Illusionary Arts

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May 23, 2008
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Genjutsu, or Illusionary Arts, unlike ninjutsu, don't produce a real, palpable, feasible effect; it produces an illusionary effect. With a specific KG however, the illusions can become so strong that the body will be fooled into mimicking in real life the fake effects its perceiving through the illusion.

There exists two main types of Genjutsu: the passive, non chakra fueled ones (basically illusions to our senses like visual paradoxes and such which have little use in the RP and can be easily overcome through experience and logic) and the active, chakra fueled ones. Within the active chakra fueled ones 3 subtypes exist: Doujutsu enabled Genjutsu, Sound Genjutsu and Normal Genjutsu.

Genjutsu works by using chakra to disturb the chakra flow of the opponent, specially (but not limited to) in the brain, altering his senses. By doing this you can make him perceive any thing his senses are capable of: pain, heat, cold, tickles, iching, visions, sounds, etc etc. A ninja can make the opponent taste, smell, feel, see or hear anything he wants. However, because this is done by using your chakra to manipulate his chakra flow, the ninja needs to be close or, many times, have a direct sensory link towards the opponent (Eye Contact, Sound, etc). This is the main limitation of Genjutsu: range. The further you are away from your opponent, the harder it is to induce the fluctuation on his chakra flow to produce the genjutsu.

Everyone has a balanced chakra flow. The chakra flows in a balanced combination of both physical and spiritual energies. The ratio between them vary from person to person (that is how each person has a different chakra signature) but its always calm and balanced. When someone induces a genjutsu on another person, it unbalances their chakra flow. This fluctuation is created in the persons chakra "wave length" and makes it fluctuate in a given way. This produces the illusion by scrambling the users link between his Spirit and his Body which effectively is the link between his mind and his body, which, in other words, means his senses. To make your chakra be capable of doing the correct fluctuation, you need to use a trigger which is, in most cases, handseals, but can be sound, light, eye contact, etc. These help you mold and shape and focus your chakra to the correct wave length you want to induce, thus enabling you to use it to disturb the targets chakra flow.

Some Genjutsu can create a complete sensory manipulation to a point that while the illusion is undergoing in the targets mind, in reality, he's "frozen". This happens because the user creates an illusion that completely replaces the targets senses, leaving him to react in his mind to the illusion. Some, however, only block or mess with one sense (Eye sight, hearing, etc) which leaves the target receiving the rest of the real sensory information. As such, not having been pulled into the illusionary world of the Genjutsu, the user can in this case move, react and act in reality.

While Genjutsu has been described as instant, this is not the case. After the trigger, there is always an "induction" time, basically a small time frame where the trigger is made and the genjutsu is being set in place. Also, it appears the user must maintain some degree of focus and will into the Genjutsu in the first moments its set in place for it to continue. This focus doesn't necessarily need to be for the whole length of the Genjutsu but it will, in most normal cases, enable the opponent to counter the genjutsu (with either pain or a release method technique, etc), if viable, before the user is able to mold his chakra for another technique.


Genjutsu Detection:

In essence there are two ways to detect genjutsu: either figure out its an illusion or notice the fluctuation on your chakra flow. To figure out its an illusion, the target needs to analyze the information he is receiving from the illusion and detect what is wrong with it or performing an educated guess. While the most used method, its also the most flawed and, regardless of any fact, is nothing more than a gamble as ones reasoning can always be wrong. Its also sometimes slow, as some illusions are very detailed and perfected to the point that noticing its an illusion may be virtually impossible. Detecting the fluctuation in your chakra flow depends on the situation but mainly depends on your abilities as only Doujutsu or Sensory Ninjas can have ways to detect fluctuations in ones chakra flow. Doujutsu users have, however, a limitation that hinders them to a bigger degree: if the illusion is high ranked (A-Rank for Byakugan and Rinnegan, while on the Sharingan, dependent on its stage) and takes complete control over their eyesight, they can't see their own chakra flow as what they will see is what is the illusion. Chakra sensors on the other hand need to figure out its a genjutsu or that something is wrong to then will themselves to focus on their chakra flow and notice its fluctuation unless they have the Chakra Sensing technique already active. Basically, if they don't figure out nothing is wrong, they won't sense themselves. This means that Chakra Sensoring ninjas work on a hybrid basis. In one hand they need to figure out some minor sign that its an illusion but on the other hand once its found they can use their sensing abilities to confirm it without a doubt.

One misconception generally associated with Genjutsu is that ones chakra travells to ones target. This is false or, if true, was never proven or showed in the manga/anime. If this was the case, we would never see Doujutsu or Chakra Sensory users getting caught in Genjutsu as they "would see it coming".

Another point that leads to many discussions is the fact that Clones may or may not be affected by Illusions. The truth is that they are in fact affected by illusions but since they don't have an organic, real body, they don't suffer pain or reflexive actions based on that illusion. They will experience it and see it and be affected by it in terms of their senses, but they don't take mental or otherwise physical damage nor do they experience suffering or torture, faint or otherwise fall asleep or become paralyzed as a result of the Illusion.


