This is an *ysis to celebrate my favorite Naruto character's birthday
since Oasis's Facebook page still hasn't acknowledged it. Happy birthday, Dosu!
Note: I decided it would be better to keep every part of the write-up in the same forum thread by replying to this thread. So check this thread for the rest of the an@lysis. This post is part 1 - scroll down if you want to read parts 2-4
Wasted Potential – Exactly Why Dosu Kinuta was a Great Character Despite his Story Role, and Why His Death was Out of Character
Now, before I begin, I’d like to say I’m not at all perfectly knowledgeable about the Narutoverse as a whole. In all honesty, my interest in Naruto started dying off in the end of the war arc. I was somewhat futilely hoping to see Team Dosu again, and while the Minor Character Enthusiast side of me was ecstatic at the multitudes of new minor characters introduced in the arc, that confrontation with Tobi and the other Jinchuriki just felt… I don’t know, it didn’t pull me in. So yeah, I’m probably missing some worldbuilding information in that regard, and my knowledge of the details in Shippuden is starting to get flaky as well. If there’s anything I’m doing wrong or anything I have inaccurate, please let me know and I’ll do my best to resort my argument.
As the title says, this is an @nalysis on a character who gets discussed every now and then – Dosu Kinuta, my all time favorite Naruto character and someone who has a small group of diehard fans who believe he had a lot of wasted potential. The rest of Team Dosu will be involved as they travel in a pack and it’s hard to write about one without the others, so I will be using Zaku and Kin as comparison points for some of Dosu’s strengths just to keep it simple. However, I’m doing this @nalysis on Dosu specifically, rather than his team. Granted, Zaku was probably around Naruto or Kiba level. But Dosu is simply much easier to write about and defend as a “great character” compared to Zaku and Kin. I loved everything about him – his design, his powers, everything – when I was younger, and I just kinda stared at my screen in shock for a good few minutes when he got killed off. And, honestly, my opinion still states that Dosu technically has two spiritual successors in Naruto: Danzo and Mu.
Danzo, like Dosu, has a bandaged right eye, a pretty powerful jutsu (for their respective story arcs) li
And my opinion states the only reason Mu looks like a mummy is because Kishi realized many years later that he needed another badass mummy dude to show up in the story to replace Dosu.
The thing with examining minor characters that I like a lot is that it’s easier. With a minor character, you have a pretty limited thing to work with and you have to examine every little action to decipher the character. That said, I’m a bit of a minor character nerd, but... enough about me, back to Dosu.
Now, obviously, Dosu isn’t a particularly strong character in the Narutoverse as a whole. Compared to villains like Madara, Pain, et cetera, Dosu really is just fodder if we look at his power level. But the issue here is perspective – back in the days of the Chunin Exams, when being a Jonin level ninja was actually considered strong, Dosu was sharp and keen, competent, promising, and could’ve been made into a great ninja and a great character.
So, let’s look through, in detail, of Dosu’s run in the Narutostoryline. This is going to be a long @nalysis. I want to be as thorough as I can, to point out everything about Dosu and who he is as a character. Make sure you’ve got some time to read it all before you begin!
However, I’m going to be splitting this writeup into different sections which I will post every day until Dosu’s birthday, June 12, arrives. Hopefully this will make my write-up more easy to digest as a whole.
First, his appearance. The indistinguishable bandaged face. (Apologies for the li
We’ve met two other characters whose faces are covered at this point: specifically, Kakashi and Zabuza. Kakashi’s face mask, with his whole “heh heh my headband is covering my eye lol” thing was played more for… I don’t know? almost like a joke, just like his first impression and personality at the beginning? It didn’t feel serious to me. While Zabuza’s mask is more for intimidation to show that our first big villain is a serious, genuine threat who knows how to k1ll. (that's some weird censorship lol)
Dosu is clearly in the latter section of intimidation, instead of comedy. Unlike Kakashi, there’s nothing funny about his appearance (besides maybe the fur on his back
which is actually a straw raincoat get your facts straight). The bandages around his face, plus his little head-tilt things, portray this eerie, creepy atmosphere around him. You can tell this guy is serious business.
The first time we see him is here, where Team Dosu is watching Team 7’s little confrontation with Gaara’s team. We get to see Zaku deferring to Dosu’s leadership here.
> Zaku: So, what do you think?
> Dosu: Well, nothing serious but… that black-haired Leaf and the Sand with the gourd… let’s keep our eyes on them.
Dosu makes remarks about Sasuke and Gaara, saying to keep an eye on them. But the only thing we’ve seen Sasuke do is throw a rock at Kankuro (which demonstrates accuracy and skill, considering how that’s a feat according to Gaara) and make some snide remarks, while Gaara stealthily shows up (sneakier than Kakashi, supposedly) and threatens the others’ lives casually.
We’re not told if they have their orders to kill Sasuke yet. Considering how Sasuke introduces himself to them, and Zaku doesn’t instinctively recognize Sasuke as the person they have to target despite Sasuke introducing himself and stating his own name, I’m assuming no.
Either way, using just this interaction Dosu can tell that those two ninja stand out from the others. It’s quite a fast and perceptive deduction, considering their only interaction was a small conversation and a rock being thrown.
Plus, I feel like I need to note that they went unnoticed throughout this entire incident – implying that Dosu too has some pretty impressive stealth. Not too interesting overall, but still something notable.
Now Team Dosu’s official introduction is inside the first test room, when Team 7 is talking with Kabuto.
> Kabuto: Well… the Hidden Sound Village is a small village created last year so there isn’t much info but… the rest of the hidden villages are filled with talented youngsters!
