|ロック・リー Rokku Rī
|Manga||Volume #4, Naruto Chapter #36|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #21|
|Novel||Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky|
|Movie||Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom|
|Game||Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||15|
Rock Lee (ロック・リー, Rokku Rī) is a shinobi of Konohagakure's Lee clan and a member of Team Guy. Unlike most shinobi, he lacked the skills necessary to use ninjutsu or genjutsu. However, he overcomes those shortcomings by undergoing special training from Might Guy that would make him a taijutsu master while still a genin.
During his time in the Academy, Lee proved to have no talent for ninjutsu and genjutsu. When he was mocked by his peers because of this, Lee persevered, focusing on taijutsu. After he succeeded in graduating he was added to Team Guy along with Neji Hyūga and Tenten. During the team's first meeting, Lee vowed to become a powerful ninja without using ninjutsu or genjutsu. Neji laughed at him, but their sensei, Might Guy, took a special interest in Lee. He encouraged Lee to keep at it and, in time, began teaching him powerful forms of taijutsu.
Under Guy's leadership, Lee has acquired a number of his sensei's personality traits: he is energetic, optimistic, and hot-blooded, and shows the epitome of a "nice guy". He believes that one cannot dislike food and shows strong dedication to his promises; when this promise is broken, just barely, he assigns himself arduous training to prevent it from happening again. Lee speaks respectfully to others, never using contractions or swear words and always addressing people with appropriate honourifics (except his teammates, since Lee feels they are close enough to be spoken to informally). He also carries a small book and pencil to recall advice that Guy gives him over time.
Despite his passionate nature, Lee has also shown strong instincts, staying focused at the task at hand and rarely losing his composure. He has a keen sense of honour and respects his opponents, refusing to hold grudges against those who have defeated him, and returning favours to those that have helped him. This was shown by his befriending of Gaara, forgiving him for crushing his arm and leg — injuries that nearly ended his career as a shinobi. Lee feels others should show the same respect towards their opponents, and is disgusted whenever someone is unnecessarily cruel to their enemies.
One of Lee's recurring themes throughout the series is his drive to succeed, believing with enough hard work and perseverance, he can surpass a natural genius. He can be prone to depression when faced with setbacks. Neji, Lee's more talented teammate and rival, found Lee's efforts to be in vain, believing a "failure" could never defeat a "genuis". As such, Lee became determined to defeat Neji in order to prove him wrong, though was met with defeat every time. When Neji himself was defeated by Naruto Uzumaki, another so-called "failure", he rejects his belief in fate and now holds great respect for Lee, believing that he will surpass the gifted with enough work.
During Part I, Lee revealed he had feelings for Sakura Haruno. Although she did not reciprocate his feelings and even considered him weird, she later become more appreciative and friendly towards him after he helped saved her from the Otogakure genin during the Chūnin Exams. After the exams, Lee's interest in Sakura went largely unaddressed in the manga, though it is sometimes referenced in the anime; while having a match with Lee, Naruto transformed into Sakura, distracting Lee long enough for Naruto to attack him. However, Lee's Infinite Tsukuyomi dream was of winning Sakura's affections, implying he still had romantic feelings for her. These feelings apparently have changed by adulthood, as Lee ended up marrying someone else and had a son named Metal Lee.
Lee has shiny black hair, round eyes with prominent lower eyelashes, and very thick eyebrows; as a result, Naruto calls him "Centipede Brows" (ゲジマユ, Gejimayu, English TV: Bushy Brows). As a child, his hair was quite long and fastened in a braid, though he cuts it short by the time he joins Team Guy, letting it curve out and upward. Lee originally wore a white, short-sleeved kimono-shirt with a martial arts belt and dark pants, giving him a more traditional Chinese appearance. He also sported a forehead protector and shinobi sandals.
Lee later changes his appearance considerably to emulate his idol and sensei, Guy: his hair is now in a bowl-cut style; he wears a green jumpsuit, orange leg warmers, and a red forehead protector worn as a belt. He has bandages around his forearms up to his fingers, covering a set of stitches on his hands that were caused by his rigorous training. Like Guy, Lee's appearance remains largely the same over the years, though he adds a standard Konoha flak jacket as a chūnin in Part II, and its redesigned version in The Last: Naruto the Movie. As an adult, Lee grew noticeably muscular with more-defined cheekbones, and now wears a sleeveless jumpsuit with an orange neckwarmer.
During his time in the Academy, Lee's performance was looked down upon for his inability to use either ninjutsu or genjutsu. Guy, who sensed in Lee the same hardships and determination he had as a child, took him on as a student, encouraging and training him to help him achieve his dream of becoming a splendid ninja. Under Guy's tutelage, Lee improves greatly as a late bloomer by Part I; evidenced when he defeated Sasuke Uchiha (a natural prodigy), posed a challenge against Gaara in the Chūnin Exams, and held his own against Kimimaro. By Part II, he became a chūnin, capable of defeating the legendary taijutsu master, Chen, in the anime. By adulthood, he had advanced to the rank of jōnin.
Since discovering he has no talent for ninjutsu and genjutsu, Lee has made it his life's dream to become a famous ninja who uses taijutsu. With gruelling training and unwavering support from Might Guy, Lee developed great proficiency in the art, becoming a taijutsu master as a child, and learning powerful techniques such as the Strong Fist. Lee's arduous training has given him strength great enough to unearth a massive tree root from the ground, and speed fast enough to outpace a two-tomoe Sharingan. As per his training, Lee has worn heavy ankle weights, which when removed, increases his speed vastly, enabling him to became the first person ever to bypass Gaara's Shield of Sand and strike him. Lee's training and prowess in taijutsu is expanded further in the anime: able to run and fight even while unconscious or asleep, using nothing but pure muscle memory. As a chūnin, Lee learned to perform the Leaf Great Gale (木ノ葉大烈風, Konoha Daireppū). His improved speed allowed him to intercept a charge from Haku, a shinobi known for his own high speed, and as an adult, was considered one of Konoha's best taijutsu users.
