Naruto Creator Explains Why Neji Ultimately [SPOILER]
Warning! Spoilers for Naruto Shippuden lie below!
When Neji Hyuga was first introduced to fans, many weren't impressed with the so-called genius. The Byakugan wielder was haughty to an extreme, and his sense of superiority had fans cheering for Naruto to deck the guy. It was only after the knuckle-headed ninja beat some sense into Neji during the Chunin Exams that fans began to see the Hygua's charming side. Though he still came off chic, Neji began to repair his relationship with his cousin Hinata and became a jounin ninja before most of his comrades.
So, when Neji was the first member of the Konoha 11 to die, fans were left shocked. The fan-favorite ninja chose to sacrifice his life for both Hinata and Naruto during the Fourth Great Ninja War when he took a Ten-Tails attack to the back. Neji was mortally wounded after he shield Hinata from debris which was meant for Naruto, and the two ninjas were dumbstruck by the event. Naruto did his best to keep Neji alive, but the latter had accepted his fate and passed away whilst Hinata cried over him.
If you have wondered why Neji was killed off, you are not the only one. Luckily, the creator of Naruto has explained why he felt the death was necessary. In an interview published shortly before the release of The Last: Naruto the Movie, Masashi Kishimoto explained that Neji's death was a tool he used to bring Hinata closer to Naruto.
In fact, Kishimoto explained that he had chose to make Hinata a leading heroine in Naruto awhile back, and Neji's death helped bring her closer to Naruto. Hinata may have stood up to the likes of Pain in the past, but her decision to protect Naruto against the Ten-Tails yet again proved his love. But, instead of having her die from the choice, Kishimoto felt like Neji was a good substitute.0comments
In a way, Kishimoto says Neji acted as a sort of cupid for the couple. His final moments were spent showing his affection to the pair, giving them a special (if not dark) bond which could never be broken. Neji continued to have a lasting effect on Naruto and Hinata as they entered into a relationship. For instance, their eldest child was named after Neji. In Japanese, Boruto Uzumaki is know as Bolt, a name which carries a similar meaning to Neji which translates into 'screw.'
Neji death – How does Neji Hyuga die in the Naruto series?
Neji’s death was during the fourth great shinobi war arc. He died by the ten tails firing multiple wood release projectiles (like spears) and the ten tails were in the control of Obito and Madara Uchiha. He sacrificed his life for Hinata and Naruto (don’t know why he didn’t use rotation or air palms, probably just died because of the plot, because they were too fast and too many of them, or because he was low on chakra).
Episode 364, Chapter 614
In an interview, Naruto manga’s author Masashi Kishimoto has stated that Neji had to die so that it could act as an incident to pull Naruto and Hinata closer. It refers to Episode 365 of Naruto Shippuden Anime where after Neji’s untimely death Naruto is heartbroken and Hinata encourages him.
Neji died in Episode 364 of the Naruto Shippuden Anime Series. He sacrificed his life while saving Naruto and Hinata from 10 Tails!
2 Neji Hyuga: Neji’s death is unarguably one of the most shocking ones we’ve seen in the series to date. The Hyuga prodigy ended up dying in the Fourth Great Ninja War while trying to shield Hinata Hyuga from the Ten-Tails’ attack.
Naruto is weak and unable to shield himself from the Ten Tail attacks during the Fourth Shinobi War. Naturally, Hinata shields him to protect him. To her surprise, Neji protects them both by standing behind Hinata, getting impaled by the branch (sort of like the impaling of Minato and Kushina during the Nine Tail’s attack). He is freed from the destiny of the Hyuga clan.
He died saving his friend and hero. And he died saving the cousin, he in his teen years had tried to kill. He died with a smile on his face, as he knew he, at least for this time, had postponed, prevented the death of his hero, his savior, his friend.
He dies the same way his dad died: Saving the life of one the most important persons in his life, and in turn gets saved himself and released from his curse seal. And that is an incredibly powerful death and one that still makes me all emotional.
Neji death – How does Neji Hyuga die in the Naruto series?
The Ten-Tails attacks rapid become too numerous and Neji and Hiashi must break away to protect the other Allies from the Ten-Tails too.
In their absence the ten -tail fires sevreal volleys of wood projectiles at Naruto, which Hinata uses her body to defend him from. Neji arrives in time to protect her in turn with his own body,mortally wounding him.
