Anime and Manga
|Voice actor(s) (English)||
Tsunade (綱手) is a supporting character in the anime and manga series Naruto.
The names of Tsunade, Jiraiya and Orochimaru come from Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語, "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"). The Tsunade in this story excelled in snail magic and was married to Jiraiya. The name "Tsunade" (綱手) means "mooring rope".
Tsunade is a former student of the Third Hokage. Tsunade and her former teammates, Jiraiya and Orochimaru, are known as the "Legendary Three Ninja" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin) or simply the "Sannin". The word "Hime" (姫, Princess) is often attached to Tsunade's name because she is the granddaughter of the First Hokage and the grandniece of the Second Hokage. Tsunade is well known for her large breasts, despite the fact that Jiraiya referred to her as "flat-chested Tsunade" during their childhood.
One of Tsunade's noteworthy possessions was an amulet that belonged to her grandfather, which is said to be valuable enough to buy three gold mines and the mountains on top of it. On her brother, Nawaki's, twelfth birthday, Tsunade gave the amulet to him in the hopes that it would help him achieve his dream of becoming Hokage. The next day, Nawaki died as one of the many casualties of the war going on at the time, and the amulet was returned to Tsunade's possession. Sometime afterwards, Tsunade fell in love with a man named Dan, who also wanted to become Hokage. As a sign of her affection and in the hopes that it would help him achieve his goal, Tsunade gave him the amulet as well. Dan too would go on to die a bloody death during the course of the war, once again returning the amulet to her possession.
With the deaths of the two she loved the most, Tsunade came to lose faith in the title of Hokage, believing that only fools would want such a position. With these changes of ideals, Tsunade left Konoha with Dan's niece, Shizune, taking the latter in as her apprentice.
The deaths of Dan and Nawaki greatly changed Tsunade; Dan's death and her failed attempt to save him gave her a fear of blood, causing her to freeze up when ever seeing it. The amulet's repeated returns to her also led her and many others to believe that it was cursed, and whoever Tsunade might give it to would die soon after.
Tsunade is also a compulsive gambler who has the unfortunate disadvantage of having terrible luck. As a result, she has been elevated to a comical status as "The Legendary Sucker" (伝説のカモ, Densetsu no Kamo) for the gross profits others have made off her misfortune and gambling addiction. In the rare instances that Tsunade hits a winning streak, she believes it to be a bad omen, and bad things do tend to happen to her afterwards. The symbol on the back of her coat, 賭 (kake), means "gamble," or "wager," as gambling is one of her favorite pastimes.
Tsunade typically projects a tough demeanor, even when facing great personal difficulty, and rarely compliments or praises people. She readily criticizes others for their faults, such as Naruto for his immaturity or Jiraiya for his perversion. On occasion, though, Tsunade often shows sympathy for others, consoling Shikamaru that while he failed his mission to return Sasuke to Konoha, all of his teammates survived.
Search for Tsunade arc
After his failed invasion of Konoha, Orochimaru seeks out Tsunade. Upon finding her, he asks her for a favor, though before he can specify what this favor is she declines, having already noticed his wounded arms. Trying again, Orochimaru asks her to heal his arms, explaining that the injury is a result of his carelessness when killing the Third Hokage. Shocked by this revelation, Tsunade prepares to kill Orochimaru, though he once again intervenes by offering to resurrect her dead loved ones: Dan and Nawaki. Interested in this offer, Tsunade considers it, and is left a week to decide.
Soon afterwards, Tsunade is approached by Jiraiya and Naruto Uzumaki who want her to become the next Hokage. After turning down the offer and ridiculing it, Naruto challenges Tsunade to a fight, enraged that someone could disrespect the title of Hokage due to his undying desire to become Hokage himself. Tsunade accepts and easily wins, though not before witnessing Naruto's attempt at using the Rasengan. Intrigued, Tsunade makes a bet with Naruto to master the jutsu in a week, and if he wins he will get the First Hokage's amulet. Naruto accepts, and resumes his training. As the week progresses, Tsunade keeps a careful eye on Naruto's progress and all the while contemplates Orochimaru's offer. When the week is up and Naruto appears to have failed in mastering the jutsu, Tsunade goes to meet Orochimaru, though not before drugging Jiraiya to make sure he doesn't interfere.
Upon meeting with Orochimaru, Tsunade asks that he not destroy Konoha when his arms are healed. Orochimaru complies, and Tsunade prepares to heal him, though is interrupted by Orochimaru's assistant, Kabuto Yakushi. Kabuto, being a medical ninja himself, was able to notice the killing intent of Tsunade's healing jutsu and as such knew that she really intended to kill Orochimaru. Her motives known, Tsunade reveals that she knew Orochimaru lied when saying he'd leave Konoha alone, and that she couldn't bring herself to allow it due to Nawaki and Dan having loved Konoha until the end of their days. While she had tried to forget this fact over the years, Naruto's determination and desire to be Hokage reminded her of their dreams, and she has decided to do whatever is necessary to protect those dreams.
