The Rivalry In Naruto That Made No Sense

Amid the many conflicts and companionships of "Naruto," ongoing rivalries always have a major part to play in the storyline. There are friendly rivalries, like the neverending series of janken matches, races, and friendly duels between Kakashi Hatake and his lifelong best friend Might Guy. Likewise, and perhaps more importantly, there are also unfriendly rivalries. The persistent feud between Naruto and Sasuke is easily one of the most important plot threads in the series timeline.

These two rivalries are really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to "Naruto." However, not all of them are quite as compelling as either Kakashi and Guy or Naruto and Sasuke. In fact, one rivalry, in particular, makes no sense in the grand scheme of things. This is true not only because it provides a disappointing motivation for two seemingly important characters, but because it becomes irrelevant almost as soon as it appears.

Sakura vs Ino is the rivalry with no real stakes

The neglect of Sakura Haruno's character is something that can be seen throughout "Naruto." No matter how strong Sakura gets, or how much character development she goes through, she is almost always sidelined in favor of Naruto and Sasuke's rivalry. Even her own rivalry with Ino Yamanaka fades into the background well before "Naruto" transitions into "Naruto: Shippuden."

The basis of the two kunoichis' rivalry is revealed in Episode 42 of "Naruto" as the two girls duke it out to see who will proceed to the next phase of the Chunin Exams. Aside from being one of the worst fights in the series, ending in a disappointing draw, the fight also establishes that the only reason the two girls want to fight each other is that they both have a crush on Sasuke. Talk about not passing the Bechdel Test.

One might think that with some further development, author Masashi Kishimoto could have developed the Sakura-Ino rivalry further so that it had to do with more than just their childhood crushes. However, there was no such luck, and while their rivalry technically never went away, it soon faded into the background never to be talked about again.