Itachi Uchiha is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto. In the series, Itachi is the older brother of Sasuke Uchiha responsible for killing all the members of their clan. However, during Part II of the series, it is revealed that Itachi was ordered by the former leaders of Konohagakure to kill the Uchiha who were attempting to start a war. Despite his reservations, Itachi fulfilled his mission and defected from Konohagakure to become part of the criminal organization Akatsuki. Itachi has not been featured in the films and original video animations from Naruto, but he is a playable character in most video games of the series.
Background[edit | edit source]
Itachi was born into the Uchiha clan and praised by all as the best of his generation. However, not even his family, friends, or teachers could understand him. When he was only 4, Itachi had already witnessed countless lives lost due to war, which emotionally traumatized him and made him into a pacifist. At age 7 he graduated from the Ninja Academy after only one year at the top of his class, mastered the Sharingan at age 8, passing the Chunin Exams at age 10 and becoming ANBU Captain at age 13. According to Madara, Itachi also had a lover, whom he killed during the Uchiha clan massacre.
He was praised highly by his father, who saw the family's future in Itachi and neglected his other son - Itachi's little brother, Sasuke. However, during this time Itachi showed great affection towards his little brother, Sasuke, and even encouraged his father to come to the Academy when Sasuke was enrolled, something their dad had otherwise forgotten, by saying that he would otherwise not come on a mission.
When the Uchiha began planning to overthrow Konoha, Itachi, as an ANBU, was tasked with spying on the village. Knowing that a coup d'etat would only lead to another Ninja War, Itachi began spying on the Uchiha instead, passing on information to the Third Hokage and the other Konoha elders. After this he began to act strangely, not coming to the clan meetings, speaking out against the clan, and becoming the prime suspect for the murder of his best friend, Shisui Uchiha. The clan lost hope in Itachi, and his father began shifting his focus to Sasuke instead. Meanwhile, the Third's attempts to negotiate a bloodless end to hostilities between the two parties were proving ineffective so, against the Third's wishes, Danzo and the Konoha Council ordered Itachi to wipe out the Uchiha.
Before the fateful night arrived, Itachi found Madara Uchiha trying to rekindle the flames of war in Konoha. In return for never again attacking Konoha, Itachi offered to help Madara claim vengeance against the Uchiha for turning their backs on him decades earlier. Madara agreed. Itachi slaughtered his entire clan overnight, sparing only Sasuke. Sasuke's life was worth more than the village to Itachi, and he could not follow through with the orders to kill him as well. Instead, he made himself out as a villain who killed their innocent family only to test his abilities. He tortured Sasuke with his Mangekyo Sharingan and encouraged him to get strong enough to kill him and avenge their family. Hoping that his beloved little brother really would someday kill him, Itachi left in tears.
Knowing that Konoha would still want to eliminate Sasuke, Itachi pleaded to the Third Hokage to keep Sasuke safe. He also threatened Danzo to not harm Sasuke or risk him going public with everything he knew about Konoha. Sasuke's safety secured, Itachi returned to the original plan by becoming infamous for his slaughter of the Uchiha. He joined Akatsuki so that he could keep an eye on it and Madara Uchiha in case either ever acted against Konoha, all the while planning for his death at Sasuke's hands.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Ever since his first appearance, Itachi had always been mysterious and had acted as though he was hiding his true self. While flashbacks to his past show that he was a compassionate brother and person, his later acts and claims made it seem that this was mostly just an act. But, surprisingly, he actually was the compassionate brother he once claimed to be, but he hid this to protect Sasuke.
As a member of Akatsuki, he possessed incredible self control of his emotions. He constantly displayed an emotionless personality. He only showed surprise when opponents proved more powerful or skilled than he had expected, and even then he didn't lose his composure. He did not possess any arrogance, and fully justified any statements he made about his power, and even complimented his opponents at times on their abilities.
In addition to being an extremely powerful ninja, Itachi had an equally impressive intelligence and was shown to be very wise. He was exceedingly sharp and observant to any situation at hand as he was rarely surprised or caught off guard. He also displayed great intuition, as he is almost never deceived and even then almost instantly realizes the truth. Despite his status as a wanted criminal and having murdered a significant portion of his family, Itachi had no enjoyment of violence or combat, instead preferring to avoid battle or, if this is not possible, end it as quickly as he can.
