What's your opinion on Ino? I like her because while she begins as a Sasuke fangirl, she actually has her priorities straight and she values her bonds with Sakura and Inoshikacho more than a romance. She also stands up to bullies and is basically the only character representing female friendship. She was an invaluable asset in the war too. Just the fact that romance is not her defining trait is important for me lol
She’s definitely not one of my favourite characters, however, I do like her. She’s indeed a Sasuke fangirl, having a crush on him like all other girls since childhood, but she never forced her feelings onto him and kind of moved on by Shippuden. She’s also a girl who values her (platonic) bonds a lot and a very good friend who stands up and protects her loved ones. How she standed up to Sakura and still cared about her even after she broke thieir friendship over a crush is truly endearing. On top of that, she’s a confident girl who does knows how beautiful and strong she is and isn’t ashamed of it, and a very capable and intelligent shinobi who graduated on top of her class, scoring even better than Sasuke. She’s clearly the leader of her team and after the war, becomes the leader of her clan and even give her surname to Sai. She was an invaluable asset in the war, just like you said, and was also emotioanlly strong, putting up with her sensei’s death but also fighting afer her father literally died while she was still hearing him.
However, I do have some complaints, though they’re more directed toward Kishi’s sexist writing than Ino.
1) As I stated above, she outscored Sasuke in the Academy. Yet it was never precised in canon.
2) The Ino vs Sakura fight was lame. I don’t need to further explain this, since everyone knows why.
3) She was the leader of her team, yet in Shippuden, the main focus is on Shikamaru. She became very secondary in her own team.
4) She was useless during the fight against Kakuzu. I do agree that Kakuzu is very powerful and sure wouldn’t lose to her (nor to Naruto but that’s another topic) but she could’ve been more involved in it.
5) We don’t see enough of her skills, outsidee her clan’s jutsus. Like, she was even better than Sasuke in taijutsu and ninjutsu, where did it go?
6) We don’t see enough of her, actually. One can argue it’s the same with Shino, Kiba and Chouji but Ino is Sakura’s, a main character, rival and ex-friend.
7) Speaking of which, their rivalty was never developped beyond the Chunin Exams. And Sakura stayed an ungrateful and selfish person toward her, even manipulating Sai in the intent of making him call her ugly.
8) Her “development” romance-wise got thrown to trash when Sasuke was shown in her Tsukuyomi dream.
However, overall, as a Naruto female character, she is indeed good. The tragedy is that we can’t expect much more from her because of Kishimoto’s sexism and his treamtment of female characters.