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The Kakashi Detail You Might Have Missed In Naruto Shippuden

Kakashi Hatake, the genius Sharingan-user who mentors Naruto and his friends in the anime series "Naruto: Shippuden," is notoriously aloof. Aside from showing little to no emotions at any time, Kakashi is generally just as concerned with catching up on his favorite romance series as he is teaching his students. He's also chronically late, arriving tardy to nearly every Team 7 meeting with a different excuse.

Kakashi's excuses range from such gems as "getting lost on the path of life" to helping old people in trouble. Most of the time, however, it's clear that these excuses are a sham. In particular, the latter of those two phony excuses — which he gives in Episode 2 of "Naruto: Shippuden" — conceals a hidden detail that you may have missed. The excuse in question, helping an old lady who had gotten in trouble, is actually a callback to one of the most important characters in Kakashi's life, as well as the true reason that he is late so frequently.

Kakashi steals a lame excuse from his dead friend

The reason stopping to help an old lady means so much to Kakashi is that it is the same excuse used by Kakashi's best friend, Obito Uchiha (then thought to be long-dead) whenever he was late. Unlike Kakashi, however, Obito actually did have a grandmother that he needed to take care of, so there was a little more honesty to Obito's own tardiness.

More importantly, however, the connection between this excuse and Obito highlights the real reason that Kakashi is so often late to meetings and assignments. As revealed in "Naruto" Episode 80, Kakashi spends much of his free time at the Memorial Stone where he first trained Team 7. There, inscribed on the memorial, are the names of Shinobi who have sacrificed themselves on the field of battle. Obito's name is among them, and so Kakashi often visits the stone to contemplate his fallen friend.

However, that's not actually why he's late this time

Nine times out of ten if Kakashi is late it's because he's at that darn memorial for dead ninjas. In this particular case, however, he actually had other things on his mind — things that were more important than mourning dead friends and certainly more important than helping old ladies. In Episode 2 of "Shippuden," instead of meeting Naruto and Sakura at their usual spot (which is ironically nearby the Memorial Stone in the Third Training Ground), Kakashi went off on his own to read the new unreleased "Make-Out Paradise" novel gifted to him by Jiraiya. Oh, he also met with Jiraiya to trade information regarding the growing threat of the Akatsuki, but that's far less exciting business.

In a sense, this situation is even more meaningful than the original reading of Kakashi's excuse. Though Kakashi didn't know it at the time, Obito was still alive and well as the rogue Shinobi, Tobi. In time, Tobi would become the de facto leader of the Akatsuki and one of the principal antagonists of the franchise. Without even realizing it, Kakashi made an excuse that subtly paid homage to one of the Leaf Village's most dangerous enemies.