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Initially they referred to Kakashi's move as Lighting Cutter (Raikiri), but then they stopped calling it that and called it Chidori from then on. Any specific reason for this? Seems really odd to change a move's name after establishing it as something else.

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    My answer is based on why it's changed from chidori -> raikiri rather than raikiri -> chidori unless you can source the instance(s) where they call Kakashi's use of the technique a chidori, other than his early childhood, then I can investigate further. – Daz C Aug 18 '14 at 21:52
  • I think I was referencing more of manga chronology and the Authors decision to rename the move after it was already established as such. I actually read the wiki before posting this but I really don't remember the manga/anime making the distinction and it was something that as always confused me. All I remember was kakashi telling sasuke it's real name is Chidori because of the sound it makes and it only got renamed to Raikiri because he cut lightning with it once. Doesn't really explain why he didnt just call it Chidori when he used it in first arc. Can someone source the material for it? – Quikstryke Aug 19 '14 at 13:41
  • @Quikstryke can you specify where Kakashi called his Raiskiri as Chidori, little more detail about your question – mirroroftruth Aug 20 '14 at 19:28
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The magic of wiki:

The Lightning Cutter is an enhanced and concentrated form of the Chidori with the same effects and drawbacks. According to Might Guy, it gained its name after Kakashi split a bolt of lightning with it. Because the Chidori is already powerful on its own, the Lightning Cutter requires better chakra control, which is exemplified in its appearance. The Chidori appears as simply a mass of white electrical chakra in the user's hand, while the Lightning Cutter is more focused (and blue in the anime).

tl;dr: It's still a Chidori but when Kakashi's using it, it's more refined and famed for cutting a lightning bolt ergo dubbed Raikiri.

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Originally the name of the jutsu is Raikiri (Lightning Cutter). However, because the jutsu makes a noise like that of a thousand bird squeaks, it was dubbed by others as Chidori (千鳥) which literary means a thousand birds.

AFAIK Chidori and Raikiri is actually the same jutsu. The name is different due to the reason stated above. Also, Kakashi prefer to call it Raikiri while Sasuke, who was taught by him, prefer to call it Chidori.

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