When a franchise has been running as long as Naruto, there are bound to be a few plot holes or questions left unanswered over the years. Being left with unanswered questions tends to make fans develop their own answers - except we call those answers fan theories.
The Naruto universe is unique when it comes to plot holes and unanswered questions because of how strange the timeline is. The movies developed with the characters don’t fit into the timeline of the anime series. The anime series, in turn has plenty of “filler” story arcs that were never part of the manga.
Each of the incarnations of the stories borrow from one another, but they don’t always line up. This leads to a lot of questions by long time fans.
Sometimes, these questions have easy enough answers to fill in the blanks. When the anime audience wondered who Yamato’s family might have been, for example, there was a large group of fans who decided Tsunade was his mother.
After all, she spent decades away from the village and only vaguely outlined some of her own adventures. A theory like this, whether true or not, fills in a blank in the storyline quite nicely.
Many of the villains in the franchise have unanswered questions in their storylines as well. Fans have tried to figure out the answers themselves, and some of their theories seem so crazy that they just can’t work. Sometimes, some of the craziest theories actually sound the most plausible though.
We’ve scoured the internet to bring you 20 Fan Theories About Naruto’s Villains So Crazy They Might Be True.
20 Danzo’s Wait To Take Over The Leaf Village
One conundrum in the series was why Danzo took so long to take over the Hidden Leaf Village. He had an opportunity after Orochimaru took out the Third Hokage. Instead, he waited until Tsunade was Fifth Hokage and in a coma.
Danzo dragging his feet about taking over is stranger when you remember that the storyline hints he helped Orochimaru infiltrate the village as well. Fans theorize that this is down to the Hyuga Clan and their Byakugan, which allows masters of it to see everything.
In the Hidden Mist Village, Ao was able to use his Byakugan to determine that someone was pulling Yagura’s strings. Neji also determined someone’s will wasn’t his own in the Village Hidden In The Stars.
With the Hyuga having a trusted position in the Hidden Leaf Village, Danzo was trying to avoid detection.
19 Team Shigure Was Ordered To Attack The Sand Village Ninjas
During the first set of chunin exams in Naruto, a lot of crazy things happened in the forest. Teams were supposed to make it to a spot in the center with special scrolls, but when anything goes, teams attacked on another unprovoked - whether they needed one of the special scrolls or not.
One of the teams attacked out of nowhere was the Sand Village Ninjas.
At that point, fans didn’t know Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari well. They soon found out Gaara wasn’t just a good fighter; he was lethal.
Team Shigure didn’t appear to have a reason to attack. Fans speculated that they were ordered to by Pain. Was it to test the ninjas or attempt to free Shukaku from Gaara?
We may never know. Pain appeared in a much later story arc, but the power build up began earlier.
18 Kabuto Was A Triple Agent
Kabuto was a tough villain to figure out. When fans first met him, he was a Sound Village ninja at the chunin exams. Of course, we later learned that the Sound Village was simply a front for Orochimaru, and Kabuto was actually checking out the competition.
One of Orochimaru’s most trusted followers, Kabuto, aided him as both a medical ninja and a fighter.
Strangely, though, he helped Naruto, Sasuke, and even Hinata at different points, making sure they all stayed alive to fight another day.
Because of the back and forth nature of Kabuto’s loyalties, some fans speculated that Kabuto might have been a spy for Jiraiya all along.
He was one of the only people in a position to feed the Leaf Village information, and he never engaged Jiraiya in a fight (though he had the chance to do it).
17 Orochimaru Manipulated Karin’s Memory
Karin, introduced as a follower of Orochimaru, happened to be crazy about Sasuke as well. The explanation given was that Sasuke saved her life during the chunin exams, something that was never seen in the manga or the anime.
Plenty of fans thought that seemed unlikely given the chunin exams were when Sasuke first activated his curse mark and was especially brutal against opponents. There’s no way that he would have stopped to save someone’s life who wasn’t on his team.
