Naruto is one of the most complicated series in the world of anime. With three full-length anime, countless movies, and of course the original manga, there’s a lot of ground to cover. In every arc of the series, there are villains who create hurdles for the heroes to overcome, and help drive the plot forward. While the series itself explains a lot about these villains, it also leaves some plot holes open, and offers tantalizing details that don’t seem to lead anywhere but might be the key to something more interesting. That’s where fan theories about Naruto villains come in.

Whether they’re about the Akatsuki, Orochimaru, Kaguya, or Danzo, these theories will give you something to think about. Some are more about symbolism, like the one that shows how Itachi and Kakashi are connected. Others are about lineage – could Mitsuki actually be an Ootsutsuki?

  • Every Akatsuki Member Represents A Motivation For War

Τhe Akatsuki’s personalities and motivations weren’t chosen at random. Rather, they’re meant to represent different motivations for waging war.

  • Pain & Konan — Peace.
  • Hidan — Religion.
  • Kakuzu — Money.
  • Kisame — Expose lies and hypocritical countries/nations.
  • Itachi — To protect your country/nation.
  • Sasori and Deidara — To be known in the world for creating diplomatic changes that last a long time (represented as bombs/terrorist attacks in countries and civil workers, politicians and soldiers being puppets of the government.)
  • Zetsu — Protect land and nature/territory.
  • Obito/Madara — Force their idealistic world traits onto other nations, to create an eventual and unified co-existence.

While the theory was generally well-recieved by commenters, some felt that the reasoning behind Zetsu was a little off – actually, his motivation had more to do with supporting his mother, Kaguya. That said ones’ lineage is also a pretty common motivation for war – just ask any royal family that’s ever existed.

  • Obito Took Control Of Yagura For Revenge

At some point after Yagura become the Mizukage, Obito began manipulating him into behavior that would serve his larger, more nefarious plans. Kirigakure was already a pretty brutal place, but Yagura made so many violent and controversial decisions that the country was calling for his execution by the end of it.

It’s possible that Obito’s reasons for taking control of Yagura weren’t just strategic – they were revenge. That’s because Kirigakure was partially to blame for the plan that took Rin’s life. It’s possible that Obito didn’t really care about how the village could contribute to his overall plans, and was more focused on making its people suffer the way that Rin had.

  • Orochimaru Created Mitsuki To Be His Vessel

Since he was introduced at the beginning of Naruto, Orochimaru has supposedly changed a lot. No longer does he collect thousands of orphaned children and put them through excruciating experiments in the hopes of achieving immortality, and no longer does he plan coups against Konoha. Instead, he commits himself to much milder experiments, and attends parent-teacher conferences to discuss his kids’ progress at Ninja Academy.

What if this cuddly version of Orochimaru is a total front? According to this fan theory, it definitely is. Orochimaru didn’t create Mitsuki so that he could learn about the joys of fatherhood – he did it because Mitsuki is supposed to be a vessel for him to take over. Considering the fact that Mitsuki is actually a genetically modified clone of Orochimaru, this makes a lot of sense – what’s an easier body to live in than one that resembles yours? And who is easier to manipulate into obedience than a child you’ve raised?

  • Kakashi & Itachi Are Symbolically Connected

Next time someone tells you that Naruto doesn’t have literary merit, show them this theory on the symbolism surrounding Kakashi and Itachi’s relationship. Megan Peters over on Comicbook describes a theory that apparently came from Reddit which will change how you think about the two beloved characters.

Kakashi’s name means ‘scarecrow.’ Given that the name has nothing to do with his powers, one has to imagine that there’s a symbolic reason for the name choice. Itachi’s name means ‘weasel’ which doesn’t directly connect with Kakashi – but he’s also consistently represented by crows. The first time that the two are seen together, Kakashi attempts to fight off Itachi and fails. In fact, he ends up in a genjutsu where he’s strung up like a literal scarecrow with crows attacking his body.

He failed at his role as a scarecrow, as he was unable to deter Itachi in any way.

  • Hidan Can’t Use Ninjutsu Or Genjutsu

While everyone in the world of Naruto has a chakra system, not everyone can effectively use chakra for ninjutsu and genjutsu. Rock Lee is the most infamous example of this – but could Hidan be an example, too? Some fans think so. Hidan’s main ability, which is a religious ritual that renders him immortal, isn’t confirmed to require chakra. This technique is pretty much the only thing he can do besides taijutsu, so is it possible that he can’t use chakra at all?

