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Naruto, a series that started in the early 2000s (1999-2017), had a very immersive art style and engaging plot that kept me reading the story until it ended. Masashi Kishimoto, the author of the series, illustrated the struggles of a twelve-year-old boy named Naruto in a very entertaining manner.
Having the nine-tailed fox sealed inside of him, Naruto was discriminated against by his fellow villagers. To prove his worth, Naruto made his goal to become the Hokage. Fortunately, this is what the fans were looking for. As the series gained popularity, it sold over 250 million copies.
However, the story isn’t the only place where this series truly flourishes. Masashi Kishimoto shows this with his vast cast of characters in the series. Each character plays a vital role in the series, and Sai, too, is one of these characters.
Sai is a very observant and reversed person who doesn’t let his emotions get the better of him. Furthermore, he quietly pays attention to details to complete his missions successfully. Moreover, even though it has no substantial effect on the main plot, Sai’s journey with team 7 Naruto, Sakura, and Yamato is intriguing.
Unlike Sai, Naruto easily lets his emotions take over him, which Sai can never learn to understand. Furthermore, the other close member, Sakura, is a mystery to Sai at first. Because he doesn’t know how to interact with people, constantly suppressing his emotions behind a fake cheerful smile.
However, Sai grows as a character trying to discover his emotions and live a life with true meaning with time. So here is a detailed guide on how Sai fits in the Naruto series and who he is.
Sai Yamanaka: The Assassin Saved from the Shadows
Sai is one of the characters who is very observant of his situation. Unlike the characters on the front line who used their offensive abilities to make their opponents surrender. Sai uses his wits to confuse the opponent psychologically and take over the battle.
Being a Roots’ member, Sai was taught to never overestimate his own abilities or underestimate his opponents’ skills. So Sai was never afraid to kill others without hesitation to get what was needed to be done. Sai always took orders as a priority, and he was even ready to take his comrades’ lives if they became a nuisance.
However, later on, he learned that this was wrong and used his skills in the right way. Going on the right path, Sai recognized his skills by everyone close to him. Especially his team members.
Sai is one of the characters with an average height being 172.1 cm tall. He is a pale white skin tone character with black and short black hair. He is usually seen wearing a black midriff shirt with its right sleeve a bit long and left sleeve short.
He also has a red strap backpack behind his bag in which he carries his brushes and scrolls mainly for drawing purposes. Furthermore, he also has a tip-less tanto on his back. Moreover, he wore these clothes to show his allegiance to Roots’ organization.
Moreover, he wears his forehead protective gear along with this outfit. However, during causal days Sai wears a long sleeve outfit with matching pants and doesn’t wear his forehead protection. This outfit had the color purple before and later on changed to navy blue. Sai also had a curse seal on the back of his tongue, which faded away following Danzo’s death.
Furthermore, as the series progressed, Sai’s outfit kept changing, with his midriff shirt getting longer and longer to the point where it completely covered his torso. The sleeves of both sides of the shirt also got stretched to his wrists.
Sai was also considered very handsome and popular among girls. The girls said he looked like Sasuke even though they had completely different appearances.
Use of Tanto Blade
As Sai was a member of the Roots, he learned each critical skill to winning a fight ranging from long-range combats to short-range combats. One of the skills he learned to fight in close combat was using his Tanto. A tip-less sword that is used to fight against enemies.
Even though the blade had a flat edge rather than a sharp one, it was handy for fighting. By using his sword, the upcoming attacks and swords can easily be fended off due to an even width till the end, which strengthens the blade and doesn’t let it break easily.
Furthermore, it is pretty sharp from one of its sides and can easily slice through enemies. However, it’s done very brutally and can cause extreme hurt.
Sai is said to be one of the most capable members of Roots in his generation. He is one of the most capable shinobi having many ninjutsu techniques in his arsenal. His ninjutsu techniques include using Fire, water, and Yang release. He can also use earth release to become hidden underground and does this without disrupting the surface he’s hiding under.
