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

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Over its nearly two-decade run, the Naruto manga and anime accrued an immense global following, numbering in the millions.

This popularity stemmed primarily from its compelling characterizations, dynamic battle animations, immersive worldbuilding, and incorporation of supernatural shinobi techniques.

However, another critical ingredient in Naruto’s sustained intrigue and consistency lies in its calculated use of unexpected plot twists.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 12 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Effective storytelling requires moments that jolt audiences and subvert expectations to maintain engagement. While spanning 72 volumes and over 700 anime episodes, Naruto strategically shocked readers and viewers by killing off beloved characters.

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

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 11 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Specifically, this refers to the tragic events surrounding comrades Kakashi Hatake and Rin Nohara that ultimately ended in her death by his hand during the Third Great Shinobi World War.

Their bond and its painful, unforeseen severance set the tone for the entire series while showcasing its capacity for raw emotional moments.

A Deeper Understanding of Sacrifice, Manipulation, and Systemic Corruption

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

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 10
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Like many of the show’s convoluted plot points, Rin Nohara’s fateful death initially appears straightforward but contains a more clandestine context.

To fully comprehend the tragedy, one must rewind to when the notorious Uchiha Madara covertly corrupted Kirigakure and compelled them to seal the Three-Tailed beast within Rin.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 9
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

However, the sealing utilized a forbidden mind-control spell that would unleash the Tailed Beast upon Rin and Kakashi returning to their home of Konohagakure.

So despite Kakashi seeming directly responsible for striking down Rin, deeper investigation illuminates this as misdirection.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 8 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

In actuality, Rin willingly thrusts herself into Kakashi’s Chidori technique once realizing Madara’s manipulation would turn her into an involuntary village-destroying bomb upon arriving at the Hidden Leaf gates.

Her death was intentional self-sacrifice, not wanton betrayal.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 7 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

This revelatory backstory encapsulates Naruto’s signature brand of emotional, grey-area drama between friends forced into no-win scenarios by cyclic hatred and systemic corruption. Rin and Kakashi’s tragedy spawned ripple effects across the entire mythology.

Rin’s Heart-Wrenching Sacrifice

After Kakashi initially rescued Rin from Kirigakure captivity, they remained pursued by Mist ninja intent on reclaiming their recently acquired Jinchuriki weapon.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 6 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Realizing suicide was no longer a personal option with her captors closing in, Rin pleaded with Kakashi to end her life before she could be weaponized to destroy their home.

Despite his longstanding promise to their deceased friend Obito to protect Rin at any cost, Kakashi refused to kill his comrade.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 5 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

With options running out as the Mist-nin attacked, Rin made the split-second decision to hurl herself onto Kakashi’s Chidori lightning blade meant for an enemy ninja.

She sacrificed herself to prevent the tailed beast bomb sealed within her from decimating Konoha upon the activation of Madara’s sleeper curse. Her choice to die at her beloved friend’s hand was a tragic act of village protection.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 3 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Unbeknownst to both, a hidden witness to Rin’s suicide was none other than Obito himself. Having survived and become Tobi, Obito watched in horror and rage as Kakashi’s Chidori mortally wounded Rin.

This watershed trauma led the already disillusioned Obito down the path towards manipulating war and hunting the tailed beasts as the masked villain leader of Akatsuki. Rin’s death birthed bitter legacies.

Kakashi’s Guilt, and Obito’s Vengeful Path

To unambiguously tell the tragedy, Kakashi did not intentionally murder Rin Nohara. Rather, Rin chose to sacrifice herself by stepping into the path of Kakashi’s Chidori lightning meant for an attacking Mist Anbu ninja.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 2 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

She opted for suicide by a comrade to foil her coerced destruction of Konoha.

In the aftermath, a shellshocked Kakashi collapsed while a hidden Obito erupted in grief-fueled rage, massacring the Mist forces. Cradling Rin’s lifeless body, Obito’s distress warped into vengeful purpose as he vowed to create an illusion world where such senseless deaths would not occur.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 1 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Rin’s final resting place remains unknown, but many presume she received a funeral and burial in Konoha beside the heroes of the village.

Her death proved transformational, steering Obito towards embracing his Tobi persona and later co-founding the Akatsuki to pursue the tailed beasts.

Naruto Shippuden Credits Masashi Kishimoto 1 scaled
Naruto Shippuden (Credits: Masashi Kishimoto)

Meanwhile, Kakashi spiraled into gloomy guilt and isolation over killing his friend and breaking his promise to Obito.

These ramifications underscore how Rin’s devastating fate shaped the destinies of characters and narrative arcs central to the Naruto saga for years to come.

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