Suzume (zamkenobi) wrote in ship_manifesto,
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Quiet Understanding: A Sasuke x Hinata Manifesto

Title: Quiet Understanding
Author: zamkenobi (Suzume on narutofan)
Fandom: Naruto
Spoilers: Basically for Part 1. There’s not much mentioned from Part 2 that I can recall.

Quiet Understanding


The pairing Sasuke x Hinata inspires a large spectrum of reactions. Many hate it, a small faction love it, and most don’t really care, but the question I see most asked about SasuHina is, “WTF? Have they even met? How does it make any sense?” These are seemingly reasonable questions, but the answers aren’t so clear. No, they have never really interacted in the anime or manga, but I challenge that yes, the pairing can make sense.

Let me begin by saying that I’m not trying to make out SasuHina to be anything more than a fanon pairing. In this essay I’m trying to describe why I love this pairing even without any interaction. I am not discussing what the chances are of SasuHina becoming canon. This pairing is based purely on speculation about how their relationship could be, which has so much potential that the speculation alone makes the pairing my current OTP.

I'm also not trying to convince anybody. If you hate SasuHina, fine, you're completely within your rights to do that. I wrote this for the fans of the pairing but mainly for the people who had the "wtf?" reaction, the people who don't understand why people ship this. It's to give a view into the mind of SasuHina fandom, not to attack any other pairing or prove anything wrong or right.

Uchiha Sasuke
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Uchiha Sasuke is a young man whose life has been frozen since the age of eight. Almost all of his actions, thoughts, emotions, and motivations are based on the memories of his childhood. Even before we truly know about Sasuke’s past in detail, this is obvious from the way he acts in crucial, life-or-death situations. During his battle with Haku during the Wave Arc, his last thoughts before “dying” are:
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He’s just given his life to save his friend, and yet all he can think about is how he failed to kill his brother. When Sakura is trapped in Gaara’s sand, it’s the same way.

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He’s willing to give his life again to let his friends escape, and both his regret at his previous pseudo-death and his resolve to give up his life again are based on one thought pattern: “I’ve lost everything once. I have to make things different this time.” The most important thing we learn from this is that Sasuke has lost everyone he cared about at once, and this event shaped his personality and mentality.

Sasuke’s heroic actions at these points make it particularly horrifying and confusing to readers when he eventually betrays his village to go to Orochimaru. He was willing to die to save his friends, but now he’s betraying them, even going as far to try to kill Naruto? How could it make sense? Then, we finally see Sasuke’s past, and everything, every action he has taken and will take, every thought and emotion, comes together to form one cohesive picture of Sasuke.

It’s difficult to make a brief summarization of Sasuke’s past, but the main points in his flashback are:

  • Sasuke’s brother, Itachi, overshadows him in almost every way, and it is Sasuke’s main goal to catch up to him.
  • Sasuke’s father often ignores Sasuke in favor of his brother, which leaves Sasuke feeling neglected and further increases the one-sided rivalry between the him and Itachi.
  • Despite the rivalry and bitter feelings towards his brother, he still obviously cares about him very much, as shown by his worry about how his brother is changing and drifting further from the family.
  • Sasuke may be a genius, but he’s a genius that works extremely hard. Even when he is only seven, he works himself to exhaustion on his days off from the academy.
  • The main people that Sasuke interacts with are within his family. He is not shown to hang out or even train with anyone else from the academy. I note this because even though it seems like a trivial piece of information, it shows that the most important people in his life are his family, and nobody else really mattered to him.


When Itachi kills their father and mother, Sasuke’s world falls apart. It doesn’t matter that he’s popular at school; he completely shuts himself away from everyone else and becomes even more cold and distant compared to how he was before. Sasuke bears with his loneliness with a “leave me alone” attitude. His life freezes. He’s stuck in this moment for the rest of his life because he refuses to let himself move on.

