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Let's assume for a second that Sasuke kills everyone in Konoha, however unrealistic that might be at this point. Elders, Naruto, Kakashi, Ramen Ichiraku owner, all of them. He avenges his clan, escapes successfully, goes off to hide somewhere, and now he's left with nothing to do. He is basically a terrorist threat to everyone at this point.
He can't resurrect his clan. The only way to see his clan again is to die and go to the spirit world. He could kill himself, but he doesn't know how the afterlife works and if that guarantees he'll see his family. Is there hell? Heaven? He said that nobody in Konoha deserves to live and he basically just drops himself down to their level if he kills himself so that's pretty redundant itself. Will he turn himself in some other village and serve time? No, he has way too much of an ego to do that. He feels murdering everyone in Konoha is justified.
Now, he does have another option. He could decide not to kill anyone and just live his life in solitude. Maybe Itachi's memory/speech really touched him. Itachi killed his entire clan to spare his little brother and Konoha's future, why would Sasuke stomp on that? Okay, so he decides not to murder anyone. He's still going to be really depressed living a life of solitude, he can't be happy. He's just going to be angry and depressed.
He can turn himself in to Konoha and just maybe Naruto can get him out of capital punishment or any life-long sentence. Eventually he can return to being a regular Konoha ninja, maybe apologize to Sakura/Kakashi and they make up.
In any case, Sasuke loses. There is no way he will reach satisfaction or happiness with any of this. The chance that he is able to defeat Naruto and everyone else in Konoha is already pretty low. Not to mention that a fight with Naruto would be long enough for allied villages to come for reinforcement. Raikage wants him arrested. He could die trying to kill everyone in Konoha but again, he doesn't win. Naruto won't win either. If Sasuke dies, Naruto isn't going to be happy. Naruto has done so much for what? For Sasuke to die? It's over for Sasuke.
"Not to mention that a fight with Naruto would be long enough for allied villages to come for reinforcement. Raikage wants him arrested. He could die trying to kill everyone in Konoha but again, he doesn't win. Naruto won't win either. If Sasuke dies, Naruto isn't going to be happy. Naruto has done so much for what? For Sasuke to die? It's over for Sasuke."
This is where your argument loses some consistency. I am willing to entertain the idea that Sasuke has no chances of living with, ahem, happiness whatsoever should he continue to live as a Shinobi. However, suppose Sasuke decides to die for some "higher" cause within the manga that is partial to the Alliance; then in what context does he not "win"? If Sasuke willingly sacrifices himself for something of his own accord, after abandoning his aspirations of killing Konoha on the account of his brother, why would he not be satisfied in what he died for? What he would lay down his life for? Naruto being happy is hardly relevant and poses no weight to your argument's core. So again I ask, how will he not "win" if his dies willingly of his own accord to protect Konoha? Would Sasuke not still have a chance in that respect?
In relation to what you're saying, it is interesting that you bring up the fact that he could ally with the alliance to defeat Tobi. In fact, if he's such a substantial help during the war, his criminal charges could be dropped. His motivation for wanting to fight with the Alliance bewilders me, but so do the other scenarios I talked about. While I did think Itachi's chat/flashback with him was pretty touching, I don't think it recanted his statement about 10 minutes earlier that he was going to destroy Konoha, especially since Itachi doesn't care otherwise.
I figured bringing up Naruto's feelings on this is important because his ultimate goal is to become hokage, and quote: "Someone who can't even save one of his best friends doesn't deserve to be Hokage." Obviously, if Naruto doesn't win, there really isn't any closure to this whole thing. The whole plot that has had so much buildup literally becomes one unresolved conflict. I don't think Kishimoto will end it like that.
Also, I wasn't really arguing anything (or was I?). I'm just pointing out Sasuke's paved paths, likely scenarios and even unlikely ones. My question is that I am ultimately not sure what Sasuke is trying to accomplish because he doesn't win no matter what he does. How does Kishimoto resolve all of this without sacrifice?
I've also put a little thought about this and I only see a few things happening to Sasuke:
- Redemption ending: He continues his path of destruction and eventually fights with Naruto. They clash and have this awesome battle but during the midst of conflict, Tobi/Madara or whoever is the "final menace" decides to push towards his final victory over the alliance and the only chance the alliance has is Naruto. Naruto goes against this final "boss" but he's not powerfull enough and Sasuke sees how Naruto is trying so hard to protect everyone he loves and, while under the influence of recent conversations with Naruto, remembers the time he had with Team 7 and decides to help Naruto. They both fight this character and win BUT Sasuke looses his life. Naruto has this final emotional conversation with Sasuke and in the end Sasuke is redeemed and dies happy.
- Good Ending: Same as the 1st possibility BUT Sasuke survives the battle. He decides to surrender to the village and suffer any penalty the alliance might find appropriate to him. However, by this time Naruto has enourmous influence in the ninja world and he uses this influence to "spare" Sasuke.
