| (春野サクラ, Haruno Sakura)
|Anime||Naruto Episode #1|
|Movie||Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow|
|Game||Naruto: Clash of Ninja|
|OVA||Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game and Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||14|
During her early years in the Academy, Sakura was frequently bullied by others due to her large forehead. To try and combat this, Sakura used her bangs to hide her forehead, fuelling the other kids' teasing by indicating she was sensitive about it. Ino Yamanaka, realising this, helped Sakura by giving her a red ribbon that she used as a way of drawing attention to the cuter features of her forehead, which helped Sakura overcome her insecurity. The two became best friends and Sakura grew more confident, developing her own unique personality under Ino's guidance. Despite this, Sakura felt that she was living in Ino's shadow and longed to prove herself as Ino's equal. Later, when Sakura found out that Ino also had a crush on Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura ended their friendship so that they could compete for Sasuke's love, thus beginning a bitter rivalry between the two.
Sakura is naturally hot-headed, overbearing, stern and irritable, and because of that temperamental mindset, she tends hit people out of explosive anger and rage on more than one occasion (the victim usually being Naruto Uzumaki, Rock Lee when he flirts, and Sai), and somewhat hypercritical, along with being easily impulsive and stubborn, but most of the time, she is relatively kind, cheerful, and rational. In the anime, Sakura has been shown to be a bit of a flirt and uses this to her advantage: with one such case being when Naruto asked her out for dinner, though she only agreed if he paid for her half as well. She also prefers to speak formally, very reliant on approaches of theory and principle and tends to be a heavy and calculating thinker when it comes to details on almost any matter and very analytic when on or off the job, but she is also capable of being very naive and narrow-minded on certain matters such as Naruto's feelings for her, which went unnoticed until Sai stated it to her or when she tried to force herself to kill Sasuke twice, despite the fact that her heart wouldn't allow her to do it, leaving her vulnerable for Sasuke's attempts on her life, even her attempt to lie to Naruto about loving him instead of Sasuke, ignorant of the fact that Naruto personally witnesses Sakura's most extreme and inimitable signs of love for Sasuke.
Sakura has shown to be strong-willed and determined, not one to lose or give up in a fight easily most prominently seen during her fight with Sasori where despite being told to run by Chiyo, she stayed and fought, thought she even admitted that she pales severely in this aspect in comparison to Naruto, which is why she decided to leave the situation with Sasuke solely up to him after failing at it herself. In addition, she has a very strong need to be useful, and is often easily frustrated with herself for being a burden and not being helpful, often having to rely on either Naruto and Sasuke for help in Part I. One of her greatest regrets was relying solely on Naruto to bring Sasuke back, burdening him with the promise while she couldn't do anything but cry. It was with that resolve that she sought apprenticeship from Tsunade and since training with her, Sakura has improved, but still frets over her ability to only help others in one way.
Unlike the rest of Team 7, Sakura has not suffered any great losses during her childhood. Therefore, Sakura took for granted things that her team-mates desired such as family, friends — and especially in Naruto's case — recognition. However, when she was chided for this by Sasuke, she began attempting to be more understanding of Naruto especially, and the way he acted.
At the start of the series, Sakura had a deep infatuation for Sasuke Uchiha, rooted in his good looks, cunning, cool attitude, and prodigious talents. For that reason, many of Sakura's early appearances were dedicated to her continuing efforts to win his affection. As the story progressed, she began to recognise Sasuke as a real person with imperfections, and developed a more sincere desire to be there for him and later fell in love with him. Sakura also became concerned that Sasuke will someday abandon her and the rest of Konoha in his quest for power. When her fears came true at the end of Part I, Sakura did all that she could to stop Sasuke from leaving, such as professing her love for him and offering to join him. Despite thanking her and sounding grateful, Sasuke knocked Sakura unconscious and left the village.
Since then, Sakura has made it her personal goal to bring Sasuke home. Although she still worries about his well-being, Sakura is willing to attack him if it means returning him to Konoha, however, as time goes on and Sasuke becomes an increasingly more dangerous criminal, Sakura recognises that Sasuke must be stopped at all costs. Despite agreeing that they had no choice but to kill Sasuke themselves to prevent Konoha from being involved in a war by his criminal actions or his death at a foreign country's hand, Sakura was immensely saddened and distraught at the notion nonetheless to the point where it drove her into trying to take care of the Sasuke situation by herself, showing with her making the rest of Konoha 11 promise to let her be the only one who talks to Naruto while it was her plan from the start to not tell him, along with planning to knockout her hunt group when getting close to Sasuke despite promising that they would do it together. Later on, she told Naruto that she no longer has any feelings for Sasuke since he just keeps breaking her heart and states that she loves him instead, though Naruto and most of the observers knew that she was lying and suspected that Sakura was hiding something. Her team-mate Sai at the time even commented that she was still in love with Sasuke, which is later proven to be true, and that she wants to kill him by herself so that he does not sink any lower. Upon meeting Sasuke once again, Sakura becomes upset by how corrupted Sasuke has become and tries to kill him. She ultimately cannot bring herself to do so, being brought to tears as she started remembering all they went through together as members of Team 7 which caused herself to be left wide open for Sasuke's nearly successful and fatal counterattacks. She has since come to accept that Naruto is the only one who can do anything about Sasuke with a stable, strong and clear resolve. Though she is deeply saddened by what Sasuke has become, it is shown when he is mentioned that she is still in love with him nonetheless.
Sakura's relationship with Naruto, like with Sasuke, also changes throughout the series. When they first became a team, she held contempt towards him, going as far as to insult or degrade him at any chance she got, and even stated that the one thing she does not like was Naruto (mainly because he interfered with her attempts to gain Sasuke's affections and for being a constant nuisance at the time ). However, as the series progressed, Sakura realised that her negative views of him were wrong as Naruto continuously showed his worth as a ninja as well as his dedication to his team-mates. After the Chūnin Exams and missions, Sakura realises that Naruto is getting stronger and envies him, so she decides to train harder. After Sasuke defected from Konoha, Sakura pleads to Naruto, believing him to be the only one capable of bringing Sasuke back. When Naruto promises to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, Sakura realises just how committed Naruto is to her happiness, and how he has always been there for her. However, Naruto fails and is left in the hospital after losing to Sasuke, though he vows to someday fulfil the promise he made to her. Realising the lengths Naruto will go to for her, and inspired by his determination, Sakura spends the next three years training with Tsunade so that in the future she can join Naruto in his quest to bring Sasuke back.
