|“||There is no value in killing the likes of you… My foolish brother… If you want to kill me… curse me! Hate me! And live a long and unsightly life… Run away… run away… and cling to your pitiful life. And then some day, when you have the same eyes as I do, come before me.||„|
|~ Itachi Uchiha to Sasuke|
Itachi Uchiha is a major anti-villain of the manga and anime series Naruto, and the older brother of the major protagonist that also turned villainous, Sasuke Uchiha. He was portrayed as a major antagonist for the biggest part of the story with his agenda revealed after his death, redeeming himself.
Before his true motives were revealed, he acted as one of the two supporting antagonists in the Search for Tsunade arc, one of the two secondary antagonists in the Kazekage Rescue Mission arc and the main antagonist in the Fated Battle Between Brothers arc.
He was voiced by Crispin Freeman in the English version, and Hideo Ishikawa in the Japanese version.
BackgroundOn June 9, Itachi was born to Fugaku Uchiha, the chief of the Konoha Military Police Force and Mikoto Uchiha, members of the Uchiha clan who founded the Hidden Leaf Village alongside the Senju clan generations ago. Growing up in the Hidden Leaf Village, Itachi proved to a very gifted ninja, even at a young age, and rose above most of his peers. As a result of his talents, Itachi was sent into battle as a child soldier during the Third Great Ninja War where he was subjected to its horrors. Since that day, Itachi changed with the resolve to ensure that history would not repeat itself.
After witnessing Kurama's attack on the Hidden Leaf while caring for his infant brother Sasuke, Itachi learns that his clan were secretly accused of the Nine Tails's attack and were moved to once section of the village. There, as he bounded with Sasuke who wanted to who be like his brother, Itachi finds himself sent to infiltrate the ANBU as a spy for the Uchiha who decided to revolt. However, Itachi informed Konoha's higher-ups instead as he and Hiruzen Saurtobi, the Third Hokage, attempted to settle things differently. But the actions of Danzō Shimura resulted with Itachi taking credit the death of Shisui Uchiha, a fellow Uchiha clansman against the revolt, becoming distant from his kin. This included his own family despite his father knowing he did not commit the deed.
However, Itachi took a dark turn when Danzō issued the order for the entire Uchiha Clan slaughtered by his hand with the promise that Sasuke's life would be sparred. Having no other recourse, encountering Tobi who assisted, Itachi proceeded to murder his entire clan. With only his parents left, they accepted their fate as Itachi reluctantly killed them at their behest. By the time Sasuke arrived, desiring penance for his crime, Itachi uses his genjutsu to have Sasuke see a version of the slaughter that place his brother as a heartless murderer with wanted to gain the Mangekyo Sharingan. With the image implanted, Itachi tells Sasuke to live in hate and become strong for the day they battle to the death. Though Sasuke attempted to kill him when his Sharingan activated, Itachi places his brother in a temporary coma before seeing Hiruzen and the other higher ups. While asking Hiruzen to ensure his brother's safety, Itachi threatens Danzō to honor his promise or he would expose the conspiracy before leaving Konoha a fugitive. However, still loyal to the Hidden Leaf, Itachi joined the Akatsuki to keep an eye on the organization and the threat it posed. Unfortunately, other than the gradual blindness side effect of his Mangekyo Sharingan, Itachi contracted a fatal illness that he was been managing to contain so Sasuke can kill him before it does.
When news of Hiruzen's death reached him, Itachi feared that Danzō take advantage and used a mission with his partner Kisame Hoshigaki to capture the current Nine Tails Jinchuuriki, Naruto Uzumaki, as an excuse to show that he is still alive and still a threat to Danzō. However, Itachi's appearance reached Sasuke as he ran to Naruto's location and confronted Itachi as he was about to capture Naruto. But seeing Sasuke still not strong enough despite his Chidori, Itachi pinned Sasuke to a wall and motivates him back on the path he placed him on before knocking out with Tsukiyomi. After he and Kisame are forced to fall back when Jiraiya overwhelms them, Itachi later attains the Akatsuki's meeting over the aftermath of Sasuke leaving the Hidden Leaf.
During the sealing of the One-Tail, Itachi is put in charge of delaying Team Kakashi from finding their lair, and uses one of Sasori's spies to fight them remotely. He puts Naruto under a genjutsu with the lift of his finger, although he eventually snaps out of it and kills the sleeper agent with his new giant rasengan.
