|“||There is no meaning to a flower unless it blooms.||„|
|~ Ino to Sakura.|
|“||It's not a matter of can or can't, I'm doing it!||„|
|~ Ino to Shikamaru.|
Ino Yamanaka (山中いの, Yamanaka Ino) is one of the main supporting characters of the Naruto series and the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime/manga series. She is a Jōnin-level kunoichi of Konohagakure's Yamanaka clan and a member of Team Asuma, as well as a close comrade of Naruto Uzumaki. She eventually marries Sai and together has a son named Inojin Yamanaka.
She is voiced by Ryoka Yuzuki in the Japanese version of the anime, and Colleen Villard in the English version of the anime.
Ino has fair skin, blue eyes (sometimes seen as green in the manga), and long platinum blonde hair worn in a ponytail, with bangs framing the right side of her face. Her hair is seen in different lengths: in Part I, her ponytail extends to her waist, but it is later cut and grows to shoulder-length; in Part II, the bangs grow to cover half of her face, her ponytail becomes waist-length, and she sports a red clip on the left; in the The Last: Naruto the Movie, her hair is hung loosely and extends to her calves; as an adult, her hairstyle returns to its shape in Part II, but her ponytail reaches her upper-back and sports a black clip. In Part II, Sai mentions that Ino is very beautiful.
Ino regularly wears a purple outfit consisting of a high-collared blouse and matching apron skirt. In Part I, she sports this attire with bandages on her abdomen and legs, small hoop-earrings, her forehead protector worn as a belt, and for a time, white arm warmers. In Part II, Ino's outfit is slightly more revealing as she discards her forehead protector and bandages while exposing her midriff and wears mesh armour on her thighs, elbows and knees. She also replaces her hoop earrings with studs, a gift from Asuma Sarutobi. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Ino dons the standard Konoha infantry flak jacket and assorted clothing. In The Last: Naruto the Movie, she wears a longer skirt that reaches her ankles, high-heeled sandals and pink lipstick.
As an adult, Ino wears her purple outfit again exposing her midriff with one mesh warmer on her left arm and open-toed sandals. She also dons the standard Konoha uniform while on missions.
From her childhood, Ino has been confident, friendly, bold, and outspoken, sometimes lashing out at others if their personal habits bother her. She is generally more motivated than her team-mates Shikamaru Nara and Chōji Akimichi and tends to take charge of them. Shikamaru, despite finding most girls "troublesome", typically offers no resistance to Ino's forceful behavior, being unwilling to deal with her reaction if things don't happen her way. She is also prideful in her appearance and often tries to lose weight by dieting in the hopes that it will make her more attractive to boys; she even jokingly suggests that Chōji should do the same to attract girls. Ino is quite knowledgeable about different types and meanings of flowers, sometimes making analogies to them when talking.
Despite her assertiveness, Ino is a compassionate and kind person at heart, having been raised to embody the meaning of the bush clover: a blunt, candid love who treasures the bonds with her friends. It is these qualities that earned Sakura Haruno's friendship, defending Sakura from bullies who teased her and helping her become confident. Their warm friendship developed into a bitter rivalry over the following years, fueled by competition of Sasuke's affections, ninjutsu and even trading insults, with Ino as "Ino-pig" (いのぶた, Ino-buta) and Sakura as "Forehead Girl" (デコリーン, Dekorīn, English TV: Bilboard Brow). After the Chūnin Exams, Ino becomes impressed by Sakura's growth and they rekindle their friendship, while maintaining their rivalry on more amiable terms. She cares greatly for her team-mates as well, being relieved that they survived after the failed Sasuke Recovery Mission, promising her sensei Asuma Sarutobi to look after them after he dies, and during the Fourth Shinobi World War, encouraging them to stay strong in the face of danger. By the time of his death, Inoichi believed that Ino had truly blossomed to embody the title of purple bush clover of the Yamanaka Clan's crest, and is proud of her bonds with her friends.
