Tobi (Obito Uchiha)

naruto tobi
Wherever light strikes, there are always shadows. As long as there is a concept of victors, the vanquished will also exist. The selfish intent of wanting to preserve peace initiates wars, and hatred is born to protect love. These are all nexuses, causal relationships that cannot be separated; normally that is. However, a world made up of only victors, peace, and love… such a world can be created too. If you allow all of us to collarborate, you can learn how.
~ Obito convincing Nagato to his nihilistic world view.
The moment someone comes to know love. They run the risk of carrying hatred…
~ Tobi
Look! There is nothing in my heart! I don’t even feel pain!! You don’t have to feel guilty, Kakashi. This windhole was opened by this hell of a world.
~ Obito to Kakashi.

Obito Uchiha, also known by his iconic alias, Tobi, as well as the Masked Man, is the central antagonist of the Naruto franchise. He is the true leader of Akatsuki and serves as a dark reflection of the titular hero Naruto Uzumaki. Despite appearing late in the story, Obito orchestrated most of the conflict from behind the scenes.

He is a fallen hero from Konohagakure, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, who follows Madara Uchiha’s goal for his own gain. Believed to be Madara Uchiha himself, he later ignites the Fourth Shinobi World War in order to obtain the powers of the Ten-Tailed Beast, but ultimately reconciles with his former ideals and sacrifices himself as an atonement.


In Japanese, he was voiced by Wataru Takagi. In English, was voiced by both Michael Yurchak and Nolan North as an adult, with Vic Mignogna voicing him as a child.


Prior to his “death”, Obito was a thirteen-year-old teenager with black eyes and unruly black hair, wearing dark blue ninja clothing with orange trimming on his jacket, protectors on his wrists, and large orange goggles.

When he first appeared as Tobi, he wore an orange mask with spiral pattern (similar to the original Tobi), covering all but his right eye. He had short hair and wore dark ninja clothing, with the standard Akatsuki black cloak ornate with red clouds, sometimes worn as a cape. (In the flashbacks he wears a similar mask with linear pattern and shoulder length hair.) Underneath his mask, the right side of his face is heavily scarred and his right eye is sunken. Since the right side of his body is made from half-organic half-vegetal matter, his blood is similar to tree sap.

After abandoning his Tobi guise and acted out as Madara, he wore donned a white mask covering his entire head, save from his Sharingan eye and the Rinnegan eye he took from Nagato’s corpse, with a purple cloak with the Uchiha symbol on the back and Madara’s war fan.

After fusing with the Ten-Tailed Beast, Obito becomes white-haired and grey skinned, with a somehow scaly skin and a coat-like membrane emerging from his chest and collar-like spikes on each side of his shoulders. He sports a Rinnegan marking with nine tomoes on his back, six tomoes on his chest, and two horns of unequal length on his forehead. He wears a black robe, goes shirtless and barefoot, and carries a ringed monk-staff of black chakra.


Original character

Those who break the rules are trash, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash! If I’m going to be called trash either way, I’d rather break the rules! And if that somehow makes me anything less than a real shinobi, then I’ll crush all of the so-called “real” shinobi!
~ Obito Uchiha’s original idealistic outlook.

Obito Uchiha used to be cheerful, upbeat, carefree and altruistic, caring a lot for his loved ones and always being as helpful as he could to people in need, usually old people. He was easily moved and extremely determined both to achieve his goals and to protect his friends, being willing to disregard the rules and endure his peer’s scorn to do what he deemed right. Yet, he never showed it but he strove to prove his worth, and somehow resented his comrades’ superior skills.

Goofy pretense

While passing as a new recruit, Tobi appears to be playful, happy-go-lucky, and even goofy, mirroring Tobi’s personality. He always regards things jokingly, approaches people casually, makes fun of his “superiors” and even sleeps while his partner is talking to him. Tobi used this persona to interact freely with people he needed to without letting anyone suspect his true role, so as to keep Akatsuki’s enemies focused on everyone but him.

Real character

There is no such thing as a victory in this world. Hope… is merely an illusion.
~ Tobi

Witnessing the death of the girl he loved, and especially learning the circumstances of her death, shattered Obito’s idealism, leading him to hold reality itself in bitter contempt.

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He regards the world as wretched, and the Ninja System as the source of all woes. He dismisses understanding and hope as irrelevant delusions and the greatest heroes as trash whose efforts ultimately prove futile. Moreover, he lost any interest in his very existence, claiming that he is no one and that his name is merely a remnant of the past he rejected. As such, he always tries to force his foes to face their own powerlessness, hammering his views with cruel taunts and breaking lectures; and is determined to break all who believe in his former ideals.

He is unable to fathom the value of a selfless sacrifice and is persuaded that struggling only causes suffering in vain. Although he is utterly dedicated to his nihilistic goal, it must be noted that deep down in his subconscious, some slivers of his former personality subsist, leading him to envision how his life could have unfolded.

