Itachi Uchiha has a separate fan base in the Naruto fan community. He is perhaps one of the most iconic characters from the franchise and probably the one without a hater.
Even those who do not know the truth about Itachi cannot seem to find it in their hearts to hate him. His cold, confident demeanor and the sense of fear he radiates is something that attracts fans towards him instantly, even if they do not condone his behavior.
Although Naruto and Naruto Shippuden reached their conclusion a long time ago, it is a tale that does not get old. So, those who have not yet watched the series can read on.
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead]
Why did Itachi betray his clan, desert Konoha, and join the Akatsuki?
An Uchiha prodigy, Itachi was way more advanced than his peers and was one of the youngest ninjas to graduate from the Academy. But that was not all that was unique about him.
As the Third Hokage put it, Itachi was immensely matured and could think along the lines of an able Hokage even as a seven-year-old. He was born during the Third Great Ninja War and grew up watching the horrors and bloodshed of battle.
By the time he grew up, he was a sworn pacifist and wanted to avoid a war at all costs.
As a result, when his father orchestrated a coup de tat following frustration with the discrimination of the village against the Uchiha, Itachi was forced to make a terrible choice.
He knew that a coup organized by the Uchiha would lead to the village's destruction, and with them turning against the Leaf, other villages would lose no time in attacking the Land of Fire. In the worst-case scenario, there could be yet another Great Ninja War.
To avoid this, he agreed with Danzo's plan and single-handedly slaughtered every Uchiha, except Sasuke.
He joined the infamous criminal organization Akatsuki to see that they do not plot any harm against the Hidden Leaf. He destroyed his own reputation and even took on the burden of Sasuke's hate in the hopes that it would make him stronger.
Itachi chose to live a life in the shadows to protect the village in the longer run. The claims to whether he could defeat every other character in the series might be flawed, but Itachi indeed is one of the best-written characters in the series.