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

As we said in the previous part, we’re gonna split the next part in actually 2 parts.

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  • Shinobi = Emotionless tools.
  • How one can become stronger by protecting the ones important for them.

Now let’s take them one by one.
I. Shinobi = emotionless tools.
A tool called Shinobi.

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As Kakashi and Zabuza start fighting throughout these two fighting, Kishi introduces to us the concept of the what a true Shinobi meant at that time, as I stated before, as Zabuza said that he gained a high quality tool for himself, a fighting machine known as a Shinobi who doesn’t have a heart nor fear of death. Furthermore Kishi explaines how one, in order to become that perfect tool, has to erase its humanity like Zabuza has done with Haku by training him from his early ages.

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While Kakashi and Zabuza fight, he orders Sakura to stay and protect Tazuna because this fight is serious. Once again, she stays next to Tazuna and puts her trust in those two, cheering once again, for them (once again, showing that Sakura cared for both of them, not just Sasuke) the same thing Kakashi does, puts his trust in them and explaining how with Sasuke’s talent and Naruto’s determination they can win, even if they’re not like Haku, Shinobi tools. This part of the story is used as a plot device for the further lesson Kishi was planning to teach us, that when you have someone dear to protect, you become stronger.

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But before going to that, once again, the concept of tool is brought to us when Haku explains to Naruto the fact that for Zabuza, he served as a tool.

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Furthermore, he dies as the tool he was, sacrificing himself for Zabuza as he (Zabuza) comments that he has picked something very useful (talking about Haku’s sacrifice) while we get the panel with Haku asking Zabuza to let him stay by his side as his tool, once again Kishi strengthening the idea in the old days that Shinobi were tools.

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After that event, Kakashi keeps attacking and getting the advantage on the fight more and more over Zabuza and as by the time Gato appears, Zabuza’s arms are already severed. Kishi once again strenghtens the idea of Shinobi being used as tools as Zabuza explains Naruto how the world of shinobi works.

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Now, let’s go at the second part of this moral lesson.

 

II. Becoming stronger when you have someone important to protect.

 

Now, let’s rewind events a bit and get back to this part of the lesson. As I showed before, when Naruto meets Haku in the woods, he asks Naruto if he wants to become stronger for himself or because he has someone important for him, because that’s when people become stronger.
Now, in the actual fight, when both Naruto and Sasuke are inside the mirror’s area, Haku explains that being a tool for Zabuza is his dream and that he wants to protect him, asking them not to hate him, explaining that this is the reason he wanted to become stronger, because he had someone important to protect.

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Then, for strengthening the idea and leading to the actual plot, in order to be able to protect the ones he cares about, Sasuke awakens the 2 tomoe Sharingan and already Haku worries about that.

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As Haku gets Sasuke into a trap, Sasuke is caught in a deadly match as he sacrifices himself for Naruto.
After this, Naruto simply goes crazy at the image of his friend being killed and fights the masked Haku. Besides the fact that Naruto gets the powers because of the Nine Tail Fox this fight is also used as a plot device to show that when it comes to protecting someone important to you, you become stronger, as Haku comments later about Naruto.

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Now these two together lead to the biggest moral lesson of this manga: how one cannot kill his humanity even if it’s buried deep within and emotions, this way becoming stronger, leading to the new generation of shinobis that will not be just tools and with their humanity they’ll get to be stronger. That one doesn’t have to kill his heart in order to become stronger.
And now this is where we’ll be talking about Sakura; the reason I separated those moments in two different categories was to, hopefully, make you understand better what Sakura’s character really represents in this manga, this being, probably, the biggest overlooked aspect of her character. All people saw is that she cried about Sasuke, that’s all, when as a matter a fact, the statements Kishi makes her say, speak everything about what Sakura represents in this manga.
Let’s take it step by step.
As Kakashi fights Zabuza, we see a concerned about Kakashi Sakura (once again, explain me please how a selfish person worries about other people; sarcasm intended again), as she screams in order to warn him about Zabuza planning to cut both Kakashi and Haku, thing that Kakashi observes by himself.

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After this, the mist dispels itself as Zabuza gets more harmed and Sakura notices Naruto and she expresses her relief and happiness that Naruto is ok, unharmed. Once again, aspect about her character everyone downplays in order to make her look bad. Yet once more I wonder myself what selfish bitch and every of those rants would worry about her comrades? So yes, Sakura did worry about Naruto, Sakura did cheer for Naruto every since the beginning!

