Is Naruto’s Sakura Haruno A Weak Female Character? Who’s At Fault?


Naruto has introduced a lot of characters over the years, and Masashi Kishimoto has done an amazing job making them all unique in their personalities and fighting styles. In general, people expect the main characters of any series to be the favorite or at least best known.  Both Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha are immensely popular. However, there’s another main character that doesn’t get the same amount of love: the female lead, Sakura Haruno. Is it Kishimoto’s fault or is the character just not interesting to the fans? I think it’s both.


If you have read the Naruto manga or watched the anime series you would agree that Sakura isn’t as strong as the male leads, Naruto and Sasuke. Heck, the whole of Part I revolved around how she couldn’t do anything and watched her two teammates grow in strength. Sakura Haruno was introduced as a typical female character having a crush on Sasuke while ignoring Naruto’s feelings for her. So, you can’t really blame a character for not having much of a personality if her main purpose was that of a love interest.


She grew out of her stereotypical role as the series progressed, but the fact that she wasn’t intended for the female lead role was still obvious. I sometimes wonder if there were any plans of a lead female character in the series at all. If you look at how the story has been playing out over the years, the whole thing would still be same without a female lead.

The most obvious reason why Sakura feels weaker than Naruto or Sasuke, and even some of the other characters, is her lineage. Naruto is an Uzumaki, child of the Fourth Hokage, the chosen one, and vessel of the nine-tails. Sasuke is an Uchiha, bearer of the Sharingan, and an overall genius. Not only that, but they were revealed as the incarnations of the Indra and Ashura. Compared to them, Sakura is a simple female ninja or kunoichi.

Looking at the female characters Sakura has a direct relationship to, even they are ‘special’ than her. Her best friend as well as adversary, Ino Yamanaka, is part of the newest generation of the well-known Ino-Shika-Cho formation. She also played an important role in the ongoing Great Ninja War, serving as a communicator throughout the battlefield.

Hinata Hyuga, a member of the Hyuga Clan, is set to become the clan’s heiress. Her relationship with Sakura is through Naruto and that’s why a lot of fans compare the two girls with regards to who is perfect for the young Uzumaki. Hinata has shown her love for Naruto many times and even came to his rescue in front of the very powerful Pain.

Sakura’s teacher, Tsunade, is a legendary Sannin, granddaughter of the first Hokage, is considered as the world’s most powerful female ninja, and an expert when it comes to medical techniques. She’s also the Fifth Hokage.

When it comes to Sakura, she has had to prove herself in front of characters having been born with special powers and coming from well-known families. During the story we see Sakura growing as a character as well as in power. During Part I of the series, she shows incredible control over her chakra, protects an unconscious Naruto and Sasuke, breaks Ino’s control over her mind, and does what she can to save the two male leads. In Part II, under Tsunade’s training, she’s able to become physically strong and uses medical ninja techniques with proficiency that’s unheard of.

So, where did things go wrong? A female character from a normal family trying to become powerful to save her friends seems to have everything one needs to create something great. I think part of the blame lies with Kishimoto himself. He forgot about Sakura. I think that’s also the reason her genjutsu skills have been ignored for years. I think they, too, slipped Kishimoto’s mind. What kind of a creator forgets about the female lead? Maybe he just doesn’t want to focus on a female character.

She recently awakened the ‘Strength of a Hundred Seal’, and it was revealed she’s able to summon Katsuyu. These feats are admirable, but the problem is Kishimoto didn’t show her journey. When Naruto and Sasuke get a power-up, their journey is shown. Sakura’s power-ups during the Fourth Great Ninja War were a surprise. The whole thing didn’t even make sense. It would’ve been better if the writer foreshadowed something or showed a bit of her journey. For me, it was Kishimoto’s way to make up for his mistake of forgetting her. As if he wanted to say: Sorry guys I forgot about her. But you know what? Here are some power-ups.


The fault also lies with the fans. I think most of us are impressed by power sets that do damage and are cool to look at. When it comes to Sakura, her major skill set is passive. Her amazing medical skills fade in comparison to powers that blow things up. Slitting Naruto below his ribs, putting her hand inside, and helping his heart beat with her own hand pales in comparison to the cool-looking Sharingan.

I’m not going to get into shipping wars because hating Sakura just because fans want Naruto to end up with Hinata, or some other character, is another matter.

I like Sakura as a character. For me, she hasn’t had things handed to her in a plate. She has had to fight and train in order to become powerful. Yes, she might not be powerful compared to other ninja with offensive skill sets, but she is still an expert in the things she does know. Her healing technique saved the lives of countless ninjas in the war, and she kept Naruto alive by manually beating his heart.

