Rin Nohara from Naruto arguably plays a large role in the story's past. Her existence affects both Kakashi and Obito in the long term and awakens their Mangekyo Sharingan. It also affects wider plot events leading up to the present, like the training of Team 7 and the Akatsuki. Rin is a linchpin in many ways, but little is known about her personally.
Certain points of characterization such as family, goals, and skills are absent in the story, which makes it harder to get to know her. Rin feels like a potentially fascinating character considering her purpose in the narrative. This makes it a shame that so much of who she is gets left ambiguous. Revealing this information would only help craft her into an interesting and memorable character.
10 Nothing About Rin's Family Background Or Past Are Shared
Similar to characters like Sakura and Tenten, the narrative doesn't share information about Rin's family or background. Creator Kishimoto eventually gave her last name "Nohara," but the name isn't heard anywhere else in the story. It is unknown whether it is a civilian name or if she belongs to a shinobi clan that never received attention.
Sakura at least has her parents on-screen in filler, non-canon as they may be. Tenten is more of a background character. But for someone like Rin who impacts the story majorly, it's strange that the viewer gets no details about her parents, past, or whether she has any siblings.
9 Not Many Special Skills Are Seen Or Given Focus
On Minato's team, Rin operates as the resident combat medic who tends to hang back in battle and looks after her teammates' injuries. She can also use Fire, Water, and Yang Release, and can resist genjutsu as well. Rin holds the team together by mediating between Kakashi and Obito when they butt heads and argue.
But aside from these abilities and her knack for holding the team together, her other talents, if any, aren't shown. Does she have custom moves that she formulated herself? Does she have signature clan jutsu? How good is she at using genjutsu and taijutsu? None of these questions are answered.
8 Rin's Ambitions & Dreams Are Missing
Obito and Minato want to become Hokage. Kakashi's initial goal is to become the best Hidden Leaf ninja, which he believes is by placing the mission first. Rin's desires, however, are not fleshed out, aside from her crush on Kakashi and her desire to keep Obito safe.
Based on her diligence as a ninja and her ultimate sacrifice to protect Konoha, it would make sense that Rin wants to serve her village the best she can — but she never outright says it. Rin isn't shown giving in-depth exploration or motivation for any ambitions. If she has a nindo, it is not conveyed either.
7 Rin Doesn't Have Additional Or Complex Personality Traits
From what fans glimpse of Rin, she is kind, warm, intelligent, and selfless, with hints of stubbornness. It's easy to see going off these traits alone why Obito would love her so strongly, especially if she's already his best friend on top of that. Unfortunately, these traits alone don't make a three-dimensional person and hints of other qualities are left as implications.
The viewer gets no true sense of Rin's flaws, struggles, doubts, insecurities, or anything that creates an inner complexity. Since Rin's internal consciousness isn't on display, it harms attempts to see her as a whole person or get attached to her the way Obito does.
6 Rin Only Really Interacts With Her Team And Kushina
Interpersonal dynamics could have added roundedness to Rin's character. Rivalries on the show include Sakura's friendship with Ino, or Guy frequently challenging Kakashi. They bounce the characters off each other and make their personalities more defined through contrast. They also spotlight diverse relationships and make the fictional world feel bigger through these interactions.
Sadly, Rin doesn't have many conversations outside of her team. She does have an adorable bond with Kushina, who raves about how cute Rin is. But Rin doesn't appear to be in any antagonistic dynamics, which could have given a darker side to her personality or cultivated some personal growth for her.
5 What Do Rin's Facial Markings Mean?
Rin's facial markings are a memorable part of her visual design. They consist of one purple mark on each cheek, and she's never seen without them. Since viewers don't know much about her, the marks are an integral part of her visual representation. There's even a theory that Kakashi's Sukea disguise pays homage to Rin's markings with his own version.
But the narrative doesn't explain the markings' intent or symbolism. They could be clan symbols or indicators of achievement or power level, like Tsunade's Strength of a Hundred Seal. If they are the latter, Rin never uses them on-screen. Furthermore, it is unknown whether they are removable or permanent.
4 Rin Watched Over Obito For Years But We Don't See Her Reactions
When she's alive, Rin declares that she will watch over Obito. She takes this responsibility seriously and is angered when he attempts to hide an injury from her. After Obito's death during the war, he meets Rin again, who has been waiting for him and watching the entire time.
In reaction to Obito's crimes and regrets, Rin comforts him and says that Obito tried his best despite failing along the way. It's hard to believe that she had this mindset the whole time she watched Obito's actions as Tobi. Some shock, disappointment, or pain would be justified, but only her patient and forgiving nature is conveyed at the end.
3 The Viewer Doesn't Know Rin's Thought Process After She Learns Of Obito's Feelings
Part of Obito's angst derives from Rin's crush on Kakashi. On top of being constantly outclassed by his talented rival, Obito must watch as the girl he loves carries a torch for him. Ultimately, Obito never confesses his feelings to Rin before he seemingly dies, either out of perceived inferiority or bad timing.
Rin only learns of Obito's affection after her best friend is already gone. She decides to use that lost chance as motivation to admit her crush on Kakashi. But Rin doesn't reveal if knowing about Obito's love changes anything for her like how Hinata's does for Naruto. Even when they meet in the afterlife, any possibility of reciprocated feelings is left ambiguous.
2 Rin Has No Discernable Character Arc
In the narrative, Rin is a catalyst for Kakashi and Obito. She doesn't grow or change in a dynamic fashion like the other two. Kakashi goes through many milestones in his life. The arrogant teen who would abandon his friends for a mission is different from the guilt-ridden sensei who prioritizes teamwork or the laid back, goofy Hokage.
Similarly, Obito journeys from hapless hero to cynical villain and back, but Rin doesn't have any arc or development. She's sweet and understanding in the beginning and remains that way through her death and in the afterlife. A character arc, even a small one, would have done wonders for establishing her personality.
1 We Don't See Interaction Between Rin & The Three Tails
Being a Jinchuuriki is a difficult task. Naruto and Gaara show the complications of having a Tailed Beast inside them and how they weaponize it. Granted, Rin's situation doesn't give much time or possibility for this. She is secretly kidnapped by Madara Uchiha, who hides behind Hidden Mist ninjas.
When interrogation fails, they seal Isobu the Three-Tails inside her and plan for the spirit to break out and rampage in Konoha. In the aftermath, Rin is more consumed with the threat to the village and ending her own life as a solution before she steps into Kakashi's Chidori. Nevertheless, it would have been interesting to see whether Isobu attempted communication with her at all.
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