Okay, basically this post is just a copy-paste of my previous reply to a comment that came to this post. There basically I have my opinion on Sasuke’s character and his bonds with few of the characters in the manga, in the lights of the recent developments of Naruto 693. Charlie there came with an interesting comment to my post so I decided to reply him back.
That comment to Charlie basically was something I wanted to write for a long time in regards to Sasuke’s character and I’ve never had the time but today I took the time and from the wish to not have this opinion lost between comments, I will just copy-paste it here, so that at least next time people ask me what’s my opinion on Sasuke or my opinion on his bonds, Iwill be able to answer with at least a minimum information. I would like to write more but sadly I don’t have the time haha and I neither get paid for writing about Naruto, lol! Though that’d be a great job.
With that being said, I will just leave you with my comment in the form of a post on what I believe about Sasuke and his bonds with said characters. It all started when Charlie addressed me the following comment on my previous post.
Basically, after reading my post, Charlie said this:
I appreciate your love of naruto where you would write all this, but please, use more periods and less commas. Also, you may be right in who is important to sasuke but not for the reasons you listed. Itachi is important obviously SOLELY b/c he was a very good older brother and he loved him more than even his parents. Then it is naruto b/c he’s his best friend. But then it is sakura, maybe then karin, then kakashi. Jugo and suigetsu. Sakura isn’t like a mom figure to him. He cared for her as a team mate and accepted when she took care of him, but i doubt he viewed her as a mom figure. Neither is naruto like itachi. especially in sasuke’s eyes.for sasuke naruto is the person who can truly get him and as of this chapter, they have enough in common that sasuke cannot use these phrases against him; “you have no familial ties, you have no clue what it’s like to lose family,” or “you have no idea how I feel you outsider,” etc. Naruto and sasuke have the same hurt and b/c of this their bond is strong. Maybe thats why he wants to cut them so badly.Charlie
A greatly appreciated insight like I told him, however, I had some opinions on my own:
Hey, Charlie! Thanks for your input. As for my periods and commas, well, call me maybe an excessive-grammar geek sometimes that well, I do these stuff. Anyway, that’s not the point I believe, right?Me
Let’s get to your point to which, on a side I kind of agree but on the other side, allow me to express my disagreement based on my own interpretation of the manga and we’ll see in the end all of us, me and you alike, who was right and/or wrong. But anyway without further blabbering, let’s get to the point.
The reasons I listed in regards to Sasuke’s placed importance on Itachi… I agree with your view that Sasuke would love Itachi solely because of the reason that in the end, he did realize how much Itachi loved him – from here we have all Part 2 Sasuke’s quest. He first leaves Konoha to get powerful to avenge his clan’s reputation by killing Itachi because of the reputation Itachi had in Konoha. After which he goes through some morally questioning decisions, maybe for some people, and finds out in the end, after all the torment he went through (coming home finding his clan killed, Itachi making him to relive that for a week if I recall correctly and all that) up until that point that Itachi had to do that in other to actually save him and that Itachi decided to sacrifice himself, be seen as such, because he loved Sasuke so much that he couldn’t bear to see his little brother who he swore to protect, being killed. That and also the reason because Itachi was so sensitive – as Kishi describes him-, that he looked for answers and such and found out, if I recall correctly, what actually happens to Uchihas if they lose a dear one. And that was the breaking point for Itachi as a character, I believe. And then he was found in the face of a decision.
What some people don’t get and what Sasuke tries to conveys, as weirdly and morally questioning as he’s doing it, and what Itachi himself did it as well is point towards the wrong things Itachi did. As kind and well-meaning he was, he failed because he was selfish in the way Itachi taught Naruto not to be. Which way? Itachi carried a heavy cross only by himself and didn’t took into consideration maybe the weight of it and the consequences of it. Some fans look at Itachi as saints. I mean, all fans do this will all the characters, maybe I did so too a couple of times, who knows, we’re all likely to be there at some point, but since we’re talking Itachi here, we need to understand where Itachi stands as his own person, his own character and where he stands as a brother-figure to Sasuke.
