First Manga Appearance: Chapter 1
First Anime Appearance: Episode 1
Name Meaning: Haruno=Spring field, Sakura=Cherry Blossoms
Character Study: Cast as the main female lead, Sakura starts off as a thinly developed character, being known for her love of her team mate Sasuke than anything else. As the series progresses more of Sakura's strength and determination comes out which culminates in her becoming Tsunade's apprentice. While Sakura becomes more a Tsunade clone in her fighting style after the time skip, she matures and drops the juvenile infatuation aspects of her personality. This allows her to expore new facets of her relationship with Naruto.
Chuunin Exam | DB 1
Pre-Timeskip | DB 2
Post-Timeskip | DB 3
Height: 161.0 cm
Weight: 45.4 kg
Registration ID: 012601
Hidden Village: Leaf
Team: 7 - Uzumaki Naruto, Sai, Hatake Kakashi/Tenzou, Uchiha Sasuke (Former)
Academy Grad Age: 12
Chuunin Exam Age: 14
Jutsu: Oukashou, Strength Enhancement, Saikan Chuushutsu, Sakura Fubuki, Shousen
Known Elements: -
Sakura is the third member of Team Seven, the mid-point between the grades of Naruto and Sasuke. Strictly average in all respects, even to the point of having no signature jutsu, Sakura has shown a lot of development over the series. Beginning as nothing more than an admirer of Sasuke and appearing to take her ninja career less seriously than she should, her experiences eventually hardened her to the point of being an effective kunoichi.
Initially, Sakura had a split personality that usually manifested itself viewable only to the audience and broke the fourth wall, an inverted negative cartoon image of herself with "Inner Sakura" written on her head, which conveyed her true emotions. Sakura's polite and pleasant manners were shown on the outside, where Inner Sakura was what she was really thinking. Sakura has been an emotional point for both Naruto and Sasuke, where Naruto's crush on her has always been ignored due to her own crush on Sasuke forming a typical chain. Sakura also caught the attention of the Genin, Rock Lee, who decided he would protect her life with his own within moments of meeting her.
Another person Sakura has a common relation with is her on-off friend and rival, Ino. As a child, the other girls in her class teased Sakura because of her large forehead. Ino stood up for her and the two became friends, staying that way for a number of years until they both developed fondness for Sasuke. Both girls also grew their hair specifically upon hearing that Sasuke liked girls with long hair.
Sakura's first major mission was to the Wave country, where she escorted the bridge-building expert Tazuna. Sakura was not involved in any major fights, but remained as his bodyguard while the other ninja were occupied. She wept while Sasuke appeared to be dead, breaking the rules on how ninja were not to allow their emotions to control them. It was on this mission that her Jounin sensei, Kakashi, held her back from a training exercise that Naruto and Sasuke participated in. Unknown to Sasuke and Naruto, Kakashi told her that while she had the smallest overall total capacity of chakra, she was the most efficient at creating and using it and didn't need the training.
Kakashi later entered Sakura into the Chuunin Exam. After an encounter with a disguised Orochimaru, it was up to her to ensure the survival of Sasuke, who Orochimaru had branded with his Cursed Seal and Naruto, who had also been afflicted with a seal that disrupted his chakra. With both boys unconscious and being attacked by Orochimaru's sound trio, Kin taunted Sakura about her long hair and how she was useless as a ninja. Kin continued to pull on her hair and Sakura had an immense change of heart.
Freeing herself from the sound kunoichi's grip by slicing her own hair off, she battled back against all three, desperately trying to defend her team and even going as far as refusing to release a bite on Zaku despite him pounding his fist into her head. Help came from Ino and her team, although the trio were only driven back when Sasuke awoke, first inflicting critical wounds to Zaku's arms after he boasted to hurting Sakura. However, the monstrously violent Sasuke caused Sakura to try and hold him back, eventually calming him enough for the released Cursed Seal to recede.
The seal was a constant worry on Sakura's mind, almost making her throw in the towel for Sasuke and halting his progress in the exam. Despite her worry, Sasuke continued through the preliminary rounds and was attended to by Kakashi, who suppressed the seal. Sakura herself then found herself in a tough situation. Her own opponent in the preliminaries was none other than Ino. The two proved to be equal against each other until Ino played a trick, cutting off her own hair and using it to tie Sakura down while she used her Shintenshin (mind-body switch) technique to invade Sakura's mind. While the intention was to make Sakura submit through the transfer, Ino didn't know of Sakura's split personality and while it slept, Inner Sakura became the dominant personality, mentally assaulting Ino and forcing her out. The girls took a final blow at each other, both knocking each other unconscious and resulting in a draw.
Sakura was a spectator in the finals of the exam, watching Sasuke VS Gaara. However, as the combined Sand and Sound invasion commenced, Sakura's efficiency with chakra control allowed her to dispel Kabuto's mass sleeping skill and remain awake. Under orders from Kakashi, she then woke up Naruto and was about to do the same with Shikamaru when she realized he was playing possum to avoid confronting the invaders. The three, accompanied by a small summoned dog, Pakkun, chased after Sasuke and Gaara. It was during this mission that Sakura was mentally crippled by a horrible revelation… she and Pakkun used the same shampoo.
