HARUNO SAKURA: the character, the meaning, the hate (1)

Because this is posted on my personal blog, I will have to first let know all my readers that yes, I am still a child inside so what I do, besides the usual stuff is read manga, watch shows, TV series etc…. And what I like to do is talk and analyze a lot about these kind of stuff. So besides the usual stuff you’ll see on my blog, most probable you’ll see a lot of Naruto ramblings, a manga that I read at the moment and I very much enjoy.
With that being said, let me start with what I have to do here.

Many of the people who have read this article of mine had brought to my attention that the pictures I used are not view-able, so to speak. One of the main reasons is because on other social platforms I have the photos uploaded to Photobucket which decides that after you have passed a limit of bandwidth, your photos are no longer viewable. So, I decided to move all my writings, analyses, rambles, you name it, on my personal blog and given that WordPress rules, I’ll no longer have to deal with the problem of my photos. So let’s begin, shall we? :)

Ok, so I’ve promised this post for a long time ago and here it is, at last.

This will be mainly about Haruno Sakura, the female member of Team 7, the heroine of this story, whether people like it or not. I am not here for anyone’s shipping wars, I could care less about it as I am a multi-shipper (not denying that my OTP is NaruSaku though)  and in the end I’m going to get what I want, while some of you will be whining over the fact that your pairing didn’t get to be cannon.

I like Sakura as a character, not because she’s been made for the sake of a pairing. I like Sakura because she is so perfect with her imperfections, yes, imperfections, that any of the people nowadays could be.

I am saying this because I am looking at the people bashing her and they’re not even 10% of what she is/represents, yet people bash her just to make Hinata look better, because “Hinata has to be with Naruto in the end”. Yes, I’ve said it and I will say it all day long, every time. People mostly hate her because she is in the way of Hinata’s love.

I like them both, I like the fact that Hinata grew a bit her self motivation because of Naruto, I like that she sacrificed in a way or another for Naruto, but from here till bashing Sakura because she didn’t do it though she had other things to take care at that moment, is a long way and when I hear this rant towards Sakura, I honestly start to dislike Hinata in a way because of her fandom. Good thing I don’t go with the flow.

Because mostly of Hinata’s fandom build her character by bringing down Sakura. No, you don’t do that! You like a character because of what he/she does, not because you bring other down to make your favorite look better.

I like Sakura because of what she represents and has done in this manga, even her mistakes and I like Hinata as well for the same reasons. But I never brought-down Hinata to make Sakura look better, never! Although I could’ve done it like every other does.

Anyway, I’ve touched this subject because this is where Sakura hate comes from mainly. And I’m not afraid to say it.

The other 15% comes from not understanding her and her character/action in this manga and bash when they don’t even know what that meant.

And the other 5% it’s pure disliking, but no bash which I respect up to the Heavens!
Really, I love those people. Not false, not bashful.
They just don’t like her character, but don’t bash, are totally ignoring her and have other favorite character which isn’t build on Sakura’s cost.

This post will be on a realistic scale, or at least as realistic it can be, with Sakura’s flaws, goods, bads and anything.

Yes, flaws, because she did have it and she still has them. But she’s human. End of story.
If you want to tell me that you’re the perfect human being that has done no wrongs in your life, I’m going to call you the biggest hypocrite I’ve met/seen.

Now, the majority of you might ask yourselves why am I going this far over a fictional character. Fair enough. In the end it’s just a manga.

But why I do it, it’s because to me, she represents more than just a fictional character and having that human side of her’s and seeing how she’s hated makes me think about those other people in real life who are bullied and marginalized by others and I’ve seen enough cases where people go to extreme with others that they cannot understand and bash them when they never even walked in their shoes.
I find her that character in real life that would be bullied (which, coincidentally she was) just for other’s satisfaction, to make themselves feel better by picking-up on someone not as powerful as them.
I feel myself as Ino in this situation (she’s the one who always defended Sakura in her old days), I’ve always had this urge to protect people who were targeted by others just because they weren’t understood or simply because they wanted to make themselves feel better as I previously stated. I’ve done it in real life with real people, so I do it in virtual life, if I may call it like that, with fictional characters.
Judge me, call me crazy, I don’t care. Anyway people are used to think stereotypical and judgemental and every time when there’s a person that gets out from those boundaries, it is looked-upon as an outsider, outlaw, crazy, you call it.
And well, last but not least, I like to defend what I like. And I like Sakura. Period.
I’m passionate about what I do, like, you name it.
I’m not one of those person that will shut-up. No! As others have the “right” to bash her to make other characters look better, so I have the right to defend her.

Once again, judge me. I don’t care! You don’t have to like me, you don’t even have to love me but you will respect me – as Kelis says. (A bit of a parallel with a song of hers ^_^)

Now, enough introduction for now, I kinda exceeded the limits of what I wanted to say as an Introduction but I always find myself talking more than I wanted, heh.