He also became quite knowledgeable in the abilities of the Yamanaka clan after marrying Ino Yamanaka. He also became really good at making shadow clones in the anime.
Ink Drawing Techniques
While a talented artist, Sai’s true talent is shown through his drawings. As he can draw mainly anything in mere moments. He uses these artistic skills on his scroll, which is also his source of ink and brush. Furthermore, after sketching the required animal or thing he wants, he applies his chakra to the drawing making it come to life.
Sai frequently makes giant birds that he uses to transport himself or others to the place in need. This also helps him fight in aerial combat efficiently. Sai can gain the advantage by using his birds as he did against Deidara. Moreover, his creations can also fight at close range, and Sai can make ink shadow clones, which can work as impressive diversions. He shines as a ninja and is an essential asset to his comrades with these abilities.
His other creations quickly reduce to ink and are not physically strong. However, if given some time, Sai can make a giant tiger that is very strong and can seal its target in the painting. However, this creation takes some time and takes thus, allies need to protect Sai while he forms this creation.
Taijutsu and Physical Prowess
Sai is a proficient Taijutsu user. As he has shown his capabilities in hand-to-hand combat many times. One of the moments where he revealed his ability was when he broke Shin’s neck by kicking him in midair. Moreover, performing techniques with a single hand, he has a distinct advantage over his opponents as he uses his other hand to counter his opponents.
Yin and Yang, the Tale of Sai Yamanaka
Sai was introduced relatively late into the series. After Gaara, the fifth Kazekage, was saved from the Akatsuki, Kakashi was bedridden due to excessive chakra use. This meant that Team 7 had no team captain, plus they were missing a member from the three-man squad. To fill in the gaps, Yamato was chosen to lead the team, and Sai joined in to fill in for Sasuke.
Sai was a member of Roots, and he completed his difficult training by killing off the comrades that were close to him. Furthermore, he completed missions under the shadows that team 7 didn’t know of. Now Sai was given another mission that coincided along with team 7. So he went along with them.
According to Naruto and Sakura, Sai was a very mysterious character as he masked himself behind his fake smile. Naruto didn’t accept a character like him, and upon meeting, they started to have a brawl. Sai kept provoking Naruto’s feelings which led him to act recklessly.
Sai showed their difference in skills and effortlessly kept taking Naruto down. The fight continued and was finally called off by Tsunade and Yamato, and Naruto was forced to cooperate. So then they embarked on their journey to retrieve Sasuke Uchiha.
They went on their journey to Tenchi Bridge, where Naruto encountered Orochimaru. Upon meeting Orochimaru, Naruto got enraged and went berserk.
During that chaos, Sai used his observant skills and went for Sasuke’s hideout to fulfill his true motive. Naruto, finally calming down, went for Sai and Sasuke, learning the truth of Sai’s mission along the way. They finally caught up with Sai in the hideout, and seeing how much Naruto cared for Sasuke, Sai gave him a chance to prove the bond that Naruto shared with Sasuke.
Saying so, Naruto found Sasuke; unfortunately, everything went in shambles. Still, Sai saved Naruto from getting killed by using his impressive movement as a ninja, even getting recognized by Sasuke in progress.
However, they failed and came back to the village with a significant loss on their side. After the event, Sai became a better comrade with a little more known about him as he improved his social skills and bonds. Moreover, the author of the series had quite a bit more in store for Sai as he kept developing as a character.
Some time passed after Pain had attacked the village. The people close to Naruto and Naruto himself got the news that Sasuke had infiltrated the Five Kage Summit and had now become an international threat. Naruto realizing this, quickly went to pursue the Raikage to forgive Sasuke for what he did.
Unfortunately, this plan was also a failure. Realizing that Sasuke was a criminal now, Sakura, Rock Lee, Shino, Kiba, and Sai left the village to confront Sasuke. Sakura, however, had other plans, and she made everyone, including Sai go to sleep by giving them some sleeping pills.
