Is Itachi Nice to Naruto?

by Hazel

Itachi Uchiha, one of the most complex and enigmatic characters in the Naruto series, is often a subject of intrigue and debate among fans. His interactions with Naruto Uzumaki, the series’ protagonist, are particularly noteworthy. This article explores whether Itachi Uchiha is nice to Naruto, analyzing their encounters, the underlying motives, and the broader implications of their relationship within the context of the series.

Itachi Uchiha

Itachi Uchiha, a prodigious ninja from the Uchiha clan, is initially portrayed as a villain in the Naruto series. Known for his involvement in the massacre of his own clan, Itachi’s true motivations are gradually revealed to be far more complex. His actions, often shrouded in mystery, stem from a deep sense of duty and a desire to protect the village of Konoha.


Early Life and Background

Itachi’s early life is marked by his exceptional talent and rapid rise through the ninja ranks. However, his life takes a tragic turn when he is tasked with the impossible decision to annihilate his clan to prevent a coup d’état, an order given by the village’s leaders to preserve peace. Itachi’s decision to carry out the massacre, while sparing his younger brother Sasuke, defines much of his character arc.


Naruto Uzumaki: The Protagonist

Naruto Uzumaki, the main character of the series, is a young ninja with dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of Konoha. His journey is fraught with challenges, including overcoming the stigma of being the host of the Nine-Tails, a powerful demon fox. Naruto’s character is characterized by his unwavering determination, kindness, and a strong sense of justice.


Naruto’s Goals and Motivations

Naruto’s primary goals are to gain acceptance from the villagers, protect his friends, and achieve his dream of becoming Hokage. His relationships with other characters, including his bond with Sasuke, play crucial roles in his development and drive many of his actions throughout the series.


First Encounters Between Itachi and Naruto

Itachi and Naruto’s first significant interaction occurs when Itachi, along with his partner Kisame Hoshigaki, infiltrates Konoha to capture Naruto, who is the host of the Nine-Tails. This encounter sets the stage for their complex relationship.

Itachi’s Initial Intentions

At first glance, Itachi’s intentions appear hostile. As a member of the Akatsuki, an organization seeking to capture all the Tailed Beasts, Itachi’s mission is to apprehend Naruto. However, Itachi’s approach during this encounter is notably restrained. Rather than immediately resorting to violence, Itachi engages in a brief dialogue with Naruto, hinting at a deeper, more nuanced relationship.

Naruto’s Reaction

Naruto, unaware of Itachi’s true motives, perceives him as a threat and is prepared to fight. Despite the apparent antagonism, Itachi’s calm demeanor and cryptic words leave an impression on Naruto, sowing the seeds for future interactions.

Itachi’s True Motives

To understand whether Itachi is nice to Naruto, it’s essential to delve into his true motives and the reasons behind his actions.

Protecting Konoha

Itachi’s primary objective, even as a member of the Akatsuki, is to protect Konoha. His decision to massacre the Uchiha clan was driven by the need to prevent a civil war that could have devastated the village. By joining the Akatsuki, Itachi aims to monitor the organization from within and delay their plans as much as possible.

Protecting Sasuke

A significant aspect of Itachi’s character is his deep love for his younger brother, Sasuke. Sparing Sasuke during the clan massacre and later antagonizing him were deliberate actions to ensure Sasuke’s survival and growth. Itachi hopes that Sasuke will one day become strong enough to avenge their clan and restore the Uchiha name.

Guiding Naruto

Itachi’s interactions with Naruto are guided by his recognition of Naruto’s potential and his desire to protect Konoha. Understanding that Naruto will play a crucial role in the village’s future, Itachi aims to influence Naruto in subtle yet significant ways.


Key Interactions Between Itachi and Naruto

Throughout the series, Itachi and Naruto have several notable interactions that highlight the complexity of their relationship.

