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Tsunade綱手TsunadeFifth Hokage (五代目火影, Godaime Hokage)
Naruto Episode 85
Anime and Manga
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Tsunade (綱手) was the Fifth Hokage (五代目火影, Godaime Hokage, Literally meaning: Fifth Fire Shadow) of Konohagakure, taking over after Hiruzen Sarutobi died; she was replaced by Danzo, however, after she went into a coma during Pain's invasion. Along with Orochimaru and Jiraiya, she is one of the Legendary Sannin of Konoha, and the only one left alive after Jiraiya's death and Orochimaru's permanent sealing. She excels in medical ninjutsu and was referred to by Shikaku as the world's strongest and most beautiful kunoichi.
Tsunade is the granddaughter of the First Hokage, and the grandniece of the Second Hokage, leading other characters to call her "Princess" (姫, Hime). She is, along with Jiraiya and Orochimaru, a former student of the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi. Tsunade is well-known for her extremely large breasts (106 centimeters, according to Jiraiya), despite the fact that Jiraiya referred to her as "flat-chested Tsunade" during their childhood. In addition, during a flashback, it is shown that Team Hiruzen underwent the same initial training as Team Kakashi, and had to capture bells from their sensei. The flashback shows Tsunade and Orochimaru were the ones to capture one bell each out of the two existent ones, while Jiraiya was tied to a pole.
During the Second Great Shinobi World War, Tsunade and her former teammates fought Hanzo, who gave them the title of Konoha's "Three Legendary Shinobi" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin) as a reward for surviving. On their way back to Konoha, they encountered the Ame Orphans, who Jiraiya chose to train. Throughout the war, she would become famous for frequently counteracting Chiyo's poisoning attempts, earning contempt from Chiyo because of it.
At some point during the war, on her brother's twelfth birthday, Tsunade gave him their grandfather's crystal necklace, in the hopes that it would help him achieve his dream of becoming Hokage. The next day, he died as a casualty of the war, which returned the necklace to Tsunade's possession. Sometime afterwards, Tsunade fell in love with a man named Dan, who also wanted to become Hokage. As a sign of her affection, and in the hopes that it would help make his dreams come true, Tsunade gave him the amulet as well. Dan, too, would go on to die a bloody death during the course of the war, once again returning the necklace to her possession.
With the deaths of the two she loved the most, Tsunade came to lose faith in the title of Hokage, believing that only fools would want such a position. With these changes of ideals, Tsunade left Konoha with Dan's niece, Shizune, taking her in as her apprentice.
The deaths of Dan and Nawaki greatly changed Tsunade; Dan's death, and her failed attempt to save him, gave her hemophobia (a fear of blood), causing her to freeze upon seeing it. The repeated returns of the necklace to her also led her, and many others to believe that it was cursed, and whoever Tsunade might give it to would die soon after.
Tsunade typically projects a tough demeanor, even when facing great personal difficulty, and rarely compliments or praises people. She readily criticizes others for their faults, such as Naruto for his immaturity, or Jiraiya for his perversion, though her habits are rarely any better. On occasion, though, Tsunade shows sympathy for others, consoling Shikamaru that, while he failed his mission to return Sasuke to Konoha, all of his teammates survived. This is also shown when she worked hard in order to help heal Rock Lee, so that he might continue to be a ninja. She also allowed herself to cry when she learned of Jiraiya's death.
Tsunade is also a compulsive gambler, who has the unfortunate disadvantage of having terrible luck. As a result, she has been elevated to a comical status as "The Legendary Sucker" (伝説のカモ, Densetsu no Kamo), for the gross profits others have made off of her misfortune and gambling addiction. In the rare instances that Tsunade hits a winning streak, she believes it to be a bad omen, and bad things do tend to happen to her or her comrades afterwards. The symbol on the back of her coat, 賭 (kake), means "gamble", or "wager", as gambling is one of her favorite pastimes. Along with gambling, she is also a fond drinker.
As Hokage, Tsunade has shown the same level of loyalty to the village that previous Hokages held; during the invasion of Pain, she released all of her chakra in order to save the lives of hundreds of people within Konoha, at great personal risk. Tsunade also has a great deal of faith in the next generation, and sees the potential that Naruto and the rest of the Konoha 11 hold.
Search for Tsunade arc
After his failed invasion of Konoha, Orochimaru sought out Tsunade. Upon finding her, he asked her for a favor, though before he could specify what this favor was, she declined, having already noticed his wounded arms. Trying again, Orochimaru asked her to heal his arms, explaining that the injury was a result of his carelessness when killing the Third Hokage. Shocked by this revelation, Tsunade prepared to kill Orochimaru, though he once again intervened by offering to resurrect her dead loved ones: Dan and Nawaki. Interested in this offer, Tsunade considered it, and was left a week to decide.
