|Manga||Volume #35, Naruto Chapter #312|
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #71|
|Novel||Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom|
|Movie||Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 3|
|OVA||Naruto Shippūden: UNSG anime cutscenes|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
Kakuzu (角都, Kakuzu) was an S-rank missing-nin from Takigakure and a member of Akatsuki who was partnered with Hidan. Kisame Hoshigaki jokingly referred to them as the Zombie Combo (ゾンビコンビ, Zonbi Konbi, English TV: Zombie Pair), due to the fact that, in differing senses, they could not die.
When under the servitude of Takigakure as an elite ninja, Kakuzu took on a mission to assassinate Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage. This mission, however, ended in failure against the God of Shinobi. Despite the insurmountable danger faced on the mission, what awaited his return to his village was the stigma and harsh punishment associated with the failure of his objective. In response to this treatment, a wrong levied against a shinobi who had put life and limb on the line for his village, Kakuzu came to hold a violent hatred for Takigakure as he escaped from imprisonment. In his flight from the village, Kakuzu killed the village elders, took their hearts, and fled with knowledge of the village's most prized forbidden techniques. He made a living off bounty hunting on the black market, and tearing out the still-beating hearts of powerful shinobi to extend his own lifespan and arsenal. At some time in the past, he apparently encountered the Gold and Silver Brothers and witnessed Kinkaku's jinchūriki transformation.
Some time after his defection, he became affiliated with, and joined, the criminal organisation, Akatsuki. During his early years in Akatsuki, he had at least four partners that he eventually ended up killing due to his short temper, and would come to use their hearts for his Earth Grudge Fear. In the anime, he, Itachi and Konan were tasked with killing an apparent immortal, who turned out to be Hidan. He managed to destroy one of Kakuzu's heart. Taking an interest in his abilities, Akatsuki recruited Hidan instead. Kakuzu was eventually paired with Hidan, who took an interest in Kakuzu after thinking of him as a pioneer for immortality, despite a mutual dislike. He was deemed a fitting partner for Kakuzu as he could not be killed because of his own, similar immortality.
Kakuzu was a greedy and miserly individual. He would arrange goals in terms of the highest profit he could gain from them, and was often unwilling to involve himself in something if there was nothing to gain from it, as well as claiming that he tended to forget opponents who were not worth any money after he was done with them. He even remarked that money is the only dependable thing in the world. Due to this end, he referred to himself as the "Treasurer of Akatsuki". Given his friendly relationship with Zangei, his bounty officer, it would seem he collected bounties rather frequently to earn cash, and did so (or at least tried) during his missions on several occasions. The frequent side-tasks and devotion to money were both major points of contention between Hidan and Kakuzu. He also seemed to respect an opponent who thinks well, as shown with his reaction to Kakashi's counters to Kakuzu's masks, and Shikamaru's quick analysis of Hidan's curse, even mentioning Shikamaru would have been a good bounty in the future.
Out of all the Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuzu displayed the most animosity towards each other, since neither of them were very fond of each other's interests. The two often traded barbs with one another, Kakuzu's usually having better timing than Hidan's. Hidan had shown great annoyance with Kakuzu's greed and occasional habit of doing or saying blasphemous things, such as attacking a temple and killing the head monk for the bounty on the monk's head. Kakuzu, in turn, disliked Hidan's religion, believing the rituals associated with it to be a waste of time. Kakuzu was also rather impatient with Hidan's drawn-out speeches and battle style. Despite their mutual dislike of each other, their teamwork was almost flawless, because they complemented each other's abilities extremely well. Also, Kakuzu seems to care to an extent about Hidan, as he picked up and gave back his partner's forehead protector after he lost it during his fight with Asuma, a feat that made Hidan admit that Kakuzu is not as hostile as he appeared to be, although Kakuzu did note that he only did so because he could not stand the sight of the scar on Hidan's neck.
