- Fans finally get a glimpse of Kakashi without his mask, revealing a small mole on his chin.
- The reveal of Kakashi’s face was seen as an anti-climax, but added intrigue to the long-running anime.
- The reason for waiting so long to show Kakashi’s face was to maintain the mystery and not detract from the plot.
Kakashi is one of Naruto’s most iconic characters, but many fans have been left wondering why he wears his iconic mask and what he looks like without it. From his time in the Anbu Black Ops, to leading Team 7, to his reign as the Sixth Hokage, Kakashi is one of the most powerful and important characters in Naruto’s world. However, despite all of his many accomplishments, the mystery of his mask looms large over his legacy.
Early on in the original Naruto series, the members of Team 7 note how they never see their sensei without his trademark mask, and they spend an entire episode trying to catch Kakashi out to see what lies beneath.
Despite going to increasingly desperate measures to spy on Kakashi eating or taking a shower, Team 7 never succeeded in revealing whether he was covering up embarrassingly large lips or buck teeth. The episode might technically be filler, but is commonly regarded as one of Naruto’s best filler episodes before the series turned dark. Still though, it left the question of Kakashi’s mask a complete mystery.
What Kakashi Actually Looks Like Without His Mask in Naruto
Almost 500 episodes later, Shippuden included a flashback to the original Naruto showing Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura making a second attempt to answer their burning question: what does Kakashi look like under his mask? This time, the trio recruits members of other teams to assist, bringing in the likes of Hinata and Shikamaru, as well as a photographer named Sukea, who overheard their plan and offered to help capture the moment of Kakashi’s reveal on film.
After numerous failed attempts to snap their sensei unmasking, Sukea leaves the youngsters for the day and returns to his apartment. Once safely alone, the “photographer” gradually peels back his disguise to reveal he was Kakashi all along, taking advantage of his students’ curiosity to stage an elaborate team-building exercise. As Sukea disappears and Kakashi emerges, viewers finally get a glimpse of Kakashi without his mask for the very first time.
Why Kakashi Without His Mask Was Disappointing
In terms of what Naruto‘s main cast of ninjas had been imagining, the reveal was an anti-climax, as the only feature of interest Kakashi’s mask covered was a tiny mole on his chin. From the audience’s point of view, however, revealing Kakashi’s face was arguably a good use of filler episodes. The conclusion to the Naruto anime was marred by an endless stream of inconsequential non-canon material, and although the Sukea story was another light-hearted, fun adventure, the reveal of Kakashi’s face at least added some intrigue for long-time viewers of the Naruto anime.
Naruto’s New Sequel Has Kakashi Fulfill His Lifelong Dream
The new Naruto sequel, Konoha’s Story, gives Kakashi a chance to pursue his lifelong dream after he steps down from the position of Hokage.
With that said, sometimes there’s no right way to end a long-running TV gag in a way that’ll be satisfying. For example, some might say that the episode deserved a bigger spotlight and that the unmasking of Kakashi should’ve been integrated into a more important storyline. However, others might strongly believe that the reveal shouldn’t have happened at all, maintaining that the mystery of what Kakashi really looked like should’ve been one that Naruto carried to the grave, keeping both Team 7 and the audience tantalizingly in the dark.
Why Naruto Waited So Long To Show Kakashi’s Face Without His Mask
The question “what does Kakashi look like under his mask” was arguably more interesting throughout Naruto than the answer itself. In all likelihood, the reason this reveal was saved until near Naruto‘s ending was that it didn’t have any bearing on the series’ plot and was instead a fun ongoing gag for audiences. If Kakashi without his mask had been revealed earlier on, the mystery would have been spent without adding any new intrigue to the story.
Unfortunately for fans looking forward to a big reveal, Kakashi didn’t really have much to hide underneath his face mask. By waiting almost 500 episodes, Naruto got as much mileage as possible out of the mystery, which is also probably why it was destined to feel like a let-down no matter what happened.
All episodes of Naruto are streaming on Crunchyroll.
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Set two and a half years after the events of Masashi Kishimoto’s original anime, Naruto Shippuden continues the titular hero’s attempts to become the best ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village and bring his former friend Sasuke Uchiha back to the light. The 500-episode series features the return of allies such as Sakura Haruno and Naruto Uzumaki’s mentor Jiraiya, as well as the villainous organization Akatsuki.