would eventually learn when the time comes?

    The talk is quite personal. Azuma whispered it to only Shikamaru...Shikamaru responded with "Azuma... you..." It highlights Shikamaru's understanding of Azuma and Azuma's trust on Shikamaru. An informational talk on Naruto is just a bit unfit and out of sync with the sentimental speech he gave before, and his last wish right after.

    The preview of 329 titled "the target of Akatsuki". Looked like it also pointed to the king = Naruto idea. He is Akatsuki's target!

    Don't you think it's a bit too soon for the king to be literally spelled out right in the next few chapter, right after it's left with a sense of mystery?

    I think it's meant to distract our attention back to something we've already know, such as Naruto = the target. Or other stuff Akatsuki wants, such as what they want out of monk ninja. Whatever. They would be exciting chapters. But the truth of Azuma's final words is left unsaid until later.


    Hybrid of the two explainations

    I am not discrediting the Akatsuki-centric speculation. The Shogi game from Chapter 316 indeed reflects what literally happened. The pawn is about to be sacrificed to promoted Rook.
    Spoiler:
    Pawn = Azuma as he stated himself.
    Rook = a character Hidan's name (Kakuzu's name is also another piece.)
    Promoted Rook = wider range of move = more crazy Hidan?

    It foreshadowed what literally happened to him. (see above spoiler) But what was going on in Azuma's mind was about Konoha, its people and its future, using Shogi as a metaphor. The Shogi game itself coincidentally unfolded Azuma's future. (symbolism!) But what's on his mind was the future generations of Konoha that he wanted to protect. And I believe that's what he wanted to tell Shikamaru.

    Hidan and Kakuzu could surely be a proximate motivation. To protecting Konoha and its future generation, he was willing to be sacrificed under crazily strong enemy, such as Akatsuki, to prevent them from getting into Konoha and getting what they want. However, eventually it would hit on the this point: the ongoing mission of saving future of Konoha, including his son and everyone else, generations after generations.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
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  2. mayumi Well-Known Member

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    well if its a father and son/child connection thing and trying to make konoha a safer and better place for the village like sandaime then i can see that happening. it could also coincide maybe with yondaime's/naruto's own past? though yondaime and naruto received hero status(atleast yondaime considered naruto a hero and naruto consider yondaime a hero) unlike sarutobi asuma. i kinda feel bad for him.
     
  3. Suu .

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    Good post.


    I am still sitting on the fence here - for me, there is insufficient evidence to draw to any conclusions in relation to Kurenai's pregnancy and any ties it may have to Akatsuki or the 'King'.

    As you've stated/shown several times throughout the analysis, although parts of the manga can be analysed one way to imply that Kurenai may be pregnant and somehow has links to Akatsuki and the King, it can also be analysed another way to take upon the more literal, and obvious meaning.

    Perhaps (no offence intended) your alternative analyses may be a tad over-analytical for a Shounen, directed at 9-12 year old Japanese boys. However, Kishimoto has been startlingly clever with his implications and clues before, so I won't dismiss the theory just yet.

    I think I'll have to wait and see until it's explicitly stated, unless there's more substantial clues dropped along the way to make me change my mind.

    PS: This paragraph got you a rep.
    Some nice thinking there. I never picked up on the link between Sarutobi's implicit message about the King to Asuma and Asuma's own position of guardianship of somebody who he may have once regarded as a 'King'.
     
  4. QuoNina Active Member

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    It's very true. However, if we can come up with a solid conclusion at this point, It wouldn't be a puzzle that makes us read on, would it? :p
    It's interesting to hear you say that. I was trying to find reasons as intuitive as possible... The talking time, the emotional flow, and the red herring, etc.
    Then it's no fun to guess anymore. And I hate waiting. XD
    Glad that you like it. I wonder what 12 guards actually do, too. Too many question marks.
    maybe that'll happen in the next few chapters, and again later when Shikamaru talks about the king or when Kurenai takes a walk with little Azuma.
    Good point. :grin
     
  5. Lion Takemusu

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    I don't know... I'm going to take the hybrid path... It seemed that 3rd had a close relationship to the children, and maybe this is the thing Asuma didn't understood until Kurenai got pregnant and so he was introduced to the concept of fatherhood. But then he started to think about the kids and their meaning. Who is the king -- the nexus -- among the children. :amuse
     
  6. Shisui is dead

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    Very well said!