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This shows that no matter how shallow, fangirl, flawed person she was at that time, deep inside she is a kind person that worries about the people around her and their well-being.
Going next, as she sees Naruto is ok, but nowhere to be seen Sasuke, she asks Naruto about Sasuke and where he is.

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Naruto then doesn’t say anything making her freak out and this is where Sakura notices that something’s wrong. Tazuna, observing this and knowing the fact that she would want to see what happened to Sasuke but she has to stay and protect him, the latter offers to go with her so she won’t break the order from Kakashi, which she didn’t until Tazuna offered.

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So we see that even that she wanted so much to know what happened to Sasuke, until Tazuna didn’t say so, she didn’t move from the place she was supposed to be.
As Tazuna goes with her, Sakura arrives at the place where Sasuke layes down almost dead and watches him for some moments being absolutely shocked.

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We even see Tazuna shocked and in the next minute how his look falls on the ground, expressing how sorry he feels about the whole situation. Now, if a stranger feels that, imagine someone who has spent her time around him, who loved him, in her own way, how she must’ve felt.

And the next pages are the epitome of the moral lesson Kishi tries to teach us via Sakura.

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What 99% of the people perceived about this scene? Sakura is a cry-baby. What they should have they perceived? Sakura is a Shinobi, but a human one. She represents humanity.
Now let me get back to what I said at the beginning. Naruto’s major theme, as it’s represented in this Arc is holding on to your humanity, to your emotions or else you become a cold tool (A tool called Shinobi, remember?) and we have as a serving example Haku and Zabuza.
The old system is represented by them, while this major theme, lesson, morale, however you want to call it is represented mostly by Sakura in this part when she tells Tazuna the fact that she has memorized over 100 ninja sayings for the Academy and one day there this question came along:
“Write down Shinobi Saying 25.” She says that as usual, she responded correctly: “No matter what situation… A shinobi must keep their emotion on the inside! You must make your mission a top priority and you must possess a heart that NEVER shows tears”.

What does this saying tells us? That Shinobis were trained as cold, emotionless tools with no sense of humanity. That in order to be successful, one must kill his humanity.  Now, Kishi draws a real nice parallel here with the real-world nowadays, especially the Sales domain. If you ever worked in Sales or had any connection, you should know that you must act very robotic (meaning no feels) in order to bring profit to the company where you work. As well, draws parallels with the soldiers nowadays that have to work for their country, those ones who go in Wars and kill people, those ones that have to act as emotionless tools, not not caring about the fact that the War brings a lot of suffering, it’s killing people and innocent children. Kishi is a smart writer, nonetheless.

Getting back to Sakura’s situation, we have Tazuna commenting that “This is the Shinobi way… That’s too harsh!”

So we have a normal thinking man, a total unbiased one saying that it’s too harsh.
Now, what’s the message and the meaning behind this and also the explaining of Sakura’s character?
That no matter what, in the end we’re all humans and when it comes to harsh situations like these, we cannot act cold and pretend that everything is ok. That it’s normal to let your feelings burst out, that if you do that you’re human, you are part of the concept of humanity. You feel.
Same with Sakura, this is what Kishi was telling us, that Sakura is human, she represents that humanity we all turn back to, that feelings cannot be stopped no matter how cold you try to be/act, thing that happens to Zabuza later.
As well, this is the start point where the newer generation will be different than the old one. Will surpass it (remember that Kishi introduces the idea more clearly than at this point in the manga) and be totally different than the other one. That they will fight with the heart instead of weapons. This is in a metaphorical way, however, you get the point (for reference, we have Pein arc, where Naruto talks about breaking the circle of hatred).
And to prove that what I said it’s true, let’s go further with the events.

In the moment Haku dies, Zabuza already decreases “in power”. His important one was not around him anymore, he didn’t have anyone to protect, so that’s why he became less powerful and gets his ass kicked by Kakashi.
Now, when Gatou appears and starts hitting Haku’s dead body, Naruto starts going crazy and screaming at Gatou for acting that way. While Kakashi tries to get a hold of him, Naruto yells at Zabuza, telling him to say something, asking him that if they were friends, if he doesn’t feel anything at all as they were always together.

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At that point, Zabuza tries to act cold telling Naruto to shut-up because Haku is dead anyways, explaining him that he used Haku as a tool the same way Gatou was using him as a tool, that Shinobis are just simple tools, all that he ever wanted was Haku’s blood because of his bloodline, nothing else.

