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The Couple

The Couple

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InoSaku (いのサク InoSaku) is the term used to refer to the romantic relationship between Ino Yamanaka and Sakura Haruno, in which Ino plays the dominant role and Sakura the submissive role. The term for the couple where the roles are reversed is SakuIno (サクいの SakuIno). The pair is also known as Sakura and Ino (サクラといの, Sakura to Ino).

Their Relationship

Background

SakuraIno First Meeting

Ino tells Sakura not to hide her forehead behind her bangs.

During their childhood, Ino was very popular and talented among the academy students. Meanwhile, Sakura was a shy, timid girl who was often teased about her large forehead. She lacked any self-esteem and grew out long bangs to cover her forehead, although it did little to stop the teasing.

Ino met Sakura one day while Sakura was hunched over, crying from being bullied again. Ino poked her forehead and introduced herself, saying that she had heard of a girl who had a huge forehead and noting that it was obvious why Sakura wore her bangs that way. Ino told Sakura to embrace her forehead instead of covering it up like that in order to become more confident and stop others from teasing her. As a show of their new friendship and to help Sakura follow Ino's advice, Ino gave her a red ribbon and tired back her hair for her.

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Ino gives Sakura a ribbon.

The two became best friends, and Sakura was able to gain self-confidence because of Ino's encouragement.

Sakura came to greatly love and admire Ino as her best friend, sticking close to her and looking for her for guidance, and Ino protected Sakura until the bullies were discouraged completely from messing with her. There were multiple times were Ino went as far as picking a fight with people who bullied or upset Sakura, earning even more of Sakura admiration in the process. At one point, when a group of girls were picking on Sakura, Ino threw poisonous flowers into their mouths with perfect accuracy and warned them that they had better go focus on handling that instead of bothering Sakura. Another time, Ino stood between Sakura and a group of bullies and physically prevented them from attacking her.
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Sakura becomes attached to Ino.

Ino introduced Sakura to more friends and helped guide her into coming into her own as a person, telling Sakura that she truly looked forward to seeing what sort of flower she would blossom into when she became stronger. Ino compared Sakura to cosmos and assured the girl that she would bloom into something beautiful and powerful one day.

The more Sakura saw Ino as amazing and perfect, the more Sakura compared herself to Ino. Sakura considered Ino to be beautiful, cute, friendly, and fashionable, and she considered Ino the smartest and most capable ninja in training in their class with already outstanding skills with ninjutsu and shuriken.

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Ino assures Sakura that she is beautiful, like a cosmos flower.

Compared to Ino, in Sakura's mind, Sakura lacked in all these aspects greatly. Ino notices Sakura's insecurity and repeatedly tells her how great she is and gets her to open herself up to others more and more, but Sakura continues to trail behind Ino, somewhat. During a class on floral arrangement, Ino teaches Sakura that the cosmos is cherry blossom of autumn, and that a flower as vivid as that would need to be surrounded by flowers that stand out less as decoration. Ino takes one of the flowers that Sakura has picked, holds it up in her hair, and asks Sakura if she looks cute with a wink. After a pause to admire Ino, Sakura shyly answers that yes, she does, then giggles as Ino playfully teases her.
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Sakura compares herself to Ino.

Bullies come over and mock Sakura, calling her "Billboard Brow" and telling her not to get full of herself. Ino throws slightly poisonous aconite flowers into the main bully's mouth like shuriken and scares them off.

Ino laughs as the bullies run away in fear, winking to Sakura and telling her that only the root of that plant is actually poison. Sakura blushes and smiles, marveling at how cute, intelligent, stylish, and bubbly Ino is. Her ninjutsu and taijutsu are also exceptional. Sakura is weak and lackluster compared to Ino, and begins to feel depressed. Sakura asks if Ino is a cosmos while Sakura is merely a thoroughwort.

