Itachi Uchiha’s Mangekyo Sharingan is an advanced form of the Sharingan, activated by only a select few Uchiha, including Shin Uchiha, Obito Uchiha, Madara Uchiha, Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, Indra Otsutsuki, Sasuke Uchiha, Black Zetsu, Kakashi Hatake, Fugaku Uchiha, Izuna Uchiha, and Shisui Uchiha.
Itachi Uchiha, a member of Konohagakure’s Uchiha clan, served as an Anbu Captain and was widely recognized for his exceptional skills. His mastery of the Sharingan, a unique dojutsu, played a significant role in his reputation. He achieved remarkable proficiency with the Sharingan at a young age, earning admiration from renowned shinobi like Orochimaru.
The Mangekyou Sharingan is a more potent variant of the Sharingan, which grants incredible abilities but comes at the cost of the user’s life. This dojutsu enables the user to perceive the truth of all things and surpasses the standard Sharingan in terms of power, elevating its user to great heights in the ninja world.
The Sharingan is a ‘dōjutsu kekkei genkai,’ passed down within the Uchiha clan, requiring strong chakra and the potential to awaken its power. It ranks among the Three Great ‘Dōjutsu, alongside the Byakugan and the Rinnegan. Initially, the Sharingan manifests as black orbs in the user’s eyes, evolving as the user matures, gaining the ability to spin like a pinwheel, with the number of tomoe increasing with the user’s skill.
When Did Itachi Unlock His Sharingan Eyes?
Itachi Uchiha unlocked his Sharingan eyes, known as the Mangekyo Sharingan, at the age of 12, after a tragic event – witnessing his close friend, Shisui Uchiha’s death. Itachi’s Sharingan eyes had a deep crimson color, each with three tomoes (circles), slightly more prominent in his left eye. When his Mangekyo Sharingan activated, a distinct black flame emerged within the pupil of his left eye.
Itachi Uchiha witnessed the death of his teammate, Izumo, at the age of eight. Following this, he developed the Sharingan at a young age, showcasing his exceptional talents. He not only awakened this unique ability at a young age but also mastered it during his youth. Unlocking the Mangekyo Sharingan requires experiencing a traumatic event, the level of which varies from person to person.
In Itachi’s case, the catalyst for unlocking his Mangekyo Sharingan was the heartbreaking moment when he witnessed Shisui Uchiha, his best friend, take his own life. This event occurred shortly before the Uchiha Clan’s downfall and fulfilled the criteria for awakening the Mangekyo Sharingan, ideally involving the loss of a close companion.
When and How Did Itachi Unlock His Mangekyo Sharingan?
Itachi Uchiha unlocked his Mangekyo Sharingan in episode 358 of Naruto Shippuden, titled “Coup d’État.” This event occurred when he witnessed the tragic suicide of his closest friend, Shisui Uchiha. Shisui, a powerful Uchiha and a cherished companion of Itachi, also possessed the Mangekyo Sharingan.
The journey towards Itachi’s Mangekyo Sharingan began with growing suspicion and mistrust towards the Uchiha clan within the village. This led them to plan a rebellion. Shisui Uchiha, with his genjutsu skills, was tasked with preventing this uprising. However, tensions escalated when Danzo, a prominent figure in Konoha, convinced the Konoha Council to keep the Uchiha clan under constant surveillance. Kakashi, who shared Itachi’s concerns, was assigned to this mission alongside Itachi. Despite Fugaku’s efforts to calm the situation, the tension within the clan continued to rise.
During this time, Shisui showcased the extent of his abilities on a mission by using the stolen Byakugan to incapacitate two members of Ao’s team. He reported this success to the Council and requested a private meeting with Hiruzen, the Third Hokage. In this meeting, he shared his plan to use Kotoamatsukami on Fugaku, hoping to dissuade the clan from their planned coup. However, Danzo remained skeptical about the plan’s effectiveness.
In a heated encounter, Shisui thwarted Danzo’s attempt to harm him, but Danzo’s use of Izanagi allowed him to steal one of Shisui’s eyes. Escaping from Danzo and his Anbu, Shisui met with Itachi one last time. Realizing that he couldn’t prevent the Uchiha rebellion, Shisui entrusted Itachi with his remaining eye and the solemn duty to protect the village and uphold the Uchiha name.