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As Kakashi tries to stop him, Naruto still doesn’t believe what he’s hearing, cannot believe that Zabuza was that heartless and asks him if he really meant that, screaming at him that Haku really loved him and once again asks him if he really doesn’t feel nothing, as memories of Haku’s sayings run through his mind.
In the next moments, Naruto starts crying asking himself if he will become strong as he wants, he will be similar to Zabuza? That he will have to give up all his feelings, his friends, everything he has, his human side in order to become strong?

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This clearly shows us that Naruto is similar with Sakura, and that they both represent that change in this newer generation, meaning they are not willing to bury their humanity in order to become powerful shinobis, that they are not willing to become emotionless tools if that means to be stronger. We see Naruto crying over the fact that Haku threw his live for Zabuza and lived as a tool, saying that this is very sad.

Sakura105We see here Naruto crying as well, so don’ know why people made such a big deal out of Sakura crying at seeing Sasuke DEAD. It is only normal. If you’re telling me that you wouldn’t cry to see one of your friends (in this case, love interest) die, I’m going to be calling you hypocrite again. You’ll say that this is a manga and that I am overthinking this, but I am not the one drawing parallel with the real human world , presenting feelings.
If Kishi wouldn’t have brought that up, he wouldn’t have showed crying Sakura, Naruto and later, guess who? Yes, I think you’ve guessed it, Zabuza!

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In the end, the coldest person to be presented to us in this manga, the Demon Zabuza, as he was known, returns to his humanity and starts crying as Naruto’s words have touched his heart and realized that Haku meant more to him than just a tool. Showing that he knows what it means to have feelings, Zabuza explained what it meant to Haku to fight with them, and that even though he was Zabuza’s tool and portrayed as an emotionless, Haku was actually very kind..

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The biggest revelation, of this, serving as a proof to all I’ve stated before are Zabuza’s words, who freely admits that, in the end, a shinobi is still human and that in the end, they cannot become emotionless tools and no matter how cold or emotionless you are, you always turn back to your humanity.
And as he returned to his humanity, having someone important to protect, majorly weakened, because of that someone important, Zabuza gathers all his remaining strength and goes for a killing spree after borrowing a kunai from Naruto. In the end, after killing most of the other hired ninjas and, most importantly, Gatou, when he finally gets drained from the battle, on the verge of his death, Zabuza thinks about Haku and later ask Kakashi to take him next to Haku as he wants to see him once more.

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After this, we get Sasuke waking up while Sakura squashes him with her hugs, being very happy at the fact that Sasuke is alive. We get them both crying, both Naruto and Sakura, at the news that Sasuke is back. So once again, I don’t get it why people accuse only Sakura of crying when we had besides her Inari, Haku, Naruto and even Zabuza. The representative icon of cold, emotionless tool.
And at the end of this fight, we get the real proof of what I’ve stated before, about Sakura and Naruto (even more than her) representing the next generation that will be different than the old one, that they will be the prodigies in fighting differently (with their hearts) than it has been done until now, as Sakura asks Kakashi if Haku and Zabuza’s were right about ninjas, Kishi depicting the fact that Sakura will be the type of ninja who cherishes human life, feels, emotions, in one word, humanity, and later, Naruto commenting he will be a ninja on his own way.

 

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This may also respond one of your biggest questions, why Sakura doesn’t fight that much as her team-mates, why isn’t she that overpowered like them? Even though we’re at early stages of the manga, I am sure that by now you’ve read the manga and noticed that this is one of the reasons Kishi made her a medical-ninja. Because medical-ninjas save lives!
Sakura represents that person who gives important to a human life, no matter how small or big it is, no matter how unimportant a life is to some, she represents the epitome of humanity and that human side that needs to be cared for and needs to be taken care of.
Proof of that? Later on, in the battle with Sasori.

Not to mention that it has been hinted from early chapters when Naruto gets hurt, Sakura says that they should get back so that Naruto can see a doctor, that they need medicine for his wound, when talking about genealogy and bloodline limits, things that are from the medical areas, Sakura is shown in the panels. Kishi puts little hints here and there, it’s just up to us to notice them!
Now that I finished with Haku and Zabuza arc, one of the most important in my opinion and that I explained as best as I could for you to understand (once again, English is not my first language, I am Romanian) what this manga stands for and what is the biggest message Kishi conveys to us through this Arc, a very important Arc, that by coincidence or not, it’s very related to the War Arc where everyone is fighting for everyone, for humanity, not to mention that one of the biggest weaknesses of the Edo Tensei are feelings, yes, feelings and the fact that, surprisingly or not, Haku and Zabuza are brought back. But this is a thing we’ll discuss later again in another context, similar nonetheless.