Lee's very low tolerance for alcohol gives him a natural predisposition for the Drunken Fist style. When he consumes as little as one drop of alcohol, Lee becomes an unpredictable and nearly unstoppable force of destruction and chaos, attacking anyone whether they are friend or foe. This gives him considerably greater speed and dexterity, allowing him to strike and effectively dodge from various positions. Kimimaro, one of Orochimaru's strongest subordinates, was ultimately overwhelmed by Lee's attack patterns with Drunken Fist, noting that they were too unpredictable to follow.
Through Guy's teachings, Lee learned to open five of the Eight Gates at age 12, the sixth gate at age 17, and (in the anime) the seventh gate some time after the Fourth Shinobi World War. He is recognised as a genius for this feat by Kakashi Hatake, who notes it is highly difficult for even the most talented ninja to open even one gate. With each gate he opens, Lee's strength, speed, chakra levels, and bodily functions increase tremendously. However, the longer he maintains any of these gates, the more strain and potential physical damage his puts on himself from pushing his performance so far behind his natural limits. For this reason, Lee is only permitted to open any of the gates during the most dire situation or to protect something very dear to him. Through his continued training, Lee has become able to open some of the Eight Gates instantly and shows a faster recovery rate from using them, but he nevertheless succumbs to the pain or exhaustion they cause.
Lee has learned to use a number of taijutsu techniques that he can perform once certain gates have been opened; with the first gate, he can use the pile-driving Front Lotus; with the third gate, he can use the more destructive Reverse Lotus; with the sixth gate, he can (in conjunction with other Eight Gates users) perform the Crane Wing Formation, powerful enough to destroy half of a giant meteorite.
Having opted not to participate the year before, Team Guy took part in the Chūnin Exams along with the Rookie Nine. They initially tried to avoid attention by acting weak, but Lee accidentally let slip his true strength by interfering with a fight between Sasuke and Kotetsu Hagane. He also fell in love with Sakura. Soon afterwards, he confronted Sasuke, challenging him to a fight to see how he fared against the Sharingan, but not before knocking out Naruto, who tried to fight with Lee himself. After battling Sasuke, Lee easily gained the upperhand but Guy interrupted Lee and Sasuke's fight as Lee tried to use the Front Lotus, and Lee was forced to do laps around the practice range before he could proceed onto the first phase of the exams. With Tenten's help, he gained the answers for the written portion, and proceeded to the second round.
After spending their first few days in the Forest of Death gathering supplies, Team Guy split up in search of other teams. Lee came across Sakura being attacked by Team Dosu, and went to her aid. He used his Front Lotus on Dosu Kinuta, but he survived the attack because of Zaku Abumi using his Decapitating Airwaves in the ground, and Lee was left unable to defend himself from a counterattack from Dosu. Neji and Tenten soon arrived to help, but didn't have to because Sasuke woke up and took care of Team Dosu. Once Lee recovered and they collected the specific scroll, they moved onto the preliminaries.
In the preliminaries, Lee was matched against Gaara. When his standard attacks proved unable to bypass Gaara's defences, he removed his ankle weights to increase his speed and managed to land a couple of hits on Gaara. Then, he attempted the Forward Lotus, but Gaara was able to escape at the last minute revealing a sand clone instead. His options running out if he was to win and prove himself, Guy allowed him to use the Reverse Lotus. Gaara barely survived by turning his gourd to sand to cushion him, and the techniques took a massive toll on Lee's body. Gaara added to Lee's injury by crushing his left arm and leg. Though Guy intervened to stop Gaara from killing him, Lee got to his feet to continue the battle, despite being completely unconscious.
Because of his injuries, medics predicted, that even if Lee recovered, his injuries would prevent him from ever being able to be a shinobi again. He nevertheless tried to train while he was in the hospital, something that only worsened his condition. When he was asleep, Gaara came to his room and tried to kill him, but he was stopped by Naruto and Shikamaru Nara and later by Guy. To try and cheer Lee up, Guy took him to watch the final round matches, but they were surprised when they arrived to find out that Neji had been defeated by Naruto. Envious of Naruto, Lee then watched Gaara's fight with Sasuke, and marvelled at how quickly he had learned to emulate Lee's speed. Before the fight could finish, however, the Konoha Crush began, and Lee was knocked unconscious.
Lee can be seen at the Third Hokage's funeral alongside the other villagers, mourning his death.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
Over the coming weeks, Guy tried a number of his own remedies to heal Lee, though none of his efforts worked. It was not until news of Tsunade becoming Hokage reached them that they found hope. But, when she examined Lee, she informed him of the dire situation: his broken bones and torn muscles have healed, but fragments of bone had lodged in his spinal column, and removing them would involve an extensive operation that only she was capable of. When Tsunade offered him an operation that carried a fifty percent chance of returning him to his former state, or dying in the process, Lee was hesitant to accept the operation. Though Lee was worried he would die in the operation, thanks to Guy's influence, he accepted the surgery. Upon overhearing Naruto, Chōji Akimichi, Kiba Inuzuka, and Shikamaru talking about the mission to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, Lee suggested that Neji go with them. Lee was disappointed that he couldn't go with them, still needing to go through his surgery that was scheduled for later that day (In the anime, Lee was recovering after having his surgery done the day before). In the end, Lee successfully survived the operation.