    Personally, I think this all should be pretty obvious to an attentive reader, but some people...meh.
     
  7. lazer85 Member

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    ok let's try and imagine these

    1 Asuma: The king is my unborn kid
    Shikamaru: your a daddy again!!! awesome! wait what king? why?
    ::dies: :-(..... ?????

    theres no reason his baby should be king, who the hell is the baby to us?

    2 Asuma: The king is the people, the next generation!
    Shikamaru: yeah whatever, don't die
    ::dies::
    Shikamaru: :-( !

    Alright cute idea, but the game is an aweful metaphor for saying the people are the most important part of the village "You're all the king! Everybody wins!" I just don't see this as plausable, it would cornify the story and wouldnt need this metaphor.

    3 Asuma: The king is the enemies target, akatsuki is after naruto, (you'll find out why soon enough.)
    Shikamaru: !!!!!!!
    ::dies:
    Shikamaru: !!!!!! ::cries::

    if the next chapter starts with naruto, theres no reason to think anyone else. If not, speculation is fair, but I just don't see any of it as plausable.

    If it's not Naruto, it's going to be someone completely unexpected cause of some crazy unforseen plot twist.
     
  8. 4ghost Seimei

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    I have to say that was a very awesome post.

    When I first heard about the whole King thing I had thought that it basically meant that the King, the most important piece, was the village. However in the latest chapter because Asuma was apparently able to easily articulate in his whisper to Shikamaru who the King was my thoughts shifted from the more abstract village to Naruto.

    However in reading your post I was able to see how the abstract was still relevant when the King is thought of as a particular person. I believe that Asuma finally arrived at who the King was and understood what it was his father was trying to teach him. After all that time and even after his own fathers death it took his own child to understand the importance of the villages future, its youth. Asuma was finally beginning to look at things from the perspective that his father the Sandaime had always held regarding the leafs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  9. QuoNina Active Member

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    ^Thanks, and that's very well-said. :D
    In fact, I do think it's hard to turn it into arguments. I don't have 100% confidence, but it's worth to make a post for to see how you can write about it. :p
    It's both together yo. Not just his unborn child, but also the future generation of Konoha that he protects. He may also mention his comrades and their sons. But what surprised Shikamaru was mostly Azuma's unborn son, of course.

    He might be surprised to learn that Azuma has a kid. He might pause when Azuma asks him to help to take care of him well and become as smart as he is. He might be pondering Azuma's concept of being "responsible" to protect others. A lot to think about... If someone's beloved sensei told that person that he has an unborn child left behind on the verge of his death, I'd expect that person to be surprised and say "sansei... you... that's why..." (Shikamaru: ... That's why you sacrifice yourself... that's why you quit smoking? that's why... why? ) It also has a deep meaning to be pondered later.
    I think it will be explained nicely later follow the line of protecting future generation. The baby means a lot to Azuma by the way, although it may mean nothing to you and me. (:p)
    Who says the manga is not corny sometimes. :p

    We never know how it would play out. But we all know Kishi is good at turning cornified doctrines into inspiring lessons.
    Shikamaru would say "??????" not "!!!!!!!" in that case. That would confuse the hell out of him. He would he be confused about what's Akatsuki and why are they after Naruto. And this answer would only give out names about WHO Azuma sacrifices for. It doesn't even explain WHY Azuma sacrifices himself. What kind of realization would hit Shikamaru in that case?

    Why do people think it's something personal? Because it is a personal moment, and in saying so the conversation highlights Azuma's close relationship with Shikamaru.

    Also, if it's something about Akatsuki, Azuma is not the only person who knows this. What's the point of wasting the final talk on something Shikamaru eventually will know in his last chance to make an impact on people?
    The preview for next chapter is "Akatsuki's target". I wouldn't be surprised to see Naruto. Remember in the first post, I said what happens on the chessboard is being played out in reality. On the chessboard, you can see Akatsuki chasing Naruto, Azuma being sacrificed, etc.

