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Description off Fanfiction.net: "One discussion in the academy introduces Naruto to his first real friends and changes his life forever. Together, they will work hard, push each other, and unlock their true potential. NaruHina"

True Potential is a Naruto Fan Fic by DryBonesKing. It's a For Want of a Nail fic, with the divergence point being that Naruto becomes friends with Hinata and Shikamaru during the Academy. The Sandaime Hokage notices this, and subsequently places the three together as a genin team. Their sensei is the rather unusual choice of Anko. The story slowly spirals outward from there, with many marked changes from the original canon.

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One of the fic's strongest points is the usage of Ascended Extra, as many minor or background characters play a prominent role.

The fic is ongoing, currently sitting at over a million words and counting.


True Potential contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Quite a few, though more as a result of changed circumstances:
    • Dosu is rather notable, as his canonical history amounts to curbstomping Lee and then getting one-shotted by Gaara. This time, he's up against Gaara in the preliminaries. Gaara's cocky and doesn't take him seriously. Dosu is quick to show that sand can't block sound, giving Gaara a fairly close fight. While he loses, he does goes on to defect to Konoha.
    • Hidan may turn into one, as the author has stated his belief that he was easily the weakest member of the Akatsuki. As such, after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Naruto, Sakura, and Kiba (for context, a newly minted chunin — albeit, a jinchuriki, for the strongest biju no less — and two genin, respectively) vows to train harder. And this happens prior to the Time Skip...
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    • The circumstances that led Shukaku being removed from Gaara never happens and as such the latter has access to all the abilities the Beast could give him.
    • While Kabuto still grafts the DNA of various shinobi into his body in order to gain their unique abilities after Orochimaru’s death, he adds more, which includes Pakura’s Scorch Release and Guren’s Crystal Release.
    • Naruto is much more adapt in using Fūinjutsu, which includes using the Adamantine Chains.
    • Due to replacing Sakura as Tsunade’s apprentice, Shikamaru learns medical ninjutsu during the time-skip.
    • During the Shippuden part of the story, we see Kurotsuchi being able to use Dust Release.
    • Both Hinata and Anko are shown being taught how to use Senjutsu by the White Snake Sage.
    • Likewise, Shikamaru has begun learning Senjutsu from the slugs.
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    • Sakura zig-zags between this and Adaptational Wimp. On one hand, there’s nothing to indicate that she’s Tsunade's apprentice in this fic. On the other hand, she’s shown to be using Fūinjutsu during Shippuden.
    • The other Jinchuriki have their own versions of the biju cloaks in this story.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Onoki, Kurotsuchi, Han, Roshi, Kayhō, Mei, Ao, Utakata, Suigetsu, Yagura, Gamaken, and Karin all make their debuts pre-time skip.
    • The Akatsuki make a much earlier appearance due to Kakuzu being involved in Naruto’s first C-Rank Mission.
    • Kido Tsumiki, from Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze, Tanuki Shigaraki, from the Boruto anime, Metoro and Etoro from Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage and En Oyashiro, Chino, Nowaki, Amuda, Karyu, and Futsu from Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise make their debuts in the Shippuden story.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Sasuke isn't tempted to pull a Face–Heel Turn and remains a loyal Konoha nin during Part II, especially since Orochimaru dies during the Sand-Sound Invasion.
    • Dosu and Tayuya pull a Heel–Face Turn and become Konoha nin after the Sand-Sound Invasion.
    • Fū Yamanaka turns against Danzō and helps Jiraiya and Sasuke fight him and a brainwashed Hiruzen.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance:
    • Jibachi, Kurobachi, and Suzumebachi of the Kamizuru Clan and Yakumo Kurama, who all debut in Part I filler, make their first appearance during Shippuden.
    • Minor example with Haku and Zabuza, as they make their first appearance in the Kiri Civil War arc, which happens after Team 7 takes the mission to guard Tazuna.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Despite having some issues, Sasuke is much more kinder here compared to canon.
    • Although it could be argued that he was never inherently a bad person and a good chunk of what he did in canon was the result of Obito’s brainwashing, Yagura here is shown to be a complete opposite of what canon implied once freed of said brainwashing.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Because Hiruzen chose to put Hinata, Shikamaru, and Naruto on the same team, Shino takes Shikamaru’s spot in Team Asuma and Kiba and Akamaru take Naruto’s spot in Team Kakashi.
    • In canon, the exact relationship between Han and Roshi is unknown besides being fellow Iwa-nin who were Jinchuriki. Here, they’re close friends.
      • In addition, the pair serve as mentor figures to Kurotsuchi, with Han serving as her Jonin-sensei.
    • Naruto and Han form a brother-esque bond in this fic.
    • Kurotsuchi and Shikamaru become a couple in this fic.
      • Because of this, his exact relationship with Temari here is unknown.
    • The exact relationship between Mei and Yagura in canon is unknown besides being Kiri-nin who became the Fifth and Fourth Mizukage respectively. Here, not only were they childhood friends, but also, there are hints that they like each other romantically.