Soon afterward, Tsunade was approached by Jiraiya and Naruto Uzumaki, who wanted her to become the next Hokage. After turning down the offer, and ridiculing it, Naruto challenged Tsunade to a fight, enraged that someone could disrespect the title of Hokage, due to his undying desire to become Hokage himself. Tsunade accepted, and easily won, though not before witnessing Naruto's attempt at using the Rasengan. Intrigued, Tsunade made a bet with Naruto to master the jutsu in a week; if he won, he would get the First Hokage's necklace, and if Naruto did not master the Rasengan within a week, Tsunade would get all the money he was carrying. Naruto accepted the bet, and resumed his training. As the week progressed, Tsunade kept a careful eye on Naruto's progress, and all the while contemplated Orochimaru's offer. When the week was up, and Naruto appeared to have failed in mastering the jutsu, Tsunade went to meet Orochimaru, though not before drugging Jiraiya to make sure he didn't interfere.
Upon meeting with Orochimaru, Tsunade asked that he not destroy Konoha when his arms were healed. Orochimaru agreed, and Tsunade prepared to heal him, though was interrupted by Orochimaru's assistant, Kabuto Yakushi. Kabuto, being a medical ninja himself, was able to notice the killing intent of Tsunade's healing jutsu, and as such, knew that she really intended to kill Orochimaru. Her motives known, Tsunade revealed that she knew Orochimaru had lied when saying he'd leave Konoha alone, and that she couldn't bring herself to allow it, due to Nawaki and Dan having loved Konoha until the end of their days. While she had tried to forget this fact over the years, Naruto's determination and desire to be Hokage reminded her of their dreams, and she had decided to do whatever was necessary to protect those dreams.
With that, Tsunade attacked Orochimaru, though Kabuto fought her in his place. As the two traded blows, Kabuto began to realize that he was completely outmatched, and decided to use her fear of blood to his advantage, by slitting his wrists, thus making her immovable. As Kabuto began to beat on Tsunade, Shizune and Naruto came to her rescue. While both were easily defeated, Naruto was able to overcome his injuries, and continued to protect Tsunade. Although Tsunade told him to run, Naruto refused, and managed to hit Kabuto with a perfected Rasengan in his effort to protect her, defeating Kabuto. As Naruto collapsed, and was left near death due to Kabuto's last attack, Tsunade rushed to his aid, and attempted to heal him, not willing to allow him to die. Her efforts were successful, and Naruto claimed the amulet he had now won, before losing consciousness. Putting the necklace around his neck, Tsunade asked once more for its wearer to become Hokage.
Orochimaru, worrying about what kind of threat Naruto might become when he got older, tried to kill him, though Tsunade blocked that attack, using herself as a human shield. Orochimaru inquired as to why she was protecting Naruto, to which she replied that Naruto would someday be Hokage, and that she would not allow him to die before that happened. With that, Tsunade accepted the title of Fifth Hokage that she had been offered, and overcame her fear of blood, her first action being to eliminate Orochimaru. Joining forces with the still drugged Jiraiya, the two attacked Orochimaru, with Tsunade eventually being the one to deal the finishing blow. Defeated, Orochimaru escaped, vowing to destroy Konoha once he'd healed himself. Once Naruto recovered, the group returned to Konoha, Tsunade ready to take the role Dan and Nawaki so dearly desired, and secretly believing that Naruto would someday become a great Hokage.
Sasuke Retrieval arc
Soon after arriving in Konoha to take her place as Hokage, Tsunade healed the wounds of Rock Lee, Kakashi Hatake, and Sasuke Uchiha. After her return to Konohagakure, Tsunade gave a grim prognosis on Rock Lee's condition. She stated that the only procedure that could allow him to return to duty as a Ninja, was one that she alone was capable of performing, and it only had a 50/50 chance of success; if it didn't succeed then it would prove to be fatal for Lee.
Not liking the odds of such a dangerous procedure, Tsunade advised Lee that it was best that he retire as a ninja and find another profession. In the original story, Rock Lee finally agreed to undergo the procedure at the beherst of his sensei, Might Guy; in the anime, while Lee is struggling to decide what he should do, Tsunade couldn't get Lee's dilemma out of her head, decided to try and do something for him, even if it could only raise his chances from 50% to 51%. Thinking back to how she had saw Kabuto withstand Naruto's Rasengan, Tsunade used the same idea as Kabuto's technique as an inspiration to expand on the life-threatening operation and improved Lee's chances of survival from 50% to 58%.