Once Lee was well enough to move, he left the hospital to follow them and provide assistance. He caught up with Naruto, who was in the middle of a battle with Kimimaro, and told him to go after Sasuke while he dealt with Kimimaro. At first, it seemed Kimimaro overmatched him, but after Lee drank some sake that he had mistaken for his medicine, he began to outclass Kimimaro. Though Lee's anticipated moves were unpredictable to Kimimaro, he revealed his Kekkei Genkai, Shikotsumyaku, which, combined with Lee sobering up, easily took over the battle. Before his attack landed on Lee, Gaara arrived just in time to save him. Even though Lee insisted to fight side-by-side with him, he knew he was only getting in Gaara's way.
For the rest of the battle, Lee watches and is amazed by Gaara's new abilities. Even though Gaara's new techniques completely buried Kimimaro, Kimimaro counters by turning the battlefield into a forest of bones, which Lee and Gaara escaped by hanging onto a pair of small clouds made out of sand. Kimimaro then emerged from one of the bones, preparing to kill the two at point blank range. They were saved, however, as Kimimaro finally succumbed to his disease and died. After the battle, Lee and Gaara reflect upon Kimimaro's purpose, then the two return to Konoha.
Kurosuki Family Removal Mission
In the anime, Lee revealed that he once ran a marathon with Guy near the village of Katabami Kinzan shortly after being assigned to his team, and when he collapsed from exhaustion near the Curry of Life shop, the owner, Sanshō, and her son Karashi fed him curry and saved his life. Lee's dedication caused Karashi to become enthusiastic, and he later left. A year later, when he came to the village with his teammates and Naruto to defeat the Kurosuki family, he found that Karashi had joined, and was upset that Karashi had sought strength in this way. He allowed Karashi to seek redemption, but Karashi used this opportunity to lure Lee's group into a trap after their first battle with Raiga. The trap failed due to Naruto's use of shadow clones, and while the villagers were willing to seek vengeance on Karashi, Lee stepped in, promising to take responsibility for Karashi's actions. Karashi used the opportunity to take Ranmaru to revive Raiga. Lee went to fight Raiga with Naruto and Neji, and was knocked out but brought back to consciousness with the Curry of Life. The curry, however, accidentally contained wine, and Lee was intoxicated and performed the Drunken Fist. He fought Raiga drunkenly, but was defeated, and Naruto finished Raiga off. Later, when the group went back to the Curry of Life shop, they found out that Karashi had made a new curry that looked so bad that even Naruto didn't want to eat it. Lee, however, couldn't wait to try it, so the rest of the group had to literally drag him back to Konoha while he cried for the curry.
Academy Student Lead Mission
In the anime, Lee was assigned to lead a team of three Academy students on a survival exercise. After fending off some 'bandits', one of Lee's charges addressed Lee as "Lee-sensei" out of awe, and, overjoyed, Lee went off into one of his declarations into the sunset whilst his students tried to tell him that he was going the wrong way.
The Appearance of Strange Visitors
In the anime, Guy and Lee left the village on a mission, and two spies tried to imitate them. Tsunade immediately saw through their disguise, and gave them various difficult, disgusting, or humiliating missions in order to keep them busy and prevent them from learning anything. Lee and Guy spot the imposters leaving he village. The imposters attacked but were sent flying back to Konoha.
Star Guard Mission
In the anime, Lee accompanied Neji, Naruto, and Tenten on the mission to Hoshigakure, playing a lesser role than in previous arcs. He attempted to follow two of Akahoshi's men while hiding under a barrel, as Tenten suggested, but was discovered almost instantly. While trying to infiltrate Akahoshi's mansion, he pretended to use a jutsu known as "Wall-Removing Technique", but, in actuality, it involved him moving at high speed to open a door from the other side. He was wounded during the final battle with Akahoshi, leaving Naruto to fight him alone.
Viva Dojo Challenge! Youth is All About Passion!
In the anime, Lee, seeing that he had little time to train with other people due to the many missions that must be done, sought a new means of training. After having seen a man challenging a dōjō, ready to take the sign if he won, and ready to join if he lost; Lee founds his own dōjō (which he names the "Gutz Dōjō"), believing that a dōjō would draw-in many strong opponents. When Naruto stumbled upon the dōjō, Lee asked that he fight, but Naruto had to leave hastily, late for reporting back to Tsunade.
Guy, after hearing about the dōjō from Naruto, decides to disguise himself in order to fight Lee. However, he was given a mission at the last second, and (unbeknowenst to Guy) an impostor replaced him. Lee fought the impostor and easily defeated him, but Naruto believed that the impostor was Guy, and that he was not fighting at full strength in order to avoid revealing himself, so Naruto challenges and fights against Lee. Meanwhile the impostor transformed into Lee, but met the real Guy while trying to leave, and was easily defeated by him.
Third Great Beast Arc
In the anime, Lee's condition worsened, and Tsunade became concerned about him injuring himself again. She removed him from missions, but allowed him to keep training after he convinced her to do so. Around this time, Guy arrived with a new student, who easily defeated Lee and injured his ankle. While Lee was recovering, Guy took the new student with him on a mission, causing Lee to believe that he had abandoned him. It was then revealed that the new student was an impostor, and that he planned on seeking vengeance against Guy. Lee headed to Guy's location, but was trapped in a castle made out of sparring posts. He and Lee were tricked into fighting each other by seeing the other as a sparring dummy, but they saw through the technique, recognising each others fighting style, and opened their chakra gates to destroy the dummies without harming the actual person, freeing themselves and destroying the castle.