Now, shall we move along with showing how Sakura’s character grows and as well, show some parts that people on purpose (in my opinion)?
We got to chapter 34, after the whole Haku/Zabuza arc where Team 7 meets and goes in a mission.
They all meet in the morning, where Naruto and Sasuke are acting the silly way after what happened in the past mission and Sakura is the one who has to stand between them, noticing how they were the same every since the Wave Country commenting for herself that Kakashi needs to hurry.

Now, as we all know, Kakashi arrives 3 hours later, Sakura scolds him for that and they go in the mission. Now, after they return there’s a little detail, as many others, overlooked by many people of the fandom, the ones that always call Sakura a selfish bitch.What does Sakura do? She carries Naruto as he is exhausted from the mission.

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But I am pretty sure everyone saw only the part where she picks-up on him because he seeks reason to fight with Sasuke because he was “stealing” his spotlight.

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I am not going to excuse Sakura because you might say that she was acting this way because of Sasuke, as this is true up to an extent, she was doing this also because let’s face it, Naruto was every time in the humor for fighting (is this term correct? I Googled it) and the only one that put him in his place was Sakura. She was the only one being able to keep it on par with him because in a way or another, she was like him as well. That’s why, the only one who was able to cope with him and keep him in check was her. Because how different, yet similar they are.
But that doesn’t change with nothing the fact that when things were serious, Naruto wasn’t acting stupid, Sakura was there for him, to support him.

Of course, the next moments, we have some comedic-relief with Sakura kicking Naruto’s ass again, being disappointed by what Sasuke has been telling her about her training. But what’s more interesting here, is that Kishi used these moments to foreshadow that Sakura will be a second Tsunade, thing that people didn’t get by now even though so many years have passed. I get it that at that time, you wouldn’t get it, but still after this time, to not being able to see it and use those moments when she smacks Naruto just because you need to show how bitch she is, when the fact manga contradicts it and does it for foreshadowing or comedic relief, I find it quite immature.

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As we can see, the Sakura carrying that big boulder was a foreshadow of Tsunade’s appearance later in the manga, as she was portrayed the strongest Kunoichi and arguably one of the strongest characters in this manga (we have never seen anyone besides her and Bunta, to be able to carry his tanto [sword])

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And Konohamaru’s statement really speaks in the name of this foreshadowing as he seems very hurt by her knocking, inclining towards the fact that for a girl, Sakura has an unnatural strength as he says “Is that really a girl?”.
The next panel where we see Sakura kicking again Naruto’s ass, was when Naruto, once more made a show-off of himself, acting stupidly when the Sand siblings appear. Sakura sees that there’s a big difference in the power-scales between them and that they seem serious so Naruto acting that way, it would only make things worse.

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Now, you might say why didn’t she treated him gently? Now, let’s be serious… When did Naruto listened when people asked him nicely to stop acting stupidly? In order to calm him, only someone like Sakura should come into play, because you know as they say, it takes one to know one.
So next time when you accuse Sakura of being abusive, look at the cause (Naruto) not the effect(Sakura’s actions). Without the cause (Naruto) the action doesn’t take place (Sakura).
Now as Kankuro keeps acting bossy, Sasuke comes between those two, hitting Kankuro with a stone.
Seeing this, Sakura, still reacts in the same fangirling manner she always does.

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Now, to come back at the idea that I told you at the beginning, about Sasuke being the playboy and that Sakura’s reactions given her age (remembered Kishi enforced the idea that girls at her age are interested more in romance than ninjutsu), excluding the comedic relief, are understandable. He is the dark, cool guys all the girls get interested in. And to prove you once again this, let’s look at Temari’s reaction.

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What does Temari says to herself while blushing? Yeah, that he’s pretty handsome and later when Sasuke asks about Gaara’s name, look at her reaction when she thinks he was asking her.

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And once again, it is proven to us that everyone finds him appealing and likes him because he’s that cool, dark guy by the reactions of Moegi and Konohamaru, who says to Naruto that he thought he was cool, once again being proven to us that it was a somewhat normal reaction at those early ages.

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Going to the next chapter, Chapter 36 called Sakura’s Depression, we see a glimpse of Sakura’s worries about the Chuunin exams, admitting her inferiority towards Sasuke and even Naruto. She clearly knows that no matter how she acts lecturing Naruto, he is better than her when it comes to combat. And we even see she’s changed and more calm as Sasuke observes it immediately.

