|Manga||Volume #52, Naruto Chapter #494|
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #244|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game|
A (エー, Ē, Viz: Ei, English TV: Ay) was the Third Raikage (三代目雷影, Sandaime Raikage, literally meaning: Third Lightning Shadow) of Kumogakure, renowned to be the greatest Raikage the village has ever had.
A's rule was punctuated by the berserk attacks of the Eight-Tails but as Kumogakure couldn't afford to dispose of such a valuable war deterrent, he was forced to look for a suitable jinchūriki in quick succession, after the conclusion of each rampage. During one of these attacks, A fought the Eight-Tails alone, allowing his comrades to escape. Their battle resulted in A receiving a self-inflicted wound to the chest after he collapsed upon his own hand, which became his life's shame. Since this event, he made it a personal duty to combat the Eight-Tails whenever its jinchūriki lost control, eventually making even his son become part of the group that supported him during these occurrences. He chose to seal the Eight-Tails in the Kohaku no Jōhei, resulting in his nephew's death, hoping that someone else would have more success in controlling it.
Between these attacks, A held try-outs along with Dodai in order to search for a tag-team partner for his son, which was a long-standing tradition for the Raikage. As the exercise was seemingly going to end in failure again, he lamented the fact that this would have been unnecessary if A had an actual brother. After seeing the dummy's head finally fall off, he looks on at B and his son, glad that they had finally found a suitable candidate. Ultimately, when Killer B was made the jinchūriki, the Eight-Tails' rampages were at long last brought to an end.
At some point he also mentored Darui, passing the secrets of the Black Lightning technique down to just him. In his later years, during the Third Shinobi World War, he once faced an opposing force of ten thousand shinobi single-handedly for three consecutive days and nights, in order to allow his comrades to escape to safety. He eventually died in this battle and with his death, the position of Raikage was passed onto his son, A. He would, however, become renowned for his extraordinary level of durability, endurance, and strength above all else, to the point where his body itself would become reputed as the "strongest shield" (最強の盾, saikyō no tate).
A is a calm and seemingly level-headed person. He is also a man of honour as seen when he became outraged when Mū urges Ōnoki to take advantage of the Allied Shinobi Forces after it is disbanded, telling him that he wouldn't allow the alliance to become destroyed. He is also a very proud and caring individual who will readily use himself as a shield or "go-between" to protect his comrades. This was also exemplified when it was revealed that after he received a scar from fighting the Eight-Tails, not even his son asked him about it in detail, out of his respect for his father's pride. A was also a firm believer of children being destined to surpass their parents, so much so he told his fellow Kage who were reincarnated not to worry about being forced to fight against their fellow shinobi as their children would be able to defeat them.
A, like the other Kage, was upset that he has to fight people from his own village but at the same time he had a lot of confidence and believed that the new generation would be able to surpass and defeat them. He cared greatly for the people of his village, as he made it a personal responsibility to subdue the Eight-Tails whenever it would go on a rampage, as well as fought against ten thousand enemies single-handedly just to allow his comrades to escape to safety. A also greatly admires ninja who are very skilled as seen when he congratulated the Fourth Kazekage for having such a strong son.
A was a very tall, dark-skinned man with a largely muscular and well-defined build. He had a full head of white hair which flowed into his back along with a long beard. During his earlier battle against the Eight-Tails, A's beard was much trimmer. He had unusual eyes, which had green irides, dark sclerae and no pupils. His face has pronounced cheekbones and tear troughs under his eyes, and a prominent crease across his forehead with a mole above his right eyebrow. His top lip also had a darker pigmentation than the bottom one. His canine teeth were also slightly elongated. He has the kanji for "lightning" (雷, kaminari) tattooed on his right shoulder. Following a battle with the Eight-Tails, A also gained a lightning bolt-shaped scar that runs across the right side of his chest.
His typical attire consisted of Kumogakure's distinctive, single-strap flak jacket with no other clothing underneath, a black forehead protector that he wore like a bandanna and a thick rope tied around his waist; with this he also wore dark blue sweat pants. It was also shown that at some point in the past, he wore bandages on his forearms.
A was undoubtedly an immensely powerful shinobi and is recognised as Kumo's greatest ever Raikage. He was able to combat an army of ten thousand ninja alone, and even directly combat a tailed beast to standstill; the Eight-Tails itself lauded A as a strong and resilient man.
