Why Kakashi Hatake always wore a mask in the Naruto anime

Naruto is full of things that make it a unique anime series, among them we can highlight its amazing characters, so today we will delve into one of the aspects of Kakashi Hatake’s character. Possibly the most peculiar aspect of his is the facial mask.

Something that we find quite curious is that, unlike all the other main characters in Naruto, Hatake Kakashi’s face is covered from nose to chin by a tight-fitting cloth that he rarely takes off. In fact, Kakashi unmasks himself so infrequently that his own students – Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke – have never been able to see his face.

Even entire (filler) episodes of both Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden are dedicated to the three of them trying to get to know Kakashi’s face at any cost. Undoubtedly, such a significant detail must serve an important function for the mission of Kakashi’s character or the narrative structure of Naruto as a series.

It is possible that Kakashi is hiding some terrible deformity, or perhaps an unfortunate resemblance to some villain. However, based on Ayame’s reaction in episode 101, “I have to see! I have to know! Kakashi-Sensei’s true face”, it doesn’t seem to be about it.

We must mention that, in an interview, the creator of the series, Kishimoto Masashi, explained that he initially designed Hatake Kakashi with a face mask because it seemed consistent with the secrecy and mystery inherent in being a shinobi. Additionally, Kishimoto hoped to introduce more masked characters.

Unfortunately, conveying Kakashi’s emotions proved quite difficult, to the point that Kishimoto decided to do without masks for the rest of the main characters. It is undeniable that it would be interesting to see the first concept images of the masked versions of the main characters that Masashi mentioned.

However, the emotional depth and complexity of Naruto’s main characters is part of what sets the title apart from its three great contemporaries. Hiding that complexity behind masks would have greatly softened the emotional aspect of the overall narrative, which would even have detracted from the Naruto series.