I wish Kishimoto gave Sakura the attention I believe she deserves. When it comes to anime, female characters are mostly depicted as cute, big-breasted love interests. Sakura has grown out of that stereotype. The most important one being she’s not big breasted, and is definitely not considered cute in the Naruto-verse. If Kishimoto plays his cards right, Sakura can develop into a character that’s uncommon in anime. It’s tough for a third character to make a mark when the whole story revolves around the rivalry between two male leads. But I’m hoping things start to look up for her and Kishimoto taps into her potential.

What do you think of Sakura as a character? Please share in the comments!

Update: Is Naruto’s Sakura Haruno a Weak Female Character? I don’t think so!

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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32 thoughts on “Is Naruto’s Sakura Haruno A Weak Female Character? Who’s At Fault?

  1. I agree with you about the portion of how Sakura was just forgotten, it was sad really. However, I do believe she’s stronger then Hinata. I find Hinata to be blank, a bit dull and Hinata only came to Naruto’s rescue during the Pain ark and the forth war (in a big way though, I admit) but besides that she hasn’t had any solo amazing moments all of them are because of Naruto. I hate that her character is defined by Naruto’s presence. Sakura’s was the same with Sasuke at first, but even then we’d catch a glimpse of a normal girl trying to catch up to to not-normal boys. Also I do disagree with the cute part; Rock Lee, Naruto, some unnamed ninja have all fallen for her at some point. Naruto though she was cute, Rock Lee blushed at her and fell for her. That ninja from the forth war “couldn’t get her out of his head”. So she’s cute in her own way. I’m glad she’s not curvy, thatjust makes her more normal, or more real.

    1. I meant that when Kishi started out even he said Sakura wasn’t cute and she grew ‘cuter’ according to him as the series progressed…i think Naruto only has a crush on her cos Kishi wanted to create a triangle in Team 7..Lee’s crush is just there for comedic effect, the whole ‘Rock Lee’ manga and animated series have used it a lot…the ninja who had a crush on her was a ‘Sasuke/Sakura’ tease…but yes, she’s cute in her own way…i find her insecurities about her ‘large forehead’ and finally accepting who she is as a person speaks a lot and allows her to become relatable to a lot of readers

      The feats Hinata did speak a lot for a supporting character…Sakura should’ve gone to help Naruto her team mate when he was fighting Pain but Hinata went to save him and i think that has elevated her in the eyes of the fans, as someone who is very brave and strong

      1. While Sakura didn’t help Naruto against Pein, it should be noted that she didn’t know that he was in that danger. Hinata had a Byakugan that allowed her to see what was happening with Naruto, unlike Sakura who only learned what happened AFTER Hinata lost.

        1. Hinata has byakugan so what ?! She did nothing with it . She tripped over a lot of stuff and the byakugan gives her better view . Not hating here . Just trying to say Naruto saved himself , not Hinata . JUST MY OPINION

  2. I agree. It really bugs me how Sakura hasn’t grown into as much of a powerful or influential character as Naruto, Sasuke or Kakashi. Not coming from a prominent family could have worked to her advantage since it could have spawned a real work ethic and driving force-but it hasn’t. Sakura doesn’t have the same ambitions or passion that Naruto has-to become Hokage and prove others wrong and Sasuke-to avenge his family and now change the village. While she may have trained under Tsunade she doesn’t have any unique skills compared to her or any interest in anything other than medical ninjutsu. You could not have even alluded to Sakura becoming a medical ninja in Part I since she had no skills to differentiate herself from her team mates. Over all, her “power up” compared to Sasuke and Naruto during the Fourth Ninja War is nothing compared to the multiple nature modes and jutsu they can perform. She just learned to summon only 1/10th of Katsuyu during the war and can’t even do a Slug Sage Mode. Her supposed genjutsu skills could have been actually been explained and utilized more-a fight between her and Itachi could have been possible. I kind of wish Kishimoto made Shippuden more about the three of them instead of Sasuke and Naruto. Sakura having been the reincarnation of Princess Kaguya would have been kind of cool.

