I went into this a little before on this post here, but I’d like to go into more detail just so I don’t keep making stuff up and then not writing it down anywhere and then forgetting.
So here’s the basic list for the teams again:
Team One – Medic
Team Two – Vanguard (Stealth/Speed)
Team Three – Defense (Genjutsu/Barriers/Traps)
Team Four – Automatic Fail (code for ANBU/assassination)
Team Five – “Retrieval”
Team Six – General Support
Team Seven – Heavy Hitter
Team Eight – Tracking/Hunting
Team Nine – Escort/Courier
Team Ten – Infiltration/Siege
And as I said before, the Academy does actually try to create genin teams that students would be well suited to, but it depends on the assigned jounin sensei and their standards if they actually pass (except for Team Four who really just are leftovers and pretty much auto fail into the Genin Corps).
Mostly the reason why I’m doing this is because I have three different Naruto fanfiction series–Counterpoise, Externality, and (In)Difference–featuring three very different OCs who end up on very different genin teams, and since I’ve been doing the Character Statistics I’ve had to really hammer down just what each character’s strengths and weaknesses are and resolve that with the other characters as a team.
Teams Seven, Eight, and Ten, obviously, are based on canon: Team Sevens are the traditional “heavy hitters,” the ones who become legends–the Sannin, Naruto-Sasuke-Sakura, even in Boruto that carries over (I think?). Team Eights–based simply on the Aburame-Hyuuga-Inuzuka formation–are most likely meant for tracking/hunting, though no doubt they can form this team without those three clans specifically, with other sensor types. Team Ten are, of course, Ino-Shika-Cho, though for the years there aren’t a set from those clans they can still use that number for teams who might have a similar set up or potential–very people based tactical abilities.
I don’t know where exactly I got this from, but I feel like Team Gai was fanonically made to be Team Nine? Or, at least, given the other teams it kind of make sense to have them fill in the blank and since their team set up is very different from the other three they’d have a different number. And their specialization of escort/courier fits quite nicely in a weird spectrum of tracking/hunting and infiltration/siege–if that makes any sense?
My Team One designation is based off an, admittedly, insignificant throw away line from Dreaming of Sunshine’s early chapters regarding Sakura’s placement given Shikako’s presence–which lead to @kuipernebula and I collaboratively brainstorming the simply named Team Medic ‘verse.
Which leaves Teams Two through Six.
Given the superstition about the number four, that team would just be dooming a group of kids for death. And it kind of makes sense in a ruthless kind of way that there would be some students who just… don’t have much potential at all, so Team Four–as an Academy proposal–is just an automatic fail into the Genin Corps. (But maybe that designation is used as a code for temporary teams doing assassinations or auditioning for ANBU).
Itachi was canonically stated to be placed on Team Two with a boy who basically called himself Tenma Lord of Speed and a girl who studied medicine in the Academy
but, given the awful awful sexism in this series, got shunted into retiring to become a waitress for some reason?! which is a very distinctive team set up vastly different from the other teams we’ve already seen.
But that Team Two was stated to be “formed out of the best genin at that time and they were given the symbolic position of guarding the Fire Daimyo during his annual visit to Konoha.” Which would make an argument for them being a Team Nine–or, rather, making Team Gai who specialize in mobile guarding type missions a Team Two–but it’s specifically noted to be a symbolic position and more about showing off to the Fire Daimyo their shiny new Uchiha prodigy.
So what do you do with a team of the best genin from the class that aren’t heavy hitters? They aren’t specialized enough for a medic team or a tracking team, and they don’t quite have the same vibe as an infiltration/siege team. They might be a decent escort/courier team, but that wouldn’t really take full advantage of their potential. You have a fast kid, an Uchiha, and a medic–you can’t move faster than your client for escort missions, to fully utilize the Sharingan you want to pit them against other shinobi not just bandits, and escort/courier missions aren’t high enough risk to need a medic.
Thus, vanguard: a stealthier, speedier strike force who can handle themselves in dangerous times but are more subtle than the walking tanks and explosions of Team Seven.
So Three, Five, and Six are free game.
It made sense for there to be a general support team–because while a team of all medics is the easiest way to train combat medics and would make sense for large scale troop movements (when multiple medics would be needed for an entire battalion), it’s not practical for smaller scale battles–and I made them Team Six because I figured they’d be deployed alongside one of the other higher number teams. Teams One and Two wouldn’t need a general support team because it’d be redundant for One and slow down Two, whereas Seven and higher could use support for more variety if the mission calls for multiple teams.
With that mentality in mind, I figured Team Three ought to also be a specialty such that they also wouldn’t need a general support. Or, rather, to break down what general support team even means? I headcanon that Kabuto’s team were a Team Six–a medic with high genjutsu skill, a guy who can absorb chakra, and a guy who can stretch his limbs–which shook out to, besides the medic, genjutsu and close range non-destructive abilities. Hence, defense for Team Three.
And, finally, Team Five which I literally made up because I wanted a team of Leverage-esque thieves. I mean, I’ll justify it in a second, but I figured I ought to be honest about my motivation for all this ranting; I wanted practical problem solving ninja thieves.
Obviously the Academy isn’t going to make a team of assassins to be. While they are training child soldiers, it’s not as if they can tell which preteen is going to be better at assassination than another. And while there is Team Two who would be good at the straightforward get in, get the target, get out, that doesn’t leave much room for the other assassination requests of “make it look natural” or “frame this other person for it,” etc. etc.
So the best way to train toward that mentality would be missions for “retrieving” objects. This team would need to be not quite a support team, but neither an outrightly offensive team either–kind of like a smaller scale, less destructive version of Team Ten. It’s still very people based tactics, but more subtle (Yamanaka personalities may be all about nuance, but their ability is not so much. At the very least, I don’t think the person they possessed loses their memory of the possession? So it’d be very obvious afterwards what happened).
In Counterpoise the Team Five I created is “the genjutsu specialist with a fondness for traps, the medic with a talent in taijutsu, and the fuinjutsu user with chakra reserves four times the size a ninja twice her age”
In Externality, Tetuski accidentally helps Naruto graduate one year early, leading to the both of them and another OC becoming a Team Two under Kakashi. (I actually have what is probably an unpopular/unheard of headcanon that Team Minato was not a Team Seven but rather a Team Two)
In (In)Difference, Team TenChiKoku is a Team Ten that doesn’t directly mimic the Ino-Shika-Cho dynamic but would have a similar function in wartime.
Okay, that’s a weird thing to end on, but thanks for reading this far!