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Neji’s 5 Greatest Strengths (& His 5 Worst Weaknesses)

Naruto has become a classic shonen anime over the years with many impressive ninja in its large cast of characters. Neji Hyuga was one of the strongest shinobi in the entire series and his own team, the Konoha 11. Like many other characters in the Naruto universe, he was a redeemed antagonist who gave his life for the virtues he learned.

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Despite being a prodigy of the illustrious Hyuga Clan, Neji has many weaknesses to counterbalance his strengths. Neji a powerful shinobi, but there are plenty of weaknesses alongside his strengths.

10 Strength: Neji’s Speed & Skill Are Superb

neji vs hinata naruto

Throughout his life, Neji has displayed fantastic speed and skill. His palm techniques allow him to land over a hundred consecutive strikes against opponents in a matter of seconds. This impressive fighting style made him one of the most deadly melee fighters in all of Konoha.

Considering how decisively he dominated Hinata in the Chunin Exams, it follows that his skill is exceptional even for a member of the Hyuga. This was particularly embarrassing for her father, as she suffered repeated brutal defeats against someone who was supposed to be inferior to her.

9 Weakness: Neji’s Durability Leaves Much To Be Desired

Naruto bursts through the ground and uppercuts Neji during Chunin Exam's third stage

Despite being an impressively strong physical fighter, Neji has displayed surprisingly low durability compared to his peers. Naruto defeated him in the Chunin Exams with a single uppercut, much to the shock of both the Sand and Leaf villages.

He didn’t fare much better in his fight against Kidomaru. Although he managed to defeat the villain, a single attack put him in critical condition and took him out of the retrieval mission completely. As talented as Neji might be at deflecting attacks, his ability to endure a beating leaves much to be desired.

8 Strength: As A Member Of Might Guy’s Team, Neji Is Well-Disciplined

5 rock lee might guy neji and tenten sitting on water

Might Guy selected only the most audacious and disciplined shinobi to be members of his team. The fact that Neji was chosen speaks to his commitment and resilience, especially since he outperformed the inexhaustible Rock Lee. He was even focused enough to defeat a perfect copy of himself just by trying harder.

Neji’s discipline was so great that he was given the responsibility to train Hinata throughout her harsh and difficult childhood. But despite Neji’s guidance and support, Naruto ultimately inspired her to thrive as a kunoichi much more than Neji ever did.

7 Weakness: Neji Relies Exclusively On Melee Attacks

Neji Using His Rotation

As formidable as Neji might be, his skillset is shockingly narrow. He can only perform well with melee attacks, a fact that Kidomaru exploited by repeatedly bombarding him with distance attacks. Neji would have lost if not for the spider threads attached to Kidomaru’s hardened spears.

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Neji’s low versatility can’t be ascribed to overreliance on Hyuga traditions, as even Hinata displayed more creativity than he did. She had the ability to channel chakra into her fists and unleash powerful attacks, suggesting that they may not be as mismatched in Shippuden as they were during the preliminary round of the Chunin Exams’ tournament.

6 Strength: Neji’s Byakugan Allows For Heightened Perception

5 neji hyuga using byakugan

The Byakugan is an ocular ability inherited by members of the Hyuga Clan and it’s considered one of the best bloodline limits in the Leaf village. The Byakugan allows Neji to provide valuable intel to his allies, such as where opponents might be and how powerful they are.

Like the Sharingan, the Byakugan also has great utility in combat. In addition to increasing Neji’s combat ability, it allows him to perceive the chakra flow of enemies. He can negate their attack by striking at their pressure points and cutting off their ability to use ninjutsu.

5 Weakness: The Byakugan Has A Blind Spot

Byakugan blind spot

Despite Byakugan’s many strengths, it does have some weaknesses. The Byakugan’s ocular range is wide but still has a significant limitation: it can’t protect Neji completely because the ability doesn’t have a full 360-degree view. There is a small window near the nape of his neck that he can’t account for.

This provides a vulnerability that many of Neji’s ranged opponents can exploit. By targeting the single place Neji can’t see, opponents can sunder his otherwise perfect defense against projectiles to strike a fatal blow. Kidomaru was the first to realize his opportunity and make use of it, but fortunately, Neji adapted before it was too late.

4 Strength: Neji’s Competitiveness Pushes Others To Reach Their Potential

Neji is fiercely competitive, sometimes going as far as to provoke his rivals so they’ll fight with all their strength. This was most clearly seen through his relationship with Rock Lee, who Neji inspired enough that Rock was determined to beat him.

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However, Lee wasn’t the only person he influenced. Both Naruto and Sasuke trained hard so that they would be able to surpass Neji as well. Hinata even used Neji as a benchmark in order to probe whether or not she was a ninja worthy of Naruto’s respect and adoration.

3 Weakness: Neji Fares Poorly Against Jinchuriki

Naruto vs Neji

At first, it seemed as if Neji would have no problem taking Naruto down. He had much greater technique and form, landing almost all of his punches rapidly and precisely. Each strike further cut off Naruto’s access to his chakra until he couldn’t use ninjutsu at all.

Instead of forfeiting the match, Naruto borrowed strength from Kurama in order to continue on and win. This provided Neji with a problem he had no possible solution for and underscores the reality that he does not perform well against Jinchuriki opponents. Given Gaara’s automated sand defenses, it’s unlikely he would have even touched him if they ever fought.

2 Strength: Neji’s Courage Never Fails

Despite his bluster about fate, Neji possesses the values essential to being a good shinobi. He is mission-oriented, serious, and even willing to sacrifice his life for the benefit of his people. This kind of dedication is hard to come by and made Neji stand out.

During the Fourth Shinobi War, he intercepted Gedo Statue’s attack so that Naruto and Hinata could live. With his final breaths, he proved that he had changed from the petty young boy he was in the Chunin Exam. Considering that Naruto would go on to save the world multiple times, Neji’s death was not in vain.

1 Weakness: Neji’s Shinobi Career Struggled After The Chunin Exams

Neji revealing his curse mark to Naruto

The Chunin Exams embodied a period of great personal change for Neji, who ended up being challenged in ways he never had been before. Naruto’s victory changed his entire worldview about what was possible and helped to stem his pompous disposition.

Unfortunately, his career as a shinobi took a steep decline ever since. His only notable solo battles were both against Kidomaru, first during the Sasuke retrieval mission and then again during the Fourth Shinobi War. Much like the other members of Konoha 11, Naruto’s life and ambition ended up overshadowing Neji’s own.

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