Sasuke Uchiha is among the most powerful ninjas in Naruto but still had a rocky journey. Here are his most triumphant victories & humiliating defeats.
As the deuteragonist of the series, Sasuke Uchiha's growth throughout the anime is second only to Naruto's. His power has progressed from simple Taijutsu techniques such as Lion's Barrage to mastery of the legendary Susanoo.
Sasuke's remorseless pursuit of power has fated him to clash against assassins, former friends, and even a god, with each victory slowly refining his strength to become the avenger he felt destined to be. Nonetheless, his battles weren't without expense. It's time to face the black flames and determine Sasuke Uchiha's greatest wins and losses.
10. Great Victory: The Sound Ninja
Fresh out of unconsciousness, Sasuke's decisive victory against the Sound Ninja Orochimaru had sent to test his prospect's newfound strength was as horrifying as it was satisfying. He unleashed speed and power that not even Rock Lee was capable of, defeating the trio and almost permanently crippling Zaku in a matter of moments.
It was also a defining moment in his progression as a character. Though Sakura staunchly objected to his brutality, it demonstrated what strength might be available to him, should he practice illicit techniques.
9. Humiliating Loss: Rock Lee
Before the Chunin Exams, Sasuke and Rock Lee indulged in an unscheduled fight to see who was stronger. With Sakura emphatically supporting her teammate and Naruto observing shrewdly, Sasuke was defeated without Genjutsu or Ninjutsu.
Given how Sasuke relished strength for its own sake, this was an ineffable (though inconsequential) failure. If it weren't for a talking tortoise wandering conveniently by, it's unlikely he would've been able to conclude the exams, thereby preventing Sakura and Naruto from competing in the Forest of Death. Though he learned Rock Lee's lotus technique from the exchange, his shame was equally memorable.
8. Great Victory: Orochimaru
Under the treacherous Sannin's tutelage, it was only a matter of time before Sasuke would be forced to relinquish his body in exchange for vengeance. However, though he was now imbued with Orochimaru's volatile power and schooled in his techniques, he had no interest in giving his life to the Third Hokage's murderer.
Sasuke's defeat over Orochimaru would be the final catalyst in his escape from authority. He would no longer be a pawn of Konoha, nor an unwitting thrall to a crazed scientist. From that moment on, he would become his own leader, even collecting disciples on his travels.
7. Humiliating Defeat: The Sound Four
The Sound Four shared a mission much like that of Dosu's team; to make Sasuke realize his potential under their master's instruction. They had specific orders not to kill him, though by the end of their skirmish, they were in a position to do so.
Sasuke offered an admirable fight, but since the Four were there on a covert mission, none dared to unleash the full extent of their power. By the time they were through, Sasuke was battered and defeated, both mentally and physically.
6. Great Victory: Naruto
After Sasuke volunteered himself to Orochimaru's service, Naruto and a handful of Genin pledged themselves to his retrieval. It resulted in a brutal battle between the Team Seven boys which awakened their latent powers.
Sasuke would emerge the victor, but his physical victory paled in comparison to its symbolic ramifications. The triumph over Naruto proved (at least to himself) that Orochimaru possessed the power he needed to accomplish his goals, and that there was nothing left for him in the Hidden Leaf Village.
5. Humiliating Defeat: Kisame And Itachi
The defining battle which led to Sasuke's departure, his first encounter with Itachi was perhaps one of the most lopsided fights seen in the series. Nothing he had learned was useful against his older brother, and Naruto's attempt at rescue would only exacerbate his palpable feelings of inadequacy.
Naruto's attempted intervention was an unintended two-pronged insult. It made Sasuke feel dependent and weak despite clearly needing assistance and gave him a contrast in allies between Naruto and Kisame. Between the two, there was little comparison in terms of skill or ability.
4. Great Victory: Yoroi
Yoroi may have been a minor footnote in the overarching scheme of the series, but the chakra channeling ninja provided a perfect opportunity for Sasuke to come into his own. The two fought in the first round of the Chunin Exams after the Forest of Death challenge had been completed.
What makes Sasuke's triumph over Yoroi particularly notable was that not only would he defeat him in front of a large audience of peers, he would do so without the assistance of the curse mark. It makes one wonder how far he could have progressed even without Orochimaru's "help."
3. Humiliating Defeat: Killer Bee
While Sasuke would technically secure a victory against the Eight-Tails, it was a fight that cast an unfavorable impression of him to the three followers he had gained early on. Bee was flipping about, rapping, and balancing blades between his legs, yet still somehow finding a way to outflank and outclass his austere opponent.
If not for Karin, Sasuke would have died in the first few minutes of combat. To make matters worse, the "corpse" he had left behind was an artificial one, so when Bee's body was returned to the Akatsuki, his abject failure was known.
2. Great Victory: Danzo
While Danzo Shimura had wronged many characters throughout the series, none deserved vengeance more than Sasuke. The man had used his brother as an instrument of genocide to ease his own paranoia and appropriated the eyes from the people he murdered as minor combat utilities.
The fight against Root's leader was a perilous one, with Shimura gaining the advantage at several points throughout the melee. However, with his death, Sasuke finally had the closure he sought for his brother's crimes, even if the other two elders had yet to be dealt with.
1. Humiliating Defeat - Itachi's Goodbye
Sasuke's primary focus throughout the entirety of Naruto and part of Shippuden was his vicious quest to slay his brother. Through working with psychopaths and discarding his friends, he finally had the chance, only to discover that everything he had been building toward was a lie.
Itachi had sacrificed the Uchiha clan so that his brother might live and to prevent the widespread destruction a civil war might induce. Once Sasuke found his brother's true intentions, he avenged him properly, even if his path to redemption would still be an arduous one.