|Manga||Volume #4, Naruto Chapter #34|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #20|
|Novel||Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage|
|Movie||Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel|
|Game||Naruto: Ninja Council|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||16|
Kankurō (カンクロウ, Kankurō) is a shinobi of Sunagakure and the second eldest of the Three Sand Siblings. While initially terrified of his younger brother, Kankurō would come to believe in him and his dream to become the Kazekage like their father before them and would become one of Gaara's most loyal protectors, confidant and bodyguard.
- 1 Background
- 2 Personality
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Part I
- 6 Interlude
- 7 Part II
- 8 Blank Period
- 9 New Era
- 10 In Other Media
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Quotes
- 13 References
Kankurō was born the second child to Karura and the Fourth Kazekage: Rasa. While it was customary for close relations to a Kage to be a jinchūriki, neither he nor his sister Temari were compatible with the One-Tail.
In the anime, when Shukaku rampaged in Sunagakure, a young Kankurō instructed the villagers to escape. As his father arrived, Kankurō noted his younger brother was a "monster". Later, he confronted Gaara and asked whether or not he felt remorse for killing his fellow villagers, but was silenced when he threatened to kill him. In the anime, Kankurō mentions having once pleaded with Chiyo to train him, though she turned him down because she no longer cared about aiding the future of the village.
In Part I, one noticeable personality trait he displayed was an apparent dislike for children, first seen when he attempted to beat up Konohamaru for running into him. This carried over to many of his interactions with other characters, as he was noticeably irritated when in the presence of someone younger than him. This was most evident when he was seen with Gaara, who Kankurō was forced to put up with due to the fear his younger brother imposed on him. After Gaara's defeat in the hands of Naruto, Kankurō's relationship with Gaara improved drastically over a very short period of time. In the short time between this and the Sasuke Retrivial Arc, Kankurō and Temari no longer expressed fear of being killed by Gaara when sent on missions with him.
Kankurō was shown to be the type to avoid needless fighting. This was shown during the Forest of Death, where he stated if Shigure's team had the same scroll as them, fighting is pointless. He further stated he didn't want to be stuck in the forest with Gaara because he often got into unnecessary fighting for the sole purpose of satisfying his bloodlust.
During the mission to help retrieve Sasuke, Kankurō was shown to be very prideful of his village, saying they're not as soft as Konoha ninja. Kankurō also can be realistic at times, not only when Gaara wanted to start working with other ninja, but also when he was the first to give up on Sasuke due to Naruto's failure to convince Sasuke and his connection with Akastuki.
Despite their apparent differences, Gaara and Kankurō become very close over the time skip, as Gaara began to confide in Kankurō, and shared his dreams of wanting to risk his life to protect Sunagakure. Combining with having developed brotherly feelings, especially that of an older brother, Kankurō has become very protective of Gaara, getting angry at anyone who insults Gaara in his presence. When Gaara was captured by Akatsuki, Kankurō rushed to his brother's aid alone in an attempt to save him, and risked his life for him, despite the dangers that he put himself in. When he was incapacitated as a result of the battle with Sasori, he pleaded with Naruto to bring his brother back, and as soon as he had recovered, joined Temari in looking for Gaara. At one point when Kankurō had been poisoned by Sasori he was heard muttering Gaara's name though he was unconscious, which showed how much he cared for Gaara. Once Gaara was found and saved, Kankurō joined Temari in thanking Team 7 for saving their brother. It was also noted that he likes collecting puppets, and installing and upgrading the mechanisms in them. In the anime, as seen from his Infinite Tsukuyomi, his greatest desire is to create the ultimate ninjutsu puppet.
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kankurō indicated signs of being a caring leader when he pulled Zaji from the explosion and protecting his group from any danger. He also shows determination during his battle against Deidara, Sasori, and Shin. Kankurō keeps Omoi from overreacting and getting anxious by telling him to win the war at all costs to protect his family and friends. When Sasori was captured inside of Kuroari, Kankurō helps make Sasori realise his true faults during his lifetime as a puppeteer which makes Sasori entrust his "Father and Mother" puppets to him.
In the original Japanese, Kankurō speaks with a distinctive Yokohama dialect. He can often be heard ending his sentences with "-jan". This makes him sound tough, as this accent is often used for biker gang members or punk kids (called "yankii" in Japanese, Yokohama supposedly has many) in manga. It is possible that he was given this accent to make him sound different from the Konoha characters' standard Tokyo Japanese.
In Part I, Kankurō wore a Bunraku puppeteer's costume; a black, baggy, full body suit with a red and yellow circle on the front. He also wears a black hood which covered his head completely, and had cat-like ears and his forehead protector on his forehead. Both this and later outfits are derived from traditional bunraku puppeteer costumes; bunraku puppeteers usually wear black outfits and hoods so as not to distract from their puppets. When he first made an appearance, Kankurō sported a triangular face-paint design, which changed to a different cross-like design from the Sasuke Recovery Mission up until Part II. He also wears gloves and carries his puppets on his back.
