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02 November 2004 @ 11:05 pm
Manga #238 and its implications  
Hello everyone,

I didn't know where else to turn to unload my frustrations, so I thought I would try it out here among some fellow Neji/Tenten fans. I wanted to ask, have you all taken a look at Manga #238 and the initial text translation? Are any of you disturbed by Neji's sudden change in character and Tenten's strange, starry-eyed fangirl look directed at Lee? Am I the only who finds this abrupt shift in the direction of the series a little disturbing?

First, Neji. I find it just a little too abrupt and out-of-character for him to be completely reconciled with Hiashi and taking tea from a subservient Hinata a mere days after his return from the Sasuke mission. The Neji I know--or thought I knew--was a good person deep down, but arrogance and stubbornness and pride were still very much a part of his character. This suddenly mellow, personality-less Neji frankly seems like a stranger to me. Am I overreacting? Tell me that I am.

Second, Tenten. She appears so little in the manga that it's hard *not* to dissect each scene in which she appears for aspects of her personality. Maybe that's not valid, maybe I'm overreacting. But her starry-eyed Lee-adoring gaze was a little *too* weird for me and completely threw me off. I never thought of Tenten as the fangirl type (and certainly not a fangirl of LEE, for crying out loud!), but there she is looking like one. I guess what's bothering me is that I thought I understood these characters on some level, but it turns out I have completely misinterpreted their personalities!

Maybe it's too soon to jump to conclusions. But it's a little sad to me that Neji doesn't even seem to be part of the team anymore because all of a sudden he's got his family now. I didn't think that the "reconciled Neji" meant that everything would be peachy-keen within the Hyuuga clan. I thought "reconciled Neji" would simply stop letting the Main House issue bother him and be his own person and learn to appreciate those who have taken him in and stood by him in place of his family--namely, his team. But that's not the case at all, it seems. And if Neji's not so much part of the team anymore, where does that leave Neji/Tenten? I'd always thought Neji/Tenten had some basis in canon, but is the true canon ship Lee/Tenten?

Someone slap me out of this.

Magical Princess Hikki Komorihikari_cyhan on November 3rd, 2004 02:43 am (UTC)
O.O I read your fanfiction, btw!!!!!!!

Okay, anyways... Three months have passed, not a few days (which would explain Neji's long hair). Personally, I like Neji like this, although I hated how Tenten was staring at Lee.
teamgaifanteamgaifan on November 3rd, 2004 03:51 am (UTC)

Of coursey you're right--three months have passed, not a few days. Thanks for pointing that out to me. Still, that seems oddly accelerated and disjointed, but I guess that's the nature of the manga format, right? (Anyway, what was I expecting here? That Kishimoto would devote an entire issue to a Neji/Tenten reuion? Yeah, right. But yeesh, I thought there would be a *little* more character explication with the whole Team Shikamaru recovery period. Sigh.)


PS: Thanks for reading my stories, Hikari-chan! I hope you like them. Unfortunately they were written based on a conception of the characters' personalities that I'm not sure holds true anymore!
(Deleted comment)
teamgaifanteamgaifan on November 4th, 2004 05:27 am (UTC)

Thanks for your words of reason - I am feeling slightly calmer about the whole strange turn of events. It gives me hope that you interpret the Tenten panels in the manga as purely amusement; to me, it seemed a little too wide-eyed and joyful to be mere amusement, but I prefer your interpretation much better, so I'll take your word for it!

I still find Neji's seemingly abrupt change of character disconcerting, and I'm a skeptical about the sudden embracing of the Main House after so many years of hostility. I guess Kishimoto doesn't have time to spare on Neji's character evolution, though. In any case, I hope he still retains a *little* of his earlier faults - pride, arrogance, tactlessness, and such. Turning him into a super-focused, all-around nice guy ninja would be like turning him into another Lee.

How long is this Kakashi interlude going to last?! Goodness gracious..."three years" before we can see Team Gai again.

noumenal_pastry on November 4th, 2004 07:35 am (UTC)
Neji cannot have normal relations with the main family without destroying his character, I agree. Naruto's challenge to him is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, not accept it nicely instead of bitterly.

However, in my opinion this hasn't necessarily happened. To me it always seemed that Hiashi became somewhat disillusioned with the system when Hizashi died, and I think he sees Neji as his brother's legacy, continuance... so they have some reason to at least be polite with each other.

And Hinata he should, if anything, like... she is, after all, in many ways what he now wishes to be, even if he's the stronger... a person who fights fate for their own sake, even if they cannot always win.

Of course, him getting over his long years of hatred and bitterness without a little conflict is a bit annoying, but we're not sure this has happened completely and, after all, this is Naruto, not Neji. While he has one of the more complex characters in the series, that doesn't mean it's going to be constantly developed in real-time for us fans...
rightclawsouth on November 4th, 2004 07:03 pm (UTC)
Gawd. I was worried for a sec, though.

teamgaifan! [glomp]