When Sasuke joins a genin team and finally makes friends, his family’s destruction is still the defining moment of his life, but the warmth of friendship is starting to thaw the ice. He’s starting to move on without realizing it. Unfortunately, this changes when his brother returns, once again turning his world upside down, making him continue to blame himself for not being strong enough to save his parents. This leads to his intense jealousy of Naruto’s spike in strength (while belittling his own) and his decision to go to Orochimaru.

Hyuuga Hinata
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Hinata is a young lady whose life revolves around her family. The Hyuuga clan is extremely harsh and traditional, hardly deserving the name “family.” Anyway, the first thing we learn about Hinata is her obvious crush on Naruto, but we do not learn why until later. Hinata’s defining moment so far in the manga has been her fight against her cousin, Neji.

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The beginning of this fight basically gives the impression that Hinata is physically and emotionally weak. When her cousin taunts her, she weakly tries to contradict him but quickly backs down, and it takes little effort for him to get inside her head. What Neji said was mean, but trash-talking shouldn’t break a ninja. However, as soon as Naruto butts in and tells her that she can do it, we see this entirely new side of Hinata, a side that couldn’t be brought out if she simply liked Naruto because he was hot, like the shallow crushes of Sasuke’s fangirls.

Hinata’s crush on Naruto comes from admiration not of his skills or looks but of his character. She is shy and weak, while he, though also being a “loser,” is confident. He ignores the scoffing and mocking of others and never gives up no matter how bad things seem. In short, he is everything Hinata wishes to be, and he gives her hope that she can change, which is what she desires above all else. It’s from Naruto’s cheering that Hinata finally gathers the courage to fight with confidence and her full ability for the first time.

Hinata also shows grace in her defeat. Even as Neji continues to mock her, she has a depth of understanding about his character beyond that of which he was originally shown to have of her, and she sympathizes with him even as he beats her to a pulp. This shows Hinata’s enduring kindness and incredible insight.

We learn more about Hinata’s character and family life through a few flashbacks. Hinata’s father considers her weak and casts her aside for her stronger younger sister. Hiashi’s expectations are too high, possibly because his nephew is so strong compared to Hinata, and this is probably the reason for Hinata’s shyness and insecurity, which make her even weaker. Her father turns Hinata into a self-fulfilling prophecy, dismissing her talent until she finally is so beaten down emotionally that her diminished strength proves his preconceived ideas correct. However, more than anything Hinata longs to improve herself, and she works long, extra hours of training into her schedule. She evens trains until her hands bleed. However, it seems like she never seems to get any better because of her lack of confidence.

Together

”Sympathy is two hearts tugging at one load.”
Charles Henry Parkhurst


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In the manga and anime, Sasuke and Hinata have zero interaction. At most, she says that he was amazing after his fight ended in the prelims of the chuunin exam. I think she might have mentioned him as “Sasuke-kun” once, but this doesn’t really mean anything since she uses that suffix with Naruto, Kiba, Shino, and probably everyone other male her age that she interacts with except Neji. So, how can you like a pairing that has no interaction?

Relationships usually are formed between people with common interests and similar personalities. This works for both platonic and romantic relationships. This isn’t to say that all people who are similar become friends or fall in love with each other, but it certainly makes a relationship more plausible than the idea that “opposites attract.” Taking this into account, Sasuke and Hinata make a pretty good couple.

They both come from noble clans, meaning they know the pressures and rules associated with them, and they also both have the same issues with their fathers. Neither of them was ever good enough, and they were both discarded for another sibling, though Hinata’s is more of a literal rejection while Sasuke’s father simply ignored Sasuke, which can be just as painful. Sasuke eventually got his father to pay attention to him, but he was plagued with doubt that his father only saw him as a replacement for Itachi. Even though his mother pacified these restless feelings, I doubt that they went away completely. Either way, Sasuke and Hinata still have experienced having a cold, distant father. These similarities from their pasts alone could be enough to form a friendship (or more) based on sympathy. Hinata and Sasuke can understand the pain that the other feels on these points better than any other characters in the series.

