Naruto and How it Relates to Gender

Joseph Miscia

This video shows many clips from the popular television show Naruto. The anime follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki and his teammates Sasuke and Sakura from when they were kids through when they become young adults. Throughout this time, the three squadmates go through many tribulations and setbacks, as they attempt to achieve their goals of becoming the strongest ninja they can. Naruto and Sasuke got off to a much quicker start than their female teammate Sakura. In the early seasons, Sakura was always being saved by either Naruto or Sasuke and never the other way around. She felt helpless as she watched her male counterparts grow stronger while her power level remained stagnant.

Because of this, Sakura entered into intense training sessions in order to improve her strength and become more effective in combat when fighting with her team. She no longer wanted to be a burden to her friends and she put in serious effort in order to attain her desired outcomes. The next scene that the show cuts to is the Squad lined up prepared to go into battle. Rather than standing behind Sasuke and Naruto, like Sakura was in the earlier scene, Sakura is shown leading the charge and displaying the power she gathered through her training. Her power is so intense that both Sasuke and Naruto are surprised by its force.

The meaning of Sakura’s story throughout the entire series is meant to show the viewers the equality of both men and women. Sakura resembles a feminist standpoint that a woman is capable of doing anything a man can do. It is typical for television shows and movies to have the men always save the day and the helpless woman needs to be rescued. The creators of Naruto did not want to follow the norm when creating their anime. Rather than have Sakura always be in the shadow of both Naruto and Sasuke, she is shown side by side with them on an equal field. Through hard work and perseverance, she pulled herself up to her squadmates’ power levels and is no longer a burden to her friends. Because Sakura is depicted as an equal, she is a great role model for female viewers to follow. Female viewers see Sakura’s story and want to incorporate her ideals into their lives. That is why we see so many young girls aspiring to get jobs such as CEOs, attorneys, politicians. These jobs are typically male-dominated but have become more balanced over time. Women realize now that they can be just as useful as men in positions of power and the creators of Naruto are playing into this movement with how they developed Sakura’s character.

To conclude, Sakura was a character that was meant to be a symbol of the progressive feminist movement for women. She is a prime example of how women are equal to men and can achieve anything that a man can. Sakura’s drive and passion to get stronger are meant to motivate female viewers to work hard for what they want in life while understanding that their gender has no effect on the outcome.