Orochimaru has manipulated memories in the past. Anko was his student. Left behind at 13, she had large gaps in her memory, manipulated so she couldn’t tell the village what Orochimaru’s plans were.
Fans argue that manipulating Karin’s memory ensured that Orochimaru had at least one follower committed to making sure Sasuke was in perfect health and ready to be his vessel.
16 Itachi Was The Crow To Kakashi’s Scarecrow
As one of the most experienced shinobi in the Hidden Leaf Village, it’s natural that enemies would fear Kakashi.
With his name, it’s more poetic when those who fear him are associated with birds. Given that Kakashi’s name actually translates to “scarecrow” in Japanese, fans found a connection between the character and that of Itachi Uchiha.
Itachi’s name translates to “weasel,” but the character actually had a thing for crows. The latter was an animal used most often by Itachi and Shisui. It would seem likely that Itachi would fear the scarecrow then, but in the case of Naruto, the crow had his revenge.
Kakashi found himself caught in a genjutsu that caused him to be strung up just like a scarecrow. He was even tortured in the genjutsu with a pointed sword by Itachi, not unlike a crow’s beak.
15 Obito’s Control Of The Hidden Mist Village
One of the biggest contributors to making Obito into the man fans saw was the loss of his beloved Rin. Losing her was the result of a scheme put into place by the Hidden Mist Village.
Who later ran the Village Hidden In The Mist from the shadows? None other than Obito.
Obito controlled Yagura, the Mizukage. Yagura’s reign was particularly brutal, getting the region the nickname of the Bloody Mist. Some of Yagura’s policies even involved having his own people fight one another.
While it’s not entirely clear how much Obito knew about the village in relation to Rin losing her life, the running fan theory is that his control was part of his revenge.
He wanted to punish the village for his own loss.
14 Akatsuki Members Represent Motivations For War
If you like your anime with a healthy dose of symbolism, this is the fan theory for you. The Akatsuki created a long and difficult conflict for the Naruto world, but there may have been a larger reason.
According to one Reddit user, each member of the group actually corresponds to a reason why human beings enter war.
Hidan, for example, went into battle in the name of his religion. Zetsu and Itachi were both about protection - though Zetsu was interested in protecting his own land, while Itachi was hoping to save his little brother.
Pain and Konan both grew up in areas that already saw much battle. Though they wanted to end war, they started wars hoping theirs would be the last. Kakuzu might have been the most selfish of the bunch, going to war for money.
13 Orochimaru Still Wants To Be Hokage
The villain with the most staying power in the world of Naruto was Orochimaru. So much of the original manga and anime was devoted to the fact that Orochimaru turned on the village and was intent on creating the perfect ninja.
We also know that Orochimaru wanted power. In fact, at one point, he wanted to be the Hokage. He was passed over in favor of a shinobi with less experience than him, and it was a huge blow to his ego.
As a new generation of stories now exists in Boruto, fans speculate that he’s still waiting for his chance.
Orochimaru experimented with genes and cloning techniques. He’s had many bodies at this point. So even if he’s much older than Naruto, he could easily be in a position to become Hokage again.
The village likely wouldn’t trust him.
12 Shin Is Shisui Uchiha
The antagonist known as Shin was introduced late in the Naruto manga, but he didn’t make his debut on screen until Boruto became an anime.
As an experiment of Orochimaru’s, Shin left his old master behind as he became obsessed with the Uchiha clan.
Shin wanted revenge on Sasuke in particular for his part in Itachi’s life ending. For some reason, Shin’s obsession with the clan focused on Itachi in particular, wanting to carry out Itachi’s “work,” though he didn’t seem to understand it.
Fans theorized that the obsession is rooted in who Shin was before the experiments.
Many believe that Shin is actually Shisui Uchiha, who gave his life to protect Itachi and the clan. Both characters are missing the same eye and Shisui’s body vanished when he sacrificed himself.
