Naruto is a guilty pleasure but I wish that the main characters had gotten the same romantic growth as Kiba’s wife. Why? Because honestly, everyone besides the main trio got a build up to their respective relationships that felt believable. I mean, just look at all the couples in Naruto Shippuden that were foreshadowed. But even those that were completely new entries got a backstory that was relatable and enjoyable.
Take the case of Kiba Inazuka, for example. Now, who is Kiba’s wife? Well, first things first: Kiba doesn’t have a wife. But he does have a girlfriend named Tamaki. I don’t think they were ever officially shown to be married, but the two have been together for a while now and seem pretty happy. But the funniest thing here is the fact that Tamaki is a massive cat lover that moved to Konohagakure with all of her cats in tow, and Kiba is known for being the heir to a clan very focused on dogs.
It’s a classic setting, but one that plays off very naturally. And like I stated before, romance in Naruto Shippuden tends to be hit or miss. Which makes sense, because the series is a Shonen first and foremost. It’s not like it has time to develop long overarching plotlines for all of its characters to fall in love with each other. That is simply not as important as developing the story itself. But there are some couples that feel like a ride-or-die, like Shikamaru Nara and Temari or Sai and Ino Yamanaka.
Sadly, that isn’t always the case. There are some couples that just felt pretty haphazard in their coming together, which unfortunately includes the main characters. Like, don’t get me wrong, Hinata Hyuuga and Naruto Uzumaki are fine and all, but Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno felt like such a leftover couple. Thankfully, Kiba and Tamaki end up doing the opposites attract thing better. So today, let’s take a look at who is Kiba’s (not) wife in another segment of Lore Analysis!
Tamaki: A Cat Person Before Anything
I know, I know. But there is a difference here. I think out of all the shinobi from the original generation of Naruto, Kiba is the only one that isn’t actually married to his lover. He went the Choji Akimichi route, where he fell in love with an outsider. That in and of itself isn’t all that rare. I mean, Shikamaru did the same. But I do like how Kiba and Tamaki are set up.
When we first meet Tamaki, she’s just a shop attendant in Sora-Ku, an abandoned city more known for its black market than anything. After the Uchiha Clan stored munitions there years ago, they left Tamaki’s grandmother, Nekobaa, in charge. And so, when Team 7 is sent over to investigate and get paw prints for the Paw Print Encyclopedia (I know.), she helps them out through the various cats that live with her, including the Ninneko which are cats trained to help Shinobi.
At first, it is shown that Tamaki has a crush on Sasuke, but that fades after time. But she still treats Team Taka without judgment, helping them find supplies when they plan on going after Itachi Uchiha. And that is the core trait of her personality, the kindness and generosity she shows everyone, even people like Jūgo. But that doesn’t mean she is a pushover, easily arguing her favor for her cats with someone like Kiba, who is so clearly a dog person. But Tamaki also doesn’t hold grudges, still picking things up with Kiba when she moves into Konoha.
So, it isn’t surprising when they get together, becoming each other’s support. However, the cat vs dog arguments never truly stop.
Not Kiba’s Wife, But Still Inseparable:
However, the next time we encounter Tamaki is in Konoha Gaiden, where Kiba and Shino Aburame are deployed on a mission to look for the Beekeeper, a refugee Shinobi from Iwagakure. But due to a run in between Momo, a Ninneko and Akamaru, Kiba’s faithful canine companion, Tamaki had to step in and diffuse the situation. And Kiba was a goner.
Kiba took one look at Tamaki and was like ‘Yup, that’s The One’. And so, when she offers to lead them to the Beekeeper, he jumps on the opportunity to converse with her the entire time. While they made their way to the Fogged Bamboo Forest, Kiba flirts with Tamaki, through both moments of earnestness and some lies of convenience. And honestly, the two do really hit it off well, despite being such opposites in their preference for animal friends.
And maybe Tamaki was feeling their connection too, because when they reach the entrance of the forest, she warns the two that no one has ever come out of there with their bodies intact. She clearly doesn’t want Kiba to go through any danger, but Kiba tries assuring her by boasting about his strength. So, when they meet again when Tamaki moves to Konoha, it’s like nothing has changed and the two immediately get together.
Tamaki and Kiba gain a reputation for being animal breeders that have helped plenty of Shinobi with their own animal aides, but also for their fights over which animal serves the community better. In a way, their love for animals is the perfect thing to tie them together, being very passionate about their fur babies. But it also leads to most of the conflict between the two, so maybe it’s a double edged sword there.
But while Tamaki isn’t Kiba’s wife for now, it’s plain to see that the couple are very much in love and everyone knows it. Sometimes, some people don’t need marriage to validate their love. And hey, I was always a secret Kiba stan, and my man deserves a love like Tamaki!