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The manga and anime portrayals of Sakuno are basically similar, yet have some important differences. It is noted that Sakuno made no appearance in the OVA series Episodes 1-13: The Nationals Arc, neither did Tomoka Osakada.
On one hand, Sakuno has far more spotlight in the anime than the manga, where she's regularly seen hanging out with the Seigaku team along with her best friend Tomoka Osakada, and even helping them out during different training camps. In the manga, she's seldom seen cheerleading and at times even seems to fade away from the storyline, since she spends her time training with the girls of the tennis club.
On the other, the emphasis given to Sakuno's chronic shyness in the anime makes her prone to ditz spells and even small emotional breakdowns, while manga Sakuno is more insightful, mature and intuitive; one example is that, when Kotoha from Tsubakikawa appeared in the Seigaku grounds during chapter 241 and said she had fallen for Ryoma, Sakuno chose to mostly keep her thoughts to herself and noticed that Ryoma had not taken Kotoha's claims seriously, unlike Tomoka who quite freaked out and expressed this very loudly.
==Sakuno and Ryoma== Sakuno is the closest thing to a possible "girlfriend" for Ryoma, although as of yet they have not gotten together. Some hints include bits of jealousy appeared in Ryoma when Kintarou Tooyama, from Shitenhouji, ate her onigiri even when they had fallen on the ground and complimented on how good the onigiri were (Chapter 306).Another hint is the "date" during episode of the anime (though it turned out that he was only taking her to a sports shop to get her racket fixed, since Ryuzaki-sensei couldn't go with her) and the picture taken of them made them look like a couple (Takeshi Momoshiro bumped into Sakuno, who bumped into Ryoma just as the picture was taken). While in both anime and manga, Sakuno's crush on Ryoma is clear, she hasn't had a chance to really tell him due to her own shy nature, some degree of bad luck and the meddling of other people (especially Nanjiroh and Momoshiro, and occasionally Eiji. On the other hand, Ryoma doesn't take a possible relationship with Sakuno seriously because of his dedication to tennis and his own early age, but does show friendly concern for her; he has rescued Sakuno from bullies several times, doesn't mind her tagging along with the team, he has also coached her and Tomoka in tennis (although unwillingly; his father tricked him into doing so). When Ryoma temporarily lost his memories, Sakuno went searching for him. She was willing to try re-teaching him tennis from scrap in an attempt to help him regain his memory, only to be interrupted by Ryoma as he already recovered his memory and wants to face Yukimura. In the end, Sakuno was shown as an eighth grader, content with her life and still playing tennis.
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