|A Genin level Ninja, Sasuke is the natural genius offspring of the once powerful Uchiha Clan. One of the most outstanding clans in Konohagakure, the Uchiha Family was known for its Bloodline Limit ability, the Sharingan, and formed much of the Konohagakure’s village police force. Sasuke along with his brother Itachi are the only two known remaining survivors of the clan.|
The second son of a Konohagakure police captain, Sasuke grew up in the shadow of his older brother, Itachi, who was acknowledged as a prodigy, mastering the Sharingan by the age of 8, attaining Chūnin rank at the age of 10, and becoming an ANBU captain at the age of 13. As a result, the Uchiha clan took great pride and interest in Itachi and viewed him as a genius whose work will further strengthen the bonds between the village and the clan. In particular, Sasuke’s father took an active interest in Itachi’s career and his entry into ANBU, largely neglecting Sasuke, the younger son, aside from cursory inquiries into Sasuke’s school life. While Sasuke looked up to his brother, aspiring to become a prodigy ninja also acknowledged by the clan and his father, Itachi seemed friendly yet distant. Despite his promises to Sasuke to spend quality time, his work seemed to cause him to break his promises.
After an incident between Itachi and other Uchiha clan members, relations between Itachi and Sasuke’s father deteriorate. Itachi’s behavior becomes increasingly bizarre, estranging him further from other members of the Uchiha clan. During this time, Sasuke’s father, on a whim, decides to spend time with Sasuke, teaching him Katon: Gōkakyu no Jutsu (Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique). Sasuke eventually succeeds in performing the jutsu in front of his father, surprising him. At that moment, Sasuke finally receives his father’s recognition and the right to wear the clan’s emblem on his back, a sign of adulthood. He also receives a stern warning not to follow in Itachi’s footsteps.
One day, on the way home from shuriken practice, Sasuke is horrified to find his entire clan massacred by Itachi, who wanted to test his “capacity”. Confronting Itachi in their home, his broken, sobbing self is further subjected to intense psychological torture by Mangekyo Sharingan. Itachi tells him to use his hatred of him to grow stronger: “If you wish to kill me, hate me, detest me, and survive in an unsightly way. Run, run and cling to life. And one day, when you have the same eyes as me, come before me.”
At the Ninja Academy
Driven to match Itachi and later to kill him, Sasuke excelled in every field of study at the Ninja academy, becoming the #1 Academy ninja and the #1 Rookie Genin of that year. Handsome, extremely talented and from a pedigree background, Sasuke is the most popular student in his class, especially among the girls. However, he is admired from afar and he seems not to have had any personal relationships or any close friends in his Academy years, nor was he interested in these relationships to begin with. Even his relationship with Naruto at that stage is merely that of plain dislike, with nothing more than seeds of slight rivalry, intrigue and identification.
The two things he is interested as explained in his introduction to his Genin team are the resurrection of his clan and the killing of “a certain man”, his brother, Itachi, in a hardly unjustified plight for vengeance. These ambitions under the shadow of his trauma and the endless admiration showered upon him had largely forged his character: arrogant, even-minded, apathetic to human inquiry and fixated on revenge at all costs. It is not until his prolonged exposure to Naruto’s comradeship that this disposition changes.
Sasuke and Naruto
Naruto and Sasuke are forced to cooperate against their will when they were both put in Team 7 together with Haruno Sakura, who has a huge crush on Sasuke. Naruto initially has a one-sided rivalry with Sasuke, because Naruto aspires to be what Sasuke appears to be, but Naruto was unable to obtain during his time at the Ninja Academy; Unlike Naruto, Sasuke has received recognition for his talent, popularity and admiration while Naruto received ridicule for his apparent lack of ninja talent, and was shunned or scorned otherwise. Sasuke initially looks upon Naruto and his admirer, Sakura, with an equal smug distaste, viewing them as annoyances who would only get in the way. His loner attitude is one of the negative factors responsible for Team 7’s initial state of borderline non-existent teamwork, which Kakashi notes and berates him for; however, their relationship slowly shifts from an incompatible mix of frustration and dislike into a mutually positive rivalry. While Sasuke appears to always be one step ahead to Naruto, Sasuke sees Naruto as constantly gaining ground each moment, which results in a state where they push and motivate each other to improve.