Furthermore, their personalities are alike. They both train diligently, often to the point of exhaustion, and they are both quiet, though in different ways. Sasuke usually does not speak until necessary because he wants to be left alone, while Hinata is quiet because she is shy. Either way, their personalities compliment each other in this way. One might argue, “If neither of them talks, how will they ever have a conversation?” The answer to this is that Sasuke actually talks to people he likes. He talks to Naruto and Sakura easily enough, and he didn’t even like either of them in the beginning.

Also, Hinata is the kind of person that I believe Sasuke would like if he noticed her. She is quiet, as opposed to the loud, annoying fangirls. Sasuke actually might like Hinata because she didn’t like him in the beginning. She never annoyed him by fawning over him, and if they ever formed a relationship, she wouldn’t hang all over him and bother him when he needed to be alone. I even think her choice of crush would make her rise in his esteem. I think that Sasuke has eventually come to some grudging respect of Naruto’s hard-working attitude, and if he hasn’t now, then he definitely will by the end of the series. Hinata is the one who initially admired mind-set, and Hinata also never liked anyone only because of their looks or talent, which Sasuke would admire since that is all he’s ever been judged on his entire life. He would know that if she ever came to like him, it would be because of who he was, not because of his lineage, talent, or appearance. Overall, if Sasuke ever decided that he was going to stop being so freaking asexual and noticed Hinata, it’s highly possible that he would like her.

Also, Sasuke having a crush on Hinata would totally complete the Team 7 + Hinata love square.

Okay, enough silliness.

My OTP


Why do I like this pairing? It’s mostly for all of the reasons I already mentioned, but there are several others that are more personal for me.

From looking over my pairing preferences and trying to come up with reasons with I like each one, I’ve come to notice certain trends. Usually I enjoy pairings that have almost no chance of happening because I love the idea of falling in love with someone you never thought you’d be with, especially if the surprise is mutual. SasuHina not only fits this criterion but also goes even further. It’s falling in love with someone you never thought you’d be with who could be perfect for you, but you never saw them because you were too busy staring at the person beside them (or just weren’t looking at all). So yeah, irony is a major factor in my pairings.

I have several ideas about how I think the pairing would be. First, I can see Sasuke being very awkward. Sasuke is confident and smart, but he’s never had a romantic feeling in his life, much less a romantic relationship, which makes me think he might be a little insecure. He’s never really had any form of successful relationship that he hasn’t screwed up in some way (not including dead family), making me think that, knowing that fact, he would be very insecure. Basically, I think Sasuke would be awkward and nervous if he ever managed to open his mouth to ask Hinata out, while Hinata could be the same way plus absolutely confused as to why Sasuke would take interest in her. It’s a completely unromantic yet realistic beginning, not to mention absolutely adorable. I may not like things overly fluffy, but this kind of fluff I could enjoy.

Also, I feel that Sasuke would be good for Hinata. Their personalities mesh. They can sympathize with each other and help each other open up because they know this is someone who understands and won’t judge them. I see their interaction as being able to talk to one another like no one else because they can understand one another, and yet at the same time, they don't have to talk. They can have comfortable silences, which I believe is very important in a relationship.

Finally, I feel like post-Team 7 Sasuke would probably work better with Hinata because he's interacted with Naruto and come to respect him. Sure, he's his rival and probably hates his guts sometimes (ok, maybe not hate), but like I said before, I think he's come to a grudging respect for Naruto's work ethic and refusal to give up. If he hasn’t, he will eventually. Hinata shares this, and I think that Sasuke would like her more because of it. Sasuke would respect and possibly admire her wanting to improve herself, which I think would cause Sasuke to have a fierce drive to protect her (not wanting to lose his precious ones again), and yet he could stand aside and let her fight, respecting her abilities.

