|山中いの Yamanaka Ino
|Manga||Volume #4, Naruto Chapter #34|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #1|
|Novel||Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden the Movie|
|Game||Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||14|
Ino Yamanaka (山中いの, Yamanaka Ino) is one of the main supporting characters of the series. She is a ninja; a Chūnin-level kunoichi of Konohagakure, a member of the Yamanaka clan, and a member of Team Asuma. Along with her teammates; Chōji Akimichi and Shikamaru Nara, Ino is also a member of the new generation of Ino-Shika-Cho, just like their fathers were before them, and a Medical-nin.
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 hurting Ino in the process so she could compete with Ino for his affection. Ino later made friends with Sakura again during the Chūnin 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, kind, and outspoken, not afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes suggests that Chōji 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. She is described as cheerful, but also as self-centered.
In her team, Ino tends to boss the others around, though she clearly cares for them, as shown by her relief when Chōji 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 Chōji and Shikamaru, and ensure that they didn't get into trouble.
Ino has shown to possess a great level of intelligence and perception; this was proven when she was in the Chūnin Exams and cleverly used her hair to make a chakra rope to bind Sakura, also a fact that she was the top graduating in the academy tied with Sasuke, 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 also 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, clothing, seemingly to show off her figure. During Part I, she wore her headband as a belt around her waist, 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 and also wears fishnet over her elbows. Ino is now also equipped with a Chūnin's Tantō, which she wears above her medical pouch, but has never been seen using.
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. This jutsu is shown to have only failed once, during the Chūnin 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. 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.
Ino learned medical jutsu in the gap in time between Part I and II. A flashback scene during the Three-Tails filler arc shows how Ino trained her medical jutsu with Sakura under Tsunade's supervision. Although seemingly 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.
Chūnin Exam arc
Though making a few brief appearances earlier in the series, Ino made her debut during the Chūnin Exams. She used her Mind Body Switch Technique to enter Sakura's mind and memorize all her test answers, then sent her mind into Chōji and Shikamaru's minds to give them the answers. In the Forest of Death, Ino had many flashbacks of her childhood when they saw Sakura was in danger, 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 Chūnin 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.
Mizuki Strikes Back arc
In this filler arc, Ino along with her teammates saved Naruto from the Legendary Stupid Brothers and took over the battle so Naruto could aid Iruka. Soon they realised they couldn't defeat them, but they were able to resist until Tsunade showed up and defeated them both easily.
Sea Country arc
She later 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.
Konoha 11 arc
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 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).
She later appeared in a mission with Naruto, in which she tried to replace Princess Fuku who had grown overweight in an attempt to woo her suitor Chikara The daimyo of The Land of Noodles. 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 episode 158, 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.
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 Chōji, 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", of which is the opposite of what he wanted to say. This resulted in Ino blushing, and enraging Sakura, who Sai had previously called "ugly".
Twelve Guardian Ninja 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 Nine Tails's powers. After Chōji's defeat, Shikamaru ordered Ino to take over Sora's mind and stop him. As she entered Sora's mind, she was threatened by the Pseudo-Nine Tails 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 Nine Tails then attacked them but Yamato was able to shield them. Ino then tried to heal Chōji's hands but she failed since wounds caused by the Nine Tail's chakra could not have easily been healed even by medical jutsu.
Hidan and Kakuzu arc
When Tsunade decided to make a move against Akatsuki, Ino was assigned, along with Chōji, to a Nijū Shōtai team, led by Raido Namiashi and Aoba Yamashiro. Ino and Chōji 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 Chōji and Shikamaru. Asuma also told Ino not to lose to Sakura in ninjutsu or in love, to which Ino agreed. Ino then reminisces about her memories with Asuma especially her first days with him as a student, and when she noticed that the bouquet of flowers that Asuma bought were for Kurenai. After the death of her sensei, Ino screamed out loud with grief.
Shikamaru, Ino, and Chōji 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 healed him.
Three-Tailed Beast 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, Yūkimaru, 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.
Five Kage Summit arc
Ino is first seen crying when she finds out that Sasuke has 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. Later, it was revealed to Naruto by Sai that Konoha 11 was planning to kill Sasuke. Ino was supposedly part of this, since all of Konoha 11, besides Naruto were involved in the plot, though issues regarding of her feelings towards Sasuke is still unknown.
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 has not been playable in the Naruto Shippūden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX series on the Wii. In many of her game appearances, Ino has showed admirable taijutsu skill, usually performed in a more acrobatic manner, and capable genjutsu skill. Its also interesting to note that after the time skip her genjutsu skills have doubled leading to believe she may be capable of her video game genjutsu attacks. She also commonly uses jutsu involving flowers mostly the ninja wolfsbane.
- The manga does not expound on how Ino learned medical ninjutsu.
- 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.
- 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 is short for inoshishi (猪), meaning "boar," hence Sakura calling her Ino-pig-chan (いのブタちゃん, Ino-buta-chan). Yamanaka (山中) means "among the mountains". Wild boar are heavily associated with mountains in Japan and are even called the whales of the mountains (山鯨, yamakujira), because of the amount of meat they produce.
- An anime filler arc has shown her having her own version of Inner Sakura, called Inner Ino.
- According to the first Naruto fanbook, Ino had the best overall grades in the Academy. She had the highest grade in ninjutsu and assertiveness and the second-highest grade in taijutsu, genjutsu, cooperation, and class attitude. Although Sasuke had the highest grade in ninjutsu, taijutsu, and genjutsu, he had the lowest grade in cooperation and the second-lowest grade in assertiveness, bringing down his average.
- According to the Naruto databook:
- Ino's hobby is shopping.
- Ino wishes for a rematch with Sakura.
- Ino's favorite foods are cherry tomatoes and pudding, while her least favourite is sashimi.
- Ino has completed 40 official missions in total: 23 D-rank, 9 C-rank, 6 B-rank, 2 A-rank, 0 S-rank.
- Ino's favorite phrase is "The many words of flowers" (花言葉の数々, Hanakotoba no kazukazu).
- (To Sakura) "Because... I thought it would be a waste for you to wither away as a bud."
- (To Sakura) "It might turn out to be... a flower more beautiful than a cosmos."
- (To Sakura) "Who're you calling "pig", forehead girl?!"
- (To Sakura) "You bloomed into a beautiful flower."
- ↑ First Databook, pages 130-131
- ↑ Second Databook, page 161
- ↑ Third Databook, pages 178-179
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 197
- ↑ Retsu no Sho, page 31
- ↑ Naruto chapter 39, page 4
- ↑ Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding
- ↑ Naruto chapter 54, pages 14-15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 328, page 06
- ↑ Naruto chapter 332, page 08