The Real Reason Naruto’s Creator Cut Sakura’s Role is Just Heartbreaking

Naruto significantly cut back Sakura’s role toward the series’ end, and the real reason her role was cut is actually heartbreaking.


While Sasuke might be Naruto’s most divisive character, his eventual wife Sakura is not far behind. Naruto’s female shinobi are key to its success, but Sakura has always been in an awkward spot.  She is supposed to be one of the series’ main characters, but many fans of the series noticed that her role was dramatically reduced towards the end of the manga’s run. Series creator Masashi Kishimoto explained Sakura’s reduced role in an interview, and his reasoning is heartbreaking.

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It’s fair to say that Sakura had her ups and downs throughout Naruto. In the series’ first part she mostly played a supporting role with only a handful of moments that developed her character. Unlike many of the series’ other shinobi, Sakura lacked a distinct powerset and was mostly relegated to pining for Sasuke. Things improved for Sakura in the beginning of the series’ second part though. As a result of training with Tsunade, Sakura developed unreasonable strength, learned medical ninjutsu, and even got an impressive battle against the Akatsuki member Sasori. After that one arc though, her relevance diminished over time. Sakura is easily Naruto’s most disrespected ninja. While Naruto and Sasuke were developing incredible transformations, epic new jutsu, and heartbreaking revelations about their backstories… Sakura barely got any development. While many just chalked that up to the story not having room for her, Kishimoto hinted at another reason her role was reduced.

Related: Naruto Justified Boruto’s Hatred of Him With One Despicable Act

In an interview with FujiTV released in the lead-up to The Last: Naruto the Movie, Kishimoto explained that he tried to write Sakura as a realistic girl, but that fan response was so overwhelmingly negative that he had to rethink how he depicted her. Unfortunately, his solution to this was not to change how he wrote her or to make her story more interesting, it was to try and draw her as more attractive. This impacted Sakura’s depiction so much that Kishimoto claims it as a reason the manga never depicted her family. Based on this interview, it’s clear that Sakura might be Naruto’s most underappreciated ninja.

Overall, the interview is undoubtedly a disappointment for fans of Sakura and makes her depiction in Naruto so much more tragic. There are undoubtedly legitimate criticisms of Sakura. Most of her character arcs revolve around her crush on Sasuke and her refusal to let him go even after he’s committed literal war crimes and tried to kill her. Despite multiple instances of her learning to be more independent though, her crush on Sasuke is almost her defining character trait. All of this is despite the fact that, as of Boruto, Sasuke does not deserve Sakura in the slightest. Still though, she has fans for a reason. Sakura is smarter than her teammates, is incredibly strong, and cares deeply about her friends.

What makes all of this so sad is that it seems like there wasn’t even an attempt to course-correct Sakura’s character. Sakura is important to so many fans, yet backlash led to her being sidelined. Unfortunately for NarutoSakura will always remain one of the series’ biggest missed opportunities.

Next: Shonen Jump’s New Manga Steals Naruto’s Iconic Hero Team

Source: FujiTV

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