A kekkei genkai (血継限界, Literally meaning: Bloodline Limit) is an anomaly of the DNA that allows the wielder to use unique techniques. A kekkei genkai's name describes both the anomaly and the resulting technique. Most kekkei genkai are passed down between generations of a clan, an exception being Hashirama Senju's Wood Release. Likewise, most individuals only inherit one kekkei genkai, but Mei Terumī is known to naturally possess two.
Generally speaking, there are three types of kekkei genkai:
- Dōjutsu are unique eyes with special perceptive abilities, such as X-ray vision or acute attention to detail. Some dōjutsu, such as the Byakugan, are present from birth, while others, such as the Sharingan, won't awaken until specific conditions are met. Dōjutsu that are consistently inherited within a particular family, such as the Byakugan's Hyūga clan and the Sharingan's Uchiha clan, often become synonymous with the clan.
- Advanced nature transformations combine two basic natures in order to create a new one, such as water and wind to make ice or fire and earth to make lava. Although it is common to use more than one nature, actually combining them requires a kekkei genkai. While some natures are commonly associated with a particular clan, such as ice with the Yuki clan, others occur within individuals with no known relationship, such as lava being used by natives of Iwagakure, Kirigakure, and Kumogakure.
- Certain kekkei genkai grant their users unrivalled ways of using their own bodies. Twin brothers Sakon and Ukon can merge their own or the bodies of unrelated people. Kimimaro's Shikotsumyaku enables him to freely manipulate his bones, such as growing an additional spine for him to wield like a whip. Jūgo's body passively absorbs natural energy, allowing him to use senjutsu without requiring any training.
Kekkei genkai make their users far more powerful than the average shinobi. In times of war they are deadly on the battlefield, and are often deployed to turn the tide of the battle. They are highly effective in this regard, but this tends to create issues for them after the conflict is over: survivors of the battle that witnessed or that lost loved ones to kekkei genkai users come to fear and hate them for their actions. They are persecuted because of their abilities, forcing them to the lower rungs of society or driving them into hiding. Even the villages that employ them may stigmatise them, relying on them in combat situations but being unconcerned with their actual survival.
Even though individuals with kekkei genkai are mistreated, the actual kekkei genkai remain coveted by many. Kumogakure, for example, has made different attempts to steal the Byakugan. The Hyūga clan has taken steps to preserve the secret of the Byakugan, first by obligating members of its branch families to sacrifice their lives for members of its main family, and furthermore by branding branch members in order to destroy their Byakugan when they die. Despite these safeguards, Ao of Kirigakure was able obtain a Byakugan, and he goes to great lengths to ensure it cannot be taken back.
When attempting to transfer kekkei genkai to others, dōjutsu are the easiest to work with; the recipient merely needs to be implanted with it. If the recipient does not have a genetic predisposition for the dōjutsu, using it will demand far more chakra than is required for natural users. For nature transformation kekkei genkai, only Hashirama Senju's Wood Release has been shown trying to be recreated in others: Orochimaru attempted to reproduce Wood Release by modifying tests subjects' DNA, succeeding only with Yamato; Kabuto Yakushi perfected grafts of Hashirama that could be implanted in others, granting them Wood Release; Madara Uchiha developed a substance that, when used for artificial limbs, allows limited Wood Release usage. For bodily kekkei genkai, transferring or reproducing them appears to be prohibitively difficult: to acquire Kimimaro's Shikotsumyaku, Orochimaru planned to simply take over Kimimaro's body, a plan he had to abandon when Kimimaro's body was discovered to be dying.
If an individual cannot gain access to a kekkei genkai directly, they can try instead to use it through the kekkei genkai's original user. Sasori could access the Third Kazekage's Magnet Release via a human puppet made from the Kazekage's body. Orochimaru and Kabuto use the Impure World Reincarnation to revive the dead – complete with any kekkei genkai they possessed during life – which are fully under their control. Kabuto also develops a method of creating mindless copies of kekkei genkai users which he generates as needed.
List of Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Boil ReleaseBoil Release (沸遁, Futton, Viz: Vapour Style) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, a combination of fire and water. Whereas most kekkei genkai are largely identical between users, Boil Release has different forms depending on who's using it.
Main article: ByakuganThe Byakugan (白眼, Literally meaning: White Eye, Meaning (Viz): All Seeing White Eye) is the kekkei genkai that originated from the Ōtsutsuki Clan, and later inherited by their distant descendants, the Hyūga Clan. It is regarded as one of the "Three Great Dōjutsu", the others being the Sharingan and the Rinnegan.
Main article: Crystal ReleaseCrystal Release (晶遁, Shōton, English TV: Crystal Style) is a rare nature that is seen only in the anime.
Main article: Dark ReleaseDark Release (冥遁, Meiton, Viz: Shade Style) is a combined nature transformation kekkei genkai that can be used to absorb, manipulate, and release chakra taken from an opponent. Hiruko used techniques of this nature through a mark on his left hand. This mark resembles two diamonds, one overlapping the other. Chakra is absorbed through the upper square, while it is released and manipulated through the lower.
