Anime and Manga
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Tsunade (綱手) is a supporting character in the anime and manga series Naruto.
The names of Tsunade, Jiraiya and Orochimaru come from Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語, "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"). The Tsunade in this story excelled in snail magic and was married to Jiraiya. The name "Tsunade" (綱手) means "mooring rope".
Tsunade is a former student of the Third Hokage. Tsunade and her former teammates, Jiraiya and Orochimaru, are known as the "Legendary Three Ninja" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin) or simply the "Sannin". The word "Hime" (姫, Princess) is often attached to Tsunade's name because she is the granddaughter of the First Hokage and the grandniece of the Second Hokage. Tsunade is well known for her large breasts, despite the fact that Jiraiya referred to her as "flat-chested Tsunade" during their childhood.
One of Tsunade's noteworthy possessions was an amulet that belonged to her grandfather, which is said to be valuable enough to buy three gold mines and the mountains on top of it. On her brother, Nawaki's, twelfth birthday, Tsunade gave the amulet to him in the hopes that it would help him achieve his dream of becoming Hokage. The next day, Nawaki died as one of the many casualties of the war going on at the time, and the amulet was returned 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 him achieve his goal, 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 amulet 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 the latter in as her apprentice.
Info: Despite growing up during the great ninja wars, Tsunade's younger days were pleasant ones, ninja training with Jiraiya and Orochimaru (who was still a creep back then, but not yet an evil one), living with her little brother, Nawaki (who bears a slight resemblance to Naruto), etc., life was good. Things started to change on Nawaki's 12th birthday, when Tsunade gave him a very special present, a rare stone necklace belonging to their grandfather the 1st Hokage. Nawaki was of course extremely happy to get this as he too dreamed of one day becoming Hokage and protecting Konoha* just like their Grandfather did. Shortly after that day Nawaki was killed, the only details we are given regarding his death are that it happened on some mission and it was really messy, but it is suspicious that Orochimaru ended up in possession of the necklace until Tsunade arrived to see the damage. After Nawaki's death, Tsunade went to government meetings began to push for the training of medical ninjas to be included in squads to reduce the deaths of Konoha ninjas. Her idea was promptly rejected, not because of lack of interest in her ideas, but lack of time and resources needed to train medical ninjas. One Jounin however, stood up of the idea as he had just lost his little sister in a raid on the village, but to no avail. After that meeting, Tsunade and Dan the Jounin became very close, so close in fact, that the night before the two were to leave on a huge mission Tsunade presented him with the necklace that had belonged to her brother (and grandfather) because Dan too wanted to become Hokage to keep others from feeling the pain he felt after losing his sister. Sadly, during the mission Dan was severely wounded and in the end the bled to death as Tsunade tried desperately to close the wound. From that night on, Tsunade developed a paralyzing fear of blood due to the fact that she was covered with the stuff after Dan bled to death. She also became disenchanted with the life of a ninja and left Konoha with her apprentice Shizune. Many years later, after the death of the 3rd Hokage at the hands of Orochimaru the Konoha government needed to find a new 5th Hokage fast, the first offered the position to Jiraiya, but he refused. He then volunteered to go on a trip to find Tsunade so she could fill the position, making sure to take Naruto with him for special jutsu training. While Naruto worked perfecting Jiraiya's jutsu, Jiraiya went from place to place seeing if anyone had seen her (and doing a shit load of drinking and partying). Anyways, after while Jiraiya and Naruto found her, but unknown to them, so had Orochimaru, who had met with her in secret offering her the resurrection of Nawaki and Dan in exchange for healing his damaged arms. At first she cannot decide, so Orochimaru gives her a week to think it over. During this time, she does some soul searching ad spends time with Jiraiya and Naruto, after hearing their offer to become 5th Hokage, she refuses, and as Naruto often does, he pisses off Tsunade saying that she's an old bat who can't do any good for the village anyways, and how he's going to be the best Hokage ever. After a few minutes of this, Tsunade's famous temper flares up and she beats the shit out of Naruto using only one finger. After smacking him around for a few minutes, she offers Naruto a bet, if he can master his new Jutsu in one week, she'll acknowledge that he has the potential to become a strong Hokage, and give him the necklace that once belonged to the 1st Hokage (and her brother, and her boyfriend, but I digress). If Naruto fails to master the Jutsu, then Tsunade gets all of Naruto's pocket money, which is quite a lot considering he just won a big lottery in a nearby village. So the days pass, and the day for Tsunade's big decision arrives, all the signs say that she's going to accept Orochimaru's offer. She leaves alone for an abandoned area, even resorting to drugging Jiraiya so he won't follow. After some brief temptation, she at last changes her mind and decides not only to not heal Orochimaru's hands, but to defeat him, as the 5th Hokage! She also overcomes her fear