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Madara Uchiha (Japanese: うちは マダラ, Hepburn: Uchiha Madara) is a fictional manga and anime character in the Naruto series created by Masashi Kishimoto. He appears for the first time in "Part II" of the manga and the Shippuden anime adaptation, as a background character. He, along with its first leader Hashirama Senju, is one of the co-founders of Konohagakure (Japanese: 木ノ葉隠れの里, Hepburn: Konohagakure no Sato) village from the ninja world . Their power conflict over how to run the village, as well as the long-term feud between clans, leads to Madara's death. However, it is revealed later that Madara had used a man named Obito Uchiha as his agent. He transplants his Eye Technique Rinnegan (輪廻眼, lit. "Saṃsāra Eye") eye power into a child named Nagato, the leader of the terrorist organization Akatsuki, to be preserved for his eventual revival years later. During most of the series, Obito uses Madara's name until a criminal named Kabuto Yakushi reanimates the real Madara who becomes the main antagonist during the Fourth Shinobi World War storyline. Madara has appeared in several pieces of Naruto media, including a Boruto feature film. Many Naruto video games have featured him as a playable character.

Madara Uchiha
Naruto character
A long-haired male character wearing purple clothing underneath a red armor
Madara Uchiha as drawn by Masashi Kishimoto
First appearanceNaruto manga, chapter 370
Created byMasashi Kishimoto
Voiced byJapanese
Naoya Uchida
Gou Inoue (young)[1]
English
Neil Kaplan
Xander Mobus (young)
Profile
RelativesTajima Uchiha (father)
Izuna Uchiha (brother)
Ninja rankRogue ninja

Kishimoto created the character to provide a strong villain in the series' final arc who would face the series' protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki. This confrontation would be different from that with previous enemies and result in more of a focus on fight scenes. Merchandise has been released in Madara's likeness, including keychains, plush dolls, and figurines. In the Japanese anime, Naoya Uchida voices Madara, while Gou Inoue voices him as a child. In the English version, Neil Kaplan provides Madara's voice with Xander Mobus voicing him as a child. Critics have commented on his role as an antagonist in the series; some have placed him on top all-time anime villains lists, while others have criticized his effectiveness. Nevertheless, Madara's background was well-received for how integral his story is to the series' scenario.

Creation and designEdit

Madara originated from Masashi Kishimoto's desire to elaborate on the ending to the manga series Naruto. Once the series began its second part, simply referred to as "Part II" in the manga and Shippuden in the anime, Kishimoto felt the need to create a story arc that would emphasize the tragedy of wars, leading to the final arc which would include a war. According to Kishimoto, Naruto and his group were weak as children in the first part and he wanted to make them stronger in the second part. This is the reason he introduced the Akatsuki and in turn Madara as their enemies.[2] In an interview, Kishimoto asserted that making the villains "flamboyant" was one of the "guiding principles" he followed. It was his desire, to create villains with "powerful aura".[3] Madara appears late in the manga, as one of the masterminds leading to the fourth shinobi world war, in the final arc.[4] Nevertheless, he wanted to make him an engaging antagonist who would clash with Sasuke Uchiha and the creature known as the Ten-Tailed Beast to give the storyline a proper conclusion.[5]

According to Kishimoto, Madara is not just like any other character introduced in the series. He created Madara as a character with no weaknesses.[4] As one of the antagonists in the story, Kishimoto designed Madara as the antithesis to the protagonists' values, a perfect anti-hero.[6] Kishimoto also said Naruto always defeated his enemies without intending to kill them by settling disputes with words since his battle with Nagato. Naruto, truly forgave his enemy, instead of having the protagonist kill them, which Kishimoto liked but no shonen manga truly followed.[2] Kishimoto found the idea of the two characters interacting and settling their differences more interesting and challenging, rather than killing them. So from the Nagato battle onwards, he decided to introduce the resurrected Madara to have someone to beat. According to Kishimoto, this was one of the reasons why he introduced Edo-Madara into the storyline. But he confessed this was complicated at first. It ended up with confusion about the difference between the two characters.[2]

Japanese voice actor Naoya Uchida enjoyed voicing Madara's character, most notably in his final recording where he sent regards to fellow actor Kazuhiko Inoue (Kakashi Hatake) and Wataru Takagi (Obito Uchiha.[7] Neil Kaplan first voiced Madara in the video game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. Because CyberConnect2's fighting game's storyline preceded the television series' plot, he was asked by their staff to read the series' manga to get an idea of the character. Kaplan said this made it difficult for him to voice Madara for the first time.[8]