By the time the story takes place, Obito has become cruel, ruthless, scornful and deeply selfish. He has a calm, patient and dead-serious attitude, being most often polite and easy-going but displaying scathing contempt at times. He hates being betrayed and will track down anyone who failed to honor a bargain or defected. He also is shown to be quite sadistic, as he shown to pleasure at demoralizing Naruto over his multiple failures, such as his inability to save Sasuke from his vengeful path, laughing at Sasuke stab Karin, and mocking Naruto for failing to protect Neji and several shinobi from dying.

However, he displays a real respect for his enemies, whose qualities he acknowledges, and his subordinates, helping them when in trouble and praising those who died. He honors his promises, as he never made a direct move against Konoha as long as Itachi worked for Akatsuki. Also, he retains a bit of the laid-back attitude he displayed under his goofy pretense, displaying a dry, sarcastic, sense of humor and enjoying to mess with his foes.

Obito embraced Madara’s point of view about the endless conflicts that plague the Ninja World and the history of hatred between the Uchiha and the Senju Clans, seeing it as a destiny that cannot be reversed. However, he despises Madara whom he regards as an egomaniac.

Although he is ready for the worst to enact his goal, what he really seeks is to return to the happy days of his childhood years, in a world without tragedies where he could be reunited with his loved ones (mostly Rin). And despite the extreme selfishness of his goal, he genuinely believes that everyone’s life would be much better in a rewritten reality where all damages would be undone and where everyone’s dreams would come true. As such, it can be said that his idealism is not entirely gone, yet horribly warped.

Obito is immensely intelligent and scheming (to the point that even Madara acknowledges it), being an expert strategist who devises complicated plans spanning over many years from behind the scenes. (However, he often takes risky gambits.) He is also very skilled in preparing and improvising back-up plans following the situation, to make things go in the direction he wants even when his main goal is thwarted.

Moreover, he is a very skilled manipulator, able to impersonate Madara flawlessly and use the fear caused by his name to its fullest extent, and to gain the trust of those useful for his goals. He knows how to play with people’s affects and emotions, and uses half-truths and pretenses of sympathy to mold people into what he wants; being able to bring the worst out of those he gained to his side and to play the Ninja World like a fiddle during years.

Powers and Abilities

Obito is one of the most powerful fighters of the story, having abilities mirroring those of Madara himself. He has immense speed (enough to match very fast foes), strength (enough to tear off his limbs or punch through rocks with no effort), and reflexes. Also, his half-vegetal body enables him to recreate his lost limbs and grants him extreme resistance to pain. In spite of his might, Obito almost never involves himself in battle and prefers using his powers to evade attacks, using baits to catch his foes off-guard, or devising powerful decoys to fight through.

He attacks with kunais (daggers) of all sizes, shurikens (throwing stars), giant shurikens which he can use as melee weapons, or chains which he hides for stealthy captures. He also use Madara’s signature war-fan with as much proficiency as his mentor. Madara’s war-fan serves both as a spear of some sort and a shield; it is connected to a chain which can be used to swing it like a flail, and its user can channel his chakra (energy) through it to increase its sharpness, raise barriers of chakra from it, and absorb any kind of attack to reflect it back.

As an Uchiha, Obito is a master of fire techniques but he can only uses them with his mask off: he is able to spit huge fireballs, a flurry of fire balls (in which he can hide shurikens) or powerful fire streams, which he can combine with his Sharingan powers to increase their range. He proved able to hurl a very powerful, whirling fire blast, and to raise impenetrable, fiery force-fields. Furthermore, he masters Earth techniques which he mostly uses to disappear underground for surprise attacks in quick succession.


Obito’s Sharingan.

Obito wields the Sharingan (Eye of the Copy Wheel), the hereditary eye power of the Uchihas, which grants him several abilities:

  • To physically see the flow of chakra and perceive traps, illusions or hypnosis.
  • To read through movements, mimic them, and predict their outcome in order to avoid attacks. (Though the wielders remain unable to avoid movements too fast or unpredictable for them.)
  • To copy any technique (save from special powers) used by a foe to near-perfection. (Though the wielders cannot copy their foes’ degree of training and mastery.)
  • To trap foes in illusions or paralyze them with a single gaze. (Obito’s Sharingan being powerful enough to gain complete control over Kurama.)

Mangekyo Sharingan

Obito’s Mangekyo Sharingan.

Should Sharingan users witness the death of the one they hold dearest, they awake the Mangekyo Sharingan (kaleidoscope of hypnosis). Contrary to Madara, Itachi and Sasuke, Obito’s Mangekyo Sharingan grants him a unique power called Kamui (Divine Majesty) which enables him to vacuum things, people and even attacks into a pocket dimension and to expel them out at will; which he uses to project stored weapons.

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He can disappear in and out of said dimension to teleport anywhere in the world, or next to people he knows. He can also shift himself partially or entirely into his dimension to make attacks phase through him. He combines this with his ability to read movements to nullify any attack, usually counterattacking right after. However, he can only vacuum something at contact, he cannot warp things and people when shifting out, and warping himself takes time. At full power, he can warp things and people at any range and open gateways between dimensions. He is even able to warp towards other dimensions than his own when making visual contact, although he needs outside help and it puts extreme strain on his body.