In Part II, Sakura learns of the various hardships Naruto faces: the Nine-Tails and Akatsuki. Saddened by the impact both forces have had on his life, Sakura becomes protective of Naruto and tries to do whatever she can to help him overcome these obstacles. Sakura begins to empathise with Naruto, and develops a deep friendship with him, due to their spending a lot of time together, even though there are times where she lies to him about certain things, particularly involving Sasuke in a way, along with her hyper criticism still going strong. Despite her criticism, she has developed great fondness towards him and often worries over his well-being. Later, Sai explains to her just how deep Naruto's love for her truly is, and the level of pain that trying to fulfill his promise has caused, filling Sakura with guilt and regret, ultimately resolving to take care of Sasuke by herself. After the events of the Five Kage Summit, she confesses to Naruto that she loves him, no longer caring about Sasuke, and tries to get him to give up on his promise, an attempt to ease his pain over the promise. However, Naruto does not believe her, and claims she is lying to herself, stating he knows her better than that. Sai later confirms this, and tells Naruto and his group about the ulterior motives of Sakura's confession, stating that it was actually an attempt to release the promise Naruto made for her and distract him while she and her group hunt down and kill Sasuke. Despite this cruel emotional manipulation on her part, Sai, from his perspective as a member of Root, explains that she was only thinking about Naruto's feelings, which is why she refused to tell him the truth about Sasuke being killed, as she knew full-well how much pain that would cause him, although Kiba and Lee thought that Sakura needs to have more faith in Naruto's mental endurance and believes that it would have been a better idea to just tell him the truth. Although she is now aware that Naruto loves her, Sakura while still caring for him as a close friend and team-mate, does not reciprocate these feelings for him as they are ultimately one-sided on Naruto's part. Even when she told Naruto that she loved him and she no longer had any feelings for Sasuke, Naruto wasn't fooled by Sakura's "confession", and knew all too-well that she was lying and that despite the heinous acts Sasuke committed, resulting in him to becoming an international criminal, she was in love with him nonetheless, a fact proven to be true by Sai and later on by Sakura herself during the war.
Within Sakura resides "Inner Sakura" (内なるサクラ, Uchi Naru Sakura), a manifestation of her inner emotions. In addition to comic relief, Inner Sakura represents Sakura's actual opinion on things when she outwardly displays something opposite. For example, when Naruto played a prank on Kakashi, Sakura outwardly deemed it "childish", but in the inside she enjoyed it. Inner Sakura's appearances are typically marked by an exclamation of "Shānnarō!" (しゃーんなろー). The phrase has no literal meaning, but is usually translated as "Hell yeah!", "Hell no!", or "Damn it!", depending on the situation. The English anime, for censorship reasons, replaced the aforementioned phrases with a forceful "Cha!". Inner Sakura is unique as it is in a way a second will within Sakura's mind. When Ino used the Mind Body Switch Technique on her, Inner Sakura was able to repel the user from her body, suggesting that Sakura has a split personality, consisting of the "Inner Sakura" and her normal personality.
Although she appears quite frequently at the start of the series, Inner Sakura all but disappears midway through Part I, her only other subsequent appearance being at the start of Part II. Sakura, likewise, now performs the emotional, violent outbursts she once relied on Inner Sakura for, much to the dismay of those who are around her at the time (typically Naruto).
Sakura has bright pink hair, large green eyes, and fair skin. Sakura was often bullied due to her rather large forehead hence her nickname of "Billboard Brow", due to this she wore her bangs over her forehead in an attempt to cover it, though Ino encouraged her to wear her hair back. In Part I, Sakura wore a red qipao dress with white circular designs, with or without short sleeves, with a zipper, tight dark green shorts, and a forehead protector which she used to accentuate her face.
In Part II, Sakura, now a chūnin, has donned a new attire consisting of a red top with the same design as the upper-half of her Part I outfit, with black gloves, black boots, black shorts, short pink apron skirt, and pink elbow protectors and forehead protector which is now on a red cloth. Her skirt and elbow protectors are also pink in the anime. Sakura is now also armed with a tantō which she wears above her medical pouch. When she's not on a mission, she wears her regular red shirt, with a light yellow shirt under it, and a navy-coloured skirt. In this outfit, she still wears her boots. She later dons the uniform of the Allied Shinobi Forces inclusive of a Konohagakure flak jacket, albeit opting to wear a skirt instead of pants and her regular boots. She later changes her skirt to pants to assist the medic unit.
Another notable trait of Sakura's appearance is her hair. At the series' beginning, Sakura's hair was very long (when she was young, there was a rumour that Sasuke was attracted to girls with long hair). After Sakura began to protect the unconscious bodies of Sasuke and Naruto after their battle with Orochimaru, Kin Tsuchi grabbed Sakura's hair and taunted her for paying more attention to her appearance than practising her technique. Kin kept Sakura captive, holding her tightly by the hair and forcing her to watch Zaku Abumi attack Lee. This caused Sakura to cut her hair to release Kin's hold on her, and determinedly attacking Team Dosu with a new goal of surpassing her team-mates. Her hair was very short and messy that time. After the battle, Ino cuts Sakura's hair to make it neater. During the time she trained with Tsunade after the Chūnin Exams, she had let her hair grow back but has since then cut it again in favour of her new, shoulder-length hairstyle. Like Shizune, she also has the tendency to pin her hair up in a ponytail when working.
At the start of the series, Sakura's abilities as a ninja were considerably less than those of her team-mates; Sasuke and Naruto, with her greatest strength being her intelligence. After two-and-a-half years of training with Tsunade however, Sakura's abilities greatly increased to the point that she could hold her own against powerful enemies such as Sasori. Her skills in other areas have also increased, such as being able to locate Kakashi during the second bell test — something Naruto could not do — as well as tricking Sai, Kiba, and Lee into fighting each other so that she put them all to sleep. Along with physical abilities, Sakura has also inherited her master's resilience and contempt for losing. This was best displayed after she had been surrounded by a cloud of poison, and used an explosive tag to dispel the cloud of smoke without sustaining much damage herself.
Due to her excellent chakra control, Sakura has been noted to have a natural aptitude for genjutsu, though so far she has only been seen dispelling illusions rather than use them. It does seem however that she has put these skill towards medical ninjutsu instead.
Soon after the start of their first mission, Sakura discovered that she had an excellent control over her chakra, and as such she had an innate ability to use techniques to their maximum efficiency without wasting any chakra. Kakashi pointed out that her ability to gather chakra from every part of the body and then using it with great timing made her superior to her team-mates in that respect. While this particular ability was never put to great use in Part I, her chakra control became a focal point of Sakura's fighting style and medical abilities in Part II.
Sakura's naturally refined control of her chakra had been taken to new heights over the time skip, an ability utilised to its fullest by the training she had done with Tsunade. With her excellent chakra control, Sakura had turned into an excellent combat medical-nin, and had shown herself to be able to heal fatal injuries with relatively little effort, even when more experienced medics would deem it a lost cause. She also has shown extensive knowledge of poisons having been taught by her senior pupil Shizune — learning how to imbue weapons such as kunai, with poison. She also has an extensive knowledge of herbal medicines, surpassing even the knowledge of Chiyo as well as other chemicals such as powerful sleeping gases taught to her by Tsunade. Her knowledge was great enough to withdraw Sasori's advanced poison directly from Kankurō's body, and use that as a base template to create multiple antidotes swiftly afterwards. During her fight with Sasori, she was able to start healing herself even with a poisoned sword still lodged in her abdomen.
