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Fan Fic / A Teacher's Glory

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"Zest to over-achieve" marks Team 7's entry into the Ninja world. Kakashi teaches lessons better than he imagines.

Kakashi discovers that one shouldn’t tell a team of assassins-in-training to attack with intent to kill and then not take them seriously. Sakura’s brains, Naruto’s prank planning, and Sasuke’s willingness to do anything to pass, even co-operate, allows them to pull together and make up a plan that successfully kills Kakashi during the genin test. Naturally, this has consequences.

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The biggest effect is not what Kakashi’s death does to Team 7 (they don’t see this as crossing the Moral Event Horizon, just an unfortunate accident) but that the team now needs a new leader, having killed their old one. With no volunteers, they get given Anko Mitarashi (who is not an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight), who views this as My Greatest Second Chance and resolves to turn them into exceptional shinobi.

A Teacher’s Glory by Larry Huss is a fanfic work of Naruto that manages to be both Darker and Edgier and Lighter and Softer than canon by showing the grit and dirt of the ninja world while giving the characters the strength to understand and move on, and showing that while ninjas may be killers, they are also humans too. The development of Team 7 into mature young adults and family is wonderful for everyone who wishes canon had gone another way.

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This fic contains examples of the following tropes, in addition to those already present in the source material:

  • Action Pet: All of the ninja animals, notably Sasuke's ninja cats.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The first sign of Naruto and Sasuke becoming better friends is when Naruto admits that what Sasuke stuck around to see (Naruto getting sluiced down with freezing water) was actually pretty funny. He just has to make sure it happens to someone else next time.
    • Gaara laughs out loud at Temari’s loss to Sasuke.
    • Sasuke silently laughs when Naruto responds to the news that the Mangekyo requires killing your best friend by telling Sasuke that he always secretly hated him.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Tazuna is a bit slimier than he was shown in canon.
    • Very downplayed and in the end averted with the Third Hokage, explained as a combination of stress, age, and Danzo’s sharingan illusion.
    • Koharu Utatane plays it more straight, as a corrupted politician who is skimming off the top and using mind-altering perfume to get her way.
  • All Issues Are Political Issues: A frequent factor in various decisions, including "random" selection of fighters in the preliminaries, is the political fallout.
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  • Always Someone Better: It's mentioned in Chapter 2 that no matter what Sasuke does, or no matter how hard he trains and overworks himself, Itachi would always surpass him because he is that good at being a genius and a ninja, leaving prospects of getting revenge by himself next to nil. The revelation nearly breaks him, but fortunately, Anko brings him out of his despair by showing him a more pragmatic and successful way in bringing down Itachi: Hiring and establishing a network of agents willing to serve as his hands, eyes, and ears, as well as relying on his teammates' skills to weaken Itachi enough to be killed.
  • Anti-Magic: Naruto’s Chakra Flood Technique explosively does this to opposing chakra.
  • Ascended Extra: Anko gets a whole lot more development here, as Team 7’s sensei. Also Tamaki, the girl who lives with the cats at the Uchiha warehouse, comes to Konoha as Sasuke’s personal retainer.
  • Asshole Victim: Danzo and all the others his age.
  • Arc Words: The phrase “strong enough to show mercy” pops up several times.
  • Ax-Crazy: Refreshingly, this is completely averted with Anko. She’s portrayed very realistically and as well-rounded but broken person. One running theme with her team is being strong enough to show mercy.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    Naruto: Ah Sakura, how can you say that when you hang around every day with the hottest guy in town and the future Hokage? And Sasuke too, of course.
  • Batman Gambit: The reason why the bridge in Wave could be built. If it was left incomplete, then Gato would keep his stranglehold, but if it was finished he could just kill Tazuna and commandeer the bridge to increase his own profits. Similarly, he hired Zabuza, arranged for his mercenaries to try to kill Zabuza should he succeed, and arranged for Mist nin to come and drive off Zabuza should the mercs fail, or pick up the bounty if they succeeded.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Forest of Death’s Drop Bears are actually large, carnivorous sloths, but they are still animals that even jonin would rather avoid than attack.
  • The Beastmaster: The inhabitants of Sora-ku with their ninja-cats.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Anko has this in spades towards the Third Hokage, as he chose to trust her after Orochimaru’s betrayal. Her discovery of the Third Hokage’s past actions nearly breaks her.
    • His first meeting with the Kyubi has Naruto agree that as a prisoner of war, the fox is entitled to better living conditions, and agree to look into it. The two aren’t immediately friends, but it’s a start.
