The Sakuras

January 2, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR! So okay, I was a day late but nevertheless still wishing everyone a happy year ahead. Another eventful year of animes have come and go. As usual, my new year resolution is to watch more animes! Hahaha! And what a way to start of the new year with a blog entry with something related to the new year. Well, close enough, I think.
 
Sakura. For those who know, that word brings to mind those beautiful and pretty pink cherry blossom trees that blossom during the spring season. They are such a magnificent and breathtaking sight to behold. So much so that to some it is like an annual ritual to go book a spot just to watch those petals flutter and float down like it’s some sort of trance with their friends and family. Hanami, that is. Which literally means flower viewing.
 
Thus it is most befitting for girls to be named after such a beautiful flower. A symbol of feminine beauty and personality, I must say. So it is no surprise that there are some anime characters which have taken after this lovely name. Without wasting any more time, listed below are the 15 characters of anime named Sakura that I know of.
 
1) Sakura Kinomoto (Card Captor Sakura)
Sakura Kinomoto

The first Sakura that I know for the many more other Sakuras yet to come. Being from a mahou shoujo genre, this Sakura is your usual cheerful and energetic 10 year old. Her task in the anime as a Card Captor is to collect and gather all the missing magical cards dubbed the Clow Cards after mistakenly awakening a guardian of the Clow Cards, Cerebus, whom she fondly calls Kero-chan.
 
2) Sakura Haruno (Naruto)
Sakura Haruno

Probably the most famous Sakura ever known due to the popularity of the anime and manga. In my opinion, by just saying her first name, many of us would conjure this Sakura of that ninja related series. This medical ninja wannabe student has a crush on her team mate Sasuke but it’s a one way love relationship. In addition, her other annoying team mate Naruto likes her a lot but the feeling isn’t mutual, though she gets to appreciate him more as time goes by. Because of that, she tends to be a little brutish and violent ways and sometimes nicknamed by others as forehead girl due to her, well, large exposure of her forehead area.
 
3) Mikan Sakura (Gakuen Alice)
Mikan Sakura
Though she may be a cry-baby and scatterbrained at times, she is really a cute and good natured girl who is willing to go out of her way and help her friends who are in need. This is an admirable trait of hers and coupled in with her friendly behaviour and ever smiling face, friends and foes respect her alike. Though she considers her Alice powers to be useless at first, her Nullification Alice prove to be useful at times, nullifying and cancelling out dangerous and harmful Alices.
 
4) Sakura Sugai (Amaenaideyo)
Sakura Sugai

The bespectacled girl is part of a group of high school students who also do part time job exorcising and spiritual procedures of the town’s local temple. Seeing that his series is an ecchi harem, however she is the character which gets the least ‘ecchi treatment backlash’ most probably she is seen as more serious than the rest. Also, she runs an online love problem and solution portal under the name of Dr Sakura that she enjoys berating those hopeless souls and mocking those grievances (perhaps she is indirectly indicating that she is one?). Yeah, a sadistic girl but even so she still cares for those around her, especially her little sister Hinata.
 
5) Sakura Sae (Sola)
Sakura Sae

This wavy long-haired girl has a dreamy voice but the thing which is more surprising about her is that she likes cooking up her own weird fantasies pertaining love relationships. As she works part time as a waitress in a cafe, she has a crush on a particular patron, Takeshi who frequents the cafe and calls him Hige (beardy). But you know, her case is one of those unrequited love.
 
6) Sakura Murakami (Momoiro Sisters)
Sakura Murakami

She may be an ordinary office worker but her knowledge on sexual stuff is damn sky-high. You can say she’s bloody experienced in this stuff and the miss-know-it-all when it comes to this stuff. Always envying her co-worker Yukari’s bigger busts, it is ironic to know that this woman is still single. Maybe that’s the scary part and that’s why lots of men don’t want her. Yeah, too horny. She’s approaching middle age soon, you know… I guess she has to settle for her office colleague, Rin.
 
7) Sakura Shinguji (Sakura Taisen)
Sakura Shinguji

Part of the Imperial Assault Force’s Flower Division to protect an alternate Tokyo from the threats of spiritual demons. Like her other female comrades-in-arms, she possesses the much needed spiritual powers to power and control robotic armours called Oobu. She is the daughter of the hero of the previous demon war and wields a samurai sword. Coming from the countryside, she may have a little trouble adapting to the urban life. But as time passes, the others come to accept her with her open and friendly personality as well as her increased skills.
 
8) Sakura Mizunosaki (Oku-sama Wa Joshi Kousei)
 Sakura Mizunosaki

Looks young enough to be somebody’s sister but in fact she’s a single mom with a cheeky son named Sasuke (I wonder if their names are taken from that ninja series as well). Works as a nightclub and likes to drink beer a lot. Initially she tries to flirt and gets closer with Asami’s beloved husband, Ichimaru, since she is their newly moved-in next door neighbours. But backs down once she gets to know how Asami loves her husband very much. Don’t worry, she’s a good girl and won’t burst their secret married relationship.
 
9) Momoko Sakura (Chibi Maruko Chan)
Momoko Sakura

Many wouldn’t know the real name of this 9 year old girl if not for the anime title, whom she is more popularly known as. Of all the Sakuras here, she is the laziest and disorganized kid ever. Shouldn’t all little kids from poor family be hardworking and such? Hates doing homework and other chores unlike her sister and friends, a selfish little kid who throws tantrums whenever she doesn’t get what she wants. But at the end, she deservingly reaps what she sows. But after all those lessons, will she still learn?
 