When Sasuke defected from the village some point after he himself was healed, so that he could go to Orochimaru, Tsunade was forced to send out a group of Genin to try and stop and retrieve him. She also used Konoha's reacquired alliance with Sunagakure to call in a favor for reinforcements, hoping to give the retrieval team some back-up. Despite her efforts, the group ultimately failed, and Tsunade helped in healing their fatal injuries, bringing them back to full health. In the aftermath of Sasuke's betrayal, Sakura Haruno asked to become Tsunade's apprentice, which Tsunade gladly accepted.
Pre-Shippūden filler arcs
Tsunade appeared in numerous filler arcs, though she typically did nothing more than sending others out on missions, occasionally trying new ways of deciding who would go on a specific mission. Her goal during the filler arcs was to keep Naruto busy until Jiraiya came back, to prevent him from going after Sasuke himself. In one filler arc, she saved Team 10 from the Legendary Stupid Brothers with a quick display of her strength. In another filler, she summoned Katsuyu to deal with some impersonators of Rock Lee and Might Guy, who had entered the village.
After Naruto's return to Konoha after the timeskip, the village's elders questioned Tsunade's decision to allow Naruto to go out on missions when Akatsuki sought to capture him. As such, the elders forced Tsunade to allow one of the men of Danzo, a fierce opponent of the Third Hokage, to be teamed with Naruto. Not trusting Danzo, Tsunade assigned Yamato to lead Naruto, and to keep an eye on Danzo's addition to the team.
Hidan and Kakuzu arc
Later, when two Akatsuki members entered the Land of Fire - namely Hidan and Kakuzu - Tsunade mobilized the Nijū Shōtai to look for and, if possible, capture the Akatsuki duo. While capture never came to be possible, the Akatsuki members were both defeated. Tsunade later performed an autopsy on Kakuzu, and found Naruto's newest jutsu, Wind Release: Rasenshuriken to be too dangerous for use, based on the damage done to Kakuzu's body and Naruto's arm. She explained that the attack had struck at a cellular level, causing extensive damage to the both of them, and regretfully told Kakashi and Yamato not to allow Naruto to use the jutsu again.
The Three-Tails Arrival arc
In the anime, after finishing her autopsy on Kakuzu, Tsunade received a report from a deceased ANBU captain about Orochimaru and Sasuke's whereabouts. She called for Kakashi, and put him in charge of Team 8 to investigate. Because the mission involved a chance of finding Sasuke, Tsunade tried to keep Naruto from finding out about it. He found out anyway, so Tsunade didn't hesitate to send him as back-up.
Later, Tsunade received news that Team Kakashi had encountered the Three-Tailed Demon Turtle. Deciding that they needed to capture the beast quickly, as to not let it fall into enemy hands, Tsunade ordered Tenten, Rock Lee, and Ino Yamanaka to aid Team Kakashi in sealing the beast. Before sending them out, Tsunade made a large and special scroll to aid the team in sealing the beast. She also decided to summon and send out Katsuyu for further assistance. When the forces they sent continued to have problems with the sealing, Tsunade called them back to Konoha, and sent some ANBU to replace them. After she heard about the ANBU losing contact with Konoha, and the disappearance of the Three-Tails, Tsunade suspected that Akatsuki were somehow involved.
Invasion of Pain arc
When Jiraiya set out to investigate the leader of Akatsuki, Pain, Tsunade bet that he would not return, hoping that her bad luck would prove just as terrible as ever. Her bet proved accurate when he died in the attempt however, though not before sending a number of clues to Pain's identity back to Konoha. Tsunade put the village's brightest on the job, making the discovery of Pain's secret top priority for the village. Naruto, just as badly affected by Jiraiya's death as Tsunade, went away to train, both of them knowing that he was Pain's next target.
When the invasion of Pain began, Tsunade tried to send word for Naruto to return home. She was stopped by the Konoha Council, who feared his capture by Akatsuki. However, Tsunade insisted that they must have faith in Naruto, along with the rest of the next generation, and so they relented. Tsunade began issuing orders for the village's defense, placing extra protection around those still working on Pain's secret. She summoned Katsuyu, and had her divide and seek out every villager, so that she could protect and heal them remotely. While sitting in the middle of a seal guarded by ANBU, transferring her chakra to Katsuyu, she was found by Pain's Deva path, whom she recognized as one of the orphans Jiraiya trained in the past. Tsunade refused to tell it where Naruto was, proclaiming that Akatsuki was just a terrorist group. When Pain discovered Naruto's location through other means, the Deva path resolved to make Tsunade see what Akatsuki's true goals were.
