Tenten: The Strongest Ninja

Tenten: The Strongest Ninja

Introduction

The other day while browsing Quora for content ideas, I came across a question asking if the character Tenten from Naruto has the capability to be the strongest ninja ever. Now, this may come as a surprise, but no, Tenten could never become the strongest ninja.

I understand that the question was probably just asked as a joke, but I really feel like we need to have a discussion about the most useless “major” character in the series.

However, before I break down why Tenten is useless let’s just take a moment to look at the names of the 12 main Leaf Village ninja, also known as the “Konoha 11 and Sasuke.”

These 12 characters are Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, Sasuke Uchiha, Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka, Choji Akimichi, Shino Aburame, Hinata Hyuga, Kiba Inuzuka, Rock Lee, Neji Hyuga, and Tenten. Notice how Tenten is the only one without a family name? That’s just proof she’s not important.

Now, sure, you might argue that Rock Lee is his first name and he doesn’t have a given name. However, take into consideration that his son is named Metal Lee, implying that Lee is the family name. This would cement Tenten’s place as the only one without a family name.


Why Tenten Is Useless

Before we can understand why Tenten is useless and unable to be the strongest ninja ever, we have to look at what makes Tenten stand out from the rest of the pack. There are many Shinobi who have their own special jutsu, or at least a special clan jutsu, and in theory, Tenten is no exception.

Tenten is a weapons specialist, and as such her special jutsu involves summoning weapons by using summoning scrolls. She’s able to summon hundreds or even thousands of weapons at a time, and also appears to collect rare weapons.

Seems like a pretty useful jutsu to have. By using that, she could theoretically store and use all of the seven swords of the Mist or various other legendary weapons which may be an argument for her having the potential to be the strongest ninja.

However, to counter this we can use the example of one of the seven swords of the Mist, Samehada. Even if Tenten were able to summon this weapon using her jutsu, and despite her being a weapons specialist, she would be unable to wield Samehada because it requires an immense amount of chakra.

Remember, Killer B has tailed beast chakra, and Kisame has the most chakra of anyone except jinchuriki which is why they can use the sword. So, by this logic, there are weapons that are too powerful for Tenten to use even if she could summon them.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “but does Tenten really need legendary weapons if she can just summon a thousand weapons at a time anyway?” Good point, dear reader, but there’s one major flaw with that argument which is the primary reason why Tenten could never be the strongest.

Anyone can summon weapons.

You see, unlike an animal summoning jutsu which requires a pact with whatever species is being summoned, there is no way to get consent from inanimate objects. Therefore, you don’t need to be recognized by whatever you’re summoning as strong enough and worthy of forming a pact.

This means that anyone who knows the summoning jutsu, regardless of if they have a summoning pact or not, is able to summon weapons. But how do we know other people can summon weapons? Sasuke summons weapons.

During some of his fights in Shippuden, Sasuke summons weapons by using seals he drew on his forearm bandages. Sasuke does have multiple summoning pacts, specifically with Aoda and Garuda, but since Tenten has no summon animals, this doesn’t appear to matter for weapons as I mentioned previously.

Okay, but we only see Sasuke summon around two weapons at a time compared to Tenten’s hundreds or thousands, so how do we explain that? Think of this as more of a tactical decision on Sasuke’s part rather than an inability to summon greater numbers.

Tenten uses scrolls to store and summon her weapons; a lot of scrolls; sometimes very large scrolls. Sasuke, on the other hand, only uses two seals drawn on his forearms. Obviously Sasuke, or anyone else, can use scrolls too, but they don’t because they don’t need all those weapons to fight.

Why carry around a bunch of scrolls when you could just use some other jutsu that doesn’t weigh you down and take up space?

Let’s use Tenten’s teammate Neji as our next example. Neji was killed, so therefore he wasn’t the strongest ninja ever. However, Neji was stronger than Tenten so by this logic, Tenten cannot be the strongest ninja.

Neji has the Byakugan which he uses to fight. The Byakugan and summoning weapons via scrolls are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, Neji could use Tenten’s summoning scrolls and immediately be a stronger ninja because he has both the scrolls and his Byakugan.

Tenten, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have a real affinity for any other type of jutsu so she’s essentially already maxed out her strength.

The character Tenten from the anime Naruto: Shippuden
Tenten

Conclusion

If somehow you still think that Tenten is capable of becoming the strongest ninja ever, let me end with one final piece of evidence. Tenten is essentially useless throughout the whole series. So useless, in fact, that mini filler arcs were written in specifically to give her some time to shine.

These arcs tended to follow her team doing some mission when, oh no! There’s a rope that needs to be cut, but nobody has a kunai on them. Whatever will they do? Don’t worry, Tenten can summon one so we can cut the rope! Wow, I’m so glad Tenten was here!

So, in conclusion, Tenten is not capable of becoming the strongest ninja ever

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