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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kankuro


Kankuro is the brother of Temari and Gaara, middle child of the Fourth Kazekage.

Biography

Like his siblings, Kankuro is usually seen less often than the other main characters in the series. In Part I, one noticeable personality trait he displays is an apparent dislike for children, first seen when he attempts to beat up Konohamaru for running into him. This carries over to many of his interactions with other characters as he is noticeably irritated when in the presence of someone younger than him. This is most evident when he is seen with Gaara, who Kankuro is forced to put up with due to the fear his younger brother imposes on him.

Despite their apparent differences, Gaara and Kankuro become very close over the timeskip as Gaara begins to confide in Kankuro, and shares his dreams of wanting to risk his life to protect Sunagakure. As such, Kankuro has become very protective of Gaara, willing to challenge anyone who puts Gaara down in his presence. When Gaara is captured by Akatsuki, Kankuro rushes to his brother's aid in an attempt to save him. He is quickly defeated and bedridden as a result, though joins Temari in looking for Gaara as soon as he is able to walk. Once Gaara is found and saved, Kankuro joins Temari in thanking Team 7 for saving their brother.

Kankuro changes the design of his face paint with each of his appearances to correspond with the design of his newly added puppet.

In the original Japanese, Kankuro speaks with a distinctive Yokohama accent. He can often be heard ending his sentences with "jaan." This makes him sound tough, as this accent is often used for biker gang members or punk kids (called yankii in Japanese, Yokohama supposedly has many) in manga. It is possible that he was given this accent to make him sound different from the Konoha characters' standard Tokyo Japanese.

[edit] Part I

[edit] Chunin Exam

Kankuro first appears the day the Chunin Exam is announced. He is seen with his sister, Temari, and an unexplained bundle on his back by Naruto and Sakura, while tormenting Konohamaru and the other children. Naruto demands that he stop, but Kankuro pays him no mind and easily overpowers him physically. He is stopped when Sasuke Uchiha manages to hit him on the wrist with a rock. Kankuro, surprised that Sasuke could manage to sneak up on him - let alone land a hit, hints at wanting a fight. As if threatening Sasuke, he removes his bundle which Temari calls "Karasu" (meaning "crow"). The situation is diffused, however, when Gaara appears. Kankuro, who at this point had seemed unflinchingly confident, is terrified of his brother. When Gaara demands that he stop fooling around, he quickly obeys, leaving the other three ninja confused.

During the written portion of the exam, the Genin are told explicitly not to cheat as cheating will result in a deduction of points to the extent of failure. Most of the would-be Chunin - including Kankuro - realize that the real test is simply to see how well a person can cheat without being caught, and begin using their shinobi skills to stealthily copy other papers. Nearing the end of the exam, Kankuro asks permission to use the bathroom. The test proctor, Ibiki Morino, allows it, provided one of the ninja watching for cheaters accompanies him. While in the bathroom, he refers to the nondescript ninja as Karasu, and asks him for the answers. He chuckles at the fact that no one noticed the extra ninja in the room. On his way back to the exam, Ibiki comments that Kankuro was busy playing with dolls. Kankuro's reaction to this hints that the proctor knows what the bundle on his back really is.

During the survival portion of the exam, he is seen only briefly by Kiba, Shino, and Hinata while Gaara brutally murders a shinobi from the Village of the Hidden Rain.

During the preliminary duels, Kankuro fights in the third match against Misumi Tsurugi from the Village of the Hidden Leaf. Kankuro aggressively takes off his bundle, but before he can use it, Misumi strikes, forcing Kankuro to defend himself. Upon contact, Misumi's arms begin contorting impossibly around Kankuro's body until he has completely pinioned all of Kankuro's limbs - causing his bundle to fall on the floor. With his hands poised to break Kankuro's neck, he demands that Kankuro surrender. Kankuro scoffs at the idea, and Misumi follows through with his threat, apparently killing him. Before the proctor can call the end of the match, Kankuro's head suddenly turns completely backwards to face Misumi, mocking him. It is revealed, finally, that Kankuro's bundle is a battle-puppet: a ninja tool controlled by chakra strings. The puppet, called Karasu, had been disguised early on as Kankuro, while the ninja puppeteer waited in the bundle for Misumi to drop his guard. With the tables turned, Karasu's arms wrap around Misumi's body and violently constrict. Misumi is now unable to fight, though it is not explicitly stated whether he is dead or alive, and Kankuro is declared the winner.

