Does Sasuke Really Love Sakura?

Naruto is one of the most famous anime of all time, and it has amassed a legion of fans that feel strongly about the nuances of the show. One common point of contention for fans and casual viewers alike is the question, “Did Sasuke Really Love Sakura?”

Sasuke really loved Sakura by the end of the series. He has always had a soft spot for Sakura, but it took a while for his affection to grow into love. Sasuke’s feelings of hatred and his need for revenge needed to be addressed before he could come to terms with what he felt for Sakura.

Now, I know some hard-core fans may disagree with me. So in this article, I will explore the intricacies of Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship and prove that indeed, Sasuke is genuinely in love with Sakura.

Why is there confusion about Sasuke’s love for Sakura?

A lot of Naruto viewers doubt Sasuke’s love for Sakura for several reasons:

Sakura has had unrequited love for Sasuke for many years

One of the main reasons people doubt Sasuke’s love for Sakura is that he barely showed any signs of interest for the many years that Sakura had been pining after him. It wouldn’t be far off to say that Sakura was portrayed as desperate for his love, yet he seemed to remain cold towards her.

However, it is important to remember that Sasuke wasn’t just indifferent towards Sakura; he was indifferent towards everyone. He was full of anger and bitterness, and his only focus at the time was revenge. He certainly didn’t have time for childhood crushes.

Meanwhile, Sakura has been gazing at him longingly from literally the very first episode of Naruto. A considerable part of her characterization revolved around getting Sasuke to notice her, making this contrast even more stark and noticeable.

But this does not mean that he found Sakura unlikable, as, over time, Sasuke definitely began to value Sakura. He may not have been as warm as fans would like, but he was no longer indifferent either.

We can see this play out in the following clip when Sasuke broke Zaku’s arm because he hurt Sakura:

Sasuke tried to kill Sakura more than once

People say that because Sasuke tried to kill Sakura, there was no way he loved her. After all, could you imagine trying to kill someone you loved? Even in the midst of our most intense of emotions, we in our right minds would never be able to think of doing such a thing.

But that’s the thing: Sasuke wasn’t in his right mind. Furthermore, he wasn’t really in love with Sakura at the time he tried to kill her. He may have had shared history with her at that point, but all that was clouded by the madness within him.

Sasuke tried to kill Sakura twice in Episode 214 of Naruto: Shippuden. This plays out in two chapters of the manga, 483 – 484.

At the time, Sakura was tasked with a mission to kill Sasuke, but she obviously couldn’t. Sasuke retaliated, but he was stopped by a team 7 member both times.

And it’s not that he just targeted to kill Sakura. Sasuke has tried to kill a ton of people in his lifetime, especially during the time he descended into his anger and darkness. He tried to kill Naruto and Karin, both of whom are deemed by fans as important to Sasuke.

This means that Sasuke trying to kill Sakura was not an isolated event, and he was off the deep end when it happened.

We explain in more detail why Sakura always loved Sasuke even after he tried to kill her here.

Sasuke isn’t blatant about his affections

Sasuke isn’t really what you would call a warm and affectionate person. If Sakura is completely transparent about her feelings, Sasuke tends to keep things to himself.

Now, as manga readers and anime watchers, we rely on what we see of the characters. Things have to be said and clearly portrayed for us to understand and grasp them. This, however, isn’t really part of Sasuke’s character. The only emotions he reveals clearly are rage and anger.

Here’s a fan-made music video showing how cold-blooded he could be:

And so, for fans to grasp how he truly feels and what he truly thinks, we have to follow a trail of breadcrumbs. Still, many would prefer to take things at face value and declare that Sasuke doesn’t care for Sakura.

But remember: things are not always what they seem.

The relationship between Sasuke and Sakura was better developed in the manga

Anime adaptations are not always faithful to the source material, and it’s interesting to note that one of the things watered down in the Naruto anime is the relationship between Sasuke and Sakura.

The manga contains SasuSaku scenes and interactions that are not emphasized in the anime. The anime also changed several facial expressions, responses, and statements made between the two, thereby changing the entire tone and meaning of these interactions.

Here are a few examples:

  • In the meeting with Kakashi, Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto talked about their likes, dreams, and whatnot. During Sakura’s turn, everyone understood that her likes and dreams were pertaining to Sasuke.

    When anime Sasuke heard this, he just looked cold and indifferent. However, manga Sasuke was actually shown to be blushing while all this was going on.
  • In the Naruto manga, Sasuke and Sakura were frequently shown together in frames. This was an art decision, in order to emphasize that they were close to and comfortable with one another.

    However, this cannot be seen in the anime. There, either one was off-screen while the other is talking or they were drawn with a distance between them.
  • In the anime, Sasuke was constantly shown to be pushing off Sakura or avoiding physical contact with her. In contrast, the manga almost never showed Sasuke being averse of physical contact with Sakura.

    In the manga, when he first got the curse mark, he was even shown to be squeezing Sakura’s hand for comfort to reduce the pain. The fact that Kishimoto zoomed in on this was not an accident. This means it meant something, though it was never shown in the anime.

Why is Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship so complicated?