    • Ino has considerably more respect for Anko after the older kunoichi takes her aside, gives her a rundown of her abilities and performance, and advice on how to improve.
  • Being Watched: The group quickly realizes they are being spied on by Kabuto and Hinata, though not why.
  • Berserk Button: As the Uchiha Head, Sasuke is very protective of his retainers. He was content to allow Kabuto to keep reporting to Orochimaru while the village spied on him until he threatened Tamaki.
    • Choji slaps Ino when she starts harassing an exhausted Shikamaru.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kabuto in spades. He seems a perfectly mild-mannered medical specialist genin, when he’s an infiltrator skilled enough to kill an ANBU in seconds and amoral enough to consider raping Tamaki when she objects to being made to sleep with Sasuke.
  • Bond One-Liner: Played with. Before collapsing after her fight with Neji, Hinata quips, “Are we having fun yet, cousin?”, but she's the ones who lost, even if Neji went down seconds later
  • Break the Haughty: Anko does this to Ino when the latter protests Anko’s choice of disguise for her.
    • Sarutobi breaks Koharu before executing her.
    • All of Sunagakure suffers this after the invasion. It’s known in-universe as the Breaking of Suna.
    • During the invasion, Hiashi and Hanabi feel deficient due to certain circumstances, like Crippling Overspecialization.
    • Orochimaru suffers this when Leaf and Sand’s counter-attack hits.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The story ends with Team Anko going their separate ways for the time-skip.
  • Broken Ace: Itachi's diary makes it very clear just how broken he is. In particular, he apparently accepted Tobi's help during the Uchiha Massacre because he simply couldn't bring himself to keep killing children.
  • Brought Down to Normal: When Haku is captured he temporarily loses the ability to use chakra, although Zabuza breaks him free. Unfortunately, Haku mistakenly thinks he’s only been Brought Down to Badass and makes several embarrassing mistakes.
  • Brutal Honesty: Anko deals with some of her team’s problem and misconceptions like this. It’s treated as a good thing by not sugar-coating it and respecting their maturity, while not making things seem hopeless either.
  • The Chessmaster: Deconstructed with Sarutobi. Ordering Shikamaru to not kill or seriously injure Gaara in their match but also not forfeit doesn't result in Shikamaru deciding to forfeit anyway, keeping the Ino-Shika-Cho trio together, but breakdown in despair that he's being ordered to die.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Giant Freshwater Squid of the Forest of Death. Team 7 and Orochimaru both believe it either something cooked up by Anko or an urban legend... Until the latter has to fight it.
  • Completed Fic: And a sequel promised, but not yet arrived. Unfortunately with the death of the author there is little chance of a sequel.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted. Sasuke extinguishes the fire on his sword after a fight, sheathes it, and promptly sets the sheathe on fire. He also later learns that weeks of using chakra to ignite his sword in battle has completely ruined its temper, forcing him to replace it.
  • Cool Big Sis: Anko is like this on their days off.
  • Cool Teacher: Anko, whenever it isn’t a day off.
  • Covert Pervert: Sakura, when she sees Naruto and Sasuke in the mixed baths.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Asuma knows his father’s biggest weakness is his lack of political skills and reliance on his councilors.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Downplayed, but this is Anko’s approach to Training from Hell. If she doesn’t push the kids to their limits (but only to, not far beyond) she’s worried they’ll get killed because she held them back.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Team 7 in general but Naruto and Sasuke in particular do this at times. Sakura notes that it's not so much attempting to be sneaky as they simply don't need syntax beyond a few random words like "iaijutsu" and "seven inches".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The fights that avert this are often as awesome as the ones that don’t. For instance:
    • Sakura humiliating beats Lee with a variation on the Sexy technique and pressure points.
    • Hinata being beaten by Neji in thirty seconds instead of ten minutes wouldn’t usually be awesome, except that Neji collapsed two seconds after he was declared the victor.
    • The counter-attack against The Sound Village is this. Orochimaru ends up, “now master of as much land as his feet covered at each instant” while fleeing.
    • The original encounter with Orochimaru in the Exams is this for both sides. The sannin takes down Naruto instantly, and barely considers the other two a warm-up. Then Sakura and Sasuke use their superior knowledge of the local wildlife to sic the giant freshwater squid on him, and outrun him during the distraction, resulting in the sannin losing his prey and being…inconvenienced by a wild animal and a bunch of gennin.