At the end of Part I when Tsunade observed Sakura successfully heal a fish with the Mystical Palm Technique, Tsunade remarked that Sakura had come so far, and she hadn't seen such talent since Shizune. Sakura can also assist with autopsies, as seen when she and Shizune performed an autopsy on a White Zetsu during the Fourth Shinobi World War, and she has knowledge of cells and DNA. A few individuals have even commented that Sakura has the potential to one day rival Tsunade in terms of medical skill, and perhaps even surpass her given enough time, though Sakura has stated that Tsunade's skills are far greater than her own.
Although not known for her strength in Part I, Sakura was still strong enough to knock Ino several metres backwards with only a single strike during their match in the Chūnin Exams. In the anime, during a mission to the Land of Tea, she was seen breaking off the mast of a ship and using the large log of wood as a weapon.
In Part II, Sakura's taijutsu skills have seen tremendous growth thanks to Tsunade's training. By building up and releasing her chakra with precise timing, Sakura could easily demolish any obstacle and turn it to rubble. An opponent struck by her full strength could suffer blunt force trauma resulting in broken bones, ruptured organs, or even death. Through repeated use, Sakura no longer needs to put any conscious effort into using this strength, and so can use it instantly. Her strength, coupled with her medical expertise and the beauty she gained over the time skip, had caused many to see Sakura as a younger version of Tsunade, or even someone who could even surpass Tsunade. However, while Sakura's strength derives from this technique, Tsunade has been noted to possess incredible raw strength much greater than this ability, which is enhanced even further to monstrous levels when using it. This strength was great enough to completely immobilise a White Zetsu, which are extremely durable, with just one blow.
Another key component of Sakura's taijutsu is her evasive skill. As a field medic, she cannot afford to be gravely injured or killed on the battle field, as drilled into her by Tsunade when she trained her. Sakura would attempt to read an opponent's fighting style in order to find the dominant hand/foot or anything that the enemy was using. With that, she could increase her evasive skill to impressive levels. Sakura was proficient enough in this that she could figure out Sasori's finger movements and predict the movements of his puppets. Her skill in evasion is so great that she can defeat one-hundred puppets without even being scratched. Although Chiyo aided Sakura in this occasion, she notes that Sakura hardly needed any help.
Sakura's original defining characteristic was her intelligence, as seen with her consistently high test scores while in the Academy. Sakura has a keen talent for observation and analysing, which she uses to overcome most forms of deception. Moreover, in the first phase of the Chūnin Exams, Sakura was able to answer all the questions on the paper test quickly, even though the examiner Ibiki Morino later commented that this feat could not be accomplished by a genin, hinting her exceptional knowledge and intelligence as a student. Sakura could also cleverly set traps, that could be triggered by herself to attack the opponent, and even use obvious traps as decoys to lead opponent's into other traps. However, Sakura's focus on her studies in the Academy greatly affected her physical performance. Her poor combat skills and stamina prevented her from being helpful during the earlier battles in the series.
In Part II, along with her other attributes, Sakura's exceptional intelligence and keen observation skills also improved during her training with Tsunade, who taught her to read and decipher the attack patterns of her enemies and act accordingly. As a result, she could now read complex patterns in her opponent's attacks, even opponents as strong as Sasori, a feat which even surprised an experienced war veteran like Chiyo. When Sakura along with her team encountered Tobi and his technique, Sakura was able to assume its mechanism and deduce that Tobi was only pretending to be affected. Sakura is also shown to be skilled at planning, being able to formulate a plan to kill Sasuke by the use of a poison and prevent Kiba, Sai and Lee from following her by the use of a sleeping gas bomb. During the first night of the Fourth Shinobi World War had ended, when a spy had infiltrated the Logistical Support and Medical Division compound, Sakura was able to work out that the spy wasn't using the Transformation Technique as the sensors would've detected the spy. When having a talk with Neji, Sakura was able to deceive him and attack him while he was unprepared. She was able to extract information from the assassin and piece together the mechanics behind the enemy's abilities, using information she had come across previously, as well as what the clone told her.
Upon being assigned as a member of Team 7, Sakura spent much of her time trying to appeal to Sasuke, despite the fact that Sasuke had no interest in her and had a habit of belittling her. All the while, Naruto tried to appeal to Sakura, despite the fact that she had no interest in him and degraded him whenever given the opportunity. As such, when Kakashi administered a test on the three to see if they would be allowed to become genin, Sakura preoccupied herself with following Sasuke instead of helping Naruto.
After Kakashi lectured Sakura for this, as well as Naruto and Sasuke for their respective faults, Sakura realised that if they were to become genin, they would need to work as a team, even if that meant breaking the rules. This revelation having been the goal of the test, Kakashi passed the three, Team 7 being the first group to have ever passed his test.
Land of Waves Arc
Sakura accompanied the rest of her team on their first mission to the Land of Waves, to act as bodyguards for Tazuna. While there, Kakashi administers a Tree Climbing Practice, and Sakura masters the exercise on her first try. This leaves her in charge of escorting Tazuna while Naruto and Sasuke complete the training. When they are later attacked by Zabuza and Haku, Sakura protects Tazuna while Kakashi, Naruto, and Sasuke battle the enemy. After hearing that Sasuke was apparently killed, Sakura violated Shinobi Rule #25 of not showing any kind of emotions by crying for Sasuke's loss even as she recited it. When Sasuke turned out to have only been in a death-trance, Sakura was relieved that he was alive. Once their mission was completed, Team 7 returned to Konoha.
Chūnin Exam Arc
When Team 7 is entered into the Chūnin Exams, Sakura is reluctant to participate because she feels she is too weak. With some reassurance from Sasuke, she agrees to enter. During the first, written portion of the exam, Sakura is one of the few examinees that is able to answer the questions without cheating. She instead spends her time lamenting that Naruto is probably too stupid to answer the questions or know that he is supposed to cheat, and contemplates forfeiting so that he doesn't need to embarrass himself. After seeing Naruto's confidence in himself, she decides against it, and they pass the first phase.
Soon after the start of the second phase of the Chūnin Exams, Team 7 was attacked by Orochimaru. Although Naruto and Sasuke did their best to defeat Orochimaru, both were rendered unconscious, and Sakura was left to take care of them. When they were attacked by a group of Oto genin sent by Orochimaru to kill Sasuke, Sakura tried to defeat them with some traps she had pre-prepared, though the group easily avoided her efforts. Just as the Oto genin were about to turn their attention to Sakura, Rock Lee came to her rescue, determined to protect Sakura at all costs. Despite his efforts, Lee was defeated, and the Oto genin again turned their attention to Sakura. Kin Tsuchi immobilised Sakura by grabbing her hair, scolding her for putting more effort into her looks than her abilities as a ninja.
Distraught that people were always fighting for her because she couldn't fight for herself, Sakura resolved to better herself as a ninja. Cutting off her hair to release herself from Kin's grasp, Sakura did what she could to fend off the Oto genin, even going so far as biting to make sure that she couldn't be easily repelled. This display spurred Ino and her team into coming to Sakura's aid, allowing her some rest. The unconscious Sasuke re-awakened after receiving Orochimaru's cursed seal, and immediately asked Sakura who injured her. Quickly overcome by his new Cursed Seal, he began a violent rampage on the Sound ninja who were present. Frightened by his new behaviour and after having realised that "this is not Sasuke", a tearful Sakura rushed to his side and embraced him, begging him to stop. Her words and embrace got through to him, and his Cursed Seal quickly receded.
