| (山中いの, Yamanaka Ino)
|Anime||Naruto Episode #1|
|Movie||Naruto: Shippūden the Movie|
|Game||Naruto: Ninja Council|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game and Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||14|
Ino Yamanaka (山中いの, Yamanaka Ino) is one of the main supporting characters of the series. She is a chūnin-level kunoichi of Konohagakure's Yamanaka clan and a member of Team Asuma. Along with her team-mates, Ino makes up the new generation of Ino–Shika–Chō, just like their fathers were before them.
In the Academy, Ino was considerably more popular and self-confident than Sakura Haruno when they met. She convinced Sakura that hiding the size of her forehead was pointless, saying that it only made her look worse. Ino gave Sakura a red ribbon to draw attention elsewhere, suggesting that Sakura had great potential, but had yet to reach it. This lead to ongoing arguments about Sakura's "Billboard Brow" and Ino's nickname "Ino-pig" (due to her name, Ino, meaning 'boar'). Despite all these arguments, she helped Sakura gain her confidence. When Sakura became attracted to Sasuke, and found out that Ino was attracted to him as well, Sakura ended their friendship hurting Ino in the process so she could compete with Ino for his affection. Ino later made friends with Sakura again during the Chūnin Exams, but they are still considered rivals by many.
Ino is constantly thinking about boys and takes a great deal of pride in her appearance, which was seen even during her younger days in kunoichi training. She also takes great effort to keep up as well as improve her appearance, as seen from her constant dieting to lose weight in the belief it will make her more attractive. Ino can also be very confident, kind, and outspoken, not afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes suggests that Chōji should lose weight. She is attracted to Sasuke and she cried when Sasuke was declared an international criminal, showing that she still cares for him despite his descent into darkness. She also seems to be attracted to Sai because he looks just like Sasuke. Ino is described as relatively cheerful and can be bossy to people, especially to her team-mates if they get in her way or their behaviour annoys her.
Ino tends to take charge of her team-mates due to their lazy and nonchalant natures. She however clearly cares for them, as shown by her relief when Chōji survived near fatal injuries. Shikamaru, despite thinking of most girls as "troublesome", typically offers no resistance, being unwilling to deal with how she reacts if she is unable to have her way. Asuma recognised the control she has over the others, and, while dying, told her to look after Chōji and Shikamaru, and ensure that they didn't get into trouble.
By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Ino has demonstrated more bravery and confidence so much so that Ino was unfazed when told by Shikamaru how powerful the Gold and Silver Brothers were and even told her team-mates to man-up when they began to waver. Keeping to the promise she made to Asuma, Ino has resolved to put her life on the line, to protect her team-mates and her village no matter what.
Ino is a fair-skinned girl of average height with green eyes (blue in the anime). Her most noticeable trait in her appearance is her long, blonde hair, which is always seen in a high-ponytail with bangs covering the right side of her face. In Part I, her hair reached down to her waist until she cut it during her fight with Sakura, and after, she wore a bun. In later Part I appearances, Ino's hair had grown to shoulder-length. By Part II, it grows to hip-length and Ino also sports a red clip in the left side of her hair.
In terms of attire, Ino is more often seen wearing a pair of small silver hoop-earrings and purple, fairly revealing clothing. During Part I, she wore a short purple vest like blouse with a raised collar, a skirt that was cut off on the sides and bandage on her stomach and legs. She also wore purple and white elbow warmers with this, and her forehead protector around her waist as a belt. During the anime filler, she stopped wearing the elbow warmers. At the Chūnin Exams finals, Ino sported an orange t-shirt that had the stylised kanji for the word "boar" (猪, inoshishi) inside a light green circle on the upper-left side of the chest, brown shorts, and cream-coloured elbow guards.
In Part II, Ino has gone through noticeable changes. Her formerly protruding bang has now flattened against her face and the bandages around her waist have been removed, revealing her bare stomach. She also replaces the warmers on her elbows with fishnet ones and wears a pair of the same over her knees. Along with these, she wears a short, purple, sleeveless blouse, an open-front purple apron-skirt over a shorter, black skirt, with short, fishnet shorts underneath. She has stopped wearing her forehead protector. While on missions she carries a tantō just above her medical pouch. She has also changed her hoop earring to the studs given to her by her former sensei after they passed the Chūnin Exams as a long-standing tradition.
In Part I, Ino was noted to be an exceptional kunoichi by Asuma. During her fight with Sakura in the Chūnin Exams, she was able to turn the battle in her favour through the simple act of cutting her hair, overcoming her technique's inherit weakness and mimicking the Shadow Imitation Technique at once. For this reason, Sakura notes that Ino probably would have beaten her had Naruto not interfered.