Ino had the same infatuation on Sasuke that most other girls in their Academy class had, due to his good looks and cool personality. Even after Sasuke's defection from Konoha, Ino largely retained her feelings for him in Part II: she cried when he was declared an international criminal, and pictured him as the "love" the bush clover symbolises during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Ino meets Sai in Part II, who not only replaces Sasuke on Team 7, but also strongly resembles him in appearance. For this reason, Ino becomes immediately smitten with him, flirting with him when first introduced and blushing when Sai called her beautiful. Although her Infinite Tsukuyomi dream reveals she likes the idea of Sasuke and Sai fighting over her, Ino's affections ultimately shift toward Sai, showing a deeper desire to know more about him as she risks her life to save him in Shikamaru Hiden. Sai reciprocates Ino's feelings and the two marry years later, having a son, Inojin. As a mother, Ino's personality is relatively the same, but she has greater respect for her clan and its traditions, insisting they be passed down to the next generation to form a new Ino–Shika–Chō. Despite being a mother and Botanist, she still continues her shinobi career which proves she is hardworking and enthusiastic.
Ino is the only child of Inoichi Yamanaka and was a popular kid during her time in academy. While in academy, she met Sakura Haruno, a girl who was severely bullied for having a rather large forehead. Ino protected Sakura from the bullies and motivated her, gifting her a red ribbon which she could use to tie her hair up, exposing the forehead rather than hiding it by covering with hair. Ino's support and guidance through out the time helped Sakura to build her identity and confidence, and they both eventually became best friends. However, their sweet friendship was ruined by Sakura when she found out she had crush on the same boy, Sasuke Uchiha as Ino. From that moment Sakura declared Ino as her rival and returned back the ribbon to Ino. Since then they hated each other and traded with nicknames. However, they rekindled their friendship during the events of first chunin exams, but kept a competitive attitude towards each other, until later they again became best friends.
Ino is an extremely skilled and capable kunoichi, having being made to the leader of Konoha Barrier Team of Sensory Division, as well as the Head of the Yamanaka Clan. The anime also shows that she is a part of Konoha Torture and Interrogation Force. She is the strongest Sensor-type shinobi, as well as a highly professional Medical Ninja. Even as a genin, Ino was noted to be an exceptional kunoichi among the rookie females by Asuma, and by her father's admission, she had the potential to become the strongest prodigy of their respective clan since a young age.
By Fourth Shinobi World War, Ino possessed Earth, Water, Fire, Yin and Yang release chakra natures, and with Earth release chakra nature, she could erect a defensive mud wall to protect against attacks.
Yamanaka Clan Techniques
Ino inherits ninjutsus from her clan. Her signature technique is the Mind Body Switch Technique, a technique which allows her to possess a body and take control over their actions and abilities. She also developed a wider variation of this technique, called The Mind Clone Switch Technique, which can be used to possess bodies of more than one opponent at a time. She also uses the Mind Body Transmission Technique, by which she can connect minds of several people via a telepathic link in order to communicate telepathically. Ino was able to connect the entire shinobi alliance in war, and by Naruto the Last movie, her telepathic range extended over the distance of the Five Great Shinobi Nations. The anime also shows that she can perform Mind Body Disturbance Technique, a technique which alters the opponent's mind and reflex actions as per the user's wish, which can be used to force a group of enemies to attack each other. Ino is currently the strongest wielder of all Yamanaka Clan hijutsus, therefore being the Head and the strongest member of the Yamanaka Clan.
Like most of the Yamanaka Clan members, Ino is a Sensory Ninja. She has a great sensory perception, able to sense the interior of chakras, detect the changes in chakra flow and identify any odd type of chakra. She can also lock on her target, and combine her sensory perception with her telepathy to transfer what she senses to her allies. In later years, she became instinctively able to sense from far away distances without even first moulding her chakra. She is regarded as the strongest Sensor-type Shinobi in the village, and was ultimately made to the Leader of the Sensory Divison of the village.
Mind Reading Technique
By the Era of Seventh Hokage, Ino is able to probe into people's mind for memory analysis and mind reading for interrogation, just like her father. She is able to visualise memories and extract information from it. Ino seems to be quite skilled with this technique, as Naruto had Ino chosen to read the minds of the Chūnin Gate Guards in Mitsuki Disappearance Arc, which also confirms that Ino is a member of Konoha Torture and Interrogation Force. Unlike her father's technique, a purple aura appeares around Ino's palm while performing her Mind Reading Technique, which indicates that the technique she uses differs from the normal mind reading technique - Psycho Mind Transmission. In addition, Ino is able to remove booby-traps laid on people's memory in an attempt to avoid interrogation, by directly entering into their minds using Mind Body Switch Technique.