Here, Kabuto is indirectly saying that the Sound Village doesn’t have “talented youngsters” as far as he knows. Zaku is the first to remark about this.
> Zaku: Hehe… so the Hidden Sound is a minor village? Is that so?
> Zaku: Let’s play with them a little bit...
> Dosu: Hehe, good idea, calling us leftovers… let’s help him add to his data that Hidden Sound shinobi… can be quite vicious.
Notice how Dosu’s getting defensive over the Sound Village? This is how he first starts out – just like Zaku and Kin, completely devoted and loyal to Orochimaru. He’s more than willing to step up for his master at this point.
So Zaku pops out of this crowd and throws a kunai, leaving an opening for Dosu to dart up surprisingly quickly and use his Melody Arm on Kabuto. I don’t know about you, but I think Dosu just appearing there with his head tilted like that would be pretty startling. Clearly Kishi is going through a ton of build-up for these new characters.
And here’s the Melody Arm in action. Notice how it catches everyone’s attention? Sasuke is baffled. Lee and Neji are baffled. Even Gaara is intrigued. That’s right, the cold, killy, stoic Gaara, who’s never been hurt on a mission yet, turns his head in surprise at this.
> Dosu: How pathetic. Aren’t you a four-year veteran?
> Zaku: Write this down on your cards. “The three Hidden Sound ninjas, definitely future Chunin.”
The Sound Trio are the stars of the show now. Everyone knows about them. Kishimoto has made sure everyone knows they’re a threat. He’s highlighted them as competent and strong. But Dosu stands out from the other two, mainly because we actually got to see him pull off an attack that left everyone in the room wondering what the hell was going on.
Now Ibiki interrupts before they can get any further, but the first impression has already been given. The team has succeeded in that.
One more thing – I can’t remember the exact source for this, unfortunately, but I remember hearing somewhere that Team Dosu’s attack on Kabuto was supposed to be staged, and Kabuto let them beat him up just so Orochimaru could flex his minion muscles in front of Sasuke. Kabuto was supposed to fake getting hurt by it, but he seemed genuinely surprised by the power of Dosu’s attack afterwards. The fact that he could actually hurt Kabuto, a Jonin/Kakashi-level ninja, with ease, is pretty impressive at the time of the Chunin Exams, and shows us that Dosu, even at genin/low Chunin level strength, can affect stronger opponents with his jutsu no problem as long as he manages to get a hit.
When the first exam actually begins, we get this pretty distinctive scene here. (note: the sound effect surrounding Dosu is kari kari, or the scribble of a pencil)
> Dosu: From this word’s rhythm, stroke order, amount of strokes...
He figures out what the person is writing by listening to their pencil scratches. Now this a hugely impressive feat by name alone – I mean, c’mon, deciphering pencil scratches is freakin’ awesome – but let’s take this apart a little bit to show exactly why it’s so impressive, and why it makes Dosu really stand out as a clever ninja with a keen mind. To be honest, I’d argue it’s probably Dosu’s greatest feat, given his limited screentime.
First of all, you would need extremely sensitive hearing and knowledge of sound to clearly hear a set of pencil scratches and affiliate them to one specific person in a room full of other people scratching away with their pencils too. In order to find the pencil scratches with the answers he needed, Dosu would have to judge things like subtle differences between two scratches’ volume to gauge distance, or whether the sound is louder in his left ear or his right – which is already difficult because pencil scratches are soft and hard to hear.
Not only that, but the sheer difficulty of recording katakana/hiragana from pencil scratches alone is something to make note of. For example, the only audible difference between the hiragana ke (け) and ha (は) is that the third stroke of ha is slightly longer, perhaps like ⅕ of a second longer? Either way, something small, less than a second or even half a second. It would take a lot of precision to be able to detect and record minor differences like that while simultaneously processing things at a rate equal to the scratching of the pencil… not to mention, Dosu would need to continue to differentiate his designated copying target from all of the other exam applicants as well. Which would take a whole lot of simultaneous mental processing as a whole.
So, overall, Dosu would need not only superbly sensitive hearing and awareness of sound, but also extremely specific and precise knowledge of the hiragana/katakana alphabet strokes, down to the exact length of each stroke. Needless to say, that would take a great amount of precise memorization and mental space.
Not to mention, handwriting varies from person to person. Presumably, Dosu would have to deduce any one individual’s style of writing and calculate any variation on the stroke timings while simultaneously taking in their pencil scratches and translating them to hiragana/katakana/kanji.
And people say Dosu’s brain isn’t as sharp as Shikamaru’s.
The next time we see Dosu is short – it’s when Ibiki takes off his bandanna and reveals the holes and scars on his head.
>Dosu: Hehe… it must be worse under those gloves… Of course I wouldn’t make the mistake of becoming a prisoner…
On the one hand, this is another chance we get to see Dosu’s inherent pride. He, like his teammates, has some level of pride and confidence. But, on the other hand, it shows he has knowledge of torture and interrogation. We don’t know much about the Sound Village at this point in the story, but in hindsight, it makes sense – considering Orochimaru had those prison/torture camps all over the Sound Village. Dosu most likely got a few chances to watch such interrogations.
Imagine if Dosu himself became an interrogator – how he could use sounds to torture, or perhaps even hypnotize enemies to spill information.
Anyways, that’s it for the first part of my write-up on Dosu. I hope this helped you learn a bit more about Dosu and why I’m such a huge fanboy of him and why I want him in the game – and if anything, I hope that it was an entertaining read. Please let me know what you think about this, and if you think I got anything wrong! I'd love to discuss it.