Naruto calls for a medic but Neji accepts the fact that he can’t be saved. He collapses over Naruto’s shoulder and tells him not to put his life at risk in the future, as he is now responsible for many other lives in addition to his own, one of which is Hinata’s. As Neji watches Hinata cry for him, to which Neji responds that it is because Naruto once called him genius.Neji dies.
Neji dying on Naruto’s shoulder.
After the war is won, Neji’s body is taken back to Konoha and he is buried alongside the many other casualties.
Who killed Neji?
Ten-tails killed Neji. Why? Because Hinata decided to try to take the blow instead of pushing Naruto 3 feet to the left or right to save him.
So Hinata killed him. Why? Because Neji decided to do the same thing as Hinata and take the damage stead of moving both out of the way. You going to tell me TWO Hyugas could not push one person out of the way.
So Neji killed himself. Why? To tell Naruto that Hinata had always loved him. Naruto seemed to miss Hinata’s first love confession and still somehow missed it this time because Naruto still acts like he never knew Hinata liked him even I am the movie The Last.
So Kishimoto killed Neji. Why?
To further a ship that was going nowhere and that needed to happen. Even after Hinata confessed the ship still does not go anywhere.
“But Tawnie! Someone needed to die!
First off not in that episode. You already had the death of other characters. Maybe not as big as Neji but they were still important. They were more vital to the war than Neji in a way.
Who am I talking about? The command center or intel hub or whatever you want to call it got exploded by a tail beast Bomb. Shikaku, Inoichi, and other people who were vital at communication and strategies died.
Also Would like to point out Neji deserved a better death than that. This amazing shinobi got taken down by a branch. Not in some epic one on one battle but a branch because Hinata made a dumb mistake and because he made a dumb mistake as well. I hope this sheds some light on things.
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Why do people blame Neji’s death on Hinata?
Hinata takes the blame for Neji’s death due to an interview by Masashi Kishimoto — the author of Naruto — where he blatantly points out that he killed off Neji so as to open up an opportunity for a touching scene to be held between Naruto and Hinata.
So Neji died just so that it could seem more practical that Naruto and Hinata ended up together because until that point he had done very little to develop a connection between the two characters beyond Naruto defending her honor years previous — in the Chunin Exams — and then Hinata randomly declaring that she loved him in the heat of the Pein battle (Even though until that point she hadn’t had any real interacting with Naruto before or since the Chunin Exams).
This proved majorly irrelevant due to ‘The Last’ showing us that Naruto still ignored Hinata for the most part after the war and the catalyst for them falling in love was something completely unrelated to Neji, but if you ask the author he will say that Neji did in fact die for Hinata.
With a good portion of the fanbase either not liking Naruto X Hinata, not liking Hinata’s character, or just enjoying Neji more than Hinata, this is considered a valid reason to scorn Hinata. Therefore they blame the death of an arguably more interesting character — Neji — on Hinata.
Excerpt from the Interview Transcript:
“On Neji’s death – Kobayashi comments that there were many casualties during the war, but he was surprised about Neji, and asks Kishimoto why he was chosen. Kishimoto explains that because he decided to make Hinata into the lead heroine a while back, he used Neji’s death as a way to bring her and Naruto together.
He goes on to explain that although there is the scene where she stands up to Pain, he wanted to create an opening for Naruto to consciously realize that she is by his side and thank her for that, so he used Neji’s death to do this. Kishimoto says that in this way Neji sort of took on the role of cupid for the two of them.”
Why did Neji have to die?
NEJI death is unnecessary. why? let me tell you then.
From the beginning Neji was shown as a person who believes that the fate of a person is sealed and one can never change it, it was because of the curse mark and his father’s death he came to that conclusion. But during the Chunin exams naruto proved him wrong and made him understand that one change his own fate.
Well from birth Neji is a genius, he was a slave to the main branch, yet he still surpassed every Hyuga member coming from a side branch only. Naruto anime clearly mentioned that curse mark is placed so that they can protect the main family against their own will even if it means sacrificing their own lives.