Sasuke makes it a point to taunt Naruto on occasion, goading and egging on Naruto with his air of superiority. However, a bond between the two and Sakura forms and Sasuke gradually learns the value of teamwork. As he does, he eventually begins to learn to trust and pushes his thoughts of revenge into the recesses of his mind.
This does not please Orochimaru, who is interested in Sasuke as his potential next body, or more specifically the Sharingan Sasuke has. He decides that it is imperative to somehow counter Naruto’s influence on Sasuke and “dye him his own color”. To advance this cause he puts his curse seal on Sasuke during the second stage of the Chūnin exam; Sasuke turns out to be strong enough to survive the nine out of ten chance of immediate death and regains consciousness, but the influence of the curse seal is far from over. Just by releasing Chakra the curse becomes active and forcibly pulls out more Chakra, corroding his body and his free will. At this point the small mark on the neck grows to wrap around Sasuke’s whole body, like a strange black rash.
Sasuke’s willpower is surprisingly strong enough to hold back this curse and after Hatake Kakashi, the ninja who is assigned to train him, performs his Evil Sealing Method on him, it becomes even easier for him to control it and use his Chakra normally. However, a series of events unfolds that change his attitude towards Orochimaru – and everybody else, for that matter. His brother arrives in Konoha, searching for Naruto – and when Sasuke challenges him, he gets such a horrid beating that his already manifesting inferiority complex seizes his whole mind and he sets his mind on only one thing, finding more power. For this cause he decides to take the curse seal into the next level instead of attempting to contain it, and turn his back on village without permission to train with Orochimaru, betraying Team 7 in the process. A genin team consisting of Naruto, Inuzuka Kiba, Hyūga Neji and Akimichi Chōji and led by Nara Shikamaru is sent to retrieve Sasuke, but encounter opposition from Orochimaru’s “Sound Four”.
Naruto manages to reach Sasuke on his own. It is then revealed that in his famous speech after slaughtering the Uchiha clan, Itachi did not only tell Sasuke to “run, run and cling desperately to life”, but also that he will only be able to match him in battle when he has the same eyes as him, the Mangekyō Sharingan – which can only be attained by killing one’s best friend. This was not revealed the first time Sasuke is forced to recall this scene, which suggests that he refused to remember until this moment in time. He realizes that without a family, he can only exist in rivalry with another, and through that, although he hates Naruto with a passion, he is also his best friend.
Naruto refuses to accept Sasuke’s decision, as by his own admission Sasuke is like a brother to him and he can’t bear to lose him to the twisted path of self-destruction he has chosen. They therefore engage in battle, and Sasuke soon realizes that the Sharingan he has is not enough to follow Naruto’s movements. Forcing premature development of his Sharingan by force of will, Sasuke is able to analyze the tension in Naruto’s body in order to predict what Naruto’s next move will be. However, that is not enough to win conclusively, so Sasuke resorts to activating Orochimaru’s cursed seal.
When Naruto witnesses Sasuke’s body deform as a result of the activation of the cursed seal, he realizes that Sasuke has seriously turned his back on not only Team 7 but Konohagakure and, by proxy, Hi no Kuni, solely so he can achieve the ambition of killing his brother Itachi. His disbelief is what allows Sasuke to knock Naruto unconscious.
Witnessing Naruto’s body, Sasuke recalls Itachi’s words. He is ready to kill Naruto in order to gain the Mangekyō Sharingan, but then realizes that if he does, he and Itachi would be in essence the same person. He desires to kill Itachi in his own way, and not simply use Itachi’s own techniques against him. So he chooses to leave Naruto alive, and heads towards the Village of Sound where he is greeted by Orochimaru.