Again, sorry for the li
An@lysis of Dosu Kinuta, Part 2
I'm going to re-iterate this from yesterday - this is going to be a long an@lysis. I want to be as thorough as I can, to point out everything about Dosu and who he is as a character. Make sure you’ve got some time to read it all before you begin!
Anyways, Dosu’s next appearance is outside the Forest of Death.
> Dosu: Hehe, it’s finally here… the chance to fulfill our mission…
This is the first time Dosu or any of the Sound ninja mention their mission. Presumably, Orochimaru gave them the order to kill Sasuke here. After all, he was there and in easy access, disguised as that Grass ninja Shiore. Or, more likely, Orochimaru told them to enter the Chunin Exams to assassinate *somebody*, but didn’t tell them who it was until now.
The Forest of Death is arguably the most impactful and memorable Team Dosu scene for most people.
> Dosu: As Orochimaru-sama commanded, we attack at daybreak. Our target is Uchiha Sasuke.
> Zaku: But if the other two get in the way, we can kill them as well, right?
> Dosu: Of course.
I for one think it’s interesting that Orochimaru gave himself some extra time. It was nightfall and he had already given Sasuke the curse mark, but he ordered Dosu’s team to attack at daybreak in case some complication occurred.
In the morning, Dosu decides against just charging out there. Instead, he shows his cautious side for the first time. He attaches an explosive tag to a squirrel and lets it loose towards Sakura, who is drowsy from keeping watch. He watches Sakura throw a kunai at the squirrel to stop it from springing one of the traps she set in the area.
> Zaku: She’s very observant. She noticed the explosive tag on the squirrel?
> Dosu: No, that’s not it.
> Zaku: What do you mean, Dosu?
> Dosu: We’ll probably find out when we get closer. So… let’s go.
So somehow, Dosu managed to deduce that Sakura didn’t see the explosive tag on the squirrel. I don’t know how he did it at all – possibly by listening to her breathing? – and I think that’s impressive. He suspects something’s up at this point, and he’s right.
Dosu and his team walk out and declare their intention to Sakura – they want to fight Sasuke. He’s the leader, he’s the one doing the declaration, even though it would be more in character for brash Zaku to be doing the declaring of intentions.
But when Sakura brings up Orochimaru’s name, Dosu is the only one who takes note of it as peculiar.
> Dosu: Hmm… I wonder what that man is thinking…
> Zaku: But hearing that, we can’t just let you go. I’ll kill this girl, and I’ll kill this Sasuke guy.
Zaku, of course, just wants to get to the part where he shoots his air blasts at people. And Kin, being the kinda generic member with not much personality, just sits there.
> Dosu: A bo0by trap is pointless unless it goes unnoticed.
Now that takes perception. I, for one, would never notice a stone that was recently overturned or different colored dirt. How do you even know whether grass grows somewhere?
So after that Dosu gives the order to kill Sakura, and they jump forward. Sakura springs her next b0oby trap, the log from above.
> Dosu: Another trap above? Oh no! ...Yeah, right.
And he destroys it with ease. With sound alone. That’s pretty impressive.
Now, I don’t need to do the math on this one. Someone else did it awhile back, and I'll quote them on this:
>Dosu had access to one of the strongest abilities in the series, but at genin strength so it's hard to look at it that way.
>Later application of sound ba
>If dosu lived long enough and managed to escape being killed by orochimaru or gaara i think he would go on to easily be A to S rank level, all depending on how strong he can make his control over sound, if he can get to the 200's he's s rank, if he's stuck only at eardrum bursting level (150 or so) he is B-A rank, anything higher than the 200's and he starts getting absurd and i don't think he could.
That’s a lot of decibels. For reference, it takes about 145 decibels to pull off Dosu’s basic attacks on a normal human (the vision and balance problems) and 170 decibels to cause death in normal humans.
But, of course, this is the Narutoverse we’re talking about and our ninjas are no normal humans. On paper, this makes Dosu sound weaker because of the ninja body’s resilient form. I mean, we see ninjas shrugging off fire blasts unsc@thed all the time, what’s a little sound to them?
...But in reality, it should actually make him stronger as well! If the threshold of “death by sound” is higher in a physically enhanced ninja body, then the threshold of “sounds that are so loud they hurt you” should be higher as well. In other words, if it takes more decibels and louder sounds to kill a ninja, it should take Dosu even more decibels and louder sounds to even hurt a ninja at all – considering how he can hurt people with his sound with no sweat, we can easily assume that Dosu can achieve this elevated decibel threshold without any difficulty whatsoever.
Don’t forget, Dosu’s hearing is uber-sensitive, too. He proved that in the first round of the Exam. Usually in fantasy fiction, when someone with sensitive ears hears a loud sound, it is… rather painful for them, to say the least. Because they can sense small changes in sound, their ears are sensitive to loud noise.
But Dosu can withstand enough decibels to shatter a log at point-blank range… his ears are somehow both sensitive AND resilient, which makes them a lot more versatile and just generally optimized as much as humanly possible.
Anyways, back to the plot. Dosu and his posse jump at Sakura, shouting some confident words, and Lee shows up and kicks them away. Dosu gets ready to fight Lee, and here he reminds himself that Lee is a heavy taijutsu user.
...But Dosu has never seen Lee fight before! One I can think of that explains this is that Kabuto must have shown Dosu his information in the past – either that, or Dosu was listening in on Kabuto’s conversation with Naruto regarding Lee’s and Gaara’s cards before the first exam started. This is an important thing to note as to why his death is so out of character, but we’ll get to that later.
Actually, there’s one other possibility that was brought to my attention recently. As is revealed in the third round preliminaries, Rock Lee has extremely heavy weights on his arms and legs most of the time. It’s very possible that Dosu could’ve heard the weights shuffling on Lee’s body as he moved, and that could’ve given Lee away as a taijutsu ninja.
