Itachi was a fairly tall and lean-built man with onyx-colored eyes and jet-black hair that was pulled back with a red elastic band in a low ponytail which extends to his shoulders. As a member of Akatsuki, he wore a slashed Konoha forehead protector and the standard Akatsuki black cloak with red clouds. Sometimes, he would unbutton his cloak to mid-chest and rest his left arm there, rather than in the sleeve. Inside the cloak he wore similar clothes to that of the rest of the Akatsuki. His attire consisted of mesh armor with navy accents under an identical T-shirt with a simple white belt around the waist, and dark blue pants. Like most members of Akatsuki, he wore the forehead protector of his home village with a horizontal line gouged through it to symbolize his broken ties with the village. On his right ring finger was his Akatsuki ring, which was red and bore the kanji for "vermilion". He also wore purple nail polish on his fingers and toes and a necklace which had three silver rings with red gems inside them.
From a young age, Itachi was quiet, even-tempered and insightful. He lived at a distance, observing individuals and ideas without getting directly involved so that he could fully understand them. Although this approach prevented him from becoming close with many people, it enabled him to think and act without prejudice or preconceptions, instead evaluating things strictly on their own merits. He would think about shinobi and origins of the village and its future. For this reason he never had the self-righteous loyalty to his clan that was so common among the Uchiha; though he loved his family and wanted the best for them, he knew there were more important things than the Uchiha's aspirations.
Despite being a pacifist by nature, Itachi felt his own needs were secondary to the greater good's; to that end he became a shinobi. He trained tirelessly to improve himself as quickly as he could and subjected himself to all of the shinobi life's inconveniences without complaint for the simple motivation of being useful to others. Being so accomplished as a ninja enabled Itachi to approach problems less violently than others would, satisfying his peace-loving and pacifist nature. These two extremes of his personality came into conflict as events moved toward the Uchiha Clan Massacre; he did not want to harm his family and sought a peaceful resolution, but knew that the path with the least bloodshed would be the clan's extermination. As the inevitability of the massacre became more apparent, Itachi's normally polite attitude to his clansmen became more violent, criticizing them openly and lashing out at them for the choices that sealed their fates and his own.
Despite the traumas he endured from killing his own family, Itachi did not blame those among Konoha's leadership who gave him the mission; though he did not trust Danzo Shimura on a personal level, he knew Danzo only had the village's best interests at heart. But Itachi - partly out of the necessity of his assignment to join Akatsuki - was greatly changed after the massacre, rarely if ever showing emotion. He became more prone to displays of force and permitted certain violent habits of his partner, Kisame Hoshigaki, under the pretense that it furthered Akatsuki's goals. Itachi could not and would not fully shake his pacifist ways, and would run from confrontation or rein in Kisame if the likelihood of collateral damage became too high for themselves or others. While Kisame would sometimes protest, he considered Itachi a good friend and would listen to his instructions.
Konoha's protection was always forefront in Itachi's mind, but it was his dedication to his brother, Sasuke, that took priority in every situation. From the time of Sasuke's infancy, Itachi tasked himself with looking after him. They'd spend whole days together in the woods around Konoha having adventures and accomplishing self-appointed missions. When Itachi began to become an accomplished ninja and took much of their father's attention, Itachi would make special time to fill their father's shoes for Sasuke's benefit, at times even refusing his father's wishes in order to make Sasuke happy. Sasuke, wishing to be just like his older brother, would often ask Itachi to train him in the ninja arts. Itachi would almost never do so, poking his forehead and promising to train him some other time
It was Sasuke's safety that ultimately convinced Itachi to go through with killing the rest of the Uchiha, believing his own damnation was worth it if it ensured Sasuke's survival. Even though he did it for Sasuke, Itachi wanted to be punished for his crimes and selected Sasuke as the one to take vengeance against him. To push Sasuke in this direction, Itachi withheld the true reason for his actions and instead took on the persona of a man who had no love for his younger brother. Per the persona, Itachi cared about Sasuke only because of the eyes that he could take to gain Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan. His actions in Akatsuki were meant to reinforce this persona, and whenever he met Sasuke over the years he would taunt his weakness and encourage him to get strong enough to kill him. His plan was that, once he had been killed, Sasuke would be hailed as a hero. Itachi never wanted Sasuke to learn the truth surrounding the Uchiha's massacre, and if he did he hoped the memory of a hateful older brother would cause him to not believe it.
After he died and was reincarnated, Itachi discovers that his plans largely failed; Sasuke is not a hero and he did find out the truth about what Itachi did. Naruto Uzumaki points out to Itachi the flaw in his plans: he had been trying to manipulate Sasuke rather than be honest with him and trust in his own strength. Acknowledging the mistake, Itachi is free to be himself instead of the persona he fabricated, being openly kind to others and displaying a dry sense of humor, even in stressful situations. He is finally open with Sasuke when they meet again, admitting what he did and even sharing information Sasuke did not already know. He apologizes to Sasuke for failing in his responsibilities as an older brother, wondering if being up front with Sasuke from the beginning might have allowed them to avoid the Uchiha's destruction. In their final moments together, Itachi tells Sasuke he does not need forgiveness and that he will always love him no matter what.
Ninjutsu Master: In terms of unique ninjutsu, Itachi could summon crows, which he would typically call forth in flocks to swarm opponents and distract them. He even integrated crows into clones of himself that would draw opponents' attacks. He was likewise able to create shadow clones that could lure in opponents before exploding. In addition to crows and clones, Itachi was practiced with fuinjutsu, particularly those that would activate upon seeing specific people's Sharingan.