In the preliminary matches of the exam, Sakura was pitted against Ino. After Sakura and Ino exchanged insults, Ino followed Sakura's earlier example and cut her hair, leading Sakura to believe that Ino had lost her mind. In actuality, Ino cut her hair to help her in battle; by sending chakra into her cut hair, Ino was able to tie Sakura in place, allowing her slow-moving Mind Body Switch Technique to have no difficulties in finding its target. After taking control of Sakura's body, Ino tried to force Sakura to forfeit, but thanks to Naruto's cheering, Inner Sakura was able to force Ino from her body before she could do so. With both girls exhausted from the amount of effort they'd been putting into their fight, Ino and Sakura charged at each other to deal final blows. Striking each other simultaneously, both were knocked out, leading to a draw. As the two recovered, Ino and Sakura began to rekindle their friendship. Though when Ino declared that she wasn't going to just hand Sasuke over to her, Sakura became angered and declared that the same went for Ino as well.
Invasion of Konoha Arc
A month later, while watching Naruto and Sasuke's matches during the finals and marvelling at how their abilities had improved, the invasion of Konoha began. Sakura was able to repel the sleep inducing genjutsu that spread throughout the stadium. Because of this, and because Sasuke had pursued Gaara, Kakashi tasked Sakura with waking and assembling a team to go after him. Upon catching up with Sasuke, Sakura protected him from Gaara's attacks, risking her life to put herself between him and danger. Gaara used his sand to immobilise her, and as the sand slowly suffocated Sakura, Naruto fought to defeat Gaara using Sakura as inspiration to not give up, and save her. After Naruto defeated Gaara, Sakura was freed. Later, Sakura thanked Sasuke for saving her, but he explained to her that it was Naruto who had saved her, and she turned to smile at Naruto, not noticing the scowl on Sasuke's face as she did so. She later attended the Third Hokage's funeral.
Search for Tsunade Arc
Sakura approached Sasuke thinking that he saved her but Sasuke reveals that it was Naruto much to Sasuke's dismay and Sakura looked surprised.
Sasuke Retrieval Arc
As time goes by and Sasuke's lust for power grows stronger, Sakura grows concerned that he may abandon Konoha to seek out Orochimaru. Although she spends as much time with him as she can in an effort to deter him from this path, Sasuke finally defects. Having suspected this would happen, Sakura met him at the village's exit, doing what she could to stop him. When it seemed that he was still going to leave, Sakura declared that she was in love with him. She said she would do anything for him, even offering to help him in his quest for power, so long as she could be with him. Sasuke then turned to her and called her annoying. Sakura then threatened to scream and alert the village of his betrayal. Sasuke gives her a soft "thank you" before knocking her unconscious and leaving the village. When she awakens the following morning she tells Kotetsu Hagane and Izumo Kamizuki, who in turn reports to Tsunade about his departure, leading to the formation of the Sasuke Retrieval Team.
When Naruto set out the next day to retrieve Sasuke, Sakura came out to meet him. Sakura begged for Naruto to bring Sasuke back, believing Naruto to be the only person who could get through to Sasuke. Naruto, looking at the crying Sakura, promised her that he would bring Sasuke back, making it his promise to her for a lifetime. This brought more tears as Sakura realised that Naruto knew how she felt and that he had always been there for her.
After Naruto failed to bring Sasuke back and was left hospitalised in the process, he apologised to Sakura for his failure and asserted that he would definitely keep his promise. Inspired by Naruto's determination, she replied that, next time, they would retrieve Sasuke together, and that she would be there to help him from now on. Determined to never be useless again and to save Sasuke and help Naruto, Sakura then asked to become Tsunade's apprentice, a request which Tsunade happily accepted.
Pre-Shippūden Filler Arcs
The only filler arc Sakura plays a major part in is the Land of Rice Fields Arc, where she, Naruto and Jiraiya tried to save Sasuke. In the end of the arc Sakura asks Tsunade for medical training. Hence, little was seen of Sakura during the filler arcs, much of her time being preoccupied with training. When she did go out on missions with her fellow genin, Sakura served as the medical specialist, healing the wounds of others and examining bodies. Ino, jealous of Sakura's new-found healing abilities, asked to train with Sakura to be a medical ninja. To Ino's dismay, Sakura immediately proclaimed that Ino would be her junior during the course of the training.
Kazekage Rescue Arc
After Naruto returned from his two and a half years of training abroad, Sakura was one of the first villagers to greet him, and was happy to see him, even noticing he was now taller than she is. However, this doesn't last long, as Sakura asked him if she had changed, to which he responds she hadn't and that she was the same old Sakura. The results of her training with Tsunade first show themselves when she punches Naruto for attempting to demonstrate a new perverted technique for Konohamaru. Kakashi soon recruited both of them into Team Kakashi and issued another bell test, this time the goal actually being to take the bells. Both are able to show off their new abilities. She shocks Kakashi and Naruto when she uses her super strength taught to her by Tsunade, but in the end are only able to take the bells by tricking Kakashi.
After returning from the bell test, they learned that Akatsuki had captured Gaara. Team Kakashi was assigned to go to Sunagakure to help rescue him. Upon arriving in Sunagakure, Sakura used her new medical expertise to save Kankurō from a poison given to him by the Akatsuki member Sasori. Sakura then made a few antidotes to counteract the poison in case anyone on the team should have need of it. The antidote in hand, Team Kakashi followed Akatsuki's trail, accompanied by Chiyo, a Sunagakure adviser. During this period of time, Sakura first learned that the Nine-Tails is sealed into Naruto.
Once they arrived at the Akatsuki lair, the team split up, Chiyo and Sakura fighting Sasori while Kakashi and Naruto went after Deidara and Gaara's body. With both Sasori and Chiyo being master puppeteers, and with all of Sasori's attacks being imbued with his poison, Chiyo controlled Sakura like a puppet to improve her dexterity allowing her to get close enough to Sasori to destroy his puppet armour Hiruko.
As Sasori summons his the Third Kazekage puppet, much to Chiyo's shock, he begins employing the former Kazekage's ability which he had combined with his own poison. As the battle ensues, with Chiyo's help, she eventually deduces the puppets movements, Sasori's attack pattern and is ultimately able to destroy it. Revealing that he had turned himself into a puppet as well, Sasori gained the upper hand in the fight and later summoned one hundred puppets to fight against Chiyo's White Secret Technique: The Chikamatsu Collection of Ten Puppets. After being sealed by Chiyo, Sasori moved to another puppet body and tried to kill her, only for Sakura to step in as a human shield. With him being distracted, Chiyo stabbed Sasori through the heart. As his life waned, he relished the fact that Sakura would die too, only to be proven wrong by the combination of Sakura's antidote and Chiyo's healing abilities. As a reward for defeating him, Sasori spent his last breath to tell Sakura of a spy within Orochimaru's ranks.
When they caught up with Naruto and Kakashi, Sakura tried to revive Gaara, only to discover that he was already dead. As Chiyo surrendered the rest of her energy to resurrect Gaara, she told Sakura not to give her life for an old woman and predicted that someday she would surpass her master as a kunoichi. After attending Chiyo's funeral, the team returned home.