Main article: Explosion ReleaseExplosion Release (爆遁, Bakuton, Viz: Explosion Style) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, suggested to be a combination of earth and lightning.[Notes 1] Explosion Release users utilise explosive chakra in combat.
Iburi Clan's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Iburi Clan's Kekkei GenkaiThis unique kekkei genkai is possessed by the members of the Iburi clan, which allows them to turn their bodies, either partially or fully, into smoke to serve various purposes. While in their smoke form the user becomes impervious to damage and can use this trait to gain an opportunity in battle, for example by allowing weapons to slip through them without any effects. However, if needed, they can still interact with physical objects.
Main article: Ice ReleaseIce Release (氷遁, Hyōton, Viz: Ice Style) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, a combination of water and wind. The Land of Water's Yuki clan was feared for the power of their Ice Release, forcing its members to go into hiding to escape persecution.
Jūgo's Clan's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Jūgo's Clan's Kekkei GenkaiThe kekkei genkai of Jūgo's clan is an instinctual ability which allows its members to absorb and make use of natural energy without any training in senjutsu. Due to the steady but constant intake of natural energy, they are prone to mental instability, sporadically feeling sudden and uncontrollable urges to kill. The wielder's body can also secrete special fluids which, through means of Senjutsu chakra, allow them to transform parts of their bodies.
Main article: KetsuryūganThe Ketsuryūgan (血龍眼, Literally meaning: Blood Dragon Eye), is a dōjutsu, which appears in certain individuals of the Chinoike clan. The Ketsuryūgan is recognised by its reddish colour, giving a special appearance for the users of this dōjutsu, characterised as holders of "eyes as red as blood". Its power earned it comparison to the Three Great Dōjutsu.
Kurama Clan's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Kurama Clan's Kekkei GenkaiA rare trait of the Kurama Clan. Every few generations, a member will be born with an incredible talent for genjutsu. The clan member's prowess in that field is so absolute that even without proper training, their genjutsu is simply overwhelming. Furthermore, the genjutsu is so powerful that it causes the brain to believe anything that happens to the victim to the point where the genjutsu physically harms the victim's body in the same manner they envisioned. This fearsome ability allows the clan member to potentially kill their opponents with genjutsu.
Main article: Lava ReleaseLava Release (溶遁; 熔遁, Yōton, English TV: "Corrosion Style" or "Lava Style") is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, a combination of fire and earth. Whereas most kekkei genkai are largely identical between users, Lava Release has a variety of forms depending on who's using it.
Main article: Magnet ReleaseMagnet Release (磁遁, Jiton, Viz: Magnet Style) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, suggested to be a combination of wind and earth.[Notes 2] Magnet Release users generate a magnetic force which they apply to other substances for various purposes.
Main article: Mangekyō SharinganThe Mangekyō Sharingan (万華鏡写輪眼, Literally meaning: Kaleidoscope Copy Wheel Eye) is an advanced form of the Sharingan that has only been activated by a handful of Uchiha. They are noted to be the "heavenly eyes that see the truth of all of creation without obstruction" (天壌の理を掌握せし瞳, tenjō no kotowari o shōakuseshi hitomi).
Main article: Mud ReleaseMud Release (泥遁, Deiton) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, a combination of water and earth. Because these same natures are used to create Wood Release, and because Wood Release is so famous, few people have ever heard of Mud Release, to the point that Hidan initially believes its very existence is a lie.
Ranmaru's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Ranmaru's Kekkei GenkaiRanmaru possessed a dōjutsu kekkei genkai which, when activated, causes his eyes to glow red in colour. It grants him abilities such as penetrative vision as well as the ability to hinder dōjutsu such as the Byakugan which his own dōjutsu has been likened to.
Rinha Clan's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Rinha Clan's Kekkei GenkaiThe kekkei genkai of the Rinha clan allows them to absorb a person's chakra and duplicate their appearance and memories.
Main article: RinneganThe Rinnegan (輪廻眼, Literally meaning: Saṃsāra Eye) is reputed as the most exalted eye amongst the "Three Great Dōjutsu", the others being the Sharingan and the Byakugan. It is said that in times of disorder, one who wields the Rinnegan is sent down from the heavens to become either a "God of Creation" who will calm the world or a "God of Destruction" who will reduce everything to nothingness. The Rinnegan is characterised by a ripple pattern that spreads over the eyeball.
Ryūzetsu's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Ryūzetsu's Kekkei GenkaiThis unnamed kekkei genkai apparently allows the user to perform Reincarnation Ninjutsu as it allowed Ryūzetsu to perform the Dragon Life Reincarnation technique. It was seen only in Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison and Ryūzetsu was the only known user. Other details, such as whether it was common or rare and whether any other technique could be performed using it, are unknown.
