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NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: flowers in light & darkness

Now NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 follows the path of its predecessor, NaruSaku symbolism 3.1: flowers in light and darkness. Whereas the first part deals with the darkness’ influence over the flower of the manga, the second one will deal with the light’s influence.

We established in part 1 who the flower is. And that is Sakura Haruno. We established as well, how exactly this symbolism translates in terms of the dynamics between NaruSaku and SasuSaku. As in Sakura’s emotional response to the treatment she gets from both the darkness – Sasuke, and the light – Naruto.

Covering the light part, today’s NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: flowers in light & darkness will deal with the flower’s journey into the light. Following that, today we’ll be talking about:

1. Sakura in the light – the NaruSaku pairing; Naruto (the light)

1.1 Naruto’s treatment of Sakura.

1.1.1 Naruto reception of Sakura’s emotional well-being

1.1.1.1 Shedding tears for Sasuke in the preliminaries

1.1.1.2 Shedding tears for Sasuke after Tsunade heals him

1.1.1.3 The rooftop fight & date that follows after

1.1.1.4 The aftermath of Sasuke’s defection from Konoha

1.1.1.4.1 The aftermath of Sasuke’s defection from Konoha; a comparison in dynamics: NaruSaku vs. SasuSaku

1.1.1.5 The aftermath of Sasuke’s retrieval mission fail

1.1.1.6 The fate of a jinchuuriki unveiling

1.1.1.7 4 tails incident recovery

1.1.1.8 Invasion of Pein

1.1.1.9 Rebuilding Konoha – meeting Inari & Tazuna

1.1.1.10 On bonds – refusal to give up Sasuke to the Cloud nin

1.1.1.11 Infinite Tsukuyomi installment & return of Kaguya

1.1.1.12 Promise of a Lifetime fulfillment

1.1.2 Naruto reception of Sakura’s physical well-being

1.1.2.1 Naruto reception of Sakura’s physical well-being and the romantic subplot

2.1 Sakura’s reception of Naruto’s treatment

2.1.1 The warm eyes that can make my dreams come true

2.1.2 Warming up to you, but not there yet

2.1.3 Not your girlfriend!

2.1.4 Forest of Death: you are important to me, too! So I’ll fight to protect you.

2.1.5 Aftermath of the Forest of Death fight: I don’t want to worry you.

2.1.6: Chuunin exams preliminary matches: you give me strength, thank you!

2.1.7 I can confide in you; you give me hope

2.1.8 Promise of a lifetime: I trust you completely

2.1.9 Failing to keep the promise: I’ll get stronger with you!

2.1.10 The human sacrifice – It’s you that I’m worried about.

2.1.11 The human puppet – I promised you we’d be together!

2.1.12 – Protecting my feelings: stop overdoing it!

2.1.13 You protected our home – thank you!

2.1.14 Thank you for protecting my heart!

2.1.15 Thank you for protecting my dream!

2.1.16 I don’t want you to get hurt if that means protecting everyone.

2.1.17 Meeting the in-laws: stop making me embarrassed!

2.1.17.1 The nature of embarrassment

2.1.18: Don’t pamper me! I can be strong, too!

2.1.19 Madara fight: don’t worry, I’m fine!

2.1.20 Kaguya fight: Thank you for always protecting and believing in me, Naruto!

1. Sakura in the light – the NaruSaku pairing; Naruto (the light).

Like I was telling you in the first part of the story, I first started as a SasuSaku and NaruHina fan mostly due to watching the anime. However, when I turned to the manga, things totally changed. I saw a different dynamic in those pairings in the source material.

I also saw a totally different story than what Studio Pierrot was trying to portray. While the studio focused more on battle aspects and exaggerating certain aspects of Sakura’s character, in the manga things were different.

The anime showed her being downright mean to him, while the manga showed us Sakura changing her behavior towards Naruto since chapter 3.

Canonically, the manga establishes Naruto as the light. Through the virtue of being the main character, the paths he takes and his power-ups. That part is undeniable.

Likewise, we can observe that thematic executed via visual symbolism.

NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: manga panels depicting Naruto and Sasuke as light versus dark via visual symbolism

NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: manga panel depicting Naruto as light

NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 manga panels depicting Naruto and Sasuke as light and dark

In Konan’s own words, Naruto is the light personified. Likewise, later on, when Hagoromo appears in the story, Naruto receives the seal of the sun as a power-up.

So this is an indisputable fact. Now, how does the flower of this story react to the light? Ignoring the organic rules we know from the real world, let’s follow the journey of the NaruSaky dynamic.

1.1 Naruto’s treatment of Sakura.

How does Naruto, the light, treats the flower of this story, Sakura? What can one understand from the dynamic the hero and heroine have? But outside of this statuses, what can we truly learn from their journey? What can we learn from Naruto’s treatment of Sakura?

How is his treatment affecting Sakura Haruno? What’s her emotional response to it?

Image for NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: Naruto the light depicting Naruto Uzumaki

Well, with these two, things are quite simple from the very beginning. Ever since her introduction, Naruto being the one who introduces Sakura, she is literally put under the (spot) light. Both thematically and romantically, even. She is the object of his affection.

Whenever she displays her skills, like when the team starts their training in the Zabuza and Haku arc, Naruto openly praises her for her skills in using chakra.

He is downright mesmerized when she saves Kankuro’s life with her medical skills.

Whenever Sakura’s emotional and physical well-being comes into play, Naruto always makes sure to take care of it to the best of his abilities.

In some cases, even at the cost of his own life, or at the cost of his own emotional well-being. Without asking for anything in return. He is the light that just gives, never asking for something in return.

Let’s remember some key moments.

1.1.1 Naruto reception of Sakura’s emotional well-being.

1.1.1.1 Shedding tears for Sasuke in the preliminaries.

Back in the premilinaries, Sakura gets scared and Naruto instantly picks up on it. He takes on Sasuke.

To comfort Sakura’s tears, he tells Sasuke to stop acting cool, seeing how scared she is.

As we can observe, at the slightest tear dropped by Sakura, Naruto instantly gets activated.

1.1.1.2 Shedding tears for Sasuke after Tsunade heals him

Later on, in chapter 172, when Tsunade returns to Konoha and heals Sasuke, upon seeing Sakura so happy and moved to tears, he retreats.

He gives her the space to freely express her feelings of joy. A sensible move, whose nature is also observed by Tsunade as well.

Despite being in love with her and wanting to greet Sasuke himself in person, he puts away his needs. She is the priority.

1.1.1.3 The rooftop fight & date that follows after.

When Naruto and Sasuke have the rooftop fight after Sasuke’s recovery, Sakura of course, interferes and puts herself between them.

Now, this fight for Naruto is on the same personal level as the cursed mark seal situation was to Sasuke, back when he meets with Orochimaru in the Forest of Death.

We saw back in part 1 of this analysis how Sasuke responded when Sakura interfered in his personal matters. But how does Naruto addresses this? Let’s take a look.

From Sakura’s own memories we observe the fact that yes, he is not happy she interfered in their fight.

But unlike Sasuke who was downright dismissive verbally and physically, Naruto is the exact opposite. He kindly tells her not to interfere. Not to stop them.

