Sasuke Uchiha

The second name of youngest son of Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha; his own means, including rejecting Itachi’s instructions of obtaining the Mangekyō Sharingan for power, simply to not give Itachi the satisfaction. With his new outlook, he became cold toward others, unmoved by and uninterested in what they do or think of him, choosing instead to keep to himself. He stopped using honourifics, something considered rude in the Japanese language. His only goal in life became to take revenge for his clan’s deaths by any means, even if it meant acquiring power that wasn’t his own.[17][18]

In his pursuit for the power to take his revenge, whenever he meets new people, he makes an evaluation of their abilities: those he perceives to be weaker than himself he arrogantly disregards, giving them little attention so that they won’t hold him back; those he perceives as stronger he fixates over and tries to surpass. As a member of Team 7 he is repeatedly exposed to Kakashi Hatake’s philosophy that there is strength in teamwork. For a time, Sasuke accepts this, experiencing it first-hand on several of Team 7’s missions. He even become attached to his teammates and started to forget the vengeance he craved, achieving after so many years a measure of happiness. However, between both the manipulations of Orochimaru and meeting Itachi again in Part I, where he was and is utterly defeated, Sasuke decides to sever all ties to his village in a single-minded pursuit of power, leaving Konoha to focus solely on himself. Kakashi tried to help Sasuke realise the contradiction in his viewpoint: he is driven to gain power because he lost his family, yet sacrifices the family he still has (Team 7) in order to gain that power, which did have a profound impact on Sasuke and would have turned him away from the path of darkness had he not been influenced by the Sound Four.

Sasuke succumbs to his clan’s Curse of Hatred.

So focused on vengeance, he willingly accepted Orochimaru’s offer of power, seeking out the Sannin to train Sasuke in all he knew, even allowing Orochimaru to experiment on him despite knowing the man was using him for his own gain. Ultimately however, Sasuke decided that letting himself be used by Orochimaru would be a disgrace to his clan, turning on Orochimaru and acquires new teammates with abilities that could further his goals. Sasuke initially retained his morals by setting a firm no-kill policy for himself and his team against those unrelated to his revenge and openly expressing disgust at Orochimaru for his horrific experiments. In addition, despite becoming cold towards his old team, Sasuke did become attached to his new teammates, still subconsciously holding a notion of teamwork, comparing them to the bond he had with Team 7 and pushing himself to extremes to save them.

After Itachi dies in battle with Sasuke and he learned that the hateful older brother that Itachi seemed to be was all an act and that, in truth, Sasuke was the most precious person to Itachi; his murder of the Uchiha was done on the instructions of Konoha, in order to protect Sasuke. Sasuke becomes overwhelmed by this discovery and starts conspiring against Konoha and all its citizens for ruining his and Itachi’s lives, knowing full well it isn’t what Itachi would want him to do. As time passed after this and his hatred increased, Sasuke’s fall to darkness steadily eroded much of the goodness he once had: he would without hesitation challenge and even slaughter any and all who stood in his way, left Jūgo and Suigetsu without caring for their fates, essentially sacrificed Karin to strike down Danzō Shimura, and even tried to kill Team 7 when they impede or attempt to dissuade him from his objectives.[19] He also allies with Tobi and Akatsuki when their goals align, but left them without comment when he no longer needs them. His abandonment of all his former loyalties and his criminal acts convince his former classmates that Sasuke is beyond salvation. Tobi determined that Sasuke was carrying the entirety of the Uchiha’s hatred on his shoulders, and this caused Sasuke to gain an unwavering and twisted pride of his clan, deeming anyone who possessed his clan’s abilities without being one of them or even someone who just isn’t an Uchiha as inferior shinobi trash and impostors, and became increasingly irate and unstable when witnessing it. Ultimately, Sasuke came to believe that Konoha’s destruction will free the Uchiha from being associated with the rotten shinobi world and the resulting purity will restore the clan.

Sasuke’s unhinged state.

After his final encounter with reincarnated Itachi, between learning of Itachi’s struggles in life and knowing that Itachi made the choice willingly to become the villain for the sake of peace, Sasuke is left uncertain about what course to take. From long contemplation, Sasuke came to a warped view of helping the world to ensure no further conflict between them: if a single individual, what Sasuke calls the “True Hokage”, is solely responsible for making the difficult decisions, killing and the like for the greater good, then everybody will be unified in their hatred of that individual. He volunteers himself for that responsibility and planned to eliminate what few friendships he still has to ensure no turning back. But Naruto, by refusing to give up on saving Sasuke from darkness, demonstrates that their friendship is too fundamental to who Sasuke is and that it cannot nor should not be broken. On coming to terms with this, Sasuke stops fighting the many bonds he’s made and chooses to die so the Curse of Hatred would die along with him. However, after further convincing from Naruto, Sasuke chose to live to find redemption instead. Afterwards, Naruto returned Sasuke’s forehead protector, which Sasuke keeps on him during his long travels as a symbol of their friendship. Even though he no longer wears it, he carries it with him regularly, truly valuing it and only letting people he truly trusts hold on to it.