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However, no matter her inferiority in combat, Sakura has her own merit in the team as we spoke earlier about and not only that, but as Sasuke praises her (something he wouldn’t do just to make her feel good about herself, given that few chapters ago he was the one who told her straight out that she’s below Naruto), out of all 3 of them, Sakura’s analytical abilities and genjutsu know-how’s are the most improved in their team, given that, as we know, she is a genjutsu type.

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Then we have a moment that shows how shallow in thinking and rude Sakura was still being at that moment, when she meets Lee.

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When Lee appears out of nowhere, asking her out and promising he’ll protect her until he dies, Sakura acts very superficial and refuses calling him lame, showing the flaws in the personality she was still having at that moment, flaws that will later serve at her character development.
And once again, Kishi underlines the idea with Sasuke being the playboy with who all the girls get in love when he portrays even TenTen being attracted to him.

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Now, immediately after this, we have another overlooked moment of Sakura as she calls both of them to go meet Kakashi. As people always called her Sasuke’s fangirl, the bitch that doesn’t care about Naruto, we have here an example to show that it’s not that way, that she’s not a bitch to Naruto. That he cares about him too. Surprisingly, she calls his name first. So before accusing her of some stuff, make sure you take into account both parties.

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Next, there’s the confrontation between Lee and Sasuke where Sakura still has the same behaviour towards Lee and when they finish the battle, Sakura runs to save Sasuke from the fall. Now you would say that of course, because it’s her Sasuke-hun! And this is where I tell you that NO, it’s not just because it’s her Sasuke-kun. We have her before, in one of the previous panels that I showed you, where she jumps to protect Naruto when Zabuza attacks them.
So I’d allow myself once again to tell you to think twice when you accuse her of giving attention only to Sasuke, because when it comes to the well-being of her team-mates, Sakura worries for BOTH Naruto and Sasuke. Remember she was relieved back in the Zabuza arc when she saw Naruto was ok, showing that she didn’t worry just for Sasuke.

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And as a further proof, comes the panel where Naruto states after Gai beats Lee, that what Gai did would be a good thing and Sakura comes and comments that no, it’s too dangerous, clearly showing that she was worrying about him, even though she acted tough.

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Afterwards we see Sakura picking on Naruto once again, but let’s see why she did it…

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Someone that doesn’t like her, of course, would say “She’s a Sasuke fangirl, that’s why! All she cares is Sasuke”.
While it is true that she picked on Naruto because of Sasuke, let’s look once again WHY she did it.
As we see, Naruto knowing Sasuke will get pissed, looks for enjoyment in fighting, by teasing Sasuke.

Any normal person would see that what Sakura tries to do here is to make them come at peace, by cutting down the source of the fight, meaning making Naruto stop as he is the one looking for a fight. So what she did here, it wasn’t just fangirlingly (if hat term exists o.O) defending Sasuke, she was trying to reconciliate them, to avoid an argument among the two of them. So, before blindly accuse her of infatuation, take both parties into consideration and act accordingly.

Let’s go further. They all meet with Kakashi that is amazed that Sakura came too.

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He says that the team can now properly take the exams as he explains the conditions of the exam, meaning that in order to be able to take the exams all the three of them had to come.

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Sakura then ask him about the exam as Kakashi formerly said about the fact that they individually have to chose if they are going to take the exam or not.
Now here is where a really nice part comes and speaks about her kindness to her teammates, both of them, even if she had a crush on Sasuke.
Keep in mind that Kakashi is their leader and knows them best, all of them and you cannot deny this. As Kakashi starts to explain more about the exams, the truth behind his decision to tell them to chose individually, he explains to Sakura that if he had told them the truth from the very beginning, BOTH Naruto or Sasuke would have pressurized her to take the exam.

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Once again showing that she is an IMPORTANT ASSET to the team. That she was the brain of the team and without her, they wouldn’t have gotten further, not because they lacked the talent in battle, but because her intelligence was something dependable. It shows that without her, they wouldn’t have had any chance to even enter the exam. So this speaks very much from the earlier chapters in her right, especially for those people calling her useless just because she had no special moves. As I said before, a ninja is not only flashy moves, jutsus or however you want to call it. Being a ninja is a great deal of intellect (and as it was shown to us, the intellect part is reserved for Sakura).
Now, my most favorite part from this page, is yet to come. People keep accusing her that all she cared was Sasuke, Sasuke, Sasuke that she was a bitch to Naruto.
Manga comes again and contradicts that.