Release Rules:

Now, this can be done in 3 basic ways:

1- Altering the balance between physical and spiritual energies in your chakra by disturbing your physical energy. This is done by producing pain. Pain comes from the body and thus it makes your physical energy fluctuate by "shocking" your body. Because of this fluctuation, your chakra flow experiences a spike. This spike is a disturbance that will dispel other disturbances present in your chakra by unbalacing its flow and reseting it to its normal flow. The higher the pain, the bigger the spike. The more resistant or accostumed to pain your bio is, the less effect this has. Kaguya bios for example have a very high tolerance to pain, making them unsuited for this release method. While genjutsu can mimic pain or any other sensation, it will always pale against real sensations. While Pain is subjective, certain guidelines can be followed.

  • D Rank Genjutsu: Chipping a Finger (like one does as he bites to draw blood for a Summoning Jutsu
  • C Rank Genjutsu: Low level Physical Attacks, Bitting a chunk of your Cheek
  • B Rank Genjutsu: Low ranked Taijutsu/Freestyle
  • A Rank Genjutsu: High ranked Taijutsu, Stabbing Yourself in minor muscle, Cutting yourself, Breaking Smaller bones, Low level Burning/Voltage, Painful Cold
  • S Rank Genjutsu: EIG/Sage level Taijutsu, Breaking Bones, Deep Stabs or cuts, Medium Voltage/Burning, Extreme Painful Cold, Bitting your tongue off
2- Altering the balance between physical and spiritual energies in your chakra by disturbing your spiritual energy. This is done by your sheer will power. Its done by forcefully creating a surge of chakra in your body by spiking your spiritual energy through will power alone, forcing yourself to mold and channel your chakra in a way that will either halt the chakra flow or disturb it. It can be done in 2 ways: through the cannon release technique known as Kai or through techniques that produce a high surge of chakra on your chakra flow.

-In the case of Kai, it breaks genjutsu in a direct proportion to the chakra spent to perform it. This means one needs to spend the same amount of chakra spent to produce the illusion. It counts as a jutsu from the jutsu count, requires 1 handseal and can only be used once per turn. The disruption does not break inheritly passive techniques, namely Walking on Water or Tree Climbing. Some self induced illusions can act as Kai or be designed to act as Kai.
-When we consider high chakra surges as a form of release, you need to have a technique that is at least 1 rank higher than the genjutsu set upon you for the case of elemental or specialized techinques (like Gentle Fist), or 2 ranks for the case of raw chakra techniques. An example of this is Raiton: Chidori Nagashi, an A-Rank full body technique that requires no hand seal and can dispel up to B-Rank Genjutsu set upon you. The principle is that as these techniques, since they require you to release a large amount of chakra from all or most of your tenketsu at once in a less focused manner, will, when one uses enough chakra, overcome the fluctuation set on the chakra flow, reseting it to its normal flow. Because this method needs one to overpower the fluctuation set on the chakra flow, you need to spend more chakra than what was used to induce the illusion. However, not all chakra burst-type techniques fall under this rule because of their own specific characteristics. An example is the opening of one of the Eight Inner Gates. Upon opening, the sudden release of chakra disturbs any genjutsu affecting you.

3- Altering your chakra flow through the introduction of foreign chakra or energies. This can be done by an ally who is capable of using the chakra transfer technique or by entering, for example, sage mode or being a jinchuriki in control of your bijuu or releasing a Curse Mark. The reasoning is that as foreign chakra enters your system or another energy (natural energy), your chakra flow becomes altered and unbalanced and thus releases the genjutsu. This enables the release of any Genjutsu except Mangekyo Sharingan grade Genjutsu.

All of these methods produce a reset-like effect on your chakra flow, making it return to normal and dispelling the Genjutsu. However, one most not forget that for a release to be valid, it ALWAYS needs to be partnered with a logical and reasonable explanation of how, from your bio's RP perspective, you figured out it was a Genjutsu/Illusion and thus felt the need to release from it. Releasing from it by "luck" or "because i know its a genjutsu" without stating the why isn't valid.


Genjutsu Layering Casting:

This stands as the ability that the user and/or allies have of casting more than one non-conflicting genjutsu onto the same target, mixing illusions or deepening them. Any non-conflicting Genjutsu can be layered with another, as long as the highest ranked genjutsu is used first, and the lower ones afterwards, as if filling the gaps of the illusion. If an higher ranked genjutsu is used afterwards, it will overule the initial technique and break it. The user may stack up to 2 illusions together.

Ex: Genjutsu A - Creates Butterflies, A ranked.
Genjutsu B - Creates Squirrels, B ranked.
A + B = Butterflies AND Squirrels
B + A = Butterflies NO Squirrels
When releasing from Layered Genjutsus, the target must perform counter sufficient for the highest rank genjutsu of the "combo", thus countering all at the same time. Likewise, the target can individually break each layered genjutsu by using lower ranked genjutsu methods, but in essence its a less effective method. If 2 genjutsus of the same rank are used in the layering process, one needs only to use a release method capable of releasing either one or the other, and both are released. In combinations of Genjutsu, the rank of the combination is the rank of the highest genjutsu used.