What Kishimoto did with all his characters at some point is that he shows all their good sides and also their bad sides and also shows what consequences their actions have taken/might have took/already took. Now, maybe Kishi isn’t doing his best job as a writer when it comes to accountability but, on the grander scale of things – like in the end he said himself – he leaves it up to the reader to interpret and learn for itself. Besides the fact is kinda-ish a smart move to do, leaving readers to keep question thus you keep your work alive in their hearts – I mean, look at the success Naruto is still enjoy, as twisted as this series has gotten, he also gets away with the accountability part but he never leaves outside and never excuses their behavior. He may show the reader what got the character in that point but also makes the reader aware that the respective decision is the decision that character made and as all decision, it has consequences with which you have to learn to live.
So getting back to Itachi and his importance to Sasuke, we must remind ourselves that while yeah, in a weird twisted way, Itachi was well meaning and perhaps Sasuke understood at some point, although in his quest for searching not only for revenge but for answers from Itachi himself, as well as the past Hokages, he had made his decisions. Decisions that influenced Sasuke and made him who he is today up to this point, as Sasuke seems to be saying now to Naruto, that “I’m no longer like my brother, my father or my mother”. Sasuke might be right here on a wrong and maybe to some, tragic way but what he is right about, a “mistake” Itachi did was leaving Sasuke alive seeing all those things, being exposed to the truth afterwards and all his journey. It’s tragic and although Itachi hoped for the best, it didn’t went like he wished? Why, because as Itachi himself said and taught Naruto not to do and what Naruto hopes (and in my belief all Team 7 does) to teach and/or make Sasuke understand is that one doesn’t have to work alone or else it’s bound to fail as well-meaning as it might be and self-sacrificial.
The reason I typed “mistake” when referred to what Sasuke said about Itachi’s decision to leave Sasuke alive is because well… this is a morally-gray area that I wouldn’t want to get into because to each his own and opinions might clash, so let’s save us the trouble, however, the reason I typed it that way is because well although it’s a morally gray and questioning area, in the end, saving a life is never a mistake. Although it took the sacrifice of many others for that life to be saved. So Itachi decided to be what Sasuke wants to be now and do it all by himself and that’s why he’s gonna fail, but I guess it’s a lesson he’ll have to learn or either Naruto might make him understand.
However, Sasuke was right in a weird kind of way (which I know it sounds awful but for the sake of the story/argument, you name it), Itachi did make a mistake by leaving him alive not in the sense of literally leaving Sasuke alive, but in the sense of mistakenly hoping that Sasuke might go on the path he, Itachi wished for him, that of protecting Konoha and such. He hoped that Sasuke would do the same, he underestimated Sasuke, like Itachi says himself, and how his decisions to sacrifice the clan because of that morally-gray reason of Uchiha’s powerful love that drives one into insanity if losing a loved one, for Sasuke’s life will affect Sasuke himself. In this, Itachi was selfish, no matter how well-meaning he was, that’s where Sasuke himself points.
And you know why he does that? Let me explain you by referring while that I agree with you that Itachi should be important to Sasuke solely based on the reason that he is his brother, why I made a reference to the other reasons I believe, such that Naruto reminds him of Itachi and that whole conflict with Naruto and Itachi’s teachings and the way he lived his life and the way both hope that will make Sasuke get it.
