| (ロック・リー, Rokku Rī)
|Anime||Naruto Episode #21|
|Movie||Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom|
|Game||Naruto: Clash of Ninja|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game and Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||15|
Rock Lee (ロック・リー, Rokku Rī) is a shinobi of Konohagakure. While he lacks certain skills typically associated with life as a ninja, Lee seeks to make up for his shortcomings in whatever way he can. As a member of Team Guy, he receives special training in this regard from his teacher, Might Guy.
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.
Lee is extremely energetic, single-minded, and hot-blooded. Despite his very passionate nature, Lee has also shown strong instincts, able stay focused at the mission at hand, rarely losing his composure, and notice the presence people around him, even recognising his friends. He is characterised as being the epitome of a "nice guy", having assumed many of Guy's personality quirks. One such trait is his apparent lack of common sense, believing at times that he can get what he wants by not wanting it. At other times, he takes copious notes, but forgets that he cannot check them during a fight. 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.
Lee is known for speaking respectfully to others, being very proper in both English and Japanese language versions, and never using contractions or swearwords. He also uses formal Japanese, applying proper titles ("-san", "-kun", etc.) to anyone he meets. However, Lee refers to his team-mates Neji Hyūga and Tenten just by their given names, implying that he is close enough to them to use such an informal way to speak to them. His relationship with Guy has also caused him to acquire many of Guy's traits; in addition to his personality, his dedication to his promises, as well as his belief that one cannot dislike food, are characteristics of Guy. Lee also carries this small book and pencil to recall the various bits of information Guy has given him over time.
Lee's attempts to prove and better himself are recurring themes for his actions throughout the series. He is generally optimistic, and believes that, with hard work and passion, he can surpass a natural genius, but can be prone to depression when faced with setbacks. His drive to succeed was initially most evident with his rivalry with Neji, having learned from Guy that having a rival will provide incentive to succeed. Neji, a "genius" ninja, found Lee's efforts of bettering himself to be in vain, and believed that Lee would be a "failure" for the rest of his life. Also, when making a promise, Lee assigns himself arduous tasks to complete in the event that he doesn't live up to his expectations. When this promise is broken, usually just barely, he trains to prevent it from happening again.
As such, Lee resolved to prove Neji wrong, and confronted another "genius", Sasuke Uchiha, in an attempt to test his worth. While Lee maintained the desire to defeat Neji in a fight throughout the Chūnin Exams, after Neji's eventual defeat by Naruto Uzumaki, another so-called "failure", Lee became less interested in this goal. Neji's rejection of his previous belief in fate also contributed to this, as he now respects Lee, believing that he will surpass the gifted with enough work.
Shortly after his introduction to Team 7, Lee revealed that he liked Sakura Haruno, asking her to be his girlfriend and vowing to protect her immediately after they met. While she did not seem to share these feelings for him, and considered him weird, Lee maintained these feelings, and went out of his way to help her throughout the Chūnin Exams. Sakura became more appreciative after this, and punches Naruto whenever he insults Lee.
Despite this, Sakura does not seem to return any romantic feelings for Lee, as she refers to him with the more formal "Lee-san", as opposed to "Lee-kun". After the Exams' conclusion, Lee's interest in Sakura went largely unaddressed in the manga. It is occasionally referenced in the anime, such as when Naruto fought Lee in the Lee's Dōjō Arc; Naruto transformed into Sakura, causing Lee to forget about the fight long enough for Naruto to attack him. However, when Madara managed to cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi on the moon, Lee's dream was of winning Sakura's affections, suggesting that he still has romantic feelings for her.
Years after the Fourth Great Shinobi War, Lee took on Guy's role of teaching hard work and embracing one's youth to the new generation.
Lee possesses very thick eyebrows (leading to the nickname "Centipede Brows" (ゲジマユ, Gejimayu; English TV "Bushy Brows") by Naruto) and large, rounded black eyes with prominent lower eyelashes. During his academy days, Lee's hair was much longer and fastened in a braid that, along with his style of dress, gave him a more traditional Chinese appearance. When first joining Team Guy Lee's appearance changed drastically. He had shorter hair than before that curved upwards in the back. He still maintained the Chinese appearance, since he wore a robe and a martial arts belt around his waist. After joining Might Guy's team, his appearance changed considerably to emulate his idol and sensei.