Moreover, as soon as he observes Sakura’s demeanor, despite his initial upsetting, he instantly changes.

As soon as Sakura starts to wither in the darkness of her thoughts, Naruto once again becomes the light she so much needs. The one who gives her hope for a better day.

1.1.1.4 The aftermath of Sasuke’s defection from Konoha.

The following example is maybe the most powerful moment, if not the most powerful. It shows the strength of Naruto’s feelings for Sakura. How whenever she is wilting in the darkness of the emotional turmoil her dynamic with Sasuke puts her into, Naruto is there to be her sun.

Dare I say this is the core of the Narusaku symbolism 3.2: flowers in the darkness & light. He truly is her sun and sheds his light in the darkest of Sakura’s times.

NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: pages 13 & 14 from chapter 183 depicting Naruto making the promise of a lifetime to Sakura

We all remember this moment and I don’t think I need to say too much about it. The manga pages speak for themselves.

However, once again, we can observe in the context of the symbolism of light, how Naruto literally becomes Sakura’s light in the darkest of her times, which is Sasuke deflecting Konoha, like she always feared. Her darkest fears came to pass, and the one who is there to light up her world is none other than Naruto.

It is also noteworthy to observe once again the visual symbolism between the two moments related to Sasuke’s defection from Konoha.

Aka Sakura’s confession and Naruto’s promise of a lifetime.

When Sakura’s confession happens, Sasuke is all shrouded in darkness. Whereas when Naruto vows to bring him back to her, he is bathing in the light.

1.1.1.4.1 The aftermath of Sasuke’s defection from Konoha; a comparison in dynamics: NaruSaku vs. SasuSaku

Likewise, we can observe from the two interactions the dynamics between the two boys and Sakura. Whereas Naruto faces her and puts a smile on his face, despite being in pain, so he can put away her tears, Sasuke does the opposite.

He rejects her, pushes her away, keeps himself at a distance. He doesn’t even face her. The only moment he does so is when he tells her she’s annoying.

Granted, that was a moment to be interpreted in many ways. But as I explained here, it shows thoroughly the dynamic between the two. Or better said, the perception of Sasuke’s treatment.

She gets the silent treatment. He doesn’t open up, she feels pushed away, downright hated. Her existence borderline ignored, if it weren’t for the hate. She feels small and doesn’t have the space to truly be herself.

Whereas in the dynamic with Naruto, as we can see it’s totally different: she feels safe. That feeling of safeness prompts her to open up to Naruto and trust him with her most intimate fears. She is free to talk and not only that, she is listened to. Naruto offers her the so much needed space to just be herself.

Short mention: this part of the NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: flowers in the darkness & light is a very important one. Why? Because it will serve the basis for the third part of this series.

But if you have read all the posts belonging to this symbolism part, it’s very important to remember this section of the NaruSaku symbolism 3.2.

I will explain in a further post why. For now let’s move on.

1.1.1.5 The aftermath of Sasuke’s retrieval mission fail

When the mission to save Sasuke fails, Naruto gets back wounded. All he thinks about is how he has failed Sakura’s promise. We see him laying depressed in bed while the moments of his failing keep replaying in his head.

When Sakura pays him the first visit after his hospitalization and is confronted with having to face hers, he’s at potrayed downright terrified and depressed.

But as soon as he picks up Sakura’s own deflection, he recovers and finds his conviction again for her.

No matter how hurt he’d be, for Sakura, Naruto won’t ever back down from being the light she so much needs. He continues to be the sun on her horizon. Protecting her, being her (emotional and not only) life support, a friend, a confidante.

He’d let her bathe in the light of his selfless love, asking for nothing in return.

Some might be inclined to say, oh, I’m being to the best of my abilities. But then again, am I?

Before the story had to sway a certain way due to the market segment they’re targeting, things were clear. Even Sakura’s own profile in the third Databook supports the claim I’m making here.

The indisputable fact presented via the development of the manga is that Naruto is Sakura’s light. Her sun.

1.1.1.6 The fate of a jinchuuriki unveiling.

When Sakura finds out what happens to a jinchuuriki once it’s removed from it’s host, Sakura is moved to tears.

As those tears start spreading down her face, Naruto immediately consoles her, despite being saddened himself.

For her, he puts up a strong fort once again, despite being noticeable how hurt he is when Chiyo tells the tale of how a jinchuuriki’s life is.

But Naruto feels that that respective part is his burden (and Gaara’s by extension), and Sakura shouldn’t have to wear it herself so that it causes her tears.

1.1.1.7 4 tails incident recovery.

Here we’re witness to a scene in a lighter tone, but it still holds ground to Naruto’s unwavering support in regards to Sakura’s emotional well-being.

Upon his recovery, Sakura is so happy that she starts shedding tears of joy. Of course, Naruto not knowing what exactly happened, he instantly assumes Sai has hurt her feelings again.

He is quick to react to that and gets instantly defensive.

Of course, this is one of those scenes where the comedic effect is one again put into action, as Sakura punches Naruto for calling her monstrously strong.

Short after that, when Naruto faints and Yamato says they should leave Naruto behind, Sakura’s emotions once again start boiling.

Naruto, despite being visibly weakened, even in that state he tries his best to put Sakura’s heart at ease.

1.1.1.8 Invasion of Pein.

This is the most arguably the epitome of the NaruSaky symbolism 3.2 post and for these two. In a broken home/world, where a god has left nothing but pain and misery, Naruto the light of hope, returns upon Sakura’s prayer.

Everyone can agree that this is one of the most epic moments in Naruto manga, if not THE most epic one to this date.

I believe it’s no wonder that the author himself chose Naruto and Sakura to convey this powerful scene and message.

What message? That whenever she will call, he will be there. In the darkest of times, in the pits of despair, Naruto will be there for Sakura.

When the world around the flower collapses, the sun comes to give it life and make it so that the environment benefits the growth of the flower.

This moment can also be interpreted as she is an allegory for the world/village, while he is an allegory for the protector of it. But this aspect will not be discussed in the NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 series, but on another one.

1.1.1.9 Rebuilding Konoha – meeting Inari & Tazuna.

When Konoha’s rebuilding process starts, as we all know, Team 7 meets once again with Inari and Tazuna. Of course, these two don’t know the events that happened with the team. That’s is why, the first thing they ask is where is Sasuke.

Upon hearing this question, Sakura’s emotions takes the best of her and we immediately see the flower starting to wilt again.

But the sun, Naruto, immediately picks up the signals and he lights her world once again, putting her heart at ease.

1.1.1.10 On bonds – refusal to give up Sasuke to the Cloud nin.

This one here is a very intricate situation, but at the end of the day it still shows how far Naruto is willing to go so that Sakura’s emotional well-being remains unaffected.

I think it’s is yet another moment we can consider the epitome of proof in the context of the NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 analysis.

When the Cloud ninjas come in search for Sasuke, we all remember Sakura’s emotional response to it, right?

About that aspect I have talked more in the first part of this analysis. However, the point of this analysis, is how once again, in the darkest of Sakura’s times, Naruto once again becomes her light.