Now since Neji has discovered the truth of his father’s death through his uncle who said that his father chose the death of his own will, Neji finally leaves his grudge against the main branch who he thought that his father was killed by force. But I have to ask if his uncle is so considerate of Neji or side branch why didn’t he removed the seal. ok, let’s say there is no way of removing it once it is placed.
moving on, Neji dies protecting Hinata which many have mentioned that it was a weak attack to die but Kishimoto clearly mentioned he killed Neji to bring naruto and Hinata closer.
seriously Neji death was so pathetic, in many ways. why?
He died protecting Hinata, the main branch member. even if he died at his own will like once his father did, it was still pathetic.
It was like showing no matter how much you believe you can create your own fate, in the hands of curse mark you are still going to sacrifice your life for the main family, you may call it as freedom of your own will or not, it is the same, your end is the death by sacrificing for the main family.
Yes, many people argue that Neji sacrificed his life at his own will and is now free like a bird, but I have to say what the hell. Dying at a young age and haven’t even done anything for the side branch, you just kill off a character to promote a love story which could also be promoted in many other ways but still showing the end of Neji with a bird flying in the sky holds no meaning.
It maybe sentimental visually with dialogues, but if you think about it, in the end he never changed his fate, he had to die for a main branch member and now you may say it as he died as a brother and a friend, those are just words for you to satisfy his death so the fans won’t feel bad but in reality he is dead, he is gone, same thing happened as he once told to naruto in chunin exams.
what would be good if neji isn’t dead, you may say it had impacted naruto’s motivation in war at least it had a meaning for naruto.
During war even itachi and tsunade and raikage has counselled naruto, that he will have the support of his fellow shinobi and doesn’t have fight alone or feel guility of people lives sacrificing for him. Even then obito said few words to naruto loses and he loses his confidence and neji had to die to bring it back. I mean how many people have to motivate you naruto?
why Neji death is unnecessary?
If Neji was kept alive, they could have shown his character how he as a side branch member stopped putting the curse seal. (in Boruto they never show anything about the Hyuga clan at all).
How he had his own family and escaped the fate by believing what naruto once said in chunin exams. Could be shown as a legend who changed the ways of hyuga clan, you could have achieved it all if he wasn’t killed.
side affects of death?
now after his brother, Neji sacrificed I have to ask what did Hinata contribute to the Hyuga clan in place of Neji. they showed anything in Boruto till now. All Hinata is shown to be a good wife only, I mean to have her as a character just to be a good wife that Neji was killed, it was totally meaningless.
in conclusion, Neji death was just so Hinata can marry naruto, no matter how many times we conclude his death like a bird escaping from a cage or free choice of his own, no matter how much you put sweet reasons behind this, the fact is same and his death is the same fate he once expected.
Naruto: 10 Ways Neji's Death Was Unnecessary
The death of Neji Hyuga has left its mark as one of the saddest deaths in Naruto history. It was shocking and sudden, and devastated fans immediately. Neji is a character that fans were able to see develop as a person and a talented shinobi. Neji was introduced as an arrogant bully. Soon, it was revealed that Neji had a complicated past filled with pain and resentment.
RELATED: Neji & 9 Other Anime Deaths That Still Haunt Us
As Neji grew, he learned to let go of his hurt and anger. He became one of the most respected and well-liked shinobi in Konoha. Neji transformed into a kindhearted person and developed incredible strength as a ninja. Keeping this in mind, fans wondered why a character with this much potential was killed. This made his death extremely hard to accept.
10 Hinata Placed Herself In A Vulnerable Position & Made No Attempt To Use Her Dojutsu To Protect Naruto
Hinata Hyuga is known for her shy personality and lack of self-confidence. As a member of the Hyuga Clan, Hinata inherited the Byakugan. Hinata was seen as a weak kunoichi that couldn't take full advantage of her Kekkei Genkai. During The Fourth Great Ninja War, Hinata fought well on the battlefield, she used her Byakugan with precision and demonstrated that she had mastered taijutsu.
With all of the skills Hinata possesses, it's unusual that she didn't use any of them to try to protect Naruto. This left her open to attack and caused Neji to use his body as a human shield to protect her and Naruto. In the heat of battle it's important to use your skills to the best of your ability. If Hinata had thought of a way to use her Kekkei Genkai to protect herself, Neji wouldn't have had to sacrifice himself.