Konoha Plans Recapture Mission
In the anime, Lee and rest of the Konoha 11 came down together to stop Gennō from bombing Konoha. Despite having few special abilities, made some noteworthy contributions to the investigation. While he initially encouraged the Academy students to keep practising throwing kunai, once he realised that hitting the bull's eye would cause a chain reaction that would detonate explosives around Konoha, he caught a kunai in midair just before it hit the target, despite being far away from it. Lee defeated Gennō with his taijutsu during the final confrontation.
Gantetsu Escort Mission
In the anime, Naruto accompanied Sakura and Lee to escort Gantetsu. When the ship was sliced in half by a metal wire, Lee ended up with Sakura, and found the orphans Gantetsu had cared for. During the raid on the hideout, he fought the Shinobazu members outside.
Sunagakure Support Mission
In the anime, Lee and Naruto helped Gaara fight and defeat Seimei — an opponent who could absorb his enemies' chakra with his armour. After the mission, he sparred with Tenten, who was upset over being the only member of the Konoha 11 left out of the mission despite having a mission at the time, and noted that, in order to be able to face Naruto when he returned, they too must become stronger.
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
In the anime, after about two years, the Chūnin Exams are held, co-sponsored by Konoha and Suna. While waiting to register, Team Guy spots Naruto, much too their surprise. However, Neji reveals that it was only Konohamaru in disguise, who explained that he didn't want Naruto to miss out on this opportunity since he was away. With some comforting words from Lee and Neji, Konohamaru and his friends take their leave.
As part of the first stage, all teams were randomly split into different rooms to take the written test. Lee was placed in room 2 with Ino Yamanaka and Shino Aburame. On a monitor, Shikamaru as proctor explained that everyone only needed to answer one question, but their team's combined score must equal exactly 100 points to pass. Thanks to Neji, all the teams that were struggling were able to figure out which question to answer based on the specific amount of vibrations sent through the wall. To everyone's surprise, Shikamaru revealed a bonus question which asked that if a situation required you to sacrifice a teammate to be a decoy, which one would you choose. This was however a trick question that required no answer, as it was a test of loyalty, something that Lee and his team understood, allowing them to pass the first stage. However, as a result of having too many participants, a race to Suna was held, where only the first 30 teams to arrive at the destination would qualify for the second stage.
Ultimately, his team were among the first 30 teams to make it. During dinner, the genin tried to keep Burami from leaking sweat all over the food, and although they were successfully able to do that, the food was still ruined as result of Neji's Eight Trigrams Palms Revolving Heaven accidentally knocking the food down. This caused an all-out brawl between the genin in the room. Lee tried not to fight, but when he tried to strike Shira, his attack proved futile. Eventually everyone lost their desire to fight when Fū arrived with her optimistic ways. Later, Lee approached Shira, noting from their earlier encounter, that he also endured much adversity, to which Shira stated true determination will ultimately succeed.
The following day, the second exam began. Like the last exam in Konoha, the teams were each given either a Heaven or Earth scroll and were required to obtain the other scroll. They would then have to bring the set to the main building in the centre of Demon Desert, having three days to so. As they began wondering around aimlessly, Lee realised a pattern and began marking rocks with kunai, concluding that they were wondering in circles. After dispelling the genjutsu, they find Team Goji and proceed to attack them, only for Team Shira to interfere and help their fellow Suna-nin. Unbeknownst by Team Guy, they get caught in another genjutsu by Sen. After Sen undoes the genjutsu, Team Guy finds that they are caught in quicksand, which drags them down into a waterfall sand pit. Lee manages to save his teammates and himself from falling to their doom after opening the second of the Eight Gates. After escaping from the pit, they find Team Shira in trouble, as they were being attacked by treacherous Suna-nin. Feeling compelled to help, Team Guy decides comes to Team Shira's aid, after which Neji asked why they were attacked at all. It was explained that Team Goji simply had no respect for Shira as a ninja, with Lee deducing that like him, Shira had no skill for genjutsu and ninjutsu, causing him to be ridiculed by his peers.
Lee, in a pit of rage over Team Goji's disrespect, storms off to convince them to apologise to Shira. When this fails, the Suna-nin attack, trapping Lee in a sandstorm that cast illusions of figures attacking to distract him from the real threat when they strike him with water needles. Just as he is about to be finished, Neji and Tenten arrive to save him. Before the battle continues, Shira begs the Konoha-nin not to leave them be, insisting that their distaste of him is his own fault for not training hard enough. Lee believed the very opposite however, but ultimately he and his team agreed. Shira offered his scroll to one of the Suna-nin teams as they technically defeated his team earlier. As Shira's words finally reached the spiteful Suna-nin, they declined and instead gave Shira's team and Lee's team their own respective scrolls as they lost this battle. After the Suna-nin left, determined like Shira to prove themselves by finding more scrolls, Shira agreed to Lee's request to have a one-on-one battle.
While seemingly equal in raw speed and skill, Neji noted that Shira had a slight advantage with his more solid built, and by extension greater raw strength. As Lee attempted to use the Eight Gates, he was unable to do so due to Shira already anticipating this and striking his pressure points beforehand. As Lee began changing tactics from Might Guy's teachings, manipulating how Shira would move, he began to drive Shira back. After acknowledging each other's determination, Shira struck Lee's pressure points again to remove the block, wanting to face Lee at his best. As Lee entered the Eight Gates, Shira used the Seven Heavens Breathing Method, which proved to be on par with the Eight Gates. As the intensity grew between the two, Shira's previous wounds begin to reopen, prompting Lee to call off the fight. As Shira was being healed by Yome, he explained that after the Chūnin Exams ends, he will be enlisting in a special force on the outskirts of Suna so that he could be closer to his parents. Lee wished Shira good luck and gave him one of his jumpsuits as a gift, acknowledging their new friendship.
