Sharingan is one of the three dōjutsu in Naruto series. It is the dōjutsu kekkei genkai of the Uchiha clan. The literal meaning of the Sharingan eyes is “Copy Wheel Eyes” or “Mirror Wheel Eye“. A user who possesses Sharingan has different abilities. The most fundamental ability is to copy other’s techniques by sight.
How does Sharingan awaken?
The members of the Uchiha clan can awaken the Sharingan only through a powerful emotional event. When such a tragic event happens, the brain releases a special form of chakra. This chakra affects the optic nerve and then a base version of Sharingan gets awakened. Because of this reason, a Sharingan eye is known as the eye that reflects the heart. In the anime, Sasuke uses his Sharingan in battle with Haku but this was not the first time he awakened his Sharingan. In reality, he awoke his Sharingan when he found out that his brother Itachi massacred his whole clan, including his parents.
If Sharingan is awakened by a negative emotional trauma (eg. from someone’s loss), then the user is compelled to become more hateful. That is why, it is also known as Uchiha’s Curse of Hatred. A positive emotion (eg. desire to protect someone) can also awaken the Sharingan.
A user should have sufficient chakra control to use the Sharingan. Until fully awakened, the user’s eyesight can be temporarily blurred. By carefully allocating chakra to the Sharingan, the user can freely use it.
Sharingan usually has one Tomoe when first awakened. Tomoes are tiny pellets in the Sharingan eyes. The Sharingan acquires a new Tomoe each time the user experiences a strong emotional trauma. As the number of Tomoes increases, skills develop more and the Sharingan grows stronger and stronger. A fully matured Sharingan has three Tomoes. In some cases, the user awakens two or three Tomoes Sharingan immediately. Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki awakened his Sharingan with all the three Tomoes immediately. The eyes can evolve into Mangekyou Sharingan after having three Tomoes.
Once the Sharingan is awakened, it remains forever even if its user dies. The Sharingan can also be transplanted into a non Uchiha like in the case of Kakashi and Obito. However, the non Uchiha user is unable to deactivate the Sharingan and requires more chakra to control than a Uchiha. That is why, Kakashi covers his Sharingan when he is not using it, in order to conserve his chakra. The Sharingan is linked to the Uchiha to some extent even after being implanted to other user. Hence, sometimes both the users are able to see the same things.
Sharingan grants various powerful abilities to the user. These abilities are classified into two categories; The Eye of Insight and The Eye of Hypnotism.
The Eye of Insight
This ability allows the user to see chakra. The users can also visualise the chakra through some obstacles, though not as perfectly as Byakugan. This ability also provides the user an awesome insight. They are able to see minute details. Sasuke is even able to see on a cellular level. In a fight, a user can detect fast movements and can even predict an opponent’s next move from their slightest muscle tension and can act accordingly to dodge or attack.
Since the users can see even minute details, by memorizing the ninjutsu, genjutsu and taijutsu they see, they are able to copy any jutsu. Then they can also modify and develop the jutsu as per needed.
The Eye of Hypnotism
This ability enables the user to perform Genjutsu. The user can control the thoughts and actions of a target through eye contact. The Uchiha can use this ability on the tailed beasts and can even control the beast’s chakra. It can used on multiple targets at once. However, it will be easier for the targets to escape out from the genjutsu if the user’s attention is divided.
Because of this ability, the users are said to be able to see the future. However, they cannot really see the future, they do this to confuse or delay the opponents. At first, the user perfectly copies the opponent’s movements and also their thoughts and words. Then, the user controls the opponent to do an action they both know. This way the user can complete the action even before the opponent does.
Types of Sharingan
There are various different types of Sharingan eyes. Each of them have their own unique abilities. The types are listed below:
1. Tomoe Sharingan
1, 2 and 3-Tomoe Sharingan is the standard Sharingan of the Uchiha clan. The number of Tomoe (tiny pellets in the eye) represents the power levels. Each time the user undergo an emotional trauma, an additional Tomoe is added and the Sharingan becomes more powerful.
1 Tomoe Sharingan: It allows the user to analyse the opponent’s movements and to copy their jutsu. However, the ability is weak and genjutsu with one Tomoe Sharingan is not very strong (except Sarada Uchiha, who created a strong genjutsu with only one Tomoe).
2 Tomoe Sharingan: It enhances the abilities of one Tomoe and enables the user to copy ninjutsu and taijutsu. The users can read the flow of opponent’s chakra and can also perform some small strong genjutsu.
3 Tomoe Sharingan: This is the fully mastered version of the base Sharingan. The user can perform very powerful genjutsu and can copy jutsu with high perception. The user can also see the flow of chakra to a greater extent. Three Tomoe Sharingan is the final standard version of Sharingan after which it evolves into Mangekyou Sharingan.
2. Mangekyou Sharingan
Mangekyou Sharingan is an advanced form of Sharingan and is one of the strongest eyes in Naruto series. Sharingan eyes evolve into Mangekyou when the user experiences the trauma of loss of a loved one.
Mangekyou Sharingan strengthens all the abilities of a normal Sharingan and also grants some unique powerful abilities to each user. The abilities include Tsukuyomi (by Itachi Uchiha), Amaterasu (by Itachi Uchiha and Sasuke Uchiha), Susanoo (by Itachi Uchiha, Sasuke Uchiha and Madara Uchiha), Izanagi (by Sasuke Uchiha and Obito Uchiha), Izanami (by Itachi Uchiha), Kotoamatsukami (by Shisui Uchiha, Itachi Uchiha and Danzo Shimura) and Kamui (by Obito Uchiha and Kakashi Hatake).
Although Mangekyou Sharingan provides such powerful abilities, it has a major drawback as it causes blindness over time.
3. Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan
Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan is an evolved version of Mangekyou Sharingan and final dōjutsu of the Uchiha clan. As we know that the Mangekyou Sharingan has negative impact on the user’s eyesight, so the vision is restored by transplanting another pair of Sharingan eyes from a close relative, ideally a sibling. By doing so, Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan is awakened.
Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan enhances every ability of Mangekyou Sharingan (like a perfect Susanoo and more enhanced genjutsu) and it does not have any side effects to the eyes of the users. Until now, only Sasuke Uchiha and Madara Uchiha are shown to have the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan.
Also See: Madara’s Speech “Wake Up To Reality!“
4. Rinne Sharingan
The literal meaning of Rinne Sharingan is “Samsāra Copy Wheel Eye“. It is the combination of Sharingan and Rinnegan and is said to be the most powerful eye in the Naruto series.
Rinne Sharingan first appeared on the forehead of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki as a third eye, after eating the chakra fruit from the god tree. This eye had nine Tomoe (like Sharingan) and circular patterns around the eyeball (like Rinnegan).
This dōjutsu can be used to cast Infinite Tsukuyomi, a very powerful genjutsu that grants the infinite dream world. Madara Uchiha was also able yo acquire this dōjutsu after regaining his Rinnegan.
Rinne Sharingan has all the ocular abilities of the Sharingan and can be used to perform very powerful space time ninjutsu which enabled Kaguya Ōtsutsuki to transport and navigate herself across different dimensions.
Can Sharingan turn into Rinnegan?
By using Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki’s chakra, the Sharingan eyes can also become Rinnegan. When Sasuke obtained half of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki’s chakra, his left eye became a Rinnegan. Also, when Madara Uchiha combined Hashirama Senju’s DNA in his body, his Sharingan turned into Rinnegan. It is because Asura’s and Indra’s chakra got mixed up which brought Hagoromo’s chakra.
References: NARUTOPEDIA, Byliner