Kakashi Hatake is one of the most popular characters in the Naruto franchise by Masashi Kishimoto. Although he is not among the principal protagonists, he is an extremely important character that has heavily influenced Naruto and the other protagonists.
He is also a fan-favorite character because he is so very different than other characters appearing in the series and is, in a way unique. One of his unique traits is his ability to use the Mangekyō Sharingan, a technique used by the Uchiha Clan.
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In this article, we are going to explain everything you need to know about Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan. You’re going to find out how he got the ability and why it is so different, as well as when he first used it and what its unique name is.
How did Kakashi get the Mangekyō Sharingan?
In order to understand how Kakashi got the Mangekyō Sharingan, we first have to explain how he got the Sharingan in the first place, since he is not an Uchiha and the technique is reserved – primarily – for members of the Uchiha Clan. Kakashi got his Sharingan during the Third Shinobi World War from Obito Uchiha, as a replacement for the left eye he had recently lost.
The Sharingan became its main distinguishing feature in the years that followed, so much, in fact, that he has been widely known as the Kakashi of the Sharingan.
With the Sharingan, Kakashi can accurately replicate any movement he sees (as long as his own physical abilities allow it), absorb an increased amount of visual information, and perform the Sharingan’s broad category of genjutsu.
Since he is not an Uchiha, he cannot deactivate the Sharingan and he empties his chakra each time he uses it, leaving him bedridden after prolonged use; because of this, he keeps its eye covered when not needed to avoid this. Despite his handicap, he is still known for his formidable skills, as Itachi Uchiha noted.
Kakashi loses his Sharingan to Madara Uchiha during the Fourth Shinobi World War. When Obito died with his two Sharingans, his spirit briefly returned from the afterlife and inhabited Kakashi’s body, with Obito channeling the dōjutsu power from both of his eyes into Kakashi and making full use of their abilities.
Losing his Sharingan during the war meant that he no longer used his signature Lightning Release, as tunnel vision was no longer fought by the Sharingan. Now, explaining this was crucial in understanding how Kakashi got the Mangekyō Sharingan, so we are now going to explain how he actually received this specific technique.
Kakashi received the Mangekyō Sharingan upon the death of Rin Nohara. Its design is in the form of three triangles that wrap around the pupil like a wind turbine. He was able to maintain it for over a decade, although with each use he suffered from constant side effects such as bleeding eyes and a deteriorating vision.
With his left Mangekyō, Kakashi can use the Kamui’s long-range version: from a distance, a barrier to form whatever he is looking at can warp the target in Kamui’s dimension; finally, he learns to send himself to the dimension and to a new place. Kakashi initially struggled to properly aim Kamui and hit his targets.
He has improved so much that he can use Kamui on fast projectiles. The first time he uses Kamui, it took some preparation and each time he’s done it, it put tremendous pressure on his chakra. He’ll also be able to do this faster with time, so opponents may not even notice he’s using it.
After Kakashi loses his Sharingan, his body is temporarily inhabited by Obito’s spirit, so he can use both of Obito’s Mangekyō Sharingan. In addition to the long-range Kamui he originally had, he can use his short-range variant, which allows him to make his body intangible for attacks to pass.
By combining this ability with his Lightning Cutter, Kakashi can bypass all defenses and eliminate the possibility of being countered during an attack.
With a double Mangekyō, Kakashi can manifest Susanoo, which he has refined to his “Complete Body” form. It can be used to steal, defend others with its size, and even extend Kamui’s intangibility on it. He can manifest swords or shuriken to aid him in combat, the latter being able to produce Kamui shuriken to throw whatever they cut.
Additionally, Kakashi was given some of the Six Paths Chakra that enabled him to use the Mangekyō Sharingan and its abilities for repeated and prolonged use without affecting his health or eyesight.
Why is Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan different?
The essence of Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan is quite individualized, although not based on Kakashi, but on Obito Uchiha, from whom Kakashi inherited the technique from. But, this is a direct result of the techniques innate nature, so in order to properly answer this question, we have to explain the very nature of the Mangekyō Sharingan.
Mangekyō Sharingan is an advanced form of the Sharingan that was only activated by a small number of Uchiha Clan members.
They are considered the “heavenly eyes that see the truth of all of creation without obstruction”. The term literally means “Kaleidoscope Copy Wheel Eye”. A Mangekyō Sharingan differs from a normal Sharingan in its appearance, which changes the shape of the Tomoe seal.
Although the exact design is different for each user, they are all similar to wind turbines.
It is first awakened by the trauma suffered by the death of a relative of the user or someone very close to them. The Uchiha have historically misunderstood this criterion as the user must be responsible for the person’s death, and it is for this reason that they developed the practice of killing their closest friends in order to obtain the Mangekyō Sharingan.
Obito’s Mangekyō was activated immediately after his trauma, while in Naruto Jinraiden, Sasuke’s Mangekyō was activated a few weeks later.
The Mangekyō Sharingan retains all of the generic Sharingan skills. Additionally, the Mangekyō grants powerful abilities that differ from eye to eye, although the abilities may be of a similar nature; Sasuke and Itachi both have access to Amaterasu’s flames, although they can be used to varying degrees.
A Mangekyō Sharingan’s skills may not even be the same for both eyes of a single user, as Itachi has Amaterasu on one eye and Tsukuyomi on another.
Since each eye houses the special dōjutsu techniques, they are only accessible if they currently house that eye, even though they were the originator of the said technique. As soon as a user wakes up the Mangekyō in both eyes, they can perform Susanoo without any eyes.
In addition to unique techniques, Madara’s’ Right Tomoe and Sasuke’s Mangekyō Sharingan give them more fluidity in their movements in combat. Madara could feel this shape and later deduced that he and Sasuke didn’t have to be related only by blood. As with any dōjutsu, the Mangekyō Sharingan can be transplanted into non-Uchiha, giving them all of their abilities, albeit with higher chakra requirements.
