Why is Sai so Pale?

Sai Yamanaka is a character in the famous anime Naruto: Shippuden. Sai is portrayed as the Anbu chief of the Konohagakure’s Yamanaka Clan. Before he became chief, he was first a Root member who are ninjas conditioned to remove any and all emotions during their training.


Audiences aren’t exactly privy as to how Sai’s skin turned out as pale as it is. It’s also never outrightly mentioned at any point in the anime. All we know about Sai when it comes to his physical appearance is that he’s a pale dude who loves wearing black way too much.

What Skin Color is Sai?

Sai’s complexion can be described to be as pale as a sheet of paper. Why? No one knows. Because of the significant lack of information regarding Sai’s complexion, fans of the anime ultimately turned to speculation to try and give his pale skin some justification.

One of the most popular theories about his skin actually incorporates his Root lineage. As a member of the Root organization which protects Konoha from the shadows, Sai quite literally doesn’t get much sunlight which makes his skin appear as pale as it is.

Now, whether this theory was concocted as more of a meme than a legitimate explanation, we may never know. What is evident however, is that a lot of the fans of the anime seemed to like this explanation and just went along with it.

Other, more fringe theories about Sai’s complexion states that due to his ninjutsu having an affinity for ink and paper, his outward appearance seems to portray what kind of techniques he most aptly uses.

Of course, even if people consider Sai’s skin color an interesting topic to discuss, there will also be those who would rather not think about why such design choices were made and would rather just accept the fact as it is: Sai is pale simply because he was made like that.

Why is Sai so Emotionless?


Even though Sai was raised to resemble a puppet or robot with his lack of emotional capacity, Sai managed to retain an interest in art. When Shin, an older member of Root, found out about Sai’s ability to draw, he encouraged Sai to keep honing his talent until the two eventually became close.

Being socially awkward, Sai tends to get misunderstood and cause people to react in less than positive ways. This pattern of behavior can be attributed to him being unable to realize the difference between jokes and facts.

In an effort to curb this behavior, Sai recalled and practiced something he read in a book which said that giving someone a nickname may help him forge connections with his peers. This effort was, unfortunately, not rewarded right away as he called Sakura “ugly”, stating the first trait that came to his mind.

Spending time and doing missions with Team Kakashi, Sai eventually comes to understand the importance of bonds, particularly the one between Sasuke Uchiha and Naruto Uzumaki. That being said, Sai also eventually comes to doubt Sasuke when he begins to commit international crimes. This doubt is what pushes Sai to support Sasuke’s assassination.

Such emotional turmoil then drives Sai to remember his time with Shin and serves as a catalyst for him to break out of his emotionless shell. This development has enabled Sai to be able to give more genuine smiles.

In an effort to forge emotional bonds for himself, Sai sets out to be able to connect and converse with as many people as possible in the hopes of becoming their friend. In the anime, his Infinite Tsukuyomi dream depicts that Sai’s greatest desire is to be able to fully recover his lost emotions and connect with as many people as he can.

Even though Sai has his flaws and can be quite insensitive due to his lack of emotional understanding, Sai still holds Naruto in high regard and tries his best to assist Naruto in his hardships however he can.

Is Sai in Naruto Evil?

Being a part of Team 7 at one point in Naruto: Shippuden and also continuing to be a part of Konoha Village when he grows older, we can safely say that Sai is not portrayed as a villain in the anime series.

Sai’s character in Naruto: Shippuden can be described as someone who is observant and focused. Sai pays close attention to detail which enables him to notice if anything seems wrong or out of place. This trait is what lets him see through Yamato’s tricks rather easily, as shown in the anime.

This attention to detail spans outside of his work as a ninja as well and makes its way into his interpersonal relationships. We know this because Sai was quick to understand the true nature of Naruto’s plight even without Naruto mentioning anything to him.

What Sai fails to understand at the time, however, is that Naruto wasn’t just trying to save Sasuke for Sakura which is something he voices out despite his lacklustre understanding of the dynamics present in Team Kakashi. Later on, Sai regrets this hasty remark and inspects his lack of understanding about his teammates and emotions in general when this leads to Sakura’s suicidal attempt to stop Sasuke.

Does Sai Actually Love Ino?

During the time when we are first introduced to Sai, we see him visiting the clinic to be introduced to Kakashi who is going to be his new leader. He also runs into Team 10 for the first time when Asuma pays a surprise slash uninvited visit to Kakashi.

Consequently, this is also where Sai and Ino first meet each other. Ino is immediately captivated by how attractive Sai is and can be clearly seen blushing and fidgeting around Sai. She confides in Sakura and tells her about her latest infatuation to which Sakura retorts by saying that even though Sai is attractive, he has poor social skills.

This doesn’t faze Ino in the slightest. She devises a plan in order to get close to Sai as Teams 7 and 10 are invited to eat out by Asuma.

In the end, it seems that Ino’s persistence has left a significant impression upon Sai as we see the two get married and have a son whom they named Inojin. They then subject Inojin to the same training they underwent as young ninjas to be the new iteration of Ino-Shika-Cho.

Is Sai an Uchiha?

Sai lost his parents during his childhood and was recruited into Root despite being so young. There, under the guidance and leadership of Danzo Shimura, Sai was raised and conditioned to have no name and no personality, let alone emotions. His moniker, “Sai”, was only given to him for the sole purpose of joining Team Kakashi.