First Manga Appearance: Chapter 36
First Anime Appearance: Episode 21
Name Meaning: Hyuuga=Towards the sun, Neji=Screw
Character Study: Cold and analytical, Neji was initially introduced as of the barriers Naruto had to face to gain acceptance in the village. Neji was on bad terms with his clan but changed his outlook on life after fighting Naruto, becoming one of many fundamentally changed by interacting with him. His bloodline and natural skill helped him become one of the few Genin to eventually reach Jounin.
Chuunin Exam | DB 1
Pre-Timeskip | DB 2
Post-Timeskip | DB 3
Height: 172.1 cm
Weight: 54.2 kg
Bloodline: Byakugan Eye
Registration ID: 012587
Hidden Village: Leaf
Team: Might Guy, TenTen, Rock Lee
Academy Grad Age: 12
Chuunin Exam Age: 15
Jounin Age: ?
Jutsu: Byakugan, Hakke Hasangeki, Hakke Hyakunijuuhachishou, Hakke Kuushou, Hakke Rokujuuyonshou, Hakkeshou Kaiten, Juuken
Hyuuga Neji is hailed as the genius of the Hyuuga clan, and was the top graduate of his class. This young ninja is from the Hyuuga branch family; however he has obtained many of the skills only taught to the main family line. Neji grew up with hatred for the main family of the Hyuuga house. His resentment stemmed from his past, causing him to have a strong destiny complex. Neji became a ninja, and was teamed with TenTen and Rock Lee along with their Jounin sensei Might Guy. Neji has a longstanding rivalry with Rock Lee, with many words exchanged between the two young men.
Neji also bears a curse sealing mark, which all branch family members of the Hyuuga house have. This mark allows the Hyuuga main house to control the branch family, when activated the seal causes pain and kills the bearer of the mark by destroying their brain. At the same time, the Byakugan bloodline is also removed from their bodies, which helps keep the familyís bloodline secrets safe.
Nejiís father, Hizashi, was a twin brother to the heir of the main house, Hiashi. However, the clan stated that since Hizashi was born later than his older brother, he would be placed in the branch family. He and those in the branch
family would serve only to protect the main family.
At the same time, Kumo and Konoha were also at the end of a long war. The two sides were ready to sign a peace treaty between them. However, on the night of the peace treaty, Kumoís best ninja tried to kidnap Hyuuga Hinata, but was caught and killed by her father Hiashi. The implications of his death would have started another war, unless Kumo was given the body of the one who killed their ninja. The attempted kidnapping of Hinata was overlooked in all of this as the Kumo demanded recompense. Only the body of Hiashi would decided pacify them.
The elders of the Hyuuga clan did not want to give up the head of the house. It was decided that his twin brother, Hizashi, was to be killed instead. Due to this event, Neji became cynical and began to resent the Hyuuga clanís system, and that the branch house would always be sacrificing their lives for the main house. This outlook would later be changed after Neji received word of the truth from his uncle.
However, before discovering the true events and the whole story of his fatherís death, Nejiís anger had followed him as he grew in life. Neji eventually entered the Ninja Academy and graduated at age 12. He was then placed on a team with Lee and TenTen under Might Guy. Over the following year they would take on several missions and Guy would offer his Taijutsu secrets to his students. Only Lee took him up on his offer though. A year after graduating Guy entered his team into the Chuunin Exam. By this point the three Genin worked well together and were eager to prove their skills against the rest of the competition. Before the opening test he would be introduced to Sasuke. Sasuke, was like himself a prodigy of a powerful Konoha bloodline, and he was eager to test his abilities.
Neji and his team would breeze past the opening test of the Exam and then enter the second test. During this time Lee split off from the group and came to the aid of Sakura and her teammates. Neji and TenTen would go in search for him. When they found an injured Lee being harassed by the Sound Genin, Neji dissuaded them from going further. Before he could say more though he witnessed the newly curse sealed Sasuke rise and defeat them. He would note Sasuke's new ominous chakra and successfully finish out the test with his team.
In the third round prelims Neji would face his cousin Hinata in a match to decide who moved on in the exams. Neji would use the Juuken style to easily parry Hinata's own Juuken strikes. This "soft fist" damaged the internal organs and cut off the chakra pathways of their target. While both exchanged strikes, only Neji's proved effective. Neji expressed his contempt for the main house, due to their declaring the branch house members inferior. He declared that Hinataís own inferiority was destined and that a loser would always be such, angering Naruto greatly. Hinata was knocked down multiple times, but each time, thanks to Narutoís encouragement she got back up. Neji grew frustrated and charged to finish her. If not for the Jounin in attendance stopping him, he would have killed Hinata in the fight. This battle and Nejiís attitude towards his cousin would draw the fury of Naruto who promised to defeat Neji for his attitude on "dropouts".
