|猿飛アスマ Sarutobi Asuma|
|Manga||Volume #4, Chapter #34|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #3|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire|
|Game||Naruto: Ultimate Ninja|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game, Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||9|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||12|
Asuma Sarutobi (猿飛アスマ, Sarutobi Asuma) was a jōnin of Konohagakure's Sarutobi clan as well as a former member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja. He was also the leader of Team 10 which consists of Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka, and Chōji Akimichi.
Asuma was born to Hiruzen, the Third Hokage, and Biwako Sarutobi. During the Academy entrance ceremony, Asuma became friends with Kurenai Yūhi. In the anime, during the Chūnin Exams, Asuma was placed in a team with Kurenai and Raidō Namiashi. He later cheered on his classmates during the third round of the Chūnin Exams.
During the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha, Asuma along with the other young ninja were barred from participating in the defence of the village by Shinku Yūhi and the other senior shinobi. A few years after the event, Asuma would become an uncle to Konohamaru. He later became a chūnin and later a jōnin.
About seven years before the start of the series, he had a disagreement with his father and left Konoha to pursue his personal interests. During his absence, he became one of the Twelve Guardian Ninja, a group that protected the Land of Fire's daimyō, indicated by the sash on his waist. During this time he developed a strong friendship with the monk Chiriku, who would go on to become the head monk of the Fire Temple. Prior to returning to Konoha to resume active military duty, he accumulated a bounty of 35 million ryō on the black market, something he seemed to be particularly proud of since it was a testament of his skill, even bragging that his bounty was 5 million more than Chiriku. After returning to the village, Asuma resumed his jōnin duties and became a teacher of Inomatsu and presumably some more students. About twelve years after the Nine-Tails' attack, seeing his classmate fall into deeper self-pity from losing Obito Uchiha and Rin Nohara, Asuma, along with Might Guy and Kurenai decided to speak with the Third Hokage, voicing their disapproval of Kakashi being in Anbu with such bitterness and suggested instead that he be re-assigned as a jōnin sensei in the hopes of restoring Kakashi's kindness.
Asuma was typically a laid-back individual, and did not get himself involved in things unless absolutely necessary, as seen when he decided not to help save Hinata Hyūga during her fight in the Chūnin Exams. He was a heavy smoker but despite this, he would abruptly break the habit under certain circumstances, such as when his father died, or learned that Kurenai was pregnant. Not always seeing eye to eye with his father, Asuma later came to respect his father's role as Hokage: referring to him as a great father, and was proud to have been born into the Sarutobi clan.
Despite Asuma's very blunt personality, often calling his students what they were unreservedly, a "glutton" (Chōji), a "loud mouth" (Ino), and a "slacker" (Shikamaru), he had a very good relationship with all three. He often took them to Yakiniku Q for lunch and dinner where more often than not Chōji would eat too much and Asuma had to pay more and apologise emphatically to the owner. To help them overcome their underachieving natures, he attempted to use bribery and outright trickery to manipulate them into doing what he wanted. This was seen most with Chōji, who Asuma was frequently able to entice into action with the promise of food and even Shikamaru whom he had to use games like shōgi on to assess his skill level. Out of his students, Asuma spent the most time with and was closest to Shikamaru. Asuma and Shikamaru often played shōgi or Go in their free time, though Asuma was never able to beat Shikamaru. It was Asuma who first discovered that the lazy Shikamaru was actually a genius, with an I.Q. over 200.
Throughout the series it had been heavily hinted that Asuma was romantically involved with fellow jōnin Kurenai Yūhi, having been close to her since childhood. The two appeared together in most of their scenes, and the other characters made it a point to note this fact on several occasions. When Kakashi Hatake found the two together at a dumpling shop, Kakashi asked if they were on a date, to which Asuma responded by quickly changing the subject. In a flashback, Asuma was shown buying flowers for a person he refused to name, though Ino asked that he say hello to Kurenai for her anyway, to which Asuma nervously asked how she knew about it. During Asuma's battle with Hidan and Kakuzu, Kurenai was often shown wondering about his progress, appearing anxious. When she heard of his death, she fell to her knees grief stricken. She later laid flowers on his grave during his funeral. The truth of their relationship was then made clear when Kurenai revealed that she was pregnant with Asuma's child.