Itachi's only initial interest was in Akatsuki's goals and his only loyalty appeared to be to the organization and its members, putting the organization's success and secrecy before everything else. As such, Itachi got along with his partner, Kisame, much better than most other Akatsuki members do with their own partners. Kisame appeared to have a deep loyalty to Itachi, immediately doing as he instructed and constantly looking out for his well-being. Itachi treated all of his fellow Akatsuki members to this same, more respectful personality, although his courtesy was rarely returned by the other members.
However, when he was in a genjutsu duel during his fight with Sasuke, he aggressively and violently claimed he only let Sasuke live so he could take Sasuke's eyes and obtain his own Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, and then he claimed the Uchiha clan was nothing but tainted and evil since many members would kill their friends to gain the Mangekyo Sharingan, and take another Uchiha's eyes to make its power permanent. Once the genjutsu was released, he called it his true self, implying his calm, emotionless personality was also a facade. This persona was only an act to ensure he would die by Sasuke's hands, his love for his brother being the fundamental aspect of his personality.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Being brothers, Itachi and Sasuke have a similar appearance. Itachi, like his brother, had long black hair in a lighter shade and similar style, but without the spiky style in the back. He also had a long ponytail in the back of his hair (that he obscured with his Akatsuki cloak after joining the organization). His skin was also slightly darker. He, like all members of his clan, possessed dark grey eyes. Itachi's most distinguishing characteristic were his long pronounced nose ridges under his eyes (which he inherited from his father Fugaku). They also appeared longer in the manga than in the anime. Itachi actually looked more like his father, while Sasuke looked more like his mother Mikoto. He was fairly tall, but slightly shorter than Kakashi .
When he lived in Konoha, his casual clothes would consist of a black shirt with a large Uchiha Clan symbol on the back of it, and black pants with a weapon's pouch strapped to them. Whenever on duty, he would wear the traditional ANBU uniform, but he was never shown wearing a mask. As a member of Akatsuki, he wore the traditional Akatsuki cloak, and he usually kept the center of it buttoned down. After his cloak was incinerated by Sasuke's Kirin during their fight in Part II, it was revealed that he still wore his casual clothes underneath that. Like almost all members of Akatsuki, he wore the headband of his home village, Konoha, with a mark through it to symbolize his broken ties with the village (although he was actually still loyal to his village).
Part I[edit | edit source]
Return of Itachi arc[edit | edit source]
After the invasion of Konoha and the death of the Third Hokage, Itachi and Kisame infiltrate the village to find Naruto Uzumaki, the container of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. The two, before searching for Naruto, quickly stopped for tea due to a suggestion by Kisame. While there, however, their uncommon clothes drew the attention of Kakashi Hatake, who had Asuma Sarutobi and Kurenai Yuhi follow Itachi and Kisame. Itachi and Kisame nearly managed to escape Konoha, though Asuma and Kurenai caught up to them in time.
After the two revealed their identities, Itachi and Kisame were quick to battle Asuma and Kurenai after they refused to leave. Despite their high ranks of Jonin, Asuma and Kurenai stood little chance against the two Akatsuki members. However, the arrival of Kakashi, managed to keep Asuma and Kurenai from receiving any major damage. After a short skirmish with Kakashi, Itachi activated his Mangekyo Sharingan, and used Tsukuyomi to attack Kakashi's mind and spirit that afterwards left him confined to a bed. After Kakashi revealed he had knowledge of Akatsuki, Itachi ordered Kisame to kidnap Kakashi and kill Asuma and Kurenai. However, Might Guy shows up, revealing that he's already told the ANBU about the two Akatsuki members. Itachi and Kisame retreat, saying they don't want to start a war.
Itachi and Kisame tracked Naruto to a hotel where he was staying with Jiraiya. Uninterested in provoking a Sannin, Itachi used a genjutsu on a pretty woman to draw Jiraiya away from Naruto. Taking the chance, Itachi and Kisame confronted Naruto, though at the very same moment Sasuke arrived to defend Naruto and seek revenge on his brother. Itachi handled his brother with ease while Kisame and Naruto watched, though Jiraiya arrived in time to save the two boys, having not fallen for the hypnotized woman's charm since he knew that pretty women did not usually show interest in him.
