Before I start this off I just want to say that I’m more than well aware Itachi isn’t the best character. He’s no friendly, loving, Naruto Uzumaki type character. I know the things he’s done, and I’m merely typing this because I have many thoughts on his character, and I’d like to let them out (Lord knows this is probably my tenth time).
I’m going to start this off with the topic of Itachi’s ability to love. His love is one of a kind. He loves his clan, his family, his brother. He would do anything for the people he holds closest to him. But, at the same time, he loves his village, too. The people who put him in the position he was currently in Itachi was now fighting for. To fight for someone who hates the ground you walk on is a selfless, noble, and painful thing to take on.
Itachi was caught in the middle of a civil war (which, to the Uchihas defense, wouldn’t have been necessary if Konoha’s people didn’t expect the worst from them and isolated the clan from all civilization). If I remember correctly, Itachi was around the age of thirteen at this time. This fandom is quick to judge his decisions without looking at everything as a whole. They quickly forget that, yes, he was physically equipped to do many things, but he wasn’t emotionally/mentally fit for such matters at thirteen; however, because everyone (his clan, the village) expected too much, they all pressured him with the acts of being a double agent, and the answer to Civil War itself. Had he counteracted the future end results, he wouldn’t have done any of the things he did, but being the loving person he is, all Itachi could think about was Sasuke. He would have willingly killed his clan, but his brother put him at a dead end. Itachi safely assumed that Sasuke is as much of a child as him in this matter, and, therefore, chose to keep his resolve a secret to the boy. And, yes, what Itachi did to Sasuke was more than terrible. He took away his ability to open up to anyone, decided his fate for him, and wouldn’t allow him to live his life normally. It was beyond terrible, but, again, the fandom swiftly dismisses many things about the matter (though his actions aren’t excusable, they are understandable).
I love Itachi because he accepted disgrace in the place of honor, and hate in the place of love. And, despite that, he died with a smile on his face (forgive me for quoting the anime exactly). I love him because he was able to take on such hard choices (especially whilst being mentally unprepared for it), because he was able to stop a war that would have ended in twice the more casualties than him killing his own clan alone, because he was able to stand up for a village that resented him, because his actions were selfless, and this is the character that I can relate to most. Yes, his actions towards Sasuke were despicable; they were disgusting. But Itachi’s character is more than just his little brother. (This, from the many seen anti-itachi rants, I have gathered is dismissed frequently).
To me, Itachi is a noble, selfless, and caring man. He loves too much, in my opinion. His love drives his emotions, and, because of it, he is blinded to some of the worst outcomes. Itachi has suffered a lot through his 21 years of living; too much was expected from him, loads of stress was put on such a young boy, and he was suffering from a terminal illness, all whilst deal with discrimination from the village he was fighting for.