    • Homura, Koharu, and Hiruzen serve as mentors to Team 3 during the timeskip.
    • After being inducted to the Akatsuki as an actual member, Kabuto is paired with Hidan after Kakuzu’s death.
    • Tayuya become close to Naruto and Karin due to her being an Uzumaki in this fic.
    • Sakura isn't Tsunade's apprentice in this fic. Shikamaru is.
    • Naruto is appointed as Hanabi’s jonin-sensei during Shippuden. In canon, the identity of her jonin-sensei is never revealed and they’re nothing more than in-laws.
    • Kabuto and En Oyashiro start a business type of relationship due to the latter having various underlings from various Clans that have Kekkai Genkai.
    • It’s revealed that Oyashiro took Yakumo and made her one of his agents.
    • In hindsight, Sai and Ino don’t form a relationship in light of the former’s death.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In canon, Sakura is a Combat Medic with Super Strength. Here, her main skills are genjutsu and fuinjutsu.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Sai ends up being hit with this to a degree in hindsight, as until his death, he never interacts with Team 7 or Ino, and is a Satellite Character towards Danzō and joins him when Jiraiya tries to arrest him.
    • Downplayed with En Oyashiro, as while he’s not a good person in canon, he becomes an associate of the Akatuski when he was hired for his weapons and underlings in their upcoming invasion and starts a separate contract with Kabuto as the latter is interested in his Kekkei Genkai underlings.
    • Yakumo Kurama appears to have fallen after spending time with Oyashiro based on her desire to destroy Konoha.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Like in canon, Kabuto grafted onto himself the DNA of many ninja to acquire their abilities. Unlike canon, though, he extends this to far more people than just Orochimaru, the Sound Five and Taka. He has revealed to possess so far Kimimaro's Dead Bone Pulse, Guren's Crystal Release and Pakura's Scorch Release. And he plans to raid more cemeteries in order to acquire even more Bloodline Limits.
  • Alternate Universe: Downplayed. While most of the changes are the result of the initial divergence, a few others are not, such as Tayuya being an Uzumaki or Roshi still living in Iwa instead of Walking the Earth.
  • Anticlimax: Kimimaro is unceremoniously killed off by Kabuto while in a coma, having never even encountered the heroes.
    • Somewhat Justified post-Time Skip: Kabuto gives Kimimaro's body to Sasori for use as a puppet and as a peace offering.
  • Arc Number: Three. Naruto, Hinata and Shikamaru form Team 3, there's a lot of emphasis on legendary trios such as Hiruzen, Homura, and Koharu and the Legendary Sannin (with Team 3 becoming the next legends of their generation), and Naruto's Genin Team is Team 9, which is 3 squared.
  • Ascended Extra: Aside from Shikamaru and Hinata, many prominent characters had very little canon deveopment.
    • Anko, despite being the former student of Orochimaru, had very little screentime. She's initially not happy with being assigned a genin team, but eventually grows to like them. In addition, she plays a crucial role in killing Orochimaru, and later is inducted into the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist.
    • Dosu survives the Chunin Exams and narrowly avoids getting assassinated by Kabuto; he later provides Hiruzen information on the Orochimaru's plans and eventually defects to Konoha, when he later accompanies Anko, Shikamaru, and Hinata on a mission.
    • Special note goes to the Jinchuriki. The author specifically laments how most of them were underutilized in canon.
      • Han is met by Naruto on the latter's first C-Rank mission, as a jonin-sensei. The Iwa shinobi is very bitter towards humanity in general, and he advises Naruto to give up on ever making friends. The younger jinchuriki eventually manages to get him to loosen up.
      • Roshi is (initially) Han's only friend, though much more upbeat. He has a slight case of Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!, as well as a rivalry with Jiraiya (see below on Sitcom Arch-Nemesis).
      • Utakata tries to avoid the Kiri civil war, despite both sides wishing to recruit him. He's eventually convinced to join the rebels, upon being impressed with their resolve.
      • Yagura functions as the Big Bad of the Kiri Invasion arc (albeit with Tobi as the Man Behind the Man). He shows exactly why he's the Mizukage, taking on Naruto, Mei and Utakata at the same time.After being freed from the mind-control, he accepts being declared dead so that Kiri can heal.
      • Fu is locked inside Taki after one of her teammates tried to kill her, and is barred from leaving the village for her own protection. Hidan and Kakuzu gather a small army in order to crush Takigakure and capture her. After surviving the invasion, she's forced to move to Konoha while Taki undergoes reconstruction.
    • Kurotsuchi went from being a rather minor character who was only prominent in filler and in the epilogue, for replacing her grandfather as Tsuchikage, to supplanting Temari as Shikamaru's love interest.
    • The Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist as well. Besides sparing and expanding Zabuza's role, Jinin Akebino, Jinpachi Munashi and Kushimaru Kuriare are prominently featured in the Kirigakure Civil War arc, the former two fighting for Mei, and the latter two fighting for Yagura. and all of them minus Zabuza end up dead during the arc.
