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Let's Talk Ships #2 | SasuSaku


Alright! We're back with Let's Talk Ships. Now remember with this particular series, I'm basically just going to dissect and really examine couples & ships to the best of my abilities; this could get really lengthy, but like with everything else I've done so far, I'm going to try my best to make sure it doesn't get too long.

Anyway, I gotta say that this one is definitely going to be a challenge for me. And here's the main reason why:


There's a lot of reading between the lines here. A lot of it. This basically means that this couple isn't as straightforward; in actuality, it's a bit messy, and some may even call it toxic.


Krillin and 18 were a literal cakewalk compared to Sasuke and Sakura, so I'm not sure how I'll do with a couple this complex for a lack of a better word. But this probably won't be the last difficult couple I have to talk about nor do I want it to be, so let's try and take this one on together!


Background & How did they meet?


Background


Sasuke Uchiha


Sasuke had a horrible childhood.


Like I know we felt like Naruto had it bad, which he did. But I kinda agree with Sasuke when he said it was painful to lose his family. Whereas Naruto never really had anyone to lose from the beginning. Now don't get me wrong, they both went through some hardships and I don't want to turn this into a pissing match between the two; the truth of the matter is that they both had a crappy hand.


Sasuke went from wanting his older brother's attention to wanting to kill him for revenge, and that's wild when you think of it.


Sasuke had a pretty normal life until he was about 7 years old and we saw that he wanted nothing more than to spend time with his older brother, Itachi. Itachi was pretty much the golden child and I think this was the reason their father was pushing Sasuke a bit hard. He seemed to have high expectations of Sasuke and didn't seem to like it too much when Sasuke wasn't quite up to par.


Take for example Sasuke trying to do a Fireball Jutsu; a trademark Jutsu within the Uchiha Clan. And let's be honest here, Itachi is a hard standard to live up to.


Anyway, I think it's pretty fair to say that Sasuke was very traumatized by that whole ordeal. And I mean who wouldn't be? You have an older sibling that you admire and your parents and everyone you know are slain by them. There's no telling what Sasuke was feeling, but this would mark his long journey of revenge.


Sasuke Uchiha wanted answers and it was something that was going to bother him for the rest of his life if he didn't get to the bottom of it. I can honestly see why he would be consumed by it. I do feel like he honestly tried to let go and appreciate the bonds he did have with Team 7, but it simply wasn't enough. Sasuke ended up crossing paths with Itachi for the first time in a while and lit that fire back in him.


He realizes he needs to get stronger and abandons Team 7 and the Leaf Village. Which is basically called the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. This is where Sasuke gets tied in with the Sound Ninja and Orochimaru and even Kabuto. Eventually, he finally gets his revenge against Itachi in Shippuden; however, sometime before the war and after he finally gets his revenge against Itachi, Obito approaches Sasuke as Madara and tells him that things aren't what he thinks.


And that he basically snuffed his brother out without knowing the full story. And then Sasuke is kinda back to square one, this time with Leaf Village as his target, takes his anger out on Danzo at the Kage Summit, and then later joins up with the others during the War. Just to threaten the Gokage, Naruto, and the tailed beast after they took down Kaguya.


Naruto beats some sense into him and then Sasuke's locked up for a bit, and then Sasuke goes on a journey to find himself. I gotta say for Sasuke to have gone through what he went through, I'm impressed with how he turned out as an adult. Sasuke seems more at peace with himself and he doesn't seem uptight anymore. In Boruto, Sasuke is pretty much supporting Naruto from the shadows however he can.


Sakura Haruno


Unlike Sasuke and Naruto, her teammates, Sakura had a really normal childhood. At the most, she was bullied by her classmates for her forehead. And I'm not saying that's not a bad thing, it's just that unfortunately, bullying is kinda normalized. It's expected because kids are such precious creatures, but they can also be mean at times. Anyway, besides the bullying, Sakura was fairly blessed to have both her parents because that really seems like a rarity in Naruto.


Take Gaara, Naruto, Kakashi, and so many others for example.


And also remember the time period that they were coming up in. The Five Great Nations were definitely not united at the time. In fact, they were experiencing a lot of war, at one point and we saw this through Itachi's eyes and his generation. As well as Kakashi's as well.

