Over 20 years later and Naruto remains a force to be reckoned with. Fans have watched Naruto grow from a pint-sized troublemaking ninja into a cool and mature Hokage for the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Now, today’s generation is watching his son, Boruto, live out an exciting ninja adventure of his own.
For a series as long-running as Naruto, there are obviously loads of fascinating fan theories for readers to pick out and chew on. However, how many of these fan theories were proven to be true in the end? From the original Naruto anime series to Boruto, here are 10 crazy fan theories about everyone’s favorite knuckleheaded ninja that were actually confirmed.
10 Sasuke Taught Sarada The Great Fireball Technique
While Sasuke Uchiha is still the same mysterious loner that he was as a kid, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about his wife, Sakura Haruno, or his daughter, Sarada. In fact, in the 2018 release of Naruto Shinden, it’s revealed that one of Sarada’s signature moves was taught to her by her daddy.
After failing to bond with Sarada through a nickname suggested by Kakashi, Sasuke decided to teach her a move he would have loved to have learned as a kid himself. He taught her the Great Fireball Technique. While fans have speculated that this was the case, as the Great Fireball Technique is associated with the Uchiha clan, some were skeptical because of Sasuke’s absence in his daughter’s life. However, the light novel confirmed that Sasuke did pass on the move to Sarada in a sweet bonding moment between the two.
9 Itachi Was Actually Good?
Out of all the backstories in Naruto, Sasuke’s was the most shocking. Everyone in his entire clan - including his mom and dad - was slaughtered overnight by his older brother Itachi Uchiha. Sasuke dedicated his entire life towards revenge against his older brother, burning a lot of bridges along the way. When the moment finally arrived, however, it turned out that everything was not as it seemed.
Just as some Naruto fans predicted back in the day, Itachi didn’t murder his clan out of callousness, but out of love for his baby brother. With the Uchihas planning a coup d'état on the Village Hidden in the Leaves, Itachi took it upon himself to wipe out his clan in order to save the village, and Sasuke, from a battle that would have resulted in countless deaths. Forever haunted by his terrible deed, Itachi yearned for the day his little brother would kill him for slaughtering the Uchiha clan.
8 The 4th Hokage Was Naruto's Father?
While it may seem obvious today, the reveal of Minato Namikaze, the 4th Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, as Naruto’s father was still a twist many did not see coming. Well, almost everybody. Ever since fans got a good glimpse of Minato’s blonde and spiky hair, some speculated that he was likely Naruto’s mysterious father. The only thing that stopped this theory dead in its tracks was that it was just too easy of an answer. As this theory showed, however, the right answers are sometimes the most obvious.
7 Tobi's True Identity
Another revelation that now seems obvious in hindsight was the true identity of Tobi. During the original airing of Naruto Shippuden, fans constantly debated over who was the mysterious man in the spiral mask. Some said it was Izuna Uchiha. Others believed it was a clone of Madara. Some even suggested it was a time-traveling Sasuke.
In the end, the true identity of Tobi was none other than Obito Uchiha. What’s hilarious about this revelation is that there were fans who did believe Obito was Tobi because of the similarity between their names. Add an extra “o” in “Tobi” and you’ll have an anagram of “Obito.” However, many dismissed this possibility because it was way too obvious - again. Oops.
6 Naruto Marries Hinata
Among the many heated debates within the Naruto fandom, the most intense one revolved around Naruto’s love life. Will he marry his childhood crush Sakura? Or, will Naruto settle down with his secret admirer Hinata Hyuga?
While Sakura was often seen as the favorite, there were those who believed in Hinata. While Hinata didn’t have the screen time that Sakura had, the moments she shared with Naruto were often significant, such as engaging in a doomed fight against Pain to save Naruto’s life. Hinata fans were proven right in the end, as Naruto not only married her, but had two kids with her as well.
5 Multiple Animal Forms In Sage Mode
During the Naruto Shippuden era, it was assumed Naruto's Toad Sage Mode was the only animal summon possible for the spiritual jutsu. However, some fans believed that other animal variants could exist for Sage Mode. After all, how can a spiritual jutsu so powerful be limited to frogs?
It wasn't until episode 58 of Boruto that fans finally got to see another animal form of Sage Mode through Mitsuki, the clone son of Orochimaru. In the episode, Mitsuki performs a perfect "Sage Transformation" that covered his body in chakra-powered snakes. Mitsuki's achievement of Sage Mode opens up the possibilities for more unique versions of the jutsu by future characters.
4 The Sixth Coffin
In episode 221 of Naruto Shippuden, Kabuto tried to persuade Tobi into joining him for the upcoming Fourth Shinobi World War by reanimating the corpses of Itachi, Sasori, Deidara, Kakuzu, and Nagato. When Tobi refused, Kabuto blackmailed him by summoning an out-of-view sixth corpse that stunned Tobi into submission. After the episode aired, Naruto fans took to the internet to debate over who was in the sixth coffin.
While there were many strong theories about the identity of the sixth corpse, the one that proved correct was the theory suggesting it was the real Madara Uchiha all along. Since Tobi was masquerading as Madara, it made sense why he quickly submitted to Kabuto after his bluff was called.
3 Each Akatsuki Member Represent A Motivation For War
Perhaps the most mind-blowing fan theory to come to light was the hidden symbolism of the Akatsuki. As Redditor /u/awesomehunder described it, each member of the Akatsuki represents a reason as to why real-life people go to war.
Pain and Konon want to achieve everlasting peace through bloody warfare. Hidan kills for the sake of his religion. Itachi went to war with the Akatsuki to protect his homeland and family. Kakuzu uses war for profit, while Kisame uses it to expose government lies and hypocrisies. Sasori and Deidara want to be remembered for creating long-lasting diplomatic changes, but their violent actions differ from killing innocent civilians to corrupt politicians. Zetsu's reasoning is similar to Itachi's, as he wants to protect his territory. For Tobi and Madara, they want to impose their idealistic world traits onto other nations and create a unified alliance that they see fit.
The theory even works for past Akatsuki members, such as Orochimaru's cruel ninja experiments being comparable to the real-life human experimentations that were performed by Shiro Ishii and Josef Mengele during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.
2 Sasuke Poking Sakura's Forehead
Just as some fans rooted for Naruto and Hinata, there were others rooting for Sakura and Sasuke as well. What makes the Sakura and Sasuke pairing stand out from most fan theories, however, was how two key incidents played a part in bringing to two together.
Throughout the series, Sakura is embarrassed about her broad forehead and tries to cover it up with her bangs. When Sasuke was little, Itachi would playfully poke his forehead whenever he didn't have time for him. Since these two character details involved foreheads, Sakura x Sasuke shippers believed Sasuke would one day poke Sakura's forehead in a loving way, just like Itachi did towards him. And sure enough, that's exactly what happened near the end of the series.
1 Himawari Inherits The Byakugan
While Boruto may be the star of his own show, that doesn't mean his little sister, Himawari, will be left out in the cold. Before the Naruto special about his Hokage commemoration, there were fans theorizing over Himawari inheriting the Byakugan from Hinata's side of the family. When the special aired, fans were treated to a hilarious scene of Himawari awakening her Byakugan powers after Boruto accidentally tore her teddy bear apart. Himawari's Byakugan was so strong that it even knocked Naruto out cold. The final scene of Boruto hiding from Himawari's cold dead stare is one for the ages.