Iruka's parents were killed in the Nine-Tails' Attack on Konoha twelve years before the beginning of the series. Initially, a young Iruka was present on the battlefield, and wanted to stay in order to protect his mother. His father declared that it was the parents' duty to keep their child safe from harm. He was forcibly removed from the battlefield by an unknown shinobi while he called out for his parent to no avail.
With his family gone, Iruka had no one to give him attention. Iruka thereafter became a prankster, trying to gain attention to stave off his loneliness. He would spend his time at the monument where his parents' names were engraved, and, in his darkest moments would be cheered up by the Third Hokage. Mizuki was a childhood friend of Iruka's after the Nine-Tails Attack, and usually made him feel better. In the anime, it was noted that due to other people giving Iruka more attention than they do to Mizuki, Mizuki's kindness to Iruka revealed to be an act just to gain the Hokage's approval, all the while making Iruka miserable discreetly.
In the anime, it was revealed that Iruka became a teacher because he wanted to pass on the Will of Fire to the next generation in this manner, inspired by the Third Hokage's wisdom. When Naruto became his student, he found it awkward to deal with the person containing the very monster responsible for his parents' death. He tried to ask the Third Hokage if he could not teach Naruto, though he was eventually disabused by the notion by Kakashi Hatake. Later, Naruto went into the woods to steal items from corpses. Iruka chased him down and protected him from Takigakure spies who were attacking Naruto, eventually backed up by Kakashi. After saving Naruto and bringing back the document attached to the artefact the latter retrieved, he reprimanded Naruto for such a reckless behaviour. This would surprise Naruto as this was the first time anyone in the village showed they actually cared for his well-being. He also thanked the Third for assigning Naruto to him. He thus resolved to be straight forward and deal with Naruto strictly in class from then on, in order to train him to become a fine shinobi. As a result, Iruka became the main reason Naruto did not become a sociopath like Gaara did.
Iruka is described as being both big-hearted, and soft-hearted. This is most often seen through his teaching methods, often giving a watchful eye over his students as they progress. This however, does not mean that he is a pushover, as he can be stern when the situation calls for it most often seen when he shouts at his students in order to get them to obey him. Despite the tragedy of losing his parents at a young age, Iruka remained a determined and strong-willed individual with a kind disposition. This is seen from his lack of hostility towards Naruto Uzumaki who was often the victim of misplaced anger at the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox who was sealed within Naruto. Because of this, Iruka came to be the only person Naruto respected in his youth as well as the only person who could control Naruto's behaviour to some degree. Naruto ignored all chūnin and jōnin who reprimanded him for painting all over the Hokage's faces and only showed fear when Iruka showed up.
As a child growing up without his parents, Iruka turned to performing antics in the Academy in order to gain recognition from others who would otherwise pass him over or look at him with pity for being an orphan. This allowed him to also see some of these signs and understand what they meant when displayed by Naruto. Due to Iruka's more nurturing, protective and compassionate nature, Naruto views him as a mentor and Iruka in turn, views Naruto as a younger brother. The two enjoy their favourite ramen dish at Ramen Ichiraku whenever Naruto returns from a mission, where Iruka gets an opportunity to see how Naruto is developing as a ninja. Iruka's refusal to allow Naruto to graduate at first was not out of spite, but merely out of caring strictness and a desire for Naruto to work harder and reach his own potential.
He also has a great sense of duty, honour and selflessness as seen when he protected Naruto from Mizuki's attack, suffering a shuriken wound in his back in order to protect him. He greatly admires both the Third Hokage who was there to help him during his troubled period as a child and believes strongly in the Will of Fire of the village. As a result, he regards the children of the village as the backbone of Konoha — even being willing to sacrifice his own life to ensure their safety.
Iruka is a man of average height and build. He has black hair (brown in the anime) that he keeps in a ponytail, dark eyes and a scar that runs across the bridge of his nose — which he has had since his youth. He wears the standard Konoha shinobi outfit complete with forehead protector, sandals, and flak jacket. His sleeves are also rolled up about ¼ way. As a child he wore a simple outfit along with mesh-armour underneath it.
In The Last: Naruto the Movie, two years after the Fourth Great World War, Iruka's overall appearance stayed the same. The only noticeable difference is he wears a an Uzumaki clan logo armband on his left arm with the new standard flak jacket and high-top sandals. Several years afterwards, Iruka has aged further, with slight creases around his mouth. He also abandons his forehead protector and shinobi attire, and instead dons a grey zipped shirt.
As a head instructor of the Academy, Iruka is clearly proficient in all forms of basic ninja skills. He has some ability with Barrier Ninjutsu, as he is seen creating a String Light Formation|barrier in an attempt to restrain Naruto. Iruka is also very perceptive as he can assess situations carefully and quickly while under threat. In terms of nature transformations, he's capable of using Fire and Water Release. He is also capable of utilising Yin Release.