Like he says in the last chapter, Sasuke is no longer like his mother, father, nor brother. However, by being the Uchiha he is, he does love them very deeply because, although like I always said it it doesn’t excuse Sasuke’s behavior and/or actions given others have had it (debatable to some) worse and still have gotten on better paths (Gaara comes to mind), the thing is he is what he is and that is canon fact. Part from a clan that goes crazy if a loved one perishes. So what Sasuke tries to do here, in an ironic kind of way, is what Itachi chose to do when he found out about his clan’s truth. He tries to cut all his ties, so that this way, it won’t have to hurt if someone close happens to get killed (at the moment in the story being Naruto). He is taking the same route Itachi took, the same decision but in a different kind of new-Sasuke way, like Sasuke himself puts in in this chapter is by killing Naruto. Why? And this is where Sasuke is wrong. Because when Sasuke found out the truth about Itachi and what he decided to do, although not shown to us via naigo but actions speak for themselves and this chapter reveals it, he considered that Itachi failed to protect Konoha in the way he wished because he left Sasuke alive, he couldn’t kill a loved one, like Itachi ironically advised Sasuke to do in order to gain more power. To kill his best friend. And you know what Sasuke thinks now? That ironically, by doing what Itachi told him, he will be able to make that great sacrifice Itachi begun for repenting the Uchiha’s name and bring back their clan’s honor, and this way he will be able not only to sacrifice it all and shoulder it all by himself but also, this way he’ll be able to actually be and succeed where Itachi failed by having his name washed while Sasuke takes it all upon himself. A new version of cover-up. How? By ironically doing the same thing also as the man who he killed for doing this to Itachi. He is becoming a Danzo in a weird-kind of twisted sacrificial way. And ironically like I said, he’s doing so by actually listening to Itachi’s advice to kill his best friend but not for that kind of power but for the power to rule a world that won;t have to suffer again because he’s gonna be the sacrificial lamb that they all need to unite. The darkness itself. Very Danzo-ish, like I said.
So because Sasuke considers that Itachi failed protecting Konoha because he couldn’t kill him, his own brother due to the love he had for him and also given the Uchiha curse, this way Itachi tried making it more bearable, what Sasuke wants to do is make sure that he will succeed it by killing that guy who has been as close to a best friend as he ever had and he believes that, like I always said, bonds make him weak, thus destroy them because it makes it all more bearable.
And this is where Sasuke is wrong, but of course, that we will see how Kishi tries to play it on the future. But this is the reason I added the Naruto and Itachi resemblance as being another reason besides the solely obvious one. But the thing is that things are more complicated than that. It’s not only that, because Itachi’s decision affected Sasuke’s life but he didn’t consider like I said that Sasuke is after all his own person and he’s gonna follow his own path. Given how he saw he failed at this because he shouldered everything alone and given he saw what happened to Sasuke because of his actions, Itachi just decided to do what he should’ve done from the beginning and that is telling Sasuke the truth, don’t judge him and just be a brother and support him and offer all you can offer the best, that being his unconditional love and also do what he should’ve left Sasuke to do always: leave him make his own decisions and live with his own consequences.
But given he knows what Sasuke is gonna do because he is conscious about the whole Uchiha mess and he has gotten to also see what canvas Sasuke is “painted”, he made sure to leave it all in the hands of someone who is able to help Sasuke because he is so very much like Sasuke, only that he’s the light way, not the dark one so with the hope that Naruto will be able to do something, Itachi put all his trust in him.
At the present moment, we see what’s become of Sasuke, his redemption isn’t even over. In the end, Kishi did deliver it to Naruto to actually be the one involved in Sasuke’s redemption, but not a redemption we though, but a weird one. People changed, they both changed and ideals clash.
Also I agree with you that Naruto comes there because he is his best friend, I’ve never even doubted that. I might have not been so clear and if so, I apologize, but I didn’t address it because I thought it was clear for some people from the content of the manga. But Naruto is more than just a best friend for Sasuke, that’s the deal. Don’t you see? They’re like start-crossed lovers, haha!
Jokes aside, what Kishi is pointing to is that brotherly love, maybe it’s Kishi’s own tribute to his own brother, haven’t you thought about that? It’s just that here they’re not brothers by blood but it doesn’t take just blood to be a brother (a thing which both Naruto and Itachi pointed towards, in their encounters and disputes over who takes care and understands Sasuke better and wants to help him).
