Neji Hyuga (Naruto) Wiki, Age, Death, Biography & More

Neji Hyuga Face Pic

Neji Hyuga was a Japanese fictional character, a Jonin of Hidden Leaf Village, and a member of Team Guy in the Naruto series.

Wiki/Biography

Neji Hyuga, also known as Genius and Caged Bird, was born on July 3 (age Part I: 13–14; Part II: 17–18) in Konoha’s Hyuga Clan. His blood type is O, and his zodiac sign is Cancer. Neji graduated from Konoha’s ninja academy and was placed in Team Guy along with Lee and Tenten. Under the mentorship of Might Guy, Neji went on various missions and enhanced his shinobi skills.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx): 5’7”

Weight: 54.2 kg

Hairstyle: Long Straight Hair

Hair Colour: Dark Brown

Eye Colour: White

Gender: Male

Neji full body pic

Family

Clan

Neji belonged to Hyuga Clan, a prominent and influential clan within the Hidden Leaf Village. The Hyuga Clan is known for their exceptional mastery of the Byakugan, a unique dōjutsu that grants them the ability to see the chakra network system within the human body and perceive the slightest movements of their opponents.

Parents & Siblings

Hizashi Hyuga, Neji’s father, was a member of the branch of Hyuga Clan. He died protecting his elder brother. The identity of Neji’s mother is still unknown.

Hizashi decides to sacrifice his life

Hizashi decides to sacrifice his life

Hinata Hyuga, the wife of Seventh Hokage, was a cousin of Neji. Hinata was born in the main house, and thus, it became Neji’s responsibility to protect her.

Nei with his cousin Hinata

Wife & Children

Neji died before he could marry any girl and have children.

Love Interest – Girlfriend

As far as the series and manga, Neji did not have a love interest in any girl. However, some fans speculate that Neji had feelings for Tenten.

Background

Neji was born into the Hyūga clan as the son of Hizashi Hyūga, belonging to one of the branch houses. At the age of three, when Hinata, the heiress of the main house, was also young, Neji’s uncle, Hiashi, marked his forehead with the customary cursed seal. Despite his young age, Neji possessed remarkable talent in the Hyūga clan’s unique techniques, which impressed his father, Hizashi. However, Hizashi disliked that Neji’s cursed seal bound him to serve the main house instead of allowing him to pursue his own aspirations. Hiashi expressed his resentment subconsciously by activating Hizashi’s cursed seal and making him suffer in pain. Seeing his father in pain left a traumatic impact on Neji.

Neji cried when his father was punished

Neji cried when his father was punished

Shortly after Neji received the cursed seal, a Kumogakure Head Ninja visited Konoha for a peace treaty but attempted to kidnap Hinata to acquire the secrets of the Byakugan. Hiashi intervened and killed the Head Ninja, which sparked tensions between Konoha and Kumo. Kumo denied the allegations and demanded Hiashi’s body as compensation, which would result in them obtaining the Byakugan. To protect Konoha, Hiashi agreed to sacrifice himself, but Hizashi, Hiashi’s twin brother, volunteered to act as his body double. Due to his young age, Neji couldn’t fully comprehend the situation and came to believe that his father was forced to die for the main house.

Neji's father chooses to sacrifice himself

Neji’s father chooses to sacrifice himself

These events fueled Neji’s bitterness toward the members of the main house, and he developed hatred toward Hinata. Neji often tried to harm her in the anime. He also adopted a belief that a person’s destiny was predetermined at birth and could never be changed. Upon graduating at the top of his class from the Academy, Neji joined Team Guy, where his perspective clashed with one of his teammates, Rock Lee. Lee aspired to become a great ninja despite his limitations, which Neji considered impossible. While Tenten admired Neji’s abilities, Lee was determined to prove him wrong and defeat him in battle. Their instructor, Might Guy, supported this rivalry, believing that competition and the pursuit of success would push them to reach new heights.

Neji in Team Guy

Neji in Team Guy

Creator

Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Neji Hyuga, carefully crafted the character to explore themes of destiny and breaking free from predetermined paths. By highlighting the complexities of the Hyuga Clan and Neji’s struggles, Kishimoto challenged the notion of fate and emphasized the importance of individual capabilities. Neji’s exceptional talent in the Byakugan and taijutsu was meant to showcase the strength of the clan while highlighting his personal journey of self-discovery.

A sketch of Neji

Development

Masashi Kishimoto developed the character of Neji Hyuga in the Naruto series with careful attention to his backstory, beliefs, and personal growth. Initially portrayed as a cold individual due to his experiences within the Hyuga Clan, Kishimoto gradually revealed Neji’s complex nature and the reasons behind his beliefs.

Neji expresses his anger over Hyuga Clan's main house

Neji expresses his anger over Hyuga Clan’s main house

Through the Chunin Exams arc, Kishimoto explored Neji’s rigid mindset and his belief in the predestined path. The subsequent battle between Neji and Naruto Uzumaki became a pivotal moment in Neji’s development, as Naruto challenged his beliefs and inspired him to reconsider his perspective on life. Kishimoto further developed Neji’s character during the Fourth Great Ninja War, where we witnessed Neji’s loyalty and courage.

Neji's perspective about life changes

Neji’s perspective on life changes

Story/Mission

Sasuke Recovery Mission

When Sasuke Uchiha leaves Konoha and joins Otogakure, the Fifth Hokage forms the Sasuke Recovery Team to bring him back. The team is led by Shikamaru Nara and includes Neji, who is recommended by Lee. Neji uses his Byakugan, a special eye technique, to keep a watchful eye on the team as they track Sasuke’s escorts, known as the Sound Four. Using his Byakugan, Neji assists the team in strategizing their attack when they finally catch up to the Sound Four. During the confrontation, Kidōmaru, one of the Sound Four members, immobilizes the team with his webbing. However, Neji’s exceptional chakra control enables him to break free from the webs. Despite his injuries, Neji instructs the others to continue without him. Neji engages in an intense battle with Kidōmaru and emerges victorious. However, he sustains critical injuries and is on the brink of death. The Medic Corps from Konoha is dispatched to aid the Sasuke Recovery Team. They locate Neji, bring him back to Konoha, and use the Healing Resuscitation Regeneration Technique to heal his wounds.

Neji along with others departs to bring Sasuke back

Neji along with others departs to bring Sasuke back

Star Guard Mission

Neji assumes the role of leader for the Star Guard Team during a mission to Hoshigakure. Upon their arrival, Neji emphasizes the importance of following the mission’s original instructions to locate the star, rather than involving themselves in the village’s internal matters. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, the team fails to prevent the destruction of the star and returns to Konoha. Neji takes responsibility for the mission’s failure. However, due to Naruto’s successful defeat of the client, Akahoshi, during the mission, nobody in the village is in a position to criticize Neji or the team’s performance.

Neji during Star Guard Mission

Neji during Star Guard Mission

Sunagakure Support Mission

Neji and the Konoha 11 are dispatched to assist the Three Sand Siblings in their battle against the Four Celestial Symbols Men. Under the leadership of Shikamaru, the team is divided into smaller groups, with Neji, Hinata, and Shino assigned to clear out specific areas. Together, they work diligently to fulfill their mission. Upon their return to Konoha, Neji engages in training with his uncle, Hiashi. During this time, Hinata attends to them by serving drinks. However, Neji suggests that she should instead bid farewell to Naruto, who is about to embark on a long period of training outside of Konoha.

