▷ Regarding Tenten’s Reaction [Spoliers]
A lot of people are angry over Tenten’s lack of a reaction to Neji’s death. Some people are saying she only deadpanned Lee’s name. Much of this anger comes from unfilled shipping desires. Others deem it an inappropriate response for the loss of a teammate.
I, on the other hand, find it rather appropriate.
First, they are in the middle of a war. They are on the battlefield. Uncontrolled emotions will get someone killed. Does anyone remember shinobi rule #25? Never show emotion (specifically tears) and make the mission priority, no matter what happens. Grieve later. As much as this rule has been thrown out during several occasions, there are still those who live by it. I would think Tenten would try to be one of those people.
How can that be? She’s on a team full of guys. The databook mentions her as being the weakest member of her team. She likely has had to prove herself a lot. I doubt she wants to be seen as the weak female in any circumstance. She’s never really needed much saving like other kunoichi. I’d think this would carry over to how she handles her emotions as well. She seems more in control than the other females. Considering that, I can’t see her as being the type to show strong emotions in difficult times, although many would say now is an appropriate time.
Now I will discuss my interpretation of Tenten’s specific reaction.
The first thing I’d like to point out is that this might be Tenten’s first time seeing Lee like this. I’m familiar with the events during the Chuunin Exam arc, but this is vastly different. Lee is an upbeat person and is typically like that around his team. I’m not saying he hasn’t cried around them, because he probably has. Of course she’s familiar with the tears he and Gai shed, but this is very different. Gai is highly likely the only one who has seen him at his absolute lowest points.
Also seeing Lee like that, she might be thinking along the lines of having to be the strong one now. Two completely demoralized people will do no good. There isn’t much consoling she can do given the situation other than say his name in such a manner.
Many have said Tenten didn’t care about Neji’s death. Just because she said, “Lee…” instead of “Neji…” doesn’t indicate that. Pay attention to her shadowed eyes. I believe that was done for a reason. She’s possibly fighting back tears, but doing far better than Lee. She definitely feels something. It’s wrong to say she doesn’t feel any type of sadness considering how close these three are and what they’ve been through together.