When news of Sasuke defeating Orochimaru reached him after aiding Kisame in capturing the Four-Tails jinchuriki Roshi, fearing his brother's drive, Itachi decides to put his plan in motion as the illness is beginning to win. Sending one of his Shadow Clones to Naruto as he was looking for Sasuke, Itachi questioned the boy's resolve even with the possible threat Sasuke would pose to the Hidden Leaf. Impressed with Naruto's answer, Itachi has a crow implanted with Shisui's eye enter the boy's body before leaving.
By that time, another shadow clone of Itachi appeared before Sasuke to tell him that will have their final battle at the Uchiha Hideout. Telling Kisame to ensure no interferes, Itachi waits until Sasuke arrives. After an exchange genjutsu and a conversation about Madara Uchiha, Itachi reveals his failing eyesight and the only means to restore it is by taking Sasuke's eyes to obtain an Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan. Once the conflict become more physical, using many of the abilities he gained from absorbing Orochimaru, Sasuke manages to use his Kirin ability to inflict major damage.
However, with only his Akatsuki cloak burned off, Itachi reveals his own ace, the Mangekyo Sharingan's ultimate ability: The Susanoo. By that time, Sasuke lost much of his chakra as Orochimaru re-emerges through his Eight-Headed Serpent Jutsu and attempts to steal Sasuke's body. However, Itachi has his Susanoo decapitate the snake's seven heads before impaling the final one that Orochimaru emerged from. From there, Itachi has Orochimaru sealed away with his Susanoo, removing the cursed seal from Sasuke's body.
But the fight took a lot on Itachi as he had a now powerless Sasuke back up against a wall as he stumbled closer to him, seemingly reaching for Sasuke's eyes. However, he instead poked Sasuke's forehead and smiled before saying, "Sorry, Sasuke...but this is it" before he finally submitted to his illness and died. Despite his good intention, Itachi's hopes for Sasuke are ruined when Tobi later told Sasuke the truth of Itachi's reasons for betraying the Uchiha clan. However, the crow Itachi placed into Naruto would counter this event the moment Sasuke obtained the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan.
The Fourth Great Ninja War
Itachi was later brought back by Kabuto Yakushi using the forbidden Reanimation jutsu to convince Tobi into a partnership for the upcoming war he declared. After parting with Kakuzu, Itachi carries Nagato as they discuss how they were brought for their eyes and are nothing more than weapons. The two later cross paths with Naruto and Killer B, wit Itachi amazed on the former now able to use Kurama's power. While forced to fight against his will, Itachi is horrified when learns of Sasuke's actions after his death while pleading with Naruto not to reveal the truth behind the Uchiha clan massacre for the sake of his clan's honor.
When Itachi activated his Mangekyo Sharingan, it caused the crow he placed inside Naruto to emerge and implant the command of protecting Konoha to override Kabuto's control over him. Itachi aids Naruto and Killer Bee in defeating Nagato before destroying the crow, so Shisui's eye would not fall into enemy hands. Telling Naruto that he entrusts Sasuke to him, Itachi tracks down Kabuto to force him in releasing the Reanimation Jutsu. However, Itachi find himself joined by Sasuke and eventually promises him to tell him the entire truth before they battle Kabuto together. The brothers were greatly outmatched until Itachi uses Izanami to trap Kabuto within his own mind. With their enemy disposed, despite Sasuke's objections, Itachi explains there is nothing left for him while stating it was a honor to protect their home a final time. Once using his genjutsu to force Kabuto to release the Reanimation Jutsu, seeing his brother still adamant of destroying Konoha, Itachi uses his sharingan to show Sasuke all of his memories. Telling Sasuke how things would have different if he never lied to him, Itachi tells him that he has no need to be forgiven but will be always proud of Sasuke no matter the path he chooses the moment after his soul returns to the afterlife.
Rock Lee & His Ninja PalsItachi appeared in the chibi spin-off Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals. He debuted in Episode 38, alongside with Kisame, arriving at the hideout. When Lee and Tenten saw him, they fully realized that the group they met is none other than Akatsuki itself, despite their stupidity. Itachi, upon seeing him, ask his other teammates who told him that Lee is a newbie recruited by Zetsu. Like Kisame, he also doesn't trust Lee so he use his Sharingan and placed Lee under a genjutsu, which is undone by Tenten so that he could keep up the disguise. Upon being free from the genjutsu, Lee then saw Itachi being covered with crow droppings all over his body. Later, after Deidara unintentionally started a fight among the group, Itachi unlike everyone else, tries to stop them from fighting, but utterly fails. Later after Tobi admits the truth, Itachi along with the rest of Akatsuki beat up Deidara for not telling Lee is a spy.
