Japanese Naruto and Indian Krishna – What They Have in Common

People like fairy tales. If you have any doubts about it yet, check the Eurovision song contest winner of 2009.

People love beautiful stories with love between beautiful characters. If these heroes are faced by danger and complications, you have a story that sells. And when characters are not black-and-white, not flat villains and good guys, when they are endowed with both advantageous and not-so-good qualities, you have a plot that could bring you a name in the literary world.

Masashi Kishimoto is yet another example of this phenomenon. His manga character Naruto made both him and his creation a world-wide celebrities and sold with more that 100 million copies in many languages.

Here we make a little comparison of characters in Indian and Japanese fantasy worlds.

In Indian mythology Krishna is believed to be the God Himself descending on earth and playing a role of beautiful boy who has a lot of power when it comes to fighting against demons. In his everyday life he has a nice yet a little mischievous personality playing practical jokes with his co-villagers. Being a son in a royal family, he was abandoned due to danger of being killed by a demon Kamsa, and transferred to a little village Vrindavan where people led simple lives. He has many friends, cowherd boys, who have a lot of fun between regular attacks of demons. Then Krishna and his mighty brother Balaram come to rescue them.

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Naruto is a fictional character created by manga artist about ten years ago. Although a nice beautiful boy, he is ostracized by his co villagers who believe that a nine-tailed demon is sealed in his body. He is kind to people, yet has a little mischievous nature. He fights against villains and demons who attack their village Konahagakure. He has great fighting skills that allow him to build his authority among villagers.

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When we speak about avatars in Indian terms, we refer to descent or embodiment of gods or their expansions. The term avatar means completely different concept in online communities. It is kind of small picture that people use in forums and discussion boards. More than 100 thousand people search for Naruto avatars each month on Google. Krishna divine avatars are enlisted in holy scripture Shrimad Bhagavatam having a five thousand years of history.

So if we take into account mischievous personality of both beautiful boys and their environment, their villages that are attacked by demons, great fighting skills and practical jokes, we see many similarities between these characters. People love them a lot, thus they search for their avatars, in their different meanings, though.


by Alex Radich