Why Did Itachi Like Naruto?

by Hazel

Itachi Uchiha, one of the most complex and enigmatic characters in the Naruto series, had a profound impact on the story and on Naruto himself. His relationship with Naruto, though initially shrouded in mystery and seeming antagonism, evolved into a unique bond based on respect and understanding. This article explores the reasons why did Itachi like Naruto, delving into their interactions, shared ideals, and the deeper themes that connect them.

Itachi Uchiha – A Complicated Legacy

Itachi Uchiha’s character is defined by layers of complexity, from his role as a prodigy of the Uchiha clan to his eventual status as a tragic hero. Initially portrayed as an antagonist working for the Akatsuki and tasked with eliminating his own clan, Itachi’s true motives and loyalties were gradually revealed throughout the series. Central to his character development was his relationship with Naruto Uzumaki, the titular character and a fellow Konoha ninja.


Early Encounters and Conflicting Loyalties

In the early arcs of the Naruto series, Itachi appears primarily as a formidable adversary, especially during his encounter with Naruto and Sasuke at the Uchiha Hideout. His actions, including his manipulation of Sasuke and his ruthless efficiency in battle, painted him as a villain driven by mysterious goals.


However, glimpses of Itachi’s true intentions began to surface, particularly during his interactions with Naruto. Despite being on opposing sides, Itachi showed a peculiar interest in Naruto, which hinted at a deeper connection or understanding between them.


Shared Experiences and Understanding Pain

One of the pivotal moments in understanding Itachi’s perspective towards Naruto lies in their conversation during their encounter in the Uchiha Hideout. Itachi reveals to Naruto the truth behind his actions, including the massacre of the Uchiha clan and his role in protecting Konoha. This revelation serves as a turning point in their relationship, as Naruto begins to see Itachi not merely as an enemy but as a tragic figure burdened by duty and sacrifice.


Itachi’s ability to empathize with Naruto’s struggle and his acknowledgment of Naruto’s determination to protect his village resonated deeply with both characters. Itachi recognized in Naruto a kindred spirit who, like himself, faced immense challenges and responsibilities at a young age.

Itachi’s Respect for Naruto’s Growth

As the series progressed, Itachi’s admiration for Naruto grew as he witnessed Naruto’s development as a ninja and as a person. Itachi, having experienced the harsh realities of the shinobi world, respected Naruto’s unwavering determination and his ability to inspire others. Naruto’s journey from an impulsive and brash young ninja to a mature and respected leader mirrored Itachi’s own growth and introspection.

Itachi observed Naruto’s interactions with his peers, his willingness to protect his friends, and his relentless pursuit of becoming stronger. These qualities not only impressed Itachi but also reminded him of the ideals he once held dear before his life took a tragic turn.

Shared Ideals of Peace and Understanding

At the core of Itachi’s admiration for Naruto lies their shared ideals of peace and understanding. Itachi, burdened by the atrocities he committed in the name of protecting Konoha, sought redemption and believed in a future where peace could be achieved without further bloodshed. Naruto, similarly driven by a desire for peace and harmony, embodied the hope for a better world.

Their ideals intersected during the Fourth Great Ninja War, where Naruto’s actions as a unifier and peacemaker resonated with Itachi’s vision. Itachi recognized in Naruto the potential to break the cycle of hatred that plagued the shinobi world, a goal he himself had strived for through drastic means.

Naruto’s Influence on Itachi’s Redemption

Itachi’s journey towards redemption was significantly influenced by his interactions with Naruto. Through Naruto’s unwavering belief in him and his refusal to accept Itachi as a villain, Itachi found a form of absolution. Naruto’s ability to see beyond appearances and to empathize with others’ pain helped Itachi reconcile his past actions and find a measure of peace within himself.

During their final encounter, Itachi entrusted Naruto with the task of looking after Sasuke and guiding him towards a better path. This act underscored Itachi’s faith in Naruto’s ability to bring about positive change and to safeguard the future of Konoha.

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Mutual Growth and Learning

Beyond their shared ideals and experiences, Itachi and Naruto’s relationship symbolized mutual growth and learning. Itachi, despite his vast knowledge and abilities, acknowledged Naruto as a source of inspiration and wisdom. Naruto, in turn, learned valuable lessons from Itachi about sacrifice, duty, and the complexities of human nature.

Their interactions challenged both characters to confront their beliefs and to evolve as individuals. Itachi’s guidance, albeit indirect, played a crucial role in shaping Naruto’s understanding of leadership and responsibility, influencing his decisions as he matured into a Hokage who sought to bridge divides and foster cooperation among nations.

Legacy and Lasting Impact

Itachi Uchiha’s legacy extends beyond his tragic fate and his role in the series’ narrative. His admiration for Naruto, rooted in shared experiences and ideals, underscores the profound impact they had on each other’s lives. Itachi’s belief in Naruto’s potential as a catalyst for change and as a beacon of hope for the future reflects his enduring faith in the next generation of ninja.

Naruto, inspired by Itachi’s sacrifices and driven by his legacy, continued to uphold the ideals of peace and understanding throughout his tenure as Hokage. Itachi’s influence on Naruto’s leadership style, marked by inclusivity and compassion, resonated with the villagers of Konoha and with shinobi across the world.

Conclusion: Itachi Uchiha’s Affection for Naruto

In conclusion, Itachi Uchiha’s affection for Naruto stemmed from a deep-seated respect for Naruto’s unwavering determination, shared ideals of peace and understanding, and mutual growth throughout their interactions. Itachi, despite his tragic circumstances and complex role in the series, found solace and inspiration in Naruto’s journey as a ninja and as a person.

Their relationship transcended initial adversities and grew into a bond characterized by mutual admiration and understanding. Itachi’s belief in Naruto’s ability to shape a better future for the shinobi world underscored his profound influence on Naruto’s development as a leader and as a symbol of hope.

Ultimately, Itachi Uchiha’s admiration for Naruto highlights themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of empathy. Their story serves as a testament to the enduring impact of understanding and compassion in overcoming the deepest conflicts and forging paths towards a brighter tomorrow.


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