Sakon and Ukon's Kekkei Genkai
Main article: Sakon and Ukon's Kekkei GenkaiSakon and Ukon's unnamed kekkei genkai gives them the unique ability to break their bodies down to a molecular level. The two brothers usually use this ability to share the same body but can also use it to merge with the bodies of others and destroy the host's cells from the inside. When Sakon is in need of assistance, Ukon can bring out some of his body parts to aid Sakon in blocking or attacking. Ukon's arms and legs can emerge from those of Sakon's to increase the force and quantity to his physical attacks.
Main article: Scorch ReleaseScorch Release (灼遁, Shakuton, Viz: Scorch Style) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai. When Sasuke Uchiha and Naruto Uzumaki combine their fire and wind-natured techniques, the resulting technique is dubbed "Scorch Release", suggesting those are its component natures.
Main article: SharinganThe Sharingan (写輪眼, Literally meaning: Copy Wheel Eye, Meaning (Viz): Mirror Wheel Eye) is the dōjutsu kekkei genkai of the Uchiha clan that appears selectively among its members. It is regarded as one of the "Three Great Dōjutsu", the others being the Byakugan and the Rinnegan.
Main article: ShikotsumyakuShikotsumyaku (屍骨脈, Literally meaning: Dead Bone Pulse, Meaning (Viz): Macabre Bone Pulse) is a kekkei genkai which gives its wielder the ability to manipulate their own bones. It very rarely manifests within members of the Kaguya clan, of which Kimimaro was the last survivor.
Main article: Steel ReleaseThe Steel Release (鋼遁, Kōton, Viz: Steel Style) is a combined nature transformation kekkei genkai. It is unknown what elements this nature entails.
Main article: Storm ReleaseStorm Release (嵐遁, Ranton, Viz: "Gale Style" or "Storm Style") is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, a combination of lightning and water. It is used by several shinobi from Kumogakure, most notably Darui.
Main article: Swift ReleaseSwift Release (迅遁, Jinton, Viz: Quick Style) is a combined nature transformation kekkei genkai that can be used to move with incredible speed, becoming nothing more than a blur when in motion. Therefore, taijutsu becomes ineffective if the opponent is not fast enough.
Main article: TenseiganThe Tenseigan (転生眼, Literally meaning: Reincarnation Eye) is a dōjutsu introduced in The Last: Naruto the Movie. The movie's novelisation explains that the Tenseigan can be acquired when an Ōtsutsuki is implanted with the Byakugan of a Hyūga: this combination of the two clans' chakra transforms the Byakugan into Tenseigan.
Main article: Wood ReleaseWood Release (木遁, Mokuton, Viz: Wood Style) is a nature transformation kekkei genkai, a combination of earth and water. It was famously used by Hashirama Senju, and in fact is not known to have naturally occurred in anyone else. Because of Wood Release's power and versatility, there have been various efforts to reproduce it after Hashirama's death.
The concept of special ninja techniques limited by bloodline inheritance may have been inspired in part by the works of Futaro Yamada, which strongly influenced later depictions of ninja in fiction. In particular, The Kōga Ninja Scrolls (甲賀忍法帖, Kōga Ninpōchō), published in 1959, featured a pair of warring ninja clans that, through selective breeding, had produced ninja with a variety of deformities, mutations, and special abilities, even dōjutsu.
- Kekkei genkai should not be confused with hiden techniques. Hiden techniques are exclusive to a certain person or clan, but only because they have kept others from learning how to perform those techniques.
- Some tailed beasts possess kekkei genkai, such as Shukaku's Magnet Release and Kokuō's Boil Release.
- In Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise, Nowaki displays the kekkei genkai called Typhoon Release (颱遁, Taiton, English TV: Typhoon Style), which seems to be a more powerful version of Wind Release.
- ↑ Since Earth Release is stated to be a component of Lava Release (along with Fire), Magnet Release (along with Wind), and Wood Release (along with Water), Lightning Release is the only element available for a combination with Earth Release.
- ↑ Rasa has the Wind, Water and Earth Release. Wind and water creates ice, water and earth creates wood, so the only possible combination left for Magnet Release is Wind and Earth Release.
- ↑ Naruto chapter 291, pages 15-16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 585, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 671, page 6
- ↑ Third Databook, page 313
- ↑ Naruto chapter 361, page 13-14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 316, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 522, page 2
- ↑ Naruto chapter 29, page 10
- ↑ Boruto episode 15
- ↑ Boruto episode 65
- ↑ Boruto chapter 1, page 5
- ↑ Boruto episode 1
- ↑ Naruto chapter 224, pages 7-8
- ↑ Third Databook, pages 274-275
- ↑ Naruto chapter 373, page 2
- ↑ Sha no Sho, page 313
- ↑ Naruto chapter 634, page 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 12, page 7
- ↑ Third Databook, page 313
- ↑ Naruto chapter 612, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 316, page 6