Neji trains with Hinata during Sunagakure Support Mission

Neji trains with Hinata during Sunagakure Support Mission

Kazekage Rescue Mission

The Fifth Hokage assigns Team Guy the task of assisting Team 7 in rescuing the Fifth Kazekage from Akatsuki. During their journey to an Akatsuki hideout in the Land of Rivers, they encounter Kisame Hoshigaki. Kisame targets Might Guy for a fight, leaving Neji, Tenten, and Rock Lee trapped in Water Prisons. Neji eventually gathers enough chakra to break free and release his teammates. However, by the time they are freed, Guy has already defeated Kisame. While examining the defeated enemy’s body, Team Guy realizes that it was a decoy meant to delay them. They unite with Team 7 and find a barrier blocking the entrance to the Akatsuki hideout. Neji uses his Byakugan to locate the seals maintaining the barrier, and he and the rest of Team Guy split up to remove them. However, they are suddenly attacked by duplicates of themselves. Neji, like the rest of his team, faces the challenge of defeating his own duplicate. Ultimately, all of them manage to overpower their duplicate. After winning their individual battles, Team Guy regroups and continues to pursue Team 7. Although the Akatsuki members have been eliminated and the Kazekage has been rescued, they discover that the Kazekage has died during the mission. Chiyo sacrifices her own life to revive him. A few days later, they attend Chiyo’s funeral in Sunagakure. Kakashi, exhausted from his previous battle, was carried back to Konoha by Guy. Lee, thinking it is a special training method, requests to carry Neji in the same way, but Neji firmly declines.

Neji gets trapped in water prison

Neji gets trapped in a water prison

Fourth Shinobi War

During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Neji is assigned to the Second Division alongside Hinata. Their division is tasked with intercepting a large segment of the White Zetsu Army. As the battle wears on, Neji becomes fatigued. Despite his exhaustion, Neji and Hinata continue fighting, protecting each other throughout the night. Neji eventually becomes too tired to stand, but instead of seeking medical attention, he rests on Akamaru’s back, determined to keep fighting. The battle between the Second Division and the Zetsu Army rages on until Naruto’s shadow clone arrives to eliminate the remaining enemies. As the war reaches its climax, Neji and the Allied Shinobi Forces join Naruto in his fight against the Ten-Tails. Neji, Hinata, and Hiashi work together to shield Naruto from attacks. In a critical moment, Neji sacrifices himself to protect Hinata, taking a fatal blow. Neji accepts his fate and collapses over Naruto’s shoulder. He instructs Naruto not to risk his life in the future, as he now bears the responsibility of protecting the lives of many others, including Hinata’s.

Neji on the battlefield of war

Neji on the battlefield of war

Battles

Face Off Against Hinata During Chunin Exams

During the Chunin exams, Neji and Hinata were pitted against each other in a match. Initially, Neji’s harsh words bring Hinata to tears, but Naruto Uzumaki’s encouragement inspires her to keep fighting. In their initial exchange of Gentle Fist blows, Neji effectively seals Hinata’s chakra flow, making her attacks ineffective. Despite this setback, Hinata refuses to give up and continues to fight. Neji suggests her surrender while delivering increasingly powerful blows to her, but Hinata remains resolute. As the battle progresses, her internal organs suffer severe damage, and she struggles to stay on her feet. In a surprising turn, Hinata uses Neji’s own words against him, questioning his obsession with destiny and his desire for recognition from the Hyuga clan. This enrages Neji, and he moves to deliver a fatal blow to Hinata. However, he is restrained by Guy and other jōnin observers. Eventually, Hinata collapses from her injuries, and Neji is declared the winner of the match.

Neji knocks out Hinata

Neji knocks out Hinata

The Match Against Naruto

After the preliminaries, the matchups for the finals of the Chunin exams are determined, and Neji is matched with Naruto. Both fighters spend a month preparing for their battle. When the match begins, Naruto uses his shadow clones to confuse Neji, as his Byakugan cannot distinguish the real Naruto from the clones. Naruto manages to land a few blows, but Neji counters with his Revolving Heaven technique and eventually seals Naruto’s chakra with the Sixty-Four Palms. However, Naruto taps into another source of power: the Nine-Tails’ chakra. Naruto’s speed and strength greatly increased. Neji tries to deflect one of Naruto’s powerful blows with Revolving Heaven, but it sends them both flying apart. As the dust settles, Naruto appears defeated, and Neji starts to boast about his victory. However, to Neji’s surprise, Naruto bursts out from the ground beneath him, delivering an uppercut to his chin and knocking him out. It turns out that the Naruto Neji had defeated was actually a shadow clone. Before being declared the winner, Naruto delivers a powerful message to Neji, telling him to stop being held back by his notions of fate.

Neji gets surrounded by Naruto's shadow clones

Neji gets surrounded by Naruto’s shadow clones

Confrontation with Kisame Hoshikage

During the mission to rescue the Fifth Kazekage, Team Guy, consisting of Neji Hyuga, Tenten, and Rock Lee, is sent by the Fifth Hokage to assist Team 7. While on their way to an Akatsuki lair in the Land of Rivers, they encounter Kisame Hoshigaki, a member of Akatsuki. Kisame’s primary interest lies in fighting Might Guy, so he quickly engages Guy in an intense battle. Meanwhile, Neji, Tenten, and Lee remain trapped in Water Prisons created by Kisame’s water-based techniques. Neji begins building up enough chakra to break free from the Water Prison and eventually manages to release Lee and Tenten as well. Unfortunately, by the time they break free, they realize that Guy has already defeated Kisame.

Neji eliminates Kisame's clones

Neji eliminates Kisame’s clones

Engages in Fight Against Kidōmaru

During the Sasuke Recovery Mission, Neji engages in an interesting battle against Kidōmaru. Kidōmaru tries to trap Neji with his webbing, restricting his movements and making it difficult for him to break free. Initially, it seems like Neji is at a disadvantage, but he uses a clever strategy. Releasing chakra throughout his body, Neji loosens the webs and creates an opportunity to counterattack with his Sixty-Four Palms technique. Kidōmaru, impressed by Neji’s skills, becomes more cautious and starts testing the limits of Neji’s Byakugan. Through observation, Kidōmaru discovers a blind spot in Neji’s vision and uses it to his advantage. He launches an attack toward Neji’s blind spot using his Spider War Bow, but Neji anticipates the move and manages to dodge a fatal strike. However, Kidōmaru modifies his arrows, making them faster and stronger, and attaches a thread to guide their flight, making it impossible for Neji to avoid. Realizing that he cannot completely avoid the attack, Neji decides to take the hit. However, he responds swiftly by sending a surge of chakra through the connecting thread back to Kidōmaru which para lyzes him. Neji then locates Kidōmaru and delivers a fatal blow, ultimately defeating him. Neji is left critically injured and near death due to the intense battle. Fortunately, Konoha sends the Medic Corps to provide medical aid.

Neji in combat with Kidomaru

Neji in combat with Kidomaru

Struggles to Defeat His Clone

After successfully defeating Kisame during the Kazekage Rescue Mission, Team Guy joins forces with Team 7 as they head towards the Akatsuki hideout. However, they encounter a barrier that blocks their entry. Using his Byakugan, Neji scans the area and identifies the seals that maintain the barrier. With this information, Neji and the rest of Team Guy proceed to remove the seals. Once the barrier is removed, they face a new challenge: battling duplicates of themselves. Neji, along with his teammates, struggles to defeat their clones as they possess similar skills and abilities. Fatigue sets in, making it even more difficult to overcome their mirror images. At this point, it seems almost impossible to achieve victory. However, Team Guy finds a way to overcome their clones. They push their limits, channeling their increased stamina and intensifying their attacks. With their newfound strength, they rise above the challenge and emerge victorious against their own clones. After their individual battles, Team Guy reunites with Team 7 and continues the mission.

Neji fights his own clone

Neji fights his own clone

Confronted the Army of White Zetsu

During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Neji and Hinata join forces in attacking the Zetsu. Despite causing heavy casualties, the Zetsu’s overwhelming numbers turn the battle into a challenge. As the battle goes on, Neji becomes fatigued from this long fight. Unfortunately, he has some of his chakra absorbed by a Zetsu. the Zetsu later uses that chakra to impersonate him. Nevertheless, Neji and Hinata continue fighting through the night.