His hair is now cut and styled into a bowl-cut style like Guy, and he also began wearing the same attire, consisting of a green jumpsuit, orange leg warmers, and a red forehead protector worn as a belt. The only difference in his attire were the bandages he regularly wears around his hands and wrists, which also cover a set of stitches on his left hand, a trait that was due to his rigorous taijutsu training. In Guy's youth however, it is revealed that he also wore bandages.
During Part II, his appearance has changed the least out of his friends. The most noticeable changes are that he has grown considerably taller, and wears a flak jacket, as a chūnin, further emulating his sensei, however instead of wearing it open, Lee's is zipped up.
Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Lee's general appearance remains essentially the same. Apart from his face structure being broad, Lee's flak jacket is changed to a simple chest-guard which is a darker green and has clipped-on shoulder pads with high-collars coloured a light grey and light grey strap across his waist. Many years later, Rock Lee grew taller and noticeably muscular, his jumpsuit now sleeveless and wearing an orange neckwarmer.
While Lee's performance was low while in the academy, and looked down upon for his inability to utilise either ninjutsu or genjutsu, Guy's leadership coupled with Lee's hard-working resolve has allowed Lee to improve rapidly. In Part I, Lee's prowess allowed him to defeat Sasuke Uchiha despite the latter using his Sharingan. Lee has trained so extensively he can run and even fight while unconscious, using nothing but pure muscle memory. A flashback during the Curry of Life Arc, in Part I, highlighted that Lee can run in his sleep, due to training from Guy. As a properly-trained ninja, Lee is more aware of his surrounding through his senses than a regular person would be. This is highlighted in the 'Three-Tails' Appearance' arc, when he was blinded by Kigiri's Destroying Smell Smoke Prison. Lee called on his training from Might Guy to be able to home in on Kihō through his "spirit sensor" — which he had developed through unceasing diligence and determination. Two years later after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Rock Lee's skills continuously improved to the point where he had surpassed his master.
In the anime, it also seems that Lee is proficient with melee weapons. He tried to attack Kisame with a pair of tonfa, but he was stopped before he could show his abilities. Though Lee is a ninja unable to use ninjutsu externally, he is able to mould and use chakra, as shown when using his tree and water walking skills. He can also instead use his chakra internally to augment his taijutsu.
Because his shortcomings in ninjutsu and genjutsu makes life as a ninja difficult, Lee's dream is to become a famous ninja who uses only taijutsu. Taking a liking to Lee and his resolve, Might Guy has specially trained him to reach this goal, teaching him a number of forbidden techniques in the process. The most basic of these is his Strong Fist style of combat, a martial art style focusing on external damage. While his taijutsu was originally only just above average, through gruelling training, Lee revealed an enormous potential for the art, essentially becoming a taijutsu master while still a child. His prowess surpasses those of more experienced ninja, able to keep up with Guy himself, and it is only in unique circumstances that his taijutsu is not enough to defeat an opponent.
In the anime, Lee could fight against Gari, avoiding each and every one of his explosive punches and defeating him with a well-placed kick to the head. In the anime, with Guy's help, he could hold off the Nine-Tailed Naruto Clone with just taijutsu despite it being in a "Version 2" state. His mastery of taijutsu is enough for him to overwhelm and defeat the legendary taijutsu master, Chen.
Since Guy began training him, Lee has worn extremely heavy weights on his ankles that appear deceptively light. These weights have increased his strength at the cost of inhibiting his speed to levels that his peers still consider quite fast, great enough to outpace the perception of a two-tomoe Sharingan. Upon removing the weights, which caused the entire arena to shake upon impact, Lee's speed vastly increases, making it almost impossible to see his movements with the unaided eye, as well as enabling him to be the first person ever to bypass Gaara's defences and strike him. Lee's speed further improved in Part II as he could intercept a charge from Haku, who is known for his speed both in and out of his Demonic Mirroring Ice Crystals.