    1. You are right. The only thing we got from PartI was that Sakura is very smart, or book smart…so that makes for a good medical ninja? I guess Kishi just wanted to turn the three into the new Legendary Sanin, so he tried to make Sakura like Tsunade and that’s why her genjutsu powers were ignored and she got medical jutsu and super strength…i have hoped amongst hope her genjutsu skills were used, and yes, was hoping for a Itachi and Sakura fight or even a little battle…i am still hoping those powers come into play against Sasuke if he tries to use his eye powers on her…so fingers crossed :(…Naruto and Sasuke have surpassed their trainers and have their own unique skills…Sakura is just copying Tsunade, her only feat is that she was able to activate her forehead seal and summon Katsuyu at a very young age and nothing more that sets her apart from her teacher

      I think we have to accept the series to be about Naruto and Sasuke and no one else…the reincarnation storyline kind of cements the fact the story is only about those two…but who knows Sakura might end up doing something in the end…i won’t give up hope until the very end ^^

  3. Actually, as a person, Sakura was considered attractive; Kishi stated that he just didn’t know how to draw females cute. Later of course, Kishi does draw her as cute & she is attractive. While she doesn’t have big breast, in the series, most females have realistic proportions (which Sakura’s are – and Hinata isn’t as big as fans claim her to be either).

    And Sakura is shown to be a powerful character, but she’s forgotten too often. In Part 1, while she wasn’t weak (considering she was a genin fresh out of the academy), she was put in situations where she seemed weak. Against A-ranks like Zabuza and Haku, S-ranks like Orochimaru, and monsters like Gaara, there is no way she’d really seem strong.

    It doesn’t help that people who viewed her as a threat to NaruHina kept on downplaying her abilities from Part 1 when she honestly wasn’t that bad. While he physical abilities weren’t in the same league as Sasuke who came out of the academy stronger than the average ninja & Naruto who has monster reserves, healing, and a biju of course she’d look less physically able than normal….. Sakura wasn’t given any good comparisons, really.

    And while Sakura didn’t go to help Naruto from Pein, it should also be noted that she didn’t have a Byakugan to see that Naruto was in the danger that he was in. How can you rush to save a person from danger when you don’t even know that person is in danger. If Sakura knew, she would definitely have rushed to save him. Her main drive in Part 2 is basically to protect Naruto and reunite team 7. Whenever she sees Naruto in danger, she actually goes to rescue him. She even seems to be willing to have Sasuke killed if it’s to protect Naruto (though she can’t actually go through with the deed because she knew him as the nice kid he used to be plus Naruto still cares for him)……

    Through out the series, it seems that she actually worried for Naruto more than anyone else, and actually acknowledged him and complimented him whenever he couldn’t hear. The main problem she seems to have is that she looks to try and keep Naruto safe and happy but ignores her own well being and happiness, causing her to fail.

    Also, people calling her a fangirl when she just had a crush (yes, there was some exaggeration, but they often do that in anime with women). He so called “abuse” also is an exaggeration that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    She was actually a very powerful ninja in Part 2 and considered beautiful by multiple males. Summoning Katsuya wasn’t really much of a surprise though…. the ‘Yin Seal Release’ was a bit random…..

    But she was a character with such potential, and Kishi didn’t even use her to the heights that he could have. He could have done so much freakin more…..

    1. i guess the biggest problem with Sakura is her interacting with way too strong characters from the start: Sasuke, Naruto, Orichimaru, etc…and the fact that she does feel to be forgotten a lot of times….even in the current manga run, Naruto and Sasuke have grown more strong and Sakura again looks like she’s too far behind them…i hope something changes though and fast…i want to see her to do something

      All i can remember from Naruo vs Pain is her crying for Naruto to arrive…i think she knew what was happening during the battle because of the mini Katsuyu present with Naruto…if Kishi had wanted Sakura to jump in and help Naruto he would’ve made her, regardless of a Byakugan

      She is the lead female character after all and i feel Kishi could have done a lot more with her…there’s still time, hopefully

  4. I kinda agree and disagree with the things you said. As a huge fan of Sakura, I studied her character with great interest (as well as Hinata’s), so I like reading articles like these and reply to them.

    First, I’m going to have to correct your “biggest” mistake (but I guess we could consider it a minor one) in the last paragraph. Sakura IS considered as the cutest girl in the Naruto-verse. Naruto, Lee and Inari say it at some point. Plus that random guy who fell in love with her. Kishimoto wants her to be the “bijin” of his manga. In comparison, Naruto describes Hinata (who’s usually said to be the cutest girl by her fans) as plain-looking.

    Sakura isn’t that forgotten in part 1. I own all the NARUTO volumes, so I re-read the whole part 1 yesterday, you’d be surprised at how much she appears in it. The only moment she doesn’t is when Shikamaru and the others chase after Sasuke. Now, I agree that her potential wasn’t fully developed, as you said, her Genjutsu skills were never forgotten (by since Tsunade, her master, isn’t a Genjutsu type, she couldn’t have taught her about Genjutsu). My theory about that is that Kishimoto wanted to make each of the Team 7 member specilazed in something. Naruto has great Ninjustu skills (with minor Taijutsu skills), Sasuke uses Genjutsu thanks to his Doujustu (with secondary Ninjutsu skills) and Sakura has the Taijutsu (as shown during her fight with Sasori) with her secondary (healing) Ninjutsu skills. I think that Kishimoto found himself in a problematic situation when deciding what to do with Sakura in part 2, because had he focused on her Genjutsu skills, it would have been impossible to make her a fighter. Hence him “forgetting” about the Genjutsu part of her character, it would have been useless against Sasori.

