15 Best Thought Provoking Pain Quotes From Naruto

In Naruto, the mysterious figure of ‘Pain’ as he was originally introduced to audiences was a particularly scary but seemingly noble figure.

While he posed a great threat to the Hidden Leaf Village, for some reason his intentions and world view seemed to be well informed and almost poetic.

While his power was ferocious and his intentions were of pure malice, Pain, alongside Itachi and Madara, is one of the few antagonists in Naruto who strives for peace even though they use destructive means to achieve it.

This strange dichotomy of seeking peace through pain and destruction is a big motif in the series and is one thing Naruto does really well, making the intentions of the antagonists somewhat relatable but also full of anger and hate.

This can be a complex theme and is one of the main reasons the show is so beloved for making the audience think about their judgments rather than having a clear divide between ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

One outcome of these themes are some particularly thought provoking quotes often from the antagonistic characters who seek to explain and justify their malicious intent with philosophical conundrums that present the world in a certain way.

Let’s explore some of the most thought provoking quotes from the character Pain together as we give our take on what the quotes can tell us about his character, philosophies, and the world of Naruto generally. Let’s explore together.

DISCLAIMER: Naruto was obviously originally written in Japanese, these quotes will be the translations in English, so certain quotes may be slightly different from the literal Japanese translations.

15 Best Thought Provoking Pain Quotes From Naruto

Thought Provoking Quotes From Pain

Just by living people hurt others without even realizing it. So long as humanity exists, hate will also exist.”

This sums up the main philosophy of Obito/Tobi, Pain and Madara. These guys have been sold on Madara’s idea to place the world in infinite Tsukuyomi so that they can achieve peace in the dream world that Project Tsukuyomi will create.

These three have been convinced that trying to achieve peace will be impossible in the reality of the world, as Pain points out, you hurt people you don’t even know by just being alive and doing normal things, so how is peace supposed to be achieved realistically?

“Justice comes from vengeance, but that justice only breeds more vengeance.”

Carrying on from the last quote, Pain posits even more philosophical conundrums that point to the paradoxical nature of justice.

What Pain is pointing out is that to achieve true justice sometimes vengeance is required, but this will only lead to an endless cycle of revenge and pain that cannot be broken.

“Love breeds sacrifice, which in turn breed hatred – only then can you know pain”

Similar to the last quote, this adds more to Pain’s cycle of hatred, suggesting that Love itself will eventually lead to hatred and thus pain.

To love someone or something sometimes we have to sacrifice things, this will eventually lead to a hatred of the world that love isn’t without sacrifice and then leads to Pain. 

Yahiko sacrificed himself for Nagato because he loved him, while Yahiko’s act was an act of love, it ultimately leads only to more pain and destruction due to the hatred that Nagato feels.

“If you don’t share someone’s pain you can never understand them. But just because you understand them doesn’t mean you can come to an agreement.”

This shows the philosophy of the original Akatsuki as created by Yahiko, they sought to understand each other’s pain, using words and discussion instead of just fighting.

They felt that once they could understand someone’s pain then peace could be achieved. When Yahiko died Nagato turned away from this philosophy, understanding that just understanding someone’s pain doesn’t lead to peace.

“Sometimes you must hurt in order to know, fall in order to grow, lose in order to gain, because life’s greatest lessons are learned through pain.”

Here we can see Nagato/Pain understanding that pain and hatred are natural cycles in life and that peace cannot exist without pain.

This moral relativism, that good and evil are relative concepts, is something that permeates Naruto and is visible in characters such as Itachi, Sasuke as well as Pain himself.

Itachi is certainly another prophet of this philosophy, he too finds that pain is the only and best way to learn what real love and peace is.

“Even children are forced to grow up in the face of pain.”

As Nagato’s experience as a child was during war, he was an audience to his parents being killed by Hidden Leaf Shinobi during the Third Shinobi World War which resulted in him being a war orphan alongside Konan and Yahiko.

Pain has no conscience or selectivity, it affects us all no matter how old we are, we should always be prepared for it. This is also Pain confirming his thoughts that this current world isn’t fit for peace, not a world where even children are forced to grow up in the face of pain.

“Human nature pursues strife”

This is a pretty thought provoking quote. Pain is suggesting we actively seek out strife as a result of our innate nature. This is related to his points about love leading to sacrifice and sacrifice leading to pain.

This is fairly true in a general philosophical sense, as humans we think love is the meaning of happiness and is something that can lead us to a content life.

When in reality, love is full of strife, there is no love without strife, but we naturally seek love out for comfort knowing it breeds pain and sacrifice.

“People are stupid, If I don’t do this, there will be no peace . Eventually, time will pass and the pain will heal. It will give birth to a short period of peace within this endless chain of hatred. That’s my wish.”