Itachi makes a cameo in Episode 46, wherein Jiraiya classified him as a casual pervert, alongside with Sasuke and Yamato.
In Episode 51, Itachi is briefly mentioned by his brother, Sasuke who teams up with Akatsuki to destroy Konoha. It could be hinted that Itachi could be possibly dead before the episode.
Itachi is tall, young man in his early 20s with long black hair tied in a ponytail that was usually hidden by the high collar of his black Akatsuki coat with red clouds, onyx eyes, and pale skin. One of his most identifiable characteristics are the lines running from his eyes to his cheeks and his near constantly active Sharingan.
After Itachi massacred his clan, he became practically emotionless and unsympathetic. A man of complete self-control over his emotions, Itachi only expressed surprise during battle if his opponent was stronger or caught him by surprise, and even this could be interpreted as a deliberate act to trick Kisame. Unlike most of the other Akatsuki members, Itachi did not display the more typical aspects as a villain such as arrogance. He treated his fellow Akatsuki members with equal respect. In fact, he goes enough to respect and compliment his opponents for their aptitude and abilities. He is able to back up any claims he makes because he has the power to do so, rather than the result of an ego. He does not enjoy the sport of battle nor does he indulge in violent bloodbaths, rather preferring to hastening to end his battles as soon as possible. All of his supposedly villainous acts were all ruses to encourage Sasuke to kill him as he cared deeply for his younger brother. When faced by Naruto, he sees hope in the young ninja and entrusted him to pull his sibling out of the vengeful darkness he has embraced all these years. In effect, Itachi (although emotionless from the outside) was unhappy, sorrowful, despondent, and suffering from the inside.
Powers and Abilities
A talented and highly powerful ninja, Itachi was a prodigy, his intellect and ability blooming even at a young age. He had already graduated and became a Jonin at the age of twelve and gained the Sharingan at age seven. Itachi's main prowess came in the form of his mastery of the Sharingan, the infamous kekkai genkai exclusive to the Uchiha clan and can only be obtained through some emotional stress. The Sharingan is a dojutsu (eye technique) instantly recognizable upon activation as an Uchiha's normally black eye color becomes a blood-red, accompanied by a varying number of tomoe circling the pupil. As Itachi's Sharingan has been fully developed, he has a maximum of three tomoe. It allows the user to copy any type of jutsu that they see at least once and then emulate it perfectly. It also allows them to clearly see chakra flows, which is effective against most ninja. Itachi has only used the Sharingan for its latter ability, as he has never displayed any use of copying his opponent's moves. By killing his best friend, Itachi was able to gain the Mangekyo Sharingan, the second level of Sharingan and a fearsome power. When activated, the tomoe in Itachi's eyes undergo a dramatic transformation.
Unlike the normal Sharingan, the shape of the Mangekyou is unique for every user, as his takes on a three-bladed shuriken. With the Mangekyou, Itachi obtains the use of three extremely powerful techniques: Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi and Susanoo. Amaterasu takes on the form of guided black flames, a powerful stage of fire, that usually completely consumes everything in its path and destroying it, the only exception being Gaara's Shield of Sand, which Amaterasu failed to burn through or into, and is usually unavoidable as they are guided by the user's eyesight. Only A, the Fourth Raikage, has ever been able to dodge Amaterasu and his brother, Killer B, the Eight-Tails' host, also has that capability. It burns for seven days and nights and cannot be extinguished by normal means. Itachi only uses this technique in the most dire of situations, especially if his opponent is powerful. Tsukuyomi is a time-dilation genjutsu (illusion) that traps the opponent in an alternate, warped dimension that Itachi has complete control over. A favorite of Itachi's, he can ensnare his opponent in a nightmarish realm to induce realistic pain that mentally devastates the target. Though the genjutsu lasts for three days in that realm, it only takes place in the real world in the span of seconds. Though successful activation often requires eye-to-eye contact, Itachi can easily bypass this by simply pointing at the target. According to Itachi, only someone with both a Sharingan and kekkei genkai can break this technique, however, a Tailed Beast host with a partnership with their Tailed Beast is invincible even to this since their Tailed Beast will break it for them, seen in the case of Killer B.