    • Hanabi gets this when Naruto is assigned as her Jonin-sensei during the Shippuden timeframe.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Chapter 57 shows why Homura and Koharu held their positions as the Hokage’s advisors as long as they did, as despite their old age and not having been in active service for some time, they have proven to be able to hold their own against Team 3 during a training session.
  • Bad Boss: Suien kills one of his subordinates simply because he was taking too long to beat Anko, and to test his Hero Water-infused powers.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: In order to release Yagura from Tobi's control, Naruto has to travel inside his mind and fight an avatar of Tobi,as well as the Sanbi.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Before dying, as a final request, Danzo asks Hiruzen to acknowledge that everything Danzo did, he did it for Konoha's sake. Hiruzen concedes that, at the very least, he believed that, even if it wasn't true.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending:
    • The Iwagakure arc ends this way: Kurotsuchi defeats Suzumebachi, becoming the new Tsuchikage and thus averting a potential war against Konoha, and her resolve impresses Mu so much, he's able to break free from Edo Tensei and returns to the afterlife; however not only Onoki and Kitsuchi died, but to add insult to the injury Kabuto escaped with their corpses.
    • The Root arc ends with Danzō’s death but at the cost of Hiruzen sacrificing his own life.
  • Blood Knight: Anko has this, as befitting someone working in Torture & Interrogation. However, she also manages to combine it with Genki Girl, which greatly unnerves her students.
  • Blood Magic: Hidan uses this trope more extensively compared to canon, as some of his skills post-timeskip include turning himself into a mass of blood or use his own blood to harm his enemies.
  • Breather Episode: Chapters 99, 100, and 101 are meant to set up the Akatsuki Invasion during Kumo’s Chunin Exams and how Konoha will prevent this.
  • Broken Bird: Roshi ultimately is revealed to be this after confronting with his inner darkness.
  • Broken Pedestal: A rather comedic example occurs to Naruto's view of Jiraiya. The two first meet when Naruto is learning about his heritage, and Naruto actually knows who the Sannin is. He's suitably awed and happy to get to know his godfather, especially once Jiraiya starts teaching him some jutsu. Then Naruto learns about Icha Icha...
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Doku Sugita, the director of the Kiri rebellions medical corps, is very passionate about wounds, examining each wound to try to find out how it happened. He also believes that a person's blood type reflects their personality and compatibility with others. However, he's also shown to be an exceptional healer.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Kumo Chunin Exams arc might as well have this as its title, as many characters who were Out of Focus after dozens of chapters and real-life years without showing up come back, notable examples including Temari, Misora, Karin, and Yagura.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During the Konoha Invasion, Hiruzen has to face the Sound Four in their full-power Cursed forms. It's so one-sided as to be a Foregone Conclusion, with Tayuya only surviving due to Hiruzen suspecting her lineage.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Orochimaru and Baki die during the Sound-Sand invasion.
    • A very minor example not many people will notice: Anko here states that her teammates died after they were unable to survive being branded with a cursed seal. However, the manga shows that at least one of them is still alive (Kabuto's team's sensei in the Chunin Exam).
    • C (the Fourth Raikage's blonde sensor-nin bodyguard) is murdered by Fu & Torune on Danzo's orders, in the latter's efforts to ruin the possibility of Konoha/Kumo peace.
    • Onoki made all the way to the end of the manga. Not here, where he dies in a duel against Suzumebachi Kamizuru.
    • Same goes for Kitsuchi, who survived the Fourth Ninja War, but is killed by Kabuto here.
    • Sai as well, who is killed by Sakura during the Root Arc.
    • While it's hard to pinpoint given how much the fanfic changes regarding Shippuden, it can be say that Danzo meets his demise earlier than he did in canon.
  • Death Faked for You: After being freed from Tobi's mind control, Yagura is given the identity of Kamui, a rebel shinobi who was stationed in Kirigakure as a spy for Mei. Being rather religious, he's not too happy with the name, but goes along with it.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The rest of Team 7 (Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi) receive much less focus, due to the protagonist being on a different team. However, Sasuke does receive significant development during the Chunin Exams, even being convinced to not pull a Face–Heel Turn. Sakura is later developed during a return mission to Nami no Kuni, dealing with her feeling of Can't Catch Up. Both also become close friends of Naruto regardless.
    • Due to Jiraiya being the one who becomes Hokage here, Tsunade’s role is simply that of mentor to Shikamaru, but even then, she doesn’t appear much, with her only notable role being part of the pursuit team in the Root arc.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • In canon, the Sound Four met their end during the Sasuke Retrieval Mission. Here, with the exception of Tayuya, whom is left alive, Hiruzen kills them during the Sand-Sound Invasion.
    • Instead of pulling a Heroic Sacrifice during the Sand-Sound Invasion, Hiruzen pulls one during the Root Arc, which takes place three years after the event. Unlike in canon, his death didn’t involve him using the Reaper Seal.