As for Sakura, I never said Sakura is like a mom figure, I just said Sakura acted like a mom figure and that it reminded him of his own mother. But if someone reminds you of your own mother it doesn’t necessarily have to mean you see her as a mom figure. I just said that the love Sakura gave Sasuke in the form of caring deeply about his well-being reminded him of his mother’s one. Not because he viewed her like that. That’s why I even said that this might be a possible reason on why he also couldn’t stand that type of love Sakura was offering when she was acting like a fangirl but however, as fangirlish as she was, she then became more understanding and just helped him the way she could best and for this reason he thanked her for that love. Because even though she might have been like that, it still remembered how his mother was always supportive of him and always took care of him and was making sure he was feeling okay and all that. Sakura was doing that with Sasuke a lot, besides her fangirl-ish part. And this is what Sasuke appreciated but at the same time, it hurt him because that love was a constant reminder of the love he wish he would’ve had but cannot have due to the fact that his family had been killed, all his clan… This is what pained him, because Sakura was offering him a type of love he would’ve needed but she was on the wrong impression that this is romantic love and thus it might make Sasuke view her in a romantic light. Thing which never happened because he always made sure not to and be clear and blunt with his intentions with her. Sasuke has always been constant in this respect.
It’s a love he doesn’t want like that! It’s a love who he doesn’t want because also all the other reasons – the ones who loved him ended up being hurt in some kind of way because they gave their life for him. Yes, SasuSaku fans for example do see some good things in Sasuke and the love Sakura has for him, but they’re seeing it the wrong way. What love he needs is not the love Sakura wanted to give him, but the familial one, the one he wished he would have had from his family but he cannot because his family is dead and Sakura with her care is a constant reminder of that and it irks him. We even have the image on the background with his family when Sakura pleas to him to not leave again that he is precious to her and all of them and that all that she wants is for him to be safe and with all of them. Because her love and care for him reminds him of his family, but it’s like he said himself… chains from a failed past… Like he, himself said, while he might be refusing love like some of the people cover it up in favor of their ship, yes, it might be. But not for the reasons people believe, but for the reasons that well, like he says himself, chains from a failed past. It’s all past and they all need to move on with their lives.
And like he himself said and made it clear every single time he had the opportunity, he has no interest in her. He asks rhetorically why she would have in him because he made sure to give her all the reasons not to be and even extra. Why? Because like Sasuke himself said, she is annoying him with her love. While I am sure she has the best intentions, what Sakura doesn’t take into consideration is his feelings in all of this and why doesn’t he accept her love. Kishi did point towards Sakura’s feelings for Sasuke while maybe being well-meaning, they’re just selfish. That’s one of the flaws in SasuSaku, besides the others. And Kishi pointed towards the relationship that are selfless to be working.
Why Sakura’s love annoys Sasuke? Well I have given the answers above and in my post as well, so I don’t think I need to repeat myself on why I said that Sakura dropped from his list of slightly to really important people. Now I finally understand why this “You’re annoying” trend has always been present in SasuSaku. Because Sakura really annoys Sasuke, she doesn’t get him. Not saying that things will always be like that, we know that there’s gonna be a happy ending when Sasuke will understand that all she means is well, but like I always said, he first needs to realize that bonds do not make him weaker, on the contrary and this is why he will also fail with his plan and he needs to work together with Naruto, as the theme of the story puts it.
Sakura on the other side she’ll have also to understand her flawed concept over love and how this affects the other people around her. In my belief, that’ll happen soon, we’re about there but let’s just first wait and see.
I will move to the reasons on why I always place Karin a little bit above in that list. Like I said in my post, the reason Karin is put above even Sakura and the rest of Team Taka is because as we’ve seen, not only like it was in Team 7, the most meaningful member of it was the Uzumaki one, in Team Taka, it’s the same. While he appreciates Juugo and his loyalty and does have his thing with Suigetsu, Karin seems to be of a higher importance, being referred in his book not only as “the strongest kunoichi” but also as “his favorite” and whose sacrifice has let him to enter true darkness! As if she’s would have been the only hope/light for him at that moment, but anyway, moving past that.