Sasuke and Sai Arc
With the information gained from Sasori, Team Kakashi decided to use this as an opportunity to find Sasuke. Because Kakashi was still bedridden after his encounter with Deidara, Yamato led the team instead. Sai was also added to the team as Sasuke's replacement, but neither Naruto nor Sakura were willing to view him as such, and had difficulties getting along with him. In fact Sakura even punched him for insulting Sasuke. Their mission being to meet with and capture the spy, Yamato, disguised as Sasori, went on ahead. When the spy, Kabuto Yakushi, ended up being in league with Orochimaru, Yamato called in the team for back up.
Naruto quickly engaged Orochimaru in combat, and Sakura was surprised by the very danger of his tailed forms. She was then knocked out after Kabuto was thrown away by Naruto and slammed into her. After regaining consciousness, she realised that Naruto had advanced to his four-tailed form. When Sakura approached him to try and bring him to his senses, he attacked and injured her, unaware of what he was doing. Kabuto attempted to heal her wound, saying that they were both enemies of Akatsuki. All he could do was close it, however. Once Yamato forced the Nine-Tails' influence to recede, Sakura tended to his wounds and lamented that all she could do is heal him after a battle. He recuperated, and they continued on to Orochimaru's hideout, where Sai finally proved his worth by helping them find Sasuke. When they were unable to persuade Sasuke to come home with them they attacked him instead. Sakura was able to determine how his Chidori Current worked, and charged him after charging her fist, attacking Sasuke for the first time ever. However, when Sasuke attacked her with a massive amount of killing intent, Yamato intervened and took the attack for Sakura. In the end, Sasuke fled with Orochimaru and Kabuto, and Sakura told Naruto very determinedly that tears weren't going to bring Sasuke back. Then, they returned to Konoha.
Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc
Main article: Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc
Hidan and Kakuzu Arc
Team Yamato was sent to provide back up for Team 10 during their battle with Akatsuki. Because Shikamaru was separated from the rest of the group, Sai and Sakura were sent to assist him, though upon arrival they found that Shikamaru had already defeated his opponent. Having not taken part in the battle, Sakura returned to Konoha with the others, and later healed the damage to Naruto's arm from the use of his new technique. Because this made it difficult for him to eat, she offered to feed him. Though he was delighted by the idea, interference from both Sai and Kakashi prevented this from happening. Shortly afterwards they left to find Konohamaru, who had just revealed to have mastered the Shadow Clone Technique. He showed them his variations on the Sexy Technique, one of which excited Sakura.
Main article: Three-Tails Arc
Itachi Pursuit Arc
When news reached Konoha that Sasuke had killed Orochimaru, Sakura and Naruto were the first to join Kakashi's Eight Man Squad, and began the hunt. During her search, she barely missed a member of Sasuke's Hebi, Karin, and later regrouped with the others. When Kiba caught Sasuke's scent, the group followed until they encountered Tobi. Sakura initially suspected that he was using genjutsu or clone techniques, but after Hinata pointed out that his chakra remained in one location and Tobi managed to escape Shino's bugs, she realised that he was removing parts of his body from existence. She attempted to head to Sasuke's location with her team, but Tobi had already taken him away.
Tsuchigumo Kinjutsu Arc
Main article: Tsuchigumo Kinjutsu Arc
Invasion of Pain Arc
Once they returned to Konoha and learned of Jiraiya's death, Sakura tried to comfort both Naruto and Tsunade. When Naruto blamed Tsunade for the death of Jiraiya, Sakura scolded him. She was then shocked to hear Naruto declare that he would get his revenge. She later tried to help decipher Jiraiya's dying message to find out more about the Akatsuki leader, Pain, but was interrupted by Pain's attack on the village. After saving some villagers and killing Pain's Giant Centipede, Sakura went to the Konoha hospital, where she was quickly asked to lead the medical front defending the building and healing what injuries she could, impressing Chōji through her leadership and skills.
When Pain destroyed the village, Sakura was saved by Katsuyu. When she sees the village in ruins she cries out for Naruto to return to save everyone. After Naruto's return Sakura could only watch as Naruto tried to defeat the six Pains. She became worried when Naruto entered his six-tailed form, and was amazed to find out that Hinata risked her life to try and save Naruto because she loves him. She heals Hinata afterwards and watches as Pain, defeated and converted by Naruto, revives all those who had died during his attack. When Naruto came back to the village after talking to Nagato, Sakura punches Naruto calling him rash for taking on Pain by himself but then hugs and thanks him for saving them.
Konoha History Arc
Main article: Konoha History Arc
Five Kage Summit Arc
Sakura is later seen in a tent along with Naruto, Kakashi, and Shizune, telling them about Tsunade going into a coma, and that neither she nor Shizune could do anything for her. She tried to cheer Naruto up, but her effort was interrupted by the arrival of Kiba. Kiba told them that Danzō Shimura has replaced Tsunade as Hokage and that he has ordered Sasuke to be executed as a missing-nin. Naruto and Sakura, hoping they might be able to convince Danzō to change his mind, asked Sai about him. Sai is unable to tell them anything, but their questioning attracted the attention of Omoi and Karui. The Kumogakure ninja informed them of Sasuke's crimes and demanded any information they may have on Sasuke. Seeing how upset this made Sakura, Naruto volunteered to tell them for her the information they wanted to know about Sasuke.
Naruto, along with Kakashi and Yamato, went to the Land of Iron to ask the Fourth Raikage to forgive Sasuke. While they are gone, Sai informed Sakura of the lengths Naruto has gone to make her happy. He also said that although Naruto loved her, the strain of trying to bring Sasuke home and fulfilling the promise he made to her, cause him nothing but constant pain. Shikamaru joined the conversation on behalf of the other members of the Konoha 11, telling Sakura that Sasuke's actions will only lead to war. Believing that the best course of action would be for them to personally stop Sasuke, Shikamaru asked for Team 7's consent. Sakura agreed, but insisted that she be the one to tell Naruto.
Sakura, Sai, Kiba, and Lee went to the Land of Iron to talk to Naruto. After they located him, Sakura made a false confession of love to Naruto and claimed she no longer cares about Sasuke and encouraged him to give up on the promise he made to her. Naruto, knowing very well that she's still in love with Sasuke and that she doesn't love him, does not believe her and says she is lying to herself. Angered by this, she insisted it was true and then pushed for Naruto to forget his promise to her and focus on the fact that Akatsuki is after him. Naruto, in turn, said that he was also pursuing Sasuke for his own reasons, not just because of his promise to her. Again, furious by this, Sakura left with her group. Ignoring Kiba's questions about why she hasn't told Naruto their plans, she asked him to help her find Sasuke. When they start nearing Sasuke, Sakura tried to set off a knockout gas to incapacitate Kiba, Sai, and Lee. Sai stopped her and, having told Naruto and Kakashi about their plans, instructed them to wait for Kakashi to arrive. She convinced Kiba and Lee to fight Sai with her, but used the knockout gas on them as they began to scuffle.