Lee also possesses immense physical strength, as he could drive his hand into the earth to rip up a huge section of a giant tree's root. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, after being enhanced by Kurama's chakra, he could completely bisect Madara Uchiha with a single kick. Two years after the war, Lee's strength had greatly increased, as he could destroy a massive meteor with a single punch after activating the Sixth Gate.
Through Guy's teachings, Lee has learned how to open the first five of the chakra gates at age 12, and later the sixth gate sometime before the Fourth Great Shinobi War. This feat caused him to be recognised as a genius by the likes of Kakashi Hatake as it is highly difficult for even the most talented ninja to open a single gate regardless of hard work. Because of the danger to his body that the gates' power presents, Lee is only permitted to open them in certain circumstances such as life-or-death situations, protecting someone dear, or defending his way of the ninja. Most humans can only access less than 20% of their muscle potential, but the eight gates uses chakra to "force" the muscles to work at much more power than they normally do, allowing the user to run at phenomenal speeds, pick up enormous weights, and much more at the expense of the muscles themselves. Near 50%, the muscles start to wear down and tear. Much more than that, approaching 100%, the muscles begin to break down and disintegrate. Once the Eighth Gate has been opened, they are practically unstoppable, but the user dies in the process. Lee has also learned or developed a number of taijutsu that take advantage of the extreme power and speed he gains from opening chakra gates. After the time-skip, Lee can now open the chakra gates instantly, even showing a faster recovery rate from using them without suffering any of the damaging after-effects, but he still shows noticeable exhaustion. In the anime, when both him and Guy used the fifth gate together, they were able to overwhelm the Nine-Tailed Naruto Clone despite it being in "Version 2", forcing it to get more of Kurama's chakra. He's also fast enough to save Guy from Madara Uchiha's orbs before they can hit while in the fifth gate.
Lee has a very low tolerance for alcohol, which gave him a natural predisposition for the Drunken Fist style. When he drinks as little as one drop of alcohol, he becomes an unpredictable and near unstoppable force of destruction and chaos. Guy explained that, after Lee accidentally drank a small amount of sake, he proceeded to demolish the bar they were in, and it took the combined efforts of Guy and Neji to hold him down without harming him.
During Lee's fight with Kimimaro in Part I, Lee accidentally drank sake instead of his medicine, and slipped into Drunken Fist style. Lee's usage of this style gives him considerably greater speed and dexterity, allowing Lee to strike and effectively dodge from various positions. This style caused Kimimaro, one of Orochimaru's strongest subordinates, to be pressured and ultimately overwhelmed, forcing the Oto ninja to activate the first stage of his cursed seal. Kimimaro noted that Lee's attack patterns with Drunken Fist was "too angular".
The problem with Lee's Drunk Fist state is his actions while drunk are usually misguided attempts to impress Guy, regardless of whether or not Guy is around. He drunkenly attacks any friend or foe that is near him.
Having not been allowed 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 Uchiha and Kotetsu Hagane. He also fell in love with Sakura Haruno. Soon afterwards, he confronted Sasuke, challenging him to a fight to see how he fared against the Sharingan, but not before knocking out Naruto Uzumaki, 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 Air Wave 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 Nara 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.
Pre-Shippūden Filler Arcs
Curry of Life Arc
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 team-mates 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.
Survival Training Arc
The Academy students were divided into teams of three and were assigned to a genin who would lead them on a mission against the other teams. Lee was assigned to lead a team of three Academy students: Chen, Samo and En. His time with them was not covered much except that he was doing better than Naruto. 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.
Guy and Lee Impersonator Arc
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. They encountered the real Lee and Guy on the way out of the village and tried to attack, but were sent flying back to Konohagakure.
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.
Lee's Dōjō Arc
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. He saw a man challenging a dōjō, ready to take the sign if he won, and ready to join if he lost, and believed that a dōjō would bring many strong opponents. When Naruto stumbled upon the dōjō, Lee asked that he fight, but Naruto hastily left, 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 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. Naruto fought Lee while the impostor transformed into Lee, but met the real Guy while trying to leave, and was easily defeated by him.