NOTE: This will be the MANGA-WISE Haruno Sakura, not the ANIME-WISE. The real Haruno Sakura, the one Kishi made, not the anime-team.
The anime-wise Haruno Sakura is what mislead people about her character and honestly, mistreated her in may ways along the anime, I could give countless examples, but the main one would be her design in certain situations.
And the best example would be this:

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(credit to someone on DA, though I don’t know who did it, just heard it’s from DA)

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Notice how Kishi gave her boobs, yes, boobs (one of the most stupid reasons I’ve ever heard when it comes to hating her,sorry to say it), curves and everything, made her look feminine, while the anime team made her look like a blackboard.
As I said, this is a small example, could be others, but I honestly didn’t stayed and looked for every single one of them, this just came around whenever I looked at an anime episode compared to manga.

Though, one of my biggest issue with portraying Sakura and making her look just as a Sasuke fangirl is this one, when she did more than that:

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In this episode, all that Anime team did, was show Sakura as a Sasuke fangirl and Hinata as the Naruto all-time supporting one. Fair enough with Hinata however Sakura and Naruto both noticed something in Sasuke that NO ONE else did. Why would they not animate such an important part? But nope, let’s make sure to have an unnecessary amount of Hinata attempting to cheer Naruto on because God forbid they don’t get their weekly quota of her!
Sometimes it’s really no wonder why some people hate Sakura, because the anime continues to trash over small but very important scenes!

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While Ino keeps being the fangirl, Sakura stops and sees what’s happening.
But of course, let’s get past those small but important moments, shall we? It’s not important to show that Sakura is reasonable, let’s make Hinata look good.

I am aware that I’m going to receive some rant about picking-up on Hinata. Let’s not confuse things a bit, as I am sure you’ll say that I am building Sakura by bringing down Hinata.

No, I am not bringing down Hinata, I am showing how favoritism towards a certain character is done and how this could mislead people. Let’s keep in mind, once again, I like them both!
However, I’m not blind and I always hated favoritism. And it’s well known that Studio Pierrot’s favorite character it’s none other than Hinata Hyuga.

And if you’re calling me hater or anything like that, as I am sure by now you did it, let’s remind a bit, how much screen-time Studio Pierrot gave her compared with the manga and how many powers they added to the arsenal compared to the manga.

Proof?

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So, no, I am not a hater. Just make an analysis and see how Kishi portrays Hinata in his manga and how Studio Pierrot portrays Hinata in the anime.
Any logical and down-to-earth people would see that.

If you want to hate me, go ahead, that will change nothing in the fact that the anime team portrayed her in a way, while Kishi kept it his way.

Now, getting back to what I wanted to do.
I’m going to take Sakura’s character, page by page (almost), chapter by chapter, pointing out her goods/wrongs, whatever and also here and there explain exactly what Kishi meant to say behind that action as I saw many times that people hate Sakura because they don’t understand what Kishi’s message is, what he’s trying to convey through Sakura.

Oh, there is one thing I want to say before starting. I wanted to say it somewhere in the beginning but lost myself in many other ideas so I forgot.
It’s mainly about the fandom…My thoughts on the Naruto fandom are these:

Sometimes, I wish I’d never meet the Naruto fandom. Like really! I mean, before I got more interested in it, when I just watched the anime, I was enjoying everything without no hate for a certain character from the fandom.

Enjoy Sasuke being the prick he was, Naruto being the stupid one saving the day, laughing at how Sakura punches Naruto and they’re so funny, enjoyed every moment Hinata shined, loved the battle of Sakura and Chiyo vs Sasori, The Sannins battle, seeing them all shine, laughing at the Naruto and Hinata parts fainting without calling Hinata a stalker, anyway, enjoying every single moment of the series without hearing someone calling Sakura a bitch or useless and Hinata a stalker or anything.
Laughed at certain moments without having to hear that character X and Y is this, this and that; you get the idea.
I was enjoying every part and if I had something to whine about it, well, I was doing it and move on.*
Really, I kinda regret sometimes meeting like 80% of the fandom.
Thanks God there are the 20% left… the rational ones.

Now, I really think I should start with the analysis.

“Although Sakura is the most recurring female character in*Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto*did not originally intend for Sakura to be the heroine of the series. Kishimoto attributes this to his being unable to draw good heroine characters, and fashioned Sakura as a girl who cannot understand men, the best example of a heroine he could come up with. Sakura’s creation is a result of Kishimoto’s desire to make a somewhat irritating character who was well-intentioned.*Despite these elements, Kishimoto is fond of Sakura, as he feels that many of her personality traits are common among all people, thus giving her a sense of real humanity.*When asked in an interview if there is something about Sakura’s background that was never revealed, Kishimoto explains that he has never thought of Sakura as she is a “normal girl.”

