"I understand now. Even if I must take the devil's road, I must gain power. I am an avenger."
Sasuke is a young talented boy that always tries to surpass his older brother Itachi. One day, Itachi wiped out their clan sparing him and letting him become stronger. Itachi wants him to hate and wants him to kill his best friend to gain the M. Sharingan. An eye only available if the user is a Uchiha that kills something close to him. Sasuke considers himself as an avenger and life goals is to kill Itachi. He joins Orochimaru in the search to gain power and kill Itachi.
Sasuke is now 12 years old and a really dark, obsessed, and intense little kid. On the surface he’s got it all going for him. All the girls like him, he’s a natural genius at Ninja arts, and he’s too cool for school. But than he’s stuck on a team with two people he feels are far below his abilities. The first is Sakura, who is constantly trying to push herself into his heart that has no room for thoughts other than vengeance, and Naruto who he considers basically just this loudmouth Jerk telling him how he’s not so great at all.
They are assigned a mission to protect a Bridge Builder key in the construction of a bridge that will break his nation on trade with criminals. He performs flawlessly in his first battle. This is stark contrast to Naruto, who is hesitates in fear. Sasuke is quick to point that out which snaps him right out of it.
Before the mission is over they have several fights culminating in Sasuke diving into the line of fire to protect Naruto. Although this sacrifice isn’t something he did intentionally, as a Leaf Ninja he’s been taught always to be concerned about the welfare of the group more than himself personally. This action is what unhinges Naruto, who explodes in power and wins the day.
The mission a success, Sasuke’s next hurtle is the Chunin exam. The exam is designed to raise a Ninja’s rank if they complete a series of difficult tests. He performs well in all of them, except during a portion in the forest of death when he meets Orochimaru for the first time.
Orochimaru is a very dark Ninja obsessed with power. He sees a lot to like in Sasuke, and decides to use him as a host when he later transfers his mind from one body to another (thus maintaining a type of immortality). He infects Sasuke with a Mark known as a Cursed Seal, which gives it’s user a great deal of power in exchange for inflicting some possibly severe health problems. Sasuke find himself afraid for the first time since that night he was staring at his dead family, because it’s obvious Ochimaru is much stronger than he is and he's in a fight with him.
Naruto leaps in to save Sasuke at a critical moment. Than he’s quick to rub in how scared Sasuke is. This snaps Sasuke out of it.
After the forest of death portion of the test is complete, Sasuke has some time to train. He does so with Kakashi, who teaches him an advanced attack known as Chidori. Chidori is a rush of lighting that pours out of one hand and inflicts massive damage and one of his signature moves.
When the exams resume he's in the final round in a tournament facing off with another powerful Ninja called Gaara. The fight is going well for him when it’s interrupted by Orochimaru attacking the village. A little thing like gigantic snakes tearing up buildings isn’t going to stop Sasuke from getting his victory however, and he chases after Gaara who escapes with his siblings.
Sasuke than finds himself at a disadvantage. Gaara suddenly isn’t nearly as weak as it appeared, and soon Gaara is losing all control on the inner beast (comparable to the Demon Fox) that resides within. Only Naruto can save him at this point, and he does so. Sasuke can’t accept this. A Ninja who is so consistently terrible came out of nowhere and surpassed a foe even he couldn’t defeat. He wouldn’t let it stand. He challenged Naruto to a fight to prove who was the better Ninja.
As they both fired off ultimate attacks, the fight was halted by Kakashi. In the aftermath it's shown that although Chidori was powerful, Sasuke didn’t have the reserves of energy to put into it that matched Naruto's far more damaging blast.
Sasuke goes to brood, as typical, when Kakashi tells him how his life need not be a constant string of obsessive thoughts. Chidori was made to protect his friends, not oppose them.