The Genjutsu Encounter

One of the most pivotal moments occurs when Itachi confronts Naruto in a forest, using his Sharingan to trap Naruto in a genjutsu. During this encounter, Itachi questions Naruto about his bond with Sasuke and his motivations. Despite the intimidating setting, Itachi’s words are more probing than hostile. He seems genuinely interested in Naruto’s responses, subtly guiding him towards understanding the depth of his bond with Sasuke.

The Crow and Shisui’s Eye

In a later encounter, Itachi plants a crow with Shisui Uchiha’s eye inside Naruto. This crow contains a powerful genjutsu, Kotoamatsukami, which can alter a person’s will. Itachi’s intention is to use this as a failsafe to protect Konoha and Sasuke. This act is a profound gesture of trust, indicating Itachi’s belief in Naruto’s potential to safeguard the village and Sasuke’s future.

The Reanimated Itachi

During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Itachi is reanimated and once again crosses paths with Naruto. This time, their interaction is more direct and collaborative. Itachi acknowledges Naruto’s growth and the burden he carries as the host of the Nine-Tails. They fight alongside each other to stop Kabuto Yakushi, showcasing a partnership built on mutual respect.

Analysis of Itachi’s Behavior Towards Naruto

Evaluating whether Itachi is nice to Naruto involves examining his behavior and intentions across their interactions.

Respect and Acknowledgment

Itachi’s treatment of Naruto is consistently marked by a sense of respect. Even when they first meet under hostile circumstances, Itachi engages Naruto in conversation, showing a level of interest in his thoughts and feelings. This respect is further evidenced by Itachi’s decision to entrust Naruto with the crow containing Shisui’s eye, a powerful tool meant to protect Konoha and Sasuke.

Guidance and Influence

Rather than being overtly kind, Itachi’s approach towards Naruto is more about guidance and influence. He challenges Naruto’s beliefs and pushes him to think deeply about his motivations and relationships. This subtle form of mentorship indicates Itachi’s recognition of Naruto’s importance and his desire to steer him in a positive direction.

Protection and Trust

Itachi’s actions demonstrate a protective instinct towards Naruto. By planting the crow inside Naruto, Itachi shows his trust in Naruto’s ability to use it wisely and his commitment to ensuring Naruto’s safety. During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Itachi’s collaboration with Naruto further emphasizes his trust and recognition of Naruto’s capabilities.

The Broader Implications of Their Relationship

The relationship between Itachi and Naruto has significant implications for the overall narrative of Naruto.

Naruto’s Growth

Itachi’s interactions with Naruto contribute to Naruto’s growth as a character. Through their encounters, Naruto gains deeper insights into the complexities of the ninja world and the burdens carried by those he admires. Itachi’s probing questions and actions push Naruto to reflect on his own motivations and strengthen his resolve.

The Uchiha Legacy

Itachi’s actions towards Naruto also reflect his broader goals concerning the Uchiha legacy. By guiding Naruto and entrusting him with powerful tools, Itachi hopes to shape a future where the sacrifices of the Uchiha clan are honored and where Sasuke can find a path to redemption. Naruto, as a bridge between different clans and ideals, plays a crucial role in this vision.

The Theme of Sacrifice

The interactions between Itachi and Naruto underscore the theme of sacrifice that runs throughout the series. Itachi’s willingness to bear the burden of being a traitor and villain for the greater good mirrors Naruto’s journey of carrying the hopes and dreams of his friends and village. Their relationship highlights the complexities of leadership and the sacrifices required to protect what one holds dear.


Itachi Uchiha’s behavior towards Naruto Uzumaki is a nuanced blend of respect, guidance, and protection. While Itachi’s actions may not always appear overtly nice, his underlying intentions reveal a deep-seated recognition of Naruto’s potential and importance. Through their interactions, Itachi subtly mentors Naruto, challenging him to grow and preparing him for the burdens he must carry. In the grand tapestry of Naruto, Itachi’s relationship with Naruto is a testament to the complexities of duty, sacrifice, and the interconnected destinies of the characters. As fans continue to explore the rich narrative of Naruto, the enigmatic bond between Itachi and Naruto remains a compelling and integral part of the series.


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