Naruto is mind-blowingly complex. The franchise is comprised of two anime, a spin-off, a sequel, countless movies, and the original manga, so there’s a lot to take in.
Even though one could watch Naruto for hundreds of hours, some fans of the ridiculously popular anime series series aren’t satisfied with the official content. These devotees have crafted a whole world of creative Naruto fan theories to help flesh out some of the franchise’s finer details.
Perhaps due to the anime’s sprawling scale, there are tons of plot holes to fill, and plenty of characters who viewers don’t know enough about. Naruto and Naruto Shippuden fan theories range from relatively tame ideas – like the identity of Metal Lee’s mom – to the totally shocking assertion that the Infinite Tsukuyomi, a powerful instrument of mass hypnosis, never deactivated.
Each Akatsuki Member Represents A Different Motivation For War
Redditor /u/awesomehuder offered up a fan theory that’s worthy of a college literature class. Every member of the Akatsuki, a group of renegade ninja who harbor wildly different goals and motivations, represents a reason for people to wage war. The user breaks it down:
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.
Kakashi’s Mother Might Be From Kirigakure, Or She Could Be An Inuzuka
While Kakashi’s father Sakumo played a major role in the shinobi’s early childhood, viewers never find out who his mother is. There are two major theories about the non-Hatake half of Kakashi’s lineage.
One theory from Redditor /u/ZacUAX suggests Kakashi’s mother was a member of the Inuzuka clan. Kakashi regularly uses several canine-based techniques, like Lightning Release: Lightning Beast Tracking Fang, and also summons dogs to help him fight. Additionally, he has a powerful sense of smell that’s comparable to Kiba Inuzuka’s abilities.
If his mother wasn’t a member of this beastly clan, she could be from Kirigakure. Kakashi constantly hides his face, which Redditor /u/Ruudkin theorizes might be because he has razor sharp teeth, just like the people from that country. While this theory is definitely a little out there, it’s fun to think about, and is supported by Kakashi’s proficiency with Zabuza’s sword.
Tenten Is Metal Lee’s Mother
While most of the kids from Boruto have two identifiable parents, this is not the case for Rock Lee’s son, Metal. In response to the ambiguity, some fans have theorized Metal’s mother is Tenten, another member of Lee’s first ninja team.
Of all the women in Lee’s life, he’s definitely closest to Tenten. The two have been on plenty of overnight missions together, so they had ample opportunities to be intimate. The theory is further supported by Metal’s appearance — his eye shape doesn’t come from his dad, but those eyes look remarkably similar to Tenten’s.
On top of all this, metal is a key part of Tenten’s fighting style, so perhaps Metal’s unusual name was inspired by his mother’s affinity for the material.
Kakashi Had The Mangekyō Since He Was A Child
The Mangekyō Sharingan is an advanced version of the Sharingan that activates when a Sharingan user witnesses the death of a loved one. While it’s assumed the dōjutsu is exclusive to the Uchiha family, this might not actually be the case.
After Obito Uchiha is crushed by a cascade of rocks, he asks his teammate Rin to remove his eye and give it to his friend Kakashi Hatake, as he hopes to pass the power of his Sharingan to Kakashi before he dies. Obito survives the incident, and his remaining Sharingan evolves into a Mangekyō when he witnesses Kakashi kill Rin.
Kakashi also cares deeply for Rin, and was forced to kill her against his will, so the event could have possibly caused his Sharingan to transform as well.
However, Kakashi doesn’t activate his Mangekyō until he’s in his late 20s. This could be because his lack of Uchiha blood means using the Mangekyō takes a heavier toll on his body, so he needed to advance his skills before he could wield the power.
Karin Was Brainwashed By Orochimaru
Karin’s love for Sasuke doesn’t always seem plausible. After all, he’s constantly telling her to go away, insulting her, and otherwise being a jerk. Karin doesn’t seem like the type to put up with bad behavior just because she’s into an attractive guy, so why does she forgive his transgressions? To smooth out this discrepancy, some fans suggest Orochimaru brainwashed her into complacency.
Orochimaru wants to keep Sasuke’s body in prime condition, as he plans to take it over one day. As such, Sasuke needs to remain relatively uninjured, which is an extremely tall order, considering all the training and fighting Orochimaru expects him to complete.
Karin can heal others by allowing them to suck her blood, but she’s only willing to do so for people she likes. If Karin’s into Sasuke, he gets infinite healing, so it’s in Orochimaru’s best interest for Karin to love Sasuke no matter how much of a jerk he is.
Mitsuki Might Be Related To Kaguya
While it has since been revealed that Mitsuki is a test-tube baby created by Orochimaru, she could have possibly been conceived using some Otsutsuki DNA. Not only does Mitsuki physically resemble Kaguya, he also possesses incredible healing abilities that suggest a link to the powerful matriarch.
