|Manga||Volume #40, Naruto Chapter #369|
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #128|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game|
Hanzō (半蔵, Hanzō), also known as Hanzō of the Salamander (山椒魚の半蔵, Sanshōuo no Hanzō), was a legendary ninja who was the former leader of Amegakure.
Hanzō became famous around the time of the Second Shinobi World War; when he fought some of Konoha's forces. Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru were the only ones to survive. As a reward to them for this accomplishment, he named them Konoha's Sannin and told them to refer to themselves as such in exchange for letting them live. Sometime in his past he fought Mifune, who he defeated in battle and believed to have killed.
Years after his battle with the Sannin, when a group of ninja began a quest to end war through unorthodox means within his country, Hanzō viewed them as a threat to his power and sought to get rid of them. He teamed up with Konoha's Root organisation to kill the group's leader, Yahiko. He lured Yahiko to a meeting where he forced Nagato, Yahiko's team-mate, to kill Yahiko in exchange for Konan's life.
However, Yahiko committed suicide by impaling himself upon Nagato's kunai to spare his friend the anguish and burden of killing him himself. Nagato slaughtered Hanzō's forces in retribution along with the shinobi of Root who had come to aid Hanzō. After a brief skirmish with Nagato, Hanzō fled the scene realizing that he could not deal with Nagato when he was so enraged and thus escaped.
Nagato, under the alias of "Pain", would later begin a civil war within Amegakure. According to the stories, he single-handedly killed Hanzō, his family, and his retainers, and then conducted a systematic genocide of anybody even remotely associated with Hanzō, even to the extent of terminating the ambassadors of the villages Hanzō was associated with.
Hanzō was a very security-conscious individual, trusting no one. He was guarded twenty-four seven, and did not allow anyone in his presence, even children, without being thoroughly searched. He cared greatly about his position as village leader, and dealt with threats harshly.
Although he views the Five Great Countries as his enemies, he was still willing to ally with foreign nations, even those who had caused him great harm, in order to remain in power. He was also willing to betray people without remorse, leading the Ame Orphans and their team into a trap, then attempting to have them all mercilessly killed; this betrayal, ironically, led to his own demise.
A long time ago during his youth, Hanzō had once sought the ideals of "peace" and even attempted to achieve this belief through the unification of the Five Great Countries. However, after realising that such a method would only bring about perpetual war and thus, leave only death in its wake, he cast aside this conviction. Afterwards Hanzō became devoted solely to the preservation of the power he had previously amassed, growing arrogant of his own martial skills in the process and leaving him unaware that they had instead dulled considerably, due in part to the lack of refinement brought about through practice. Even by the time of his death, Hanzō still couldn't comprehend how someone he had once defeated, could have grew more powerful than himself.
Hanzō had long blond hair and scar on his right cheek. He also wore a breathing mask that differed from the ones worn by other Amegakure ninjas by being bigger and having two filter cartridges instead of one, a flak jacket and a cloak. In the manga, he has unusual eyes, with the whites being dark, while in the anime, they are normal-coloured.
While his abilities as a ninja are mostly unknown, Hanzō was easily one of the strongest ninja of his time. His power was such that Jiraiya expressed intense shock upon hearing that he had been defeated single-handedly by Pain. Hanzō's speed was said to be unsurpassed in water. During his attempt to kill Nagato, he demonstrated impressive skill for trap-oriented techniques, as he not only anticipated Nagato attacking him but had also appropriately placed a series of exploding tags in preparation for such an eventuality.
Since his youth, Hanzō has wielded a kusarigama with great skill, being able to match and even surpass various dangerous opponents seemingly through the use of just this weapon alone, including the likes of the now reputed Mifune. Unusually, he tends to deliver brutal strikes by swinging the sickle with the chain, rather than simply employing the weighted end, which is generally considered to be the most effective manner. Due to Hanzō's preoccupation with the preservation of his own security, when he was nearing the latter stages of his life, his skills had dulled considerably.
Hanzō was shown to be particularly skilled in the Summoning Technique, being able to summon a giant salamander, large enough for him to ride on its back, and possibly the source of his nickname. When battling alongside this trademark creature of his, Hanzō was strong enough to fight and eventually overpower all three Sannin in their youth. The salamander was shown capable, at Hanzō's command, of emitting a Poison Mist from its mouth, strong enough to almost completely paralyse his opponents in mere seconds, leaving them at its master's mercy.
Shinobi World War Arc
Hanzō is resurrected by Kabuto, along with various other famous shinobi through the Summoning: Impure World Resurrection, to prepare for war against the Allied Shinobi Forces. He is part of the group that Chūkichi requests assistance from, alongside Chiyo and Kimimaro.
Hanzō later encounters Kankurō and the remnants of the Surprise Attack Division with his improvised team, where he chastises Deidara for being caught and remarks that he would have no intention of freeing him if it weren't for the accursed technique that governs his actions. As the opposition retreats, Hanzō concentrates on their pursuit, once the enemies were within range he summons his salamander and commanded it to release a Poison Mist. Moving in for the fatal blow, Hanzō is intercepted by Mifune, who expresses a desire to fight him.
Trading banter, the two engaged in a brief, but fierce duel, Hanzō trying to keep the distance with his kusarigama. During their talk during their duel, Mifune began realizing his opponent had gotten rusty while his skills with the blade were sharper than before. Preventing Hanzō from using hand seals with Iaidō, Hanzō tried to suffocate him in the poisonous mouth of Ibuse, his salamander by swallowing him whole. Mifune countered, slashing through the salamander's head while Hanzō moved in for a final blow. In a complete reverse of their first battle years ago, Mifune cut the blade of Hanzō's kusarigama in half and slashed through his body.
- Hanzō's eyes in the manga are very similar to Kakuzu's and the Third Raikage's, while in the anime they are normal.
- According to the third Naruto Databook:
- His favorite phrase was: "Security is the greatest enemy".
- In water, he had unsurpassed speed.
- Hanzō may have been named after a famous real-life samurai and possible ninja Hanzō Hattori.
- Hanzō's nickname and his element affinity have significant meaning because in ancient mythology, although being amphibious, the salamander was considered the living symbol of fire and as such was completely fireproof and able to live in fire itself.
- ↑ Third Databook, page 143
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 147
- ↑ Naruto chapter 369, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 531, page 13
- ↑ Naruto manga chapter 531, pages 11-20
- ↑ Naruto chapter 515, pages 18-19
- ↑ Naruto chapter 521, page 5
- ↑ Naruto chapter 526, pages 13-14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 530, pages 14-17