- Nature Transformation: As an Uchiha, Itachi had a natural affinity for fire style, mastering the clan's Fire Ball Jutsu at a very young age. He would often coat shuriken with fire to increase their offensive capacities. He was also a skilled water style user, able to perform the Water Dragon Jutsu without an already existing water source.
- Bukijutsu Expert: As a fully-trained Hidden Leaf Anbu, Itachi was skilled with a sword, which was his primary weapon during the Uchiha Clan Downfall. His comfort area as an Uchiha, though, was shurikenjutsu.
- Shurikenjutsu Master: Even in his early childhood, Itachi could perfectly hit an intricate set of eight targets, one of which was hidden in a blind-spot, by accurately deflecting two kunai off two other kunai in such a way that every kunai hit a target. His throwing speed was unprecedented, enough to keep up with and therefore negate the advantages of the Summoning: Lightning Flash Blade Creation. He was as equally comfortable with kunai, and at times used kunai like swords against opponents that wielded actual swords.
Taijutsu Expert: Although Itachi was very skilled with taijutsu - enough to easily defeat three members of the Hidden Leaf Military Police Force - he rarely actually got involved in hand-to-hand combat.
- Immense Speed and Reflexes: Though he rarely shows hand-to-hand combat, he did consistently display, however, was impressive speed and reflexes, particularly with his hand movements. This extended to both throwing weapons and hand seals, making it appear as if he could perform his techniques without seals; even skilled Sharingan users had difficulty keeping track of him. His speed allowed him to attack first in a battle, then immediately move to the location his opponent retreated to, giving them no chance to initiate a counter-attack. In the Naruto anime, he was even able to keep up with the famous Shisui of Teleportation.
- Enhanced Strength:
- Enhanced Endurance:
- Enhanced Durability:
Genjutsu Expert: Consistent with his pacifist nature, Itachi specialized in genjutsu typically performed with his Sharingan. His illusions, which often involved crows, could be initiated after only the briefest moment of eye contact, and even targets that knew to expect genjutsu might not immediately realize that they'd fallen prey to him. Even avoiding eye contact with him didn't guarantee safety, as he could cast genjutsu by merely pointing at someone. In addition to basic illusions, Itachi could use genjutsu to share information or psychologically disable opponents, allowing him to end fights before they even began. According to Ao, he was the only person who could use his genjutsu to take control of other individuals outside the range of even the Sensor Division. If he ever came up against other genjutsu users, he could turn their genjutsu against them.
Genius Intellect: Just as he was emotionally distant in his personal life, Itachi would typically be physically distant in combat, avoiding direct conflict so that he could observe an opponents' actions and abilities. He thought quickly and remained calm in a fight, enabling him to respond with maximum efficiency and with little likelihood of misjudging circumstances. If an opponent exceeded his expectations or posed a legitimate challenge to him, Itachi would freely admit it.
Immense Chakra Power: As an Uchiha, Itachi's chakra was naturally strong, but his actual chakra reserves were very low, preventing him from participating in prolonged battles. In Part I of Naruto, he could only use the Mangekyo Sharingan three times in a day before he needed significant rest. Constant usage of his Mangekyo during his final battle with Sasuke contributed to his death as it worsened his illness. His chakra is orange-yellow.
Sharingan: Itachi awakened and mastered the Sharingan by the age of eight, demonstrating skill and power superior to most members of his clan as a prodigy. He keeps his Sharingan active near-constantly with minimal drain on his chakra levels. The Sharingan allowed him to see chakra and predict movements, as well as facilitate his use of genjutsu. With the Sharingan he could perform Izanami, a counterpart to the more dangerous Izanagi.
Mangekyo Sharingan: Itachi awakened the Mangekyo Sharingan after the suicide of Shisui Uchiha. Its design was three spiraling curves around the pupil. Using any of these techniques required vast amounts of chakra to perform and left Itachi so fatigued afterwards that he had to deactivate his Sharingan altogether. Every time he used his Mangekyo Sharingan his eyesight deteriorated, a process that would progressively worsen on each occasion. Early uses of the Mangekyo would only cause his eyes to bleed, but by the end of his life he reached the point where he was nearly blind, most things looking to him like mere blurs. He does not suffer these shortcomings after his reincarnation and can use all his Mangekyo techniques without problems.
- Tsukyomi: With his left eye he could use Tsukuyomi, a genjutsu that trapped opponents' minds in an illusory world, torturing them for what seemed like days in a matter of seconds.
- Amaterasu: With his right eye he could use Amaterasu, which ignited whatever he looked at with black flames that would burn anything, including fire itself. He had the ability to extinguish Amaterasu, but never displayed the sort of shape transformation that Sasuke later would.
- Susano'o: Having unlocked the abilities of both his Mangekyo, Itachi could use Susano'o. With its simplest manifestations he could produce extra arms or bones to improve his options in a fight. When used in full, Itachi was surrounded by a spectral warrior that would protect him from all damage, even jutsu as powerful as Kirin. In addition to the chakra swords and Yasaka Magatama common to all Susano'o, Itachi's Susano'o wielded the Totsuka Blade - an ethereal sword with the ability to seal any person it pierced into its gourd-hilt - and the Yata Mirror - a shield that was said to reflect any attack by changing its chakra nature to counterbalance an attack. The simultaneous use of both weapons made Itachi's Susano'o essentially invincible.
- Sasuke Uchiha (Younger Brother)
Background in Other MediaEdit
- This is the difference between us!
- For now, just move forward. Even if it means you walk through a path of carnage.