On the third day of the exam, Team Guy cross paths with a team of Ame kunoichi and battles them. After a short skirmish, the enemy team decided to retreat as Team Guy was not the target they sought for. Despite this, Lee's team pursued the Ame-nin into an old ruins. During their continued battle, the ground collapsed, swallowing Tenten and Ajisai, and separating them from their respective teams. Though Lee and Neji wanted to work together to save one another's teammate, the two Ame-nin turned them down and left. Lee suggested that they plow their way through the rubble, only for Neji to reject the idea in fear of causing more damage than desired.> When Lee and Neji find the two Ame-nin, they aid them in their fight against another Konoha team as they needed their help to find Tenten. This prompted the other Konoha team to retreat as they were outnumbered. After the two teams agree to work together, they battle a colony of large ants, but it is Tenten who defeats them. Having now been reunited, the two teams part ways peacefully.
Later, Team Guy get caught in a massive sandstorm. Unable to push forward, Neji repelled the sand long enough for Tenten to summon a protective dome for them to wait out the storm. After the storm cleared and they resumed their efforts to past the exam, they spotted Matsuri, who begged them to help save Gaara. Team Guy was soon approached by Fū's teammates, who agreed to unite their efforts in hopes of saving Fū and Gaara. While Lee and Matsuri joined Fū's teammates in distracting Hōichi, Neji and Tenten tried to save the jinchūriki. Ultimately, Neji was able to free Gaara and Fū with his Gentle Fist, which came at Hōichi's expense as the chains soon turned on him, still seeking tailed beast chakra and ultimately bound him.
Despite lacking a matching set of scrolls, Lee's team decided to complete the exams and head to the main building. There, it was learned that the Chūnin Exams were ended early due to controversy happening in the second exam. Instead, it was decided by Gaara that a report on each participant would be sent to their respective village leader for them to decide if they would be promoted. Upon returning to the village, Tsunade promoted Lee and Tenten to chūnin, while Neji was promoted to jonin.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
After Team Kakashi was sent on a mission to rescue Gaara from Akatsuki, Tsunade began to worry that they might have problems so she sent Team Guy as back-up. On their way to a rendezvous point they encountered Pakkun, who redirected them to Team Kakashi's destination. Soon after they were attacked by Kisame Hoshigaki. As the battle waged on Lee was able to disarm Kisame shortly but soon was captured alongside Neji and Tenten in a Water Prison by Kisame's water clones. After a while Neji was able to free Lee and himself allowing Lee to rescue Tenten before she suffocated. Afterwards they watched on as Guy finished off Kisame. Upon Kisame's defeat they discovered that it was not really him they were fighting against, only a lookalike. Realising they were being stalled, Pakkun led them off towards Team 7.
When they convened with Team Kakashi, Team Guy was tasked with bringing down the barrier blocking the entrance to the Akatsuki lair. Neji used his Byakugan to find the seals keeping the barrier in place and directed the locations of them to the rest of the team. Once they found the seals they simultaneously taking them off, succeeding in removing the barrier but in the process were immediately ambushed by copies of themselves. Soon after Lee and his clone started fighting, matching each other attack for attack. After being evenly matched with his clone, Lee communicated to the rest of the team who were in the same situation and proposed a solution: to become stronger than they had been when the copies had been created. With that, Lee used a new technique and defeated his clone.
With their battles won, Team Guy reunited and went to meet up with Team 7 again. On their way Neji spotted Deidara with his Byakugan and the team manage to sneak up behind him in time to block his escape. After fighting the team Guy, Deidara realised he was outmatched and he attempted to retreat. While on Deidara's tail Team Guy cornered him, leading him to make a exploding clone, resulting in almost killing both teams were it not for Kakashi's intervention. After Gaara was revived and their mission completed, both teams accompanied him back to Sunagakure and later paid their respects at Chiyo's grave. Afterwards both teams departed for Konoha. On there way, Guy started carrying Kakashi who had been incapacitated from using the Mangekō Sharingan too much. Seeing this as a form of training, Lee told Neji to get on his back so that they might race back to Konoha, but was forcefully rejected.
Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission
Lee and the rest of Team Guy were only seen in the very beginning of this arc in the anime, as they returned from Suna. Lee, thinking he had come in second place in his and Guy's race from Sunagakure to Konoha, was shocked when Guy informed him that since he was carrying Kakashi on his back as well, Lee had only come in third. Lee was seen carrying everyone's packs when they returned to Konoha. After escorting Kakashi to the hospital, Team Guy went to rest.
Twelve Guardian Ninja
Main article: Twelve Guardian Ninja (Arc) In the anime, Lee and his guy peers were invited Asuma Sarutobi to join him for a lunch out with a guest from outside the village. When the village was invaded by Furido's 4-Man Team, the enemies resurrected members of the Kohaku clan. Lee fought alongside other Konoha-nin to keep the zombie-nin at bay. Later, when Sora, who was discovered to be a Pseudo-Jinchūriki transformed, he and the others went to stop him. However, Sora proved too much and Naruto instead faced him and eventually stopped him. At the end, the invaders were all defeated.
Akatsuki Suppression Mission
In the anime, he is seen at Asuma's funeral, mourning his loss.
Main article: Three-Tails' Appearance In the anime, Lee was placed on Team Two with Yamato as leader and assistance from Tenten, Kiba and Akamaru. After his team settles in their position, they spot an enemy. Lee storms in for attack, connecting withwith a kick but the enemy is revealed to be a smoke clone. The real Kigiri with his allies reveal themselves, and soon Lee finds himself trapped in Kigiri's smokescreen. After remembering a discussion about using other senses with Guy, he found his way through and attacked Kihō with Front Lotus. His team ultimately defeated the enemy the opposing shinobi.
