The Boruto Anime Continues to Ignore a Fan-Favorite Naruto Hero

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime, Episode 102: "Melee!"

One of the main draws for the Boruto anime and manga is that apart from seeing the next generation of shinobi in villages such as Konoha, we also get to see how the teenage ninjas from the Naruto franchise would fare as parents.

And while these new stories do give the old guard some fun appearances here and there, apart from Naruto and Sasuke, we don't really get to see as much of them shaping the future as we'd like. However, the biggest disservice comes in the form of the show ignoring a fan-favorite hero as an adult: Sakura.

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Sakura is considered one of the Holy Trinity of the Naruto series as she was part of Naruto and Sasuke's squad under Kakashi. She went from being obsessed with Sasuke and hating on the annoying Naruto to becoming one of Konoha's strongest medical ninjas under Tsunade, Konoha's Fifth Hokage. As a result, she helped the alliance in its endgame battles against Kaguya and her Uchiha pawns. But what's most memorable about Sakura is her unwavering loyalty to her friends and how she often risked life and limb to save them, especially in Sasuke's redemption arc. But for some reason, Boruto just doesn't seem interested in giving her any agency at all.

When Naruto ended, Masashi Kishimoto rushed to give her a token wedding to Sasuke, even though he never showed her an ounce of attraction, and at the start of Boruto, the first thing the series did was place her and Sasuke's daughter, Sarada, in a paternity triangle where, based on the young girl's looks (her signature glasses), a conspiracy evolved, with evidence hinting she was Sasuke and Karin's offspring. Boruto dragged this out, turning Sakura into nothing ore than a dramatic plot device. It didn't even give Sarada and her mom a solid relationship as seen with her and Sasuke, or Boruto and his father. To make things worse, while Sakura was eventually confirmed as the mother, we still never see any real romance between her and Sasuke like the other couples, instead relegating her to a housewife role.

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The biggest injustice, however, emerges in the current Cursed Seals drama playing out on the outskirts of Konoha. Here, with Sasuke and Karin's former teammate, Jugo, turning into a Hulk again and the ancient mark being weaponized, Karin comes to help Boruto's young crew. She ends up teaming with Sarada against some evil ninjas, and once more the young girl learns from and has a motherly bond with Karin, which honestly should have gone to Sakura to add nuance to their bond.

This is nothing short of a travesty for Sakura. All the moments shared between Karin and Sarada are warm, emotional exchanges are filled with sentiment -- which serves to highlight how insignificant Sakura has been in her daughter's formative years. Having Karin play a bigger role like this, one where she even saves Sarada's life in the field, feels like a slap in the face and leaves Sakura as someone who seems to be Sarada's mother just for controversy's sake.

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Hopefully, once this arc is over we get to see Sakura teaching her daughter more of her power-punching, summoning of animals or medical ninjutsu, because while she may have been comic relief early on, she did evolve into an elite ninja. With Sarada doing the same and harboring ambitions of her own to become the Hokage, it's only fitting for her to be molded by the woman who gave birth to her and who's still looked up to as a legend in the ninja world.

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