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Nature Transformation

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Tobi using 5 natures

All five elemental nature transformations being used simultaneously.

Nature Transformation (性質変化, Seishitsu Henka, English TV: Change in Chakra Nature) is an advanced form of chakra control that entails the moulding and defining of the nature of one's chakra, altering its properties and characteristics for use in techniques. Nature transformation is one of two necessary components for creating or modifying a technique, the second component being shape transformation. While nature transformation changes the properties of the chakra, shape transformation changes the actual form and movement, altering its abilities.[1] The release of elemental chakra is typically suffixed with "Release" (, Ton, English TV: Style).

Basic Nature Transformations

Fire ReleaseWater ReleaseWind ReleaseEarth ReleaseLightning ReleaseElemental Relationships Diagram

A circular diagram of the different elemental weaknesses. Clockwise from the top: Fire, Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water. The clockwise direction also shows what particular element is strong against.

The Five Basic Natures (五大基本性質, Godai Kihon Seishitsu) are the five elemental chakra natures, which are the foundation of all elemental ninjutsu.[2] They are so vital to the shinobi lifestyle that each of the Five Great Shinobi Countries is named after one of the five. Each element is naturally weaker than and stronger than another:

  • Fire (, Hi) is strong against Wind but weak against Water.
  • Wind (, Kaze) is strong against Lightning but weak against Fire.
  • Lightning (, Kaminari) is strong against Earth but weak against Wind.
  • Earth (, Tsuchi) is strong against Water but weak against Lightning.
  • Water (, Mizu) is strong against Fire but weak against Earth.

Basically, if an elemental technique is put against another elemental technique of the same level, but of a stronger nature, then the technique with the superior nature will prevail. However, a technique with a weaker nature can overpower a technique with a stronger nature if the former is of a higher level. For example, fire can overpower a water technique if it is first strengthened by a wind technique.

A similar principle applies in how technique of the same element interact, what is called counterbalancing. If two techniques of the same nature and the same level are used against each other, they will cancel each other out, as when Lightning Release: False Darkness is deflected with Lightning Cutter. However, if the two techniques have different levels, the higher-level technique will not only prevail but will grow stronger from interaction with the weaker, as when Amaterasu, the highest level Fire Release technique, grew stronger by absorbing an opposing Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique.[3]

Affinity

Kakashi's Chakra Paper

The result of Kakashi's chakra in contact with the special paper: it wrinkles.

In general, every person's chakra has an affinity towards one of the five basic nature transformations. Affinity can at times be genetic, or at least common to a particular family; most members of the Uchiha clan have an affinity towards the Fire nature.[2] One's affinity can be determined using pieces of paper made from a special type of tree that is grown and fed with chakra. When this so-called "Chakra Induction Paper" (チャクラ感応紙, Chakura Kannōshi, English TV: Litmus Paper) is exposed to even the slightest hint of chakra, it reacts according to the chakra's latent element:[4]

  • Fire: the paper will ignite and turn to ash.
  • Wind: the paper will split in two.
  • Lightning: the paper will wrinkle.
  • Earth: the paper will turn to dirt and crumble away.
  • Water: the paper will become wet/damp.

Shinobi have an easier time learning to create and control a chakra nature that matches their affinity, although even then it may take a number of years. Shinobi are not limited to the nature they have an affinity for, and it is in fact common for jōnin to have mastered two natures.[5] Although it is technically possible to master all five natures, it is very rare because of how much of training is involved; Hashirama Senju, Tobirama Senju, Hiruzen Sarutobi, Orochimaru and are the only shinobi known to have done so via normal means. Other methods of acquiring all five natures include:

Combined Nature Transformations

Fire ReleaseWind ReleaseLightning ReleaseEarth ReleaseWater ReleaseIce ReleaseBoil ReleaseLava ReleaseWood ReleaseStorm ReleaseExplosion ReleaseMagnet ReleaseScorch ReleaseDust ReleaseYang ReleaseYin ReleaseYin–Yang ReleaseAdvanced Elemental Relationships Diagram

Combined nature transformation relationships.

