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Naruto Characters: Kakashi’s Character Growth

Kakashi Character Analysis

Ah… even though Naruto has ended, I sometimes revisit the series and watch or read my favorite parts. I can’t help it! I still have some attachment to the series. Although a lot of parts aren’t to my liking, I still liked the series overall. Especially the characters.

During a break today, I was watching Naruto Shippuden (the episodes with Kakashi and Obito fighting), and I was inspired to write this post because 1) I love Kakashi’s character growth (considering what he’s been through) and 2) I love Kakashi as a character (he’s so cool! /kyaaaa). 

Kakashi’s Childhood

Kakashi was known as a child prodigy and his father was an elite Konoha shinobi. Kakashi grew up with an elitist attitude, and he was quite sassy. I mean, just like at him here when he was just a kid about to enter the academy:

Lol... look at Kakashi putting his hands on his hips xD
Lol… look at Kakashi putting his hands on his hips xD

Then his father committed suicide because he was treated poorly by the villagers, and Kakashi changed. He became bitter and emotionless. He believed that the mission comes first, even if it means your comrades die because you choose the mission over them. However, Kakashi once again goes through a transformation when he decides to believe in Obito’s belief that comrades come first. 


I absolutely loved when Kakashi changed after Obito gave his awesome speech. Kakashi went to save Obito, then Obito changed, too, and protected his friend. I love that, in almost an instant, Kakashi and Obito deepened their friendship. Kakashi even showed emotion when Obito was crushed under the rock, realizing how his former beliefs were completely wrong. Obito’s will has always been in Kakashi’s heart from that day on, even after meeting Obito years later in the Fourth Great Shinobi War. 

Kakashi’s Despair

After Obito “died” in the war as a hero, Kakashi continued watching over Rin and protecting her. However, because of Madara’s manipulation, Rin had a Bijuu sealed in her and she impaled herself on Kakashi’s Raikiri (Lightning Blade), committing suicide so she wouldn’t be used to attack the village. Kakashi fell into despair, losing both Obito and Rin and breaking his promise to Obito. Kakashi was so close to going on the path of self-destruction, hatred, and revenge, but he never crossed that bridge. 


What stopped him, though? Personally, I think it was Obito’s words and spirit that kept Kakashi on the “right” path. He could have caved into hatred and despair, but he brought himself back and found others who would fill the hole left from his past. 

Kakashi Faces His Past Once Again

When Obito shockingly reappears later in the Naruto series, I think this was the moment that Kakashi had to face his past for real. In my opinion, Kakashi didn’t move on completely from his past even after Team 7 formed. Kakashi was slowly healing, but he wasn’t completely there yet. Obito coming into the series again felt so… out there that I couldn’t accept it at first. (Plus, Tobi was so much more entertaining xD) I feel like Obito was meant to be 1) someone who would challenge Naruto in a way that Naruto has never been challenged before (since Obito had the same dream as Naruto) and 2) the reason for Kakashi to face his past and choose his path. Kakashi was still teeter-tottering at the tip of the iceberg, but Obito’s reappearance made Kakashi officially choose his path with a whole-hearted mindset. 


This was the moment that Kakashi changed for good. This was where Kakashi’s positive change shone through, and it continued until the end of the series. I absolutely loved it, and I think Kishimoto did a fantastic job on showing Kakashi’s character growth. 

Kakashi’s decision!

Kakashi Chooses the Future, Not His Past

Kakashi gets a chance to fight against Kaguya with Obito, and I think that was the closure he needed to move on from his past (besides the fact that he continued to carry on Obito’s will). I thought that was a heart-warming moment between these two, and Obito was able to fulfill his goal of tag-teaming with Kakashi. This time, though, it wasn’t to protect Rin together, but to protect Kakashi’s future AKA the new Team 7. 


When Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura team up to take down Kaguya, Kakashi embraces the moment and says one of his most memorable lines: “I like you.” I mean, even Naruto Chapter 689 was titled that. So it’s pretty darn significant! Kakashi went from saying “I hate you guys” in the beginning to “I like you.” And it’s all about teamwork, something Kakashi wants to drill into his students. Team 7 managed to do it, too, and that’s why Kakashi approved and said “I like you.” Seriously… I’m amazed by this story-telling by Kishimoto. I think I’ve underestimated him, and so have others. Everything came back full circle. Kakashi rocks! He, I believe, was able to achieve his dream, too.

Kakashi continues living on and, at the end of the Naruto series, he’s seen with Guy-sensei and I think that he’s lived a full life and has found the peace he’s always been searching for. Truly, one of the greatest characters in the Naruto manga series. 

So what do you think about Kakashi? Do you think he showed a great amount of character growth or not? 😀 Let me know in the comments below!

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