Asuma was a tall man, with brown eyes, olive skin, short black spiky hair, and a beard. His clothing consisted of the standard Konoha ninja uniform with the sleeves rolled up half way, flak jacket, regular shinobi sandals and forehead protector. He also wore a sash that had the kanji for "Fire" (火) marked on it around his waist, a pair of black bangles, and bandages wrapped around the arms of his sleeves.
As a genin, he wore a white short-sleeved shirt with a blue and black collar over chain-mail armour, along with a simple white vest, a pair of black pants, and a white belt. In the anime, it was shown that while he was a member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja, he wore a simple long sleeved shirt with bandages on the arms, pants, that sash denoting he was a guardian and a jacket with a fur collar. He also had his trench knives with him at that point.
Asuma was a highly talented jōnin-level shinobi, having even once been part of the Twelve Guardian Ninja — an elite hand-picked team which served to protect the Land of Fire's daimyō, a role which later earned him a bounty of 35,000,000 ryō. During the Konoha Crush, he could kill nine Otogakure ninja — who were noted to have been chūnin-level or above — with very little effort. He could hold off against Hidan, a powerful member of Akatsuki, while also protecting his team using his skill-set. Well respected amongst the village, ninja such as Shikaku Nara have praised Asuma as a great shinobi who was not easy to take down. He also established a great record in military prowess — something which many upcoming shinobi greatly admired.
In the anime, Asuma was taught how to use the ultimate technique of the Fire Temple, Welcoming Approach: Thousand-Armed Murder, which allowed him to manifest the spirit of the Thousand-Armed Kannon to defend him and attack any enemies.
Asuma was hailed as Konoha's foremost skilled in the village with close-ranged melee combat. His battle style revolved mainly around taijutsu, combined with his special trench knives to create a melee-type fighting style. These knives are made of a special metal that is capable of easily being infused with chakra. With his Flying Swallow, he could extend the blades with his chakra to injure an enemy several feet out of the blade's physical range, as well as increasing the cutting power of the blades to the point of easily slicing through trees, rocks and even metal. He was also physically strong enough to counter one of Kisame Hoshigaki's attacks using his trench knives.
Asuma had the ability to use both Wind and Fire Release nature transformations. He would mainly use his wind-nature manipulation abilities in combination with his trench knives to increase their lethality. When tutoring Naruto Uzumaki about wind-natured chakra, Asuma explained that enhanced with it by someone with an affinity for Wind Release, the trench knives possessed enough striking power to pierce through rock. Asuma was also well-versed in ranged wind techniques, such as the Wind Release: Dust Cloud Technique. In the anime, it was shown that he could use his wind chakra to levitate his trench knives and control them remotely.
Asuma's proficiency with Fire Release techniques was demonstrated mainly through his use of the Fire Release: Ash Pile Burning technique to breathe out a cloud of superheated ash capable of causing third-degree burns. Because it was ash and not flame, the attack remained in the air around the target, and therefore remained potent for a longer period of time. The ash was in fact gunpowder, which could be ignited for a devastating explosion causing intense damage.
When Chōji, fearing the competition, contemplated forfeiting his match during the preliminaries of the Chūnin Exam, Asuma convinced him not to by offering to take him out for "all you can eat" barbecue (yakiniku or Korean kalbi). Asuma also claimed that he'd stop the match if it got out of hand, as the other jōnin did during Hinata Hyūga's match. Both Ino and Shikamaru noted to themselves that Asuma didn't actually help in that instance.
During the Konoha Crush, Shikamaru was left by himself to defend against a group of invading Oto-nin. Later, just as Shikamaru had run out of options, and the nine Oto-nin were about to finish him off, Asuma appeared and single-handedly defeated the group saving his student. After the invasion, he attended his father's funeral.
