Why Did Kakashi Kill Rin Nohara in Naruto: Shippuden? Explained


During its nearly two-decade run, the Naruto manga and anime garnered a massive following globally, numbering in the millions.

This popularity primarily stems from its compelling characterization, dynamic battle animations, deep world-building, and inclusion of supernatural shinobi techniques.

However, another important component in Naruto's continued intrigue and continuity is the calculated use of unexpected plot twists.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Effective storytelling requires moments that shock the audience and subvert their expectations to maintain engagement. Across 72 volumes and over 700 anime episodes, Naruto shocked readers and viewers by strategically killing off beloved characters.

But one particular demise fundamentally catalyzed the overarching narrative into its final acclaimed form.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Specifically, it refers to the tragic events surrounding comrades Kakashi Hatake and Rin Nohara that ultimately ended in their deaths at their hands during the Third Great Shinobi World War.

Their bond and her painful, unexpected separation set the tone for the entire series, demonstrating its capacity for raw emotional moments.

Deep understanding of sacrifice, manipulation and systemic corruption

With its vast array of characters, complex power systems, and complex inter-village dynamics, Naruto presents a multilayered narrative that required 18 years and two separate series to fully unfold.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Like many of the show's complex plot points, Rin Nohara's fatal death initially appears straightforward but involves a more cryptic context.

To fully understand the tragedy, one has to remember the time when the infamous Uchiha Madara secretly corrupted Kirigakure and forced him to seal the three-tailed beast within Rin.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

However, the sealing used a forbidden mind-control spell that would free the tailed beast on Rin and Kakashi upon returning to their home of Konohagakure.

So despite Kakashi seemingly being directly responsible for killing Rin, deeper investigation exposes it as wrongdoing.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

In reality, Rin willingly threw herself into Kakashi's Chidori technique when she realized that Madara's manipulation would turn her into an unwitting village-destroying bomb upon reaching the Hidden Leaf Gate.

His death was deliberate self-sacrifice, not wanton betrayal.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

This revelatory backstory encapsulates Naruto's signature brand of emotional, grey-area drama between friends forced into no-win scenarios by cyclical hatred and systemic corruption. Rin and Kakashi's tragedy had a massive impact on the entire mythology.

Rin's heartbreaking sacrifice

After Kakashi initially rescues Rin from captivity in Kirigakure, he is pursued by the Mist Ninja intent on retrieving his recently acquired Jinchūriki weapon.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Realizing that committing suicide is no longer a personal option along with her captors, Rin pleads with Kakashi to end her life before he can use the weapon to destroy their home.

Despite his longtime promise to his dead friend Obito to protect Rin at any cost, Kakashi refuses to kill his partner.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Having run out of options following the Mist-nin's attack, Rin decided in a split second to throw herself at Kakashi's Chidori Lightning Blade meant for the enemy ninja.

She sacrificed herself to prevent the Tailed Beast Bomb sealed within her from destroying Konoha when Madara's Sleeper Curse was activated. His decision to die at the hands of his dear friend was a tragic act of protecting the village.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

What neither of them knew was that the hidden witness to Rin's suicide was none other than Obito himself. After surviving and becoming Tobi, Obito watched in fear and anger as Kakashi's Chidori mortally wounded Rin.

This devastating trauma led the already depressed Obito onto a path of manipulating war and hunting the tailed beasts as the masked villain leader of Akatsuki. Rin's death left bitter legacies.

Kakashi's crime, and Obito's vengeful path

To make the tragedy clearer, Kakashi did not intentionally kill Rin Nohara. Rather, Rin decided to sacrifice herself by stepping into the path of Kakashi's Chidori lightning for the attacking Mist Anbu ninja.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

He chose suicide by a comrade in order to thwart the forced destruction of Konoha.

In the aftermath, Kakashi collapsed from the gunfire, while the hidden Obito erupted in grief-filled rage, massacring the Mist forces. While cradling Rin's lifeless body, Obito's distress turned to a motive for vengeance as he vowed to create an illusory world where such senseless deaths would not occur.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Rin's final resting place is unknown, but many believe he was cremated and buried alongside the village heroes in Konoha.

His death proved transformative, leading Obito towards adopting his Tobi persona and later co-founding Akatsuki to pursue the tailed beasts.

Naruto Shippuden (Credit: Masashi Kishimoto)

Meanwhile, Kakashi sinks into depressed guilt and isolation for killing his friend and breaking his promise to Obito.

These influences underscore how Rin's disastrous fate shaped the destiny of the central characters and narratives of the Naruto saga for years to come.


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