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Women Love Fest: Day 2

Is Sakura Haruno a Mary Sue?

One of the criticisms I've often seen of Sakura is that she's a Mary Sue. What's more bizarre is that this comes from the same people who bash her for every little thing she does. Apparently, when Shippuuden happened and Sakura got medical skills and smashy smashy, people were complaining that she was too overpowered. They can rest easy, now that Naruto and Sasuke have their new godmode powers and Sakura is falling far behind. EMS? Rikudo Sennin mode? i'd say that's pretty overpowered. What Sakura got doesn't compare.

I ran her through the original Mary Sue litmus test. I might be an apologist - thank you to Naruku from Narutoforums for coining that term for Sakura fans - but I'm going to be honest here. For obvious reasons, I skipped the parts pertaining to RPGs and fan characters.

Part 1 - All Characters
This area applies to RPG characters, fanfiction characters, and original fiction characters.

Is or does your character's name...
Your name, variation of your name, nickname, screenname, or any name that has been applied to you? (Spelling it differently or changing it a little counts.)
No.
A name you planned on giving one of your children?
I don't know if he has any kids, but I doubt it.
Any ordinary name spelled or changed so that it's more unusual?
No.
A boyish sounding name for a girl character?
No.
Involve a noun or verb not usually used as a name, spelled normally or not?
No.
If a noun, is it related to nature, a weapon, a gemstone, darkness, or something mystical?
Yes, trees.
Something that your character chose for herself?
No.
Taken from a character from another fandom that you like?
No.
A really unusual-sounding name (unusual in the character's time/place/world) that you made up yourself?
No. Sakura's not a particularly weird name for the Naruverse.
Unusual for your character's time, place, and/or ethnicity?
No. See above.
Belong to a country or culture your character does not belong to?
No. It's Japanese.
Chosen specifically because you thought it had a meaning appropriate for your character?
I'm going with yes, because her hair is the same colour as sakura blossoms, although I may be wrong.

Is your character also known by a cool nickname or unique title/address?
No. I don't think 'Forehead Girl' is exactly a cool nickname.
More than one?
No.

Did you base your character's looks on your own?
The only character who looks like Kishimoto is Sai, so no.

Does your character look how you wish you look?
No. I don't think Kishimoto wants to be a pink-haired girl.

Is your character described, illustrated, and/or shown as exceptionally beautiful, cute, or handsome?
No. Kishimoto even said she wasn't cute. She's certainly not the hideous abomination people claim she is, but she's not a sex kitten like Ino either.
Do you find your character attractive enough to date her?
No, because she isn't Shikamaru.
Does anyone fight or squabble over your character because of her looks?
No. Although Sakura did squabble with Ino over Sasuke.
Is anyone (including you) jealous of your character's good looks?
No.
Do any characters see her attractiveness as a threat?
No.

Do other characters frequently tell your character how sexy or beautiful she is?
No. The only time I remember Sakura's looks being complimented was by Naruto in disguise as Sasuke.
Does your character modestly deny it every time or refuses to believe that she is attractive?
No. See above.

Does your character have a great body/physique, which you describe, show, and/or illustrate in detail?
No. In that you rarely see Sakura without her clothes on, and although she's in good shape, she's flat-chested and isn't exactly a model.
Despite the fact that her eating and/or excersizing habits decree that she should be a stick/blimp?
No. See above.
Does your character weigh so little that she looks or should be anorexic, but isn't?
No. Kishimoto's weights and heights aren't very accurate - if Hinata's was to be believed, she'd be very skinny, for instance (this isn't a bash on her, by the way!) - and when I did Sakura's BMI, if she was real and had those measurements, she'd be underweight, but she's definitely not in anorexialand.

Do you use poetic and/or creative terms to describe your character?
No.

Do you frequently describe your character's beautiful/handsome/cute attributes or point out how sexy your character is?
No.

Conversely, do you go to great lengths describing how your character is not gorgeous?
No.

Does your character's description contain anything to the effect of "she looks just like [other character/celebrity] except..."
No.

Do other characters find your character extremely attractive and desirable, even when they should be completely gross and icky? (EG, after battling, getting tortured, going for days without bathing or washing.)
No.