In Part II, Kankurō once again changed his face-paint. He also has a new puppet, as well as wearing a black outfit consisting of a long top and trousers with a red sash around his waist. He is revealed to have brown hair in Part II and when seen with no headgear or face-paint, he greatly resembles his father. His hood changes later on when seen again and wears a kimono type garment. He carries his puppets on his back still, only they are now in scrolls. He also sports a new face paint. It is now starting from one cheek to the lips and to the end of the other cheek, and another line starting from the top of the upper lip to the bottom of the chin. It looks like it forms the letter "T".
Upon the beginning of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kankurō wears the standard attire of a Sunagakure ninja, along with his hood, which now has the symbol of the Allied Shinobi Forces stitched on to it. He has the same facial painting from the Sasuke Recovery Mission but with broader lines and no line over his nose.
Being one of the Fourth Kazekage's children who underwent the gruelling training of Sunagakure, Kankurō became a highly skilled and capable shinobi. As a genin, he was able to kill Sakon and Ukon, the strongest members of the Sound Four. Kankurō's skills improved considerably over the time-skip, becoming a jōnin and later being chosen to lead the Surprise Attack Division during the Fourth Shinobi World War. He has shown himself to be a capable leader, having his division set up a miniature headquarters before assigning individuals to various roles. In addition, he has shown the tactical sense to call a retreat when outmatched as well as attack accordingly, and synchronise skills with his teammates for the most appropriate outcome.
Kankurō is a highly talented puppeteer, indicated when Sasori, a renowned master of the Puppet Technique, complimented Kankurō's abilities despite anticipating all his attacks (albeit it mainly stemmed from him having made Kankurō's puppets). He has great skill in both modifying and controlling puppets, and was physically strong enough to carry around two puppets on his back in Part I, though in Part II he instead uses scrolls to store them in.
When initially introduced, Kankurō could only use a single puppet per time. However, he would in subsequent years hone his puppeteer skills and become a puppet master himself, capable of manoeuvring more puppets at the same time. He also displayed the ability to attach his own chakra threads to another puppeteer's, a feat that earned him Sasori's praise. Kankurō utilises what he calls the Black Secret Technique (黒秘技, Kurohigi) — a name not unlike Chiyo's White Secret Technique (白秘技, Shirohigi) and Sasori's Red Secret Technique (赤秘技, Akahigi) — the latter of which he claims has been surpassed by his own style. With each of his appearances in the major arcs, Kankurō is seen with a new puppet in his arsenal. The four puppets that have been introduced were all originally created by Sasori (the fourth actually being Sasori himself), and came into Kankurō's possession some time after Sasori left Suna. His first three puppets are destroyed by Sasori at the start of Part II. After having his puppets destroyed, he took Sasori's body and used it as a puppet after his death. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, he is seen with the previously destroyed puppets, that have been repaired, plus a duplicate of the Kuroari. Later in life, he made and began wielding additional copies of his signature puppets. He could also make his puppets self-destruct in a powerful explosion as a last resort.
As puppeteers are long-range fighters who rely on their puppets in combat, Kankurō is weak against close-range combat. However, he has come up with many ways of escaping it: he's shown to act quite deceptively, switching places with his puppets using the Body Replacement Technique, also altering their appearances to resemble his, to escape close combat when an opponent gets too close, while at the same time putting his puppets in range of the enemy, allowing Kankurō to catch his foes off guard and kill them.
Kankurō's puppets seem to be designed to work together to some degree, as seen when they use the Black Secret Technique Machine One Shot, where Karasu navigates an opponent into Kuroari's torso. Once trapped, Karasu separates its limbs to reveal a number of concealed weapons, which enter the slots on Kuroari's body to impale the opponent. Black Secret Technique — Machine Triple Shot is used by Kankurō to trap more people and kill them at the same time. In the anime, Kankurō was also shown combining his puppets' attacks to make them more dangerous, as seen when they use the Poison Mist Hell: Hundred Continuous Firing technique, where Karasu blankets the area in a smokescreen while Kuroari fires poisoned needles at the blinded opponent.
Kankurō's puppetry skills are also highly adaptable as shown through his latest puppet, Sasori — which he obtained after Sasori's death and made several modifications to in order to apply his own Black Secret Technique style. It retains the coil in its stomach cavity, flamethrower and the blades on its back, plus he installed the mechanism to use Mechanical Light Shield Block on its right arm and modified its left arm to extend. Kankurō can use the Red Secret Technique Machinery Triangles with this puppet. After he defeated Sasori in the Fourth Shinobi World War, the puppet master passed his Mother and Father puppets on to Kankurō. Somehow Kankurō managed to distinguish Chiyo's feelings through her chakra threads.
He is well versed in terms of nature transformation, as he is able to use Wind, Lightning, Earth, and Water Release. In the anime, Kankurō claimed to have a resistance to poison, though not enough to withstand the effects of Ibuse's Poison Mist. In the anime, during the Fourth Shinobi World War, his taijutsu was at least good enough to keep up with another skilled puppet user.
