General & Others Kishimoto's biggest fuckup: SAKURA HARUNO

Looking back at Naruto, I've tried to like Sakura's character decent amount... but in the end it just doesn't work for me. The main reason doesn't even have to do with Sakura's crying or her love story with Sasuke, because all of that is fine with me. You need drama and what have you in a series to make it interesting. The big issue that comes with Sakura for me was the false-advertisement that Kishimoto did with her.

At the very start of the series we have the chakra monster who learns things quickly with Naruto and then we have the Uchiha prodigy with Sasuke. These two are paired up with a fairly regular ninja in Sakura Haruno. She's miles behind compared to these two. UNTIL this happens:

Sakura was flat out superior to Naruto and Sasuke in chakra control without actually even being serious about that ninja training. Where as Sasuke had been putting in serious work for years.. and Naruto had tried to as well (now we know Naruto's chakra control issues also had a deeper issue, but even with the 9-tails issue out of the way his chakra control wouldn't have been on par with Sakura's). What did Sakura lack compared to these two?? It wasn't the chakrapool (she's a damn monster in her own right when it comes to chakrapool size), what she lacked was proper serious combat training.

It was Kakashi Hatake himself in an earlier scene who points out the importance of chakra control to three ninja. He states that Chakra Control is the most difficult skill for even a master ninja (ninja elites and etc) to command/master.

And if one has a great chakra control mastery, one can practically master any jutsu they want (ofcourse not counting the genetic based-KKGs related):

It's for this very reason that he pointed out that Sakura was the closest to the Lord Hokage out of the three. Because the 3rd Hokage had the biggest arsenal of Jutsu (based on his "Professor" hype and mastering all combat forms and etc).

But chakra control isn't simply about just mastery over ninjutsu. It's also the best counter to genjutsu. The more control you have over your chakra the higher the chances of you being able to disrupt the chakra controlled by your opponent inside your head. This is why Sharingan users have an easier time with Genjutsu, because Sharingan's chakra stems from the head itself and thus allows an easier way for the sharingan users to counter the chakra manipulation in the head that happens when they're put under a genjutsu.

In addition to being able to master practically any ninjutsu out there + counter genjutsu and excelling at it's usage, the third benefit is that it makes the individual formidable in Taijutsu, as one can enhance the body using chakra (something the 8 gates do, something we see Tsunade/Sakura do later on).

So after Sakura finishes this up, Kakashi has the brilliant idea of not giving her more training...while Naruto and Sasuke are training their asses off to overcome their weakness (Sakura's weakness was in having absolutely no legit combat training or having any arsenal of jutsus/techniques, whereas Naruto/Sasuke had techniques but didn't have great chakra control). This results in Sakura being a helpless little girl in the final fight against Zabuza and Haku.

We move on from this arc to the Chunnin exams. And Kishimoto starts off the arc with some Sakura set up. Sakura's realization of her not being able to keep up with the other two:

With the above it was like ok.. we might be seeing an underdog story with Sakura where she's gonna be catching up to the other two by putting in hardcore work. This further gets built on by the reveal that Sakura have a natural affinity for Genjutsu:

So at this point we have a character who is naturally great at chakra control (by far compared to the other two on the squad) and a character who has a natural affinity to genjutsu (an OP art in the ninja world). From here we get into that fight with Ino (who actually has some legit jutsu and combat training compared to Sakura). And prior to that clash with Orochimaru in the forest. Now one would naturally think this is Kishimoto giving motivation for Sakura to grow stronger. But what happens??

He has Kakashi train Sasuke. Then has Ebisu train Naruto, then replaced by Jiraiya. Now some might say "oh they needed that training for the finals of the exam". And you'd be right and nobody is saying they didn't. Issue is, the training methods involved. Kakashi's training with Sasuke involved with Kakashi simply showing Sasuke how to do the chidori and then supervising him by standing there and watching him. Jiraiya's was the samething. Essentially what you have here is a genius at chakra control with natural affinity to genjutsu completely neglected over Naruto & Sasuke.
Kakashi could've gotten a different teacher to nurture Sakura's potential.. but nope. Kakashi himself could've set up a training regime for Sakura.. but nope. He did neither of those. Resulting in Sakura having absolutely 0 growth, despite having the potential to have a monstrous growth period.

So we go through entire part 1 without Sakura having 0 amount of solid combat training. While the other two get focused on and trained by strong ass ninja. Along with that have actual in-battle growth as well. Conclusion of this? Kishimoto completely wasted the character he himself set up to have the most raw potential out of the trio in Part 1.


We end the part 1 with Sakura herself having to find another teacher (because clearly Kakashi wasn't able to teach her jackshit) from whom she could learn. This teacher happened to be Tsunade, the most accomplished member of the Sannin. Alright things might be getting brighter for Sakura. So what happens here? Sakura learns and excels in medical ninjutsu and becomes quite formidable in physical taijutsu. BUT there's still 1 issue, in actual combat she still ain't all that good compared to the other two. Her skills in Taijutsu are lacking. But of course this could be dismissed for now because she was focused on medical ninjutsu.

As part two goes on and on, there is absolutely no growth for Sakura. No training given to her by Yamato or Kakashi. And can't expect Tsunade, the damn hokage, to give her training like that when she's.. well the damn hokage.