So Dosu tosses the scroll to Zaku, making sure Zaku was available to back him up if need be, and charges into battle with Lee. When Lee activates his Front Lotus, he’s visibly faster than Dosu and easily subdues him. Dosu probably would’ve died had Zaku not saved him.
I think it’s worthy to note here that Dosu visibly underestimated Lee. Dosu goes on his whole “no amount of hard work here can surpass this wall” thing. Everyone seems to know that Lee is a dropout at this point. On paper, Lee probably isn’t too impressive, especially since Dosu doesn’t know he can open the Gates yet. All he knows is that Lee is good at taijutsu, and he has weights that weigh him down. If Dosu were prepared and cautious, he wouldn’t have just charged in like he did here.
I think it’s also interesting to note that Lee decides that, despite the fact that he should technically be enemies with Sasuke, his first target of the Primary Lotus is DOSU. This tells me that Lee sees Dosu as a powerful opponent, someone who he shouldn’t underestimate. He even sees him as a greater threat than Sasuke – granted, Sasuke was unconscious at the time, but still… this is most likely due to Dosu’s attack on Kabuto in the first round of the exam. Lee was there, he noticed it, and he even asked Neji, a prodigy genius, what was going on and Neji was stumped. To Lee, Dosu’s a mysterious, dangerous opponent who needs to be fought with caution – which I think should say something about Dosu’s own ability, too.
So now Dosu knows Lee is faster than him. He knows he can’t defeat Lee at max stamina and is visibly worried when Lee tries to hit him again. And now Dosu counterattacks, and he easily debilitates Lee.
Again I’m going to quote someone else here as he said it easily and succinctly:
>His attack works on all enemies as seen when he was able to damage kabuto and lee (two people i think could beat him 'soundly') his issue is just landing his attack.
And here, right after Lee gets beaten, Dosu decides to go out and explain his powers for Lee. Here too. On the one hand, it adds a bit of science to the ninja world on Kishi’s part, along with a bit of drama and tension to the match. On the other hand, we get to see Dosu allow his confident side up against an opponent he knows is downed.
So Sakura tries to attack Team Dosu and is easily subdued. (No surprise there.) Zaku and Kin get the idea of teaching Sakura a lesson, while Dosu tries to calm them down subtly. But this time, Zaku and Kin are absorbed in the thrill of the fight and ignore him, which leads to Sakura’s Character Development. I’d like to say that Dosu knew that and didn’t want the other two to trigger Sakura’s personal growth because that could potentially change the tide of battle, but it’s more likely he’s just rational instead of needlessly bloodthirsty like the other two.
Dosu, cautious and observant as always, watches in curiosity as Sakura has her little character development spiel and attacks Zaku and Kin. And when team Ino-Shika-Cho shows up, Zaku is unfazed – he thinks he can probably take them all – but Dosu is alarmed, more reinforcements on the enemy side with unknown powers could definitely turn the tides of battle. He doesn’t act until he realizes Zaku is in danger and goes off to help him; though he doesn’t actually get to do anything because Shikamaru nabs him with shadow possession before he can pull it off.
Then, when Ino possesses Kin and threatens to kill her, Zaku blasts her; Dosu remarks that their goal is to reach Sasuke, not finish the exam. This is our first potentially OOC moment that Dosu has; we’ve already seen that he cares about his teammates. One potential explanation is that he already knew from Kabuto’s Ninja Info Cards (™) or through overhearing conversations that Ino was too soft to actually kill Kin and risk her own life and was solely bluffing. Or, alternatively, he only cares about Zaku and not Kin, because all of his other caring acts are directed towards Zaku, as I’ll explain later.
Plus, he instantly figures out the details behind Ino’s jutsu gimmick, specifically how she receives all the damage that Kin does when inside her body. Granted, Shikamaru shouting “Ino!!” at Kin gave it away, but it would’ve been a bit trickier to figure out that Ino receives all the damage Kin does too.
But then Neji shows up.
> Neji: Some minor Sound nins bullying these… second rate ninja and declaring victory?
> Dosu: ...What?
Dosu may be slightly skeptical of Orochimaru at this point, but he still is loyal to his master right now.
And here we get to see Dosu’s observant nature again. He figures out the Byakugan’s basic ability extremely quickly on intuition alone.
> Dosu: What’s this… it’s like his eyes see through everything...
And it’s through Dosu’s eyes that we learn the marks on Sasuke’s body are from the Curse Seal; through him, we learn more about Orochimaru and his powers. Notably, he’s impressed that Sasuke had the power to stand at all. This is probably Dosu’s most important contribution to the Naruto storyline on a greater scale; he provides a lot of exposition about Orochimaru and the curse seal in scenes like this.
Dosu remarks that Sasuke is emanating an enormous chakra – Orochimaru’s chakra. We get to see that Dosu can sense chakra, and this is why I believe he had the potential to become a sensor ninja had he been given the opportunity to train and hone himself. Besides, Ino too makes remarks about Sasuke’s chakra, and she becomes a sensor-nin later on.
Dosu also expresses an obvious concern for Zaku here after he recognizes Orochimaru’s chakra and realizes the poor lad is no match against Curse Mark Sasuke. In fact, I think this is the first time Dosu really shouts in the manga, the first time he gets really panicked and worried.
> Zaku: Dosu!! No need to be afraid of this half-dead freak!
> Dosu: No, Zaku! Don’t you realize…?!
But Zaku ignores him.
