Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate (11)

Unlike its other counterparts, the 11th part of Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate will be lighter. The reason for that? It covers Sakura’s appearance from chapter 65 to chapter 70. You could call these more of transition chapters regarding her character.

Nevertheless I do consider them to hold meaning in her character development. In the end, each appearance, each dot, connects to the grand scheme that is the plot.

And if you wondered, the hate for her still stands in present days. I was even reading a tweet the other day about this the other week.

Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate (part 11)

Continuing from where I left off in part 10, after finally figuring out the meaning of the hokage message, the team enters the preliminaries. There, we met all the remaining participants in the chuunin exam.

After being congratulated, Konoha’s Hokage explains to them the reason the chuunin exam takes place. It’s not a light, heart warming reason they’re doing it. The true reason, as Sarutobi says, for this exam a replacement for war among the allied countries.

Sakura displays a thoughtful demeanor in regards to the Hokage’s statement.

He gives us a short history lesson regarding the allied shinobi villages. Back in time, the current allies were enemies. They fought each other over who should rule. And so, in order to prevent wasteful fighting, they made this system. That was the origin of the chuunin selection exam. We witness Naruto being a bit confused, and so Sarutobi continues to explain that yes, the exam was to test who can become chuunin. But that was a side of it. The other side was that those shinobi fought to protect the land’s prestige. If they would show in said exam how powerful they were, this would later mean clients would hire their specialists. Aka ninjas. After that, the mechanics are explained and the fights start.

The character

Sarutobi further explains the concept of friendship in the shinobi world. So what is friendship in the shinobi world? Losing one’s life, thus keeping the power balance between the allied forces. That was the shinobi world meaning of friendship.

This nicely ties back to part 4 of the series, where I talked about what it meant to be a shinobi and Sakura’s relevance to the plot.  An important aspect of this plot point that ties nicely to both Naruto and Sakura, the hero and heroine respectively. Which I’ve talked about in a NaruSaku post regarding this matter. Read those parts and you’ll understand why no matter if Sakura isn’t heavily emphasized in these very moments, her character still ties back nicely to the plot and the theme that’s represented here.

After the mechanics of the preliminaries are explained, chapter 66 follows with Sakura’s request to Sasuke. Given his state, she greatly worries about him. This once again shows us Sakura’s human side by the display of worry she shows for Sasuke. But let’s take it on turns.

Haruno Sakura and the cursed mark activation

Panels of Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno displaying her worry for his health state given his cursed mark       As Sasuke’s curse mark starting to take effect, Sakura immediately takes notice.  Soon after, she tells Sasuke that she thinks he, too should give up the preliminaries. Given his state, it was pretty clear that he wouldn’t be able to fight at his full strength, and that could damage his health.

Panels displaying Haruno Sakura and Sasuke Uchiha having a fight over his weakened state because of the curse mark from Orochimaru

Panels displaying Haruno Sakura and Sasuke Uchiha having a fight over his weakened state because of the curse mark from Orochimaru

Panels of Haruno Sakura, Sasuke Uchiha and Naruto discussing the state of his health given Orochimaru's cursed mark

They have what you could call a real fight here, as she tries to stop him. Naruto watches from the sidelines, confused with the situation at hand.

Haruno Sakura and her importance in the team

However, it is here that despite the fight they have, it is shown to us once again, that no matter what, Sakura’s presence was important in her teammates’ life. Especially since it was the same Haruno Sakura that saved them in FOD.
Upon once again reinforcing his reasons to still go further, Sasuke tells her “I can’t forgive even you if you take that away from me”.
Through Sasuke, it is displayed that she is an important member of their team, to whom even Sasuke opened up about his real nature. That of an avenger.

But she is important to Naruto, too. Especially when it comes to her wellbeing. Naruto tries to interfere seeing the situation between the two. Seeing how much this affects Sakura. But Sasuke is smart as he has always been and declares he wants to fight him too, which makes Naruto forget his interference earlier.

Soon after, Sasuke is nominated to go into battle, as Sakura and Naruto are forced to watch from the sidelines, worried.

The meaning

While at first this appears to be something bland, and which doesn’t hold much meaning to Sakura’s character, it isn’t so. It once again reinforces Sakura’s character meaning in the story. That of a shinobi who treasures the life of her comrades.

Plus, not only that  but she plays a key role in displaying the hatred that runs into Sasuke. She is meant to show the reader the change Sasuke’s undertaking. Granted, he was always somewhat of a dark character, but he has managed to keep that in check. Now, he is acting more and more strange with each passing moment.

Through the flackbacks she has over their encounter with Orochimaru we can observe that.

We as readers, are meant to understand via Sakura, the change in Sasuke’s behavior. She is the witness to that change, given that Naruto was out for the most part of it. It is part of a build-up that we’re going to talk about later in this series, as this is not the time for it.

The hate

Most of the hate Sakura got, was because of panels as the ones from the fight with Sasuke. Likewise, for panels such as these.

She cannot watch Sasuke’s fight and displays great worry continuously. But we must remember, the meaning of all this was because she knew something Naruto didn’t. Which brings back to the next panel.

Sakura’s lying reason

Naruto asks Sakura if she knows something about this mark. She lies. It is more of a lie by omitting the truth, though. Because the way she responds is actually evasive. She is truthful when she says she doesn’t know. Because yes, as a matter of fact, Sakura doesn’t know about the ways this cursed mark works. She just knows it’s doing something to Sasuke. But this is a plot point that later connects to another. Which I’ll talk about at the right time. Not now.
Plus, like shown in part 8, she does lie in order to not make the others worry about her.

However, it is also part of Sasuke’s desire. After all, this panels shows us that.

Sasuke didn’t want them to worry about him. And he is bent on achieving that at all costs. Even if it means Sakura isn’t allowed to tell Naruto.

Back to the present fight

Soon thereafter, comes Kakashi comes in.

Sakura asks worried about Sasuke once again. Kakashi assures her he is okay. He is sleeping in a hospital bed. However, he is not voicing the whole truth. The part where Sasuke is protected by Anbu. This ties later with another narrative thread I will talk about at the right time.

Sakura sighs relieved. We have Naruto observing the puppet jutsu after that. He questions the validity of what he sees. Sakura proceeds to explain him about the validity of said jutsu.

This serves as a nice foreshadowing for beginning of part 1. Not only that, but it displays once again to the reader the knowledge on the matter. Even if this was a jutsu that wasn’t used by Konoha ninjas, she still knew about it.
So we see once again that Sakura is a book smarts type of ninja. And as we talked early in the beginning of this series, intellect was also a must-have feat for a ninja. That’s why in contrast we have the manga showing us Naruto has a different type of intellect.

Soon after starts another battle. Sakura’s with Ino.

This going to be covered in the next part of the analysis.

Conclusion

You can say that Sakura didn’t do much here. And I will agree with you. But we must recall this is part of her character journey. Plus, let’s remember a thing here. A certain panel.

We’re dealing with Orochimaru here. The villain of part one, as we know. Even Kakashi thinks he is wrong of going against someone like him. Kakashi thinks this way. Why can’t we accept a 12 years old being scared of him, as well? And his actions? I think on this respect Sakura Haruno is judged pretty unfair.

With this being said, thank you for reading Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate part 11! I’m waiting you on the next part of the Haruno Sakura: the character, the meaning, the hate character analysis!

Yours truly,

Chatte

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