Naruto Chapter 590 Breakdown: Goodbye Uchiha Itachi…
In both the real world and in the world of manga, there are two types of heroes that exist.
The first is a hero who stands in the light – one who’s exploits and efforts become known to all and whose name is remembered for many years long after their deaths. These heroes – through their actions and ideals – become beacons of hope and inspiration for others and stand tall as pillars of strength or as role models that others can rely on for encouragement.
The second type of hero is one who lurks in the shadows – a hero who acts behind the scenes to help others, but who is never recognized for his/her efforts. Unlike the hero that stands in the light, this hero will never be remembered for their actions. On the contrary, they may be remembered as something they never really were to begin with.
It is because of this that the hero who lurks in the shadows can commit acts no normal hero would be forgiven for and, to this extend, such a hero may even adapt a role that acts as a guise to their true nature for the sake of protecting the image of an ideal hero.
Both of these heroes are equally important, because they both fulfill a role the other cannot. Unlike the hero of shadows, a hero of light can inspire others and give them hope. They represent an ideal and give those around them the strength to fight on in a world of hardships and in doing so, act as a beacon of light. This would not be possible if the hero of light’s hands were stained with blood and marred with morally questionable actions. On the flip side, the hero of shadows is seen by no-one and so can act in a manner that is necessary for the good of all, even if those actions fall into the realm of moral obscurity.
In the Narutoverse, both such heroes exist as well and where Naruto might be considered a hero of light – upholding ideals that are considered just and true – Itachi would be considered a hero of the shadows, whose actions – while never remembered for their true nature – were always committed for the greater good of others regardless of the questionable circumstances or manner in which they were committed.
To that end, as it stands now, we’ve arrived to what could be considered the final “conclusion” to Itachi’s life as a whole. With the release of Edo Tensei currently underway, Itachi has once again taken it upon himself to say his final goodbyes to Sasuke, only this time, rather than hiding his feelings under a guise of deception, he has instead chosen to reveal the true nature of his life to his younger brother, his life as a shadow in the world of shinobi.
Although this flashback revealed some details we were already well aware of beforehand, they were shown in a way that refreshed the context in which those details existed and, as such, made things a bit clearer for us to comprehend. For one thing, we’ve learned that Hiruzen Sarutobi was, in fact, strongly against the idea of massacring the Uchiha and that he yearned to console the grievances between them and Konoha. As Hokage, he stood his ground quite sternly despite whatever views his peers might have had in opposition to him.
While before I assumed that things eventually went awry with the negotiations between Hiruzen and the Uchiha, we learn instead that the negotiations may have been sabotaged to begin with – by none other than Danzou, no less.
Despite Hiruzen’s wishes to deal with the Uchiha in a peaceful manner, Danzou approaches Itachi after the meeting and takes it upon himself to inform the young Uchiha that things are not quite as simple as they might appear. He explains to Itachi that should it come down to it, Hiruzen would protect Konoha above anything else, even if it meant fighting the Uchiha, and, should a war break out between the Uchiha and Konoha, the Uchiha would most certainly be destroyed. Beyond that, it is also made clear that other countries would take advantage of such a time of weakness and attack Konoha in the confusion.
But in all honesty, these are just moot points compared to the final nail that Danzou drove into the coffin, which was the mention of Sasuke’s fate in all this. Danzou made it clear that should war break out, all the Uchiha would die, including Sasuke, but if Itachi destroyed the Uchiha first instead, he could spare his brothers life.
In the end, by becoming a sacrifice to garner the hatred of Konoha upon himself, Itachi would be able to spare his brother’s life – along with the sanctity of the Uchiha name – from the wrath of destruction. In this manner, he fulfilled his role as a hero of the shadows, by committing an act that no hero of light could commit. Whether you agree with his methods or not is another matter altogether, but the fact remains that Itachi made a choice based on his own perception and according to that perception, the Uchiha were dead either way. The only factor left to consider for him was how they died and how much collateral damage he could prevent from being caused.
