Naruto x Hinata

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Pairing
Pairing: Naruto x Hinata
Alternative name(s): NaruHina, Naruto/Hinata
Gender category: M/F Het
Fandom: Naruto
Canonical?: Married with children.
Prevalence: Popular
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Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Hinata are a canon ship in the Naruto fandom, colloquially known as "NaruHina." It is one of the most popular pairings in the Naruto franchise.

Canon

Naruto and Hinata’s early relationship was characterized by a love triangle. When Hinata was introduced, she was shown to have feelings for Naruto, and was often the only one cheering for his success. Meanwhile Naruto pursued a one-sided crush on his fellow teammate Haruno Sakura, who denied his advances due to her interest in teammate Uchiha Sasuke.

Naruto and Hinata’s friendship began to develop during the Chūnin exams, but soon after, Naruto left on his long-term training with Jiraiya.

Their relationship progressed during the events of the Fourth Shinobi World War. Hinata confessed her love to Naruto when she attempted to save his life during Pain’s Assault. She attempted to save his life again by jumping in front of the Ten Tails’ projectiles, but her cousin Hyuuga Neji sacrificed his life for her at the last moment.

A few years following the war, Hinata’s sister, Hyuuga Hanabi, was kidnapped by Ōtsusuki Toneri as ransom for Hinata’s hand in marriage and to fulfill a misinterpreted prophecy. On the mission to save Hanabi and Earth from destruction, Naruto confessed his love to Hinata inside the Moon. They shared their first kiss after the completion of the mission.

Naruto and Hinata married in the spring season surrounded by their friends and family. Later on, they had two children, Uzumaki Boruto and Uzumaki Himawari.

Fannish Interpretation

Many supporters of Naruto x Hinata believe that their eventual canonization was inevitable. Fans cite their early mutual acknowledgement of each other’s capabilities, shared Ninja Way, and willingness to protect each other as evidence of their reciprocated love and respect from before the premier of The Last: Naruto the Movie. Interviews with Kishimoto also hint at his intentions on bringing the two together from early on, much to NaruHina supporters’ delight.[1] Some fans enjoy analyzing the pairing’s anime and manga interactions for romantic meaning, and many enjoy imagining off-screen interactions to make up for their lack of actual onscreen time together.

The juxtaposition of Naruto’s outgoing personality and Hinata’s shy demeanor may be one reason for the pairing’s popularity. Fans describe their relationship as supportive and believe that they balance each other’s shortcomings out. Naruto and Hinata’s kind interactions with each other easily lend the pairing to fluff, while Hinata’s pining for the majority of the series easily lends itself to angst.

"Confession": Episode 166

During Pain’s Assault, Naruto was eventually pinned down by the Deva Path’s Black Receivers. Hinata rushed to his defense, and despite his pleads to leave him, she reasoned that she shares his Ninja Way and loves him. She was defeated, leading Naruto to believe she was dead, and he entered a Version 2 form with six tails. Naruto did not acknowledge or respond to her confession following the battle. He was shown to feel relief that she was still alive.

On platforms like Reddit and Quora, fans discussed a number of reasons for his reaction (or lack thereof) to her confession, including but not limited to inopportune timing, Naruto’s immaturity, poor writing and execution of their relationship, a focus on character development for Hinata rather than Naruto, and keeping the audience in shipping-suspense.[2] [3]

"The Ties that Bind": Episode 364

When Hinata jumped in front of the Ten Tails’ attack aimed at Naruto, Neji shielded both of them, suffered a mortal wound, and told Naruto that he did it because Naruto once called him a “genius.”

Masashi Kishimoto addressed Neji’s death in an interview for Fuji TV:

Kobayashi: Neji was lost in the war, what were your reasons for that?

Kishimoto: Well, I had decided on Hinata as the heroine some time before. Having done that, I wanted a factor for Naruto and Hinata to get closer. In Pain’s Assault, um, Hinata has a scene where she really showed up, but this time, Naruto is consciously aware, um, that Hinata is there beside him, and he’s happy, I would say. Because something like that happened, Neji is, no matter what, that, well how should I say-

Kobayashi: Like a trigger, right?

Kishimoto: That's right. Like a role as their cupid, he becomes that role in dying. That’s why, at that time I decided to name their son Boruto. That’s why I decided, Naruto, Boruto, and Boruto is a pseudonym of Neji who was a cupid in saving them, I wanted Boruto to inherit that meaning from his uncle, and so I did that to Neji. So from now on, for example, well it might be jumping the gun, but well, in the event that there’s a chance to draw the manga for the story of Boruto, then it will also be that Neji’s death will be freely demonstrated.FUJI TV[4]

Many viewers discussed Kishimoto’s reasoning on platforms like Reddit and Quora. Fans were upset and questioned the necessity for Neji to die, even as a vehicle for Naruto and Hinata’s romance.[5] [6] The consequences of Neji’s death is a popular topic in NaruHina fanfiction.