Sasuke and Sakura share a long and winding history, going from teammates to enemies to friends to lovers. Understandably, there is much we need to untangle about how and why things turned so complicated between them.

Sasuke’s relationship with Sakura is complicated because he still has things he needs to deal with

Sasuke was always fixated on getting his revenge, while Sakura was focused on typical, young girl things. This made them two very different people going on different paths.

Although they bonded when their paths crossed as teammates, it wasn’t easy to believe that they were going to be end game — especially when Sasuke wholeheartedly made the switch to Orochimaru. He had his inner demons, and that was always going to be a problem.

He left team seven because he decided to get revenge. Then, when he got his act together and reconciled with Naruto and Sakura, he went on his own journey of repentance and redemption.

Sasuke was always going through an internal process, and this affected his relationship with everyone around him.

Even in Boruto, when he and Sakura already had a child together, Sasuke was still going off on his journey. This makes their dynamics challenging to grasp and their whole relationship even more complicated/ Truly, theirs is unlike any other romance portrayed in anime.

Sakura’s decisions revolved around Sasuke for the most part, making theirs an unhealthy dynamic

Sasuke may have made questionable decisions throughout his lifetime, but so did Sakura. First and foremost, Sakura ditched her childhood best friend, Ino Yamanaka, when she found out they both liked Sasuke.

It was childish, immature, and gave us insight into how ridiculous Sakura could get over Sasuke.

This was further proven when Sasuke turned evil, and Sakura asked to join him. She supposedly had different ideals and morals, but she was willing to give up everything to be with him, even when he had already done horrible things.

Sakura has a habit of bending her opinions and goals according to Sasuke’s preferences. Did you know she kept her hair long because Sasuke liked it that way?

Some fans romanticize this, but when we look at it objectively, it shows us a Sakura who is willing to compromise her goodness for Sasuke. That frankly just leads to a twisted, toxic relationship.

So Sasuke is pretty complicated, we show you exactly what Sakura loves about him here.

Most of Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship was done through long-distance

Long-distance relationships, as they are, can be considered complex and complicated enough already. However, Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship takes this up a notch.

They spent around three years apart between Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden. Then they spent most of the series fighting and being parts of different teams.

At the end of Naruto: Shippuden, Sasuke was leaving again, and Boruto reveals to us that Sasuke left when Sarada was just a baby.

By the time he came back around in Boruto, nearly a decade had passed, and he didn’t keep in touch with his family through all that time. It was so bad that he could not recognize Sarada when he first encountered her after those years.

Here’s the clip so you can grasp the weight of his absence:

A lack of communication + long-distance. How can things not get complicated?

Interestingly enough, Sasuke likely chose not to visit home when he had his missions because of his trauma. Because of what he went through as a child, his psychological function doesn’t allow him to empathize much.

In this sense, we see that Sasuke still has things to deal with, even as a father and a husband. This continues to make their dynamic complicated, albeit interesting.

The Sakura-Naruto romantic arc complicated the story

In Datebook 3, it was described that Sakura’s heart “beats faster in sight of the unexpected and rapid growth of her childhood friend [Naruto]”.

In part 1 of Naruto, it was revealed that Naruto had a crush on Sakura though Sakura only had eyes for Sasuke. This continued on when Team 7 reunited at the beginning of Naruto: Shippuden.

With Sasuke as the enemy, Sakura and Naruto began to spend most of their time together, even going on dates at some point.

Sakura still had feelings for Sasuke then, and she knew of Naruto’s crush on her, but she still persisted in giving him mixed signals.

Which isn’t to say that she was playing games with him. In both the anime and the manga, there were implications that she might have had a crush on him.

She even confessed to him in a bid to protect him and keep him from fighting Sasuke.

Although this did not directly affect Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship, it did complicate their love story even further.

What proves that Sasuke loves Sakura?

There are many easter eggs throughout the series that we could point to, which reflect Sasuke’s affections towards Sakura. We can also point to the meaningful forehead tap as proof of his love for her. After all, given the weight of its meaning, we would be correct in this regard.

But for this article, we will focus on the ultimate proof of Sasuke’s love for Sakura: their marriage and child.

As mentioned earlier, Sasuke tends to go off on his own. He makes a lot of decisions that seem to disregard Sakura’s feelings, but it’s not because he doesn’t love her; it’s because he still has things to deal with.

His emotional maturity isn’t so high that we should expect him to be the perfect husband and father.

Still, he tries. Even with everything he had going on internally and externally, he still chose to go back to Sakura after Naruto: Shippuden.

From there, he married her and had a child with her. This is huge for a man who had difficulty expressing love and maintaining deep ties.

Sure, he left her to go off on solo missions again. However, eventually, he still went back to them. And in Boruto, we can see that he at least made an effort to make up for the time he had lost.

If that’s not enough for you, here’s one final note: Kishimoto always saw Sasuke and Sakura as end game. So, regardless of how things worked out, they would always be each other’s one true love.

If the author himself decided that Sasuke loved Sakura, who are we to contest that?

Here’s an excerpt from Sasuke’s profile in Datebook 2:

“Growing distant, towards darkness.. the one to appear before him as he began to leave was Sakura… The one who filled his lonely existence with the emotion called love was Sakura.

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