Naruto: How did Itachi activate his Mangekyou Sharingan?

Understanding how Itachi activated his Mangekyou Sharingan (Image via Pierrot)
Understanding how Itachi activated his Mangekyou Sharingan (Image via Pierrot)

In the Naruto series, Itachi Uchiha is known and loved for his mature personality and extraordinary fighting skills. He might not be the best Sharingan user in the history of the Uchiha clan, but he is undoubtedly a talented shinobi that very few can beat.

When he was only 12 years old, he became the leader of the Anbu Black Ops division. In addition, he utilized his Sharingan exceptionally well and became an expert in executing genjutsu techniques. In the entire Naruto series, Itachi was one of the selective few selective who was able to activate the Mangekyou Sharingan, an advanced level of the Sharingan.

Since those who haven’t watched the Naruto series would want to know how Itachi Uchiha managed to activate his Mangekyou Sharingan, this article will discuss about the Sharingan and how Itachi took it to the next stage.

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More about the Sharingan and how did Itachi activate his Mangekyou Sharingan in Naruto

The Sharingan is a special kind of dojutsu kekkei genkai that is exclusive only to the Uchiha clan members. This ocular technique is considered one of the best among the lot, and is often compared to the Rinnegan and the Byakugan.

Probing into the history of the dojutsu would reveal that the Sharingan is a derivative of Kaguya Otsutsuki’s Rinnesharingan, but the first ever Sharingan was manifested by Indra Otsutsuki in the manga.

However, the anime showed that Hagoromo was the first person to manifest this dojutsu in its independent form. It is to be noted that the clan members aren’t born with these eyes but rather activate it under different circumstances. Usually, when someone close to any Uchiha is affected, the clan member goes through extreme emotions, which leads to them activating the Sharingan in their eye.

According to Tobirama Senju, the second Hokage of Konoha, a special type of chakra is released in the body when an Uchiha goes through extreme emotions, which leads to the manifestation of the Sharingan.

Additionally, this dojutsu is capable of evolving into the next stage, called the Mangekyou Sharingan. In the next stage, the appearance of the eye technique changes, which is often distinguished by the change in the tomoe seal. However, the pattern varies from user to user.

To activate the Mangekyo Sharingan, the user often has to experience a great deal of trauma caused by the death of a loved one. Whereas the Uchihas had misunderstood the conditions leading to the dojutsu's awakening, they engaged in the practice of killing their dear ones to activate Mangekyo Sharingan. However, in some cases, the awakening conditions differed, as it was in the case of Obito or Itachi.

Itachi Uchiha witnessed the death of his teammate, Izumo, at the age of eight. Following this, the Naruto fan favorite Uchiha developed the Sharingan and mastered it at a young age. Soon after, since he had both his eyes intact, Itachi awakened his Mangekyou Sharingan after witnessing the death of Shisui.

Shisui was a close friend of Itachi's, and he hailed from the Uchiha clan as well. For years, the clan was planning a coup d'etat because they felt that the village never trusted this clan. This put Shisui in a sticky situation since he didn't want the clan to go to war. Therefore, he was tasked with using his genjutsu abilities on Fugaku Uchiha to stop the coup d'etat.


Later in the Naruto series, Danzo intervened and caused Shisui's death. Moreover, the former stole one of Shisui's eyes to achieve his malicious goals. Before committing suicide, Shisui entrusted his other eye to Itachi in hopes of saving the Uchiha clan. Just as Shisui fell into the Nakano river, Itachi's Magekyou Sharingan was activated in the Naruto series.

The possession of this dojutsu enabled Itachi to perform several genjutsu techniques. Whereas his left eye gave him access to Tsukuyomi, his right eye allowed him to use the formidable technique, Amaterasu. Moreover, with the use of both his eyes, he could even use Susanoo.

However, all three of these jutsus exhausted his chakra reserve, which proved to be deteriorating for his health to a great extent. While the condition pertaining to his death remains unknown, it can be assumed that the use of Mangekyo Sharingan didn't ratify to be cooperative to his health.

Although he is dead in the Naruto series, it doesn't hurt to imagine that if he were alive, Itachi could've achieved much more with his outstanding skills. Perhaps, he could've even unlocked more Dojutsu abilities, which are an extension of the Sharingan.

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