Naruto is a classic example of the shonen genre that presents the skills and powers of ninjas through various techniques and abilities. These fictional ninjas often perform hand gestures before using their abilities.
In Naruto, hand signals are used to indicate something incredible is about to happen.
For example, the first time fans see Kakashi’s true skill is when he uses hand signals at such an extreme speed that it’s hard to keep up.
Team 7’s first enemies, Zabuza and Haku, also display their exceptional skills using various hand signals. Ninjutsu and Genjutsu are two of the main forms of jutsu, both of which often require hand signals.
On the other hand, Taijutsu is composed exclusively of physical techniques, which means that hand signals are not necessary. While hand signals are common in the first few arcs of the series, their use gradually decreases as the story progresses. In Shippuden, they become more and more rare, and in Boruto, they are almost non-existent. After all, why did this happen?
What are hand signals and why are they important in Naruto?
Naruto presents hand signals as a crucial element for the execution of techniques such as Ninjutsu, Genjutsu and other secret arts. These signs were created by Indra Otsutsuki to help people invoke and manipulate chakra, which is essential for performing techniques.
Hand signals are a visual representation of how ninjas can correctly manipulate their chakra.
However, a highly skilled shinobi can perform several techniques with a single hand, while others require no sign at all. Despite this, almost all Ninjutsu and Genjutsu techniques are based on the 12 basic hand signals.
Each technique requires a sequence and combination of specific hand seals, which need to be memorized. For example, the Water Style: Water Dragon Bomb Technique technique requires 44 different combinations.
Kakashi used this technique after copying Zabuza during their fight, quickly becoming an iconic character. However, this is only because Kakashi is using the technique for the first time and needs to accurately shape his chakra.
The 12 basic hand signals are all based on animals, including the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog and boar. In addition to these basic signs, there are specific hand signs for techniques involving elements of nature, and signature techniques unique to certain ninja clans, activated by specific combinations of hand seals.
Why are hand signals starting to appear less on Shippuden?
At the beginning of Naruto’s story, characters were beginners and barely became genin, the lowest level among ninjas, so techniques that required a single sign or a one-handed sign were very difficult to use.
However, after the passage of two and a half years and the beginning of Shippuden, the youths had enough time to improve their skills and master new powerful techniques such as the Rinnegan, Sharingan, Rasengan and Sage Mode, which do not need signs of death. hand.
Consequently, the role of hand signals became less and less important throughout the series, especially during the Fourth Shinobi World War, where many new jutsus were introduced without the need for seals. This makes sense, as the war is on and there is no time for unnecessary distractions.
It is interesting to note that although eye techniques have become more common and hand signals have diminished in importance, characters still use hand signals at many points in the story.