Ino grins and assures Sakura that she is still a bud, waiting to bloom into the beautiful flower that she is meant to be. Although it's meant as encouragement, it makes Sakura feel even more insecure about herself.
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Ino expresses her anger and annoyance with Sasuke when she learns of Sakura's crush.

Sakura asks Ino why she gave Sakura the red ribbon. Ino answers that she thought it would be a waste if Sakura just wilted away as the bud she was. Sakura blushes as Ino says that a flower that didn't bloom didn't have any meaning. Ino says that for all they know, Sakura might bloom to become a flower more beautiful than any other. Sakura is deeply moved to tears.

After the class, Ino is praised for her floral arrangement, and everyone claps. Sakura is then praised for hers as well, and Sakura blushes and smiles as Ino claps beside her.

IS - childhood

Sakura breaks off the friendship and declares that Ino is her rival.

Later, Sakura told her group of friends that she'd finally found a boy she liked and was surprised when they correctly guessed Sasuke Uchiha. Hearing about Sakura's crush on Sasuke, Ino became noticeably displeased, saying she didn't understand what Sakura would like about Sasuke in the first place, insulting how stuck-up he was and implying she wasn't impressed with Sasuke.

At some point, Sakura heard a rumor that Ino had a crush on Sasuke, and chose to believe the rumor without further investigation. She confronted Ino, telling Ino that she knew about her crush on Sasuke, and that she was breaking their friendship at that point. From that point on, according to Sakura, they were no longer friends, but instead rivals.

Ino is visibly shocked and distraught at Sakura's accusation decision.

Part I

Prologue — Land of Waves

Sakura vs Ino

Sakura and Ino race to the classroom.

From Ino's introduction, Sakura and Ino are revealed to be rivals for Sasuke's affections and rivals in general, turning practically everything they do into a competition and trying to one-up each other. They tend to argue in a comical manner whenever they're in each other's company, and they often refer to each other by derogatory names ("Forehead Girl/Billboard Brow" for Sakura and "Ino-pig" for Ino), much to the displeasure of the other.

From the first day, Sakura and Ino aggressively raced each other to school, calling each other insults and taunting each other the entire way. When they arrive, both insist that they crossed the threshold into the classroom first and shove the other, turning it into another argument.

Sakura and Ino argue and compete over who will get to be on the same team as Sasuke, leading both to be furious when Naruto "steal" Sasuke's first kiss right in front of them.

Ino is crushed and Sakura is ecstatic when Sakura is the one put on his team.

Sakuino ribbon

Sakura makes Ino take back the ribbon she gave her.

Later, Sakura meets up with Ino to brag about the fact that Sakura is on Sasuke's team and Ino is not. Ino is not sure why Sakura would call her out just to say something like that, so Sakura continues, declaring that from now on, she will never lose to Ino. Ino playfully taunts that she won't ever lose to Sakura, either.

She pulls out the ribbon Ino had given her as a child and holds it out to give it back to Ino, reiterating that they were now rivals and that she wouldn't lose to her anymore, as her rival.

Ino angrily refused to accept the ribbon at first, saying that the ribbon had been a gift, and Sakura wasn't supposed to return gifts. Ino also told Sakura that the ninja hitae-ate wasn't meant to be worn as a headband, but instead over her forehead, as protection, so there was no reason to return the ribbon to Ino anyway.

Sakura insisted however, saying that she wouldn't tie her hitae-ate around her forehead until she could stand face-to-face with Ino instead of trailing behind her. Hurt and upset, Ino takes back the red ribbon that she had given Sakura all those years ago.

Chunin Exam arc

When Team 7 arrives at the chunin exams, Ino greets Sasuke by hugging him, much to Sakura's chagrin. Sakura and Ino start arguing again.

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Ino protects Sakura again.

During the written stage of the first part of the chunin exams, once Ino sees that Sakura has managed to complete her exam without any outside help, Ino uses her Mind-Body Switch Technique to take over Sakura's mind, thinking to herself that Sakura's intelligence will come in handy for passing this exam. She memorizes Sakura's exam and prepares to pass on the answers to her own teammates.

