Was Neji Hyuga's death a necessary development in the Naruto series?

Neji's death and Kishimoto's justification (Image via Pierot)
Neji's death and Kishimoto's justification (Image via Pierot)

During the first few episodes of Naruto, Neji was introduced as a powerful shinobi hailing from the Hyuga clan. His mastery of the Gentle Fist and the ability to use his Byakugan served him well when he engaged in combat.

His strength was showcased multiple times, and fans enjoyed watching this character. However, the character met his tragic end during the Fourth Great Ninja War. He died in an attempt to save Hinata Hyuga from an attack launched by the Ten Tails. However, many fans have questioned the necessity of this character’s death.

Naruto: Neji’s death and the reason explained

The community is quite divided when it comes to this subject. Some believe that his death was necessary for the plot and a specific relationship between the two characters. In comparison, some believe that Neji’s existence would have shown how he could break the shackles of destiny and forge his path.

That being said, the author himself had explained concerning this matter. He noted that Neji’s death was quite crucial for two things. The first reason would be that his death would serve as a tool for major character development. Another important reason was that the author had decided to make Hinata the lead female character in the series.


His death was significant for Hinata and Naruto’s relationship to progress. Kishimoto felt that the two would be brought close since they were put in situations where every character’s emotions were running high.

A scenario of this nature would undoubtedly impact the relationship between Naruto and Hinata, which did not seem to progress during the series. According to Masashi Kishimoto, Neji was a catalyst in advancing the relationship between Naruto and Hinata.

Despite the explanation provided by Masashi Kishimoto, fans were still not convinced and continued to think that his death was unnecessary. Fans believe that the reason for Neji's death was not as meaningful as it should have been. The community found it a little harsh for a character to die to strengthen the bonds between the two characters.

While the community might be divided on this topic, the mangaka, Masashi Kishimoto, has justified Neji's death and how it was necessary for the progression of the plot.

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