  • Didn't Think This Through: By his own admission, Danzō did not consider the possibility of Orochimaru having an interest in Kabuto when sending the Sannin to either kill him or to make sure that he’s dead.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Honorific example, as Kabuto dislike Edo Tensei!Orochimaru calling him “Kabuto-sama”.
  • Door Stopper: A monster that’s over 100 chapters and a million words, you'll find very few fanfics longer than this one.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Anko's nicknames for her genin, "Whiskers" (Naruto), "Stutters-chan" (Hinata) and "Lazy Ass" (Shikamaru).
  • Enemy Mine: Upon learning from Itachi of Akatsuki's attack on Kumo during the Chunin Exams, Jiraiya tries to convince the Raikage that, even if an alliance won't happen, at least they should work together in order to fight this threat.
  • Evil Counterpart: Tatsuma Aburame is this to Shino. While the latter (and presumably, the rest of his clan) shows a lot of care of his kikaichu, Tatsuma only sees them as tools and submits them to harsh conditions in order to make them stronger, not caring that most of them die as a result.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kisame has shown to dislike the deception Danzō has done for the “greater good of Konoha”.
  • Face Your Fears: Why Hinata accepted to act as the Hokage's bodyguard during his meeting with the Raikage: to show everybody that she isn't afraid of him or Kumo from what happened during the Hyuga Affair.
  • False Flag Operation: During the Chunin Exams on Kumo, in order to sabotage the ties between the villages, Akatsuki hire several mercenaries from Oyashiro to kill several Genin while disguised as foreign ninjas.
  • Fantastic Racism: Masakado strongly hates Kumo and its citizens for the downfall of Uzushio and holds a grudge towards them in present day.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: No, seriously, this fanfic loves this trope.
    • In Chapter 17, when Hinata asks Naruto and Shikamaru not to hate Neji for his behavior, adding that Neji has his reasons, Naruto replies that no matter what Neji went through, it doesn't excuse him being rude to her.
    Hinata : That's…my cousin. He…wasn't always like that. P-Please don't hate him for that. H-He has his reasons for his behavior…
    Naruto : I don't care what reasons he has, no one can be that rude to you. He better hope we don't have to fight!
    • Risho, from Iwa curb-stomped Kiba and almost killed him in the preliminary exams. Why? Risho is from the Kurogane clan. During the Third Great Ninja War, over a third of Iwa's casualties came from said clan alone. Sasuke and Sakura aren't sympathetic and the former clearly hopes to avenge Kiba. Naruto, while slightly sympathetic and pointing out that Kiba was also a jerk, also adds that Kiba had nothing to do with the Kurogane clan's casualties.
    "Disgusting." Naruto finished Han's sentence with a slight growl. The blonde was clenching his fists tightly. "…even if he lost most of his clan, even if Kiba was also being an ass, that is no excuse for that. He looked like he was going to straight up kill him, and Kiba didn't do a damn thing! He wasn't the one who killed anyone in war." The Uzumaki turned his look over to where Risho was in the corner of the room. His eyes narrowed. "It's disgusting and pathetic!"
    • Later Subverted : when meeting Risho's cousin, who's even more of a Jerkass, verbally abuses Risho and threatened to have him thrown out of the clan, Naruto quickly sympathizes with Risho.
    • An old woman explains to Shikamaru and Suigetsu in Chapter 45 that she is excited about the execution of five bloodline wielders because her husband and children were killed by the Kaguya clan (who happens to have bloodlines). While they hide it, Suigetsu (who has a bloodline himself) later tells Shikamaru that he's not sympathetic at all and that he's sure that the people about to be executed have nothing to do with the woman's family's death. Shikamaru agrees.
    "" I know about the fucking mission, okay? I'm doing what I can! But it's kinda hard hearing these bastards talk about how they're excited to watch people like me die." Suigetsu hissed at him. "I don't care who or what killed their families. It wasn't me and I sure as hell know it wasn't any of the people they're going to execute. So sorry if it pisses me off listening to them talk for too long!""
    • When Hiruzen orders Tsunade to come back to Konoha, he tells her that the loss of Dan and Nawaki is not an excuse to become bitter towards Konoha, as it would dishonor the very thing Dan and Nawaki fought for.
    Hiruzen : I know what happened to Nawaki and Dan, Tsunade. I know you are still affected by the events, but we have all experienced loss. I gave you all of the time in the world to mourn; I did not give you time to allow your grief to consume you. And I did not give you time to place any form of bitterness against Konoha, the very village that both Nawaki and Dan loved above all else! They would both be honored to see you as the Hokage and you know that. Don't reject the title [of Hokage] out of bitterness; the very action is a direct insult against everything they stood for!"
    • And again, when Naruto finds out that Kabuto used to be a Root agent at the tender age of ten, and that his childhood was probably many times worse than Naruto's, Naruto still makes clear that this doesn't excuse all the evil things he's done since then.