    Also, we have to consider the reason why Sakura isn’t very much seen after the Sai arc. For that, we need to understand why she’s still in Team 7 : she’s here to support Naruto in his research for Sasuke. She doesn’t have a dream/goal of her own, so the only thing she can do is to be used as support whenever there is a fight or something. But while Kishi doesn’t focus on her as a fighter (for reasons I’ll explain bellow), he does care about her character development. This explains the reason why she grows wary of Sasuke in part two (even now, she still doesn’t trust him as her fake smile to Sai showed quite recently). And the reason why she doesn’t trust Sasuke is because she has grown closer to Naruto. She can see that Naruto’s way is the right one, and not Sasuke’s.
    In chapter 663, she says to Naruto the his dream is right in front of THEM, she includes herself in Naruto’s dream (to be Hokage), so he cannot die now. She plans to be by his side. Now, if this isn’t character development, I don’t know how you call it. In beginning of part 1, we have a Sakura that despises Naruto and dreams to be Sasuke’s first kiss and in part 2, we have Sakura who wants to help Naruto in his dream, and almost forgets about Sasuke as soon as he leaves her side, only to focus on supporting Naruto, his friends and his dream.

    Also, you have mentionned something that is often mentionned by NaruHina fans : “During Pain’s attack, Hinata rushed by Naruto’s side to help him, while Sakura did nothing”. This argument is wrong on two levels (well, three if you consider that rushing by Naruto’s side was the most stupid idea ever but let’s skip that for now). First, Hinata went to try to help Naruto only because she COULD SEE the situation Naruto was in, thanks to her Byakugan. Sakura couldn’t see the battlefield, due to her having no Byakugan. Then, I think that at some point, the guy who was supposed to guard Hinata tells to Sakura what’s going on, but she still couldn’t rush to help Naruto. Sakura is a medical nin, remember ?
    And there are four rules for medic nins (I’ll skip the first one, because it isn’t relevant here) :
    #2 No medical ninja shall ever stand on the front line.
    #3 No medic ninja shall ever die until they are the last of their platoon.
    #4 Only those medic ninja who have mastered the Strength of a Hundred Technique of the ninja art Creation Rebirth (the Byakugou seal) are permitted to discard the above-mentioned laws.

    Sakura being Tsunade’s best student, of course, she’d respect those laws. So as per rule #2 and #4, she couldn’t go and recklessly challenge Pain like Hinata did. And if she had ignored the rules, there would have been a good chance that she have died, breaking rule #3. Do you remember WHO healed Hinata after she got her ass kicked by Pain ? That’s right, Sakura, because she was the only medic nin around. Now, if Sakura had done what Hinata did, and also got her ass kicked, WHO would have healed her if she was in a such a critical state that she couldn’t heal herself ?
    My opinion is that Kishimoto simply used that moment to “get rid” of Hinata’s secret by making her confess, and also making Sakura realize that there are other women out there who are interested in Naruto. If Kishimoto intends to make a NaruSaku ending, then this means for Sakura : “Stop sitting here ignoring Naruto and start taking his feelings into account”. That would also explain why Kishi made Sai tell Sakura about Naruto’s feelings soon after.

    Now, why am I mentionning all this stuff about NaruSaku, Hinata, etc. ? Because I believe that Kishimoto wants to show Sakura’s development : a shift from the former Sasuke-fangirl she was to a steady companion of Naruto (and maybe more… but I can’t tell).