And as so, he deals with that darkness of Sasuke’s news himself, sheltering Sakura’s heart from any sadness and pain (pun very much intended).

Of course, you might say that the reason he did that was not only because Sakura, and I agree. Naruto’s motives in that respective scene where he decides he won’t betray Sasuke, are many.

But among them, we see two important scenes that play out.

One of them is very much Sakura’s plea that generated the promise of a lifetime. Arguably one of the most emotional aspects of this series.

So for this reason, Naruto decides to let all that darkness encompass him, and be the light Sakura needs, so she doesn’t have to shed any tears.

This is observed in Naruto’s plea to Sai to not take him to Sakura after he’s beaten up by Karui really bad.

Which in return, prompts Sai to finally understand the bonds of team 7, more specifically, Naruto’s and Sakura’s bond.

He finally realizes, as emotionally as inapt he considers himself to be due to his Root training, that Naruto loves Sakura. And that’s the reason he takes all this onto himself.

Because that’s what love does – it shelters you from pain, filling you with warmth and offers you the safe space to just be you.

1.1.1.11 Infinite Tsukuyomi installment & return of Kaguya.

Last, but not least, in terms of Naruto’s reception of Sakura’s emotional well-being we have the Infinite Tsukuyomi installment and return of Kaguya.

As we all remember, in that particular phase of the story, Sasuke acted downright dismissive.

This prompted Sakura, the flower, to wilt at the treatment she receive from Sasuke, the darkness. But Naruto, the light, bluntly said, he was having none of that.

He is immediate to react to Sasuke’s bad treatment of Sakura.

Not only that, he is quick to fight “against” Sasuke with his own weapons, something that shuts Sasuke down, with no other comeback line.

1.1.1.12 Promise of a Lifetime fulfillment.

Last but not least, the last mention in terms of emotional well-being reception in this part of NaruSaku symbolism 3.2, we’re going to be talking about how Naruto’s promise to Sakura.

Despite calling her his girlfriend earlier in the war, and witnessing Sakura’s confession to Sasuke once again (which is such a bad move, but that’s not the point of this post), Naruto takes it upon himself to fulfill the promise of a lifetime he made to Sakura years back.

He is very well aware of the emotional implications of his promise, but he keeps it anyway. Through his actions and not only, Naruto demonstrates once again, that he is the sun of Sakura’s world.

1.1.2 Naruto reception of Sakura’s physical well-being.

Another aspect I wanted to talk about in NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 was Naruto’s reception of Sakura’s physical well-being. You see, he didn’t only care about her emotional one, but physical as well.

You could say he was her Sun/light in both body (physical) and soul (emotional). Let’s remember some of the most important moments.

Undeniably, one of the most important moment is when Naruto fights till the brink of death itself, to protect Sakura from getting crushed by Gaara’s sand.

In this fight we get to see an unwavering Naruto, a Naruto that’d do anything for her wellbeing. We even get to see one of his death stares, so to speak.

I think what is important to observe in this panel is that Naruto gets a certain clarity of mind when it comes to saving Sakura, one we have seldom saw in him.
Throughout the story, until he befriends Kurama, he loses himself to the spirit fox in search for that destructive power to win over the enemy.
But not when it came to Sakura Haruno. And this point of clarity of mind when in a fight is strengthened later on when he summons Gamabunta.

He wants to make sure that Sakura doesn’t get hurt in any way.
The fight for Sakura’s well-being in terms of physicality is important from various points of view.

One, of course, is in the context of the NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 I’m presenting here, but it’s also for another reason. What could that other reason be?

1.1.2.1 Naruto reception of Sakura’s physical well-being and the romantic subplot.

It’s to establish Sakura as not only as one of his important bonds, but it’s also once again to reinforce the romantic subplot, and how Sakura is the one who lies at the core of it. The plot once again shows us that.

First, Naruto finds in him to fight for them both (Sakura and Sasuke) because they are his important bonds (panels on top).

But like shown in the panels on the lower side, then, the plot also puts Sakura on a different pedestal, which lays the basis of the romantic subplot.

For Sakura’s well-being, when he is about to be beaten by Shukaku, Naruto digs even deeper into his spirit. With the last remaining chakra, he summons Gamabunta.

The naysayers will say that I’m all making it up, but then the plot once more comes and confirms what I’m saying. Through Gamakichi’s talk with his own father, upon Naruto’s request to not target the area where Sakura is held hostage, the romantic subplot kicks in.

This is a clear call-back to the initial chapters that puts another brick to the romantic aspect of the series, reconfirming if it wasn’t clear enough already that love interest of the protagonist is none other than the heroine – Sakura Haruno. His that (n.b – pinky finger sign).

Now, what do we know that signifies? As presented in the panels and like other sources taught us, I leave the meaning below.

And it’s not something that gets easily brushed over, as the idea is further cemented in the next chapters.

When the aftermath of the fight is brought-up, the story decides to strengthen the idea once more through none other than Sakura’s own object of affection – Sasuke Uchiha.

The romantic subplot is not only reinforced by Naruto’s love for Sakura, but by other characters’ observation of it such as Sasuke, Kakashi, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Yamato. All of whom lead the heroine’s affection towards the hero. But that’s something to discuss on another post.

2.1 Sakura’s reception of Naruto’s treatment.

So, how is Sakura doing at the receiving end of the light’s treatment? How it affects her? What’s her emotioanl response when Naruto is involved? We’re going to go once again back down on memory lane and recall.

I feel obliged to inform you that NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 will solely focus on the reception aspect of the relationship. I feel the need to inform you this from now, so later on you don’t ask yourself where’s the part with Sakura’s actual treatment of Naruto.

That aspect will be discussed in the next part of this post, and you’ll understand why when we get there. But until we do, let’s focus on the matter at hand.

However, it is important to remember that it went from zero to hero as they say.

A simple parallel of panels shows us that.

I mean, talk about development! We have here the simple proof of it.

So how does Sakura act when Naruto openly treats her one way or the other? Let’s go back in time and recall some important moments.

2.1.1 The warm eyes that can make my dreams come true.

One of the first displays of Naruto’s treatment towards Sakura is when he disguises as Sasuke to find out her real opinion of him in Chapter 3.

Now the way Naruto did that, it’s a thing to discuss on another occasion, but in this instance Naruto presents himself rather differently than usual. While known to be a troublemaker, when he disguises as Sasuke so he can talk to Sakura, he acts different. He is more level headed, and instead of playing the clown that all he does is talk about him, he listens.

Not only that, but to Sakura’s own words he looks directly into her heart with warm eyes. On top of that, without prior knowledge of her insecurities, he manages to compliment her most hated feature – her forehead.

Naruto finds his way to Sakura’s heart, as confirmed by Sakura herself at the receiving end of his treatment. Of his warming light. That warmth Sakura receives from Naruto disguised as Sasuke makes her dream about how her most hated feature could be complimented on.

And Naruto instinctively does just that. Makes her dream a reality by saying to her, while disguised as Sasuke, the very words she wants to hear in her fantasy.

In a metaphorical way, Naruto is the light that makes her dreams a reality. And I think it’s also interesting to observe this from a panel design point of view.

