Search

HARUNO SAKURA: the character, the meaning, the hate – Prologue

Because this is posted on my personal blog, I will have to first let all my readers know that yes, I am still a child at heart so what I do, besides the usual adult life stuff is: read manga, watch shows, TV series etc. And what I also like to do is talk about and analyze a lot this kind of stuff. So, besides other topics 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 want to do here.

Many of the people who have read this article of mine on other platforms have brought to my attention that the pictures I used are not viewable, 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 this issue.

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).

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 use a thing or two from her characterization, in order to understand the very world we live in.

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’s not doing what Hinata is doing, is a long way.
And when I read about all this hate towards Sakura, I honestly start to dislike Hinata in a way. Mostly because of her fandom and how they deal with the whole situation. Good thing I don’t go with the flow.

Because most of Hinata’s fandom builds her character by putting down Sakura. No, you don’t do that! You like a character because of what he/she does, not because you put down the other in order to make your favorite look better.

I like Sakura because of what she represents and has done in this manga, even her mistakes.
I like Hinata for the same reasons. But I never downplayed Hinata to make Sakura look better, never! Although I could’ve done it like every other person 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/actions in this manga and bash when they don’t even know what the scene is meant to portray.

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 built at Sakura’s expense.

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 a hypocrite.

Now, the majority of you might ask yourselves why am I going this far for 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.
Having that human side of hers, 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 a mile in their shoes.
I find her that character in real life that would be bullied (which, coincidentally she was in the story as well), just for other’s satisfaction, to make themselves feel better by picking-up on someone not as powerful as them.

I identify 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 those who were targeted by others just because they weren’t understood, or simply because some 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. Guess I have a thing for the underdog and a recurring desire in me to help the helpless.

Judge me, call me crazy, I don’t care. In any way, people are used to think stereotypical and judgemental, and every time when there’s a person that gets out of 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 like, what I do, how I do it, you name it.
I’m not one of those people that will just shut it. No! As others have the “right” to bash her to make other characters look better, so I have the right to defend her.

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,
Studio Pierrot mistreated her in more ways than one along the anime episodes.
I could give countless examples.
A good one would be her design overall.
I mean look at this:

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 mention this rather ludicrous reason), 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. There could be others, but I honestly didn’t waste my time looking for every single one of them.
This just came around whenever I looked at an anime episode compared to the manga.

Though, one of my biggest issues with portraying Sakura is how Studio Pierrot made her her look just as nothing more than a Sasuke fangirl, when she was more than that. What am I talking about?

Naruto Shippuden 277

In this episode, all that the 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!

While Ino keeps being the fangirl, Sakura stops and sees what’s happening. She is observant. She always has been.
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 hate because I am 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 remember 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?

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 person would see the difference.

If you want to hate me, go ahead, that will change nothing in the fact that the anime team portrays her in a way, while Kishi keeps 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 and wrongs, and also here and there explain exactly what Kishi meant to intend with certain actions. As in, talk about his authorial intent with the character.
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’s character.

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 seeing someone call Sakura a bitch or useless, and Hinata a stalker or anything.
Laughed at certain moments without having to see 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 moved on with my life.
Really, I kinda regret sometimes meeting like 80% of the fandom.
Thanks God there are the 20% left… the rational ones.

Now, before I start with the analysis, let’s read what some specialists in this very area had to say about Sakura.

“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 ourselves about this: Kishimoto is fond of her. So next time when you come with this reason, you better remember that its own author has this fondness of her, no matter how much some people want to deny it, or change the facts.

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 “insensitive 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, specialists in their field, critics that have years of experience working with this kind of stuff. They give the most impartial reasons concerning her character. Not some uneducated opinion making her look good or bad.

And this is something that makes a difference, and should make a difference when taking her character into account. But the general hysteria in regards to her character and the hate it generates, makes little to no place to logic and reasoning when taking her character into account.

That is why this analysis is aimed at being a rational one, one that sheds some light on the character itself, author intention with said character, and the impact such a character has on the fandom and vice-versa – what impact the fandom has over the character with so much generated hate.

I guess you could also call this an observational analysis of a social phenomena.

Leave a Reply