I can’t help but go with clichés for post titles at times, but at least this one fits Minato and Kushina’s situation. Given the urgency, I think it’s fair to say that Minato’s decision to seal half of the Nine Tail’s chakra into Naruto wasn’t so much an extravagant plan as much as it was taking a chance and betting on his son’s future. “Having faith” would be the phrase to sugarcoat that idea, which an emotionally troubled Fourth Hokage resorted to when faced with the idea that he may have to live on without Kushina. We’ve heard a lot about what actually happened on the night the Nine Tails wrecked havoc on Konoha, but seeing how it actually unfolded left me on the fence about Minato’s decision. As Hokage, he couldn’t ignore the necessity of keeping a tailed beast under Konoha’s control, so that pretty much limited his options to resealing it in some way. However, it came off a lot more as him being unable to bear the idea of living without Kushina and deciding to sacrifice himself too so that he wouldn’t have to. As justification for taking such drastic measures, he would be able to reseal the tailed beast in some form and maintain the balance of power between villages. Tailed beasts are the equivalent of modern day nukes in the Naruto universe after all, but what irked me is how quick he was to disregard his importance to the village as Hokage and to Naruto growing up as his father.
I would never go as far as calling Minato a coward for running away from living, but I still wish he looked for a better way to go about it even if it meant that only Kushina had to be sacrificed. Quite frankly, I’m not very fond of the mentality that Hokages past and present seem to have on sacrificing themselves to save the village. It seems like way too hasty of a decision considering how talented of a ninja they all are, but once they have that title attached to their name, death is always an option. Because of that, I’m torn between Minato’s valiant sacrifice to save Konoha and him not putting enough value on his own life. Ultimately, it’s leaving Naruto behind without parents and the burden of fulfilling some destiny that Jiraiya envisioned for him that bothers me the most, since I know what he had to go through growing up. From a broader perspective, this would imply that I’m unhappy about the very basis of the Naruto storyline, but that’s only true when I’m viewing things in hindsight and wishing they turned out better. I don’t dislike the story we have here. I just wish Minato were still alive. In this case though, I’m well aware I can’t have my cake and eat it too. Oh, there’s another cliché. 😡