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Ino Yamanaka山中いのYamanaka Ino
Naruto Episode 1
Anime and Manga
|Voice actor(s) (English)||
Ino Yamanaka (山中いの, Yamanaka Ino) is one of the main supporting characters of the series. She is a ninja; a Chunin-level kunoichi of Konohagakure, a member of the Yamanaka clan, and a member of the chunin team, Team Asuma led by Asuma Sarutobi
Ino was a considerably more popular and self-confident girl than Sakura when they met at the Ninja Academy. She convinced Sakura that hiding the size of her forehead was pointless, and gave her a ribbon to draw attention elsewhere, suggesting that Sakura had great potential, but had yet to reach it. She helped Sakura gain her confidence. When Sakura became attracted to Sasuke, and found out that Ino was attracted to him as well, Sakura ended their friendship so she could compete with Ino for his affection. Ino later made friends with Sakura again during the Chunin Exams, but they are still considered rivals by many.
Ino is somewhat superficial, constantly thinking about boys and hoping that dieting to lose weight will make her more attractive to them. Ino can also be very confident and outspoken, not afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes suggests that Choji should lose weight. She is attracted to Sasuke, but her reasons for that attraction, apart from Sasuke being a popular student and the best in his class, are unknown.
In her team, Ino tends to boss the others around, though she clearly cares for them, as shown by her relief when Choji survived near fatal injuries. Shikamaru, despite thinking of most girls as "troublesome", typically offers no resistance, being unwilling to deal with how she reacts if she is unable to have her way. Asuma recognized the control she has over the others, and, while dying, told her to look after Choji and Shikamaru, and ensure that they didn't get into trouble.
Ino has shown to possess a great level of intelligence and perception; in the Chunin Exams, she used her hair to make a chakra rope to bind Sakura, and in the Konoha 11 filler arc, she was able to tell a person's occupation by glancing at the condition of their hands. Also, during Pain's invasion, she was able to conclude that Pain's real body must be around the village for his technique to work, since it was similar to her clan's.
While always in a rivalry against Sakura to prove who is the better kunoichi, Ino takes most pride in her appearance, which was seen even during her younger days in kunoichi training. She considers herself the most beautiful kunoichi of her graduating class, and takes great effort to keep up and improve her appearance, as seen from her constant obsession with dieting. The most noticeable traits in her appearance are her blue eyes and her long blonde hair, always seen in a ponytail with bangs covering the right side of her face.
In terms of attire, Ino is more often seen wearing purple, and more revealing, yet still tasteful, clothing, to seemingly show off her figure. During Part I, she was seen wearing her headband as a belt, yet during Part II, she appears to have, for some reason, stopped wearing it altogether. In Part II, Ino also removes the bandages around her waist (allowing her stomach to be seen) and replaces the fabric armwear with fishnet.
Chunin Exams arc
Though making a few brief appearances earlier in the series, Ino made her debut during the Chunin Exams. She used her Mind Body Switch Technique to enter Sakura's mind and memorize all her test answers, then sent her mind into Choji and Shikamaru's minds to give them the answers. In the Forest of Death, she and her team helped Sakura and Rock Lee fight off the Sound Genin, until Sasuke forced the Sound Genin to retreat.
Ino's first match in the Chunin Exams was against Sakura. The two did not battle seriously at first, until Sakura, unwilling to have Ino pity her, denounced her. Ino and Sakura battled seriously afterwards, and used up most of their energy in the process. Ino then attempted to enter Sakura's mind after cutting her hair and sending chakra into it to immobilize her. She succeeded, but was expelled by Inner Sakura. Low on chakra, Ino and Sakura charged at each other for one last attack, and knocked each other out, resulting in both of them being eliminated. When they regained consciousness, they started becoming friends again, but still maintained their rivalry over Sasuke.
Ino accompanied Sakura to visit Sasuke in the month between the preliminaries and the finals, but found that he was gone. She went to the finals with Sakura, and noted that Sakura's team was extraordinary, after seeing Naruto defeat Neji. When the invasion started, she was rendered unconscious by Kabuto's genjutsu.
Anime filler arcs
In the filler arcs, Ino accompanied Naruto, Shino and Anko to the Land of the Sea, and helped defeat Misumi Tsurugi, by possessing him and tying his arms to pillars, leaving him trapped in a collapsing room. Ino then used Mind Body Disturbance Technique on Yoroi as he attempted to attack Shino, allowing Shino to punch Yoroi away. When Yoroi attempted to attack Ino, Shino sent his bugs after him, thus defeating him.
She later appeared in a mission with Naruto, in which she tried to replace a princess who had grown overweight in an attempt to woo her suitor. Ino was barely able to stand the man, but the mission succeeded, after Naruto accidentally exposed the real princess. Ino briefly revealed an "Inner Ino", similar to Sakura's "Inner Sakura", during this episode.
