The cycle of hate was always one of the main themes ofNaruto shippuden, one closely tied to the Akatsuki. After all, it was their leader who was the first to explain the concept in detail. But before Pain entered the scene, a member’s story had already succinctly illustrated the idea. Sasori of the Red Sand was a classic example of what hatred can be if left unchecked.
Pain explained the cycle of hatred as a product of the chaotic ninja world of his day. The conflicts between the Hidden Villages only caused suffering to the citizens. Every time one nation attacked another, the affected village was forced to respond in kind, sparking more violence and creating a vicious cycle that Pain dubbed the “cycle of hate.”
The cycle of hate is not always presented so directly. The more subtle effects of war on the innocent are an important part of this dangerous pattern. In Sasori’s case, his descent into villainy and his eventual enlistment in Akatsuki are tied to a formative experience from his childhood: the loss of his parents.
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As a child, Sasori was very close to his parents. Both were ninjas of the Hidden Sand and as such led high-risk lives, but they never hesitated to shower their son with love. The trio lived as a happy family until the worst happened: While on a mission, Sasori’s parents were killed by the White Fang of Konoha.
Young Sasori was understandably heartbroken, but no one knew to what extent. In an attempt to comfort her grandson, Grandma Chiyo introduced him to the art of puppet mastery, unaware of the dark path it would lead him to. The first puppets Sasori created bore a strong resemblance to their parents. He controlled them as if they wanted to simulate the presence of their parents, but obviously they couldn’t match the presence of their real parents.
Sasori gave up trying to recreate his parents after his initial failures in childhood, but that wasn’t the end of his wicked puppet experiments. He left the Sand Village and became a renegade ninja to further research the development of living puppets. He soon found a similar company in the Akatsuki.
As part of the Akatsuki, Sasori continued to perpetuate the cycle of hatred. Aside from the random acts of terror the group committed, he was responsible for the disappearance of the Third Kazekage, which plunged his ancient people into chaos. Sasori was also directly involved in Gaara’s kidnapping and it is more than likely that he aided in the murder of the Fourth Kazekage.
The chain of events that led to Sasori as it was presented can only be attributed to the cycle of hatred in action. If there had been no war, young Sasori would never have lost his parents. He may have grown up to be a good Sand shinobi, with no intention of ever hurting the people of his village. Who knows? He may never have caught the puppet strings in the first place.