Apart from her clan abilities, sensory skills, and mind reading techniques, Ino is also a professional Medical Ninja. She learned Medical Ninjutsu from the Fifth Hokage as a kid, and was noted to have mastered it by part two. She is skilled enough to heal fatal wounds, perform surgeries and tell the severity of attacks by just glancing. Ino is also a proficient poison user, able to create her own poisons using her vast knowledge on plants and herbs as a botanist, and even other strong Medical Ninjas had difficulty countering her poisons with antidotes. After the war, Ino and Sakura opened a Clinic within the Konoha Hospital to treat and assess childrens' mental health, and as an adult, Ino was shown working in Medical Department to treat the wounded.
Physical Powress and Chakra
Ino has an excellent taijutsu, strong enough to handle against Reincarnated Asuma, who was one of the most proficient Taijutsu user in Konoha'a history. As a kid, she also fought ten minutes of non-stop Taijutsu against Sakura in the Chunin Exams without tiring out. Later in the series, she became able to defeat multiple number of opponents in the front line with her Taijutsu along with Sai. She also has an amazing strength and speed, which was proved when in war, she was able to carry away Choji, with enlarged arms, before Asuma's Dust Cloud Technique could touch him. This also led Shikamaru to praise her for the awesome reaction time. She could also punch really hard like the rest of Medical Ninjas which make her opponents go flying.
Ino has a suprisingly high chakra reserve, as she could transfer her chakra to unconscious Shikamaru and Choji to keep the chakra flowing in their bodies for more than half of a day to keep them alive, and was able to connect an entire alliance of Shinobis with a telepathic link without passing out from chakra exhaustion in war. She also demonstrated an excellent skill of Chakra shape manipulation while still as a kid, she made chakra from her own hair into a shape of two ropes to bind her target. Moreover she has an excellent chakra control, having being made to a medical ninja and chosen to seal the Three Tails.
Ino is very intelligent as she mainly depends on strategies and tactics in battles due to her skillset being oriented for tactical purposes rather than destructive purposes. She also graduated top from her graduating class in the academy, and easily trapped Sakura using her smart tactic in the first chunin exam. Also, she was the only one to figure out that Pain's body must be close to or inside the village for his technique to work during Pain's Assault, and would later work in the Konoha Torture and Interrogation force which is a part of Konoha Intelligence Division.
Creation and Concept
Ino Yamanaka was created to be the life-long rival at the same time best friend of the main female heroine of the series, Sakura Haruno. Ino is the main protagonist from the Yamanaka Clan and she is also one of the three ninjas that make up Team 10, also known as the Sixteenth generation of the Legendary Ino-Shika-Cho Trio. Ino represents the "Ino" part of the trio.
Masashi Kishimoto made Ino Yamanaka's character concept such that of the Thunberg's Bushclover, a special flower which was named after a Swedish Botanist, Carl Peter Thunberg. In Japan, the Thunberg's Purple Bushclover is famous for it's beauty and the bright purple colour, and the flower can become an invasive species, taking over space of other plants, which sounds just like Ino and her jutsu. Moreover, the plant is known to produce blooms of the flower in Falls, which happens to land just after Ino's birthday on September 23. In addition, the primary colour of Ino's costume has remained purple throughout the series and she has recieved the title of the Purple Bushclover by her father and the title of Mrs. Beauty by Sai. Further evidence, her family owns a flowershop in the village where she works part time as a botanist when she is not on ninja missions.
- She share same English Voice Actress with Konohamaru Sarutobi until Naruto: The Last Movie and Chōchō Akimichi.
- Ino is a very popular character, having being ranked in the Top 30 in all Seven Naruto Popularity Polls. Her highest rank is 14th, and lowest rank is 28th.
- Ino wishes to a re-match with Sakura Haruno.
- Her English voice actress, Colleen Villard is best known voicing as Sora Takenouchi from Digimon Adventure series, Yoshino Fujieda from Digimon Data Squad, Angie Hinomoto from Digimon Fusion, Wasp in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Tails from Sonic Boom, Jazz Fenton from Danny Phantom.