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Monday, August 18, 2008

Rock Lee


Rock Lee (ロック・リー) is a supporting character in the Naruto series. He is a member of Team Guy. He is a hard-working person, and is very proficient in taijutsu, though he is unable to perform ninjutsu or genjutsu.

Because he is unable to perform ninjutsu or genjutsu, he trains his body very hard. His dream is to become a great ninja despite his handicap. In the beginning of the series, he was Neji's rival, because he doubted that he would ever amount to much using only taijutsu, which just made him work harder to prove him wrong.

He idolizes his teacher Might Guy, and has picked up many of his traits such as extreme training regimes and goes as far to dress exactly like him, making them look nearly identical. Might Guy has taught Lee many powerful techniques, such as unlocking the first five chakra gates making him many times stronger but also severely strains his body if used too much.

Lee and his teammates, Neji Hyuga and Tenten, have been Genin for one year longer than Naruto and the rest of the Rookie 9.

Part I

[edit] Chunin Exams

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 natural genius, but can be prone to depression when faced with setbacks. His drive to succeed is initially most evident with his rivalry with Neji Hyuga, having learned from Guy that having a rival will provide incentive to succeed. Neji, a "genius," finds Lee's efforts of bettering himself to be in vain, believing Lee to be stuck as a "failure" for the rest of his life. As such, Lee resolves to prove Neji wrong, and confronts another "genius," Sasuke Uchiha in an attempt to test his worth. Sasuke is impressed with Lee's ability after he stopped a kick from Sasuke to a disguised exam proctor. They then fight for a short time. Shortly after his introduction, Lee reveals that he likes Sakura Haruno, asking her to be his girlfriend and vowing to protect her immediately after they meet. While she does not seem to share these feelings for him and considers him weird, Lee maintains these feelings throughout the Chunin Exams.

At one point, he distracts himself from looking for resting groups, and saves a endangered squirrel, leading him to find Sakura, also endangered. He comes to her rescue, against three to one odds and uses forbidden techniques in an attempt to protect her, considering her someone dear to him.

During his battle with Gaara during the Chunin Exams, Lee's attempts to prove himself have terrible consequences for him.

The second-to-last battle in the preliminary round of the Chunin Exams (to Lee's chagrin--he had been hoping to go much sooner than that). Lee's opponent was Gaara of the Sand. Lee, unable to use any ninjutsu or genjutsu, appeared to be at a tremendous disadvantage against Gaara, who had the ability to manipulate sand from Shukaku.

The fight begins with Gaara shooting the cork from his gourd at Lee, who catches it. Lee's counterattack is a Leaf Whirlwind, promptly stopped by Gaara's sand. Lee continues his taijutsu assault, not once getting even close to breaking through the barrier of sand. It is at this time that Might Guy narrates to Sakura Haruno that Lee has no capacity for Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. Meanwhile, Gaara aims his Sand Coffin at Lee, who jumps backwards to avoid it, landing atop the statue in the preliminary arena. It is then that Guy instructs Lee to remove his weights.

It is revealed to the audience that Guy uses the old-fashioned training method of attaching weights to Lee's ankles, to increase his strength and speed. The weights are inscribed with a calligraphy character that translates into "guts". They fall to the ground with an enormous crash, prompting Hatake Kakashi to question the amount of strain Guy puts on his prized pupil.

With the weights gone, Lee moves at a blinding speed. Still, however, he is too slow to match the speed of Gaara's sand--or so it appears. He continues his taijutsu attacks, and finally succeeds with an axe kick to Gaara's head, putting a scratch on the person who had never suffered a single wound before this point. With another incredible burst of speed, he delivered a feint, and a punch to Gaara's face, knocking him to the floor. As Gaara gets up, his face appears to be crumbling.

Gaara's Sand Armor, different than the normal sand that defends him on behalf of Shukaku, now covers his body, indicating that his normal defense is crumbling under Lee's attacks. Lee, seeing the armor, decides that he must use the Lotus attacks to break through the Armor, and receives confirmation in the form of a nod from Guy. He begins running around Gaara, finally propelling him upwards in his signature kick. But with the Armor of the Sand increasing Gaara's weight, Lee must use a series of additional kicks to boost him higher. The pain from the Lotus causes Lee to wince, at the same time that Guy releases a prayer for Lee. Gaara notices this opening. Lee, however, continues his Primary Lotus attack. The body of Gaara, after hitting the ground, disintegrates into sand.

In the opening he spotted, Gaara had created a Sand clone. He revealed himself behind Lee as Lee panted from the exhaustion of the Primary Lotus attack. Unable to move quickly now, he is battered by some of Gaara's sand attacks. However, as there is a flashback to Lee's past in the midst of the battle, Lee thanks Guy and gets to his feet with a smile and a "ready" stance and prepares to give it his all.

