Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship is notoriously unhealthy, but Shikamaru and Temari’s romance is the best written love story in the Naruto series.
The ending of Naruto Shippuden brings a lot of fun to the series, but perhaps the most memorable is finding out which characters ended up in a relationship. Unfortunately, romantic relationships have always been one of Naruto’s weakest aspects, mainly due to its mishandling of the female cast.
For example, Sasuke and Sakura are heavily criticized for having no real reason for them to meet at the end of the series. After all, Sakura’s obsessive love and unrequited feelings define their relationship for much of the film’s length. Despite the series’ romantic shortcomings, one pair stands out as being the best written. The romance between Shikamaru and Temari feels much more real because their chemistry was built in from the start.
Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship is symbolic of all the wrong reasons
Although Sasuke and Sakura are Naruto’s most iconic relationship, their romance is notoriously unhealthy and unrealistic. Sakura’s entire life revolves around Sasuke for most of the series; she even admits that most of her interests are centered around him. Sakura stepped past the people around to get Sasuke’s attention. Throughout Naruto, there are several instances where Sakura puts her own life and personal principles first for Sasuke’s sake. Meanwhile, he never gives Sakura the time of day and doesn’t even seem to care when she’s in danger most of the time.
Other characters like Rock Lee and Naruto show genuine interest in Sakura while she is still pursuing Sasuke. Sakura even dumped her best friend Ino because they both had a crush on Sasuke, and she desperately wanted to make him fall in love with her. Throughout Naruto, some of Sakura’s biggest mistakes stem from her blind devotion to a guy who rarely gives her any attention or affection. Since Sasuke barely cares about Sakura for most of Naruto, it doesn’t make sense for them to end up together at the end of Shippuden. Even after their marriage, Sakura puts all her heart into their relationship and is the only one to truly raise their daughter, Sarada. For the most part, Sasuke was too busy with his duties to be a real father to Sarada, failing to make a meaningful connection with her.
Temari & Shikamaru’s chemistry has been obvious since they first met during the Chunin exam
Temari and Shikamaru have always supported each other in Naruto. Although they started out as rivals in the Chunin Exams, they developed a mutual respect. While Shikamaru entered their battle with his typical lazy mindset, Temari tried his best and forced Shikamaru to give his best in their battle. Temari is also very important to Shikamaru’s character development in general. Shikamaru has always been a genius but never became a shinobi. Instead, he will complain about the effort and choose sarcastic comments from the sidelines. The match against Temari during the Chunin Exam forced him to stop wallowing in his laziness and learn how to fight. Their relationship challenges the norms for romance because Temari, the female half of the equation, has never been the girl in distress.
Unlike Sasuke and Sakura, Temari and Shikamaru’s relationship is built on mutual respect. Although tensions between Konoha and Sand Village are high when they meet, they put aside the nation’s political divisions and form a meaningful friendship. Their relationship seems much more real than Sasuke and Sakura’s because they can talk to each other on the same level. In fact, their jokes are one of the best parts of their relationship. While Sasuke and Sakura are thrust into a relationship to deal with the plot, Temari and Shikamaru have a healthy, well-written romance that gradually becomes more apparent in Naruto.
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