During the second stage of the exams, Sakura and Ino glare at each other and argue once again before entering the Forest of Death with their respective teams.

When Ino's team discovers that Sakura is alone in a fight against Sound Ninja trying to defend an unconscious Naruto and Sasuke, Ino is visibly worried. She recalls her childhood friendship with Sakura and how much she cared for the other girl. Shikamaru asks Ino if she was alright with letting Sakura fight this losing battle, knowing that Ino and Sakura were previously best friends. Despite her inner conflict, seeing Sakura being beaten down and backed into a corner, Ino finally decides to rush in, dragging her teammates out with her to protect her old friend.

Ino and Sakura Fixing Hair

Ino fixes Sakura's hair.

After the Sound Ninja have been dealt with, Ino calls Sakura over and offers to help her fix her hair (which she cut off during the battle). Although Ino does fix Sakura's short hair into a cleaner style like she said she would, they soon go back to their bantering ways, Sakura bragging about the fact that she had gotten to hug Sasuke.

During the Chuunin preliminary matches, Sakura becomes shaken up when she realizes that all the other genin there are so powerful. She had hoped she'd be able to get by with just chakra control, but realizes that won't be the case. She goes to the bathroom to get some water and calm herself down. When she looks up, she sees in the mirror that Ino has followed her there.

Ino correctly asserts that Sakura has the jitters after seeing how the first few matches have gone, even noting that the skilled Sasuke barely made it out of his match alive. Since Sakura is far less powerful than Sasuke, Ino voices what Sakura has been thinking: that she has no way of making it out of this alive, too.

Sakura is silent, then remembers the moment earlier in the exams when she cut her own hair. This steels Sakura courage, and she walks past Ino, determined.
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Ino taunts Sakura and warns her not to get in over her head.

Despite Ino's concern disguised as taunts, or possibly because of it, Sakura assures Ino that she can handle whoever she will be matched up against, and even that she can't wait. The conversation with Ino managed to calm Sakura back down and get her pumped up to return to the arena. Ino follows her back to the arena shortly thereafter.

As it turns out, the two girls are matched up against each other. Sakura and Ino are both shocked, but Sakura tries to put on a brave face as she stares down Ino.

The two exchange blows and insults, but neither girl uses her full strength because of the friendship they had in the past.

Sakuino slapped

Ino slaps Sakura instead of punching her out.

Their lingering affection for the other leaves them both using "kid gloves," especially Ino, who's taijutsu is superior but who is more held back by her feelings for Sakura. At a moment when Ino has the perfect opportunity to land a finishing punch, she suddenly remembers Sakura as the little girl who she protected and helped in their younger days, picturing Sakura's bruised face as the chubby face she had when she was a young girl. Ino's punch turns into a light slap, much to both Sakura's and Ino's surprise.

Sakura recalls how much Ino's support has meant to her and thinks to herself about the fact that she would never have made it this far if it hadn't been for Ino. Sakura tells Ino that she wants to fight her seriously and beat her at her best, or else this whole fight would be pointless.

Inner sakura

Sakura breaks out of Ino's mind-control jutsu.

Ino expresses her shock and frustration that Sakura is strong enough to match her in the first place, saying that she was supposed to be weak and frail.

Sakura notices that Ino is being soft on her and uses taunts and insults in order to get her to fight to her fullest potential, telling Ino that she is not the little girl who needed her protection and guidance anymore. Sakura ties her headband around her forehead to show her resolve in this statement, and Ino does the same to show that she is just as resolved as Sakura is to win this battle.

To prove her point even further, Ino cuts her hair, like Sakura had done in the Forest of Death, leaving her long hair scattered across the floor. The gesture's meaning is clear. Since both of them grew out their hair after the rumor that Sasuke liked girls with long hair, both of them cutting their hair demonstrates that they hold their rivalry with each other above their spats as romantic rivals and intend to face off with only that in mind.