Does your character have any of the following?
Natural eye coloration not normally found in her race/species?
Eyes with any other unusual qualities?
Natural hair color not normally found in her race/species?
Unusual feature of any other kind? (Particularly unusual/exotic birthmark, tattoo, etc.)
No to all except the hair. Sakura has green eyes, no dojutsu. Then again, in the Naruverse, there are people with blue, green and white hair (and I mean Kakashi and Hidan, not old men like Hiruzen). So it depends if you mean within the Naruverse, or in real life.

Does your character have a particularly attractive scent that doesn't come from their perfume or shampoo?
No. If she had, Kiba would have probably said something.

Does your character have a scar or other small flaw that is noticed by someone, but does not actually detract from your character's appearance?
No. She has a large forehead, but it gets commented on.

Has your character been in a lot of physical fights and/or battles, but doesn't have many noticable scars to show for it? (Do not click if healing technology or magic is commonly available that allows for healing without scars.)
No. She hasn't been in enough fights, and Sasori's stabbing may not have scarred her.

Does your character have a particularly piercing (EG, "can stare straight into your soul"), haunting, captivating, or dazzling gaze?
No.

Does your character's personal choice of clothing frequently include...
Clothing that you deliberately picked from your own wardrobe?
No, unless Kishimoto is a transvestite.
Clothing chosen because you really wished you owned it or could get away with wearing it in public?
No. See above.
Clothing chosen because it makes your character look super sexy and/or badass?
No. Sakura's outfit isn't that fanservicey.
Clothing that is realistically impractical or improper for the character's situation, but looks cool?
No. Her outfit enables her to move around and doesn't get in her way, her gloves probably protect her hands and it's certainly not as ostentatious as a certain character's bright orange trackie.

Do you describe your character's clothing by the scene or stereotype it is most often associated with? - But ignore if this is because someone in the story is describing the character.
No.

Is your character impervious to any of the normal limitations and/or weaknesses of her species?
No.

Is your character partially or completely some type of metaphysical/spirit-type being?
...Like a succubus or incubus?
No on both counts.

Is your character some other exotic or unusual race or species with powers/abilities beyond human (or whatever the "normal"/most commonly shown species/race in the story is) ability?
Is your character a cross-breed/hybrid of any kind?
In a universe where hybrids are very unusual?
A hybrid of more than two species?
Does she possess the strengths of both species, but none of the weaknesses?
Or does your character have all of the weaknesses, but none of the strengths? - Minus 4!
Is your character part something furry, yet shows no sign of being anything but human save for a furry tail, animal ears, fangs, and/or claws?
If not a cross-breed, then at least cross-cultural?
No to all. She's an ordinary human girl.

Does your character become a genetically, scientifically, cybernetically, or magically altered/enhanced being, possibly with new powers?
Is she happier this way?
Do people like her better this way?
Do you wish it would happen to you?
Was your character kidnapped specifically for some type of experiment or project in order for this to happen?
No to all. Her powers are ones she achieved through training.

Do think of your character as an ideal role-model?
I really, really doubt it.

Does your character voice political, social, and/or religious opinions which you share?
No, although I don't know Kishimoto's politics, but that would be Naruto's job.
Does she convince others that her way of thinking is right?
No. Again, that's Naruto's job. Sasori certainly wasn't buying anything Sakura said.


Does your character express unusally free, enlightened, or "liberated" views on topics such as sex and equality for her time/place?
And does no-one frown upon your character's behaviors or views?
Or do only characters who don't matter disapprove, IE, the villain, the "village idiot," fusty old grandpa, etc?

No to all.

If your character has a spitfire personality, sharp wit, or attitude, are the tongue-lashings they give other characters always deserved and justified?
No. While Naruto is an idiot at times, she can be pretty cruel to him.

If your character is openly defiant or disrespectful toward authority figures, is your character always justified and in the right?
No. Sakura is certainly very respectful to Tsunade, not least because she doesn't want her features rearranged.

Are any other actions that get your character into trouble with authority always justified from your point of view?
No.

Do authority figures punish your character more harshly than they would have punished his or her peers under the same circumstances?
No.

Do authority figures not punish your character when they probably would have punished his or her peers under the same circumstances?
No.