  • Cuteness Overload: Sakura weaponizes this with a variant on the Sexy jutsu.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Sasuke’s mangekyo is this, so he never uses it. The only time he does, he holds off the reincarnated Second Hokage for several seconds and sets up the trick that takes them out, but he passes out.
  • Date Peepers: Sakura and Naruto run interference against these while Sasuke takes Ino out…by pretending to respectively be Sasuke and Sakura on a date.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sasuke tells his team about the Mangekyo Sharingan, obtained by killing your best friend, and Naurto immediately deadpans a confession that he secretly loathes Sasuke. Sasuke genuinely finds this hilarious.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Averted with Gaara. He dies alone and afraid, and only one or two people miss him afterwards.
    • Sasuke decides that this applies to The Third Hokage and forgives him for what he did. Averted with the other councilors.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Inverted and Averted. Anko trains her kids not to suffer this, and also to strip naked any dangerous prisoners they capture.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: None of Sasuke’s fangirls (notably Ino) are pleased by the possibility that he may be sleeping with Tamaki but none of them consider it a deal-breaker, either, since he’s a clan head who needs to repopulate his family. Similarly, prior to the chunin exams, his retainer insists that he take precautions by filling several test tubes with samples, just in case he is killed.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Orochimaru wonders to himself after the fact why he ordered a team of genin to kill Sasuke since even if they succeeded, they might damage his eyes.
  • Driven to Suicide: Temari attempts ‘suicide by ANBU’ after being captured. Barely able to use chakra or stand, she grabs a kunai and attempts to force an ANBU to kill her by attacking.
    • Officially, when the Third Hokage passes away, his councilors opt to join him out of respect. In truth, only one of them did so willingly.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. Sasuke has Naruto exploring a family shrine he knows Itachi may have booby-trapped, and when they come to a part that needs Sharingan, he makes a joke about going to meet his ancestors and gets this response from Sakura.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Team Inferno take out several underground Oto bases by shooting fire and wind techniques down the air vents to turn the bases into ovens that take weeks to cool.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • When Team 7 shows up to by a flower arrangement for expectant mothers, Ino assumes Sasuke knocked up a girl, followed by guessing he knocked up three girls. Actually, three of the ninja-cats are expecting kittens.
    • Later, Ino thinks that Team 7 is intimidated at the possibility of a survival exercise in the Forest of Death, when actually they’ve been in there repeatedly and are just slack-jawed in shock.
  • Evil Old Folks: Several, notably Danzo.
  • Eye Scream: Invoked on Danzo when he’s captured.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • The Third Hokage is better with jutsu than policy, and relies too much on his advisers.
    • Sasuke is torn whether his team bonds make him stronger or weaker, and his natural suspicion.
    • Temari is too dismissive of Konoha, and gets beaten by Sasuke in the preliminaries. Then she gets tricked by the Yamanaka, who search her mind to find out about the invasion, and she still refuses to acknowledge their strengths for a while.
  • Flechette Storm: Sakura gets a way to fire senbon needles at high speeds en masse.
  • Foreshadowing: A lot of the groups more dangerous techniques are foreshadowed in developmental stages early on.
  • For Want of a Nail: Anko being more approachable to her students means they learn certain things (deception, teamwork, responsibility) faster than in canon. What they do with this knowledge has big effects.
    • The biggest is Sasuke taking up his responsibilities not just as the last Uchiha, but as the Uchiha Clan Head
  • Friendly Enemy: Zabuza to the Leaf nin. They stop being enemies when mist ninja show up.
  • Fragile Speedster: Haku combines this with his An Ice Person Barrier Warrior abilities, but he’s still vulnerable to direct combat.
  • Good Feels Good: Anko starts bettering herself (see Nailed to the Wagon) after she realizes that it feels good to be responsible and have people look up to you.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Sakura’s reaction to Tamaki at Sora-ku is this played for laughs.
  • Handicapped Badass: Kiba manages to kill an attacker despite having a broken spine by launching himself with his arms and beating the man's skull into the pavement.
  • Heel Realization: Hiashi later describes the invasion as a day of disappointments: disappointment in Neji’s petty arrogance, in himself for allowing his pride to threaten himself and his youngest, and that Hinata failed to live down to his expectations (see Red Baron).
  • Hero Antagonist: Foreshadowed with the Third Hokage, but ultimately averted.
  • Heroic BSoD: Team 7’s discovery of the truth of the Uchiha Massacre causes this in them.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: During her second combat situation (and first time killing), Ino enters a state of basically killing any enemies that cause trouble. Afterwards, Sakura talks her down when Ino nearly kills a prisoner that was trying to break free.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Sasuke is well aware of how close he may come to this line.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Gato and his would-be Batman Gambit.