of blood in order to fight off Orochimaru and his subordinate. At about that time reinforcements show up in the form of Jiraiya who is still drugged so he's only at about 1/3 of his normal power, Shizune, Naruto who's just mastered his new Jutsu and won the bet. What follows is a massive Smackdown between the most powerful ninja's ever. In the end, Orochimaru is beaten and flees off with his underlings, while Naruto is seriously wounded. Fearing a repeat of what happened with Dan; Tsunade desperately tries to heal Naruto, and just barely pulls it off. It is then admits Naruto has won their bet and the 1st Hokage's necklace changes hands for the final time. After their ordeal Naruto, Jiraiya, Tsunade, Shizune and Ton-Ton all return to Konoha where Tsunade is inaugurated as the 5th Hokage. Honestly though, she's not well suited to the task, she hates doing the necessary office work and if left unchecked by Shizune, would rather spend the whole day drinking and lounging. Her medical skills often come in particularly useful in healing Rock Lee's damaged spine and the various injured Gennins after Sasuke's betrayal, after which Sakura becomes her new protege feeling worthless after her was powerless to stop Sasuke from leaving. Being a medical Ninja, Tsunade does not possess much in the way of combat jutsus (comparatively speaking), but instead takes advantage of her insane physical strength to over whelm opponents, it has even been remarked that one "clean hit" from her is enough to finish any opponent. As with all her fellow Sennins however, she is also skilled with the Summoning Jutsu (Kyuichose No Jutsu), in her case summoning slugs to do her bidding (yes, I said slugs). Sadly, the only one we've met thus far is her most power ally, a rather shy, 6 story tall slug named Katsui, seen here using her signature, 'Acid of 1000 Fangs Jutsu' (Zeshi Nensan). When all else fails though, Tsunade does possess one final trump card, her Genesis of Rebirth Jutsu (Ninpo, Sozo Saise). You see, that small diamond on her forehead is actually a seal that she uses to store vast amounts of unused chakra, when the Genesis of Rebirth is activated the seal expands to its full shape and all the compressed chakra is released. This chakra not only heals all damage to her body and organs, but can actually regenerate any lost body tissue, making it almost impossible for Tsunade to die in battle. There are however three disadvantages to using this technique; 1) the Jutsu has a strict time limit, and after her time is up, she's completely helpless, as in can't do shit for the rest of the battle, 2) she's so weak after the time limit is up that she is unable to maintain her Anti-Aging Jutsu, and thus reverts to her natural form until she regains her strength, and 3) The number of times human cells can divide is finite, and by forcing her cells into over drive this technique actually shortens her overall life span, so it must the used with extreme caution.
Search for Tsunade arc
After his failed invasion of Konoha, Orochimaru seeks out Tsunade. Upon finding her, he asks her for a favor, though before he can specify what this favor is she declines, having already noticed his wounded arms. Trying again, Orochimaru asks her to heal his arms, explaining that the injury is a result of his carelessness when killing the Third Hokage. Shocked by this revelation, Tsunade prepares to kill Orochimaru, though he once again intervenes by offering to resurrect her dead loved ones: Dan and Nawaki. Interested in this offer, Tsunade considers it, and is left a week to decide.
Soon afterwards, Tsunade is approached by Jiraiya and Naruto Uzumaki who want her to become the next Hokage. After turning down the offer and ridiculing it, Naruto challenges Tsunade to a fight, enraged that someone could disrespect the title of Hokage due to his undying desire to become Hokage himself. Tsunade accepts and easily wins, though not before witnessing Naruto's attempt at using the Rasengan. Intrigued, Tsunade makes a bet with Naruto to master the jutsu in a week, and if he wins he will get the First Hokage's amulet. Naruto accepts, and resumes his training. As the week progresses, Tsunade keeps a careful eye on Naruto's progress and all the while contemplates Orochimaru's offer. When the week is up and Naruto appears to have failed in mastering the jutsu, Tsunade goes to meet Orochimaru, though not before drugging Jiraiya to make sure he doesn't interfere.
Upon meeting with Orochimaru, Tsunade asks that he not destroy Konoha when his arms are healed. Orochimaru complies, and Tsunade prepares to heal him, though is 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 reveals that she knew Orochimaru 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 has decided to do whatever is necessary to protect those dreams.
With that, Tsunade attacks Orochimaru, though Kabuto fights her in his place. As the two trade blows, Kabuto begins to realize that he is outmatched and decided to use her fear of blood to his advantage by slitting his wrists and thus making her immovable. As Kabuto begins to beat on Tsunade, Shizune and Naruto come to her rescue. While both are easily defeated, Naruto is able to overcome his injuries and continue to protect Tsunade. Although Tsunade tells him to run, Naruto refuses, and manages to hit Kabuto with a perfected Spiraling Sphere in his effort to protect her, defeating Kabuto. As Naruto collapses and is left near-death due to Kabuto's last attack, Tsunade rushes to his aid and attempts to heal him, not willing to allow him to die. Her efforts are successful, and Naruto claims the amulet he has now won before losing consciousness. Putting the amulet around his neck, Tsunade asks once more for its wearer to become Hokage.
