All the different special eyes in the Naruto series explained

Steven Rondina • September 5, 2022 1:01 pm

The Naruto series has a wide variety of abilities, but those related to characters’ eyes are arguably the most iconic in the series. 

There are a lot of different jutsus in Naruto. Naruto’s shadow clones, Kakashi’s Chidori, and Shikamaru’s shadow possession are synonymous with the characters who use them. But eye abilities are basically synonymous with the series as a whole.

Right alongside iconography like the Naruto headband are the special eyes used by major characters in the series. Though not everyone will know the difference between a Byakugan and a Sharingan, few things from the series are as broadly identifiable. 

What are all the eyes in Naruto?

Though there are a wide variety of bloodline abilities, just a few are related to eyes and all of them have a shared history. Alongside this, all of them have a shared history and often have multiple forms. Here are all of the different eyes in Naruto revealed to this point.

Itachi Uchiha's Mangekyo Sharingan from Naruto
Itachi’s Mangekyo Sharingan

Sharingan

The Sharingan is the first special type of eyes Naruto fans are exposed to, courtesy of Sasuke and Kakashi. It’s a trait passed down within the Uchiha clan, with people from the bloodline awakening the ability during adolescence. It has two core abilities, including the ability to read the movements and chakra of others, and the ability to hypnotize someone through eye contact. These abilities vary from person to person. 

Sharingan transform over time. Those who initially have Sharingan eyes can be transformed into Mangekyo Sharingan after a person who has activated their Sharingan experiences immense grief. Mangekyo Sharingan have a different pattern and boast radically different powers. Their powers can be anything from manipulating time and space to conjuring fire.

Hyuga Neji and his active Byakugan
Neji Hyuga with active Byakugan

Byakugan

The Byakugan eyes are an inherited trait associated with the Hyuga family and are introduced through Neji and Hinata. The Byakugan is distinct from other special eyes in Naruto because they are always visible. While Sasuke is usually seen having normal eyes when his Sharingan isn’t active, most people with the Byakugan are seen walking around with milky or gray irises and an outline of their pupils.

The eyes don’t change appearance when activated. This is instead shown with intense vascularity around the temples and cheeks of the owner. Byakugan eyes have several powers including 360-degree vision, the ability to see through objects, and the ability to distinctly see chakra’s movement and channeling in the human body.

Pain from Naruto
Pain introduced fans to the Rinnegan

Rinnegan

Rinnegan are effectively the strongest unique eye ability in the series. Unlike the red Sharingan and white Byakugan, the Rinnegan is shown in a wide variety of colors. The consistent theme of the Rinnegan is a bullseye or ripple pattern.

The Rinnegan is originally associated with Akatsuki member Pain, but it’s later clarified that Rinnegan are another form of the Sharingan. Owners of Sharingan eyes can transform their eyes into Rinnegan by coming into contact with the chakra of Hagoromo Otsutsuki, the Sage of Six Paths. Users of the Rinnegan have access to the Six Paths techniques, a wide-ranging set of jutsus.

Kaguya Otsutsuki from Naruto
Kaguya Otsutsuki’s third eye is a Rinne Sharingan

Rinne Sharingan

The Rinne Sharingan has the appearance of both the Sharingan and Rinnegan, with the Sharingan’s red color and tomoe with the Rinnegan’s ripple pattern. Kaguya Otsutsuki is the lone user of the Rinne Sharingan to this point, though other characters including Sasuke are shown to have eyes with a similar appearance.

The Rinne Sharingan was introduced to add some world-ending stakes to the final battle of the Naruto manga and Shippuden anime. If an owner of the Rinne Sharingan approaches the moon, they are capable of transforming the moon into an eye that can cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi across the entire world to trap all of humanity in a genjutsu.

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