Main article: Chūnin Exams Soon after their arrival in Konoha for the Chūnin Exams, Kankurō and his sister, Temari were first seen with Team Kakashi, Konohamaru, Moegi and Udon. Annoyed at Konohamaru who had bumped into him, Kankurō grabbed him by his scarf and picked him up into the air. A few moments after, Naruto tried to help Konohamaru but he seemingly tripped over himself but in actuality, it was Kankurō's doing. Kankurō finally dropped the terrified Konohamaru onto the ground after Sasuke threw a rock at his hand. Enraged even further Kankurō prepared to fight but was threatened by Gaara to stop. During the written portion of the exam, meant to test the examinees' ability to gather information covertly, Kankurō who excuses himself to go to the bathroom reveals that one of the proctors was actually his puppet Karasu in disguise. After retrieving the answers Kankurō came back to class just in time before the the last part of the exam started. When he walked back to his seat, he passed the answers on to Temari. As the examiner Ibiki Morino told Kankurō that he hoped his "doll-playing" was beneficial, Kankurō is shocked to realise that the examiner had uncovered his plan.
During the survival portion of the exam, Kankurō along with his siblings waited by the gate entrance of the Forest of Death ready to take on the exam. As soon as the exam started, Kankurō thought to himself that not only did he have to worry about his enemies, but also about his younger brother who may attack or even kill him. He was later seen with Gaara who brutally murdered a team of Amegakure genin easily. Gaara wanted more blood, he noticed Kiba's squad behind the bushes. Kankurō and Temari knew that Gaara was planning to kill them. They tried to stop him but Gaara threatened to kill them if they were in the way. Kankurō was fed up from all the trouble they have to go through with him, therefore he approached and grabbed Gaara towards him. Kankurō stated that he is sick of all of these problems and told him to listen to his older brother for once. Gaara looked back at Kankurō telling him that he doesn't consider him as a brother. They soon reached the tower being the first ones there surprising Anko because of how quickly they arrived. None of the siblings were hurt or even scratched because of the great strength Gaara possesses.
During the preliminary matches, Kankurō was paired with Misumi Tsurugi. Misumi quickly wrapped himself around Kankurō's body, threatening to break Kankurō's neck if he did not forfeit. Kankurō refused, so Misumi made good on his threat by appearing to kill Kankurō. Before the match could be called in Misumi's favour, the Kankurō that Misumi attacked was revealed to have been Karasu in disguise, while Kankurō was hiding where Karasu was supposed to be. Kankurō quickly made Karasu grab hold of Misumi and brutally constrict him, breaking his bones before he could surrender. Misumi survived, but was in no condition to fight, and Kankurō was declared the winner. Later, Kankurō told his siblings that he is going to watch the fight from the other side of the stage to get intel from Neji. He was standing next to Naruto watching the other battles. When Rock Lee was facing against Gaara, Kankurō and Temari had confidence in their faces knowing that it would be near impossible to beat Gaara since he was never even scratched before. Rock Lee proved them wrong when he used his five of his Eight Gates to damage Gaara greatly. Kankurō and the eight others passed the preliminary exam and were set off to the final exam. Kankurō saw that he had to face off against Shino Aburame. In the anime, during their one month break from the final exam, Kankurō was seen with Temari telling her to practise for her match. She stated that she did not need to since she was paired with Shikamaru who was viewed weak by her. Baki showed up and told the Sand Siblings that they have a new A+ ranked mission involving the destruction of Konoha. Kankurō and Temari wanted to deny the mission since they had close ties with the Konoha, but they were left with no choice but to do it. Baki also told Kankurō and Temari to keep an eye on Gaara so he won't ruin their new mission.
Main article: Konoha Crush In the final round matches set to take place a month later, Kankurō was scheduled to fight Shino Aburame. Because he was to take part in Sunagakure's invasion of Konoha, planned to begin before his match with Shino, Kankurō outfitted Karasu especially for the invasion. When the invasion was delayed and Kankurō's fight with Shino was to begin, Kankurō forfeited, not wanting to reveal Karasu's other features to the people around.
When the invasion began, Kankurō and Temari escorted an injured Gaara out of the village. When they discovered they were being followed, Kankurō stayed behind to buy time. Before he could engage their pursuer, Sasuke Uchiha, Shino arrived to fight him instead, wanting to have the battle that was denied in the finals. Sasuke continued following Gaara, while Shino and Kankurō began to fight. Kankurō had Karasu begin an immediate assault, but Shino avoided the attacks and, unbeknownst to Kankurō, planted a bug on him. Kankurō then launched a poison smoke bomb at Shino. Shino inhaled some of the poisonous gas, but was able to escape and use his bugs to trap and restrain Karasu. Before he lost complete use of Karasu, he tried to launch a final attack, only to discover that Shino's bugs, guided by the bug placed on him earlier, had found his location and consumed all his chakra.
Kankurō is left unable to move, but Shino, because of the poison gas he inhaled, passed out and couldn't finish him off. He was later found by Temari, and together they helped Gaara get back to Sunagakure. Gaara, having been defeated by Naruto, wearily apologised to both of his siblings. Kankurō, utterly shocked, stammered out words of forgiveness.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
Main article: Sasuke Recovery Mission
Kankurō and his siblings were sent by Sunagakure to help Konoha retrieve Sasuke Uchiha. Kankurō came to the aid of Kiba Inuzuka and his dog Akamaru, saving them from Sakon and Ukon. Ukon tried to kill them, but was stopped by Kankurō who used his puppet Karasu to defend Kiba and Akamaru from Ukon's kunai attack. Kiba asks Kankurō where the others that he scented are and Kankurō tells him that they went on to help his other friends because they are were also in trouble. Kankurō then engages Ukon, but is caught by Sakon, who came back when Ukon didn't return. Sakon tries to use his Parasite Demon Demolition Technique to fuse with Kankurō's body, but Kankurō revealed that Sakon had grabbed his new puppet, Kuroari. Kankurō emerged from a pack on its back and impaled Sakon with several blades on the puppets arms. Ukon absorbs his brother and Sakon goes to sleep. After Ukon insults the puppet, Kankurō uses Karasu to lure them into the Kuroari trapping Sakon and Ukon in Kuroari's belly. Kankurō then used his new Black Secret Technique Machine One Shot to plunge several blades from Karasu's arms and legs into specific places in the Kuroari's body, impaling Ukon and Sakon, killing them.
