Naruto Chapter 696 – The Fated Battle: Loneliness

Naruto Chapter 696 - Sasuke's darkness

Does he really believe he can save the world by destroying himself?

Sasuke truly was deeply scared by the mechanisations of the Shinobi villages built upon the fear of war and desire for power. Itachi had to bear such a burden, but it was through Itachi’s sacrifice and him being abused by Konoha did Sasuke come to see the consequence of nations being left to operate on their own. In order to prevent another person from suffering the way he did, Sasuke intends to cast himself back into the darkness of loneliness, all the while manipulating the Shinobi nations from conflicting with each other by directing all their hatred and grudges to himself, and he intends to bear with it for eternity.

It is interesting to see the person Sasuke has become after the recent events and the knowledge he has learned concerning the history of the Shinobi nations and the purpose Hashirama had intended to pursue with that structure. More than leave the power of the future in the individual’s hand, Sasuke seeks to become a “God” so to speak and control the world from the shadows with the sole purpose of keeping it safe and peaceful. In his eyes, Sasuke sees what he is doing as the only way for the world to change and escape the shackles of its past which has left it concerned with conflict for far too long.

Personally, I can’t determine whether what Sasuke is doing is correct or not, because frankly, I don’t even understand the world myself to the extent that I can see the overall picture of what life and reality represent. Sasuke may have a “just” reason for wanting to cast himself back into the shadows, but him wanting to control the world is just another side to the action Pein, Madara and Kaguya wanted the rest of the world to see. Pein wanted to make the world understand what pain truly felt like in order for them to understand that they need to change; Madara desired to entrap the world in an infinite dream to eliminate conflict and create an endless peace; and Kaguya wanted to gather all the chakra in the world and eliminate humanity because she perceived them to be the source of conflict in the world. Sasuke like those that came before him, is trying to forcefully manipulate the world in order to eliminate conflict and incite a change.

Naruto Chapter 696 - Naruto's desire 2

Will Sasuke react to Naruto’s desires as well as his own? Will he let go of his concerns regarding the world’s future?

Sasuke and Naruto’s definitions of Hokage really contrast with one another. Sasuke sees the Hokage as someone who decides the path people should travel and lays it down for them to follow, Naruto on the other hand sees the Hokage as someone who leads the people forward regardless of the path they are on. Sasuke feels humanity should not have the power to decide their future, he should. Naruto believes despite people making mistakes, they should still have the power to determine their own fates as those very mistakes are the lessons they use to help them understand what they need to be doing as well as what they shouldn’t keep doing.

With Naruto seeking to battle the Sasuke who challenged him in the past, I am curious to see if Sasuke reacts with it, or will Naruto have to convince Sasuke to understand? Whatever the case, the conclusion to this battle as well as the manga is rapidly approaching, I look forward to seeing what the final chapters have in store for the readers.

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