There are plenty of character’s to hate in Naruto, but there is one ninja who gets unending flack. Ever since she debuted, Sakura Haruno has been the butt of everyone’s joke. The pink-haired heroine may be part of Naruto’s genin team, but there are plenty of fans who’d be fine if the character were killed off.
However, if you were to ask Masashi Kishimoto about the hate, then the creator would say he’s as confused by it as you are.
In the past, the Naruto creator has done interviews where he’s addressed the Sakura controversy, and Kishimoto admits the ordeal is perplexing. Just before The Last: Naruto The Movie was released, Kishimoto sat down for an interview with Kobayashi, the artist talked about Sakura’s popularity candidly.
When asked about the girl, Kishimoto said he tried to write Sakura as a realistic girl with faults and all. The creator said Sakura was meant to depict a girl’s ‘real’ self and act as a relatable character for his female readers to latch onto. So, naturally, Kishimoto was a bit surprised when Sakura became a scapegoat for angry fans.
Kobayasha asked Kishimoto about the hate Sakura receives, and the artist said the heroine gets plenty of it. The creator even admitted that young girls have told him they hate Sakura, and the feedback is what prompted him to evolve the Team 7 member following Naruto’s training mission with Jiraiya.
Of course, anyone who is a part of the Naruto fandom will be somewhat familiar with the hate Sakura gets; It's everywhere you look. The character was mercilessly teased in the original anime for being a know-it-all who fawned over Sasuke. Naruto Shippuden gave fans less of a reason to resent the girl, but her roundabout feelings for Sasuke still irked many. Sakura’s treatment of Naruto also caused some fans to turn their backs on the girl, but others have noted many of the things which Sakura is hated for aren’t bad; In fact, they are human.
Sakura does represent a very human perspective in the Naruto franchise, and her un-idealized POV isn’t what fans want. The heroine gets scared in the face of danger, and Sakura does lash out aimlessly when things get tough. Still, she perseveres in the face of hardship, and Sakura worked diligently to become a ninja who could stand alongside her over-powered teammates. So, at the very least, the girl does deserve props for her work ethic.
You can check out Viz Media's synopsis of Naruto below:
"Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world’s greatest ninja!"1comments
Author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Like many kids, he was first inspired to become a manga artist in elementary school when he read Dragon Ball. After spending time in art college, he won the Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his story Karakuri. After considering various genres for his next project, Kishimoto decided on a story steeped in traditional Japanese culture.
His first version of Naruto, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in the world. The series would also spawn multiple anime series, movies, novels, video games and more.