Double Knockout

The battle ends in a double-knockout.

After several minutes of battling, one in which both girls utilize their knowledge of the others' techniques and personalities using feints and mind-games, Ino seems to pull ahead. Sakura taunts Ino for trying to use her Mind-Body Switch Technique, knowing it would only work on a perfectly stable target and that missing would essentially cost her the match, but Ino pretends to use it anyway.

Instead, Ino had used the hair on the ground as a chakra-infused rope while Sakura was distracted with her taunts, leaving Sakura completely immobile and susceptible to Ino's technique after all. Performing the technique for real this time, Ino takes over Sakura's mind and prepares to force her to forfeit the match.

Sakuino bloomed

Ino gives Sakura her headband and tells her that she has bloomed.

However, Sakura wrestles back control from Ino using her "Inner Sakura" to force Ino to release the technique. Exhausted and out of options, the two girls clash once more, punching each other in the face and resulting in a double-knockout.

The match ends up in a tie, much to the chagrin of both girls. Their respective teachers carry them back up to the upper level and set them against the wall together.

When they wake up, Sakura is disappointed to hear that the match has ended. Playful and upbeat in order to cheer Sakura up, Ino complains that she can't believe that they two of them could have tied.

However, Ino hands Sakura her forehead protector and says that she's grown into a beautiful flower. Ino smiles with pride at her own friend, and Sakura is tearfully happy to accept her headband back. Their friendship seems to have been rekindled at this point, though they decide to remain romantic rivals over Sasuke in the end.
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Ino's flower shop.

A few days after the preliminaries, Sakura visits the Yamanaka flower shop to pick out a flower. Ino helps Sakura pick out a flower and explains some flower meanings to her. Ino sees that she intends to give it to Sasuke to cheer him up in the hospital so Ino ends her shift and picks out a flower too. Sakura picks one extra flower, explaining to Ino that this one is for Lee, who is also in the hospital.

The two go to the hospital together, but both are shocked to see that Lee is not in his room. They and the attending nurse see Lee exercising outside, despite being heavily injured, and the two girls both express their concern when he falls unconscious due to his overexertion. Sakura sadly asks Ino why it is that boys try so hard. Ino looks at Sakura with a look of sympathy, but says that she doesn't understand it either, since Ino is also a girl.

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Sakura and Ino cheer at the finals.

On the day of the finals, Ino sees that Sakura is still sad that Sasuke has yet to arrive to the arena, so she sits next to Sakura to cheer her up. Ino tries to reassure Sakura that the then-absent Sasuke will definitely appear, so for now, they should focus on the matches, especially Naruto's, since Naruto is Sakura's teammate but she seems completely preoccupied thinking about Sasuke.

Sakura and Ino are both in awe after Naruto manages to pull through and win against Neji.

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Ino tries to cheer up Sakura, who is sad that Sasuke hasn't arrived.

During Shikamaru's match, Ino gushes about how passionate Shikamaru must be to have dived into the arena like that, not realizing that he had been pushed in by Naruto. Choji mentions Sasuke, and Ino hurriedly tries to shush him, then tries to cheer up a dejected Sakura, not that she has been reminded about Sasuke.

They cheer for Sasuke together when he arrives. The two of them watch the battles together and discuss the ninja taking part in them. When Sasuke finally arrives for his match with Gaara, Ino and Sakura watch in amazement, Ino tells Sakura that her teammates are incredibly skilled.

Later, Ino falls asleep under the genjutsu, but Sakura is able to repel it and stay awake.

Sasuke Recovery Mission

Ino and Sakura visit the injured at the hospital together, and both are relieved to see that everyone is okay due to the Fifth Hokage's efforts.

Hug

Ino becomes Tsunade's apprentice with Sakura.

At some point during the time skip, Sakura began training under Tsunade to master medical ninjutsu.

Later, after admitting how much she envied how amazingly Sakura performed on their last joint mission and how everyone depended on her, Ino sought training under Tsunade as well, and asked Sakura to put in a good word for her with Tsunade.

