Why people hate Sakura Haruno from Naruto

Sakura Haruno is one of the prominent characters of Narutoverse — which is brimming with a variety of characters with interesting mixes of strengths and personalities. It’s tough to pick a favorite here, but no character receives as much hatred as Sakura Haruno, even more than characters who kill and destroy.

I break down the reasons why I think people hate Sakura Haruno, an analysis based on the events of the Naruto series. If you haven’t watched the series yet but plan to, well, there are tiny spoilers, if you are not bothered by it, you may proceed.

Sakura Haruno is an under-developed character

While the creator of Naruto series — Masashi Kishimoto has done a phenomenal job with his vision and imagination, he fails to give depth to female characters.

Members of Team 7 are crucial in the overall story-progression, but while a lot of thought has gone into character sketches and backstories of Naruto and Sasuke, Sakura’s character is kept more experimental.

For example, Sakura Haruno is essentially a genjutsu type ninja, which basically means she possesses a fine mind to use illusionary techniques. It was evident during the first phase of notoriously difficult Chunin exams, and Sakura was one of the few who could actually pass the first test on her own, a feat attained by the likes of Minato, Kakashi, and Itachi.

Further, their team leader and trainer — Kakashi Hatake recognises her innate capability for genjutsu, yet we never see any episode where he trains her for that.

Sakura finally uses her chakra control skills and trains under Tsunade to become a fine medical ninja, like most female characters in the series.

Kishimoto fails to imagine and develop female aspirations beyond the already established traditional gender roles.

Sakura could have turned into a completely different character with genjutsu, giving her a deadly combination of healing and killing.

As the series progresses, Sakura surely attains many feats like mastering Strength of Hundred Seal and defeating Sasori, but her achievements fall short in volume compared to her teammates.

Neither Sakura comes from a clan like Uchiha where some powers just come through the bloodline, nor does she have a tragic backstory or a tailed beast inside her to inspire sympathy from the audience. She starts from the normal and the lack of comparable character development at Kishimoto’s end makes her seem “weak” or “useless” which is so not the case.

Sakura Haruno rejects Naruto

Type “Why does Sakura” on Google and your suggestions will immediately see “hate naruto”, “always hit naruto”, “not like naruto”, “confess to naruto” amongst other searches related to Sasuke.

Many Naruto fans go on and on about how heartbreaking it was for Naruto to be rejected by Sakura, but they fail to see that Sakura never reciprocates his feelings, and hence the rejection.

Younger Naruto is expressive and his character doesn’t hide his feelings for Sakura, even after she dismisses it every single time, making it clear that her heart belongs only to Sasuke.

I believe that Sakura-hating Naruto fans think that Sakura somehow owes Naruto a reciprocation given how hard Naruto’s life had been, but that’s not how things work, do they?

Sakura Haruno is hated for saying — no, a befitting no, and the same audience which hates her for that doesn’t question Naruto’s constant appeal after being constantly rejected. People who hate Sakura cannot handle rejections, plain and simple.

Sakura’s undying loyalty for Sasuke

It’s never easy to love difficult people, but Sakura did it.

Sasuke is complex and Kishimoto doesn’t get his fair share of recognition for developing this character. Both Naruto and Sasuke have tragic pasts but they are exposed to completely different traumas.

Sakura’s childish love for Sasuke grows and matures to the point where she even forgives Sasuke’s attempt to kill her. She forgives Sasuke’s absence from her life and later on his absence as a parent of their child.

Through any lens the relationship is asymmetrical and Sakura gave more than what she received.

The internet is full of rants, memes, and quotes on stolen images about the pangs of heartbreaks, and yet a section of this audience still fails to see Sakura’s undying loyalty for an extremely traumatic and difficult character.

Anime fails female characters

Anime is watched across the globe and what’s animated for the TV is not always an exact match of the respective Manga. In this context, Studio Pierrot made Sakura Haruno seem annoying as if the lack of character development at script level wasn’t enough.

Team members develop friendship, and the same happened with Sakura and Naruto, and everything else which comes with this package. For example, Sakura is shown to hit Naruto, often friendly but mostly to stop Naruto’s advances towards her. The frequency of that happening is way less in Manga, not to mention Sakura always had a reason. Naruto should have stopped when he was told — no.

Pick any male-character and imagine it to be made deliberately bad. Can’t imagine, can you?

Sakura Haruno as a character is deliberately deteriorated to please a section of the audience. There’s no other explanation why her character was chosen to add more animations of hitting Naruto. It’s not funny, if that was the original intent.

Low self-esteem of male viewers ?

A large part of anime is inarguably sexist and hence problematic. This artform is unique on its own but it hinges on drawing both female and male characters in a certain way to make them look sexually attractive.

It’s common to find most female characters with long legs, long hair, dilated eyes, huge breasts, and childish voices, while male characters are shown tall, lean, muscular, and everything else which makes them attractive.

Sakura haters rant but rarely give solid facts on why they hate the character. Top arguments always involve Naruto, and the rest deem her — “useless”, while being completely blind to the contributions by Studio Pierrot, fundamental lack of character development by Masashi Kishimoto, and the inability of male characters to take no for an answer.

Conclusion

The Naruto series is memorable in so many ways but that’s not a reason to ignore its obvious flaws.

Arts hold enough power on shaping people’s perception, and anime which is broadly an art-form plays its part.

Given that millions of people love this series, the impacts of deliberately making a female character lousy cannot go unacknowledged.

There have been studies on anime and its impact among university students and since studies do identify anime as a cultural product, and given that millions do imbibe aspects of their favorite anime characters with activities like cosplays, it won’t be too far fetched to imagine the negative effects on the perception of a gender by deliberately making a strong female character look lousy.

If you still hate Sakura Haruno, the problem is not with this anime character.

Originally published at https://blog.sangitaekka.com on November 24, 2021.

If you like my work and want to support it, buy me a beer! You can check my other works here: https://linktr.ee/SangitaEkka

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https://linktr.ee/SangitaEkka Artist. Atheist. Feminist. Sapiosexual. Grey ACE. INTJ. Perfectionist. At peace with self.

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Sangita Ekka

Sangita Ekka

https://linktr.ee/SangitaEkka Artist. Atheist. Feminist. Sapiosexual. Grey ACE. INTJ. Perfectionist. At peace with self.

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