Sasuke Uchiha is understandably considered to be a contender for the most popular Shonen anti-hero, with the Chidori user slowly turning completely to the light side following Naruto: Shippuden's conclusion. To help in celebrating the franchise's twentieth anniversary, the English voice actor for Sasuke, Yuri Lowenthal, discussed his character's long relationship with the Seventh Hokage and how it has changed over the decades in the series Naruto, Naruto: Shippuden, and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
In speaking with Crunchyroll, Lowenthal walked through Sasuke's past while exploring the battles that the Uchiha had with Naruto as he worked through his sense of revenge to eventually find his role within Konoha:
"I would also like to mention, Naruto and Sasuke have these sort of climactic battles across the series that represent points in their relationship. I love how, story-wise, those tracked with the different changes in their relationship, but there was a constant throughout them that I didn't realize until we were basically almost done with the show. I really love the message of...Sasuke for all his faults is on a journey, he thinks he's right, he thinks he's doing the right thing. But it is a twisted view that feeds into the view of "Oh, if I can just beat these people, if I can get more power, I'll do whatever I can to get that power to do the ultimate thing and I'll sacrifice everything. I'll sacrifice my friends, sacrifice my soul basically, to get that."
Lowenthal then extrapolated on Sasuke's take on Naruto, with the final member of the Uchiha Clan finding himself confused at how the future Seventh Hokage simply wouldn't give up on his friend:
"He would always come up against Naruto and Naruto would always meet him with love. Sasuke would be like, and they'd have these very open conversations in those battles, "Why won't you die? Just let me kill you. Why are you still fighting? Why are you doing this?" Sasuke could not understand the love part, and why and how Naruto could keep loving him. I'm sure a lot of the viewers will also be similarly stymied. Why doesn't Naruto just destroy this clown? We all know Naruto is more powerful than Sasuke. Why does he keep trying to rehab and why does he keep trying to love him? Why is he still his friend after literally, Sasuke has done the worst things possible? The message didn't really grab me till the very end. I love this message of love in the face of violence, love in the face of anger. Meeting that with love is more powerful than any of those weapons or the jutsu or the power he seeks and all of that stuff is really what ends up powering Naruto and "beating" Sasuke. I say beating in quotes because it finally brings him around."
Finally, Yuri mentioned how he found the relationship between these two ninjas to be a "beautiful" one:
"I think it's a powerful message for today because it does feel like there's a lot of division, there's a lot of hatred. It's difficult, especially when we're scared, to meet opposition with love. But Naruto did that again and again, and it always comes to those climactic battles throughout the series until finally, he beats Sasuke into submission by loving him so much in a way. I love that it came that in the end. I just find that unspeakably beautiful."