After the battle ended, with Sasuke gone and almost all of the Konoha ninja hospitalised, but alive, Kankurō and his siblings were seen off by Shikamaru Nara.
Sunagakure Support Mission
Main article: Sunagakure Support Mission In the anime, Kankurō and his siblings began training several Suna academy students with methods presented from Konoha. Later, one of Gaara's students was kidnapped by the Four Celestial Symbols Men, Temari and Kankurō joined him in rescuing her. Temari was first separated to fight an opponent. Kankurō was later separated from Gaara and was seen battling Ryūgan with his two puppets Karasu and Kuroari, but to no avail. However, just when all hope seem to be lost, Kiba, Akamaru and Chōji appeared to provide Kankurō aid. At first, they had trouble coordinating — attacking all at once, but eventually they were able to finally defeat Ryūgan by trapping him in Kankurō's Kuroari puppet. With their victory, they were able to help save Gaara and retrieve Matsuri. During Gaara's fight he was able to suppress Shukaku and revert to normal. While everyone else didn't understand why Gaara wouldn't take advantage of Shukaku's power, Kankurō explained that Gaara was determined to rely on his own power from now on. As everyone rushed to help Gaara who fainted shortly afterwards, Kankurō noted to Naruto how he finally found someone who he can relate to.
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
Main article: In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths About two years after Naruto left Konoha to train with Jiraiya, Kankurō joined Gaara to Konoha to discuss a proposal with Tsunade. Upon meeting with her and the Konoha Council, Tsunade discussed the idea of hosting an early Chūnin Exam. While it was acknowledged that much of Suna's improvements since the Fourth Kazekage's passing were thanks in part to Konoha, Kankurō quickly realised Tsunade had an additional goal. Ultimately, it was agreed to host the first exam in Konoha and the second exam in Suna. Later, while Kankurō voiced his displeasure at Gaara putting himself out in the open in such a way to promote himself as the new Kazekage, Gaara insisted he needed to deal not only with the Akatsuki, but also the violent naysayers in Suna.
Later, Kankurō reported to Tsunade that his village would personally like to survey the second part of the Chūnin Exams since they are more familiar with their village's area. He then reports the news to Gaara. Two nights before the second exam began in Suna, Kankurō found an assassin sneaking into the Kazekage residence. As Kankurō was about to be injured, Temari intervened and blew the assassin away far enough to leave her and her brother unharmed by the explosion. The following day, Kankurō told his younger brother of the recent events and again tried to make Gaara back down from this path. Later, with the first 30 genin who made it to Suna accounted for, Kankurō and the other jōnin oversaw the second exam begin.
Later, a massive sandstorm approached the Demon Desert. Knowing that this storm was far too dangerous for genin to possibly handle, Kankurō joined multiple teams to postpone the exams and save the participants. Using his Sanshōuo, Kankurō was able to safely transport multiple genin to shelter. After the storm passed, the Chūnin Exams were ended early before starting the finals due to controversy happening in the second exam, surprising Kankurō by Gaara's move. Instead, it was decided by Gaara that a report on each participant would be sent to their respective village leader for them to decide if they would be promoted.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
Main article: Kazekage Rescue Mission
Two and a half years later, Kankurō was first seen when his younger brother Gaara, was fighting the Akatsuki member Deidara in an aerial battle. Kankurō was with other sand shinobi including Baki, watching the battle. Each time the Suna-nin lost faith, Kankurō would replay back with a positive statement defending Gaara and his strength. At one point, Baki told Kankurō that their village could be in danger if Gaara lost control of his tailed beast, but Kankurō, remembering a previous conversation with him responded stating that Gaara would never harm the village no matter what. That statement was proven true when Gaara protected his whole village from Deidara's deadly attack. After Gaara was defeated and captured by Deidara and Sasori, Kankurō followed in hot pursuit, determined to stop them from taking his brother. In the anime, Kankurō was with other Suna shinobi at first, but one of Sasori's traps killed most of them. Kankurō managed to save only two Suna-nin by using his new puppet Sanshōuo as protection from the blast. He ordered Baki to get the medical unit and heal the injured leaving Kankurō alone from now on. He faced another of Sasori's trap but was easily able to figure it out using his brothers sand as a track to follow. To defeat the Akatsuki pair, Kankurō released his puppets from their carrying scrolls (Karasu, Kuroari, and his new puppet Sanshōuo) to challenge the Akatsuki members. Sasori agreed to fight, but immediately repelled an attack from Karasu, revealing himself to be the puppets' creator, thus knowing all of their secrets.
