When Sasuke Uchiha was introduced in the third chapter of the Naruto manga, he claimed that his main goal in life was to kill a certain person. We later discover that the person is Itachi Uchiha, Sasuke's older brother.
Itachi had murdered almost the entire Uchiha clan, leaving only Sasuke alive. Sasuke becomes obsessed with his desire for revenge. He seeks out Orochimaru in order to become powerful enough to slay Itachi and seek vengeance for his clan.
After the two brothers have their fateful battle, we learn that there is more to Itachi's actions than we previously suspected. The truth behind the Uchiha massacre reveals some of the dirty secrets that the elders of Konoha had wanted to keep under wraps.
We are here today to look at the life of one of the most popular Naruto villains of all time.
From the details of his love life which never made it into the manga, to his culpability in causing Naruto to commit murder, here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Itachi Uchiha.
15 Itachi's Mysterious Lover
The battle between Sasuke and Itachi concludes in the 393rd chapter of the Naruto manga, with Itachi finally succumbing to his illness. Sasuke is rescued by Tobi, who reveals the truth behind Itachi's actions.
Tobi reveals that Itachi killed all of his friends and family members, as well as his lover, which raised a lot of speculation among the fan base about who that person was. When Naruto ended, we still hadn't learned anything about Itachi's lover, so most fans assumed that it was a throwaway line that was never meant to be resolved.
After Naruto ended, there were several light novels released which focused on different characters from the series. Two of these focused on Itachi, the first of which explained his life before the Uchiha massacre. These novels were later adapted as part of the anime.
Itachi's lover was revealed to be Izumi Uchiha. She was another member of the Uchiha clan who was infatuated with Itachi throughout most of their lives. Izumi was the first member of the Uchiha clan to die at Itachi's hands. He used the Tsukuyomi to allow her to live an imaginary life together with him in a genjutsu dream world.
14 He Was Masashi Kishimoto's Favourite Member Of Akatsuki
The main villain throughout the first part of Naruto is Orochimaru. He is replaced after the time skip by a group called Akatsuki. These are a team of ninjas who defected from their villages and were now some of the most wanted criminals in the land.
The original goal of Akatsuki was to create a super weapon that would allow them to take over the world. In order to do this, they needed the nine tailed-beasts in their possession, one of whom was trapped inside of Naruto.
The members of Akatsuki quickly became popular with the fan base, due to their cool design and innovative combat abilities. Masashi Kishimoto (the creator of Naruto) has confirmed that Itachi was his favorite member of Akatsuki.
He had wanted to create villains with a backstory that was as rich and detailed as that of the protagonists, which is likely why he liked Itachi so much, as the details of his life became one of the most important plot points of the series.
13 Itachi's Original Concept Was Given To Danzo
The Uchiha clan weren't originally part of the story of Naruto. Masashi Kishimoto had originally wanted the story to focus entirely on Naruto himself. His editors encouraged him to add more characters to the story, one of whom needed to be a rival to Naruto.
This led to the creation of Sasuke, who would go on to win several of the official Shonen Jump character popularity polls, and who essentially took over a lot of the story of Naruto.
Itachi's design and role in the story were originally different. He was going to be the leader of a group of 70 ninjas called "The Itachi Squad." This would have been a group that dealt with assassinations and other secret tasks that the village at large wasn't aware of.
Itachi also had an X-shaped scar on his chin. These original design elements were moved over to Danzo, who operated a secret group within Konoha called "Root" and had the same scar on his chin.
12 The Egg Movie
Naruto gained a reputation as being a series filled with emo characters who whined a lot, which was partly a response to Sasuke's story overtaking Naruto's in relevance. This is a vastly over exaggerated view, as Naruto had a lot of light-hearted and humorous moments. There was even a comedy spinoff that starred Rock Lee, which mainly mocked the main series.
Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution was released with a short OVA that starred Itachi. It is a bizarre feature called Sunny Side Battle! Itachi is trying to cook the perfect sunny side up eggs, without any pieces of the shell clinging to the yolk.
He uses the full power of his Sharingan in order to attempt this and keeps failing. Itachi refuses to allow Sasuke to eat any of the eggs until he has cooked the perfect one. He is forced to use the power of the Mangekyo Sharingan repeatedly to complete the task.
11 He Was Tied With Jiraiya For The Highest Stats
When a manga becomes popular in Japan, the publisher will sometimes release databooks, which contain all of the known information about the characters from the series. The databooks tend to also feature exclusive content from the author of the series, such as interviews and concept art.