Neji and Hinata together battles against the army of Zetsu

Neji and Hinata together battle against the army of Zetsu

Fights Kidomaru Again During the War

During the shinobi war, Neji faces off against the reincarnated Kidōmaru. At first, Neji uses his skills to free his allies who were trapped by Kidōmaru’s webbing. Having become stronger since their previous encounter, Neji effortlessly defeats Kidōmaru using his Eight Trigrams Vacuum Palm technique. However, Neji’s victory triggers a seal that makes him unconscious. Along with the other members of the Sasuke Recovery Team, Neji’s soul becomes trapped in a barrier. Within this barrier, they are forced to engage in continuous battles against the Sound Four until their physical bodies eventually expire.

Neji smiles after defeating the reincarnated Kidomaru

Neji smiles after defeating the reincarnated Kidomaru

Victories

  • Defeating Hinata During the Chunin Exams: In the Chunin Exams, Neji faces off against his cousin Hinata in a highly intense battle. Despite their familial connection, Neji gives Hinata a rough time in this battle. This victory solidifies his position as a prodigious and talented shinobi within his clan.
  • Overcoming His Destiny: Neji’s personal victory lies in his journey of breaking free from the negative beliefs instilled in him by his family’s branch system. Through his encounters and experiences, he comes to understand the power of personal choice and determination. Neji breaks the cycle of destiny, proving that one can rise above their predetermined fate.

    Neji changes his perspective about destiny

    Neji changes his perspective on destiny

  • Sacrificing Himself to Protect Naruto: During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Neji sacrifices his own life to protect Naruto. He intercepts an attack aimed at Naruto and shields him.

    Neji dies protecting Naruto

    Neji dies protecting Naruto

Failures

  • Being Confined by the Hyuga Clan’s Branch System: Neji’s upbringing is marked by the oppressive branch system within the Hyuga clan. As a member of the branch family, he is subjected to discrimination and serves as a tool to protect the main branch. This situation can be seen as a personal failure for Neji, as it restricts his freedom and prevents him from realizing his full potential.
  • Losing to Naruto in their First Battle: During the Chunin Exams, Neji faces Naruto in a battle that challenges his beliefs about destiny. Despite his initial superiority, Neji is ultimately defeated by Naruto’s determination. This defeat forces Neji to reassess his perspective and contributes to his personal growth.

    Neji loses to Naruto in a fight

    Neji loses to Naruto in a fight

  • Inability to Prevent His Father’s Death: Neji carries a burden of guilt over the death of his father, Hizashi, who sacrificed himself to protect the main branch of the Hyuga clan. Neji feels responsible for his father’s fate and struggles with his perceived failure to prevent the tragedy.

Enemies/Rivals

Kidomaru

Kidomaru, a member of the Sound Four, engaged in a fierce battle against Neji during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. Kidomaru proved to be a challenging opponent, testing Neji’s skills and resolve.

Kidomaru attacks Neji with his webs

Kidomaru attacks Neji with his webs

The Sound Four

Neji faced other members of the Sound Four, including Jirobo, Sakon, Tayuya, and Kimimaro. These battles demanded Neji’s strategic thinking and combat prowess, as he fought to protect his comrades and achieve their goals.

The members of the Sound Four

The members of the Sound Four

The Oto and Suna Ninjas

Neji encountered various enemies from the Sound and Sand Villages during the Fourth Great Ninja War. These battles challenged his skills as a shinobi and pushed him to his limits.

Neji defeated his enemy during the war

Neji defeated his enemy during the war

The Akatsuki

As members of the criminal organization, certain Akatsuki members became enemies of Neji and his allies. Their encounters were part of the larger conflicts and threats faced by the Hidden Leaf Village.

Neji fights the Akatsuki member Kisame

Neji fights the Akatsuki member Kisame

Orochimaru

Orochimaru, a former member of the Hidden Leaf Village, posed a significant threat and was regarded as an enemy by Neji and his comrades.

Orochimaru, a rougue shinobi and former Akatsuki member

Orochimaru, a rougue shinobi and former Akatsuki member

Naruto Uzumaki

Naruto and Neji initially had a tense relationship, emerging from their contrasting views on destiny. They faced each other in the Chunin Exams and engaged in a fierce battle that pushed both of them to their limits. Naruto’s determination and refusal to be bound by predetermined fate left a lasting impact on Neji. Over time, their rivalry transformed into mutual respect and a strong bond as they fought side by side during the Fourth Great Ninja War.

Neji tells Naruto that hardwork is insufficient to defeat him

Neji tells Naruto that hard work is insufficient to defeat him

Rock Lee

Rock Lee and Neji had a notable rivalry within Team Guy. Lee’s exceptional physical prowess and dedication to taijutsu provided a contrast to Neji’s exceptional talent in the Hyuga Clan’s Gentle Fist style. Their friendly competition pushed each other to new heights, as they trained together under the guidance of their mentor, Might Guy. While their rivalry was friendly, it fueled their growth and strengthened their skills as shinobi.

Neji fights Lee as a training

Neji fights Lee as a training

Friends/Allies

Rock Lee

Lee, also known as “Bushy Brows,” was not only Neji’s teammate but also his close friend. They shared a deep mutual respect and supported each other in their respective journeys of self-improvement. Initially, Neji had a cold relationship with his sensei and teammates. However, over time, as they faced various challenges and shared experiences together, their bond began to grow. Neji cared so much for Lee that he was willing to sacrifice his own life to keep Lee safe. Neji couldn’t bear to see Lee get hurt again, and he would rather give up his own life than let that happen. This made Neji’s death even more tragic for Lee. He held Neji’s lifeless body on the battlefield, unable to control his tears and paralyzed by the loss. The friendship between Lee and Neji meant a great deal to Lee, and he continues to cherish their bond, even in Neji’s absence.

Neji and Lee during a mission

Neji and Lee during a mission

Tenten

Tenten, another member of Team Guy, had a friendly and amicable relationship with Neji. They trained together under the guidance of Might Guy and often worked as a team during missions. According to Neji Hyuuga, Tenten is like an angel who can handle the quirky pair of Guy and Lee every day. Neji admires Tenten’s patience with both Guy and Lee, as she seems to have more tolerance than he does. Additionally, Tenten has to deal with Neji, who can be depressing at times. Because of this, Neji sees Tenten as a saint or an angel and feels fortunate to have her in his life.

A picture of Neji and Tenten

A picture of Neji and Tenten

Might Guy

As their team leader and mentor, Might Guy played a significant role in shaping Neji’s growth and provided guidance and encouragement to help him overcome his past struggles. Might Guy, despite being considered the most annoying teacher, earns Neji Hyuga’s acknowledgment as one of the strongest individuals he knows. Neji, being a cold character, rejected Guy’s teachings initially. However, as Neji gradually let go of his grudges, he began to appreciate Guy’s support and guidance, even during times when Neji was rude or disrespectful.

Guy trains Neji and his other students

Guy trains Neji and his other students

Hiashi Hyuga

Neji’s relationship with his uncle, Hiashi, initially had a complex dynamic due to the chaotic history of the Hyuga Clan. However, over time, Hiashi showed understanding and support for Neji’s pursuit of freedom and personal growth. After his defeat at the hands of Naruto during the Chunin exams, Neji receives medical attention for his injuries. During this time, his uncle, Hiashi, pays him a visit. Hiashi, who had been present during Neji’s match, decides to share the truth about Neji’s father’s death, hoping to correct Neji’s misconceptions. He reveals that Hizashi, Neji’s father, made the choice to sacrifice himself not out of obligation to the main house, as Neji had believed, but out of his love and desire to protect his brother, Hiashi. Hiashi bows before Neji, expressing deep regret for not revealing the truth earlier. This heartfelt gesture moves Neji to tears, and he requests Hiashi to rise. As they sit together and observe the birds outside, Neji develops a sense of clarity. Inspired by his father’s self-determination, he realizes that he, too, has the power to shape his own destiny.

