From the very beginning of Naruto, Sasuke Uchiha has always had a unique and close relationship to eye powers.
Ever since he awakens his Sharingan in defense of his friend and teammate Naruto, Sasuke has increased his powers and pushed the limit of what eye powers mean to the series.
We watch as Sasuke transitions from normal eyes, to the Sharingan, to the Mangkeyo Sharingan, to the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan – the most perfect version of the Uchiha bloodline powers.
So then, it’s fitting to imagine that he might one day get one of the most powerful eye powers – the Rinnegan. It takes a long time for Sasuke to get this unique and devastating eye power, but once he does in the later parts of the series it is clear that he was always meant to have it.
Sasuke has the Rinnegan perhaps longer than any other character in the series, and with it is able to learn much about its powers and push it to its absolute limits.
We know that Naruto can be a hard universe to keep up with – there are so many different powers and characters that interact with each other in interesting ways.
So if you find yourself wanting to know more about the Rinnegan, but not having the time to watch every episode – then this article is for you!
We’ve created a comprehensive guide to Sasuke’s Rinnegan, including its history, abilities, power level, and limitations. We’ve also included a short FAQ section at the end of the article to explain some of the more technical terms we use.
The History of The Rinnegan
The Rinnegan, which means ‘Samsara Eye’ in Japanese, is probably the strongest eye-power in all of the Naruto Universe. You can recognize the Rinnegan with its purple base color and black spiral pattern which looks like an optical illusion.
It is by far one of the most unique-looking eye powers in the series and is known as one of three of the ‘great Dojutsu.’ Dojutsu here means inherited eye powers.
Historically, the Rinnegan has been known only in mystery and legend. It was known to be the eye Jutsu of the Sage of the Sixth Paths (a legendary, prophetic character in Naruto lore), and because of this many began to doubt its existence in the modern age.
In its most basic history, the Rinnegan is a mutation passed down from Kaguya Otsutsuki. It would take a lot to go into the history of Kaguya and the Otsutsuki clan, but the important thing to know is that they are the clan responsible for the birth of ninjutsu.
Kaguya’s powers passed down to Hagoromo who awakened not only the Rinnegan but also the Mangekyo Sharingan.
Because the Sage of the Sixth Paths lived so long ago and his bloodline powers were so rare, the existence of such devastating power became a thing of myth and legend.
It isn’t until the reader gets to the later parts of Naruto: Shippuden, that they begin to see the Rinnegan come back into full view.
When Does the Rinnegan First Appear?
We first see the Rinnegan with the introduction of the character of Pain. Pain is first thought to be the leader of the Akatsuki, the villainous organization that looks to collect each of the tailed beasts in order to use them to hold the world hostage and stop all war.
We later learn that Pain is actually a man by the name of Nagato – who from a young age possessed the Rinnegan.
Soon enough Nagato becomes a war-orphan, though despite his terrible circumstances he possesses great power. He is eventually taught by Jairiya the Toad Sage, who believes him to be the child of prophecy.
Through the mid-point of Naruto: Shippuden, we begin to learn more about the Rinnegan and the extent of its power. Jiraiya tells us that it allows the user to master any technique regardless of elemental attunement.
Nagato (or Pain as he is known through much of the story), is seemingly unstoppable with this Dojutsu, and it takes the heroes of the story a long time to work out how they can beat him. From this point onwards in the story, it becomes clear to the reader that the Rinnegan is one of the most desirable powers in all of Naruto.
This sense is later confirmed when Obito Uchiha eventually gets ahold of a Rinnegan and uses it to declare war on the entirety of the Ninja world. With power scaling getting out of hand, it would make sense that one of the protagonists would eventually obtain the Rinnegan.
Although there was some speculation between fans that Naruto would one day obtain it, eventually we learned that it was Sasuke Uchiha who gets to add the legendary eye power to his arsenal.
How Was Sasuke Able To Awaken The Rinnegan?
Sasuke doesn’t get the Rinnegan until very late into the story of Naruto: Shippuden – right at the climax where he and Naruto are locked in a deadly battle with Madara Uchiha. The two best friends and comrades eventually come face to face with the spirit of Hagoromo Otsutsuki. It is here they are given insane power-ups to help them in the battles to come.