Besides that, the reason why I placed Karin as being more important to Sasuke is because she’s the only one that can really get Sasuke, given that she comes from a past similar to the Uchiha Massacre – Uzushiogakure’s destruction. This girl, just like him, had the same past, someone who gets him.
Why is it that she’s so important to Sasuke and she’s called by him as the strongest kunoichi, as well being named his favorite and his sacrifice metaphorically calling her one of his last lights whom by killing, he entered true darkness? Why is it that this girl shares a similar past and happens to be a relative of the protagonist, Sasuke’s best friend? This is, of course, plot elements that only Kishi can answer however, Kishi has never held Sakura to such importance in any of the parts, more than a precious comrade. However, his wish to kill her wasn’t called neither a sacrifice nor a point where he entered true darkness, he never awakened any Sharingan powers for her, thing that by the canon rules, puts the one who the Uchiha does that thing on a higher pedestal of importance, he never called nor considered her strong. Of course, we have him cooperating with her and smirking when he sees her power and also saving her, but it took Sakura what? So many years for him to impress him this way? While with Karin, he was apparently already impressed. I am not saying Sasuke never appreciated Sakura, don’t get me wrong, after all like I said, he did thanked her for her love, considered her precious and appreciated her talent for genjutsu know-how as being the most improved, however, more than that, we’ve never had with Sakura while on the other side with Karin… It weights heavily, that’s why I will always put Karin above Sakura in terms of Sasuke, no matter if Sakura is my favorite character. Canon speaks. This is one of those things you have to abide by.
Ironically, the chapter where Sakura made her plea was called “Once again”. What does this title remind of us? Maybe Karin’s own desire of seeing Sasuke smile once again or once more? I found it interestingly that the chapter where Sakura talks about her love for Sasuke and he puts it down again, his only business being with the Uzumaki, is named so similar to the wish of the other Uzumaki, that being said… Karin Uzumaki.
That’s why I write the things as I do, because there’s more to this story.
And yes, I agree with your views about Naruto not being Itachi and Sasuke cannot say that no more to Naruto, but you see, it happens that Naruto has the same ideology as Itachi and share the same thoughts while Sasuke now doesn’t anymore, by his own words that he’s no longer like his family and that Itachi is no more than the thing of the past. Who reminds Sasuke of the past and insists he knows Itachi better than his own brother and applies the same ideology on Sasuke now? Yes, Naruto. For this reason alone Naruto reminds Sasuke of Itachi. Because Naruto lives by the ideals Itachi took and like I said earlier with Sasuke considering that Itachi failed paired with his ideas that bonds make one weaker (which is based by seeing Itachi failing with Konoha and considering himself a mistake of Itachi’s which led to his failure), what Sasuke wants to make sure now is that he won’t fail, so he has to kill Naruto, so that like Itachi, he’ll stay in the past and won’t affect his future decisions on his plan.
Because yes, Sasuke changed his mind a lot of times and he’s aware of that. He was just looking for an answer of how to do it alone without involving no one, especially those who can touch a string to his heart and make him change his mind, like Itachi and Naruto or can affect his stability, like he lost control after having to sacrifice Karin.
So with this, he wants to cut ties with the past, sacrificing his last bond, so from here and now on, he can take all that sacrifice on his shoulders. But he wants to make sure that neither someone will interfere to make him change his mind nor he will ever suffer again after losing someone dear, have to see someone dear die, like in the past. So he “better” does it with his own hand.
That’s mainly Sasuke’s character. I have finally had the confirmation that he is like that.
I now just wait to see how things will unfold. But yeah, while I do agree with your views on a side, on the other side I disagree with some, however, on the bigger scale we both are kind of right haha.
With this being said, based on these reasons alone, reasons I hope to develop and write more about them one day, with manga panels and all, this is what I fairly believe to be the matter with Sasuke’s character given the manga’s context.
Hope you enjoyed reading!