    • This whole story occurs because Kakashi seriously overestimated his capacity to take on his assigned rookies in mortal combat. He has nobody else to blame but himself because he did insisted on them coming at him "with full intent to kill".
  • Honor Before Reason: Kin refuses to wear her dead teammates’ clothes despite having been stripped naked and left alone in the Forest of Death.
    • Played for humor: Sasuke promised Ino a date if she did an interrogation, and feels obligated to follow through with it.
    • Then averted in the Forest of Death. Sakura and Sasuke know that the exams aren’t a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and agree getting Naruto medical attention is a priority over finding a scroll and passing.
  • Idealized Sex: Averted and lampshaded. Anko sets Team 7 straight on the realities of sex (such as telling Sasuke that no, it's pretty much impossible to go ten times in a row). Tamaki however is very suspicious that Sasuke couldn't fill a dozen test tubes the night before the Chunin Exam finals (in case he was killed) and thinks he might have "disappeared" with Sakura earlier that day.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Team bonding happens when they kill a tiger they’re hunting this way.
  • Improvised Weapon: Naruto takes to wrapping explosive notes around rocks to create fragmentation grenades.
  • In Harm's Way: Hinata finds warzones, hasty meals, and long bouts of sentry duty far more comfortable than luxurious baths, feasts, and soft mattresses. Not having to deal with her family in the former certainly helps.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The first time Sasuke ever feels attracted to a girl is when he’s watching Sakura dissect a tiger to harvest the organs for a mission.
  • Insistent Terminology: After taking offense at Anko’s choice of disguises, Ino begins privately thinking of Anko as ‘Slut-sensei’. She is certain that she will always refer to Anko as this until Anko gives Ino a rundown on her skills and actions, assures her that Ino has fulfilled the requirements of the mission and that she (Anko) respects that, and advises her on how to get better training, and in what areas. Ino immediately starts thinking of her as Anko-sensei.
  • It's Personal: Team Killer was willing to let the ANBU investigate Kabuto until he harmed Tamaki. Then they gave ANBU a week before they killed him themselves.
  • Jumped Off The Slippery Slope: Ino sees herself as having shades of this in the Wave arc, when she uses her family jutsu to mind-read a man and report his plan to betray them.
    “I must be a big girl now,” Ino thought, “I’ve just sentenced a man to death.”
  • Killed Off for Real: Kakashi, Kabuto, Gaara, and the elder council.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Sasuke, after he takes in Tamaki and the ninja-cats.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After seeing that they're (seemingly) surrounded by powerful enemies and have traitors in their ranks, Gato's thugs surrender to Naruto and Shikamaru quietly.
    • Team 7 seeks medical attention for Naruto after he's crippled in the Forest of Death rather than trying to continue the exam.
  • Master of Illusion: Sasuke pulls this on Temari in the Chunin preliminaries. It is a wonderful Mind Screw.
  • Master Poisoner: Sakura is well on her way, though she still has a ways to go too.
  • Mind Rape: Inoichi Yamanaka has to do this to elder Danzo in an interrogation. He needs Ino and Naruto’s help, and it traumatizes all of them.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Inverted. The Invasion reveals internal corruption in the Leaf’s upper echelons, but the Invasion was a bigger problem at the time. also played with that the corruption allowed someone to steal a diary, which revealed the corruption.
  • Mundane Solution: Orochimaru has fled, but the resurrected Hokages have been left behind with orders to kill Sarutobi. How do a few genin and ANBU get rid of them? Not with high-level kinjutsu or demonic chakra, but by using henge to make it look like the Third Hokage is already dead, which allows them to return to the afterlife.
  • Nailed to the Wagon: Downplayed, but Anko’s had to cut down her alcohol intake a lot since she took up the team.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Asuma and Anko have a civil and non-poisoned picnic business meeting with Zabuza to discuss possible options before they decide to settle it in combat.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Anko trains her students in this by taking them to the mixed baths, stealing their towels, and having them walk around while transformed into the other gender.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Many of the thugs that work for Gato do so because they are blackmailed or deeply in his debt, and jump ship when given the option.
  • Not So Stoic: Another effect of the discovery of the truth of the Uchiha Massacre by Team 7.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sakura and Naruto develop a technique that invokes this using a change to the Sexy Jutsu.