Hiashi asks Neji for his forgiveness

Hiashi asks Neji for his forgiveness

Hinata Hyuga

Hinata, Neji’s cousin, held deep admiration and respect for him. Due to his position in the Hyuga Clan’s branch family, Neji carried deep anger and resentment towards the main family. Neji was brought up alongside Hinata under the guardianship of her father, and they were raised like siblings. During that time, Neji held a more positive outlook toward Hinata. However, his perspective shifted when he realized the special treatment Hinata and her father received compared to the hardships he and his father endured. Despite the circumstances that created bitterness between them, Hinata still refers to Neji as her “brother.” It suggests that Hinata’s fondness for Neji remains, even though their clan’s situation had caused a divide between them. However, through their shared experiences and the lessons they learned, they developed a close bond and supported each other’s development as shinobi.

Neji helps Hinata when she is blind

Neji helped Hinata when she was blind

Hanabi Hyuga

Neji Hyuga’s relationship with Hanabi is indeed complex due to their shared understanding of the future that Hanabi would experience. Hanabi possesses the Byakugan and can foresee certain events, much like Neji did in the past. Neji recognizes the similarities between his own cursed past and Hanabi’s potential future. They both come from the branch family and understand the competitive dynamics within their family. Hanabi intends to prove herself as the rightful heir to her father and engages in intense competition. Neji acknowledges the potential for jealousy and rivalry within their family.

Hanabi watches Neji and Hinata training together

Hanabi watches Neji and Hinata training together

Naruto Uzumaki

Neji developed a complex relationship with Naruto, initially harboring resentment towards him due to their differing perspectives on destiny. However, as they fought side by side during the Fourth Great Ninja War, Neji recognized Naruto’s unwavering spirit and came to view him as a true friend.

Neji helps Naruto during the shinobi war

Neji helps Naruto during the shinobi war

Sasuke Uchiha

Neji had limited interactions with Sasuke, but as fellow members of the Konoha shinobi community, they recognized each other’s skills and worked together during critical missions.

Neji meets Sasuke for the first time

Neji meets Sasuke for the first time

Sakura Haruno

Sakura, a member of Team 7, shared a mutual respect with Neji as they often fought alongside each other during intense battles, relying on each other’s strengths.

Sakura heals Neji's injuries during the shinobi war

Sakura heals Neji’s injuries during the shinobi war

Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka, and Choji Akimichi

Neji formed a close bond with these members of Team 10, as they often collaborated and supported each other during missions.

Team Asuma were close friends of Neji

Team Asuma were close friends of Neji

Kakashi Hatake and Tsunade

As respected members of the Hidden Leaf Village, Kakashi and Tsunade provided guidance and leadership to Neji, supporting him in his growth as a shinobi.

A picture of Kakashi and Tsunade

A picture of Kakashi and Tsunade

Personality

When Neji was a child, he was kind and often smiled. On Hinata’s third birthday, he even told his father that he thought she was cute. However, after his father passed away, Neji changed. He became serious, cold, and more mature than other kids his age. For many years, he strongly believed that everyone’s destiny, including his own, was determined from the moment they were born and couldn’t be changed. Neji saw himself as a special talent and looked down on those he considered weaker than him. He believed that his abilities would always be limited by serving the main house of the Hyūga clan, which made him cold and developed bitterness towards them. Neji’s MBTI personality type is ISTJ.

Kid Neji was cute

Kid Neji was cute

Neji liked to share his beliefs about destiny with others and would tell them if he thought they were going against their predetermined paths. For example, if they were trying to go beyond their natural abilities or trying to defeat him in a fight without having the obvious skills to do so. When Neji talked to Hinata about his philosophy, she realized that his strong belief in destiny actually hurt his soul. He desperately wanted to prove himself to the main house of the Hyūga clan but felt incapable of doing so. Neji became so angry with Hinata’s words that he even tried to harm her. Naruto disagreed with Neji as well and told him that he was not fulfilling his true destiny because he was holding himself back. At first, Neji didn’t take Naruto’s words seriously, but he had to reconsider when Naruto, who was considered a “failure,” defeated him, a “genius,” in a fight.

Neji tells Naruto to give up on his dreams

Neji tells Naruto to give up on his dreams

After meeting Naruto, Neji learned that fate is not fixed and that people have the power to shape their own destinies. He felt grateful to Naruto for helping him break free from his negative thoughts and feelings. Neji chose a new path for himself, determined to become strong and never experience defeat again, even though his predetermined fate would eventually catch up to him. To achieve his goal, Neji trained hard alongside his teammates, supporting their own dreams and aspirations. He also worked on repairing his relationships with members of the Hyūga main house. Over time, his desire to become stronger became not only a personal motivation but also a means to protect his loved ones. He took his responsibility as a member of the branch house seriously, especially in keeping Hinata safe. Neji showed great care for her well-being, prioritizing her safety above all else in battle situations. In a selfless act, Neji made the ultimate sacrifice to save Hinata’s life.

Neji overcomes his false beliefs

Neji overcomes his false beliefs

Birds played a significant role in representing Neji’s beliefs and personal development. He often compared his own experiences to that of a caged bird, feeling trapped by his destiny and the cursed seal on his forehead. However, after his defeat by Naruto, Neji realized that there were countless birds flying freely in the world, symbolizing the potential to break free from his perceived limitations. During his efforts to overcome the limitations of his Byakugan, Neji would observe birds from a distance. He noticed that he could see most birds, but there was always one in his blind spot that he couldn’t spot. This served as a metaphor for his journey to overcome his own weaknesses and uncover hidden potential. After Neji’s passing, the Allied Shinobi Forces paid tribute to him by forming a formation resembling a flock of birds, honoring his memory.

Free birds describe Neji's development

Free birds describe Neji’s development

Outfit

In Part I, Neji’s outfit consisted of multiple layers. He wore a beige-colored shirt over a dull blue shirt, with mesh armor underneath. He also had dark brown shorts, blue shinobi sandals, and wrapped bandages on his right arm, chest, and right leg. He wore a black forehead protector, and underneath it, a smaller headband with two straps that concealed his Hyūga main family’s sealing mark.

Teen Neji in his usual clothes

Teen Neji in his usual clothes

In Part II, Neji made some changes to his clothing. He replaced his previous wardrobe with a white kimono shirt featuring long, loose sleeves, paired with matching pants. He also wore a navy-grey apron tied around his waist and black shinobi sandals. He no longer wore the straps that framed his face, as his hair had grown longer and now fulfilled that role. During missions, he carried a tan and black drawstring bag over his shoulder.

Neji's appearance in Naruto Shippuden

Neji’s appearance in Naruto Shippuden

In the Fourth Shinobi World War, he adopted the standard Konohagakure flak jacket and other attire commonly worn by shinobi.

Neji's appearance during the Fourth Shinobi War

Neji’s appearance during the Fourth Shinobi War

Abilities

From a young age, Neji possessed exceptional natural talent and intelligence, even surpassing the high standards of the Hyūga clan. Despite belonging to the branch house, which restricted his access to advanced techniques, Neji managed to learn and master many of them through his keen observation skills. Hiashi, recognizing Neji’s remarkable abilities and rapid growth, believed that Neji should have been the successor of the Main Branch and predicted that he would surpass all previous Hyūga members, a feat he accomplished by Part II despite his young age. In addition to his clan traits, Neji graduated at the top of his class from the Academy, leaving a strong impression on Rock Lee, who considered Neji as the strongest competitor during their first Chūnin Exams. Although Neji didn’t attain the promotion during those exams, he was the only member of the Konoha 11 to become a jōnin during the subsequent time skip.

