Naruto Fans Won't Even Recognize Itachi's Original Design

Like many manga and anime series, Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto started out looking much differently than when it finally released in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump. Characters often change from their first design concept to the final design, but some of these changes are so drastic that they are completely unrecognizable to the character fans know today

One big example of this is the fan-favorite Itachi Uchiha, and he almost looked radically different from his final design in the series. It's like a completely different character altogether. Check it out below!

Friendly reminder that this was Kishimoto's original concept art for Itachi from r/Naruto

As you can see in the image above, this first concept is a complete shift from the Itachi fans see in the series. Not only does he not share the same resemblance to his brother Sasuke as he did in the official series, this concept seems to imply a dissimilar personality from what we eventually get. The changes here include a bandana, gloves, and a relaxed shirt wrapped around his waist. Though there are some similarities to the final design.

The main similarity is the deeper cut of his eyes, as Itachi has the same deeper indent around his eyes in the final series. Though fans think this concept eventually made its way to the series in spirit as they think it resembles Iwabe, one of the newer characters introduced in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Iwabe has the same kind of bandana look (though Iwabe's is a full hat), and he was introduced with a mischievous personality.

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With such a drastically different look for Itachi, it does beg the question if he still would have been Sasuke's older brother. This is an edgier look for the character, so it probably would have been much harder for fans to accept the reveal later in the series that Itachi was on Sasuke's side all along.

Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, Naruto follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The series ran for 700 chapters overall, and was adapted into an anime series by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex that ran from 2002 to 2017. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations which is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.