In the anime, Iruka's skills were expanded upon; it was shown that he had some knowledge of genjutsu, as demonstrated when he posed as an enemy Amegakure ninja to test Sakura, and he also saw through the genjutsu cast by Mizuki. During the Mizuki Tracking Mission, Iruka showed some skill in taijutsu as well, by keeping on equal footing with the now-improved Mizuki in his attacks. Iruka was also shown using Sealed Bomb Square Release, which consists of setting an array of exploding tags and, once the target has entered the area, setting the tags to detonate if the target moves. Also, Iruka displayed what seems to be an echolocation ability where he can get a sonar image of his surrounding area, perhaps playing on the meaning of his name, "dolphin".
Prologue — Land of Waves
When Naruto managed to evade other ninja after desecrating the Hokage Rock with graffiti, Iruka captured his student and berated him for not focusing on the upcoming graduating exams. While Naruto was supposed to transform into Iruka, he instead turned into a naked girl, with Iruka suffering a massive nosebleed before giving Naruto a reprimanding. Iruka then punished Naruto to clean the Hokage Rock, but then invited him to Ramen Ichiraku, where he learned of Naruto's desire to be Hokage.
Next day, when Naruto failed to conjure at least one clone, Iruka failed him, despite Mizuki's false sympathetic reconsideration. When Mizuki tricked Naruto into stealing the Scroll of Seals, Iruka tracked down Naruto before being hit by a barrage of kunai and realising that the boy was set up. Iruka then protected Naruto from Mizuki's fūma shuriken after Naruto learned that he is the Nine-Tails jinchūriki. Nevertheless, Naruto then ran away despite Iruka's pleas. Intent to protect Naruto regardless of him learning the truth, Iruka insisted that he never hated Naruto and saw him as only a ninja of their village. Witnessing Naruto create a high amount of advanced clones after being spurred by his faith in him, Iruka allowed Naruto to graduate from the Academy, giving him his own forehead protector.
When Team 7 is entered in the Chūnin Exams, Iruka voiced concern and as such, in the anime, he personally tested each member individually to see if they were ready by disguising himself as a Amegakure ninja. Once they passed the exam's second phase, he acted as a messenger that granted them access to the preliminaries.
During the invasion of Konoha, Iruka escorted his students to safety in the shelters behind the Hokage Rock- promising that he and the other instructors would protect them "even at the cost of our lives". He shared ominous looks with Konohamaru when Hiruzen's representation cracked, later comforting Konohamaru during the Third Hokage's funeral.
Search for Tsunade
Iruka met Naruto at their favourite Ramen Ichiraku to listen to Naruto talk about his adventure and later explained to Naruto that they have to do many missions to show other villages that they were still strong, even though their strength had been cut in half.
Mizuki Tracking Mission
In the aftermath of the invasion, Iruka was forced to suspend his teaching duties in order to go on missions and fill the void in personnel. In the anime, he was assisted by Pakkun to find Mizuki and go after Naruto and Tonton. When Iruka caught up, they send Tonton back to the village and Pakkun leads Naruto and Iruka to Shizune. Shizune led them in pursuing Mizuki, when they soon fell into a trap. Iruka then revealed that Shizune is not Shizune but Mizuki himself. While Naruto battles with Fūjin and Raijin, Iruka battles it out with Mizuki. Iruka wanted to bring the "old" Mizuki back, but Mizuki revealed that he was only nice to Iruka because he is the Third Hokage's favourite. Mizuki led Iruka into a building used to test Academy instructors and battled there. After that, Naruto and Pakkun caught up with Iruka and they went to Mizuki's lover, Tsubaki. Tsubaki helped them reach Mizuki but it was too late. Mizuki had drank a formula and became stronger and monstrous. They battled again with Mizuki having the upper edge. Iruka came up with a plan to trap Mizuki, giving Naruto a chance to use Rasengan on Mizuki.
Sunagakure Support Mission
He later found time at the end of Part I to see Naruto off before he left the village to train with Jiraiya.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
Iruka met with Naruto when he returned two and a half years later, and cheered him up after he found out that all of his friends had advanced in rank during his absence.
After Jiraiya was killed, Iruka comforted Naruto, and told him that Master Jiraiya would always be proud of him. He went on to inform Naruto of how Jiraiya had always bragged about him, and had mentioned multiple times how he thought of Naruto as a grandson. Iruka also reminded him that he was now the one to carry on Jiraiya's legacy. During the Invasion of Pain on Konoha, Iruka was found by one of Pain's bodies while attending to a wounded ninja. He refused to tell Pain where Naruto was, and was almost killed. Kakashi Hatake intervened, however, allowing Iruka a chance to get the ninja to the hospital and to later join a squad of Konoha ninja to help repel the invasion.
Following Pain's attack, Iruka was last seen apparently injured but alive, having been protected by one of Katsuyu's Slug Great Division. After Pain resurrected everyone he had killed, Iruka was seen standing along with the rest of the villagers. He thought back to the days when Naruto was at the Academy, and compared it to the present while watching Naruto being cheered at by the whole village. After these memories, a proud smile spread across his face.
Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
In the anime, Iruka was later seen meeting with his fellow teachers Suzume and Daikoku Funeno making preparations to salvage items for Academy. He sees the Academy and remembers how he first became Naruto's teacher.
