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Does Kakashi Die In ‘Naruto’? The Answer Is a Little Complicated

Oh jeez, the answer is complicated.

Kakashi in the anime series 'Naruto'

Wait, WHAT. NO. I WILL NOT ALLOW IT. I WILL NOT ALLOW MY FAVORITE NARUTO CHARACTER, MY OWN PERSONAL BLORBO FROM MY SHOWS TO MEET SUCH A GRISLY END. HE DOESN’T DESERVE IT. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, NEITHER DO I. I SWEAR TO GOD, IF I FIND OUT KAKASHI BITES IT, THEN ME AND THE LAST TWO SEROTONIN MOLECULES IN MY BRAIN ARE GONNA GO ON A RAMPAGE. REMEMBER WHEN THE NINE TAILED FOX WENT AND NEARLY DESTROYED THE HIDDEN LEAF VILLAGE? IT’S GONNA BE LIKE THAT. BUT WORSE. WAY WORSE.

Wait … the answer is more complicated than that? Okay, okay … I’m calm … I SAID I’M CALM. I will be patient. I will forgive the internet for triggering my attack reflex by asking this question. And I will write. I will write what might be read on dark nights of the soul like this, by one such as myself.

Let’s start at the beginning: Who is Kakashi Hataki?

Yes, I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW WHO HE IS ALREADY. DUH. I wouldn’t be writing this article otherwise. But do you REALLY know Kakashi as anything but the laid back, wise-cracking sensei of Team Seven? For one, he’s one of the most formidable ninja in existence. He is known as the Copy Ninja, and with the help of his sharingan eye he is able to copy virtually any ninjutsu technique after only seeing it once. As a result, he knows THOUSANDS of jutsu techniques, and even invented one called the “Lightning Cutter.” Sick.

Many of you already know this stuff too, but do you know who Kakashi’s DAD is? I think not. Kakashi’s father Sakumo Hatake was a Hidden Leaf Village ninja who died in disgrace for abandoning a mission. This is a salient plot point with regards to Kakashi’s fate on this mortal plane.

So does he die? And if so, how?

The Hidden Leaf Village comes under assault by the ninja Pain, who is looking for Naruto Uzumaki in order to extract the Nine Tailed Fox demon that lives inside of him. Kakashi and the rest of the village rush to Naruto’s defense, and he challenges Pain in single combat. However, Kakashi quickly realizes that he has met his match. Pain, powerful bastard that he is, has the ability to distribute his powers across six different bodies simultaneously. This allows him to fight with one body while simultaneously performing reconnaissance with another. Kakashi, smart bastard that he is, realizes this and goes after one of the aspects of Pain known as the Deva Path. Kakashi is able to incapacitate the Deva Path, so Pain sends another one of his bodies (the Asura Path) after him. Kakashi is joined by fellow ninjas Choji and Choza, and the three are able to successfully repel the Asura Path. However, before the trio can deliver a killing blow, the Asura Path fires a nail into Kakashi’s head. Killing him.

PSYCH.

Kakashi PLAYED DEAD in order to get the Asura Path off his back. Clever man! He was able to use his spacetime-bending Kamui powers to warp away the nail at the last second. Wild! He tells Choji to report everything he learned about the Deva Path’s abilities back to Lady Tsunade. However, as the former sets out to complete his mission, the Asura Path fires a missile at the ninja in order to stop him. Kakashi is able to warp the missile away using his Kamui ability once more, but this action drains him of all of his chakra. He then slips away into oblivion.

WHAT? HE’S DEAD FOR REAL?

Yep. So dead that he actually goes into the afterlife and finds his father waiting for him. Kakashi’s father Sakumo asks his son to tell him about his life, since he was not there to see it. Kakashi agrees, and begins to tell Sakumo his life story. When he finishes his story, Kakashi tells his father that he is proud to be his son, and thinks Sakumo was right to abandon his mission in order to save the lives of his friends. He then resigns himself to his death.

PSYCH AGAIN.

WHAT!?!?! Yes, it’s true. After Kakashi concludes his tale, he is enveloped in light and finds himself transported back into his physical body. Just before leaving, Kakashi is thanked by his father, whose spirit is now at peace and able to travel to the next realm of the afterlife. Kakashi learns that after Pain destroyed the village, Naruto was able to defeat him.

BUT HOW DID HE GET REVIVED, THEN?

Short answer: Because Pain is really powerful. Due to his god-like abilities, Pain has mastery over life and death itself. After being defeated by Naruto, Pain tells the ninja his life story. Naruto realizes that Pain has had a difficult childhood and holds pure, pacifistic intentions in his heart. As a result, Naruto decides to let Pain live. Moved by Naruto’s mercy, Pain decides to resurrect not just Kakashi, but everyone he killed using the Outer Path with the Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique. The technique has a price, however: the user’s life. Shortly before dying, Pain entrusted Naruto to carry out his life’s purpose of bringing peace to the world. The ninja then slipped away, just like Kakashi before him. Kakashi goes to meet Naruto and then carries the exhausted ninja back to the village, where their victory is celebrated by the villagers.

Okay, but this was the last time, right? He’s not gonna die again … RIGHT?

Well, I mean, technically Kakashi will die again, just like everyone is doomed to die. But yes, this is the last time in the series that Kakashi dies. He’s even still kicking around in the follow-up series Boruto, about Naruto’s son. He doesn’t do much in the new series, but honestly, that’s okay. He needs a break. He fought a ninja to the death, experienced the afterlife, resolved his daddy issues, and came back to the physical world in ONE DAY. What’s the most you ever did in a day? I dunno, worked hard? Broke your arm or something? Won a silly little Nobel Peace Prize? If you wanna be remembered in the ninja world, you’re gonna have to do way better than that.

(featured image: Viz Media)

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