  • Genre Savvy: Deconstructed. Not being related to the clan head, Kanji Yamanaka realized that he's pretty much a Red Shirt, somebody who will probably never go past Chunin, will die during a mission or battle, and no one besides his immediate family will mourn or remember him. The reason for this line of thinking is that his older brother Fu Yamanaka disappeared one day many years ago on his way to the Academy, and Kanji felt that the clan did very little to find him, not helped by the fact that very few people went to the funeral.
  • Grave Robbing: As per canon, Kabuto, although he’s doing it to augment his body by gaining access to the person’s Kekkai Genkai and other genetic abilities.
  • Hannibal Lecture: The brutal Kiri bloodline exectioner Karitoriki gives one to Shikamaru while Shikamaru prepares to kill Karitoriki via immobilizing him with shadow jutsu, and then sticking explosive tags all over his body. The executioner taunts him, gleefully pointing out that Shikamaru is brutally killing him in revenge for his earlier murder of bloodline users. Karitoriki kills those with bloodlines due to one of them murdering his family when he was young. Thus, he proclaims that he and Shikamaru are exactly the same, laughing manically as Shikamaru detonates the tags just to stop his taunting.
  • Handicapped Badass: Misora, a Kiri kunoichi who's actually blind, but learned to sense chakra to such point that she doesn't appear to be blind.
  • Hate Sink: Karitokiri, after losing his family and friends in the destruction of his home village by a bloodline clan, entered Kiri's ranks to become a shinobi, and eventually became the "Bloodline Hunter", gleefully joining Yagura in his Final Solution plans against every single bloodline wielder. A merciless executioner, he loves to torture his subjects. Introduced taking advantage of a civilian village's toxic hatred of people with Bloodline Limits, he plans to execute 5 bloodline wielders, one of them being a child, whom he taunts about her parents' death and the destruction of her clan. When Shikamaru, Honoka, Kiri (a character, not the village) and Haku attempts to crash the execution and rescue the 5 persons, Karitoriki (after being freed from Honoka's chains by Guren), having placed explosives inside the 5 bloodline wielders' hearts just in case, spitefully blow them up, killing them all and only regretting that he was unable to torture them. Despite his tragic past, no one is sympathetic, with Suigetsu pointing out Karitoriki made him go through a similar tragedy when executing his brother.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Dosu and Tayuya end up working for Konoha, and all the happier for it.
    • Fū Yamanaka as mentioned in Adaptational Heroism.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Shikamaru has one after the above Hannibal Lecture. It takes several chapters and a pep talk with his team and family for Shikamaru to get over it.
    • Fu (the Seven Tails jinchuriki) also has one after she fails to control her Tailed Beast power in a spar against Killer B and Yugito.
    • Kanji Yamanaka and his brother Fu (the Root agent) share one upopn reuniting with each other, to the point that Fu allows Kanji to scan his mind, so he can know what happened after Fu was inducted into Root.
  • Heroic Suicide: To make sure Danzo dies for good, Hiruzen stays in the area of effect of the former's self-destruction jutsu in order to make sure he doesn't try to cheat death again.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Yoshikane is such a stickler for tradition because it justifies the death of his youngest son. The real reason he opposes the abolishing of the Caged Bird Seal is because he's jealous that his eldest son won't have to mark one of his children like he did, especially since the seal is ultimately what led to Hizashi's death.
    • Fu might look like a female Naruto at first sight, but she's also a skilled gardener, and enjoys writing poetry.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: When the Sound Four fight against Hiruzen, he easily kills all the male members, but spares Tayuya on the grounds that she might be an Uzumaki. She later forsakes her allegiance to Orochimaru and becomes a Konoha ninja.
  • History Repeats: Hanabi notes that the Akatsuki’s planned invasion during her first Chūnin Exams is similar to Orochimaru’s during Team 3’s.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: During the Chunin Exams, Neji believes Shikamaru is this to Naruto and Hinata.
  • Hypocrite: Roshi’s inner darkness claims that he is the embodiment of this.
  • I Do Not Own: Every chapter starts out with one in some form, with DryBoneKing sometimes jokingly trying to buy out the rights from Masashi Kishimoto.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Upon seeing how well Fu and Shino clicked, Ino left and dragged Choji with her, claiming that Choji had to help her with some "clan stuff".
  • Irony: For all his talk of doing everything for the sake of Konoha’s saftey, Danzō’s actions ended up bringing more harm than good in the long run, as in addition to being responsible for Kabuto's Start of Darkness, which is something Kabuto himself acknowledges, and an implication that he is responsible for the creation of the current Akatsuki, Shigaraki Tanuki and Tsumiki Kido managed to join the Akatsuki so that they can get revenge on Konoha for Danzō’s death. Kabuto briefly reanimates Danzo just so he can gleefully rub in how badly Danzo's efforts backfired in the end.
  • I Owe You My Life: During the Third War, Kakuzu saved the life of a Takigakure ninja who would become its Jonin Commander. Of course, Kakuzu exploits this debt in order to gain access to the village and capture Fu.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Fu (Yamanaka) and Torune mentally tell this to each other after failing Danzo's plan to assassinate the Raikage, knowing that they will be executed.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Unlike canon, Hayate's murderer Baki is killed by Anko.
