Itachi Uchiha is one of the most important recurring characters in the Naruto series serving as an antagonist, eventually revealing his nature as an anti-hero-like character that supported the Hidden Leaf Village all along.
Itachi is the older brother of Sasuke Uchiha one of the main characters of the series and was raised with Sasuke as part of the Uchiha clan. He was regarded as a prodigy and was noted by many as having limitless potential.
Itachi was enrolled in the academy at the age of six and after a few months graduated and became a genin. He joined team 2 alongside Tenma Izumo, and Shinko Inari two other graduates who he would befriend. After a few years, he took the chunin exams and passed with ease.
In his childhood, Itachi’s natural ability and potential was noticed by the Hidden Leaf Village’s secret assassination and the tactical squad, Anbu. They soon recruited him at the age of seven. It is here where he met his close friend Shisui, another member of the Anbu squad and fellow member of the Uchiha clan. Not long after, Itachi would bear witness to Shisui’s death. This traumatic event sparks the imminent drift between Itachi and the Uchiha clan.
In his teenage years, Itachi betrayed his family name by committing a devastatingly brutal act. Sparing only his little brother Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi murders the entire Uchiha clan, including his mother and father. To his brother Sasuke, this criminal act was viewed as a treacherous and unforgiving betrayal, breaking all familial ties.
Later in the series, it’s revealed that this heinous act was performed in desperation to save his younger brother. An evil character named Tobi, disguised as Madara Uchiha, had planned on wiping out the entire Uchiha clan. Itachi decides to join him to protect his little brother.
Itachi fled the hidden leaf and joined the criminal organization of the Akatsuki. Itachi joined the organization to keep tabs on Madara and learn of his plans to wipe out not only the hidden leaf but control the world. In the end, Itachi would die by the hands of his brother as he always intended to provide his brother with some sort of relief from the pain of having his clan murdered with no explanation.
Itachi was regarded as a prodigy for various reasons, including his mastery of most shinobi skills. In terms of natural transformations, he was efficient in the fire, water, wind, yin, and yang releases. This is evident by his mastery of the Uchiha fireball jutsu at an incredibly young age. His father was left surprised by his son’s ability.
Being from the Uchiha clan, he possessed the Sharingan Kekkei Genkai one of the three great dojutsu. He awoke control of his Sharingan at the age of eight, after the death of Tenma Izumo his former team member and friend. Years later, after witnessing his best friend Shisui’s suicide, he awakens the Mangekyou Sharingan an upgraded form of the normal Sharingan.
The Sharingan allowed Itachi to use powerful genjutsu, enabled for better reading of enemy movements, and gave the ability to use specific ninjutsu. One of his specialties was using his Sharingan to trap his opponents in deep genjutsu to avoid fighting them.
The Sharingan allowed Itachi to use the Susanoo a unique jutsu that allowed for an avatar to be constructed out of chakra for defensive and offensive purposes. Itachi also can use potent summoning jutsu in his case he could summon crows that would allow him to do recon and distract his opponents for a quick getaway.
Itachi was a shinobi full of potential, and it is even said that we did not also witness his full strength. Throughout the series, Itachi has fought multiple people that range from low-level genin to even one of the three great Sannin, Orochimaru. Itachi Uchiha always fought in a manner fitting his high intelligence and pacifistic nature, relying on genjutsu more than anything else.
In one of his first appearances, he fought Kakashi Hatake and Might Guy, of which both are highly skilled jonin. Instead of relying on flashy ninjutsu or taijutsu abilities, Itachi used his Sharingan to put Kakashi in a powerful genjutsu that trapped him. Kakashi would be tortured for what he said felt like weeks. In a matter of minutes, Itachi disabled one of the strongest jonin level shinobi in Konohagakure, who would eventually become the sixth Hokage, that alone proves his high level of strength.
When Itachi was reincarnated for the 4th Great Shinobi War, he found himself in a fight with Naruto Uzumaki. Despite Naruto having just unlocked his nine tails chakra mode, unlocking more power than ever before, Itachi was still holding his ground. Itachi uses a combination of ninjutsu and taijutsu abilities to strike heavy blows. Never the less, Naruto did win in the end, but it is still impressive that he was able to hold his own. Especially considering Naruto would eventually become the 7th Hokage and be renowned as one of the most powerful shinobi ever to exist.
Probably the most notable fight Itachi was involved in was his battle to the death with Sasuke. The brother faced off in a climactic battle that saw Itachi make use of his powerful genjutsu and even bring out his Susanoo to guard against Sasuke’s powerful strikes. While this battle ended in Itachi’s death, Obito later remarks that Sasuke would have quickly lost if Itachi used his full strength, but he felt letting Sasuke kill him would bring him inner peace.
Itachi did not take part in many teams during his lifetime. Of those teams he did, they were forced upon him. He was part of Team 2 and completed missions with Tenma Izumo and Shinko Inari. Their grouping saw great success and was highly regarded by others. It could be said this was all thanks to Itachi’s utter brilliance and skilled nature.
Itachi has also paired up with his brother in beating foes like Kabuto by relying on their intelligence and dual Mangekyou Sharingan to trap him in one of the most secrets of Uchiha jutsu and beat him, despite his then immunity to all genjutsu and mastery of sage mode.
Itachi seemed to shine most when he was paired up with Shisui, as the pair used their highly skilled mastery of the Sharingan and their Anbu training to carry out the mission in qualified and competent manners. It was that friendship that allowed them to trust each other completely and have the confidence to beat any foe they faced.