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Itachi Uchiha (うちはイタチ, Uchiha Itachi; ; ; ) was Sasuke Uchiha's older brother. He was a missing-nin from Konohagakure, and a prominent member of Akatsuki, partnered with Kisame Hoshigaki.

BackgroundEdit

File:Itachi As A Kid.PNG
Itachi as a child

Itachi was born into the Uchiha clan and praised by all as the best of his generation - a genius above all others. Even by the standards of the battle-adept Uchiha clan, Itachi's prowess far out-shined all others. 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 the Third Great Shinobi World War, which emotionally traumatized him and turned him into a pacifist. At age 7, he graduated from the Ninja Academy at the top of his class after only one year, mastered the Sharingan at age 8, passed the Chunin Exams at age 10, and became ANBU Captain at age 13. According to Madara Uchiha, Itachi also had a lover, whom he killed during the Uchiha clan massacre.[1]

File:Uchiha's.PNG
A Young Itachi With His Family. From left to right: Fugaku Uchiha, Sasuke Uchiha, Mikoto Uchiha, Itachi Uchiha

He was praised highly by his father, who saw the family's future in Itachi, hence neglecting his other son - Itachi's younger 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 attending 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 discovered the existence of Madara Uchiha, who was attempting to rekindle the flames of war in Konoha. In return for not 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. By doing so, he wanted Sasuke to take vengeance on him and become a hero to Konoha, redeeming the Uchiha name. 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 would someday be powerful enough to kill him, Itachi left the village as a traitor.

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 revealing everything he knew about Konoha's secrets to enemy countries. Sasuke's safety was secured, and Itachi returned to the original plan by becoming infamous for his slaughter of the Uchiha.

File:K00162.jpg
Itachi upon joining Akatsuki

Itachi joined Akatsuki so that he could keep an eye on the organization, along with Madara Uchiha, in case either ever acted against Konoha, all the while planning for his death at Sasuke's hands. While a member of Akatsuki, Itachi was approached by Orochimaru, who tried to steal his body to gain the Sharingan. Itachi trapped him in a genjutsu and severed his arm as punishment, forcing Orochimaru to flee the organization. Sometime after joining Akatsuki, Itachi later helped recruit Deidara, Orochimaru's replacement, by beating him in battle, to which Deidara swore vengeance against Itachi.

PersonalityEdit

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, although he hid this from the rest of the Akatsuki 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, even complimenting his opponents at times on their abilities.

In addition to being an extremely powerful ninja, Itachi had 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 was almost never deceived and even then almost instantly realized 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 was not possible, end it as quickly as he could.

Itachi's only initial interest was in Akatsuki's goals and his only loyalties' appeared to be to the organization and its members, putting the organization's success and secrecy before everything else.[2] 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 later revealed to be only an act to ensure he would die by Sasuke's hands, his love for his brother being the fundamental aspect of his personality.

AppearanceEdit

File:ItachiUchiha.png
Itachi Uchiha

Despite his status as an infamous shinobi, his appearance was not the most intimidating, beyond the intensity of his eyes. While living in Konoha, he would regularly have a gentle and caring look in his eyes, especially to his younger brother. After joining Akatsuki, he would regularly have a stern look to them. He was a fairly tall shinobi, whose basic appearance was very much like the rest of his clan.

He, like all members of his clan, possessed dark grey eyes, and also had black hair that hung near his cheeks to frame his face. He also had the addition of a long ponytail in the back of his hair (which he obscured with his Akatsuki cloak after joining the organization). Being brothers, Itachi and Sasuke had a similar appearance, but with subtle differences. Itachi's hair color appeared slight duller and with a softer flow to it, without the spiky style in the back. His skin was also slightly darker. Itachi's most distinguishing characteristics were his long pronounced nose ridges under his eyes (which he inherited from his father Fugaku). Itachi actually looked more like his father, while Sasuke looked more like his mother Mikoto.

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 secretly, he was actually still loyal to his village).

Part IEdit

Return of Itachi arcEdit

File:Itachi and Kisame Debut.jpg
Itachi and Kisame's debut.

