Sakura Haruno is useless
Sakura Haruno or Sakura Uchiha is one of the most hated anime characters. Being in a shonen series that focuses on battle, Sakura is “useless” in battle early in the series. However, in Naruto strength isn’t the only thing that matters (at least early in the series). In Part 1 of the series Sakura’s physical prowess is limited. Sakura’s particular talent that surpassed even Sasuke and of course Naruto was her intellect and her chakra control. During the Chunin exams Sakura is smart enough to both realize that the ten questions are too difficult for most genin’s and answer them.
During the second stage of the Chunin exam, after Oorochimaru gives Sasuke the curse mark, she watches Naruto and Sasuke all night as they’re lie unconscious. She valiantly tries to save her teammates despite being clearly over powered and out numbered. Obviously, Rock Lee aids her, and later team 10, but if Sakura had more power I think critics would have cheered her more. In anime, many fans only seem to value power with courage, not power without it. For this reason Sakura’s attempt to save her teammates goes unappreciated.
In Part 2, Sakura really begins to show her skills. While, the characters in Naruto become better Sakura’s is arguably the most improved (Ino maybe close). She and Naruto face off against Kakashi in another bell test. During this test Sakura first shows her massive strength when she uses her Cherry Blossom Impact. A skill that makes use of her chakra control to devastating effect. When she and the rest of team 7 arrive to Suna when Gaara is kidnapped, she is quickly able to remove the poison found in Kankuro, heal him and create an antidote, which no Sand ninja was able to do.
Sakura’s best presentation of her fighting prowess is her battle with Chiyo against Sasori. Chiyo initially takes the lead in this fight using Sakura as a human puppet, making great use of her super strength. This method continues to prove effective once Sasori uses the third Kazekage’s iron sand ability. However, with Chiyo being one armed her effectiveness as a puppeteer is decreased. During this battle Chiyo notes that Sakura is able to “see through the attack patterns of Sasori,” she is able to deduce the pattern of his fingers and hands.
Even Sasori is impressed with her ability to both fight against him and create an antidote for his complicated poison. Finally, Sakura during the Fourth Shinobi World War is an important medic keeping the allied forces alive. Sakura uses the “Strength of a Hundred Seal,” she spent three years storing chakra a feat that is difficult due to the level of chakra control required. When Naruto is in danger of death, it’s Sakura that saves his life. When her medical ninjutsu fails, she “makes an incision in Naruto’s chest and manually pumps his heart to keep him alive while pleading for him to live because he is close to achieving his dream.” Ask yourself, What would happen if Naruto had died?
Look, Sakura isn’t without her flaws. She was pretty annoying in the beginning of the series, and she treated both Naruto and Rock Lee poorly. While, she was completely useless during battle, she was helpful intellectually and displayed courage. I found her love of Sasuke, who was abusive and tried to KILL her TWICE was ridiculous. However, if you hold that against her keep in mind that Naruto is just as bad. Her value was never in battle anyway. While it’s undeniable that a in Shonen series, battles are the most important, so Sakura was inherently going to become a secondary character.
Many Sakura haters compare her power to Sasuke and Naruto, they ignore the fact that unlike Sasuke born with the privilege of having a Sharingan and the curse seal and Naruto given half the Nine-tails chakra as an infant. She was given none of these advantages, but mastered difficult medial ninjutsu and saving many lives. A lot of people seemed to believe that Sakura’s abilities are somehow unearned because we didn’t get to see all her training.
However, we don’t see most of Sasuke’s training or even Naruto’s during the time skip. I think this is mostly a negative bias. I think Sakura’s transformation from the beginning of the series, both personality wise and ability wise changed more than anyone and had to work with less than her teammate. She was important to keep the alliance alive during the war. She should be lauded, not decried.