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The Untold Truth Of Madara From Naruto

It's a testament to the depth of the world created by Masashi Kishimoto that the Naruto anime ran for 700-plus episodes and still managed to leave fans wanting more. In particular, Madara Uchiha is deserving of greater focus. We'd take a spin-off series, a few more episodes, or heck, even just an extra scene or two. In a series bursting with characters, he remains singularly interesting.

The patriarch of the Uchiha Clan who also helped found Hidden Leaf Village, Madara is not exactly lacking for screen time. He casts a long shadow over his descendants, many of whom are main characters, and ends up being a key figure in a global conspiracy to end the entire world. Still, there are several parts of Uchiha's endlessly fascinating life that are glossed over, left to the manga, or outright ignored. These are the facts you might not know about Madara, Naruto's legendary schemer, warrior, and nobleman.

Madara's beginnings

Madara Uchiha is a complex character, with many achievements, sorrows, and compromises in his life. His childhood is a rough one, spent in an era of feudal warfare and constant unrest. Upon reaching adulthood, he helps found Hidden Leaf Village in an attempt to create an era of peace. His vision helps usher in the era of the Great Shinobi Nations — but Madara is left unsatisfied. Through study of ancient history (and a tablet passed down through his family), he realizes that all he has done is create one more opportunity for the world to fail.

Seeking to break the cycle of war, truce, and collapse, he creates the Eye of the Moon Plan: The end goal of the villainous Akatsuki that seeks to trap the entire world in an eternal dream state. Madara, and later, the different leaders of the Akatsuki, accept this end of worldwide free will as a trade-off for everlasting peace.

Madara attempts to put his plans in action, challenging Hidden Leaf Village co-founder Hashirama Senju for control of the village. He dies in that fight ... but that isn't the end for Madara. He's such a schemer that he put safeguards in place to rewrite history in the case of his own death. He goes into hiding and works out his ideas in secret.

Lingering life force

Madara's plan is far too ambitious to enact in one lifetime, as he realizes towards the end of it. After all, he hadn't spent most of his time on Earth planning to ensconce the world in an eternal dream — he'd spent it living through an era of war, founding a village, and only then considering how he might end conflict forever. By the time he realizes this, it is seemingly too late to correct it, and his attempts to fast-track his plan end in his death. This isn't the end for Madara, though — quite the opposite.

His opportunity to carry on plotting comes via the husk of an ancient demon locked away on the moon. He breaks the seal around this statue and summons it down to Earth. The shell becomes a vessel to store the demonic beasts that the Akatsuki capture as part of their plan to reshape the world. Madara has another plan in mind, however. He uses the energy from the vessel (called the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path), harnessing his powers over the natural world to create a flower that can absorb its energy and transfer it to him. The force gathered in this way is enough to keep him alive well beyond his natural lifespan.

Not so tough after all

Madara Uchiha is known as one of the most powerful fighters in history, an incredible talent with control over a ludicrous variety of techniques. Perhaps it's due to his name, which can be translated as meaning "spots" or "speckles" — a decidedly soft moniker for one of the most gifted warriors to ever walk the planet.

Some Naruto fans have another take on the name, however. Because of his failed attempt to overthrow the village, his iron-fisted rule over the Uchiha Clan, and his time working with the nearly universally reviled Akatsuki, "speckle" can be read as a spot or blemish. Under this interpretation, the most influential member of the Uchiha clan is also its greatest shame, a dark mark on their name they hope to keep under wraps and out of the headlines. Madara might have been a man of enormous skill and ambition, but his name implies that all he might be known for, some day, is marring the proud legacy of an otherwise impressive family. Not what he was planning, but time makes fools of us all.

Deviant element

Everything about Madara should make him a dominant fire element user. He is raised deep in the part of the world that would become known as the Land of Fire. He helps found the ninja village at the center of the Land of Fire that trains countless young warriors in predominantly fire-based techniques. Even among people who live surrounded by practitioners of fire-based disciplines, his clan is renowned for their mastery of fire-based releases.

However, Madara prefers to use wind-based attacks. Madara believes wind to be better suited to his style and strength — and honestly, his track record supports this. Moreover, Madara frequently combines his dominant wind release with skillful fire attacks to create terrifying, moving walls of flame. In mastering his clan's revered fire techniques but choosing to center wind in his practice, Madara creates uniquely devastating conflagrations with nothing but a single hand seal sign. As ever, Madara thinks ahead, searching for unique approaches others wouldn't dream of.

A gifted fighter

As you might already have guessed, Madara is one of the strongest fighters ever produced by the Uchiha Clan. Even among the ranks of his own noble family, who have produced some of the best warriors in the history of their nation and the entire Naruto series, Madara stands tall. Even if you are arguing the point of the strongest member of the Uchiha clan, a case can be made for Madara. The case almost makes itself, really.