Later, he battled alongside Tenten against Guren and Rinji on the lake while Team Three tried to seal the Three-Tails. After the beast went berserk, he and the others retreated, carrying an unconscious Ino to shore. After recuperating, they all agreed to try the task again. Afterwards, Lee and his team end up battling the enemies from their earlier encounter. Unfortunately, his team lost due to the enemies' cursed seals being activated, making them stronger than before. Later, to his and the others surprise, the enemies merged, becoming an even bigger threat. However, the Three-Tails while on its ramapage, crushed the merged foes. Having failed to seal the beast the second time, they returned to Konoha.
During Pain's assault on Konoha, Team Guy was away on a mission. On their way returning to the village, they noticed a large number of birds flying from the direction of the village and rushed to see what the issue was. The team then stumbled upon a defeated Gamabunta, who informed them that the village was in destruction. When they arrived to see the village in ruins they also spotted a severely wounded Hinata Hyūga, and got her medical attention after Tenten noted that her wounds weren't fatal. Katsuyu later informed them that Naruto was fighting with the last Pain member, much to everyone's shock. Guy insisted that he and his team provide back-up, but Katsuyu mentions that Naruto does not want anyone else to get involved. Later, Lee, alongside the other villagers, celebrated Naruto's victory over the defeat of Pain.
Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Main article: Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Five Kage Summit
When news reaches Konoha of Sasuke Uchiha's crimes against other villages, Lee and the rest of the Konoha 11 decide they should eliminate Sasuke themselves before he can involve Konoha in a war. So that Sakura can inform Naruto of their decision, Lee, Kiba, and Sai escort her to the Land of Iron. When they locate him, Sakura tells Naruto that she loves him, surprising Lee. This does not convince him to give up his own search for Sasuke, so they leave without another word, despite Lee's protest. Sakura then asks her escorts to help her find Sasuke. When they near his location while Lee, along with Kiba, try to protest how telling Naruto the truth would have been better, Sakura tries to knock them out so she can face Sasuke alone. Sai stops her, so Sakura convinces Lee and Kiba that he is a traitor. While they try to detain him, she succeeds in knocking them out.
After Sakura and the rest of Team 7 meet with Sasuke, they retrieve Lee and the others and return to Konoha. Lee is later seen with the rest of the Konoha 11 hearing Naruto's decision to take responsibility for Sasuke. Though they protested this action, Naruto firmly states that he would be the one to take care of Sasuke. Before leaving, he promises to tell them everything when the time was right.
Main article: Power (Arc) In the anime, Lee and his teammates were sent to back up Team Kakashi who were investigating what was happening at The Hole located in the Tonika Village. During this mission, Lee and Guy confronted Naruto's berserk clone, and after opening the Fifth Gate alongside his mentor, was able to stave off the creature before it took on a pseudo-Nine-Tails form.
Paradise Life on a Boat
Main article: Paradise Life on a Boat
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Lee is assigned to the Third Division alongside Sakura and Guy. He is seen fretting over his sensei's condition while Sakura tries to heal him. When members of the Surprise Attack Division are attacked by the reincarnated shinobi, the Third Division arrives in time to intercept the attack. He is then seen along with the Third Division clashing against the reincarnated ninja. Upon Kakashi's orders, they group into a Manji Formation, Lee promises that no matter what he will protect Sakura; she however tells him to also be careful as last time Zabuza was able to penetrate the formation from its weak point; the centre. He and Guy later intercepted Haku's assault with the Leaf Coiling Whirlwind. In the anime, after the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist were summoned, Guy told Lee to chase after Pakura while he went after Gari. After a long day battling, Lee and the recuperates with his remaining division members as night falls.
With the resumption of battle the next day, Lee sticks close to Sai who had been tasked with sealing the reincarnated Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist. Lee tells Sai not to worry and just concentrate on the sealing while he would protect him. When Naruto's shadow clone arrives on the battlefield, Lee exclaims that with him here their numbers would increase. However, Naruto tells them that he wouldn't be able to perform the Shadow Clone Technique in his current state, so they'd have to defeat the new wave of White Zetsu Army clones with quality of techniques instead of quantity in numbers.
Later in the anime, the Third Division came across another reincarnated shinobi: Master Chen — a renown hero of Konohagakure who was thought to have died during the Third Shinobi World War. As Might Guy who is happy at the prospect on challenging such a famed taijutsu master, Konoha's Sublime Green Beast of Prey soon finds himself being forced on the defensive by the old man. A shinobi is able to break away from the battle and in his search for reinforcements, finds Rock Lee who rushes to Guy's aid. Seeing the legend he met once before as a genin before him, Lee reveals his history with Chen before engaging the legend in battle. Ultimately, Lee is able to counter Chen's Leaf Dragon God technique, using the One-Man Front Lotus which he had engineered to counter the rotation of the winds of the former. As Chen's immortal body disintegrates, he remembers the time when he had his own student who was incapable of using ninjutsu, and how he had died during the Third Shinobi World War. Finally letting go of his painful past and apologising to the young man for what he had said, the old master was able to break the summoning contract and his soul returns to the afterlife. Lee promises to Chen that he'll bring rice balls to his grave.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
After being informed by Inoichi from HQ that Naruto and B were fighting the "masked Madara", Lee and the rest of the Konoha 11 rush to his aid. As he runs, he spurred Sai — who was lamenting the fact that he could not use his Super Beast Imitating Drawing technique to get to Naruto faster — onwards telling him that now was the time to respond to the heroic efforts of those fighting Tobi.
