Saturday, May 25, 2013

Anime Insight: Naruto's Tajū Kage Bunshin no Jutsu

multiple shadow clones preview
Naruto vs Kimimaro
If I remember it right, I've been watching Naruto since 2004 but the efficiency and danger of Tajū Kage Bunshin no Jutsu or multiple shadow clone technique just dawned on me a while ago. The first time I saw this technique, I wondered what's so special about it? He just created more Kage Bunshin or shadow clones than usual. I don't know why is it even a kinjutsu or a forbidden technique? I thought it's better if every ninja learns about it because it's a great source of man power.

The answers to my questions were briefly explained earlier in the series. First they talked about the regular shadow clone technique. Here you create real copies of yourself and equally distribute your chakra among your clones. Unlike the regular clones where your copies are mere illusions. This means your shadow clones can fight the enemy physically or directly while regular clones are just your visual projections to scare or distract the enemies.

Given those explanations, the obvious danger of multiple shadow clone technique is for the user to quickly lose his chakra. About its efficiency, well, you can gang up your enemies all by yourself. A single shadow clone can only take a few hits or one strong blow but imagine a bunch of your true copies fighting a single enemy. Your original self can also hide while planning for an ambush or replenishing your chakra or escape and ask for backup while your clones fight or distract the enemies.

That's how simple I viewed the multiple shadow clone technique, until now. A while ago, I was walking home and pondering on random things then Naruto just popped up in my mind. In the Philippine translation of Naruto, when he is about to use this technique, he says "Kage Bunshin times two, times two, times two.." It does make sense but I just realized it's not accurate. Yes, it's exponential but i think it's not always on base 2.

Let's say Naruto initially created 5 shadow clones. Each of them, including the original, can create another 5 shadow clones and so on.

5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 = 3 125 ninjas in an instant!
Compared to 2 x 2 x 2 x 2  x 2 which is 32 ninjas only.

With that analysis, still I wondered why is it forbidden. How dangerous could it be? Then I remembered that the user's chakra is distributed equally to all shadow clones including the original. If a defeated clone means lost chakra, it will cause a quick drop of chakra but how fast is it? Let's say Naruto has a chakra reserve amounting to 5000, dividing it by 5 gives him 1000 left. With that, he created another 5 shadow clones leaving him 200 amount of chakra.

200 ÷ 5 ÷ 5 ÷ 5 = 1.6 amount of chakra. That's almost 100% drop rate  in an instant! Even if we reduce the number of copies to 5 x 5 = 25, the decrease in chakra is 5000 ÷ 5 ÷ 5 = 200 which is 96% drop rate.

Aside from that, there could be other rules for performing the multiple shadow clone technique. For example, the initial number of shadow clones is strictly equal to the base and exponent of the expression. So far, my example is following this rule. In addition to that, there could be a minimum initial shadow clones for it to be considered a multiple shadow clone technique.

Another implementation of this technique is to start with a single shadow clone then from that, each copies will create a total number of clones equal to their current population. The user of the technique only needs to think of the number of iteration. For example, I want 5 iterations, then I can come up with,  4  16  256  65 536 shadow clones! And of course, this could also have a minimum number of iterations.

These computations convinced me why it is included in the scroll of  forbidden techniques; with multiple shadow clone technique, instant army can also mean instant death. Well, I know that but now I can grasp it better. Luckily, Naruto has a bad ass amount of chakra; all thanks to kurama, the nine tailed beast.


source: Narutopedia

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