Search for Tsunade
During his brief battle with Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, Asuma managed to catch Kisame off-guard with his trench knives, leaving a cut on Kisame's cheek below the eye. Witnessing the blade made of wind chakra, Kisame switches to ninjutsu using the Water Release: Water Shark Bullet Technique with Asuma seemingly still battle stationed with the blades. Kakashi Hatake arrived in time to copy the technique, and used it to block the attack, much to Asuma's surprise. Asuma, Kurenai, and Kakashi then faced off with the two Akatsuki members, only for Kakashi to fall victim to Itachi's Tsukuyomi. Might Guy arrived just in time to stall the Akatsuki duo and buy time for the rest of his comrades who were about to get targeted by Kisame, leading to him coaching Asuma and Kurenai on the essentials on how to fight against a Sharingan-using shinobi when the pair fled to pursue Naruto Uzumaki, their true target.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
Prior to Chōji's setting out with the squad assembled by Shikamaru to track down the renegade Sasuke Uchiha and the Sound Four, Asuma berated him for eating so much and not training enough. After Chōji's recovery from his battle against Sound ninja Jirōbō, he quickly regained his lost weight, but also approached Asuma for more intense training, which Asuma agreed to, with some admiration.
Mizuki Tracking Mission
In the anime, Asuma and Kurenai were dispatched by Tsunade to bring the chūnin criminal Mizuki in for questioning, regarding his suspected involvement with Orochimaru. The pair arrived at the Leaf Village Maximum Security Prison, only to be greeted by a swarm of released inmates, including the Legendary Stupid Brothers, Fūjin and Raijin. Outnumbered, the two were beaten unconscious and later found by Naruto who rushed them to the hospital for medical treatment.
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
About two years after Naruto left the village with Jiraiya for training, Konoha decided to host an early Chūnin Exams alongside Sunagakure. Later, as Team Asuma began discussing their joining the exams, it became noted that with Shikamaru already a chūnin and therefore ineligible to join, it left the rest of the team short. After the first exam concluded — held in Konoha — Asuma and Kurenai acted as the second exam's supervisors, informing the genin teams that weren't part of the first 30 teams to arrive at the checkpoint, that they already lost and couldn't participate in the second round. The duo was later present to oversee the second exam begin. Later, Asuma, Kurenai and Guy received word from Tsunade to be on guard for potential assassins towards Gaara as many still rejected him as Kazekage.
Asuma made his Part II début standing at the Third Hokage's grave, where he commented on how he was finally beginning to understand what the Third had taught him. Asuma confessed that he'd always been detached from Konoha, but after seeing how his father sacrificed himself for the village, he was now proud to be a member of the Sarutobi clan.
Later, when Naruto began training to master wind chakra, he came to Asuma, who was also a wind-type user, for help. Asuma agreed to give him pointers, if he agreed to pay for his team's next meal (which, Naruto forgot, included Chōji).
Twelve Guardian Ninja
Main article: Twelve Guardian Ninja (Arc) In the anime, when Team Kakashi returned to Konoha from their failed mission, he recognised a young monk named Sora from the Fire Temple who accompained them back. He invited Sora and the boys of the Konoha 11 to join him at a restraunt to have a guys day. Some time after, he revealed to Sora that he knew his father and that he killed him for trying to kill the Hokage. An enraged Sora tried to attack him, only failing as a few Anbu members got in his way and Sora stormed off.
Later, the Konoha was attacked by members of Furido's 4-Man Team, reviving many shinobi. Asuma recognised some of the revived shinobi from the Twelve Guardian Ninja, who planned on using a powerful technique to destroy Konoha. He fought Kitane and ultimately overpowers him. With the three members of Furido's 4-Man Team killed, the leader, Furido, remained. Asuma finds out that Fūrido was Kazuma, Sora's father, the man Asuma thought he killed. Kazuma then releases the seal on Sora he embedded on him over 15 years ago revealing Sora to be a Pseudo-Jinchūriki of the nine tails. Asuma engages Kazuma in battle, and later with Sai's help, Asuma finished Kazuma off. Ultimately, Naruto is able to stop Sora by releasing the nine tails' chakra sealed inside him.
When the invaders didn't succeed, Sora having came to his senses, departed from Konoha. Afterwards, Asuma was seen playing shogi with Shikamaru.
Akatsuki Suppression Mission
Asuma was teamed up with Shikamaru, Kotetsu Hagane, and Izumo Kamizuki as members of the Nijū Shōtai. His team, along with the entire group, was ordered to search for and, if possible, capture a pair of Akatsuki members who had entered the Land of Fire. Asuma and his team eventually tracked down the Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuzu, at a Bounty Station, where they quickly discovered that Hidan was immortal after their first attack. Hidan ordered Kakuzu to stay out of it, wanting to do this on his own. Asuma decided to be the one to physically confront him and took him on in battle while Shikamaru backed him up from a distance with his shadows, keeping Hidan on his toes.