AppearancesEdit

Madara is mentioned in the second part of the manga Naruto but does not appear in most of the series except the war arc. During his childhood,[9] he met a child named Hashirama, but amidst the conflicts of their respective clans resulting in war, their friendship ends. After failing at several attempts to kill or defeat his rival, Madara became friends with him and accepted his treaty offering peace between the two clans. The Uchiha, Senju and all of their affiliated clans came together to form a village, which Madara named Konohagakure.[10] Madara took a merciless approach and did not like Hashirama's compassionate methods.[11] After the death of his brother, Izuna, Madara became cynical and vengeful and held a grudge against the Senju Clan for slaughtering his brothers in the War.[12] After his defection from Konoha, he believed there is no real peace. Losing all of his family and conflicted over his own clanmates, he decided to free the world from its pains,[13] by casting Infinite Tsukiyomi (無限月読­, Mugen Tsukuyomi) upon the whole world so that there would be no war and no death.[14] Madara is believed to have been killed by Hashirama's hand, but he survives and goes into hiding. He awakens the legendary Eye Technique Rinnegan[15] using Hashirama's DNA. Before dying, Madara takes Obito as his agent and transplants his Rinnegan into Nagato to be preserved for his eventual revival years later.[16] He also transplanted his Rinnegan into Nagato to preserve it until his eventual return. After Madara's death, his greatest lasting influence was on Obito, one of his descendants, who used Madara's knowledge to create Akatsuki. When Obito moves into the final stages of Madara's goal by initiating the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kabuto Yakushi forms an alliance with him, eventually reviving Madara's reanimated corpse.[17][18]

By nightfall, Madara releases himself from Kabuto's contract and rebounds his soul to the modified immortal body enabling him to act on his own will. Madara decides to reclaim the Nine-Tails creature sealed within Naruto and defeats the Kages, only to reunite with Obito while he is engaged in combat with the shinobis. Madara fully resurrects himself by sacrificing defeated the Obito, ordering Black Zetsu to take control over Obito's body and perform the Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique.[19] Restored to life, Madara unlocks his full potential and manages to break free of his restraints. Defeating his enemies, Madara goes after the Tailed beasts to revive Ten-Tails. Madara is then confronted by Might Guy, Minato Namikaze, Gaara and Rock Lee who each use all of their forces to kill him but fail. Before killing most of his enemies, Madara is confronted by the healed Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha who overwhelm him. Madara is forced to escape and regain Obito's Rinnegan. Upon returning to the field, Madara succeeds in casting the Infinite Tsukuyomi. The entire world becomes trapped in the dream. Sasuke manages to save Naruto, Kakashi, and Sakura from this Illusionary Technique, only to witness Black Zetsu stabbing Madara in the back, gaining control over his body. Black Zetsu reveals that it was never Madara's will but Kaguya's[20] and forces Madara to start absorbing the chakra of those trapped in the Infinite Tsukuyomi. Madara swelled in size, absorbing all the available Chakra, and shrank again only to reveal that Kaguya has taken his place. Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi manage to seal Kaguya, who reverts into ten tails before being sealed spitting out Madara. Eventually, Madara dies because of the toll of both the tailed beasts and Demonic Statue removed from his body.[21] In his final moments, Madara finds real peace within the dreams of Hashirama, stating that his dream for peace has died while Hashirama's dream for peace lives on and will always keep living on as it is the better of the two. Before dying, he acknowledges the friendship of Hashirama and agrees with him when he said, that they are still friends despite everything.[21]

In other mediaEdit

Madara appears in the original video animation Hashirama Senju vs. Madara Uchiha (2012); Obito narrates the origin of Konoha. In the beginning, ninja fought for their own clans. The most powerful among them are two clans: the Senju led by Hashirama, and the Uchiha led by Madara. This was distributed as part of the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations video game for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.[22] Although Obito impersonates Madara, the character made his debut in a video game in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3.[23] His Ten-Tailed Beast Host incarnation also appears in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4.[24] In The Last: Naruto the Movie (2014), Madara appears for a brief moment to be seen fighting with Hashirama They are depicted as the reincarnation of Indra and Ashura, which gradually leads to the final battle between Sasuke and Naruto. Madara also appears in the iOS and Android mobile game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing.[25] Apart from the Naruto games, the character also appears in the crossover fighting games J-Stars Victory VS and Jump Force as downloadable content.[26][27]

