Naruto Shippuuden: Sakura Haruno
Sakura Haruno is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto. Sakura has become the series’ female lead, although she was not immediately intended for the role. Kishimoto has had difficulty in drawing her, resulting in Kishimoto inadvertently emphasizing certain parts of her appearance, including her large forehead.
At the start of the series, Sakura has a deep infatuation for Sasuke Uchiha, rooted primarily in his good looks, cool attitude, and prodigious talents. Because of this, many of Sakura’s early appearances are dedicated to her continuing effort to win his affection. As the story progresses and she begins to spend more time with Sasuke as a teammate, Sakura develops a concern that Sasuke will someday abandon her and the rest of Konohagakure in his quest for power. When her fears comes true at the end of Part I, Sakura does all that she can to stop Sasuke from leaving, such as professing her love for him and offering to join him. Though touched by her words, they do not stop Sasuke from defecting from Konoha. Since then, Sakura has made her personal goal to bring Sasuke home, which becomes a recurring component of her role in Part II. Although she still worries about his well-being and doesn’t allow others to insult Sasuke, Sakura is willing to attack him if it means returning him to Konoha.
Sakura’s relationship with Naruto Uzumaki, like with Sasuke, also changes throughout the series. When first teamed up together, Sakura views Naruto as a talentless idiot who deliberately tries to ruin her life. As the story progresses and Naruto continually shows his worth as a ninja as well as his dedication to his teammates, Sakura realizes that her initial perceptions of him were wrong. After Sasuke defects from Konoha at the end of Part I, Sakura pleads for Naruto to bring him back. Having a crush on Sakura, Naruto does all in his power to return Sasuke to her. Although he fails and is left in the hospital afterwards, he vows to someday complete the task she has given him. Realizing the lengths Naruto will go to for her, Sakura spends the two-and-a-half years dividing Part I and II to training so that she can help Naruto during his next attempt. As they search for Sasuke during Part II, Sakura learns of the various hardships Naruto faces: the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox 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.
Within Sakura resides “Inner 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. Inner Sakura’s appearances are typically marked by an exclamation of “Shānnarō”. The phrase has no literal meaning, but is usually translated as “hell yeah,” “hell no,” or “damn it” depending on the situation. Viz media replaces it with the word “Cha!” in the English versions of Naruto. Although she appears quite frequently at the start of the series, Inner Sakura all but disappears midway through Part I, her only other appearance being at the start of Part II. Sakura, likewise, now performs the emotional outbursts she once relied on Inner Sakura for, much to the dismay of those who are around her at the time.