Once again, we see that Kishi wanted to portray her as a normal girl, irritating BUT with good intentions. And what she is supposed to represent in this manga was real humanity and that he is fond of her.

LE: At the time I had started writing this, I haven’t known a certain information regarding Sakura’s heroine status. For update, click here.

So when the ones that hate her say that even Kishimoto is not satisfied with her (I’ve heard that reason coming from the fandoms as one of the reasons they hate her), let’s remind about this, that Kishi is fond of her. So next time when you come with this reason, you better shut your mouth as it will make you look silly.

Some of the critics that have Naruto in their sight, commented about her as being an “interesting character to throw in the mix”.

Kate Higgins, her voice actress in the English Dub, comments that “the development of Sakura in the series, remarking that she becomes a more complex character as she becomes more sensitive and caring”. As we see, this description of a mature person antagonize with the haters of her character who say she’s a “unsensitive bitch”.

IGN writer A.E. Sparrow commented that every anime and manga benefited from a strong female presence that Sakura provided for the*Naruto*series, although characterizing her as “stereotypically girly”. Once again, it is clearly that Sakura is girly and strong, not how the fandom makes her look (manly and weak).

All these people I am quoting here are mature people, critics that have years of experience working with these kind of stuff and give the most impartial reasons concerning her character. Not some fanboyish opinion making her look good or bad.

GameSpot noted that Sakura’s character has largely been used in the series as a form of comic relief, as well as often stating the obvious. So when people call her abusive, it’s a pretty much of exaggeration. It was for the damn comedic relief and as we see once again from some people with brains, she states the obvious, meaning, she hits Naruto when he deserves it because he acts “cool” by doing stupid/perverted stuff. If people call Sakura abusive, then I guess we should call his mother, Kushina, too, as we saw that when they met, from the same reasons she hits him in the same manner Sakura does. And also, in the cannon movie Road to Ninja, Kushina hits him as well. But that’s not because she is abusive or anything. It’s for the damn comedic relief or because Naruto acts in a stupid way. Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy these kinds of stuff. If Naruto would been that serious of a manga, would you still like it? If those elements of comedy wouldn’t be there, would you still laugh?
So calling Sakura abusive it’s nothing but a nonsense, sorry to call it to you.
I know by now some of the fans probably just hate me to death. But this it’s only the beginning.
I also know that some of them will just ignore these facts just to make themselves feel better, however, the facts are there and cannot be ignored.

So, let’s start.

Finally THE Haruno Sakura analysis.

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We get Sakura to be introduced in the Naruto series on Chapter 003.

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What do we find out about her? That she’s a cute girl (in Naruto’s conception, though Kishi didn’t intended for her at first to be cute) that he likes a lot.

And we get to see the first glimpses of Sakura’s personality.
Immature, bratty, fangirling over Sasuke, pre-teen behaviour. She’s 12.
Now one of reasons she’s hated was because she was fangirling over Sasuke and because she acted annoyingly with Naruto.

What is funny though, is that people only hate her, though we are shown that she’s not the only one who acts like that.

Yes, she liked him; she had a crush on him. No one can deny that. It was part of her character, something that defined her in the beginning chapters and gave her a reason to be at odds with her once best friend, Ino. You could define this as some sort of rivalry that Naruto and Sasuke had.
Sasuke is the dark, mysterious, cool kid of the class. He’s the one the boys secretly envy, hate or admire (as in Naruto’s case at first) and the one the girls pine over. He’s the bad boy.

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We have the scan where Sakura hits Naruto. Besides the comedic-relief that is present and as a part of her personality, those parts of hers were foreshadowing being a “tsundere” and, as well, the later appearance of Tsunade, the female ninja from the Legendary Three, who, surprisingly or not, acted the same way as her. Always punching Jiraiya because he wanted to act “cool” and “perverted” around her, thing that Tsunade never liked so she punched the hell out of him in order to teach him a lesson, thing that Jiraiya comments later calling Sakura a second Tsunade or a Mini Tsunade (scans coming later).
The same basis and placement as Team 7 that is later introduced. Now, we get the setting of the Team 7.

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Many people have whined about it. “OMG, why was Sakura introduced in that team, she serves for nothing!”
The general misconception, of course. Why Sakura was put in Team 7, why they were all put in team 7 is because of simple reasons, actually.
Naruto would benefit from Sakura’s intelligence and Sasuke’s talent. Likewise, Sakura would benefit from her more capable team-mates while Sasuke would benefit from learning to work with others. We got to learn this later in the manga, after the Forest of Death test, where Iruka comments about the Heaven and Earth.

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Now, let’s get continued with this.
After the team’s assemble, the next scene is Naruto (disguised as Sasuke) meeting with Sakura. We learn here about her inner self, about her insecurities, what she likes, what she wishes for.

