| (エー, Ē)
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #244|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game|
A (エー, Ē, Viz: Ei, English TV: Ay) was the Third Raikage (三代目雷影, Sandaime Raikage, Literally meaning: Third Lightning Shadow) of Kumogakure, renowned to be the greatest Raikage the village has ever had.
A's rule was punctuated by the berserk attacks of the Eight-Tails but as Kumogakure couldn't afford to dispose of such a valuable war deterrent, he was forced to look for a suitable jinchūriki in quick succession, after the conclusion of each rampage. During one of these attacks, A fought the Eight-Tails alone, allowing his comrades to escape. Their battle resulted in A receiving a self-inflicted wound to the chest after he collapsed upon his own hand, which became his life's shame. Since this event, he made it a personal duty to combat the Eight-Tails whenever its jinchūriki lost control, eventually making even his son become part of the group that supported him during these occurrences. He chose to seal the Eight-Tails in the Kohaku no Jōhei, resulting in his nephew's death, hoping that someone else would have more success in controlling it.
Between these attacks, A held try-outs along with Dodai in order to search for a tag-team partner for his son, which was a long-standing tradition for the Raikage. As the exercise was seemingly going to end in failure again, he lamented the fact that this would have been unnecessary if A had an actual brother. After seeing the dummy's head finally fall off, he looks on at B and his son, glad that they had finally found a suitable candidate. Ultimately, when Killer B was made the jinchūriki, the Eight-Tails' rampages were at long last brought to an end.
At some point he also mentored Darui, passing the secrets of the Black Lightning technique down to just him. In his later years, during the Third Shinobi World War, he once faced an opposing force of ten thousand shinobi single-handedly for three consecutive days and nights, in order to allow his comrades to escape to safety. He eventually died in this battle and with his death, the position of Raikage was passed onto his son, A. He would, however, become renowned for his extraordinary level of durability, endurance, and strength above all else, to the point where his body itself would become reputed as the "strongest shield" (最強の盾, saikyō no tate).
A is a calm and seemingly level-headed person. He is also a man of honour as seen when he became outraged when Mū tells Ōnoki to take advantage of the Allied Shinobi Forces after it is disbanded. He is also a very proud and caring individual who will readily use himself as a shield or "go-between" to protect his comrades. This was also exemplified when it was revealed that after he received a scar from fighting the Eight-Tails, not even his son asked him about it in detail, out of his respect for his father's pride. A was also a firm believer of children being destined to surpass their parents, so much so he told his fellow Kage who were reincarnated not to worry about being forced to fight against their fellow shinobi as their children would be able to defeat them.
He, like the other Kage, was upset that he has to fight people from his own village but at the same time he had a lot of confidence and believed that the new generation would be able to surpass and defeat them. He cared greatly for the people of his village, as he made it a personal responsibility to subdue the Eight-Tails whenever it would go on a rampage, as well as fought against ten thousand enemies single-handedly just to allow his comrades to escape to safety. A also greatly admires ninja who are very skilled as seen when he congratulated the Fourth Kazekage for having such a strong son.
A was a tall, dark-skinned man with a largely muscular and well-defined build. He had a full head of white hair which flowed into his back along with a long beard. During his earlier battle against Gyūki, A's beard was much trimmer. He had unusual eyes, which had green irides, dark sclerae and no pupils. His face has pronounced cheekbones and tear troughs under his eyes, and a prominent crease across his forehead with a mole above his right eyebrow. His top lip also had a darker pigmentation than the bottom one. His canine teeth were also slightly elongated. He has the kanji for "lightning" (雷, kaminari) tattooed on his right shoulder. Following a battle with the Eight-Tails, A also gained a lightning bolt-shaped scar that runs across the right side of his chest.
His typical attire consisted of Kumogakure's distinctive, single-strap flak jacket with no other clothing underneath, a black forehead protector that he wore like a bandanna and a thick rope tied around his waist; with this he also wore dark blue sweat pants. It was also shown that at some point in the past, he wore bandages on his forearms.
A was undoubtedly an immensely powerful shinobi and is recognised as the greatest Raikage that Kumogakure has ever seen. His might was able to single-handedly fend off an army of ten thousand ninja and was also said to be one of the only ninja capable of directly going up against a tailed beast alone, with Gyūki even commenting that he was a very tough and resilient man. This feat was even more impressive since the only two other shinobi capable of such a feat, Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju, each had a natural advantage over the tailed beasts, which A himself lacked.
