Itachi Uchiha is often glorified by fans as a heroic shinobi who sacrificed everything for the greater good. However, a closer examination of his actions reveals that while he had noble intentions, his methods caused more harm than good. Should Itachi Uchiha really be considered a hero? Let’s find out.
The Uchiha Clan Massacre
For starters, Itachi was barely an adult when he made the fateful decision to wipe out his clan. Though a prodigy, he lacked the wisdom and experience to fully think through the consequences of his actions. Itachi relied heavily on preemptive violence to maintain peace, betraying his stated commitment to pacifism.
He murdered scores of people based on what they might do, not anything they had actually done. Many of Itachi’s actions are justified in the name of “heroism” by his fans, but his conception of heroism is fundamentally flawed. He slaughtered his entire clan, including children and the elderly, because of the hypothetical threat they posed to the village.
The Village before the Clan
His belief that Konoha’s interests outweigh the basic survival rights of all Uchihas is misguided extremism, not noble self-sacrifice. He also forced a seven-year-old to watch the death of his parents over and over again through Tsukuyomi and forced him down the path of hatred. Furthermore, Itachi’s treatment of Sasuke was appallingly cruel for someone supposedly acting out of love.
While his fans claim that he wanted to die fighting Sasuke to ensure that he gets praised as the hero who killed a traitor, the reality is Itachi’s actions actually contradict his own statements. He directed Sasuke to obtain the Mangekyou Sharingan by any means necessary, which means Itachi wanted Sasuke to kill someone from the leaf whom Sasuke considered a close friend. This would’ve had the exact opposite effect of what he actually intended.
Should Itachi Uchiha really be considered a hero?
Despite Itachi’s reputation for wisdom and humility, his actions reveal stunning arrogance. He decided unilaterally that the truth of the Uchiha massacre should remain hidden to protect Konoha’s image. Understandably, Danzo’s politics were a barrier to the real truth, but Itachi’s own (understandable) political and situational incompetence is also a huge factor in this regard.
Itachi Uchiha fails the test of true selfless heroism on multiple fronts. While undoubtedly skilled and strong-willed, his flaws and extreme methods should give fans pause in glorifying him uncritically. He is more a cautionary tale about the corruption of power than an ideal to aspire to.
In conclusion, while Itachi Uchiha’s intentions to prevent war were noble, his methods were severely flawed, but understandably so. Though powerful, Itachi’s abilities and foresight are overstated. It’s not entirely his fault however, Itachi was a talented young shinobi forced into a political game of adults, and he tried to navigate it as best as he could.
While an anti-hero, Itachi ultimately caused more harm than good and does not deserve to be hailed as a true hero or genius. A deeper analysis reveals a powerful but misguided shinobi who made rash decisions with disastrous consequences.