Even though I don’t think Hinata would mind being rescued, I think what she needs is to be left to fight through hardships and struggles. Her ideal partner would be someone who would stand behind her and give her confidence yet would let her fight her own battles. I personally think that Sasuke fits this criterion better than anyone else, if only for the reason that he can put his emotions aside better than most characters. He can suppress his desire to protect when necessary. Hinata does not need to be sheltered in fights, and Sasuke is not the hero-type, at least not anymore. I think he could be tough and let Hinata fight it out herself if he believed that was what she really needed.

However, this is just the way I view the relationship. I know that many different fans may see it differently, which is part of the reason why I like it so much. Because they have never interacted, we don’t have a set way that they behave around one another. Sasuke could be awkward like I imagined and still be in-character, and yet, another person may see Sasuke as a more dominant type from the very beginning. Sasuke always gets what he wants, and he wants Hinata now, so he proceeds to sweep her off her feet. Both could be equally in-character. The same goes for Hinata. Would she be a combination of flattered and confused by Sasuke approaching her, or would she panic and reject him? Part of what makes SasuHina interesting is that there are so many ways people can depict it, and there are so many facets of the relationship to explore.

What about Hinata’s family? Would they hate Sasuke because he is an Uchiha and a missing nin, or would they welcome their relationship as a opportunity to finally rid themselves of the weakling heir? Would Hiashi be protective or would he have a “good riddance” kind of attitude? Then there’s Neji, Hanabi, and even Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi to consider (not to mention Kiba and Shino). It’s difficult to create portrait of SasuHina without these guys somewhere in the picture, which is what makes this more than a normal crack pairing. There are so many issues in SasuHina to resolve that the relationship almost involves all of Konoha. Then when the relationships are untangled, there’s even the question of which would be dominant or recessive, sharingan or byakugan? Would SasuHina effectively put an end to the sharingan, or could it be the beginning of a completely new bloodline? There are more aspects of this pairing to sift through than most other pairings I’ve seen.

The Fans


In this manifesto, I really wanted to capture not only my views of SasuHina but the views of the entire fandom, but it’s difficult, so I’m going to let the fans tell you themselves. These quotes were taken from the SasuHina Fanclub on narutofan forums.

“I pair 'em up because I see potential and hurt and disillusionment and a hundred other things. Sasuke needs someone who won't lie to him, who won't leave him, who knows what it is to be broken and keep functioning anyway.
Hinata's weak, emotionally; given her life, I can understand that being the case. She doesn't lie about herself, because she doesn't see her positive attributes to play them up, the way Sakura and Ino did, presenting a false personality she thinks will win her man. She's not capable of deceit so close to her. She's a passive personality, she waits, she doesn't chase and she doesn't abandon either. They have more in common, being from families that have pressed honor into their heads since forever, and still not really having a family so much as a collection relatives who think they have the right to judge. There's no evidence that Hiashi hates or privately pities and loves Hinata, but she does know how it feels to have parents who are parents and then to have nothing but ice and void.

I don't ship SasuHina because I hate NaruHina. But Naruto is too busy looking ahead, at tomorrow, and so he's never going to look behind and see her. Sasuke is too aware of everything to just deny her existence. I think if Sasuke chose to ignore someone, they would know they were being ignored by Uchiha flipping-awesome Sasuke, in itself a form of acknowledgment. And Hinata has been waiting her whole life for acknowledgment.

In real life you see Sasuke-types going out with Hinata-types and Sakura-types and all the other combinations of characters ever. Hell is other people, but so is heaven; relationships are what people share with each other, that's why there's no freaking way I can accept 'Sasuke would never love someone like _____'. Because there is a way, I make use of it in fanfiction, I call it 'building a backstory'.

Also... on that whole not speaking thing. Sasuke and Hinata (and Shino and Neji and possibly Shikamaru and Chouji) would know that you don't need to talk to a person to get the measure of him or her. =P”
-clockwork_starlight

“My primary reason: The simple reason of shipping crack because it's crack. It's different.