Is your character easily provoked to violence - but only gets into fights with characters who truly deserve the beating they get?
No. And bear in mind that the anime Flanderises Sakura and makes her far more violent than she is in canon.

Are The Rules of the universe bent or broken for your character? (Like joining a group despite being too old or too young.)
No.

Does your character have any of the following psychological disorders for the following reasons?
Antisocial Personality Disorder - to explain your character's Jerkass Loner personality?
Split personality - so your character can do "bad" stuff, yet still have a claim to innocence?
Inability to form a solid intimate relationship - so she has an excuse to sleep with as many people as you want?

No to all.

Is your character mainly driven by completely-justified revenge?
No. She's not Sasuke!

Does your character suffer from amnesia?
If/when your character discovers her past, will she not like it?
And/or discover that she is actually someone of great importance?

No to all.

Are animals instinctively attracted to your character?
No. She's not Juugo or an Inuzuka.

How many animal companions does your character keep? (Ordinary, non-magical pets like cats and dogs - or any pet considered ordinary within the canon - do not count.)
None.
Is said animal a wolf, bird of prey, big cat, or mythical creature?
See above.

Does your character habitually share profound wisdom and knowledge?
No. She does help the Suna medics when healing Kankuro, and she is bright, but she's not a philosopher or teacher.

Does your character always have money to spend on frivolities or whatever she really wants or needs at the time?
For no apparent reason? (Character never works or gives any clue to any source of income.)

No. I don't think I've ever seen her shopping, except maybe for flowers.

Did you choose your character's occupation and/or hobbies because you think they sound neat, glamorous, prestigious, or exciting?
No. Her hobby is doing puzzles, IIRC, which isn't exactly glamourous.

Does your character share your favorite types of movies, music, clothes, etc?
No.

Is your character unusually accomplished for her age, time period, place, occupation, and/or social status?
No. While she has excellent chakra control and is academic, she's not a genius like Shikamaru or Sasuke.
In something that is extremely desirable and/or useful in the story's universe?
No. While she is a good medic, I wouldn't say she's unusually accomplished.
In something that is extremely difficult for virtually anyone achieve?
No. She's certainly not the only medic-nin out there.
Is your character unusally accomplished in more than one area?
No.

Does your character pick up new skills unusually fast during the course of the story?
Like, insanely fast?

Absolutely not. Yes, she had learned new skills when Shippuuden happened, but bear in mind that she'd been training under Tsunade for three years. She started her training just before Naruto went off with Jiraiya, IIRC. She did not learn those skills overnight. Moreover, Tsunade worked her like a dog, so it would be surprising if she hadn't learned anything.

Is your character the best or among the best at anything she does? One box for each:
She gets one for medical skills, but that's it.
Is she famous/reknowned for any of these?
Not yet.

Are other characters extremely impressed or astonished at your character's skills and/or virtues? (Does not count if they are easily impressed due to their own inexperience.)
Yes, the Suna medics are amazed that she can help Kankuro, and Sasori, while not extremely impressed per se, does acknowledge her abilities.
Do they impress even the most cynical, jaded, exacting, and/or experienced?
No, that's Naruto's job.
Does your character modestly dismiss or deflect well-earned compliments?
Not that I know of.

Does your character have Barbie Doll syndrome?
No.

Ah, the sound of music! Does your character...
Have an exceptionally beautiful singing voice?
Play a musical instrument very well?
Is this instrument a guitar, harp, or flute?
Can she charm others with her musical talent?

No to all, although she does play the tuba in one fic I'm working on.

Does your character use magic in a typically non-magical universe?
No.

Does your character fly in a canon where most characters are groundbound?
Without wings or other apparent means?

No.

Does your character have telepathic and/or telekinetic (Force-like) abilities in a world where this is unusual?
Do these powers allow your character to 'see' or just 'know things' without actually being there, allowing her to save the day?
Do they make up for a disability, such as being blind, deaf, or mute?

No to all.

Does your character have a telepathic/empathic connection or the ability to communicate with any kind of animal?
Anything such as horses, wolves, big cats, or mythical creatures? - Bonded creatures do not count, so long as this is within a universe where this is perfectly normal and it is your character's one and only bonded creature.

