The Naruto franchise had so many potential ships that went unnoticed amidst its fantastic plots. Naruto is popular for so many things, but romance is not one of those. The anime displays many great potential ships, but not many found their happy endings. Fans have spent hours daydreaming about their favourite characters coupling up. Naruto’s Tenten was yet another character whose love life was quite a mystery. Who does Tenten end up with? I bet not many noticed how well crafted her development was. She depicted a strong persona but was overshadowed by the main trio. Tenten was an admirable woman, and I see the way Kishimoto wanted to shape her. The only thing that bothered Tenten fans was how little screen time she got.
Tenten was not weak, but her presence in the show was bare. She made little difference to the series’ plot and had a recurring impact on it. Kishimoto’s idea of her was empowering. She was probably made as a potentially strong character, but it seems that when extracting the bigger picture, the mangaka often forgot about her. It seems like a badly handled character at times and that a lot could be done with Tenten. She could have been a badass and a fan favourite if Tenten was given a good background story, a better screen time, and more exposure to development.
However, Tenten still remains quite well known, and fans will never stop being curious about her. Who does Tenten end up with? Here’s how we analysed the character’s love interest and romantic life.
Who is Tenten
Tenten was a part of the jōnin tutelage of Might Guy and was teamed up with Rock Lee and Neji Hyūga. She saw Tsunade as a role model since she was young and wanted to become a kunoichi like her. Tenten was an empowering female character who had the spirit of an inspiring feminist. She would often prove that women were just as strong as men and held several similar beliefs. She also disliked being weak or being depending on others, which often came off as both– a good and bad quality. However, she was only hard on herself mostly and had a rather kind and compassionate side to her as well. In battles, she was observative too.
In the anime, Tenten had dark brown hair complemented with dark brown eyes, but in the manga, she had grey eyes and black hair. When she was younger, she is illustrated wearing buns on her head, but when she grows older, her hair is braided.
Who does Tenten end up with?
The manga never paired Tenten officially with anyone. So to answer your question, Tenten does not end up with anyone. But, in Konoha Hidden, the answer is better phrased. According to it, Tenten was rather immersed in thoughts of fights and weapons. She would be thinking of shuriken or kunai or flying guillotines. With thoughts as such, she never looked for a boyfriend. As per Konoha Hidden, she had lived her life without romance or femininity.
Tenten is however shipped widely with only one character: Neji. Had Neji not died, it seems like Kishimoto would have paired them together. Perhaps because of their low screen time, the chemistry between them is not noticed much. But there have been breadcrumbs about this ship throughout the series.
Tenten and Neji
Tenten respected and admired Neji a lot. Being in the same team, the two spent a lot of time together. Even Nehi was often concerned about her and tried to protect her. When Neji died, Tenten is not seen reacting much, but then again, seeing her personality, the reaction fits.
From time to time, we see many warm moments between them. When Tenten reaches her limit, Neji is the first to notice and feels concerned. He comes to her aid and even confirms if she’s alright. The two are even seen gazing at each other’s eyes for a moment, that said quite a lot about how deep their bond was. Tenten was clearly saddened by Neji’s death. Her eyes are sad. Lee is crying but knowing Tenten, it is pretty obvious that she held back her emotions since they were in the middle of a war.
Later she asks Neji why she left her and cries as she says that she would never forgive him for leaving her. After his death, she also sees her under the enchantment of Infinite Tsukuyomi. In The Last, we are given a look at Neji’s diary where he writes about Tenten and how he helped her get rid of her depression.