Sakura found Sasuke about to kill Karin. She stopped him and told him that she wanted to join him, even if that means betraying Konoha. Suspicious, Sasuke told her to show her resolve by killing Karin. Pretending to agree, Sakura approached them, thinking that if she killed him now, it will all be over. Karin interrupted her by warning her that Sasuke was about to kill her, but his attack was blocked by Kakashi. Kakashi instructed Sakura to heal Karin and to leave once she had done so. However she snuck up on Sasuke and tried once again to kill him, but she then started to remember all the times they had together and she was ultimately unable to bring herself to do it.
Sasuke noticed Sakura and seized her by the throat and attempted to kill her, she was then rescued by Naruto. Naruto then prepared himself to attack Sasuke after Kakashi tells him and Sakura that he will personally take care of Sasuke and wishes for them not to witness it. Kakashi states that Sakura's kunai was crafted by Sakura herself, with poison learned from Shizune, and that it would most likely not work as Orochimaru would have made him immune to it. After Naruto voiced his determination that he and Sasuke will die together one day in battle, and that he would shoulder Sasuke's hatred as a friend, Sakura was touched by Naruto's determination, and showed her gladness that he showed her a way for Team 7 to still have a happy ending. However, Naruto suddenly collapsed from the poison kunai that Sasuke used to nick Naruto's face when he saved Sakura from him, and Sakura panicked, and gave him an antidote on Kakashi's request. After Sakura gave Naruto the antidote, Naruto says he still feels sick. When Naruto asks who Karin is, Sakura replies that she's a partner of Sasuke, which Karin denies. When the group are ready to leave the bridge, Kakashi reminds Sakura that she left something behind to which he is refering to Kiba and the others. Team 7 and Karin are later seen with the sleeping Kiba, Akamaru, Lee and Sai and Kakashi expects Sakura to apologise to them after they awake to which she will.
After returning to Konoha, Sakura is seen present with the rest of her friends, wondering as to what Naruto is hiding from them, remembering his statement about his and Sasuke's death in a possible fight. She is then seen out of breath when she meets up with Naruto at the Ramen Ichiraku, and she is happy to inform him that Tsunade is awake. Teuchi then offers her a bowl but, being in a rush to tell people the good news, she turns it down. She then tells Naruto she will see him later.
Main article: Chikara Arc
Confining the Jinchūriki Arc
In the anime, Tsunade tells Sakura that they will go to war with the Akatsuki and Sasuke.
Adventures at Sea Arc
Main article: Adventures at Sea Arc
Shinobi World War Arc
Sakura is placed within the Third Division and is later seen using her Mystical Palm Technique to heal Might Guy and wondering how he got to be in this condition right before the war, while a worried Lee looks on. Later on, Sakura is seen with her division as a red flare goes off and Kakashi orders them to go the Surprise Attack Division. Along with her division, they encountered Zabuza and Haku who were about to attack the Surprise Attack Division. She was shocked to see Zabuza and Haku again.
After Haku and Zabuza's personalities were wiped out along with those of Pakura and Gari, Kakashi orders his squadrons to group themselves around the sensor ninja in the Manji Formation. Lee then tells Sakura that he'll protect her no matter what, to which Sakura tells him to also be careful as last time Zabuza attacked from the only weak spot of the formation: the centre. When the battle began in earnest, Sakura began healing the wounded.
As the battle came to a halt when night fell, Sakura went to the Logistical Support and Medical Division compound to heal all the wounded that were being moved to a central location. She attends to an unknown ninja's wound before Neji arrives. After she finishes she tells him that he should take the opportunity to get as much rest as possible. She is later seen outside one of the barracks after being alerted that three jōnin level medics were killed by an unknown assailant. When they surmise that a spy must've entered their numbers despite their stringent security measures, she dismisses the Transformation Technique as their method as the sensors would've detected them and assumes that one of their own must be under the enemy's control. Later as she prepares to start her rounds again, she is approached by the ninja she had healed earlier who hands her a love letter saying that he didn't know if he'll survive the war or not. She takes the letter and thanks him, but tells him that she loves someone else.
After one last compliment, the Iwa shinobi leaves the tent visibly disappointed that Sakura was in love with someone else, Sakura soon afterwards becomes saddened as she starts thinking about Sasuke. Moments later, Neji then enters her tent asking her if she was ok. He then tells her that he doesn't blame her for being upset given the current situation. Sakura says that they need to be vigilant to which Neji agrees. He then asks for Shizune as he had made some headway in uncovering who the culprit was. Sakura tells him that she's attending to Tonton who had sprained her leg. Neji then says it's better than her arm to which Sakura agrees that she would still be able to form seals. He then asks her to take a look at his hand again to which she agrees, telling him to sit down. As he draws for a kunai to kill Sakura, she slams him to the ground. Surprised he inquires how she knew and retorts that piglets don't have hands. After being punched the transformation technique wears off and the White Zetsu clone resumes him original appearance. Sakura then interrogates the Zetsu about how he was able to get onto the compound undetected. Together with this information and a report Yamato had compiled on Zetsu, she pieces together the Zetsu's abilities and then leaves the clone in the hands of two shinobi to inform headquarters of this latest discovery.
After reporting the findings to Shizune, they then perform an autopsy on the body of the clone and realises the similarity in their DNA to that of Yamato and by extension, Hashirama's. They then begin to piece together the truth behind the White Zetsu Army clones.
The next day, they are approached by a pair of ninja, one of whom appears to be gravely injured and the other desperately requesting her assistance. The Akimichi guarding the medics is adamant that they stay back, uncertain of who's who. Sakura, unable to turn them away after hearing the kunoichi beg them not to let her husband die in her arms, agrees to help. The pair then reveal themselves as imposters and attack. Before she can be attacked however, Naruto's shadow clone promptly takes them down, much to the surprise of Sakura and Shizune.
After being informed by Inoichi from HQ that Naruto and B were fighting the "masked Madara", Sakura and the rest of the Konoha 11 rush to his aid. As she runs, she thinks to herself that Naruto always got left with insurmountable tasks but this time would be different as not only her, but everyone would be there fighting alongside each other this time. Upon arriving at the battlefield, she immediately began to tend to the wounded Kakashi and Might Guy. She later stood with the remaining members of the Allied Shinobi Forces as they prepared to face their opposition. Positioning herself behind Darui to lend support when necessary, Sakura was buffeted by the Ten-Tails as it emerged from the hole in had been trapped in. Narrowly dodging the wooden stakes being fired by the Ten-Tails, Sakura later watched on in horror as Neji sacrificed his life to protect Hinata and Naruto.
Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Sakura joined her fellow members of Team 7 on a mission to protect the actress Yukie Fujikaze, as she and the production group she worked for travelled to the Land of Snow. Throughout the movie, Sakura encountered the Yukigakure-ninja Mizore Fuyukuma, and eventually distracted him with her Sakura Blizzard Technique. She was later seen looking out at the newly created Spring country, holding Sasuke's head in her lap.
Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Sakura was sent out on a team with Naruto and Shikamaru to deliver a pet ferret to a village where its rightful owners could pick it up. After arriving and finding the village in ruins, they were attacked by mysterious warriors led by Temujin, a knight wielding the power of the Stone of Gelel. Their conflict with him resulted in Sakura and Shikamaru becoming separated from Naruto, only to rejoin him later after several conflicts with Temujin's allies. During a final battle with the wolf-like Fugai, Sakura killed her by using metal pillars to reflect her ear-splitting howl, which caused the pillars to collapse in on her.
Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom
Sakura was assigned along with Naruto and Rock Lee to protect the Land of the Moon's prince during his world trip. Sakura displayed some of the immense strength learned from Tsunade by destroying a wall with a single punch, and her improved taijutsu skills during a fight with genjutsu user Karenbana, who was hired to kill the prince. For Sakura's second fight with Karenbana, she could tell where she was because she could smell her perfume. Sakura was almost knocked out during her first encounter with Karenbana. During her second encounter with Karenbana, Sakura got trapped in Karenbana's genjutsu, resulting in her being knocked out by Karenbana, then after waking up (before the final blow), she shattered a chandelier above the two combatants' heads with two thrown shuriken, causing glass to fall on the floor. Sakura was then able to hear Karenbana's movements by the sound of the glass crunching under her feet. Sakura delivered a bone-crushing punch to Karenbana's jaw, ending the genjutsu and the fight. In the movie, Sakura used some healing techniques on the King and tried to heal an injury.
Naruto: Shippūden the Movie
Sakura was assigned to protect and escort Shion, the head priestess of the Land of Demons, to the tomb of the ancient demon Mōryō. To aid her in this mission, she was joined by Naruto, Lee, and Neji (who was assigned as team captain). Upon their arrival at the temple, Sakura and her team were forced to face off against a group of ninja, with unusually powerful mastery of elemental ninjutsu. Sakura used her tremendous strength to aid Lee in fighting them off as Neji went in search for the priestess.
During the journey to Mōryō's tomb, Sakura was put in charge of carrying Shion, something the latter claimed was very uncomfortable (causing Sakura to go into a fit of rage), but she was paralysed after Kusuna injected her with his Secret Anaesthesia, causing her to fall off a tree, but luckily Neji caught her and had enough time to recover. After a hard battle with Shizuku, Sakura was able to join her team in taking down their opponents by first tricking them into using up their medically-enhanced chakra.
Naruto Shippūden 2: Bonds
Sakura was first seen at a hospital during/after the attack on Konoha, and commenting on the injured villagers who had been saved by the mysterious old man, Shinnō. Sakura was assigned with Naruto and Hinata to escort a boy (who was really a girl) named Amaru, and Shinnō, her sensei, back to their village. During their journey, Sakura and Naruto were separated from Hinata. They both then found the Zero-Tails, which fed on the darkness of human souls and somehow took over Amaru's body. Sakura tried to fight it, but was defeated easily. She was then left behind when the ruins began to fly away, and only reappeared to watch the ruins explode from Naruto's repeated Rasengan attacks. Sakura was last seen lecturing Naruto at the end, most likely for being so reckless. Hinata was talking to her afterwards, probably telling her about Sasuke.
Naruto Shippūden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire
Sakura was first seen with Naruto and Kakashi when Sai got ambushed by a bunch of birds which knocked him down and Naruto aided him and both got attacked, only to get saved by Kakashi and Sakura. Sakura healed both of them and forced them into the hospital bed. Naruto and Sai who both got out of the hospital bed and went to the restaurant to celebrate their recovery both got slapped by Sakura for leaving the hospital. After when Hiruko announced a Fourth Ninja War will start, Sakura was one of the Konoha 11 who got assigned to secure the village. Later Tsunade said that Kakashi is a missing-nin and that they shouldn't go after him. She got dismissed and overheard Tsunade's talk with Shikamaru that Naruto is locked up. She went there to go see him and he told her how Kakashi was controlled and he's planning to die for the village. Sakura broke the cell and freed him then they both went after him.
On their way they found Kakashi, but got stopped by Shikamaru and the rest of the rookies. Sakura and Naruto both stated that they're going to rescue him no matter what and that they won't abandon their sensei. They got ambushed; Shikamaru decided they can go ahead while they hold off the enemies. Sai later comes and brought Naruto and Sakura with him on the ride to save Kakashi. Gaara then attacked them and said that he won't let them go any further. Naruto then fought Gaara while they went ahead. When they found Kakashi, he was still under the technique that Tsunade put on him, and Naruto, Sakura, Sai, and Shikamaru all engaged Hiruko in battle, but due to lack of knowledge of the bloodlines he acquired, they were defeated. After Naruto saved Kakashi, Sakura engaged the combined summon form of Hiruko's minions with the rest of the Konoha 11 while her team-mate and sensei fought Hiruko himself. After the battle, Sakura stood victorious with her friends while smiling softly.
Naruto Shippūden 4: The Lost Tower
Along with Naruto, Sai and Yamato, Sakura is assigned to capture Mukade, a Konoha missing-nin whose purpose is to get the power of the Ryūmyaku from the ruins of Rōran, once a glorious city which was destroyed during the war. Mukade manages to absorb the seal the Fourth Hokage used and is engulfed by a huge light. Naruto tries to stop him and disappears along with Yamato. Sakura tries to follow them, only to be stopped by Sai's ink bird while she cries and screams Naruto's name.
Almost immediately after, Naruto and Yamato come back from the past but they don't remember what happened to them. As Team Kakashi leaves the ruins, they are approached by a girl who claims that she felt a disturbance on the Ryūmyaku. The girl says she's the daughter of the former Queen of Rōran and bears a Konoha Chakra Blade, telling them that her mother received it from a hero in a dream. As she leaves, Naruto claims that he has the feeling he saw her in a good dream. Annoyed, Sakura then grabs and pulls on Naruto's ear and yells at him for being a pervert.
Naruto 5: Blood Prison
Main article: Naruto 5: Blood Prison
Naruto 6: Road to Ninja
Main article: Road to Sakura
Attacked by Tobi, Sakura ended up being sent alongside Naruto to another world by the mysterious new dōjutsu. Other than finding her friends, along with Sasuke, being the exact opposite of who they normally are and being terrified of the alternate Hinata's boldness towards her, Sakura learns that her parents died in this world and her father was the Fourth Hokage. She enjoys the fact that the alternate Sasuke flirts with her and actually returns her feelings by giving her a rose that makes her shy with him. She later sees him giving roses to a lot of other girls, breaking her heart. She is also saddened that he's not the Sasuke that she fell for. The world they are sent to is the result of Sakura's wish of being free of her parents as she wanted to be free of parental control from them, while Naruto wants a world where he has his parents, however, as she has some time without them, at first she enjoys it, she realises she made a mistake and begins to understand Naruto's pain of not having parents and realising how lonely Naruto has felt growing up and how she took him for granted about not having parents and feels guilty for wishing she didn't have parents, as she took them far too lightly.
As the events occur, the Sakura of the other world ends up in Konoha with similar confusion as Ino and the Konoha 11, believing her to be their Sakura with memory trouble, try to help her by acting out their other-world counterparts. But upon seeing the Kizashi and Mebuki of that world while looking for her necklace, the other Sakura tearful regains her memories and thanks Ino for her help before teleporting away, leaving the girl confused.