Since their fight went unseen in the manga, the anime adaptation explained the circumstances of Kankurō's defeat. While able to combine the use of his puppets with great effectiveness, Kankurō was unable to bypass Sasori's defences. Sasori captured each of the puppets in turn, disassembling them, before attacking Kankurō with his poison-coated tail. Kankurō collapsed, but with the last of his strength, was able to have a piece of Karasu tear off part of Sasori's cloak. Sasori left, giving Kankurō three days before the poison would kill him.
Soon after, Team 7 arrived at Sunagakure to help in rescuing Gaara, and while they were there, Sakura Haruno cured Kankurō, and created an antidote from the poison still in his system. Kankurō then provided Team 7 with the part of Sasori's cloak that he had taken, which they used to track down Gaara. He was shown to be very irritated that he could not be the one to rescue Gaara. After a few episodes he was seen attempting to walk, though would have fallen over if Baki had not been passing by his room and caught him. He then attended the meeting with the council and tried to punch a council member for stating the village would be better off without Gaara, though was stopped by Baki. He was seen again when he was in his bedroom and a photo of him and his siblings fell and cracked, an omen signifying Gaara's death. Kankurō later set out with Temari to catch up with Team 7 which was shown to be his idea when Temari stated his plan had fallen apart. When Gaara was found and revived, he was the one who explained to Naruto about the puppet core and the technique used by Chiyo to revive Gaara. Kankurō joined Temari in thanking Team 7 for saving their brother, and personally thanked Naruto.
Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Main article: Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Five Kage Summit
Main article: Five Kage Summit
Kankurō and Temari were chosen to escort Gaara to the Kage Summit. When Kankurō arrived late, he explained that it had taken him a "while to figure out a new trick" and defended himself by adding that Gaara doesn't even need bodyguards. Once they arrived in the Land of Iron and the meeting began, Kankurō and Temari became annoyed by the little respect the other Kage showed to Gaara because of his young age especially the Third Tsuchikage. They later came to Gaara's defence during the Fourth Raikage's outburst and again when White Zetsu appeared. White Zetsu revealed that Sasuke Uchiha was nearby and soon after the Raikage left to fight Sasuke, the siblings left to join him.
When they arrived, Gaara interrupted the fight between the Raikage and Sasuke so that he could speak with Sasuke. While he did so, Kankurō and Temari helped some samurai that had been hit by Sasuke's Amaterasu, and removed their burning armour. As Gaara was talking to Sasuke about the hatred in his heart, Kankurō mentions to Gaara that he should not let his personalities interfere because he is not like him anymore and that Sasuke is now a criminal around the whole world. After Gaara failed to convince Sasuke to change his ways, the Sand Siblings and Darui attacked him with Kankurō using Sasori and his Red Secret Technique Machinery Triangles technique. Sasuke however, survived their assault and fled, so the siblings and the Raikage's group followed him back to the Summit hall. There he freed Chōjūrō, Mifune, Okisuke and Urakaku from White Zetsu's Spore Technique before Tobi appeared. After explaining his Eye of the Moon Plan, Tobi declared the Fourth Shinobi World War. The Kage agreed to the formation of a Shinobi Alliance in response. Gaara is given the additional task of informing Kakashi Hatake whom they had chosen as a suitable representative of Konoha with Danzō fleeing the Summit, of their decision. After the siblings find Kakashi and tell them what had happened, they returned to Sunagakure to prepare for war.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Kankurō is placed in charge of the Surprise Attack Division of the Allied Shinobi Forces. When Kankurō announced his position to his team, Sai approached him and started to wonder what nickname he should give his captain leaving Kankurō confused. While on route to their location, Omoi who was contemplating the worst possible outcomes enquired about Kankurō's age. In response Kankurō told Omoi to focus on succeeding in order to protect his friends and family. They travelled behind enemy lines to set up an ambush; while the rest of the division carried out Kankurō's instructions on how to fortify their position, Kankurō and Kiri reviewed the division's strategy.
Muta Aburame soon stumbled into their base. Zaji recklessly approached him to provide assistance to his comrade before Hoheto Hyūga revealed that Muta was booby-trapped by a reincarnated Deidara. Acting quickly, Kankurō immediately pulled Zaji to safety before Muta exploded. Without time to recuperate, they are then attacked by more allies-turned-enemies, Ranka and Tokuma Hyūga, which Kankurō recognised to be the work of a reincarnated Sasori. Kankurō stated to Deidara. Leaping into battle, after Omoi severed Sasori's puppet strings attached to Ranka and Tokuma, Kankurō attached his own threads to Sasori's dangling ones to pull Sasori down ordering Ittan to raise the ground at the same time, sending Deidara and Sasori crashing into one another.
As Sasori praised Kankurō's improved abilities, Kankurō responded saying his Black Secret Technique had long since surpassed Sasori's Red Secret Technique. Kankurō stated that it was fated that they would fight once again and that he owed him from their last encounter where Sasori poisoned him and left him for dead. Kankurō then brought out his new Sasori puppet from a scroll which surprises Sasori to see his former body. He began trading blows with Sasori, who was controlling a reincarnated Shin. During the battle, Hoheto informed his team that Shin also had explosive clay in his stomach to everyone's shock.