Like his son, A battled mainly with taijutsu, demonstrating such might he could quickly strike down several members of the Allied Shinobi Forces in one move. A possessed tremendous strength, with the threat of a single punch prompting Dodai to encase Naruto Uzumaki for protection. Even more impressive is the fact that A launched the ball several metres away and crashing through solid rock. A also possessed great speed and honed reflexes, being able to dodge Naruto's extremely fast Wind Release: Rasenshuriken twice, despite being half blinded by the sun the first time, and attacked from his blindside the second time. Naruto even noted that his speed was on par with that of his son's, who was known as the fastest shinobi alive.
Even more impressive, A was renowned for his tremendous level of durability, such that his body gained the name the "strongest shield" (最強の盾, saikyō no tate) because it could withstand nearly any type of technique. Any enemy attacks that managed to damage him, if at all, would only have very minor effects. With this trait, he was the only person of his time capable of being transported by the Heavenly Transfer Technique without being torn to shreds because of his tough body. A true testament to his resilience was seen from how he withstood a direct impact of a Rasenshuriken from Naruto in his Nine-Tails Chakra Mode with little to no damage despite his Lightning Release Chakra Mode being neutralised. Ultimately, the only attack that was seen as strong enough to seriously injure him was his own, which resulted in the scar on his chest.
Chakra ProwessMuch like his son, A was gifted with enormous chakra reserves. With them, he could use the Kohaku no Jōhei to seal Gyūki each time the beast went berserk during his time. He had equally immense reserves of stamina and endurance, being able to fight nonstop effectively for three consecutive days and nights before finally collapsing — something normal shinobi could only achieve with drug enhancers. He could also battle Gyūki to the point that they both collapsed from exhaustion.
A had some proficient skill in Fire and Earth Release, but his prowess in Lightning Release famed him as a powerful user of the nature. He was also known for his unique Black Lightning. Likewise, A was seemingly a skilled teacher in Lightning Release, as he passed on his knowledge to Darui. Like his son, he is also capable of using the Lightning Release Chakra Mode to supplement his taijutsu and further augmenting his already renowned physical prowess. According to Dodai, only powerful, long-range Wind Release attacks could break through this defence.
Similar to the Chidori, A can focus his lightning chakra into his fingers, creating a strong piercing effect. He can make it even more powerful by focusing the lightning chakra by reducing the number of fingers used. The technique's sharpness was such that he could penetrate and slash through rubber despite its resistance to electricity. Dodai states that it is his strongest ninjutsu, referring to it as the "strongest spear" (最強の矛, saikyō no hoko). With this power, A could cut off all of Gyūki's tails at once, and even pierce his own body.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
In preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War, A was reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi alongside other deceased Kage, to fight against the Allied Shinobi Forces. When Mū, despite his camouflage, was detected approaching the Fourth Division, Kabuto had the Tsuchikage summon three other Kage to provide support. Amongst their numbers was a bemused Third Raikage, who questions the others about his present location, before seemingly recognising the Fourth Kazekage Rasa. Pursuing the retreating division throughout the night, each of the Kage lamented the possibility of opposing shinobi from their own respective village yet only A remained optimistic that the current generation had surpassed them since their deaths.
The next day A and the other kage were confronted by an enormous wave of sand that is halted by Rasa. The group except for Mū soon found themselves to be caught by Gaara's sand, leading to the fourth to save them with his Gold Dust and afterwards, was confronted by Ōnoki. As the battle resumed, the kage attended to launch an attack but he and Gengetsu were caught again by Gaara's sand. Observing Rasa being sealed, his Lightning Release Chakra Mode activates involuntarily to the threat of being sealed and destroyed the sealing tag. Freed from their bonds, the two stormed the approaching division, before beginning to divulge the particulars of their abilities. Identifying himself as a Lightning Release user, A instructed the opposition to have their Earth Release shinobi construct defences, while those with Wind Release attacked him relentlessly.
As numerous shinobi converged on him, Temari along with several others appeared to successfully cut A into several pieces using the Wind Release: Cast Net technique, before directing the Sealing Team to bind him immediately. However, her efforts proved to ultimately be ineffective, as A was able to regenerate before the Sealing Team could take action. While the opposition reformulated their strategy, A spotted Dodai amongst them, and called out to him. Dodai proceeded to inform Temari that more powerful wind release techniques were required in order to to contest A's legendary durability. As the nature of his death was disclosed, Kabuto took the opportunity to erase A's personality to buy himself more time, just as Naruto Uzumaki's clone made his appearance on the battlefield.