Sakura Haruno is a playable character in the following video games:
In video games set during Part I, Inner Sakura is used as a technique due to Sakura's lack of technique of her own. Sakura has also shown a talent for genjutsu in some video game appearances, most involving Inner Sakura.
Creation and Conception
Although Sakura is the most recurring female character in Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto did not originally intend for Sakura to be the heroine of the series, even stating on occasion that he still has a hard time viewing her as a heroine. Kishimoto attributes this to him being unable to draw good heroine characters, and fashioned Sakura as a girl who cannot understand men, the best example of a heroine he could come up with. Sakura's creation is a result of Kishimoto's desire to make a somewhat irritating character who was well-intentioned. Despite these elements, Kishimoto grew fond of Sakura, feeling that many of her personality traits are common among all people, thus giving her a sense of real humanity.
When designing Sakura, Kishimoto focused on her silhouette and created a costume as simple as possible. This is a divergence from the other main characters of the series, whose costumes are very detailed. The leggings are the most notable aspect of her design, as they are meant to show that she is very active. At the start of the series her leggings extended below her knees and closely resembled trousers. As Part I progressed, the leggings became increasingly shorter and tighter. Similar to his inexperience with drawing heroines, Kishimoto lacked the experience needed to make Sakura "cute" when he first began drawing her. Although he implies that her appearance has become cuter since then, Kishimoto and much of the Naruto manga staff agree that Sakura was "far from cute" at the start of the series.
Sakura's most well-known physical characteristic is her broad forehead. Because of this, Kishimoto at times focuses too much effort on drawing it in scenes or promotional artwork where Sakura is featured prominently. This results in her forehead appearing too large. When designing Sakura in her Part II appearance, Kishimoto decided to change her clothes to a more lively karate suit style. The upper part, though, still has a China-esque feeling to it, so as to make her more feminine.
In colour illustrations of Sakura from Part I of the manga, her leggings, boots, and forehead protector are almost exclusively depicted as being teal, and she frequently has her nails painted sea-foam green, with matching or pink eye shadow. In the original Naruto anime, however, her leggings are a darker green and her forehead protector and boots are the same blue as those worn by other ninja, and she wears no visible cosmetics. Her colour scheme in Naruto: Shippūden accurately reflects her appearance in colour illustration from Part II of the manga.
Kishimoto's staff have said that Sakura's pink hair was originally intended to give her a unique style and to resemble cherry blossoms, after which she is named.
- The name "Haruno" means "spring field", and the name "Sakura" means "cherry blossom", a flower which is cherished in Japan due to its beauty and its almost-tragically short life span (cherry blossoms have historically been associated with the samurai). The cherry blossom also serves as the national flower for the nation of Japan. In Japanese, "Haruno Sakura" (春野・桜) means "spring field of cherry blossoms", which may be an origin of the name. It can be also used in the game, Hanafuda, as a month card of sakura (桜, flowering cherry).
- Sakura's name, when read as "Haru no Sakura" (春の桜), can also be interpreted as "cherry blossoms in spring."
- In the June 2006 issue of Shōnen Jump, Kishimoto stated that Sakura would be the best ninja instructor out of Team 7 and is the closest to being normal, despite having flaws in her personality.
- In the Naruto character popularity polls, Sakura was placed 5th in the first, 14th in the second, 9th in the third, 10th in the fourth, 8th in the fifth, and 12th in the sixth. She finished 6th in the seventh with 9,701 votes and in the newest poll, she tied with Sai in 12th place.
- Sakura had one of the longest battle scenes in the anime (eight full episodes), giving her roughly three hours of battle screen time. This is when she and Chiyo were fighting Sasori.
- In the seventh Naruto Shippūden opening, Sakura was shown fighting Konan with Ino and Hinata, though in the manga, they did not fight her.
- Despite being the heroine of the series, Kishimoto stated himself during the 2010 interview that Hinata would make a better heroine than Sakura, this is due to the fact that because Sakura not only has a 'normal' background in comparison to Hinata but also because he has a hard time making good roles for female characters like Sakura, having stated on several occasions that he has a very hard time viewing her as the heroine of the series. However, Kishimoto also stated that he would try to have Sakura play more of a heroine role in the future.
- Her hair is shown quite different between the anime and the manga. Her hair was not too long in the manga for her first appearance. The hair also seems much longer in the anime after the haircut in Chūnin Exams. Sakura also shown with a shoulder-length spiky hair in Part II of the manga and in Part II of the anime her hair is straight and a little shorter.
- According to the databook(s):
- Sakura's hobbies are playing trivia games and memorising new material for her medical studies.
- Sakura wishes for a rematch with Ino.
- Sakura's favourite foods are syrup-coated anko dumplings, umeboshi, and anmitsu, while her least favourites are anything spicy.
- Sakura has completed 34 official missions in total: 12 D-rank, 9 C-rank, 6 B-rank, 7 A-rank, 0 S-rank.
- Sakura's favourite phrase according to the first databook is "A life with love throughout!" (一生愛の人生よ!, Isshōai no jinsei yo!) and her favourite word according to the second and third databooks is "courage" (勇気, yūki).
- (To herself about Naruto Uzumaki) "Always acting like a fool who only knows one thing… Hokage, Hokage. I'm sorry Naruto… that impossible dream of yours… I don't want to see it crushed!"
- (To herself) "I've always considered myself to be a true ninja… but those were just empty words, because Sasuke and Naruto were always in the lead! But now it's my turn to take the lead, and all of you can watch me from the background!"
- (To herself, about Ino Yamanaka) "Ino… I have always believed those words you told me. I always hoped they were true. I wanted to be like you. You were my goal. Thanks to that, I'm here now. That is why, Ino, I want this to be an all out fight. Unless I… really surpass you, it's meaningless."
- (To Ino) "Didn't you know? Women have to be strong in order to survive!"
- (About Naruto) "I… kinda envy your strength, Naruto…"
- (To Sasuke Uchiha) "I… I love you with all my heart!… If you were to stay here with me, there would be no regrets… because every day we'd do something fun, we'd be happy I swear!… I would do anything for you! so… Please just stay with me!"
- (To Chiyo) "I may not have amazing weapons like a puppet in me, but what I do have is my master's contempt for losing!"
- (To Yamato) "Same as always… I can only do the dumbest of things for Naruto…"
- (About Naruto) "I'm the one who made Naruto suffer the most… I've just been getting it wrong… just been messing it up… I don't want to get it wrong anymore… don't want to screw it up anymore."
- (About Naruto and Sasuke) "Naruto's here because he's made up his mind… my resolve is nothing compared to his now! I'm supposed to be a ninja, but all I've ever done is lean on him and cry… I was supposed to change that… I came here and I thought I was ready. But I can't do anything… I can't say anything. The only thing that remains for me… is to believe in them!"
- (To herself) "Naruto… You saved Konoha… And now you're trying to save the entire shinobi world… You always get left with these insurmountable tasks… But no matter what you say this time, we're going to be together… Not just me… We're all going to fight together this time!"