Physical and Chakra Prowess
Like his son, A possessed high taijutsu prowess, being able to defeat several shinobi in one move. He also had enormous speed and strength, being able to dodge Naruto's extremely fast Wind Release: Rasenshuriken and punch a rubber ball several metres away. A's most impressive and renowned trait was his extremely durable body, earning the name, the "strongest shield" (最強の盾, saikyō no tate). With it, A could withstand nearly any type of technique, and easily brush off attacks that actually damaged him, as even Wind Release techniques could only cause very light damage. He could even survive being transported by the life-risking Heavenly Transfer Technique, a feat replicated by few individuals. Ultimately, the only attack strong enough to seriously injure him was his own, resulting in the scar on his chest.
A had enormous chakra reserves, enough to seal the Eight-Tails inside the Kohaku no Jōhei after its numerous rampages. His high stamina allowed him to fight non-stop for three consecutive days and nights before finally collapsing — something normal shinobi could only achieve with drug enhancers.
A was proficient in the nature transformations of Lightning, Fire, and Earth Release. With his great prowess in Lightning Release, he was known for his unique Black Lightning, being skilled enough in its usage to pass on his knowledge to Darui. Like his son, A can utilise the Lightning Release Chakra Mode to further augment his already renowned physical prowess and taijutsu. According to Dodai, only powerful, long-range Wind Release attacks could break through this defence.
Similar to the Chidori, A can focus his lightning chakra into his fingers, creating a strong piercing effect. He can make it even more powerful by reducing the number of fingers used. The technique's sharpness was such that he could penetrate and slash through rubber despite its resistance to electricity. Dodai states that it is his strongest ninjutsu, referring to it as the "strongest spear" (最強の矛, saikyō no hoko). With this power, A could cut off all of Gyūki's tails at once, and even pierce his own extremely durable body.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
In preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War, A was reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi alongside other deceased Kage, to fight against the Allied Shinobi Forces. When Mū, despite his camouflage, was detected approaching the Fourth Division, Kabuto had the Tsuchikage summon three other Kage to provide support. Amongst their numbers was a bemused Third Raikage, who questions the others about his present location, before seemingly recognising the Fourth Kazekage Rasa. Pursuing the retreating division throughout the night, each of the Kage lamented the possibility of opposing shinobi from their own respective village yet only A remained optimistic that the current generation had surpassed them since their deaths.
The next day A and the other kage were confronted by an enormous wave of sand that is halted by Rasa. The group except for Mū soon found themselves to be caught by Gaara's sand, leading to the fourth to save them with his Gold Dust and afterwards, was confronted by Ōnoki. As the battle resumed, the kage attended to launch an attack but he and Gengetsu were caught again by Gaara's sand. Observing Rasa being sealed, his Lightning Release Chakra Mode activates involuntarily to the threat of being sealed and destroyed the sealing tag. Freed from their bonds, the two stormed the approaching division, before beginning to divulge the particulars of their abilities. Identifying himself as a Lightning Release user, A instructed the opposition to have their Earth Release shinobi construct defences, while those with Wind Release attacked him relentlessly.
As numerous shinobi converged on him, Temari along with several others appeared to successfully cut A into several pieces using the Wind Release: Cast Net technique, before directing the Sealing Team to bind him immediately. However, her efforts proved to ultimately be ineffective, as A was able to regenerate before the Sealing Team could take action. While the opposition reformulated their strategy, A spotted Dodai amongst them, and called out to him. Dodai proceeded to inform Temari that more powerful wind release techniques were required in order to contest A's legendary durability. As the nature of his death was disclosed, Kabuto took the opportunity to erase A's personality to buy himself more time, just as Naruto Uzumaki's clone made his appearance on the battlefield.
Despite utilising the sun to obscure his attack, Naruto's first few attempts failed to connect with A, due to his enhanced reflexes and speed which allowed him to evade the attack twice. However, on the third attempt, he was unable to avoid the attack and was instead caught at the very centre of the sphere, but even the damage inflicted by this proved to be minimal and A once again, quickly recovered before he could be bound. Advancing upon the stunned opposition whilst activating his Hell Stab technique, the allied forces hastily constructed several reinforced defences in response, yet the attack penetrates both with considerable ease.
