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Does Itachi Die in Naruto – And if So, How?

Ever found yourself in the middle of a Naruto fan huddle, hotly debating the life and death saga of a certain Itachi Uchiha?

Yes? Excellent! You’re in the right place. No? Well, you’re in for a treat either way.

That enigmatic Uchiha sibling has a knack for grabbing headlines in the ninja world. He’s got a resume boasting feats such as awakening baby bro Sasuke’s Sharingan, being the mysterious elder brother, and dying more than once.

He takes his first – yes, his first – ticket to the afterlife in episode 138 of Naruto Shippuden, courtesy of his dear little brother. But hold your tears! He was back in business in episode 139, almost as if he’d just taken a small vacation.

The joy was short-lived, though: he was dispatched to the beyond, once again, in the very same episode. Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions!

Now, you might be wondering “Why on Earth would he get resurrected only to kick the bucket in the same episode?” Well, it’s a long story – and we’re going to tell it!

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Table of Contents

Itachi’s First Death

Itachi’s initial demise comes in the Naruto Shippuden episode titled ‘End,’ which – spoilers alert – isn’t so much ‘The End’ for everyone as it is for our beloved emo eye-master.

Picture this: you’re hanging out, minding your own business when suddenly, a part of Orochimaru that Sasuke had absorbed decides to try and take over. In response, Itachi does what any self-respecting ninja would do: he whips out the Sword of Totsuka – the mystical equivalent of a butterfly net for souls – and entraps the rebellious Orochimaru in an eternal genjutsu.

Despite this victory, our raven-haired hero got the wind utterly knocked out of him. Fighting off a chunk of Orochimaru while handling Sasuke is about as exhausting as it sounds. With his chakra drained and blood flowing freely, Itachi manages to hobble towards Sasuke. With the air heavy with drama, he pokes Sasuke’s forehead – a nostalgic act from their innocent sibling days.

This poke was packed with more than just sentiment; it locked Amaterasu into Sasuke’s eyes – a booby trap set to spring on Tobi’s Sharingan. Only after this did Itachi bow out of the show, his injuries and illness getting the best of him once and for all.

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How Come Itachi Went Down So Easily?

Don’t write Itachi off as a weakling, now: the guy was playing the long game. After all, he’d been aware of his looming expiration date ever since his stint as an Anbu. Call it dramatic flair or just downright rotten luck, but he was saddled with an illness more stubborn than his younger brother.

In an act of sibling love so convoluted it could put soap operas to shame, Itachi decided to play the villain in his own tragic drama. His master plan? Boost Sasuke’s strength and awaken the Mangekyo Sharingan, because nothing says ‘family bonding’ like a good old-fashioned fight to the death.

Itachi’s ticking time-bomb body was propped up on meds just so Sasuke could have the pleasure of landing the killing blow.

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Itachi’s Revival

Remember Tobi’s ‘bring your villains back to life’ day? If not, check out episode 139, when Itachi and the other Akatsuki members grace our screens once more – all part of Tobi’s master plan.

But our anti-hero Itachi, having none of this puppet show nonsense, masterfully yanks free from Kabuto’s control and joins forces with Naruto and Killer B. In a move that would make the Avengers blush, he manages to put Nagato in his place.

En route to Kabuto’s evil lair – because every proper villain should have one – Itachi stumbles upon Sasuke. Which leads us to …

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Itachi’s Second Death

Our dynamic Uchiha join forces to take down the Impure World Reincarnation, as one does on a casual Tuesday.

However, Kabuto, not one to respect the sanctity of sibling bonding, tries to stir the pot: With all the subtlety of a bullhorn, Kabuto begins listing off Itachi’s past wrongdoings to Sasuke like a parent reading their kid’s report card.

But Itachi, ever the stoic, doesn’t flinch or deny a thing. Instead, he promises Sasuke a heart-to-heart post-battle, only after Sasuke can successfully summon his Izanami like some twisted family game night.

After a knock-down-drag-out brawl, Itachi pulls a fast one on Kabuto, using a genjutsu that forces Kabuto to end the Impure World Reincarnation.

As Itachi starts to disappear, he goes in for a tender head bump with Sasuke, a brotherly gesture that says, ‘I’m out, but first, let’s clear the air.’ He spills the beans about all his lies, telling him, ‘I’m not seeking forgiveness, but know this, I’ll love you whatever nonsense you get yourself into.’

With these words, he checks out from the land of the living … again. And this time, it’s final. His body completely disintegrates, so there’s no chance of a third reappearance. A tragedy – but hey, he lives on in his brother.

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Itachi’s Long-Lasting Effect on Sasuke

During Itachi’s short-lived reincarnation, he and Sasuke have a meaningful heart-to-heart. Sasuke’s once-thought-evil-now-realized-hero brother melts his heart faster than an ice cream cone in the summer sun. He goes from the number-one member of the Itachi hate club to his number-one fan.

Plus, let’s not forget about the eye-candy – literally! Itachi’s eye donations weren’t just about brotherly love; they also came with a neat perk. Thanks to him, Sasuke unlocked the ‘Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan’ and ‘Rinnegan’ – kinda like those hidden character upgrades in a video game, but way cooler.

With newfound respect and a dash of brotherly guilt, Sasuke flips his rogue ninja switch off, dusts off his Konoha headband, and stands tall against Tobi and Madara. He’s back in the saddle, aiming to put an end to the Fourth Shinobi World War.

And hey, remember that charming forehead poke Itachi did to him? Well, in Boruto, Sasuke has commandeered the move, repurposing it as his signature love tap. Whether it’s his wife, Sakura, or his daughter, Sarada, no forehead is safe from Sasuke’s affectionate ‘boop!

Jack is an avid anime enthusiast with a passion for all things Japanese culture. He spends his days watching the latest series, reading manga, and discussing the merits of his favorite characters with his friends. When he's not writing (or debating) about manga and anime, Jack can be found playing video games or practicing Ju-Jitsu. Despite his nerdy interests, Jack is confident and outgoing. He's always eager to share his enthusiasm with others.