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Twenty Fan Art Designs Of Unexpected Naruto Pairs


Some fans love a good romance, while others just want to see the action. Luckily for both kinds of fans, the Naruto franchise has plenty of both. This time around, we’re here for the romance.

When a franchise begins to develop a following, there are the inevitable theories concerning just which characters will end up together. Sometimes, fans never get to find out if their favorite characters find romance.

With Naruto, though, many of the characters went on to appear in Boruto. The newer series is set approximately two decades after the events of Naruto and focuses on the children of the previous main characters.

Considering that most of the main characters of the original have children in the sequel series, the pairings are pretty much set in stone. During Naruto’s heyday, though, there were so many potential pairings that fans wanted to see happen.

Fan designs of those pairings are now all over the internet -- with many fans continuing to create stories and artwork for them today.

We all know that Naruto married and started a family with Hinata, that Sasuke and Sakura had a little girl, and that Shikamaru found love with Temari of the Sand Village. If those pairings hadn’t become franchise canon, though, there were plenty of “fanon” options instead.

Could Naruto have found love with his biggest rival? What if Hinata gave up on waiting for Naruto to notice her? Could Shikamaru have developed feelings for a teammate instead? Fan fiction and fan art explores all of these options.

We’ve searched the internet to find many of those pairings and brought you 20 Fan Art Designs Of Unexpected Naruto Couples.

Sasuke And Hinata

Sasuke was the object of many girls’ affection during his years at the Academy. Hinata, however, wasn’t one of them.

When all of the other girls grew their hair long to get his attention, Hinata’s was cut short. She only had eyes for Naruto.

If the two interacted more in their teen years, they might have realized how much they had in common.

Both Sasuke and Hinata came from prominent and powerful shinobi clans. Their families pushed them into training at a very young age. They might have been able to help one another with the pressure they felt.

Iwaki-0 brought the two of them together in their artwork, giving fans a look at a lighter side of the two.

After all of the tragedy they endured, they deserve a little happiness.

Ino And Shikamaru

Plenty of fans expected that two-thirds of the Ino-Shika-Cho team would wind up together, even if they weren’t sure which two it would be. Those same fans might have been a bit disappointed when Naruto came to an end.

Shikamaru and Ino were a definite fan favorite even though Ino spent a lot of her teen years competing with Sakura for the attention of Sasuke.

Ino’s relationship with Shikamaru was filled with plenty of banter. Despite their sarcasm with one another, they clearly cared about one another. It’s not hard to see why fans found them compelling as more than friends.

Kivi1230 captured a glimpse into what could have been their future as the Fourth Shinobi World War came to an end, with Shikamaru carrying a battleworn Ino from the fray.

Neji And Tenten

Fans have already faced the fact that any character romantically paired with Neji is unexpected at this point.

Hinata’s cousin fell in battle while protecting her from a coming blow. Most of his character development in the series focused on his relationship with his family and his willingness to move beyond old grudges, not any romance.

Likewise, most of Tenten’s stories centered on her training and proficiency with weapons. She didn’t get a whole lot of development outside of that. 

This hasn’t stopped her from garnering a big fan following who wishes her relationship with at least one of her teammates was fleshed out a bit more, though.

BayneezOne’s piece certainly calls to mind what could have been made of their connection to one another.

The usually focused and even vicious fighters are softened with one another.

Hinata And Kiba

There’s something to be said for teammates who grow up knowing that they might have to give their lives for one another. Though Team 10 didn’t get as much spotlight as Team 7 in the Naruto world, Kiba, Hinata, and Shino formed a tight bond during their time together.

Some fans hoped that Hinata and Kiba’s bond might even become romantic.

While bonding over their teamwork, long missions, and training, Kiba and Hinata would have been a case of opposites attracting.

Hinata was shy and reserved, while Kiba always exhibited something of a wild streak. He also couldn’t resist making fun of her inability to talk with Naruto throughout the series.

Arya-Aiedail gave Kiba a bit of a softer side in artwork that paired him with Hinata.

Kakashi And Yoruichi

It really is a shame that Kakashi and Yoruichi will likely never meet. The two belong to completely different franchises, but they’d be nearly perfect for one another.

Kakashi spends a lot of the Naruto series training the young ninja before he becomes the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village, but he isn’t all work and no play, enjoying a good book over training. Yoruichi, on the other hand, belongs to the Bleach series.

Like Kakashi, she’s spent decades in training. She’s also pretty laid back.

The two could trade some of their aging tips since Kakashi is decades older than he looks and Yoruichi is at least 130 years old.

Borjen-art captures what could have been with the duo in a digital painting that practically jumps off the screen.

Naruto And Temari

It was evident to many fans as soon as Shikamaru and Temari faced off in their chunin exams that there would be something between them. This hasn’t stopped others from wondering what it would have looked like to see Temari with someone else.