Ex: Genjutsu A - Creates Butterflies, A ranked.
Genjutsu B - Creates Squirrels, B ranked.
Genjutsu C - Creates Birds, B ranked.
B + C or C + B = Squirrels AND Birds, combined B rank Genjutsu
A + B = Butterflies AND Squirrels, combined A-Rank Genjutsu
C + A = Butterflies NO Birds, A-Rank
If the Genjutsu are conflicting, then the highest ranked Genjutsu will always prevail over the other one, disrupting it and assuming it's place. If they're both the same rank, both are neutralized and the ilusions end.

Note: Layering two Genjutsu doesn't mean one escapes the normal rules of Time Frame. Casting 2 Genjutsu on a target takes the time needed to perform two moves of the time frame and cannot be done in a way that the target hasn't time to counter the first illusion if he is capable of doing so.

Elemental Genjutsu

In addition to the already existing subtypes there is another type of genjutsu known as elemental genjutsu. In regard to general power and potency, it is second only to Dojutsu/Sharingan genjutsu. The difference between ordinary genjutsu and elemental genjutsu is that the latter utilizes one's skills in a nature release as a medium for genjutsu. Generally this amplifies the range and area of effect for a genjutsu, depending on application. However, with the elemental nature controlled so finely and with its natural strength against raw chakra, this form of genjutsu is considerably stronger than ordinary genjutsu. The ability to use elemental genjutsu belongs to few individuals who are truly gifted in genjutsu and is the highest form of non-kekkei genkai induced illusions. The rules of detection are still generally the same, however, there are different conventions for breaking elemental genjutsu.

1 - Physical pain can still be used to break out of elemental genjutsu the same as with ordinary genjutsu, however the level needed is amplified due to the nature of elemental genjutsu being stronger than ordinary genjutsu. The level is essentially amplified by one rank from the ordinary standards of genjutsu. For example, an A-rank Wind release genjutsu will requires S-rank level pain according to the chart and S-rank elemental genjutsu would require drastic and severe levels of pain. Should a level of the elemental genjutsu be higher (Forbidden Rank), unless otherwise specified the jutsu cannot be broken through this method.

2 - Genjutsu Kai and full body chakra surges are also capable of being used to combat elemental genjutsu, however, again the requirements for each are higher. The rule for full body surges is basic non-elemental surges requires 2+ ranks from the genjutsu while elemental surges require only +1 rank. In regard to elemental genjutsu the basic raw chakra surge required 3+ ranks and the elemental surge required depends on the nature of the genjutsu and the nature being used to release the genjutsu. When an elemental gen is combated with an element it is strong against the surge needed will have to be 3+ ranks greater than the genjutsu. When the gen is combated with an element is neutral to it, the jutsu will need to be 1+ ranks greater. Against an element the genjutsu is weak against the surge required will only need to be of equivalent rank. Example

Element X is Strong against Element Z and Weak against Element W while being neutral to Element Y. Case of (A-rank) X Release Genjutsu.

  • Z Release Surge cannot break (requires beyond F-rank)
  • Y Release Surge can break (requires S-rank)
  • W Release Surge can break (requires A-rank)
  • Raw chakra Surge cannot break (requires beyond F-rank)
Thus it is more prudent to use an element stronger to the nature used in the elemental genjutsu. In regard to genjutsu kai, the requirement is the same as regular Genjutsu.

3 - Introduction to external chakra into the body works with the same regard to how genjutsu kai works. Note that releasing a partner from genjutsu does require the use of one of your three allotted moves as per the rules of the actual kai technique. In the event of advanced applications of external infusion techniques such as entering sage mode, activating a curse seal or entering EIG due to the nature of those entities possessing either special chakra (senjutsu for the former two) or grand explosions of chakra (EIG) the result is the same as when used to release regular genjutsu.

4 - Removing the medium + any of the aforementioned methods is a special sort of release method specific to elemental genjutsu that possess a wide area of effect. Unlike ordinary genjutsu some elemental genjutsu use the nature itself to spread the user's chakra into a fixed area that effects any and everything within the field of chakra. In cases like these releasing the genjutsu is a two step process. The afflicted will need to remove themselves from the medium/field of the genjutsu and also release the illusion that is already on them. Should the afflicted merely release from the genjutsu but remain in the medium they will simply be placed back into the genjutsu at the end of their move as the user's chakra will just enter them again. In other words the afflicted needs to remove themselves from the medium before the end of their phase if they release the genjutsu or simply remove themselves first and then release the genjutsu. Even the afflicted uses a full body surge that is strong against the nature of the genjutsu, unless that technique destroys the medium as well, the genjutsu will enter them once again. This method of release only pertains to elemental gen that have an area of effect.

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