Sometimes a technique can lead to new discoveries, new paths. A chance discovery lets Naruto learn that which he was never taught... using the memories of others to aid his progress.
The story follows Naruto, who decides that he doesn't want to be on the same team as a girl who keeps hitting him, an emo who communicates in grunts and a teacher who is always late and probably hates him. His decision made, he abandons the bell test and strikes out to make a name for himself his own way, as an independent genin of Konoha.
The story contains the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Hinata's the most obvious example, but most of the others have moments where they shine.
- All Issues Are Political Issues: Discussed as to Sasuke's fielding as a Shinobi. Kurenai assumed it was internal politics, but it turned out to be related to Konoha's reputation as seen by the other villages.
- Badass Army: Uzushiogakure as related by Asuma. Three villages united to wipe them out, using trickery to take down the outer defences. Uzu inflicted a 7 to 1 loss ratio despite being caught by surprise and only a tithe of the attackers survived to leave.
- Badass Grandpa: The Eternal Genin (AKA Maruboshi Kosuke) takes several low-ranking missions so he can help Naruto become a better shinobi.
- Book Dumb: Naruto starts out this way since he never really learned how to read. Once he learned and began to read everything he could, he became more capable.
- Brick Joke: Kiba tricks Hinata into declaring that if Naruto calls himself an idiot, she'll give him a good kissing. A few chapters later...
- Butterfly Effect: Naruto running into Hinata and Kurenai after graduation is what kicks off the plot.
- Contrived Coincidence: The Preliminary round is occasionally adjusted to showcase more talents in the finals by removing duplication and weaker genin.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Being the dead-last, put on a team with the beloved Uchiha and a fan-girl, and given a test by their jonin sensei that will only pass two of them, Naruto concludes that the test is rigged to get rid of him, and decides to become a genin in his own way. In reality, Kakashi's test was designed to foster teamwork, and he specifically requested Naruto for his team out of respect for his old teacher.
- Ghost Memory: Naruto gains the experiences of his clones, even the clones he has made of other people. The effect is limited to new memories, however.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Used by Naruto after he captures a large number of mercenaries. "We could always kill them, but that'd be such a Gato thing to do...
- The Minion Master: The new facet of the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, allowing Naruto to make clones of whoever is touching him if he has enough chakra. And when those minions are potentially clones of the [Hokage... There's a reason his new epithet is Op-Force Uzumaki.
- Mundane Utility: Naruto uses his father's teleportation technique for shopping runs.
- Noodle Implements: One trap set up by Naruto that Ino gets caught in uses three lemons and a paperclip. She doesn't like the results. It was designed by Madara Uchiha.
- Noodle Incident: Sasuke was forced to use the Orioke no Jutsu on a mission. He doesn't like to talk about it.
- Oblivious to Love: Naruto doesn't realize that Hinata truly cares for him until he gets a copy of her clone's memories.
- Oh, Crap!:
- An incoming team talk themselves into this reaction when they note that Naruto isn't on a team, meaning that he's an ''ordinary'' genin, so what are the elite (on teams) genin like?!
- Orochimaru has this reaction when, thanks to Naruto, he finds himself facing not one, but twenty Hiruzen Sarutobis and twenty Diamond Staves.
- Shout-Out: To Babylon 5, amongst others.
- Take a Third Option: Naruto misinterprets the Bell Test as a way of getting rid of him, so he decides to take an alternative path using the way he graduated to become an independent genin.
- Took a Level in Badass: Naruto with Hinata's help, Hinata with Naruto's help.
- Trap Master: After finding a book on traps, Naruto becomes this. In self-defense due to having to run the resulting courses, Ino Yamanaka becomes a Trap Mistress so she can get through the traps without setting them all off.