Who then is this couple that I am talking about? Well, the ever popular Sasuke x Sakura love team of course or more popularly known as SasuSaku for its very adoring fans.
This love team went through many ups and downs in the whole Naruto series and nobody had the slightest inkling that the two would eventually end up together as husband and wife. The manga author just slapped the fans in the face with an abrupt future ending where Sasuke and Sakura already got married and had a child.
As one of their fans that ending never satisfied me at all (although I was more than happy that they finally ended up together) for the reason that there was nothing in the series which actually indicated that Sasuke even remotely cared romantically for Sakura. Sure, she was a dear friend to him but in the romance side of things, we only get hints, mere assumptions and speculations about how Sasuke feels about Sakura nothing more. So to abruptly give us the future married SasuSaku couple with no filler on the developments in their relationship at all is just too damn cruel, I should say. This is because SasuSaku fans will always have their doubts. As a fan, we’d want to see Sasuke really fall in love with Sakura. Marrying her and having a child with her doesn’t mean that he really falls deeply and madly in love with her. He must’ve just married her out of convenience or married her because she got pregnant by accident. And that Naruto Gaiden moment when Sarada asks for proof that Sasuke’s heart was actually connected to Sakura and he answers that, “Because we have you Sarada.” just spells doom, like a marriage by convenience. So as a fan I really would like a movie be made where the SasuSaku ship gets a spot in the limelight please! (Just like NaruHina in Naruto the Last Movie another love team fans were doubtful that they’ll ever end up together but they did and with the movie everything fell into place. So I hope SasuSaku does too.) So to quench my thirst for a SasuSaku movie I will attempt to analyze the last parts of the Naruto Shippudden Manga series with a side note to the latest Naruto Shippudden episode (as of this writing) just so we can decipher how the couple eventually ended up together. Here we go:
- The smile. I’m talking about when Sakura finally unlocks her Sanin powers during the war when she fought alongside Naruto and Sasuke. She got so mad that the two of them ended up protecting her again when they finally reunited in the war so she eventually unlocked her Sanin powers leaving both Naruto and Sasuke speechless. Naruto was clearly afraid of her powers but Sasuke just looked at her in amazement and smiled. That smile could mean many things since it’s Sasuke, without a speech or thought bubble nobody who reads the manga will know what he’s really thinking except the author of course so we end up reading between the lines (if there are any at all). Here is what I gathered from that smile of his. One, he smiled because he was happy that Sakura finally unleashed her power and would be able to fight with them on equal terms and eventually support them with her healing powers. Yup, that’s so Sasuke because he’s selfish that way. Second, he smiled because he knew all along that Sakura was strong and he affirmed it that time. Meaning, he always believed in her in a way that he knows he could rely on Sakura to have his back. Now, that speaks volumes. Knowing a man’s psyche (especially a very confident man like Sasuke) they’d be attracted to a woman whom they respect and admire in terms of skill and ability because they see that woman as a potential mate in the future. Sasuke isn’t insecure so he wouldn’t mind if his future wife was strong. In Naruto Gaiden he even emphasizes that “HIS WIFE is not that weak” and that she might have taken care of the problem before they even get there and rescue her. So he doesn’t mind at all, in fact he wants a partner that is strong and the one who has his utmost respect of all the girls in the series was Sakura.
- Every time he refers to cutting Sakura and Kakashi off he always has either a blank stare or a hidden expression. That’s right! Looking at both the Anime and Manga versions during the war Sasuke always hints to Naruto that it was only him and Naruto who was important in ending the war because they both had the Six Sage’s power. He often states that when it comes to it he would cut Kakashi and Sakura off if they get in their way and that he had no responsibility of saving them. Also when he protected them with Sussano he says that it just so happens that they were standing next to Naruto so they got included in the protection. This makes Sakura sad and she eventually cries at one point. Damn you Sasuke! -_- However, notice that every time he says this he has such a blank stare or a hidden expression (where you can only see his back) meaning you never really know if he means it or not. Also, why the hell does he have to mention it over and over again to Naruto? Isn’t once enough? I think the reason for this is because he does this as a reminder for Naruto to look out for them. He doesn’t want to admit it (like he did when they were young) and ask Naruto directly to save them (like he did when Sakura was captured by Gaara). He was in denial but he knew that if he emphasizes this point to Naruto, Naruto would only be reminded that he needs to protect Sakura and Kakashi because this in-denial boy (trust me, I know the feeling) wouldn’t since he was too proud to admit it. But deep inside he really wants to so the manipulative Sasuke just gets Naruto to do it himself. If he really doesn’t want Naruto distracted then he could’ve just shut up but no, he kept emphasizing this to him knowing all too well how Naruto would react. And notice every time Naruto ends up saving Kakashi and Sakura that Sasuke doesn’t really seem to mind. What does that tell you then?
- When he came back to Sakura. Fine, he came back to Sakura when he was trapped in another dimension because he needed to get out but notice how he caught Sakura when she fell and stared at her at that moment. (see above photo) It was a really long stare and can you see that look of concern in his eyes? He also held her up when he really didn’t need to. Sakura fell on him but he could have just let her be without holding her or pushed her up but no, he held her arm and let her rest on his shoulder for a while. He didn’t even attempt to push her up or shrug her off. Why? Because after all these years that was the first time he got to touch her again and he wanted to cherish that moment. Okay, speculation right there. I’m just going to stop. But before I go to the next entry did you notice how he exchanged Sakura’s vest so that he can go back to that dimension? He could have chosen to exchange himself with Sakura whom he can clearly see at that point but he chose the vest instead which was hidden at that time but he could see with his Sharigan. Even so, it would have been easier if he exchanged himself with Sakura don’t you think? Okay, so he could’ve used Obito too but didn’t because he knows that if he used Obito then he would have been stuck in that dimension with him. He knows that it was Obito’s power that made it possible for him to open a portal so without Obito he couldn’t go back anyway. He needed Obito but he didn’t really need Sakura that much so why didn’t he choose her? My guess, he cared too much for her to use her.