Hidan is seen walking on water and walls, but even Rock Lee can do that – using chakra to a limited degree doesn’t mean being able to use nijutsu or genjutsu.

The other potential problem with this theory is the fact that the databook says that Hidan has a 5/5 in Ninjutsu. However, many fans believe that data book information is to be taken with a grain of salt, so this doesn’t totally disprove the idea.

  • Orochimaru Brainwashed Karin

One of the more baffling things about Naruto is Karin’s infatuation with Sasuke. Sure, Sasuke’s a good-looking guy whose bad boy charm makes him appealing to more than one female character throughout the series, but it’s hard to believe that Karin would be so passionate about someone who isn’t even basically polite to her. Her constant bickering with Suigetsu makes it pretty clear that she’s not one to put up with bullsh*t.

So, why is Karin willing to do pretty much anything Sasuke asks? Some fans speculate that it’s because Orochimaru brainwashed her into loving him. Why would he bother with something like that? Because Orochimaru wants Sasuke alive and in good condition, no matter how much pain he subjects him to. If Karin, who can heal people who drink her blood, cares about Sasuke enough to turn over her wrist for him, she’ll keep healing him indefinitely without any argument.

  • Mitsuki Has Kaguya’s DNA

Mitsuki is a synthetic human who Orochimaru created in a lab. Outside of that, it’s not exactly clear where his DNA comes from. He can’t be a direct Orochimaru clone, since he doesn’t particularly look like him and has powers Orochimaru lacks. Could he be a genetically modified clone? Sure, but chances are that modification involved someone else’s DNA. Some fans think that the DNA belonged to Kaguya Otsutsuki, the first person to manifest and wield chakra, and the main villain of Naruto Shippuden.

Not only does Mitsuki resemble Kaguya physically, he also possesses healing powers that line up neatly with hers. It’s not clear exactly how Orochimaru would have gotten his hands on Kaguya’s DNA to begin with, but since it’s Orochimaru ‘he has his ways’ is probably enough.

  • The Hyuuga Clan Suppressed Danzo

Danzo has been chomping at the bit to take control of Konoha since his childhood, so that fact that he didn’t make a move when Hiruzen passed away is pretty bizarre. It’s especially odd because the series hints that Danzo might have actually helped Orochimaru sneak into Konoha. Why wouldn’t he use the opportunity he intentionally created?

The real reason is porbably that Kishimoto didn’t create Danzo until later, but there could be a canon reason for it, too. The reason could be the Hyuuga clan, whose Byakugan allow them to see pretty much everything. Putting himself in the hot seat just after his nefarious team-up with Orochimaru could easily lead to his secrets being revealed by a Byakugan user. Later, when he makes a bid for the spot during Tsunade’s coma, he might have had more protections in place to avoid this particular revelation.

  • Team Shigure Was Being Used By Pain

While not the most memorable characters in the Naruto-verse, Team Shigure may have served an important role for one of the most notable villains of the series, Pain. These Amegakure ninjas took on the Sand Siblings – Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro – during the Chuunin Exam. They were swiftly eviscerated by an irritated Gaara after shooting their mouths off about being better than him.

It’s possible that the Amegakure team was simply trying to get through the Chuunin Exams and doing a rotten job of it, but it’s also possible that they were sent there by Pain so that he could observe Gaara’s fighting skills. After all, Gaara has Shukaku sealed inside of him, so this would be useful intel for him.

  • The World Is Still Trapped In Infinite Tsukuyomi

The Infinite Tsukuyomi is a powerful genjutsu that put the entire world into what was supposed to be a permanent stasis. As the victims were drained of their chakra, they were completely unaware of what was happening to their bodies because they were trapped in an illusory world. In many cases, the illusions are based on what the person either predicts will happen, or most fervently wishes for.

It seemed like the Infinite Tsuyukomi was disrupted and Madara and Obito were defeated… but what if they weren’t? Some fans theorize that the Infinite Tsukuyomi never actually ended. Instead, everything that happened afterward, including the events of Boruto, were actually just the various characters’ extended illusion. Sure, there’s no canonical proof of this, but there’s no way to prove that it didn’t happen either.

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