She has also shown somewhat considerable skills in taijutsu. During the Chūnin Exams, these skills were on par with Sakura's. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, her taijutsu skills had improved greatly, to such an extent that when she took over Chōji's body she was able to fight evenly with her former sensei when they clashed and by entering two Zetsu's mind and using them for combat against Asuma Sarutobi. After using the Mind Clone Switch Technique she was also able to fend off Asuma.
Yamanaka Clan Techniques
Ino excels in the techniques of her clan, which are primarily focused around mind-affecting techniques such as the Mind Body Switch Technique, a technique predominantly used for reconnaissance and espionage, that allows the user to briefly possess someone and control that person's actions. Her body however, is left vulnerable until she cancels the technique. Despite many people thinking that this technique is unbeatable, she can still be forced out of the body if her opponent is physically very strong or has a strong enough will. She has also been shown to be able to use the technique on animals, such as a hawk to act as a spy. The anime takes her skills a bit further by giving her the Mind Body Disturbance Technique, which causes the body of the person affected to attack those nearest to them, or immobilising their body.
By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, her timing with the Mind Body Switch Technique has improved to a point that she only needs a target to be briefly immobilised in order to invade their mind. According to Inoichi, her use and releasing of the technique has improved drastically. She was able to quickly transfer her mind into a paralysed Chōji to block a point-blank range attack from Asuma Sarutobi, and then fight skilfully inside Chōji's body, as well as momentarily take control of Obito Uchiha in order to send the Ten-Tails' Tailed Beast Ball attack off course, and save her comrades' lives. Ino has even learned to use the Mind Clone Switch Technique on two targets at once and still fight skilfully with them against her opponent.
Ino learned medical ninjutsu during the gap in time between Parts I and II. The anime shows that Ino trained in medical ninjutsu alongside Sakura under Tsunade's supervision. Ino has proven to be skilled enough to be able to tell the severity of an attack with just a glance. With the knowledge of plants and flowers she gained in her family's flower shop, she also has the capability to create herbal medicines. She has also gained better chakra control because of her study in medical techniques.
Ino has shown to possess a great level of intelligence and perception, graduating the top of her class while in the Academy alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Shino Aburame. This was displayed in the Chūnin Exams and cleverly used her hair to make a chakra rope to bind Sakura. In fact in the anime, she was able to tell a person's occupation by glancing at the condition of their hands, a skill proven useful when Ino went to identify Gennō's body and noticed immediately that the corpse wasn't a carpenter or a ninja. Also, during Pain's invasion, she was able to conclude that Pain's real body must be around the village for his technique to work, since it was similar to her clan's.
Chūnin Exam Arc
Though making a few brief appearances earlier in the series, Ino made her debut during the Chūnin Exams. She used her Mind Body Switch Technique to enter Sakura's mind and memorise all her test answers, then sent her mind into Chōji and Shikamaru's minds to give them the answers. In the Forest of Death, Ino had many flashbacks of her childhood when they saw Sakura was in danger, she and her team helped Sakura and Rock Lee fight off the Otogakure Genin, until Sasuke forced the Oto Genin to retreat.
Ino's first match in the Chūnin Exams was against Sakura. The two did not battle seriously at first since Ino still cared about Sakura, until Sakura, unwilling to have Ino pity her, denounced her even though she didn't want to hurt Sakura. Ino and Sakura battled seriously afterwards, and used up most of their energy in the process. Ino then attempted to enter Sakura's mind after cutting her hair and sending chakra into it to immobilise her. She succeeded, but was expelled by Inner Sakura. Low on chakra, Ino and Sakura charged at each other for one last attack, and knocked each other out, resulting in both of them being eliminated. When they regained consciousness, they started becoming friends again, but still maintained their rivalry over Sasuke.
Ino accompanied Sakura to visit Sasuke in the month between the preliminaries and the finals, but found that he was gone. She went to the finals with Sakura, and noted that Sakura's team was extraordinary, after seeing Naruto defeat Neji. When the invasion started, she was rendered unconscious by Kabuto's genjutsu.
Invasion of Konoha Arc
Ino can be seen at the Third Hokage's funeral alongside the other villagers, mourning his death.
Pre-Shippūden Filler Arcs
She later appeared in a mission with Naruto, in which she tried to replace Princess Fuku who had grown overweight in an attempt to woo her suitor Chikara, the daimyō of The Land of Noodles. Ino was barely able to stand the man, but the mission succeeded after Naruto accidentally exposed the real princess. Ino briefly revealed an "Inner Ino" (内なるいの, Uchi Naru Ino) due to her anger, similar to Sakura's "Inner Sakura", during this episode.