During the second-to-last bout of the Chunin preliminaries - Gaara vs. Rock Lee - Kankuro talks to Naruto in an attempt to learn about Neji Hyuga. While they talk, Gaara gets heated during the battle and his normally stoic demeanor begins to crumble. Kankuro once again shows uncharacteristic fear toward his younger brother, foreshadowing that Gaara's loss of control will ruin "the plan." No further explanation is offered...

[edit] The Invasion of Konoha

Kankuro is chosen to fight Shino Aburame. Oddly, he gives up before the fight starts, thinking that the plan to invade Konoha is more important than the fight. His conversation about "the plan" with Temari is overheard by Shino, who grows suspicious.

During Gaara's fight with Sasuke, Gaara is injured. Kankuro is yet again terrified at the notion of Gaara losing control just as the Sand and Sound shinobi storm the arena. Amongst the ensuing chaos, Kankuro and Temari grab Gaara and try to flee into the forest. Sasuke follows, along with Shino. Later, Kankuro tells Temari to go ahead while he buys them time. Shino appears and tells Sasuke to continue his chase; he will be Kankuro's opponent as the tournament had decided.

The two poise for battle, and Kankuro mocks Shino for not understanding the Puppet Technique. Shino replies that he never underestimates his opponents. Under Kankuro's guidance, Karasu flies towards Shino, revealing a hidden arsenal of poisoned-tipped darts, blades, and kunai. Shino succeeds in dodging the attacks until two kunai strike him in the head. Kankuro is shocked to realize that Shino had been using a swarm of his chakra insects as a clone. Shino, who had been hiding while watching the fight, attacks Kankuro and misses, albeit barely. He makes the comment that Kankuro is weak against close combat. Kankuro scoffs and continues his barrage. Kankuro appears to have the advantage as Karasu releases a smokescreen of poisonous gas from which Shino hastily retreats. Karasu then launches a surprise attack, but strikes only another one of Shino's clones. Shino, hiding beneath the tree branch on which Karasu is now perched, has his insects cover Karasu, clogging his joints and and having the bugs climb the chakra strings towards the puppeteer. Kankuro severs his connection with the puppet, but easily reforges it and reveals that Karasu's limbs, torso, and head can all be controlled separately. With Karasu's body parts flying wildly through the trees - launching poison darts no less - Shino is driven to the defensive. Shino's evasion leaves him vulnerable, and Karasu's head, still disembodied, flies toward him brandishing a large poisoned needle, boasting enough of the fatal substance to "drop an elephant." Moments before striking, however, Kankuro loses control of the puppet and is seen covered by a swarm of the chakra insects. Baffled as to how Shino could have cornered him with the slow moving bugs, he learns that the first attempt at physical contact was just a ploy to plant a female insect on his clothes. The bugs were able to follow the scent while he was distracted by the battle. He screams and falls from the tree he was perched on just as the poison gas' effects start kicking in, and Shino keels over. The battle is a tie.

After Gaara's defeat by Naruto, Kankuro is last seen helping his brother up and leaving as Sasuke watches on. Moved by Naruto's passion, Gaara wearily apologizes to both of his siblings. Kankuro, utterly shocked, stammers out words of forgiveness as the three hurry back to the Sand Village.

[edit] Sasuke's Retrieval

After the Leaf Genin and Chunin separate into their various battles against Orochimaru's Sound Four, the only ones emerging singularly victorious are Choji and Neji. The rest, Rock Lee, Shikamaru, and Kiba, are barely holding onto their lives. Kiba Inuzuka fights the Sound ninja named Sakon, whose primary ability seems to be separating into an identical twin named Ukon. By joining together, Sakon/Ukon is able to heal any wounds he might incur. Through shrewd use of this jutsu and disguising his smell, Ukon, alone, corners Kiba and Akamaru and readies the final blow. Just as the kunai is about to strike, a shrouded figure blocks the way. Kankuro and his siblings have come to the Leaf's aid.

Kankuro (oddly still holding his familiar bundle), scoffs at Kiba's inability to win his battle, having blocked the knife with Karasu. Unaware of Sakon/Ukon's ability, Kankuro readies the final blow only to be attacked by Sakon, who is using the second stage of his cursed seal. Sakon/Ukon's jutsu of separating and conjoining had already proved effective on others - having forced himself into Kiba's body at one point. However, even with Sakon's hand sunk deep into his face, Kankuro smirks. His face and clothing seem to crumble away as it is revealed that he now controls two puppets: Karasu and a new one called Kuroari (meaning "black ant"). Emerging from the familiar bundle, Kankuro comments on the auspicious fact that the body-joining jutsu doesn't work on puppets and criticizes Sakon for getting so close to his new ally. A set of saw-blades emerges from Kuroari's arms, and Kuroari attacks similarly to Karasu by wrapping his arms around Sakon and constricting.