When Sakura first has that dream of being complimented on her forehead, she is drawn on a dark background. But as soon as reality of actually being complimented on it hits, like she dreamed of, the panel is drawn on sun light.

So, as know from there, such treatment from Naruto only makes Sakura more confident and for the first time, she opens up to him. While it’s shown throughout the manga that when it comes to Sasuke, she tends to change her behavior, when Naruto gives her the warmth and the safe space to be herself, Sakura opens up and is really truthful.

2.1.2 Warming up to you, but not there yet.

Now that we’ve established in the previous post what Naruto’s behavior does to Sakura, let’s move to the next display of Sakura’s reception of Naruto’s treatment.

The next time Naruto showers her with the light of his love and admiration for her is when the chakra tree climbing training commences.

While Naruto and Sasuke have difficulty in climbing the tree, Sakura does it from the first go. This prompts Naruto to compliment her immediately.

He calls Sakura great and according to different translations and even the official one, he says that’s my girl/that’s the girl I put my confidence in.

He is clear and open in his support of her and her skills, even if he’s jealous.

At this point in time, although Sakura warms up to Naruto, she’s not there yet. Sure, his behavior and understanding gained prior to this moment make her slowly change. But, as shown Sakura isn’t there yet in terms of her reception of Naruto’s compliments.

2.1.3 Not your girlfriend!

The next moment we’re analyzing in NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 in terms of how Sakura perceives Naruto’s treatment is the girlfriend incident.

Konohamaru and his gang end-up calling Sakura Naruto’s girlfriend, like mentioned before. Despite not being true, but wanting to play cool in front of the kids, he treats her like such. He actually tells the kids that they are very perceptive.

How Sakura reacts to that treatment is clear in the very next panel. She immediately punches him, and as such, the scene fulfills several literary devices functions: that of part of the romantic subplot, that of comedic effect and that of build-up to the romantic subplot.

You are inclined to say how could this be a good thing in the context of NaruSaku symbolism 3.2, right? How can this be a positive example.

Well, like I said earlier, this is a step towards the process which I will come back later to. For the moment all you have to do is keep it in mind.

2.1.4 Forest of Death: you are important to me, too! So I’ll fight to protect you.

As we all remember, the Forest of Death fight is one of Sakura’s shining moments of part 1. You might be inclined to say what does this have to do with Sakura’s reception of Naruto’s treatment? Naruto is out that scene at that time.

While he may be out physically, he isn’t out metaphorically speaking, if you want to say it like that.

In her speech about her status as a ninja, Sakura also includes Naruto, reminding herself how she always used to think she is better than him just because of her academics.

The fact that Naruto has always fought to protect her, despite her always acting like holier than thou towards him, prompts Sakura to consider Naruto someone precious she wants to protect.

So when she is down and facing the threat of getting killed and her comrades as well, Naruto’s treatment towards her acts like a trigger along with the others.

She is fighting for him, too! He too, is someone important to her. His light finally reaches her and is one catalyst of change for Sakura.

2.1.5 Aftermath of the Forest of Death fight: I don’t want to worry you.

The aftermath of the Forest of Death brings us an old but new at the same time Sakura.

Quickly after Naruto wakes-up and gets aware that he’s not in the previous dangerous situation they were in, he notices Sakura’s hair and quickly goes to her.

Upon checking up on her, Sakura decides to hide her feelings towards what had happened to her hair. She tells Naruto that she decided to have an image change.

Okay so what does that have to do with NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 you ask yourself, right? Well, it’s tied-down to the previous point I made. After being on the receiving end of Naruto’s protection throughout the story, Sakura decides to make a change.

To not have Naruto worry about what happened to her, and instead take it all on her and put up a strong face in front of him.

This is rather an interesting interchange between the two, at this point. Slowly they become the sun to one another, like I talked in my previous NaruSaku symbolism post, The two suns.

NaruSaku symbolism: the two suns

For each other’s benefit, they become the light necessary to save the other from worry.

2.1.6: Chuunin exams preliminary matches: you give me strength, thank you!

Another part that I want to treat in this NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 post in regards to Sakura’s reception to Naruto’s treatment is the Chuunin exams preliminary matches.

We all remember Sakura’s match with Ino and how that went down. What’s interesting there is how Naruto treats the fact that Sakura is about to lose to Ino in the match.

Despite his rather unorthodox methods, Naruto manages to get to Sakura’s spirit and act as a trigger. He knows her so well, that he manages to speak just the right words to make her overtake Ino.

His love for her, his light, can come in many shapes and forms and this is one on display. And as presented in the panels, he manages to reach her and this is just the thing that Sakura needs to win.

That annoying Naruto is right. The meaning of the word annoying attributed to Naruto becomes cathartic for Sakura, and is now the thing she needs to become victorious.

In the end, it’s thanks to that annoying nuisance she is victorious. So she thanks him for that.

2.1.7 I can confide in you; you give me hope.

Another example of how Sakura ends up reacting at Naruto’s treatment is a something we discussed already earlier at point 1.1.1.3 – the rooftop fight and everything that surrounds that moment.

When Sasuke first starts with his rivalry battle and she gets worried, the one Sakura looks for solace in is Naruto.

This is a clear display of reception of his treatment to her. He has always treated her so well, that the one she finds security in is Naruto, of course.

Not only that, but later when things get too serious and personal, like shown before, Naruto tells her nicely to stay out of their business, in contrast with Sasuke like we saw in NaruSaku symbolism 3.1.

Whereas Sasuke’s treatment made her close off like I talked about in the previous post, Naruto’s way of handling her interfering has a different effect. Instead of closing herself out like she did with Sasuke, with Naruto she opens-up.

To Naruto’s own surprise, she even invites him out on a date, where she confides in him about the things that happened behind the scene that Naruto isn’t aware of.

In the context of NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 and 3.1 it’s actually very telling. Sasuke’s treatment which is the counterpart of darkness closes her off, while Naruto’s opens her up. The exact way a flower acts under the conditions of light and darkness.

Don’t have be believe me. Search it up. But let’s move on to the next point.

2.1.8 Promise of a lifetime: I trust you completely.

Another display of how Naruto’s treatment has made Sakura more and more receptive towards him is the all-known promise of a lifetime.

When Sasuke defects Konoha, the one Sakura goes to is Naruto. In her darkest moments, like the databook tells is, the one she turns to is Naruto.

Not only that, but as she was making the plea, she realized how well Naruto treated her. Despite what she initially thought of him.

This is the peak in terms of the light symbolism for part one. Like I said in the previous post of this series, it’s also interesting to observe the body language she has when she comes with the plea, besides the emotional response.

As long as she talks directly to Naruto, she is standing tall, open in the light. But as soon as she talks about Sasuke whose counterpart is the darkness, she starts to wilt; she closes herself off, her emotional response is negative.

2.1.9 Failing to keep the promise: I’ll get stronger with you!

Another observation in terms of emotional response that Sakura has towards Naruto is when he fails to keep his promise.

When Naruto gets back to the village, Sakura visits him and sees the state he’s in. Whereas Naruto was trying to be the light she always needs and put up a strong front bravado, Sakura decides to put his heart at rest.