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We see here that she’s pretty insecure about her looks and as a normal pre-teen girl she has a crush. People always hate her for that, but really now, who didn’t have a crush on someone at early stages of our lives? What Kishi wanted to emphasize here with Sakura was that stereotypical girl that has a crush as a pre-teen.
People took it totally the wrong way and called her a bitch because she was in love with Sasuke and didn’t pay attention to Naruto. Really now? As we see, never Naruto has told what he feels for her although he got this close to her.

What’s also interesting here, it’s that we learn that Sakura doesn’t like him because he gets in her way, she doesn’t share the same reason as the rest of the villagers and kids. She doesn’t ‘hate’ him because he’s the 9 tailed fox child, her reasons are totally different, so from this stand-point, Sakura gets out of the general picture of the other villagers. She didn’t care about him being the nine tailed fox kid, like the other children who were told by their parents not to get close to Naruto, to hate him that formed the general hate for Naruto.
Sakura from the beginning had her own reason to dislike Naruto.

In the same panels we learn that Sakura is actually very alike Naruto and that she searches for Sasuke’s acknowledgement and the reason she dislikes Naruto is because he always gets in her way on winning Sasuke’s love and that’s why she finds him annoying (and we have to admit that Naruto acted quite stupidly at the beginning, even Kishi said that he wanted to emphasize him as the stupid one from the team). Because he doesn’t understand her. And then, we see as Naruto’s finally understanding why he likes her.
Because Sakura is like him, searching for acknowledgement.

Now everybody blamed Sakura for acting such a fangirl about Sasuke, but what about Naruto? We’ve seen him going fanboy over her as well.

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They’re just the same breed but of course, Naruto being the main character, is the one that gets the love, while she gets the hate.
But now, let’s move forward to what I call, one of the biggest revelation-moments of her in this manga that has been so over-looked by many.
As Naruto disappears from the meeting place with Sakura, disguised as Sasuke, leaving this impression on her that it was Sasuke the one complimenting her, the real Sasuke appears.

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Sakura, under the impression that Sasuke came back, she waits for that so-called kiss and we witness one of her biggest change from a bratty teen that is quite superficial and mainly talks before she thinks.
When Sakura says that he (Naruto) doesn’t even have any parents demonstrates how superficial in thinking she is. But for a 12 years-old that has had her parents all along and doesn’t know how it is to grow-up without a parent, it is normal to be shallow in thinking. All she thinks about is the fact that Naruto doesn’t have to worry about getting late home because he has no parents to scold him. That was her incentive, not that she’s a total bitch and he laughed about him not having parents.
I mean, let’s be serious, how many of us didn’t think at early ages of our childhood, we wish we were alone with no parent to scold us, not that we wish for our parents to be dead – GOD FORBID! (I felt I had to specify this as I am sure some of you would get crazy over this statement and interpret it in the wrong way o_O) – but just not be there so we can do whatever we wanted without fearing that later we’re going to be scolded for what we did. If you say you didn’t, I’ll have to call you a hypocrite, sorry. There’s no youngster that doesn’t think like that when parents don’t let us do what we want. So basically it’s the same premise here.
That was the message behind the curtain. But it seems like many didn’t understand it and started bitching about her, ALTHOUGH, in the next panel, given Sasuke’s rebuke, Sakura realises the fact that she did wrong and this would hurt Naruto’s feelings and asks herself if Naruto felt the same way she did after Sasuke’s acted the same way she acts to Naruto and says to herself that next time she could be a little nicer to him.

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Next, we have the moments when they meet with Kakashi. We once more learn how alike Naruto and Sakura are (via Inner Sakura, the real one) and that in fact, even though she doesn’t admit it, she likes the pranks Naruto makes though she won’t take any responsibility of further events.

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She is a bit superficial here, once again, but it was part of her character, the character that makes mistakes and will further learn from those mistakes.
And let’s once again be honest. Who didn’t acted like this when we were kids? We enjoyed pranks made by our friends/colleagues/whoever but, when it came to responsibility of the actions, none of us would admit we participated.
And once again I’m going to call you hypocrite if you don’t admit it. Maybe there were some that took responsability or did it, but let’s face it, the majority of us didn’t. This is also, the hidden meaning behind Sakura’s character and her actions, part that is, I believe, highly overlooked and misunderstood, like many aspects of her personality.

Chapter 004.
In this chapter, we have Kakashi meeting up with the team in order to find more about them.
Naruto tells his dream about becoming a Hokage and Sasuke about his certain someone that wants to kill.

Then we have Sakura.

Sakura that goes all blushing and lost in her own words and giggles and in the end, still at the level of annoying little brat manages to say she dislikes Naruto.