Shisui’s tragic suicide served as the catalyst for Itachi’s Mangekyo Sharingan awakening. This newfound power enabled Itachi to gain more knowledge of the stone tablet in the Naka Shrine. As tensions between the clan and the village worsened over time, Itachi faced the daunting task of finding a way to honor his friend’s last wishes.
Itachi’s Mangekyo Sharingan Abilities and Powers
The Mangekyo Sharingan is a powerful eye technique that awakens after experiencing great emotional trauma, such as the death of a loved one. It grants the user enhanced vision, the ability to cast powerful genjutsu, and access to unique abilities known as Mangekyo Sharingan Techniques.
Itachi Uchiha was among the few Mangekyo Sharingan users, and his abilities were among the most formidable in the entire ninja world. His left eye allowed him to use Tsukuyomi, a genjutsu that could manipulate the victim’s perception of time and space. This technique could be used to inflict excruciating pain or even death on the victim, making it the only genjutsu with such a deadly potential.
Itachi used this technique to tragically end his girlfriend Izumi’s life, subjecting her to a lifetime within the blink of an eye. His right eye allowed him to use Amaterasu, a black flame that could not be extinguished by conventional means. Amaterasu presents an immense challenge to counter as it consumes and burns through virtually anything in its path. Once ignited, Amaterasu continues to burn until its target is entirely incinerated, and these flames are known to be practically unstoppable, impervious even to rain and the most potent Water Release techniques.
Besides these two powerful abilities, Itachi could also use Susanoo, a giant ethereal warrior that could protect him from harm and attack his enemies. However, the use of the Mangekyo Sharingan came at a great cost. These techniques were very draining on the user’s chakra, and overuse could be fatal. After Itachi’s death, his Mangekyo Sharingan was transplanted into his younger brother, Sasuke. Sasuke eventually mastered these abilities and used them to defeat his enemies and protect the world.
The Cause of Itachi Eyes Bleeding
Itachi Uchiha’s eyes bled twice in the series, both times when he used Amaterasu, a Mangekyo Sharingan technique that creates black flames that cannot be extinguished. Amaterasu requires a great deal of chakra to use, which puts a strain on the user’s eyes and can lead to damage and even blindness. Itachi had a terminal illness, so using Amaterasu further damaged his eyes and caused them to bleed.
The first time Itachi’s eyes bled was during his battle with his younger brother, Sasuke, at the Valley of the End. The second time was when he used Amaterasu to burn down the Uchiha clan compound. Itachi’s use of Amaterasu to burn down the Uchiha clan compound, including his own parents and siblings, was a traumatic experience that likely contributed to the bleeding of his eyes.
Beyond the physical toll, using Amaterasu also exacts a psychological toll on the user. This technique is highly destructive and capable of inflicting severe harm or death upon others, which can be emotionally challenging for the user and further harm their eyes. While Itachi’s eyes could initially endure the strain due to a rare condition known as the Sharingan Chakra Overload, even this condition had its limits, and excessive use of the Mangekyo Sharingan could be fatal.
Does Itachi Achieve The Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan?
Itachi did not attain the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, and even if he had been willing to transplant Sasuke’s eyes, he wouldn’t have been able to do so due to his terminal illness. The Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan represents the ultimate evolution of the Sharingan, achievable by transplanting the eyes of a closely related Uchiha, ideally a sibling.
In the entire Naruto series, this advanced form was attained by only two characters, Sasuke and Madara. Unlike other eye transplants, achieving the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan allows the user to retain their original techniques.
Although these eyes combine the designs of both Uchiha’s Mangekyo Sharingan, they still retain the essence of the original owner’s eyes and can react to specific techniques aimed at the original owner’s Mangekyo Sharingan.
With this Sharingan, they no longer suffer from the negative side effects associated with Mangekyo Sharingan use, significantly reducing chakra consumption. While Itachi never reached the level of the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan, he remained an extraordinarily powerful shinobi, even with his standard Mangekyo Sharingan.
List of Other Naruto Characters With Mangekyo Sharingan
Other Naruto Characters Possessing the Mangekyo Sharingan Include:
- Fugaku Uchiha
- Obito Uchiha
- Izuna Uchiha
- Shisui Uchiha
- Madara Uchiha
- Sasuke Uchiha
- Shin Uchiha
- Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki
- Indra Ōtsutsuki
- Black Zetsu
- Kakashi Hatake