In this video we’re going to analyse Nartuo's quote from Naruto (ナルト).
The sentence is a bit long but the structure is quite simple. It’s one sentence that consists of two clauses connected with the conjunction particle し meaning “and”. And both clauses have the grammar “Noun A に Noun B はない”. ねぇ is the broken version of ない meaning “nonexistent” so it means “A has no B”.
So the structure of this sentence is simply “A has no B and C has no D”.
Noun A: 火影になる奴
火影 literally means Fire Shadow which is a word that only exists in the Naruto world. It’s the highest class of ninja and often the strongest, representing the Konoha village.
Something になる means “to become something”. So 火影になる means “become Hokage” and it modifies the following noun 奴 which is a rough way of saying 人 meaning “a person”.
So 火影になる奴 can be translated as “One who becomes Hokage”.
Noun B: 近道
Each kanji means “close” and “path” so it means “shortcut”.
So the first clause 火影になる奴に近道はねぇ means “One who becomes Hokage has no shortcut”.
Noun C: なった奴
なった is the ta-form of なる and it modifies the following noun 奴 so it means “one who has become”. 火影に is omitted this time to avoid redundancy.
Noun D: 逃げ道
It literally means “runaway” “path” so it means “way out”.
So the second clause なった奴に逃げ道はねぇ means “One who has become (Hokage) has no way out”.
よ is the sentence ending particle used to make the listener become aware of what the speaker says.
Notice that a verb ta-form is often used to express the past tense but in this case, it doesn’t mean he’s talking about the past. The form of a verb can also express if an action is incomplete or complete at a certain point of time.
So there is a point in time where someone becomes Hokage and 火影になる奴 indicates the one before that point where the action is incomplete, whereas 火影になった奴 indicates the one after that point where the action is complete.
So he’s simply saying that until you become Hokage there are no shortcuts, and once you’ve become Hokage, there’s no way out.
You can also say A には B がない. The difference between them is what is the topic and what is emphasised in the sentence.
» A に B はない – [B] is the topic and the emphasis is placed on [ない] (There is NO B for A)
» A には B がない – [Aに] is the topic and the emphasis is placed on [Bがない] (as for A, THERE IS NO B)
In this quote, Obito mentions “shortcuts” (近道) and Naruto responds to the word, so 近道 is the topic of the sentence and Naruto is emphasising there is NO (ない) such thing.
If they are only talking about Hokage, and Naruto gives Obito information about it, it could be 火影には近道がない (火影に = topic, 近道がない = information).
し can also be used as a sentence ending particle to imply that there are unstated conclusions.
In this case, you can also use から instead of し, but し expresses indirect causal connection and implies there are other unstated reasons whereas から expresses direct causal connection and doesn’t have any implications.
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