As Deidara commanded Shin to explode, Kankurō captured Shin in his Sanshōuo puppet which effectively stifled the explosion and shielded Omoi from the blast with the Sasori puppet's Mechanical Light Shield Block. When an enraged Sai then knocked Deidara and Sasori out of the air, Kankurō summoned two Kuroari puppets and captured the two then used his Black Secret Technique — Machine Triple Shot and impaled Sasori with Karasu and bound Deidara with the Sasori puppet's cable. Kankurō informed Sasori that his defeat was a result of his efforts to gain immortality when in fact he was immortalised through the puppets he created. Moved by his words, Sasori's soul began to depart. As he disintegrated he entrusted his Mother and Father puppets to Kankurō who promised that he in turn would pass it onto the next generation of puppeteers when he died.
The Surprise Attack Division with a restrained Deidara in tow, is later confronted by Hanzō, Kimimaro, and Chiyo, the latter of whom congratulated Kankurō on his victory over Sasori. Knowing they were outmatched, Kankurō ordered a retreat but they are pursued and paralysed by Ibuse's Poison Mist, but before Hanzō can kill them, Mifune arrived and intercepted his attack. With this, Kankurō and the others are taken to the medical unit for treatment.
In the anime, Kankurō and the samurai were resting during the night of the first day. Soon after, Deidara escaped from Kuroari and fled with Zetsu. Kankurō, with the assistance of Mifune, his samurai and Kurotsuchi, pursue an escaped Deidara and cornering him in a trap. Mifune thrusts his sword through Deidara using the electricity of a battery to cancel his explosion, allowing Kankurō to recapture Deidara in the Kuroari once again. He later comes to Mifune's aid, and takes over his fight against a reincarnated Chiyo, using the Sasori, Mother, and Father puppets against her. By that time, Chiyo learns that Kankurō has the Mother and Father puppets alongside the Sasori puppet, her guilt for her inability to save Sasori is brought into light. Kankurō tells her that Sasori entrusted his puppets to him and that it should continue on for the future generation of puppet users. Chiyo finally finds good memories of her grandson, and then admits that the puppets are in good hands yet continues investing over him. In the anime, Kankurō was present when one of Naruto's clones arrive in the nick of time to assist him and the Fifth Division.
Mocking Deidara as he and Hoheto kept watch over him and the other sealed reincarnated shinobi, Kankurō called Deidara a dud due to him threatening to explode for some time though he was unable to do so. He later stared in shock as the Impure World Reincarnation is released thinking at first that Deidara was going to explode. After realising that the Impure World Reincarnation is released, he quickly left to find Chiyo and say his farewells. Kankurō arrives in time to see the process. While he is sad to see the elderly puppet master leave once again, Chiyo acknowledges the younger Suna-nin's skill in the same art, proudly entrusting Kankurō to carry on puppetry ninjutsu.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Main article: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes Eventually, the enemy side succeeded in casting the world-wide Infinite Tsukuyomi. Kankurō was effected by if like nearly the rest of the world. In the anime, he dreamed of creating the ultimate ninjutsu puppet, which was comprised of three giants puppets that merged together.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
Main article: The Last: Naruto the Movie
Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kankurō, alongside Temari and Gaara, participate in Suna's defence against meteorites. After Toneri Ōtsutsuki's defeat, he listens to Ino Yamanaka's world-wide broadcast that the planet had been saved by Naruto's team.
Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding
Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage
Main article: Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage From studying reports of the Ōtsutsuki clan's autonomous puppets, Kankurō devises a way of using imperceptibly thin chakra strings to control puppets from very far away. With this, he creates the identity of "Maizuru", a young and inexperienced member of the team he normally leads. Sometimes, Maizuru is a puppet Kankurō controls. Other times, he disguises himself as Maizuru. Maizuru eventually becomes a favourite of Tōjūrō, one of the Suna Councilors.
As Temari's marriage to Shikamaru Nara approaches, the Suna Council becomes concerned that her children (who will be Konoha ninja) will have a claim to the Kazekage position. To avoid this, they approach Kankurō and try to convince him to get married and produce heirs. Kankurō deflects by insisting that it would be inappropriate for him to marry before Gaara, which the Council agrees with. After Gaara consents to an arranged marriage, Kankurō accompanies him to his meeting with his bride-to-be, Hakuto. Kankurō convinces Gaara to drink some alcohol to help him relax. Kankurō laughs at the displeasure this causes Gaara, and Gaara is glad for an opportunity to spend time with him.
Kankurō is assigned to provide security for the meeting, something that the younger members of his team, such as Amagi, consider to be a poor use of Suna's limited resources. Kankurō tries to convince Amagi that meetings such as these secure funding for Suna. Amagi disapproves of this and believes that Gaara - who Amagi only knows as a politician - is undeservedly benefiting from their work. Kankurō is bothered by Amagi's convictions. Right before Gaara's meeting with Hakuto begins, Kankurō and his men are reassigned. After the meeting, Hakuto is kidnapped and Gaara sets out on his own to rescue her. While Gaara is gone, Kankurō is approached by Amagi and several other ninja his age, ninja too young to have ever seen Gaara in combat. They tell him of their plans to overthrow Gaara and replace him with Kankurō, who has trained all of them and who they therefore believe to be better-qualified to lead Suna.