Sounds like more than a coincidence.
11 Mitsuki’s Parentage
At this point, Boruto fans know that Orochimaru created himself a son. Mitsuki was born out of the cloning technology Orochimaru experimented with over the years. Just who Mitsuki’s biological parents are is a mystery.
Fans theorized that Boruto’s teammate doesn’t simply have two parents. With all of the experimentation Orochimaru has done, he has access to the genetic material of numerous characters from the franchise.
Speculation for who contributed to Mitsuki’s birth includes the likes of Kaguya, the White Snake Sage, Toneri, Orochimaru himself, Sasuke, Karin, and even the group of Sound Village ninjas who were once in Orochimaru’s employ.
At some point in the series, Boruto will likely solve this mystery, and we can’t wait to find out more about Mitsuki’s lineage.
10 Mitsuki Is Orochimaru’s Perfect Vessel
When fans first learned of Orochimaru’s history, they also learned about his search for the perfect body. He moved from vessel to vessel, increasing his power and his lifespan.
Once upon a time, he thought that Sasuke Uchiha was his perfect vessel. Now, fans think he has a new one.
If you thought Orochimaru created Mitsuki just because he wanted his own family, think again.
One of the prevalent theories about the most notorious of reformed villains is that he isn’t done with his old ways. He used the technology that he knew so well to create a new body for himself. He’ll eventually sacrifice the life of his own son to increase his lifespan.
That might cause some family tension.
9 The Sound Village Will Return
When supposed genin from the Sound Village entered the chunin exams in Naruto, fans were under the impression that these were just some really tough ninjas.
Over the course of the arc, it was revealed that they were all Orochimaru’s henchmen.
Depending on your view, the Sound Village was either a real place that Orochimaru took over, or it was simply the name he gave to the place where he gathered his followers.
Either way, some fans believe the Village Hidden In The Sound isn’t gone from the Naruto universe yet.
In fact, the Sound Village gets a brief nod at the beginning of Boruto. There’s an idea that a reformed Orochimaru might just run his own village since he’s not the most welcomed in the Hidden Leaf Village.
8 Orochimaru Really Wants Sarada Uchiha
Though plenty of fans believe that Orochimaru created Mitsuki for his own use, there’s another contingent of fans who think Mitsuki’s teammate might be the one in danger of falling into Orochimaru’s trap.
Sarada Uchiha has a lot of the same abilities her father had.
Younger than her father when he left the Hidden Leaf Village to pursue power and vengeance, she’s not quite as strong as him yet. As the last of the Uchiha bloodline (so far), she might be just who Orochimaru is waiting for.
If Orochimaru thought Sasuke was the perfect vessel at just 15 years old, Sarada might be his new obsession since she will likely surpass her own father.
If so, she’s in a precarious position with Mitsuki as her teammate and able to keep an eye on her for his father.
7 Orochimaru Created Kawaki
Thanks to Orochimaru being the villain most fans are familiar with, and Boruto introducing a mysterious new character, fans found a perfect recipe for theorizing.
Everyone wants to know just where the mysterious Kawaki came from. His particular appearance has made plenty of fans suspicious. Thanks to his multicolored hair, some fans have theorized that he’s a combination of two legendary characters.
Fans think that Kawaki might be one of Orochimaru’s scientific creations, just like Mitsuki.
In this case, however, they think Orochimaru combined the DNA of two of his most formidable opponents: Naruto and Sasuke.
If true, Kawaki might be a near perfect shinobi. Boruto will have his work cut out for him when he faces off against his future enemy.
6 An Enemy Will Use Biological Warfare In The Future
Though we saw plenty of scientific experimentation in Naruto and Boruto, biological warfare hasn’t played a big role in the franchise... yet.
A filler arc in the original anime series did bring biological warfare briefly to the shinobi world.
