Sasuke Getting Amaterasu: Why Not Tsukuyomi?

Here’s why Sasuke got amaterasu but not tsukuyomi:

Amaterasu is a very fitting technique for Sasuke.

The ultimate fire makes sense as a technique for Sasuke since he has such a strong affinity for fire techniques, and it fits narratively as Sasuke has an endless fire-like desire for revenge.

Tsukuyomi does not fit Sasuke logically or narratively.

So if you want to learn all about the reason Sasuke had the amaterasu but not tsukuyomi, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Sasuke Getting Amaterasu: Why Not Tsukuyomi? (All the Info)

Who Is Sasuke?

In order to even have this conversation, we need to first talk about Sasuke.

If you already know the basic story of Naruto, you can probably skip this part.

If you’re not fully versed in the original series, then let me give you a spoiler warning.

In order to talk about amaterasu and tsukuyomi, I’m going to have to cover two of the biggest plot twists in the whole original series.

There will be massive spoilers.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about Sasuke.

Sasuke is one of the most prominent characters in Naruto.

Sasuke is actually Naruto’s best friend and his greatest rival.

They grow up together, but eventually, Sasuke chooses to walk a different path.

Sasuke believes that his brother, Itachi, killed their entire clan.

Sasuke wants revenge, so his primary goal is to become strong enough to kill Itachi.

All of this is to say that Sasuke is a very talented and capable ninja, and his devotion to revenge is a major driver of the whole story’s plot.

That’s probably enough on Sasuke, so now we can talk about some ninja techniques.

What Is Amaterasu?

To understand what’s happening, we have to get pretty deep into the world of Naruto and very specialized techniques.

There will be some Japanese words flying around, but I’ll explain it all in pretty deep detail as we go.

In Naruto terms, Amaterasu is one of the special techniques only available through the Mangekyo Sharingan (I will explain all of these terms in the next section).

The Amaterasu technique produces a black flame that can burn through anything and cannot be extinguished by normal means.

The only way to stop it is to incapacitate the caster (the caster can also turn off the flames at will).

It is one of the most powerful and destructive techniques in the entire Naruto world.

Explaining the Special Eyes

At this point, I need to pause and explain how things work in Naruto.

If you’re already familiar with the series and how it uses chakra, special techniques, mangekyo sharingans, and all the rest, then skip ahead to the next section.

If that sounded like gibberish to you, then buckle in.

We’ve got some learning to do.

As you know, Naruto is a series about ninjas.

Except, it’s not about realistic ninjas.

Instead, the ninjas in this world basically have magical powers.

Ninja powers are all made available by the existence of chakra.

It’s the special magical power that naturally exists inside of people (in the world of Naruto), and when manipulated correctly, it can do all of the cool ninja things in the show.

The thing is, there are a lot of specialized aspects of controlling chakra that are genetic.

These are often called kekkei genkai (which literally translates to bloodline limit), and if you aren’t born with the natural ability to use a kekkei genkai, then you can never learn it.

The sharingan is one such ability.

It is only available to the Uchiha clan, and it is triggered and developed through experienced emotional trauma.

Since Naruto is about ninjas who constantly fight and die in battle, it’s not uncommon for an Uchiha ninja to experience trauma in battle and awaken their sharingan. 

The thing about the sharingan is that it is a specialized eye technique.

When awakened, it allows the user to track movement extremely well, see how chakra is manipulated when other ninjas use their techniques, and do other things as well.

It can cast illusions that trick ninjas very effectively.

It’s a very powerful technique, but it’s really just the beginning.

When an Uchiha experiences extraordinary emotional trauma—such as the trauma of killing your own brother—it can unlock the advanced sharingan that is known as the mangekyo sharingan.

While the regular sharingan is pretty much the same for all Uchiha, the mangekyo is different for each person.

The mangekyo sharingan will unlock a new, super powerful technique for each eye (we’re skipping Susano for brevity).

Sometimes, the techniques for each eye are related, such as with Sasuke.

Other times, they’re not related at all, which is the case for Itachi. 

What Is Tsukuyomi?

Knowing all of that, Amaterasu is a mangekyo sharingan technique, and both Sasuke and Itachi awaken it with their eyes.

Tsukuyomi is another mangekyo sharingan technique, but as far as we know, Itachi is the only ninja to ever unlock this skill.

Tsukuyomi is a special illusion technique that allows the user to completely manipulate reality for the person on the receiving end.

When Itachi uses Tsukuyomi, he can control the experiences of his victim entirely, including their perception of time.

He once cast the technique on Sasuke’s teacher, Kakashi, and Kakashi was forced to experience thousands of years of torture (all within the illusion).

It left him incapacitated for more than a week.

Tsukuyomi is often regarded as the ultimate illusion technique.

Why Did Sasuke Get Amaterasu?

