(Posted in Anime since most of the information in it is from the anime series -- and yes, I did write this. My sincere apologies for the Quadruple Post. It was too long to fit in one. Enjoy!)
In a few recent posts, I've expressed support for the ShinoxHinata pairing. This pairing is underrated, IMO. There are a lot
of Hinata pairings. She's actually been paired up with just about every other male character that is her age (and a few who aren't her age!). Understandably, NaruHina is the most popular Hinata pairing out there. She has liked him from Day 1 -- in fact, being "the shy, nice girl who likes Naruto" is (sadly) her primary function in the series.
While NaruHina is the most popular Hinata pairing, the runner-up is KibaHina. This gets us into the "Team Eight" romance scenarios. From what we've seen, Hinata is the "younger sister" of Team Eight -- both Shino and Kiba show "looking after"-type care for her, but in different ways. Kiba is usually seen trying to tell her to back out. This is simply out of concern. Shino, however, shows his care for her in the opposite way. Rather than telling her to back out/give up, he is constantly expressing confidence in her and trying to get others to see her progress.
In the field of "Team Eight Romance", I'd say that Kiba cares for Hinata as an older brother would, not as a romantic partner would. Shino's way of caring for her makes it very clear that he may have a "soft spot", perhaps even strong feelings, for the shy kunoichi.
Shino Aburame is the quiet, highly intelligent heir to the Aburame clan (Known for it's insect-based fighting style). He has a cool, stoic exterior that rarely drops. Many consider Shino to be "strange" or "creepy" because of his quiet nature and his obsession with insects (and the fact that he has a swarm of them living inside him).
He cares deeply for his teammates, and gets along very well with his female teammate, Hinata Hyuga
-- he has been one of the only characters who has expressed deep confidence for her, and tried to convince others to believe in her.
Hinata Hyuga is a quiet, shy kunoichi of the Hyuga Clan (Known for it's Gentle Fist fighting syle and Byakugan eye). She is very kind and compassionate. She struggles to become a stronger person so that she can earn respect as a kunoichi, impress her family, and impress Naruto Uzumaki, who she has had a huge crush on ever since childhood.
She tries not to antagonize her allies and is quite a pacifist when it comes to arguments. She has very low self confidence because of her father's disappointment in her abilities.
In her struggle to change herself, she has had one close friend and ally -- the usually stoic Shino Aburame
, who she personally came to for help. He encouraged her, helped her train, and encouraged others to have faith in her.
What To Expect
Throughout the series, it's become clear (To me, at least) that Shino cares about her quite deeply. This post will use evidence primarily from the anime, since Shino and Hinata get more of a spotlight there (Because of fillers).
Some might argue that fillers aren't canon, but I disagree. Fillers are canon unless proven otherwise, and I haven't seen any proof that any of the fillers weren't canon. The fillers are canon plots that are made to allow the manga to move further. The manga series and the anime series are working in tandem -- if they weren't, there would be no fillers.
This post aims to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
A. Shino Aburame has feelings for Hinata Hyuga.
B. Hinata Hyuga does have some feelings for Shino Aburame (Even though these are drowned out by her massive crush on Naruto Uzumaki), or at least cares about him quite deeply.
C. Shino and Hinata are the closest of friends.
The NaruHina Intruder
Shino is frequently present during NaruHina scenes -- he doesn't interfere, but is always closer to them than Kiba is. Let's look at a few examples:
Picture #1 is the first NaruHina scene in the series. Notice that Shino is closer to the cam than Kiba is. He is 'in the middle' of the scene.
Picture #2 shows Hinata looking at Naruto, happy that he made it through the Forest of Death. Shino can clearly be seen behind her, emotionless.
Picture #3 shows Hinata twiddling her fingers and holding a healing tonic, preparing to give it to Naruto. In the picture immediately after this, we can see that she is blushing and twiddling her fingers. This is significant, since Shino appears to be watching her in this picture.
Is this weak? Yes, it admittedly is. These aren't the only examples of the "Shino: NaruHina Intruder" phenomenon, though. And read on, because that is not the only indications of ShinoHina that I have cooked up for you.
Shino: Worried About Hinata
Could the stoic Shino have special concerns for his shy, kind teammate?
Shino appears very concerned. What is the usually stoic Shino so concerned about? It turns out that he's concerned about Hinata. He does this immediately after Hinata coughs up blood, just before she goes into cardiac arrest.
Hinata: Worried About Shino
Could the shy, Naruto-infatuated Hinata have special concerns for her stoic, bug-loving teammate?
When Team Eight makes it to the second stage of the Chuunin exams, the second battle has Shino fighting Zaku Abumi, who is one of Orochimaru's low-level 'pawn' operatives. Before the battle begins, Hinata says:
"Do you think Shino will be alright?"
Some would dismiss this, saying that because the two are teammates and friends, she would, of course, hope for him to do well. She, however, has known Shino since the formation of Team Eight. She knows that he is highly intelligent and very strong. She is also under the impression (Like everyone else at this point) that both of Zaku's arms are broken. The fact that she would still be concerned for Shino's well-being certainly indicates that he means a lot to her. In the next section, we will see one of the reasons why.