|Name:||(うみのイルカ, Umino Iruka)|
|Occupation:||Academy Teacher, Headmaster|
|Relationships:||Umino Ikkaku (father, deceased), Umino Kohari (mother, deceased), Sarutobi Hiruzen (superior, father figure), Uzumaki Naruto (former student, brother/son figure), Hyuuga Hinata (daughter-in-law figure), Uchiha Sasuke (former student), Haruno Sakura (former student), Team 8 (former students), Team 10 (former students)|
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Umino Iruka is a recurring character in the manga Naruto and its various related media.
Despite having minimal appearances and plot importance after the first chapter of the manga and first episode of the anime, Iruka has been well-liked by fans. Out of a large cast of characters—many more prominently and recently featured than Iruka—he consistently ranked within the top five most popular, according nearly every official popularity poll conducted by Weekly Shōnen Jump from 2001 to 2011, with only the exception of the seventh and final 2011 poll, in which he was ranked just narrowly outside of the top 10 out of nearly 90 characters.
Fanon and Tropes Common to Fan Works
Iruka is commonly depicted managing a "Mission Desk" where mission scrolls are distributed and mission reports are submitted, in addition to his duties as an instructor. While the "Mission Desk" has little to no basis in the manga or anime canons (in which the Hokage typically assigns missions personally), it may be derived from the video games in which certain menus and missions may be accessed via interacting with Iruka at his desk.
A somewhat popular trope in fanfic involves giving Iruka special abilities that he hasn't been shown to possess in canon. These abilities range from reasonable skills (an affinity for traps, or a history with intelligence and infiltration) to OTT powers (stories dealing with the latter are sometimes referred to as Super!Iruka). (See the BAMF Umino Iruka tag on AO3.)
KakaIru is the juggernaut ship for Iruka; other romantic ships are exponentially less prominent. However, his canon familial bond with Naruto may enjoy even wider appreciation still, though perhaps not a following as distinct and passionate.
Example Fan Works
Archives and Communities
- Naruto stories and crossovers featuring Iruka U. on FanFiction.Net
- Umino Iruka tag on Archive of Our Own
- Umino Iruka tag on Pixiv
Links and Resources
- Narutopedia. Naruto Character Popularity Polls. (Accessed September 2020.)
- Examples of this trope include Burning Deadfall, Silent Blade, Strangely Together, Uniquely Apart, Training Kakashi, All the Broken Pieces, Water Runs Red, Kitsune no Iruka, and many more.