9 As a Jonin, Neji Was Put On Track To Have An Impressive & Bright Future
Neji was an exceptional shinobi that set himself apart from his class by moving up the ninja ranks faster than the rest of his peers. Neji needed to retake the Chunin Exams as a result of losing to Naruto Uzumaki. At the start of Naruto Shippuden, it was revealed that Neji not only retook the Chunin Exams and passed, but was immediately promoted to Jonin, skipping the Chunin level.
At 15 years old, Neji was the youngest shinobi of his generation to become a Jonin. It was made apparent that Neji excelled past his peers. To show Neji's potential, and excite fans with his accelerated move up the ninja ranks only to have him die so early in his career was pointless.
8 Neji Was Intelligent With A Strong Kekkei Genkai & Didn't Attempt To Use His Intellect Or Dojutsu
For most of the war, Neji managed to fight without being seriously injured. When the Ten-Tails prepared to launch another attack, another Hyuga member observed that Neji and Hinata's Air Palm Technique wouldn't be sufficient. At that moment, Hinata, Neji, and the other clan member could've put their techniques together in order to ward off the attack.
RELATED: Naruto: 10 Fallen Ninja Who Need To Be Reincarnated For One Last Fight
Neji is constantly being referred to as a skilled genius, he's even conquered his blind spot giving him 360 vision. While it was noble and brave of Neji to sacrifice his life to save Hinata and Naruto, it was disappointing to see him abandon the abilities that made him such a strong Ninja, especially when fans have seen the rest of the main characters use everything they could to deflect the same attacks.
7 The Elders Of The Hyuga Clan Survived The War
The Hyuga Clan was developed as a hierarchy, maintaining a Main and Branch family, so it was nice to see all members of the Hyuga Clan fight together as equals. Hinata and Neji began to redefine the positions held by members of the Hyuga Clan.
Being that it was the elders before the current generation at the time of the Fourth Great Ninja War that created the tension and resentments within their clan, it would've made more sense for one of the older members of the clan to sacrifice themselves for Neji and Hinata. It could've been a heartwarming sentiment that symbolized a new start for the clan.
6 He Mended His Relationship With Hinata Only For Their Time Together To Be Cut Short
Neji and Hinata had a rocky relationship initially. After the death of his father, Neji harbored a lot of rage towards Hinata and his entire clan. The depth of his animosity came to head during the Chunin Exams.
Neji was matched with Hinata and didn’t hold back when attacking her. After Neji let go of his anger, he was able to develop a close relationship with Hinata. She even referred to him as her brother. His death shortened their time together and didn’t allow their bond as siblings to grow.
5 His Death Forced Naruto To Go Back On His Word
Naruto is extremely passionate about his friendships and the people he cares about. Fighting for the people he loves, and never giving up on them, is a major part of who he is. The best illustrations of his devotion to his friends were his fight to rescue Gaara from the Akatsuki and his dedication to bringing Sasuke Uchiha home.
Naruto always succeeded in rescuing his friends. He even played a vital role in bringing Garaa back to life. Naruto proclaimed "I'll never let my comrades die," Neji was the first and only friend fans knew and were familiar with that Naruto wasn’t able to protect.
4 The Fourth Shinobi World War Had Already Claimed Many Lives
The Fourth Great Ninja War created a lot of devastation. There were innumerable casualties, and the Allied Shinobi Forces found themselves overwhelmed by the enemy in several instances. As they fought, fans watched notable characters sacrifice themselves for their comrades.
RELATED: Naruto: 10 Best Kekkei Genkai Users From Different Clans
Right before Neji's death, the Ten-Tails unleashed a Tailed Beast Ball that killed Shikaku Nara, and Inoichi Yamanaka along with everyone else at headquarters. It was extremely disheartening to watch kind characters humbly accept their deaths. With fans still coming to terms with these personal losses, Neji's death felt unwarranted.
3 He’s The Only One From The Konoha 11 To Die
Though the Allied Shinobi Forced lost many brave ninja, no one from Naruto’s class was killed. All of the characters that fans have gotten to know survived, until Neji was killed.
There was a comfort in knowing that in the midst of all of the chaos, fan favorites fought harder than they ever had. They showcased the evolution of their skills and displayed how they've grown into their own as shinobi. Neji's death was extremely shocking as no one else from the Konoha 11 died.
2 He Was Never Able To Change The Hyuga Clan
When Hiashi Hyuga approached Neji after he lost his match at the Chunin Exams, he sincerely apologized and gave Neji a letter his father had written. At this moment Neji let go of his hatred of the main family and made a pledge to become stronger.