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What did Kakashi said here? That, indeed, if Sasuke had asked her, given the fact that she had the crush on him, she would’ve taken the exam. But he also adds that if NARUTO TOO would have asked her, she would’ve taken the exam.
Now this speaks in Sakura’s name a lot. Even if she was still shallow in thinking at that time, even if she was bullying Naruto in some sort of way or another, though as I said, he deserved it and the only one who could keep up to his crazyness was Sakura, even if she was still acting like know-it-all she CARED about Naruto as well. That’s why Kakashi said, may I remind you once again: NARUTO TOO!

So this speaks a lot about her and about the fact that in the end, no matter what, she will be standing next to them, helping them as best as show could, no matter how downfalling it would mean for her.
Remember the chapter where she was really depressed and didn’t want to take the exam, though, for them, she did it.
Note that I am not doing this for the pairings, I could care LESS! As I’ve stated before, I am a multishipper, so in the end, I’m not going to be one of those fans screaming that their pairing didn’t get cannon. I am one of those fans that will enjoy the pairing and that’s it.
But what I really care for and really is important for me is Sakura. She could stick out alone, I could care less as long as she’s happy. So I don’t want to hear any shipping rant or I swear I’ll break you to pieces.
What I do here is talk about Sakura and solely her, everything that surrounds her and her actions showing acts that people overlook just from the sick or God knows what pleasure, to downplay her and deliberately miss or downplay those acts of her.
Anyway, let’s move forward.
But I felt like I needed to mention this and clear it as I am sure somewhere in a corner of the world there would be someone commenting I am doing this just because I ship NaruSaku.

Yes, I ship NaruSaku/SasuKarin! AND NaruHina, SasuSaku, KakaSaku, ItaSaku etc. The two latter having NO CHANCE of being cannon whatsoever, however I still ship them and don’t bitch about other’s shippings like the majority of shippers do, on every sides.

The only trace of displeasure I get, is, I’m not going to be hypocrite (unlike others), is for NaruHina. But not because I don’t like the pairing or because of NaruSaku or because of the fans and the fact that they defend their pairing. NO! It’s because HOW they defend their pairing [the majority I've seen, read closely and clearly, I HAVE SEEN, meaning MY OWN experiences, act like Sakura use to do in Part 1 for Sasuke (and they say they hate her, laughable) and are damn disrespectful. Kudos to those who are not, anyway!]
Putting Hinata on a pedestal by downplaying Sakura. That’s how they do it. This I find HATEFUL! And I say it fair and square without no fear, hiding or remorsement. I don’t care what people say! I am not a hypocrite that will hide it just to ass-kiss people and make them feel comfortable. No, I don’t like it, I tell it.

I am not here for anyone’s excitement or enjoyment.
When people will start respecting Hinata for what she did WITHOUT comparing with Sakura, who, at that moment was doing her job as a MEDIC NIN, not a COMBAT ONE, unlike HYUGA (see what I did there?) Hinata, I’m going to stop having the slight disliking I have now, but until then, I ship it the way I know but by acknowledging BOTH Hinata and Sakura, undependable of one another’s actions.
Anyway, I’ve gotten myself carried away by the fiery spirit once again and added more than I planned. Sorry! ^_^
Now let’s really go further! God, I really talk a lot, lol.

Together, they all go to the room where everyone gathered for the preliminaries and this is when we’re meeting the other teams. To show once-again how Sasuke is the dark, cool guy who gets the girls, we meet Ino, who is a sort of second Sakura. And yet people hated only Sakura.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Ino should get the hate, no. I am saying that no one should get the hate because the author is bringing some comedic relief and emphasizing an idea. My belifs are that if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’d better shut-up. Same here.
With this page we see that the idea is enforced by Kishi more and more about Sakura being the cool guy.
We also see that Ino and Sakura are the rivals for Sasuke’s love as they childishly start offending one another. Next we have that years rookies presentations, Kabuto appearance who brings the so-called cards. Now as Sasuek gets interested in some of them, Naruto witnesses too and starts going a bit down on himself, although, we don’t see that because let’s face it, when has Naruto admitted his inner feelings? He always used to hide it by starting acting the show-off (and if you’re contradicting me, go to the first Naruto chapter, when Iruka and Naruto create a bond).
Here, guess what, we have ANOTHER overlooked moment of Sakura when she’s thinking at Naruto’s wellbeing NOT being the SELFISH bitch people are trying to make her be. What does Sakura do?