The Deva path destroys the village. In the few moments between when the destruction began and ended, Tsunade gave all of her chakra to Katsuyu, in order to keep the villagers safe. In the aftermath. she confronted Pain, who had his Asura path try to kill Tsunade. It was stopped by Naruto, who told Tsunade that he would personally deal with Pain. She fell back and, having used up all of her chakra, fell into a coma. When Pain was defeated, and the invasion was brought to an end, the still comatose Tsunade was relieved of her duties, and replaced by Danzo.
Tsunade is regarded as Konoha's strongest kunoichi. Her trademark ability is her incredible raw strength, which is amplified even further with chakra control to inhuman levels. By storing chakra and releasing it at the point of contact, she can enhance her strength to the point where she can effortlessly break through boulders with her bare hands. Even without this augmented strength, Tsunade has been shown to be surprisingly fast, durable, and strong in hand-to-hand combat.
Even though she is in her fifties, Tsunade's Transformation Technique makes it appear as if she were still twenty (which Naruto calls "living a lie"). Tsunade's transformation is somewhat different from a normal transformation, as it seems to be permanent, not getting dispelled when she is slashed or injured, and she apparently does not need to exert any effort to stay transformed. The transformation dispels when she runs out of chakra, reducing her to an elderly and frail form.
In addition to her unrivalled strength, she is equally impressive and renowned as the best in the world for her expertise as a medical-nin, and can heal wounds that most others would consider impossible with relative ease. Her knowledge of the medical arts are so great that she can immediately determine what kind of injuries or illness a person has from a single glance. The most extreme example of her medical prowess is Creation Rebirth, a technique that makes use of the massive amounts of chakra available after using Yin Seal: Release to continuously regenerate the cells in her body, healing any wound and even growing back missing organs. It gives her a form of "immortality" in battle that even Orochimaru expressed envy for. However, because of the rapid cell regeneration, the technique shortens her life much like Naruto's four-tailed transformation. Because of the risk associated with the technique, Tsunade only uses Creation Rebirth in extremely desperate situations.
Additionally, Tsunade can summon Katsuyu, a giant slug that she can use as a medium for her medical jutsu, allowing her to heal far more people than she can individually reach. During the invasion of Pain, she used that to protect the villagers of Konoha. Tsunade was able to have Katsuyu surround herself around the villagers, effectively protecting all of them, and saving the village of any excessive causalities.
Creation and conception
Tsunade's name is taken from the character of the same name from "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya" (自来也豪傑物語, Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari). The Tsunade in that story excelled in slug magic, and was married to Jiraiya.
- The name "Tsunade" (綱手) means "mooring rope."
- Tsunade shares the same blood type with her former teammates, Jiraiya and Orochimaru.
- Tsunade was the first female Hokage, as well as the first female kage seen in the series.
- While Tsunade's English anime voice actor is Debi Mae West, in most games she is voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, who is Kurenai Yuhi's voice actor. The few games where she is voiced by her anime voice actor are Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles 2 and Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution. In Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2, while being voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn through out the story-line, during game-play, most of Debi Mae West's voice-overs from the first game are still used.
- According to the Naruto databook:
- Tsunade's hobby is gambling.
- Tsunade wishes to fight Naruto.
- Tsunade's favorite food are chicken breasts and sake, while her least favorite is liver sashimi.
- Tsunade has completed 1,256 official missions in total: 40 D-rank, 236 C-rank, 467 B-rank, 418 A-rank, 95 S-rank.
- Tsunade's registration number is 002302.
- Tsunade's favorite phrase is "Getting rich quick".
- "One of the Legendary Sannin taking on a snot-nosed Genin... I oughta be ashamed of myself."
- "Jiraiya! Are you trying to teach this kid the Rasengan?! What's the point of teaching him this technique when he can't even master it? Filling his head with stupid dreams! To actually think that he'll become Hokage someday!"
- "This is the Big One... where I bet it all... where I put my life on the line."
- "Nawaki... Dan... I hope you are watching this. That boy, Naruto... will surely complete what you started."
- (To the advisors) "If Konoha and the Fire Country fall into danger because of me, then I will put my life on the line to protect them as the Fifth Hokage!"
- (To Jiraiya) "I'm the goddamned Hokage! I can't just walk into a bar and drink in the middle of the afternoon! There are a bunch of our shinobi out on missions right now!!"
- (To the advisors) "...Do you know what Jiraiya and Sarutobi and Chiyo of Sunagakure had that you don't!? ... FAITH!! ... Just like my grandfather, the First Hokage, had faith in you and entrusted you with the village! Now it's your turn to have faith in these children and entrust it to them!"
- (To Pain) "I am the Fifth Hokage. And I will never forgive you... for trampling on the treasure, the dreams... of those who came before me! As Hokage, I will put a stop to you here and now!"