Jiraiya immediately asked Itachi and Kisame if their real goal is kidnapping Naruto. They agreed, and Itachi understood that Jiraiya was the one who told Kakashi about Akatsuki. Though Jiraiya wished to fight them himself and prevent others from getting hurt, he honored Sasuke's feelings and allowed him to fight Itachi. Itachi, however, only proved Jiraiya wrong to let Sasuke fight by using his Mangekyo Sharingan on his younger brother to reaffirm his need to get stronger. Jiraiya saved Sasuke in time by using the Summoning: Toad Mouth Bind, which transformed the entire hotel hallway into a toad's belly to trap Itachi and Kisame. Despite Jiraiya's claim that no one has fled this technique before, the two Akatsuki partners escape with Itachi's Amaterasu, leaving him exhausted.
Although he really was supposed to capture Naruto, Itachi's only reason for returning to Konoha was to remind Danzo not to harm Sasuke.
Part II[edit | edit source]
Rescue Gaara arc[edit | edit source]
While Akatsuki is sealing the One-Tailed Shukaku, they discover that Naruto and Team 7 are en route to their location. Itachi volunteers to distract them, so Pain uses the Shapeshifting Technique on Yura to create a body-double for Itachi. The lookalike, under Itachi's control, engages the Konoha ninja. He is impressed by Naruto and Kakashi's improvements in strength but, because the clone has only a portion of his ordinary strength, it is killed by Naruto's Great Ball Rasengan. Nevertheless, he had bought enough time.
Hunt for Itachi arc[edit | edit source]
Following Kisame's capture of the Four-Tailed Beast, Itachi and Kisame meet with the rest of Akatsuki. There they discover that Sasuke, having a few years earlier started training under Orochimaru, has killed Orochimaru. Sometime after the Four Tails is sealed, Zetsu informs them that Sasuke was killed by Deidara's C0. Kisame asks if he is upset that Sasuke's death has left him as the only Uchiha. Itachi remarks that Sasuke isn't dead, and alludes to the fact that there is still another Uchiha (Madara) anyway.
Knowing that his end is near, one of Itachi's shadow clones confronts Naruto, who is looking for Sasuke. Though he claimed he wished only to talk, Itachi was forced to stop Naruto's attacks. After fending off Naruto, Itachi asks why he shows so much interest in Sasuke, a traitor to Konoha. He replies that he is more of a brother to Sasuke than Itachi is, and that he will do whatever it takes to bring Sasuke home. Itachi follows up by asking if he will always feel that way, even if Sasuke threatens Konoha. Naruto says only that if that happens, he will bring Sasuke a home and protect the village. Content with this answer, Itachi gives some of his power to Naruto to use if there is ever need.
After his business with Naruto is done, another of Itachi's shadow clones goes to meet with Sasuke. Sasuke displays how his abilities have improved, so Itachi agrees to have their final battle at an Uchiha Hideout. He waits there for Sasuke's arrival, instructing Kisame to not let the members of Sasuke's Team Snake interfere with their battle. Itachi and Sasuke meet face-to-face and, while exchanging genjutsu, have a conversation about the Uchiha, Madara, and Itachi's "true" motives of wanting to take Sasuke's eyes. When Sasuke managed to escape Itachi's Tsukuyomi, the genjutsu round ended and the real battle began.
Itachi used Amaterasu, but Sasuke shielded himself by shedding his skin, a technique he was able to use because Orochimaru was sealed within him. Sasuke then used his trump card, Kirin, on Itachi. However, Itachi survived by using Susanoo to defend himself. Kirin having expended all of Sasuke's chakra, Orochimaru was able to break free in an attempt to take control of his body. Itachi promptly sealed him away with Susanoo and removed the cursed seal from his body. His last option gone, Sasuke is left helpless while Itachi motions to take Sasuke's eyes. He dies of exhaustion during the attempt, instead poking Sasuke's forehead and saying, "I'm sorry Sasuke. There won't be a next time," a reference to his constant unfulfilled promises to train with Sasuke in their youth.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Madara collects Sasuke, attends to his wounds, and tries to befriend him when he wakes up. When he removes his mask while doing the latter, Sasuke casts an Amaterasu on him. After quelling the flames Madara explains the Amaterasu to have been inserted in Sasuke by Itachi, meant to protect him from Madara and whatever he might say. Sasuke is perplexed, so Madara goes on to details the history of the Uchiha clan and the truth behind Itachi's life. Towards the end of his story he explains that Itachi had been dying of disease and kept himself going with medicine so that he could die by Sasuke's hands. He also states that Itachi had pushed Sasuke to his limits during their battle to draw out Orochimaru so that he could remove the latter's influence from his beloved little brother.
