Re: Myth busting thread #2 - Hirzen is not "the strongest" Hokage, or even a notable
Your "issues" in the post aren't even worth responding to considering all you tried to do was talk down about one character and do nothing but prop the other one up...but I'll entertain it, I guess. Preface it by saying I don't give a shit who the "strongest hokage or strongest kage ever" is, so that's not factoring in to my post, simply responding to the ridiculous claims you made.
Originally Posted by ItachiStyle
Hiruzen being called "god of shinobi" is not refutable. It's a nickname, not someone trying to claim him being superior to everyone in strength. What I'm 99% sure is meant(and what anyone with any common sense would realize) when they call him the "god of shinobi" is they're not trying to compare his power to the Sage. Rather, they're talking about his ability to master all 3 ninja arts. God can be defined as " a man who has qualities regarded as making him superior to other men". No one else has been able to do what Hiruzen did in regards to mastering those 3 arts. Therefor, he's looked at as a "God" for having "qualities that make him superior to other men". He's not being looked at as God in the sense of "almighty being" or whatever else. He had no mythical powers or anything of the sort, so that much should have been obvious. He was, in the sense of ninja, a "normal" man.
Originally Posted by ItachiStyle
Once again, the strongest kage statements are opinions, and not something I necessarily care about, however, they're not hyperbole. Kabuto's opinion is he was the strongest of the kage in his generation. Iruka's opinion is that he was the strongest Hokage to ever live. But that's all they are, opinions. Kabuto's statement may have some merit given the fact that he spied on countries and probably had decent knowledge of each kage, but it still boils down to opinion.
Evidence for Hirzen
- Some hyperbolic remarks in the manga, these being; a) that he was "said to be" the strongest ho/kage, and b) the claim he "was said to" "know all jutsu in the leaf". These 2 bits of evidence are extremely poor. The first remark is hyperbolic, and in the manga we've seen no end of remarks like this that were subsequently proven to be hyperbole. Remember how we were told Haku's jutsu had "never been stopped", or how "there's no stopping" Oro's soul transfer jutsu? You know, right before both were stopped. There are dozens of examples of this sort of hyperbole in the comic, which is why people don't go off hyperbole, they go off feats. Comic books have this problem all the time, which is why the 10 eyed man isn't actually the "most dangerous man in the world" as Batman comics hyperbolically state. Also consider the source here. This isn't a comment we're being given by the narrator, or by someone with credibility. These 2 remarks are from Iruka, some no name ninja's, and Oro is mocking that he's able to beat "you who were said to know all jutsu in the leaf". You act like the Sage of the 6 paths declared it to be so, and carved it on a mountain of truths.
As for "knowing all jutsu", he clearly doesn't know how to perform them, and if he does he was really dumb not to use them in a fight to the death with Oro. Maybe he knows of them, but it's far too much of a stretch to grant him every jutsu in the leaf with no evidence off such a flimsy remark as "he was said to" know them all (the Manga is full of these sorts of patently false remarks, just like Haku’s jutsu being unstoppable). We’re even explicitly told later that affinity with all 5 elements is impossible without the rinnegan. So at best, this reputation remark is a reference to generic jutsu… and as someone else said, if you take away bloodline abilities and elemental jutsu, does that even leave much in the way of jutsu that matter? Not really.
In regards to knowing all of the jutsu, here is a great post to read: http://narutobase.net/forums/showthread.php?t=301094
As shown in that thread(which I do suggest reading, but I'll just quote this one thing), this is where Hiruzen spent a lot of his time:
Shelves stocked full of scrolls. He never stopped studying, even in his retirement. He reigned as Hokage for 30+ years. It's not some outlandish statement to believe he trained himself and spent the time studying to learn these techniques. He lived an usually long time for a kage, and given his dedication to it, it's believable.
Why didn't he use a lot of them vs Orochimaru? Well that should have been obvious in your research.
1. He was a 69 year old man. His chakra reserves were bad and he had to fight 3 kage-level opponents. He couldn't go around spamming techniques, he had to be careful with his reserves.
2. On top of what I just said, Hiruzen wasn't even giving it 100% in the fight. I know you're probably thinking "that's bullshit", but Enma himself says as much:
There's no reason to believe Hiruzen wasn't capable of such(learning the techniques, that is). He was an incredibly talented shinobi with all the dedication in the world.
#1 - The databooks are written by Kishimoto. - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11085135-naruto And they are official.
- Hirzen scored high in the databooks
There is no reason for us to treat the databooks seriously. They’re not written by the author, and are full of obviously ridiculous material. Ameratsu is not “as hot as the sun”, and Naruto isn’t dragonball Z, where power levels mean something. For heaven’s sake, the databook gives Oro the same Genjutsu score as Itachi (a 5), which is patently ridiculous. Nobody should be invoking the databook as evidence of anything, no more than non-cannon star wars material, or a bunch of fanfic really. The scores in the databook do not represent characters actual abilities (Itachi for instance owns Oro every which way on Genjutsu, yet has an equal score… ridiculous).
#2 - Power levels don't actually mean much of anything in DBZ either. But I won't go in to detail on that, this isn't DBZ discussion.
#3 - The databooks aren't meant to be a "compare this character to that character" type of book. It's meant to show where each ninja excels/excelled/how good they are with it. The manga statements back up that Hiruzen was someone with a mastery of the ninja arts and someone with extremely high intelligence. There's no reason to believe his scores aren't correct.
Him "beating" the 3 is often over exaggerated, however, it stands that Enma was capable of fighting off the mokuton and he was able to counter Bringer of Darkness purely using his sense of smell. While it wasn't a "full on fight" from Hashi/Tobi and Orochimaru, it wasn't one from Hiruzen either, as pointed out by the statement from Enma. Would the 3 have murked him if not for Orochimaru's "toying" with him? Yeah. I don't know of anyone not named Edo Madara that could take on all 3 of them and pull off a victory even if they weren't edo tensei. But considering they had unlimited chakra and indestructible bodies, it would make it that much harder.
- Hirzen “beat” Oro and the 2 edo Hokages.
Oro says very clearly that the 2 hokages are toying with him, and that’s evident from reading the manga fight (remember, the anime doesn’t count), where the hokage spend most of the fight standing around and letting Oro talk, and when Oro prompts them they do a few jutsu, but basically they just stand there. There’s very little reason to believe these guys are going all out, and given that a) they’re fighting in a confined area that massively disadvantages them, and b) what we see off Hashirama’s power later, it’s pretty clear we can’t take the fight at face value.
I won’t use the invented logic of “Oro hadn’t perfected Edo Tensei”, we have no indication that means they weren’t at full strength, but they clearly aren’t being made to go all out, because Oro thought there was no way he could lose, partly because he didn’t know about the reaper death seal, which allowed Hirzen to take him by surprise and stop the fight before Oro got serious. Remember that your ability to control your own body is important to utilising your proper strength, the Hokage being mindless robots for Oro to control prevents them using the fighting genius they normally possess. Maybe the 2 Hokage would have gotten rid of the explosive tags if they could control their own movements, but Oro’s tags didn’t require them to because he knew that explosive tags couldn’t hurt them. Remember, sometimes the author has illogical things happen, then retrospectively explains them. Like when Madara “let” Onoki blast some of his armour off, just so we could see the 1st Hokage’s face.
Again, not worried about "strongest kage".
This brings me to the next point, which a lot of people have flagged. The author changes his mind. Maybe back in volume 17 Kishi thought of Hirzen as the strongest (or 2nd strongest) Hokage ever… but it’s very obvious at this point that view has been retconned. Now we don’t strictly need to use this logic, because the above arguments I addressed don’t really give much support to the idea Hirzen is that great, but certainly it’s fair for Hirzen fans to feel like once upon a time Kishi intended for Hirzen to be one of the best Shinobi of all time. What that shouldn’t blind them to is that there’s pretty much no good evidence left to suggest he was, as we’ve gotten more and more evidence of stronger and stronger shinobi as the manga went (some who died a long time ago, some who are alive right now). I also feel like old age is a really crap excuse for Hirzen… sure, I can buy he was weaker, but Onoki (who is far older) is doing stuff that makes Hirzen look pitiful, such as carrying islands and meteors, atomising large areas, summoning giant stone golems bigger than Hirzen’s earth wall, etc. Based off feats, Hirzen probably isn’t in the top 20 shinobi, and even that’s charitable. I’m sure he had a kage level strength, much like Tsunade who gets unfairly criticized, and we should remember that Itachi and Minato show us power doesn’t require scale or flashiness. You can have relatively small and simple techniques and be awesome. But we can’t just look at some hyperbole and a fight where nobody was going all out (under special conditions) and then say “yeh, Hirzen MUST have been the best… some randoms said so”.
In regards to old age and Hiruzen/Onoki, old age has effected people differently in this series. It could have something to do with Hiruzen's retirement hurt him physically, Onoki has kept going as kage(though his back gives out, lol). It could be that Onoki simply aged a lot better. It could be that Onoki was stronger than Hiruzen in his prime and is stronger than him in old age, lord knows Onoki's a bad ass. But it's important to remember we didn't even see what all Hiruzen was capable of, even in old age. Hard to judge what would have happened/what we would have seen from him if he just fought Orochimaru alone. Who knows what happened.