Although Amagi and the others believe it is their own idea, it is actually Tōjūrō's which has been fed to them through Maizuru. Kankurō agrees to go along with their plan so long as they promise not to kill Gaara or anyone else, which they are happy to do. Kankurō arranges a fake coup d'état so that Tōjūrō will believe his own plans are being followed. Amagi and the other young ninja are not informed of this, and they start to have misgivings about the coup they're seemingly carrying out. Kankurō is relieved by this and assures them not to worry. Footage of their faked coup is transmitted to Tōjūrō while, elsewhere, Baki locates and kills a group of missing-nin that Tōjūrō hired to kill Gaara.
Once the fake coup is apparently completed, Tōjūrō orders Maizuru to arrest Kankurō and expel him from Suna. When Maizuru is confused, Tōjūrō explains that his plan all along was to remove Gaara and his family from Suna's affairs. Tōjūrō would then install Maizuru as Kazekage, who Tōjūrō would control from behind the scenes. As this works as a confession, Kankurō removes his Maizuru disguise and has Amagi take him into custody. Knowing he can't escape, Tōjūrō explains that he feared being surpassed by younger ninja like Gaara and Kankurō and wanted to extend his influence a little while longer. He claims Kankurō will know what that's like when people like Amagi someday surpass him, but Kankurō disagrees: he is actually looking forward to that day.
Kankurō and his men spend the rest of the night arresting Tōjūrō's sympathizers, purging Suna of everyone who conspired against Gaara. Though he's tired, he joins Temari in greeting Gaara when he returns to the village.
At some point, Kankurō escorted Gaara to a Five Kage Summit in Konoha, where the topic of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki was discussed. Fifteen years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kankurō escorted Gaara to another Kage Summit in Konoha, where the two visited Temari and Shikadai before attending the meeting.
Versus Momoshiki Arc
Main articles: Boruto: Naruto the Movie and Versus Momoshiki Arc Kankurō accompanied Gaara during the final round of the Chūnin Exams in Konoha. He later helped the villagers move to safety when Momoshiki and Kinshiki attacked the village.
One-Tail Escort Arc
Main article: One-Tail Escort Arc In the anime, as Gaara and Sasuke Uchiha were battling Urashiki Ōtsutsuki, Kankurō joined Araya and Yodo to aid their allies. Upon arrival, Sasuke was warped to a different dimension by Urashiki, but Gaara was able to temporally seal away the foe with the timely aid and arrival of Shukaku. Afterwards, it was decided that Yodo and Araya would escort Gaara back to Suna to tend to his injuries while Kankurō went with Shinki and Boruto to safeguard Shukaku at Konoha. During which, Shukaku willingly had itself sealed in jar to suppress its chakra.
Soon afterwards, they found themselves engaged by four Urashiki's puppet. Wanting to give his team time to escape and seeing it as a fun challenge as a puppet-user himself, Kankurō decided to face the puppets alone while Boruto and Shinki moved ahead with the tailed beast. Despite the Suna-nin's skill managing to detain Urashiki's advances through his own puppets, Urashiki soon managed to overpower Kankurō efforts, prompting Kankurō to use a last-ditch effort of exploding his puppets, taking out three of Urashiki's puppets while the last one moved on.
Narrowly, Kankurō was able to survive the explosion by shielding himself in another of his puppets. He was later found by Suna-nin and brought back to the village for treatment.
Shikamaru Shinden: A Cloud Dancing in Forlorn Falling Petals
Main article: Shikamaru Shinden: A Cloud Dancing in Forlorn Falling Petals Kankurō and Gaara attended a Kage Summit in Konoha at the Hokage building, during which the Kage bickered about topics concerning Konoha, leading to Kurotsuchi demanding Konoha to disclose all of its confidential information as the village's proof to peace by the next summit, and said Iwagakure would leave the Five Great Shinobi Country alliance if they didn't. Afterwards the summit ended.
Main article: Kawaki Arc When Team 7 found a mysterious boy with connections to Kara, Naruto called forth a Kage Summit, with Kankurō joining Gaara as his bodyguard. As talks about the boy's fate began, it was unanimously decided to treat the boy with sympathy as they were no strangers to children being made into weapons (i.e. Jinchūriki). It was also agreed for the boy to live with Naruto, who would watch over him at all times.
In Other Media
Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Main article: Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel The movie startes off with Kankurō and a battle which was taking place at night on a desolate seaside beach between Sunagakure ninja and soldiers wearing bulky suits of armour. Despite their best efforts, the Suna ninja are slowly overwhelmed by the sheer strength of their mysterious opponents. The timely arrival of reinforcements, led by Kankurō and Gaara, turn the tide, with Kankurō slicing apart a suit of armour with his puppet, and Gaara dispatching a large number of enemies with his signature Sand Waterfall Imperial Funeral. Making the opponents flee, the Suna ninja followed them immediately. Kankurō told them to stop since it will cause another war but they ignored him. Kankurō told Gaara to shine a flare since it was too dark to see, however, when Gaara orders the Suna-nin to shine a flare at the retreating enemies, a large warship, is revealed with its own arsenal of weapons, making kankurō and the other Suna ninja surprised.