As Sakon falls to the ground, bleeding heavily, his cursed seal fades aways. At the same time, Ukon, who had been fighting Karasu, has his cursed seal rise to Level 2. With enhanced speed, he moves to his counterpart and joins bodies in order to heal himself. Ukon remarks on not controlling the conjoined body as his cursed seal fades away as well. Their wounds heal, but they silently comment on having little chakra left over. Kiba, once again daunted by the speed of Sakon/Ukon's recovery, tells Kankuro to retreat for now. Kankuro angrily replies by saying he's being underestimated. As if to prove Kiba's doubts wrong, he attacks viciously with Karasu, causing Sakon/Ukon to dodge backwards. However, as they dodge they fail to notice Kuroari behind them, opening up his wide torso to reveal a hollow container. Kankuro reveals that Karasu and Kuroari, while similar in design, are different in function. Kuroari is used primarily as a trapping puppet - this is proven true as Sakon/Ukon dodge directly into Kuroari's body which snaps shut, trapping them inside. Karasu, he explains, is used in tandem with Kuroari for attacking purposes, as all of Karasu's limbs and head separate and extend a fearsome array of blades. Kuroari is equipped with slots about as wide as one of the blades, and as Kankuro bellows out the name of his attack - Puppet Theater: Black Secret Technique Machine One Shot - all of the blades simultaneously pierce Kuroari's frame. Kiba stares, shocked, as blood gouts and pours out of the slots to the sound of Sakon/Ukon's agonizing screams. Kankuro, ever the warrior, claims victory as if a play had just ended.

After the battle ends, with Sasuke gone and almost all of the Leaf ninja hospitalized - but alive - Kankuro goes to leave with his two siblings. Shikamaru sees them off, exchanging words with Temari, and the three Sand ninja part on friendly terms with the Leaf. Kankuro walks away, this time with two familiar bundles on his back.

[edit] Part II

[edit] Rescue the Kazekage

When Gaara is defeated and captured by Deidara and Sasori, two members of Akatsuki, Kankuro follows in hot pursuit, determined to stop them from taking his brother. To defeat the Akatsuki pair, Kankuro summons his three puppets, one of them a new puppet named Sanshouo (meaning "salamander), from their carrying scrolls, and prepares to defeat the member that stays behind. The Akatsuki member, revealed to be Sasori, quickly counters one of Karasu's attacks by snatching up the puppet with his large, scorpion-like tail. Kankuro, surprised that Sasori was able to match Karasu's speed, watches as the tail constricts Karasu's frame, shattering it. Karasu reforms, and proceeds to circle Sasori at a shocking speed, along with Kuroari. Karasu launches a pair of kunai at the Akatsuki member, but Sasori blocks both of the projectiles with his tail. Kankuro then scoffs at Sasori for not noticing that Kuroari had disappeared. Suddenly, the second puppet emerges from the sand below Sasori, launching him into the air. Kuroari catches Sasori within his torso, and Kankuro then uses his Black Secret Technique Machine One Shot. As sand pours from the slots in Kuroari's frame, Kankuro opens it up to reveal a sand clone of Sasori. The true Sasori then launches a surprise attack from behind, emerging from beneath the sands. Sanshouo then comes to Kankuro's aid and attempts to block the attack. In the anime, Sanshouo extends a frill upwards from its neck to block Sasori's tail, and Kankuro reveals that the puppet can actually protect up to three people within its own frame. Sasori makes the remark that he somehow remembers that Sanshouo had incredible defensive power, but also that a puppet's power is measured by that of its weakest joint. Sasori proceeds to dissassemble Sanshouo by striking one of its neck joints with his tail. Kankuro, horrorstruck, is launched into the air by another one of Sasori's attacks, with the tail piercing his chest. Kankuro, however, manages to hold the tail back as it sends him into the air, from which he falls back to earth. Kankuro, desperate, has Karasu and Kuroari once again circle around Sasori, but this time, Karasu blankets the area in a smokescreen, and Kuroari proceeds to detach its limbs from the rest of its frame. Kurori then fires poisoned needles into the smoke from its disembodied arms and legs, as Kankuro reveals the name of this new technique - Poison Fog: Blind Spot Destroyer. However, Kankuro looks on, terrified and dumbfounded, as Sasori emerges from the cloud unscathed, all of the needles having missed him. All three of Kankuro's puppets are then completely shattered by Sasori's ensuing onslaught. Sasori then finally reveals that he was the original creator of the puppets, and as such knew their weaknesses and tactics. Kankuro, realizing that he was at a huge disadvantage throughout the entire battle, falls to his knees. Sasori informs him that the tip of his tail is actually coated with a fatal poison. Sasori makes an attempt at a finishing blow, but Kuroari's detached head and Karasu's detached arm both deflect Sasori's tail. Surprised at Kankuro's determination to continue living, and not wanting to drag the battle out further, Sasori leaves, giving Kankuro three days before the poison kills him.