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Now someone told me that she has no core-personality because she has no dreams like they do based on this scene. That only Naruto and Sasuke have because Sasuke had the dream to kill Itachi and Naruto to become Hokage.
While her dream might not be as respectable as her two team-mates, it is clear enough from the very beginning: she wanted to become a shinobi. Fair and square. She had the same goal as other Academy students. If she wouldn’t have a core-personality she wouldn’t be here.
She represents the normality/human element/side of this manga, like Kishi stated before and I’ve showed at the beginning of this analysis.

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And as a normal teen, as Kishi emphasizes via Kakashi, is that girls at that specific age are interested more in love than ninjutsu.
Take it as interested more in looks/love than school. We’ve all been there. And here I’m specially talking to the female audience. We all get interested in boys, looks, investigate around mom’s closet to see what she wears, try her high-heels and stuff like that.
Up to a certain extent, I tend to understand the fact that boys don’t understand her character, but I would’ve expected girls to be more understanding of her as we all are girls.
Anyway, let’s go with the next events. We have Team 7 going for the Survival Training.
Once again, it is shown to us how similar Sakura and Naruto are when they’re scolding Kakashi about the fact he’s late again.

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After Kakashi explains the rules of the Bell training and what they have to do in order to accomplish it successfully, we’re getting a glimpse of what Sakura’s character real role in this manga will be as she comments that Kakashi will be in danger when he says that if they want to get the two bells, they have to come at him with the intent to kill!

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Even though Kakashi was going to be the enemy, the fact that he will get hurt worries Sakura and here, as I said before, we get a glimpse of what Sakura’s character will mean further in this manga, meaning representing the humanity side, that would like to fight with love rather than weapons, that wouldn’t want to see anyone get hurt, that she cherishes a human’s life. But this bit will be later discussed.
Anyway, later the fights start and they all hide, or are supposed to do it. The only one remaining in the full sight it’s Naruto.

So here, we get a feat of Sakura’s ninja abilities, when Kakashi comments about the fact that the basic of a ninja is to hide himself well and he is satisfied with the fact that both Sakura and Sasuke have hidden in well-placed spots, minus Naruto.

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So whoever said that she was not a good-ninja, is kind of contradicted from the very first panels as in the basic tactics such as these ones, Sakura did pretty well on her own.
Probably you’ll say that she fell for Kakashi’s genjutsu, well, let us not forget the fact that all of them fell for something. Naruto – Taijutsu; Sakura – Genjutsu; Sasuke – Ninjutsu;
Now before going further, I’d like to remember how people always said that Sakura didn’t cared for Naruto, that she was a total bitch, never cheered for him and everything else. I think they skipped these things.

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So, from here we get to see her worried, cheerful and worried again. I wonder if a bitching Sakura would ever be worried for him or even cheer him?

Then, we get Sakura falling under Kakashi’s genjutsu as she worries about Sasuke being caught by Kakashi. Now I wonder what selfish (as she was called countless times) would be worried about others, in this case both Naruto and Sasuke. Yes, she did worry more about Sasuke as he was her love interest, however she worried about Naruto too. So the selfish, uncheerful bitch argument falls from Chapter 006 (and we’re on Chapter 613, I wonder what’s taking people so long to see that?…)

Then, we see her fainting once more when she recovers from the genjutsu, at the sight of seeing Sasuke’s head in the ground, thinking that he was beheaded. This was not only for comedic relief as it was later to show us how much she was worried about him and as well, show us the fact that Sasuke refuses any sign of affection as he only has only one goal: that to kill Itachi and the fact that he is an Avenger.
Anyway, after that we get the three of them and Kakashi’s lecturing about how they should quit as ninjas, lecturing them about the Heroes of Konoha and telling them about the fact that he’ll give them a second chance to get the bells but meanwhile to not give Naruto any food.
Now, while they’re alone, we see Sasuke handling his lunch to Naruto first and we see an expression of amazement on Sakura’s face. And all this, not because she was a bitch that didn’t want to give Naruto food, it was because she was that type of student that would listen to the rules and won’t break them (used as a plot device for further lecturing by Kakashi about the rules and breaking the rules).

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So if she’d be that bitch, selfish and everything people who hate her say she is, she wouldn’t have given Naruto a single piece of rice from her lunch.
You may say she did it because Sasuke did it. True up to a certain extent, but that doesn’t change the fact that no matter what she did it, she learned a lot of things from Sasuke’s teachings and if she’d be that bitch and selfish as people make her to be, once again I repeat myself, she wouldn’t offer nothing to Naruto, no matter how deep her love for Sasuke was.

Next, we have the mission where they meet Tazuna, the bridge builder. His first impression about Naruto was that he was a super-stupid looking brat.