    • Similarly, Orochimaru is Killed Off for Real by the sensei he tried to murder with the aid of the student he turned into a guinea pig.
  • Klingon Promotion: One can become Tsuchikage by beating the current one in a duel. However, in order to be able to challenge them to begin with, one must have a lot of popular support behind.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: Anko is one of these, much to Hinata's discomfort. Also Tayuya. To a lesser degree, Katsumi, and her teammate Hanabi habitually corrects her.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • How Katsumi reacts towards Kanji's puns. Much to her chagrin, most people find them genuinely funny.
    • Also, how Naruto reacts when Yugito (The Two Tailed Cat host) makes a cat pun. She takes offense when Naruto negatively compares it to Killer B's rapping.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Shikamaru comments how often C-Rank missions end up becoming more dangerous than they should be due to somehow ending up involving fighting against a high-level missin-nin (as it happened to Team 3, Team 7 and Team 10), to the point that he thinks that the "C" of the C-Rank stands for "Curse".
    • A similar conversation happens when they find out about Akatsuki's plan to invade Kumo during their Chunin Exams.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Sasori and Deidara bring Kabuto to the hideout in the Land of the Rivers note , the former replies with "Really? A rock blocking a secret entrance? That sounds like something out of a kid's manga".
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Shikamaru has one with Kurotsuchi. At one point he expressed a little jealousy over Naruto and Hinata being able to see each other every day.
  • Masterof Illusion: Sakura learns Genjutsu in this fic.
  • Might Makes Right: Invoked. For Hinata and Neji's plan to unite the Main and Branch houses and remove the Caged Bird Seal, they have to defeat the leader of the elders and Hiashi's father, Yoshikane, in a public duel in front of the rest of the elders. Yoshikane brings Sai to the fight as his partner to even the odds. Hinata and Neji rise victorious, making it a case of Right Makes Might.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The fact that Naruto neutralizes Tenten’s weapons via Wind Release during the Preliminaries is similar how Temari does it in the anime.
    • Shikamaru "loses" his match with Sasuke the exact same way he "lost" to Temari.
    • Naruto’s inner darkness calls itself “Menma Uzumaki”, a reference to the World of Ninja version of Naruto from Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Koharu is the "Grim Reaper of Konoha". Chapter 57 shows that she more than lives up to the name.
    • Karitoriki is Kirigakure's "Bloodline Hunter/Executioner". In his first appearance, in chapter 45, he executes 5 people who happened to have bloodlines.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Hiashi's father had no name in neither the manga nor the anime. This fic gives him the name "Yoshikane".
    • Hiashi’s wife is given the name Hitomi.
    • The Kumo-nin who tried to kidnap Hinata is named Yotsuki Kashikoi.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Suzumebachi manages to galvanize plenty of support in Iwa towards challenging Onoki to a formal duel for the position of Tsuchikage in her plot to erase all the progress he's made and go to war against Konoha (especially after Danzo's operatives manage to kill her brothers but fail to kill her); traditionally, when the duel is won, the loser and all of Iwa will follow the winner's lead without question. But after her victory, Suzumebachi then coldly executes the unconscious and helpless Onoki. This blatant breaking of tradition and cold-blooded act of murder immediately turns the entire crowd against her, guaranteeing they'd never follow her as Tsuchikage and leaving the alliance with Konoha intact.
  • Not Just a Tournament:
    • Like in canon, the Chunin Exams during Part I ended up being used by Orochimaru and Otogakure to invade and to brand Sasuke a Curse Mark.
    • The Akatsuki plan to use Chunin Exams in Kumo during Shippuden in order to kidnap various Jinchuriki who plan on showing up.
  • Not Me This Time: When Kakuzu shows up to the Akatsuki meeting alone, everybody assumes he just killed his partner again. While Kakuzu was planning on kill him anyway, he quickly points out that his partner was actually killed by a feral Naruto.
  • Not So Similar: When Anko calls out Suien for killing one of his own henchmen, Suien points out that Anko was also trying to kill him and that like him, he didn't care about the henchman's life. Anko 's rebuttal is that he was her enemy and his goals opposed hers, but he was Suien's subordinate who shared the same goals, and Suien only killed him out of pure sadism.
  • Oh, Crap!: Danzō's reaction when he learns that his former subordinates Shigaraki Tanuki and Tsumiki Kido joined the Akatsuki with the intent of getting revenge on Konoha for his death.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At several times in the story, important events such as Naruto learning the Rasengan or Neji learning the truth about his father are skipped over or only alluded to. According to the author, these moments occur more or less identically to canon, and he felt he couldn't add anything meaningful to those scenes.
  • One Steve Limit: Chapter 77 lampshades that there are two characters named Fu. The first Omake of chapter 85 has Naruto and his friends trying to find a way to avoid confusing one with the other.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: On top of the canonical Edo Tensei reanimations, there are also the Revenants, zombies made out of Hidan's sacrifices to Jashin, modified for combat purposes. Hidan summons three of them in his fight against Fu.