Then, when Sasuke dislocates Zaku’s arms and turns to Dosu, he realizes there’s nothing he can do. Getting more involved will only hurt his teammates and him – so he puts his pride aside, admits defeat, and hands over his scroll. This is the most obvious point where we see Dosu putting his pride aside and acting rationally, something that out of his teammates only he would be able to do.
> Dosu: You are strong… Sasuke… we can’t defeat you right now. Here’s a gift to you… please, let us leave. This may seem convenient, but there is something I must find out now. But I will promise you this – if there is another situation where we meet in this exam, we will neither run nor hide.
That “something he must find out”? It’s Orochimaru’s plans. The gears are turning in his head, and he realizes something is up. And when Sakura asks him what’s going on…
> Dosu (thoughts): Telling us to kill Sasuke, yet going ahead of us… then not killing Sasuke, but leaving the Curse Seal… what is your reasoning?
Dosu leaves with his two unconscious teammates in hand, now with no scrolls. Pondering what’s up with Orochimaru. And somehow, between that moment and when the second exam finished, Dosu managed to nab not just one, but TWO scrolls from TWO teams, either by himself or with his teammates. It’s an often overlooked aspect of his team – they’re surprisingly competent offscreen.
And before anyone says Orochimaru just gave them extra scrolls…. well, in Orochimaru’s eyes, they had served their purpose already, so why would he continue to help them?
Continued in the next post...
Once they get to the third exam, Dosu watches with interest as Zaku’s match starts… but then he notices Orochimaru teleport off, which Kin obviously doesn’t see. He realizes Orochimaru doesn’t even care enough about Zaku to watch his match. Orochimaru’s not there to see Zaku, who was so devoted to him, bl0w his arms off, because he wanted to pay a visit to Sasuke.
But Dosu, on the other hand, cares about his teammate enough to watch and cheer him on in his own quiet, observant way.
> Dosu: Hehe… so it was an act that his arm was useless. Good one, Zaku.
And when Zaku’s arms get bl0wn off, Dosu swears revenge on Shino.
> Dosu: I only knew you through working on the same mission, but… I’ll get him back for you!
Dosu and Zaku didn’t know each other well. Yet Zaku – brash, reckless, abrasive, stup1d Zaku, who was probably the least obedient kid around and respected nobody until he met Orochimaru – still holds Dosu in respect despite barely knowing him. That should say something about who Dosu is, how he works with his people, and his relationship with his teammates.
He even warns Kin to be careful before she has her match. Which shows he does care about her, even if Orochimaru doesn’t. He observes Kin’s match, though he isn’t as sympathetic towards her loss.
> Dosu: Hehe… so I’m the only one left…
Dosu watches Lee’s and Gaara’s battle, and then finally gets his own against Choji.
At this moment, he’s realized the ugly truth.
> Dosu: Orochimaru-sama… I will not fulfill your wishes… I now realize what your plans were. The way you went ahead to find Sasuke-kun before we could find him and implant your curse instead of killing him…
> Dosu: In other words, we were your guinea pigs, to see what strength Sasuke has during these trials… what you really wanted wasn’t his life, but Sasuke himself.
> Dosu: I’m really being taken quite lightly here.
And, of course, he beats Choji easy. Again, here he shows his acute knowledge of sound and simultaneously shows his confident side around an enemy he knows can’t hurt him.
On this note, I’m very intrigued by his “I need to fight Sasuke or I won’t live up to Oro’s expectations” line here. I think this might be the quote that throws people off about Dosu's character development and leads them to mis-interpret him.
If anything, I think it’s interesting that despite his loyalty to Orochimaru wavering, he still respects an assessment of his abilities even if it’s from a source he is uncertain is trustworthy.
Either that or it’s sarcasm, since the manga translates this line as “I will not submit to your wishes” and the dub has Dosu say “my job is to fight Sasuke… isn’t that right, Lord Orochimaru? I wouldn’t want to disappoint you…” in a pretty sarcastic and snarky tone of voice. It’s the same tone he uses when he’s showing a little attitude and confidence, like when he explains to Choji how his attack works.
After this battle, Dosu drops my favorite line in the entire series:
> Dosu: Orochimaru-sama… no, Orochimaru… I’ll teach you that I’m no guinea pig!
Or, if you prefer one of the other translations:
> Dosu: Orochimaru-sama… no, Orochimaru… I will show you that I am not just a test subject! (anime sub translation)
> Dosu: Lord Orochimaru… or rather, Orochimaru, now do you see? I’m more than a mere puppet. (anime dub translation)
Naruto Online, of course, has no translation of this since it just skips the third round preliminaries. ;-;
Some people don’t see Dosu’s character development, or they think he’s a weird version of Zaku in which he wants to get Orochimaru’s praise and prove that he’s something more than Sasuke by beating him. But this is the evidence that disproves that, as Dosu clearly has absolutely no respect left for his former master.
Dosu even goes far enough to drop the honorific, which is a pretty major insult in Japanese culture if I’m not mistaken. Basically the equivalent of a knightly retainer calling his king by his first name and not “milord” or “your majesty”. People could get executed for that kind of thing. So clearly he has lost all respect for Orochimaru. He knows what’s going on, and he’s ready to throw a wrench in his former master's plans.
Anyways, that’s it for the second part of my write up on Dosu. I hope this helped you learn a bit more about Dosu, and if anything, I hope that it was an entertaining read. Please let me know what you think about this!
Tomorrow I'll discuss Dosu's fight with Gaara, how it's out of character, and what it connotes for the Naruto series as a whole.
An@lysis of Dosu Kinuta, Part 3
Alright, time for Part 3.
This section is definitely shorter than the rest. Despite this, this is arguably the most important section of the write-up as it goes over the Out Of Character-ness regarding Dosu's confrontation with Gaara.