Coming back from not being able to finish Sasuke off, Sakura came back and was confronted by an angry Sai. Sai expressed his feelings right from his heart, showing much he had developed as a character. He explained to Sakura what a cruel thing she had done by confessing such fake feelings of love to an already miserable Naruto.
Sai, later on, became a member of the allied shinobi forces and fought against many enemies in the Fourth Great Shinobi War, one of which was his brother Shin. Seeing his brother reincarnated and used as a tool was a breaking point.
So Sai quickly yet painlessly finished his brother off and sealed him away with his super beast scroll so that he could finally rest in peace. However, this act had its repercussions, and Sai really became angry. He used all the energy he had to finish his side of the battles.
As he kept developing as a character, Sai was also shown through the Infinite Tsukuyomi dream. He finally rediscovered his emotions. Moreover, he gained pretty close feelings for his team members, and with this, he planned on making as many friends he could possibly find.
This showed how much Sai matured as a character and had gained a sense of what things are ethically good in life. Sai also showed his ability to feel love for others in the series as he confessed his feeling to Ino Yamanaka, who saved him from delving into the darkness.
Characters who Had a Great Impact on Sai’s Character and Life
We should see which characters are closely related to Sai and their influential impact on him. This will help us better understand how Sai, as a character, developed and what makes him significant in the series.
Shin was a young boy with white hair and a similar outfit that Sai wore. Moreover, similar to Sai, he was an orphan and was a member of the secret organization named Roots made by Danzo Shimura in the Anbu Black Ops. According to Sai, Shin was a loud, impatient person and very caring.
He was also a capable Shinobi of Roots, finishing his enemies off in single strikes. However, Shin was suffering from a severe illness that would, later on, take his life. Shin being the observant person he was, saw Sai’s unique and impressive talent took him under his team.
Sai being the younger one made Shin really feel like a true elder brother. Over time they both made a very close relationship. However, their relationship as brothers came to a tragic end.
To make Sai or Shin ready for the brutal missions, they have to face Danzo. Sai and Shin fight each other to death. So Shin, already ill, told Sai to report to Danzo that he had won. Sai learned to suppress his emotions and take orders without question through this high emotional battle.
Although Sai had a book that had him drawn on the front of the cover and Shin on the back. He never got back to completing it after Shin died as he thought that this wasn’t necessary, showing he had indeed suppressed his emotions.
Naruto Uzumaki (The Nine Tails Jinchuriki)
Naruto is known to be the main protagonist of the series. He is a boy with blue eyes and yellow hair, wearing an orange tracksuit. He has an idiotic yet caring personality. Furthermore, he is the boy who has the nine tails sealed within him.
Naruto, a person who was discriminated against by the village all his life, took his and his friend’s emotions very seriously. He didn’t realize what a person with suppressed emotions meant being. So after coming back to the village from the 2 years long training session with his master Jiraiya Naruto, the team was finally grouped back with Sai, replacing Sasuke Uchiha.
As shown in the series, Naruto, being outspoken, and Sai being emotionless, both had polar opposite personalities. They couldn’t work together even for a second, looking for any moment to fight. Even when they would only meet, Sai would get on Naruto’s nerves.
However, having way better training, Sai would quickly show his skills to Naruto as Naruto was trying to fight him. Not to mention, this was also how their first interaction went. Later on, they went for the search of Sasuke, where Sai drifted away from the group to complete his order given by the Roots as Naruto and the others were busy fighting off Orochimaru.
However, before he could do anything, Naruto and the others made their way to the hideout where Sasuke was. Sai, unable to understand why Naruto was fixated on a rouge ninja as Sasuke, wanted to see Naruto’s bond with Sasuke.
However, Naruto was quickly overwhelmed by Sasuke’s feelings for vengeance, Sasuke swiftly planning to kill Naruto. Sai looking at Naruto and how Naruto’s feelings were getting hurt from Sasuke’s rude words, saved Naruto from Sasuke.
Even though their mission ended in failure, Sai’s talent and skills were also recognized by Naruto, and they became close comrades. Furthermore, Sai remembered his bond with his brother and tried to discover his suppressed emotions again, leaving his fake smile behind.
