Sai Yamanaka is a character from Naruto Shippuden who was introduced as a replacement for Sasuke Uchiha in Team 7. Before reading through this page, please remember that it will contain spoilers for Naruto Shippuden, especially regarding Sai and his identity and history.
When Sai is introduced to the anime, he is shrouded in mystery and that leaves the viewers confused and curious of his identity and role in the anime. Some thought he was an imitation of Sasuke and someone who was merely a filler character.
However, as episodes progressed, his character was flushed out and some even accepted him as a part of Team 7. His loyalty was questioned because it seemed as if he was incapable of expressing emotions. He would say the most absurd things with the straight smile which saw many people creeped out by his personality.
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Shippuden episode 32: Return of the Kazekage|
|Clan||Yamanaka (by marriage)|
|Village||Konohagakure - The Village Hidden in the Leaves|
Sai was an orphaned child who was picked up and raised by Danzo Shimura. However, this was not in a good fatherly way, but rather in a brutal experimental way. Sai was raised to have no emotions in the Anbu branch called Root as he was denied a personality, emotions and even a name. Although they mostly succeeded, Sai still retained his interest in art. He loved drawing and another member of Root, Shin, picked up on it.
Instead of telling him off or trying to stop it, he encouraged this and supported him. This caused Sai to view him in a new light, in that of an older sibling. Although they were raised to have no emotions, the two grew closer. Sai created a picture book which depicted their feelings and all the opponents that they fought together.
Danzo, however, had different plans for the two. To complete the Root training, he wanted the two to fight each other to death so as to completely eliminate any emotions. Shin had an unknown illness which would cause him to eventually die. He saw this as an opportunity and told Sai to report to Danzo that he had killed Shin. But for the sake of Sai, he also asked him to suppress his emotions to ensure Sai’s survival so that he can live for both of them.
After Shin’s death, he had forgotten about the purpose of the book that he drew about the both of them, but he couldn’t bring himself to discard it no matter how hard he tried. Due to Shin’s death, the book remains unfinished to this day.
Sai was taught a sealing technique that used his skills in drawing, ‘Tiger Vision Staring Bullet’. However, this sealing technique required his emotions to act on it, which was contradictory to what he was taught so far, so Danzo left this training unfinished.
Due to his training in Root, Sai is a highly skilled shinobi with incredible abilities. All root members are trained with kenjutsu, an assassination technique. He uses a double-edged short sword to quickly slash his enemies multiple times to assassinate them. He also had the ability to suppress his emotions, which let him kill freely without guilt and allows him to obey the people in power.
Sai’s Chakra is something that is a mystery. He seems to be able to use a lot of jutsu at once, especially the ones that require him to draw. Since he is an orphan, it is hard to determine his chakra reserve in terms of clans as well. It is assumed that Sai has above average chakra reserve.
In terms of physical prowess, despite looking quite fragile, Sai is very strong and agile. When he confronts Sasuke for the first time and he attacks Naruto, Sai quickly puts a stop to it. He is also quite skilled with his blade, which requires physical prowess.
Thanks to his training in Root, Sai has a lot of abilities. These are barely explored in the anime apart from his Ink Techniques. After marrying into the Yamanaka Clan, he has been able to learn their jutsu as well and is seen using Shadow Clones in Boruto.
Sai’s highlight is his skill as an artist and its application on-field. This translates to his Ink Techniques and his primary ink technique is Super Beast Imitating drawing. He draws all kinds of beasts, including animals, birds and more. He applies chakra into his drawings, but the most important factor of these drawings is the emotion he puts into them. Hence in modern Konoha, when photocopiers are easily accessible, this technique can not be mass produced as there are no emotions in photo copiers.
"It's because Sakura loves Sasuke that she doesn't want him to sink any lower. It's because she loves him that she wants to rescue him from the evil path he currently walks. Even if the only way to do it is to kill him with her own two hands, I believe, she's prepared to do it because she loves him.”
A smile is the best way to get oneself out of a tight spot, even if it is a fake one. Surprisingly enough, everyone takes it at face value.”
“Please don’t lay the blame on others for your minimal amount of ability.”
"A smile is the best way to escape reality without running even though it is obviously fake"
"I now know you’re a worthless guy with questionable equipment."
A. Sai is a character that had no name prior to his role in team Kakashi. He was orphaned so nobody knew what clan he belonged to either. So when Sai was introduced to the team, he was just Sai, without a last name, a name given just for the purpose of the mission.
However, when he married into the Yamanaka family, he took on his wife’s last name since his was a blank slate. This is how Sai is a Yamanaka.
A. While Sai is an exceptional Shinobi who was trained to be a killing machine, he is nearly not as strong as Naruto. This is not just because Naruto is a Jinchuriki, but also because of his large chakra reserve and the humungous amount of jutsu that he can use.
A. Sai does not betray Naruto. On the contrary, when Naruto becomes Hokage, Sai directly responds to Naruto, making him one of Naruto’s most trusted agents. While his original intention was against Naruto’s ideals, he never intended to betray him as it was a direct order from his superior.