The only reason that Kakuzu put up with Hidan was because he couldn't get rid of him. Due to his violent temper, Kakuzu often killed anyone close by when enraged, having killed his previous partners and even took their hearts to extend his own life. Hidan, therefore, was the perfect partner for Kakuzu, because of Hidan's inability to die. Kakuzu's somewhat indiscriminate attack style also made Hidan an ideal partner, since Kakuzu didn't need to worry about catching his partner in the crossfire.
Despite his obsessive personality and violent rages, Kakuzu was much more cautious than his partner, and was not as arrogant, never mindlessly rushing into battle like Hidan. Kakuzu frequently warned Hidan not to let his guard down, and then teased Hidan when he inevitably did. Kakuzu also seemed quite willing to follow orders. When ordered to retreat by the Akatsuki leader, Kakuzu complied immediately (while Hidan attempted to argue), despite the rather large bounty he could have received by taking Asuma. He seemed to forget the greater goals of the organisation when enraged, as he attempted to kill Naruto, in spite of Akatsuki's need to capture all the jinchūriki alive.
Kakuzu held a violent hatred for his village, as despite his loyalty and willingness to risk life and limb on a dangerous mission, his failure was repaid with uncharacteristically harsh punishment. He responded in kind by brutally betraying Takigakure — committing jailbreak, taking knowledge of their most valuable kinjutsu and killing all of the elders before departing.
Kakuzu was a very tall (easily standing as the second tallest member of Akatsuki), tan-skinned man with long dark-brown hair. His eyes had an unusual colouring: green irides, no pupils and red sclerae. Noticeably, despite his advanced age, he still appears as a man well within his prime, retaining a very muscular build. Before joining the Akatsuki, he let his hair hang loose, his sweatband covering his forehead, and a black-coloured mask covering his lower face (only revealing his eyes), where underneath it his mouth was stitched together at the edges (giving him a glasgow smile). He wore: no shirt (revealing all the stitches on his torso), dark-green, ruffed up pants and black shinobi sandals. After joining the Akatsuki, he retained the black mask over his lower face but had several changes. He donned a grey hood which covered his hair. His clothing included the traditional Akatsuki cloak, the Takigakure forehead protector with a scratch in the middle which symbolised that he was no longer loyal to it, and grey pants with matching shinobi sandals. He also wore brown nail polish and a dark green Akatsuki ring with the kanji for "north" (北, hoku) was placed on his left middle finger. The various stitches on his body was the result of the unique technique that he possessed — the Earth Grudge Fear.
After being reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi and restored by a talisman, Kakuzu gained dark grey sclerae, but retained his green, pupil-less irides. He no longer wore his forehead protector, hood or mask, causing his hair to be visible as it had been at the time of his death. He also no longer wore his vest, instead wearing a dark-red cloak with white lining, but still wore four masks on his back. In the anime, during the Power arc, Kakuzu wore a black cloak with red lining in place of the cloak he would later wear.
Kakuzu was an extremely powerful ninja, earning membership into the S-rank organisation of Akatsuki. During his frequent rages, he killed all but one of his partners in the organisation, due to the latter being immortal. His skills were such that he was chosen by his village to assassinate Hashirama Senju, surviving the battle despite failing the mission. Kakuzu's might is such, that had it not been for the interference of Team Yamato, he would have likely killed Team Asuma.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
Kakuzu was quite fast, able to cross great distances almost instantly and disappear from unfocused eyes. He could intercept Kakashi when he was attacking Hidan with his Lightning Cutter. His raw strength could catch one of Chōji's enlarged punches with a single hand and easily overpower the latter, as well as lift two people up by their necks with relative ease. Kakuzu was also adept in taijutsu, able to go toe-to-toe against a Sharingan-wielding Kakashi. From all the assimilations he has conducted over the decades of his defeated foes, he has amassed a vast amount of chakra.
