Sasuke and Itachi Uchiha are two brothers in the fictional world of Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto.
Sasuke is one of the most syndicated and beloved characters in Naruto for his cool character design, and a brooding personality that a lot of sufferers of teenage angst would have related to.
Sasuke’s angst, however, is related to the cursed and unfortunate history of the Uchiha clan. His older brother, Itachi, was a truly powerful shinobi but was exiled from the Hidden Leaf Village after he massacred his entire clan apart from Sasuke.
Much of Sasuke’s anger and confusion, that leads him on a similar path, can be understood through his brother, Itachi. In this article we have laid out the feud between these brothers including the often queried dialogue that truly sets Sasuke on his path to evil.
Who Is Itachi?
Itachi Uchiha was a member of the Uchiha clan, his parents were Fugaku and Mikoto Uchiha and his brother is Sasuke Uchiha.
The Uchiha clan is one of the most powerful in the Hidden Leaf Village, its power is sourced from its unique sharingan which bestows its user with a unique red eye, and their role in founding the Hidden Leaf Village.
The sharingan is only available to Uchiha clan members or shinobi who have gained it through other non-genetic means such as Kakashi Hatake and Orochimaru who were gifted and stole the sharingan respectively.
Both Sasuke and Itachi have the sharingan. Although, with the power that the Uchiha clan has they often disagree with the methods of the Hokage in protecting the Hidden Leaf Village and are often at odds with him.
Itachi showed great potential of becoming an extremely powerful shinobi from an early age. By age 10, Itachi had already completed the chunin exams and graduated from the ninja academy.
He was the youngest shinobi to ever be granted the title of Anbu captain. The Anbu are the covert and tactical assassin squad of Konoha.
During Itachi’s time in the Anbu he became highly embroiled in the Uchiha Clan Coup D’etat. Danzo, the leader of the Anbu, closely monitored Itachi’s rise to Anbu captain and once he had achieved this Danzo asked Itachi to spy on the Third Hokage and Konoha elders actions.
After the Third Shinobi World War and the events that led to the Fourth Hokage’s death, the Uchiha clan, supported by the Anbu and the secretive Root organisation, planned a coup d’etat against the Third Hokage, hoping to overthrow him with the villages best interest in mind.
Itachi actually choses against his clan, to become a double agent and actually be a spy for the Third Hokage.
Danzo reveals to Itachi that there is now no outcome where the Uchiha clan can be saved without being wiped out.
Danzo explains that Itachi can either let the Uchiha clan go to war with the Hidden Leaf where the clan will undoubtedly be wiped out, or he can massacre his own clan, including his parents, with the guarantee that Sasuke would remain alive.
Itachi understands that if he supported a war between the Uchiha clan and the Third Hokage this would inevitable start another Shinobi War with the other villages and lead to further bloodshed.
So this is exactly what Itachi did, hoping to save his brother, with the help of the disguised Madara Uchiha, massacres his whole clan in one night, leaving only Sasuke alive.
Itachi’s intentions of saving the village with this act are generally misunderstood by many in the village and as a viewer we don’t get the full story until much later in the series.
Itachi was convinced that he had to tell Sasuke a lie, that he killed his own clan to test his own strength and wanted to leave Sasuke alive so that he could test himself against his younger brother later once he too was a powerful shinobi.
Itachi’s true intentions were to drive Sasuke to become a powerful shinobi for the safety of the village. From that day forward Sasuke garners a hatred for his brother for abandoning his clan and village, as well as killing his parents.
Itachi leaves the village in exile and joins the Akatsuki, actually working against the Akatsuki and impeding them so he can protect Konoha.
Who Is Sasuke?
Sasuke is Naruto’s best friend, and Itachi’s younger brother. From a young age Sasuke looked up to Itachi and much of his desire to be a shinobi is centred around Itachi.
When Itachi murdered his family and clan, Sasuke vowed that he would become the most powerful ninja in the whole of the Hidden Leaf Village.
Once Itachi is exiled from the village, Sasuke is the only Uchiha of the clan still present in the village, it’s line is only carried on by his later marriage to Sakura and their eventual child, Sarada.
Sasuke, like his brother, showed great potential from an early age and was part of Team 7 under the teaching of Kakashi Hatake, alongside Naruto and his eventual wife Sakura.
Sasuke and Naruto’s rivalry is based on both their desire to be the most powerful ninja in the village, while Naruto wants to be Hokage, Sasuke wants to be powerful enough to defeat his brother and avenge his clan.
What Does Itachi Say To Sasuke?
This query is referring to the arcc called Search for Tsunade that covers episodes 81-100 of the original Naruto anime, where Itachi returns to Konoha and encounters his brother for the first time since the Uchiha Clan Massacre.
Itachi, under the rule of the Akatsuki, with his partner Kisame, infiltrate the Hidden Leaf Village with the intention to unleash the Nine Tails and destroy its jinchuriki, Naruto.
Itachi and Kisame encounter Kakashi who recognises his childhood friend Itachi, they engage in a duel with their sharingan where Itachi proves obviously more powerful.
Itachi confirms that Sasuke is safe after not seeing him for so long and continues on his mission to find Naruto, while Itachi’s intention is to let the Hidden Leaf know of the Akatsuki’s intentions.
Itachi and his partner find Naruto, only before they can do anything Sasuke finds Itachi. Sasuke immediately lunges at Itachi with his chidori, learned from Kakashi, and while Itachi is impressed at his skills easily parrys his attack.
He then breaks Sasuke’s wrist and easily pummels him. Picking him up by the throat, Itachi whispers to him:
‘You’re still too weak, you don’t have enough hate. And you know what? You never will’
After telling him this, enraging the immobile Sasuke, he casts Tsukoyomi on him, making him experience the death of his parents at Itachi’s hand once more.
He continues to torment Sasuke in the Tsukuyomi dimension until the trauma sends Sasuke into a coma. Itachi leaves soon after to avoid a fight with Jiraiya.
Itachi’s main intentions with visiting the village once again were to, in addition to checking Sasuke is safe, and warning the village of the Akatsuki’s intentions to capture the Nine Tails, remind Danzo in the wake of the Third Hokage’s death that Itachi is still active and alive and willing to kill if Sasuke is harmed or told the truth.
This moment where Sasuke realises he is weak, even weaker than Naruto, is one of the main reasons that Sasuke chooses to defect from the Hidden Leaf Village.
Itachi’s words, that Sasuke must rely on his hate in order to gain enough power to beat Itachi, drives Sasuke away from the shinobi lifestyle.
Sasuke feels that he can’t become the ninja he needs to be in order to defeat his brother while still in the village, and once he is approached by the Sound Four, sent by Orochimaru, he is convinced that leaving the village will allow him to grow outside the teachings of the Konoha shinobi.
It is this specific experience with Itachi that sets Sasuke truly down the path of evil as he is under the illusion, created by Itachi, that he must embrace his hatred to become powerful enough to avenge his clan.
His next meeting with Itachi is their last, until Sasuke learns the truth about his clan and his brother’s intentions.