Otherwise: I've always been a sucker for cliche romance like the cool guy falling for the shy girl. It's why I'm a fan of Mars. Also, they both suffer from feelings of inferiority in their family. Sakura has inferiority feelings, too, but not at home. I'll also admit that they are very aesthetically pleasing together, as shallow as that may sound. The fact that they never speak to each other doesn't deter me at all. In fact, that's probably another reason why I like it. The anticipation of a possible interaction is that much more exciting.

What I would like, though, is for Sasuke to develop, if not affection or love, then a soft spot for Hinata. Then we'll have a complete love-square on our hands and that would just make me squee.

Other than that, I try not to delve too much into the logic of a crack pairing and enjoy it for what it is. If someone is able to find logic in their fic, the better. I'll more than likely agree with that logic. But for now, I'm content with nothing.”
-Cindy

“The most common logic behind pairing two (or even more) characters together is the theory/belief that “opposites attract”. While it may sound like a lovely concept, in real life relationships do not really work like that. There has to be at least ONE similarity for the two people in question to find a common ground. & while Hinata is timid and mild-tempered, whereas Sasuke is brooding and solemn, they both are alike in more than one notable way -- in their reflective pasts and desire to become stronger.

Hinata is also the only girl who’s presence I can honestly see Sasuke genuinely not minding. In other words, she would not annoy him like the overly boisterous and loud Ino, or the clingy and firecracker-like Sakura.

Aside from that, I think the pairing has a quiet serenity about it so uncommon in your stereotypical boy/girl pairing. Or maybe that’s just my inner fangirl talking?”
-ephemeral_july

“There's this calm beauty about it that I absolutely love. (Maybe because I imagine they would express their affection for each other in quiet ways? Nothing that a random observer would pick up on- just little looks and smiles that only they understand.) *lol* SasuHina brings out my hopeless romantic side.”
-inconstant_heart


Fandom Guide


Fanfic Recommendations

If you’re interested in reading more about SasuHina, here are some of my favorite fanfics sorted by author in alphabetical order. I put the ratings at the beginning of the summaries, so if you want to avoid lemons, it would be best to avoid the fanfics rated M. There are a few like “A Light in the Darkness” and “Light” that really don’t go into detail, but most of the rest are pretty explicit.

Archee-chan
27 Truths About Sasuke and Hinata - (T) written in 20truths format. One: Hinata had her first real conversation with Sasuke when she's eighteen and stinking drunk in a Sunagakure's nightclub. And that's the start of everything... '

Bullwinkle’s Lady
A Light in the Darkness – (M) In the bureau Sasuke found a few more big tan jackets [which made him twitch], multiple orange panties [which made him twitch even more for some reason], and a few other...girl...things. SasuHina.
Light (sequel to A Light in the Darkness) – (M) That’s when Hinata flashed him. The Uchiha was caught completely off guard, and found himself staring, sure that he was simply having a nice daydream. SasuHina. Sequel to A Light in Darkness.

clockwork starlight
Shades of Grey - (M) AU: Supernatural instances, dark looming evil, potential destruction of the planet, the usual Friday night. Add some romance, a few personal complications, a lemon wedge and a swirly straw. Chill to taste. SasuHina, other white noise. ON HIATUS probably
30 Kisses, or Fanning the Flames - (T) LJ comm 30kisses themes. An eccentric authoress. The Hyuuga flame, the Uchiha fan. A girl, a boy. A woman, a man. Shinobi, lovers. Children, monsters. A love is a love is a love no matter who you are or aren't. SasuHina COMPLETE. FIN. OWARI.
Tinting Red - (R) Short one-shot meant to go with Shades of Grey. I originally read it without realizing that it was a spinoff, so I guess it’s not necessary to read it if you want something short but sweet with a vampire Sasuke twist.
Out of the Blue - (NA) Onoeshot AU. Sasuke is a student who has known his English teacher Hinata for most of his life, and now that graduation is around the corner, he decides to tell her that he wants to be with her.
Herculean Efforts - (T) Oneshot. Honestly, was it supposed to be so difficult to be young and in love and a pain in your in-laws’ side? Uchiha Sasuke was learning the hard way that marriage at such an early age was frustrating and arduous and full of unexpected discomfort.