Earth Grudge Fear
Kakuzu's fighting style and unique abilities revolved around the special nature of his body structure, which was composed of hundreds of thick, grey tendrils woven throughout his flesh called Earth Grudge Fear, holding his body together like the stitches of a rag-doll. This lets him separate his body parts at will, perform mid to long-range physical attacks, and sew up almost any injury he suffered. The threads could also be used to repair the bodies of others, as seen when he reattached Deidara's arms. Because of his unique body structure, Kakuzu is a highly enduring man, able to take a direct strike from Kakashi's Lightning Cutter without it hindering his performance. His threads could even compact together to form a giant octopus-like form around his body, used for long-range battle.
Kakuzu's threads granted him a degree of immortality (though he declined to think of it that way). The threads could pierce the flesh and bodies of others, allowing him to remove their organs and integrate them into his own body, thereby extending his life. He commonly removed hearts in this fashion, keeping a total of five at any time, and requiring that he be killed at least five times in a battle before he truly died. The individual hearts could also be released from his body and wrapped in a vast blanket of threads, forcing a heart into a limb before being detached or forming a monstrous body with a mask as its face. These masks could move and attack independently, unleashing powerful blasts of elemental chakra from their mouths. If Kakuzu was killed somehow, then one of his extra hearts could sacrifice itself by re-entering his body and resuscitate him.
Using the Earth Release: Earth Spear Technique increased his durability to withstand otherwise normally fatal attacks, such as Chōji's Spiked Human Bullet Tank. By collecting the hearts of other ninja, Kakuzu was granted their elemental affinities. This is done by connecting his chakra circulatory system to his four extra hearts, one for each chakra nature, granting him the ability to utilise this nature in battle. His efficiency with these different elemental attacks were noted to be impossible without having an affinity to that particular element.
Whereas in the manga, Kakuzu's own elemental affinity is implied to be Earth, in the anime, he was able to use water-based techniques that didn't stem from his Earth Grudge Fear technique, performing such feats as hiding within water or creating defensive walls and clones.
- Fire Mask: This heart had a fire affinity, and took on the shape of a demonic tiger. It could use Fire Release: Intelligent Hard Work. This mask could also unite with the Wind mask to launch a fire-wind dual strike that was near unstoppable.
- Lightning Mask: This heart had a lightning affinity, and took on the shape of some sort of deformed biped. It could use Lightning Release: False Darkness.
- Water Mask: This heart had an water affinity, and took on the shape of a demonic, beaked biped. It allowed Kakuzu to use Water Release techniques, although they were not seen in the manga as the mask was destroyed before Kakuzu could use any.
- Wind Mask: This heart had a wind affinity, and took on a strange four-legged body with thin wings. It could use Wind Release: Pressure Damage. It could unite with the Fire mask to launch a fire-wind dual strike that was near unstoppable.
Kakuzu was shown to be a keen analyst and pragmatist, which was somewhat attributable to his advanced age. He is highly observant, easily noticing that Shikamaru was taking his time to formulate a plan to counter Hidan's technique, after the former caught his partner in his Shadow Imitation Technique. He was able to quickly discern the purpose of Shikamaru's various shadow attacks, and devised ways to counter them almost instantaneously during the battle. An example is when Shikamaru trapped him and Hidan in his Shadow Imitation Shuriken Technique, only for Kakuzu to detach his right arm, hide it underground and with its help, remove the trench knife, thus successfully breaking free from the technique.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
Main article: Sasuke Recovery Mission At the end of Part I, Kakuzu made a cameo appearance as a silhouette during an Akatsuki gathering where they discussed Orochimaru's taking of Sasuke Uchiha, as well as the capturing of the Nine-Tails and the furthering of their plans.
The Fallen Castle
Main article: The Fallen Castle In the anime, Kakuzu and Hidan met with Sasori and Deidara to discuss their new missions assigned by Akatsuki. After Kakuzu said they had a choice between a money-making mission and a war-mission, he chose the money mission after Sasori and Deidara showed no interest in it, much to Hidan's annoyance.