Sakura happily, smugly declared that this made Ino her underling now. Despite the taunt, Sakura is genuinely happy when Ino makes progress as a medical ninja.

Despite her provocations, Sakura is shown to be genuinely happy when Ino masters medical ninjutsu, laughing, smiling, running over to pull Ino into a hug, grabbing her hands and twirling around in a dance, and even blushing when she realizes how emotional she has become seeing that she and Ino will be partners again.

Sakura quickly walks back her enthusiasm, leading to another argument between her and Ino, which is broken up by the healed octopus squirting them both in ink.

Part II

Sakura and Ino whisper about Sai

Ino and Sakura whisper about Sai.

Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission

Ino notices that Sakura's new teammate, Sai, is very handsome, and tells Sakura that she might be interested in pursuing him. Sakura warns Ino that Sai's personality is very different from Sasuke's.

While their teams have lunch together, Sakura waits in anticipation for Sai to call Ino ugly like he had called Sakura. However, to both of their surprise, Sai calls Ino beautiful, enraging Sakura into fighting Sai.

Akatsuki Suppression Mission

Konoha 11 Decision

Sakura and Ino are devastated over having to come to a decision about Sasuke.

Sakura and her team arrive just in time to prevent Kakuzu from killing Ino and her team after Asuma has died.

Five Kage Summit

Sakura and Ino are in the group with the others as they discuss what needs to be done in regards to Sasuke, who is becoming increasingly infamous as a rogue ninja. Ino and Sakura are both remorseful over the idea of having to fight or even kill Sasuke.

Ten-Tails Revival Arc

Thanks Naruto and Sakura

Thank You, Sakura

Before Inoichi's death, he gives Ino his last words about being proud that Ino was someone who would always protect her friends. Stating that he's proud that Ino had truly grown to reflect the meaning of their clan's flower symbol. During the war as the battle continues to rage on, Sakura thinks to herself of how much and how hard her teammate is working, Ino helps clarify and reassures her. When Ino's teammate recovers, she thanks Sakura.

Blank Period

Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness

Sakura joins Ino on a journey to save Shikamaru and the others.The Last: Naruto the Movie

Ino's team has dinner with Sakura, Naruto, and Hinata at Ichiraku Ramen.

Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze

Ino and Sakura open up a mental health clinic for Konoha together in order to assess and treat the children of the village. The travel together to Suna in order to advise the medical ninja there about how to open a similar clinic for their village.

On their trip, Sakura and Ino begin to gossip together, largely about their friends' relationships. When Sakura asks Ino about her love live, Ino shyly confesses to having a crush on Sai and explains that her feelings for him are rather serious. Ino says she wants to properly confess to Sai by giving him a flower, and asks Sakura what would be better to express her feelings, lavender or flower dogwood.
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Sakura and Ino both want to buy the same wedding gift.

They meet up with a Suna ninja and are informed of an incident that apparently involves Sasuke. Neither girl wants to believe that Sasuke has joined a terrorist group, but are unable to come up with sufficient evidence to dispute it.

Upon their return to Konoha, Sakura and Ino inform Kakashi about the situation.

Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding

Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise

New Era

Sarada Uchiha Arc

During a short vacation that the two of them are taking alone together, Ino takes Sakura on a surprise trip to the seaside cliff bench where Sasuke and Sakura had their first date. Sakura is surprised, but Ino says that she specifically researched to find the spot of Sakura and Sasuke's first date and that Sakura shouldn't underestimate how far Ino is willing to go for her.

Sakura smiles wistfully and explains that it was a very short date the Sasuke has probably already forgotten about by now, lasting only 2 and a half minutes. Nonetheless, Ino can tell how happy it makes Sakura to remember it, so she forcibly sits Sakura down on the bench and allows her to enjoy reminiscing about her memories with Sasuke. Ino leaves to let Sakura reminisce alone.
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Sakura and Ino watch the chunin exams together again.

