Nevertheless, She Persisted
There is no easy path to becoming a kunoichi; no open doors or vacant spots.
Or, how every woman creates her place.
So this would, obviously, be character studies for the ladies of DoS (or, even just canon Naruto seeing as how poorly treated they are) and their struggles to become the women and kunoichi that they are.
Unsure if I’d just stick to the Konoha Thirteen ladies or include some of the adults. But seeing as how I’m probably not going to write it anyway, I guess I might as well go into what I’d write for all of them.
So Tsunade, Yoshino, Kurenai, Anko, TenTen, Sakura, Ino, Hinata, Shikako? Maybe not Shikako. DoS is already from her POV and we already see her struggles so…
For Tsunade I’d probably go in depth about how she was the first combat medic. How, when she began studying medicine, everyone was kind of relieved? That the princess would be staying behind and healing in the village. Except, no… this princess wants to go out on the field. This princess wants to be on the front lines. She’s going to punch everything.
I wonder if Mokuton is actually a bloodline or a Hashirama-unique ability. Because if it is a bloodline, then Tsunade not having it would add to the whole–oh no, just stay in the village, you’re not as powerful as your grandfather–and her literally creating a super strength technique is a rebellion against that.
Yoshino… well… I suppose all my feels for Yoshino are in my Stars Also Dream series (never mind that it’s a Star Wars fusion/crossover) though otherwise as a non-clan kunoichi there’d be a lot of overlap with TenTen and Sakura’s stories.
Kurenai… there’s something to be said about a kunoichi who is so completely the typical kunoichi but still becomes a jounin. And, don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of love for women who defy gender norms and this applies to kunoichi as well. But there’s part of me that’s viciously pleased to see a woman excel not despite but through the gender norms. And I suppose this might apply to Shizune, too what with the poisons and barrier seals and all.
The difference between special jounin and jounin doesn’t seem like much, but I imagine for Kurenai it was huge. I have the feeling that she might have fallen into that trap that Shikako side-stepped. Genjutsu was her specialty and so she accepted a promotion to special jounin because of it early on (it explains why she’s only recently become a jounin even though she became a chuunin at fourteen I think?). And then she had to become even more of a master of genjutsu in order to make that leap between ranks. And it may very well have been something that people told her to give up on. Or tried to “help” her by telling her to expand her repertoire–essentially mimic Tsunade and get a combat specific talent to complement her genjutsu–but that’s not who Kurenai is. Of course she can fight, but she’s not going to stray from who she is just for a promotion.
Anko’s would be very much so a post-Orochimaru thing for her. She’s trying to be a good and loyal Konoha soldier but no one fucking trusts her anymore. No one wants her on their team, no one wants her for their mission, for a long time she can’t handle classified information. She can’t do shit. But of course she’s going to still try. Of course she is. If she gives up, if she defects, then that bastard wins. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks of her, she’s Anko Mitarashi, certified badass, she doesn’t need anyone else’s approval but her own.
I have a lot of TenTen feels but I don’t know if they’re cliche or not for a TenTen character study. It’s a lot about how she’s clawing her way up. Her pinpoint accuracy isn’t a natural talent, not a bloodline. It’s something she worked hard at. It’s something she suffered calluses for, scrapes and cuts and nicks. TenTen was running errands for the blacksmith and learning about different alloys alongside furtive, hesitant attempts to memorize flower types and their meanings. The girls were taught calligraphy to better go undercover and blend in with nobility, but TenTen forced herself to choke it down because it would help with fuinjutsu. She’s not good at the typical feminine arts, no matter how much she tries she’ll never be the next Tsunade, but she can be the first TenTen.
DoS Sakura is definitely different from canon Sakura so a character study of her would be different, too. But it’s still hard to shake the Tsunade parallels–I mean, they exist in DoS still as well so–especially since she’s a medic in training who wants to one day be a field medic and is learning a super strength technique to do so.
DoS Ino I would do post Sasuke Retrieval arc because I have a feeling that her being so adamant about Shikamaru not quitting as a shinobi might be a parallel to him doing the same for her. I think, maybe, Inoichi and the other Yamanaka clan members probably meant well? When they said she didn’t have to be a shinobi anymore. That she could retire. That after such a traumatic experience, it’d be understandable. And she was, maybe, considering it. If Orochimaru was influencing her, he’d want her to get stronger. Want her to insinuate herself even further into Konoha. Turn her into a sleeper cell. Retiring would mean she’s not a risk to her village. But retiring would also mean giving up, giving in, and she won’t let Team Ten go on without her.
Aaaand Hinata… it’s gotta be about her clan. Her awful, terrible clan. Man they’re the worst. THE WOOOOOORST. I mean… do I even need to write what this would be about? This is basically canon Hinata’s character arc (or what isn’t built around Naruto, anyway).
I guess I could add Shizune and Yakumo… but I don’t really know enough about either of them?