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Yamanaka Ino

Japanese name: 山中いの
Ino Yamanaka is a childhood friend of Sakura Haruno who was bullied due to her large forehead, ending when Ino befriended her. She acted like a mentor, being tougher and more confident. Under her influence, Sakura began to develope her own identity. Though close to Ino, Sakura could not help but feel she was in her shadow and upon learning they liked the same boy, ended their friendship so that they could compete for his affection, beginning a bitter rivalry. Ino shed her tomboyish look in retaliation and was more open about her feelings towards Sasuke. The rivalry stays till the Chunin Exam. Nevertheless, they have a competitive relationship. She became somewhat superficial, thinking highly of her looks and has no problem telling people what she thinks, no matter how hurtful, such as telling Choji that he should focus more on his appearance because girls dislike overweight boys. On the surface of things, both of her teammates fit the profiles of people she wouldn't associate with because of her apparent shallowness, but she actually cares deeply for their well-beings and maintains a strong bond with them. It should be noted that while Ino is portrayed as shallow she came to Sakura's aid in the Forest of Death despite their feud. She cares very much about her friends, showing deep loyalty.

As a member of the Yamanaka clan, Ino works in her family's flower shop and has become particularly talented in ikebana. She has been noted to be sharp upon occasion, such as noticing Asuma's affection for Kurenai or using chakra cleverly. The anime's filler arcs show that she's been able to find other uses for her time in the shop and can tell a person's profession by simply glancing at the condition of their hands. Being a Yamanaka has also shaped the mind-altering jutsu she uses. With the Mind Body Switch Technique, Ino can transfer to another's body and use it for a time. The anime explains her medical abilities. During the final filler arc, Ino finds herself of no use to her teammates and becomes awed of Sakura's skills. As such, Ino becomes Tsunade's second apprentice, hoping to be more useful to her friends. The anime has also shown that Ino has developed her own inner-self named "Inner Ino". She, along with team 10 plus Kakashi, aids in the dispersion of two of Akatsuki's members.

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