Sakura Haruno is a member of team 7. She has pink hair and green eyes. Furthermore, she is the only person in her group with an ordinary background. At the start of the series, she is shown as a quiet, collected kid who keeps her thoughts to herself.
Furthermore, she tries to make her appearance appeal to Sasuke Uchiha, who she has a crush on. However, facing the realities of the world, she plans to change herself. As Sasuke goes rouge, she trains herself to become persistent and powerful, following the footsteps of her master Tsunade, the legendary Sannin.
Finally, gaining some strength, she becomes more confident and expresses her thoughts openly. However, with Sasuke gone, she finally meets his replacement which is none other than Sai. Sai masks himself behind his fake smile. He is a socially awkward person, and Sakura finds him quite intriguing.
Much to her surprise, he is not what she thought of him. As Sai, mainly through books, gains knowledge of interacting with people, he often tends to be rude to be people without realizing it.
This can be seen as he called Sakura ugly, thinking giving nicknames to people is a good step to getting closer. However, much to his surprise, it’s wrong to do.
Nevertheless, after the Sasuke retrieval mission failed, Sakura learned quite a bit about Sai. His personality had a significant impact on her. She thought he was a really powerful shinobi and had a unique ability to use ink drawings to fight.
Furthermore, Sai improved his social skills by interacting with Sakura, thus becoming confident in his emotions. He also learned to refer to people nicely as he called Sakura’s rival Ino gorgeous.
Kakashi Hatake (The Copy Ninja)
He is the captain of team 7, who, similar to Sai, was a member of the Anbu black ops. Kakashi Hatake is a character with a cool-headed mind who fights his opponents very carefully. Moreover, he has a Sharingan even though he is not an Uchiha. Furthermore, he wears his Jonin shinobi outfit and has white hair. He also covers his Sharingan with a mask he wears over his face.
He sets his Sharingan to good use as he copies every enemy’s move. He has learned over a thousand Jutsu by copying them, making him a formidable foe. Sai and Kakashi went to support team Asuma against the Akatsuki. They realized that Shikamaru Nara had gone to fight the Akatsuki alone.
However, when they reached over there, they learned that Shikamaru Nara had already finished off the Akatsuki member he was against.
Sai learned that feelings of vengeance can spark more strength in a person than he already has. Furthermore, the intelligent person Sai was he learned many things looking at Kakashi fight the other Akatsuki member that was left.
As Kakashi was a member of the Anbu Black Ops, Sai had a relation with him, and Sai used to call him Senpai, meaning Senior. Kakashi and Sai got together very well. Sai started to trust his teammates and helped Kakashi in many challenging situations.
She is one of the characters who doesn’t lay a substantial role in the series. However, she plays the role of being Sakura’s rival through and through. She is of the Yamanaka clan, specializing in telepathy and mind Jutsus. Ino Yamanaka, at the start of the series, wore a purple outfit with her protective band on her waist.
She has long yellow hair and blue eyes, similar to what her father Inoichi had. Ino Yamanaka is part of the Ino-Shika-Cho team and took her missions seriously. Furthermore, she also improved quite a lot in the series, and then she met Sai at a barbeque restaurant with team Asuma.
She found Sai very attractive, and learning from his mistakes, Sai too responded fondly. Sai, at the time, improved quite a lot on how to interact with people, so this turned out good for him.
Furthermore, Sai as a character grew a lot after the series as he made a close relationship with Ino. After the fourth great shinobi war, he took the incentive and asked Ino on a date. This had a significant impact on Ino as she accepted his offer to go on a date. So by the end of the series, Sai and Ino Yamanaka got married.
Danzo Shimura (The Leader Of Roots)
Danzo Shimura was the leader of Roots. He was the one who took in Sai when he was orphaned and trained him to suppress his emotions. In his youth, Danzo was a lot more handsome and with long hair and showed loyalty to the village by wearing the shinobi outfit.