With that, Tsunade attacks Orochimaru, though Kabuto fights her in his place. As the two trade blows, Kabuto begins to realize that he is outmatched and decided to use her fear of blood to his advantage by slitting his wrists and thus making her immovable. As Kabuto begins to beat on Tsunade, Shizune and Naruto come to her rescue. While both are easily defeated, Naruto is able to overcome his injuries and continue to protect Tsunade. Although Tsunade tells him to run, Naruto refuses, and manages to hit Kabuto with a perfected Spiraling Sphere in his effort to protect her, defeating Kabuto. As Naruto collapses and is left near-death due to Kabuto's last attack, Tsunade rushes to his aid and attempts to heal him, not willing to allow him to die. Her efforts are successful, and Naruto claims the amulet he has now won before losing consciousness. Putting the amulet around his neck, Tsunade asks once more for its wearer to become Hokage.
Orochimaru, worrying about what kind of threat Naruto may become when he gets older, tries to kill him, though Tsunade blocks that attack as a human shield. Orochimaru inquires as to why she is protecting Naruto, to which she replies that Naruto will someday be Hokage and that she will not allow him to die before that happens. With that, Tsunade accepts the title of Fifth Hokage (五代目火影, Godaime Hokage) that she had been offered and overcomes her fear of blood, her first action being to attack Orochimaru. Joining forces with the still drugged Jiraiya, the two attack Orochimaru, with Tsunade eventually being the one to deal the finishing blow. Defeated, Orochimaru escapes, vowing to destroy Konoha once he's healed himself. Once Naruto recovers, the group returns to Konoha, Tsunade ready to take the role Dan and Nawaki so dearly desired, and secretly believing that Naruto will someday become a great Hokage.
Sasuke Retrieval arc
Soon after arriving in Konoha, Tsunade heals the wounds of Rock Lee, Kakashi Hatake, and Sasuke Uchiha. Once healed, Sasuke defects from the village so that he can go to Orochimaru, and Tsunade is forced to send out a group of Genin to stop him. She also uses Konoha's reacquired alliance with Sunagakure to call in a favor for reinforcements, hoping to give the retrieval team some backup. Despite her efforts, the group ultimately fails, and Tsunade helps in healing their fatal injuries, bringing them back to full health. In the aftermath of Sasuke's betrayal, Sakura Haruno asks to become Tsunade's apprentice, which Tsunade gladly accepts.
Anime filler arcs
Tsunade appears in numerous filler arcs, though she typically does nothing more than sending others out on missions, occasionally trying new ways of deciding who will go on a specific mission. Her goal during the filler arcs is to keep Naruto busy until Jiraiya comes back to prevent him from going after Sasuke himself. In one filler arc, she summons Katsuyu to deal with some impersonators of Rock Lee and Might Guy who have entered the village.
After Naruto's return to Konoha after the timeskip, the village's elders question Tsunade's decision to allow Naruto to go out on missions when Akatsuki seeks to capture him. As such, the elders force Tsunade to allow one of Danzo's, a fierce opponent of the Third Hokage, men to be teamed with Naruto. Not trusting Danzo, Tsunade assigns Yamato to lead Naruto and keep an eye on Danzo's addition to the team.
Later, when two Akatsuki members enter the Land of Fire; namely Hidan and Kakuzu, Tsunade mobilizes the Niju Shotai to look for and, if possible, capture the Akatsuki duo. While capture never comes to be possible, the Akatsuki members are both defeated. Tsunade later performs an autopsy on Kakuzu, and finds Naruto's newest jutsu, Wind Release: Rasenshuriken to be too dangerous for use based on the damage done to Kakuzu's body and Naruto's arm. She explains that the attack had struck at a cellular level, causing extensive damage to the both of them, and regretfully tells Kakashi and Yamato not to allow Naruto to use the jutsu again, lest his access to chakra be destroyed.
Jiraiya vs. Pein arc
When Jiraiya decides to do battle with the enigmatic Pein, Tsunade bets that Jiraiya will die. (due to her horrible luck in betting) Unfortunately, Jiraiya is no match for the powerful Akatsuki leader, and he dies, making this the only bet Tsunade ever won.
Even though she is in her fifties, Tsunade's Transformation Technique makes it appear as if she were still twenty. Tsunade's transformation is somewhat different from a normal transformation as it seems to be permanent, not getting dispelled when she is slashed or injured, and she apparently does not need to exert any effort to stay transformed.
Tsunade's trademark ability is her inhuman strength, which is derived from her excellent chakra control. By storing chakra and releasing it at the point of contact, she can enhance her strength to the point where she can break through boulders with her bare hands. She is also an extremely talented Medical-nin, and can heal wounds that most others would consider impossible. She went as far as to use the Shadow Seal: Release (蔭封印・解, Infūin: Kai) to store her chakra in her forehead to Creation Rebirth ((創造再生, Sōzō Saisei), a technique that releases the chakra to rapidly regenerate the cells in her body to heal any wound. It gives her a "immortality" in battle that even Orochimaru envied. However, because of the rapid cell regeneration, the technique shortens her life similar to the Four-Tailed transformation, however more controlled. Because of the risk associated with the technique, Tsunade can only use Creation Rebirth in extremely desperate situations.
Additionally, Tsunade can summon Katsuyu, a giant slug that is very loyal to her. Katsuyu is able to perform a number of jutsu for which Tsunade does not seem to have her own equivalent, such as spitting acid, making her useful for accomplishing tasks Tsunade cannot.
- First Official Data Book (秘伝・臨の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Rin no Sho Character Official Data Book)
- Second Official Data Book (秘伝・闘の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Tō no Sho Character Official Data Book)
- Jump's 2nd Great Hero Book's Mini Data Book (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
- Naruto anime and manga Guidebook (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
- Taken directly from the Naruto manga chapters and anime episodes.