Exhibit A: An undead and massively weakened Madara is able to take on all five leaders of the Great Nations — a position that doesn't go to diplomats or pencil-pushers in this largely martial world — and leaves every single one of them in the dust. These are the five people who are believed to be the greatest fighters in the world, and he absolutely wipes the floor with them. The only thing that saves the leaders of the world from dying, in fact, is that Madara walks off without finishing them, assuming they're already goners. Of course, this comes back to bite him after they heal. Still, no fan is likely to forget just how thoroughly his dominates that fight, and what it says about his place in the Naruto hierarchy.

Almost all releases

Madara is the master of 52 known jutsus. It goes up if you include his use of senjutsus, which he uses in both the manga and the anime. However, these new jutsus can be attributed to his absorption of the DNA of his rival Hashirama. Since he does not actually "learn" these techniques, it seems they are left out of his official mastery count.

These skills didn't come without work. Madara is actually born with an unnatural amount of chakra, to the point that it frightens outsiders. But he works tirelessly to harness that energy to his will, and ultimately becomes an incredible fighter. Throughout his studies, Madara learns just about every type of energy release there is to know.

He has a handle on just about any named natural release, as well as the Yin and Yang energy releases. He establishes mastery over fire, water, wind, lightning, earth, wood, and storm releases. His force is such that he is able to inhabit the bodies of others and continue on living well after the end of his first life. He's practically a sponge, capable of absorbing knowledge and skill as easily as breathing — but that ease comes through decades of difficult work.

Only Naruto knows more

Madara leaves pretty much everyone in Naruto in the dust in terms of skill, knowledge, and sheer power ... except for Naruto himself. Naruto masters enough jutsus to make even Madara look foolish: Way, way out in front, the star of the series knows a whopping 82. This ranges from his wildly effective Shadow Clone Technique to his patented (and, uh, highly original) Sexy Technique

We can't say it's a fair fight in the jutsu department, however: Naruto's considerable abilities are boosted by his insanely high levels of chakra. That comes from both his parentage (two of the most skilled fighters in the nation) and the fact that he has an incredibly powerful beast sealed inside him from birth. Drawing on the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto possesses an unfathomable amount of chakra, giving him the head start that allows him to become the most skilled ninja on Earth. 

He sees through shadow clones

Naruto's Shadow Clone Technique is one of the first things viewers see him learn. The impressive use of the technique is what allows him to pass the first stage of the Academy, in fact — his instructors waive his failed tests after he creates hundreds of copies of himself to save his instructor.

This forbidden jutsu is locked away by village elders as a technique considered to be too powerful to fall into random hands. This makes sense: It's a wildly difficult technique, but if mastered, is an enormously potent way of sowing confusion and chaos. Naruto steals the scroll after being tricked by a fellow villager, and becomes one of the few people on Earth able to perform this rare technique.

Because of its rarity and difficulty, the move frequently stupefies Naruto's opponents. Madara is one of only two characters who sees through Naruto's oft-used attack. Madara is perhaps the most efficient user of the Sharingan in the entire series, and his unique gifts allow him to detect both shadow and wood clones. This comes in useful against his two rivals: Naruto and Hashirama.

In spite of the novelty of detecting these clones, it's far from the most impressive thing Madara can do with his two-eyed Sharingan. He is so skilled with it that he uses it to rewrite history and dodge his own death.

First human Rinnegan user

The Sharingan is a massively powerful technique, unique to the Uchiha clan. But when it comes to Madara, it's not even the only eye-based technique he masters. He becomes the first full-blooded human to use the uber-powerful Rinnegan as well as the Sharingan. Prior to his control of this nearly all-seeing eye technique, only descendants of the early deities could control the Rinnegan.

Madara doesn't come upon this ability until the end of his first natural life, so it is added to an already considerable arsenal of skills and techniques. The newly acquired Rinnegan gives Madara mastery over certain jutsu that no amount of training can bestow, including the Six Paths Technique and the ability to see chakra within bodies. The Rinnegan becomes incredibly important to Madara's goals in the series, as only a person who wields it can break the seal on the demon he summons from the moon. If he had never come into possession of the Rinnegan, his plans to reshape the world likely would have been moot. But he does — and becomes the first human to do so.

A long, long life

It might not surprise you to learn that someone as powerful, noble, and connected as Madara Uchiha lives to a ripe old age. Even by those lofty standards, however, Madara lives an extremely long life. Not counting all the various tricks, ploys, and schemes he uses to come back from the dead, Madara lives to be 120 years old the good old-fashioned human way. 

Of course, that's not nearly enough time to transform himself into the main antagonist of the Naruto series. Add-ons, compromises and possessions follow his demise, keeping Madara on this Earth well beyond even the most optimistic human life span. He keeps himself going via moon-based demons, occasional life as a symbiote attached to other Akatsuki fighters, and an eventual full-body resurrection by his followers. All of this is to work towards his ultimate goal of enacting the Eye of the Moon Plan, ending world conflict at last. Had Madara succeeded in creating that unalterable dream state, he would have been the oldest living person on Earth for all eternity.