Sasuke Uchiha is one of the most polarizing characters in shōnen anime. He had fan girls and emo boys ready to fight to the death to defend his honor and even now there are anime analyzing commentators willing to make entire videos explaining why he was such a great character. From the title of this post, you might deduce that I fall on the other side of this equation. Sasuke was a generic revenge-motivated Gary Stu, who, through a convoluted twist, becomes a bad guy with too many character inconsistencies to take seriously. Even if Kishimoto hadn’t admitted to it, which he has, it was obvious that he was coming up with Sasuke’s story as he was writing it, for he couldn’t seem to decide whether he was a badass with a traumatic past, or as I took him, an overly emotional, irrationally motivated spastic.
Sasuke really is a testament of Kishimoto’s terrible writing, both in its inconsistencies and its lack of set up for important plot points. Right from the beginning we are told AND shown that Sasuke is a focused, coldly rational “genius” shinobi governed by the code of surviving to avenge his clan as well as to prevent himself from going down any path his brother, Itachi, might have taken. Up until a certain point, his character remains relatively consistent. Whenever he did something overly emotional it was generally due to being affected by the Cursed Seal or in reaction to Itachi himself. However, after Itachi shows how weak Sasuke is (and Gaara before him), we begin to see how irrational Sasuke is in his desperation get the strength he needs to kill him. This is where the inconsistencies with his character begins to reveal themselves.
In the later parts of the first series, Sasuke’s emotions completely take dominance and undermine his reason: He charges at Itachi three times when he knows he can’t win and he flees to seek Orochimaru’s help to kill Itachi despite knowing that Orochimaru was easily defeated by Itachi (the reason he wants his body). Even after learning that Itachi’s actions were for the greater good of The Hidden Leaf, instead of following his path, he decides that redirecting his hatred and revenge at the people Itachi worked with and starting an all out war is the better option. Although these are all good examples of Sasuke doing something incredibly stupid from being overly emotional, he doesn’t go full retard until he decides to support Madara’s war EVEN after learning of Itachi’s motive for killing the Uchiha and what he sacrificed to prevent such a thing.
Don’t get me wrong. It could be interpreted that Sasuke had an identity crisis after realizing that Itachi was a “victim” due to the Konoha’s leaders exploiting his hatred of war to kill the Uchiha and prevent their uprising. But this context doesn’t really stop Itachi from being a blind tool. He didn’t have to follow their orders, after all, it was not a unanimous decision to have the Uchiha killed as the Third Hokage voted against it. But even if it had been, he could have just killed those involved with the coup, but no, he killed EVERYONE but Sasuke. Despite his motivation to stop war, or maybe even because of it, Itachi doing what he did was a dick move considering its consequences. However, not only was Sasuke blind to this fact and began fighting to avenge him, but he was also blind to the fact that by avenging Itachi against Konoha he was causing the very thing Itachi died trying to prevent.
A testament to Kishimoto’s bad writing was that it wasn’t until this was revealed to Sasuke by Obito that certain parts of Sasuke’s flashbacks (which hadn’t been seen in previous – lengthy – retellings of Sasuke’s backstory) was just conveniently inserted into Sasuke’s memory to increase the impact of the revelation. That’s the equivalent of remembering an important part of a set-up for a joke you forgot to add so you just sneakily slide it in right before delivering the punchline, ironically taking away any punch the line might have had. To put the cherry on the cake, even after Sasuke learns that Obito lied to him about Madara’s involvement in the Nine-tails invasion, it doesn’t put a dent in his resolve, despite this showing that it was really him who caused the Uchiha coup, and in turn, their destruction.
Even after he sorts all this nonsense out with his resurrected brother and learns the true reason behind Itachi’s actions (trying to prevent war), his motives were still irrational and overly emotional. His final authoritarian goal to stop war through fear is retarded. He wanted to kill all leaders and put himself up as a common enemy people will hate together, who else can see where this plan might go wrong? (Like him dying for one!) It becomes so convoluted that it takes losing an arm to make him realize how retarded it is, and even then he only submits because Naruto is more childishly stubborn about his ideals than he is. When a character’s motives are obviously irrational from them being emotionally unstable, it’s hard to see why anyone’s favorite character would be such an over-powered spaz.