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08 March 2012 @ 07:58 pm
why do I still ship SasuKarin despite everything?  
I brought up this topic today at the SasuKarin FC@NF, but I kind of cheated because I had already written my response a long time ago lol and there are 6 reasons total. So I will be posting them here starting today.

So,

Why do I still ship SasuKarin despite everything that has happened?


Reason #1. Karin actually said she was through with Sasuke.
I value this enough to make it my #1 reason. From the moment Sasuke stabbed Karin there was just one thing in my mind: Kishi, please do not let Karin ignore what just happened.

Please don’t let her act as if the guy did not just almost take her life.
Please Kishi. Please don’t pull this bs with Karin, too.

Because while I can understand the reason why he [Kishi] would do such a thing, I was not willing to let my favorite female character lose and trash her self-respect because of a guy who, by all means, did not deserve it (and neither would he appreciate it) right then. Hell, I would not take her losing her dignity over anyone, my ship be damned.

Because that is one of the reasons why I ship her with Sasuke in the first place. But that’s an argument for another point.

Back to the subject at hand; I am still here shipping them because Karin actually took the time to say: fuck this. I’ve had enough, Sasuke. Do I think she meant that 100%? No. Of course not, because she loves the guy. It’s as simple as that.

But what that showcased is that Karin is not about to let Sasuke walk all over her. What that showed is that Karin can take a step back and love herself instead of letting her love for Sasuke overlay all her logic and self-esteem.

It, quite simply, reinforced what has already been showed in the manga: if there is a woman who can put up with Sasuke and stand with him on equal ground, rather than be reduced to a fangirling-mess who does nothing but devote herself to him, that’s Karin.

Specially because what were the circumstances surrounding Karin ‘giving up’ on Sasuke? It wasn’t that she was “told” the guy was a psycho and that there was no hope for him at all; that he was more trouble than he was worth and a lost case.

No, to Karin he has never been any of those things. Back when he sought the strength to kill Itachi, Sasuke was none of those things. He was a guy with a clearly-defined goal, and while he was willing to discard his bonds in order to fulfill it, he never lost himself. He did not kill innocent people. He did not go out of his way to inflict pain on anyone but Itachi.

Sasuke, quite frankly, did not need saving. Karin knew this. Karin respected his goal and helped him with it due to that.

But things changed. Things changed and Sasuke got carried away, and starting from Chapter 460 as he slaughtered some fodder Samurai, Karin begun to take notice of the fact that why, Sasuke’s chakra was different. He kept changing and his chakra continued to get darker and colder to the point that Karin herself commented on the fact that “this is nothing like the usual Sasuke” which was followed by a: “what happened to you?

And said Sasuke—said unknown Sasuke, the Sasuke whose chakra and behavior was completely different from the one she fell in love with—had no qualms in getting her hurt in order to achieve his revenge.

It is only then that Karin thinks that enough is enough, and that she ‘gives up’ on Sasuke. Only when she has seen and felt and experienced enough to think that the Sasuke she fell in love with is forever lost. And what does she owe to this crazy Sasuke who almost killed her?

That’s right, nothing. Why should she stay with him? To get herself killed? She is not stupid enough.

Oh, but she is in love. So while Karin knows all this—if there is even a remote chance of the old Sasuke resurfacing, then Karin is most likely going to take it.

Would that eliminate the point of saying “I’ve had enough, Sasuke”? Damn no. It quite simply means that while logic and assertiveness won the initial battle (which is all that matters, because it means that she won’t just forgive&forget like that just about anything – Sasuke would have to earn it, eventually) they did not win the war. Her heart did.

And does it have reason to win, anyway?

Yeah, it does.


Reason #2: What this Sasuke did, and what that Sasuke did not do.
It may sound confusing, but I promise it will make sense (regardless of whether you agree with me or not).

Let’s start with ‘that’ Sasuke. The Sasuke we were introduced to in Part II—or well, not. Let’s start with Part I Sasuke.

What did Part I Sasuke do? He saved Karin from a being eaten by a wild bear. This is nice and all because he saved her life, but more than that—he smiled at her. This was the girl who did not have the scroll his team required (and you can bet that lacking the heaven scroll was making Sasuke pretty stressed out, and jumpy and anxious) and who looked helpless as hell (something Sasuke does not appreciate, as he only acknowledges those who he deems as strong adversaries) and even then Sasuke goes out of his way to offer her the only freaking smile he has ever given anyone in the manga so far. No, child Sasuke or before!massacre Sasuke do not count, because while he beamed like the little kid he was, he never went all teeth-showing-just-genuine-smile out of nowhere simply because he felt like it.

