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ItachiEdoTensei
Itachi Uchiha
 (うちはイタチ, Uchiha Itachi) was a prodigy of Konohagakure's Uchiha clan. He became an international criminal after murdering his entire clan, sparing only his younger brother, Sasuke. He afterwards joined the international criminal organisation known asAkatsuki, whose activity brought him into frequent conflict with Konoha and its ninja — including Sasuke, who sought to avenge their family. Following his death, Itachi's motives were revealed to be more complicated than they seemed and that his actions were only ever in the interest of his brother and village, remaining a loyalshinobi of Konohagakure to the very end.

Background Edit Edit

itachi was the first son born to Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha. His early childhood was marked with violence: when he was four years old theThird Shinobi World War broke out and he witnessed firsthand many of the war's casualties; shortly after the war ended the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha occurred and Itachi — his parents nowhere to be found — was left solely responsible for keeping his infant brother, Sasuke, safe.[5] The death and destruction he experienced at such a young age traumatised Itachi and made him a pacifist.[6] He began to study history, not just of his clan or his village but of the world, and by doing so he gained a broader appreciation of what was important. Learning so much enabled him to understand how events of the past came to happen and, when he applied that same understanding into the future, he became concerned for where things were going.[7]

Though peace-loving, Itachi was a natural prodigy in the shinobi arts, praised as the best of his generation.[8] At age 7, Itachi graduated from the Academy at the top of his class; at age 8 he mastered theSharingan; at age 10 he passed the Chūnin Exams;[9] at age 11 he entered the Anbu;[10] by age 13 he was promoted to Anbu captain.[11]Itachi's accomplishments were a source of great pride for his family, his father viewing him as proof of the Uchiha's future prosperity and his brother viewing him as a model to live up to. Itachi spent a great deal of time with Sasuke, training with him (though rarely actually training him) and giving him the recognition their father did not. But for all the attention he received, few truly understood Itachi,[9] believing his isolation to be a result of the gap between his abilities and theirs and not his dissatisfaction with the shinobi's life of conflict.

The Nine-Tails' attack had soured relations between Konoha's leadership and the Uchiha, the former believing the latter to be responsible. The Uchiha were relocated to a corner of the village, isolating them from the rest of the village and making it easier to monitor them. The Uchiha felt wronged by this treatment and began planning a coup d'état. Fugaku, head of the Uchiha and the coup's chief conspirator, encouraged Itachi's advancement into the Anbu's ranks as a means of spying on the village. Itachi, however, knew an Uchiha coup would lead to intervention from other villages and ultimately start another World War, something he could not support. He instead became a double agent, reporting the Uchiha's actions to the Third Hokage and his advisers in the hopes it would help them find a peaceful resolution.[12]

Itachi shared the burden of betraying his clan with Shisui, his best friend, brother-figure, and a like-minded Uchiha. But as time went on it became increasingly clear that peace could not be achieved. Shisui attempted to use his Kotoamatsukami on the Uchiha's leaders to compel them to negotiate, but his right eye was stolen by Danzō Shimura before he had a chance. His own options exhausted, Shisui entrusted his remaining eye to Itachi and begged him to protect the village and their family name before drowning himself in the Naka River.[13] Itachi was anguished by Shisui's death, enough to awaken his Mangekyō Sharingan. When the following day some Uchiha, already suspicious of Itachi, accused him of murdering Shisui and staging a suicide, Itachi lost his composure and attacked them, defeating them easily.[14] A rift was created between Itachi and his family, and his warnings to them to reconsider what they were doing fell on deaf ears.

Although the Third Hokage still wished to negotiate with the Uchiha, Danzō Shimura recognised that there was no longer an outcome that could see the Uchiha clan's survival. He explained this to Itachi and left him a choice: support the Uchiha's coup and have the whole clan, including Sasuke, killed in the ensuing conflict, or accept the assignment to wipe out the clan before the coup started and be allowed to spare Sasuke. Itachi chose his brother.[15] While making final preparations, Itachi discovered a masked man sneaking around Konoha. From observing him he came to believe the man was truly Madara Uchiha bent on provoking some new conflict. Itachi approached him with an offer: he would assist "Madara" with wiping out the Uchiha, taking vengeance against them for abandoning him decades earlier, if Madara would spare the village. The man, otherwise known as Tobi, agreed.[16]

In one night Itachi and Tobi slaughtered the entire clan. Itachi took it upon himself to personally execute his parents. Despite his betrayal, they bore him no ill-will, instead telling him in the moments before they were killed that they were proud of him and requesting that he take care of Sasuke.[17] Racked by grief for his actions, Itachi saw in Sasuke the only person suitable to punish him for his crimes. In order to set Sasuke on this road he cast himself as the villain, done by allowing Sasuke to find him standing over their parents' bodies and using Tsukuyomi to torment him with visions of their murders. Sasuke fled, fearing his own death, but Itachi chased him down to divulge the lie he had concocted: he killed their family to test his mettle and now wanted to test himself against the only remaining challenge to him, the little brother he'd never loved. He encouraged Sasuke to become strong enough to kill him and take revenge, and to that end suggested he acquire a Mangekyō Sharingan of his own. Itachi left, but was surprised to find Sasuke already pursuing him with a newly-awakened Sharingan. Sasuke's attempt at vengeance failed and he passed out, but not before seeing Itachi cry with remorse.[18]