In retrospect, Danzou himself could also be considered a hero of the shadows as well, because, much like Itachi, he acted in the interests of what he felt was worth protecting. As dark a character as he may seem, I personally feel as if I am beginning to understand him more than I did before. Even if his methods were questionable, there is no doubt in my mind now that Danzou, like Itachi, truly had the best interests of Konoha at heart. In saying that, though, noble intentions do not always yield noble actions and even though Danzou’s intentions may have been good, I still can’t agree with his methods.
Another point I felt a strong connection to was Itachi’s last words with his parents before their deaths. I was surprised when Fugaku acknowledged his son despite his treachery and that he recognized that Itachi’s path was chosen out of love for his brother and his clan and not out of spite or malice.
Fugaku recognized that Itachi, in his own way, was doing what he felt was right and so respected him for it. This for me was a truly gut-wrenching – and yet also strangely heartwarming – scene and one of the highlights of the chapter as a whole. I think this also ties into Itachi’s last words to Sasuke as well because, in a similar manner to what Fugaku did for him, he is also gave Sasuke his blessings saying that he will love him no matter what path he chooses.
I think that Itachi is proud of Sasuke for choosing his own path – one that he feels is right – regardless of whether it is actually correct or not. In saying that though, I also think Itachi believes that Naruto will be able to stop Sasuke as well, which is why he has enough faith to leave the future in the hands of the next generation.
Speaking of light and dark, in a sense, you could say that the relationship between Naruto and Itachi is something like the relationship between light and shadow. The stronger a light shines, the darker the shadow cast behind it becomes and conversely, the stronger the shadow is, the brighter the light appears. In essence, a shadow cannot exist without a source of light to fuel its strength and, in a similar respect, Itachi’s strength comes from knowing that as a shadow that lurks in the darkness, there is a light he can rely on to carry his will through to the end.
*CODE GEASS SPOILERS AHEAD*
In some respects, for those of you who ever watched Code Geass, Itachi’s role could be compared to that of Lelouch, in that both acted as sacrifices to draw hatred to themselves, to create peace for everyone else. They both also paved the way for another “savior” to lead the world to salvation. In this case, for Itachi, that savior is Naruto. By taking on the burden of staining his own hands with blood, Itachi has left Naruto’s hands free of those stains.
In that respect, Itachi has laid the foundations for Naruto to lead the world into the future, aware that it is necessary for Naruto to remain in the light so that others may follow him. Itachi is content with dying as traitor because to him, the ends more than justify the means and so there is nothing to left for him to regret.
*CODE GEASS SPOILERS END*
And so… with that in mind, we say goodbye to the unsung hero – to the shadow that worked behind the scenes to create peace for all. We say goodbye to a brother and a son, to a mentor for others and yet also a student to life and even death itself.
We say our final goodbye to Uchiha Itachi and send him off with our last respects.
Well, that’s it from me for now. I’m sorry the breakdown is a bit late, but I had to make sure everything I said was clear. It was quite difficult to write in the end, but hopefully, I got everything across well enough.
Here are the places for the last Bubbliton contest.
4th) The Incredible Marksman
Bubble 1: Fee Fi Foe Fum….
Bubble 2: I am going to kill you.
Caption: Its as I thought. Apparently, this expression doesn’t have to rhyme in this particular situation. That being said, it may still be a good idea to RUN!!!!!!
Madara’s Susanoo: I know it’s difficult to not to look up my kilt. My sword is not the only thing that swings and levels mountains.
Caption: Susanoo fashion statement: I’m compensating for something, guess what.
2nd) The Incredible Marksman
Bubble 1: So….
Bubble 2: Whatcha duuwiin?
Caption: That awkward moment when you realize that the moment is to awkward to actually be a moment.
And the winner is…
Well done to Simplyantony, who I believe came up with a creative idea for a bubbliton entry. Well done to everyone else who placed as well.
As for this week’s contest, going with Itachi’s last goodbye, it was only natural that I used this image bellow.
I hope you guys have fun with it.
See you in the comments. ^ ^