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It’s another proof how Sakura wasn’t the only one thinking Naruto acted foolish and didn’t hit him for nothing. Every time she hits him, besides the comedic relief, it’s because Naruto disrespects people around him or from the desire to act cool, he makes stupid stuff.
And Sakura has always been portrayed as a well-educated girl. (Check Databook 1, Character Personality, Haruno Sakura = Stubborn, well-educated). So every time she hits Naruto is, once again may I remind you, because he wants to act cool and disrespects people around him.
Now going further with the progression, as we know they are placed in taking care of Tazuna.
And I admit, in Part 1, Sakura was nothing special, but she was far from useless. Her courage and boldness are seen as she jumps in front of Tazuna to protect him with the cost of her life, although people accused her of “freezing” and being unable to do a thing. Manga proves them wrong, once again.

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As Kishi comments in Databook 2: “One can see her strong spirit during missions. She erases fears of the opponent, doesn’t back down, and bravely and boldly fights back.”
Well, Kishi’s own words and Sakura’s action clearly dismiss any haters comments like those of “selfish, bitch, useless”. If she’d be a single one of those there, Tazuna would be dead by now maybe. It doesn’t matter the fact that she has no Kekke Genkai or any powerful jutsu, wee see Sakura fighting with what she has and doing her job. Period! And this while Naruto was all trembling and sweating of fear (if we were to compare).
What bitchy,useless selfish person would have risked their life for someone they just met? It was their mission, indeed, they were going to receive their money, however life is more important than any other material things on this world. And Sakura risked it in order to complete her mission successfully. You’ll probably say, but Sasuke jumped in to protect her. While this might be true, it doesn’t matter, she did her job, Sasuke did his, it was all part of team-work efforts. If Sakura would’ve been so useless, would’ve ruined everything from the very beginning.
So once again, we get to see that the “attributes” the hater fandom gives her are highly dismissed in the earlier chapters of Naruto.
Now, the “selfish bitch that always thinks only about her” (SARCASM intended) strikes again later, after Kakashi shows himself again not dead, doing what do you think? Worrying about Naruto and his wounds, telling Kakashi that they should be going back to the village to heal Naruto’s wounds.

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I wonder how could she worry about him and his wound. How could she think that they are not ready for that mission when even Kakashi says so.
How in the world could she want to get back to the village to take Naruto to a doctor? (Sarcasm intended once again).
All these are aspects of her personality highly overlooked by others just for the satisfaction or you name it, to make her look bad and call her names, when the truth is the other way around.
Once again, we get to see the general behavior of Naruto and the general view of others about Naruto, when he starts acting all cool to make a show-off of himself. That’s when Sakura picks on him.

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Even Tazuna, a man with a certain age behind him and Kakashi with a vast experience tell him to stop acting that way, but yet, somehow, only Sakura gets the hate.
Guess that by that logic, we should call Tazuna and Kakashi bitches for picking on Naruto too, right? The fact that Naruto by luck stumbled upon that detail about the rabbit doesn’t change the fact that, personality-wise, it changes nothing and the general opinion of people is that he’s always acting cool and showing-off when totally unnecessary and out of its place.
Next, we get to the part where Zabuza appears. What does the useless, selfish bitch do (Sarcam intended once again)?
Jumps in and risks her life for Naruto who could’ve ended beheaded by Zabuza’s sword if not for her. Sakura froze and did nothing as a useless character that she was? Well, it happens that Kishi proves them wrong ever since Part 1.

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I mean, she is so self-centered that only cares about protecting herself (sarcasm intended once again – I feel like I have to say it everytime beause I’ve noticed Sarcam isn’t that well understood as well) and cares not about her friends. Oh, Sakura, how could you do that? How could you not think about yourself and think about Naruto’s protection? How could you think that he has to be protected instead of yourself? Sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm…
But, on a serious note here, what useless and selfish character does that? Throw themselves in danger just to protect a friend? I cannot amaze myself enough when seeing how these aspects of her are so highly over-looked and put somewhere in the back. It’s like if someone dares to show her good parts, the fandom are afraid she might people to like her? What’s the game here? I seem to fail to understand…
Anyway, going next, Kakashi tells them to protect Tazuna and the fact that it’s a team-work which all of them, including Sakura, bravely do. Afterwards, Kakashi gets in the fight with Zabuza and he gets caught.
Once again, we get to see Sakura worrying about Naruto’s state. Again! Oh, my God! What is she thinking?…

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Then, in the next panels we see the Team, especially Naruto and Sasuke, form a plan after Kakashi’s been trapped in the Water Prison Jutsu. While they do that Sasuke is caught in a confrontation with Zabuza and, once again, we get the so-called selfish Sakura, worrying about Sasuke.

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And don’t give me the “It was Sasuke, of course she was worrying” cause I’m going to hit the wall with ya. I clearly showed that she worried for her team-mates, plain and simple. Didn’t matter it was her love interest or not, she worried about them. I wonder what useless,selfish bitch would do that?
Next, we have Naruto and Sasuke getting the plan in aplication, while Sakura knowing that she is no match for them as she doesn’t have any special talent, helps the team-work by doing what she could do best, protecting Tazuna, while being observant at the battle.