A spell said to mimic reality-warping powers of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, the legendary Sage of the Six Paths (the founder of Ninjutsu who defeated the Ten-Tails), which can only be used by wielders of both the Sharingan and the Mokuton. Named after the God who fathered the major Shinto Deities, Izanagi can temporarily turn its wielders into illusions to avoid attacks. Its length of action is very short and the eye which casts it turns permanently blind. For most of the series, Obito keeps a spare Sharingan in his concealed left eye socket for the purpose of using Izanagi.


The Demonic Statue of the Outer Path

Obito replaced his left eye by Nagato’s Rinnegan (Samsara Eye): the world’s most powerful ability, once wielded by the Sage of the Six Paths. The Rinnegan grants mastery of the five elements (fire, water, earth, lightning, and wind) and virtually any existing normal technique. It also enables to summon the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path: the empty vessel of the Ten-Tails which has unbelievable strength and can conjure soul-absorbing dragon-spirits or devastating energy blasts. The more Tailed-Beasts it absorbs, the mightier it gets.

Finally, the Rinnegan grants seven powers:

  • Outer Path: The Rinnegan’s primary power, which grants control over the Yin and Yang (illusions and reality). It can conjure powerful energy-chains that can bind any creature and suppress their powers; or black rods that can diffuse the wielder’s chakra. The wielder controls anything and anyone (dead or alive) infused with his chakra, use their powers through them, share their vision, and rig the receivers with chakra chains.
  • Deva Path: The power to attract and to repel anything, be it things people and attacks with variable force. It can also generate an orb that attracts anything around and crush it into a sphere of debris.
  • Asura Path: The power to turn the wielder’s body parts into mechanized weapons, including extremely powerful chakra cannons, clusters of missiles, tentacles, and rocket-punches.
  • Animal Path: The power to summon giant beasts under the wielder’s control.
  • Naraka Path: The power to summon the King of Hell, a demon able to absorb its victims’ life-force, to store their soul or even resurrect them.
  • Preta Path: The power to absorb chakra either directly from the victims or to cancel attacks.
  • Human Path: The power to read the victims’ thoughts and rip off their souls.

It must be noted that although Obito displays perfect mastery of the Outer Path, he is likely unable to use the Rinnegan to its fullest potential, as combining a stranger’s eye with his own powers like he does is too taxing. He was seen using the Human Path and he can resurrect people through the Naraka Path at the cost of his life, but the fullest extent of his Rinnegan powers remains unknown. While probably capable of using the Six Paths, he very rarely uses any Rinnegan powers other than the Outer Path. This is at least partly because his enemies know what to expect from these other powers after the Leaf Village’s battle with Nagato.


Since Madara rebuilt his body with Hashirama Senju’s DNA, Obito can use his power to create and control trees, plants and wood. Tobi has displayed the abilities to grow branches from his body, which he uses like piercing weapons and javelins that can expand or sprout other branches at will, to grow tentacles-like vines to constrict his foes, to unleash a barrage of wooden stakes, and to make skyscraper-sized roots erupt from the ground.

As the Jinchuriki of the Ten-Tailed Beast

Obito as the Ten-Tails Jinchuriki.

During the final battle of the Fourth Great Ninja War, Obito is able to absorb the Ten-Tailed Beast into himself, making his power skyrocket to near-omnipotence. He becomes overwhelmingly fast and strong, being able to destroy the most potent seals like nothing, to crush the mightiest ninjas who ever lived before they can react, and to shrug off incredibly destructive attacks. He also becomes able to levitate, to conjure chakra arms from his body, to perceive Chakra the second it his gathered so as to anticipate attacks, and to distort and reshape his body to the point of overblowing himself like a sunfish or elongating his torso like a snake.

Much worse, Obito gets complete control of the Ten-Tails’ power, which is noted to be even more dangerous now that it has a host to focus it. He can cancel his enemies’ techniques at contact, fire many ginormous Spheres of Destruction, and create create Truth-Seeking Spheres: orbs of black chakra described as a mix of elements and natural energy far beyond mortal capacity. Obito’s black chakra obliterates anything it touches, overcomes regenerative powers, and can be shaped to form spears, projectiles, cloth-like shields, giant hands and more. Obito can use the Truth-Seeking Spheres to channel his powers, stick them to people, or make them explode in a devastating atomic blast. He can also turn his monk-staff into a gigantic sword. Even worse, he can restore the Ten-Tails’ original form: the God Tree which he can control at will, transforming its roots to attack his foes.

He is not without weaknesses however. Since the Ten-Tailed Beast’s power is based on natural energy, the ninjas who learnt to master it through the art called “Sage Mode” can use it to wound him (should they manage to bypass his defense). Also he lost control of his signature Kamui technique.

See Also

  • Obito Uchiha at the Naruto wiki



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