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Imagine a world where 5 organisations working in shadows keep control over most of world's military power. A world where Child Soldiers are trained practically from the birth to be spies and assasins ready to fight, kill and die when ordered to. A world where teenagers put their life on the line and sometimes kill other teenagers just to rise in rank. A world where being born outside of special family gives you no hope to ever do what those born with special bloodlines get from their birth.
Sounds like perfect setting for idealistic story about power of friendship right?
This manga has many problems, but the biggest one, and probably the very foundation of all others is how the world created by the author clashes heavily with story that he's trying to tell. Just a single example: a character's backstory involves someone who abandoned his duty to save his friends. This is presented as the right choice, and probably would be if it wasn't for the fact that he did that in the middle of a war and his failed mission has doomed many others to save two. Another example is that characters are called ninjas but it's just for the sake of awesomeness, rather than actual job description. They're trained to be spies and assasins, but while it's talked about we never see it, because such morally grey area would clash which them being clear good guys. Which leads to another problem, that story tries very hard to sell itself as White and Grey Morality, even though the "grey" side is clearly black. Story is afraid to show villains as trully evil with very few exceptions, because vile villains rather than misguided extremists wouldn't work in idealistic story. However we still see them being evil, sometimes going beyond Moral Event Horizon which is never treated as such, and their inevitable redemption comes across as Insane Forgiveness. There are of course other problems, like breaking Magic A Is Magic A rule late in the series, as well as infamous Plot no Jutsu, but these could've been avoided. They say that the manga started well and fell over time, but in hindsight the effort was doomed from the start with author's inability to present the world as trully crappy as it is instead of being screwed up by misguided extremists.
I went back to the discussion on Sakumo, and I'm not seeing anything about the number of comrades he saved, nor that there was a war going on at the time. The story never tried to portray his decision as costing more lives in the long run; he was simply condemned for putting lives over duty.
Did a quick check. There wasn\'t number of comrades stated, i admit, it\'s my assumption from the usual MO, they operate in a teams of 3 or 4. There wasn\'t spenly stated that it was during the war but it was stated it was \"enemy country\", so i\'m assuming it wasn\'t exacly peacefull mission. The collateral damage wasn\'t stated but it was stated that their country suffered \"great loss\". Fridge Logic: While the narrative suggests that it was the right choice he WAS disgraced for it, and if it the damage from the abandoning mission was low then why was he condemned for it?
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