  • Out of Focus: Shikamaru, Anko, and to a much lesser extent Hinata once the story enters the Shippuden timeframe, due to Naruto's Genin team being introduced and hogging quite a lot of spotlight.
  • Passing the Torch: In Chapter 113, Homura offers to teach Shikamaru his Ninja Art: Holy Barricade technique, which he accepts.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Played for Laughs: Anko first meets her students by bursting into the Academy room with her trademark banner... and then Iruka sheepishly tells her she wasn't supposed to do that for another hour. Later on in an omake, Anko rushes in late to a meeting about the Chunin Exams, only to be told that she isn't a proctor this time due to having participating students.
  • Properly Paranoid: Pain, Konan, and Tobi rightly begin to suspect that Itachi is the mole who’s been leaking vital intel based on Kisame’s reports. As such, Tobi makes a point to monitor Itachi.
  • Pungeon Master:
    • Naruto's student Kanji is one, much to his teammates' dismay.
    • Downplayed with Yugito, who likes to make puns (usually cat related) from time to time, but nowhere near as often as Kanji.
  • The Quisling: Zagi, Takigakure's Jonin Commander, helped Kakuzu and Suien invade his own village. Though unlike most examples of this trope, he doesn't do it out of personal gain, but because Kakuzu saved his life during the Third War, which Kakuzu cashed in for his collaboration. While fighting for Taki's enemies, he felt horrible doing it and hoped Shibuki and the rest of the Taki ninjas could kill him.
  • Really Gets Around: The Kiryu Clan, much to Kurotsuchi’s bewilderment when she learns of how many Lava Release users exist outside of Iwa.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Contrary to his usual depiction in fanon, Hiashi Hyuuga is one. While he begins distant as usual, his views begin to change during the pitched match between Neji and Hinata. After the Invasion, he personally begins training the two, in hopes of convincing the clan elders to change traditions on the Cursed Seal.
    • In a similar vein, Koharu and Homura are shown to be reasonable, if strict, in the limited screen time they get.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • As it turns out, Yagura and Mei were quite close prior to the former's appointment as Mizukage, and rumors suggested that they were going to marry. However, then Tobi mind-controlled Yagura, and Mei began to lead the rebellion against him. This is one of the primary reasons why Yagura's survival is kept top-secret.
    • Also, Naruto and Hinata during the Kiri Civil War arc.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Tayuya is an Uzumaki in this fic, thus making her a distant relative to Naruto, Nagato, Karin, and Tsunade.
    • This fic goes with the assumption that Kayhō, Hakuhyō, and Rahyō from Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky are members of the Yuki clan, thus making them distant relatives to Haku.
  • The Remnant: After Orochimaru's death, Yoroi and Misumi decided to gather an army in order to destroy Konoha and avenge him. Unfortunaterly, the small army they gather is easily wiped out by a trio of Konoha ninjas.
  • The Resenter: The real reason Yoshikane opposes the new seal, as stated by Hinata. He's jealous of the fact that his descendants, including his son and grandchildren, won't be forced to mark their children like he had to with Hizashi.
  • Reverse Mole: Itachi feeds intel on Akatsuki to Konoha (and unlike canon, we both get to see it and Konoha gains valuable knowledge on the enemy). However, the fact that Team Three was in Taki to warn them about Akatsuki trying to abduct Fu just when Kakuzu and Hidan were about to do that made them realize that it was too much of a Contrived Coincidence and that there's a traitor among them.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: An invoked trope. After the Kiri invasion, Yagura's survival is kept as an S-class secret. However, gossip is already spreading that Naruto helped to kill him, and Hiruzen is well aware that Naruto won't be able to entirely keep in his discomfort at maintaining the lie. Instead, he suggests that Naruto admit discomfort due to "killing" a fellow jinchuriki. This seems to work so far.
  • Retired Badass: Koharu and Homura. Although it’s subverted when in the wake of the deaths of Danzō and Hiruzen, they make a request to the Fifth Hokage to come back to active service.
  • Sadist: Being one is a requirement for working on Torture & Interrogation. And you will become one after working there for some time if you're not one to begin with.
  • Sadist Teacher:
    • Anko loves to make her students suffer.
    • Yoshino Nara loves to inflict pain when training her son, Naruto or Hinata. To her credit, it proves to be a very effective method.
    • Ibiki as well becomes this for Naruto's Genin when he becomes their temporary sensei, putting on a terrifying display and scaring them to death. However, he himself admits he did it just for his own amusement, and in practice he actually averts this trope.
  • Saying Too Much: During his confrontation with Kabuto, Tobi unwittingly hinted that it's him, not Pain, the true leader of Akatsuki.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Jiraiya and Roshi have this dynamic, their hatred from each other being born not out of being ninjas of feuding villages (though there is bad blood from a Noodle Incident during the last war), but out of being dueling writers. Jiraiya's books sell better, but Roshi argues (not without reason) that this is only due to the porn. Not helping matters is the fact that Naruto genuinely likes Roshi's books and dislikes Jiraiya's.