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
Main article: In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths In the anime, the duo was sent to capture the jinchūriki Fū. Fū was excited to befriend a fellow Taki comrade, despite knowing the rogue shinobi's history. However, Kakuzu states that their motives aren't to become friends with her.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
Akatsuki Suppression Mission
Main article: Akatsuki Suppression Mission
Kakuzu first appeared with his partner, Hidan, in their pursuit of the Two-Tails' jinchūriki, Yugito Nii, who revealed she allowed herself to be cornered, in order to spring a trap on them and eliminate them herself. Yugito then transformed into her Tailed Beast, a large flaming cat, but the Akatsuki duo still managed to defeat her, and gave her to Zetsu, before they continued to the Land of Fire.
On their way, Kakuzu decided to attack the Fire Temple, in order to collect the bounty on the head monk, Chiriku, who was listed in the bingo book with a thirty million ryō bounty. They slaughtered most of the other monks during the event, but one escaped to warn Konoha of the incoming threat.
Upon receiving the notice, Tsunade assigned the Nijū Shōtai to track down and eliminate Kakuzu and Hidan. Meanwhile, Kakuzu took Chiriku's body to a bounty station hidden in a bathroom, while Hidan chose to wait outside. When Kakuzu finally left the bathroom after counting the money, he found a Nijū Shōtai team, led by Asuma Sarutobi, attacking Hidan. He attacked Shikamaru Nara in order to free Hidan, but was forbidden from further participation in the battle by the overconfident Hidan himself. Kakuzu complied, but insisted that he would get to have the thirty-five million ryō head of Asuma afterwards. In the ensuing battle, Hidan managed to ingest Asuma's blood to start his curse technique ceremony on him, but Shikamaru was able to stop him with his Shadow Imitation Technique. When Asuma managed to decapitate Hidan, Kakuzu finally intervened, and reattached Hidan's head back to his neck using the threads in his body. Kakuzu then fought with Kotetsu and Izumo, easily holding the two off, while Hidan dealt a fatal blow to Asuma. Their battle was interrupted by the appearance of another Nijū Shōtai team, but they easily fought them off, until they were summoned by the Akatsuki leader to seal the Two-Tails. Hidan and Kakuzu retreated to a secluded area, where they spent three days sealing the Two-Tails (and in the manga, another three days sealing the Three-Tails).
After the sealing was complete, Kakuzu and Hidan set out on their search for the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's jinchūriki (Naruto Uzumaki), only to be cut off by Team Asuma (with Kakashi Hatake as the leader in place of Asuma). Shikamaru used Asuma's chakra knives to capture both the Akatsuki members in place with a trick, but Kakuzu had discovered the trick beforehand, and, using a separated arm, broke free. Because of his ability to harden his skin, Kakuzu proved to be largely invulnerable to subsequent attacks. Kakashi, however, was able to analyse Kakuzu's hand seals, and pierced Kakuzu's heart with his Lightning Cutter, exploiting the weakness Kakuzu's earth-based technique had against lightning-based ones.
While this would normally be fatal, Kakuzu had five hearts (now four) in his possession, and thus recovered fairly quickly, sending a counter-attack to Kakashi. Removing his cloak, he revealed four masks on his back, one of which was now broken by Kakashi. Each mask contained a heart, the broken one having given its heart up to keep Kakuzu alive. The four masks broke free from his back into separate entities, with the broken one dissolving after doing so. Each mask was able to attack with a specific and powerful elemental attack, making Kakuzu almost too much for Team 10 to handle. While Kakuzu set his sights on replacing his lost heart with Kakashi's, Shikamaru dragged Hidan away from the battlefield into some woods, with his Shadow Imitation Technique, for a one-on-one fight.
Ignoring the other two for the most part, Kakuzu focused on taking Kakashi's heart. Though Kakashi was unable to handle Kakuzu and his mask creatures, being forced to protect Ino and Chōji too, he was saved when Shikamaru tricked Hidan into using some of Kakuzu's blood in his curse ritual, which Kakashi had collected in a capsule earlier when he pierced Kakuzu's chest, and had handed it over to Shikamaru. This resulted in Hidan unintentionally destroying Kakuzu's main body's heart. Seeing this, the Lightning mask allowed its heart to be absorbed by Kakuzu's body, bringing him back to life. In addition to that, Kakuzu also had the two other Fire and Wind masks to combine with him, making him even more powerful. He then caught the rest of Team 10 with his threads, hoping to replenish his stock.
