I’m finally writing this again – Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate. I first started this series around 7 years ago, and due different reasons, at some point I abandoned it.
Mostly because I had moved my writings elsewhere. At that time, most of the debates concerning her character were done on Tumblr.
A lot of time has passed since then. The Naruto series ended. Granted, it continues now forward with the newest generation. So why should I continue this series might be a question? Well, I do it because years later, I’m quite detached of the outcome of the series, but it still pleases me to analyze it, out of various reasons.
One of the things I noticed is that the Sakura Haruno hate is still present. Granted, maybe not on the scale it was back in the day, but still is. So, I still want to go down on the road that I started years back. So following the steps of the character itself, I continue to analyze her, the story, her meaning and the effect – the hate she gets.
Therefore, as of today, as I already announced on my Facebook page, every Saturday/Sunday (depending on the timezone), I will post a new article that follows on the footsteps of one of the most hated characters in manga/anime history – if you ask me.
Last time I was telling you about this series, I said I don’t know exactly how to structure it. Well, since then, I have analyzed all the possible outcomes and so I have decided to still keep it somewhat fluid, given the fluidity of her character as well. You could say it keeps the old structure, but with some upgrades. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
Now then, let’s start.
Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate (part 10)
On my last post I wrote for this series – part 9, I had covered the character’s journey up to chapter 62, which is titled Trapped Rats.
Back then, I was addressing her relevance in the plot, as back in the days (and still now), people always said that Sakura has no relevance to the plot whatsoever. I begged to differ, and addressed some of the relevance Sakura had on the plot. One of them being the support for her teammates, especially to Naruto’s morale.
We must remember that Naruto as a character always thrived for recognition from his peers. Someone to acknowledge his existence on the very least. On her journey from the beginning until here, Sakura didn’t do just that. Did not just acknowledge his existence. She slowly turned out to be of support to Naruto.
Displayed worry for him back in the bell training chapters I talked about in part 2 of this series. Worried once again for him openly when he got hurt while protecting Tazuna, the bridge builder, an aspect discussed in part 3 of the series. Kept him from harm’s way from Zabuza’s sword when they met Zabuza, later on. Another aspect touched upon in the same part of the analysis. That same part of the analysis shows how Sakura gives Naruto tips and tricks to better control his chakra. It also displays her kindness and selflessness as a character when meeting a kid from the village begging her for something to eat. And many, many others I will not keep listing now. For anyone interested, they can get back and read the previous parts of this analysis and find them all there.
What part Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate (part 10) will do is follow that path. From Chapter 62 onward.
In Chapter 62, Sakura along her teammates find themselves in the forest, fighting the genjutsu ninjas that have them trapped. In their search for the scrolls of Heaven and Earth, they need to battle other ninjas to complete the scroll task.
She is mostly observant, being once again in the back, while her more skilled at that time teammates fight along Kabuto. Granted, she does partake bits to the fight as they are being cornered. Her character mostly displays worry for Sasuke’s state, given that the Cursed Seal is still adjusting to his body. And viceversa.
Likewise, Sakura later on in Chapter 63, displays the same worry for Naruto and his state. He is quite worn out, but still determined to fight. Sasuke is too, but the cursed mark acts on his use of Sharingan. This once more, makes Sakura display worry for his state.
In the end, the team does manage to win the fight against the other ninjas, retrieving thus the heaven scroll missing from their pair. They are able to move forward to the next step and get into the tower, parting ways with Kabuto.
Upon arriving inside, we as readers are once again shown an important aspect of the story. Likewise, if you wish, a pretty clear explanation of Haruno Sakura and her part inside Team 7 and how they balance each other out.
In chapter 63’s end towards chapter 64, when Team 7 enters the tower, they are finally met with what you’d call a riddle. The Heaven and Earth riddle, as I like to call it.
It is a funny touch here, if you ask me. Sakura and Naruto are the ones opening the Heaven and Earth scrolls. Given what we learn later on about them, this is quite fitting.
Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke meet Iruka sensei, who gets summoned via the scrolls. They ask him a bunch of questions regarding the riddle and the scrolls. And that’s where Iruka comes, and finally sheds a light on that particular subject.
We learn that Naruto and Sakura are the Heaven and Earth of the team, while Sasuke is the one encompassing both.
This only brings me back to one of the previous points I made regarding Haruno Sakura’s character and Team 7’s composition.
Naruto benefits from Sakura’s intelligence and Sasuke’s talent. Likewise, Sakura would benefit from her more capable teammates, while Sasuke would benefit from learning how to work with others – like I said in part 1 of this analysis.
This is of course, also establishing what we know later on as the three way deadlock.
So you see, even from the earliest chapters of the story, despite people being dissatisfied with the composition of Team 7, it is shown to us clearly why the team is composed the way it is. And what Sakura’s role is inside it.
Most of the hate Sakura got while being present in these chapters was because she didn’t do much. She didn’t fight much. But as we talked in the previous parts, she proved herself. She used her intelligence and was able to hold off the sound ninjas until her more capable teammates woke-up. Granted, with help. There’s no denying in that.
But at that point in the manga, it was all about teamwork. Not to mention, the aspect she needed to work on in order to become a full-fledged ninja: her earth (body). While Naruto, the protagonist, had to work on his heaven (mind).
But for all means and purposes, Sakura did her part.
As Iruka says, the 5 days of survival were to test their basic abilities needed to become a chuunin. People can take parts and say one or the other about Sakura. But truth is, none of them could’ve done it without the other. Sakura without the boys, and the boys without her.
Let’s recall like we discussed in part 7 and 8, if it weren’t for Sakura, the boys would be dead. Of course, you can say the viceversa is also available. I wouldn’t contradict you on that, because that was the point of her character as well. But also the other way around is available. So you see, it’s a circle, all coming back to each other.
Part 10 epilogue
What I do give some people credit for in regards to Sakura’s character along these chapters, is her missed genjutsu potential. Having her just stay back in the fight with those genjutsu users is what you’d call bad writing.
Now, bad writing might sound harsh, so I’ll call it inconsistent writing. Here, Kishimoto could’ve had her figure out a certain aspect of genjutsu or if not, dispel it altogether? Since he was the one who wrote her into having this great genjutsu knowledge and potential.
But in my opinion, this lands on the inconsistent writing category, not downright hate. And if we are to hate Sakura for this kind of writing, why not do it likewise with other characters?
This is a question that remains with no answer, even to this day. Granted, I do have an idea about that one as well. But that’s another post for another day.
With this being said, I thank you for reading the 10th part of Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate.