"Sasuke's Devolution and Despair" (Did sasuke really win?)
This is anoter essay writen by (Zapenstap Yaks)
http ://zapenstap.livejournal.com/8344.html. Read it and tell me, did sasuke win the fight?
Even if Sasuke can be said to have "won" this fight on the technicality of Itachi's sudden collapse, he has lost more than he could spare.
Sasuke is stripped of his impressive growth in this chapter. Almost everything he has learned in the second half of the manga has been eradicated. Judging by the lack of the curse seal on the back of Sasuke's shoulder (unless the angle is off or Kishimoto forgot to draw it), Sasuke expended the curse seal and ALL of its boosting abilities when he allowed Orochimaru to free himself. This might also explain the image of Sasuke where the skin by his shoulder appears to be stretched and his body surrounded by dead snakes.
Up to this point, Sasuke has been racking up the victories. Now, he has not only lost the abilities that made him seem like an invincible god among Shinobi, but has lost the only fight he cared to win.
Defeating Itachi has always been about more than killing him. If Sasuke merely wanted to see Itachi dead, he could have stayed in Konoha and asked for help defeating his brother—which he would eventually have received given recent events. But Sasuke didn't merely want Itachi dead. He wanted to defeat and kill Itachi himself. This ambition is largely motivated by Sasuke's hate of his brother's deceit, betrayal, and the murder of their clan, but it is also impacted by the brothers' sibling rivalry. As a child, Sasuke compared himself to his brother and strove to better him. Furthermore, Sasuke craved attention and praise from his family members, and especially from Itachi. When Itachi calls Sasuke his "foolish little brother" and easily overcomes, tortures, and humiliates him, it is more than Sasuke can bear. Although Sasuke's revenge is primarily concerned with avenging the Uchiha clan by killing their murderer, Sasuke also wants to prove to Itachi—and himself—that he is ultimately the stronger one.
Sasuke has a good soul. Although he is arrogant and distant, he believes strongly in justice, friendship, loyalty, and the other qualities that make a good shinobi of the leaf. If he didn't feel this way, he would already have become like Itachi. If he became like Itachi, he would have achieved the Mangekyou Sharingan. Sasuke has distanced himself from his true feelings in order to chase the abilities that he hoped would put him on equal playing field with Itachi, but he has not forgotten them. Sasuke abandoned Konoha because he felt that only hatred could make him strong, and he feared that the growing bonds with his friends and comrades were weakening his resolve. In facing off with Itachi, Sasuke hoped to prove once and for all that not only is he the better fighter, but he is also the better man. Sasuke saw himself as a righteous righter of wrongs. He is an avenger. Even if he had to become evil itself, he did it with a pure intent: to destroy a greater darkness, restore honor to the victimized, and make the world a better place. Sasuke's next target—his reason for continuing to live after killing Itachi—would have been Madara.
But not anymore. Sasuke didn't have the power to defeat Itachi, and now that he has lost the curse seal abilities, he has no hope against Madara. His efforts have been meaningless. He abandoned his friends and deserted Konoha for nothing. Sure, Itachi may be dead, but Sasuke didn't prove anything. It wasn't Sasuke's choice to walk a dark path that defeated Itachi. Itachi was defeated by his own darkness. Evil turned in upon itself. All that proves is that Sasuke is wrong.
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