Temari and Naruto seem like an odd pairing. She is a top notch strategist and he relies on the element of surprise.

Outside of their fighting styles, the two have more in common than at first glance.

They both had rough childhoods with a lot of training and very little familial love. Temari reacted by closing off while Naruto opened up. Perhaps he could have brought her out of her shell.

Zinfer designed the ink sketch for a fan who loved the pairing, and her immaculate detail certainly gives a new perspective to the duo.

Shino And Hinata

As one of the more specialized characters in Naruto, Shino has a very interesting skill set. He can control bugs. Like Hinata, he typically stayed in the background and didn’t draw attention to himself.

Also like his teammate, he was very observant. It made the two great teammates, but could it have made them great romantic partners?

Both were made fun of and seen as “other” by many of their peers. They grew up to be excellent trackers and shinobi who always had one another’s back.

If only Hinata hadn’t been so focused on Naruto, she might have seen that Shino was right in front of her.

Set during the early days of the Naruto series, The-Z sketched out a moment between teammates, “just to see how these two look together.”

We have to say, they look pretty great.

Gaara And Rock Lee

When the Sand Village trio entered the Naruto world during the first set of chunin exams, fans were in for a wild ride. Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari seemed like enemies. They nearly trounced the Leaf Village teens at every turn.

Gaara, defeating Rock Lee in a match, seemed the most vicious.

Like Temari, though, Gaara didn’t stop at facing off against Lee in the ring. He later saved his rival from an attack by a Sound Village ninja.

While Temari ended up married to her rival-turned-ally, Gaara and Lee didn’t take their friendship that far.

With their persistence and commitment to the fight, the duo could have learned a lot from each other.

Darkness333 created an image of Gaara picking Lee up after a fight that speaks to the former’s gentle nature, despite having a demon living inside of him.

Choji And Ino

Choji, Ino, and Shikamaru grew up together as the sixteenth generation of the Ino-Shika-Cho ninja team. The trio might have bickered constantly, but they had one another’s best interests at heart.

Despite Ino’s sometimes antagonistic nature, she spent a lot of time trying to get Choji to take care of himself.

Perhaps this is why there’s a pretty strong contingent of Naruto fans who would have liked to see them end up together. Instead, Ino fell for Sai, who some fans like to call Sasuke-lite, and Choji fell for Karui, someone he didn’t even interact with in the original series.

Ashflura shares a vision of another future for the duo. It definitely makes you wonder just how their dynamic would have evolved as a couple.

Choji and Ino certainly would have had some adorable kids.

Kiba And Temari

Could the fearsome Temari have been the one to tame wild child Kiba? Some fans think so. Others wonder if Kiba could have gotten Temari to cut loose once in a while.

With Kiba’s affinity for dogs and other wildlife, and Temari’s tendency to stick to plans and focused measures, the two couldn’t be more different.

Sometimes, opposites can attract, though.

We have to wonder what would have happened if the duo had spent more time together over the course of the series.

Even artist PunkFlavoredDirt hadn’t given much thought to the potential pairing until drawing the two together. The artist was a Kiba fan and her fiancé was a Temari fan when she completed the sketch.

Shino And Tenten

If there were two characters who didn’t get enough development compared to their team members, it was most certainly Shino and Tenten.

Shino was frequently termed “creepy” by other characters without anyone realizing how seriously he took the safety of his team. Likewise, Tenten was simply the token female of Team Guy, throwing weapons like a master, but not having many conversations with anyone outside of the group.

These two characters have resurfaced as adults in Boruto, but with much of their personal life still remaining a mystery, maybe there’s a chance for them.

Tyshka created an alternate universe concept for the two in their teen years.

Gone is their shinobi wear, as they bond in a more traditional setting -- school.

Sakura And Gaara

Sakura had quite the crush on Sasuke as a kid. Though there were plenty of fans who thought she might end up with Naruto instead because of the latter’s crush on her, there were a lot of fans who hoped for a different future.

Fans wondered about possible couplings for her almost as much as they did Naruto himself.

One of those potential couples was Sakura and the Sand Village ninja Gaara. Gaara was initially seen as hostile and dangerous, but that wasn’t always the case.

Art-Gem placed Sakura and Gaara in something of an unexpected situation. Showing off the softer side of the Sand Village ninja, Gaara allows Sakura to play with his hair.

It’s a moment of normalcy for the two, who spent much of their formative years in the midst of war.

Konohamaru And Hanabi

Konohamaru and Hanabi were introduced as members of the even younger generation of Naruto. As the younger sister of Hinata, Hanabi showed more promise as a fighter than her sibling.

Konohamaru was the grandson of the third Hokage and promised to one day challenge Naruto for the position.

The series didn’t see much interaction between them, but as members of famous shinobi clans who were both in line for prominent positions, they both know a thing or two about hard work and pressure.

