Recap: Naruto Shippuden Episode 455

25560312204_c541bdea2c_oItachi’s Story- Light and Darkness: Moonlit Night

My husband and I love Naruto. It is the show that brought me to love anime. This love has led us to make Thursday nights (when new episodes post on crunchyroll) Asian night. I prepare some Asian dish, sometimes inspired by Naruto itself. Tonight I made Onigiri with a spicy tuna filling and vegetables. Naruto makes you fall in love with the characters and the story lines, even some of the fillers like this current arch. Filler episodes in anime are something I’ve had to adjust to. Just when you get hooked on the action and can’t wait for the next episode its something completely unrelated and sometimes not even in the same time sequence. I do however enjoy fillers that give background information on specific characters. The current story arch is telling Itachi’s story. We’ve heard his story several times throughout the anime and each time there something rich to add. Its to the point that my husband and I realize that Naruto is the main character in the spotlight, but this anime and the Ninja world within are all driven by Itachi’s master plan inspired by his best friend Shisui.

To catch everybody up. At this point in Naruto Shippuden the entire Ninja world is under Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi, except team 7: Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, and Kakashi. We call this the “matrix effect”. Everyone else is trapped in this alternate reality. Within this reality the ninja world exist as if war had never happened. Team 7 are protected by Sasuke’s Susanoo. So we come to that point, to enter fillers that show everybody within the alternate dream world. Once those fillers are over, we enter another saga that is once again retelling Itachi’s story, which I have no problems with whatsoever.

The previous episodes showed Itachi’s childhood and rise to power within the shinobi of the Hidden Leaf. He was always a prodigy even among the talented Uchiha clan. With his talent and quick ascension in the shinobi ranks he began to question life and the motives of his fellow clansmen. Much of it started seeing dead shinobi on the battlefield and a brief but powerful conversation with Orochimaru. I wondered if Orochimaru planted those seeds within Itachi’s mind on purpose solidifying his fate before any other influences. But mostly the death of his friend and teammate, awakening his sharingan had changed Itachi, to who he know him as today. Before this occurrence he was a normal, but gifted, young shinobi. Itachi was able to meet another friend, Shisui, a gifted Uchiha shinobi much like himself. The two became like brothers. Itachi continued to increase his skills and earned a position in the Anbu (pretty much the ninja worlds B-613).

This episode showed how he begins to question whether his alliance should be with the village or his clan. As a memeber of the Anbu, he protects the village by whatever means necessary, even if that means doing things the Hokage has not approved of. The other Uchiha are tired of their isolation and being treated like enemies in their own country because of the actions of Madara Uchiha many years ago. They are planning a coup d’etat, to overthrow the current leadership making Itachi’s father the Hokage and the Uchiha respected leaders of the village. In order to prevent their clan from their own treachery Shisui sacrafices himself and gives Itachi his Sharingan, awakening his Mangekyou Sharingan. Itachi has decided to turn his Uchiha brother-in in and tells the Hokage and village leaders of the plan. He is given the task of slaughtering his entire clan, except his brother Sasuke in order to protect the village. He sees this as saving his clan, since they will not go down in history having started civil war, thus ending the dark shadow the clan was carried its entire history. He calls upon Obito, pretending to be Madara, pretending to be Tobi, to help him with the task (although I don’t know if Itachi knew he wasn’t Madara). He leaves with “Tobi” to join the Akatsuki as a rouge ninja.

This episode like this entire story arch shows emotions and thoughts that we never knew of Itachi. We knew about what he did for the village already, because he told this to Sasuke within the Ninja War, but we did not see the agonizing process of him making this decision. I don’t understand how the Uchiha saw their plan as a solution. It would pretty much prove everyone’s fear of them to be valid. The other villagers would still fear their rule and see them as tyrants. They’d have to continue killing and wiping out all those loyal to the previous regime once again solidifying there sinister outlook. Why were only Shisui and Itachi able to see the truth? Maybe it was there connection to other rest of the shinobi world due to their skill. They were not confined as ninja police. They were able to be loved as shinobi by the other villagers. So the blame comes back around to the village for ostracizing them. Which was the same thing that lead Madara to his deep bath of darkness. It was all a cycle that Itachi alone had the responsibility of breaking.  Up until now Itachi just seemed like this all knowing omniscient person among all these other “bigger” people. If I didn’t know it before, I know now that Itachi is the true hero of the Hidden Leaf Village. He did everything for his clan, village, family, and brother. My heart hurts for him, because he did not get to be the big brother he wanted to be. He had to carry the burden caused by others, and everyone but him gets to reap the benefits of his and Shisui’s sacrifice. Shisui, got the easy part. He pain was over, while Itachi lived on many years with his hurt, pain, and sacrafice. He’s like the ninja world Batman, not the hero they needed, but the hero they deserved or maybe its backwards, but you get the idea. The episode ends with his joining of the Akatsuki. I’m interested to see him participate in their Akatsuki terrorism, knowing now that he’s really a hero. Itachi is one of the people I would like to see somehow able to come back to life, where’s Nagato when you need him?

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