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Rock Lee – A Symbol Of An Undying Will

So I’ve recently been finding all sorts of reasons to procrastinate on my assignments, among some other obligations. Eventually I ended up revisiting the Naruto of old, because there’s nothing like a long, filler-filled shonen anime to keep you occupied. But in my attempts to avoid work, I ended up rediscovering a character that motivated me to do work. Rock Lee inspired me to talk about his character and the many things that he signified.


the name’s Rock Lee

So a little bit of introduction is due. Rock Lee is a shinobi who, unlike the others, lacked the necessary skills to use genjutsu or ninjutsu. To make up for his shortcomings, he pursues wholeheartedly in training in the art of taijutsu. As goofy and narrow sighted as he might appear to be, Rock Lee is filled with an overwhelming drive to overcome anything. He’s also a really nice guy.

As an untalented shinobi, Rock Lee made it a point to overcome the gap of talent through sheer hard work and effort. He would spend countless hours training multiple times harder than the next hardest worker in the room, and would continue to push himself even further. To prove to everyone of his worth and in fact to prove to himself of his own self worth, he took it upon himself to suffer countless hardships.

this was the hardest(?) of them all

Rock Lee is the embodiment of how hard work and determination can let you reach unbelievable heights that would even put shame to those with natural talents. His character serves as a strong statement. Nothing is achieved without effort, even with talent, while almost anything can be achieved with effort. He’s a character that repeatedly awed and inspired me to always work harder to be a better version of myself.

Rock Lee is a character in the anime that’s constantly confronted with failure. He is constantly being beaten down and falling short over and over again, sometimes even being told that he can never overcome the odds. But whenever he would fall down, he got back up again and came back even stronger.

The leaf’s lotus blossoms twice. When we meet next time, I vow that I’ll be an even stronger man.

Rock Lee

Rock Lee is a beacon of hope and an icon of motivation. His mental toughness and his positive attitude that strives to overcome adversity is what allows his character to burn bright. With this positive demeanour and the relentless will to surpass himself, he becomes a role model figure to the viewers. Whenever he’s in the picture, he tends to impel us to never give up and to never be beaten down by failures.

Ultimately, everything Rock Lee does is done in style. From his epic splendour in battle, to his burning passion and hunger in overcoming his own shortcomings, everything about the guy is filled with a higher level of intensity. Even his fashion statement had been pretty intense. It’s an intensity that radiates charisma. A style that tells everyone to be confident in who they are and who they choose to be, no matter what others might say. In the end, what matters is having an internal locus of control. You just have to believe in yourself.

Also, can we just take the time to appreciate how badass a guy like Rock Lee is. I mean just look at the fight with Gaara in the Chunin exams. Also those eight gates are just way too epic!

is that you goku..? (comicvine)

(featured image source: Izzy)

14 comments

  1. well all of that is the point of his character. at least originally that was supposed to be his point till I don’t know what happened or what led to kishimoto to put him down as the comedy relief after that. his fight against kimimaru and his whole fear of surviving his surgery is also another good point to bring up since that had the feeling of being afraid of what may go wrong in a surgery but also knowing lee had the comforting support of his mentor and father figure(who I’m kind of surprised was never given the whole that is his father reveal cause that is way too much of a coincidence to look alike but I digress) is willing to go great lengths and even put his own life on the line if the surgery fails.

    but past Shippuden they did kind of diminish his impact and what he stood for. more so in the anime fillers sadly. but regardless I do agree with this post in how Rock Lee can be an inspiration to people and it still holds up very well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes as unfortunate as that may be I agree with you completely. Considering I’m writing this based off my rewatch of naruto (and I’m only on the chuunin exams arc currently), Rock Lee was a standout character. It’s truly disappointing that his presence wasn’t as pronounced in the later episodes or even Shippuden.

      Like

  2. Still my favorite Naruto character. I love how direct and earnest he was as a young ninja, even though some of his motivations (pursuing Sakura) were a bit misguided. It’s unfortunate that he was pretty much relegated to the sidelines later in the story but that’s something I’ve come to expect with a cast as big as Naruto’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He’s definitely up there among my favourites. Yeah you make a good point about the show having a huge cast. It’s a pity but at least he made a huge lasting impact early on. It’s enough for me to become a huge fan of his :p

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That is a wonderful post. Even though I stopped watching Naruto a long time ago, I thought Rock Lee was a FAR better protagonist than the title character ever was. He was very relatable, I wanted to see him succeed despite his lack of non-taijutsu prowess, and his fight scenes were pretty epic (good point about him vs. Gaara even with the aftermath). Him being such a hard worker was very inspiring even though it annoyed me how the show hyped up that the best ninjas were the prodigies, bloodline abilities, or having cursed states as power. One thing I did kind of wonder about the world of Naruto was if Rock Lee had a learning disability of sorts in the context of this ninja environment. Not something mentally since he’s competent in that area, but like how he doesn’t know how to do certain things like the rest of the villages. Besides that, I thought Rock Lee was a great character and certainly one of the most underrated Shonen Jump protagonists.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had always thought the same. I mean, I did like the special powered clans. The Hyuga clan with their Byakugan and the Uchiha clan with their Sharingan were quite exciting, but I didn’t like how it meant that they’re immediately the ultimate ninjas.

      But thankfully the anime gave time to show that even the elite prodigum must put in a lot of effort to grow.

      You do raise an interesting topic about Rock Lee. I haven’t watched Shippuden till the end so I’m not sure I can say anything about that theory, but it does make for an interesting topic.

      Yes! Indeed Rock Lee was an amazing character and is truly underrated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure thing. I’m not saying those abilities and others weren’t cool in their own right, but it did bug me how people like Neji, Sasuke, etc. instantly become top-tier ninjas because of those abilities. What really got me about Neji was his ideology about prodigies, geniuses, people with lots of powers was proven right when Naruto beat him even if it wasn’t the way he expected to be right.

        From what I’ve seen of Naruto, I can say they do have some moments where the elite grow.

        Thanks. I haven’t seen much of Shippuden, so I couldn’t tell you anything. It was something I wondered about Rock Lee’s lack of ninja abilities in the context of a ninja-based society.

        He truly is and I rooted for him way more than Naruto.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. After a watch and rewatch of Naruto, I feel so evil for not giving Rock Lee the attention he deserves…Nonetheless, looking back on him and the various of other underdogs in the franchise, I can definitely see the inspiration in him! Thus is the beautiful power of underdog stories or maybe just Lee in general haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve rewatched Naruto before me? Dang, you’re always one step ahead of me… Yup, he’s special that guy. It’s also just really cool to see his hard work translate to an overwhelming display of taijutsu prowess.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I wished Naruto could have balanced the large cast of characters more. In the beginning of the series (like the chuunin exam) the series was successful doing that. However, towards the end it became only about Naruto and Sasuke.

    Liked by 1 person

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