"The Exploding Human": Episode 484

Hinata nearly fainted from exhaustion after disabling the chakra network of a ninja who could explode from obtaining any injuries. She fell into Naruto’s arms, who then asked her if she is okay. She replied that she would fight together with him.

Hinata’s seemingly weak disposition caused some confusion among viewers who believed that she should be much stronger considering that this is after the war. Fans on platforms like Reddit and Quora discussed the possibility that she was pregnant since Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise occurs after Konoha Hiden: A Perfect Day for a Wedding. Other fans said her role in the novel was actually not adapted properly and shortened in the anime.[7] [8]

The Last: Naruto the Movie

The movie began with shots of Hinata knitting a red scarf to give to Naruto as a part of her plans to confess to him again. She was unable to confess her feelings to him, and her red scarf was ripped when Toneri tried to kidnap her. Throughout their search for Hanabi, Hinata was shown fixing the red scarf as Naruto eagerly watched her progress, now cognizant of her feelings due to the crab's genjutsu. When Naruto confessed his feelings, Hinata gave him her scarf and left with Toneri. Heartbroken by her seeming rejection, Naruto was defeated by Toneri, and the scarf was disintegrated by his jutsu. Hinata knitted another red scarf for Naruto, under the guise that she was making it for Toneri. When Toneri realized that she was making it for Naruto, he shredded it. After Naruto rescued her, he asked for a piece of the scarf anyway.

Fans commonly use Hinata's red scarf as a major motif in fanworks and discuss its symbolism in the movie.[9] The soulmates trope is especially popular with NaruHina due to the Japanese concept of "the red thread of fate" that binds two souls together.

When Naruto reiterated his love to Hinata at the end of the mission, he said that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

Naruto: Hinata?

Hinata: What?

Naruto: Remember back in the Academy, when we were asked, "If the end of the world came, who would you spend your last day with?" I couldn't write anyone's name down. I didn't know my parents, and I didn't have any friends...But now, I know exactly whom I'd choose. I want to be with you. Now and forever, until I die...I want to be with you, Hinata!"

Hinata: Naruto-kun!The Last: Naruto the Movie[10]

Some fans have interpreted his confession as a marriage proposal. The events in the novel Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love Riding Upon a Spring Breeze complicated the timeline when it states that Naruto and Hinata went on their first date, even though they were supposedly already planning their wedding at that point in the story. Fans have speculated that Naruto and Hinata did not begin dating until after they were married or engaged.[9]

Nicknames

Due to her strict upbringing, Hinata has always affectionately called Naruto “Naruto-kun” with the honorific even though it would be more familiar to call him by just his first name. She calls nearly everyone else besides her own teammates with the more formal “-san” honorific. Naruto simply calls her “Hinata” in the same informal way he calls nearly everyone else his age, but has called his own teammate Sakura “Sakura-chan” with the affectionate honorific. This has led some fans to wonder if he would start calling Hinata “Hinata-chan” if he realized his feelings for her earlier. Some fans also wonder if Naruto would ever call her “hime” or “princess” in private due to Hinata’s nickname as the Byakugan Princess. Some fanfic writers enjoy exploring nicknames between the couple in their stories.

In Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Hinata has called Naruto “anata,” which could translate to “dear,” a common Japanese nickname between married couples that signifies their closeness.

The Uzumaki family has also developed a nickname as the “Sunshine Family” due to references throughout the manga that relate back to a sun motif. The kanji used in Hinata’s name also translates to “a place in the sun.”[11]

History

Within the Western fandom, fans have paired Naruto and Hinata together in fanworks since Weekly Shounen Jump first began serializing Naruto in North America in 2003.[12]

The video game Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 was released for the PS3 and Xbox360 in 2010. Gamers discovered that when they chose Naruto and Hinata to fight together, the combo team was titled “Secret Lovers.”[13] On platforms like Gamefaqs, Fanpop, and Animebase, fans discussed the reasons the game creators chose such a romantic name when final pairings were not obvious.[14] [15] [16] Their team title of “Secret Lovers” inspired more of the secret relationship trope in NaruHina fanworks.

The release of The Last: Naruto the Movie in December 2014 in Japan and February 2015 in North America gave shipping fans the romance they had longed for. According to Tumblr's Year in Review for 2015, Naruto and Hinata ranked at #17 for the top 20 Most Reblogged Ships.[17]

Japanese fans celebrated the canonization of the pairing throughout 2017 when Konoha Hiden: A Perfect Day for a Wedding was aired as the final arc of the Naruto: Shippūden anime. Namco’s J-World Tokyo indoor theme park celebrated their canonization with a special event featuring white chocolate wedding cake, exclusive merchandise, and limited-time experiences.[18]

According to a Japanese survey taken in July 2017 for the Top 20 Most Appealing Anime/Manga Wives, Uzumaki Hinata was voted #4 following characters from other popular shows like Crayon Shin-chan, Detective Conan, and Dragon Ball.[19]

For the new year of 2018, an official Naruto animator Chengxi Huang, known as Sekibeing on Twitter, posted a short animation of Hinata waking up nude in bed with Naruto pulling her back down, which then said, “The start of the New Year is of course after sleeping in late-ttebayo!!” Due to the animation’s nsfw nature, Huang was pressured to promptly remove it.[20] He issued an apology on Twitter for possibly troubling his company and other related parties.[21] Elated fans were quick on the draw and saved the animation before he removed it, spreading it across other social media platforms.