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Seeing Naruto being a little depressed, she thinks to CHEER HIM UP! So much for Hinata is the only one cheering Naruto up, right? She may have been the first to care about him as it is shown to us later in Shippuden, when Kurama speaks with Naruto about the hatred in the world, especially Sasuke’s hatred BUT BEFORE THAT we have Sakura doing things for Naruto’s wellbeing before Hinata could even get out of her eggshell.
Now you may ask yourself why I am doing this? OMG, why am I being so mean towards Hinata?
I am going to respond you this: I AM NOT! While my language might seem inappropriate to some and given the fact that this is the internet we’re talking here, language can be easily misunderstood.

What I am doing here is giving credit to Sakura for HER OWN ACTS and counteracting the ones who said that Sakura NEVER cheered for Naruto and was interested about his wellbeing only after the Pein Arc. The biggest bullshit I’ve ever heard. Manga-wise false up to the Heavens! Sakura was the first one to cheer for Naruto. But I am going to get at that part as well, later, don’t worry.

Now that I’ve covered that, moving forward. We have Sakura once again picking on Naruto, what seems like strangling him. But once again, let’s look at the cause (why Sakura did it) not at the effect (what she did) – as a parallel, I have to thank my father for teaching me this lesson when I was little, this helped me a lot in life. He always explained to me when they were scolding me, why they did it, giving the “cause” and the “effect” lesson as an example. Dad always used to tell me that I should stop looking and whine about the effect (my parents scolding) and look at the cause of it, why did they do it (because I was doing wrong things). So once again, thanks dad!

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So, what made Sakura go and strangle him, besides the comedic relief, of course, was the fact that Naruto previously acted stupidly, turning everyone in the room into his enemy. And as defense proof, we have Shikamaru’s statement. And we know Shikamaru may have been the laziest, however he’s the most impartial out of them all, proven later in the manga.

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Backing-up this statement, while we have Sakura scolding Naruto for what he did, unnoticing one of the Sound nins until it was too late, we have one of them attacking.
So, once again it is shown to us that Naruto’s actions are sometimes very silly and can lead to… let’s call them misunderstandings among people.

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So, yeah, once again, before accusing Sakura of being abusive (which to be honest I find it so exaggerated), look at Naruto’s actions. The trigger for her punching.
Now that I’ve finished with this, I want to get to a very but very important aspect of Sakura’s personality and actions towards Naruto. Since she’s most hated because she is supposedly a selfish bitch. I know I have said this countless times, but I will say it to remind people that she is not what they say she is.
After this little fight between the Sound nin and the examiners come and everyone is seated to take the written paper test. We see Naruto freaking out when he hears about that and as well being highly stressed. What does the so-called selfish bitch of Sakura?

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She thinks at Naruto! And how this affects him. After Ibiki Morino explains some of the rules, understanding that Naruto is not in a good situation, she thinks at him saying to herself that all they have to do is her and Sasuke cover for him.
This shows once again that no matter how shallow she was (yes, at that time she still was, her growth is represented further in this manga) when things get serious, Sakura CARES about her teammates. Even if they’re stupid, show-offs. And yes, this was Naruto. No intent to offend him, but as she was shallow, he was stupid. Even Kishi stated that.

But anyway, let’s get forward. After, we have Ibiki Morino explaining them one of the most important rule of the test according to which those that will lose all their initial points during the test and those who don’t answer correctly will be failed along with their 2 teammates. We have a moment where Sakura and Sasuke as well, so NOT JUST HER, let me make that clear, freak out and Naruto says that he feels someone wanting to kill him.

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A funny moment nevertheless, but this is where the real “fun” begins.

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As the written paper starts, all that Sakura does is worry about Naruto.
Of course you will say that she worried about Naruto because they were going to fail because of him, while this might be true up to a certain extent, as Sasuke worried about that as well, Sakura cared not just because they were going to fail, but cared about him overall. Thing that is about to be shown in the next panels.

Going further with the events, we have again Sakura worrying about Naruto and about the fact that if he will be alright getting to the conclusion that she first has to worry about herself in order to get THEM points.
Why THEM in capitals? Because it shows once again that Sakura DOES CARE about her teammates, BOTH of them, which INCLUDES NARUTO as well, not just Sasuke.

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[Sidenote: this picture here clearly shows what I've been telling you, that being a ninja is also a deal of great intellect. Haters being shut up, again, from early stages of the manga]

After that we have the moments with the 10th question, Sasuke discovering the trick behind the paper exam and Naruto freaking out badly. There’s another moment here where it shows how much confidence Sakura has in Naruto although they always act childish to one another, as she speaks to herself while doing calculations on how many teams will get to pass.

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This shows clearly that at the bottom, Sakura is actually a very kind person and that even trusts Naruto though he always acts silly around her.
Now, here comes my favorite part.