In it, Kiba’s ninja dog Akamaru was infected by another ninja with a virus that made him angry and violent. It was said to be a rare form of ninjutsu. Akamaru even turned on Kiba.
Since then, though, there hasn’t been much in the way of biological warfare, which is surprising given just how much science fiction is meshed with fantasy.
Fans have speculated that Boruto will endure something similar in the future, possibly as a result of an antagonist in Kara.
5 Sarada Will Become A Villain
Naruto fans seem to love the idea of history repeating itself. Having Sarada Uchiha support her teammates and train to become the next Hokage isn’t enough for some fans. Instead, they theorize that she’ll eventually become a villain.
While this idea seems outlandish at first, it does have some merit.
Sarada, after all, is intent on mastering her own abilities without anyone knowing what they are.
She even hid some of them from her classmates at the Academy so they couldn’t have an edge over her in a fight.
Sarada also realized that her dream (and entire reason for pursuing life as a shinobi) is that she wants to become Hokage.
Her drive is based on a powerful achievement, not unlike her father before her. Her father was after power for revenge, while Sarada is after power to rule.
4 Kawaki Is From An Alien Dimension
With Kawaki’s introduction in Boruto, there’s another interesting fan theory about just where the new character might have originated. While some fans favor the idea of Kawaki being created by scientific means, others think he might have a more fantastical origin.
Alternate dimensions and parallel worlds have played an increasingly larger role in the Naruto franchise.
Naruto was able to travel to one in Road to Ninja, for example. In the franchise mythology, though, the Otsutsuki originated in another universe as well.
Since it was this group that effectively created the way of the shinobi on Earth, some speculate that Kawaki is from the same dimension.
The difference is that he’s come to Earth to end the shinobi way of life.
3 Kawaki Will Seal Naruto And Sasuke
The flash forward that kicked off the events of the Boruto series implied that Naruto and Sasuke were no more.
In addition to Boruto wearing Sasuke’s old headband, Kawaki also quipped about sending Boruto where he sent Naruto.
Some fans took that particular exchange to mean that Kawaki ended Naruto’s life. It’s not a huge leap considering the Hidden Leaf Village was in ruins.
Other fans think that the phrasing was deliberately vague so that the reveal can be made later that Kawaki actually sealed the two away somewhere.
Not unlike the tailed beasts being sealed inside shinobi, it’s entirely possible for a person to be sealed in another plane of existence as well.
Just where Kawaki might have sent Naruto and Sasuke remains to be seen.
2 A Scrapped Villain Is Still To Come
Masashi Kishimoto created several Otsutsuki clan members when developing the backstory of alien beings traversing dimensions and eating chakra fruit.
The idea provided Kaguya, Kinshiki, Momoshiki, and Toneri as villains. While some were used in the Naruto series, others didn’t make it into the story until movies were created.
One villain from that original backstory was scrapped. Urashima was planned to be a part of the villainous group in the Boruto movie, but time constraints had the character eliminated.
Because Masashi Kishimoto already had plans for the character, some fans believe that Urashima could still be used by writers of the new stories.
Fans don’t know just what this character can do yet, but as one of the Otsutsuki, chances are he’s pretty powerful.
1 The Infinite Tsukuyomi Worked
The entire reason why the shinobi world went to war in Naruto Shippuden was because the different nations were attempting to prevent the Infinite Tsukuyomi from being activated.
Obito was able to briefly activate it during the Fourth Shinobi World War, but it was eventually lifted. Or was it?
This trippy fan theory postulates that it worked. Everything the manga readers and anime audience have seen play out since the massive genjutsu was lifted is nothing more than a Matrix-like hallucination.
This particular brand of genjutsu could be used on massive amounts of people and caused them to seemingly live in a world they desired most, but it was all in their heads.
Wouldn’t this turn out to be an awful reveal for fans of the franchise down the line?
What do you think about these fan theories about Naruto's villains? Is there a crazier one out there that we missed? Let us know in the comments!