And least of all to a random, helpless girl who (to top it off) did not have the scroll he was looking for.

Did I ramble? Maybe. But I will be damned if I don’t find that meaningful.

Now, let’s move onto what did Part II Sasuke (Hebi Sasuke, Taka Sasuke) do: first of all he told her he needed her. The all mighty, I-don’t-need-anyone-but-myself Uchiha Sasuke just went and told a girl to her freaking face that he downright needed her. What do you say, that he needed only her abilities? Sure. But alas there is another important point: he acknowledged Karin’s abilities to the point he not only deemed her as useful (which is a huge thing coming from Sasuke) but to the point he considered her necessary and did not hesitate to acknowledge as much to her and to Suigetsu when the later asked. (I could also go on a diatribe about this and need vs want but that would carry me away from the topic at hand, so I’ll pretend to disregard that angle.)

And speaking about Suigetsu, what else did Sasuke do? Why, defend Karin from him. No that Karin needs to be defended, mind you. But it sure as hell does help that whenever Karin lashes out at Suigetsu, Sasuke does not do a damn thing (Chapter 348, 349, etc etc) he does not complain, does not say anything, no nothing regardless of how violent she may get. But Suigetsu? Suigetsu does get a warning. “I told you to cooperate with Karin,” Sasuke says. And when Karin insults Suigetsu and the guy gets angry, “Suigetsu,” Sasuke warns. You say this is meaningless? I say that may be so. But it is still something That Sasuke did do.

Moving on. That Sasuke also never mistreated Karin. He never told her to be quiet, or to shut up, or to not annoy him—he never did any of those things. I will address this better in point #4 so this will be just a passing mention; point is, when Karin called him weakling / pathetic or told him his plan was crazy, that Sasuke stopped to explain why he was thinking of following that particular course of action. Whether he followed her advice or not, he at least showed respect for Karin’s input.

That Sasuke appreciated Karin and her help. He did not take it for granted. Did he order her around? Not exactly—he ordered in the sense that he was the team’s leader, so directing her was more like it. But never did he bellow an order at her (something this Sasuke did, but I’ll get to that later)—and he also appreciated the girl. When Karin saved his life by letting him bite her, Sasuke told her as much: “You saved my life, Karin”. When had Sasuke ever thanked someone for cushioning his fall or taking care of him like that?

Lastly, That Sasuke cared for Karin. He saved her life. He single-mindedly stayed behind to—to what? Karin was getting burnt by the Amaterasu. The supposed ‘unstoppable black-flames’. Juugo put it clean and clear: forget her, she’s done for! If we stay, we get caught by the flames! – What did Sasuke do then? Wait, Juugo! That’s right. That Sasuke stayed behind for Karin, put in risk his own life as well as Suigetsu’s and Juugo’s on the off chance that he may be able to do something, anything—and something he did. That Sasuke managed to put off the unstoppable black flames for her. That Sasuke attained (or gained access) to a new power (Enton Kagutsuchi") simply out of sheer will and drive to save Karin’s life.

That was the last remarkably good thing that Sasuke did—and it is quite meaningful that it was for her.

Now, for a while we have been stuck with This Sasuke—the Sasuke whose chakra is “completely different from before” (dark, cold) the Sasuke who “is not the person you used to know” (Karin, chapter 484).

Meaning, This Sasuke does things—thinks and behaves in ways the old Sasuke, that Sasuke would have not.

Leaving aside the impact that has on his actions and focusing this solely on Karin, what does this mean? Easy.

This Sasuke did keep Karin with him because she is useful—he kept her with him solely because of her abilities; something the other Sasuke did not do, even if a lot of people argued to hell and back in favor of that. As such, This Sasuke has no particular regards for her well-being (aside from keeping her alive, as shown in Chapter 465) and has no qualms in bellowing orders at her as if she were a dog (chapter 465, again)—which is the reason why I brought this up before, because Karin’s reaction here showed that why, usual Sasuke did not order her around that way.

And lastly, the straw that broke the camel’s back—where That Sasuke risked his life for Karin, This Sasuke did not show any mercy for her; she got in the way of his revenge, and as such became a “nuisance” and This Sasuke treated her as such. No more, no less. (I could again go in a diatribe about the meaning of Chapter 482 and Sasuke’s ‘cutting bonds’ spree, but once again I will digress in order to not lose track of my point. You can read about it here, here and here though.)