    To go back on Sakura’s fighting skills, Kishimoto did a good job showing her progression during the fight against Sasori, but since the fight took almost two volumes, maybe he judged he has shown her too much ? Because Naruto and Sasuke both defeated two Akatsuki members each. But Sakura “half” of only one (since she did it with Chiyo). So yeah, she got forgotten here (and Kishi even says so in an interview).
    IMO, Sakura should have awoken the Hyakugou seal during the Pain arc, and summon Katsuyu instead of Tsunade, and THEN awake the Byakugou seal during the war.
    Because you are absolutely right when you say that Sakura got her power-up like an asspull. Even the little panels Kishi gave to explain that weren’t enough.
    I mean, if you go on the japanese Amazon review page of volume 66, the Japanese customers complain about the asspull too. But yeah, as a Sakura fan, I gotta take what Kishi gives me…

    I think you’re a tad too harsh when saying that Sakura unlike Tsunade doesn’t have unique powers. It’s true, but Sakura got her Hyakugou seal at the age of 17, meaning waaay earlier than Tsunade who only got it “recently” (when Tsunade met Orochimaru in part 1, he was surprised to see the new jutsu, the seal, that she has developped as it was unknown to him before). So give Sakura some time. If she could get to Tsunade’s level in only 3 years of training, I’m sure she’ll be much stronger than her by the time she’s 20-25YO.
    Also, you can’t compare Sakura’s power-up with Naruto’s or Sasuke’s, because unlike her, they were favoured at birth. They are born into powerful families, and Naruto even got a Bijuu to add to his already gifted bloodline. And now, they even get the Indra/Ashura power-up. So yeah, they are pretty much OP compared to her, who had to work her ass off to get stronger. Keep in mind the the only thing Naruto had to train to obtain is the Rasengan and the Senjutsu, and Sasuke only had to train for his Katon/Raiton techiniques, otherwise, everything he got is thanks to his brother’s eyes/drugs/Orochimaru’s seal.
    If you’re looking for concrete proof, let’s take the stats of the third databook (2008, up to volume 43), Sakura had higher stats than all the girls (even Temari) and is on par with Naruto’s. Which shows that even Naruto, without his power-ups, is also a normal-level shinobi
    You also said that Sakura opening Naruto’s chest to pump Naruto’s heart manually wasn’t as impressive as let’s say… Sasuke’s Sharingan. But I think you’re mistaken on this one. Just search on the forums that discussed about chapter 663. You’ll see a lot of people, even those who usually hate Sakura, praise her for this surprising act, calling her hardcore and METAAAL because this was something that was so real-looking, so out-of-the-Naruto-verse, that nobody was expecting that from her. Now, if you look at the reactions of Sasuke getting the Rinnegan, almost nobody gives a sh*t about it, because half of the fandom had predicted this a long time ago already. Let’s be honest, we all know that Naruto and Sasuke are powerful and bound to win and get awesome powers. But when Sakura does something as unexpected as what she did in chapter 663, she receives praise because of the surprise effect it causes. And now, we are at a part where Sakura is going to have some kind of important role with Obito’s Rinnegan or against Madara (I doubt she can do anything against him, but let’s see). Let’s then judge her and her deeds after Kishi shows what she’s going to do. But with the manga ending soon, I don’t think he’ll make his heroine look bad in one of the last actions she’s going to take in the war ;).

    Phew, this was long to type ^^’.
    Don’t feel like you have to reply, I was just sharing my (long) opinion on that article =).

    1. I love sharing opinions with fellow fans and yours was amazing…you are right Sakura’s genjutsu wouldn’t have helped against Sasori but i would’ve loved to see it develop or her use it more…i mean it could’ve been used in her interaction with Itachi…i have been hoping for years her natural born genjutsu skills come into play at some point in Part know, just to make her a bit different from what some people call a ‘copy of Tsunade’

      As for her not helping Naruto…it’s not as if i didn’t want her to not help him…i was just voicing the opinion that she should’ve at least helped in fighting one of the Pains…it had been so long since the Sasori fight…even Konagmaru (i hope i got his name right, the kid who looks up to Naruto as a mentor/ally/adeversary) used a Rassingan on one of the Pains….and i believe when writers want a character to win, they find a way to do so…when Storm (XMen) needs to do something, she does, even doges attacks..but when writes don’t want her to do anything she gets knocked out by a single strike

      I just hope Kishi does something in the new issue with Sakura and just doesn’t stop with giving her summoning and the seal..the manga will end this year and i just don’t want her to end up useless know, she hasn’t had one awesome one on one battle panel in the whole of the war, even after getting the seal on her forehead….haha fans get surprised by what Sakura does, however i don’t think one should be surprised by anything a female lead does, if they are supposed to be powerful…the biggest surprise would be Sakura defeating Madara or maybe a Sakura vs. Sasuke in the end, i still need an explanation about her fake smile to Sai and what it means about what she’s going to do about Sasuke, even Jugo was having doubts about his motives

    2. Well I think you still need to read a lot of interviews regarding Masashi (And I mean allot), I kind of see that you might not know anything yet and I recommend you to read and compare Sakura and Hinata’s infos (is dat wat u call it?) in you might understand something from that and also read the *Naruto: The Last* synopsis and Tenori Otsutsuki’s info (although it’s quite short they can’t spoil anything yet) Masashi’s giving the big role to Hinata by using Hanabi just so it can’t be that obvious. He did once say that he regretted ever making Sakura the female lead but added up ” I’ll try my best with her” so he couldn’t offend some Sakura fans… I’m a huge huge huge fan of Sakura but I’m kinda bit by bit losing interest in Naruto cause lately I can see that Masashi is playing with Sakura’s character or mock her, It’s kinda getting to me..