A Mangekyō Sharingan’s abilities can also be programmed to activate under certain circumstances, either in the user’s own eyes or in a target of their choice; this programming persists even after death. Their use causes a certain feeling that the sensors can detect, although it does not indicate what technology is being prepared.
Even for true carriers, utilizing the abilities of the Mangekyō Sharingan can be a huge burden on the user. It drains a considerable amount of chakra simply by activating and supporting advanced dōjutsu, and more so by any technique used.
More so, it can significantly harm their being, leaving the body in excruciating pain and deteriorating their eyesight until they eventually go blind from overuse.
The eyesight can be restored by transplanting the Mangekyō Sharingan from an Uchiha with strong blood ties – ideally a brother – thus awakening the so-called Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan.
Unlike other transplants, this second evolution allows the user to keep his original techniques. Although these eyes merge the designs of the two Mangekyō Sharingan of the Uchiha, they remain the eyes of the previous owner and thus respond to certain techniques aimed at the Mangekyō Sharingan of the original owner.
In addition, they no longer suffer from negative side effects from their use and even reduce chakra drainage to an imperceptibly minimal level. According to Madara, the Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan is proof that an Uchiha kept advancing despite heavy losses.
The Mangekyō Sharingan also gives its user the ability to read and decipher the stone tablet of the Uchiha clan. According to Obito, the Mangekyō Sharingan can decipher more than the Sharingan, but less than the Rinnegan.
So, as you can clearly see, the Mangekyō Sharingan is completely individualized based on the user of the technique, with Kakashi inheriting Obito’s traits.
This is why Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan is different than all others – because Obito’s was too. This analysis has shown us the special abilities held by the Mangekyō Sharingan and we can now continue with the answers.
Why didn’t Kakashi use Mangekyō Sharingan?
The exact reasons for this have never been revealed and it doesn’t really make any sense for Kakashi not to use such a powerful technique when he was clearly able to and also needed to. Still, there are several reasons which could explain Kakashi’s decision and we’re going to list and explain them here.
We have by now established that Kakashi awakened the Mangekyō Sharingan after Rin was killed. This automatically meant that he failed to keep his promise to Obito. Thus, Rin’s death turned out to be an emotionally painful moment for him, and it was tied to both Rin and Obito. This could’ve meant that he avoided using the technique as he did not want to relieve these emotions.
Another possible explanation could be tied to the fact that being a non-Uchiha, he simply did not have enough chakra to use it effectively in battle. As we’ve established, this technique drained a massive amount of chakra, even with Uchiha Clan members.
Even after the time skip, Kakashi could only use it twice a day and had to take a rest for a week or so after he had used it. Before the time skip, he was in charge of genin-level students, which meant that he couldn’t really afford to be away for a week and risking his students’ lives.
Also, before the time skip, he never actually had to face opponents that would force him to use such a powerful technique; Kakashi was a powerful shinobi and his opponent had to be really tough to challenge him.
He only fought Zabuza and Haku during the Land of Waves arc, and unnamed shinobi from Sand Village and Sound Village during the Invasion of Konoha arc; all of them weren’t that difficult to beat.
If Orochimaru were to fight him, Kakashi would probably be forced into using the technique, but Orochimaru fought with the Third Hokage instead. Losing to Itachi Uchiha, though, easily might have compelled Kakashi to consider using the technique, as the usual shōnen/Naruto logic always ends up focusing on getting stronger to protect one’s close ones.
These are the so-called in-universe explanations, but there could also be some out-of-universe related reasons and we’re going to analyze them as well.
Masashi Kishimoto might very well be at fault because Kakashi couldn’t be shown using it earlier in the franchise. Namely, Sasuke was one of the protagonists at the time, and his main aim in life was to kill Itachi. Thus, it was necessary to introduce Itachi as a super powerful villain, someone that Sasuke could only beat after reaching a certain level of power.
Ensuring that the Mangekyō Sharingan is first mentioned when Itachi was introduced to the franchise would certainly have maximized the fans’ perception of how exactly strong and evil Itachi was.
Another, more simple reason is that it was simply not in Kishimoto’s plan to reveal that Kakashi had already awakened the Mangekyō Sharingan when the series just started, and he planned to offer an alternate explanation as to how he had awakened it during the time skip period.
However, when he actually started addressing the loose threads while building on the story further, he decided to simply put it into Obito’s backstory.
As stated, we don’t know the official reason, but all of these reasons seem more than plausible and could explain why Kakashi did not use the Mangekyō Sharingan earlier in the series.
When does Kakashi first use his Mangekyō Sharingan?
The moment Kakashi obtained the Mangekyō Sharingan happened after Rin Nohara’s death, which was confirmed in Naruto #605; that was the original Naruto manga.
Still, we had to wait for a long time before we actually saw it in action, which happened during Kakashi’s clash against Deidara, which was depicted in Naruto #276 (titled “The New Sharingan!!”), and #277 (titled “The Ultimate Art!!”), both of which were published in 2007.
Both of these chapters have been adapted in the Shippuden anime, as we are going to see in the final section of this article. This is, of course, not the first use of the technique in the franchise, but it was the first time we saw Kakashi use it.
In what episode does Kakashi first use his Mangekyō Sharingan?
As stated, Kakashi had had control over the Mangekyō Sharingan during the Naruto series, but he never used the technique back then, the reasons for which we have also explained.
The first episode in which Kakashi uses the Mangekyō Sharingan, as linked above, was episode 29 of the Naruto: Shippuden anime series, titled “Kakashi Enlightened!”. The episode first aired on September 27, 2007, and depicted Kakashi’s and Naruto’s fight against Deidara.