He only had a few minutes to think about that before Orochimaru once again stepped into his life. He was given a chance to leave the village, greatly increase his power, and rapidly advance his goal of killing his brother Itachi. He jumped at it. It was becoming clear to him that if he stayed in the village he’d have to give up on vengeance entirely. That was something he would never accept. Sakura tried to stop him by spilling her heart out abd saying how much she cared for him. That maybe gave him one regret about this whole exodus. Maybe.
So he was instantly a high ranking member of Ochimaru's ninjas and escorted out by a team of his new Ochimaru henchmen off to meet the man in person. But before that he was sealed in a barrel that was designed to bring out the full abilities in his cursed seal. They took that with them and oncehe emerged from it he found himself in position of vast amount of new power.
Naruto caught up with him on the waterfall at ‘The Valley of the End’. The two of them dueled in Epic fashion. Naruto had no idea why Sasuke would leave all his friends. Sasuke didn’t think he had any to begin with. The two of them traded punches and insults and dramatics, culminating in a second clash of their ultimate attacks.
When it was all over, Sasuke stood victorious. He didn’t kill Naruto, which was his intention early on, because he now realized Naruto was sincerely concerned for him and perhaps the one person he would call a friend.
He continued his journey to Orochimaru where he became his Right-hand man. Studying at his feet, he spent the next few years learning many attacks and techniques forbidden to others.
WARNING: Everything beyond this point contains massive spoilers for those who have not seen the latest episodes of Naruto Shippuden that have been airing in Japan (the US version is quite far behind) AND are not up-to-date with the Japanese manga.
The manga is quite far ahead of the anime airing in Japan, so there will still be a lot of spoilers even for those who have seen the latest episode of the Shippuden anime but are not up-to-date with the Japanese manga. You have been warned.
Before Sasuke’s Birth
Sasuke’s troubles and obsessions begin far, far before he was actually born. To understand why he does the things he does you have to start with corrupt politics and the lies of many people of the past. These origins now constantly force him into ever darker actions.
Before the Leaf Village was founded the land was strife with Ninja clans clashing for dominance. The two considered to be the most powerful were Hashirama (Leader of the Senju Clan and future First Hokage) and the Ninja now known as Tobi (who than Leader of the Uchiha clan). These two clans were always bound to do battle because whenever one was hired to perform a mission their other side of the conflict immediately hired the other clan to counter them.
It's worth noting Uchiha’s even in this period mostly reach the peak of their powers by performing dark deeds. One way, for example, removing your brothers eyes and insert them into your head. But It’s all done in the name of strengthening and protecting the clan. They had many and mighty enemies. In Tobi’s case his brother was even willing to give his eyes so Tobi could stand up to Hashirama.
Than in a surprising move this man sent a peace treaty to the Uchiha's. Tobi opposed such an action because he and his brother sacrificed heavily for the Uchiha's to be a independent superpower. But he was not in total authority. The clan voted to accept because the war they had been fighting had demoralized the Ninjas and depleted their ranks.
After this collaboration of the two greatest clans, the leaf village was founded. Tobi was certain that his clan’s greatest rivals would one day destroy them. They had been trying to do for a very long time, and he didn’t see a truce changing that.
When it came time to pick a Hokage Hashirama was considered the greatest Ninja alive and voted into power. Tobi challenged this, seeing his clan’s status falling in the new order, but wasn’t heard. He wasn't someone the other Uchiha would respect. He was considered a War Extremist who would tear the clan apart. He was gradually hated by all with ad without of the clan and left the village of his own free will. When he later returned for vengeance he battled the first Hokage for supremacy at the waterfall known as ‘The Valley of the End’ and was defeated, presumed dead, and than forgotten.
In time Uchiha’s were given the task of forming a police force in the village. But this was to distant the clan from the halls of power, and put them in a place where they were subservient to the Hokage. By the time they started to realize what was going on, it was too late to change things. Senju supremacy was assured.