She deflects the pain of not having Sasuke back. She sees how bad Naruto hurt himself to keep the promise.

Despite the pain, seeing Naruto like that makes her talk about the positives instead of focusing on the negatives. And she decides to make a change, as the plea she made to Naruto echoes to her head while the image of a hurt Naruto finds itself in front of her. Not before apologizing to him.

If in the Forest of Death Sakura changes from the scared little girl into a brave ninja, here she decides to be not just a ninja. But a strong one. One that can be there next to Naruto so next time she doesn’t have to rely on him only.

She takes matter into her own hands and decides that next time, she too, will be next to Naruto when they’ll bring Sasuke back.

This part here is once again testament of the impact the light has over the flower. As in, of course, Naruto over Sakura. Without asking for anything in return, he does all that is in his power to make her happy. To keep her safe, and her heart out of harm’s way.

Her emotional response to such positive impact is clear – Sakura being at the receiving end of that treatment starts making a real change immediately.

2.1.10 The human sacrifice – It’s you that I’m worried about.

Another moment in the manga we’re addressing in NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 is the moment Sakura finds out about Naruto’s jinchuuriki status. For those unfamiliar a jinchuuriki is a human sacrifice.

Sakura finds out about this part of Naruto’s life. It saddens her to no end when she finds out, to the point of tears, like Naruto takes note.

When Naruto tries to do his usual thing and have Sakura not worry, Sakura fights back telling him that it’s him that she’s worried about. Or tries to, before being interrupted.

It’s an interesting dynamic to observe here in terms of the emotional response that Sakura has. Of course, it’s tears, so you could say that she cries because of Naruto, too. That Naruto’s also making her cry. But that’s indirectly.

And the difference is that she doesn’t cry because it pains her. She cries because it pains him. She cries for him, not for herself.

That’s the difference in the emotional response she has.

Plus, it’s another thing that’s noteworthy: Naruto cuts her short as soon as she starts to cry. Why? Because as much as he is the light for her, this is a dark part of his being. A darkness and pain that he doesn’t want to put Sakura through.

2.1.11 The human puppet – I promised you we’d be together!

Another interesting reception of Naruto’s treatment overall that Sakura has is found in her fight with Sasori. When she’s on the brink of death by intoxication with poison, the one that comes first in Sakura’s mind is Naruto and the promise she made to him.

Driven by that promise, and the subsequent promise she made to herself to save both her teammates, she frees herself from Sasori’s poison trap.

But why is this important for the NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 you might ask, right? It’s a proof that all the metaphorical light (aka his treatment) Naruto has poured over Sakura (the flower) is in a continuous effect. That even when she’s on death’s door the light of Naruto’s treatment of her sticks with her and makes her keep going, despite the odds that seem to be not in her favor.

2.1.12 – Protecting my feelings: stop overdoing it!

Another point in the manga that we are going to cover in this series’ article is a rather insignificant to others, but significant to me. Although it can be considered a small, insignificant moment, I think it bears true weight, and let me explain you why.

When Naruto recovers after being unconscious and sees Naruto in tears, he immediately thinks it’s Sai who hurt her feelings. He immediately enters his Sakura-protecting-mode and without wanting it, he overdoes it again and comedically offends Sakura.

What’s Sakura’s emotional response to that overprotection? To comedically punch him. How can this be important in the context of NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 you ask? I mean, she’s shown punching him, how is that even positive?

Well, it’s positive by the virtue of the fact that when it’s too much, Sakura feels safe enough to put a limit. She doesn’t have to worry that he’ll respond back in a negative way like it happens in her dynamic with Sasuke.

She doesn’t have to wilt in order to cater to him. All she has to do is be herself and put a stop to it.

And for all the comedy that’s involved in this scene, it’s still a display of positive interaction in its depth.

Sure, the sun is good, but if it’s becoming too scorching, you can always limit it with an umbrella.

2.1.13 You protected our home – thank you!

The epitome of the relationship between the two and in terms of how Sakura reacts to Naruto’s treatment is the all-known scene at the end of Pein Arc.

Of course, Naruto wasn’t doing this only for Sakura specifically but she was among the ones at the receiving end of that treatment. Especially if we take into consideration the symbolical scene at the beginning.

It is at Sakura’s desperate plea for help that Naruto shows-up.

I talked more in dept about it at point 1.1.1.8 Invasion of Pein in terms of symbolism, so I won’t repeat myself once again.

However, it is important to take into consideration because this is a big moment for Sakura’s reception to Naruto’s treatment. Why? Well, let me break it down to you.

How does Sakura feel about people touching each other, which is a sign of great intimacy within the manga? We find that answer earlier in the story. Hidden like an Easter egg that cracked just now.

In the world of Naruto being so close like that to someone means being very intimate. So the fact that Sakura decides to hug Naruto in front of the whole village speaks volumes. On all accounts in terms of symbolism: personal, romantic, you name it.

It’s no wonder that the everyone in the village that assisted at the scene was blushing.

In terms of symbolism of light, it’s the moment where Sakura, the flower opened completely to the light that was Naruto, and embraced it fully and unequivocally.

2.1.14 Thank you for protecting my heart!

Another display of how Sakura reacts to the treatment of Naruto is when they meet Inari and Tazuna. Right after the Pein invasion.

When Tazuna asks where Sasuke is an puts them all in a rather uncomfortable situation, Naruto is quick to react. He shelters Sakura’s heart of any aches.

He deflects any questions that might make her uncomfortable and Sakura notices that, thanking him for it. Once again, Naruto pouring his light over her makes Sakura truly grateful to him.

2.1.15 Thank you for protecting my dream!

The next instance that we’re addressing in NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 in terms of Sakura’s reception of Naruto’s treatment is right after Team 7 meets at the Kage Summit Arc.

We all know what happened there so I won’t blab too much about it. However, we get once more a display of how thankful Sakura is for how Naruto treats her.

Once again she thanks him for how he always makes her believe in better days. Even after things have gone maybe not so well between them. But at the end of the day, they got each other’s back no matter what.

Because they understand that at the end of the day, they have each other’s best interest at heart. Even when they make mistakes.

2.1.16 I don’t want you to get hurt if that means protecting everyone.

Yet another moment I want to bring to your attention in NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 is the war arc. Respectively this moment.

As we all know, after Neji’s death Naruto’s chakra gets back and he singlehandedly protects everyone from Madara, Obito’s and TenTail’s attacks.

As the attacks get even more severe, Naruto slowly gets tired as well. He even gives a speech about how his heart aches for not having his comrades fight with him.

And who’s the one who truly understands the words that come from Naruto’s heart? None other than Sakura Haruno.

I’ve talked more in depth about that chapter in my old article Why Sakura Haruno’s speech can be considered one of the most impactful on Naruto manga.

She is the one who understands that what Naruto means. That he cannot do it all alone, that he needs help. And it’s Sakura the one who explains it all to the alliance and makes them act like shinobis.

For Naruto’s sake, she urges everyone to do the least they can do and stop relying on him that much. It speaks greatly in terms of Sakura’s character and the reception of his treatment.