- The Lonely ending: Another possibility could also end with Sasuke going away as the last big battle ends and saying his goodbye to Naruto, simply stating that "he needs to be alone for a time, to think about certain things and heal psychological wounds". Naruto lets him go and the alliance never captures him.
- Tragic ending - Sasuke has no possible redemption and during his fight with Naruto, this fact is made absolute. Naruto realises the only path for Sasuke is death and so he ends Sasuke.
- Destiny ending: As the manga progresses, one thing becomes pretty obvious(in this ending), the new Rikudou Sennin, the new Sage that will bring the change isn't one person, but two, an Uchiha and an Uzumaki. The two "brothers" unite in the end, realizing their true destiny and save the world, bringing great modifications to the world of ninjas as the years pass. Both of them become known as the greatest ninjas of their time and spend their lives helping people, bringing justice and peace to every land. (Sounds a bit cheezy )
- The Sad Ending: As the fight between Naruto and Sasuke progresses, Naruto's words finally start to produce result. Sasuke sees a light at the end of the tunnel and is well on his way to accept Naruto's friendship again. At this point PAM! Some unexpected appearence by Madara/Tobi causes disturbance. This evil doer controls Sasuke and uses his body/power to finally accomplish his plan. In this ending Naruto is forced to kill Sasuke, in order to save the world. As Sasuke draws his last breath he thanks Naruto for saving him, not his life, but trully saving him as a person.
I have a hard time thinking about different endings, there could be some slight changes here and there but I can't see anything else happening. I hope, however, that Kishi proves me wrong and pulls some crazy and unexpected ending to Sasuke out of nowhere! Now that would be a great thing to behold!
"I'm pretty sure you misinterpreted that quote about Sasuke fighting with Naruto. I meant just that. Suppose he goes to Konoha and fights Naruto. Sasuke does want to fight Naruto, he's said it before. It's been foreshadowed and Naruto has also said it is destined. The fight would be long enough for Konoha to call for reinforcements. That's what I meant. I didn't mean Sasuke would ally with Naruto against Tobi or something like that."
Yes, I'm fully aware of what you were saying. What I am saying in objection however, is that there is still a possibility that Sasuke is not entirely the 'loser' or "done" as you stated, and there are scenarios in which we can place Sasuke in a position where he can be satisfied with the remaining of his life. I already said I would entertain the idea that he cannot experience this while alive or with his current mindset. However, dieing and willingly giving himself to the alliance or something partial to their agenda will allow him to die peacefully with him experiencing tranquility while in death. Did you need me to rewind that for you or do you have it?
"In relation to what you're saying, it is interesting that you bring up the fact that he could ally with the alliance to defeat Tobi. In fact, if he's such a substantial help during the war, his criminal charges could be dropped. His motivation for wanting to fight with the Alliance bewilders me, but so do the other scenarios I talked about. While I did think Itachi's chat/flashback with him was pretty touching, I don't think it recanted his statement about 10 minutes earlier that he was going to destroy Konoha, especially since Itachi doesn't care otherwise."
Nay, that is not necessarily what I am saying. What I am saying is that it's not too late for Sasuke to end his life peacefully(your basic premise) if he decides to give his life or sacrifice for something partial to the alliance. I say the alliance because if he were to simply give his sacrifice and will to Tobi, who will indeed lose the battle since this is a Shounen manga, then it would have been for naught and Sasuke would still indeed "lose" just as you called it. But alas, since Sasuke still has the possibility of dieing for the cause of the alliance, we cannot say with any certainty that "Sasuke is Done". This is what I'm getting at right there.
"I figured bringing up Naruto's feelings on this is important because his ultimate goal is to become hokage, and quote........"
In your own wording: "In any case, Sasuke loses. There is no way he will reach satisfaction or happiness."
What I am doing is essentially disproving this. Naruto "losing" or his feelings not being set to standards don't mean anything whatsoever because it has no bearing on whether or not Sasuke is satisfied or happy. True you could probably argue that some of the plot will be murky as a result but the point in and of itself still stands.
"Also, I wasn't really arguing anything (or was I?). I'm just pointing out Sasuke's paved paths, likely scenarios and even unlikely ones. My question is that I am ultimately not sure what Sasuke is trying to accomplish because he doesn't win no matter what he does. How does Kishimoto resolve all of this without sacrifice?"
Indeed you were. Anytime someone makes definite statements and explains with premises they are indeed expressing a proposition, which is something to be argued or not. If Sasuke follows along with his current mindset or at least the mindset he's demonstrated then he most likely cannot "win" in any form or scenario. Such a thing I would agree on. If we take sacrifice and the possibility of him changing his mind once again then the notion that he's a loser is pretty much backed up to the point of absolution.
If his mindset changes drastically, we're in a different ballpark. I went into that a little with the Itachi-possibly-changing-his-mind scenario and he still won't be happy.