As adults, Hanabi continues to train with her father in Boruto, while Konohamaru is her nephew’s sensei.

As two of the most well known members of the middle generation of Naruto characters, it isn’t all that surprising that fans would want to see them together.

Artist Shock777 gave the people what they wanted with this adorable piece.

Sakura And Kankuro

A medical ninja and a puppet master. While one spends her time repairing real people, the other spends his time building fake ones. These two would definitely be an odd couple.

Sakura might have briefly shown a hint of feelings for Rock Lee and Naruto over the course of the series, whom both had crushes on her, but we can’t say she ever exhibited any feelings for Kankuro.

They’re both quick to anger and extremely loyal to their friends, though, so there are definitely some commonalities in their approach to the shinobi lifestyle.

Ramachan actually completed this piece of artwork as a commission for a fan, so this unlikely pairing definitely has an audience out there.

Choji And Ayame

Over the course of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, Choji spent a lot of time doing one thing: replenishing calories lost during fights.

As a ninja with a proclivity for size-changing jutsus, he needed the extra food to keep his chakra up. It’s only natural that he would spend a lot of time at the local ramen restaurant, right?

For many fans, pairing Choji up with Ayame, the woman running the restaurant with her father, just made sense. Outside of his own teammates, she’s probably the person in the Hidden Leaf Village Choji spent the most time with.

Sadly, this pairing never came to be as Choji married Karui, but fans can still dream.

Warrior-of-Ruin created one of the only pieces of fan art depicting the pairing, and they certainly captured the possibility of a connection between the two.

Sakura And Ino

The best of friends as children, Sakura and Ino grew apart simply because they were rivals for Sasuke’s affections.

Some fans think that rivalry might have been a little deeper than them going after the same guy.

It was Ino who taught Sakura how to accessorize and come out of her shell. Sakura, in turn, seemed to worship the other girl when first attending the Academy.

Eventually, the two faced off in their chunin exams in a match that ended in a stalemate. Some fans theorized that neither could bring themselves to truly harm the other because they should have been the ultimate romantic pairing of the love triangle.

Dymx gave fans a look at what the duo could have looked like in a more modern setting.

Kankuro And Kiba

The Sand Village ninjas made such a big impression on Naruto fans that it seems like all of them are members of some of the most popular fan pairings.

Kankuro, with his cat ear hood and purple markings, seems like a superficial fit for the fur coat wearing Kiba (who sports his own facial markings).

Appearances aside, the two have a lot in common as well. They’re both pretty unorthodox ninjas.

While Kiba relies on his dog Akamaru to be his partner in battle, Kankuro designs puppets to keep him out of the thick of the action. Both of them are better with their respective partners than they are with most people.

Sasukechan111 captures a moment of vulnerability between the two in their digital artwork.

Sasuke And Tenten

This particular duo didn’t spend a whole lot of time together during the events of Naruto. While Tenten was busy supporting her teammates Rock Lee and Neji Hyuga, Sasuke left the village to find a way to become more powerful.

As with any relationship here, though, there are fans who would have loved to see them together.

Tenten is the kind of person who might have gotten Sasuke to let loose. Despite being devoted to her ninja training, she doesn’t go quite as hard on herself.

She also has fun with all of her weapon training. She could teach him a thing or two.

This unexpected couple is doubly unexpected in AkiDead’s artwork as they aren’t in their usual Naruto attire. The two are dressed in clothing from the Final Fantasy series.

Orochimaru And Tsunade

As children, Orochimaru and Tsunade were teammates. When they grew up, their paths sharply diverged from one another.

While Tsunade eventually became Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, Orochimaru became a villain, targeting the village he believed had failed him.

Everyone loves a good villain like Orochimaru, and Tsunade isn’t exactly an angel. Before she became Hokage, she was in debt for a gambling problem.

Their shared history and their dark sides were enough to make plenty of fans wonder “what if?”

Orochimaru also seemingly repented for his evil ways and is a citizen of the village in Boruto, though just how much he’s changed remains to be seen.

Lairam’s artwork posits that perhaps Tsunade loved him all along, despite his evil actions.

Naruto And Sasuke

Naruto and Sasuke might be the most popular non-canon couple in the Naruto franchise. The two began the series as rivals, but grew into close friends -- even when Sasuke was an enemy of the Village Hidden In The Leaves.

Perhaps the attraction to this particular couple is born of fans watching Naruto spend all of his formative years either training to be as skilled as Sasuke, or training to save Sasuke from himself.

For his part, Sasuke always claimed that Naruto was one of the only other ninjas he wanted to fight to see if he could best him.

Asaimomoe created a more typical teenage moment between the two, giving them a break from all of their ninja fighting to flirt in a classroom.

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Which of these unexpected couples is your favorite? Do you prefer the relationships in the Naruto canon? Let us know in the comments!

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