You ready? Let's gooooooo.
Before We Continue
Now before we continue, let’s recap what we know about Dosu.
He’s incredibly intellectual and an@lytical, as proven through his pencil-scratch-translating technique.
He’s extremely observant, as he saw through Sakura’s traps like nothing and figured out Orochimaru’s plans.
He had potential to be a chakra sensor, as he could recognize Orochimaru’s chakra easily.
He’s naturally cautious, as shown when he frequently stopped to an@lyze situations before proceeding. He knows his power limits, and knows when to back off in a battle he can’t win.
He’s got a potent, powerful jutsu that’s pretty hax at chunin level and is effective against higher levels too.
His ears are sensitive enough to differentiate the timings of pencil scratches, but resilient enough to withstand his own Melody Arm blasts.
His loyalty to Orochimaru has been shattered completely, and he’s out to mess up his former master’s plans.
He is rightfully one of the “elite” applicants of the Exam. Sasuke considers him a worthy opponent, among the likes of Lee, Neji, and Gaara, and he’s even shocked to hear that Dosu and his team actually managed to beat Lee. Dosu is even paired with the other elites here in this panel. Oh, and here too. No doubt he’s the weakest one of them at this point, but he’s still an elite. And that's still noteworthy at this time in the story.
And, not only that, although he has pride – like Kin and Zaku – he keeps it in check most of the time and only lets it out when he is confident that the enemy is no longer a threat.
Overall, he’s a pretty versatile and interesting character and a force to be reckoned with, albeit not fully reaching what he could have. And what does Kishimoto decide is the right thing to do to this lovely character?
That’s right – fodderize him and kill him to hype up another character as dangerous!
Now there was one post I saw a little while back where someone basically said “Team Dosu was just extensions of Orochimaru, they didn’t need to stay cause they would’ve slowed down the pacing tremendously. I’m saying this because a lot of people are like “they had so much potential” and I’m going to say no, I feel like they served their purpose and that is all I think we needed from them.”
But that completely goes against what Naruto was about back in Part I. It was all about deciding your own fate – to show that even a loser like Naruto himself, or someone who couldn’t do ninjutsu, like Lee, could still achieve their goals with enough hard work and become more than what their “purpose” was supposed to be. This should’ve applied to Dosu in the most me
Just because Dosu was a servant of Orochimaru and a minor character didn’t mean he was permanently condemned to an uninteresting plot role, or that he should’ve remained a minor character. With his hype-filled introduction and just a few interactions, he proved himself to be a competent force and a complex character. And, just as he was reaching towards the threshold that kept minor characters from becoming supporting characters, just as he was about to defy his fate as a minor character…
...Kishimoto came and shoved him back down.
Ironic foreshadowing to how Shippuden completely tosses the old theme of Naruto into the tr@sh, eh?
OOC Is Serious Business
Now I’m going to point out exactly why Dosu facing Gaara is the most bizarre idea that came out of Kishimoto’s head in the early stages of Naruto, rivalling things like the Great Snake Escape and Kaguya’s entire existence.
First of all, it reeks of “author is trying to write a smart character by giving him a big complex plan”. Dosu’s whole plan was to kill or weaken Gaara so Sasuke would progress through his first match in the Chunin Exam. Then, in the final match, Dosu would beat Sasuke, shove it in Orochimaru’s face, and then perhaps kill Sasuke to prevent Orochimaru from ever getting to him.
But why couldn’t Dosu just attack Sasuke at night, just like he is attacking Gaara at night right now? Is it because he wanted to kill Sasuke in front of Orochimaru? He could’ve just killed Sasuke using his sound, and then Orochimaru would’ve surely heard the medical reports stating that the Uchiha was killed with sound and realized exactly what happened. Or, more likely, he could’ve just tried to assassinate Sasuke with a kunai instead of making it painfully obvious who killed him by using his Melody Arm. Orochimaru would no doubt try and figure out who had killed his “target”, and eventually that trail would definitely lead him to Dosu. Imagine Orochimaru’s rage when he realizes that his “puppet” played him!
Or, alternatively, he could’ve done something the rational, levelheaded Dosu would’ve done – realize there was no secure plan he could rely on by himself, pack up his pride and just tell the Hokage about the entire plan. Sure, he doesn’t get to humiliate Orochimaru and he doesn’t get his revenge for treating him like a pawn. But Orochimaru is leagues stronger than Dosu is, and he knows it. What chance does he think he have? The level-headed Dosu would’ve realized this and saved his c0ckiness for when Orochimaru was down and almost dead.
But this Dosu doesn’t. He foregoes the rational option.
Second of all, let’s an@lyze his awareness of Gaara a bit. He knows Kabuto’s data cards, so he already knows Gaara’s been through many dangerous missions without ever getting hurt once. He saw Gaara completely thrash Lee in the preliminary rounds of the exam. And he already knows Lee is faster than him and can easily beat him, even with his weights.
So if Lee even without weights can’t pierce through Gaara’s sand, what chance does Dosu – someone slower than Lee – have to raise his Melody Arm and release sound through Gaara’s ears without the sand reaching him first? I guess that’s what he means when he says “I wonder which is faster… your sand, or my sound?” I’m betting on the fact that he expected Gaara to be asleep, but… then why didn’t he back off when he noticed Gaara was awake, just like how the cautious Dosu would’ve done? I heard a little while back that there’s a thing in Japanese culture where fighting opponents stronger than you is seen as honorable and praiseworthy, but I don’t see why that’s worth risking his life or ninja career like this.
He also knows Gaara is downright murderous and psychopathic. He saw it himself. He probably knows that Gaara will kill him if he loses.