Team 10 was saved by the arrival of Team 7, among them being Naruto, who decided to fight Kakuzu himself, who at first did not view Naruto as a threat. This changed when Naruto unveiled his newly developed technique, Wind Release: Rasenshuriken, which Kakuzu recognised to be dangerous if it ever connected with him. Naruto's inability to maintain the technique for more than a few seconds put Kakuzu at ease, especially since its failure almost allowed him to kill Naruto (although Yamato and Kakashi saved him), but decided to fight in his long-range mode just to be safe. As Naruto tried the Rasenshuriken once again with his shadow clones, Kakuzu attempted to crush Naruto with his threads from a distance, but was surprised to discover that it was a shadow clone that he had destroyed, and, subsequently, the real Naruto shot up behind him, using the technique effectively this time.
Left with no usable hearts after being battered by Naruto's technique, Kakuzu lamented being defeated by those he considered "kids". Kakashi assured him that the previous generation being surpassed by the next was perfectly natural, and one of the "never-ending cycles of life". Kakashi then finished him off with a Lightning Cutter.
Kakuzu's corpse was later taken back to Konoha to be autopsied by Tsunade in regards of the Rasenshuriken's capabilities, and it revealed that Kakuzu was damaged at a cellular level by it.
Main article: Power In the anime, Kakuzu is summoned by Kabuto to battle Team Kakashi, who are investigating the massacre that he brought about in The Hole. Quickly after being summoned, Kakuzu's coffin vanishes with Kabuto questioning if the Impure World Reincarnation is incomplete.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown In an attempt to both impede Tobi and coerce him into joining forces during their initial encounter, Kabuto Yakushi demonstrated his capabilities by reincarnating many of the deceased members of Akatsuki, including Kakuzu, using Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Mobilising alongside Itachi as the Fourth Shinobi World War against the Allied Shinobi Forces commences, Kakuzu carries the immobile Nagato on his back. Separating from these two whilst relocating to the Land of Lightning's coast, Kakuzu emerges from the sea amongst the White Zetsu Army, engaging the opposing First Division while strangling multiple shinobi with his threads. Soon after, Kakuzu glances over at Kinkaku's transformation, noting that he hadn't seen it in a very long time.
Confronted by the current generation Ino-Shika-Chō, he discerns from Shikamaru's presence that Hidan had likely been decapitated but still alive as he wasn't among the reincarnated. Obtaining his fifth and final heart, Kakuzu proceeds to unleash his masks to fulfil his role as a "bishop". He then remarks that even though the Gold and Silver Brothers were captured, they ironically already possessed the gold and silver pieces from the opposing side, meaning Dan Katō and Asuma respectively. Just as his masks disperse, Kakuzu's arms are sliced off by Izumo and Kotetsu before being bound in their chains as he stated that he tends to forget people over whom he can't collect bounties.
Escaping his captors as they pursue him, Kakuzu's lightning heart is destroyed by Tenten, through the use of the Bashōsen. Whilst later fighting Darui, Izumo and Kotetsu, he was shocked to see Chōji's butterfly wings overshadowing the battlefield. With his masks defeated, Kakuzu is eventually restrained beneath Chōji's giant fist, but when the latter departs to stop the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path's rampage, the others are left to bind Kakuzu.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
In Other Media
Kakuzu is a playable character in the following video games:
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- The first kanji in Kakuzu's name (角) stands for kakugyō, the bishop in shōgi. While similarly, the kanji in his partner Hidan's name means "rook", another shōgi piece.
- Kakuzu is the oldest shinobi whose age is known.
- Kakuzu's birthday corresponds with the astrological sign Leo, who rules the heart, the organ Kakuzu collected from defeated enemies.
