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When Naruto meets Nagato after repelling Pain's attack on the Konoha Village, he is forced to admit to Nagato that he doesn't have an answer to how one can break the 'cycle of hatred' that plagues the shinobi world. Naruto is only able to promise Nagato that he will find a way to break the cycle, and he manages to change Nagato's perspective through his conviction.

But, does Naruto ever find an answer to how he can break the 'cycle of hatred'?

  • He does bring around many others towards his perspective as the series progresses, notably Kurama and Sasuke. He may even have stopped the 'cycle of reincarnation' of Hagoromo's sons, Indra and Ashura, through his final battle with Sasuke. But, how does this answer the question of how the 'cycle of hatred' can be broken, if at all?
  • While it is true that Black Zetsu has guided/manipulated the shinobi world for ages in order to serve his selfish needs, is the sealing of Black Zetsu (along with Kaguya) enough for the 'cycle of hatred' to have stopped? If so, how?

The 'cycle of hatred' is an essentially human problem, just raised through a fantastical story involving ninjas, chakra and mythical creatures. One doesn't really expect the author Masashi Kishimoto to "solve" such a problem in his manga. But any truly satisfactory answer found within the story should ideally also be an answer to the underlying human problem.

Notice that this is true for all the "partial/incomplete" answers found by Nagato, Hashirama, Madara, Sasuke, and Hagoromo. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with any of their answers, it still makes them compelling. So, is there a "final" answer that is found by Naruto in the same vein?

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Towards the end of Naruto, all the shinobi found a common enemy (Madara) and allied together. The series had a message about understanding each other, and how understanding each other can stop wars.

So the closest thing to an answer you could say was understanding and connecting everyone together through communication and other means (which happened in the end thanks to Madara being a common enemy and everyone having to work together). The thematic message of Naruto regarding this was if everyone understands that the other person also had their own reasons/tragedy/bears the same fate as them, the cycle can be broken.

Sasuke disagreed with Naruto, saying that the world always needs someone to shoulder its burden (like Itachi did) and draw hatred and everything towards themselves, preventing other conflicts. Naruto was of the idea that instead of that, everyone can shoulder the burden together, and that he can connect the world together, and that there is no need to do it alone.

Pretty much the only one in Sasuke's way was Naruto (they were like the two strongest ninja alive by the end of the series, if Naruto dies, there aren't many that can touch Sasuke), and also his only connection left. Sasuke tried to fight and kill Naruto, but failed and ultimately managed to see how much Naruto really cared for him and how it's not wrong to have connections with people, and so was convinced.

Also this was also conveyed by how Naruo talked to his enemies a lot of times, and managed to have them understand him, instead of an end by sheer force, and how Naruto went from an isolated kid to someone people in the village and later on in the war recognized. How he shared his chakra to protect everyone. How Gaara used his sand to connect people in the war-gathering scene.

Naruto as a series overall has a strong thematic emphasis on "understanding each other".

I guess in our world, internet and mass communication evolution has managed to achieve a bit of an similar effect, though perhaps not completely, but this is a close parallel to compare to.

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