Around the time Sasuke was born the Nine Tail Demon Fox attacked the village. This gave the leaders reason to doubt the Uchiha’s clans loyalty as they were certain Uchiha’s were potently capable of controlling the beast and sending it to strike them all down.
This was not the case.
But the thoughts of a massive Uchiha rebellion festered in their minds. They decided it was better to make the first move and prevent a possible civil war. All Uchiha were moved into a single district of the city and segregated. The Third Hokage had some problems with this, but was voted down because these people were never completely trusted to begin with. A spy was planted, namely the Uchiha named Itachi, otherwise known as Sasuke’s older brother.
And they finally had good reason to take such action. The Uchiha’s had had enough and were beginning to plot a violent overthrow of the Leaf Village Government.
Sasuke was just a child and totally shielded from the constant tension present in the Village’s power structure. He led a simple life. He loved his parents, strived to do well in everything related to being a Ninja, and greatly admired his older brother Itachi.
Although his father secretly spoke of Sasuke highly, publicly he only lauded his brother to help increase his status. When he spoke directly to Sasuke it was typically in ways that compared whatever his actions were to that of brother when he was that age. This built up a kind of manic eagerness for Sasuke to prove himself and get out of Itachi’s long shadow.
Meanwhile his father had a lot on him mind. He was the mastermind behind the upcoming rebellion. His son Itachi was the very best Uchiha Ninja around, and accepted into the Village’s highest ranks. From here he worked as a double agent. He was tried to keep a balancing act to be loyal to the Village as a whole, and his clan. But when it came down to it his loyalty was first and foremost the Leaf Village. He’d seen his share of war and wanted no Civil war to ever happen. If that had happened the other countries would very likely seize the opportunity and attack nations now unprotected by the Leaf Village. This very well could have escalated into a massive continent spanning war.
So that’s why the Village leaders ordered him to kill every Uchiha. And that’s why he did it.
He didn’t do it alone though. Only he had figured out Tobi was actually alive. He went to him and struck a deal. Revenge for Tobi on the clan that had ruined his life in exchange for not taking that rage out on the rest of the village. Tobi would have liked to see things go back to the way they were, namely the land locked in constant war, but decided to agree to the terms.
Except something went wrong on that murderous night. In the middle of the carnage Itachi he refused to kill his younger brother Sasuke. He lied to him so he might spare Sasuke the shame of his clan trying to spark a civil war that would have killed millions solely because of their fallen status. He always wanted him to become a strong and proud Ninja.
Sasuke hadn’t understood any of this at the time. He was a weeping, twisted up ball of fear when he saw the corpses of everyone he loved all recently murdered for no apparent reason and his brother at the center of it telling him how weak he was and how he needed to become much stronger if he was ever going to get his revenge.
After it was all over Itachi begged the leaders to spare him. When that didn’t work he threatened their lives and blackmailed them with the information he knew they were keeping from the public. Than he left.
As Sasuke grew up alone he only had one other child around who knew a similarly dark set of circumstances. That was Naruto. And although they weren’t openly friendly, they were both secretly happy that they weren’t totally alone in being alone.
At this point Sasuke is 15 Years old. He’s got a new costume, traveled far, and described by one of the most villainous Ninja in the series with phrases like ‘He’s Worse than me’. Things are going exactly how Sasuke wants them to. Each day he’s getting stronger. And than Naruto suddenly shows up at one of his hidden bases and declares how he's bringing him back home where he belongs.
He hasn’t thought about Naruto for years. If he cares for him he certainly hides it well because he sure can’t go back to how it was now and isn’t afraid to tell him so. He starts a fight and looks like he’s going to kill him when Orochimaru’s assassin steps in and reminds him Naruto might one day help disrupt the Akatsuki Ninjas, of which his brother is currently a full member.
That seems like a pretty weak excuse to Sasuke. Naruto seems to be highly motivated to constantly get in the way of his obsession.
Soon after this Sasuke realizes something important. He might finally be strong enough to kill Orochimaru. And if he can do that, he might be able to kill his brother.