After the Invasion of Konoha and the death of the Third Hokage, Itachi and Kisame infiltrated the village to find Naruto Uzumaki, the container of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Before searching for Naruto, the two 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 with 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 bed for a few days. After Kakashi revealed he had knowledge of Akatsuki, Itachi ordered Kisame to kidnap Kakashi and kill Asuma and Kurenai. However, Might Guy showed up, revealing that he'd already told the ANBU about the two Akatsuki members. Itachi and Kisame retreated, saying they didn'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 was kidnapping Naruto. They confirmed this, 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 had fled this technique before, the two Akatsuki partners escaped with Itachi's Amaterasu, leaving him exhausted.

Although he was really supposed to capture Naruto, Itachi's only reason for returning to Konoha after the death of the Third Hokage was to remind Danzo and the other two village elders that he was still alive, and not to harm his younger brother, Sasuke Uchiha.

Part IIEdit

Rescue Gaara arcEdit

While Akatsuki was sealing the One-Tailed Shukaku, they discovered that Naruto and Team 7 were en route to their location. Itachi volunteered to distract them, so Pain used the Shapeshifting Technique on Yura to create a body-double for Itachi. The lookalike, under Itachi's control, engaged the Konoha ninja. He was impressed by Naruto and Kakashi's improvements in strength but, because the clone had only a portion of his ordinary strength, it was killed by Naruto's Great Ball Rasengan. Nevertheless, he had bought enough time.

Hunt for Itachi arcEdit

As Sasuke defeated Orochimaru, Itachi sensed something odd. Kisame asked him what was wrong, to which Itachi replied, "No, it's nothing." Following Kisame's capture of the Four-Tailed Monkey, Itachi and Kisame met with the rest of Akatsuki. There, they discovered that Sasuke, after being trained by Orochimaru two and a half years ago, had killed Orochimaru. Sometime after the Four Tails was sealed, Zetsu informed them that Sasuke was killed by Deidara's C0. Kisame asked Itachi if he was upset that Sasuke's death had left him as the only Uchiha. Itachi remarked that Sasuke wasn't dead, and alluded to the fact that there was still another Uchiha (Madara) regardless.

Knowing that his end was near, one of Itachi's shadow clones confronted Naruto, who was looking for Sasuke. Although he claimed he wished only to talk, Itachi was forced to stop Naruto's attacks. After fending off Naruto, Itachi asked why he showed so much interest in Sasuke, a traitor to Konoha. Naruto replied that he was more of a brother to Sasuke than Itachi was, and that he would do whatever it takes to bring Sasuke home. Itachi followed up by asking if he would always feel that way, even if Sasuke threatened Konoha. Naruto replied only that if that happened, he would bring Sasuke home and protect the village. Content with this answer, Itachi gave some of his power to Naruto and wished the latter would never have to use it.

After his business with Naruto was done, another of Itachi's shadow clones went to meet with Sasuke. Sasuke displayed a dramatic improvement in his abilties, so Itachi agreed to have their final battle at the former Uchiha headquarter. He waited there for Sasuke's arrival, instructing Kisame to not let the members of Sasuke's team, Hebi, interfere with their battle. Itachi and Sasuke met face-to-face and, while exchanging genjutsu, had 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 battle ended and the ninjutsu battle began.

File:Itachismile.jpg
Itachi's last smile to his brother, Sasuke.

Itachi used Amaterasu, but Sasuke shielded himself by shedding his skin, a technique he was able to use because of Orochimaru being sealed within him. Sasuke then used his trump card, Kirin, on Itachi who got his Akatsuki cloak taken off as a result. However, Itachi survived by using Susanoo to defend himself. With Kirin having expended all of Sasuke's chakra, Orochimaru was able to break free, in an attempt to take control of Sasuke's body. Itachi promptly sealed him away with Susanoo, and removed the cursed seal from his body. His last option gone, Sasuke was left helpless, while Itachi seemed to be reaching for Sasuke's eyes; he instead poked Sasuke's forehead and said, "Sorry Sasuke. This is the last time," a reference to Itachi constantly poking Sasuke in the head when they were kids. Itachi then died of exhaustion.

