The death of Neji Hyuga has left its mark as one of the saddest deaths in Naruto history. It was shocking and sudden, and devastated fans immediately. Neji is a character that fans were able to see develop as a person and a talented shinobi. Neji was introduced as an arrogant bully. Soon, it was revealed that Neji had a complicated past filled with pain and resentment.

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As Neji grew, he learned to let go of his hurt and anger. He became one of the most respected and well-liked shinobi in Konoha. Neji transformed into a kindhearted person and developed incredible strength as a ninja. Keeping this in mind, fans wondered why a character with this much potential was killed. This made his death extremely hard to accept.

10 Hinata Placed Herself In A Vulnerable Position & Made No Attempt To Use Her Dojutsu To Protect Naruto

Hinata Protecting Naruto From Ten Tails Attack

Hinata Hyuga is known for her shy personality and lack of self-confidence. As a member of the Hyuga Clan, Hinata inherited the Byakugan. Hinata was seen as a weak kunoichi that couldn't take full advantage of her Kekkei Genkai. During The Fourth Great Ninja War, Hinata fought well on the battlefield, she used her Byakugan with precision and demonstrated that she had mastered taijutsu.

With all of the skills Hinata possesses, it's unusual that she didn't use any of them to try to protect Naruto. This left her open to attack and caused Neji to use his body as a human shield to protect her and Naruto. In the heat of battle it's important to use your skills to the best of your ability. If Hinata had thought of a way to use her Kekkei Genkai to protect herself, Neji wouldn't have had to sacrifice himself.

9 As a Jonin, Neji Was Put On Track To Have An Impressive & Bright Future

Neji was an exceptional shinobi that set himself apart from his class by moving up the ninja ranks faster than the rest of his peers. Neji needed to retake the Chunin Exams as a result of losing to Naruto Uzumaki. At the start of Naruto Shippuden, it was revealed that Neji not only retook the Chunin Exams and passed, but was immediately promoted to Jonin, skipping the Chunin level.

At 15 years old, Neji was the youngest shinobi of his generation to become a Jonin. It was made apparent that Neji excelled past his peers. To show Neji's potential, and excite fans with his accelerated move up the ninja ranks only to have him die so early in his career was pointless.

8 Neji Was Intelligent With A Strong Kekkei Genkai & Didn't Attempt To Use His Intellect Or Dojutsu

Neji Using His Rotation

For most of the war, Neji managed to fight without being seriously injured. When the Ten-Tails prepared to launch another attack, another Hyuga member observed that Neji and Hinata's Air Palm Technique wouldn't be sufficient. At that moment, Hinata, Neji, and the other clan member could've put their techniques together in order to ward off the attack.

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Neji is constantly being referred to as a skilled genius, he's even conquered his blind spot giving him 360 vision. While it was noble and brave of Neji to sacrifice his life to save Hinata and Naruto, it was disappointing to see him abandon the abilities that made him such a strong Ninja, especially when fans have seen the rest of the main characters use everything they could to deflect the same attacks.

7 The Elders Of The Hyuga Clan Survived The War

Hyuga Sheild Fourth Ninja War

The Hyuga Clan was developed as a hierarchy, maintaining a Main and Branch family, so it was nice to see all members of the Hyuga Clan fight together as equals. Hinata and Neji began to redefine the positions held by members of the Hyuga Clan.

Being that it was the elders before the current generation at the time of the Fourth Great Ninja War that created the tension and resentments within their clan, it would've made more sense for one of the older members of the clan to sacrifice themselves for Neji and Hinata. It could've been a heartwarming sentiment that symbolized a new start for the clan.

6 He Mended His Relationship With Hinata Only For Their Time Together To Be Cut Short

Neji and Hinata had a rocky relationship initially. After the death of his father, Neji harbored a lot of rage towards Hinata and his entire clan. The depth of his animosity came to head during the Chunin Exams.

Neji was matched with Hinata and didn’t hold back when attacking her. After Neji let go of his anger, he was able to develop a close relationship with Hinata. She even referred to him as her brother. His death shortened their time together and didn’t allow their bond as siblings to grow.

5 His Death Forced Naruto To Go Back On His Word

Naruto Holding Naruto

Naruto is extremely passionate about his friendships and the people he cares about. Fighting for the people he loves, and never giving up on them, is a major part of who he is. The best illustrations of his devotion to his friends were his fight to rescue Gaara from the Akatsuki and his dedication to bringing Sasuke Uchiha home.

Naruto always succeeded in rescuing his friends. He even played a vital role in bringing Garaa back to life. Naruto proclaimed "I'll never let my comrades die," Neji was the first and only friend fans knew and were familiar with that Naruto wasn’t able to protect.

4 The Fourth Shinobi World War Had Already Claimed Many Lives

Shikaku & Inoichi Death

The Fourth Great Ninja War created a lot of devastation. There were innumerable casualties, and the Allied Shinobi Forces found themselves overwhelmed by the enemy in several instances. As they fought, fans watched notable characters sacrifice themselves for their comrades.

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Right before Neji's death, the Ten-Tails unleashed a Tailed Beast Ball that killed Shikaku Nara, and Inoichi Yamanaka along with everyone else at headquarters. It was extremely disheartening to watch kind characters humbly accept their deaths. With fans still coming to terms with these personal losses, Neji's death felt unwarranted.

3 He’s The Only One From The Konoha 11 To Die

Though the Allied Shinobi Forced lost many brave ninja, no one from Naruto’s class was killed. All of the characters that fans have gotten to know survived, until Neji was killed.

There was a comfort in knowing that in the midst of all of the chaos, fan favorites fought harder than they ever had. They showcased the evolution of their skills and displayed how they've grown into their own as shinobi. Neji's death was extremely shocking as no one else from the Konoha 11 died.

2 He Was Never Able To Change The Hyuga Clan

Naruto Hiashi Hyuga Clan

When Hiashi Hyuga approached Neji after he lost his match at the Chunin Exams, he sincerely apologized and gave Neji a letter his father had written. At this moment Neji let go of his hatred of the main family and made a pledge to become stronger.

Knowing what it was like to bear the curse mark and be a part of the branch family, Neji wanted to change his clan's family dynamic. Neji not only didn’t get the opportunity to change the unethical laws of his clan, but he died as a branch family member protecting the main family, just as his father did.

1 Naruto Learned How To Use His Chakra Exchange A Few Moments After Neji's Death

Naruto Shares His Nine Tails Chakra

It was stated by Neji that Naruto’s power was key to their plan. While there were many strong shinobi like Hatake Kakashi, Might Guy, Gaara, Rock Lee, and The Five Kage already fighting, Naruto's arrival on the battlefield gave the Allied Shinobi Forces a huge advantage. When Neji sacrificed himself, Naruto was heartbroken.

While Obito taunted Naruto, Hinata and Kurama encouraged him, prompting him to transform and transfer the Nine-Tails chakra to everyone on the battlefield. This moment was bittersweet, while it was exciting to see Naruto unlock this incredible power, it was disheartening to think that if Naruto had discovered this just a few moments earlier, Neji would still be alive.

NEXT: Naruto: 10 Giveaways Obito Was Madara All Along

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