Naruto is among the most iconic shonen anime series for all die-hard Otakus. It has an array of captivating characters, such as Naruto as the main protagonist, alongside Sasuke, Kakashi, Madara, Obito, and Jiraiya. However, the one character that stands tall above all others is none other than Itachi Uchiha.
He is shown as a man with prodigious shinobi skills and intelligence. Undoubtedly, Itachi is one of the most morally complex characters in the anime. His choices, motivations, and unavoidable suffering testify to his steadfast devotion to his only goals, Suske, and to achieve peace.
In this article, we will delve into the complex character of Suske Uchiha and uncover the two prominent sides of his story in Naruto.
The Inception of Itachi’s Pacifism
Itach’s pacifism was ignited at the tender age of four when he had a first-hand experience of the devastation and horror caused by war. His father, Faguka Uchiha, brought him to an active battleground leaving young Itachi with a profound aversion to violence that remained imprinted in his memory.
We later witness Itachi avoiding conflicts as much as possible while remaining calm and disciplined. He does it to preserve peace among the people around him. However, this trait became the driving force behind his decision to enact the Uchiha Massacre against his own clan.
Once Sasuke was born, Itachi vowed to shield his little brother and to keep the peace among the people of the Hidden Leaf Village. But when ANBU recruited him, things turned for the worst, and his commitment to pacifism deepened.
Itachi resisted his clan’s secret rebellion plot against the Senju-influenced government by becoming a double agent for Konoha. He understood this would only fuel more demolition and doubt towards his clan. The possibility of another deadly Shinobi World War loomed on Itachi’s mind and to avoid it he massacred hundreds of people.
Itachi’s Heroism in Uchiha Massacre
We later see that in the Uchiha Massacre arc, Itachi‘s overwhelming pacifism compelled him to take some drastic measures. He became a mass murderer and killed his entire clan only to resist mass violence and safeguard Sasuke. He ensured his little brother remained safe from being implicated in their clan’s fate.
This unwavering devotion of Itachi to Sasuke led to the merciless slaying of his parents by his own brother’s hands. Itachi kills his parents showing enough courage to sacrifice the people who gave him life. Anime fans can understand the depth of how much courage it takes to perform such an act. Itachi knew that not accepting Danzo’s offer could lead to a never-ending war and leave Sasuke with no future.
Not to forget that Itachi was incredibly talented for his age in terms of skills. He achieved so many powers within a short period, and his knowledge and experience were matchless. Regardless of being a genius, he sacrificed all of his glories for the sake of the ideology he wholeheartedly believed in and for the only person he truly cared for (Sasuke).
“No matter what darkness or contradictions lie within the village, I am still Itachi Uchiha of the Leaf”.Itachi Uchiha
This is something rare in anime, even among protagonists; sacrifices are made for loved ones, but in Itachi’s case, he is not the protagonist in Naruto. Yet, he is seen leaving his honor and reputation for the greater good. His selflessness serves as a massive reminder that even those who are not the main heroes can make some extraordinary sacrifices for their goals and loved ones.
A similar situation and mindset are exemplified in Attack on Titan and with its Protagonist, Eren Yeager having a morally grey personality. He echoes Itachi Uchihain in his willingness to commit atrocities for the sake of his ambition. Both Itachi and Eren are unforgivable by many, but they make decisions with a greater goal in sight.
Itachi’s Selfishness & Brutalities
Regardless of his greater goal, Itachi’s plan involved hundreds of people from his can. He killed people without remorse or hesitation except his family and love interest Izumi Uchiha. The people he killed were innocent; not all were planning a coup, and not all held hatred for the government.
These people had ambitions, families, and aspirations. They did nothing wrong to Itachi or Sasuke, yet they still found themselves in the grips of tragedy without warning. What made things worse was, Itachi placed his little brother under trauma by making him relive that same heartache time after time so he could cultivate an unquenchable thirst for revenge within Sasuke’s soul.
As a younger sibling, Sasuke deserved to learn the truth and have his family by his side to provide love and support. Unfortunately, due to Itachi’s actions, Sasuke was left alone without any guidance or security; these impacts turned him into a troubled soul.
“You aren’t even worth killing, foolish little brother.”Itachi Uchiha to Sasuke
It is impossible to deny the awfulness of Itachi’s actions. Yet, to gain insight into his moral compass and why he acted out against the Uchihas, we must closely examine what drove him to become a monster. Initially, he only wanted to become strong to avoid conflict on the land he lived in. He believed his strength could silence any coup and hatred among the people of leaf.
However, he created some of the most destructive discord for his kin and his little brother long after his death. Itachi is a fallen hero with values and motives. His only flaw was not trusting Sasuke enough, which led to his sufferings until he died.