Tobito, But Not How You Think

May 19, 2008 at 7:39 pm (Animanga) (, )

I know I’m not actually supposed to still be keeping up with Naruto, but I do keep up with at least one person’s meta, and it always makes me want to meta right back.

Anyway, sparked up by the discussion going on in Bakkhos’ LJ surrounding the latest chapter, I present to you my little pet theory on how Tobito may yet be workable in this new Uchiha canon, even if it requires a great deal of unfounded speculation.

Goes without saying, this stuff has spoilers up chapter 400-ish.

Okay, so let’s say that Madara really is immortal. How? So far the only method of immortality we’ve seen is the spiritual kind—the “man’s not dead while his name’s still spoken” kind; hence we have the monuments to the fallen and Kakashi adopting Obito’s mannerisms and beliefs after the latter’s death. And then we’ve seen the parasitic kind of immortality, where the persona lives on, but only by taking on the bodies of others. That’s Orochimaru’s brand of immortality. Which is Madara likelier to have used? His mind’s still hanging around, so probably Orochimaru’s. Either that or a third kind.

But let’s say that there’s not a third kind. Madara lives on by stealing bodies and switching to a fresh one when his current one wears out. Okay, we know it’s possible. We know that the new mind will gain the abilities of the host body, thus Orochimaru’s fixation on Sasuke’s—or rather, his Sharingan. So Madara can either give up his Sharingan by taking a non-Uchiha body, or keep it by living on through his descendents. Why would he give up his signature technique, that furthermore is responsible for him being able to be immortal anyway? No reason. And he had no compunction with killing his best friend and brother (both logically inferred to also be Uchihas, like himself) so nameless descendents are probably even less problematic for him.

As people have commented before, Madara’s current body bears a suspicious resemblance to Obito’s, what with the hair and bolts on the arms and the one-eyed mask. I put forth that this is because it is Obito’s body, stolen from under the boulder and hastily repaired, and taken over by Madara while it was still fresh. However, it was essentially a corpse and a damaged one (one eye only!) to boot, making it an imperfect host for Madara at best. Why would he take it? Perhaps because his old one was falling apart, and it was either switch or die with it. When in doubt, choose to live.

And that’s why Madara needs Sasuke to be on his side for now. Because Obito’s body was damaged and it’s falling apart, it’s not healthy enough for what Madara needs it to be able to do and furthermore, it’s one-eyed—it’s only got half a Sharingan, half an Uchiha. He needs a stronger, whole host, preferably a young one so it’ll last longer. He chose Itachi at first because Itachi’s the clan head’s family, and therefore almost guaranteed to be a pureblooded Uchiha, and probably with a strong Sharingan to boot. Plus he’s a genius, highly intelligent and highly skilled, and therefore worthy of being his progenitor’s body. But then perhaps he observed Itachi’s behavior during the massacre—notably sparing Sasuke’s life—and then noted his behavior when Orochimaru attempted to take his body. Either way it must have seemed to Madara that Itachi would be too troublesome, either through disloyalty to Madara or simply because he would fight losing his self to Madara, and Madara couldn’t afford or didn’t want the battle. What to do?

In walks Sasuke, and Madara has a whole new candidate for his next body. Because Sasuke is young and powerful too, and after Itachi’s gift has the Mangekyou to boot. Even better, Sasuke’s already physically exhausted, and all Madara needs to do is put a little spin on his fairy tale and shatter Sasuke’s world, exhausting him mentally. A little more manipulation can keep Sasuke on his side, relatively docile until Madara’s machine is ready for him to transfer. And then Madara lives on—at the cost of Sasuke’s life.


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