To keep a story interesting, a twist and/or reveal is often added. As a result, it changes one’s perceptions of the story up to that point. Whether it’s for the best or worst, these twists and reveals are popular to use in ongoing television series due to the medium’s length.
This includes anime shows like Naruto despite the fact that some of them are now well-known among the Otaku community. But that doesn’t make the twists and reveals any less significant. In fact, some were so huge they shaped the show’s identity with the biggest ones ranked here.
10 The Nine-Tailed Fox Resided In Naruto
Right off the bat, the very first episode of the Naruto series ended with a major twist. After failing to graduate a third time from the Konoha Village’s Ninja Academy, the series’ protagonist Naruto Uzumaki is dismayed. Then he gets tricked into stealing a forbidden scroll and learns from the person who told him to steal it that the reason he’s been an outcast for years is because he possesses the Nine-Tailed Fox within his body.
The significance of this has to do with the fact that this monstrous demon attacked Konoha and left many dead including the village’s leader known as the Fourth Hokage. As a result, Naruto not only learns that he’s different from everyone else but also gains special powers that prove to be an asset and a danger to those around him.
9 Orochimaru Was A Former Pupil Of The Third Hokage
About midway through the original Naruto series, we got introduced to our first true villain in the form of Orochimaru (shown far left) who attacked Naruto’s comrades in the Forest of Death and eventually orchestrated a full-scale siege on Konoha. But the big reveal here was that this creepy snake-obsessed guy was actually a former pupil of the Third Hokage, who took over Konoha after the Fourth Hokage’s unexpected death.
In fact, Orochimaru was part of the Legendary Sannin who were all former pupils of the Third Hokage that were incredibly powerful and played a major role in the Third Shinobi War. But Orochimaru’s legacy was tainted by his unethical experiments on human test subjects to unlock the secret of immortality.
8 Naruto Wasn’t The Only One To Possess A Demon
While the initial shock of Naruto possessing the Nine-Tailed Fox demon quickly wore off after the first episode of the Naruto series, the most shocking twist was the revelation that he wasn’t the only ninja in the world to be the host of a demonic creature. This came about when Gaara of the Sand tried to murder Rock Lee in his sleep, though Naruto and a colleague named Shikamaru Nara prevented it.
But what they did learn was Gaara’s backstory, where his mother willingly became the host for the demon Shukaku which then possessed Gaara after his mother died due to birth complications. Then eventually other characters possessing similar demons showed up that would be collectively referred to as Jinchūriki with Naruto and Gaara included in this group.
7 Sasuke Wanted Revenge On His Brother
When Team 7 was formed, everyone except the team’s leader Kakashi Hatake was required to talk about themselves and their goals. During this session, Sasuke Uchiha (whom Naruto considered his rival) revealed that he wanted to kill someone but didn’t specify who it was.
Though during Team 7’s fight with Gaara, Sasuke mentioned wanting revenge on his brother. The twist was that his brother happened to be a wanted criminal named Itachi, who was responsible for killing most of his clan with Sasuke being the only survivor, and was a member of a mysterious yet malicious organization called the Akatsuki.
6 Kakashi Got His Sharingan Eye From A Comrade
One of the main reasons Kakashi was appealing as a character was the mysteries surrounding him including his physical features. Aside from his face, which he always kept hidden except during the last episode of Naruto: Shippuden, there was also his Sharingan Eye which was unusual since those are only inherited by members of the Uchiha Clan.
But in a series of flashbacks, we learned that he had gotten the eye from a comrade of his named Obito Uchiha who seemingly died after getting crushed by a boulder. So the eye was kept in honor of Obito, while also being useful during Kakashi’s missions.
5 Pain Was A Former Student Of Jiraiya’s
Compared to Orochimaru, the Akatsuki proved to be a lot more powerful and menacing during Naruto: Shippuden (which was the second half of the Naruto series). This was especially true of Pain, the designated leader of the Akatsuki.
Yet after Pain is defeated by Naruto, it’s revealed that Pain wasn’t what he seemed. In reality, Pain was the corpse of a former student of Naruto’s mentor Jiraiya named Yahiko who was being manipulated by another former student named Nagato. Together along with Konan, they formed the Akatsuki group before criminals like Itachi joined it.
4 Itachi Didn’t Kill His Clan Willingly
Since he was first introduced, we never really knew what Itachi’s motivation was for killing his own clan yet keeping his younger brother Sasuke alive. Because all it seemed to do was motivate Sasuke into becoming strong enough to take down his brother, which happened midway through Naruto: Shippuden.
But Sasuke’s triumph was short-lived as it turned out Itachi didn’t kill his clan of his own freewill. In fact, he was ordered to do it by Konoha’s elite enforcement group known as Anbu because his clan was planning a coup to take over Konoha and they had to be eliminated.
3 The Fourth Hokage Was Naruto’s Father
Because Naruto had been an orphan for his entire life, we didn’t know much about his parents in terms of who they were and why they seemingly abandoned him. Then as images of the deceased Fourth Hokage Minato floated around, fans of the Naruto series began to theorize a familial connection between him and Naruto.
This twist was confirmed when Naruto was in the process of fighting Pain and giving into the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox to where it almost possessed him completely. Fortunately, an apparition of Minato showed up explaining he was indeed Naruto’s biological father.
2 Tobi Is Kakashi’s Former Teammate Obito
Among the members of the Akatsuki, the most intriguing one was arguably Tobi. With his face hidden behind an orange mask and being almost comical when he was first introduced, he didn’t seem to be threatening compared to the others like Kisame who had shark-like features or Zetsu who was a literal plant man.
But as Naruto: Shippuden progressed, Tobi became more assertive and menacing. Then it turned out he was Kakashi’s seemingly dead teammate Obito, who actually survived and was healed by Madara (the ancestor of the Uchiha Clan).
1 Naruto And Sasuke Are Kaguya’s Reincarnated Sons
Despite their differences, Naruto and Sasuke were alike in terms of their determination to achieve their goals no matter what. But this major twist towards the end of Naruto: Shippuden puts their relationship as rivals in a whole new light.
While Obito’s actions brought about the Fourth Shinobi War, it was revealed to have been orchestrated by Madara. But even he was a pawn to a much greater evil in the form of Kaguya, an otherworldly being who tried to take over the world eons ago but was stopped by her own sons. Then centuries later, those sons reincarnated as Sasuke and Naruto.