    And the metaphor can also serve to baffle us Azuma's real thoughts. I think the manga might prompt an seemingly plausible solution to Azuma's words immediately right after the question is posted. But the ulltimate answer of who is the king would be explained later. This way of story telling is not uncommon. And it's gonna be an explanation that can also show why Azuma sacrificing himself under Hidan's hand is reasonable as well. (Be that he wants to protect Konoha. Be that he knows what kind of threats Akatsuki is. Be that he wants to stop them getting what they want.) But it's the proximate reason, not the ultimate answer.

    Besides the next chapters would be exciting in themselves. It's not as if we must see Azuma's kid in the next few chapters or something.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  10. Superb Herb Follower Of Jesus Christ

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    Riddle me this why the hell would some child who is not born, which will probably be born either after or damn close to Ataskui being taken down or succeding have any relevance to the story?

    Is he going to come out of the womb and kick the shit out of everyone or what?

    There is no importance there. The theory actually holds little water. Naruto is the most likely canidate for King following him is the village of Konoha, but I seriously would be suprised if it was not Naruto being the King.
     
  11. Yuna The Legendary Anti-Sakuratard

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    I direct you all to my "Anyone who thinks the King is Kurenai's supposed unborn kid is a moron"-thread.
     
  12. QuoNina Active Member

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    Not just one baby. All babies and youth in Konoha. Pile up as high as a mountain and represent the future of Konoha. :noworry

    Anyway. What Shikamaru got away is a concept. Just as what Azuma got away from the third. It's easy to write a concept into a story. It might be relevent to different idealogy between Danzou and the third; it might shape up Shikamaru's character; it might also be related to protecting comrades and Naruto, etc. There are just too many possibilities to tie it back to the story.

    As far as giving the baby some practical use, you can read this thread. That's just one idea. I am not even sure if practical use is necessary. If we can see clearly its relevance to the story RIGHT NOW, that would be incredibly predictable and boring anyway. We should just finish writing the manga ourselves then. :oh
    +
    Naruto as Akatsuki's target is a fact. We've known this for a while. And goes along with the Shogi game metaphor. I guess I sort of explained my take on that matter in previous posts already.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2006
  13. Mikazuki no Mai Dance of the Crescent Moon

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    I stopped reading after Kurenai's baby...

    We dont know if she is even preggy yet, and I sick of hearing it =)
     
  14. Superb Herb Follower Of Jesus Christ

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    So you are saying that the Atasuki want to round up all the kids of Konoha so that they can do what? Take em to Neverland ranch?

    Once again it does not matter because in the game they are playing it is konoha vs Atasuki so why the hell would they need to protect the kids of the village, isnt like they are a bunch of Michael Jacksons..............

    Except Oro..................Thats why he left he wanted to gather children. lol.
     
  15. 4ghost Seimei

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    You see you are stuck on the Shogi metaphor refering to Konoha vs. Akatsuki. If it was simply that that Asuma was refering to then you would be right in thinking the King equals Akatsuki's target.

    Consider that Asuma did not know who the King was before his father's death. Also consider that he says he only recently began to understand who the King was. Akatsuki doesn't seem to be something that Sandaime was even aware of. How could Naruto be what his father was thinking of without even knowing of that threat.

    The King metaphor makes more sense to be used as a means to talk about what must be protected not what the enemy is after. Otherwise the King would always shift from character to character. For instance Sasuke would have been the King in the Orochimaru invasion.

    I kind of look at Asuma's epiphany like this; he saw the Fire Lord as if he were the King and looked up to his father as if he were the President and used himself their "inferior" as their Secret Service. Becoming a father himself he finally understands how his father, the Hokage, would want to be a shield for his son before allowing his son to be a shield for his father.
     
  16. mayumi Well-Known Member

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    on another note if u remember right before sandaime and orochimaru fight, sandaime was reflecting by looking at yondaime's picture. after that sandaime fought oro and used fourths technique on him.
    the third himself might have wanted to fight oro after understanding what yondaime did for the village(if we consider naruto 4th's son, then his sacrifise was even greater) unlike the time the third left oro go.
    looks like the sarutobis both might have learnt a lesson.
     
