The recent fight between Naruto and Delta in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has revived an old discussion about the speed of ninjas. It may seem absurd, but both during this fight, and in Naruto’s fight against Madara Jinchuuriki of the Ten Tails in Shippuden, they present a violation of Albert Einsten’s General Relativity. In both cases, a ninja seemed to move faster than the light … Which should be impossible, right?
Not that things and characters faster than light do not exist in fiction. It would not be the first time. But despite being incredibly fantastic, Naruto’s scale of power doesn’t usually include feats of this size, unlike Knights of the Zodiac or Dragon Ball, for example.
Both demonstrations of characters supposedly faster than the speed of light appear after attack by lasers.
In Shippuden, Madara used the Hermit Art jutsu: Style of the Storm: Fang of Light, to emit a laser from his mouth … Which Naruto deflects and escapes from the inevitable death, since this jutsu was able to divide even a Sphere from the Way of Truth.
In Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, both Naruto and Kawaki are able to react in time to dodge (or put themselves in front, in the case of Kawaki) of literal laser beams emitted by Delta’s eyes.
But as lasers are light and light travels … At the speed of light, reacting to these blows would mean that these characters can move at these speeds, which would make no sense at all.
The solution to this issue, however, is simple: these attacks are not traveling at the speed of light. Even with the Fourth Official Databook stating this about Madara’s coup.
Both Madara’s jutsu and Delta’s strike are made of chakra, not light. And since chakra has mass, it means that it cannot move as fast as light.
The Baryon Mode that recently appeared on Boruto was initially explained as an analogy about nuclear fusion, suggesting that the chakra that the two were merging to create this new transformation is also made up of atoms.
Light travels at the maximum speed allowed in our universe (the speed of causality, in a vacuum) because it has no mass. Anything made up of atoms has mass and therefore cannot move at the speed of light.
Thus, if the chakra is not pure energy and has mass in some way, it is impossible for it to travel at that speed. Which even goes well with the representation of the attacks in the anime, as they move much less quickly than things at the speed of light should.
So, nobody in Naruto travels faster than light, no law is broken and we are all fine.
Or is it just an anime about ninjas with superpowers and we’re thinking too much…
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is the direct sequel to Naruto Shippuden, both in the anime and in the manga.
In this new story, we accompany Boruto, son of Naruto. Together with their teammates from Team 7, they live new adventures and interact with old and new characters from the franchise.
Currently, Boruto is adapting the third major arc of the manga, with the presentation of Kawaki, Kashin Koji, Jigen and other remarkable characters in the story.
The anime can be followed in full on Crunchyroll and gets new chapters every week.
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