Sakura vs. Hinata

Sakura vs. Hinata

Introduction

It’s time for the second entry in my Unpopular Anime Opinions series. While yesterday we took a look at what makes for a boring female character compared to a good one, today we’ll be taking what we learned and applying it to my favorite shounen, the Naruto series.

Within this series, Hinata is the fan favorite girl for some unknown reason. I’ve honestly never met a single person who could give me a good explanation as to why Hinata is the best girl in the series.

As you may be able to tell, Sakura is my personal favorite, although she too isn’t a perfect character by any means. However, Sakura has a generally bad reputation among most of the community

Since Hinata is the popular choice, we’ll discuss her first.

Hinata Hyuga

In the original Naruto series, Hinata shouldn’t even be considered a character. At this point, she’s little more than a flimsy cardboard cutout of her cousin Neji.

I know people who love Hinata like to argue that she’s her own character, but let’s be honest, she isn’t. She has no jutsu that make her stand apart from Neji, and everything Hinata can do, Neji can do better.

You may try to argue that since Neji is older it only makes sense that he’s better at fighting than Hinata, but consider this: Hinata’s younger sister, Hanabi, is also better than she is at everything.

Okay, so we’ve established that Hinata has nothing going for her fighting/jutsu-wise. What about her character?

For most of the series, all of Naruto and half or more of Shippuden, Hinata is just a dandere. A dandere is a trope which describes a (usually female) character who is extremely shy. Danderes often want to make friends, but their shyness gets in the way of this.

Hinata’s dandere personality, coupled with the fact she’s a worse version of another major supporting character, Neji, essentially makes her useless until Neji’s death hundreds of episodes into Shippuden (spoiler).

Finally, we’ll move onto Hinata in Boruto. Despite now being a jonin ranked ninja (probably), she’s been turned into a stay at home mom who doesn’t do anything. She doesn’t seem to have a purpose in the village anymore despite all her former classmates being important members of the village.

Hinata Hyuga from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Hinata Hyuga

Sakura Haruno

Now that we’ve established that Hinata is the most plain, boring, useless character there is, let’s talk about a good character who everyone apparently hates, Sakura.

I think the problem is that most people who hate Sakura are the same people who only watched the original Naruto series up until the chunin exam arc, which is only episode 20 or something out of 220 episodes in the original series.

First of all, the opinions of those people don’t even matter. There are over 750 episodes of the series all together so anyone who’s only watched the first 20 episodes doesn’t have a valid opinion.

Second, I agree that Sakura isn’t a good character in the original Naruto series, but she actually becomes a good character once we get to Shippuden. However, that said, she does have more character growth in the original series than Hinata did, even if it was barely at all.

One thing people have to remember about Sakura is that she’s a member of team 7 along with Naruto, Sasuke, and Kakashi. Since she’s on the same team as the three strongest shinobi in the village, and two of the strongest in the world eventually, it’s no surprise she seems useless compared to them.

However, we to really appreciate Sakura’s abilities we need to look at her compared to everyone else in the village.

First, Sakura becomes the physically strongest ninja in the village. Second, she becomes the best medical ninja in the village, if not the world. Compared to this, what is Hinata the best at? Nothing.

Now that we’ve established that Sakura is more useful than Hinata, let’s take a look at the rest of her character.

While Hinata was simply a dandere for a large portion of the series, Sakura isn’t simply a trope. She’s a complex character with a variety of emotions and traits even if they aren’t all good.

Sakura gets a bad reputation due to her love for Sasuke, but her love for him isn’t unconditional. She does struggle with the fact that being with Sasuke would mean going against the village for a large portion of the series. In fact, at one point she even decides to be the one to kill Sasuke herself.

I think the only time I truly hated Sakura was when she lied to Naruto and told him that she loved him. She knew how Naruto felt about her, and yet she still tried to lie to him in order to stop him from doing something he believed in.

But I think the fact that she has character flaws like that adds to her as a character. Sakura isn’t perfect, but she’s way better than boring Hinata.

The final thing I’ll mention about Sakura is that in Boruto she isn’t simply a stay at home mom like Hinata. Sakura works as a medical ninja saving lives, and she still fights when necessary.

Sakura Haruno punching a reanimated leaf shinobi from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Sakura Haruno

Conclusion

One thing I’ll concede is that Sakura is a main character while Hinata is a supporting character so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that she’s a more complex character. If I had to choose another supporting character who I like more than Hinata though, I’d probably pick Temari.

Finally, a fun fact: Sakura is the reason I have an affinity for pink-haired anime girls. She was my first favorite anime character and she’ll always have a place in my heart.

So now that you know my opinion, do you still think Hinata is better than Sakura? Do you agree with me? Do you think another female character is better than both of them? Let me know your opinions so I can tell you why you’re wrong.

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