Byakugan

Being a Hyūga, Neji possessed a special ability called the Byakugan. While this eye technique was common among his clan, Neji’s Byakugan was particularly powerful. It granted him a nearly 360° field of vision. However, there was a small blind spot at some point behind his back that Neji was unable to overcome despite extensive training. To compensate for this weakness, he developed a technique where he emitted chakra around the area, enabling him to sense incoming attacks and react in time. Using his Byakugan, he could also see the chakra pathway system within the body and the 361 tenketsu points along it. Over time, Neji’s Byakugan evolved, and in Part II, his range of vision expanded significantly. While in Part I, he could only see objects up to 50 meters away, in Part II, his visual range increased to at least 800 meters.

Neji activates his Byakugan

Neji activates his Byakugan

Taijutsu

Like other members of the Hyūga clan, Neji specialized in taijutsu, which is a form of hand-to-hand combat. He had exceptional skills in this area, using precise strikes to target specific points on his opponent’s body. Neji’s speed, reflexes, coordination, and durability were remarkable. This made him a challenging fighter at close range, as his opponents struggled to land hits on him. From a young age, Neji was trained in the Hyūga clan’s secret Gentle Fist fighting style, which requires the Byakugan’s enhanced vision to strike at the opponent’s chakra system. By attacking the chakra pathways, Neji could disrupt the flow of his opponent’s chakra, causing great damage and even fatal consequences. It was challenging for his opponents to defend against his precise strikes.

Neji excels at Taijutsu

Neji excels in Taijutsu

Neji possessed various powerful techniques from the Gentle Fist style. The Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms allowed him to attack multiple targets simultaneously by striking their tenketsu points, immobilizing them, or deflecting incoming projectiles. In the anime, he further improved this technique to increase the number of strikes. Neji could use the Eight Trigrams Palms Revolving Heaven, expelling chakra from his body to create a protective shield that deflected attacks from all directions. If he was ever restrained and unable to use Revolving Heaven, Neji had the ability to release chakra from his tenketsu points, freeing himself from the restraints. In Part II, Neji also incorporated the Eight Trigrams Vacuum Palm, a technique that allowed him to attack targets beyond his physical reach or repel incoming attacks. When used in combination with other techniques, its strength, and effectiveness were enhanced.

Jutsu/Skills

Gentle Fist

The Gentle Fist technique is a unique form of hand-to-hand combat practiced by members of the Hyuga clan. With their special ability called the Byakugan, which grants them enhanced vision, the Hyuga clan can see and target their opponent’s chakra system. The Gentle Fist technique allows them to strike their enemy’s organs directly and block their chakra points, known as tenketsu. These strikes are precise and leave no visible marks on the body. Despite belonging to the branch family of the Hyuga clan, Neji was recognized as a prodigy in the Gentle Fist style. His exceptional reflexes and durability made him a challenging fighter at close range, even matching the skills of prominent Hyuga members like his uncle, Hiashi, who was the head of the clan. In a battle against Hinata, Hiashi’s daughter, Neji targeted and disabled each of her chakra points using this technique.

Neji defending and attacking with Gentle Fist technique

Neji defends and attacks with the Gentle Fist technique

Eight Trigrams: Air Palm

The Eight Trigrams: Air Palm is a unique technique of the Hyuga clan that relies on the Byakugan to locate an opponent’s vital points. By advancing their palm towards the target, the user infuses their chakra into a compressed air column. This invisible and chakra-infused wind strikes the opponent, knocking them off their feet and blocking their chakra points. Neji, like other members of the Hyuga clan, learned the Eight Trigrams: Air Palm at a young age. He often used this technique to attack from a distance, inflicting damage on his enemies while limiting their ability to counterattack with offensive ninjutsu. Since the technique is based on the Gentle Fist style, it also targets the opponent’s internal organs.

Neji prepares to attack with Eight Trigrams Air Palm

Neji prepares to attack with Eight Trigrams Air Palm

Chakra Point Needle

The Chakra Point Needle is a technique that resembles the Gentle Fist style and is used to disable an opponent’s chakra. By targeting a specific chakra point, the user delivers a quick jab with two fingers, effectively sealing the struck tenketsu. Skilled practitioners can even perform this technique without activating the Byakugan. Neji often combined the Chakra Point Needle with the Gentle Fist style, allowing him to not only cause damage to his opponent’s organs but also systematically block their chakra pathways. During his fight against Hinata in the Chunin Exams, Neji successfully used the Chakra Point Needle to make her attacks ineffective by shutting down her chakra flow.

Neji performs Chakra Point Needle technique

Neji performs the Chakra Point Needle technique

Eight Trigrams: Palm Rotation

The Eight Trigrams: Palm Rotation is a highly secretive technique that is known only to the Hyuga clan’s main branch. By releasing chakra from all of their tenketsu, the user can create a spinning motion to form a protective shield. This shield can block and deflect incoming attacks, while also delivering damage to enemies. Although the Palm Rotation is typically reserved for the Hyuga’s main branch, Neji was able to learn the technique through observation alone. He perfected his use of Palm Rotation and frequently used it in battles. One notable instance was during his fight against Kidomaru, where Neji used the technique to successfully repel the Sound Ninja’s powerful and accurate attack and saved his life.

Neji defends himself with Palm Rotation technique

Neji defends himself with the Palm Rotation technique

Eight Trigrams: Sixty-Four Palms

The Eight Trigrams: Sixty-Four Palms is a powerful technique that begins with the user visualizing themselves within the Trigram Seal. With the help of the Byakugan, they unleash a rapid series of strikes on their target, doubling the number of strikes with each set. This technique not only deals significant damage but also disables the opponent’s chakra by sealing their tenketsu points. Similar to his mastery of the Palm Rotation, Neji was able to learn the Eight Trigrams: Sixty-Four Palms through careful observation. Even as a genin, he excellently performed the six sets of strikes within a minute. As Neji progressed to become a Jonin, he further honed the technique, doubling the number of strikes to enhance its effectiveness.

Neji injured Naruto using Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Palms

Neji injured Naruto using Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Palms

Eight Trigrams: Air Wall Palm

The Eight Trigrams: Air Wall Palm is an advanced technique that builds upon the Air Palm technique. It requires the collaboration of two Byakugan users working together. By performing a synchronized palm thrust, they create a powerful wall of chakra-infused air. This air wall not only blocks the enemy’s chakra points but also causes significant damage. This attack has a wide range, and thus, it can take out multiple enemies simultaneously without being detected. After Neji reunited with the Hyuga’s main branch and strengthened his bond with Hinata, they developed the Eight Trigrams: Air Wall Palm during their training sessions. By combining their powers, they became an unstoppable team during the Fourth Ninja War. They successfully used the Air Wall Palm technique to defeat a large number of White Zetsu clones in a single strike.

Neji and Hinata together perform Air Wall Palm

Neji and Hinata together perform Air Wall Palm

Gentle Fist: Body Blow

Gentle Fist: Body Blow is a technique that harnesses the Hyuga clan’s unique ability to release chakra from their tenketsu. Similar to the Palm Rotation technique, the user channels their chakra and forcefully emits it towards their opponent. This technique can be used to push enemies away without physical contact or to neutralize the effects of enemy jutsu. Neji effectively used Gentle Fist: Body Blow in both offensive and defensive scenarios. During the Ninja War, he used it offensively against the White Zetsu Clones. Additionally, Neji used this technique to escape Kisame Hoshigake’s Water Prison by nullifying it solely with his chakra.