Erisabesu
Anything for You - (M) “Nobody disappointed Hinata Hyuuga on her honeymoon, especially not Sasuke Uchiha.” [SasukeHinata] AU.

Firefly
Cause for Conversation - (K+) Hinata has always been intimidated by Sasuke, but when she serves as a substitute for Sakura on a mission, she comes to learn that the stoic Uchiha is not so bad after all.

KamikazeUdon
Anecdotesl - (M) A story detailing how a possible Sasuhina relationship might go, with the plot that brings together...an arranged marriage! SasukexHinata, hints of NaruSaku, KibaIno. May get lemony later. And...

Lanse
The Chill of Winter - (K+) Warmth can be found in the most unexpected places. SasuHina Oneshot.

Rahlia Indigo
Dreams and Nightmares (T) Assorted short stories. SasuHina. Contains cuteness, subtle irony, and several headaches. Settings range from in the Naruto universe and out.

Renoa Heartilly

Fireworks - (K+) breaks off the actual events right after manga chapter 361. What if you had to socialize with the one person you once ganged up against to bring home? Just like the rise,the colorful explosion and then the slow fall of fireworks.
One Hundred Fallen Petals - (T) A collection of short stories inspired by the 100themeschallenge on deviantart. Do you possess the patience to collect a hundred petals? Sasuhina various genres
Torn - (T) Tsunade got tired of keeping Sasuke inside Konoha walls, so she assigns him a mission. It takes time to love, it's not a game.

Sunfreak
These are the Facts - (T) Promises are what shape a ninja- or perhaps a clan. HinaSasu, one-sided HinaNaru.

Winter Weatherman
Still Waters Run Deep - (M) Hinata stumbles across a heavily injured Sasuke in the forest and smuggles him into her house. With her father away, anything could happen. An attempt to write SasuHina somewhat realistically without glossing over Sasuke's issues.


YouKnowYouWantTo
My Harsh Reality - (M) explicit lemon: They seemed to be distant, they seemed not to know one another, but when two match so perfectly, that never lasts.

Fanart Recommendations


Before I start I want to say that I tried to link all of the fanarts back to their original page, but for some I just didn’t know where they came from. I didn’t draw any of these.



AMV's

This is probably the best SasuHina video I've ever seen.


Other Useful Links


Beyond the Eyes: The SasuHina Fanclub - The center of SasuHina discussion at narutofan forums. You can discuss SasuHina, find new fanfics and fanart, and interact with some awesome people.
The Sasuke x Hinata livejournal community - Not as active as the fanclub at NF, but it’s useful to find updates of your favorite fanfiction, the occasional fanart, and sometimes someone might even post up SasuHina merchandise for sale.

July_winter’s Sasuke x Hinata Theories

We all know that Kishimoto likes to base much of his story on mythology, and july_winter takes this a little bit further. Whether or not you think SasuHina has a chance of happening in canon, these are some interesting reads that I would definitely recommend.
Yin Yang | Five Elements | Four Celestial Emblems | Shinto Trinity Part 1 | Shinto Trinity Part 2 | Cursed Lineage | Imperial Regalia | The Demon Queller Part 1 | The Demon Queller Part 2


I end this essay by saying that if you didn’t understand SasuHina before, I hope that it now makes a little more sense. If you were already a SasuHina fan, then I hope you enjoyed reading it (hopefully nodding your head in agreement). Please feel free to ask any questions, tell me to add something if I've missed anything, and make corrections.

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”
Ann Landers
Tags: #anime/animation, #manga/comic, naruto
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