Moving on to the final arc we have this "catch up" moment for Sakura Haruno. Where she unlocks the same jutsu as Tsunade, in much quicker time and at a much younger age. Which revealed to us that throughout entire part 1 her attacks were essentially nerfed (since she was putting aside a good part of her chakra to unlock the seal). Now when she's able to use her entire chakrapool for her attacks, she's essentially the most dominating physical person in the Naruto-verse bar Gai with his 7th/8th gate:

She's able to punch a giant ass juubi clone so far and hard that the impact is enough to send the others flying as well as the initial clone is being sent flying. She also then jumps at such a speed, distance, and height that she essentially catches up to the clone and delivers the most phyiscally impressive feat in the entire series bar the rikudou powered mfs and 7th/8th gate Gai. Her punch is so damn devastating that the bloody impact of the punch has the clones screaming in pain as they're sent flying into the air:

Legit I thought.. ok with this combined with the the regeneration technique Tsunade has, which should last longer for Sakura since she's not using it for the transformation jutsu.. she could actually compete with Naruto and Sasuke at the time. BUT.. I was wrong, the damn next panel.. reality hit again.. she gets a moment where Naruto and Sasuke come in to save her from a back attack from the damn clones. The reality being she had the tools to be on their level, but she was still garbage in actual combat.

After showcasing that feat, she's put into a backup role with the medical stuff, that ended up showcasing how enormous her chakra reserves had gotten now. But really nothing highly impressive happened here, because you had that weird moment with Tsunade coming in and insta restoring Shikamaru while Sakura not being able to do it, it was like... uhhh what just happened? It was just a bad look for Sakura even on the medical end (i'll explain why in a bit).

Then we're back to Sakura in combat, she unlocks the seal alongside Rikudo powered Naruto and Sasuke.. I'm like yo.. is Kishimoto gone do it?? We gone see a badass Sakura finally?? HELLLLLLLLLLL NO. The entire moment was wasted for another Naruto & Sasuke rescue moment. Then of course she's nothing but a helpless girl in the entire Kaguya fight...for gods sake Kakashi got better shine than her (which was just sad).

What's the conclusion for part 2? Kishimoto gives Sakura some tools to be formidable, but against wastes all of that for "his guys".

The Sakura-Tsunade issue:

In Naruto there's a big emphasis on student surpassing the teacher. But it fails hard for anybody outside of Naruto and Sasuke. While I understand that Tsunade was simply a much harder goal post to surpass than Jiraiya and Orochimaru, considering her achievements in the ninja world. Issue is Sakura doesn't surpass her even in 1 thing.

Tsunade was recognized by Jiraiya himself to be the best combatant alive, period (which only gets backed up by her going the fuck off and being the backbone in the battle against Madara).

Compared to Tsunade, Sakura is garbage in battle (hell i'm not even sure if her combat instincts were as good as the Tsunade that was coming out of retirement, a heavily nerfed version of Tsunade, let alone Shinobi war arc Tsunade). Tsunade out here healing the kage, fucking boosting their attacks, then outdoing the Onoki+Ay combo once she unlocks the seal. Compared to that you had a girl who had 2 great punches, then was healing fodder and on support work, while being rescued and saved multiple times. (Sakura probably has the stronger punches, but she lacks tremendous skills).

Alright cool, Tsunade is gonna stay superior in combat, no problem.. she was a Hokage, understandable. NAHH bro.. the one thing Sakura worked on Timeskip, Medical Ninjutsu.. she didn't even surpass Tsunade in that! I'm like yo.... what is going on?? This shit makes absolutely no sense. How do you have Naruto & Sasuke surpass Orochimaru& Jiraiya long before the final arc, but then Sakura ain't even surpass Tsunade in the last arc?!

Tsunade also was simply a greater ninja compared to her two peers with creating an entire sect of ninja that all the other countries copied. Establishing it's laws. Reaching the epitome of medical ninjutsu. Being a huge contribution in Konoha's victory in the 2nd great war and of course then becoming the Hokage and what have you. Sakura compared to that is NOTHING.


Essentially Kishimoto creates a character with the most raw potential out of any of the young ones. A born prodigy at chakra control with a natural affinity to bloody genjutsu. A character who could've been the 3rd Hokage + Tsunade + Toka Senju (a powerful genjutsu user known throughout the world) combo, but nope.. instead he uses the very potential he created for the character to relegate her to being a support character who needs protection majority of the damn time she's in combat.

Because you see I like her story if it plays out properly according to the set up. A ninja born to normal citizens teamed up alongside the prodigy of the uchiha clan & the son of a Uzumaki prodigy + 4th Hokage, who'd come to be as strong as them by mastering various techniques out there (that don't involve genetics or bijuus). You could still have her love drama with Sasuke (which I actually sort of liked), because it makes a much bigger impact if she's actually on par with that mf.

Now let me reference another series here, Kingdom. You have three significant youths in the start of the series with their own storylines: Ei Sei, Shin, Kyoukai. Hara doesn't relegate one to the dirt for the other two to shine. He's consistently able to make Kyoukai look good and progress towards better future.. while Ei Sei & Shin progress greatly as well. Despite Kyoukai's role not being as significant as them. Hell you can replace Kyoukai with Ten, and Hara still does a damn great job in Karyo Ten's development throughout the course of the series to make her a solid character (ignoring the Ten haters). (One Piece, and other series like this also do a better job with developing their main crew)

I can't even hate on Sakura, because her character just reminds me the terrible writing that Kishimoto had when it pertains to her. You create a character with the potential to be the greatest raw ninja of her time (No Bijuu/genetic KKG mfs).... to use her as a damsel in distress tool for the other two. I don't know if I can think of another "main character" who's as big of a fuck up as her.
Sakura was doomed to be a garbage character the moment her dream was revealed just to be with Sasuke.

At least in manga like Bleach Orihime had legit aspirations of helping her friends, she just happened to love Ichigo