I never got the try to make Sakura more pretty to make her more liked by Kishimoto. Did he really not know why Sakura was disliked by certain fans and was misinformed why some disliked her by the editors and SP staff or does he really have that shallow view of women and what makes them popular? Because if he did know the reasons some fans disliked her was because:
- Her feelings for Sasuke as shallow and don't get why she would still love him after everything that he has personally done to her.
- She didn't much fighting or display of her abilities after her fight against Sasori and only got small action scenes afterwards, like when she took out pain's centipede summon.
- After the New team 7 arc her role became rather small in the following arcs and didn't get a major part again until the kage summit arc
- They are diehard NH shippers and view her as a threat to their ship, so they bash and hate her.
He could of solved these issues by:
- Get her to move on from her feelings for Sasuke and clearly show it, by ether show her questioning why she would still be in with him ay this point given what he has done or show more clearly that she is falling in love with Naruto.
- Give her more solo one on fights or even proper teams ups, like having her fight Sasuke in the Kage summit arc, take part in the battle against the seven swordsmen like in storm 3 rather than just heal wounded soldiers and play a more active role in Team 7's fights against Obito, Madara & Kaguya. Heck kishimoto wanted to make her more popular he should of looked at 3rd databook were it showed her fight against sasori was ranked 3rd best, only sasuke vs deidara and sasuke vs itachi was scored higher. This shows that enough would enjoy she her in action more.
- Have her involved more in arcs like the first half in the war and possibly show her developing her abilities and learning a bit more about stuff in the plot such as the history of the senju, Uzumaki & Uchiha clans, the white zetsus, learn why sasuke joined the akatsuki and get more involed with the jinjurki plotline and how she can help naruto as examples.
- If they hate her because she is a threat to their ship, there is no really helping them. He is just going to have to ignore them and focus on developing why Narusaku will happen and why NH & SS won't work and try to avoid any strong teases that these ships will happen at all.
I do wonder if one day Kishimoto will ever come clean of what happened with the ending of Naruto, though that may only happen if Boruto ever finishes and that it becomes clear to shonen jump that it's just not profitable to keep the NH/Boruto canon going
It wasn't trying to make her more pretty to make her more liked by Kishimoto. It was Kishimoto was told Sakura wasn't liked because she wasn't pretty like Hinata. So, he tried constantly to make her better looking during the War arc in hopes fans would like her so he wouldn't have to replace her like his editors were demanding he do.
He wasn't told why she wasn't liked by the fans because the editors would have to explain why Hinata beyond she was cute and liked Naruto the longest. He likely didn't find out until he went looking after the ending.
Like I said Salad is pretty much Sakura 2.0 in the manga:
Sakura hits Naruto. Salad never hits Bolt. Though this is damaging to Bolt because it allows him to be obnoxious without the release valve that hitting does to make sure he doesn't become dislike by the fans.
Sakura didn't fight enough and cried too much. While Salad is barely in the manga she does something in ever fight so far, and hasn't really cried outside her gaiden.
Sakura had a shallow goal of getting Sasuke and didn't do much especially in part one. Salad admires Naruto as a father figure, wants to become hokage, and works hard to reach her goal.
Sakura wasn't considered cute... They have certainly tired to made sure to make everyone considers Salad...sexy. ugh.
Sakura friendzone Naruto. Salad has been in love with Bolt since the chunin exam she just won't admit it, and most don't mind since she is everyone's' favorite character.