When Gaara was finally tracked down, he began to transform into a terrible mixture of human being and a Tanuki made of sand, chasing Sasuke in turn. When Naruto appeared, Gaara attacked Sakura, who was looking after Sasuke. He pinned her to a tree with a large blanket of sand that would slowly constrict tighter and tighter. Gaara gave Naruto a time limit before the sand crushed her to death. Luckily, Naruto's determination and desire to protect those who he held dear proved to be the deciding factor, freeing Sakura from the death trap.
After the exam, team seven went on a brief mission to the Tea Country where they encountered the renegade defector, Aoi Rokusho. Formerly from the Fire Country, Aoi fled, stealing an important item and pinning the blame on another leaf ninja. Sakura's blooming medical skills saved the team and their charge, the boy who was blamed by Aoi, from Aoi's poison. By now, Sakura's position had been cemented as a supporter rather than direct attacker, or a simple damsel in distress. For a long time, this was Sakura's last real mission.
Sasuke, meanwhile, suffered the last straw and with a heavy loss from his brother and mocking from Aoi, compounded with the last-place loser Naruto now outshining him. Despite Sakura bringing him flowers and tending to him daily, he cast her aside and smacked a plate of sliced apples from her hands, demanding a fight with Naruto on the roof. Sakura watched, looking on as the boys came at each other with techniques intended to cause maximum damage. Throwing herself blindly between them, she was saved at the last moment when Kakashi parried the attacks. Despite the worry, Kakashi comforted her once again. Just in case, Sakura then granted Naruto the "date" he had wanted for a long time, which she used to tell him about Sasuke's Cursed Seal.
Meanwhile, Sasuke himself was preparing to leave Konoha. As he reached the gates, Sakura stopped him, trying to convince him to stay behind by offering to help in his revenge. However, her begging only caused Sasuke to strengthen his resolve. After Sakura cried her heart out to him, he coldly knocked her out and left her aside. She awoke the next morning and quickly raised the alarm, while Tsunade assembled the team to bring Sasuke back. Before they left, Sakura begged Naruto to return with Sasuke. Naruto promised he would, but when Naruto was carried back from the mission, Sakura realized that the only solution was to increase her own power. Sakura went straight to the Hokage and asked to be taken on as an apprentice. Tsunade was impressed with Sakura's determination and accepted her as a student. Over the next two years, Tsunade trained Sakura and passed down her skills.
In the time spent under Tsunade's eye, Sakura's skills as a healer improved. When she and Naruto had a rematch with Kakashi for the old bell test he used on them as Genin, Sakura revealed another surprise. She had also learned the secret to Tsunade's inhuman strength, splitting the ground beneath Kakashi. However, no sooner had the reunion happened, the three were issued with a mission to help retrieve Gaara from Akatsuki. After arriving at Suna, Sakura showed her growth by saving Kankurou from Sasori's poison.
It was here that their consultant Chiyo, a woman who had been heralded as a living legend, noted the similarities between Tsunade and Sakura. The trio and Chiyo set off in search of Gaara and his kidnappers. Along the way, their path was blocked by Itachi, the man to blame for Sasuke's attitude. Itachi put Naruto under a Genjutsu, which Sakura reversed, while Kakashi took Itachi on head to head. A two-sided attack from him and Naruto put Itachi down, only to reveal that it was not Itachi, merely a specially-transformed subordinate of Sasori, one of his partners in Akatsuki. The team, joined by a support group consisting of Guy, Lee, Tenten and Neji, broke into Akatsuki's hiding place and instantly began fighting. However, only Sasori and his partner, Deidara, were present physically. Deidara took off with Gaara while Sasori remained behind to deal with Chiyo and Sakura.
Sasori and Chiyo were both experts in using puppets as their attacking tools, with Sasori going one step further and hiding himself within the shell of one of his. With help from Chiyo, Sakura smashed open the puppet and revealed Sasori himself. However, this only served to raise the odds as he summoned another – the mutilated and mechanized corpse of the third Kazekage. In addition to the puppet modifications Sasori had made, the Kazekage retained his skills from his life, the ability to manipulate iron sand, which Sasori had mixed with his own lethal poisons. Chiyo responded by calling upon two puppets of her own – the mechanized remains of her own son and his wife – Sasori's parents.
The third Kazekage proved extremely difficult to neutralize, managing to inflict poisonous wounds as well as use the iron sand to disable the parental puppets. However, Sakura managed to pull off a last-second strike, shattering it to pieces. Sasori's next move was the biggest surprise of all. Pulling off his cloak, he stood on a cable with a spear-tipped end that coiled up into his stomach, with scythe-like claws sprouting from his back and other bodily augmentations – he was a living puppet himself. Chiyo drew her trump card, the White Secret Technique: the Chikamatsu puppet collection, a group of ten puppets controlled by one finger each. Sasori responded with his own, the Red Secret Technique and opened up a panel built into his chest. A hundred strings of chakra flowed out and connected to one puppet each, displaying his own collection of a hundred puppets, which he had used to conquer an entire country.