They are each respectively given pieces of his chakra, half each. With this power, Sasuke is able to awaken the Rinnegan in his left eye, which is slightly different from other Rinnegan we’ve seen in the past. It came with a total of three tomoe, making it a more powerful version of the eye power – combining it with Sasuke’s Eternal Mangkeyo Sharingan.
This power up is the precursor to one of the coolest shots in the entire series – when Naruto and Sasuke come back from the dead with new powers, ready to defeat Madara. With Sasuke’s Rinnegan, they can detect Madara in the other dimension, which is vital to eventually defeating him.
Abilities and Powers
As one of the most impressive powers in all of Naruto, we thought that we would break down each individual power that the Rinnegan gives to a Ninja. Some of these differ between users, so we’re going to mostly be focusing on Sasuke, especially in relation to the powers he masters later down the timeline, as a supporting character in Boruto: The Next Generations.
Base Power – The Rinnegan first off gives the user an immense boost in chakra. Even one Rinnegan like Sasuke has, is enough to completely change his power level. It is safe to say that if a ninja possesses even one Rinnegan, they become among some of the most powerful ninjas in the entire Naruto Universe.
Like the Sharingan and Byakugan, it gives the user the power of being able to see the flow of Chakra both within and outside of an opponent’s body, as well as the flow of chakra in external Jutsu. Its ocular powers exceed the Sharingan and Byakugan in some ways, as it is able to decipher the complex encryptions of the Sage of Six Path’s legendary stone tablet.
Six Path Techniques – This is the next part of the Rinnegan that is important to discuss. Although these are seen firstly by Nagato when he attacks the Hidden Leaf Village, it becomes clear that Sasuke can also use them. Here are the Six Paths Techniques in detail:
- Outer Path – the Gedo path allows the user to reincarnate and control life and death.
- Nakara Path – allows the user to summon a dangerous being called the King of Hell.
- Preta Path – in which the user can absorb chakra.
- Animal Path – this gives the Rinnegan user a wide variety of different animal summons.
- Human Path – telekinetic abilities including mind-reading.
- Asura Path – this gives the user the ability to create mechanical body parts and weapons.
- Deva Path – probably the most powerful path, which allows the user to manipulate push and pull forces.
We see Nagato split all of these powers up into different re-animated bodies. This meant that Nagato was able to be in several places at once, as well as to fight with multiple bodies within a battle. Although Sasuke does not split himself up into different bodies like this, his singular Rinnegan has shown evidence of being able to use many of these powers.
Limbo – this is a more niche ability that we only see used by Madara Uchiha in the final battle between him, Naruto, and Sasuke. Limbo is a tangent realm that is almost impossible for others to perceive. Madara stores shadow projects of himself here which makes him almost immortal.
It’s worth noting here that this is something Madara can do with two Rinnegan and is only countered because Sasuke has a Rinnegan himself – this is a great example of power scaling. It’s safe to say that if other lesser-powered Hidden Leaf Ninjas went up against Madara they would surely be stumped and lose to this Jutsu. So far we haven’t seen Sasuke use his own Rinnegan to create this Jutsu, but it’s possible he is able to do it.
Time-space Ninjutsu – this is another extremely powerful aspect of the Rinnegan. With Sasuke Uchiha in particular, we see that he can manipulate time and space with his Rinnegan. Sasuke can practically teleport, as well as create portals that will send him to different dimensions. ‘
We see this used by him a lot in Boruto, where dimensions and out-of-world experiences are more common because of the involvement of the Otsukuski Clan, who freely walk the dimensions.
The Appearance of Different Rinnegan
Let’s explore some of the different Rinnegan we see throughout the series.
Default Rinnegan – this is the Rinnegan possessed by Nagato and it simply has a purple background, as well as a black spiral pattern that ends with a singular dot in the middle.
Blue Rinnegan – Urashiki has a blue Rinnegan, which looks exactly like Nagato’s except its base color.