  17. QuoNina Active Member

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    ^Hm... I am not sure if that's how I would interpret this. :p I think the third was simply giving Oro too much trust and chance in the past.

    But now that you said it, we've got Sandaime and Yondaime sacrificing for the village... And looks like Tsunade is about to do the same, too? :S
    That's kind of interesting. :laugh He wanted Azuma to stay. But I am also wondering if he is keeping Azuma away from something.
     
  18. Sho Active Member

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    Wow, very impressive write-up!

    I never thought about that before, but now that you bring it up, it really does give a more plausible alternative than the popular Naruto=King theory. What I always had a problem with the latter was that it seemed kinda random to me: Asuma never really interacted with Naruto, nor did it seem as if he had a real connection with him. And if Asuma knew that Naruto was the "king", then how come there really wasn't any foreshadowing to give that hint? This theory however takes into account all of Kurenai's and Asuma's words/actions in regard to that, as well makes sense out of Asuma's words to Sandaime's carving in chapter 314.

    And also, like 4ghost brings up, the Naruto=King theory would also mean that the "king" is dependant upon the enemy and the situation. If Orochimaru were to invade the village, then Sasuke would be the king (talking pre-timeskip here). When the Hidden Cloud broke into Konoha, then that meant that Hinata was the king, etc., etc. I doubt the "king" is meant to be a variable here. Your theory however, doesn't have a flaw in regards to that.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see this come true, since I now think it's the most plausible theory. :)
     
  19. QuoNina Active Member

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    ^Thanks. :D

    I thought 4ghost's argument makes sense as well. Gets too conceptual o/w. *_*
    Actually there is a possibility for Sandaime to talk about jin... if 12 guards are involved in bijuu extraction. But even with that, I am guessing it's a separate story about saving the monk ninja. I still doubt that's the "lesson" Azuma took away or tried to say to Shikamaru.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2006
  20. 4ghost Seimei

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    A little more to consider when thinking about the Shogi game and King metaphor. Back in chapter 94 Sandaime in a sense says very clearly what he feels must be protected.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2006
  21. Sho Active Member

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    I definitely have to bump this up, especially seeing as how Nina and 4ghost accurately predicted this long before now. After reading this theory, I was already convinced it was correct back then, but it must be nice turning out to be right on something like this so spot on. :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  22. Wrath Mourning

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    Mmm. I think the problem a lot of people have is that they came to the conclusion that because Kakuzu and Hidan were enemy pieces, that the enemy "player" had to be Akatsuki. When in truth, the enemy player was simply... the enemies of Konoha, and Akatsuki are merely a part of that.
     
  23. 4ghost Seimei

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    Yeah I definetly got to rep Nina again for this thread. It opened my eyes to somethings I was actually missing.

    Yeah I tried to point out that many people's view of the King was too narrow. I addressed that in my post here.

     
  24. bonziblueboy Guardian Of The Rain

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    I smell an Asuma revival no jutsu : P
     
  25. Aokiji Well-Known Member

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    Who's Kurenai's baby? nobody cares about it. I think they mean the future generations, because if they die, Konoha will be extinguished. Why the fuck would that unborn kid nbe the king? If it dies noone would care.
     
  26. QuoNina Active Member

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    I was gonna thank you for the really nice panel you brought up. :laugh It's nice to see Sandaime's teaching being realized and appreciated especially in ch 342. They are truly changing the purpose that they become ninjas, not just merely war tools as AL depicted. Will of fire will crush Akatsuki. :p
    :p Thanks for pumping the thread. This, Sasuke, and just the whole sentiment behind Shikamaru and Kurenai's convo just prompt me giving the current chapter a 10 right away. xD

    OT, that chibi Mikoto in your siggy is so adorable for poking...
    Yeah. I guess this goes with Azuma's reasoning and it explains why he is desperate getting rid of Hidan. What's really cool is the pieces are also speaking to the readers that Hidan and Kakuzu are coming since the pieces are the characters in Hidan and Kakuzu's name. Guess their names are set up so that they compliment each other and Shogi games throughout the arc.
    The unborn child = part of the future generation. Azuma speaks in the point of view of a dad; he becomes a dad because he's got an unborn son...

    Just read the latest chapter~! No kid is not important!
     
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