Naruto Shippuden episode 495 was a really important day for all true TenTen fans (not counting those who only like their OOC versions of her), those who, no matter what they ship, respect her growth as a character and praise Kishimoto and the novelists for turning her into a strong independent kunoichi with 0 interest in romance we had in Boruto the movie and Konoha Shinden.
Konoha Hiden was the novel that explained TenTen’s deep character to those who didn’t pay attention through the manga or that had doubts about her motives behind certain decisions and life choices. It showed how girls in the Naruverse can choose a different path out of the usual one (becoming wives and mothers) because of their own will or preferences. TenTen was the example of a woman who didn’t need a man to feel complete.
Yet, Studio Pierrot spits this piece of crap on our faces:
And that’s it! No further explanation or character development. The whole thing just dies with TenTen making an “oh crap” funny face. Here you have yet another Naruto girl obsessed with marriage and love, daydreaming with hearts all around her until she suddenly realizes she has no boyfriend, so she can’t get married a live happily ever after.
Wait a second, I need to puke… I’m allergic to japanese single-woman shame.
For those who didn’t read the novels, maybe you didn’t notice but SP dared to change the context of TenTen’s lines from the novel. Here is the original script:
“Marriage, huh… well, it’s a nice thing”
[…] She lived her life without any thoughts for romance or feminity. Hearing about someone close to her getting married suddenly made one disturbing thought fly into TenTen’s mind and refuse to leave: Was it really okay for her to be like this? […] Was it really okay for a young woman to be like that?
From here, the question “Is it really okay for her/a woman to be like that?” is repeated numerous times, nearly once per paragraph. TenTen deals internally with the fact that she isn’t interested in men or love at all, in fact she has never being in her whole life because she finds weapons far more attractive and interesting. TenTen actuallyfears that she is not normal, that she should force herself to enjoy what others do.
Do you realize the struggle of a girl who just doesn’t feel she has to follow what society tells her it’s right for her gender to do? But no! Pierrot decides to add hearts, skips the whole inner dialogue sbout her doubts/way she feels, and just jumps to the recreation of imaginary people teasing her over giving a present everybody expects. And yeah, this last part was also in the novel, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of respect over TenTen as a complex character with an inner struggle concerning the way she sees life and even her sexuality.
I enjoyed most parts of the episode, of course. As a Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden fan I was happy to see how Pierrot fused both Lee’s and TenTen’s chapters to praise their good old anime spin-off and Kenji Taira; but I missed the dramatic parts of Konoha Hiden, being this the one I wanted to see animated the most.
This wakes an uneasy feeling in me. With the Boruto anime series airing in April… did Studio Pierrot re-wrote this part of the novel on purposse to turn TenTen into Mei 2.0 for the sake of comedy? It’s not the first time Pierrot changes a character’s personality in fillers, including the whole romance issue. I’m really scared.