  • Oh My Gods!: Sakura swears “Gods and Demons” at a few points.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Kyuubi shivers and hides in fear when the Cursed Seal starts corrupting Naruto, claiming that "It's eating you, then it'll eat me. And then it'll put a collar and leash on me and make me do horrible tricks."
    • Shikamaru trains himself into the ground to both potentially survive against Gaara and prevent Choji from facing him.
    • Anko ends up a weeping, emotional wreck when she discovers the truth of the Uchiha Massacre.
  • Pet the Dog: Anko treats the nervous Ino much more kindly than she usually does. She later tells Asuma that she sees her team as her kids.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Kakashi's death causes Anko to become Team 7's sensei which in turn causes (directly or indirectly) the rest of the plot.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Inverted with the Sexy Jutsu. It’s designed to be perverse, and gets refined into less perverse versions with different effects.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Generally, Sakura only hates killing and/or drawn-out deaths when it wastes ammo (i.e. launching senbon at enemies) or reveals more of her abilities than she wants.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Gato thinks he’s this.
    • Also, Naruto and Sasuke discuss how stupid the Uchiha Massacre was based on this.
    • Kabuto's decision not to rape Tamaki is based entirely on the decision that the resulting trauma would make her useless for spying on Sasuke.
  • Pride: Haku suffers from this, and makes several mistakes when dealing with the Leaf ninja because of it. He gets better.
  • Properly Paranoid: It’s not paranoid if people really are out to get you, as Naruto’s use of transformed clones shows.
  • Posthumous Character: Kakashi after being killed during the bell exam.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Kakashi is an inept, apathetic, perverted, and lazy teacher who purposely failed his students so he could shove his responsibilities onto someone else, and not deal with their potential blood and the guilt on his hands. In the Prologue, what kicked off the story is that he explicitly instructed Team 7 to finish their mission with the willingness to kill, hoping they would inevitably fail and go back to the Academy. He severely underestimated Team 7's potential and drive to succeed no matter what, which led to him getting killed in the end.
    • Continuing on from the above point, chapter 1 has Anko lecturing Team 7 on their deed of murdering their own sense - while she praises the kids' skills, she informs them that killing is a sign of weakness and experiences, as they could have gained much more by going a much cleaner route in simply weakening Kakashi and taking him prisoner instead. Anko then declares that she's going to teach them the virtue of mercy by training them to become smarter and better ninjas.
    • Chapter 3 takes Sasuke's canon motivations and methods in hunting down Itachi, and showing why they wouldn't work - simply working alone while overworking and abusing his body for the sake of getting stronger is considered "childish" and would instead prove detrimental to his own sanity one way or another. After Sasuke nearly despaired over learning that he'll never be able to surpass Itachi's genius skills and intelligence, Anko showed him a much more pragmatic way of earning revenge by hiring and establishing a network of agents specifically to track down Itachi, while working with Team 7 to weaken his hated older brother. Anko's suggestions proved that this way, Sasuke would finally have his revenge on Itachi for the Uchiha massacre without unnecessary bloodshed, and also gain closure by presenting his parent's graves the head of their traitorous older son and killer.
    • Sarutobi tries to cleverly maneuver Shikamaru into forfeiting his match against Gaara by ordering him not to kill or seriously injure the foreign genin and insisting he's not allowed to forfeit. Rather than disobey orders and forfeit anyway, Shikamaru despairs over being sent to his death and later trains himself into the ground in the hopes of surviving against Gaara.
    • Sakura injures her wrist form accidentally firing all the senbon in her Quick Needle Launcher at once.
    • Danzo attempts to use a mostly theoretical technique he gleaned from stolen notes that requires a bloodline he implanted. It’s a miracle that it works at all, and working incompletely still gets him drugged, arrested, captured, and killed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Anko is one to Team 7, and trains them to do this to their underlings and prisoners as well.
    • Zabuza is also one to Haku.
  • Red Baron:
    • From the beginning, Team 7 is nicknamed "Team Killer", and is rightly feared by many of their peers because of their act of killing their own sensei (even though he explicitly instructed Team 7 to do so).
    • After killing Gaara, Hinata becomes known as The Slayer. Naruto is similarly known as the Sorcerer, after using several transformed clones to make it look like he summoned oni warriors.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Team 7’s reaction to Orochimaru, and the second part of the chunin exams in general.
  • Ship Tease: Anko and Zabuza.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Done seriously with the Aburame: they’ve been accused of feeding their own clans members to the insects as fodder before, so deny when Naruto (who hadn’t even heard that rumor) brings up a related subject.