Fourth Shinobi World War Arc: Confrontation
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto and Killer Bee, as the last two jinchūriki, were confined to an island to keep them out of Akatsuki's clutches, (Naruto being unaware of this) and the war. After Naruto began to get suspicious and tried to leave, a handful of shinobi tried to stop and convince him to go back in. Iruka was among them, and he convinced Shibi Aburame to let him talk to Naruto. Iruka attempted to trick Naruto into believing he had a second mission on the island. However, Naruto decided to go outside anyway and used Sage Mode to barge past the guards, in the process losing his forehead protector. Before he could leave, however, he was bound by the Shadow Imitation Technique by a Nara clan member, but not before he sensed the war raging outside.
With Naruto demanding the truth, Iruka revealed that there was a war raging in order to protect him, and tried to persuade him not to intervene and risk capture. When Naruto declared that he would end the war on his own, Iruka said that Naruto was like a little brother to him, and he wouldn't be able to bear it if Naruto was captured. Naruto stated that it was Iruka who first recognised him and gave him his forehead protector, and asked him why he doubted his power now.
Glancing down at Naruto's fallen forehead protector, Iruka decided to return it to him, only to erect a String Light Formation|barrier to trap Naruto. Naruto however enters his Nine-Tails Chakra Mode and easily breaks out of the barrier and resisted all attempts to subdue him, before making his way to the battlefield. On his way, Naruto found a note in his forehead protector, from Iruka, telling him to come back alive. When Killer B arrived, Iruka told him to protect Naruto and they bumped fists. The Eight-Tails told him that he couldn't keep an eye on Naruto but B said no one could, and said to Iruka that he was in Naruto's heart and everything he taught was still inside, even today.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Ultimately, Iruka, along with Shibi, and the rest of the world were freed from the Infinite Tsukuyomi genjutsu by Naruto and Sasuke after they ended the war.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
Iruka appears in this film, set two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War. He was mostly shown in flashbacks via his days at the Academy when asking his students to write down the name of the person who they would want to spend with if the Earth was going to be destroyed. He scolded Naruto for making a paper airplane rather than write down a name while the latter stated it was because he has no friends or family and that the world wasn't ending. Not including flashbacks, he later appeared amongst the villagers evacuating to an underground shelter to take cover during the meteor shower. He is last seen celebrating with everyone when they hear the worldwide announcement about the Moon crisis being averted.
Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding
Shortly after he received his invitation to the wedding, Iruka was approached at the Academy by Naruto, who asked if Iruka would attend as his father. Iruka happily agreed at the time and, as soon as Naruto left, was overwhelmed with emotion, something that now reoccurs every time he sees Naruto listed on the menu at Ichiraku Ramen. Iruka can't help but feel indebted to Naruto, whose presence first in his classroom and now in his life pulled him out of the self-pity he experienced following his parents' deaths and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching; were it not for Naruto, Iruka worries he would have turned out like Mizuki.
Iruka buys a wedding gift before stopping by Ichiraku Ramen, where he smiles at the realisation that he won't get to have dinner with Naruto as often because Hinata will now be cooking for him. When he gets home, he looks at the disarray and disrepair he lives in and resolves to find a life partner just like Naruto has.
Iruka attended Naruto and Hinata Hyuga's wedding, becoming overwhelmed with emotion as soon as he came through the entrance. He congratulates them while being tearfully happy over Naruto becoming a man. He was seen putting a flower on Naruto's suit and was his best man at the wedding.
Years after, Iruka continued to watch Naruto grow, proud of him becoming the Seventh Hokage, but noted that Naruto needed to improve his multi-tasking with his family life. Naruto would later improve on this with his Shadow Clone Jutsu
- Naruto Uzumaki
- Sasuke Uchiha
- Sakura Haruno
- Choji Akimichi
- Shikamaru Nara
- Ino Yamanaka
- Kiba Inuzuka
- Hinata Hyuga
- Shino Aburame
- Konohamaru Sarutobi
Everyone will review the transformation jutsu!
We will now start the final exam. When your name is called proceed to the testing room. The final test will be on the clone jutsu.The other students created at least three effective replications. But Naruto could only create one and look at it.
He teaches traditional Shinobi hand to hand combat. Even the Hokage and those before him participated in such drills and became stronger through sparring. Before you begin you need to make the proper Spar Sign before you begin. According to Iruka it is simple edict. Shinobi hand to hand combat is a traditional drill passed down from generation to generation. Here at the Academy we have respect for such tradition. First you always face and make this one handed sign towards your opponent before starting it represents half of the two hands used to activate a Jutsu and indicates your intention to fight. We all call this the spar sign. When you finish sparring and the bout is concluded you each extend the Unison Sign and lock your fingers around each others. This indicates you recognize each other as Comrades. Thats the edict of Shinobi Hand to Hand Combat.
- Enter: Naruto Uzumaki!
- Unison Sign
- The Sad Sun Shower
- Shino vs. Torune!
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