No.

Does your character have the ability to shapeshift?
Yes, she can do the henge jutsu, but I'm not ticking this as every shinobi has to be able to do it.

Does your character possess unusual healing powers?
She does have healing powers, BUT they're not unusual, she trained in order to acquire them.
Strong enough to save a character from mortal injury and/or death?
She does save Kankuro, so I'll give her a point.

Does your character posess power that can take out entire cities/legions of soldiers/general all-around-evil?
Hell no!

Does your character end up in a tight spot and discover that she has really cool powers that were dormant and/or unknown before? (Does not count if this is how the story begins.)
No.

Does your character have any other relatively unique special powers/abilities that come in handy?
No. She has similar abilities to Tsunade and no, fanbrats, this is not a reason to bash her.

Not counting her first language, how many languages does your character fluently speak? 
None that I know of.

Does your character succeed at virtually everything she tries?
No. Well, we all know what happened with Sasuke.

Do her initial plans, strategies, ideas, etc. always (or nearly always) work?
No.
But only after everyone else dismisses it and tries everything else first?
No.

On the other hand, if your character does bungle almost everthing, is she quickly and easily forgiven for it?
No. Kakashi certainly wasn't pleased with her gassing Lee, Kiba and Sai.

Does your character ever single-handedly take out more armed forces (EG, security guards, soldiers) than you can count on one hand using her kick-butt skills?
No. Puppets don't count.

Is anyone envious of your character's talents and/or abilities?
Because she constantly beats them at their own game/games?

No. Sakura's certainly envious of other characters, though.

Does your character alone use a weapon that...
Was passed down from a parent/trainer?
Was given by some kind of spirit/magical being?
-Do you often mention that it belonged to someone beforehand?
Is magical?
Is unusually ornate?
Is from a different culture or country than your character?

No to all.

Does your character use a sword-type weapon in a relatively modern setting for no logical reason?
No.

Does your character frequently carry knives, daggers, or other little sharp pointy objects concealed within her clothing for no other reason than that they might be come in handy?
While Sakura does carry kunai, shurikens etc., all ninja do this - it's standard procedure - so going with no as I'm assuming this behaviour is exception, not rule.

Does your character possess a unique trinket that is magical and/or has some special significance?
Does this trinket protect your character from some weakness?

No.

Does your character have unfairly restrictive parents/guardians?
No. (And Kishi, you bastard, show us her damn parents already!)

Alternatively, do your character's parents/guardians let her do whatever she wants and never really get in the way or ask too many questions?
See above.

Is your character nobility, closely related to a noble, or at least a rough equivalent? (President, governor, etc.)
Nobility without knowing it?
Adopted by or become a noble at any point?

No. And I don't think the Haruno are a ninja clan like the Akimichi or the Hyuuga. i got the impression her family are civvies.

Is your character extremely popular or positively renowned where she comes from or frequents?
Well, I'm sure she's got a good reputation but she's not as renowned as Naruto or Sasuke.

Is your character undeservingly despised and/or outcast by most people?
Because your character is unusually talented/attractive/rich?
Because of her special powers?
(If your character is despised by everyone because she gets so much attention, douse yourself with cold water RIGHT NOW.)

No to all. Unless by 'most people' you mean 'Naruto fans'.

Is your character some kind of 'chosen one' and/or a major part of a prophecy?
No. Now Naruto, on the other hand...

Does your character consider her talents, special abilities, or good looks to be a curse? (A few moments or an episode of wishful/speculative thinking don't count; it must be a constant or near-constant thing.)
No.

Does your character manage to become friends with a villain, and through this friendship cause the villain to become reformed?
No. That's Naruto's job. Sasori does give her information as a reward for defeating him, but she hardly reformed him.
Does the villain revert back to his old ways, but retains some bit of goodness, caused by your character committing a selfless act of some kind?
No.

On the subject of your character and her family...
Was your character orphaned, abandoned, kicked out, or at least raised by a family/person that was not her own family?
Was a major villain responsible for the death of the parents or guardians?
Was your character responsible for the death of her parents/guardians?
Did your character witness the death of the parents/guardians?
Was she adopted by a cruel family or person?
Ran away at any point?
Raised herself?
Lived in the streets?
The very last or only survivor of anything?
Adopted by another species/racial group?