LegacyEdit

Madara collected Sasuke, attended to his wounds, and tried to befriend him when he woke up. When he removed his mask while doing the latter, Sasuke cast an Amaterasu on him. After quelling the flames, Madara explained that the Amaterasu had been inserted in Sasuke by Itachi, intended to protect him from Madara and whatever he might say. Sasuke was perplexed, so Madara went on to details of the history of the Uchiha clan, and the truth behind Itachi's life. Towards the end of his story, he explained that Itachi had been dying of disease, but kept himself going with medicine so that he could die by Sasuke's hands. He also stated 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 was crushed to find the brother he had hated for so long was a good person. Upon realizing the truth, he resolved to take vengeance against Konoha for giving them their fates, regardless of Itachi's attachment to the village. He also agreed to start working with Madara, something Itachi had tried to prevent.

AbilitiesEdit

Since a young age, Itachi's intellect and talent showed their brilliance in everything he did, as even his teachers said his progress hardly required any help. In the few battles he has 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, Sasuke, Kakashi Hatake (and Kurenai and Asuma), and Orochimaru (twice), who themselves are considered amongst the strongest ninjas in Naruto. Itachi was a master of all the Uchiha clan's techniques, along with the Sharingan, and had great prowess with all of the three main types of jutsu. When battling against Kakashi, Kurenai, and Asuma, Kakashi commented that Itachi wasn't fighting with even half of his strength.

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. Despite his extensive use of genjutsu, Itachi appeared to be quite skilled in taijutsu as well, as demonstrated when he brutally beat Sasuke during their reunion in Konoha. Itachi's techniques also often involved usage of crows, both in ninjutsu and genjutsu.

Mangekyo SharinganEdit

File:Sharingan-mangekyou.jpg
Itachi's Mangekyo Sharingan

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.[3] With his right eye he could use Amaterasu, a ninjutsu which allowed him to create a black flame that he could direct with his eyesight to burn through seemingly anything in its path, including fire itself. His final technique was Susanoo, a technique that manifested itself as a spectral being, labelled as the "Raging God of Battle" in the databook. It wielded the Totsuka Sword, an ethereal sword with the ability to seal anything it pierces into the gourd that serves as 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.[4] Itachi was so close to blindness that, by the time he activated Susanoo in his final fight, both Sharingan eyes had become almost blind, and turned white. However, he was still able to perform his own Fūinjutsu in his last moments.

TriviaEdit

  • Itachi (鼬; ; ; ) 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.[5][6]
  • He and Kisame were the first active Akatsuki members to appear.
  • According to the Third Databook, Itachi's favorite foods are cabbage and rice balls with seaweed in it, with his least favorite being steak.
  • One of Itachi's hobbies was visiting traditional Japanese cafés.
  • Itachi and Kisame make a brief cameo appearance in the Konoha Sports Festival OVA, where they stand in line to use the bathroom, along with many other random characters.
  • Itachi has completed 340 official missions in total: 53 D-rank, 152 C-rank, 134 B-rank, 0 A-rank, 1 S-rank.
  • Itachi's registration number is 012110.
  • Itachi wishes to fight Sasuke.
  • Itachi's favorite word is "peace".

QuotesEdit

  • (To Sasuke) "You are weak. Why are you weak? Because you lack ... hatred."
  • (To Kakashi) "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."
  • (To Sasuke) "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 as 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?"
  • (To Kakashi) "In the world of the Tsukuyomi, the Nightmare Realm, I control everything. Over the next seventy-two hours, I will continue cutting you with my sword."
  • (To Sasuke) "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."
  • (To Sasuke) "You are not even worth killing."
  • (Last words, to Sasuke) "I'm sorry, Sasuke ... this is the last time."
  • "The clan, the clan! You overestimate your own abilities, with no idea of the depth of my own. And look at you now, grovelling in the dirt!"
  • "I've had enough, there's no hope left for this pathetic clan!"

ReferencesEdit

  1. Naruto chapter 401, page 10
  2. Naruto chapter 143, page 08
  3. Naruto chapter 142, page 17
  4. Naruto chapter 385, page 16
  5. Naruto chapter 245, pages 08-09
  6. Naruto chapter 293

he:איטאצ'י אוצ'יהא

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