Neji eliminates White Zetsu using Gentle Fist Body Flow

Neji eliminates White Zetsu using Gentle Fist Body Flow

Eight Trigrams: Hazan Strike

The Eight Trigrams: Hazan Strike is an advanced technique derived from the Air Palm. It enhances the user’s ability to expel a larger amount of chakra. With a single powerful strike, the user releases a dense chakra that throws their opponents with great force. This technique is capable of sending foes flying and even has the potential to split mountains, depending on the user’s strength and skill. Neji, during his training as a Jonin, developed the Eight Trigrams: Hazan Strike to effectively utilize the Air Palm technique in close-quarters combat. The Hazan Strike is regarded as the most developed form of the Eight Trigrams: Air Palm.

Neji attacks his clone with Hazan Strike

Neji attacks his clone with Hazan Strike

Eight Trigrams: One Hundred Twenty-Eight Palms

The Eight Trigrams: One Hundred Twenty-Eight Palms is an advanced combat technique that builds upon the principles of the Byakugan and the trigrams seal. By expanding the range and increasing the number of strikes compared to its parent technique, the Sixty-Four Palms, the user can unleash a barrage of precise attacks. This enhanced version effectively doubles the power and duration of the original technique. By targeting a larger number of tenketsu, the user can completely disable the target’s chakra system, making them immobile and unable to use any chakra-based techniques. Impressively, Neji not only mastered the original Sixty-Four Palms through observation but also created the Eight Trigrams: One Hundred Twenty-Eight Palms technique while still a genin. He proficiently used this attack during his battle against Kidomaru, where he easily eliminated hundreds of spiders that were descending upon him.

Neji activates Eight Trigrams One Twenty Eight Palms

Neji activates Eight Trigrams One Twenty-Eight Palms

Armed Primary Lotus: Eight Trigrams Palm Rotation

The Armed Primary Lotus: Eight Trigrams Palm Rotation is a powerful technique that showcases the unique skills of Team 9 from Konoha. It involves a coordinated effort between Rock Lee, Neji, and Tenten. The technique begins with Rock Lee using the Primary Lotus to bind Neji, who then activates the Eight Trigrams: Palm Rotation while in midair. As they move towards their target, Tenten throws a string of explosive-tagged kunai into the mix. The combined effect of their individual abilities creates a chakra-infused rotating dome that explodes upon impact. The explosive force unleashed by this technique is highly destructive. Through the collaborative efforts of Tenten’s weapon expertise, Rock Lee’s Inner Gates technique, and Neji’s kekkei genkai, they create a powerful rotating barrier that overpowers their target. Because Neji’s Eight Trigrams: Palm Rotation repels all external damage, both Neji and Rock Lee remain unharmed during this technique. Meanwhile, their opponent is left severely injured, losing access to their chakra and struggling to breathe due to the intense impact of the technique.

Neji and Lee performs their combined attack

Neji and Lee perform their combined attack

Strength

  • Neji Hyuga possesses exceptional skills that set him apart from others. His primary strength lies in his mastery of the Gentle Fist style, a unique taijutsu technique specific to the Hyuga Clan. With his Byakugan, Neji can see and accurately target his opponent’s chakra points. Neji’s precision and accuracy in striking vital points make him an impressive close-combat fighter.
  • He is also known for his strategic thinking, analyzing his opponent’s moves and adjusting his tactics accordingly.

Weakness

  • While Neji possesses incredible talent, he also has certain weaknesses that can be used by opponents. One of his main weaknesses is Neji’s habit of underestimating his opponents, leading to moments of overconfidence.
  • Additionally, Neji’s emphasis on close-combat taijutsu limits his effectiveness at long-range or in situations that require more diverse ninjutsu or genjutsu techniques. This reliance on physical prowess can sometimes leave him at a disadvantage against opponents who possess a wider range of abilities.

Equipment/Weapons

Neji Hyuga, like many shinobi, carries a standard set of equipment and weapons to aid him in combat and various missions. While he primarily relies on his exceptional taijutsu skills and the power of his Byakugan, Neji utilizes a few specific tools to execute the mission effectively.

  • Kunai: Kunai are versatile throwing knives commonly used by shinobi. Neji carries these sharp, multi-purpose blades that can be used for both close-quarters combat and as throwing projectiles. They serve as a reliable tool for offense, defense, and utility purposes.
  • Shuriken: Shuriken are small, star-shaped projectiles that are thrown at high speeds. Neji carries shuriken to enhance his combat skills and engages in mid-range combat. They provide him with additional ranged options and can be used to distract or immobilize opponents.
  • Explosive Tags: Explosive tags are pieces of paper infused with chakra that can be activated to create explosions. Neji may carry these tags to create diversions, set traps, or cause damage to enemies. They offer him a tactical advantage and can be strategically used to gain an upper hand in battle.
  • Forehead Protector: Like all Konoha shinobi, Neji wears a forehead protector marked with the Konoha symbol. It serves as a symbol of his allegiance to his village and signifies his status as a ninja.

Signature Moves

  • Gentle Fist: Gentle Fist is a unique taijutsu style specific to the Hyuga Clan, and Neji Hyuga is a master of this technique. It involves precise strikes targeting the opponent’s chakra points. Neji’s Gentle Fist attacks are incredibly accurate and powerful, capable of disabling an opponent’s abilities and making them defenseless.

    Neji injures Hinata with his Gentle Fist

    Neji injures Hinata with his Gentle Fist

  • Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms: One of Neji’s most renowned techniques, the Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms is a defensive and offensive technique that uses Byakugan’s ability to see the opponent’s chakra points. By quickly and precisely striking a series of specific chakra points in close range, Neji can seal the flow of chakra within the opponent’s body.

    Neji performs Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Palms

    Neji performs Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Palms

  • Eight Trigram Palm Rotation: The Eight Trigram Palm Rotation is a defensive technique used by Neji to counter incoming attacks. By rapidly rotating his arms, Neji creates a protective shield of chakra around him. The rotating chakra disrupts and repels any projectiles or physical attacks directed at him. The rotation can also be used as an offensive move, as the chakra-infused strikes can cause considerable damage to anyone in close range.

    Neji uses Palm Rotation to shield himself

    Neji uses Palm Rotation to shield himself

Appearances in Popular Media

Anime/Manga

Neji appeared in Naruto episode 21 for the first time.

Neji's first apperance in anime

Neji’s first appearance in anime

Neji was introduced in the Naruto manga with chapter 36.

Neji's first apperance in manga

Neji’s first appearance in the manga

Films

Neji has appeared in the following Naruto movies.

  • Naruto Shippuden the Movie

    Neji in the first Naruto Shippuden Movie

    Neji in the first Naruto Shippuden Movie

  • Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds

    Neji in Naruto movie Bonds

    Neji in Naruto movie Bonds

  • Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire

    Neji in the Will of Fire movie

    Neji in the Will of Fire movie

  • Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison

    Neji in Blood Prison movie

    Neji in the Blood Prison movie

  • Road to Naruto: Naruto the Movie

    Neji in Road to Ninja movie

    Neji in Road to Ninja movie

Other Media

Video Games

  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja (2003)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja

  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 (2004)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja 2

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja 2

  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 (2005)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja 3

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja 3

  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes (2006)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Heroes

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Heroes

  • Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution (2007)

    Neji in Clash of Ninja Revolution

    Neji in Clash of Ninja Revolution

  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4 (2007)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja 4

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja 4

  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm (2008)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm

  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (2010)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm 2

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm 2

  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (2013)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm 3

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm 3

  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (2016)

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

    Neji in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

Novel

Neji is featured in Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding.

OVAs

Neji has appeared in the following Naruto OVAs.

  • Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival

    Neji in the third Naruto OVA

    Neji in the third Naruto OVA

  • Finally a Clash! Jonin vs Genin!! Indiscriminate Grand Melee Tournament Meeting!!