No to all. Sakura's had a very normal childhood.

What about any of these?
Born/raised in extreme poverty?
Born/forced into slavery?
Banished from anywhere?
A member of a despised, outcast, and/or downtrodden race or group?
An illegitimate child in a society where this is stigmatized?
The parent of an illegitimate child in a society where this is stigmatized?
Abused?
Raped?

No to all.

If your character lost her virginity unwillingly, does she find a way to restore it?
Presumably she's a virgin.

Has your character otherwise lost...
A child?
Lover?
Close friend?

No.

Did anything else remarkably strange or otherwise unusual happen in your character's infancy?
No.

If your character has a torment-ridden, pain-filled past, do you believe it excuses her actions?
No.

Does your character have "rebellious princess syndrome?"
No.

Does your character angst about something that she did in the past?
Death of a main character's family?
Death of her own family?
Does your character eventually learn that it wasn't her fault?

No.

If your character has to prove herself, does she completely pwn everyone else and make them look like buffoons in the process?
No, unless you're counting the scene with the medics, but I don't think she was out to prove herself, she was just doing her job.

If your character is a villain...
Does she reform by the end of the story?
Does she reform because of act of kindness on the part of the hero?

No. And no, Sakura bashers, Sakura is not evil.

Does a major villain have a personal fixation/obsession with your character?
For no apparent reason?
Something that has to do with your character's family, and not your character herself?

No. Sasuke certainly wants her dead, but he's more fixated on doing Naruto in.

Is your character ever spared by an otherwise-ruthless villain?
Despite the fact that she has already done massive damage to the villain, the villain's troops, and/or stronghold?
Because the villain is attracted to your character?

While Sasuke didn't kill Sakura at the 'reunion', it was because Orochimaru came to get him, and also because he was more concerned with fighting Naruto.

Have you ever wished your character was real so you could be friends or lovers with her?
No because Kishi is gay for Shikamaru.

Have you ever imagined you are this character? - Skip if the only imagining you do is when you write the story.
Ha ha ha.

Do you feel insulted, attacked, or defensive when someone does not like your character?
If people don't like your character, do you believe it's just because they don't "get" her?
Did you feel that this test insulted or attacked you or your character so far?

No to all, if only because I am not Kishimoto.


Part 2 - Original Fiction Characters
Only answer these questions if your character is for an original fiction. (For a new character you plan to add to an established original fiction universe, see the Fan-Character Specific Area.)


Does your character have markedly more romance in her life than any other regular character? (IE, she gets all the girls/guys - AKA Kirk Syndrome.)
No, because she hasn't shacked up with anyone yet. She is a potential love interest for Naruto and Sasuke, but that's it.
Everyone else combined?
Even though there's no good reason why the other characters can't get a date?

No.

Are all of your character's love interests the type of people you'd like to hook up with?
No, unless Kishimoto secretly wants to bang Naruto and Sasuke.

Is your character well-liked by nearly everyone she meets?
It's not said.
Do they care for your character more than they care for friends they've known longer?
No.
Would anyone die for your character? (Unless, of course, said character would pretty much die for any casual friend/acquaintance.)
Probably, but it's a given with Naruto characters in general, and Sakura certainly almost died for Chiyo. 
Even characters that are not known for their friendly, outgoing attitudes?
No.

Are most (if not all) characters who don't like your character merely mean, spiteful, and/or jealous of her?
Oh yeah, Sasuke and Sasori are SO jealous. And Ino had legit reasons for disliking her.

Do characters who criticize or don't like your character from the start like her by the end, or at least have a grudging respect?
No, because that's Naruto's job.

Does anyone who doesn't like or respect your character by the end of the story end up beaten up, humiliated, and/or dead?
Doesn't apply.

Does your character have a job or skill that is discouraged, forbidden, or unusual among her gender, race, or social status?
No.