As such, the line between That Sasuke and This Sasuke is drawn clear like water especially when it comes to his treatment of Karin. In fact, a good chunk of the differences between old Sasuke and the Sasuke we see today were drawn through his interactions with Karin. Says a lot, does it not?

And there is also another thing that says a lot:

Reason #3. Karin’s feelings for Sasuke have never brought her character down.
No, they never have. The Karin we know is headstrong, stubborn, conceited. And hot-headed, analytic, assertive, emotionally-strong, observant and so on so forth—her love for Sasuke does not keep her from being any of these things. Her love for Sasuke does not overrule her analytic mind, and in battle, even while being worried sick about him Karin is capable of telling herself “don’t freak out! You can still help him by analyzing Danzou’s technique!” and stick to her area of expertise.

Her love for Sasuke does not take away her pride, and Karin over and over denies any possible feelings for him due to this—because she refuses to show weakness in front of anyone.

The only person she shows her softer side to is casually Sasuke, but even then her love for him is not capable of taking away her self-esteem, and whenever Sasuke rejects one of her advances (two times, so far) Karin reacts with dignity (scoffing, for example) rather than begging him or being down about it.

Her love for Sasuke does not reduce her to a helpless individual—Sasuke may have almost died, but Karin will be capable of putting her relief aside and tell him to get a grip, Sasuke! in order to preserve both of their lives.

Karin’s assertiveness is also not taken away by her love for Sasuke—if he says something she disagrees with, she will not hesitate to let him know. Whether or not she ends up following his lead notwithstanding, Karin does not stop herself from voicing her opinion out of fear of angering him.

And Karin’s flaws, she has them despite her love for Sasuke. Her flaws are hers and hers alone—they are completely unrelated to his character or her feelings for him, and as such they are not aggravated by neither of them.

Karin’s character does not regress at all due to loving him—Karin’s character remains the same. And, I would be willing to argue that her love for Sasuke has actually been a positive influence in her life; but that would be me theorizing about the blanks between Forest of Death!Karin – and Karin!withOrochimaruandSasuke, so until (if) we hear something about this (in one way or another in canon), I will digress.

But the point stands regardless. As such, my favorite female character is not taking a hit by loving him—especially because the Sasuke she loves (aka, that Sasuke) has never done anything that could jeopardize her affections for him.


Reason #4. There were no damaging (emotionally or otherwise) dynamics between them before This Sasuke made his stand.
I already mentioned a lot of these while explaining the way That Sasuke treated Karin, but since I did say I would explain a bit more what I meant by “that Sasuke never mistreated Karin”….

It is true. Sasuke tends to be quite blunt, and he isn’t one to keep his thoughts to himself when he feels that someone is being annoying. Take for example that time when Suigetsu ignored his orders about not fighting Juugo; Sasuke went in full bloodlust!mode just to draw his point across. There was also a time when Suigetsu voiced his distaste for capturing the Hachibi and Sasuke had no qualms in telling him that “if you don’t like it, then leave.”

Thing is, the one who is usually calling Sasuke out on something or another is Karin; be it his next plan of action, his fighting method, etc—Karin is basically as blunt as Sasuke himself. But Sasuke never reacts or replies to her in such a way. Heck, even during Karin’s introduction in Chapter 348 Sasuke’s line is “move back/back off a little” rather than the “back off” it stayed as in most scanlations. Anyway, I think that aside from that there are only about 2 instances where Sasuke’s behavior towards Karin could be called out, but I already talked about them here.

But like I mentioned before, Karin calls Sasuke weakling, tells him to shut up and questions his leadership (Chapter 350), so on so forth and Sasuke never tells her to shut up or gets annoyed at her over it. She’s probably the only one who gets away with that, but feel free to correct me if I’m forgetting something.

That said, going back to the point I wanted to make: there were no damaging dynamics between Sasuke and Karin pre Chapter 460 because their dynamic was built upon the foundations of mutual acknowledgement and respect. It doesn’t matter whether you think that Sasuke respected and acknowledged solely Karin’s abilities or not—the point stands all the same. There was companionship between them, too which was straightened by mutual trust; Karin was not only Sasuke’s most important asset (Team wise) but also his most trusted one, as showcased by his “Karin, you watch my back” back in chapter 410.

Karin, in turn, trusted Sasuke as well. Not only as far as the team went, but she trusted him enough to show him the softer sides of her personality. He is the only person she trusts enough to let her guard and her barriers down symbolized by Karin taking her glasses off only around him.