  • Take That!:
    • In Chapter 2, during a private conversation with Asuma, Anko wonders how Kakashi would have dealt with her team. Both she and Asuma promptly list off exactly what the audience knows he did in canon, why, and why this would be bad for Team 7's ninja skills, as well as their mental and emotional development
      Anko: (referring to Team 7) Imagine Kakashi trying to deal with this bunch!
      Asuma: He'd have shown up late, given them minimal instruction, wandered off to read his porn, ignored the girl and Uzumaki, and tried to pretend Sasuke was Uchiha Obito as a young genin.
      Anko: And ruined him, alternating indulgence, attention, ignoring cries for help, and applying misunderstood discipline. He'd been such a prodigy in his own time he had damn near no idea how more normal kids develop. His family situation didn't help any too much, either. How many potentially good teams did he fail? Five? Six?
    • Zabuza notes that Haku has to learn a ninja can't get by with a bloodline and one or two high level skills, which is precisely what Naruto and Sasuke do in canon.
  • Taking You with Me: The Third Hokage does this to Danzo.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: After killing Kabuto with a kunai in the brain, Team 7 dismember him, bury the pieces separately, and would have burned the whole lot had they been sure the parts could be wanted later. Given that, by Sakura's count, he should have been dead four times over before Sasuke nailed him, it's clear why they felt it necessary (Anko herself admits she would have done the same).
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Justified with Ino’s assessment of Tamaki. She decides Sasuke isn’t sleeping with his retainer due to the lack of gifts/jewelry that romance novels would have the female protagonist wearing, which is correct.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All of Team 7, and Anko also did to set a good example.
    • In the preliminaries, Hinata is five seconds short of fighting Neji to a draw. By the time of the final rounds, she’s almost effortlessly dancing through the battle and she kills Gaara with a strike to the chest. Then she ends up a chunin and squad-leader in the counter-attack.
  • Training from Hell: Anko is careful to intersperse it with breaks though. Sakura gets social days and shopping sprees every ten days, Naruto gets her coming to his apartment to check up and help him keep on top of daily chores, and Sasuke she tells what she remembers of when she and Itachi were in ANBU, and helps him brainstorm embarrassing ways of killing Itachi. It pays dividends, and Ino resolves to badger her teacher to start training them more seriously.
  • Troll: When Sakura gets upset, she goes WWND? (What Would Naruto Do?) This leads, when Ino mistakes her threat assessment of Haku for checking him/her out, to her trolling Ino with blatant come-ons for a few chapters.
    • During the Oto War, when Team Inferno has to send their leader to meet Asuma, they send someone different each time just to screw with him.
  • Trying Not to Cry: When Shikamaru is ordered to fight Gaara without killing or seriously injuring him and is forbidden from forfeiting, his first thought is how he wished he was still young enough to break down crying. Understandable give that he's only thirteen and has (from his point of view) just been ordered to his death.
  • Undying Loyalty: The inhabitants of Sora-ku to the Uchiha.
    • Anko has this to the Third Hokage, and the possibility of breaking it drives her to the Despair Event Horizon. Team Seven also has this to each other.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Between Naruto possibly dying and a team of genin being ordered to assassinate Sasuke, Sakura leads the way to the tower radiating so much rage that everyone and everything in the forest avoids Team 7.
  • Villainous Valor: Zabuza, Anko, and Asuma have a polite picnic before they enter a battle, and all agree to keep Haku out of it before-hand.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura all regularly rag on each other but will destroy anyone who messes with one of their own. Notably, Naruto's reaction to learning that the Mangekyo Sharingan requires killing your best friend is to tell Sasuke just how much he secretly hates him.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Naruto makes great use of this through his clones, such as having them transform into animals for stealth or muscle-bound thugs for intimidation.
    • Zabuza send a water clone off to distract the hunter-nin while he transforms himself into a snake to escape.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Anko takes Sakura on shopping sprees to both motivate her, and train her in kunoichi infiltration/impersonation skills.
  • Wham Episode: It’s not a violent wham, but the first place where things go irrevocably Off the Rails aside from the nail in the first chapter is in chapter 6, when Sasuke takes on a retainer. This leads to the next big change, when they kill Kabuto.
    • Chapter 13 sees Naruto scouted out by the Monkeys for a summoning contract, the revelation of Danzo’s interference in things, and Temari tricked into a mind-search by the Yamanaka.
  • When He Smiles: Sakura sees Sasuke like this when they go visit the Uchiha retainers at Sora-ku.
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