It is undeniable that friendship and the importance of creating and maintaining bonds with others is the heart and soul of what makes Naruto be so special. After all, it is the bond that Naruto creates with Iruka that makes him move forward and aspire to a better future. It is his bond with Sasuke that drives him to grow stronger, at first to compete with his rival and later to try to bring him back to the Hidden Leaf Village.
The series not only gives importance to the bonds that Naruto establishes with others. Although their friendship was originally broken due to Sasuke’s mutual infatuation, Ino and Sakura’s friendship is an incredibly vital aspect of the series, as well as to their personal development. And although there are certainly difficult moments between them, they end up reconciling and having one of the best friendships of the entire series.
10 Ino Helps Sakura Overcome Her Childhood Insecurities
When Sakura is a girl, she has a complex related to her large forehead compared to other children. At first she tries to use her hair to hide it, but as Ino later points out, this only alerts would-be stalkers to the fact that she is ashamed of this part of herself, and so they pick on her anyway.
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Ino gives Sakura a headband that she uses to push her hair out of her face, telling her that she should show her forehead and let others know that her physical differences are not something she is ashamed of. This, in turn, helps boost Sakura’s confidence in herself to a level that probably wouldn’t have been possible without Ino’s help.
9 Sakura’s intense training with Tsunade inspires Ino to do the same
After Sasuke leaves the village and Naruto goes his own way to get stronger, this leaves Sakura in an interesting situation. She doesn’t have a group to train with or Kakashi to guide her, so she ends up training under Lady Tsunade to become a medical ninja.
Over the course of her training, Sakura puts all her effort into developing her skills, turning down offers to spend time with others due to being overwhelmed by her training. Her dedication inspires Ino and she ends up joining Sakura in learning medical ninjutsu.
8 Ino decides that she can’t let Sakura wither without blooming, despite not knowing her at the time
When Ino steps in and helps Sakura, the two are practically strangers. Despite this, Ino decides that she is going to scold Sakura’s bullies and help her gain much-needed self-confidence.
Later, while the two of them pick flowers together, Sakura asks Ino why she has decided to step in and help her despite not hearing from her. Ino then compares Sakura to a flower, saying that she is just a flower that hasn’t bloomed yet, and that she will be incredibly pretty and strong when she does.
7 Ino makes the decision to save Sakura’s life in the forest of death
During the Chunin Exams Death Forest arc, Ino’s team encounters a cornered Sakura, desperately trying to protect an unconscious Sasuke and Naruto. It is clear that she will not be able to defend herself against her attackers, and knowing that the relationship between Ino and Sakura at the moment is still quite shaky, Shikamaru leaves the decision to help Ino.
There is a moment of doubt, but in the end Ino decides that they must intervene and help save Sakura and the others. And while Sasuke, Ino’s crush, is certainly a factor to consider, it is still moving that he is able to put aside his differences with Sakura at that moment and fight to help protect her.
6 Ino helps Sakura comb her hair after cutting her hair with a kunai
Sakura decides to grow her hair out after hearing a rumor that Sasuke prefers girls with long hair. Her decision to cut her hair with a kunai to avoid being grabbed in the Forest of Death is very personal to her, and signifies an incredibly important moment of growth for the genin.
After the fight, Ino takes the trouble to help Sakura do her hair and make her more presentable. This occurs right after Sakura hugs Sasuke to prevent him from transforming as well, which is witnessed by Ino, and aside from a single misplaced comment, she is able to look beyond her rivalry for Sasuke and simply help her out.
5 They are recognized as equals after their double elimination in the tournament
Although the tournament fight between Ino and Sakura is not as flashy as the others, its significance is impossible to miss. Ino gets her hair cut during this fight, which means that both girls begin to put their own personal growth ahead of their infatuation with Sasuke.
It is also during this fight that they finally see each other as equals for the first time since they ended their friendship over their rivalry for Sasuke. Rather than deciding that they weren’t satisfied with a draw and wanting to prove their superiority, they instead acknowledge the strength of the other, and it’s a big step toward regaining their friendship.
4 They help each other keep their spirits up during the Fourth Shinobi World War
Both Sakura and Ino performed vital and highly stressful roles during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Sakura’s main goal as a medical ninja is to make sure her companions are still alive (and it is essential to keeping Naruto alive), and Ino’s ability to communicate with a massive number of her fellow shinobi at once saved countless lives.
Their friendship is vital during this time in keeping both of their spirits up, and this is the point in the series where all their past animosity is completely left behind. They help make sure the other is okay and support you when you need it, which is great to see.
3 Sakura is fond of flowers for having picked them as a child with Ino
When Sakura and Ino are still young, they spend a lot of time together picking flowers. Ino also has a habit of making analogies related to flowers in her speech, as she has grown up learning about them.
What’s especially sweet is that even after the rivalry between Ino and Sakura gets in the way of their friendship, Sakura still retains some of the information that Ino shares with her. When she goes to buy flowers for hospitalized Sasuke and Lee, she chooses two daffodils, symbolizing hope, positivity, and rebirth.
2 Sakura helps Ino out with Sai after realizing he likes her.
It’s incredibly sweet to see that even though Ino doesn’t break up with Sasuke as she had imagined as a child, she still has an incredibly satisfying relationship with Sai. And what’s even more poignant is that Sakura is the one who helps push Ino to spend time with him.
It is not hard for Sakura to realize that Ino has a crush on him, as she has known her since childhood. After the two of them successfully complete a mission, Sakura tells Ino that she should have lunch with Sai, and helps her take the first step in declaring her feelings for him.
1 Ino joins Sakura and helps her with her mental health clinic
After the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sakura decides to open a clinic to help children whose mental health has been affected by the war. Ino opens it with her and helps her, which shows that the relationship between the two has really improved considering everything they have gone through together during the war. Ino even goes as far as inviting Sakura for tea after work, and even though Sakura is busy and must decline the invitation, it is a great sign that they are back to being close friends and not just acquaintances from the battlefield or work.