|This is the article on the technique. For the chapter, head to Sage Mode!!.|
Sage Mode is an empowered state that can be entered by blending natural energy with one's chakra, creating senjutsu chakra. Sage Mode allows users to tap into the natural force of the world, opening up new techniques to them and allowing them to power up existing ones with the new senjutsu chakra.
Sage Mode is known to be taught in two places: at Mount Myōboku by the toads and at Ryūchi Cave by the snakes. Users of Sage Mode must possess "extreme chakra levels" to invoke senjutsu. It is also important that their bodies be strong enough to support the increased power.
In order to enter Sage Mode, the gatherer must remain absolutely still in order to be one with nature and balance the natural energy with their own physical and spiritual energies. If the user puts too little natural energy into using senjutsu, the technique will not work. Conversely, if too much natural energy is taken in, their body will turn to stone forever; humans will also be transformed into whichever animal's school the senjutsu was learned from.
The toads of Mount Myōboku have devised several tools to make learning Sage Mode easier. By applying a special oil, the applicant's body will start passively taking in natural energy. This oil will evaporate if taken outside Mount Myōboku, thus rendering it useful only for learning purposes. The toads also have a special staff that, when struck with, knocks all the natural energy out of the gatherer, thus reversing any transformations before they can become permanent and the user turns to stone.
At Ryūchi Cave, one must call upon the esoteric teachings of the White Snake Sage, who bites the person with its fangs and injects them with natural energy. According to legend, if one's body is strong enough to withstand this snake transformation, it will accept the power without reservation, thus granting the person Sage Mode.
- The user's physical strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, perception, and durability are enhanced.
- The user's ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu become more powerful.
- The user can manipulate the natural energy that surrounds them, turning it into an extension of their body to increase the reach of their attacks.
- The user can sense chakra around them and can sense attacks without the need to see them.
- When facing an opponent that can drain chakra, this can prove to be fatal to the opponent if they absorbed too much chakra and will be turned to stone if they haven't had training with Sage Mode in the past. Furthermore, the user of Sage Mode can hold still to absorb more natural energy for the opponent to absorb and turn their own chakra absorption against them.
- In order to gather enough natural energy to initiate the transformation into Sage Mode, the user must remain perfectly still, leaving them vulnerable. Users have at times been shown entering Sage Mode without this preparation.
- Because the user needs to move during combat, the senjutsu chakra cannot be replenished, which means the user can't stay within this state for extended periods of time. Naruto states it is possible to lengthen the time limit.
- These weaknesses can be bypassed with the Sage Art: Amphibian Technique, where one or more toads fuses with the user's shoulders and gather natural energy for them to use.
- Another option is to employ shadow clones, having them gather natural energy elsewhere and then, when their natural energy is needed, having them disperse, transferring it to the original. This limits the number shadow clones that the user can have active at a time to five for as long as the clones are gathering natural energy, as any more than that would disrupt the clone's focus.
- Kabuto Yakushi assimilated the DNA of Jūgo to replicate his clan's ability to passively absorb natural energy, thus allowing him to continuously collect the energy even while moving, bypassing these particular weaknesses.
- If the user is also a jinchūriki that has achieved harmony with their tailed beast, they can drastically speed up their ability to gather natural energy in tailed beast mode to the point of only needing a few seconds to fully charge or recharge their sage chakra.
Imperfected Sage Mode
Jiraiya is not able to properly balance his own chakra with natural energy, resulting in him using an imperfect form of Sage Mode. As a result of the imbalance, Jiraiya takes a number of toad-like traits when using Sage Mode: his nose grows bigger and gains warts, his teeth turn sharp, he grows a goatee, and acquires toad-like eyes. Because of these traits, Jiraiya doesn't like to use Sage Mode as it "displeased the ladies". Some of the physical alterations, such as the toad posture and the webbed feet, are beneficial and improve his manoeuvrability, and he can consciously manifest the alterations in order to take advantage of them.
Perfected Sage Mode
Users that can properly balance their own chakra with natural energy will not experience any animalistic transformations to their body. The one exception is a dark pigmentation around their eyes and the eyes themselves, which usually differ based on where the user learned Sage Mode:
- Naruto and Minato have yellow, toad-like irides with orange pigmentation around their eyes (red in the Naruto: Colour Edition).
- Kabuto has yellow, snake-like irides and blackened sclerae, as well as purple pigmentation around his eyes that extends down to his shoulder blades. His snake-like characteristics progress further in Sage Mode with him growing four horns, leading him to state that he had metaphorically transcended from a "snake" to a "dragon".
- Hashirama has yellow irides with red pigmentation around his eyes that extends to his ears, as well as an additional round marking on his forehead with a dot in its centre.
- Mitsuki had gained Sage Mode through Orochimaru's experiments on him. He has black markings around his eyes and nose, a single horn appears over his forehead, his hair flares upwards and his eyes become pupil-less. In addition, his body is surrounded by a shroud of chakra which forms four ethereal snakes around his body, which he can freely manipulate at will.
Tailed Beast Sage Mode
After earning the Nine-Tails' cooperation, Naruto becomes able to combine Sage Mode with his Tailed Beast Mode. The red irides turn orange, and the slitted pupils characteristic of normal Nine-Tails transformations merge with the Sage Mode's eye pattern, creating a design reminiscent of a cross. The design of Naruto's shroud also changes. While using the combined form, Naruto gains simultaneous access to both forms' advantages, such as augmenting Tailed Beast Balls with senjutsu chakra. Advantages common to both forms (such as increases to strength and chakra reserves) are elevated beyond what either form grants individually.
Six Paths Sage Mode
Main article: Six Paths Sage Mode Six Paths Sage Mode (六道仙人モード, Rikudō Sennin Mōdo) is a divine transformation gifted by Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki to those who have an iron faith and the guts to never give up. It significantly enhances the user's powers and allows them to use a number of new techniques.
- The manifestation of animal-like traits is a reference to the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari, where Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru came to study specific animal magic into their ninjutsu use.
- In Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison, the red coat Naruto wore during Pain's Assault appears when he enters Sage Mode and disappears when he turns back to normal.
- In Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, Hashirama's Sage Mode markings are red, while in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, they appear green.
- ↑ Third Databook, page 279
- ↑ Chapter 412, page 11
- ↑ Chapter 579, pages 16-17
- ↑ Chapter 409, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 410, page 15
- ↑ Chapters 409-410
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 136
- ↑ Chapter 535, page 5
- ↑ Chapter 665, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 468, page 16
- ↑ Weekly Shōnen Jump 2014, Issue #9
- ↑ Chapter 645, pages 8-9
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 310