Several merchandise items based on Madara have been released, including key chains,[28] action figures,[29] and many more items.[30]

ReceptionEdit

Madara has been a popular character from the Naruto series. He is featured in most of the powerful anime character lists from different anime reviewers. Comic Book Resources listed him third on their list of "25 Most Powerful Anime Villains", praising his strength.[31] Comic Book Resources also featured him on their list of "10 Anime Characters Who Got Stronger After Coming Back From The Dead" and gave him the ninth spot.[32] Comic Vine rated him 34th on their the "Top 100 Anime Villains" list.[33] TheGamer, a news website focused on video game journalism, however, ranks him at fifth on their list titled "Final Form: The 25 Strongest Anime Villains Ever, Officially Ranked".[34] Madara is also sixth on Screen Rant's list titled "20 Most Powerful Naruto Characters, Ranked"; author Bobby Anhalt writes that, "Madara Uchiha is a force to be taken seriously." [35] UK Anime Network felt Madara's introduction was one of the franchise's strongest developments not only for the direction he took fight scenes but because of his affect on the main storyline.[36] His next battle against the five Kages, the leaders of each ninja village, also earned acclaim for its execution, making the final story arc more appealing. UK Anime's reviewer also liked Naruto's fight against Obito which began in the same narrative.[37] The Fandom Post praised this fight, noted how each Kage tries to defeat Madara on their own, but he is overwhelming does not care about his rivals.[38] Siliconera enjoyed Madara's moves from the video game Storm 4 based on the his Susanoo technique which was appealing to see in combat.[39] Anime News Network author Amy McNulty, in her review of episode 392 from the anime, writes that Madara has been built up as the ultimate villain for Naruto, and he is living up to that promise.[40] Jason Thompson, also writing for Anime News Network criticized the character calling Madara a "jerk"; but he liked his perfect Sussano'o, which to him looks cooler than the others and is much more powerful.[41]

Madara's origins received a good response. Screen Rant, in their article "15 Things You Didn't Know About Madara", pointed out that the power that Madara sought eventually took over his innocence that was once a part of him. They also praised some of his good qualities including his ideas about gender, money, and power. While describing his love for his brother Izuna, they compared it with Itachi's for Sasuke. According to Screen Rant, Madara is "one of the best evil characters in the series".[42] When first seeing Madara's past, The Fandom Post enjoyed the chaos between the Uchiha and Senju clans. Despite fighting through wars, Madara still showed humanity to the point the reviewer hoped for a spin-off based on the war.[43] In its next review, The Fandom Post enjoyed how his relationship with Hashirama was handled. When Hashirama tried offering him peace it gave the series more of a back story as it focused on the characters' past and the founding of the Hidden Leaf village.[44] Another reviewer from the same site noted that these backstories also helped fans understand the chaos that occurred within the Uchiha clan, which was previously explored in the stories of Sasuke and Itachi. Sasuke needed to resolve whether or not to team up with Madara and destroy the ninja world, leading to his decision to stick with Itachi's ideals instead.[45]

Some critics disliked the handling of the character. In an article from Screen Rant, titled "15 Things Wrong With Naruto We All Choose To Ignore", author Daniel Forster criticized Black Zetsu's betrayal to Madara saying he found Kaguya a poor substitute for Madara who was noted for coming across as a well-developed antagonist.[46] Anime News Network's Amy McNulty, however, thinks this is not that annoying, but she is unsure if it's a smart move to stab Madara, a genius, using Zetsu whom he believed was "his will incarnate".[47] Comic Book Resources author Renaldo Matadeen criticized the handling of Madara as a villain despite appearing late in the story, and found his characterization weak.[48] While agreeing that Kaguya should not have replaced Madara as the final villain for the Shinobi War, Anime UK News felt that Kaguya was more fleshed out in the anime adaptation making her unique in terms of origins compared with Madara's past. Her descendants had a closer relationship with the protagonists, Naruto and Sasuke.[49]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

  Media related to Madara Uchiha at Wikimedia Commons