The aforementioned lead them to care about each other’s wellbeing. Karin’s care for Sasuke is blatant, and Sasuke being in danger is just about the only thing capable to make her lose her cool (aside from anger, of course) – so I will skip commenting about it and will just highlight Sasuke’s side of the equation instead. The epitome of this (like I brought up before) is of course Chapter 415 and Sasuke attaining a new ability for his mangekyo out of sheer concern for Karin, but there are also subtler things that can be pointed out.

For example, he kept her out of harm’s way back when they went to fetch Juugo. And it is worth noticing that during the fight with Hachibi, back when Killer Bee attacked Suigetsu and Juugo and pretty much wiped the ground with them, Sasuke kept his cool. But once he targeted them and Karin, Sasuke immediately went all “shit, he’s going for them!” and made his way there in order to ask if they were okay—an action that gave Killerbee the opening to blow Sasuke’s torso off, at that.

Another relevant factor is, they see each other for what they are, flaws and all included. This is obvious when it comes to Sasuke’s perception of Karin because Karin never holds any sides of her personality back from him, nor the good nor the bad—so he gets the whole picture. But it is even more important when it comes to Karin, because unlike most of the girls who have had feelings for Sasuke, Karin does not idolize or idealize him; her perception of him is not blinded to his flaws, and if anything Karin tends to call him out of them whenever she can. She does admire aspects of his personality, but it is not idol-worship (she does not see Sasuke as someone who’s above herself, or as a goal, or as unreachable) and her image of Sasuke is not built upon those aspects alone.

She loves him for him, flaws and all. And Sasuke respects and acknowledges and cares for her, for her. Flaws and lack of offensive-abilities and all.

So basically, it all comes down to a single fact:


Reason #5. The qualities their bond possessed before Sasuke severed it can be salvaged, as long as Sasuke redeems himself.
It is true. When Karin decides that she does not, after all, want to give up on Sasuke—it will be because she hopes to bring back the Sasuke she fell in love with. And as long as that Sasuke comes back—as long as he has a part in his own redemption, realizes the error of his ways and shows that he wants to atone for his mistakes. aka, proves that Karin had reasons to hope in the first place—the foundations for their bond and dynamic can be back as well.

Granted, they will be tainted. They will have lots of things to work through, trust-issues to repair, forgiveness to earn (in Sasuke’s case); but the foundation will be there, and they can build upon that.

Because they would not be going back—they would not be trying to salvage something negative, no. Karin is not the type of girl who would willingly attach herself to something hurtful, after all.

Instead, they would be trying to finally explore something that had positive influences on both of them—something that Sasuke himself had accepted before (Chapter 414), though he did not do so out of the same reasons Karin did (aka, romantic love.)

And that (the fact that no halve of this couple is negatively affected in any way by the bond they had, but quite the opposite) is what ultimately makes the difference.

So that brings me to the very last point (in importance and in reasoning) of why I still ship SasuKarin:


Reason #6. I still think it can become canon, yeah.
This one is kind of self-explanatory. I still do think they can end up together—and moreover, I still think Kishi can do it in a satisfying fashion if he wants to. Granted, Sasuke would have to be redeemed—but he will be. And granted, he would have to survive; but imo, he most likely will.

And Karin, well; all Karin needs to do (so that the pairing can be satisfying from her end as well) is to not forgive him yet—but to accept that she does not want to give up on him entirely (or rather, on the possibility of the Sasuke she knows coming back) and get up there and fight the way Naruto has been doing. If Kishi intends this pairing to happen, then Karin can't and won't stay on the sidelines.

I won’t go more in-depth about that because that would be me theorizing. But what I will say is why I think this can become canon:
in no particular order

