Itachi: The Real Hero of Naruto?

Throughout our time as rabid avid fans of Naruto, for the better part of the first half, collectively we hated a few characters.

Oorichamaru, obviously for being the main antagonist for most of the series, as well as his “I simply don’t give a fuck about the rules” mentality. Well, we kind of adored him for that, but that’s neither here nor there.

Gaara, well anybody that was from the Village of the Sand because we were “led” to believe they were the niching of evil in this world (while obscurely ignoring that the Blood Mist HAD to be hell on Earth)

Aaaand Itachi.

Our hate for Itachi was well justified, as we were fed the story over and over and over (ad naseum) that Itachi obliterated his entire clan for the sake of….well for a while we didn’t know exactly why. We just know that were to frown on the name Itachi, for ruining Sauske’s life and bringing an end to the illustrious Uchiha clan.

(Spoiler Warning: For those who just started Naruto or are watching/reading at a snails pace, just stop here)

So how much of THIS was a mind fuck?

If you didn’t WEEP for Itachi and Sauske after this, you have no heart.

To find out that not only had Itachi surrendered his life for the village of Konoha, but for the sake of his clan (who on the brink of starting a war, was about to bring dishonor to the name Uchiha), had to pit his own love for them against his honor.

How skilled of a nin did Itachi have to be to fool not only his family, his lover, his clansmen, AND the entire village of Konoha, that only four people in this entire world would know the truth about what happened that night?

How brave was Itachi to take that entire burden on himself, leaving the only person connecting him to this deed, to be the only who charged to kill him and return honor to the clan?

Uchiha mothafucking Itachi. *slow clap, standing O*

But there is more to Itachi than just him successfully completing what the elders and Hokage elected him to do. If you look deeper, you can see the levels of Itachi’s heroism is the source of energy for Naruto’s plot.

The Naruto we know would not exist if not for Itachi. At the deepest levels of Naruto, friendship is the cornerstone. We are witnessing the angst-filled battle of Naruto to keep Sasuke as his friend. All of his other hopes and dreams are typical of any other nin, they don’t make him nor this series any different from any other show. His overwhelming desire to keep Sasuke as his friend, though, and mission to redeem him as a nin, is what drives this series. But why does Naruto need to save Sasuke?

As a child, Sasuke wasn’t cold and indifferent, he was driven and jovial (in his own special way). Eventually he would have surpassed his brother, or atleast been a very intelligent and sought after nin. But in relation to his connection with Naruto, the dynamics of loneliness would not have been the same, thus no need for Naruto to cling to Sasuke.

Sure the hunt for Jinchuriki would have not stopped, but the dynamics, purpose and equilibrium would have shifted. Everything would be different. Everything.

With his ever present influence on the past, we even find that Itachi’s ability to plan far far into the future is evident. He is even protecting Konoha and Sasuke in his death. (The Damn Crow).

Itachi was methodical, intelligent, talented and most all, he was selfless. Not once in this entire series have we seen Itachi do one thing in honor of himself. Everything has been for his clan, his village, and his family. For all we know, Itachi could have been named Hokage, as we know he was VERY good at his job. Hell, at this point, carve him into the damn wall. DO IT.

Don’t ask me where I got this photo.