But why would he risk himself like this when he was so cautious before? Even when he was fighting Lee, Dosu made sure that Zaku was ready to back him up if something went wrong. And this was the right choice, since without Zaku, Dosu would’ve been killed by Lee.
But instead, Dosu goes to take on Gaara. At night. In a fight where he’s probably going to lose. Without a backup plan or anyone to help him out.
Reality ensues. Gaara is notably exhausted after fighting Dosu, so at least he… sorta put up a fight? Even though we never actually get to see it… but still, Gaara was wrecked and in visible pain after the fight.
This is bizarre. Why would he do that? Why would Kishimoto forego literally all of the characterization he has given Dosu just to show that Gaara is a strong boi?
I have no words. I have no explanation. It’s really stretching the boundaries of his character at best, and OOC at worst.
Anyways, that’s it for the third part of my Dosu write-up. Hopefully you understand a little more as to why I want him in the game so badly! Tomorrow, I'll wrap this discussion up by taking apart the "wasted potential" that Dosu fans like myself love to quote all the time, and an@lyze exactly what he could've become. Thank you for reading!
Alright, first of all, a big ol' happy birthday to one of the bestest boys. H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y :0
Oh, I passed 1000 posts! Yaaay, how fitting of a time to surpass that milestone lol
Now then, enough about me. Time for Part 4.
This is the fourth and final part of my in-depth character an@lysis of Dosu Kinuta, my absolute favorite character from this anime. It's been split into parts to (hopefully) be a bit easier to chew through, since I've gotten complaints before about the stuff I write being too long...
Anyways, we last left off on Dosu's death and why I believe it was OOC. Now let's move on to our logical next step:
So what should’ve been done with Dosu?
First of all, I want to say that, as much as I love Dosu, I feel like he had a 15-20% chance, at max, to actually beat Gaara in a fair fight. So let’s cut the whole Gaara part out of the equation.
I already said that I feel like he should’ve told the Hokage about Orochimaru’s plan for Sasuke. I’m not sure how much he knew about the Konoha Crush at the time, or if he knew that Gaara was a pivotal tool in the plan. But either way, at the very least the Hokage would learn that Orochimaru is the real head of the Sound Village, and the village is just his ba
I’d imagine this would prompt the Hokage to station more disguised ANBU and guards all around Konoha. Granted, in-universe the ANBU are there just to get their asses kicked, but it still would’ve lessened the bl0w of the invasion.
Now the fanfic True Potential has one of my favorite alternate interpretations of Dosu's fate – instead of fighting him on the rooftop, Dosu and Gaara face off in the Chunin Exam third round preliminaries. Generally, I think this fic went a nice direction with Dosu – obviously, Dosu doesn't win against Gaara but he puts up a good fight and actually manages to hurt Gaara for the first time before being knocked unconscious. Naruto intervenes, stopping Gaara from killing the heavily wounded Dosu, and he's taken to the medical room; there, Naruto starts to talk to him and try to befriend him. Kabuto tries to assassinate him and silence him but gets interrupted by Ibiki. Dosu is then taken to a hidden area to ensure his own safety, and provides info on the Konoha Crush to Jiraiya.
Had he survived, I also would've imagined that Naruto would’ve talk-no-jutsu’d him into defecting. Naruto never saw Dosu attack Sasuke and Sakura, so he would start out with a neutral opinion on him and limited distrust.
I would’ve liked to see him have further interaction with the Sound Four and Kabuto, as a way to better flesh them out and the Sound Village as a whole. I haven't thought about Shippuden as much as it would be more difficult to really tie Dosu into some of these happenings, as the Sound falls into obscurity in Shippuden… though I can see him taking up a major role in the Tenchi Bridge arc. It would be interesting to see the dynamic between him, Orochimaru, and Kabuto. It also would’ve been fun to see him interact with Taka, especially Karin since Dosu has prior knowledge of interrogation and imprisonment, and it would be nice to make Karin more interesting instead of… who she is right now.
In addition, I think it would’ve been cool if Dosu defected and started working with Ibiki Morino and Inoichi Yamanaka in the Torture/Interrogation division during the war as well. He’s perfect – he’s got a level head and potential to be a sensor. It could’ve shown us exactly what ninja have to go through to learn how to be sensor types, and we could’ve learned more about how sensors work. More worldbuilding! Plus, I think it would be interesting to see Dosu apply various levels of sound to affect imprisoned captives to show the various effects of extreme sound on the human body. (At 153 decibels, for example, a normal human loses the ability to swallow!)
I feel like all of these aspects would’ve helped him stand out more as a character because it gets him more directly involved with the plot; in addition, it would help reinforce, or at least justify, the huge amount of hype Kishimoto gives the Sound Trio in their initial appearance. At the very least, he should’ve gotten a legitimate fight with Gaara, so he could go out with a b@ng.
Dosu’s Potential Power
Power wise, it’s hard to tell exactly how much he could grow, had he survived. Dosu was 14 years old - younger than Haku, who we already know is a child prodigy. Even just a few years can do wonders on a young ninja’s skills. We’ve seen this in the Shippuden timeskip, where Ino, one of the biggest pieces of fodder in the original Naruto, became a Chunin easily, and arguably pulled off some pretty impressive feats; things like defeating Ginkaku, forcing Obito to misfire his Bijuu bomb, and li
If a fodder like Ino can pull off that amount of growth in such a short time, then a talented elite ninja like Dosu definitely has lots of room for improvement. Not to mention, he’s still young, so he has lots of time to improve as well.