He puts that to the test instantly, and after a brief skirmish Orochimaru and he are locked into a battlefield composed of their minds. Orochimaru feels very confident here, thinking he’s going to take Sasuke’s body as his own, but things turn around quickly and Sasuke is the one who forces Orochimaru down into his mind where his abilities are now at Saske's disposal.
Taking his former Master's powers as his own, he finally feels able to challenge his brother on equal terms. This path started the night he saw his family dead, but only now does he really think he can win.
He assembles a team known as ‘Snake’. The purpose of this team is solely to get himself and Itachi in a one-on-one battle. It is composed of former Orochimaru ninjas. The first is the original Cursed Seal user prone to extreme acts of violence beyond his control, a mad scientist type of teenage girl who is just as love struck with him as Sakura is, and a maniac who wields Zabuza’s sword and is similarly obsessed with killing Itachi’s partner in crime.
They hunt down Itachi and succeed in getting him where he wants to be. Eye to Eye with his brother.
Itachi isn’t doing so well though. It’s revealed that Uchiha eyes can have immense power, but at immense cost. He will eventually go blind unless he replaces his own eyes with that of his brother. Sasuke isn’t about to let that happen.
They fight. Let me break it down for you. It’s pretty Epic. This duel was in the works literally since before both of these guys were even born.
When all the fighting is over Sasuke is in a bad way. He’s got his back to the wall. He’s used up all his tricks and even called out Orochimaru from the depths of him mind to make a brief appearance. To show how dominate a Ninja Itachi really is, you have to first understand Orochimaru is very much a survivor. He survives. That’s what he does. But Itachi stuck him down with a single blow. So now Sasuke is helpless, Itachi’s fingers reaching out as if to pluck out his eyes.
Of course he didn’t want to do that. He thwacked him on the head instead (as he often did when they were younger) and gave him some words of encouragement. Than, he died. It’s even implied that during this fight he wanted to die, and for Sasuke to do it. He was never going all out here. He wanted Sasuke to never know the whole truth, and for him to keep on growing. Only by killing him did he feel Sasuke could finally let go on the past and lead a normal life.
But that wasn’t going to happen. Tobi (who is really madara Uchiha in disguise) appeared, collected up Sasuke’s barely living body, and took him back to his lair. Sasuke actually nearly killed him there on accident because of a trap his brother Itachi had forced into him during their fight designed to instantly kill Tobi should the two ever meet face to face. Tobi was a little to crafty to die from that though, and started explaining everything to Sasuke.
Now that Sasuke knew the reasons behind his clans slaughter his obsession changed targets. It is clear to him the Leaf Village Leaders were the ones to blame all the long, his brother was actually a hero, and now he and his team - now known as hawk - could plan on destroying the Village completely. To best do so they team up with Tobi and the organization to which he belongs called the Akatsuki.
Sasuke battled the host of an 8-tail beast (Similar to Naruto who is host of the Nine Tail Fox). And after a difficult match beat him using the newly manifest powers of his eye. Collecting all the beasts is Akatsuki’s main objective, and this puts them one large step closer. When it is accomplished he plans to take that power gained at direct it straight at his former home.
His goals are brutal, and when asked to explain himself he replied that "If anyone wants to deny my way of living, I'll kill everyone they ever cared About" so that "They'll understand a little of my hatred". To Sasuke the leaf village itself is not as important as his brother's life, and he says so. He goes on to explain how even the people not directly responsible for these events, namely the people who just live there, are 'Nothing but a pile of shit' because they worship Senju and follow elders who are corrupted. Sasuke is arguably the main villain as of this edit, moving well past the 'Anti Hero' stage he held for most of the series.
Sasuke was made as a rival for Naruto, not originally one of the Ninjas the creator had in mind. He became so popular however it was rumored he had to be taken out of the story for fear his presence would dominate whenever he was 'on-screen'.