Sasuke with his family.

After the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sasuke began adopting some of Itachi’s views: he decides to fight for Konoha’s future so that Itachi’s actions aren’t made meaningless and bases his understanding of the “Hokage” around the decisions Itachi made. He also starts poking the foreheads of those dearest to him as a sign of affection, something Itachi used to always do with him. While still not very open with his emotions, Sasuke became more committed to make connections with people. This included his former teammate Sakura Haruno. While originally their relationship was mindless infatuation from Sakura for his good looks and indifference if not blunt irritation from him, over time the two came to better understand one another and true respect was formed between them. After he admitted to being defeated by Naruto and let go of his hatred, Sasuke sincerely apologises to Sakura for how much he hurt her – to which, she tearfully forgives him, allowing them to reconcile. They later maintain a long-distance relationship while he pursues a journey of redemption. The two of them later marry and have a daughter, Sarada.[20] Sasuke still tends to be emotionally distant with his family for the sake of his duties, though he feels a strong connection to them when they are apart. As a father, Sasuke loves his daughter dearly and will go to great lengths to protect Sarada. While Sasuke is happy in his marriage to Sakura, he enjoys teasing her by declining to show her affection. At the same time, he regrets not having been a more attentive father to his daughter, having missed out on much of her childhood and by extension not knowing much about her, showing a noticeably unsure side when trying to be close with Sarada.

During his time as a wanderer, Sasuke was a recluse, keeping contact with people to an absolute minimum and maintained his strong sense of pride; he is willing to help the villages if their problems are beyond their expertise but ignores their requests if facing insignificant issues. Stemming from his inspiration of Itachi protecting the Land of Fire from the shadows, he also sometimes acts independently on his own and helps the five nations, but does not even bother to interact with anyone during such instances if not needed. At the same time, he is willing to acknowledging significant events as he sent a note congratulating Naruto for his wedding. Acknowledging his mistakes and once free from hate and vengeance, Sasuke reverts back to the type of person he was prior to the massacre; being kind to others and displaying a sense of humour but maintaining his aloof exterior. Although publicly regarded as a hero for his role in the war, Sasuke feels that his crimes and imperfections outweigh anything heroic he has ever done. Ashamed of his past actions, Sasuke referred to the person he used to be as an entirely different person when he told Boruto about his past actions, albeit without directly telling Boruto he was referring to himself.

Sasuke showcasing his paternal instincts.

As an adult, Sasuke becomes wiser and mature, as well as genuinely warmer and caring, though his tendency to appear deadpan remains. He does retain his habit of insulting others, although it is usually more comical than cold, and mostly aimed towards Naruto. He has also shown a degree of humility, openly admitting to his failings, particularly as a family man. Although he fulfills Itachi’s wish for him to protect Konoha, doing this from the shadows and investigating the mysteries of Kaguya leave him unable to spend time with his family, to the point of even failing to recognise his daughter, Sarada. Regardless, he is protective of Sarada and is very supportive of her goal to become Hokage and not end up like him. Even more, Sasuke loves his family dearly as he tries to spend time with them when he is able to come home, and expresses pride in his daughter’s growth and achievements.

As Boruto’s teacher, Sasuke is devoted to his apprentice’s well-being and progress. Despite seeing Boruto’s usage of a cheating device to pass the preliminary test he gave the boy, Sasuke agreed to take him as a student, as he saw it as similar to his own past of willingness to do anything to attain power. He later reprimanded Boruto for using the device during the Chūnin Exams, but still saw his true power and lent him his forehead protector as a sign of trust and faith. Taking his role as a mentor seriously, Sasuke is willing to let Boruto participate in dangerous battles against the Ōtsutsuki as he saw the boy is living up to his potential that may turn the tide of the fights, even when Naruto decided otherwise. Because of this, Sasuke made it clear he is prepared to kill Boruto should Momoshiki take over him via the Kāma, per his duty as Boruto’s teacher.

At the same time, Sasuke retains some of the ruthlessness he had during his criminal days; Sasuke was initially hellbent on eliminating the clones of Shin Uchiha despite their visible fear and hesitation towards the end of their battle, and was only convinced of sparing them by Naruto, and when the notorious criminal Shojoji remained arrogant and fearless when interrogated by Sai Yamanaka and Ibiki Morino, Sasuke’s sudden arrival and presence were enough to intimidate Shojoji into revealing details about Kara, with Sasuke mentioning that despite changing his ways, he’d still retained his reputation of being unmerciful and brutal towards criminals.

Even so, Sasuke is also very balanced and adaptable. When Sasuke took a mission to the Land of Redaku as a disguised prisoner in order to locate the Polar particles needed to heal Naruto of his illness that would eventually strip the latter of his ability to use chakra, Sasuke kept a low profile by pretending to be weak. He even allowed the abusive prison guards to beat him as his top priority was finding the cure Naruto needed.

 

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