In the Academy, Ino was considerably more popular and self-confident than Sakura Harunowhen they met. She convinced Sakura that hiding the size of her forehead was pointless, saying that it only made her look worse. Ino gave Sakura a red ribbon to draw attention elsewhere, suggesting that Sakura had great potential, but had yet to reach it. This lead to ongoing arguments about Sakura's "Billboard Brow" and Ino's nickname "Ino-pig" (due to her name, Ino, meaning 'boar'). Despite all these arguments, she helped Sakura gain her confidence. When Sakura became attracted to Sasuke, and found out that Ino was attracted to him as well, Sakura ended their friendship hurting Ino in the process so she could compete with Ino for his affection. Ino later made friends with Sakura again during the Chūnin Exams, but they are still considered rivals by many.
Ino is constantly thinking about boys and takes a great deal of pride in her appearance, which was seen even during her younger days in kunoichi training. She also takes great effort to keep up as well as improve her appearance, as seen from her constant dieting to lose weight in the belief it will make her more attractive. Ino can also be very confident, kind, and outspoken, not afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes suggests that Chōji should lose weight. She is attracted to Sasuke and she cried when Sasuke was declared an international criminal, showing that she still cares for him despite his descent into darkness. Ino is described as relatively cheerful and can be bossy to people, especially to her team-mates if they get in her way or their behaviour annoys her.
Ino tends to take charge of her team-mates due to their lazy and nonchalant natures. She however clearly cares for them, as shown by her relief when Chōji survived near fatal injuries. Shikamaru, despite thinking of most girls as "troublesome", typically offers no resistance, being unwilling to deal with how she reacts if she is unable to have her way. Asuma recognised the control she has over the others, and, while dying, told her to look after Chōji and Shikamaru, and ensure that they didn't get into trouble.
By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Ino has demonstrated more bravery and confidence so much so that Ino was unfazed when told by Shikamaru how powerful the Gold and Silver Brothers were and even told her team-mates to man-up when they began to waver. Keeping to the promise she made to Asuma, Ino has resolved to put her life on the line, to protect her team-mates and her village no matter what.
Ino is a fair-skinned girl of average height with green eyes (blue in the anime). Her most noticeable trait in her appearance is her long blonde hair, which is always seen in a high-ponytail with bangs covering the right side of her face. In Part I, her hair reached down to her waist until she cut it during her fight with Sakura, and after, she wore a bun. In later Part I appearances, Ino's hair has grown to shoulder-length. By part II, it grows to hip-length and Ino also sports a red clip on the left side of her face.
In terms of attire, Ino is more often seen wearing a pair of small silver hoop-earrings and purple, fairly revealing clothing. During Part I, she wore a short purple vest like blouse with a raised collar, a skirt that was cut off on the sides and bandage on her stomach and legs. She also wore purple and white elbow warmers with this, and her forehead protector around her waist as a belt. During the anime filler, she stopped wearing the elbow warmers. At the Chūnin Exams finals, Ino sported an orange t-shirt that had the stylised kanji for the word "boar" (猪, inoshishi) inside a light green circle on the upper-left side of the chest, brown shorts, and cream-coloured elbow guards.
In Part II, Ino has grown through noticeable development, possessing a curvaceous frame and sizeable bust. The bandages around her waist are removed from her attire, allowing her stomach to be seen and replaces the warmers on her elbows with fishnet ones and also wears fishnet over her knees. She wears a short, purple, sleeveless blouse, an open purple apron-skirt over a shorter, black skirt, with short fishnet shorts underneath. She has stopped wearing her forehead protector. She carries achūnin's tantō, which she wears above her medical pouch, but has never been seen using it. She has also changed her hoop earring to the studs given to her by her former sensei after they passed the Chūnin Exams as a long-standing tradition.
In Part I, Ino was noted to be an exceptional kunoichi by Asuma. During their fight in the Chūnin Exams, she was able to turn the battle in her favour through the simple act of cutting her hair, overcoming her technique's inherit weakness and mimicking the Shadow Imitation Technique at once. For this reason, Sakura notes that Ino probably would have beaten her had Naruto not interfered.
Ino has also displayed sensor-like abilities in the past. Seeing as how all known members of her clan are sensors, it is likely she is one as well.
She has also shown somewhat considerable skills in taijutsu. During the Chūnin Exams, these skills were on par with Sakura's. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, her taijutsu skills had improved greatly, to such an extent that when she took over Chōji's body she was able to fight evenly with her former sensei when they clashed and by entering two Zetsu's mind and using them for combat against Asuma Sarutobi. After using the Mind Clone Switch Technique she was also able to fend off Asuma.
Yamanaka Clan Techniques
Ino excels in the techniques of her clan, which are primarily focused around mind-affecting techniques such as the Mind Body Switch Technique, a technique predominantly used for reconnaissance and espionage, that allows the user to briefly possess someone and control that person's actions. Her body however, is left vulnerable until she cancels the technique. Despite many people thinking that this technique is unbeatable, she can still be forced out of the body if her opponent is physically very strong or has a strong enough will. She has also been shown to be able to use the technique on animals, such as a hawk to act as a spy. The anime takes her skills a bit further by giving her the Mind Body Disturbance Technique, which causes the body of the person affected to attack those nearest to them, or immobilising their body.
By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, her timing with the Mind Body Switch Technique has improved to a point that she only needs a target to be briefly immobilised in order to invade their mind. According to Inoichi, her use and releasing of the technique has improved drastically. She was able to quickly transfer her mind into a paralysed Chōji to block a point-blank range attack from Asuma Sarutobi, and then fight skilfully inside Chōji's body. Ino has even gained the ability to use the Mind Clone Switch Technique on two targets at once and still fight skilfully with them against her opponent.
Ino learned medical ninjutsu during the gap in time between Parts I and II. The anime shows that Ino trained in medical ninjutsu alongside Sakura under Tsunade's supervision. Ino has proven to be skilled enough to be able to tell the severity of an attack with just a glance. With the knowledge of plants and flowers she gained in her family's flower shop, she also has the capability to create herbal medicines. She has also gained better chakra control because of her study in medical techniques.
Ino has shown to possess a great level of intelligence and perception, graduating the top of her class while in theAcademyalongsideSasuke UchihaandShino Aburame. This was displayed in the Chūnin Exams and cleverly used her hair to make achakra ropeto bind Sakura. In fact in the anime, she was able to tell a person's occupation by glancing at the condition of their hands, a skill proven useful when Ino went to identify Gennō's body and noticed immediately that the corpse wasn't a carpenter or a ninja. Also, duringPain's invasion, she was able to conclude that Pain's real body must be around the village for his technique to work, since it was similar to her clan's.