The situation worsened, when Hidan's counter-attack resulted in him becoming 'linked' to Asuma through a ritual. Hidan assumed a Grim Reaper-like form, causing any bodily damage to himself to be shared with Asuma, while at the same time not hindering himself at all. With some quick thinking by Shikamaru who managed to break Hidan's ritual and pin him down, Asuma was able to decapitate him with his chakra-extended trench knives. Surprisingly, Hidan's severed head started to talk, uttering expletives at Asuma and then Kakuzu for not helping him.
Kakuzu finally stepped in as he admonished his partner for letting his guard down, and briefly attacked Asuma so he couldn't stop him from sewing Hidan's head back onto his body. With Hidan's body restored, Hidan resumed the ritual, and impaled himself in the heart. Though the blow did not instantly kill Asuma, it was still quite fatal. The rest of Team 10 arrived as back-up, which, combined with a telepathic call from Pain, forced the Akatsuki duo to leave. Before dying, Asuma left some parting words with his students, and smoked one last cigarette.
Later, while Shikamaru exacted revenge upon Hidan for killing Asuma, Asuma appeared before Shikamaru, and congratulated him for finally defeating the immortal. After entrusting his Will of Fire to Shikamaru, Asuma disappeared in a puff of cigarette smoke just before his student finished off Hidan with a huge explosion. Also, in his memory from the flashback, Shikamaru was finally able to understand who the "King" of Shōgi was in the real world. It is the next generation of shinobi, like Asuma's and Kurenai's unborn child, and how they would learn to care and live peacefully by the great shinobi in the present day. That was why Asuma entrusted his baby to Shikamaru, as apprentice and future sensei.
Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Main article: Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Main article: Power (Arc) In the anime, Asuma was summoned by Kabuto Yakushi to battle Team Kakashi, who were investigating the massacre that he brought about in the Tonika Village to gain access to The Hole. Quickly after being summoned, Asuma's coffin vanished, leading Kabuto to question whether the Impure World Reincarnation was still incomplete.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
In preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War, Asuma was reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi to fight against the Allied Shinobi Forces. He was later mobilised alongside Hizashi Hyūga and Dan Katō. Informed by Dan of their current situation, he stated that he had an ominous feeling of what was to come. Relocating to the Land of Lightning's coast, Asuma emerged from the sea amongst the White Zetsu Army and a few other reincarnated shinobi, before engaging the opposing First Division. Confronting Chōza Akimichi with Dan initially, he soon separated from them and began fighting other shinobi, engulfing several in an enormous explosion.
Asuma is later confronted by his former students where he praised them on their growth before he engaged them in combat. Moving involuntarily, Asuma attempted to provide what assistance he could by advising them on the best methods to counteract his attacks. Although hesitant, Shikamaru and Ino are able to fight regardless of their reluctance to harm their teacher, but Chōji could not bring himself to attack his beloved teacher. This created an opportunity for Asuma to use his Wind Release: Dust Cloud Technique, however, Ino managed to push Chōji out of the path of the attack. Asuma tried in vain to provoke Chōji, and even went as far as to call him fat, yet ultimately forced his comrades to come to his aid once again.
Ino took control of Chōji's body in order to fight Asuma in his place, but when she attempts to press the importance of their actions to Chōji, Asuma exploited her distraction by attacking with his Fire Release: Ash Pile Burning technique. Chōza, however, dived in front of the attack, protecting them from harm and finally providing Chōji with the necessary motivation after remembering the oath he swore as the next head of the Akimichi. Observing Chōji's new found confidence and metamorphosis, Asuma happily encouraged them to defeat him. Overcome by Ino and Shikamaru's combined efforts, Asuma was unable to avoid Chōji's attack and was sent flying into a nearby cliff, where he is ironically immobilised with his previous weapons. After complimenting his students' on their perfect formation he thanked them, before being completely bound and sealed by the Sealing Team.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Later, with the release of the Impure World Reincarnation technique, a light of sorts encased Asuma's sealed body as the technique was dispelled and his soul returned to the afterlife.