As Naruto fans know, Orochimaru is slick enough to get his hands on whatever DNA he wants, no matter how closely guarded it is. With this in mind, Orochimaru stealing Kaguya’s DNA is well within the realm of possibility.
Yamato Is Actually Tsunade’s Son
Yamato is known for his terrifying facial expressions, as well as his tragic and mysterious past. He was orphaned at a young age, then kidnapped by Orochimaru and experimented on until he developed Wood Release, a technique made famous by Hashirama Senjuu.
Most of the children who were injected with Hashirama’s DNA died, but Yamato survived. While his subsistence could be attributed to his exceptional strength, he might have already possessed a genetic link to Hashirama.
According to some fans, Yamato could be a Senjuu, and possibly even Tsunade’s son. Tsunade regularly takes trips away from Konoha, and could have had a child during one of her extended absences.
Their age difference of approximately 25 years supports the theory, as does the fact that Yamato’s true identity has always been hidden. Since his secretiveness is seemingly uncalled for, there could definitely be more to him than meets the eye.
Izuna Uchiha May Be A Woman
Izuna Uchiha is Madara’s younger brother, or, if this theory is correct, Madara’s younger sister. Much like Mulan, Izuna may be a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to participate in battle. While female fighters exist in the Naruto universe, it was a far rarer occurrence in Izuna’s time, as Izuna came of age several generations before the main story takes place.
Izuna is on the small side, which is odd, as the Uchiha men tend to be large and muscular rather than slight and slender. More importantly, some speculate Izuna was named after Iduna, a Norse goddess of fertility. Since Masashi Kishimoto likes to incorporate mythology into his work, this could be a subtle nod to Izuna’s true sex.
Jiraiya Is Still Alive
Could Jiraiya have survived his protégé’s assault? While he seems to be definitively dead in the series, Naruto Critic believes this isn’t the case.
Jiraiya is allegedly killed during a battle with the Akatsuki. Before he dies, he sends Naruto a message, but somehow doesn’t have time to save himself. This seems more than a little implausible; surely the legendary sannin had something up his sleeve.
Even if he did die, he should have been brought back to life by Pain’s Rinne Tensei. This is said to be impossible, since a piece of Jiraiya’s DNA is theoretically required to bring him back, but characters are brought back using the same method sans DNA later in the series.
Even if his DNA was required, it’s likely the people who knew Jiraiya had objects belonging to him that contained trace bits of DNA. While this doesn’t mean Jiraiya is alive, it does make the circumstances surrounding his death seem a bit fishy.
The Infinite Tsukuyomi Is Still Active
The Infinite Tsukuyomi is a terrifying technique that traps the world in a dreamlike state, and turns humanity into passive slaves whose chakra can be easily harvested. Obito manages to briefly activate the Infinite Tsukuyomi, but it’s supposedly broken a little later. But what if it wasn’t?
What if everything that take place afterwards, including the events of Boruto, are actually an illusion? This distressing outcome is no one’s ideal situation, but it is interesting to consider how the characters might solve such an onerous problem.
Shin Is Actually Shisui
Shin is the mysterious antagonist of Boruto. Little is known about him as of 2018, but he claims to be related to the Uchiha family.
Some fans think Shin may actually be Shisui Uchiha, a supposedly dead member of the Uchiha clan. Shisui committed suicide in an attempt to prevent a Konoha civil war, but his body was never found.
Shin and Itachi were extremely close, so if Shin is really Shisui, it explains why he wants revenge against Sasuke for killing Itachi, despite Itachi’s pure intentions. To further the speculation, Shin is missing the same eye as Shisui, and many of their mannerisms are similar.
Kabuto Is Secretly Jiraiya’s Spy
KuroAshi of OtakuKart suggests Kabuto, Orochimaru’s loyal henchman, is working as a double agent, and secretly relaying information to Jiraiya.
Jiraiya is a gifted spy who travels the world gathering intel on potential threats to Konoha’s safety. He could have possibly employed an informant, and Kabuto fits the bill perfectly, as he knows a lot about Konoha’s enemies (since he has ties to the Akatsuki and Orochimaru). Kabuto also has a history of spying in service of others; for a long time, he gathered intel for Sasori.
Kabuto’s devotion to Orochimaru is totally unstable. When Kabuto was a child, Orochimaru plucked him out of an orphanage and practically raised him, so he’ll do anything the villain asks.
At the same time, Kabuto despises Orochimaru for robbing him of a normal life. Given their relationship, Kabuto could have easily been persuaded to divulge valuable information about Orochimaru’s plans.