  • Sinister Scythe:
    • Misora carries two of them.
    • This is also Zagi's Weapon of Choice, which he uses to channel Wind Style jutsu.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: Anybody dumb or naive enough to treat Naruto to ramen will find themselves with one of these.
  • Sonic Stunner: Dosu has his Melody Gauntlet as in canon. The match against a cocky Gaara demonstrates that it can ignore his otherwise-invulnerable sand.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Zabuza and Haku don’t die during Team 7’s Wave Mission.
    • Dosu chose to leak Orochimaru’s invasion plan to Konoha when it was revealed that he was a pawn to the Sannin instead of trying to recklessly fight Gaara after the Preliminaries.
    • Hiruzen chose to spare Tayuya on a belief that she’s an Uzumaki.
    • Yagura has his brainwashing removed thanks to Naruto and never had Isobu removed from him.
    • Kakuzu and Hidan’s plan on capturing Fu failed due to Itachi leaking their intents to Konoha.
    • Chiyo doesn’t sacrifice her life to revive Gaara since he never had Shukaku removed.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Fu is able to communicate with insects.
  • The Spymaster: After Jiraiya is appointed as Godaime Hokage, he appoints Tayuya as his successor.
  • Stone Wall: The reason why Homura is known as “Konoha’s Guardian Angel” is due to his “Holy Barricade” technique, which according to Shikamaru, is considered to be one of the best barrier ninjutsus.
  • Straw Vulcan: Misora, the blind Kiri kunoichi, who believes all ninja should be ruled by logic and discard emotions. Dosu, however, points out that, if she followed logic like that she should never had become a ninja in the first place due to her blindness, yet she defied logic and trained in order to develop chakra sense fine enough to replace her lack of sight.
  • Summon Magic:
    • The snakes allow Anko to pass on the snake summoning contract to one of her students. She eventually picks Hinata.
    • Shikamaru learns to summon slugs from Tsunade.
    • Tayuya signs the mole summon scroll from Masakado.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Inverted. Deidara is a little sad upon learning about Onoki's death.
  • Take That!: It's subtle, but chapter 95 gives one to the idea of Naruto actively being physically abused by Konoha's citizens during his academy days, with the Root agent Kido saying that only a fool would willingly assault Konoha's only Jinchuuriki.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Invoked by Naruto and Anko during their fight against Kabuto, as while he’s rambling about his past of being a Root agent, the two are gathering Natural Energy to enter Sage Mode.
  • Team Pet: Hebihiro, Hanabi's snake friend, is this for Team 9.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: During the Kiri Invasion arc, Hinata is forced to work with Ao, a rebel shinobi who had taken a Byakugan eye from an Hyuga he killed in the previous war. Ao thinks of her as a self-righteous hypocrite since Hinata wouldn't care if that Hyuga killed Ao instead, while Hinata sees him as representing the entire reason for the Hyuga clan's division.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Shino and Fu's reaction when they learn that Tatsuma (an Aburame Root agent), in order to create fire-resistant kikaichu, had to submit dozens of generations of kikaichu to a fiery death until they developed fire resistance. On top of that, he also developed a special breed of kikaichu that attack by blowing themselves up.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Naruto and ramen, as always, but also Anko and dango. The similarity is lampshaded several times.
  • Training from Hell: Anko is quite fond of this. Most of the time, her students are completely exhausted by the end. Naruto, when he gets his own genin team, emulates her in his own way.
  • Training Montage: Chapters 99, 100, and 101 are dedicated to Team 3 getting Senjutsu training from their respective summons. In addition, Team 9 is getting their own training.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Invoked. Suzumebachi really wants to replace Onoki as the next Tsuchikage, and undo all the progress he made towards Konoha in order to start another war.
  • Undying Loyalty: Kabuto claims to the reanimated Danzō he is this.
    Kabuto I am the most loyal shinobi you have ever seen. I always give everything to my master, no matter what. No matter what the ethics of the decision are, I do everything to make sure there will is accomplished”.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Onoki isn't the grandson of the first Tsuchikage. This was done to avoid making him related to the Kamizuru siblings, who are also featured in this fic.
  • Villainous Friendship: Formed between Kabuto and Hidan during chapter 100, due the fact that the two of them are the first person to treat the other with a smidge of respect. It's quite the contrast compared to the latter's relationship with his previous partner.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Anko has this reaction upon seeing the bill after treating Naruto to ramen. Teuchi mentioned that Iruka and the Third Hokage had similar reactions.
    • Later, when Anko is confronting Naruto about having to blow a week worth of pay on ramen, Naruto said that he tried to eat less than usual, since he didn't want Anko to spend too much money on him. A rather shocked Anko tries to ponder how Naruto can eat so much ramen, and more importantly, pay for it with his Genin earning.
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