In episode 158, Academy students were divided into teams of three and were assigned to a genin who would lead them on a mission against the other teams. Ino was assigned to lead a team of three academy students: Sou, Kiri and Shimo. Her time with them was not covered much except that she was doing better than Naruto.
When Mizuki escaped from jail, Ino along with her team-mates saved Naruto from the Legendary Stupid Brothers and took over the battle so Naruto could aid Iruka. Soon they realised they couldn't defeat them, but they were able to resist until Tsunade showed up and defeated them both easily.
She later accompanied Naruto, Shino and Anko to the Land of the Sea, and helped defeat Misumi Tsurugi, by possessing him and tying his arms to pillars, leaving him trapped in a collapsing room. Ino then used Mind Body Disturbance Technique on Yoroi as he attempted to attack Shino, allowing Shino to punch Yoroi away. When Yoroi attempted to attack Ino, Shino sent his bugs after him, thus defeating him.
Ino and Sakura were sent to examine a corpse that was believed to be that of Gennō. Ino hesitated, but eventually entered the room, and concluded, from the condition of the hands, that the corpse was not a ninja or a carpenter, and that Gennō was still alive. After the group found Gennō, she attempted to possess him when he tried to make his escape on a summoned bird; while he let go of the bird, Ino was unable to maintain the technique, as she noted that he had been suffering terrible pain the entire time.
When Suna asked Konoha for aid, Ino accompanied Shikamaru to help rescue Temari. Her attempt at possessing their opponent, Kujaku, failed, leaving her at risk. Kujaku later was defeated by Shikamaru and Temari's combined efforts. Feeling guilty that she did not contribute much to the mission, she asked Sakura to ask Tsunade to add her as a second apprentice. Sakura agreed, but added that she would be Ino's senior apprentice, resulting in Ino refusing (which led to yet another fight).
Sasuke and Sai Arc
Ino made her first reappearance shortly after Team Kakashi and Team Guy returned from the successful saving of Gaara, having come to retrieve Chōji for their mission with Asuma. She appeared again after Naruto and his team returned from their failed attempt to retrieve Sasuke. Upon meeting Sai, she quickly became interested in him, also noting that he resembled Sasuke.
When they all went out to dinner, Ino attempted to get Sai's attention with some subtle flirting. When Sai tried to befriend Ino and Chōji, having earlier come to the conclusion that women (specifically Sakura), didn't like to hear how they really looked, Sai tried the opposite approach by calling Ino "gorgeous", of which is the opposite of what he wanted to say. This resulted in Ino blushing, and enraging Sakura, who Sai had previously called "ugly".
Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc
Main article: Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc
Hidan and Kakuzu Arc
When Tsunade decided to make a move against Akatsuki, Ino was assigned, along with Chōji, to a Nijū Shōtai team, led by Raidō Namiashi and Aoba Yamashiro. Ino and Chōji arrived as back-up for Shikamaru and Asuma in their fight with Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu. When the duo retreated, Ino tried to tend to Asuma's injuries, but the damage to his body was beyond repair. The team then had nothing to do but listen to Asuma's last words. Before dying, Asuma said that Ino is strong-willed and a reliable child, so she should take care of Chōji and Shikamaru. Asuma also told Ino not to lose to Sakura in ninjutsu or romance. Ino then reminisces about her memories with Asuma especially her first days with him as a student, and when she noticed that the bouquet of flowers that Asuma bought were for Kurenai. After the death of her sensei, Ino screamed out loud with grief. She was later seen at Asuma's funeral, mourning his loss.
Shikamaru, Ino, and Chōji all agreed to avenge Asuma. Under the guidance of Kakashi, Team 10 later set out to face Kakuzu and Hidan. By using her Mind Body Switch Technique on a hawk, Ino was able to quickly find the Akatsuki duo so Shikamaru's plan could begin but doing this nearly backfired after Kakuzu attacked the hawk forcing her to return. During Team 10's fight with Hidan and Kakuzu, Ino largely played the role of an observer, her Mind Body Switch Technique being too much of a risk to use in battle stated by Shikamaru. In the anime, she saved Chōji from a fatal blow by Kakuzu before getting captured by him and almost choked to death along with Chōji, but was saved by Kakashi and Shikamaru. After Naruto arrived and defeated Kakuzu, she healed him.
