Naruto Shippuden Episode 343: Uchiha Obito
“It’s because you let Rin die.”
Well, looks like the cat’s out of the bag. It’s been a long time coming – I can finally stop calling him Tobi now! All this certainly attracted a lot of attention when it was first revealed in the manga; while some were happy with it, there were certainly quite a few critics with understandable viewpoints (more on that later). And of course, sceptics over his identity stayed loyal to their… scepticism to the bitter end. It took a bit of nice innovation with Kurama’s Bijuu form as well as lots of help from Kakashi, but Naruto finally managed to unmask the mysterious figure who’s been pulling the strings from the shadows for a while now – Uchiha Obito.
Obito is indeed alive, and the change he’s gone through is even more drastic than the quality drop between the two seasons of IS Infinite Stratos – he used to be a cheerful and happy (if lovestruck) guy, who took his time to help old ladies cross the street and tried his best at being a ninja. The flashback to his time in Konoha showed an Obito that was very similar to his character on that fateful day; the Obito back then was a guy who cared more about the welfare of his friends than anything else. Yet the Obito today is a psychopath who is hell bent on destroying the world and replacing reality with an eternal false genjutsu… what happened? “It’s because you let Rin die,” says Obito – maybe he hasn’t matured so much after all if he’s starting a war just because he got friendzoned :D In all honesty though, it’s rather ironic that (even in part) Obito’s hatred is driven by love – it’s not completely unlike Sasuke’s hatred to be honest. Obito was clearly in love with Rin, who in turn clearly loved Kakashi; he was willing to sit back and watch as long as it made her happy. Kakashi got her killed, and Obito fell into darkness… I swear all these Uchiha turn out the same way. He’s pretty much delusional – I’m not sure why he’d be happy with getting himself lost in a fantasy dream. Kakashi wallowed in self-pity in front of Obito’s grave for god knows how long now, but at least he’s not trying to erase reality.
Of course, there’s the issue that all this technically stemmed from a side story – I’m pretty sure it was initially meant to be an interesting backstory to how Kakashi got his Sharingan, going into a bit of depth on his former team mates. Criticism is thus present over whether it’s right to have a side story character (who, until now, was indisputably dead for all intents and purposes) act as one of the main villains influencing the storyline. Obito played a minor role, and now he’s on the world stage – I know some people feel his role has been far too inflated, and many sceptics before the big reveal believed Tobi’s name, mask and hairstyle were just red herrings for the fans. While I do see where they’re coming from, if we’re going to have Tobi NOT be Madara, I still think it’s better to have him be someone we already know. Introducing a completely new villain now would throw things off balance, especially as all the current villains have already come out into the open with their evil ways.
Regardless of the what sort of status he previously held, Obito definitely has the skills now (although his voice is raspier than I thought it’d be). He was the rival lagging behind the genius in Konoha, but now he’s as strong (if not stronger) than Kakashi, and can hold his own against Naruto, Bee, Kakashi and Gai all at the same time. The reason for his growth must definitely have been aid on Madara’s part – they’re clearly acquainted with each other, and it looks like Madara’s been giving Obito some tacit instructions (Tobi’s been posing as him all this time after all). Ominously enough, Madara’s presence on this battlefield means that he’s no longer fighting the Kage – and the only reason for that is that he’s done with them. He looks perfectly fine, while they’re probably… not okay.