Sasuke was unwilling to believe the story. Madara persisted, saying that Itachi had entrusted the Uchiha name to Sasuke, hoping he would rebuild the clan on a new foundation of honor and nobility. For the sake of Konoha and for Sasuke he was willing to die as a traitor and criminal. He traded honor for disgrace and Sasuke's love for his hatred, and even then he died smiling. Accepting the truth, Sasuke is crushed to find the brother he has hated for so long was a good person. Upon realizing the truth, he resolves to take vengeance against Konoha for giving them their fates, regardless of Itachi's attachment to the village. He also agrees to start working with Madara, something Itachi had tried to prevent.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Since a young age, Itachi's intellect and talent have shown their brilliance in everything he did, as even his teachers said his progress hardly required any help. In the few battles he had been seen in since the start of the series, Itachi was shown to be an incredibly powerful ninja, and easily one of the strongest in the Naruto series, as demonstrated by his ability to easily defeat Deidara, Kakashi Hatake, and Orochimaru, who themselves are considered amongst the strongest ninjas in Naruto. Itachi was a master of all the Uchiha clan's techniques, the Sharingan, and had great prowess with the all the three main types of jutsu. According to Sasuke, Itachi's tactics usually involved the usage of crows.
Being a pacifist, Itachi did not actively take part in battle, typically only acting in self-defense. From a stationary position he would study an opponent's movements with his Sharingan and respond accordingly, often with a genjutsu. He could cast a genjutsu by merely pointing or looking at someone, and could similarly turn an opponent's genjutsu against them. Itachi was also noted to be very fast, particularly with his hand movements. This extended to weaving hand seals and throwing weapons, as neither Sasuke nor Kakashi (Sharingan users) could follow his movements in either case.
Itachi possessed the Mangekyo Sharingan, which increased his already great power, and enabled him to use his most powerful techniques. With his left eye, he could use Tsukuyomi, a genjutsu that traps an opponent's mind in an illusionary world, torturing them for what seems like days in a matter of seconds. With his right eye he could use Amaterasu, a ninjutsu which allowed him to create a black flame that he can direct with his eyesight to burn through seemingly anything in its path, including fire itself. His final technique was Susanoo, a technique that manifested as a spectral being labeled as the "Raging God of Battle" in the databook. It wielded the Totsuka Sword, a spectral sword with the ability to seal anything it pierces into the gourd that serves at its hilt, and Yata's Mirror, a shield that can reflect any attack. Zetsu, a fellow Akatsuki member, stated that Itachi's mastery of the Sharingan combined with the legendary weapons of Susanoo made him invincible.
Despite his mastery of the Mangekyo Sharingan, Itachi suffered greatly from its side effects. His eyesight would worsen after every activation of the Mangekyo Sharingan, and he would eventually go blind from its power, with his Sharingan forever sealed away. Itachi was so close to blindness that by the time he activated Susanoo in his final fight, both Sharingan eyes had gone almost blind and turned white. However he was still able to perform his own Fūinjutsu in his last moments.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Itachi can be translated as "weasel".
- His surname, Uchiha, is another way of pronouncing uchiwa, or a "paper fan", which is actually the Uchiha clan symbol. An uchiwa can be used to fan flames, making the flame hotter, referring to the fact that the Uchiha is a clan of fire-jutsu users.
- According to Pain, Itachi's reason for fighting is "ideology".
- Itachi has ranked highly in the Shonen Jump popularity polls for the series, continuously placing in the top ten and reaching sixth place once.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "You are weak. Why are you weak? Because you lack... hatred."
- "Why is it that the Uchiha clan was known by all and feared by all? I'll show you what the Sharingan can do when it's wielded by a true heir of the bloodline."
- "Foolish little brother, if you wish to kill me, hate me, detest me, and survive in an unsightly way. Run, run and cling to life. And one day, when you have the same eyes I do, come before me."
- "People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That's how they define "Reality." But what does it mean to be "correct" or "true"? Merely vague concepts... their "reality" may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?"
- "We are brothers. That is a unique bond. I am the barrier you must overcome, so you and I will continue to exist together, even if you hate me. That's what being a big brother means."
- "I've lost all hope for this pathetic clan."
- "You are not even worth killing."
- (Last Words, to Sasuke) "I'm Sorry Sasuke... There won't be a next time."
References[edit | edit source]
- Naruto chapter 401, page 10
- Naruto chapter 143, page 08
- Naruto chapter 142, page 17
- Naruto chapter 385, page 16
- Naruto chapter 245, pages 08-09
- Naruto chapter 293