Upon finally arriving at the battlefield, and seeing his mentor's state, Lee asked whether or not Guy had used the Daytime Tiger technique again. He later stood with the other members of the Allied Shinobi Forces as they prepared to face their opposition. Opening the Fifth Gate, Lee and his mentor prepare to attack the two Uchiha, but are buffeted by the force exerted by the now fully-matured Ten-Tails as it escaped the hole it had seemingly been trapped in. He is then seen with Guy and Tenten reacting to Neji's death. Tearfully holding his fallen teammate's corpse, he was stopped by Guy who told him to keep his tears and hold onto the feelings Neji left them. Lee was then seen listening on as Naruto imparted comforting words to the Allied Forces.
Thinking back on his time with Neji growing up and the conversations they had, Lee mused about something Neji had said to him. Having received chakra from Naruto, the now empowered Lee, respectfully closed his fallen comrade's eyes before joining the ranks of the other Allied shinobi. Charging forward with the Alliance, Lee signalled to Naruto that he would deal with Madara while he took care of Obito. With Guy giving him a boost, Lee propelled towards Madara and remorselessly bisected the Uchiha with a powerful kick, also destroying Madara's connection to the beast.
Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
Lee would later stare in amazement at the red barrier that had been constructed around the Ten-Tails and listened on as Guy noted that only shinobi of Hokage-calibre were able to perform the Four Red Yang Formation technique. With the situation later turning grim as the Alliance was trapped in a barrier with a Tailed Beast Ball-firing tree, Lee and the other shinobi soon found themselves shrouded in the previous Version 1 mantles again. He and the other subsequently found themselves on the outside of the barrier, escaping the near-fatal attack thanks to Naruto and Minato's action.
The Ten-Tails transformed into its tree form, and many shinobi were attacked but Lee was able to escape. Hashirama Senju had Ino Yamanaka everyone link-up telepathically, Lee being one of them. Hashirama's words fail to inspire anyone, but Naruto's senjutsu-enhanced Tailed Beast Mode combined with Ino's telepathy causes his emotions and personal memories to be transferred to everyone. Later he mobilised alongside his comrades when Naruto called out to them. Shocked when he was enveloped by Naruto's Tailed Beast Mode mantle, Lee was apprehensive about their strategy at first but ultimately launched an attack on Obito and was able to overwhelm his defence giving Naruto and Sasuke the opportunity to attack Obito directly. He and his comrades later aided Naruto in extracting the tailed beasts' chakra from Obito in order to stop the holy tree from blooming.
After his sensei over-exerted himself, unable to stand up on his own, Lee resorted to supporting him. While doing so, Lee and his teammates noticed Gaara speeding past them, where Lee noticed Sakura was with him. As Guy begins to worry about situation, Madara, having just revived himself and become the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki himself, flies past the Konoha-nin and regurgitated the Benihisago and Kohaku no Jōhei, which landed on top of both Guy and Lee.
After recomposing themselves, Guy and Lee went on ahead while Tenten remained behind. Guy arrived on the battlefield in time to save Kakashi and then confront Madara. Lee arrived shortly after in time to save his teacher from Madara's attack. As Guy reassessed the situation, he decided to gamble his life and use the eighth gate against Madara. As Lee began to cry at the realisation of what Guy's actions would mean. Guy, however, told Lee not to be sad as this was his choice.
Watching Guy at full power taking on Madara, Lee watched on proudly. When the team decided to support Guy so that he could land his attack on the Uchiha, Lee immediately opened the sixth gate but was angered by his own inability to fight at the same level to help Guy. Minato told Lee to not feel that way, as Guy was making his sacrifice so Lee could live. After Minato explained the mechanics of Madara's Truth-Seeking Balls, Lee threw the Fourth Hokage's Flying Thunder God Kunai in front of the chakra orbs which allowed Minato to teleport most of the orbs away. Ultimately, the team gave Guy the opening to land the five powerful blows from his Evening Elephant.
Lee watched on in amazement as his mentor unleashed another powerful attack on Madara, noting that this time, the stance he took was not that of the Evening Elephant, but the Night Guy technique. Lee was later shocked to see Naruto return with Guy who was still alive despite opening all of the Eight Gates. When Madara attempted to drop the massive earthen debris on the ground, Gaara asked him to leave there quickly, but later they fell victim to the Infinite Tsukuyomi. Inside the genjutsu, Lee dreamed of finally defeating both Naruto and Neji in battle followed quickly by Sakura professing her love for him.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Ultimately, Lee and the rest of the world were freed from the genjutsu by Naruto and Sasuke who ended the war.
Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky
Main article: Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky Lee makes an appearance in this novel.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding
Main article: Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding Lee attends Naruto and Hinata's wedding.
When Metal was helping his classmate, Denki Kaminarimon, train to prepare for a chakra-climbing test, Lee saved Denki from injuring himself by catching the falling student. Deeply touched by Denki's drive to succeed, Lee decided to supervise Denki's continued training. By the end of the day, he gave Denki a jumpsuit, insisting it would help with his training.
As ninja classes began preparing for the graduation exams, Lee met with Metal and his teachers to discuss his son's progress and goals for the future. During which, Lee and his son continued their over-enthusiastic training routine.
Versus Momoshiki Arc
Main article: Boruto: Naruto the Movie Rock Lee serves as the proctor for the third and final round of the Chūnin Exams. During the seventh match between Boruto Uzumaki and Shikadai Nara, Boruto seemingly wins but Naruto discovers that Boruto used a Kote to cheat. Lee disqualified Boruto for using this prohibited tool and declares Shikadai as the winner. Soon after, Momoshiki and Kinshiki attack the arena and Lee grabs Shikadai and gets him to safety.
In Other Media
Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom
Lee was acting as the third member of Team 7. During his battle with Kongō, Lee showed proficiency with nunchaku (despite striking himself in the head) a bō and a chain staff, all of which were made from his ankle weights.
