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This Is The Weakest Ino-Shika-Cho Member In Naruto

"Naruto" might be the tale of a mystical ninja eventually rising above evil to realize his destiny of becoming the head of his village, and yet, the hit Shonen series from Masashi Kishimoto doesn't just feature a hero having a decisive solo run to the top. Our titular hero often relies on other shinobi comrades to handle dangerous threats like the slithering Orochimaru, or the shadowy Akatsuki. Beginning with the Chunin Exam Arc, "Naruto" introduces us to many of its young ninja groups besides the Team 7 unit of Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke. And while many of them stand out in terms of abilities, there is no better example of team synergy than the formation of Ino-Shika-Cho.

Led by Asuma, the Team 10 edition of this group consists of Ino Yamanaka, Shikamaru Nara, and Choji Akimichi. However, the trio forming under Asuma continues the tradition of the Yamanaka, Nara, and Akimichi families working together for multiple generations. Throughout the series, we see how Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji's abilities perfectly compliment each other and how few opponents can stand against them as a team. But individually, it might be a different scenario. While two members of Ino-Shika-Cho could confidently hold their own in any of the anime's most destructive battles, one group member might be considered too weak on their own.

Ino's abilities aren't the best for combat

Ino is a prodigy of the Yamanaka Clan and, by "Shippuden," even becomes an adept medical ninja. But compared to her partners, Shikamaru and Choji, in "Naruto," she might not be considered the strongest of the three. And really, it's because her clan's abilities aren't the best suited for head-on combat. Ino's primary skill is the Mind Body Switch Technique, which allows her to possess another person (via Narutopedia). But the trade-off is that the possession leaves her body in a completely vulnerable state. As seen in the pages of Naruto Manga Chapter 534 (via Viz), Ino can evolve her family technique to take over multiple targets, but doing so causes her body to slump onto Shikamaru's back unconsciously.

Her other team members don't have to deal with such a huge setback. In fact, Shikamaru and Choji have shown off their impressive prowess in fights compared to Ino. With the ability to grow his body immensely in size, Choji could probably bat away enemies with a giant fist like a swatter to flies. And sure, Shikamaru's shadow manipulation isn't too threatening on its own. Fortunately, his strategic mind makes any battle scenario seem like a simple game of Shoji. Any enemy thinking Shikamaru is easy prey should ask the buried head of Hidan before picking a fight. Basically, Ino needs her teammates to win a colossal brawl, but don't think for a moment that diminishes her usefulness.

Team 10 would be nothing without Ino

Clearly, the Yamanaka, Nara, and Akimichi clans believe in the adage that if it's not broken, then don't try to fix it. And when we look at the combined abilities of Team 10, it's easy to see why. For all their mastery in a physical fight, as a group, Shikamaru and Choji would be nothing without Ino. In terms of abilities, her Mind Body Switch Technique is the most effective with theirs, and we get a chance to see this during Manga Chapter 616 as they deal with Obito. While Choji uses his enlarged body to block an attack from one of the tailed beasts, Ino uses Mind Body Switch to possess Obito and throw off one of his attacks momentarily. Meanwhile, Shikamaru uses shadow manipulation to hold off another potential tailed-beast thrashing. Yet, this chapter also highlights another invaluable trait that Ino gives her teammates.

Remembering her father's final words, he remarks that he's most proud of Ino's compassion for her friends. The moment highlights that Ino's heart is the glue that keeps Ino-Shika-Cho thriving. In that regard, she truly shines during the team's fight against a resurrected Asuma. There are quite a few times where she has to save Choji from a few of Asuma's attacks, as he's too shaken to face off against his mentor. Ino uses the Mind Body Switch Technique on Choji and tells him that he needs to pull himself together, but she understands his reservation. Her words, along with those of Shikamaru, eventually break through, and Choji reaches a new peak in power. Without her actions, things could have looked grisly for Team 10.