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We have Ibiki Morino explaining the basics of the 10 question, that if you decide NOT to take it, your fail along with your team. If you decided to take it, yet you repond incorrectly, you will loose the right to take the chuunin exam EVER AGAIN. And his way out for this 2 way-deadlock is that if you are not confident enough you can answer the question, you can chose to give-up and not take the exam so you can do it again next year. As Naruto worries about what kind of question is, Ibiki asks for the ones who do not wish to take it, to raise their hands.

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Now as Sakura hears that, all that she does is, once again is worry about Naruto.
She says that she is confident enough that she’ll know the answer, as she already did all the ones before without even cheating, meaning that her special ability IS her brain, contrary to the popular belief that she is stupid (yes, I’ve heard this one), but she keeps worrying about Naruto as she says to herself that Naruto should chose to not take the question, not to worry about them (ie: Sakura and Sasuke) showing that Sakura was willing to risk herself, risk her year and also Sasuke’s for Naruto. So long for the selfish Sakura that all she cared was Sasuke, isn’t it?

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It shows that all this time she is thinking about him and his dream.

We see Sakura thinking at his dream and all the times he said he wanted to be Hokage.
This is the epitome of Sakura’s SELFLESSNESS. And if someone damn tells me that Sakura is a selfish bitch I am going to throw this manga page in their face, hundred times if needed be.

She didn’t even have any romantic interest (as I know people make connections like these) in Naruto at that time so that you could’ve said she did it because she was in love with him not because she really meant it, like if it would’ve been Sasuke in Naruto’s place.

No, this shows how great of a character Sakura is and how she should be valued. And I don’t exaggerate when I say it. To me, people like these, who are selfless and think at the wellbeing of others rather than theirs, to me, those people are very dear and I appreciate them very much.

Now I wonder, where were those haters when this appeared? Even in the anime. Because it appeared in the anime too, not only the manga. Why did people comfortably overlooked this moment? This is the starting point of Haruno Sakura’s growth as a character, as a person. Showing one of the most appreciable characteristics in a human being, the selflessness, the kindness, the power to be able to give-up on yourself for other’s wellbeing or sake or in this case, Naruto.

I really want to hear those who hated her and downplayed her until now, why they don’t see such moments and all they do is TAKE OUT of contest some things in order to downplay her? But of course, it’s easier to harm and bash than to actually do a good deed, right?
This is the moment when, for me, after coming in contact with the Naruto fandom, because before I did even took so seriously this story, Sakura meant a total other thing than people made her to be. I mean, I knew before that she was ok, that everything was cool and she is the one along with Naruto that bring us that comedic element, however, after coming in contact with Naruto’s fandom I was horryfied to see the unnecessary hates she gets. So I started reading and re-reading the manga in order to understand better the storyline and everything. At that point, for me, only the Pein Arc had meant something more deep than the others. But then, after I re-read it, I actually took a deeper look at it and finally understood what Kishi is transmitting to us, the message he conveys through this manga, and Sakura happens to be one of those characters with great importance in conveying that message.

Anyway, as I’m done with this, I don’t need to speak more than the images do for her, let’s go forward.

HARUNO SAKURA: the character, the meaning, the hate (3)

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5 comments

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Michael Blair (4 years ago)

wow you rock sakura is a very awesome character and her and naruto remind me of myself caring about others and giving up on myself to make sure that the ones I care about are happy

Hikazenoka (3 years ago)

what did you mean Sakura and Bunta wield a tanto? Could you add this in?

    Chatte Georgiana (3 years ago)

    I wasn’t referring to Sakura and Bunta, I was referring to Tsunade when she takes Bunta’s tanto in the Sannin fight and the fact that when the boulder image with Sakura was shown, that would have represented a foreshadow of her becoming Tsunade’s apprentice.

Vao (2 years ago)

I do not understand either how people can comfortably overlook one thing and yet exaggerate another. WHAT THE HECK?! WHAT MORE PROOF DO THEY NEED?? I have always admired her selflessness. Honestly, I feel like everyone can connect to Sakura. She was bratty yes but at her core she has always been very kind. She has bad qualities and good ones. People can connect to her imperfections and see how despite them she strived to overcome them and always had good intentions at heart. Who the heck cares about otp or whatevs, I just wish people could see Sakura without any clouded bias involving Hinata or whatever else they insist.

Sumo Sumo! (2 years ago)

ha, these are all great arguments, but some of the Sakura haters I’ve had the bad luck to run into literally blow everything off by going “I don’t care, duh? Get a life”. After they’ve posted three pages of Sakura hate.

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