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The One Thing That Held Hinata Back From Becoming An Heiress In Naruto

In "Naruto," Konoha is brimming with powerful and influential family clans. Yet one of the noblest and powerful is definitely the Hyuga clan. Their visual specialty is the kekkei genkai known as the Byakugan, an ocular ability that grants them the power to extend their field of vision, view a person's chakra system in their body, and even hit pressure points to stop the flow of chakra. Throughout the series, Hiashi Hyuga is the leader of this clan, but for a while, he had hoped that his daughter Hinata would become the future heiress, as it was her birthright as the eldest daughter.

Instead of Hinata becoming the heiress, the role instead fell to Hinata's younger sister, Hanabi. That might be surprising, as Hinata isn't exactly a slouch in the series when it comes to her abilities. In a losing effort against her cousin Neji during the Chunin Exams (via Crunchyroll), she shows off her skill with the Gentle Fist form of fighting that's exclusive to the clan (via Narutopedia). And from that point, as the series continues, Hinata manages to improve her skills greatly, mastering a number of impressive techniques that let her hold her own in intense battles and become a valuable asset to her teammates.

So what was it that kept Hinata from becoming the rightful Hyuga Heiress?

Hinata's gentle nature held her back from being Hyuga heiress

Hinata may have shown off how strong she truly is by pushing herself, but unfortunately, in the eyes of her father, her kind and gentle nature makes her far too weak to be named as the Hyuga Heiress. In "Naruto" Manga Chapter 78, Hiashi deems his elder daughter a failure who can't even measure up to her younger sister Hanabi. In the Naruto episode "The Adored Elder Sister," we get a little more insight about what led Hiashi to believe this as well as see Hinata's kindness work against her. During the episode (via Crunchyroll), the two sisters fight each other in a battle before Hiashi and the Hyuga Clan. Hinata actually reaches a crucial moment where she could have beaten her younger sister in the fight, but out of concern for her, she hesitates to deliver the deciding blow. Instead, Hanabi emerges as the victor, and Hiashi ultimately deems Hinata unfit to lead the clan.

From that point, it's an uphill battle for Hinata as she spends much of the series grappling with her diminished self-confidence. But following her Chunin battle with Neji in the flashback episode "Hanabi's Decision," Hinata reveals to her sister that she, like Naruto, is never giving up on becoming better. Not going back on her word is her Nindo way. This is how Hinata is able to grow throughout the series while still maintaining her kind nature despite no longer being the Hyuga Heiress.