Naruto: Uchiha Sasuke’s D&D Alignment & How It Defines the Rogue Shinobi

The story of Naruto, once one of shonen's big three, tells the tale of Uzumaki Naruto and his goal of becoming Hokage someday to prove himself a respectable ninja. One of his first teammates, the moody Uchiha Sasuke, had a more sinister goal: to assassinate his murderous brother Uchiha Itachi.

In different phases of Naruto, Sasuke's character shifted from hero to villain to neutral rogue, and in Dungeons & Dragons terms, his alignment has ranged from Neutral Good to Chaotic Evil. However, as a whole, Sasuke's wild and exciting character arc can be summed up as Chaotic Neutral -- one of the most self-centered and unpredictable alignments of them all.

The Freedom & Selfish Impulses Of Chaotic Neutral

Sasuke Closeup

In Dungeons & Dragons, Neutral describes someone who hasn't dedicated their life to noble Good or wicked Evil, meaning Neutral is more flexible than those two extremes as well as more practical. Then there's Chaotic, describing an unpredictable individual who has little regard for traditions, rules, authority or loyalty to any person or cause. Combined, these traits form Chaotic Neutral, a good term to use to describe Uchiha Sasuke's overall character arc even if he embodies other alignments from time to time.

A Chaotic Neutral character is fiercely independent-minded, and such fictional characters deeply value their freedom and self-determination. At most, Chaotic Neutral characters have convenient allies or partners if the two parties' short-term goals happen to align, and these characters are capable of trust and friendship. However, Chaotic Neutral characters like Sasuke won't compromise their freedom for the sake of other people or the law, and they might abandon or even betray an ally who interferes with their own goals. This can make Chaotic Neutral characters difficult to predict or trust, and thus they tend to be loners or operate in small groups of like-minded people.

Chaotic Neutral characters don't want to inflict needless suffering or tear down civilization, but neither do they respect the law or protect people on principle. Instead, Chaotic Neutral characters have selfish and practical goals in mind, and they will say or do whatever they must -- and ally with whomever they must -- to accomplish those goals. These lonely characters prefer to see Good and Evil remain balanced in the world, so they aren't forced to ally with the dominant side for the sake of survival. Ideally, Chaotic Neutral characters can avoid the conflict of Good and Evil entirely.

Uchiha Sasuke As A Chaotic Neutral Ninja In Naruto

Sasuke has explored a number of D&D alignments, such as Neutral Good during the early days in Team 7 and Chaotic Evil when he plotted the destruction of the Hidden Leaf Village as revenge for the Uchiha clan's historic mistreatment. However, taken as a whole, Sasuke's character arc averages out to become Chaotic Neutral, and many particular story arcs and scenes prove that this is Sasuke's true alignment.

From the very start, Sasuke has had selfish and practical goals that ignored the duality of good vs. evil, such as his single-minded desire to gain strength and kill his brother Itachi. Sasuke cooperated with his team, but only to learn from Kakashi and get stronger, sharpening his skills while competing with Uzumaki Naruto. All this marks Sasuke as Chaotic Neutral, even if he fought alongside the story's protagonists, and things got worse when Sasuke fell behind Naruto and lost to his brother in combat. Sasuke craved power more than ever, and he would accept it from any source, even sources that Kakashi and the Leaf Village considered evil. Sasuke turned on Naruto and Sakura without warning, then ran off with the Sound Four team to side with Orochimaru and gain power. That's a pretty Chaotic move.

Sasuke tried to sever his bond with Naruto, denying the Good nature of those bonds, and ran off to begin training with Orochimaru after narrowly defeating Naruto. As of Naruto Shippuden, Sasuke seemed like Neutral Evil as Orochimaru's #1 follower, but his Chaotic Neutral side took over when he turned on Orochimaru and absorbed him, as Sasuke couldn't gain anything more from the Sannin. Sasuke then formed his own team and named it Hebi, or "snake," and went after Itachi when he felt ready. After that victory, Sasuke continued his Chaotic journey by fighting, siding with, deceiving or betraying anyone and everyone to achieve his ever-shifting goals.

Sasuke toyed with evil more than once, but deep down, he was never truly an evil person; he was simply angry, misguided and worn out from being used and deceived himself so often. He even became an internationally wanted terrorist before he finally returned to Team 7 to help them take down the moon princess Kaguya Otsutsuki, and he became a rogue wanderer with loose ties to the Leaf Village as of the events of Boruto. He's Chaotic to the last.

First image from the Bastard!! anime adaptation from Netflix
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