      1. Kishi didn’t said he regretted making Sakura the heroine, he said that he
        THOUGHT on changing the heroine cause of the hate she received in the beginnings but in the end he didn’t changed cause he wanted HER to be HIS heroine. In the latest interview he stated that he like Hinata but likes Sakura more and he even said that he doesn’t get the hate she get cause he put many effort on her.

  5. A lot of people keep praising Hinata for her ‘bravery’ in ‘saving’ Naruto from Pain/Nagato, but these people are actually rather deluded (or just simply biased) about what it means to be brave, and what it means to be foolish. It was pretty clear that she wouldn’t stand a chance against Pain, and equally as obvious that she wouldn’t have had a realistic chance of saving or protecting Naruto from someone his caliber. Even Hinata herself admitted that she was merely being selfish, so I don’t know why we’re arguing about this particular detail any more.

    Yes, Naruto transformed into the Kyuubi in a fit of anger at seeing Pain strike Hinata down. But how is that exactly a good thing? Yes, transforming into the Kyuubi freed Naruto from the control of Nagato’s chakra rods, but we also know that fully transforming into a tailed beast is fatal for its Jinchuriki, unless they have a perfectly stable relationship. If anything, because of Hinata’s foolishness, Naruto would’ve just ended up killing himself, had it not been for Minato’s chakra being conveniently stored in his body. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

    At best, Hinata was lucky when it came to helping Naruto, lucky that Minato had stored a part of his chakra into Naruto’s body as a fail-safe to prevent him from going Kyuubi. Compare Hinata’s contribution to that of Sakura’s, who actually killed one of Pain’s summons, saved a small child from said summon, and healed and protected many civilians and ninja during Pain’s attack. Sakura’s contributions during the Pain arc are FAR superior to Hinata’s, I have to say.

    During the War Arc only, and only then, has Hinata ever done anything useful for Naruto or anyone of note. Hinata (alongside Ino) saved Naruto, Bee and the others from the Juubi’s Biju Dama, helped inspire Naruto and prevented him from losing to Obito’s mind-games. But Sakura’s contributions are hardly any less significant, considering that she is the one who saved Naruto’s life.

    The way I see it, both Hinata and Sakura are a bit lacking as female protagonists. Both of them needed Naruto to save/avenge them throughout Part I and didn’t give him any sort of moral support at all, let alone physical support – okay, Sakura did protect Naruto (and Sasuke and Lee) from the Sound Shinobi for as long as she could in the Forest of Death, so she still beats Hinata as far as contributions go in Part I. The only noteworthy thing the latter did is give Naruto some medicine, lol, and while that’s a sweet gesture – that’s nothing amazing.

    1. The point of the matter is that hinata is a supporting character and sakura a main character who has way more screen time ofcourse you expect sakura to have more accomplishments. Sakura is a main character so compare her accomplishments with naruto and sasuke not hinata.not so impressive is it?

      If you have to build up sakura while attacking hinata then you lose credibility. The reason why hinata vs pain had such an impact is because she knew she could not win but still tried just because it was for naruto. Sakura healing hinata is moot and void because hinata triggered the nine tails which triggered minato which triggered talk no jutsu and which triggered rinne tensei. Do you think that sakura would sit there if it were sasuke pinned down? I felt that the reason kishimoto made sakura a medic was because he wanted a reason for her to be there without doing anything.

      I’m prett sure shizune was taught by tsunade also and didn’t ou see her fighting in part 1 against kabuto? heck even kabuto is a medical ninja and he fights. Sakura taking out pain’s weakest summoning is no feat since it was never used against iraiya or naruto. Even shikamaru took out that centipede. if she took out anything else i would’ve have been fine.

      I will admit that the female characters are underdeveloped because kishimoto is sexist. I don’t know about you but sakura as a main character is completely unrelateable. We have yet to find out her reason for becoming a shinobi. No one not from a ninja clan would get up one day and choose the dangerous life of a shinobi witout good reason.

      I had high expectation for sakura after the sasori arc, i even predicted that sakura would be a great ninja from part 1 because the cliche was to be really weak then get really strong and relevant but sakura only has relevance every 50 chapters and in between these she’s so annoying. She officially became a white mage she could join final fantasy advance.

