Minato. Sage or Surreal?
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I was shocked a few days ago to find out that many readers didn’t think that Minato was a sage. I thought this was just a given considering Kishi’s manga has always had generations repeat themselves with each surpassing the previous. As promised, I plan on taking a look at the subject in this post and seeing what the manga and the unspoken manga, put together has to say about it. I knew that finding definitive proof would be tough because so little has been shown about Minato in the manga but what has been shown are all common features among the three. Looks, personality, Rasengan and the pact with the frogs all run parallel with each other but we have yet to see proof of Minato being a sage… or have we? Lets take a look at a couple manga panels.
The first thing we have to do is apply a scientific perspective to this subject by applying the same thought process behind the discovery of Black Holes or Dark Matter. In both these situations a Black Hole had yet to be observed nor had Dark Matter been seen but yet both were cited as fact by using what we know to be true happening around the anomolies and using the most logical and simple to explain it. Later both of these were eventual proven when scientists were finally able to view the phenomena. So you need to take what we know about the surrounding facts in the manga and explain it with the most obvious answer. Or to put it simply; if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.
Above, I’ve posted all three characters pre what I call “Sage Coats”. None of the three have displayed any Sage techniques at this point and all three have already made pacts with the frogs from where the images have been taken in the manga. So we know for a fact that for what ever reason they began to wear their new coats is not related to making a pact with the frogs, other wise all three of them would have been wearing it by this point. The same reasoning goes for Rasengen…
This is important because change in a characters appearance is very important in Manga. There are only so many ways that you can draw a black and white character. So very often a manga character will wear the same clothes their entire manga lives, this is especially true with battle gear. Same goes for the HAIR but that’s irrelevant to this discussion so I’ll save that for another time ^_^ The clothes, or battle gear, only changes when an achievement has occurred to a character, a new level of power. It doesn’t necassarily change when they learn a new move but rather when they have an insane jump in power, maturity or responsibility.
So what happened between the above images and the images below if it wasn’t the pact with the frogs or Rasengan?
All three are wearing coats now… Minato achieved a new level of power at some point prompting the gear change. As we’ve discussed above, the change in appearance doesn’t change because of a new move like Flash Step or else we would have seen some form of change for Rasengan. We can say that between the first set and second set of images that Jiraiya achieved sage mode but it’s impossible to prove that it was directly after unless they showed some sort of flash back with him donning the new garb or arriving and someone mentioning it, neither of which will happen. So we’ll just say the only fact that we know for sure, that he achieved Sage mode sometime for sure between the two sets.
If Jiraiya was the only example of the new garb and a time line of sage mode gear and I was making this argument 6 months ago I would say “well lets wait and see what happens to Naruto when he masters Sage mode” that would allow someone to make an argument for or against the coat representing Sage mastery. If Naruto had shown up having mastered Sage mode without a coat then it would have been easy to say that the gear has nothing to do with Sage mastery. This wouldn’t have disproved Minato as a Sage considering the other consistent traits of the pact with the frogs and Rasengan, but it wouldn’t have helped.
It just so happens that he did show up with a coat so we can directly correlate Naruto’s new choice in attire to his mastery of Sage mode and we can then look at Jiraiya and say that his gear change happened with in a time frame of Sage Mastery even if you can’t lock down the exact time, it begins to start to look this way. But another damning piece of evidence that Minato was a Sage is that Manga is nothing if not symbolic and this is not beyond Kishi…
Kishi loves the symbolism of the previous generation surpassing the previous and when he makes a direct comparison it should be noted… heavily noted. Kishi didn’t make this symbolic comparison until Naruto had achieved sage mode. He could have done it when he protected the village against Gaara and the One tail or when he learned Rasengan, but he didn’t. It was when Naruto had returned as a Sage master that Kishi over layed the three. Some times things don’t have to be said, we all just know it to be fact. Black Holes exist, dark matter is real and Minato was a Sage.
Some reader contributions-
Ero Sennin: Minato and Jiraiya both have the flame jacket that Naruto just got after becoming a sage with the frogs marking his achievement…
Penny: the flames are not just represenative of the Will of Fire. It represents the Natural Energy flames a Sage must generate – aka, “Hakke.” Make note of the “flames” of the Natural Energy that Naruto induces when summoning Sage Technique.
P.S. I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments section…but please try to stay on subject, I’ll forgive all the placement claims but beyond that you risk the mods deleting your comments @_@ I really want you guys to discuss whether Minato is a Sage or not. Agree or disagree with the post, Either is fine with me ^_^ I look forward to the debate.