Neji Hyuga (in Japanese: 日向ネジ, Hyuga Neji) is one of the main supporting characters of the Naruto anime/manga franchise and a posthumous character in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. He was a shinobi of Konohagakure's Hyuga clan, and Hinata's older cousin. He is a member of Team Guy, along with Rock Lee and Tenten, with Might Guy as their jonin sensei.
Why He Rocks
- Unlike most of the other Naruto characters, his fighting style is unique, as he uses close-range strikes to his opponents. The strikes even sometimes block the opponents use of chakra.
- He became very skilled at a young age.
- Both of his voice actors do an excellent job at voicing him.
- He has a very cool design, from his sleek clothes in the classic Naruto series, to the elegant robes he wore during Shippuden.
- After experiencing Naruto Uzumaki's refusal to be limited by such an ideology, Neji realised his fate was what he chose it to be, and as a member of Team Guy he sought the strength necessary to make the future he wanted for his family and friends.
- He has a very good relationship with Naruto, after he was redeemed by him.
- He helped Naruto, Shikamaru, Kiba, Choji and Lee rescue Sasuke, and he risked his life to defeat Kidomaru in a very epic battle.
- While he is one of the more serious of the Konoha Genin, he does have his fair share of funny moments, such as during a filler, where he ate a spicy curry, and he has tons of funny moments in the (underrated) spin-off series Rock Lee and his Ninja Pals.
- In the anime, he became a Jonin during Naruto's training with Jiraiya.
- His death was very well-written, as he sacrificed himself to protect Hinata and Naruto, which made Naruto stronger.
- Before he was redeemed by Naruto, he was rather cold, unlikable, unfriendly and arrogant, due to his tragic childhood.
- He almost killed his cousin Hinata during their fight during the chunin exams and felt no remorse.
- His death, while well-written, was rather unexpected, and was very sad to many fans of the character, and scarred many that saw that scene.
- The name "Neji" means "screw/whirl" (螺子) or to "twist/wrench" (捩), which may be referring to his Eight Trigrams Palms Revolving Heaven. It's also possibly a play on "Nejia", an internal Chinese martial art that focuses on developing internal chi through whirling and spinning techniques. His family name "Hyūga" means "place in the sun" (日向).
- According to the databook(s):
- Neji's hobby was meditation.
- Neji's desired opponents were Hiashi Hyūga and Naruto Uzumaki.
- Neji's favourite food was herring soba, while his least favourites were pumpkins, and he also had a low tolerance for anything spicy; in the anime, the very latter was shown in-series whenever Neji consumed the Curry of Life, as it would knock him out cold each time was fed it.
- Neji had completed 62 official missions in total: 26 D-rank, 19 C-rank, 4 B-rank, 11 A-rank, 2 S-rank.
- Neji's favourite phrase was "Flying leap" (飛躍, hiyaku) which refers to making rapid progress in something.
- Neji's personality had been described as cool and realistic.
- In the fourth databook, hiden is not listed among Neji's special characteristics, despite his usage of at least one hiden technique.
- In an interview, Masashi Kishimoto stated that the origin of the name Boruto is from Neji, who brought Naruto and Hinata together, and can have the meaning of connecting. Boruto (bolt) is another way of saying Neji (screw).
- Neji places well in the Naruto Character Popularity Polls, reaching an all-time high of sixth most popular; he and Rock Lee are roughly matched in overall popularity.
- Neji and Tenten have the same theme song in the anime, but Tenten's has a slower beat, and Neji's is more upbeat.
- In the omake for Naruto: Shippūden episode 156, Naruto points out how Neji doesn't appear in Naruto: Shippūden very often, whereas Lee and Tenten frequently do. Neji argues that, as a jōnin, he is constantly away on missions and never has free time.
- Studio Pierrot has consistently given him the height of 158 cm at 13yrs, instead of 159.2cm as his Databook profile gives him.
- Despite technically being cousins with Hinata, she would commonly refer to him as "brother" (Nii-san), possibly because their respective fathers are twins. To which, Hinata's children would refer to their late cousin-once-removed as "uncle".