Naruto Shippuden Episode 338: Izanagi and Izanami
Izanami is an unconventional jutsu, both in its purpose and in its usage – and this week we had Itachi teach us all about it. I love how they just sort of stood around chatting, with their backs turned to Kabuto’s immobile body 😀 Anyway, it’s basically a doujutsu that only employs the sight of the user, not the target. Certain events are captured by the Sharingan as a “photograph” through the physical senses felt by both the user and opponent, and strung together as a series. Then a copy of those series of events are recreated with Izanami, and the target is forced to relive those events over and over, until they come to accept their fate and move on, ending the jutsu. It’s meant to admonish and save an Izanagi user from excessive arrogance and pride – which is weird given that it’s an Uchiha jutsu. If Sasuke is at all representative of a standard Uchiha, they’re the very epitome of arrogance; people like Itachi or Shisui are supposed to be the exception.
The inter-clan rivalry seems to support that idea. Any Izanagi user within the clan would automatically be put in a position of power; so when new Izanagi users popped up, a power struggle occurred. I’m not even sure why they feel so invincible with it. Sure, they can erase and change outcomes to suit their needs, but its got limited usage. At most, you can use it twice – and after that, you’re completely blind. While the anime-only history lesson was quite useful in highlighting how the jutsu worked, the plot holes it created were painfully apparent. Firstly, I’ve always thought the Mangekyo Sharingan was a state that was difficult to accomplish – before the massacre, only Shisui and Itachi had it as far as I know. That scenario had so many MS Uchiha running around, as if it was common to kill your best friend or family and feel intense emotions. They had pretty eye patterns though. Secondly, that scenario contradicts the canon description of Izanagi – I swear it’s supposed to be a jutsu that affects only the user. It allows them to interfere with their own state of existence, and change their own destiny. How that Uchiha dude on the battlefield was able to save countless comrades from dying (all at the same time) I have no idea.
Even in death, Itachi is still a great guy. When he explained how Izanami was supposed to help Kabuto, I very much shared Sasuke’s exasperation. Kabuto’s clearly not appreciating any of it – he’s lost that entire cool and composed tone he had at the beginning of the battle. All that confidence just went down the drain! He’s not even thinking of trying to change himself, so I suppose it’s achieved the objective of keeping him still so Itachi can stop the Edo Tensei. Of course, that means Itachi himself will disappear too, and he’ll have to leave Sasuke for good this time (though hopefully on better terms). Feels incoming!