Then we also have Yahiko, Konan, and Nagato from the Rain village for example; their village was trampled over and over again because of war. They also didn't have their parents. And lastly, kids were slaughtering each other to win the Chunin Exams in the Mist which is why they there were known as the Bloody Mist. Not to mention, even kids were fighting in wars at one point in time.


All in all, things were pretty dark.


So again, Sakura was pretty blessed.


Not to mention she had someone like Ino on her side to protect her and encouraged her to grow into herself; Ino helped Sakura find her confidence. Unfortunately, Sakura ended up fangirling for Sasuke pretty hard - much like every other girl in the class. She even grew her hair out to try to get his attention.


But here's the thing that set Sakura out from all the other girls that wanted to have Sasuke's Uchiha babies when they grew up: she got put on the same squad as him.

Team 7


Now there was a strategy behind the formation of this team and I think the Third Hokage was behind it. He wanted Kakashi to be on a team with Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, and Sakura Haruno. Kakashi had the Sharingan and I think he wanted Kakashi to be able to stop the Kyuubi if necessary. And I think the Third Hokage could help relate to Sasuke since he lost his family. I can't remember entirely.


Anyway, the rest is pretty much straightforward from there. Sakura kinda gets overlooked and underutilized; she's left behind by the guys. In a commendable attempt to get stronger and realizing her own shortcomings, Sakura seeks out training from Lady Tsunade - the fifth Hokage. Despite how powerful she becomes, she is still kinda put on the back burner and can't escape her doomed fate thanks to how she was written; however, her real story begins in Boruto.


She does work in the hospital, as the top medical ninja. Sakura even opened up a mental health clinic to assist young children whenever needed. Not to mention, helped Suna advance their medical units further. She is certainly thriving in Boruto and I'm loving every second of it.


How did they meet?


So let's try to keep this bit plain and simple; they met in class. Sakura was lucky enough to be promoted from a Sasuke fangirl to a team member (on the infamous Team 7) and then to a wife and lastly as the mother of his child. Now I will say that Sakura's feelings towards Sasuke did start off with attraction. Sakura was very attracted to Sasuke and I mean he was pretty popular with the ladies.


Even Temari found Sasuke attractive at one point.


So let's not fault Sakura alone for this too much. Plus, it's only natural. It's normal for us to want to be with someone we find attractive. Pretty sure it'd make the relationship a bit difficult if that wasn't the case. Anyway, I've always heard people express that the anime left out a lot of stuff that was in the manga - especially when it comes to Sasuke's interactions with Sakura.


So basically, people feel like the anime didn't do their relationship justice. Now I will be honest, I haven't read every single moment between the two. But from the bit I've seen so far, it does appear to be that way. I'm sure you guys may have heard me say this a few times before, but I do feel like the anime could've done better with this. I said the same thing about NaruHina and I'd definitely say the same thing for Sasuke and Sakura.


In addition, I will admit that maybe Sakura's feelings weren't that strong for Sasuke at first, but I'd like to think that since she got the opportunity to be on the same team as him as well as get to know him for him, I think it's pretty fair to say that Sakura's feelings are true. I mean it has to be if you're still able to love someone like Sasuke, right? He went through a pretty dark phase in his life. And who knows maybe that's why Sasuke chose her to be his wife.


Maybe that's something Sasuke realized. I mean it's not like Sasuke is dumb. Plus, Sasuke is kind of like a more extreme Vegeta and one thing we got to realize is that there are some people that love in small ways or gestures. Not everyone loves in the same way or maybe there are some people out there that truly don't know how to love or show that they love another individual.


Which is sad, but true.


And so, this is where that reading between the lines comes in, but one thing I will say is that Sasuke did care about Sakura and Naruto. I stand by that completely. I think people see and understand this with Naruto, but not so much with Sakura, and I'm not sure why, to be honest. But If Sasuke didn't care about Sakura we wouldn't have the moments of him making sure Sakura is alright, protecting her, and even asking Naruto to protect her when they were up against Gaara. And not only that, but if Sasuke did not care about Sakura he wouldn't have bothered getting angry on her behalf when they were in the forest of death.