Main article: Three-Tails Arc
Invasion of Pain Arc
When Pain began his invasion, Ino rushed to her father's location to inform him and all those present of the attack. Having learned something about Pain's identity, they tried to escape, to avoid capture. Despite their attempt, Pain arrived and captured Shizune, finding out what she knew, before killing her. She had mourned for a while. After he destroyed the village, Ino tried to revive Shizune, but could do nothing to help her, and regrouped with her father and the others. After the death of Nagato, she was shocked to see that Shizune was brought back to life. She was then present at Naruto's return, and celebrated with the villagers for his victory. In the anime, she even says that she could almost fall for Naruto, surprising Chōji and Shikamaru.
Konoha History Arc
Main article: Konoha History Arc
Five Kage Summit Arc
When news of Sasuke's affiliation with Akatsuki reaches Konoha, the Konoha 11 gather to discuss what should be done with him. The others suggest that they should personally eliminate Sasuke to prevent him from implicating Konoha in a war with another village. Ino is upset by this and she starts crying. Kiba demanded she stop, but she was defended by Tenten. Ino was later seen with the rest of the Konoha 11, hearing Naruto's decision about Sasuke when he returns to the village. He later promises to tell them everything when the time was right.
Main article: Chikara Arc
Adventures at Sea Arc
Main article: Adventures at Sea Arc
Road to Sakura
Main article: Road to Sakura
While on a stroll during her day off, Ino pondered how to spend the day before finding Sakura falling from the sky after a flash of bright light. Helping her out of a tree and taking her to Tsunade for medical attention, Ino is shocked to find Sakura with amnesia as she tries to keep Tsunade and Shizune from killing Sakura for pointing out their bust sizes. In her attempt to help jog Sakura's memory, she and the rest of the Konoha 11 present themselves in the way she remembers them: By acting the complete opposite of themselves. After the attempt failed, Ino helps Sakura look for her necklace until they encounter Sakura's parents as they have found the item in question. After Sakura strangely cries as she embraces her parents before they leave, Ino learns that the Sakura she has been with all day came from an alternate reality. When the other Sakura fades away, Ino is left severely confused as she wondered where the Sakura she knows is.
Shinobi World War Arc
When the Fourth Shinobi World War begins, Ino is placed in the Fifth Division. Ino and other members of her division are later sent to provide support for the First Division. Ino meets up with Shikamaru and Chōji - sent as backup from their own division - and they team up to help Darui fight Kinkaku. Shikamaru restrains Kinkaku with his shadow. Kinkaku almost breaks free but Ino is able to use the Mind Body Switch Technique to transfer her consciousness into his body, saving Shikamaru. In order to capture Kinkaku with the Kohaku no Jōhei, Darui says Kinkaku's name and Ino forces him to respond. As Kinkaku is sucked into the Kohaku no Jōhei, Ino returns to her body. Her watching father compliments her on this improved timing.
The trio next prepares to engage the reincarnated Kakuzu. Shikaku instructs them to leave Kakuzu to others and instead focus on Asuma, who had also been reincarnated. Chōji is reluctant to fight their late teacher, so Ino reminds him of Asuma's final words to all of them. They confront Asuma and he comments on how much they have grown before they start fighting. Despite Ino's attempts to encourage him, Chōji still has difficulty fighting Asuma. As Asuma is about to attack Chōji, Ino pushes him out of the way. She then uses the Mind Body Switch Technique on Chōji and spars with Asuma, all the while reminding Chōji of their duty. Chōji eventually pulls himself together and Ino returns to her body. As Chōji goes on the offensive, Ino uses her Mind Clone Switch Technique on two White Zetsu to use against Asuma. Asuma is defeated, and before being sealed he congratulates them on their perfect teamwork.
The battle continues into the night and Ino assists Chōji in defeating the rest of the reincarnated ninja. When the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path attacks she takes cover with her team. After that attack subsides, Ino is seen planning with the rest of her team and Tenten. The next morning, Ino and the rest of the shinobi present are seen standing in circles. This was a countermeasure against the White Zetsu Army clones that had invaded their ranks until Naruto could come and differentiate them. Ino asks Shikamaru if they couldn't simply ask each other personal questions but he says no as there was a possibility that the enemy could guess the answers. She then calls out and waves at Naruto when he arrives.
After being informed by her father at HQ that Naruto and B were fighting the "masked Madara", Ino and the rest of the Konoha 11 rush to his aid. As she runs, she thanks her father for relaying Naruto's feelings to everyone and promises that she'd make his foretelling of their victory a reality. Arriving just in the nick of time, Ino with Hinata's guidance was able to take control of Obito in time to veer the Ten-Tails' would-be fatal attack off course. Though she laments that he was able to break a perfect Mind Body Switch Technique in only a matter of seconds, Hiashi Hyūga told her she did a great job, having managed to shift the attack. She stood alongside the rest of the Allied Shinobi Forces to face their opposition. With their attempt to immobilise the Ten-Tails ended in failure, Ino listened on, crying, as Shikaku imparted what would be his final battle strategy via her father as a Tailed Beast Ball was sent hurtling towards HQ. After, Shikamaru reminded her that they were still in the midst of battle, and that they didn't have time to grieve. She later learns of Neji's death.