- The genjustsu Sasuke placed on Sakura. This happened when Sakura tried to stop him again by reminding him of her love for him. This was in an attempt to stop him from fighting and eventually killing Naruto. Sasuke only turns around calls her annoying with a smirk and puts her to sleep under a genjutsu. When asked by Kakashi why he did that, Sasuke says that Sakura would just get in their way. Why does he have to do that? If he really hated her and thought she could get in their way he could’ve killed her right then and there but he didn’t, he merely put her to sleep. Killing her would have been a more permanent way to prevent her from stopping them but he chose to put her to sleep knowing fully well that she might awaken later and try to stop them anyway. He chose to put her to sleep because he couldn’t kill her but he was willing to kill Naruto. If Sasuke really wanted to he could kill Sakura first, earn the anger of Naruto and kill him too. He wanted that when he decided to take on the burden of the world and become the Hokage but he just couldn’t bring himself to kill Sakura, he cared for her that much. Second, that statement that Sakura would only get in their way can be interpreted like this: he meant to say that the only one who could maybe stop him was Sakura. Now, we all know that despite her Sanin powers Sasuke was far stronger than her and in the end Sakura would really not get in their way, she couldn’t because she was much too weak and at that point even weaker because she had to give all her chakra to Obito and to heal Kakashi. Sasuke in a way admitted that if Sakura really did try to stop them, she would have succeeded. It wasn’t her power that he was talking about but the fact that he cared for her and that she could maybe affect his decision to kill Naruto. So nope, it wasn’t because Sakura was strong. It was because he knew he cared for her. Not to mention that smirk and “You’re still annoying.” statement makes it look like Sasuke was teasing Sakura and the fact that he still remembers how he responded when Sakura first confessed to him so many years ago just goes to show how important that moment was for him. Duh, deny pa more!
- Sasuke’s statement. When he said that “I have no reason to love her or be loved by her.” Does this mean that he doesn’t love her? No, this means that at this point he doesn’t have a reason yet to love her which means that he could love her if he eventually finds that reason. He was already thinking of Sakura as a potential love interest but at that point he had other priorities that if weren’t there he’d have chosen to stay with Sakura. Also to say that Sakura has no reason to love him means that he sees himself as unworthy of her love. For a confident man to admit that he was unworthy of the love of someone seems like he believed that Sakura deserved much better than him because he knew that he did bad things in the past. He acknowledges that fact that’s why he said those words. If he really was selfish he’d have accepted Sakura’s love and used her and her powers to make it easier for him to get to his desired goal (just like he did with Karin) but he didn’t. He cared for Sakura that much to not use her for his own sake. Now that’s probably the sweetest thing ever.
- And lastly that forehead tap. Now, does anyone know of anyone else (aside from Itachi and eventually Sarada) that Sasuke does this to? No! It’s just Sakura! That forehead tap if you look at its history is a very important symbol of love and affection for Sasuke. It was his brother’s way of saying “I care” or “I love you” to him and he knew that. Even in Itachi’s last moment he tapped Sasuke’s forehead to assure him that he still loved him as his big brother. That was one special moment and that forehead tap is a special gesture for Sasuke. He wouldn’t do that to just anyone. He would only do that to someone he really cared and loved deeply in his heart and that was Sakura (eventually his daughter Sarada but that’s logical). He didn’t do that to Naruto whom he considered as a brother like Itachi but only to Sakura which goes to show how special she is to him. Even at that moment he was too proud to admit that he already loved her and just did that to assure Sakura that he really did and that she was important to him. He even told her that he’ll see her soon and maybe come with him next time which means he really wants to be with her in the future. In a way that forehead tap was Sasuke’s shy and secret version of a “kiss”. How sweet can you get?
- Side note: In the latest Naruto Shippudden episode (Episode 500) Sasuke’s messenger hawk who delivered his short Congratulatory message to Naruto went to Sakura. Now for those who don’t know, messenger hawks go only to people whom they know or are familiar with by default or someone their masters assigned them to go to. Now, since that message was for Naruto Sasuke could have easily instructed the hawk to go to Naruto or Hinata directly or to Kakashi as the Sixth Hokage to deliver the message as he would be officiating the ceremony but no, the hawk went directly straight to Sakura. See that time when the hawk caught a glimpse of Sakura and landed on her arm even before she could raise it to beckon the hawk down? It means that the message was really meant to go to Sakura in the first place. Sure, there was no one Sasuke trusted more than Sakura and Naruto but still, a direct message to Naruto would have been better but he needed Sakura to know that he was alright and that he still had news of them and was thinking about them quite often, most importantly that he was also thinking about her. Right at the moment when Sakura felt sadas she saw everyone else with their love interests when hers was away on some mission the hawk from Sasuke came flying by which assured her that someday they’ll meet and be together again. How can you then deny how Sasuke feels about Sakura with that?
To end, I am still not satisfied with all the hints and assumptions because they remain just that: assumptions. The NaruHina even the SaiIno and ShikaTema fans already got their fill of real romantic moments of their favorite couples (mostly in the Last Movie and the latest Shippudden episodes. Maybe (it is!) it’s time to give the SasuSaku couple a movie or a series of episodes in the franchise as well. Pretty please please!
A SasuSaku Fan 😀