For his final business in the village, Itachi visited the Third Hokage and reported his mission completed, much to the Third's surprise and disappointment. Itachi requested that the Third look after Sasuke, which the Third vowed to do. Concerned that not all of Konoha's leadership would follow this request, Itachi also met with Danzō and threatened to tell every secret he knew about Konoha to its rival villages if any harm came to Sasuke, which Danzō assented to.[19] Itachi left the village publicly a traitor but secretly with a new mission: to infiltrate Tobi's organisation, Akatsuki, and keep it from moving against Konoha.[20] He was partnered withKisame Hoshigaki, with whom he bonded over their shared notoriety for killing their own countrymen.[21] At some point after joining Akatsuki, Orochimaru tried to steal Itachi's body in order to gain the Sharingan, but Itachi easily deflected him and severed his left hand, forcing him to leave the organisation.[22] To find a replacement for Orochimaru, Itachi helped recruit Deidara, whose art he defeated with his Sharingan's genjutsu; Deidara would forever after swear vengeance for the humiliating defeat.[23]

Itachi at some point contracted an incurable terminal illness. He kept himself alive through the years with medicine and sheer willpower so that he could live long enough to die by Sasuke's hand.[24]

Personality Edit Edit

From a young age, Itachi was quiet and insightful. He lived at a distance, observing individuals and ideas without getting directly involved so that he could fully understand them.[25] Although this approach prevented him from becoming close with many people, it enabled him to think and act without prejudice or preconceptions, instead evaluating things strictly on their own merits. He would think about shinobi and origins of the village and its future.[7] For this reason he never had the self-righteous loyalty to his clan that was so common among the Uchiha; though he loved his family and wanted the best for them, he knew there were more important things than the Uchiha's aspirations. In the anime, Itachi had a very strong bond with Shisui, having an off feeling during his mission when Shisui was in danger and rushing back to investigate.[26]

Despite being a pacifist by nature, Itachi felt his own needs were secondary to the greater good's; to that end he became a shinobi. He trained tirelessly to improve himself as quickly as he could and subjected himself to all of the shinobi life's inconveniences without complaint for the simple motivation of being useful to others. Being so accomplished as a ninja enabled Itachi to approach problems less violently than others would, satisfying his peace-loving nature. These two extremes of his personality came into conflict as events moved toward the Uchiha Clan Downfall; he did not want to harm his family and sought a peaceful resolution, but knew that the path with the least bloodshed would be the clan's extermination. As the inevitability of the massacre became more apparent, Itachi's normally polite attitude to his clansmen became more violent, criticising them openly and lashing out at them for the choices that sealed their fates and his own.

Despite the traumas he endured from killing his own family, Itachi did not blame those among Konoha's leadership who gave him the mission; though he did not trust Danzō Shimura on a personal level, he knew Danzō only had the village's best interests at heart. But Itachi – partly out of the necessity of his assignment to join Akatsuki – was greatly changed after the massacre, rarely if ever showing emotion. He became more prone to displays of force and permitted certain violent habits of his partner, Kisame Hoshigaki, under the pretence that it furthered Akatsuki's goals.[27]Itachi could not and would not fully shake his pacifist ways, and would run from confrontation or rein in Kisame if the likelihood of collateral damage became too high for themselves or others. While Kisame would sometimes protest, he considered Itachi a good friend and would listen to his instructions.

Konoha's protection was always forefront in Itachi's mind,[28] but it was his dedication to his brother, Sasuke, that took priority in every situation. From the time of Sasuke's infancy, Itachi tasked himself with looking after him. They'd spend whole days together in the woods around Konoha having adventures and accomplishing self-appointed missions. When Itachi began to become an accomplished ninja and took much of their father's attention, Itachi would make special time to fill their father's shoes for Sasuke's benefit, at times even refusing his father's wishes in order to make Sasuke happy. Sasuke, wishing to be just like his older brother, would often ask Itachi to train him in the ninja arts. Itachi would almost never do so, poking his forehead and promising to train him some other time.[29]

It was Sasuke's safety that ultimately convinced Itachi to go through with killing the rest of the Uchiha, believing his own damnation was worth it if it ensured Sasuke's survival. Even though he did it for Sasuke, Itachi wanted to be punished for his crimes and selected Sasuke as the one to take vengeance against him. To push Sasuke in this direction, Itachi withheld the true reason for his actions and instead took on the persona of a man who had no love for his younger brother. Per the persona, Itachi cared about Sasuke only because of the eyes that he could take to gain Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan. His actions in Akatsuki were meant to reinforce this persona, and whenever he met Sasuke over the years he would taunt his weakness and encourage him to get strong enough to kill him. His plan was that, once he had been killed, Sasuke would be hailed as a hero. Itachi never wanted Sasuke to learn the truth surrounding the Uchiha's massacre, and if he did he hoped the memory of a hateful older brother would cause him to not believe it.

After he died and was reincarnated, Itachi discovers that his plans largely failed; Sasuke is not a hero and he did find out the truth about what Itachi did. Naruto Uzumaki points out to Itachi the flaw in his plans: he had been trying to manipulate Sasuke rather than be honest with him and trust in his own strength.[30] Acknowledging the mistake, Itachi is free to be himself instead of the persona he fabricated, being openly kind to others and displaying a dry sense of humour even in stressful situations.[31] He is finally open with Sasuke when they meet again, admitting what he did and even sharing information Sasuke did not already know. He apologises to Sasuke for failing in his responsibilities as an older brother, wondering if being up front with Sasuke from the beginning might have allowed them to avoid the Uchiha's destruction. In their final moments together, Itachi tells Sasuke he does not need forgiveness and that he will always love him no matter what.[32]

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