It has been a hot minute since the legendary show Naruto Shippūden ended in 2017. However, all Naruto fans will agree that we never will be truly done with it.
For those of you who don’t know about Naruto(how?). It is centered around the story of a boy who is shunned by the society he lives in for being the vessel containing a lethal nine-tailed fox that holds humongous amounts of power which can cause major destruction. As the story progresses, we get to follow our protagonist, Naruto, as he strives to be a Ninja, forms remarkable friendships and goes on dangerous missions with his Sensei and teammates, Sasuke and Sakura. This is the basic premise. If you haven’t watched the show, you should come back to this post later because you may get spoiled. (You’ve been warned).
Naruto is the kind of show that becomes a part of your life. The kind we catch ourselves thinking about at the most random times. The kind that breaks hearts and mends them, and ultimately becomes a part of them.
I believe that ‘Naruto’ has such an enthralling and captivating effect on an entire generation of anime and anime lovers because of its characters work. The excellence of the entertaining plot, the efficiently designed powers, the politics, the administration, the moral conflicts, the ideas of friendship and familial bonds, and the legendary chakra system of this Ninja world is undoubtedly a very important part of the success of the anime as a whole. But, for me it’s the complex characters with a thousand layers to their personality, both outward and inward, that does the trick. By now the fandom is thoroughly rooted and has established solid foundations and workings. What I mean to say is that it’s easier and predictable to guess fan-favorite characters and understand their reasons since we have closure.
Character analysis of Sasuke Uchiha
I will be going into an analysis of my favorite character: Sasuke Uchiha. I can already see people taking out their shurikens and waving the Jutsu signs to kill each other. Most people tend to either like Sasuke or hate Sasuke. Sasuke’s popularity in the fandom is because of all his powers. (The Sharingan, the Rinnegan, The Sussano, The Lightning Blade(Chidori), etc.) Sasuke is usually hated, to put it in harsh words, because of his relentless fixation on revenge, so much so that he ends up evoking a lot of disapproval for doing the things he does by both the audience and the characters at play. (When he runs away with Orochimaru and betrays the Village and his team when he almost kills Naruto when he almost kills Kakashi when he almost kills Sakura. When he KILLS Itachi etc.)
Fan’s perspective of Sasuke Uchiha
I’ve read so many comments saying that he should “get over it, already”. But here’s the deal. Sasuke loses his entire family, his entire clan in one go at the hands of someone he loves most in the world. It’s almost as if his identity was taken away from him.
Just imagine having everything you love ripped away from you, not by an enemy, but by a trusted one. Isn’t this why we say that a friend’s treachery stings deeper than an enemy’s? Imagine yourself left all alone in this world in the split of a second.
Now Imagine being the only one who has been given the chance to live. Imagine being at the mercy of someone you detest with every fiber of your existence. And then imagine hating someone you love like that. It’s not something a child can possibly grasp. Even adults take a long time before coming to terms with the death of a loved one. Sasuke felt guilty for surviving while the others hadn’t.
Sasuke Uchiha’s journey
The loss of everything that was a part of who he was, both as a person and a ninja, a betrayal of such scale by the brother he idolized, the grief of such magnitude at such an early age: Sasuke’s hate and need for revenge was a coping mechanism. It was the only goal that made sense in the chaos of everything that didn’t. It was the only goal that kept his sanity intact and the emptiness filled. Itachi’s betrayal of Sasuke’s trust played a major role in the chain of events that led to Sasuke’s questionable decisions.
Sasuke had expected the assassination of Itachi to be the end and the achievement of justice he was entitled to. And he finally gets his revenge only to discover that he had been believing in a lie all along. The cut of the betrayal by the village he had protected, and by his own brother, not once but twice, the lies, the hate, the loneliness and the desertion he had to endure finally poisons his mind fully and adds flame to that fire of seething vengeance. This blinds him to reason and takes away from his ability to segregate right from wrong. That’s when he loses his shit and almost kills Sakura. Although I don’t want to defend his actions, I understand that they spring from a pain that broke his soul.
The only thing he thought he had left was the newfound hatred he had harbored. The world had wronged him and all the ones he had loved. He wanted the world to burn in the pain it had caused him and bury it in the ashes of his vengeance.
Now, many may argue that he had Team 7 and voluntarily chose to lock them out, thus earning him the title of an angsty whinner. But, I think Sasuke felt like he didn’t deserve to be happy or a chance at life, especially when the entire Uchiha clan had it taken away from them. To Sasuke, his forgiveness for the Leaf Village and moving on meant the abandonment of what he thought was his purpose and responsibility as the last surviving member of the Uchiha clan, and a gross injustice to his childhood, clan, family, and Itachi. This is a summarized and single aspect of Sasuke Uchiha’s multidimensional character. His relationship with Itachi, Sakura, and Naruto require another blog. But I hope this helps those who fail to understand Sasuke’s motives and actions, a little. ‘A little’, because believe me when I say, I’ve just scratched the surface.