Though somewhat understated, the legacy Asuma left behind was one of great value. Within Konoha, and the wider shinobi world he left a sterling record of military prowess which many young Konoha shinobi look up to, wanting to emulate. He is also forever recognised for this prowess having been selected as one of the twelve people deemed strong enough to protect the leader of their country. Though initially also confused about the role of the Hokage and the Will of Fire which his father told him of, Asuma came to understand all of these in time and also came to appreciate his father, and the role the Hokage played in protecting the villagers. Along with this, Asuma was also responsible for training the current generation of the famed Ino–Shika–Chō trio who are the future leaders of their respective clans as well as completing the all-important ceremony concerning the three clans and the Sarutobi. He was also integral in assisting Naruto Uzumaki with his nature transformation training with Wind Release. Asuma left behind lover Kurenai Yūhi whom he fathered a child with. This child he views as his "king" whom he asked his student Shikamaru to protect with his dying breath and years later his daughter would follow the footsteps of him and Asuma's father.
In Other Media
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire
Asuma appeared as a phantom serving as Shikamaru's conscience while leading a platoon consisting of the Konoha 11, tasked to pursue Naruto and Sakura (who were then chasing a brainwashed Kakashi). After Shikamaru confronted Naruto about the ramifications of his seeming recklessness, Asuma's ghost told him to stay put as Naruto was simply following his Will of Fire, following Naruto and convincing Shikamaru to help him.
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Lost Tower
Asuma Sarutobi is a playable character in the following video games:
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- The name "Asuma" means "true tomorrow" (明日真), paralleling his daughter Mirai's name which means "future". His family name "Sarutobi" means "monkey jump" (猿飛).
- Studio Pierrot's Settei sheets of Asuma show that he was 150 cm around the time of the Kannabi Bridge incident.
- According to the databook(s):
- Asuma's hobby was to play shōgi.
- Asuma wished to duel Shikamaru in a game of shōgi.
- Asuma's favourite foods were sausage and soba with tororo. His least favourite food was asparagus.
- Asuma had completed 719 official missions in total: 111 D-rank, 193 C-rank, 217 B-rank, 178 A-rank, 20 S-rank.
- Asuma's favourite phrase was "Not right now!" (今のナシ!, Ima no nashi!).
- (To Ino, before he died) "Ino, you are strong willed, and dependable. Chōji and Shikamaru, they are total goof-offs. Keep them in line. And, don't let Sakura beat you. In ninjutsu, or romance."
- (To Chōji, before he died) "Chōji, you're a kind man who cares for his comrades. That's why… you'll become a shinobi more powerful than everyone else. Be more confident in yourself. And… maybe diet a little."
- (To Shikamaru, before he died) "And Shikamaru. You're so smart… and have great sense as a shinobi. You could definitely become Hokage. But… you're too lazy… You'd probably hate it. I never even beat you once at shōgi… Ah, yes… Remember our talk about the King?…"
- (To Shikamaru, before he died) "The "kings" are the unborn children who will grow up to take care of the leaf. One is still in Kurenai's womb… hers and my child. Take care of my "king"!"
- (Last words) "I want one last smoke."
- (To Team 10 about his last words before being sealed) "Then let me add to them with something I couldn't say back then… I've got nothing more to say to you three. Your Ino-Shika-Chō formation was perfect!"
- ↑ First Databook, page 72
- ↑ Second Databook, page 89
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Third Databook, pages 84-86
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 100
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 386
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Chapter 599, pages 2-3, 11
- ↑ Chapter 503, page 9
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 62
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Chapter 320, pages 3, 9
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 360
- ↑ Chapter 321, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 322, page 2
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Chapter 328, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 314, pages 14-15
- ↑ Chapter 328, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 107, pages 12-14
- ↑ Chapter 140, page 15
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Chapter 328, page 11
- ↑ Chapter 604, pages 3-4
- ↑ Chapter 118, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 119, pages 8-10
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 82
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 77
- ↑ Chapter 317, page 17
- ↑ Naruto episode 100
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 395
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 399
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 399
- ↑ Chapter 328, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 338, pages 14-17
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 290
- ↑ Chapter 328, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 328 pages 7-8
- ↑ Chapter 533, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 534, pages 8-9