Despite utilising the sun to obscure his attack, Naruto's first few attempts failed to connect with A, due to his enhanced reflexes and speed which allowed him to evade the attack twice. However, on the third attempt, he was unable to avoid the attack and was instead caught at the very centre of the sphere, but even the damage inflicted by this proved to be minimal and A once again, quickly recovered before he could be bound. Advancing upon the stunned opposition whilst activating his Hell Stab technique, the allied forces hastily constructed several reinforced defences in response, yet the attack penetrates both with considerable ease.
Emerging from the other side only to be ambushed by a onslaught of shinobi, who presumed that the element of surprise would be enough, A proceeds to quickly defeat them before engaging the rest of the division. Destroying the cliff where Dodai and Naruto had sought refuge, A folded his fist in preparation to incapacitate the falling Naruto with a punch but thanks to Dodai's intervention, he punched a rubber ball instead. Believing that Naruto had been encased within the ball, which had been sent bouncing away by his prior strike, A gave chase to it. However, after he caught up with, and slicing the ball in two, he realised that it was empty and so, changed direction in order to pursue Naruto.
Reducing the number of fingers used in his Hell Stab technique to just one as he advanced, A's attack is dodged by Naruto using the enhanced reflexes and sensory abilities granted by Sage Mode and parried with a Rasengan, aimed at A's left arm. The force of the blow caused A to impale himself with his own attack and as his body began to crumble, the Sealing Team took immediate action and completed his imprisonment. In the anime, some of Kabuto's lesser reincarnated shinobi try to unseal A, setting off traps around him. Temari and others returned to the site when they got intel of Kabuto's intention, and prevented his shinobi from unsealing A.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Later, with the release of the Impure World Reincarnation technique, a light of sorts encased A's sealed body as the technique was dispelled and his soul was returned to the afterlife.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Subsequent to Kaguya Ōtsutsuki being sealed by Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha, he and the other deceased Kage were summoned from the Pure Land by Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki to aid him and the Hokage in summoning Team 7, the tailed beasts and Madara Uchiha from Kaguya's dimension. Later, his and the other Kage's souls were returned to the Pure Land.
In Other Media
A (Third Raikage) is a playable character in the following video games:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution||11 September 2014||16 September 2014|
- The concept behind A's possession of both the "strongest spear" (最強の矛, saikyō no hoko) and the "strongest shield" (最強の盾, saikyō no tate) was adapted from an anecdote found within the book Han Feizi, written by Han Fei, illustrating a contradiction relating to the Irresistible Force Paradox. The story goes as follows:
- "There was a man in Chu who sold shields and halberds. Praising them he said: "My shields are so strong that nothing can pierce them." And praising the halberds he said: "My halberds are so strong that there is nothing that they cannot pierce." A person asked: "What if someone pierces your shields with your halberds?" He could not respond."
- In chapter 554 when A is referred to as the "greatest Raikage", the word used for his description (最豪) can mean anything from 'greatest' to 'strongest' to 'manliest'.
- When A tells the allied troops about his abilities, he says, "I'm a Lightning Release user! Place your Earth Release users on the front row and attack me incessantly!!" (「ワシ雷遁を使う!土遁の忍を前列に置きワシを攻めたてろ!!」, "Washi Raiton o tsukau! Doton no shinobi o zenretsu ni oki washi o seme tatero!!"). In the tankōbon version, this is changed into, "I'm a Lightning Release user! Place your Earth Release users in the front row to create shields, while your Wind Release users attack me incessantly!!" (「ワシ雷遁を使う!土遁の忍を前列に置き盾を作りつつ風遁の忍で攻めたてろ!!」, "Washi Raiton o tsukau! Doton no shinobi o zenretsu ni oki tatsu o tsukuri tsutsu Fūton no shinobi de seme tatero!!").
- In Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, his personality wasn't erased.
- (To the other Kage) "It's not as tragic as you make it out to be. I have faith that the kids of all our villages have grown up to surpass us."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Fourth Databook, page 201
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chapter 554, page 1
- ↑ Chapter 554, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 555, pages 15-16
- ↑ Chapter 494, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 541, pages 17-20
- ↑ Chapter 526, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 543, page 13
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Chapter 553, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 543, page 12
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Chapter 554, page 15
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 3
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Chapter 555, page 2
- ↑ Chapter 554, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 555, pages 4-5
- ↑ Chapter 554, page 2
- ↑ Chapter 553, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 562, pages 6-7
- ↑ Chapter 553, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 554, pages 6-8
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Chapter 548, page 18.
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 316
- ↑ Volume 58, page 79
- ↑ Chapter 546, pages 8-9