Does your character single-handedly save the day way more often than other main characters?
More than the other main characters combined?
Even when there's no good reason why another character wouldn't have been just as capable?
Magically or mystically?
Does your character die in the process? (Any nasty irreversable thing, like getting sent to an inescapable dimension count, too.)
By almost dying?
Does everyone mourn the death of your character?
Is she revived by the end of the story?
Is she revived?
Does your character play a major and pivotal role in saving a world, race, or group to which she does not belong?
Does she become one of their leaders?

No to all.

Part 5 - De-Suifiers
Answer for characters of any fiction type. These will subtract from your final score.

Do you ever poke fun at your character's faults/weaknesses and/or use them as plot devices?

Yes. Sakura's flaws have bitten her in the arse and she herself acknowledges them.

Has your character ever been honestly selfish, petty, lazy, shallow, or pointlessly cruel?
Yes. Anyone remember Part 1?

Is your character really and honestly overweight, and stays overweight throughout the entire story? (A little bit of chubbiness does not count.)
No. She's not an Akimichi.

Is your character honestly ugly, and stays ugly throughout the entire story?
No. she's average-looking, not ugly, although this is relative.

Does your character get into a fight or rush into a situation without preparing for it - and get her butt completely owned?
Yes, because she underestimated Sasuke's craziness and would have died if Naruto hadn't saved her. She also used a poisoned kunai, despite Sasuke being immune to poisons.

Is your character out of shape, and stays out of shape for the entire story? (Not 'oh, man, I just don't think I can survive this triathlon,' but honestly, hinderingly wimpy?)
No.

Is your character physically disabled, and has nothing to make up for it? (To quote Dr. Merlin, anyone who says "She's so pretty that it's like a disability because everyone hates her or wants to have sex with her" will be summarily keelhauled.)
No.

Is she truly mentally disabled in some way and has no powers because or despite of this?
No.

Is your character human, 40+, and looks her age?
Older than 60?

No, she's a teen.

Does your character have a truly debilitating phobia that does not mysteriously disappear at a crucial moment?
No.

Has your character ever run away from anything simply because xe was a coward?
No.

If your character had a bad past with xir parents, does xe reconcile with them at any point?
No.

Has your character ever been in a situation that she had no way of overcoming on her own and had to rely on others for help?
Yes, the Sasori fight and the assassionation attempt on Sasuke.
Did she give up without trying?
No.
Did she give up after failing?
'All I have to do is believe in them'.

If she eventually found a way of overcoming a problem that initially seemed hopeless, was it extremely difficult and/or took a really long time?
I don't think she's been in this situation yet.

Does your character ever seriously question the morality of her actions and/or is left with a lingering doubt that she may not have done the right thing?
Not that I know of.

Does your character suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of everything she has gone or goes through?
No.

Is your character ever manipulated or used as an unwitting pawn by someone without the aid of mind-control technology, magic, or drugs?
With tragic results?

No.

Has your character ever misjudged someone else and discovered they were completely wrong about that person?
Yes, Naruto. Jury's out on Sasuke.

Does your character ever admit to being wrong, even if she doesn't really mean it?
Yes.

Has your character ever ignored wrong-doings against herself and/or others because she simply didn't want to get into trouble?
No.

If your character is all or partially non-human, does she react in very non-human ways or in ways more appropriate to xir species?
She's human, so this isn't applicable.

Does your character act in odd and/or awkward ways that other people find strange and confusing rather than endearing, and these people aren't called or portrayed as foolish/stupid because of it?
Not really.

If your character is vampire, is she...
A mindless killer?
Maybe not mindless, but has no significant moral or emotional issues with killing/murder?
Unable to have sex?
Unattractive?
Unable to overcome her dependance on blood?

Doesn't apply.

Do you view your characters more like tools than friends/children?
I reckon Kishimoto does.

Did you spend days, if not months or longer carefully and thoughtfully researching the traumas, hardships, and handicaps your character has so you could write them as realistically and sensitively as possible? (This includes talking to or reading blogs/books written by people who have lived or experienced it first-hand; simply reading medical or psychological sites can help, but they don't count alone.)
I don't know.


Your total is:
5 Points
Most likely Not-Sue. Characters at this level could probably take a little spicing up without hurting them any.

What was that about her being a Sue, again?

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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
hokuton_punch
Sep. 10th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
Oooooh, well-done.

... damn your eyes, Kishimoto, power her up some more. XO
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )