I am a bit confused about hand seals in Naruto. I know you need them to help mold chakra for ninjutsu and genjutsu. But the thing is I thought you needed to perform the exact sequence of hand seals to perform specific techniques. How is it that some ninja are able to do techs with one or no hand seals?
Like when Kakashi first performed Raikiri, he did the hand seals, but later on he usually just skips it as he doesn't have time. Does this weaken the attack? The power of his Raikiris seems pretty consistent whether he makes the seals or not. But Raikiri (or Chidori) seems to be an attack that just needs a large amount of lightning natured chakra pumped into one hand. I don't see the need for seals at all.
When Tobirama did the Water Dragon Bullet against Sarutobi, he only used 1 seal but Zabuza and Kakashi needed something like 44 seals. How is this possible? Wouldn't it be a different jutsu since the seals weren't the same?
And what about Naruto's made up seal that he uses for Kage Bunshin? Did the forbidden scroll actually have that hand sign on it?
I've been wondering about these things for a while... I'm thinking that hand seals are just to assist in the process and aren't necessary for the actual resulting jutsu. It's not like an incantation for a magical spell where you have to say the incantation for the spell to work.
What do you guys think?