Knowing what it was like to bear the curse mark and be a part of the branch family, Neji wanted to change his clan's family dynamic. Neji not only didn’t get the opportunity to change the unethical laws of his clan, but he died as a branch family member protecting the main family, just as his father did.
1 Naruto Learned How To Use His Chakra Exchange A Few Moments After Neji's Death
It was stated by Neji that Naruto’s power was key to their plan. While there were many strong shinobi like Hatake Kakashi, Might Guy, Gaara, Rock Lee, and The Five Kage already fighting, Naruto's arrival on the battlefield gave the Allied Shinobi Forces a huge advantage. When Neji sacrificed himself, Naruto was heartbroken.
While Obito taunted Naruto, Hinata and Kurama encouraged him, prompting him to transform and transfer the Nine-Tails chakra to everyone on the battlefield. This moment was bittersweet, while it was exciting to see Naruto unlock this incredible power, it was disheartening to think that if Naruto had discovered this just a few moments earlier, Neji would still be alive.
NEXT: Naruto: 10 Giveaways Obito Was Madara All Along
Next10 Anime Heroes Who Are Overpowered (But Humble)About The Author
Xandalee Joseph is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and entertainment. Xandalee considers herself a citizen of the world as she has lived in both Europe and the United States. She's an anime lover with an adoration for 90's nostalgia. With a degree in literature, and as a graduate of Queen Mary University London's Theatre and Performance master's program, Xandalee is now combining her passions as a list writer for Valnet, Inc. She can be reached via email at [email protected] .
Naruto Shippuden: What Episode Does Neji Die - Timeline Explained
Naruto: Shippuden is a sprawling anime series with a vast cast of characters, and here’s a recap on which episode Neji Hyuga dies in. A low-ranking member of the Hyuga clan and a prodigious shinobi talent, Neji Hyuga made his debut in the first season of Studio Pierrot’s original Naruto anime series. Early on in the show, Neji was resentful of being destined to a life of servitude to the Hyuga main house and – by extension – of his cousin Hinata Hyuga. However, with the help of Naruto Uzumaki, Neji soon came to realize he could make his own destiny. He eventually established himself as a valued member of his clan and became a Naruto fan favorite in the process.
By the time the sequel series Naruto: Shippuden rolled around, Neji’s talents had seen him promoted to jōnin – a rank awarded to the most experienced and skilled ninjas. He was an important player in the Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation arc and joined the Allied Shinobi Forces in the fight against the Akatsuki as part of the Second Division battalion alongside his cousin Hinata. During the arc, the Hyuga cousins fought valiantly to take down the Akatsuki’s White Zetsu Army and Neji faced off against a reincarnated version of his old foe Kidomaru and managed to defeat him.
Related: Naruto: Every Tailed Beast & Jinchuriki In The Series
As the Fourth Shinobi World War came to an end, so did Neji Hyuga’s time on Naruto: Shippuden. When Naruto entered into a battle with the Ten-Tails, Neji and the Allied Shinobi Forces were sent to assist him. After realizing Naruto was central to winning the war, Neji joined forces with Hinata and his uncle Hiashi to protect Naruto at all costs. Unfortunately, this act cost him his life, but what episode does Neji actually die in?
In episode 364 (AKA “The Ties That Bind) of Naruto: Shippuden, the Ten-Tails launched a volley of wooden spikes in Naruto’s direction which Hinata attempted to deflect by jumping in front of him. Neji selflessly shielded them from the attack and ended up impaled by several spikes but saved both Naruto and Hinata’s lives in the process. Neji’s wounds unfortunately proved fatal and the Hyuga hero died in Naruto’s arms.
As Neji Hyuga is a Naruto fan favorite, killing him off wasn’t a very popular move with the anime’s fandom. However, Neji’s death in episode 364 of Naruto: Shippuden wasn’t his last appearance in the franchise. During the Time Slip arc in the sequel series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Hinata and Naruto’s son Boruto went back in time and had a heart-to-heart with Neji. Neji fans can also take solace in the fact his legacy lives on through Boruto, whose name translates to “bolt” – a touching tribute to Neji (whose name means “screw”), the man who saved his parent's lives.
Next: Boruto: Is Jiraiya's Son In The Naruto Sequel Series?
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