One of the most popular yet divisive characters in the entirety of the overarching Naruto franchise is none other than Obito Uchiha, arguably the true antagonist of the post-time-skip. While many call Obito their favorite character in creator, author, and illustrator Masashi Kishimoto’s original manga series, others have expressed major issues with him as a character.
Some of these Naruto fans point to his overall characterization, as well as how he seemingly doesn’t think through the philosophical outlook which Madara Uchiha indoctrinates him into. On a similar note, some fans specifically cite how stupid or dumb some of Obito’s actions were, key among them being declaring war on the five shinobi nations and more.
However, there may actually be a very good reason for why Obito seems stupid as an adult. While it’s understandable why fans have never realized it before, it certainly does recontextualize all of Obito’s actions later on and present them in a new and less frustrating light.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the writer’s.
Obito’s childhood brain injury explains all of his “dumb” actions and decisions in Naruto
When Obito was a young child fighting in the Naruto world’s Third Shinobi World War, he suffered a devastating injury which crushed the entire right side of his body. The injury also affected his head and face, albeit in a much less devastating and severe manner. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Obito’s head at least felt the partial brunt of the blow.
Although it’s difficult to apply real-life medical concepts and terms to an anime and manga series, Obito at the very least suffered an extremely severe concussion from the impact. More likely than not, his brain was also slightly crushed, evidenced by the fact that the entire right side of his face after the incident is illustrated with lines to show lasting damage there.
However, Obito likely suffered much worse than this, with the true damage being to his actual brain rather than his face. Some fans are going as far as to say that Obito essentially lost half of his brain function and power in this moment, despite the right side of his head not being shown as fully crushed in either Naruto format.
There is even evidence from the anime series to support this, with Minato calling Obito a “half-brained” fanatic in the series’ English dub. While not quite as strong a piece of evidence as it would be from the original Japanese or the manga, it’s nevertheless worth considering when discussing the impetus behind Obito’s questionable choices.
A study published in February 2004 which analyzed the effects of a hemispherectomy saw a drop in IQ change of less than 15 points in 34 of 53 patients. While the number seems small in isolation, it could become much larger of an impact, relatively speaking, for specific persons. Likewise, with a young Obito being categorized as someone who struggled to grasp the shinobi lessons he was taught, this swing could’ve been a fairly dramatic one for him.
At the end of the day, this is all speculation. However, unless Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto goes as far as to confirm this himself (which is seemingly unlikely at this time). That being said, this certainly provides a fantastic explanation for some of Obito’s stupider decisions throughout the series, and also lends some credibility to Kishimoto’s depiction of Obito’s injury and its long-term effects.
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