To be an action-packed shonen anime, naruto features a number of hair-raising battles and all-out wars, such as the infamous Great Shinobi War which completely changed the political landscape of the shinobi world. One of these wars, albeit on a smaller scale, is the “Konoha Crush”, an operation planned by the Hidden Sand Village to infiltrate and overrun the Leaf Village. Even though the invasion was put down and peace talks soon followed, the incident left viewers confused with a number of issues that the series never directly acknowledged.
While war and invasions are a staple in the naruto franchise, this conflict, in particular, didn’t add up, considering how two massive armies remained undetected outside the walls of Leaf Village. The Hidden Leaf even possessed complex defense systems such as chakra sensors and its Byakugan users, which could easily detect unchanging chakra activity in their surroundings. This has led fans to wonder if it can be attributed to poor writing on the part of the writers, or if there were any real signs that explain how the invasion could have been made possible. However, further analysis reveals that there are multiple reasons why the Hidden Leaf was completely caught off guard by the attack.
The Chunin Exams Served as the Perfect Cover
Being an international event with spectators and shinobi in attendance from nations around the world, the Chunin Exam served as the perfect cover for the Hidden Sand and Sound Village shinobi to dress up in the guise of being visitors. Additionally, transformation jutsus are also common in Naruto, meaning enemy shinobi could easily transform into tourists and spectators for the event.
The key characters of Operation Konoha Crush, the Three Sand Siblings, were already in full view as they posed as candidates for the Chunin Examinations. Several other enemy ninjas used the same tactic, acting like Genin who wanted to participate in the exams. Under such circumstances, telling friend from foe was an impossible feat for Leaf Village.
The absence of the Hyugas during the final battle
Fans often claim that the Hyuga clan’s Byakugan could have easily felt a massive influx of chakra, both around the village and during the final battle of the Chunin Exam. While this may have been left unaddressed on the show, the events leading up to the final battle may help shed light on how this was set up by the Infiltrators.
During the final battle of the Chunin Exams, none of the Hyuga Clan members were present at the stadium. Neji was defeated by Naruto, forcing him to be taken to Leaf Village Hospital. Hisashi Hyuga, the clan’s leader, left the exam hall after Neji’s defeat, taking his daughter, Hanabi Hyuga, with him. This left the stadium without any Byakugan users to detect the sudden influx of chakra in the surrounding area.
Hidden Sand Puppet Mastery
The Sand Village is known for its mastery of puppet techniques, and several notable shinobi use these jutsu throughout the series, such as Kankuro and Sasori. The Kazekage’s bodyguards were revealed to be puppets, with the Hidden Sound shinobi hidden within, suppressing their chakras. From these events, it can be inferred that enemy ninjas have infiltrated the village undetected through the use of chakra-suppressing puppets.
Kankuro also loses his fight in the Chunin Exams since his battle was placed before Gaara’s, as it would have revealed their invasion plan. The series later reveals this fact, stating that Kankuro simply gives up to avoid revealing his secret puppet techniques to the Hidden Leaf shinobi before the Konoha Crush actually begins, as the Leaf Village might have figured out the plan otherwise.
The number of Anbu was limited
Another question that arises during the invasion is how the Anbu, a group of S-level shinobi from the Leaf Village, were not seen anywhere during the invasion, therefore playing no role. in the repression of chaos. However, there is actually a reasonable justification as to why the Anbu couldn’t predict the attack and why their numbers were so low.
Just before the exam’s final stage, Hayate is killed by Baki, prompting an emergency Anbu investigation into the matter. Since Hayate was killed while secretly investigating Kabuto, the Leaf Village elder knew the incident had a direct connection to Orochimaru. Therefore, the Anbu were tasked with finding Jiraiya and bringing him back, as well as investigating other enemy nations for a possible attack. Since the Leaf Village had initially viewed the Sand Village as an ally, the Anbu’s investigation mainly focused on its known enemies – the Hidden Stone and Hidden Cloud Villages.
Since their forces were already spread all over the world, with the rest stationed in the Leaf Village, there were hardly any Anbu shinobi left to attend the stadium. This is evident from the scene where Guy notices the fact that there are only eight Anbu overseeing the event, a fairly small number compared to the heaps of spectators present at the event. This series of events led to Hidden Leaf Village being completely blinded by the Konoha Crush, allowing one of the Naruto’s most exciting arcs to play smoothly.
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