Monday, September 22, 2008
Neji Hyuga (Hyuga Neji) is a branch member of the famed Hyuga clan. Throughout Part I, Neji is widely considered to be the most talented Genin in Konohagakure. He is a natural genius, surpassing those of the main branch, which he bitterly resented. When Neji is first introduced, he has an air of superiority about him, strongly believing that everyone is resigned to their fate and that strength is pre-determined. However, after battling with Naruto Uzumaki, Neji finally changes his outlook on the world.
Neji has a large knowledge of his Byakugan, a bloodline limit Kekkei Genkai that allows its user to have an unobstructed view of the world around him (an almost 360 degree vision with in part 1 a 50m radius and in part 2 a 1000m radius). It can see through any solid object and can see the chakra points of a person, and using his Gentle Fist, a style that pushes chakra out of ones hand, can effectively control the flow of chakra within an foe. After the Preliminaries of the Chunin Exams, he learned in the period of one month Eight Trigrams Palms Heavenly Spin, a technique where one ejects chakra out of all 361 of their chakra points and spins like a top, creating a barrier of impenetrable chakra around ones body.
As a member of the Hyuga clan, Neji possesses the Byakugan, which gives him an almost 360-degree field of vision, save for a small blindspot at the back of the neck. Neji is acutely aware of his blind spot and takes extra caution in keeping it away from opponents as well as paying close attention to it. While the Byakugan naturally has only a 50 meter field of vision, Neji is able to increase the range of its sight several times over by the start of Part II, to around 1000 meters. He is noted to have a particularly strong Byakugan in comparison to other members of the clan, perhaps surpassing all of them.
Not much is known about Neji's birth. After his cousin Hinata from the main branch had her 3rd birthday, Neji was taken by Hiashi Hyuga and had the Hyuga branch family seal applied to his forehead. After seeing his father being punished for merely thinking about harming Hinata, Neji began to see himself as a helpless "caged bird," forced to obey the main branch of the family. Around this time, his father had begun to see Neji's natural talent. After his father's sacrificed himself for the main family, Neji mistakenly believed that the main branch had forced him to do so, and the event became the primary basis of his grudge against the main branch.
With the rest of Team Guy's taijutsu skills, Neji's Byakugan also allows him to specialize in the Gentle Fist fighting style, which enables him to damage an opponent's chakra circulatory system and inner organs directly with even a slight tap. Neji also uses this technique to attack his opponents heart directly and send them into cardiac arrest resulting in the death of the opponent with but a single strike. His strength and brutality in this area are such that three jonin Jonin—Might Guy, Kakashi Hatake, and Kurenai Yuhi— in addition to exam proctor Hayate, felt the need to intervene when he was on the verge of killing Hinata during the Chunin exams.
Part I Chunin Exams
Neji first meets Team 7 in the exam hallway, demanding to know who Sasuke is and acting somewhat condescendingly toward him. He obtains the answers to the first phase of the test by using his Byakugan to read other examinees' tests by seeing through the person's body.
Neji is pitted against Naruto in the first rounds of the finals. Although Neji soon gains the advantage and cuts off Naruto's chakra flow, Naruto is determined to fight against Neji, inspired by Hinata and Lee's bravery and angered by the way Neji belittled and almost killed Hinata. Naruto taps into the power of the nine-tailed fox, and is able to keep up with Neji for a time. Neji's Heavenly Spin protects him from Naruto's attacks, but when he approaches a supposedly defeated Naruto, Naruto pops out of a tunnel he dug in the ground, and uppercuts Neji in the jaw, defeating him.
Neji is angry with himself for falling for Naruto's signature technique, but Naruto reveals that the technique used to be his worst one, and that he only became good at it through practice. Neji then hears of his father's fate from his uncle, and breaks down in tears. When Hiashi bows before Neji in forgiveness, Neji asks him to rise, and forgives him. Neji then silently tells his father that wishes to change his destiny just like he did, and that he hopes to never lose again.
Part II Naruto Shippuden
Over the timeskip, Neji retook the Chunin Exam and passed, and later was promoted to Jonin rank, being the only genin from Konoha to achieve this during the timeskip. He makes his first appearance when Tsunade requests that Team Guy travel to Land of Wind to aid Team Kakashi
Rescue Gaara Arc
During their traveling the team is met by Pakkun who redirects them to the Akatsuki hideout in the land of river, however when Zetsu sees them, they are quickly encountered by Kisame Hoshigaki, who is later revealed to be a clone.
During Team Guy's battle with Kisame's clone, Neji was successful in freeing himself, Tenten and Lee from Kisame's water prisons. While Naruto and Kakashi pursued Deidara, Chiyo and Sakura fought Sasori. Neji fought a clone of himself, created by his removing the seals to the Akatsuki hideout.
In the anime, Lee realizes that the clones do not tire and the only way to defeat them is to become stronger. Neji recalls that Team Guy's goal is to constantly become stronger, and notes that he will not simply be content with being a Jonin. He defeats his clone with a point blank range version of Eight Trigrams Empty Palm and chases after Deidara with his team. Guy carries a weakened Kakashi on their way back to Konoha by piggyback. Observing this Lee tries to convince Neji to ride on Lee's back, believing it to be a training exercise, and Neji angrily refuses.