Naruto Shippūden the Movie
He became Sasuke's replacement, Neji being Kakashi's replacement. Once initiating the Drunken Fist, he easily defeated Gitai. Later, he was able to kill Setsuna after Neji was able to get rid of the group's chakra source. At the end, he, Sakura, and Kakashi were surprised when Shion asked Naruto if he could stay with her and have a child.
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire
Lee was sent with the remaining members of the Konoha 11 after Naruto and Sakura to prevent them from going after Kakashi. After a brief encounter, Team Guy was confronted by Ichi which resulted in his defeat when Lee and Neji combined their talents. He later joined the original team of nine in trying to defeat the Chimera created when Ichi, Ni and San fused together.
Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison
Main article: Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison
Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie
Lee first appeared with his friends battling several Zetsu clones disguised as deceased Akatsuki members. Later in the alternate world, a different Lee is seen. While is virtually identical to his counterpart, this Lee steals and wears women's undergarments.
Rock Lee is a playable character in the following video games:
Creation and conception
According to an interview with Masashi Kishimoto in Shōnen Jump's 'Naruto Anime Profiles Episodes 1-37', Lee is his most fun character to draw. He also has stated that Sakura Haruno and Lee were meant to symbolise human weakness, at least in the beginning.
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- Rock Lee's name is derived from the rock musical genre and is a play on Bruce Lee, whose given name is pronounced the same as blues in Japanese. The pun continues with his son, Metal Lee.
- Rock Lee has his own spin-off series called Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth Full Power Ninja Chronicles by Kenji Taira, an assistant of Masashi Kishimoto.
- Like his sensei, Rock Lee's character seems to be inspired by Bruce Lee, as shown from his name and having the same birthday and hair style. The outfit Rock Lee wears in part one may have been based of Bruce Lee's jumpsuit from the 1973 film Game of Death.
- Rock Lee's injury are also similar to the one Bruce Lee once received, both were also expected to never walk again.
- Rock Lee placed very high in the first four Naruto character popularity polls. He finished 5th in the first and second polls, 8th in the third poll and 7th in the fourth poll. However, his popularity slipped in the last two polls, finishing 13th in the fifth poll and 18th in the sixth and most recent. In the 3rd Databook, a combination of the previous six polls ranked him as the 9th most popular character overall.
- Studio Pierrot has consistently given him the height of 158 cm at 13yrs, instead of 158.5 cm as his Databook profile gives him.
- Kishimoto's official sketches of Rock Lee show that he is 177cm in The Last: Naruto the Movie.
- According to the databook(s):
- Rock Lee's hobbies are his and Might Guy's intense taijutsu training regimes.
- Lee wishes for rematches with Neji, Sasuke, and Gaara, and for an all-out match with Naruto.
- Lee's favourite foods are medium spicy curry rice and curry pilaf, though, like his sensei, he finds it impossible to dislike any sort of food.
- Lee has completed 61 official missions in total: 25 D-rank, 21 C-rank, 4 B-rank, 10 A-rank, 1 S-rank.
- Lee's favourite words are "Endeavour" (努力, doryoku), "Guts" (根性, konjō), and "Love" (愛, ai).
- In Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes, Lee calls himself "Leaf Village's Noble Savage".
- (To Team Guy) "Sensei! I want to prove that you can become a great ninja even without being able to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu! That is everything to me!"
- (To Tenten) "A genius, huh? What does that mean? "Genius"? So I was not born with a whole lot of natural talent, not gifted like Neji… but I work hard and I never give up! That is my gift; that is my ninja way!"
- (To Sakura) "Sakura, please go out with me! I'll protect you with my life!"
- (To Sasuke) "Among strong people exists genius types and hard-working types. If your Sharingan is a genius-type from the Uchiha blood, I am simply a hard-working type who has mastered only taijutsu."
- (To Team 7) "See?! Guy-sensei is incredible!"
- (To Sakura) "The lotus of Konoha blooms twice."
- (To Guy) "I want to show I can be a splendid ninja as well even if I don't have ninjutsu or genjutsu… I want to prove it to the whole world!"
- (To Kimimaro) "I am Konoha's Beautiful Green Wild Beast — Rock Lee!"
- (To Kakashi and Gaara) "I'm not sad!! In front of a man who made an important decision… feeling sadness or pity would be an insult to him!!!"
- ↑ First Databook, pages 133-136
- ↑ Second Databook, pages 165-167
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Third Databook, pages 184-185
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 205
- ↑ Retsu no Sho, page 33
- ↑ Zai no Sho, page 34
- ↑ Naruto chapter 37, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 51, page 19
- ↑ Naruto chapter 84, pages 7-8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 84, pages 9-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 85, pages 5-6
- ↑ Naruto episode 193
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Naruto chapter 38, page 13
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 312
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 399
- ↑ Naruto chapter 82, page 17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 52, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 82, page 18
- ↑ Naruto episode 152
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 400
- ↑ Naruto chapter 522, pages 13-14
- ↑ Retsu no Sho
- ↑ Naruto chapter 210, pages 10-11 and 16-19
- ↑ Naruto chapter 211, pages 4-6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 85, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 669, page 8
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 495
- ↑ Naruto chapter 85, page 5
- ↑ Naruto chapter 52, pages 11-13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 613, page 1
- ↑ Naruto chapter 615, page 3
- ↑ The Last: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Naruto chapter 184
- ↑ Naruto episode 110
- ↑ Boruto episode 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 84 page 8
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 Naruto chapter 84, page 9
- ↑ Naruto chapter 36, page 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 37, page 20
- ↑ Naruto chapter 57, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 209, page 18
- ↑ Naruto chapter 669, pages 7-8