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Next, as we know, the battle finishes with Zabuza’s so-called death that later it’s questioned by Sakura, and Kakashi starts asking himself what’s missing from the puzzle while lastly he gets to his senses and comes to the conclusion that Zabuza is not dead because the ritual of the hunter-nin is different and that Haku, just took his body, not disposed of him immediately, as a normal hunter-nin does. That’s when he decided to put them to train and also, that’s when they meet Inari.
And here we get Sakura picking-up on Naruto again. But let’s see why.

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Once again, Naruto acts idiotic and picks-up on the little guy. Of course, that behind this, the plot device was that Naruto will be proving Inari that real heroes exist, however the fact is there, Naruto acted idiotic once again, that’s why Sakura picked-up on him.
Next, we have the beginning of the training where Kakashi takes them into a forest and starts explaining them Chakra and Naruto doesn’t understand a single thing, showing that his academy school days, were good for nothing while Sakura acts a bit bratty, like the know-it-all person (which at that time was part of her personality; Haruno Sakura, Databook 2, Personality: perfect student, bratty) and scolds him about his days in the Academy.

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Then, Kakashi lets Sakura do the talking and she starts explaining the basic of the Chakra, keeping her bratty behavior towards Naruto as Kakashi comments that Iruka had some good students.

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Referral to Sakura’s intelligence, which, fair enough contradicts the popular believing that she is stupid or God knows what. No, every since the beginning, as we see, Sakura’s intelligence is noted.
Remember the Team 7 assemble reasons? This is Sakura’s part in the Team.
Now next, is the instance with the Tree Climbing Training. Kakashi starts explaining the premises of that training and how hard it is to do such a thing and that one must gather chakra in one of the most difficult areas of the body, meaning the feet, thing that, Sakura does exceptionally, showing one of her biggest feats in this manga, chakra control.

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We have the panel where it shows us that Sakura has climbed the tree effortlessly and that Naruto compliments her while Sakura, still at early age, acts very bratty, silly and fangirly, and comments to herself that she wishes that Sasuke would’ve complimented her instead of Naruto.

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We mustn’t forget that at this time in the manga, Sakura’s personality was still shallow and childish especially towards Naruto despite the thing that she was a well-educated girl.
But immediately afterwards, we have a very interesting and over-looked aspect of Sakura’s personality. No matter how fangirly she acted or how know-it-all bratty, she still helped Naruto with tips when he went to ask her for some in-sights of how to do it, since she was the best at it.

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Now, a self-centered and selfish bitch as she was numerously times described as (yes, I will keep reminding you about that) wouldn’t have shared the secret, could’ve pretty much been selfish and keep it all to herself, not telling Naruto a single bit. Yet she did it and later both Naruto and Sasuke used her wisdom in having better training results.

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Now while Naruto and Sasuke were training, Kakashi sends Sakura in town with Tazuna to pick-up different things they’ve needed and we learn more about her personality.

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She’s walking in town protecting Tazuna as she sees the sadness and sorrow [see what I did there? *wink wink*] of the villagers and worries about some unknown to her people. We get the message that she doesn’t like to be peeped at or whatever the term is (English is not my first language) as well, rounding her character as a second Tsunade for the upcoming arrival of her future master.
Now, what we also notice, is that there’s this kid that comes behind her back asking for some food. Sakura takes out what she has from her pocket and gives it to the little kid. This is Sakura, a selfless character, well-intentioned, that worries for the people next to her even though she doesn’t know them or represent nothing to her, helpful, doing the best she can for the well-being of other people, even if they’re totally unknown to her.
She is that type of character worrying for the faith of the humanity of this world and would like everyone to live a life spared of such things as poverty, pain, sadness, you name it.
She is that human part that needs to be taken care of or else we’re going to turn ourselves into brainless, emotionless tools.
What leads me to the most important and central point of this manga, that’s going to be portrayed in the next part of this analysis.
One of the major themes in Naruto is holding on to your humanity. As Kishimoto stated himself, he wanted to show her off as an irritating character with good intentions. He even told that he is fond of Sakura because from all the characters, she has a more human feel to her than the other characters.* Thing that I reminded you back in the beginning.
But putting that aside, as I said it’s about holding on to your humanity, emotions and, as well, protecting the ones you love. Becoming a tool in this old idea which seems to be discarded by many, but getting forward let’s look at Haku and Zabuza Arc.

We have Naruto who meets Haku after a whole night of training to prove Inari that real heroes do exist and Haku asks him some questions about what he was doing around, what was the purpose of the training and if he has someone precious to protect.

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At that time, Naruto doesn’t understand exactly what Haku exactly meant, he just has some flashbacks about him protecting Iruka, Kakashi protecting them and Inari’s father story.
This was just to resemble the fact that he has an idea, but not fully understood what Haku meant.
The next day (the 7th one) Kakashi and Sakura go to the forest to see Naruto’s progression and we get a glimpse of Sakura getting worried about Naruto, although she still acts somehow despicable with him calling him idiot again. But the concern for him was there.