Later on, Naruto discovers Kankurō among a room filled with unconscious children amongst all of the rubble. Kankurō immediately attacks Temujin, explaining how the ship had been wiping out Land of Wind villages. Before they battle, they are interrupted by the Kamira and Ranke, whom Kankurō and Gaara take on. Kamira uses a kind of mind control that seems to be genjutsu.
Meanwhile, Kamira toys with Shikamaru as she flies around, he is unable to get a lock on her shadow. When he suddenly spots Kankurō on the far side of the ruins, Shikamaru fills the whole area with lines with explosives (most of them are fake) so Kamira cannot fly about. Just as Kamira thinks she knows what he has in store, Kankurō suddenly launches one of his puppets to automatically trap and kill her.
Shikamaru, Sakura and Kankurō all manage to retrieve the children from the machines, only for the ruins to start collapsing. All is quiet as Shikamaru, Sakura, Kankurō and Gaara can only watch as everything in the void's way begins to be devoured.
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire
Main article: Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire He appeared with other Suna-nin to face the Konoha-nin when a misunderstanding between Konohagakure came about but it was settled on the account of Jiraiya.
Kankurō is a playable character in the following video games:
While Kankurō often relies on his puppets to fight, in certain forms of media like in the Clash of Ninja games, he uses actual taijutsu in tandem with his puppet techniques.
- The name "Kankurō" comes from Nakamura Kankurō (中村勘九郎), which is a stage name used in a long line of kabuki actors dating back to the early seventeenth century. The latest person to carry this name was Nakamura Kankurō V (五代目中村勘九郎, Godaime Nakamura Kankurō), who changed his stage name to the even more prestigious Nakamura Kanzaburō XVIII (十八代目中村勘三郎, Jūhachidaime Nakamura Kanzaburō) in 2005.
- In more technical terms, Kankurō's name can be translated to something like 'intuitive ninth son'.
- In addition to Kankurō's Kabuki-like make-up, the fact that he uses puppets as well, as the black outfit and cap he wears, are possibly an allusion to Bunraku, Japanese puppet theatre. His entire character seems to be an allusion to stage arts. One of Bunraku's most prominent artists is Kanjuro Kiritake III.
- Whenever Kankurō appears in a new arc of the manga, he sports a new design of purple face paint. This could be a nod to Kabuki theatre, where face paint is often used. In the art of putting on make-up, each of the colours mean something, purple representing nobility and loftiness.
- In an omake, Temari said if Kankurō keeps talking to his puppets like they are alive, friends won't hang out with him anymore.
- Kankurō was ranked as the 27th most popular character in the seventh and most recent Naruto character popularity poll. He placed 19th in the sixth poll.
- According to the databook(s):
- Kankurō's hobby is collecting puppets, and installing and upgrading the mechanisms in them.
- Kankurō wishes to fight with anyone but Gaara.
- Kankurō's favourite food is hamburger steak, while his least favourite food is spinach.
- Kankurō has completed 43 official missions in total: 0 D-rank, 9 C-rank, 10 B-rank, 23 A-rank, 1 S-rank.
- Kankurō's favourite phrase is "One must never miss a good opportunity" (好機、逸すべからず, Kōki, issu bekarazu).
- (To Kiba about Sakon and Ukon) "Since I've been underestimated this much, I can't be leaving just yet—."
- (To Naruto) "Don't feel bad. Women always go weak in the knees for the cool, elite type."
- (To Gaara about Sasuke) "Gaara… don't bother… if he could be convinced, Naruto would not have failed. He is a criminal now, a member of Akatsuki… he's not like you."
- (To Omoi) "How well or poorly we execute our ambush will have a huge impact on this war and how many casualties we suffer. If you wanna protect your friends and family, the only thing you should be thinking about is how to make this operation a success!"
- (To Sasori) "Sasori… your strength came because of your soul, not in spite of it. You tried to erase it, to become a puppet yourself, but couldn't change completely. Now you've got your immortal body but you've fallen, sunk to the level of the puppets you used to control. You were supposed to be a top class ninja puppeteer, not a worthless nobody who lets someone else pull the strings."
- (To Sasori) "When a puppeteer lets someone else control him, it's all over! I won't lose to you… or to the one controlling you. If I'm going to control Sasori, I might as well control the real thing! …Your techniques… and the puppets you created will never rot. As long as there's a successor who will take up the spirit inhabiting them!"
- (To Amagi) "We leave politics to the daimyō. That's the rule of shinobi. If we get entangled in politics, and drown in things like gold, alcohol, sex, then we won't be shinobi any more."
- First Databook, pages 62-63
- Second Databook, pages 72-75
- Shō no Sho, page 7
- Third Databook, pages 68-69
- Fourth Databook, page 86
- Naruto chapter 547, page 3
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 388
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 319
- Naruto chapter 254, pages 7-10
- Naruto chapter 270, page 4
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 451
- Hyō no Sho
- Naruto chapter 518, page 4
- Boruto, episode 122
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 394
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 397
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 398
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 410
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 411
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 413
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 280
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 321
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 340
- Naruto chapter 217, page 7
- Naruto chapter 280, page 4
- Naruto chapter 464, page 8
- Naruto chapter 517, pages 1-2
- Naruto chapter 518, page 17
- Naruto chapter 519, page 1
- Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage, Chapter 2