noun: deep longing for something, especially one's home

why sasuhina?

So you might be wondering how on earth did I end up shipping two characters who, at the time when I garnered interest (2007), have absolutely no interaction together whatsoever? (I am aware that they have, finally, in the Boruto universe. The problem is I'm not interested in that series one bit.)

Well the answer is: I'm not quite sure myself, and I'm still trying to figure it out after all these years.

Could it be their potential, their aesthetics, the amazing fan-content, their similar pasts, or a combination of all these factors? I'm still not sure, but whatever the reason, it was enough for me to fall into shipping hell for at least 8 years of my life.

My first introduction to Naruto was fleeting. I was around 10 years old when I saw my father watching an early episode on the family computer. I didn't think anything of it, just recalled seeing the iconic orange Ninja on the screen for a moment and then continued whatever I was doing at the time.

The second time was when I stumbled upon a random Naruhina x SasuSaku AMV on Youtube in 2007. I remember thinking that they were extremely adorable (ha) and thought: "I'd probably ship them if I started watching the series." Well lo and behold, I ended up tuning into Naruto not long after and not even 5 episodes in, I entertained the idea of a relationship between Sasuke and Hinata because I was, and still am, a sucker for the shy x stoic person trope.

I began to look up the pairing on Youtube to see if they had any interaction at all. At the time there were very very few AMVs for them, but I came across a couple of videos by NikkiUchiha915...

And it was at that exact moment where I found my shipping career irrevocably changed for life.

I was obsessed.

With each AMV I watched I couldn't believe how good they looked together. I can't remember if at the time I realised that all of those clips were cleverly put together to look like Sasuke and Hinata were interacting when in actuality they weren't. But I probably didn't care because I was too busy fangirling over this newly found pairing.

After watching all the AMVs that were available on youtube I ventured into the world of fanfiction. I know everyone cites Renoa Heartilly's 'Torn' as THE SasuHina Fanfiction (And, well, it is. I read it and it was incredible), but the fic that solidified my status as Full Time SasuHina Shipper was actually Yukishiro Madoka's "Key To My Heart". (I was young at the time and liked my High School AUs, OK.) It was the first SH fic I ever read so for that I adore it dearly and maybe shamelessly still hope for an update even though it's been left untouched for 13 years now.

Because it was so long ago I don't remember much after that, I just know I began consuming and creating content like crazy. I uploaded my fanart onto deviantART. I joined two SasuHina forums. (Beyond the Eyes over at Narutoforums - which I'm somehow the owner of now - and the now defunct Nocturnal Travel forums that used to be home to July-Winter's iconic and amazing SH Theories! I owe so much of my interest in the pairing to those theories and that forum.) I found the SasuHina tag over on tumblr, in which the volume of content that tag was fed with still shocks me to this day. (Daily SH content was so good for my teenage soul.)

At some point I started to slow down my consumption of fan-content because, life, lol but I still continued to make fanart, check the tag daily, and read the odd fanfic here and there. From when I first fell in love with the pairing back in 2007, I don't really remember a period where I wasn't thinking about them in some capacity. Even the seasons where I couldn't be online much due to school, I would still be thinking about the ship, future content ideas, etc.

My interest only really waned once the series ended in 2014. I was actually around when the last chapter leaks were circling around the forums. The absolute meltdown the internet had at the time was actually crazy but I'm somewhat glad I was a part of it lmao. I hadn't expected anything for SasuHina at all during Naruto's run, I was well aware of it's existence as a crack-pairing and nothing more, yet somehow my heart broke a little when I gazed upon two very specific pages. My heart broke further when I spoke to fellow SH shippers and saw upsetting posts in the tag. I read the chapter in its entirety when it was finally posted a couple of hours later, kept my love for sasuhina alive for a couple of months afterwards, until I finally completely lost interest in 2015.

I honestly wonder how I was able to keep my love for something that had no canon material for the amount of years that I did. Though I lost interest in the end, it was such a big part of my online life that, to this day, it still crosses my mind every so often. I know that we have a tendency to over-romanticise things we're nostalgic over, but I truly believe that the SasuHina Experience was something so special. From when I lost interest in 2015, I've not really had a fixation quite like it since. I've dabbled in a few other pairings and franchises here and there, but none of them have filled the sasuhina shaped hole that's been permanently left in my heart.

I wonder if anything ever will.

(If you read up to here, you're amazing!)

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