Sasuke’s Rinnegan – Sasuke’s Rinnegan is almost exactly the same as Nagato’s, except it has the addition of six different tomoe, the same kind you might find in a Sharingan. It makes sense here as his Rinnegan merges with his Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan.
Red Rinnegan – Momoshiki Otsutski, included as a villain in the early arks of Boruto, has two Rinnegan on his palms – they are red in color and specialize in absorbing Jutsu and firing it back out.
How Powerful Does The Rinnegan Make Sasuke?
This is something that fans like to debate, but one thing that is for sure is that the Rinnegan makes Sasuke even more powerful than he was before. Before, Sasuke obtained the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan through the transplantation of his brother Itachi’s eyes – which makes him extremely powerful.
The Rinnegan mixed with this means that he has access to almost all Jutsu in existence, as well as several exclusive Jutsu as well as dominion over space-time.
Of course, this kind of power-level makes sense at the end of the story, but since Naruto: Shippuden, we now have Boruto: The Next Generations, and see how the power-scaling has increased, with many members of the Otsukuski Clan having Rinnegan, or powers that directly counter it.
For example, in the legendary battle between Naruto, Sasuke, and Momoshiki, we see levels of power that we had not previously – with multiple Rinnegan and earth-shattering Jutsu.
Sasuke having the Rinnegan has also massively influenced the inclusion of new powers in Boruto, including Karma – which is something the younger characters are getting as a way to surpass the older generation. It could also be said that Boruto’s mysterious Jogan is an eye power created to surpass the god-like Rinnegan.
Does Sasuke Lose his Rinnegan?
In recent chapters/episodes of Boruto, it seems that the writing team wanted to level the playing field a little. A possessed Boruto – because of the Karma seal placed on him by Momoshiki – jumps and stabs Sasuke in the eye, destroying his Rinnegan.
This is an important event in the events of Boruto as it means that suddenly Sasuke is not as powerful as he once was.
This means that there is less protection from the most dangerous villains in the series such as the Otsukuski clan, and the new generation will be forced to become more powerful in order to save themselves.
We hope that this article has told you everything you need to know about Sasuke Uchiha’s eye power – the Rinnegan. Sasuke awakening the Rinnegan in the climax of Naruto: Shippuden is one of the coolest moments in the story, and one that a lot of fans suspected was coming long before it did.
The Rinnegan remains one of the most over-powered and coolest powers in all of the Naruto Universe and has pushed the limits of what fans once believed was possible with power levels in Naruto.
If there are more powerful Dojutsu out there is yet to be seen, but we can expect to see more eye powers as Boruto progresses, as well as other eye powers such as the Jogan that could potentially one day rival it.
The one thing we know for certain is that it is unlikely Sasuke will be getting his Rinnegan back and that he is nowhere near as powerful as he once was. Let’s hope that another character gets a Rinnegan soon, so we can see it in action once again!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a short FAQ section to define some of the more complex Naruto terms used in the article above.
What Is Dojutsu?
Dojutsu can be translated to ‘eye techniques’ and it is just the word meaning various eye-powers within the Naruto Universe. The most famous Dojutsu are the Rinnegan, Byakugan, and the Sharingan. At the beginning of the series we mostly see the Byakugan (because of the Hyuga Clan) and the Sharingan (because of the Uchiha).
Who Are The Akatsuki?
The Akatsuki are the primary antagonists of Naruto: Shippuden. They are an organization of missing ninja, recognizable with their dark cloaks that have red clouds painted on them, as well as their village headbands that have a slash through them.
There have been many members of the Akatsuki throughout time, but the most commonly known are: Pain, Konan, Itachi Uchiha, Kisame, Diedara, Hidan, Kakuzu, Orochimaru, Sasori, and Tobi.
What Is Jutsu?
Jutsu is similar to western ideas of magic. It allows the ninja to use many different flashy techniques that can manipulate the elements, the world around them, their own bodies, as well as the minds of others.
Most Jutsu are performed with hand signs, though these can be ignored if the ninja is powerful enough. Jutsu comes from chakra, a magic source within all ninjas that they can tap into and unleash.
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