  6. I adore Sakura Haruno I think she has un tap potiental and is a good kunoichi I love her in everything she does.

    I am a huge fan of her and she has become so beautiful in Naruto the last new movie character design

    1. Im a huge fan of Sakura as well…i was introduced to her through the Part I anime and my friends were like, why do you like her? she’s useless

      But i just saw something in you said ‘untapped’ potential and then she grew amazing in Part II manga…and her new Naruto the Last Movie is amazing, i couldn’t believe how well Kishimot drew her when at first he used to have trouble drawing her more feminine etc…looking at the new character design Sakura seems to have grown into a very disciplined and powerful kunoichi…can’t wait for the film!

  7. It really frustrates me to see all this hate on Sakura. She has honestly taught me more than anyone else. She’s also the most “human” character in “Naruto”. Even though I’m no longer interested in the anime itself, I’m still a huge fan of hers and I hope she gets a bigger role and more respect later on in the serie.

  8. Sakura, it seems to me, was introduced for love triangle purposes in the very beginning; her development as a main character seems to have been an afterthought. Kishi seems to think that the real conflicts in her character is about standing up for herself alongside her teammates so as to prove she can help and protect them in times of need. The problem is that her view of teamwork is such that it becomes a means to her self-actualization, which ironically undermines the teamwork theme Kishi wants to the reader to appreciate (see 674 for an example) Contrast this with Ino’s development from a vain and useless bimbo to an integral part of the Ino-Shika-Cho team whose powers serve to unify the Shinobi Alliance–not merely show-off what she can do. The unrequited love she has for Sasuke is neither explained, nor matures into anything the audience can really identify with or understand. Contrast her’s with Hinata’s and you find the explanation for why many people like Hinata more than Sakura. All of this is to say that this is just bad writing plain and simple.

    With that said, I think she is a cute character that had her moments (the Sasori fight; her rescuing Naruto from certain death) and could have had many more (wouldn’t a fight between her and Kabuto been awesome?). I one redeeming quality she has is that she has come a long (and deep) way in acknowledging Naruto as a trustworthy person and potential Hakoge. I liked her re-boot for Shippuden, but the intense focus on “redeeming Sasuke”, which ruined the story overall (for me anyway), really harmed Sakura’s character more than any other character (Naruto’s suffered too). 

    1. I agree…Ino feels more part of the team while Sakura needs to show off in front Naruto and Sasuke…it’s like they both get a powerup and then she gets one, as if Kishi is saying, look her punches have become super strong now…but there is no team dynamics

      redeeming Sasuke has harmed the characters…i’m still hoping for a fight where Sakura actually kills him in the end because he can never be good even if Naruto tries his hardest…i feel that would be better than the ‘one-sided’ love or whatever she’s been showing throughout the series…when i saw Sakura in the Shippuden/PartII reboot and her new powers followed by Sasori’s fight i was expecting more battles but those never came and she kept to the side-lines…sigh!

  9. I personally have always loved Sakura even when she was a tittering fool in the face of Sasuke during the earlier parts of Part I. But regardless, I still enjoyed her presence because she reminded me of myself when I used to get ridiculous and all consuming crushes on guys who I thought were “cool”. But the reason I adore her even more is because she grew. She grew up and through SELF MOTIVATION she got stronger and became a better heroine. She didn’t have a rival, no powers. Just wanted to get stronger on her own right so she wouldn’t be behind. She kicked her butt into gear and became an incredible kunoichi. (The manual pumping of Naruto’s heart is off the chains amazing. She doesn’t get enough credit for that.)

    I think what fans need to stop doing is comparing female characters and growth and development against the other girls. And start analyzing the characters and their growth BY THEMSELVES. They need to look at the growth or accomplishments based off of how those female characters were at the start of the series (the MANGA ONLY) to how they have become. The whole Sakura versus. BLANK shit is really starting to get old. Stop comparing the girls and just appreciate the fact that they have grown. I like characters based off of personal growth only and how much they have changed and what they do for themselves and others. Not based off of how they compare in terms of the other girls.

