Why Does Sasuke Love Itachi?

by Hazel

The relationship between Sasuke and Itachi Uchiha in the “Naruto” series, created by Masashi Kishimoto, is one of the most intricate and poignant narratives in anime and manga. It encapsulates themes of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption, contributing to the depth and complexity of the story. This article explores why Sasuke loves Itachi, despite the seemingly irreparable rift caused by Itachi’s actions.

The Uchiha Brothers: A Brief Overview

Early Childhood and Bonding

Sasuke Uchiha idolized his older brother, Itachi, from a young age. Itachi was a prodigy, revered within the Uchiha clan and the village of Konoha. His strength, skills, and calm demeanor were the benchmarks against which Sasuke measured himself. Itachi, despite his responsibilities, made time for Sasuke, fostering a deep bond between the brothers.


The Uchiha Massacre

The pivotal moment that shattered their lives was the night Itachi massacred the entire Uchiha clan, sparing only Sasuke. This act of betrayal left Sasuke with a burning desire for vengeance and a deep, festering confusion about his brother’s true intentions.


Unraveling Itachi’s True Motives

The Revelation

Sasuke’s hatred for Itachi fueled his actions for much of the series. However, the revelation of Itachi’s true motives, delivered by Tobi (Madara Uchiha), was a turning point. Itachi’s massacre of the Uchiha clan was revealed to be a mission entrusted to him by the leaders of Konoha to prevent a coup that would lead to widespread conflict. This revelation dramatically altered Sasuke’s perception of his brother.


The Sacrifice

Itachi’s actions were a tragic sacrifice for the greater good. He shouldered the burden of becoming a villain in his brother’s eyes to protect Konoha and, ultimately, Sasuke. This immense sacrifice highlighted the depth of Itachi’s love for his brother and his village. Understanding this, Sasuke’s feelings toward Itachi evolved from hatred to a complex mix of admiration, guilt, and sorrow.


Sasuke’s Journey of Discovery

Hatred and Revenge

Initially, Sasuke’s love for Itachi was buried under layers of hatred and a relentless pursuit of vengeance. His singular goal was to become strong enough to kill Itachi. This drive defined his path, leading him to seek power from Orochimaru and sever ties with his friends and village.

Confrontation and Reconciliation

The confrontation between Sasuke and Itachi culminated in Itachi’s death. It was only after defeating Itachi that Sasuke began to uncover the truth about his brother’s actions. This confrontation was not just a physical battle but a culmination of years of emotional turmoil and unresolved feelings.

Understanding and Acceptance

Upon learning the truth, Sasuke’s journey took a new direction. He grappled with the complexities of his brother’s decisions and the weight of the village’s history. This period of reflection and understanding was crucial in transforming his hatred into a deep, enduring love and respect for Itachi.

The Nature of Sasuke’s Love for Itachi

Unconditional Love

Despite the initial feelings of betrayal, Sasuke’s love for Itachi was deeply rooted in their shared childhood and Itachi’s sacrifices. This love transcended the anger and resentment, evolving into an unconditional bond that recognized the profound sacrifices Itachi made for him and their village.

Admiration and Respect

Sasuke’s admiration for Itachi grew as he learned more about his brother’s true nature and the burdens he bore. Itachi’s strength, wisdom, and selflessness were qualities that Sasuke came to respect deeply. This admiration played a significant role in shaping Sasuke’s own path, as he sought to honor his brother’s legacy.

Guilt and Redemption

Sasuke’s journey was also marked by a profound sense of guilt for having misjudged his brother for so long. This guilt drove him to seek redemption, not just for himself, but to vindicate Itachi’s sacrifices. Sasuke’s actions in the latter part of the series, including his efforts to protect Konoha, were influenced by his desire to uphold the values Itachi lived and died for.

The Symbolic Significance of Itachi’s Sacrifice

The Burden of Legacy

Itachi’s sacrifice is a powerful symbol of the burden of legacy. He chose to be the villain in the eyes of his beloved brother and the village to ensure peace. This act of ultimate sacrifice underscores the themes of duty, love, and the heavy price of peace that permeate the Naruto series.

The Cycle of Hatred

The relationship between Sasuke and Itachi also reflects the series’ broader themes of the cycle of hatred and the possibility of breaking this cycle. Itachi’s actions, though initially perpetuating Sasuke’s hatred, eventually led to a deeper understanding and the potential for breaking free from the cycle of revenge.

Sasuke’s Transformation and Legacy

A New Purpose

After learning the truth about Itachi, Sasuke’s purpose shifted from revenge to understanding and protecting what his brother valued. This transformation was evident in his decision to protect Konoha and work towards a future where the sacrifices of the past were not in vain.

Embodying Itachi’s Will

Sasuke’s later actions, including his role in the Fourth Great Ninja War and his decision to travel the world to understand and address its underlying issues, can be seen as a continuation of Itachi’s will. He sought to create a world where such sacrifices would no longer be necessary, embodying the principles Itachi stood for.

Legacy of Love and Sacrifice

The legacy of Sasuke and Itachi’s relationship is one of profound love and sacrifice. It highlights the complexities of familial bonds and the lengths to which one can go to protect their loved ones. Itachi’s actions, though painful, were driven by an unwavering love for Sasuke, a love that ultimately transformed Sasuke and shaped his destiny.


The love Sasuke Uchiha holds for his brother Itachi is a testament to the complex interplay of emotions, history, and personal growth. From idolization to hatred, and finally to a deep, abiding love and respect, Sasuke’s feelings for Itachi evolved as he uncovered the truth behind his brother’s actions. Itachi’s sacrifices, driven by love and duty, left an indelible mark on Sasuke, shaping his path and legacy. The story of the Uchiha brothers is a poignant reminder of the power of love, the weight of sacrifice, and the enduring bond of family, resonating deeply with fans and adding rich layers to the narrative of “Naruto.”


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