She knows first hand how Naruto can burden himself with protecting the ones dear to him. But she doesn’t want to let the others do that. Especially if it’s at the expense of his own well-being.

By this time, the scales have turned. Whereas in the past it was Naruto the one who protected her constantly, in part 2, Sakura is the one doing it.

2.1.17 Meeting the in-laws: stop making me embarrassed!

We all know the infamous 631 scene. Minato joins the fray and asks Sakura if she is Naruto’s girlfriend.

We also know Naruto’s response to that question. However what we’re analyzing here is Sakura’s response to that.

So, Naruto has basically treated Sakura as his girlfriend in front of none other than his dad. What’s Sakura’s reponse? The well-known headbutt.

What does that symbolize in the context of Narusaku symbolism 3.2? Well, let’s take it on turns.

Of course, like we talked previously at 2.1.12 – Protecting my feelings: stop overdoing it!, the scene is meant to play the comedic relief effect. If we take it face value. But then, if we look deeper, underneath that, what is that confirming to us?

Well, first of all, by the virtue of mirroring (also known paralleling), Kishimoto once again confirms that Naruto and Sakura are the two suns of the story. By this time, Sakura has transcended the flower symbolism herself. Given Naruto’s continuous pouring of light over her, she is now a sun herself.

But what is this besides that? Why the reaction to that treatment?

Well we find the answer in previous chapters of Naruto.

2.1.17.1 The nature of embarrassment.

Like discussed before, Sakura is rather a private person. Like we talked at point 2.1.3 whenever intimacy is concerned, she doesn’t easily display her most intimate thoughts. Or anything related to that. She is a private person. Inner Sakura is the epitome of proof in this case.

So, what does Naruto do? He states out in the open something that is quite intimate for her, and she gets flustered/embarrassed. Especially when someone has hit the spot aka guessed exactly the truth about her or a situation she’s in. How can we know that? Let’s look back at similar instances.

How does Sakura react when the subject of intimacy comes to play? She reacts as overly embarrassed. Same way she reacts in 631.

Of course, one is inclined to say that well, if she’s embarrassed, it doesn’t mean she agrees with it. To which I respond with the following panel.

Sakura reacts embarrassed like this when she is caught with a truth she doesn’t want to admit to. She headbuts Naruto in the same fashion she punches Konohamaru for showcasing the perverted ninjutsu.

But like the narrative shows us through Konohamaru’s character, she is very much on the same page as they are. She just doesn’t want to admit it to herself and others. A very similar case to 631.

Now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s move to the next point.

2.1.18: Don’t pamper me! I can be strong, too!

The next moment from the manga we’re addressing in NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 is Team 7’s reunion moment.

After healing him for a long time, Naruto is his usual self. Wanting to protect Sakura like always, tells her to get rest. But Sakura isn’t having any of that.

She directly addresses his overprotection and stands her ground in her status. She isn’t the little Sakura that needs protection all the time anymore. Makes it clear to Naruto that she can take care of herself. He can stop with the overprotection, now.

Naruto understands that completely and with a warm smile, he is happy to have her join the attack.

Once again this speaks loudly in terms of how freely Sakura feels to be the best version of herself when she is around Naruto. No sign of feeling pressured to be anything that she’s not.

She is her best, authentic version of herself around him: strong, confident, fierce.

2.1.19 Madara fight: don’t worry, I’m fine!

The next time Sakura is at the receiving end of Naruto’s treatment, is when she acts as a decoy for Madara.

He immediately jumps to her rescue when he sees her impaled. She immediately puts him out of worry’s way. Assures him that he doesn’t have to worry about her. The tides have turned. In the past Naruto was the one telling her not to worry about him being hurt.

Now it’s viceversa. Sakura tells him not to worry.

2.1.20 Kaguya fight: Thank you for always protecting and believing in me, Naruto!

And the last moment we’re discussing in today’s article NaruSaku symbolism 3.2 is the infamous Kaguya fight.

We all know it. The team gets teleported to another dimension. Sasuke ends up offending and hurting Sakura with his remarks. And despite plot proving Sasuke otherwise later in the story, for the moment Sakura believes that Sasuke is right.

However, like always it’s Naruto’s light, love and protection that makes Sakura step forward, despite the harsh words Sasuke says.

NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: Conclusion

We are finally here. At the end of it all. So what is the conclusion to draw? What is the Sun/Light’s effect over the flower of this story? How is Naruto’s treatment is influencing Sakura’s behavior? What is her emotional response to that treatment?

We’ve seen it all here. When she’s at the receiving end of Naruto’s treatment Sakura Haruno becomes the best version of herself. She is strong, confident, authentic, true to herself, daring, bold. She surpasses her limits and becomes the best version of herself.

Naruto’s treatment has a positive impact on Sakura and stays true to its symbolism. All throughout the end. He is the sun whose light opens up the flower radiate in all her beauty, strength and wisdom.

She opens up. She grows. Studies. Becomes better. Takes action. Changes. Fights. Doesn’t back down. Takes challenges head on. Supports. Keeps her promises. Keeps her head held high. Even at the cost of her own life.

And I end it here.

If you read this all through its end, thank you! For your time to read this article. For your patience to read until the end.

Hope you enjoy reading it! As I enjoyed writing it.

Yours truly like always,

Chatte.

12 Replies to “NaruSaku symbolism 3.2: flowers in light & darkness”

  1. Maricel says: January 11, 2021 at 22:44

    I really enjoyed reading your analysis . It made me a little sad about the ending that Sakura and Narusaku had in the manga.

    It still amazes me that Kishimoto gave such a positive development from Sakura towards Naruto but in the end he threw it all away.

    I think the moment Sakura confesses to Sasuke again with such little dignity, Sakura’s character dies withered by Sasuke’s darkness. It is very sad.

    I hope to read some Narusaku analysis of yours again soon!

    1. Chatte Georgiana says: January 12, 2021 at 09:46

      Hi Maricel! Glad you enjoy the read. If you had the patience to go through all of that, you deserve a prize. 😀
      And yes, trust me, I know what you mean. Going and analyzing again the manga after so many years, I am reminded of the incredible turnaround the ending was.
      As I read the manga over and over again, I cannot find a single reasonable, logical or whatever you want to call it reason for which it ended that way.
      The manga through various themes, plots, literary devices etc., supports Sakura and the NaruSaku dynamic as being the healthiest for her. It’s a parallel to a real world fact – flowers need the light of the sun to live.
      Likewise Sakura does so in Naruto – it’s Naruto’s unwavering love and support that help her become this awesome ninja.
      And yes, in the moment she confessed she just withered. It was seen even in the emotional response I talked about in the previous point.
      Not to mention that development and thematic wise her confession makes absolutely no sense. Doesn’t have standing and basis in itself whatsoever, especially given Part 2’s development.
      But oh well, it was what it was.
      To the industry, profit was more important than the story making actual sense.
      Also, yeah, there’s another one coming after this one too, because I also have to talk about part 3 of this. 😀
      Anyway thank you for your comment and reading the article!