Later, when Sakura is returning to the village after the incident in which Sarada ran away to find Sasuke, Ino welcomes Sakura back to the village. Ino notices Sasuke and greets him as well, but Sarada makes a point to stand between the two of them and block Ino, apparently afraid that she had planned to steal her father away from Sakura.

Versus Momoshiki Arc

Ino and Sakura sit together with Temari to watch the chunin exam finals and cheer for their children. They discuss the matches and share commentary on each fight.

When the arena is invaded by the Otsutsuki Clan, Ino and Sakura both spring into action to fight and protect the civilians in the crowd.

Evidence

  • At the beginning of the series, despite the two no longer being friends, they were still shown to care for each other.
  • Ino and Sakura have repeatedly made the other blush and both think of the other as beautiful and skilled.
  • Ino was the first to see and acknowledge Sakura's potential, and the first to make Sakura see that potential in herself.
  • Ino has been shown to go out of her way to protect, encourage, cheer up, or simply be there for Sakura when she needed her, even doing so indirectly or using reverse psychology to do so when Sakura wouldn't accept the kindness any other way.
  • During their fight in the Chunin preliminaries, Ino is initially unable to go all-out against Sakura due to their past and her feelings towards Sakura. Only when Sakura provokes her does Ino take the fight seriously.
  • Ino was inspired to become a medical ninja when she saw how skilled and dependable Sakura was becoming.[1]
  • The two of them have a strong bond as childhood friends and rivals.
  • Ino's favourite thing is the flower she gave Sakura when they were children.
  • Ino wishes for a rematch with Sakura.
  • The two have shown to have comedic bickering throughout the series, but are still remained and shown as great friends.
  • Sakura is shown to have a high amount of respect towards Ino since their childhood, and Ino comes to have a great deal of respect for Sakura as well, especially when they learn medical ninjutsu together and work together in the field. They both acknowledge the other's skills and are well aware of each other's shortcomings.
  • Ino has saved and protected Sakura multiple times, and Sakura has saved and protected Ino as well.
  • Sakura and Ino have made each blush multiple times throughout the series.
  • Ino has repeatedly been the most adept at seeing when Sakura is depressed or upset and has often been there for her to try to comfort or cheer her up. She also sometimes tries to distract Sakura from her troubles by bickering with her.
  • Ino has been shown to understand and care about Sakura's feelings more than any other character.
  • Despite the rocky terms that Sakura ended their friendship on and their constant fights throughout the series, the two have been shown to still care deeply for each other as equals, friends, and rivals.
  • Sakura initially ended her friendship with Ino partially because of their rivalry over Sasuke, but it is also implied that Sakura ended the friendship because she felt she was in Ino's shadow and wanted to be able to truly stand as equals with Ino instead of lagging behind her.
  • Sakura and Ino have each made the other blush and have both expressed that they think the other is beautiful, despite the fact their their "nicknames" for each other imply otherwise.
  • Ino and Sakura are often seen together throughout the series, alternating between arguing and being very caring and civil towards each other.
  • During the timeskip, Sakura and Ino trained together under Tsunade and where there for each other in general, culminating in Ino bringing Sakura onto her team for the chunin exams to replace Shikamaru and give Sakura a chance to compete.
  • In one of the canon novels, the narration suggests that Sakura and Ino are so close and love each other so much that if they had been a boy and a girl, they would have ended up marrying each other instead of Sasuke and Sai, respectively.
  • Ino and Sakura go on vacations or trips alone together as adults.
  • Sakura and Ino are still good friends as adults. As an adult, Ino's feelings for Sasuke have faded, but her affection for Sakura and her desire to see Sakura happy is stronger than ever.

Quotes 

Shikamaru to Ino about Sakura - Chapter 53:

  • "Sakura's alone, what are you gonna do, Ino? She's in trouble. Didn't you guys used to be good friends..?"