- Kishimoto first intended to make Akatsuki's members monsters with almost no human traits. Zetsu, Kisame and Kakuzu (and, to a lesser extent, Deidara and Sasori) are prime examples of this. Kakuzu, in particular, has traits derived from a Kuchisake-onna (口裂け女, literally meaning: Slit-Mouthed Woman), a Japanese mythological figure who has a slit across her mouth from ear to ear (as with Kakuzu's), which is hidden under a surgical mask (as Kakuzu also hid his mouth under a similar mask).
- Many of Kakuzu's techniques are named after various mecha from Mobile Suit Gundam (機動戦士ガンダム, Kidō Senshi Gandamu). In Chapter 60, Kishimoto mentioned his interest in the show in the third segment of his child history. He used to draw Zaku, Gifu (Gouf), Domu (Dom), Jimu (GM), and Dozuruzabi (Dozle Zabi).
- Although covered by his hood, Kakuzu had shoulder length dark brown hair, but in the anime, it was depicted reaching down to his lower back.
- When Kakuzu first appeared as a hologram at the end of Part I, he was clearly the tallest Akatsuki member there, a fact reinforced when he appeared during Gaara's sealing ritual. However, when he truly appeared with Hidan, he was much shorter, and the third databook stated that he was shorter than Kisame.
- Kakuzu's unusually coloured eyes were similar to those of Hanzō.
- Both Hidan and Kakuzu's faces appeared on a pair of lanterns in the omake of Shippūden episode 129, Kakuzu being on the right and Hidan on the left.
- Kakuzu, along with Hidan, gets a mention in Naruto Shippūden: Dragon Blade Chronicles for the Wii, when Tobi mentions "monsters" with traits of the two (arms that can be stretched and the ability to survive decapitation), before Deidara notes how he is talking about the pair's abilities.
- The markings on Kakuzu's forearms suggest that he has been in prison at some point, as such tattoos were used during Edo period in Japan to identify criminals according to the institution they were in.
- According to the databook(s):
- Kakuzu's favourite foods were liver-based foods such as liver sashimi and ankimo, while his least favourite was chestnut jelly.
- He wished to fight anyone with a high bounty.
- His hobby was reading (old/rare books).
- Kakuzu's favourite phrase was "If you're prepared, there won't be any sorrow" (備えあれば憂いなし, Sonae areba urei nashi).
- (To Hidan) "Even Hell runs on money. I'd be just fine."
- (To Hidan) "If you let your guard down… you're dead."
- (To Hidan) "…One of these days, I swear I'll kill you."
- (To Shikamaru) "You actually think… unlike my idiot partner."
- (To Kakashi) "Looking at your forehead protector reminds me of the very first Konoha shinobi I fought… the First Hokage, that is."
- (To Kakashi) "Heh… No one is immortal."
- (To Kakashi) "It's only fitting that I take your heart to replace the one you've destroyed!"
- Third Databook, pages 56-59
- Fourth Databook, page 73
- Naruto chapter 353, page 11
- Naruto chapter 336, pages 4-5
- Naruto chapter 528, page 17
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 457
- Naruto chapter 322, pages 4-5
- Naruto chapter 337, pages 14-17
- Naruto chapter 323, page 4
- Naruto chapter 325, page 17
- Naruto chapter 326, pages 3-4
- Naruto chapter 334, pages 3-4
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 85
- Naruto chapter 332, page 6
- Naruto chapter 341, pages 2-4
- Naruto chapter 336, page 5
- Naruto chapter 337, pages 11-12
- Naruto chapter 333, page 9
- Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact
- Naruto chapter 332, page 19
- Naruto chapter 333, pages 6-7
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 309
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 413
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 290
- Naruto chapter 489, pages 18-20
- Naruto chapter 537, pages 8-9
- Naruto chapter 238, pages 19-20
- Naruto chapter 314, page 7
- Naruto chapter 314, pages 8-9
- Naruto chapter 318, page 14
- Naruto chapter 333, page 6
- Naruto chapter 336, pages 3-4
- Naruto chapter 336, page 4