Naruto: Shippūden the Movie
Ino made a small cameo before Team 7 was being called up, she, Shikamaru, and Chōji were seen running through the streets.
Naruto Shippūden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire
Ino was first seen when they celebrated for Naruto and Sai's recovery and ate barbecue. Ino was seen again when Hiruko appeared on the sky and said he was starting the Fourth Shinobi World War. Later, Ino was sent with the rest of Konoha 11 to retrieve back Naruto and Sakura. Ino's team caught up with Naruto and Sakura, but Sai came and took the two with him to catch up with Kakashi. They were left behind to take down Hiruko 's henchmen, San. They used Ino–Shika–Chō combination and easily took down the enemy. Shikamaru had Ino tell San that they aren't here to fight but to bring back Naruto and the others, after Ino used Mind Body Switch Technique and told San, he refused and said that he understands but he can't just pass the information on, forcing Team 10 to fight him. He then summoned his two team-mates, Ichi and Ni, and used Chimera Technique, which made them turn into a beast, Team 10 was defeated quickly. The rest of Konoha 11 comes to back up Team 10 and while Tenten summoned out chains everyone grabs onto one and as Shikamaru was about to use a technique to bind the beast Ino urges Shikamaru to go on and that the rest of them can handle it. Ino is later seen at Hiruko's temple saving Sakura from a collapsing building while the other members of the Konoha 11 defeated the beast.
Naruto 5: Blood Prison
Ino appears along with the other members of the Konoha 11 to help save Naruto from prison and help defeat Satori.
Naruto 6: Road to Ninja
The alternate world's Ino, compared to the Ino that Naruto and Sakura know, is more timid, calm and modest with herself and shy with boys. She also isn't bossy with her team, trying to end things peacefully with them rather than lashing out at them like she usually does.
Ino Yamanaka is a playable character in the following video games:
Ino's moves typically include the use of genjutsu, flower-based attacks, and acrobatic physical attacks similar to the Musoh-Battoh-Ryu style of fighting.
- Ino is short for inoshishi (猪), meaning "boar", hence Sakura calling her Ino-pig-chan (いのブタちゃん, Ino-buta-chan). Yamanaka (山中) means "among the mountains". Wild boar are heavily associated with mountains in Japan, and are even called the whales of the mountains (山鯨, yamakujira), because of the amount of meat they produce.
- Her family owns a flower shop called Yamanaka Flowers, where she works part-time.
- Ino was ranked as the 29th most popular character in the seventh Naruto character popularity poll. She placed 14th in the fifth poll, 17th in the sixth poll and 23rd in the fourth poll. She finished 30th in the first poll.
- According to the first Naruto fanbook, Ino had the best overall grades in the Academy. She had the highest grade in assertiveness and the second-highest grade in ninjutsu, taijutsu, genjutsu, cooperation, and class attitude, being beat by Sasuke in ninjutsu, taijutsu and genjutsu.
- In the seventh Naruto Shippūden opening, Ino was shown fighting Konan with Hinata and Sakura, though in the manga, they did not fight her.
- According to the databook(s):
- Ino's hobby is shopping.
- Ino wishes for a rematch with Sakura.
- Ino's favourite foods are cherry tomatoes and pudding, while her least favourite is sashimi.
- Ino has completed 40 official missions in total: 23 D-rank, 9 C-rank, 6 B-rank, 2 A-rank, 0 S-rank.
- Ino's favourite phrase is "The many meanings of flowers" (花言葉の数々, Hanakotoba no kazukazu).
- (To Sakura, when she asks her why she gave her a ribbon) "Because… I thought it would be a waste for you to wither away as a bud. There's no meaning to a flower unless it blooms. It might turn out to be… a flower more beautiful than a Cosmos."
- (To Sakura) "Who're you calling "pig", you billboard brow?!"
- (To Sakura) "You've bloomed into a beautiful flower."
- (To Chōji about Asuma) "Listen, I know how you feel… the three of us, Team Ten… We went on a lot of missions with Asuma-sensei. Shikamaru and I don't want to fight him either. But it's because we know him so well that we can stop him with the least risk to the army. Don't you remember what those earrings are supposed to represent Chōji?"