10) Sakura Yoshino (Da Capo)
Sakura Yoshino

The little blonde petite girl who is Junichi’s cousin and has a crush on him. She has recently returned from America back to her hometown of Hatsunejima. She made a wish upon the never-withering sakura tree to not grow up, which explains her child-like appearance (so that Junichi could still recognize her). Initially a love rival with Nemu over Junichi but later admits defeat after realizing their love for each other. Most of the time she is seen with Utamaru, a little white pet cat of hers. In the sequel, she plays a more supporting role towards Junichi and Nemu and in the direct sequel of the series, becomes the headmistress of Kazami Academy.
 
11) Sakura Tsubaki (Kare Kano)
 Sakura Tsubaki

Yukino’s friend and classmate in the series. While she is quite athletic (she’s on the school’s basketball and volleyball team), she is also sort of tomboyish in nature. When a new student, Tonami appears in her life, she realizes that this tall handsome guy was the short fat little kid she used to pick on back during their elementary school days. He seeks revenge on her for the torment she has caused him since she initially didn’t recognize his unbelievable ‘transformation’. But he falls for her instead after getting to know her never-say-die attitude.
 
12) Princess Sakura (Tsubasa Chronicle)
Princess Sakura

The grown up version of Card Captor Sakura’s main protagonist. In this alternate reality, she is the princess of the Clow Kingdom who lost her memories as they are scattered throughout the dimensions of time and space in the form of feathers as part of Fei Wong’s evil scheme. Her childhood friend Syaoran goes on a dimension hopping adventure along with her and 2 others to retrieve all her feathers even though the price he has to pay is that she won’t be able to know him even if he completes his mission. A soft-spoken and kind-hearted girl but initially ‘weak’ and gets exhausted after absorbing every feather, she grows into someone stronger and independent as she goes by.
 
13) Nina Sakura (Ultra Maniac)
Nina Sakura

A witch from the Magic Kingdom and a candidate to be the next queen. She is on Earth to find 5 Holy Stones and the first candidate to do so will qualify to marry the prince back in the Magic Kingdom and faces strong rivalry from her childhood friend, Maya who too is pursuing the stones. She befriends an Earthling Ayu who initially doesn’t believe that she’s a witch until she displays several of her magical mishaps. This candy-loving girl too has a lively personality and often tries to help Ayu in her love live.
 
14) Sakura Ushikubo (Special A)
Sakura Ushikubo

The daughter of a wealthy family running in a medical line. She hates dishonest people and does not hesitate to use her fists to punish those dishonest ones. Initially was engaged to Kei but subsequently it is revealed that he is not her type as she mainly sees their future union as an advantage position for her family’s business. Instead, she fell head over heels for shy elusive Jun and is always chasing after her ‘ideal’ man even if she knows he has a split flirtatious personality.
 
15) Sakura Kusakabe (Bokusatsu Tenshi Doukro-chan)
Sakura Kusakabe

Oddly, the only Sakura I know who is a boy! At first I thought it was his surname but nope, it’s his first name. This is the only Sakura I know to have died and revived many times. How? Because in the future he has created some anti-aging device for woman, God didn’t like it and sends a death angel, Dokuro to assassinate him. However, Dokuro feels the need to persuade him rather than kill him. Ironically, because of her temperament nature, she ends up killing up only to revive him back after realizing her mistake. Other than that, Sakura has to endure her teasing and torture. Like being mistaken for a pervert when he isn’t. Though he has a crush on his classmate, Shizuki, as time progresses, he shows more feelings towards that tormenting angel. He likes the pain, does he?
 
There you have it, the list of 15 Sakura anime characters. However, this list is not meant to be definitive as there are many more other Sakura-named characters out there. Some still unknown to me of course. They can also range from main characters to minor supporting characters and to insignificant extras! Let me list down the few of the other Sakuras such as Sakura Saku (Nodame Cantabile), Sakura Nankyoku (Penguin Musume Heart), Sakura Rokujou (Tokko), Sakura Matou (Fate/Stay Night), Sakura Hanako (Wedding Peach), Yun Sakura (Saishuu Shiken Kujira), Miyuki Sakura (Mahoromatic), Hiromi Sakura (Lamune), Sakura Koukushou (Please Save My Earth), Sakura Shinjou (Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~) and Sakura Saginomiya (801 TTS Airbats).
 
Of course there are some Sakuras just without a surname and are just known as that. Full stop. Then there are other characters with Sakura hidden in their names such as Asakura, Sakuragi, Sakurai, Sakurazuka, Sakurano, Sakuraba and Sakurada which serves more as a surname. Looks like I better end it here for now since I’ve been blogging too much on this topic and before we get Sakura overload and end up getting Sakura fever. Hmm… I wonder if there are any medicinal qualities in those sakura plants.
 
So which Sakura do I like best, you ask? Well, it’s a tough choice. Not that I can pinpoint exactly which one I like because for instance, it could be Nina Sakura of Ultra Maniac because she did ended up on my top bishoujo list for 2006. Then again it could be Sakura Yoshino from Da Capo or Sakura Sae from Sola because I really like the series (but that doesn’t necessarily mean I like the character). Or maybe it could be Princess Sakura of Tsubasa Chronicle or Mikan Sakura of Gakuen Alice because of their likeable qualities. And Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan’s Sakura Kusakabe? Well he’s funny because he gets killed everytime. But whichever Sakura it is, I’m sure they’ll continue to uphold the beauty of their name. I think. I hope. Let’s celebrate a sakura for the future!