Sasuke Uchiha's 5 biggest crimes in Naruto (and 5 biggest redemptions)
Sasuke Uchiha is probably the most hated lead character of Naruto, next only to Sakura Haruno. He has long since been divisive, with a plethora of mistakes and outright crimes under his belt to fill several books.
From betraying his village to attempting to kill his comrades multiple times, Sasuke was practically a villain in the original Naruto and most of Shippuden. However, he clawed his way back into his comrades and the audience’s good graces with a series of actions in Shippuden and Boruto. It mostly involved him getting better as a person.
Five detestable actions of Sasuke
1) Betraying his village for power
This is an obvious first stop on Sasuke's hateful actions but requires context.
Sasuke is one of the sole surviving Uchiha Clan members following the history of bloodshed during the Third Great Ninja War and the Uchiha clan massacre. This left him cold and isolated, with Itachi's words about becoming stronger through hatred constantly echoing in his mind.
It seemed as though Sasuke was close to letting go of this hate through missions with Team 7, but then Orochimaru showed up and hit him with the Curse Mark. Afterward, he failed to kill Gaara, he got shown up by Itachi again, and then just decided to head out to join Orochimaru.
Revenge is a powerful motivator, but turning his back on everyone who supported him left a sour taste in many a fan's mouth. It coincides with the next entry.
2) Working with the Akatsuki
As if going to Orochimaru, an already treacherous character in his own right, wasn't enough? Following learning a sliver of the truth behind the aforementioned massacre of his clan, Sasuke decided to work alongside Akatsuki to rescue the Ten Tailed Beast.
This wasn't a good move, though admittedly, Sasuke wasn't in the best of physical or mental health when he decided to do this as he was barely alive following his grueling bout with Itachi Uchiha.
He still went through with capturing Killer Bee and then tried going off to destroy Konoha. Obito Uchiha's intervention, however, caused him to reassess and pivot to our next entry.
3) His assault on the Five Kage Summit
Even though this action led to the well-deserved death of Danzo Shimura (the main architect behind the Uchiha clan massacre), Sasuke didn't hesitate to cut down anyone in his way. In this case, it's multiple samurai protecting the Kage whilst attempting to kill any of the Kage. This included Gaara, who was trying to help Sasuke off the revenge path!
His selfish pursuit of revenge was on full display here. He laughed madly at Kakashi Hatake for trying to talk him down, abandoned new comrades Suigetsu and Jugo mid-mission, and gutted Karin with a Chidori spear to kill Danzo. All the while stating that he'd destroy Konoha.
Speaking of which, the next entry concerns his comrades.
4) Trying to kill his comrades multiple times
Pick a moment, any moment.
Sasuke vs Naruto in the hospital where Sakura could've gotten killed? Sasuke vs Naruto in the Final Valley (rounds 1 and 2)? Sasuke trying to wipe out the new Team 7 in Orochimaru's hideout? Sasuke hitting Karin to get to Danzo, followed by trying to kill Sakura, then Kakashi, then Naruto whilst laughing like a madman? His final "plan"? Trying to kill Sakura multiple times?
Sasuke only put his "mission" of revenge at the forefront and stepped on anyone who got in his way. The fact that he never once thought to take any of their words to heart was telling since it took Naruto and him losing arms in their final bout to wake him up.
5) His insane plan for a post-war ninja world
So, picture this: Sasuke has come back to the side of good after learning the full truth of the Uchiha Clan massacre and brought the revived Hokage with him to turn the tide of the Fourth Great Ninja War. He said he'd become Hokage if Naruto couldn't, and it was crucial to beat Madara and seal Kaguya.
Then the other shoe drops as the battle ends. He uses his immeasurable abilities to seal the other Tailed Beasts off and trap the other Kage. He then hits Sakura with a rather horrible genjutsu and proclaims HE'LL be taking things over by wiping out the Kage and the Tailed Beasts. In doing so, he figures he'll shoulder the hatred while the world forcibly changes as the young take over where the old left off.