Now that we know what these techniques are, we can talk about why Sasuke awakened the techniques that he did.

First, it’s not surprising that Sasuke awakened amaterasu, and there are a few reasons for this.

First, Sasuke is Itachi’s brother, so it’s not unreasonable that they would have a lot in common, including their propensity for specific mangekyo abilities.

They’re both extremely adept fire users, so awakening the most powerful fire technique kind of makes sense.

Narratively, amaterasu is a good fit for Sasuke.

He devoted his entire life to vengeance, and by the time he awakened his mangekyo eyes, he had a burning need to punish the people who killed his clan and ruined his brother’s life.

Fire is a narratively fitting ability to use for that punishment.

There’s also a plot implication for why Sasuke awakened amaterasu.

Skipping a lot along the way, Sasuke—because he had been misled—hunted down his brother in order to fight to the death.

At the end of that fight, Itachi knew that he was going to die.

To offer one last bit of protection to his younger brother, Itachi used his eye techniques to implant an attack in Sasuke’s eyes (it sounds weird but just go with it).

That attack was amaterasu, and it was designed to trigger if Sasuke ever met another Uchiha (as such a meeting was almost certain to involve an antagonistic figure).

Sasuke did meet another Uchiha, and the amaterasu attack triggered.

This happened before Sasuke awakened his own mangekyo sharingan.

Some theorize that this gave Sasuke a propensity for amaterasu, and that’s why his sharingan featured two different amaterasu skills.

And since I haven’t explained this part yet, Sasuke’s mangekyo is all about Amaterasu.

With one eye, he can ignite and control the flame—much like Itachi.

With the other eye, Sasuke can manipulate the flames with a high degree of skill, even forming the flames into useful shapes.

It’s crazy stuff.

Why Didn’t Sasuke Get Tsukuyomi?

But, if Sasuke got two different applications of amaterasu, that means he didn’t get tsukuyomi. Why?

Again, we can break this into logical and narrative reasonings.

Logically, it makes sense that Sasuke wouldn’t get an illusion-based eye skill.

While Sasuke is proficient with illusions, it was never his forte.

Meanwhile, Itachi was known as one of the best illusion specialists of all time.

Tsukuyomi was a great fit for Itachi.

It really wasn’t much of a fit for Sasuke’s skills, even though the two are brothers.

Their commonality was skill with fire, not illusions.

Narratively, tsukuyomi doesn’t really fit Sasuke’s personality.

Sasuke is surprisingly direct throughout the series, always charging straight into battle tackling problems head-on, and being completely direct about his feelings and goals.

He’s actually a lot like Naruto in this sense.

Meanwhile, Itachi is arguably the most deceptive and manipulative ninja in the whole series.

Literally no one in the world actually understands his motivations (himself excluded) for a number of years in the story.

Having the most powerful illusion technique fits that type of personality very well.

Eye Swapping

Now, here’s where things get a little weird, and for anyone who wants the short answer, Sasuke’s lack of tsukuyomi is really a plot hole.

So, in the world of Naruto, it’s possible to do eye transplants.

Actually, the ninjas in the series make it look relatively easy to do.

Several key figures receive eye transplants throughout the series, including Danzo, Sasuke, and Kakashi (there are others, but these examples will be enough).

Here’s the thing.

When Danzo and Kakashi receive eye transplants that include sharingans, they get the specialized skills that come with them.

Let’s start with Danzo.

Danzo has a bunch of sharingan eyes transplanted into his body (it’s supposed to be weird and creepy).

One of them is Shisui’s eye.

We don’t really need to know who Shisui is.

All we need to know is that he had a mangekyo sharingan, and it had a very special technique.

It was an illusion technique that allowed the user to convince the victim of literally anything.

Using the eye, Shisui could cause an enemy to become an ally. Forever.

It’s a very powerful technique, and when Danzo implants Shisui’s eye into his own body, he gains that power.

Likewise, Kakashi gets Obito’s eye when they are both young.

It’s why Kakashi becomes known as the copy ninja.

He uses the implanted sharingan to great effect.

One thing that makes Kakashi special is that he isn’t an Uchiha, but he still manages to unlock the mangekyo sharingan.

That happens when he accidentally kills his best friend, Rin.

We learn later that Obito (who Kakashi thought was dead the whole time) actually survived.

Kakashi and Obito have the same sharingan abilities.

Actually, they each have half of the ability since they each have one eye.

The point is, Kakashi had the eye transplanted, and he gained the abilities of that specific eye.

Meanwhile, Sasuke eventually has Itachi’s eyes implanted into his own sockets.

There’s a whole thing about how this unlocks the eternal mangekyo sharingan.

All of that aside, even though Sasuke has Itachi’s eyes, he never gains the tsukyomi.

There’s not actually a good explanation for it.

It’s a contradiction in how eyes seem to work in the world of Naruto.