Around this time, he still had both his ordinary eyes. However, he was short-tempered always tried to prove his worth. He, later on, gave up his humanity for the lust for power. He changed his attire completely, wearing a white shirt and covering his right eye with a bandage concealing a Sharingan.
Furthermore, he wore a black robe covering his feet and just his right arm. It had 10 more Sharingan’s hidden on his arm along with a face of Hashirama, meaning he had Hashirama cells.
He thought the most important people were those who work from shadows, and he took great honor in the abilities of Sai. Having learned to suppress his feelings, Sai did everything Danzo told him to do. However, over time, Sai changed and went against Danzo’s ideas.
Moreover, with Danzo’s death, Sai was finally free and was able to make the Roots’ clandestine working known to the Hokage. This led to a significant change in how Roots should work, impacting what Danzo did to the organization. Furthermore, by the end of the series, Sai became the commander of the Anbu and set its feet in the right place.
My Opinion About Sai?
In the series, after his development as the character, he is shown that he is very reliable as he uses his brain to get out of the most challenging situations. Furthermore, his ability to assess the situation is beneficial as he can quickly calculate what the enemy is planning.
This quick thinking is of his what makes me love him as a character. Moreover, Sai, having not very strong emotions, interacts with people awkwardly, resulting in many comedic situations. However, oblivious to the other character’s feelings, Sai’s personality is also not good. Without realizing it, he hurts many characters’ emotions. Because of this, Sai cannot understand if a character likes him.
Unfortunately, many engaging moments of the series are lost due to his behavior. This perspective of his personality is very unlikeable to me.
Question: Is Sai Yamanaka a Villain in Naruto?
Answer: Yes. At the beginning of the series, Sai was recruited as a replacement member for team 7. He was onboarded for a vital mission. However, little did the team know he was a spy sent by Danzo Shimura to disrupt the group’s plan.
Question: Why does Sai Yamanaka Have Pale Skin?
Answer: Being a Roots member, Sai lived underground as the headquarters was located there. Furthermore, he was not allowed to go out in the bright sun out of fear of getting caught. So due to having less vitamin D Sai’s skin never became darker, and thus Sai had a pale skin tone.
Question: Is Inojin a Boy or a Girl?
Answer: The child that Ino and Sai Yamanaka had at the end of the series was named Inojin Yamanaka, as Sai took on Ino’s clan name. The child born was a boy and had both the mind transfer abilities of the Yamanaka clan and Sai’s Ink techniques.
Question: Is Sai Yamanaka Older than Naruto?
Answer: Yes, Sai is older than Naruto, as in the series, Sai is 17 years old. In contrast, Naruto didn’t turn seventeen until the Fourth Great Shinobi War ended. So at the start of the series, yes, Sai can be termed senior to Naruto Uzumaki.
Sai Naruto Guide: Final Thoughts
Naruto became one of the popular anime it is today because of all the developments each character had in the series. Some characters were becoming stronger from being weak, while some improve on what they already had, making the series shine. Sai was one of these intriguing characters.
When Sai was introduced, he kept the fans thinking about who he was and kept the fans’ attention to himself. He easily outmatched Naruto at the time, who had just returned from his training, making the fans interested in him even more than before.
Everyone reading the manga or watching the anime wanted to know more about him. Sai, as a character, had a lot to him that Masashi Kishimoto definitely planned to deliver. Like other main characters of the Naruto series, Sai didn’t play a vital role in turning the tide of the story.
However, he helped his fellow comrades by using his analytical thinking in many ways. Furthermore, being part of the Anbu made it even better as his skills were mostly above average. So seeing him still grow somehow was a treat to the eyes.
However, his personality and rude takes towards the characters really made the fans begin hating him, which Masashi Kishimoto did not want. So the author made Sai keep developing as a character. However, with his story being sidelined, his spotlight was overshadowed by more significant events.
So Sai lost all the hype he had, and unfortunately, he was forgotten. I genuinely believe that Sai is a unique character, and his skills should be appreciated more by the fans.
“A smile is one of the best way to get oneself out of a tight spot even if it is a fake one.” -Sai Yamanaka.