By using two or three basic nature transformations simultaneously, one can create a completely new elemental nature with unique properties that wouldn't exist on its own. However, doing this requires a kekkei genkai or, if three elements are used, a kekkei tōta.[9] In the anime, it is further stated that those with the ability to combine the elemental nature transformations possess an affinity for the chakra natures they must simultaneously use.[10]

In the manga, nine combined nature transformations have been shown:

In the anime, novels, and movies, four additional chakra nature transformations have been shown:

  • Used in the anime, Crystal Release (晶遁, Shōton) is suggested to be made of at least the Earth nature. Used by Guren.
  • Used in Gaara Hiden and Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire, Steel Release (鋼遁, Kōton) is a kekkei genkai used by Metoro Konjiki and stolen from an unnamed shinobi by Hiruko.
  • Used in Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire, Dark Release (冥遁, Meiton) is a kekkei genkai stolen by Hiruko.
  • Used in Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire, Swift Release (迅遁, Jinton) is a kekkei genkai stolen by Hiruko.

Yin and Yang

Kurama shares chakra

The Yin and Yang chakra of the Nine-Tails.

Aside from the five elemental nature transformations, there is a second kind of nature transformation that are the source of all non-elemental techniques such as the Shadow Imitation Technique, Multi-Size Technique, medical ninjutsu, genjutsu, etc.[12] There is Yin Release (陰遁, Inton), based on the imagination and spiritual energy of a shinobi, and Yang Release (陽遁, Yōton), based on the vitality and physical energy of a shinobi. Together, they are used to perform Yin–Yang Release (陰陽遁, In'yōton, Onmyōton).

The transformation of Yin and Yang seemingly has to do with altering the balance between spiritual and physical energy in chakra. As explained by Shikamaru Nara, Tayuya's spirit worms were forms of chakra that mostly consist of spiritual energy, thus they require stability and feed upon the physical energy they lack.[13] Unlike the five basic nature transformations, Yin and Yang transformation changes the ratio of the energies prior to actually kneading chakra.

Trivia

  • The concept of nature transformation parallels the real-life art, Onmyōdō (陰陽道, Literally meaning: The Way of Yin and Yang), which is a mixture of natural sciences and occultism. It largely features Wu Xing and Yin and Yang.
  • Techniques such as the Toad Oil Bullet and the Poison Mist mention "converting" or "kneading" chakra into materials or substances, but have never been mentioned to use certain chakra natures.
    • Certain other techniques involved in manipulating substances are also often confused to be chakra natures, such as silk, bone, and ink. However, these substances cannot be produced from chakra alone, meaning the chakra is not changed in nature, and it is rather used to change already-existing substances.
  • In Naruto: Shippūden episode 63, Yamato incorrectly says that no known shinobi has ever mastered all five nature transformations.
  • In Naruto episode 174, Kunihisa used "techniques" he called "Money Release Technique" (金遁の術, Kinton no Jutsu, English TV: Money Style Jutsu) which was used to simply buy whatever he wanted.
  • In some games, Shizune uses Hog Release (豚遁, Tonton), a technique where she uses Tonton.
  • Sasuke Uchiha uses Blaze Release (炎遁, Enton), a variant of the Fire Release.
  • In the novel Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom, Ameyuki uses "Mud Release" (泥遁, Deiton).
  • In the novel Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise, Nowaki uses Typhoon Release (颱遁, Taiton), a variant of Wind Release.
  • The Yata Mirror was said to be imbued with all nature transformations to change its own characteristics to deflect any attack.[14]

Notes

  1. Since Earth Release is stated to be a component of Lava Release (along with Fire), Magnet Release (along with Wind), and Wood Release (along with Water), the only free slot for a combination with Earth Release is Lightning Release.

References

  1. Naruto chapter 321, pages 4-5
  2. 2.0 2.1 Naruto chapter 315, page 13
  3. Third Databook, page 236
  4. Naruto chapter 315, page 15
  5. Third Databook, page 214
  6. Naruto chapter 375, page 11
  7. Fourth Databook, page 249
  8. Naruto chapter 689, page 5
  9. Naruto chapter 316, pages 4-7
  10. Naruto: Shippūden episode 55
  11. Naruto chapter 361, page 13
  12. Naruto chapter 316, page 9
  13. Naruto chapter 207, page 8
  14. Third Databook, pages 274-275

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