    Neji in the fourth Naruto OVA

    Neji in the fourth Naruto OVA

Voice Actors

Kouichi Toochika, Keiko Nemoto, and Toru Nakane are the Japanese voice actors who voiced Neji Hyuga’s character in Naruto Part I/II. Steve Staley has dubbed the English version. The other voice actors who became the voice of Neji Hyuga in different languages are:

  • Italian: Felice Invernici
  • German: Tim Knauer
  • French: Xavier Percy, Maia Baran
  • Hungarian: Miklós Sörös
  • Spanish: José Gilberto Vilchis, Jorge Saudinós, Brandon Ortiz Santini
  • Korean: Yong Wu Shin
  • Hebrew: Liron Lev
  • Portuguese (BR): Michel Di Fiori

Reviews/Reception

Positive Reviews

Neji is a complex and well-developed character whose personal growth throughout the series is truly inspiring. His skills as a Hyuga Clan member, particularly the Byakugan and Gentle Fist, make him an impressive and skilled fighter. His moments of sacrifice and his determination to overcome his predetermined fate have left a lasting impact on viewers.” – Anime Enthusiast Magazine.

“Neji’s character arc is one of the most compelling in the Naruto series. His journey from a cynical and resentful individual to a compassionate and selfless hero is beautifully portrayed. The way he challenges societal expectations and strives to shape his own destiny is truly inspiring. Neji’s fights, especially his iconic battle with Naruto, showcase his exceptional skills and strategic thinking.” – Ninja World Reviews.

Negative Reviews

“While Neji’s character development is fascinating, it feels overshadowed by his tragic fate. It’s disappointing to see such a promising character meet an untimely end, cutting short his potential for further growth and exploration. Additionally, some viewers feel that Neji’s role in the series could have been further expanded and that he deserved more screen time and development.” – Anime Critic Forum.

“Neji’s initial portrayal as a cold and distant character may be off-putting for some viewers, as it takes time for his true personality and motivations to be revealed. Additionally, his Byakugan abilities, while impressive, could have been explored in more depth to fully showcase their potential and make him an even more interesting character.” – Ninja Anime Blog.

Favorites

Food: Herring Soba

Hobby: Meditation

Phrase: Flying Leap

Death

Neji’s death was a significant and emotional moment in the Naruto series which occurred during the Fourth Great Ninja War. In the midst of the intense battle, Neji finds himself in a life-or-death situation. He sacrifices himself to protect Naruto and Hinata from the Ten-Tails’ attacks. Neji accepts that he can’t be saved and collapses, requesting Naruto to prioritize his own life and the lives of others. He dies, knowing what it feels like for his father to sacrifice himself for friends. Neji’s death activates the Hyūga clan’s juinjutsu, sealing his Byakugan. Obito exemplify Neji’s death as the cost of the ongoing war. However, Naruto and the Allied Shinobi Forces honor Neji’s sacrifice and launch a counterattack. They celebrate his memory by breaking free from the enemy’s control. After the war, Neji’s body is taken back to Konoha and buried. He is remembered by his friends and family, with Rock Lee dreaming of him, Hanabi holding a picture of Neji at Naruto and Hinata’s wedding, and Hinata visiting his grave with her daughter.

Facts/Trivia

  • In the Naruto series, there is a customary practice for Genin to gain some experience before participating in the Chunin exams. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Team Kakashi, along with other Jonin-led teams, participated in the exams immediately after becoming Genin. This made Neji a year older than the rest of the participants. At the time of the Chunin exams, Neji was around 13-14 years old, while Naruto Uzumaki, for comparison, was around 12-13 years old.
  • Neji’s exceptional skill with the Byakugan and the Gentle Fist was extraordinary. His abilities surpassed the usual expectations for someone in his position. Even Hiashi Hyuga, his own uncle and head of the Hyuga clan, was amazed by Neji’s mastery of techniques that typically took adults years to achieve. Neji’s natural talent and intelligence were evident in his ability to develop these abilities on his own. This was witnessed when the match between Neji and Hinata took place.

    Hiashi praising Neji's combat prowess

    Hiashi praising Neji’s combat prowess

  • During the first Chunin Exams arc of the series, Neji didn’t succeed in becoming a Chunin because he was defeated by Naruto Uzumaki. However, after a period of time, Neji participated in another Chunin Exam and performed exceptionally well. Instead of being promoted to the rank of Chunin, Neji was directly promoted to the higher rank of Jonin. This achievement made him the youngest Jonin among his fellow shinobi from the same generation.
  • Just like other Jonin in Naruto, Neji also had the ability to use at least two different nature transformations. Despite not being able to reach his full potential, Neji had mastery over three out of the five nature transformations by the time he turned 18. Based on the story, Neji was capable of utilizing Fire Release, Water Release, and Wind Release. But, fans were never able to witness Neji using these abilities in the story.
  • Neji belonged to the Hyuga clan’s branch family, which meant he had a lifelong duty to serve the Main Family and even sacrifice his life for them if necessary. This belief made him think that destiny was already decided for everyone. However, Naruto played a significant role in changing Neji’s perspective. Ultimately, Neji managed to break free from the confines of his predetermined fate. He made the courageous decision to sacrifice his life for a cause he chose willingly, not out of obligation. This mirrored the actions of his father, demonstrating Neji’s personal growth and triumph over his predetermined destiny.

    Naruto changed Neji's perspective

    Naruto changed Neji’s perspective

  • Despite Neji Hyuga’s death occurring prior to the events of the Boruto series, his character receives significant attention in Boruto. In one arc, when Boruto and Sasuke time travel, Boruto has the opportunity to meet his uncle as a teenager. Furthermore, the concept of Boruto paying homage to Neji was established even before their direct interaction. Neji’s legacy and impact were acknowledged in various ways throughout the series, serving as a tribute to his character and his significance in the Naruto universe.
  • As mentioned in the Fourth Databook, Neji Hyuga desired to engage in a fight against his uncle, Hiashi Hyuga, and Naruto Uzumaki. His wish to face Hiashi likely developed from his own exceptional abilities as a genius. On the other hand, Naruto Uzumaki had an impact on Neji as a person, and Neji was defeated by Naruto during the Chunin Exams. This experience left a lasting impression on Neji, and he developed a desire to have another opportunity to fight against Naruto in the future.
  • The name “Neji” in Naruto has multiple interpretations. It is a verb that means “to turn or wrench” and also refers to the advanced fighting style Neji possessed, the 8 Trigram Palms Revolving Heaven. Fans of the series believe that the name carries a double meaning. It can be associated with Neji’s unique combat technique and also with the Chinese martial art called “nejia,” which focuses on internal body movements and chi energy through rotational actions. And Neji’s surname, “Hyuuga,” carries the meaning of “place under the sun.” This connects to the names Hinata and Himawari, which both have associations with sunflowers.
  • Boruto Uzumaki is the son of Naruto and Hinata. According to Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, Boruto’s name was inspired by his late uncle, Neji. This connection is reflected in their names, as “Neji” means “screw” and “Bolt” is another way to refer to a screw. Kishimoto believes that Neji played a significant role in bringing Naruto and Hinata together through his sacrifice during the Fourth Great Ninja War. As a tribute to Neji’s sacrifice and his impact on their lives, Kishimoto chose to honor him by naming Naruto and Hinata’s son Boruto.

