The misuse of Tenten by the creator of Naruto is explored

Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, has undoubtedly crafted a world filled with immense potential, captivating audiences worldwide and solidifying the series as a cultural phenomenon. However, amidst the acclaim, there exists a notable aspect of criticism surrounding Kishimoto’s perceived inability to fully realize this potential, and this sentiment is particularly evident in the treatment of certain characters, including Neji Hyuga, Rock Lee, Gaara, Shino Aburame, and, of course, Tenten.

Tenten, a character in Naruto, has become emblematic of this issue and is often the subject of jokes and memes within the fandom due to the perceived lack of attention she receives from the creator. This perception largely stems from Tenten’s portrayal as a running joke, as she lacks the flashy and powerful ninjutsu abilities that many other characters possess. However, there is more to Tenten than meets the eye, and her underutilization may be a missed opportunity in the series.

It is essential to note that this discussion contains spoilers for Naruto.

Tenten, a weapons specialist, belongs to Naruto’s generation and is a member of Team 3, also known as Team Guy, led by their sensei, Might Guy. Alongside her teammates Neji Hyuga and Rock Lee, Tenten is a year older than the rest of their generation due to Guy’s decision to prepare them for the Chunin Exam.

While Neji and Lee had their respective moments to shine during the Chunin Exam arc, the reality is that they too were underutilized, and this sentiment applies even more strongly to Tenten. As a weapons specialist, she possesses the unique ability to summon and wield multiple weapons with remarkable speed and precision, making her a formidable fighter. Notably, Tenten managed to hold her own within Team 3, a testament to her skill and resilience, given Guy’s rigorous training and high standards.

However, despite her potential, Tenten never truly had her moment in the spotlight during the Chunin Exam arc. Her fight against Temari, although enjoyable in some instances, was ultimately filler content exclusive to the anime adaptation and not part of the original manga. This omission further contributes to the perception of Tenten’s underutilization.

The running issues associated with Masashi Kishimoto’s approach to the Naruto series become apparent when examining Tenten’s character arc. While Kishimoto possesses undeniable strengths as a writer, such as crafting engaging backstories, creating memorable villains, generating compelling ideas, and delivering emotional moments, his flaws are equally conspicuous. Inconsistencies in character development, overlooking promising characters, an excessive focus on the Uchiha clan, and a struggle with writing female characters are among the notable criticisms.

Tenten serves as an example embodying several of these trends. As a ninja with unique abilities tailored for combat and creative battles, she possesses the potential to be a compelling character. However, she is never given the opportunity to fully grow and evolve within the narrative. While some readers or viewers may argue that her abilities do not measure up to the series’ power scale, it is crucial to recognize that this was a deliberate choice by the writer, and there are ways to make it work creatively, just as Kishimoto introduced sudden power-ups for characters like Naruto and Sasuke.

Moreover, Tenten stands out as one of the few female characters in Naruto whose motivation does not revolve around romantic interests. While characters like Ino and Sakura were often depicted as infatuated with Sasuke, Tenten stated her desire to become a strong ninja for herself, offering a refreshing perspective within the series. Considering her involvement in one of the most prominent teams, the underutilization of Tenten becomes a significant disappointment within the narrative.

In conclusion, Masashi Kishimoto’s status as the creator of Naruto, one of the most successful franchises of all time, means that the underutilization of Tenten may not significantly impact him. Nevertheless, Tenten, along with characters like Neji, Rock Lee, Gaara, and others, exemplifies the missed potential in developing characters who could have contributed to a richer and more diverse narrative. Looking back on the series, it becomes apparent that Naruto had the potential to be even more remarkable if characters, clans, and villages were given greater time in the spotlight, fostering increased creativity and diversity in the author’s storytelling. Tenten’s misplacement within the narrative serves as a poignant symbol of this missed opportunity.

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Shikamaru, Konohamaru, Sai, Kakashi, Kabuto

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