Young Sakura, thinking about Ino:

  • "Ino-chan is incredible... She knows everything... She's so fashionable and cute... And as that shuriken-throwing ability just showed, her ninjutsu are great... compared to her, I am..."

Sakura to Ino - Chapter 53:

  • "Hey... Ino-chan.. I heard you also like Sasuke-kun. Then.. I guess from now on.. we're rivals."

Ino to Sakura - Chapter 54:

  • "Everyone makes fun of you because of your forehead, huh? ---  You try and hide it with your hair, you look like a ghost. Come here again tomorrow, I'll give you something nice. --- See, you're much cuter this way. You can have that ribbon. They make fun of you because you try and hide it. You have a cute face, so show it confidentally. Confidentally!!"

Ino about Sakura - Chapter 54 + 57:

  • "Bahh.. she's just hiding her feelings" --- "Pft.. Sakura's hiding her feelings again.."

After Sakura realizes everyone else there is likely stronger than her - Naruto episode 41:

  • Ino: "You've got the jitters, don't you, Sakura?"
  • Sakura: "Wha...?!"
  • Ino: "Even Sasuke-kun collapsed. I mean, it felt like it was because it was Sasuke that it ended at that. What'll happen if you take part? It might be best if you quit!"
  • Sakura: (...It's okay! I can tough it out this time around, too.) "Quit? Who? I can hardly wait."

Ino to Sakura - Chapter 71:

  • "Like the sakura flower in the spring time, the cosmos is the most beautiful flower in autumn."

Ino to Sakura about Flowers and when Sakura asks about the Ribbon  - Chapter 71:

  • "I thought it would be a waste for you to wither away as a bud. There's no meaning to a flower unless it blooms. It might even turn out to be.. a flower even more beautiful than a cosmos."

Sakura about Ino - Chapter 71:

  • "Ino.. I have always believed those words you told me.. I always hoped they were true.. I wanted to be like you, you were my goal. Thanks to that, I am here now. That's why, Ino.. I want this to be an all out fight."

Sakura to Ino - Chapter 71:

  • "I'm returning this ribbon. From now on, I'm no longer the girl that follows you around.. --- The time when I put this headband on my forehead, is the time, as a female shinobi, that I won't lose to you.."

Ino to Sakura - Chapter 73:

  • "You've bloomed into a beautiful flower.."

After their joint mission - Naruto episode 220:

  • Ino: "Umm, Sakura. Got a minute?"
  • Sakura: "Oh, Ino. Sure, what's up?"
  • Ino: "As, as it happens, I was thinking about it the while... But it became totally clear to me on this mission! Clear that I'd be no good at all at this rate!"
  • Sakura: "Ino..."
  • Ino: "It's frustrating, but I was envious of you. You, who everyone depended on. So, please. I also want to become a medical ninja. I know it'll be hard. But I've got guts and I'll manage the studying, no matter what. So could you ask Lady Tsunade for me?"
  • Sakura: "Sure."
  • Ino: "Really?"
  • Sakura: "But prepare yourself. Once that happens, you'll be my little sister protege."
  • Ino: "What's that...?"
  • Sakura: "Naturally! After all, I'll be your Medical Ninja superior, you know. Man, I can't wait. You'll be my lovable little sister protege. I'll train you nice and hard."
  • Ino: "Just you watch! I'll pass you up right away!"
  • Sakura: "Ha! Try it if you can! You Ino Pig!"
  • Ino: "I'll do it! Billboard Brow!"

Trivia

  • Ino works with flowers and is very fond of them, and coincidentally, Sakura is named after a flower. Floral imagery is invoked in a lot of their shared moments together, and the databooks confirm that Ino's favorite flowers are specifically the ones she gave to Sakura.

Among the Fans

InoSaku is actually a very popular Yuri couple. It is most likely supported due to the two girls being rivals and childhood friends. It's often accompanied by HinaTen. It's a rival pairings are NaruSaku, ShikaIno, SaiIno, and SasuSaku.


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