One of the main features of the databooks is the fact that they give stats to all of the characters. In Naruto's case, this meant judging them on their various techniques (taijutsu, genjutsu, ninjutsu). It was harder for the guys who made the Death Note databooks, who had to give characters stats based on things like manipulation and intelligence.
Itachi was tied for the highest stats in all of the databooks with Jiraiya. This makes sense, as Jiraiya is one of the few people whom Itachi seemed genuinely afraid to face in combat. He fled from Jiraiya, even though he had Kisame fighting alongside him.
10 Itachi's Former Partner
Masashi Kishimoto originally envisioned all of the members of Akatsuki looking monstrous and inhuman, with the exception of Itachi. It seems that he changed this plan over time, as several of the members looked like regular people (Deidara, Pain, Konan, Hidan), while the others (Sasori, Kisame, Kakuza, Zetsu) looked inhuman.
The Naruto anime introduced other members of Akatsuki who were part of the team before their debut in the story. These characters are considered to be filler and non-canon. One of these was Kakuza's former partner before Hidan, who he killed after losing control. The other significant member was Juzo Biwa, who was Itachi's partner before Kisame.
Juzo Biwa was a former ninja of Kirigakure and a member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. He was the former bearer of the sword used by Zabuza. The two of them worked together on several tasks, which culminated with a mission that took place in the Land of Water.
Itachi and Juzo were hunted down by the Fourth Mizukage himself. Juzo was killed in action, which left a spot open that was later filled by Kisame.
9 The Death Of His Rival
There seems to be a pattern among the personalities of the various genin teams in Konoha. It seems that every team has an aloof genius and a bratty rival who is always trying to keep up. The same was certainly true of Itachi's team, as he was one of the most skilled ninjas in the village, even as a child. He had to face the rivalry of Tenma Izumo, who was a fellow genin on his team.
Despite his skill in most areas of ninjutsu, Itachi had still not activated his Sharingan during his time in the Academy. It took the death of his rival to finally achieve this. Itachi's team was chosen to escort the Daiymo of the Land of Fire on a journey.
Their convoy was attacked by Tobi, who slaughtered Tenma with a single strike of his sword. This caused Itachi to lose control and activate his Sharingan for the first time.
8 The Mysterious Magical Items
The Mangekyo Sharingan kept gaining new powers throughout Naruto. It originally could trap people within illusions and create a black fire that was unquenchable. Itachi showed off a new third power during his battle with Sasuke.
This power was called Susanoo and it summoned an indestructible being made of chakra. Susanoo is a powerful ally, but it requires a massive amount of chakra to maintain and its usage damages the body of the user.
Itachi's version of Susanoo is unique, in that it possesses items that the other Susanoos lacked. It carried a magical blade (the Sword of Totsuka) that could trap those it strikes in an endless dream. It also carried a shield (the Yata Mirror) that protected the user from all forms of elemental damage.
The question of where Itachi found these items for his Susanoo was never answered. How would one go about finding these items and equipping them to an extension of your own will?
7 The One-Handed Seals
The ability to perform hand seals with a single hand is a highly coveted ability in the Naruto world, which is possessed by only a few people.
It allows the user to potentially perform two jutsus at once, or use a weapon while creating seals. There are only six characters in Naruto who were shown to perform this feat (seven if you count a filler character from the anime). Haku and Zabuza were both shown to be able to perform one-handed seals, though this was still early on in the series when the rules of the universe were still being fleshed out.
The other characters who can perform one-handed seals are Naruto, Sasuke, the 4th Hokage, and Itachi. We first see Itachi doing this during his introduction when we see him fighting Kakashi in Konoha. He is able to perform jutsus while keeping shuriken prepared in his other hand, which made Kakashi wary in his approach, as he was worried about leaving himself open to a counterattack.
6 Itachi Was The 2nd Best Student Of All Time At The Academy
One of the biggest mistakes that Masashi Kishimoto made when telling the story of Naruto was how he handled the reveal of Naruto's true parentage. Fans had suspected for years that he was actually the son of the Fourth Hokage.
This speculation was confirmed... in a random drunken conversation between Jiraiya and Tsunade. As time went on, the absence of information about Naruto's parents seemed like it made less sense, considering how many people befriended them and how their influence on the village was seemingly never discussed.
Itachi Shinden: Book of Bright Light revealed that the Fourth Hokage was the highest scoring student in the history of the Konoha Academy. Itachi was the second highest of all time. No one ever brings this up in the story, like pretty much all of the details of the Fourth Hokage's life before the reveal of the fact that he was Naruto's father.
