Kakashi Love Song

Almost everyone who follows the Naruto/Naruto Shippuden series naturally begins to have a favorite character.  I have more than one, since there are so many interesting characters, but Kakashi stands out as the top favorite. Like some anime reviewers, I am intrigued by the duality of his personality — the laid back, easygoing teacher and the serious, intense shinobi.

But this isn’t an ode to my feelings for Kakashi; rather, it’s an opportunity to talk about the episode that bears the same name as this post.  So, last week, I got a fortune out of a cookie that immediately made me think of “Kakashi Love Song.”

On it’s own it sounds like a reference to Kakashi’s penchant for passing time at a particular Konaha Memorial Grave Stone, and how his past has affected what he chooses to instill in his students.  But within the context of the episode, the possible interpretations become more universal.

Been awhile since you’ve seen it?  Here’s the video, Episode 191 from Season 5 of Naruto Shippuden, on Hulu.  (If you’re new to Hulu, be prepared to sit through a couple of 30 second ads.)

If you’ve ever been in love, I’m sure you can relate to that nameless feeling Kakashi must’ve had while standing on that cliff.  It’s the quandary of having two very separate yet simultaneous emotions.  On the one hand, he is bound by his sense of duty to complete his mission.  And on the other hand, he is filled with a sense of mourning for someone who used to be important to him but no longer has a place in his life.

To me, this simple fortune, “We must always have old memories and young hopes,” encapsulates a way of dealing with these kinds of dual emotions.  It creates a place for old memories to exist as they were, while granting the freedom to hope anew.  And that’s how it should be.  Somewhere behind Kakashi’s detached demeanor, in the remote hills of his mind, he sits with a girl as they both gaze at the clouds.