This perhaps explains Pain’s intentions of invading the Hidden Leaf and destroying it as he did. He seeks to show people ‘true pain’ or at least that pain cannot be defeated and is in a cycle along with love.

He feels that if he shows people pain they will understand their own evil actions better and when they go to start wars or to cause pain they will spare a thought for the true repercussions of their actions.

Although Pain concedes that this peace will be short lived before the cycle is continued.

“When I had nothing and no one, I always had pain.”

Here, we see Nagato talking about pain as a motivator. When all else has been lost to pain, pain is what we can hold onto. Pain can drive us to vengeance and can make us achieve things that seem impossible.

When there is no one else looking out for you your pain will always be there to push you to do more. This is particularly evident when he loses Yahiko, while he still has Konan, it is the pain that Yahiko left behind that will remain with Nagato and push him to achieve his dreams.

“Even the most ignorant, innocent child will eventually grow up as they learn what true pain is. It affects what they say, what they think, and they become real people”

Nagato recounts here how pain is what shapes us into mature people. No matter how intelligent a child is or how ignorant in youth they are they can understand pain, it is a universal equaliser. When they learn what true pain is it shapes their thinking and their whole world view.

While we seek to avoid this pain we also seek it out through love and other things we construe as peaceful or good when in reality they always lead to pain.

“How can you say that you will never change? That you will not change, no matter how great the pain you face?“

Here we see Nagato and Naruto debating pain.

The main feature of Naruto’s character that sets him apart from the antagonists is that while the antagonists have accepted that Pain is the only way to achieve peace, or to accept that there will never be peace in our current reality, Naruto’s main goal is to bring peace without causing great pain.

Nagato suggests that Naruto will change once he finally knows true pain, yet Naruto is adamant that he won’t. 

Even in the face of his sensei’s death, and the death of Kakashi as well as the destruction of the Leaf, Naruto still remains set on achieving peace, and actually wants to understand why Nagato chose to do the things he did. 

“Pain is the only way to bring peace”

This again outlines Pain’s somewhat twisted concept of peace.

He believes that only once people know pain and what it does to people, rather than just understanding another’s pain, they will finally have some consequence to their actions and will find peace once they understand that their pain leads to a peaceful existence. 

This is where Pain and Naruto differ, Naruto thinks that pain isn’t necessary to bring peace but instead compassion and love is required to stop the cycle of pain in the world.

“You remind me of how I once was. I have a feeling that, unlike me, you will walk towards a different future. I think I shall believe in you, Naruto Uzumaki.”

This is the point where Naruto finally convinces Pain that he will be the one to bring peace to the world. Nagato is eventually shocked to find that he was once considered the Child of the Prophecy by his sensei Jiraiya, which he never thought was possible.

The love and consideration that Naruto shows Nagato humbles the man known as ‘Pain’, he eventually succumbs to the understanding that Naruto shows him and how similar they really are.

Nagato/’Pain’ realises that Naruto is the Child of the Prophecy, as does Naruto, and entrusts him to bring peace to the world.

Our Final Thoughts on These Pain Quotes From Naruto

These are certainly some thought provoking quotes from Pain that do shine a light on the complex issues of good and evil that we as humans face everyday. While these are pretty complex and nuanced points, Naruto makes these ideas really accessible in their audiences.

The reason why Sasuke and Itachi, as well as Pain , are often such cult acclaimed characters is because their morals are so relatable. These characters typify the ‘anti-hero’ dynamic perfectly, while their actions are clearly wrong their end goal is always peace.

What Nagato represents, the real shinobi who controls the Six ‘Pains’, is someone who has strayed from the good path. We only really get to truly understand Nagato’s actions and philosophy when more light is shed on his past.

Once we understand he, alongside Yahiko and Konan, started the Akatsuki as a way to bring peace through discussion we see that they were led to the point they are now by pain.

When Yahiko sacrifices himself Nagato is finally pushed too far and in the wake of Yahiko’s death he uses his Rinnegan to destroy Hanzo the Salamander and take control of the Village Hidden in Rain.

Nagato, once he has been persuaded into Naruto’s way of thinking, uses his Rinnegan to revive those who fought against him and died such as Kakashi and other shinobi, although not Jiraiya.

This Rinnegan was originally implanted into Nagato so that he would eventually use it to revive Madara’s corpse. So Naruto’s move to try to understand Pain’s actions rather than add to the cycle of pain was actually a choice that did a serious blow to Tobi and Madara’s plans for Project Tsukuyomi.

Whichever way you look at it, Nagato is someone who was originally a good person but was driven to pain and destruction through the trauma of watching his parents die and seeing Yahiko die.

The three war orphans originally tried to change the world with their good intentions but realised even if they try to do good they are eventually forced into the cycle of pain that Nagato talks about.

Grace Brown
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