    1. I agree with you…Sakura has indeed grown…she didn’t come from a special ninja family, or was born with powers…she became stronger through her will power and determination…Sadly, comparisons occur everywhere and that’s why Sakura is compared to other ninja girls…for me, I would love to see her come to terms with her feelings for Sasuke because that has really put a dampner on her as a character

  10. The truth in general is that she doesn’t no her place, I mean in the phase 1 she was completely useless nd in phase 2 she just seems lyk a disappointment. I mean she was trained by a sanin and she looks like she doesn’t know how to maximise her abilities. Her inability to handle her feelings for sasuke makes things worse and to top it off she tries to put herself on the same level with naruto and sasuke which I think just makes her character more hateful

  11. Yo I FEEL you man. Kishimoto dropped the ball on her so much. I even remember how badass Inner Sakura was. I wish she had tried to develop that into something of her own rather than a comedy thing. The freaking video games did a better job than Kishimoto. I mean, when she met Sasuke at the bridge, she FOUGHT him in the video game! Look at that y’all! Sakura had only ONE fight in Shippuden besides the war and that was against Sasori with Chiyo. Unbelievable Kishimoto. Not to mention now that she has become Konoha’s top medical ninja, I surely hope she lives up to her name in the upcoming series. I really hated how Sakura kept getting saved by Naruto in the final fight against Kaguya. Let the girl FIGHT and have her time. I don’t know why this was so hard for Kishimoto to do. I really don’t. I mean I REALLY don’t. I get he was 15 years in, but making Sakura own some ass for a few panels was not that hard. Naruto and Sasuke freakin turned Jesus level why she was left to keep being saved…I was pissed.

    1. I loved Sakura battling it out with Sasuke in the game, that should’ve happened in the manga. Naruto and Sasuke got a lot of powerups during the Ninja War but i liked how Sakura, a female ninja with no special bloodline was able to train (she wasn’t given powers as gifts etc, like most of Naruto and Sasuke) and become very strong. I mean, when it comes to brute strength there is no one better than her and she must’ve had an amazing power level if she was able to knock Kaguya (a God Like being) down when she dodged Naruto and Sasuke’s final attack, i think she was even able to knock one of her horns off….Now, that’s power!….Kishi also did an amazing job with her in “The Last: Naruto the Movie” which i enjoyed, especially in terms of Sakura’s role 🙂

  12. I completely agree. I read the manga up to where the original series ended and I didn’t start reading the shippuden series until about chapter 150 so I took a break from Naruto for a while. I just want to say I always just read the manga for my enjoyment and I didn’t go on these sites or watch anything where people reviewed or analyzed it.

    So when I did start doing that I was really surprised at how… I don’t seriously people took it. I didn’t realize Sakuras character wasn’t liked so much, I didn’t know anything about these stupid shipping wars, and I didn’t realize such immature people were reading this stuff. I’m not saying this to be rude, I just really think people take things too seriously. Like these shipping wars… I ship sasusaku and I don’t see what the big deal is about shipping something else. If people want to ship narusaku, sasunaru, sasuhina, sasukari, or what ever that’s fine. I don’t know when pairing two people together turned into a competition. Personally, I always thought it was obvious who was going to end up together but people will interpret things differently. That doesn’t mean fans need to push their opinions on other pairings though. I just needed to get that off my chest lol.

    Any-who, I completely agree with everything you said and I like that you pointed out how sakura has had to prove her self with people around her who already had something special going for them to begin with. I was really surprised when I saw how much people didn’t like her character. In part 1 her character was known for being weak but in part 2 she really changed. I looked her up on narutowikia and her abilities are amazing. I really wish that more light would’ve been shed on her powers. I feel like people are comparing her to Naruto and Sasuke and calling her weak and yes compared to them she’s not as strong (in some ways). But her abilities as a ninja are way past average and she’s surpassed Tsunade, a legendary sannin, in more then medical ninjustu. She had her moment in the war but then Kishimoto turned her into a damsel in distress again and that kind of overshadowed everything she can do. Idk I’ve always really liked her character and I think she’s a beast. More light should’ve been shed on all her abilities.

    I really just read this manga for my enjoyment and I try not pay attention to all the other opinions out there because it sometimes ruins it for me… If that makes sense -_- If you get what I’m saying lol. So I really appreciate this post and I feel like you’re actually looking at it logically. I feel like people don’t like her character simply because they felt she was a threat to their ship (which is stupid) or they’re comparing her to Naruto and Sasuke. Honestly she’s my favorite character heehee.

    1. Yeah…some fans do get a little bit too passionate about Shipping Wars and some end up being toxic to others…as for Sakura, Kishi did put her in the background for the whole Ninja War but at least he did give her some good scenes near the finale…i mean, she landed the last punch on a God like antagonist Kaguya in the end, talk about ‘power’ which she had to train for and wasn’t just handed out to her…not only that, Kishi also gave her a lot of time to shine during ‘The Last: Naruto The Movie’ which got the fanboy in me all excited…that was the Sakura we deserved and I hope to see more of her as the franchise continues! ^^

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