Although Chiyo's puppets were still quality over quantity, there was still too much risk and it was up to Sakura. With an item given to her by Chiyo, she managed to thrust at Sasori and trapped him up against a wall, sealing off his chakra. The puppets fell limp and Sasori's body with it. However, Sakura noticed at the last second that Sasori's body was empty – no eyes, hollow and lacking the small cylinder that had his name written on it. Before she could react, another puppet, now with Sasori's face and the missing cylinder, lunged at Chiyo. Sakura threw herself in front and took the fatal stab from the puppet's poisoned sword. Chiyo then quickly injected the last of the antidote into Sakura. Sasori drew back, pulling off the forearm section of the puppet to reveal another blade underneath. As he rushed forward for a second strike, he suddenly stopped as two swords impaled his body and the cylinder, critically injuring the last remaining organic part of Sasori.
Sasori gloated that not even medical techniques could heal the wound he dealt Sakura. Chiyo remarked that she was not using conventional medical treatment, but a method of life-force transfer that she had originally developed for Sasori that could even breathe life into a puppet. Sasori then realized that his dead parents could have been resurrected and simply muttered "pathetic", mocking the technique and questioning his grandmother's sanity. As the blood drained from his chest, he lost the ability to control his own body and finally dropped to the ground after he lectured Sakura on the advantages of his lack of morality and mortality, as well as leaving her a small hint before he lost consciousness, that he would be meeting with a spy he had placed among Orochimaru's underlings.
Meanwhile, Naruto and Kakashi had defeated Deidara and secured Gaara, who appeared dead. Chiyo transferred the last of her life-force into him, then told Sakura that she may well go on to surpass Tsunade. Shortly after, Sakura cradled her lifeless body as she passed on. As the leaf ninja left, Sakura brushed a hand over Chiyo's grave and said her final goodbyes.
No sooner had they got back home, things were already changing as her report on Sasori's spy prompted an investigation. Naruto and Sakura found themselves joined by two new faces – Kakashi's replacement as team leader, the man codenamed Yamato and the irritatingly blunt Sai, also a codename. The three met up with the spy, with Yamato disguising himself as Sasori. As a shock to them all, the spy was none other than Kabuto… however, Orochimaru himself had followed, surprising them both. Kabuto ran to "Sasori", but double-crossed him and slashed through him, revealing Yamato inside; unaware of what Sasori really looked like under the puppet.
Orochimaru told Kabuto that it was indeed a fake and invited Naruto, Sakura and Sai to step forward too. As Orochimaru's words drove Naruto into a frenzy, Sakura is knocked flat as a defensive outward burst of chakra from a Kyuubi-possessed Naruto and almost sent plummeting off the bridge, struck with a wound that proves difficult to close up. As Orochimaru and Naruto face off, Yamato takes measures to track Orochimaru, Kabuto and apparently, Sai. In the recovery time that follows, Sakura uses her medical skills to heal Naruto after his brutal Kyuubi rampage. Yamato takes the opportunity to address her not so hidden close feelings for Naruto. Sakura is taken aback by Yamato's view of her character. She doesn't get a chance to answer him though as Naruto regains consciousness.
The team then leaves in pursuit of their quarry. Despite a convincing dummy, the team fails to fall for a hung corpse mimicking Sai and presses further on, where they eventually end up inside one of Orochimaru's temporary bases. The team split up to search for clues, running into Sai's cell and apprehending Kabuto. However, the base is torn apart in a moment and Sakura finds herself staring up a cliff and into the face of Sasuke himself...
|Haruno Sakura Timeline
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
12 Yrs. BSS - Sakura Born
6 Yrs. BSS - Joins Ninja Academy
0 - Series Start, Graduates Academy
6 Mo. ASS - Enters Chuunin Exam, Gains more initiative to be a better kunoichi
7 Mo. ASS - Assists Naruto and Shikamaru in finding Sasuke, Trapped by Gaara
9 Mo. ASS - Begs Sasuke not to leave Konoha, Asks Tsunade to train her after Naruto fails his mission to save Sasuke
10 Mo. - 3 yrs. 2 Mo. ASS - Greatly increases her medical skills and strength, Passes Chuunin Exam
3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Meets Naruto again, Travels to River Country to save Gaara, Fights Sasori with Chiyo, Travels to Grass Country to meet Sasori's Spy, Meets Sasuke again
3 Yrs. 5 Mo. ASS - Hunts down Itachi with Team 7 and 8 to find Itachi.
3 Yrs. 6 Mo. ASS - Helps defend Konoha during Pain's assault.