  2. Maxtime says: January 12, 2021 at 01:02

    I know because of your mention on your tumbler how this end up becoming bigger then you expected. But it was worthy, it was super worthy, so much stuff that really show you, even when the Manga was going for “the popular choice”(I mean the state of the franchise now clearly says something regarding about how much of that was true), it still manage to shine through the strength of their bond, and it’s clear that nothing should had stop it.

    It was a long but amazing read, can’t wait for your next projects, whatever it’s from Kaika Saisei to the symbolism series, or whatever other non-Naruto related project!!! 😉

    1. Chatte Georgiana says: January 12, 2021 at 10:12

      Hi Max!
      First of all thank you for taking the time to read this! I know it must’ve been quite the hassle as it ended-up being so long.
      And I didn’t even get to touch the part of how Sakura treats Naruto, otherwise this would’ve turned into a thesis, lol.
      And yes, whenever someone tells me that the ending made sense, I just can’t help but cringe at the thought, because it didn’t and there are so many angles that support my claim.

      This is just one of it. However, I barely scratched the surface with it. There are so many other themes that support my claim.
      This is just one of them.

      Yeah, the manga ended-up going for the popular choice, but like you said, that lead them in a state that Boruto can barely keep-up. And it’s no wonder why, though. When you treat your audience like that, when you disrespect your audience and even your own self, that’s the result you get.
      Because at the end of the day, this was an insult to everyone that supported it.

      No wonder Boruto does how it does right now. That choice they made at the end singlehandedly killed a billion dollars franchise.
      And people would scream proof. Well you got your proof right in front of your eyes: how many ovas have we had since then? How many movies, how many extras and all those things that the old franchise used to have? None.

      Years ago, Naruto franchise made 1 movie per year along with lots of other extras like ovas and different media events. But Boruto? Besides of an anime that is put in a slot that has no competition so you could consider it’s doing well, the rest is declining more and more.
      So yeah, in the end the irony of the fate is that karma kind of did its job.

      Thank you for your nice closing words! Kaika chapter 2 is work in progress so that should follow soon.

      Besides this, I’m also working on two OG stories, so yeah. There’s a lot going on behind the scene.

      Thank you once again for your support!

  3. Lilac dreams says: January 12, 2021 at 14:45

    The analysis is amazing as always! You’re such an amazing writer! Love your blog! Are there more to come for the series?

    1. Chatte Georgiana says: January 12, 2021 at 15:49

      Hi there!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment and compliment. I truly appreciate it and makes me happy to see people enjoy my content.
      And yes, there are still more to come of these.
      I still have to write the third part of the flower between darkness and light symbolism, and then I’m onto the next symbolical concepts present in the story for these two. 😀

  4. Lola says: January 12, 2021 at 14:52

    Excellent analysis. I can see the love and effort you put into it.

    It really is impressive how Kishimoto from the beginning had already started to prepare the foundations for a good developing romance between Naruto and Sakura before things turned around.

    What I like about the Narusaku relationship is the reciprocity it has, it doesn’t stay stagnant but evolves, develops. It is beautiful and the closest thing to real love.

    Which leads to my annoyance when haters don’t take seriously or make Naruto’s feelings towards Sakura invisible. Naruto really showed his selfless love to the end for Sakura. Even when he gave up his love to her, he always watched over her and I think that is a love so pure that it hurts.

    Anyway, thank you very much and I hope to read you in your other projects.

    Have nice day!

    1. Chatte Georgiana says: January 12, 2021 at 16:13

      Hi Lola,
      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      And yes, NaruSaku has a strong foundation and basis, there’s no denying that reality. Whoever does that it’s clearly just dissociating from the very facts presented all throughout the manga.
      Though I have to wonder if it was Kishioto’s merit or his former editor, Yahagi. I am more inclined to give it to the latter, to be honest. Because after he left the story really goes downhill, if you look.

      After Pein arc most of the things we knew about Naruto change. Yet in terms of NaruSaku he still kept it going, despite everything else that was happening behind the scenes. Reading some of the latest chapters again now, years later after we all know what happened, makes me wonder if some things he truly wrote them to spite the things that he was forced to do.

      Because there’s a clear coercion happening there, it’s clear as day light if you parallel the manga’s development vs its end.

      As for people who deny Naruto’s love for Sakura, it’s ironic because they don’t realize the paradox of that very situation: to deny it means to imply it. The very definition of denying something is acknowledging it in essence.
      Denying implies the refusal to admit the truth or existence of a certain factor (in our case Naruto’s love for Sakura and Sakura’s growing romantic feelings for Naruto).

      So they can deny it as much as they want, it still won’t change the fact that it exists there in the manga.

      And yes, like I’ve said it a million times already, NaruSaku would’ve been an excellent example of relationship portrayal in the media of our days.
      Big media giants always promote really toxic and unstable relationships to the audience, with no care for the consequences for the things they promote. And that is a dangerous thing, especially for the mind of the younger audience.

      I mean look at the experience within the fandom and you’ll totally understand what I mean. That’s why I’m here still advocating for this beautiful pairing after all this time.

      Because it’s a positive and healthy example of how a relationship should be: loving, selfless, understanding, with the right power-balance and dynamics, with the right amount of angst without going to the toxicity extreme and with the right amount of comedy without truly being abusive like people try to so much paint it.

      Anyway, I’ve blabbered a lot, heh.

      Thank you once again for your sweet and kind message and see you around with different projects (I have 2 OG stories in cooking, so who knows).

      Have a wonderful day, my dear!