Here's the problem: that's no better than what Madara tried doing. In fact, it's arguably worse. At least Infinite Tsukuyomi put people to sleep in peaceful dreams while being drained for fuel.
Sasuke's plan would only reinforce the cycle of violence. Nothing would change, everything would stagnate.
It's very good that this insanity was stopped.
Five times Sasuke performed good deeds
1) Clearing the board of threats
Betraying the village for power was a major mistake, but the slaying of Deidara, Orochimaru, and Orochimaru's giant snake Manda wasn't. Orochimaru was far worse than Zabuza, having committed multiple atrocities throughout the series. Deidara had it coming after getting Gaara captured and killed, and Manda was just a bonus.
Despite wreaking havoc at the Five Kage Summit, the death of Danzo Shimura was well-deserved. He not only orchestrated the Uchiha Clan Massacre but also stole Uchiha Sharingan's eyes off of corpses to keep himself alive! He never once showed any remorse either.
He would also (with a revived Itachi's aid) end the threat of a sage mode kabuto, and therefore, the threat of the revived people aiding in Madara's schemes.
Throw in stopping Madara and Kaguya too.
2) Coming to Konoha's aid in the Shinobi World War
This one is tied into the previous and next entries. Sasuke coming back to aid in the Ninja War helped tremendously with more than a few problems: the Ten Tailed Beast, Madara, and Kaguya mostly, but also the horde of the dead that Madara had at his disposal.
Even if it led to his aforementioned insane plan, it was worth having his help!
3) Changing for the better
Admittedly, it took Sasuke longer to realize his folly than it took Bakugo to warm up to Deku in My Hero Academia or Kaiba to recognize Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh! or even Zuko to join the Avatar in Avatar the Last Airbender. The point being, he apologized and redeemed himself!
It only took going crazy with revenge and an epic final fight with Naruto to settle the score, but he did it! Sasuke dropped the rivalry and sincerely broke down in tears over everything Naruto went through to get him back and helped drop the Infinite Tsukuyomi.
He also apologized to Sakura and Karin for literally every wrong he committed against them, even turning himself in to await judgment and accepting it either way.
Sasuke then traveled the world performing various good deeds: stopping a meteor from destroying the Leaf, stopping a violent rebellion without killing a soul, trying to help a rebel leader off her path of revenge, traveling alongside Sakura, and being there for Sarada's birth and raising her.
4) Sasuke trying to be a father
Trying is the keyword for a reason. Following Sarada's birth, Sasuke did help raise her for a few years. The problem was, there were looming threats on the horizon and he needed to investigate. These investigations brought him into contact with Kaguya's multiple dimensions, Shin Uchiha, White Zetsu, and Momoshiki and Kinshiki Otsutski.
Beyond that, however, he had to rescue his daughter (and aid Sakura) with Shin and finally started bonding with her. It took a while to do so, since he had no experience and wound up embarrassing her.
After Sakura gave him much-needed needed advice, however, the two began to connect, with him applauding Sarada's goal of becoming Hokage.
When Sarada asked about Mangekyo Sharingan, Sasuke was so unnerved that it took Sakura to help him compromise and continue Sarada's training (with Sakura's supervision and aid). He would later cheer on Sarada as she became a chūnin, beaming with pride!
5) Rekindled friendships/training Boruto
This last one is dedicated to Sasuke training Boruto and rekindling his bonds of friendship and love.
Though away from the village for a long time, he never betrayed his friends again. He was always swooping in with more intelligence about threats, there to talk to Naruto about his kids, and stopped by his family to see them. Despite some awkwardness about Sarada, he never stopped loving her.
Sasuke doesn't disparage Boruto (unwarrantedly) or treat him coldly. He's always there to protect him, and even offers to kill him should Momoshiki overtake him.
Sasuke also let Boruto keep his old headband, a marked sign of trust.
Sasuke has made many mistakes throughout Naruto, including nearly killing his comrades on more than one occasion. However, his change of attitude, becoming a father, and generally saving and helping people have more than redeemed him.
The power of friendship and family can cut through even pitch blackness.
Note: This article reflects the author's views.