There are a lot of weird and wonderful power systems in the Naruto Universe. Jutsu is synonymous with what western mythology would call ‘magic’. There are hundreds of different kinds of magic within Naruto that can do all kinds of different things.
Shonen manga – and Naturo in particular – likes to add power-ups for specific characters into their world-building. This allows the reader/watcher to constantly track the power levels of different characters, waiting for them to finally face off and test their abilities against one another.
One of the first power-ups that we see is the Curse Mark of Sasuke Uchiha.
The Mark eventually causes Sasuke’s departure from the Hidden Leaf, as he feels compelled to follow Orochimaru in search of greater power. Without the Curse Mark, it is likely that some of the main plot points in Naruto would have never happened.
What Is A Curse Mark?
A curse mark is a skin-implanted seal that grants or tempers a ninja’s power.
The Curse Mark on Sasuke’s neck consisted of three tiny little teardrops, very similar to the eye of a Sharingan user. They would turn red and spread like fire across the user’s body upon activation.
A Curse Mark grants the user increased power levels when activated. This includes both increased chakra as well as improved physical prowess.
Curse mark users become faster, stronger, and more agile. Throughout the earliest parts of Naruto, whenever Sasuke activates his Curse Mark he becomes much stronger than the other genin around him, often scaring them with the changes in his body as well as psychological changes which made him much more unhinged and violent.
The more a user allows themself to unleash their curse mark, the more powerful and twisted they become. For example, Sasuke’s hair grows longer, his skin changes color to be grey, and he grows strange wing-like hands from his back.
How Did Sasuke Get His Curse Mark?
Orochimaru branded Sasuke with his curse mark. During the second challenge of the Chunin Exam Arc – in which our protagonists try to survive the Forest of Death – they came into contact with a Hidden Sound ninja whom they thought to be their age.
Unfortunately, as they battled the enemy ninja, they found that he was a much more dangerous and high-level ninja.
This snake-like antagonist, named Orochimaru, was one of the most powerful ninja in the world. Although the 13-year-old Sasuke tried to defeat him in battle, eventually Orochimaru got tired of playing.
He bit Sasuke on the neck and branded him with the curse mark. Sasuke collapsed, and quite a while went by before we learned the power of this new brand.
The young Uchiha first gave in to the power of the curse mark when his teammate Sakura was suffering a severe beating at the hands of three Sound ninjas.
He was half consumed by the dark flames of the curse mark, and breaks the arms of one of the Sound ninja effortlessly. The other genin were amazed by Sasuke’s new power.
When Did Sasuke Remove His Curse Mark?
Sasuke used, and was used by, the power of the curse mark for many years before losing it. Although the curse mark gave him great power older teenager, he eventually learned that it was just a tool that Orochimaru used to control him.
Sasuke finally lost the curse mark during the battle against his brother Itachi.
Sasuke uses the curse mark all the way through the battle, up until Itachi activates his devastating Susanoo ability and is able to overpower Sasuke and absorb the curse mark from his body.
Itachi did this to free his brother from the grasp of Orochimaru. Sasuke never again used the curse mark, but instead received Mangekyo Sharingan, a much more powerful ability.
We hope that this article has helped clear up the source of Sasuke Uchiha’s curse mark. In the early stages of Naruto, curse marks are some of the most powerful abilities available in the series, but as the story progresses into Naruto: Shippuden, it becomes clear that there are far more powerful Jutsu in the world of ninja.