- Due to the foundations I already mentioned. Sasuke and Karin were healthy for each other and with each other before Sasuke got blinded by darkness. This is something (quite frankly) new for a Sasuke/Female pairing.
- Kishi went out of his way to make Karin state and notice over and over how this Sasuke is the complete opposite from before. As such, there is a clear line separating the Sasuke Karin fell in love with and the current Sasuke; this is something that can allow Karin to put things in perspective if she were to decide that she wants to fight to bring back to his senses the old Sasuke.
- Kishi picked Karin as the threshold to showcase Sasuke’s descend into darkness. His changes were emphasized through her, and once he abandoned her, he was truly alone. I find this significant. She was literally the last bond Sasuke allowed himself to carry with him—and even though he did do it because she was useful, it still holds significance from a writer’s point of view given the way Sasuke severed their bond. Moreover; just like he gave us insight about Sasuke through Karin before, it is possible he may do so again. And if he does, then this is yet another way to develop the pairing in a realistic way and lead it to a satisfying conclusion.
- The circumstances surrounding the stab. Allow me to explain: first and foremost this stab served to fulfill an important purpose in the story: mark the point where Sasuke went completely dark on us, the point where he made the conscious choice to sever the last bond he carried with him and continue alone on his path of darkness. As such, it wasn’t a mere spur of the moment thing for Kishi—and the fact that he allowed Karin to react to the stab in more ways than one (Karin wondered what she meant to Sasuke and decided that enough was enough) means that there are good chances that he will bring it up again when the time is right. If he does address it, then that will be a good sign to the ‘possible satisfying’ development I keep bringing up, because a stab is not something that can be overlooked or thrown under a rug—and here I am about to start speculating again.
Back to the topic, another important thing here (again, from a writer’s point of view) is the reason Sasuke stabbed Karin: Karin was in the way. There was no personal killing intent directed at her, and while this does in no way alleviate what he did (or his disregard for her safety in this scene), from a writer’s perspective, such a situation is much easier to address than a direct and deliberate attempt at taking her life.
- I’ve repeated this a hundred times but here it is once more: Kishi actually let Karin keep her dignity and pretty much say screw it to Sasuke, a good grace he did not bother pulling for any other character. Meaning, either he cares a whole damn lot about Karin’s characterization or he did not want to ruin one of the reasons why Karin is capable of matching Sasuke the way she does.
Because let me just say: had Karin been okay with that stab—had Karin given in to her primary instinct and gone down there to heal him or warn him that he was overdoing it—and that would have been it for SasuKarin. Seriously. I seriously do not see Kishimoto bothering to develop such a pairing (at least not considering the kind of pairings he has established as mutual in the manga so far). After all, Sasuke has to respect the girl he is going to be with—and how can he do it if the girl does not respect herself?
- Karin (unknowingly) has echoed the thoughts of the one person who cares the most about Sasuke, Naruto. Naruto said: Sasuke, what happened to you? (I don’t understand you anymore) – these two have been the only characters shown thinking such a thing. And there is a clear difference between saying that Sasuke has changed and wondering about the reasons behind that change.
- Karin’s character is tied to Sasuke’s character. If Kishi did not have something in store for them, then he would have let Karin (and Taka) already leave the story. It’s a simple as that. I and others in the FC said, back in 2010, that once Sasuke started to get panel-time again Karin would come back as well. Turns out, we were right. Plus, like I mentioned before: Karin has played the role of our window to Sasuke’s psyche in the past—and this gives her more relevance (Sasuke-wise) as far as story and plot goes than every other character except Naruto, Itachi and maybe Tobi/Kabuto.

There is also another thing… a certain parallel, but until we’re shown Karin’s current thought-process that would be only speculating on my end.

So I’ll end this here. Granted, even if SK does not become canon I don’t particularly care lol There’s a reason why I placed this as the very last reason as to why I still ship them, after all. I will continue to ship them regardless, unless on the road to non-canonization Kishi messes them up don't you dare kishi.

I may come back and add a thing on two depending on how things go next time we see Karin. but for now this is it I think lol

 
 
 
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(Deleted comment)
Kanae: SasuKarin<3kanae_mizuhito on March 21st, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Hello there! I'm glad to see you over here too, though I'm not that active hahaha ugh I was once randomly banned by NF too, but there's a section where you can appeal your ban. You should give it a try, mods are usually lenient when it comes to removing random bans. It would be great to have you over at the FC!

Yup, that's me. I need to change that username eventually lol Thank you very much! ♥ I'm glad to hear that and it'll be a pleasure to add you to my friend list as well. Nothing to thank for, really!

I was wondering, would you like to participate in our current project to update the FC's Top fanworks? Even if you are not able to post your list in the FC, you can tell me so through here and I'll personally take it over there and count your picks in~ so if you want to give it a shot, just let me know!
(Deleted comment)
Kanaekanae_mizuhito on March 21st, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
Sounds good, I'll keep an eye out then! :D good luck with it! ♥
elleloveslellelovesl on April 3rd, 2012 01:10 am (UTC)
I feel the same way as you, I will still love SasuKarin, despite whether they become canon or not, but for now, the chances are still good XD

oh and this is Gg from NF...
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