spoilers abound. you have been warned.
No. Really. HUGE spoilers here. I read and am completely up-to-date on the Naruto Shippuden manga. So, if you’re strictly an anime watcher, you won’t get to this part for awhile. Tobi has been a mysterious figure since his first appearance. The most popular speculation are Obito and who he actually claims to be, Madara Uchiha.
First, I’ll explain the “Obito is Tobi,” or OiT, theory. It’s pretty self explanatory. People who champion this notion do, in fact, believe that the main antagonist of the Naruto series, Tobi, is none other than a side character from Kakashi’s past, Obito Uchiha. Tobi started off as a goofball member of Akatsuki, a group bent on retrieving all nine of the tailed beasts to resurrect the “ten tails.” Eventually, he became the last man standing in the group and revealed himself as Madara Uchiha.
Now, this is bizarre, because Madara was friends, and eventually enemies, with the first Hokage who was rumored to have destroyed him. That was like, over a hundred years ago, so speculation started to swirl on how he could still be alive so long.
As far as Obito goes, he was a former team mate of Kakashi’s who was very much like Naruto. He valued friendship and the safety of team members over the success of the mission. Obito and Kakashi’s third team member, Rin, was kidnapped during a mission, and the pair ended up saving her. In doing so, however, Obito was crushed by a giant boulder. Before he died, he had Rin, a medical ninja, transplant one of his Uchiha eyes into Kakashi (who had previously suffered an eye injury) as a thank you for going along with him to save Rin.
To sum things up, both Madara and Obito are dead. In fact, every member of the Uchiha clan is presumed dead at this point except for Sasuke. Sasuke’s elder brother, Itachi, wiped out all the members of the Uchiha clan, except Sasuke, several years prior to the start of part 1 on orders of the third Hokage. Itachi later dies in battle with his younger brother. But, even after Tobi reveals himself as Madara, the OiT theorists have remained ever vigilant. Here’s why:
1. Obito and Madara are both Uchihas, a clan of people who are able to wield an eye power called the Sharingan. Tobi is also a Sharingan user, as seen through the one eye hole of his mask.
2. When Obito died, he had given his left eye to Kakashi. Tobi has a single eye hole in his mask, over his right eye.
3. Both have similar spikey haircuts, and Tobi appears to be too young, and his hair far too short, to be the wild Madara.
4. Their names are very similar.
As convincing as this is, there’s a problem. Obito was just like Naruto, ultimately good and valued friendship. What could have possibly happened, if Tobi is Obito, to have turned him into the picture of pure evil?
And, another hole in the works, during Tobi’s fight with Konan, his mask breaks and though you don’t see his whole face, he is shown to have both eyes. Both Sharingan eyes. So is he really Madara then? And here comes the major spoilers: according to the newest chapter of the Naruto Shippuden manga, perhaps not. Unless, of course, there’s other unforeseen circumstances at work here that we are unaware of yet at the present.
Kabuto finally reveals his trump card, the body in the casket that made Tobi nervous, Madara Uchiha’s body. It is made clear that it is, in fact, Madara, and he is unmistakably dead.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Naruto plot line from the past couple of months, here’s a short recap. All the major ninja villages have banned together to form the joint shinobi army against the forces of Tobi and Orochimaru infested Kabuto (it’s a tender subject. Look for my other posts on Kabuto). Kabuto has perfected the Impure World Ressurection Jutsu that allows the user to utilize dead bodies with all their powers. The bodies are back “alive,” but they have no control over their actions and are bent to the will of the Jutsu user. Madara is being used under this Jutsu.
So if that’s the real Madara, then who the !@$% is Tobi?! Sure, the OiT theorists are probably celebrating right now, but I’m not convinced for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Then what’s going on? Your guess is as good as mine, and I invite you to share your thoughts. But, here’s what I’m leaning toward. Tobi is probably someone related to Madara, such as a son we don’t know about, or his younger brother Izuna. Maybe Madara wasn’t the strongest son after all. Again, this is just a guess here. It could be something completely out of left field here for all we know.
Now that the real Madara has stood up, I can’t wait for Tobi to be completely unmasked.