We can sort of gauge this through the sound jutsu we see in Shippuden, things like the frog elders’ genjutsu song. Dosu’s greatest weaknesses in his original appearance were speed, range and some level of reliance on his tool. If, sometime during Shippuden, Dosu could figure out how to attack with long range sound, pull off some audio genjutsu like Tayuya and manipulate it so it affects his enemies and not his allies (which we already know he can do), I believe he could take down quite a few enemies, even high power ninjas like Itachi, as long as he manages to hit the opponent. This, of course, would be difficult considering who Itachi is - but still, it would affect him.
Let me explain - a sound genjutsu like the frog song paralyzes your mind. But to escape genjutsu you need to realize it’s genjutsu and actively break it, which you can’t do if your mind is paralyzed. If Dosu could master something like that…
I would’ve liked to see him perhaps get a body modification, so that the Resonating Echo Drill would be built into his arm; either that, or he would ditch the tool entirely and find a way to use sound jutsu on his own. I think it could be interesting watching him transition away from relying on this tool, which presumably he’s had his entire ninja career, and being able to emit sound from anywhere in his body.
Or, alternatively, it would be cool to see Dosu get an implant that would allow him to infinitely produce soundwaves – or, at least, store MANY of them and produce them for a long time. Everything makes sound, so he’d have plenty of sources – we never really see how much capacity for sound the Melody Arm has. But he also has never used it for a long time, like in the form of a sound barrier or a sound beam or something concentrated… so we don’t know his chakra reserve.
The best way to gauge his development, though, is to look at other users of Sound. Tayuya was able to perform AoE genjutsu that paralyzed anyone in earshot. If Dosu could find a way to maintain his intense destructive sound - the same type that destroyed the log - in an AoE method like Tayuya did, he could effectively create a sonic shield around him that would tear to shreds anyone who got close.
For an @lternative possibility, we can actually look at Boruto’s Namida Suzumeno.
Namida seems to be an odd version of Dosu’s Redemption Season - by that I mean that Namida effectively gave Dosu a pretty big buff just by displaying another method of sound jutsu through those laser things. Her technique is a little different from his; while Dosu uses calculating and precision to guide soundwaves and snipe people up close, Namida seems to possess more destructive and less controlled blasts at long range. It’s like Shikamaru vs. Temari - one uses brute force while one uses technical precision.
It’s pretty widely recognized that Namida has huge destructive potential. Her beams are eerily akin to a Bijuu Bomb type of attack - it’s way stronger than the likes of genin/chunin level attacks like the Rasengan and Chidori. She deafened her teammates just by being nearby them, Tayuya-style. With a Namida type beam, I think Dosu would’ve easily dispatched Gaara’s sand. It would’ve given him a way to get around one of his weaknesses, his low/close range. With that kind of destructive power and many years to train and hone the skill, Dosu’s - or Namida’s - sound could even be as strong as Evening Elephant, which is basically just a huge blast wave.
Through Namida, we can see a much clearer view on Dosu’s possible future potential. People are talking all about how much potential Namida has – well, this is just a greater look at what Dosu could’ve done with his powers and how great he, too, could have become.
On a similar but different note...
Why Dosu vs. Shikamaru would've been a great fight to see in the Exam Arc
Mainly because I feel like this matchup could go either way and would be really interesting to see. Shikamaru’s got the intellect and a utility jutsu, but Dosu’s observant enough to notice all the little aspects of Shikamaru’s plans – I’d argue that would leave them in an intellectual stalemate. Dosu’s jutsu is close-to-mid range, which is perfect range for Shikamaru’s jutsu as well. It could be a tight, really tense matchup.
It really could go either way, and I feel like Kishimoto could’ve done some interesting stuff with it. Just another wasted potential right there.
So there you have it – that concludes my in-depth an@lysis of everything related to Dosu Kinuta, who’s quite possibly my favorite anime character of all time. If you’re still with me and read through all of this, well done, and thank you for reading it all! I hope that, just maybe, your opinion on Dosu is a little different now, or maybe some of you who see him as an overrated fodder character who served his purpose now understand a little more why people like him. Either way, I hope you understand just a little more why I want him so badly in this game.
If you still think Dosu’s a fodder ninja, or if you think I got something wrong, please drop me a comment! I’d love to hear feedback on this.
TL:DR: Dosu should be in Naruto Online.
One More Thing
Fun fact: Whoever wrote the Edo Hayate filler completely scr3wed up Dosu’s characterization, and I’m going to complain about that here. Feel free to skip this part if you want, it’s just more OOC shenanigans.
The implication is that Kabuto ordered Dosu to attack Gaara, judging by his conversation with Baki in the filler. In Dosu’s conversation with Gaara, he says he needs to fight him for Orochimaru’s sake.
Hmm… that’s nothing like the Dosu I know. The only explanation I can think of is that Dosu heard Baki and Kabuto talking and watching and was afraid that they would kill him if they realized he was planning on betraying. He was also presumably aware that Temari and Kankuro had secured the area as well. That would be a four-on-one, two of which are experienced Jonin.
So why did Dosu even come out here? Still irrational, still bizarre. You’d imagine that he’d hear Temari and Kankuro breathing in the bushes nearby and wonder “how do they know I’m here? Maybe there’s something else going on? This is fishy, but at the same time it’s dangerous and I shouldn’t risk my life here just to execute a complicated irrational plan.”
Dosu’s inner monologues, though, sound more like the familiar Dosu. He realizes he’s got no chance and that he needs to get out of there or else he’ll die.
Yet… he decides to charge at Gaara anyways. Even though he knows this.
What the actual eternal sauna were you smoking, anime writing team? This is why the only worthwhile filler are the Aoba of the Door fillers.
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