Sasuke and Sakura became a fan favorite couple throughout Naruto’s original run, and their bond was cemented by several uniquely positive aspects.
Considered the second-most popular Naruto pairing, Sasuke and Sakura’s romance developed slowly throughout the series, showcasing a few subtle but beautiful moments. Their relationship was rocky due to their differing backgrounds and values, but it stood the test of time. Every mission the two took with Naruto allowed them to grow as people as well as grow closer to each other.
Sasuke learned through his mistakes that he’s much more appreciated and loved than he initially believed. Sakura becomes her own woman, and her love and loyalty develop with her ninja skills. There’s something genuine and solid about Sasuke and Sakura’s romance that fans of the pairing can see clearly.
Sakura wasn’t an orphan like Naruto and Sasuke were, so she couldn’t sympathize with their loneliness. Her insensitive comments about Naruto angered Sasuke, and he quickly exposed her immaturity.
During their time in Team 7, Sakura slowly began to understand Sasuke’s anger and pain. Although impure, his ambition helped her visualize the meaning behind his loneliness and desire to destroy Konoha. Sakura’s love grew from a puppy crush to genuine affection, for she could now see past his looks and calm, collected demeanor.
There were multiple instances where Sasuke and Sakura relied on each other. In major battles, Naruto either runs off to fight the main villain or is incapacitated somehow. After the attack in the Forest of Death, Sasuke takes Sakura out of harm’s way, further into the forest for safety. Orochimaru’s Curse Mark Jutsu is starting to take effect, and Sasuke’s strength is slipping away at an alarming rate.
Despite not knowing what’s wrong, Sakura stays by his side, comforting him as best as she can. In return, after Sasuke passes out, Sakura fends off Orochimaru’s Sound Ninja. Still unsure of what was going with Sasuke, she could sense something was off and did what she could to protect him.
There were three instances when Sasuke called Sakura “annoying,” but each had a different emotion behind it. The first instance is a response to Sakura’s tone-deaf comment about Naruto being an orphan. Although the conversation wasn’t about him, Sakura’s insensitivity struck a nerve for Sasuke, having lived with the pain of the Uchiha massacre for half a decade. The second time is during his departure from the Leaf Village, after Sakura confesses her feelings to Sasuke in a desperate attempt to convince him not to leave. Sasuke brushes her off as “annoying,” still blinded by his desire for revenge, but he eventually thanks her before knocking her out.
The last instance is during the Five Kage Summit when Sakura attempts to confront Sasuke independently. She hesitates, however, and can’t bring herself to fight the man she’s harbored feelings for, and tries to convince him once again. Sasuke, still consumed with a desire for revenge, brushes her feelings aside again. He doesn’t hesitate to place a genjutsu on Sakura and pierce her chest until Kakashi interferes.
As Sakura and Sasuke grow up together, they gradually begin to see the best in the other. Sakura can see past Sasuke’s handsome face and calmness, and she now understands his need for comfort and closure. She’s willing to become that safe space for him, even if it makes her appear foolish to others.
On the other hand, Sasuke finally understands how much Sakura means to him. This relationship is on a deeper level than his and Naruto’s friendship. He knows that someone truly cares for him regardless of how much he’s messed up in the past.
Sasuke Shinden is part of a spin-off novel series published after the manga’s conclusion. Although not written by Kishimoto himself, these spin-off novels are extensions of the original Naruto manga.
Even though he reconciles with Naruto, Sasuke’s horrific actions against the Leaf Village still haunt him. In this novel, he reflects on the darkness that drove him for so many years. He ultimately decides to embark on a self-reflective journey to reflect on how he hurt the village and those who loved him. Most importantly, Sakura inspires his return since he now understands how much she cared for him.
Sakura is never afraid to show admiration for Sasuke’s ninja prowess, but he’s not as open with his compliments.
During the Chunin Exams, Sasuke praises Sakura’s exceptional genjutsu analysis, which boosts her confidence. Even during the Fourth Great Ninja War, the two work together while Naruto fights on the front lines. Their teamwork is more solidified in the Boruto series, as they’re now married with a daughter. Sasuke shows more pride as he compliments his wife’s abilities in Boruto.
Although not explicitly stated, Sasuke and Sakura share a connection on a mental and emotional level.
They grow up together throughout the series and learn more about the other through their various missions. Sakura matures and strives to better herself thanks to Sasuke’s ambition, and Sasuke grows to appreciate her kindness. Sasuke and Sakura’s connection remains strong as a married couple even when Sasuke leaves for his missions. Their bond is unbreakable as they support one another no matter the distance.
Sasuke Retsuden, like Sasuke Shinden, was another spin-off novel published after the manga’s conclusion. Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship is fleshed out in the novel, allowing their romance to develop further. Before he leaves on a journey, Sasuke makes Sakura an engagement ring infused with Earth chakra to symbolize their bond. It’s a small but straightforward and touching gesture.
Even for someone as prideful as Sasuke, the consequences of his actions weren’t something he could ignore. His journey for revenge and destruction hurt the people who cared for him — one of them being Sakura.
Though Sasuke tried to kill her multiple times, Sakura’s loyalty never wavered. It’s unknown if he genuinely paid attention to her feelings throughout the series, but he’s come to appreciate her dedication. And he made sure to let her know in a brief but heartfelt apology. Hearing his sincerity brought Sakura tears of joy.
Throughout the first half of Naruto, Sakura expresses frustration with her progress as a ninja. Despite her book smarts, she can’t seem to apply what she’s learned in actual combat.
She promises Naruto that she’ll get stronger for the team’s sake, but she always wanted Sasuke to acknowledge her. Sakura knew that other girls had crushes on Sasuke and wanted to stand out amongst them; she wanted him to see that she was different. Even after Sasuke leaves the Leaf Village, Sakura continues to hone her skills. Her excellent chakra control helps her train with Tsunade, one of the Legendary Sannin and an expert medical ninja. Sasuke’s ambition inspires her to better herself as both a person and as a kunoichi.
NEXT: Naruto: The 10 Best Platonic Relationships In The Series, Ranked
Olivia Subero is a freelance writer with years of professional projects under her belt. Other than writing, she immerses herself in Disney and Japanese culture, two of her main passions and sources of inspiration. Of course, Olivia is sure to surround herself with anything pastel-colored or from Sanrio. She can’t go anywhere without wearing something pink.