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The Untold Truth Of Kakashi Hatake From Naruto

From the moment he appears on "Naruto," he commands respect. Maybe it's his attitude, always stoic no matter the situation. Maybe it's the fact that he wears a face mask, so he appears like the masked shinobi popularized in media. Maybe it's the slouch of his headband that covers his eye. Once we see him in action, it's obvious he's a real savage. Kakashi's headband is hiding a Sharingan, making him one of the few non-Uchiha to possess one. He has some ridiculous electric-style attacks, including the Chidori he invented, which he teaches Sasuke. He can climb a mountain with one hand tied behind his back. The list goes on.

It is telling that the most elite Hidden Leaf ninja in "Naruto" are also teachers. Even among them, though, Kakashi stands out. Of course, some of that is thanks to his heritage, with such a legendary (and tragic) father as Sakumo. Some of it is his natural ability to copy seemingly anybody, earning him the nickname the Copycat Ninja. His calm under fire is also admirable, as is the mystery of what his face looks like under his mask. In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of Kakashi is that, as the series progresses and we learn more about him, he becomes even more dynamic and mysterious. Here's the untold truth of this "Naruto" character. 

Kakashi has a tough relationship with his father

Kakashi looks enough like his legendary father Sakumo, nicknamed the White Fang of the Hidden Leaf, that Granny Chiyo tries to attack him, thinking he's the very man who killed so many of her villagers during the last Great Shinobi War. Yet Kakashi's relationship with his father is at best conflicted. It also influenced Kakashi's approach to his role as a shinobi at every step of his career.

When Kakashi starts in the academy, Sakumo is still alive, and no doubt has helped his son hone his skills. Yet Kakashi, despite being so talented, is derided for being too rule-abiding. This also has to do with his father. Sakumo was on a mission where he saved his colleagues but failed the objective. The village castigated him, including the very teammates he saved. The White Fang of Konoha felt so ashamed that he killed himself. For that reason, Kakashi strictly follows the rigid rules of being a shinobi, especially the idea that the objective comes before all lives.

Then Obito sacrifices himself for Kakashi and Rin and even gives Kakashi his Sharingan eye. This touches Kakashi so much that he sees that his dad was right. His first test for his team, including Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura, tests their willingness to break the rules for the sake of their teammates. This leads to his famous quote, "In the ninja world, those who break the rules are scum, that's true...but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum." His dad would be proud.

Kakashi is a romantic

Kakashi is never seen with a woman, and in general seems married to his job and the village itself. Yet he has one big weakness—one Naruto exploits at the beginning of "Shippuden," when he and Sakura try Kakashi's bell test again. Kakashi is obsessed with Jiraiya's "Make-Out" series of novels.

The running gag is that the "Make-Out" series is pretty risqué, which points to the idea espoused by "Naruto" that most men can be brought down by pursuits of the flesh. Yet there's more to it than just smut. Jiraiya's first novel was about a ninja. Jiraiya was also in love with Tsunade for pretty much his whole life. Therefore there has to be a strand of romance throughout the "Make-Out" series.

It's eventually revealed why Kakashi refuses the actual company of women: He killed Rin, his true love. While this is never proven, it was shown in the series that Rin had feelings for him. After he killed her accidentally, he never again really seemed to gravitate toward being on another team or courting another lady. Given his status and the fact that women swoon when he takes off his mask, he doesn't have to read books to find love. He's probably just still stuck on the one who left this life.

Kakashi was hand-picked for Team 7

Team 7 is probably the most legendary team since the Three Sannin—so much so that when they take up the mantle as the new Sannin, everybody accepts it. When they start out, though, it's hard to take the three seriously. Sasuke is an extremely talented shinobi who has no desire to work with anybody; Sakura is a meek kunoichi who impresses nobody; Naruto, of course, is the prankster who gets all his jutsu wrong and arouses either laughter or contempt. The Third Hokage, though, sees their potential. He also knows who will be the perfect sensei for this group: Kakashi. And so Team 7 becomes Team Kakashi.

Kakashi has a lot in common with Naruto and Sasuke in that he has no family. The most gifted ninja, Sasuke, needs a true legend to keep him in line, and Kakashi fits that bill perfectly. Plus, he understands how it feels to be the best in your class. Perhaps the Hokage saw Sakura as a kunoichi like Rin, who was the real heart of her team, the glue that held two strong but argumentative young ninja together. Whatever the reason, when Team 7 reunites during the Infinite Tsukuyomi, they save the world, so obviously it was a good call.

Kakashi became Hokage Twice

It's a sign of Kakashi's strength and strategic skill that he was named Hokage not once but twice. The first time was when Tsunade went into a coma after using all her ability to try and heal the Leaf Village during Pain's attack. Kakashi is voted Hokage, though Danzo manipulates the situation for his own short-lived reign at the top. Still, before Kakashi can assume the role, Tsunade revives. Kakashi is actually grateful. A sign of a true leader is that they don't want the crown but are called to it.

The second time he's named Hokage is after the Fourth Great Shinobi War, when Team Kakashi saves the world thanks in large part to his guidance. Even his skills play a part, though obviously Naruto and Sasuke are the real warrior heroes. This time, it sticks, and Kakashi becomes the sixth Hokage. Everybody agrees throughout the series that he's one of the most, if not the most, talented Jonin in the village. Still, when it comes to a well-rounded leader whose calm head is only exceeded by his strength and competence, Kakashi is the obvious choice for leader. It makes sense, then, that he would be the only shinobi to be elected leader twice.

Kakashi was the youngest shinobi to become a Chunin

There is a long history of Hidden Leaf shinobi excelling at a preternaturally young age. Itachi Uchiha, who became a Chunin at age 10, comes to mind. Kakashi, however, holds the record for youngest promotion to Chunin. He graduated from the Academy at 5 and became a Chunin at 6. That is, at 6 he was deemed strong and talented enough to go toe to toe with grown shinobi.

His path was partly accelerated by the need for capable ninja during the Third Great Shinobi War. One has to wonder if he would have been promoted later in life during peacetime. That said, the fact that he not only survived but thrived as a Chunin is a sign that he was ready. It should be added that this immense honor was bestowed upon him before he had the Sharingan. Kakashi was strong enough with his own Jutsu and talent that he was thrown into battle when most people in the real world are going into first grade. This is still the record for the youngest Chunin, according to what is known about the "Naruto" world. Regardless of that fact, and of whether he was only moved up due to a dearth of Hidden Leaf warriors, it is unquestionable that he has always been remarkable. Put another way, a 6-year-old Kakashi could easily destroy anybody in the UFC.