Emerging from the other side only to be ambushed by an onslaught of shinobi, who presumed that the element of surprise would be enough, A proceeds to quickly defeat them before engaging the rest of the division. Destroying the cliff where Dodai and Naruto had sought refuge, A folded his fist in preparation to incapacitate the falling Naruto with a punch but thanks to Dodai's intervention, he punched a rubber ball instead. Believing that Naruto had been encased within the ball, which had been sent bouncing away by his prior strike, A gave chase to it. However, after he caught up with, and slicing the ball in two, he realised that it was empty and so, changed direction in order to pursue Naruto.
Reducing the number of fingers used in his Hell Stab technique to just one as he advanced, A's attack is dodged by Naruto using the enhanced reflexes and sensory abilities granted by Sage Mode and parried with a Rasengan, aimed at A's left arm. The force of the blow caused A to impale himself with his own attack and as his body began to crumble, the Sealing Team took immediate action and completed his imprisonment. In the anime, some of Kabuto's lesser reincarnated shinobi try to unseal A, setting off traps around him. Temari and others returned to the site when they got intel of Kabuto's intention, and prevented his shinobi from unsealing A.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax Later, with the release of the Impure World Reincarnation technique, a light of sorts encased A's sealed body as the technique was dispelled and his soul was returned to the afterlife.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Main article: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Subsequent to Kaguya Ōtsutsuki being sealed by Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha, he and the other deceased Kage were summoned from the Pure Land by Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki to aid him and the Hokage in summoning Team 7, the tailed beasts and Madara Uchiha from Kaguya's dimension. Later, his and the other Kage's souls were returned to the Pure Land.
In Other Media
A (Third Raikage) is a playable character in the following video games:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4||4 February 2016||9 February 2016|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution||11 September 2014||16 September 2014|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Online||14 April 2013||20 July 2016|
- The concept behind A's possession of both the "strongest spear" (最強の矛, saikyō no hoko) and the "strongest shield" (最強の盾, saikyō no tate) was adapted from an anecdote found within the book Han Feizi, written by Han Fei, illustrating a contradiction relating to the Irresistible Force Paradox. The story goes as follows:
- "There was a man in Chu who sold shields and halberds. Praising them he said: "My shields are so strong that nothing can pierce them." And praising the halberds he said: "My halberds are so strong that there is nothing that they cannot pierce." A person asked: "What if someone pierces your shields with your halberds?" He could not respond."
- In chapter 554 when A is referred to as the "greatest Raikage", the word used for his description (最豪) can mean anything from 'greatest' to 'strongest' to 'manliest'.
- When A tells the allied troops about his abilities, he says, "I'm a Lightning Release user! Place your Earth Release users on the front row and attack me incessantly!!" (「ワシ雷遁を使う!土遁の忍を前列に置きワシを攻めたてろ!!」, "Washi Raiton o tsukau! Doton no shinobi o zenretsu ni oki washi o seme tatero!!"). In the tankōbon version, this is changed into, "I'm a Lightning Release user! Place your Earth Release users in the front row to create shields, while your Wind Release users attack me incessantly!!" (「ワシ雷遁を使う!土遁の忍を前列に置き盾を作りつつ風遁の忍で攻めたてろ!!」, "Washi Raiton o tsukau! Doton no shinobi o zenretsu ni oki tatsu o tsukuri tsutsu Fūton no shinobi de seme tatero!!").
- In Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, his personality wasn't erased.
- In Naruto: Shippūden episode 323, A's eyes are portrayed with a normal white sclerae.
- (To the other Kage) "It's not as tragic as you make it out to be. I have faith that the kids of all our villages have grown up to surpass us."
- Fourth Databook, page 201
- Naruto chapter 554, page 1
- Naruto chapter 554, page 16
- Naruto chapter 555, pages 15-16
- Naruto chapter 494, page 3
- Naruto chapter 541, pages 17-20
- Naruto chapter 526, page 8
- Naruto chapter 543, page 13
- Naruto chapter 553, page 12
- Naruto chapter 543, page 12
- Naruto chapter 554, page 15
- Naruto chapter 547, page 3
- Naruto chapter 553, page 13
- Naruto chapter 554, page 15
- Naruto chapter 555, page 9
- Naruto chapter 554, page 3
- Naruto chapter 554, page 2-5
- Naruto chapter 555, pages 4-5
- Naruto chapter 553, page 10
- Naruto chapter 554, pages 6-8
- Naruto chapter 562, pages 6-7
- Naruto chapter 548, page 18
- Naruto chapter 552, page 16
- Naruto chapter 553, pages 10-13
- Naruto chapter 553, pages 1-13
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 316
- Volume 58, page 79
- Naruto chapter 546, pages 8-9