Nor would he have 'thanked' her when he was about to abandon the village.


Now let's jump to Shippuden which I think shows all the main reasons people dislike or invalidate this ship. So what do you say we address the elephant in the room and dive right into the heavy stuff? One main reason people dislike the ship or invalidate this ship is that Sasuke tried to wipe out Sakura. Twice. As for me, this isn't the reason for me. I simply feel like Naruto and Sakura were the better choices and they had plenty of development. I mean think about it, the way Sakura viewed Naruto slowly evolved. Anyway, that's beside the point, the point is that everyone loves to say that Sasuke tried to snuff out Sakura.


But I don't buy that because he literally tried to wipe out everyone.


Not just Sakura.


This includes Naruto, Kakashi, Karin, Sakura, and probably many others. And I gotta say, what makes you think that Sasuke would have excluded anyone from that? This is the same person that raided the Five Kage Summit and went up against Ay. And this is the same person that threatened to wipe them out during the tail end of the War for the sake of his revolution.


Another moment I think is used against Sasuke and Sakura is when he put her in that Genjutsu and then told Kakashi he had no reason to be loved by her. So as far as the Genjutsu, Sasuke said he didn't want Sakura interfering and she probably would've. I mean we've seen it happen before and he's absolutely right. As far as not being in love with her, Sasuke was probably telling the truth or he could have been deluding himself.


Love was the furthest thing on his mind as well as being a normal shinobi for the gist of the series and I get that. So maybe after he found himself and settled what he needed to, he was more open to the idea of love because we can't forget that Sasuke himself said he wanted to restore his clan. So it's not like it's complete BS.


In addition, let's consider three main things that can be used to support Sasuke and Sakura regardless. One, Sasuke seemed to be fine making any type of physical contact with Sakura; he didn't seem annoyed in any of these instances. Secondly, Sasuke actually showed remorse for his actions by apologizing to Sakura after his final fight with Naruto. He really didn't have to do that, but he did it anyway.


And lastly, let's not forget that he poked her forehead. We all know what that means to him and Sakura is the first person we ever see him do that to. This was right after he was released and Sakura asked to join him on his journey. For the most part, Sasuke has always been pretty blunt with Sakura. He didn't call her annoying and he didn't reject her in any fashion.


Sasuke is a man of few words. He is a man of action and I think his actions speak volumes. So, in that instance, I believe he was genuinely beginning to open his heart up to Sakura.


The Verdict & Conclusion


So let's get the verdict and conclusion of this couple. It's definitely not perfect. Far from it. And I can definitely see why people would not support it just as much as I can why people would support it. That's kinda why I said this ship would be a bit complex. I mean if this stuff happened in real life, obviously it'd be a completely different story. Thankfully this is just anime and we're not talking about an actual real-life couple. If I was, everyone should probably be concerned for me.


Plus I mean they are ninjas at the end of the day; that's a pretty dark world in itself.


Nevertheless, I hope people take all of the little gestures and Sasuke's character into consideration. I do believe that maybe their story wouldn't have been as rough as it was if Sasuke had grown up a bit differently. But his background plays a huge role in how things went and his priorities. So even though this isn't my favorite ship and I'm not crazy about it, I'm willing to consider the facts and defend this ship where needed without being too biased. Despite that, I will admit that I still feel like Sasuke and Sakura could've received some more development. Honestly, I feel like every couple in their generation needed it besides Temari and Shikamaru.


And maybe just maybe I'll give Sai and Ino a pass since they did show her kinda getting over Sasuke.


Anyway, I really wished they animated the novel series that happened during the Blank Period because things felt a bit rushed. I think it would have added a little more support and approval towards this ship if maybe they animated the novels that happened during the Blank Period. Or honestly, if they just simply extended the Blank Period in the anime instead of giving us Boruto so soon. I think it would have done wonders if they used that arc to focus on the characters themselves, their relationships, and their love interests and feelings.

In conclusion, I think this is an OK ship. Not the best. Not the most perfect one. Simply OK. If I had to give this ship a grade, it'd probably barely pass by a few points or so. This is kind of like a needs a little more work type of thing.


But they made it and those heartfelt moments in Boruto have to count for something, right?

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