However, even though this cold yet aggressive arrogance was one of the things that turned me away from Neji?s character originally, once I understood his need for it and saw the parallel between the assumed personality and the cloth Neji wears to hide the curse seal, I began to feel some measure of affection for his posturing.

Neji?s thin shield of arrogance struggles to cover up the sensitive young man, as he searches for meaning in anger and the bemoaning of fate. While, that thin cloth wrapping struggles to cover up a tattooed stigma which can be seen by all of those whom Neji wants most to hide from, his family.

An activated Byakugan sees through the cloth. A good heart sees through the posturing. And, there?s nowhere to run.

So, if he couldn?t flee, it only makes sense that Neji fought back in the only way that he knew how. After realizing this, it was even harder not to love that blasted Hyuuga Neji.




:::Untouchable:::

Neji?s name means ?spiral? or ?helix?, and it is likely a reference to his Kaiten, Heavenly Spin technique. The ultimate defensive/offensive move that leaves one untouched by an opponent?s attacks while simultaneously causing one?s foe harm. This single idea structures most of Neji?s personality before the third chuunin exam, and it?s one that I find terribly intriguing.

I have already discussed Neji?s defensive measures, his attitude that shields him and, at times, wounds others. But, what interests me is his need to protect himself, emotionally and psychologically.

As other have mentioned before, Neji is exceedingly sensitive and, if not vain, the boy is extremely self-centered. In that, he?s concerned with himself and how others perceive him and his role in society. For example, during the Rescue Sasuke Arc, the reason he gives Kidomaru for his strength and the fact that he (Neji) will win is due to the belief that others have in his ability.

Also, Neji?s sensitive, in the sense, that he is acutely aware of the feelings/abilities of others and while using psychological tactics to his advantage, never seems to intentionally hurt anyone physically, if he can help it. For instance, although his taunting of Hinata was primarily a strategic move, Neji was also creating a way for her not to have to fight him. Even though his anger should have swept him away, Neji?s concern for the frailty of others kept him stable (until...you know >.<).

In addition, when he first met Uchiha Sasuke, despite being obviously affronted by the boy?s behavior and Lee already having broken their ?cover? by stopping a potential fight, Neji didn?t retaliate against Sasuke?s rudeness. And, when the opportunity to challenge the other boy came up(in the Forest of Death), Neji did nothing. Or, when he fights Naruto, Neji repeatedly warns him of the physical risk he will be taking. He even alerts Genma to the fact that will be attacking Naruto with killing intent, and Neji remarks that if Genma is planning to stop the match, now would be a good time.

Even the way he uses his technique, often opting for the more difficult, 2-3 fingered, tenketsu closing rather than a swift, full palm, chakra-filled thrust to the heart, shows Neji?s...kindness, I suppose. Honorable nature, perhaps? Something that we see even more fully after Neji?s fight with Naruto in his willingness to sacrifice himself to help the blonde save Sasuke from the darkness.

Not to mention the fact that Neji doesn?t do it with any concern for his own motives, he doesn?t ever give some valiant reason for why he is willing to sacrifice himself, only for why he can win.

For some reason, this makes me wonder if the Hyuuga isn?t more like his uncle than he is like his father.

Regardless, it is yet another reason that I find the young man to be so fascinating.



:::He Dances:::

I find Neji?s fighting style and character design to be one of the most captivating in the entire Narutoverse. There?s a delicacy, an intentional elegance that?s charming, when Neji isn?t being an ass <3, and still aesthetically beautiful, when he is. The fact that Jyuuken is adapted from a real style of fighting (about 90% combination of the Pa qua and Hsing-I martial art styles, which can?t kill with a single blow to the heart but find it possible with five) adds to my appreciation, as well.

One effect of this is that I end up drawing Neji more than nearly any other character, and I have a certain fondness for sketching him in motion. Another is that it makes his social cluelessness and moments of human emotion/error even more amusing. And, unsurprisingly, most of these times involve those people who are likely both the bane of Neji?s existence and the secret loves of his life ^^.

Team Gai.

Spoiler: It?s canon


It?s a sobering thought to consider the fact that up until Neji starts training with Hiashi, he?s pretty much learning how to interact in social situations from the example of his deceased father and his genin team.

o__o

All of his dysfunctionality makes so much sense now...!

Of course, Neji?s interactions with Team Gai also demonstrated his ability to rely on others, provide support, cooperate, and learn from the examples he?s given, both in fighting and life.

But, Team Gai crack is what I am really addicted to...

Spoiler: Here be the crack


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And, so those are a few of the many, many, MANY reasons that I adore Hyuuga Neji. Probably repeating whatever everyone else has said and filled with more run-on sentences than insight. But, considering that it would probably take me a short novel to fully explain Neji's character and why I like him...It wasn't too awful.

Now to fanon...

Spoiler: Neji Fanfiction


"Farsighted": Set at the end of ch. 238. How some members of the Hyuuga clan handle changing traditions, both in themselves and in the family. One of my favorite Hyuuga fics by one of my favorite ff.net writers. Definitely worth the read. Oneshot.

"One of the Family": Neji may be related to them by blood, but there are so many other ways he isn't a Hyuuga that that one way almost doesn't matter. He has to earn his family name. Short but good oneshot. Well-written.

"Forgiveness": Hiashi knows that it is possible for Neji to forgive the Main Family, and he intends to be there the day that he does. Interesting look into the progression of Neji's hatred. Recommended. Oneshot.

"Oracle": When an injury leaves Neji without his sight, the Hyuuga prodigy must decide for himself what fate he really bears. [Chapter Six: Regression]One of the best characterizations of Neji I've read. Nice study.

"The Rake": Neji's got an ultimate defense, except when inanimate objects attack. It's as good as it sounds. XP

"Me Time":
Even Neji has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. More crack...it never gets old. >.<


Spoiler: Neji Fanart
No more images allowed on this post, but if you would like to look at more than here's a link to the album: http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x290/halfhearted_nf/Neji/?start=all