In the Konoha 11 arc, Ino and Sakura were sent to examine a corpse that was believed to be that of Gennō. Ino hesitated, but eventually entered the room, and concluded, from the condition of the hands, that the corpse was not a ninja or a carpenter, and that Gennō was still alive. After the group found Gennō, she attempted to possess him when he tried to make his escape on a summoned bird; while he let go of the bird, Ino was unable to maintain the technique, as she noted that he had been suffering terrible pain the entire time.
In Episode 158; Follow My Lead! The Great Survival Challenge, the Academy Students were divided into teams of three and were assigned to a genin who would lead them on a mission against the other teams. Ino was assigned to lead a team of three academy students; Sou, Kiri and, Shimo. Her time with them was not covered much except that she was doing better than Naruto.
In the Shitenshounin arc, Ino accompanied Shikamaru to help rescue Temari. Her attempt at possessing their opponent, Kujaku, failed, leaving her at risk. Kujaku later was defeated by Shikamaru and Temari's combined efforts. Feeling guilty that she did not contribute much to the mission, she asked Sakura to ask Tsunade to add her as a second apprentice. Sakura agreed, but added that she would be Ino's senior apprentice, resulting in Ino refusing (which led to yet another fight).
Sasuke and Sai arc
Ino made her first reappearance shortly after Team Kakashi and Team Guy returned from the successful saving of Gaara. She appeared again after Naruto and his team returned from their failed attempt to retrieve Sasuke. Upon meeting Sai, she quickly became interested in him, also noting that he resembled Sasuke. When they all went out to dinner, Ino attempted to get Sai's attention with some subtle flirting. When Sai tried to befriend Ino and Choji, having earlier come to the conclusion that women (specifically Sakura), didn't like to hear how they really looked, Sai tried the opposite approach by calling Ino "gorgeous". This resulted in Ino blushing, and enraging Sakura, who Sai had previously called "ugly".
Fire Temple arc
In the anime, Ino made her next appearance while selling flowers to Asuma at her family's shop, teasing Asuma about his gift obviously being for Kurenai. When word came that villages on the border of the Land of Fire were being attacked, Ino, along with the rest of Team Asuma and some ninjas went to investigate. Later, during the attack on Konoha, where a horde of ninja zombies appeared, Ino did her part in the resistance by performing her duties as a medical ninja. After the jutsu that brought the zombies were dispelled, Ino together with her team mates went to the location where Sora was manifesting the Kyuubi's powers. After Choji's defeat, Shikamaru ordered Ino to take over Sora's mind and stop him. Though, as she started entering Sora's mind, she was threatened by the Kyuubi within him and she was told that Sora was already consumed by the monster. Ino's failure then brought her back to her own body. The Kyuubi then attacked them but Yamato was able to shield them. Ino then tried to heal Choji's hands but she failed since wounds caused by the Kyuubi's chakra could not have easily been healed even by medical jutsus.
Hidan and Kakuzu arc
When Tsunade decided to make a move against Akatsuki, Ino was assigned, along with Choji, to a Nijū Shōtai team, led by Raido Namiashi and Aoba Yamashiro. Ino and Choji arrived as back-up for Shikamaru and Asuma in their fight with Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu. When the duo retreated, Ino tried to tend to Asuma's injuries, but the damage to his body was beyond repair. The team then had nothing to do but listen to Asuma's last words. Before dying, Asuma said that Ino is strong-willed and a reliable child, so she should take care of Choji and Shikamaru. Asuma also told Ino not to lose to Sakura in ninjutsu or in love, to which Ino agreed. Ino then reminisces her memories with Asuma especially her first days his students and when she have noticed that the flowers that Asuma bought was for Kurenai. After dropping the cigarette and Asuma died, Ino screamed out loud with grief.
Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji all agreed to avenge Asuma. Under the guidance of Kakashi, Team 10 later set out to face Kakuzu and Hidan. By using her Mind Body Switch Technique on a hawk, Ino was able to quickly find the Akatsuki duo so Shikamaru's plan could begin. During Team 10's fight with Hidan and Kakuzu, Ino largely played the role of an observer, her Mind Body Switch Technique being too much of a risk to use in battle. After Naruto arrived and defeated Kakuzu, she happily healed him.
Three-Tails Arrival arc
In the anime, keeping true to her promise, Ino was seen taking part in a serious operation, and was praised for her efforts by a more experienced Medical-ninja. Ino was later teamed with Rock Lee and Tenten as back-up for Kakashi's team. Her mission would be using her fine-tuned chakra control to assist in the sealing of the recently discovered Three-Tailed Beast.