5 Itachi's Blood Soaked Backstory
We only saw hints of Itachi's backstory throughout Naruto. The most we learned was during Tobi's story about the history of Konoha, which eventually led to the planned Uchiha coup.
According to Tobi, Itachi witnessed a battlefield during the Third Shinobi World War. All of the death and destruction caused him to strive for peace, which made him side with Konoha when he learned of the coup.
The Itachi novels and their anime adaptation expanded on his backstory. When Itachi was four years old, he tried to give water to a wounded ninja from Iwagakure. Itachi was forced to kill the ninja by slashing his throat. His father then explained to him the meaning of war and why it was important that he witness this battlefield.
After discussing the meaning of life and death with Orochimaru, Itachi decides to take his own life. He changes his mind at the last moment, though, and later learns of the impending birth of Sasuke, which inspires him to keep on living.
4 The Waste Of The Eye
Itachi might have been the most respected member of the Uchiha clan in terms of fighting ability, but he was not the most feared. Shisui Uchiha might be the most powerful member of the clan to have ever existed.
This was due to Shisui's ability to use a technique called Kotamatsukami. Shisui could use a genjutsu so powerful that it acted as true mind control. Kotamatsukami could influence people's minds and give them false memories and experiences.
Danzo stole one of Shisui's eyes before his death. Shisui gave his other eye to Itachi and then committed suicide, with the hope of awakening Itachi's Mangekyo Sharingan.
Itachi implanted Shisui's eye into a crow and placed it within Naruto so that he could change Sasuke's personality if he turned evil. This was a huge waste of the eye, considering that he could have used it on any of the major villains in the story (like Pain or Obito) and prevented them from completing their evil plans.
3 Itachi Vs. The Drug Dealers
Zetsu noticed that Itachi's movements during his final battle with Sasuke were sluggish and uncoordinated. He puts this down to the fact that Itachi was ill. Tobi reveals that Itachi was suffering from a terminal illness and was on death's door when he fought Sasuke. He claims that Itachi was using the most potent drugs available to keep himself alive.
In the novel Naruto Jinraiden: The Day the Wolf Howled, Sasuke learns of the medicine that Itachi was using and tracks it down to the source. Itachi befriended two brothers who made a powerful medicine, which could also be turned into a highly addictive drug.
The two brothers have to contend with a local clan, who wanted to steal the medicine and synthesize it. Itachi used to fight off this clan during his visits to the brothers, which makes you wonder why they kept coming back. Itachi has the ability to lock people in nightmarish illusions. Did he never use this ability in order to protect the brothers from harm?
2 He Refused To Kill Brothers
Not only was Itachi secretly looking out for Konoha's best interests by performing the Uchiha massacre, but he also acted as a double agent during his time with Akatsuki.
This was a highly dangerous mission, which involved him being scrutinized by other ninjas who were just as powerful as he was. He completed this mission without rousing suspicion and was even considered to be a friend by the likes of Kisame.
Itachi had one weakness that could have blown his cover during his time with Akatsuki. He refused to kill brothers, even if they were trying to kill him.
In the novel Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom, Itachi and Kisame encounter a group of ninjas from Kirigakure. Itachi realizes that two of the ninjas he is battling are twin brothers and cannot bring himself to kill them, even though they had paralyzed Kisame and were actively trying to capture or kill him.
Perhaps this was because he knew of the strong bond felt between brothers.
1 Itachi Was Directly Responsible For Naruto Committing Murder
The story of Naruto went out of its way to try and stop its protagonists from killing people. This makes sense in that it is published in Weekly Shonen Jump and they probably don't want characters who go around massacring people every week. It makes less sense for ninja assassins to never take lives in the course of duty.
Uzumaki Naruto did technically take a life during the series, though. When it was discovered that Kakashi/Gai's teams were pursuing Sasori and Deidara, the members of Akatsuki used a technique that allowed them to pour their chakra into another individual, which would turn them into a copy. This incredibly useful technique is never used again after this point.
Itachi takes control of a ninja called Yura. Naruto kills Itachi/Yura with a Rasengan, leaving his corpse on the ground for Zetsu to eat. This is one of the most cold-hearted moves done by Itachi in the series.
He could have let one of the other Akatsuki members fight Naruto, yet he decided to do it himself. This is one of the pieces of evidence that fans have used to suggest that Itachi's redemption was a last minute decision and was not planned out properly.
What do you think? Was Naruto's Itachi Uchiha good or bad? Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comment section!