Soon after, Team 7 arrives at Sunagakure to help in rescuing Gaara, and while they are there Sakura Haruno cures Kankuro and creates an antidote from the poison still in his system. Kankuro then provides Team 7 with a piece of cloth taken from Sasori's cloth mask during the battle. Pakkun, a talking dog summoned by Kakashi Hatake, Team 7's leader, uses the cloth's scent to lead the team further. Once well enough to walk around, Kankuro sets out with Temari to catch up with Team 7. When Gaara is found and revived, Kankuro joins Temari in thanking Team 7 for saving their brother.

[edit] Abilities

Kankuro is a talented puppeteer, and with each of his appearances in the major arcs is seen with a new puppet in his arsenal. His "Cat Hat" is even part of the traditional garb of a Bunraku puppeteer. The three puppets that have been introduced were all originally created by Sasori, and came into Kankuro's possession some time after the former left Sunagakure. Similarly, each puppet is destroyed by Sasori years later, and it is unknown if Kankuro will rebuild them. In Part I he carries his puppets with him, though in Part II he starts keeping them in summoning scrolls. Each of these puppets is characterized for the excessive clicking noises they make when moving.
Kankuro in Part II with his three puppets
Kankuro in Part II with his three puppets
  • Karasu (烏; "Crow") - The first of Kankuro's puppets to make an appearance, Karasu resembles a three-eyed, four-armed humanoid. In Part I, Kankuro typically keeps Karasu wrapped in bandages on his back, and he is able to switch places with it at will using a technique similar to the Body Replacement Technique. Because of Kankuro's enjoyment in installing mechanisms into his puppets, Karasu is very offensive, having numerous concealed weapons, including poison-tipped darts, kunai, blades and a huge poisoned needle concealed within its head. Karasu has also on occassion released smokescreens in order to blind its opponents. The smokescreens can be made up of poisonous gas to serve a secondary purpose. Karasu is also able to detatch any of its body parts for separate attacks.
  • Kuroari (黒蟻; "Black Ant") - The second of Kankuro's puppets to make an appearance, Kuroari has a much longer head than Karasu and sports two red devil-like horns and six arms. Kankuro can use the same type of Body Replacement Technique on Kuroari that he does Karasu. While Kuroari does not contain as many hidden weapons as Karasu, each of its arm segments contain a hidden saw-blade which can be used to inflict large slicing wounds to opponents. Kuroari has also been shown to conceal a large number of poisoned needles within its frame. Kuroari's primary function is to trap opponents within itself while weapons enter the slots along its body to puncture the opponent. Like Karasu, Kuroari is able to detatch any of its body parts for separate attacks.
  • Sanshouo (山椒魚, Sanshōuo; "Salamander") - The third of Kankuro's puppets to make an appearance, Sanshouo, unlike Kankuro's other puppets, stays true to its name and resembles a salamander. Its abilities are unseen in the manga, but in the anime, Sanshouo is shown to have incredible defensive power. It has a frill that swings up to defend against attacks from the front, and a hollow body Kankuro and up to two other people can take cover in to defend against attacks coming from other directions.

Kankuro's puppets seem to be designed to work together to some degree, as seen with Poison Fog: Blind Spot Destroyer (Dokugiri Zuyoku, Baribari Shikaku Renpatsu) where Karasu blankets the area in a smokescreen while Kuroari fires poisoned needles at the blinded opponent. Black Secret Technique Machine One Shot (黒秘技機々一発, Kurohigi Kiki Ippatsu) (English Dub: Secret Black Art: Iron Maiden) also displays the puppets' abilities to work together, where Karasu navigates an opponent into Kuroari's torso. Once trapped, Karasu separates its limbs to reveal a number of concealed weapons which enter the slots on Kuroari's body to impale the opponent. Similar in purpose though only needing one puppet, Black Secret Technique Machine Two Shot (黒秘技機々二発, Kurohigi Kiki Nihatsu) calls upon four scythe-like blades to run along the sides of Kuroari's body, reaping the victim inside.

Facts about KankuroRDF feed
Age 14 -15
  • Part II: 17 +
Birthdate May 15 +
Blood type O +
Gender Male +
Height 167 cm (1.67 m, 5.479 ft, 65.748 in) +
Weight 61.2 kg (134.923 lb) +

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