Orochimaru, worrying about what kind of threat Naruto may become when he gets older, tries to kill him, though Tsunade blocks that attack as a human shield. Orochimaru inquires as to why she is protecting Naruto, to which she replies that Naruto will someday be Hokage and that she will not allow him to die before that happens. With that, Tsunade accepts the title of Fifth Hokage (五代目火影, Godaime Hokage) that she had been offered and overcomes her fear of blood, her first action being to attack Orochimaru. Joining forces with the still drugged Jiraiya, the two attack Orochimaru, with Tsunade eventually being the one to deal the finishing blow. Defeated, Orochimaru escapes, vowing to destroy Konoha once he's healed himself. Once Naruto recovers, the group returns to Konoha, Tsunade ready to take the role Dan and Nawaki so dearly desired, and secretly believing that Naruto will someday become a great Hokage.
Sasuke Retrieval arc
Soon after arriving in Konoha, Tsunade heals the wounds of Rock Lee, Kakashi Hatake, and Sasuke Uchiha. Once healed, Sasuke defects from the village so that he can go to Orochimaru, and Tsunade is forced to send out a group of Genin to stop him. She also uses Konoha's reacquired alliance with Sunagakure to call in a favor for reinforcements, hoping to give the retrieval team some backup. Despite her efforts, the group ultimately fails, and Tsunade helps in healing their fatal injuries, bringing them back to full health. In the aftermath of Sasuke's betrayal, Sakura Haruno asks to become Tsunade's apprentice, which Tsunade gladly accepts.
Anime filler arcs
Tsunade appears in numerous filler arcs, though she typically does nothing more than sending others out on missions, occasionally trying new ways of deciding who will go on a specific mission. Her goal during the filler arcs is to keep Naruto busy until Jiraiya comes back to prevent him from going after Sasuke himself. In one filler arc, she summons Katsuyu to deal with some impersonators of Rock Lee and Might Guy who have entered the village.
After Naruto's return to Konoha after the timeskip, the village's elders question Tsunade's decision to allow Naruto to go out on missions when Akatsuki seeks to capture him. As such, the elders force Tsunade to allow one of Danzo's, a fierce opponent of the Third Hokage, men to be teamed with Naruto. Not trusting Danzo, Tsunade assigns Yamato to lead Naruto and keep an eye on Danzo's addition to the team.
Later, when two Akatsuki members enter the Land of Fire; namely Hidan and Kakuzu, Tsunade mobilizes the Niju Shotai to look for and, if possible, capture the Akatsuki duo. While capture never comes to be possible, the Akatsuki members are both defeated. Tsunade later performs an autopsy on Kakuzu, and finds 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 explains that the attack had struck at a cellular level, causing extensive damage to the both of them, and regretfully tells Kakashi and Yamato not to allow Naruto to use the jutsu again, lest his access to chakra be destroyed.
Jiraiya vs. Pein arc
When Jiraiya decides to do battle with the enigmatic Pein, Tsunade bets that Jiraiya will die. (due to her horrible luck in betting) Unfortunately, Jiraiya is no match for the powerful Akatsuki leader, and he dies, making this the only bet Tsunade ever won.
Even though she is in her fifties, Tsunade's Transformation Technique makes it appear as if she were still twenty. 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.
Tsunade's trademark ability is her inhuman strength, which is derived from her excellent chakra control. By storing chakra and releasing it at the point of contact, she can enhance her strength to the point where she can break through boulders with her bare hands. She is also an extremely talented Medical-nin, and can heal wounds that most others would consider impossible. She went as far as to use the Shadow Seal: Release (蔭封印・解, Infūin: Kai) to store her chakra in her forehead to Creation Rebirth ((創造再生, Sōzō Saisei), a technique that releases the chakra to rapidly regenerate the cells in her body to heal any wound. It gives her a "immortality" in battle that even Orochimaru envied. However, because of the rapid cell regeneration, the technique shortens her life similar to the Four-Tailed transformation, however more controlled. Because of the risk associated with the technique, Tsunade can only use Creation Rebirth in extremely desperate situations.
Additionally, Tsunade can summon Katsuyu, a giant slug that is very loyal to her. Katsuyu is able to perform a number of jutsu for which Tsunade does not seem to have her own equivalent, such as spitting acid, making her useful for accomplishing tasks Tsunade cannot.
- First Official Data Book (秘伝・臨の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Rin no Sho Character Official Data Book)
- Second Official Data Book (秘伝・闘の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Tō no Sho Character Official Data Book)
- Jump's 2nd Great Hero Book's Mini Data Book (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
- Naruto anime and manga Guidebook (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
- Taken directly from the Naruto manga chapters and anime episodes.