  5. Mei chan says: March 31, 2021 at 03:21

    I watched Naruto for the first time in my life at the age of thirty and I am happy for that, there are things that we only understand with maturity. I see a large part of the fandom sighing for Sasusaku as if it were justifiable, healthy or beautiful and honestly I wonder why, you see, I don’t hate Sakura but the way Kishimoto ended this personging I can’t like her, because she ended up representing an ignorant woman, unable to move on, unable to understand her own heart or what really makes her happy, Sakura ended up looking like a peson addicted to Sasuke Uchiha, no matter how low he gets or mistreats her, Sakura is always running to his side with childish smiles wanting to be desperately noticed and it saddens me, I go a little further and say that the desperation she always shows in losing Sasuke or acting when she hears his name makes her become a bit selfish. as if she was never able to act or think only of Naruto the boy who is there, always has something shared with Sasuke at a time when it no longer made sense and I know she could be much better, I saw her strong and happy side, the funny and sweet side without despair or madness, for me it’s like you said each one of them seems to influence her in a way and I’ve always seen Sakura as a dual character, with Sasuke she is small, desperate, immature and with Naruto she looks strong, bright and more relaxed.
    I didn’t like her in the classic for the way she acted with Naruto but I never hated her so like most fandom who couldn’t seem to forgive her for that, I knew she was an ignorant teenager who was going to learn a little more about life with the two boys and at the beginning of the shippuden I thought she was amazing, in the Gaara arc she was brilliant, the sweet and pure way she acted with Naruto, her strength in dealing with situations and self confidence, her eyes light and her natural smile when she heard Naruto saying that she was the most important person on the team and Yamato talking about her feelings for him, that was incredible, she looked like a normal teenager …. until Sasuke appears and I see her look at him like a piece of bacon and it seems that after that things were always confusing she went back and forth she treated Naruto better but still not enough because of the way she still seemed to be just thinking about Sasuke and I know she was enjoying Naruto without realizing it but there seemed to be a dark force on her that made Sakura unable to move on, to surrender to the new.
    For me this is directly linked to the script, it seems that Kishimoto wanted to keep her trapped between them and didn’t know how to do it and each time she seemed more insane to deny everything that made her well and happy and still be stuck with someone who was never there. It is no wonder that many people ended up hating her, in the end she seemed ungrateful or obsessed which is very sad, I always say that if it were not so she would have the potential to be one of the most memorable anime characters in history and now she lost it to Hinata, an extra who didn’t even participate in Naruto’s life.
    For me her love for Sasuke is justifiable just as a team friend, someone who once participated in the small family they were and the affection for the first crush of the past, obviously no normal person would like to see a person like that die or become one. psychopath but passion? No, her passion for him seems to be linked in an emotional dependency, Sakura has low self-esteem and Sasuke always reinforced it in her, she never seemed to feel enough to be noticed by that cute boy who never looked at her and she seemed to be capable of anything to be noticed by him and that’s how Kishimoto destroyed this character, why the hell does a woman have to go so low to be accepted by a man who gave clear demonstrations of not wanting this woman?
    This is my personal opinion but for me Sasuke treated her in a way that seemed more like a little sister and his gesture at the end, the touch on the forehead I had a different perception than what I see the rest of the fandom think, I don’t think it was romantic , that gesture represented a kind of brotherly affection but a detachment and lie, Sasuke tells Itachi that these promises he made when touching his forehead were always lies in the end. Sasuke is a mysterious character and I don’t know if he had any enchantment or passion for someone but if I had to bet on someone I would say Naruto but never she or Karin, although I think this last one was carefully made to be a pair of him in the end . Sakura and Naruto had perhaps the best construction of a couple in the canon, they were hateful on her part for love tips, they were friends, partners, there was a certain curiosity and love on his part, they both have the same minset, the same way, it’s like a couple working together and in that Sasuke is right when he said he wasn’t like them, he would never be like Naruto who is the person that Sakura most resembles or wants to be, she and Naruto were able to accept Obito as ally in spite of both being victims of tragedies organized by him, Sasuke always despised him, it seems to me that she was always hoping that Sasuke was someone he could not be and despite being late in the fandom I share the same disgust of the majority, I had the feeling that Kishimoto threw a life’s work in the trash to sit on a mountain of money.
    It is sad to see what they turned into Naruto to fit a meaningless pair, it is sad to see that Sakura was once again the same desperate little girl from the beginning, happiness, security, reciprocity, smile, confidence and kindness, it was all that Naruto offered her but it seemed that nothing could beat Sasuke and even today I wonder what the hell she saw in him and it seems that after her statement he was asking himself this, the anime sends a very bad message in the end a man who really loves you and your own feelings of happiness beside him will never be able to beat the handsome guy and the overwhelming passion, Sakura seems to have a sad life but as she said at the age of twelve without Sasuke in her life she would feel lonely even having parents, friends and a village, she he prefers solitude, being single-handed and insecure just to “have” the man he wanted, this is terrible. I will never be able to ship canonical couples because they seem to totally go against what was established by KIshimoto.
    Hinata took Naruto’s nindo and did what? Nothing, didn’t change the clan, didn’t even change her, Hinata was the person who offered naruto the easy way to pass the test when Sakura was going to sacrifice herself for that, Naruto even denied Hinata’s offer, Hinata was never able to declare to him on an ordinary day with her own strength, she needed to be pushed and an illusion, this goes completely against what Naruto believes, Kishimoto established that love is born out of the difficult moments we spent with someone, Naruhina never had that.
    Sakura always intended to abandon everything for Sasuke, family and friends how could he love someone like that when that was what he most wanted to get back? For me none of this madness makes sense, I’m sorry for the huge text it was an outburst

    1. Chatte Georgiana says: May 3, 2021 at 20:18

      Hi Me-chan!

      I apologize to you for not being able to reply earlier. Also, no need to apologize.
      As I’ve always said, as long as we’re civil about it, I am all up for debate. ^_^

      Now, in regards to Sakura, sadly, although she ended-up being one of my favorite Naruto characters, I cannot say anything else but agree with what you said.
      On that part, Kishimoto’s writing fell short and he ended-up portraying her as addicted indeed. Not to mention, there was this interview back in the day where Kishimoto did say that he avoided writing the reason for which Sakura fell in love with Sasuke because otherwise she would seem like she’s addicted.
      I remember reading it back then and I got so mad at him. Not to mention I kept wondering HOW can SasuSaku fans be content with the kind of things Kishi throws about their pairing and how they eventually ended-up together.
      I saw this from the perspective of both and ex SasuSaku fan, a NaruSaku one, but most than any of this, as a Sakura fan. For that reason alone and for reasons that you mentioned yourself which I won’t be reiterating because it would get redundant, I cannot enjoy SasuSaku, sadly.

      As for her relationship with Naruto, I always understood that it was part of her character journey. Not to mention that Sakura acted the way she did with Naruto because on some moments it was called for. He did act stupidly.
      The only time when she was unnecessarily mean was when she called him an orphan, but that was chapter 3 Sakura, after which she starts changing her behavior by the next chapter.

      Sadly, all this is a result of the mischaracterization of Sakura as well by Studio Pierrot. One that was made in parallel with Hinata where they made her look like an angel, a Mary Sue, while Sakura was this awful person that just beat Naruto all the way without reason.

      So then mixing it all together this is the end result we got.

      Case and point is that for Naruto and Sasuke respectively, Hinata and Sakura contribute nothing to their plot. They don’t affect it in any way. Which is sad for some pairings that were supposedly meant to be together from the beginning.
      Whereas with Naruto and Sakura it’s so much the other way around. Sakura is part of Naruto’s journey from the very beginning to the very end.

      It’s sad that Kishimoto went with the more popular choice by the end of it, tho.

      But, it is what it is… However, that doesn’t erase the 15 years of development that clearly showed something else.

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to comment on my article. Truly appreciated! ♥

  6. Jaren Lemon says: April 6, 2021 at 04:43

    Just like you I was a Naruhina fan because I only watched the anime as a teen, now I’m an adult and see what Narusaku could have been if it became the final outcome, although I am grateful it isn’t so it can’t be the filler driving Cash-cow that is Burrito (Boruto) McWhines-A-Lot, thanks for this article, and I look forward to part 3 where you discuss how Sakura influences Naruto as he does her

    1. Chatte Georgiana says: April 11, 2021 at 20:52

      Hey Jaren!
      Thank you so much for your feedback. 🙂 And yes, I can totally get behind that feeling of being grateful NaruSaku didn’t end-up canon this way.
      I wouldn’t want to have the same writing that’s happening now with the canon pairings to be applied to NaruSaku.
      So I very much enjoy them in fanon, hehe. 😀
      And yes, part 3 will soon come as I’ve finally gotten my hands on a new computer.
      Sadly the other one kind of died so I had to stop for a while.
      But now that I have this new one, I’ll start again with these articles. ^_^

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