The universe of Naruto is filled with complex and unexpected romantic relationships, but no couple has had to overcome more difficulties throughout the series than Sasuke and Sakura. Although they became enemies and were separated for several years, the teammates eventually came together to pick up where they left off. Here’s how Sasuke and Sakura’s love blossomed and why they were always meant to be a part of the end of the series.
As Sakura’s childhood love for Sasuke was immediately revealed on the show, the calm and aloof Sasuke seemed to ignore her obvious feelings for him. When Sasuke called Sakura an annoying right after they were posted to the same team, many fans believed it was the end of any possible romance between the young shinobi. However, Sasuke gradually and subtly grew closer to the kunoichi when they started working together in Team 7.
On their very first mission to Waves Land, Sasuke was impressed with Sakura’s superior chakra control and leaped in front of her to protect her from their enemies. When Sasuke appeared dead after saving Naruto from Haku, Sakura held him in her arms and cried hysterically over his lifeless body until he woke up.
Sasuke’s protection of Sakura became very evident during the Chunin Exams, when they first met Orochimaru while Naruto was away. Although he was frozen and terrified, Sasuke finally found the courage to move by looking at the terrified Sakura, which prompted him to activate his Sharingan and lift her up to safety. After Sasuke and Naruto were rendered unconscious in the Forest of Death, Sakura’s love and courage led her to fight a team of sound shinobi three-on-one to protect her teammates. She was brutally beaten by the shinobi after cutting her hair, which caused Sasuke to wake up and grimly ask who had hurt her.
In this scene crucial to Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship, Sasuke activated his curse mark for the first time in order to avenge Sakura. With overflowing rage and dark energy, Sasuke didn’t hesitate to break the arms of the shinobi who had attacked her. Fearing Sasuke’s cruel and unusual behavior, Sakura hugged him and begged him to stop attacking the other shinobi, managing to calm him down as his curse mark vanished and he collapsed into his arms. . Her concern for her well-being was re-emphasized after she was attacked by Gaara, when Sasuke told Naruto that Sakura’s safety had to be their main priority and that he was willing to die to stop Gaara on condition that Naruto promises to get him out of danger.
Though they bonded deeply to each other, Sasuke’s blind thirst for revenge and power ultimately led him to abandon the Hidden Leaf village. In tune with her beloved teammate’s feelings, Sakura sensed that something was wrong the night Sasuke decided to leave, and she ran after him. She begged him to stay and even told him that she loved him, but her tears were not enough to change his mind. When Sakura offered to go with her and help her find her brother, Sasuke again called her boring and thanked her for everything before knocking her out and gently laying her on a bench. Although many fans took this as a final rejection of Sakura’s feelings, Sasuke appreciated her love but didn’t want her to become a crooked shinobi like him or be dragged into his dark world.
Although the couple spent many years apart and Sasuke was viewed as a traitor and an enemy of the Hidden Leaf, Sakura’s feelings for Sasuke never faltered. She kept looking for him in the hopes of getting him home and defended him whenever someone spoke badly about him. Her love for her childhood crush continued until the Fourth Ninja War, when a shinobi made advances to her, but she admitted that she already had someone else on her mind. When Team 7 reunites to save the world from Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi, Sakura helped Sasuke return to their dimension, and he caught up with her when she began to pass out. After the conflict was resolved, Sakura healed Sasuke and he finally apologized to her for everything he did to her.
After spending years apart, Sasuke and Sakura’s tumultuous relationship finally drew closer before he embarked on his solo mission to atone for his sins. Sakura offers to accompany him before he surprises her by giving her his famous blow on the forehead – his last gesture of love, once reserved for Itachi. Sasuke thanked her and hinted that she could go with him next time, finally solidifying their romantic relationship once and for all while proving that the popular couple was still meant to be the end.