    Boruto meets Neji in the past

    Boruto meets Neji in the past

  • According to the Naruto databook, Neji Hyuuga’s blood type is categorized as type O. Some theories suggest that individuals with blood type O may possess certain personality traits. These theories propose that people with blood type O are often confident, ambitious, and competitive. However, they can also express negative traits such as arrogance and a tendency to become easily jealous. In Neji’s case, these characteristics can be observed when he directs his anger toward Hinata and her father, holding them responsible for his father’s death. Other characters in the Naruto series who share the blood type O include Asuma, Temari, and Sakura.
  • According to the Naruto Databook, it is revealed that Neji disliked spicy food. In the anime, there is a scene where shinobi from Team Guy, including Neji, is seen eating spicy curry. However, Neji struggled with consuming the spicy curry and would often pass out as a result. Fortunately, his teammate Tenten would come to his aid and assist him when he faced difficulties with spicy food.

    Neji found Curry of Life so spicy

    Neji found Curry of Life so spicy

  • Neji Hyuga, like many characters outside of the core team, does not make frequent appearances in the Naruto films. However, he does have notable roles in five out of the eleven films in the Naruto franchise. In movies such as Road To Ninja: Naruto The Movie, Naruto Shippuden The Movie: Bonds, and Naruto The Movie: Blood Prison, Neji plays crucial parts in saving others. Neji’s involvement is more prominent in Naruto Shippuden The Movie: The Will Of Fire and Naruto Shippuden The Movie.
  • Despite living a short life, Neji Hyuga achieved an impressive number of official missions, surpassing many other characters. According to the data book, Neji successfully completed a total of 62 missions. Interestingly, he completed more missions than his teammates Tenten and Rock Lee. Among Neji’s missions, he accomplished 26 of the easiest D-Rank missions, 19 of the more challenging C-Rank missions, 4 B-Rank missions, and 11 missions typically assigned to Jonin, which are A-Rank missions. He even managed to undertake 2 missions classified as S-Rank, which are typically reserved for the most elite shinobi.
  • At first, Neji really didn’t like Rock Lee. He thought Lee was not good and weak. But as time passed, Lee became Neji’s closest friend without a doubt.
  • Neji frequently used the term “bird” to symbolize his understanding of destiny. Initially, Neji perceived himself as a caged bird due to his position within the Hyuuga branch family, feeling trapped and restricted by his predetermined fate. However, his perspective started to change after his defeat at the hands of Naruto during the Chunin Exams. He began to associate the idea of free-flying birds with the possibility of shaping his own destiny. This shift in mindset led him to believe that he could break free from the constraints of his predetermined fate and take control of his own life. In the manga, after Neji’s passing, the Ninja Troops around him adopted a bird formation during their fight, which can be seen as a symbolic tribute to Neji and his association with birds as a representation of freedom.

    Neji's aura resembling the appearance of a bird

    Neji’s aura resembling the appearance of a bird

  • Throughout his life, Neji Hyuuga hides his cursed seal. Even though Neji eventually overcomes his hatred towards it, he still dislikes the seal.
  • Neji’s fight against Naruto is widely regarded as one of the most exciting battles in the series. While fans are generally familiar with the details of the fight, it may not be commonly known that their match is the only one in the Chunin Exams finals to be shown in full. The other matches in the finals are either disrupted or canceled altogether. This is largely due to Orochimaru’s scheme to launch an attack on Konoha and assassinate the Third Hokage, which creates chaos and interrupts the progress of the exams.
  • As teammates on Team Guy, Neji and Lee frequently engage in friendly battles to test their strength, as depicted in the flashbacks of Episode 49. During one such fight, Neji emerges as the winner due to his natural talent. However, Lee vows to surpass Neji through his unwavering hard work and determination. This contrast between natural talent and hard work forms the core of their rivalry. Interestingly, a similar theme of talent versus hard work is also present in the rivalry between Kakashi and Guy.

    Neji and Lee training together

    Neji and Lee training together

  • In Episode 278, a White Zetsu clone disguises itself as Neji and manages to evade detection by sensory-type ninjas. The clone then visits Sakura at the Medical Unit camp.
  • Considering the family dynamics and relationships depicted in the Boruto series, it is interesting to imagine that Neji, like many of his peers, would have started a family of his own. If Neji had children, it is likely that they would be around the same age as Boruto. Given their shared Hyuga blood, Neji could have served as a mentor figure for Boruto. It would have been interesting to witness Neji’s growth and development as a character over time, seeing how he aged and matured within the Naruto universe.
  • During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Neji makes a significant sacrifice to protect Hinata and Naruto. When Naruto questions Neji about why he took the attack for Hinata, Neji reminds him of a past moment when Naruto referred to him as a genius. With a touch of humor, Neji suggests that being called a genius by Naruto is reason enough for him to give up his life. This act describes the immense change he has undergone since he was 15 years old.
  • While Neji does use at least one “hiden” technique, the databook does not explicitly list “hiden” as one of his special characteristics.
  • Neji Hyuga consistently performs well in the Naruto Character Popularity Polls, often ranking high in terms of popularity. At his peak, Neji achieved sixth place, which is a significant accomplishment. His popularity is on par with that of Rock Lee, as they are both highly regarded by fans of the series.
  • Episode 495 of the series showcases various humorous moments as Naruto’s friends and allies search for the perfect wedding gifts for him and Hinata. Even after his death, Neji makes a spectral appearance. Initially, Neji appears in his typical serious attitude, offering advice to his friend. However, he breaks character shortly after, delivering an unexpected statement to Lee about prioritizing physical strength over endurance while playfully slapping Lee’s muscles. By the end of the episode, Lee takes Neji’s “advice” to heart and decides to gift the couple with dumbbells. As a humorous conclusion, Lee, Guy, and the ghostly form of Neji pose together, lifting the dumbbells.

    Neji's ghost posing in a comical way along with Lee and Guy

    Neji’s ghost posing in a comical way along with Lee and Guy

  • In the anime, both Neji and Tenten share a theme song. However, their individual versions of the song have distinct musical characteristics. Tenten’s version of the theme song has a slower beat, creating a more relaxed and melodic atmosphere. On the other hand, Neji’s version of the theme song has a faster and more upbeat tempo, giving it a lively and energetic feel. These differences in musical arrangement help to reflect the unique personalities and fighting styles of Neji and Tenten as characters.
  • In the omake for Naruto: Shippūden episode 156, a comedic segment, Naruto remarks on Neji’s fewer appearances in the series compared to the appearances of Lee and Tenten. In response, Neji explains that as a jōnin, he is frequently assigned missions and doesn’t have much free time. This playful interaction highlights the different roles and responsibilities that Neji, Lee, and Tenten have within the Naruto: Shippūden storyline.
  • It seems that there may be a difference between the height provided in the Databook profile and the height consistently depicted by Studio Pierrot for Neji at the age of 13. While the Databook states that Neji’s height is 159.2 cm, Studio Pierrot consistently portrays him with a height of 158 cm. Such inconsistencies can sometimes occur in adaptations across different media platforms.
  • Although Neji and Hinata are technically cousins, Hinata often addresses Neji as “brother” (Nii-san) due to their close familial relationship. This may be attributed to the fact that their fathers are twins. As a result, Hinata’s children, as well as the rest of the family, would likely refer to Neji, even in his absence, as “uncle.”

    Hinata referring to Neji as her brother

    Hinata referring to Neji as her brother

  • Steve Staley, the English voice actor of Neji, has lent his voice to other notable characters in the world of anime. He portrayed Ryo Akiyama in Digimon Tamers, Koji Minamoto in Digimon Frontier, Tōshirō Hitsugaya in Bleach, and Kamui Shirō in X.
  • Neji Hyuga is the first among Naruto’s close friends to pass away in the series.
  • In the spin-off manga series “Rock Lee’s Springtime of Youth,” Neji is depicted putting on Sharingan contact lenses to mimic the appearance of the Sharingan, a powerful eye technique possessed by members of the Uchiha clan. By activating his own Byakugan while wearing the contact lenses, Neji humorously refers to the combination as the “Byaku-Sharingan.”

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