Sakura Haruno: Is She Worth the Hate?

Hello there and welcome to yet another Character Spotlight post here on World of Anime Girl. I have been thinking about writing this one for a very long time now, and I have finally organized my thoughts on this topic, or more precisely this character and started. As seen from the title, today's character spotlight is devoted to a very controversial character in the anime world-Sakura Haruno. There are anime fans that support her character, there are those who hate her and there are also those who just don't care. But honestly, I think that everyone has an opinion on the female lead character of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. As it might seem, there are more people that hate her, but the question is: Is she really worth all the hate or is she worthy of the title of the main heroine? 


Let's for a moment don't take into account Sakura's powers, strength or involvement in the fights and just focus on the character she is. It is very hard sometimes to grasp the true and out-of-context personality of a character or better said what the character stands for. In order to figure that out, it is best to see what the creator of the character has to say. Kishimoto reveals in one interview that he had one main intention by creating Sakura's character-he wanted her to be relatable. Kishimoto wanted for girls reading/watching Naruto to be able to relate to Sakura in real life. 
Sakura's is the most human character in the whole series, having ups and downs just as every other human does. I am not talking about her ninja powers or the lack of it, I am focusing on her personality, her self-respect and confidence and strength as a person taken out of the context of a ninja. 
Many, if not the majority of fans do not look at her from this point of view and so, create a rather incomplete opinion about the whole character that Sakura is. Her purpose was not to be yet another hero with god-like powers like Naruto and Sasuke. She had a completely different purpose from the beginning on, and for what it is worth, we can learn a bit from her when it comes to finding true confidence. Talking about confidence, was she too confident about her powers or rather useless as most people claim?


When it comes to Sakura's powers it is important to note that Sakura never had any inner powers or some special clan jutsu. She was more normal than she was a ninja but as we all know that would eventually change. In the original Naruto from 2002 Sakura doesn't do much when it comes to missions and fights but in Naruto Shippuden we see a completely different Sakura. Under Tsunade's wing, Sakura turned into an amazing and very powerful medical ninja learning also how to concentrate her chakra and use it in form of super strength. Truth is, she still does not fight like Naruto and Sasuke do, but when she says: "Lady Tsunade, I have finally caught up with these two", she is absolutely right. Her power and knowledge as a medical ninja might even surpass Tsunade's, while her strength in that sense can undoubtedly be compared to Naruto and Sasuke's. 
Sakura had played one of the key roles in the Great Ninja War, saving many lives including Naruto's. Besides, just the fact that she acquired the Byakugou Seal is enough proof of what a great ninja she actually is. The Byakugou Seal is a legendary seal and only a ninja who is able to nearly be in perfect control of his or her chakra is able to manifest it. The seal on her forehead symbolizes the mastery of chakra control and strength. So, Sakura might have been, let's say, 'passive' in many fights, especially in the pre-Shippuden Naruto, but she emerged to be one of the strongest ninja in the anime going from useless to indispensable. 


Everything that I have said up until now about Sakura was good, but I didn't say that she was perfect. Her ongoing obsession with Sasuke has been annoying for most of the time, but that also brings us back to the part where Kishimoto wanted girls to be able to relate to her. You can be helplessly in love and chase after your dream boy and still be a tough warrior. That, of course, doesn't change the fact that we were all annoyed by the constant "Sasuke-kuuun!!". 
One part of me even hates Sakura, not for being annoying, but for being ungrateful to Naruto. She knew that he was in love with her but Sasuke remained her number one priority no matter what. Her love towards Sasuke blinded her many times and made her make many selfish decisions. And that one time when she wanted to lift the heavy burden of finding Sasuke off Naruto, she made us hate her even more. For a bit there we can see that Naruto still has feelings for her but eventually realizes what she is actually up to. Personally, that was one of the heaviest, tensest and most shocking scenes in the whole anime.


I have never been a Sakura fan and frankly, I am still not. She is a great ninja, she is very powerful and has been through an enormous character development when it comes to confidence, self-respect, and skill. We can all definitely learn from her example when it comes to that. But on the other hand, Sakura remained mostly selfish and ungrateful and that's what I personally didn't like about her. 
On the whole, all those imperfections actually make Sakura a perfect character. She is someone that you can relate to, just as Kishimoto wanted her to be. She has flaws, she was weak, she doubted her self but she persisted and never gave up, becoming a great ninja and one of the heroes of the Great Ninja War.  Truth is, her character development didn't do much to her personality, but you all can't deny that she turned out to be pretty badass. 



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