Third Great Beast Arc
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 and opened their chakra gates to destroy the dummies without harming the actual person, freeing themselves and destroying the castle.
Trap Master Arc
Lee, 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. He defeated Gennō with his taijutsu during the final confrontation.
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.
Ultimate Weapon Arc
Lee and Naruto helped Gaara fight and defeat 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.
Naruto's Back: Friends' Tracks
Two years after Naruto left the village with Jiraiya for special training, Konohagakure decided to host an early Chūnin Exam to help restore its reputation after the previous exam was ruined by Orochimaru's invasion. To better the chances of people joining this, it was co-sponsored by Sunagakure. Lee was very excited to take the exams again in hopes of being promoted. While waiting to officially enter, he and his team were surprised to see Naruto returning, only for Neji to reveal that it was Konohamaru Sarutobi in disguise, not wanting let this opportunity pass for Naruto. Lee and Neji, however, insisted that Naruto will return when he is ready and they will be there to great him, something that Konohamaru and his friends accepted. Once entering the exams, Lee and his team-mates were randomly split up and sent to different rooms to take the written test. On a monitor, Shikamaru as proctor explained that everyone only needs to answer one question on the test, but their combined score with their team-mates will determine if they pass or fail the exam as they need exactly 100 points to pass. As everyone began wondering how to go about scoring accurately with their team-mates, Lee spent his time trying to just chose which question to answer.
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 Suna 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) With the exception of Neji, the Konoha 11 boys including Lee himself accompained Asuma Sarutobi for a guys' 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 Lee was put on Team Two with Yamato leading and assistance from Tenten, Kiba and Akamaru. After finding the enemy he stormed into action only to hit a smoke clone of Kigiri's and is trapped in his smokescreen. After remembering a discussion about using other senses with Might Guy he found and attacked Kihō.
Later, he battled alongside Tenten against Guren and Rinji on the lake while Team Three tried to seal the Three-Tails. After the Three-Tails went berserk he and other Konoha-nin fell back, carrying an unconscious Ino to shore. Once again they tried the task again and his team ended up battling some of Team Guren's men again but lost due to their cursed seals, which made them stronger. To his and the other Konoha-nin surprise the enemies merged and had to deal with an even bigger threat. However, the Three-Tails on its ramapage, crushed them. Having failed sealing the beast the second time, they returned to Konoha and the leaf Anbu were tasked to deal with the Three-Tails.
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 everyones 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. Sakura then asks her escorts to help her find Sasuke. When they near his location, 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) Lee and his team-mates 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 team-mate'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 team-mates 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.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
Main article: The Last: Naruto the Movie During Toneri's attack on earth, Lee and other taijutsu users defended Konoha from a larger meteorite after he opened the sixth gate. He later attended Naruto and Hinata's wedding.
Years later, Lee continued his arduous training style and belief in youth, passing it on to his son.
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 has his own spin-off series called Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth 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 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. But 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.
- 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".
- According to Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth, Lee can get drunk off of chakra; in one episode, Tsunade lets Lee drink some of her Chakra Chateau (as it doesn't have alcohol in it), but Lee is intoxicated after just smelling it.
- (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
- ↑ Chapter 37, page 6
- ↑ Chapter 51, page 19
- ↑ Chapter 84, pages 7-8
- ↑ Chapter 84, pages 9-17
- ↑ Chapter 85, pages 5-6
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Chapter 38, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 502, page 20
- ↑ The Last: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Naruto episode 152
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 103
- ↑ The Last: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 13
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 284
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 293
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 312
- ↑ Chapter 82, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 522, pages 13-14
- ↑ Chapter 52, page 6
- ↑ Chapter 617, page 13
- ↑ The Last: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Chapter 669, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 85, page 5
- ↑ Chapter 613, page 1
- ↑ Chapter 615, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 667, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 184
- ↑ Naruto episode 110
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 396
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Chapter 84, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 36, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 37, page 20
- ↑ Chapter 57, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 209, page 18
- ↑ Chapter 669, pages 7-8