Common Tropes in Fanworks

Ninjaverse:

Due to Naruto and Hinata’s small amount of screen time, fans use fanfiction to fill in the spaces or consider other directions for their romantic relationship. Popular tropes include:

  • Naruto discovers that the “ultra-pretty” girl he saw at the waterfall was actually Hinata (from “The Search for the Rare Bikōchu Beetle”: Episode 148).
  • Naruto meets Hinata at her window or helps her when she has eyestrain (as he did with Sakura from "The Heart's Eye": Episode 306).
  • Naruto confronts Hinata after Pain’s Assault to address her confession and learn more about her.
  • Hinata decides to be much more assertive in gaining Naruto’s attention. In some cases, Hinata is her confident and violent alter-ego from Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie.
  • Naruto and/or Hinata are the other sex in genderfuck or slash fanfiction, which is popular due to Naruto’s Sexy Jutsu, named Naruko by fans.
  • Naruto and Hinata become close friends during the Blank Period before the events of The Last.
  • Hinata helps Naruto due to the loss of his right arm, which awakens romantic feelings in Naruto.
  • Naruto uses his Shadow Clone Jutsu with Hinata in the bedroom.
  • Hinata is giving birth to Boruto, and Naruto must face his insecurities of being a good father.

Alternate Universe:

Fans enjoy placing Naruto and Hinata in Modern AU, Historical AU, and Fantasy AU. Many of the tropes in an AU can also apply to the Ninjaverse. Popular tropes include:

  • Naruto has a past relationship or is in a relationship with Sakura or Shion (from Naruto Shippuden the Movie) and seeks comfort in Hinata.
  • Hinata has a past relationship with Sasuke or Toneri, which confuses Naruto and makes him jealous.
  • Naruto and Hinata have a secret relationship that they must hide from her family due to differences in social status or class.
  • Hinata is having an arranged marriage due to her status, and Naruto finds out almost too late.
  • Naruto and Hinata are soulmates. This trope is sometimes made more complicated by a difference in social status or class.
  • Naruto and/or Hinata have a physical, mental, or emotional disability that they work through together.
  • Naruto and Hinata have a long-distance relationship or have not seen each other in a long time, which is paralleled to Naruto’s long-term training with Jiraiya.
  • Naruto and/or Hinata are in a dangerous profession, such as spies or superheroes, to parallel their ninja occupations in canon. This is sometimes mixed with a Crime AU.
  • Naruto is a demon or fox spirit who steals away Hinata.

Example Fanworks

Fanfic

Fanart

Doujinshi

Fanvids

Other Fanworks

(filk songs, felt dolls, graphic novels, cookies, etc.)

Archives and Communities

Other Fannish Resources

Wiki Links

Fanart Archives

Fanfiction Archives

Recommendation Lists

Tumblr Events

Other Resources

References

  1. Tumblr, ENTERMIX Magazine Interview fan-made translation by @variationa.
  2. Reddit, Question about Hinata's confession in the Pain Arc.
  3. Quora, Why does Naruto never asks Hinata after the pain arc?
  4. togetter, FUJI TV: KOBAYASHI NARUTO END SPECIAL fan-made transcription by kamosuke69.
  5. Reddit, Why did Neji have to die?
  6. Quora, Why does writer of Naruto killed Neji for Naruto and Hinata?
  7. Reddit, Is Hinata really pregnant before her marriage?
  8. Quora, Is Naruto already dating Hinata in the new "Sasuke Sinden: Book of Sunrise" arc (episodes 484 - ?)?
  9. 9.0 9.1 ScreenRant, "15 Things Only True Fans Know About Naruto and Hinata's Relationship" post by Amanda Bruce.
  10. TV Tropes, Heartwarming / The Last: Naruto The Movie.
  11. Tumblr, "why sunshine family?" post by chennyyeo.
  12. Fanfiction.net, Naruto U., Hinata H. Filter Search.
  13. NaruHina Forumotion, Naruto and Hinata - Secret Lovers.
  14. Gamefaqs, Why did they put secret lovers for Hinata and Naruto?
  15. Fanpop, What do you make of Naruto and Hinata's team on the newest game?
  16. Animebase, Naruto and Hinata confirmed as "Secret Lovers" in Shippuden Ninja Storm 3.
  17. Tumblr, 2015 Most Reblogged Ships on Tumblr.
  18. Anime News Network, J-World Tokyo Celebrates Naruto, Hinata's Wedding Novel with Cake article by Jennifer Sherman.
  19. Charapedia, Top 20 Most Appealing Anime/Manga Wives.
  20. Know Your Meme, "Controversial" animation by official Naruto animator Chengxi Huang post by Nedhitis.
  21. Twitter, Post by sekibeing @cekibeing.