Susanoo is the last ninjutsu Itachi ever uses. Unlike the previous two, Susanoo manifests itself as a creature rather than a primal force. It first appears as a skeletal creature engulfed in flames along with its user (though the user feels nothing). Like the Sharingan itself, Susanoo has to develop. As Itachi's techniques were fully developed, Susanoo assumed a full form, the appearance of that form differing with each user. Regardless of the form, Susanoo itself wielded a sword (sometimes a bow and arrow) that was able to both hypnotize and permanently seal away anything it struck, an unfortunate event that Orochimaru witnessed first hand, though it ultimately proved ineffective against him as he was not really sealed at all.
Genjutsu and Taijutsu
Aside from his mastery of the Sharingan, Itachi exhibited exceptional prowess in all forms of jutsu and a keen intellect. He is able to perform genjutsu and ninjutsu almost instantaneously, performing hand signs at an unreadable speed. He could conjure up shadow clones while at the same time using kunai and shuriken for easy counterattacks. He is also capable of easily countering any physical attacks attempted upon him as nearly no one in the Naruto universe was able to actually land a physical blow on him. His intellect allowed him to easily read, predict and counter his opponent's attacks with little effort.
Itachi had a profound influence on Sasuke's life. His instructions on the night of the Uchiha Clan Downfall for Sasuke to gain power at any cost caused Sasuke to isolate himself from others and avoid companionship. When he realized he was getting attached to his Team 7 comrades, Sasuke concluded this made him weak and he opted to defect from Konoha and train under Orochimaru, propelling him along the path towards Itachi's death. Following the brothers' battle, Itachi's plans start to fail due to Tobi's interference; Tobi refocuses Sasuke's hatred that Itachi engineered for himself to be used against Konoha, turning Sasuke into an international criminal against Itachi's intentions. Itachi is able to make amends with Sasuke upon his reincarnation, wiping his prejudices clean and allowing him to start making his own decisions rather than let others manipulate him.
Upon learning the truth about Itachi, Sasuke reverts to the great admiration he had for his brother when they were younger and follows in his footsteps to protect the village at all costs. Sasuke reveals he doesn't want to see Konoha, the village Itachi sacrificed so much for, destroyed and joins forces with the Allied Shinobi Forces to stop Tobi and Madara in the Fourth Shinobi World War. He also sees the reason in Itachi's decision to make difficult choices and be hated for them, and for that reason, gives himself the task after the war ends to become the world's darkness, using his power to force peace and kill any threats. Though this is a great divergence from Itachi's plans, Itachi's decision to trust Naruto in redeeming Sasuke proved accurate; at Itachi's insistence, Naruto eventually convinces Sasuke the errors he has made without having to kill him in their final battle. In the war's aftermath, Sasuke adopts Itachi's gesture of poking on the forehead, which is a gesture of expressing affection to someone dear to him. Sasuke does this for the first time with his teammate and eventual wife, Sakura, when she asks him if she can accompany him on his travels. Later on, he and Sakura use this gesture on their daughter, Sarada. Fulfilling Itachi's wishes, Sasuke would continue protecting the village for the rest of his life.
Itachi's influence would extend beyond Sasuke: despite ordering Itachi to slaughter his clan, Danzo believed him to be an unsung hero of Konoha who worked selflessly for the village's good; the five Kage, despite not knowing about Itachi's involvement, hailed him as the world's hero for ending the Impure World Reincarnation; Kabuto remembered who he truly was as a result of Itachi's Izanami and, inspired by him, saved Sasuke when he was on the verge of dying. Years after the war, a test subject of Orochimaru's named Shin becomes fixated on Itachi so much so that he tries to kill Sasuke and use Sarada against him in order to avenge Itachi's "murder". The Third Hokage remembers Itachi as a keen and thoughtful child who possessed the mind of a Hokage at a young age and, although he was devastated of what Itachi had to go through to protect the village by sacrificing his clan, he credits Itachi for preventing a war breaking out between Konoha and the Uchiha clan.
- Itachi's name in Japanese means "weasel".
- His favorite word is "peace".
- His favorite food is cabbage and his least favorite is steak.
- Itachi's "insane laugh" before he fight with Sasuke has become a least popular one on the internet, as well as Sasuke's.
- Itachi is very similar to Severus Snape from the Harry Potter franchise.
- In the GBA version of Naruto: Path of the Ninja Itachi could be fought after the game was finished.
- Itachi and Kisame were also bosses in Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2.