After arriving, and having another argument with Sakura, she was put under Shizune's command to directly help seal the beast. While initially having some difficulty handling the technique, her refusal to be outdone by Sakura pushed her to keep her composure.
Unfortunately, the enemies were able to break the seal. Upon the Three-Tails' emergence, Ino was knocked unconscious and rescued by Lee. After recovering, Ino admitted to how useless she felt, swearing to make up for it. She then joined Sakura in healing the young boy, Yukimaru, that was being used by Orochimaru's men.
After learning that Naruto was trapped in the belly of the Three-Tails, Ino joined the team in another attempt to save Naruto and seal the Three-Tails. The attempt ended in failure, and Ino was knocked out again.
Invasion of Pain arc
When Pain began his invasion, Ino rushed to her father's location to inform him and all those present of the attack. Having learned something about Pain's identity, they tried to escape, to avoid capture. Despite their attempt, Pain arrived and captured Shizune, finding out what she knew, before killing her. After he destroyed the village, Ino tried to revive Shizune, but could do nothing to help her, and regrouped with her father and the others. After the death of Nagato, she was shocked to see that Shizune was brought back to life. She was then present at Naruto's return, and celebrated with the villagers for his victory.
The Summit of the Five Kage arc
Ino is first seen sobbing over the news that Sasuke had been raised to the status of international criminal. When Kiba demands she stop crying, she is defended by Tenten. After this, she is among the few that Shikamaru noted would never forgive Kumogakure if they had some hand in Sasuke's death, alongside Naruto and Sakura.
Yamanaka Clan Mind Techniques
Ino excels in the techniques of her clan. She primarily uses mind-affecting jutsu, such as the Mind Body Switch Technique, a jutsu used for reconnaissance, that allows the user to briefly possess someone and control that person's actions. Her body is left vulnerable until she returns, and Ino has generally had poor success when using it. She can even use the technique on animals, which was proven during the Hidan & Kakuzu Arc, where she performed the jutsu on a hawk to act as a spy. This jutsu was originally invented as a spying technique. The anime takes her skills a bit further by giving her the Mind Body Disturbance Technique, which causes the body of the person affected to attack those nearest to them, or immobilizing their body. She can also use her clan's telepathy to communicate with her clan members over long distances. This jutsu is shown to have only failed once, during the Chuunin exams, when Ino took over Sakura's body the second time. Sakura's inner self forced Ino out of her mind and caused the jutsu to break despite many people believing that the jutsu was unbeatable.
Ino learned medical jutsu in the gap in time between Part I and II. Although very adept at medical ninjutsu, she has yet to reach Sakura's level of mastery. But Ino has proven to be skilled enough to be able to tell the severity of an attack with just a glance. With the knowledge of plants and flowers she gained in her family's flower shop, she has the capability to create herbal medicine. She has also gained better chakra control because of her study in medical techniques.
Ino is a common playable character in the Naruto: Clash of Ninja and the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series of games. She is the only member of the Konoha 11 that is not playable in her pre- and post-timeskip costumes in Naruto Shippūden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX 3. In many of her game appearances, Ino has showed admirable taijutsu skill, usually performed in a more acrobatic manner, and capable genjutsu skill. She also commonly uses jutsu involving flowers.
- The manga does not explain how Ino learned medical jutsu.
- Ino was ranked as the 17th most popular character in the sixth Naruto character popularity poll. She placed 14th in the fifth poll and 23rd in the fourth poll. She finished 30th in the first poll.
- According to the third databook:
- Ino would like to fight Sakura the most out of any other shinobi.
- Ino became a Chunin at the age of 14.
- Ino is one day younger than Shikamaru.
- The only mention of Ino's mother was when she and Sakura visited Sasuke in the hospital. She yelled, "Mom! I'm going out for a walk." However, there was no response.
- Ino means "boar", which is why Sakura calls her "Ino-pig".
- An anime filler arc has shown her having her own version of Inner Sakura, called Inner Ino.
- According to the Naruto official fanbook, Ino had the second best grades in the ninja academy with Sakura being the first. (Ino had an A in Ninjutsu, B's in Genjutsu and Taijutsu and A's in classroom attitude and concentration.)
- Her favorite foods are mini tomatoes.
- Her favorite phrase is "The various meanings behind all kinds of fresh flowers"
- (To Sakura) "There's no meaning to a flower unless it blooms."
- (Talking to Sakura) "I won't lose to you, either!"
- "SHIKAMARU! Beat her up with a 16 HIT COMBO!"
- (To Sakura) "Hey, billboard brow!"
- (To Sakura) "I won't let you be the only one who gets to look good in front of Sasuke-kun!"