Tsuki No Me

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When I was asked to elaborate on Utopia two things first came into my mind. The etymology, which is Greek as I am, comes from two words: no and place. So Utopia actually means no-place. Which is something generally known;Utopia is a place or concept that will never occur or happen. But what if theoretically, a utopian society was to happen?

That question leads to the second thing that occurred to me, which is the Naruto anime. Animes, are Japanese animations, either hand drawn or made by computer graphics. Many animes are childish or amatory, others are vivid and have deep meanings behind their cover which can be action stories with ninjas or crazy scientists doing experiments. Naruto's cover story falls into the former. It describes the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent and notorious ninja whose one and only dream is recognition by becoming the Hokage, which is the leader of his village namely Konoha. Apart from Konoha, there are many other similar villages each having their own leader, military and economy which is powered by a corresponding source of energy e.g. fire, water, wind etc. Those villages many times have conflicts which lead to war, despair and pain. Besides external wars, the anime also sensitizes civil wars. Within Konoha there are ninjas who come from different clans. The two main clans are the Uzumaki which is Naruto's clan and Uchiha which is Sasuke's clan who is the best friend and worst enemy of Naruto. Due to rivalries and competitiveness of who is the strongest, these clans often came into conflict, resulting into hatred and pain which is what happened with Naruto and Sasuke. The two clans also reflect the two sides which every story has.

The anime, later in the story, introduces Madara which is the the antagonist and is from the Uchiha clan. Both Naruto and Madara realise that there is a lot of pain and hate in their ninja world. They both want to put an end to everyone's suffering. However their means to the end are completely different. Madara's plan (Tsuki No Me) is to capture every living being within his powerful illusion, where each one would be experiencing life in his own perfect utopian dream without knowing the reality. Their deepest desires would be fulfilled and there would be no pain and suffering. Naruto who is much younger and optimistic than Madara, believes that by becoming leader of his village, he can bring peace and make villages cooperate instead of fight. The story continues by describing the war between all villages against Madara. All ninjas unite, regardless of past conflicts, to fight against the Utopian plan of Madara.

Naruto's ninja world is not too different to ours; it is just more simplified. The anime wants to sensitise the observer by describing several aspects of life.

We can also identify several underlying similes. For instance, most of the wars in our world happen to claim energy like villages fighting for resources. People fight over race and religion like the different ninja's clans fight even if they are in the same village.

What is the fundamental flaw of Madara's plan? Being always happy means that happiness becomes a constant into ones life. When something becomes a constant in a persons life it is just like it's not there. Take your nose for instance. It is in your vision, but do you see it? It is a constant. At some point a person in the Utopia would become emotionally numbed thus he would not be in a Utopia anymore. Unfortunately, without sadness there is no happiness and the lack of context renders happiness meaningless.

However, trying for a Utopia is a whole other concept. Constantly achieving goals and improving the quality of lives is what I would describe as trying to reach Utopia. And the greatest factor of contributing to such a project would be education. Racism is fought with education. Conflicts are solved with empathy.