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We even see Kakashi reacting the same way as Sakura although he’s not expressing his thoughts as her, but you can see it through the body language he displays.
But like always, the hate falls only over her, though in these early stages we clearly see how idiotic Naruto acted in order to try to be “cool”.
Even Kishimoto says that Naruto was portrayed as the stupid one from the manga, in an interview back in 2008 or so, where he says that the most down to earth from them is Sakura, even though she has flaws in her personality like the obsession for Sasuke and that Sasuke is the one a bit of an anti-social.
Anyway, let’s get further into the story’s progression. Kakashi along with Sasuke, Sakura and Tazuna head along the bridge where Haku and Zabuza appear. We get a glimpse of Sakura still being the fangirl that she was at that time, as Kakashi comments that she’s still so hung-up on him.

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At this point in time, Sakura is still not so mature in thinking and shallow. However, as they go through this, the fight starts as Kakashi orders Sakura to step in front of Tazuna and stand by his side.

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Thing that she does. Sticks with Tazuna, while observing the battle and worrying about her team-mate. Which, once again proves, she’s not a selfish bitch.

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As the battle progresses, Kakashi comments about Team 7’s ensemble, commenting that Sakura is the brigthest in the village, making it very clear what her role in the team is. How I said in the beginning, each one of them benefits of other’s qualities in the end complementing each other very good for the sake of the team-work. So, as well to people who said she’s featless, as far as I remember and has been shown, being a ninja doesn’t require only Kekke Genkais and talent (which she has, anyway; chakra control, may I remind you) but also takes a great deal of intellect.

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Anyway, let’s get further. As Haku and Sasuke change kunais, Haku reveals one of his most-feared weapons, his jutsu that is a Kekke Genkai, trapping Sasuke inside the mirrors. Seeing so and being worried about Sasuke, Sakura heads in helping him, noticing that Kakashi is holding back Zabuza and no possible danger was there, she heads towards where Sasuke is, tries to throw a Kunai to break the ice mirrors, however Haku catches it. So, she first weights the situation and then acts, doesn’t freeze contrary on the popular beliefs around the fandom.

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Being unsuccessful and with Naruto making his appearance, Sakura stands her ground and once again we see her being cheerful, contrary to the popular belief, when she sees him. So yes, even if she was fangirling all over Sasuke she wasn’t the bitch people try to make her look and she was supportive and cheerful for Naruto even from the early chapters.

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I have heard so many times that Sakura became interested and supportive over Naruto only after Pein battle and whenever I see those arguments, honestly, I almost facepalm myself at the fail and ask myself what manga or what anime have these fans been reading/watching.

I mean, besides the comedic relief scenes and extra-added scenes, the cannon ones are in the anime. That’s the skeletal structure of the episode, the cannon manga chapter.

But as always, people tend to overlook or down-play these characteristics of Sakura just for their own pleasure or for the neverending stupid reason that she stands between Naruto and Hinata happening. So in order to make their pairing look better or make Hinata look better, they downplay her building their favoritism on that.

Once again, may I remind you I like them both, however I deeply despise these acts I’ve mentioned.
Now, let’s go further.
Afterwards, as the battle goes on, seeing that she is not capable of interfering, Sakura tries to cheer for both Naruto and Sasuke (not cheering for Naruto you said, right?)

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This is where the real-deal begins, I might add. From this point-on, it is fairly explained to us how the fact that cheering them won’t help with anything and the fact that not even Naruto and Sasuke could do something about it as they don’t have yet the strength to destroy their hearts and kill another person being all raised in a peaceful village like theirs.
Here, the old (and the reason why I say old is because they’re all fighting to change those old thinking) idea of “what being a true Shinobi means” is introduced, which at that time meant that one must kill his heart, meaning emotions/human side, in order to become a true Shinobi.
As Haku comments “I can destroy my kind heart with a blade and become a true Shinobi”, making us realize the fact that at that time, what was considered a true Shinobi, was a Shinobi with no heart/feelings.

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This is the beginning of the biggest moral lesson of this manga (meaning that even the most heartless killer has a human side), which represents the starting point of the newest generation in comparison with the oldest one.
So, let’s separate it in 2 parts.

HARUNO SAKURA: the character, the meaning, the hate (2)

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3 comments

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Gabby (3 years ago)

Great analysis! Finally, someone who can look at things logically and critically…

    Chatte Georgiana (3 years ago)

    I barely see this now. Thank you very much! This analysis was started from the deep wish to wash away this veil of hatred that had been put on Sakura’s character. Sadly, I was too late… poor thing at the moment I’m responding to your comment even lost her heroine status…

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