Naruto and Neji were then chosen to face off in the next round of the Chuunin exams. In this battle, Neji would use a wide array of Hyuuga main house techniques, surprising his uncle Hiashi. Neji and Naruto would engage in an intense battle, and the two would verbally spar about Nejiís past, revealing the Hyuuga familyís dissention. After Neji uses his Juuken style to close Narutoís chakra holes, Naruto then released his Kyuubi chakra allowing him to continue in the fight. Neji however held an upper hand by using his Hakke Rokujuuyonshou to ward off many of Narutoís attacks.
Neji seemed victorious in his fight with Naruto, however Naruto had Neji fooled by using Kage Bunshin. While the real Naruto hid underground, Neji would knock a fake Naruto out. Neji would become overconfident giving his destiny speech to Naruto once again. In this instance however, the real Naruto surfaced and put the finishing blow on Neji, allowing Naruto to win the fight.
After the Chuunin exams, Hiashi would help shed some light about the death of Nejiís father. After watching Nejiís performance against Naruto, he was convinced that Neji was ready to hear the real story. It turns out that Hizashi had volunteered himself to be killed in order to protect his brother. The reasoning was that Hiashiís body would give up the secrets of the Byakugan, however, if the cursed seal on Hizashi was activated, the Byakugan would also be wiped out as well. Hizashi had chosen this path in order to protect his village and his family as well. He desired to finally break free and choose his own path for once. After this, Nejiís attitude and hatred for the main house lessened.
Neji would join Naruto, Kiba, Chouji and Shikamaru in their mission to retrieve Sasuke from Sound. Neji would square off against Sound Four ninja Kidoumaru. Neji was put at a great disadvantage as Kidoumaru rained in attack after attack from a great distance. Kidoumaru was even able to find the Byakuganís blind spot, an area just above the upper back. Neji pushed himself to live up to the ideal of what other ninja saw the Hyuuga as, the best of the best, and the greatest clan in Konoha. Neji seemed to be in a precarious predicament, but after realizing that he still had hope and disregarding destiny altogether, he mustered up his strength and was able to defeat Kidoumaru by sacrificing his body to finally take out his opponent. After receiving attack upon attack, Neji was nearly killed, and would have died if not for the aid of medical ninja who arrived shortly later.
Over the following years Neji would continue to develop his skills. He and his teammates would eventually pass the Chuunin Exam. Neji himself would also be promoted to Jounin. Neji became more streamlined with the Hyuuga look during this period; donning robes instead of his usual jacket. He would also appear to better accept the Hyuuga "destiny," and found inner peace. He returned to his team with Lee, Ten-ten, and Guy, and assist Sakura, Naruto and Kakashi when they tried to save Gaara from the Akatsuki. The team rushed to aid Gaara and was stopped by Hoshigaki Kisame, or rather, Kisame in a host sacrificial body. Though Neji, Lee and TenTen were captured, Guy would defeat the fake Kisame.
When they eventually located Akatsuki's cave base, they found it sealed off. Neji located the seals with his Byakugan and told his team where they were so they could remove them. When they removed the seals, the team saw a clone of themselves rise from the earth to combat them. The clones were soon defeated and the team left in pursuit of the fleeing Deidara. When they caught up to the Akatsuki member, they prevented his escape from Naruto's wrath. Deidara, really an explosive clone, moved to kill himself and Neji quickly realized that Deidara was about to explode. He yelled for everyone to flee but Kakashi was able to remove the clone before it caused a catastrophic explosion. Soon thereafter Neji and his team returned to Konoha.
|Hyuuga Neji Timeline
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
13 Yrs. BSS - Neji Born.
9 Yrs. BSS - Neji has seal placed on forehead, Father sacrifices life.
1 Yrs. BSS - Graduates Academy.
0 - Series Start.
6 Mo. ASS - Enters Chuunin Exam, Faces Hinata in Third Round Preliminaries.
7 Mo. ASS - Loses to Naruto in Third Round of Chuunin Exam.
9 Mo. ASS - Assists Naruto in chasing Sasuke, Fights Kidoumaru, Gravely injured but healed by Shizune and medic-nins.
10 Mo. ~ 3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Increases skills and strength, Passes Chuunin Exam, Selected to become Jounin.
3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Meets Naruto again, Travels to River Country to save Gaara, Fights with his team against Hoshigaki Kisame.