Guy continues his narration of Lee, revealing that Lee can open the first five of the Eight Chakra Gates. Kakashi, of course, is the anchor for the conversation, truly explaining everything that Guy says. Back on the floor, Lee crosses his arms over his face. His skin turns red, as he opens the Third Gate, the Life Gate. Charging up even further, he opens the Fourth Gate, the Harm Gate. Sprinting towards Gaara, his speed is now enough to destroy the stadium floor. Even Kakashi's Sharingan is barely able to keep up. He propels Gaara into the air, and successively pummels him at impossible speed. Just as he is about to apply the final blow, however, the muscles in his forearm snap, forcing him to open the Fifth Gate, the Limit Gate, to the stunned Gaara's amazement.

He delivers an astounding punch, simultaneously wrapping him in the bandages from his forearm. Yanking him back up to his aerial position like a yo-yo, Lee delivers his final blow, completing the Hidden Lotus, and sending Gaara plunging towards the ground.

As they head for the ground, Lee crumples in pain. His body has surpassed normal limits, and is basically tearing itself to pieces. Gaara, however, turns his gourd to sand in order to cushion his fall. As they hit the ground in a cloud of dust, Lee falls on his side, crying out in pain. From his back, barely able to move, Gaara performs his final, devastating blow to Lee: the Sabaku kyu/Sabakusoso chain of attacks. However, he only performed them on Lee's left arm and leg. As Gaara attempted a killing blow, Guy stepped in to prevent Lee's death, to Gaara's confusion. Gaara gets up and turns his back on the two. Unconscious, and with one arm and leg shattered, Lee still succeeds in standing up, to everyone's amazement. But the injuries he suffered from the combination of Gaara's attacks and his own Lotus moves would prove devastating.

[edit] Search For Tsunade

From his battle with Gaara, Lee would prove to be injured to such an extent that he is told he can never be a shinobi again. Unable to accept this, Lee still attempts to continue to train. Might Guy would also aid in Lee's hopes of recovery, having him do such eccentricities as eating 50 bitter "Dumplings of Rejuvenation" in order to restore him.

The news of Tsunade, the legendary medical ninja, becoming Hokage is a beacon of hope for Guy. But, when she examines Lee, she informs him of the dire situation. His broken bones and torn muscles had, for the most part, healed. But fragments of bone had lodged in his spinal column, and removing them would involve and extensive operation that only she was capable of.

When Tsunade offers him an operation that carries a fifty percent chance of returning him to his former state, and a fifty percent chance of killing him, Lee is hesitant to accept the operation. While he can't stand the thought of not living as a ninja, he is scared by the possibility that he will die before he can fully prove himself. Through Guy's encouragement and words of dedication to him, Lee goes through with the operation and survives, causing his determination to strengthen.

[edit] Sasuke Retrieval Arc

Upon hearing Naruto, Choji, Kiba, and Shikamaru talk about the mission to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, Lee suggests that Neji goes with them. After that they all arrive at the Gates (including Lee) and they begin discussing their plan. Lee regrets the fact that he is wounded because he wanted to come. Neji tells Lee that he needs to do what he must.

Later on Lee is talking with Tsunade about the operation. She asks him why he is so adamant about becoming a ninja when it might very well cost him his life. He says that he wants to prove that even with his inabilities to perform genjutsu and ninjutsu, he can become a splendid ninja.

Meanwhile, Naruto, who tapped in the Demon Fox chakra is fighting Kimimaro, one of the Sound Five. Kimimaro, however is still too powerful for Naruto. Naruto, on the brink of death, is about to have his head cut off when Rock Lee appears and kicks Kimimaro away. Telling Naruto to go after Sasuke, he takes the ninja head on by himself.

At first they are both evenly matched, but after Lee drinks some sake that he had mistaken for his medicine, he outclasses Kimimaro. After he takes his "medicine", he begins to act drunk, and this turns out to be the Drunken Fist, which he is described to be a natural born master at. His moves become unpredictable, and he has become much faster. Kimimaro is forced to use his cursed seal and his Kekkei Genkai, Shikotsumyaku at the same time and he overpowers Lee. When Lee finally awakes from his "daze", Lee doesn't stand a chance, even his Front Lotus has no effect, as Kimimaro uses his bones to absorb the impact of Lee's kick, however Gaara shows up and defeats him. After that the two form a friendly bond and head back to Konohagakure.

[edit] Filler Arcs

Lee appears in many of the Filler Arcs. In the Raiga arc, he reveals that he once ran a marathon with Guy near the village of Katabame Kinzan shortly after being assigned to his team, and when he collapsed from exhaustion near the Curry of Life shop, the owner Sansho, and her son Karashi, fed him curry and saved his life. Lee's dedication caused Karashi to become enthusiastic, and he later left. A year later, when he came to the village with his teammates and Naruto to defeat the Kurosuki family, he finds that Karashi has joined, and is upset that Karashi has sought strength in this way. He allows Karashi to seek redemption, but Karashi uses this opportunity to lure Lee's group into a trap after their first battle with Raiga. The trap fails due to Naruto's use of shadow clones, and while the villagers are willing to seek vengeance on Karashi, Lee steps in and promises to take responsibility for Karashi's actions. Karashi uses the opportunity to take Ranmaru to revive Raiga. Lee goes to fight Raiga with Naruto and Neji, and is knocked out but brought back with the Curry of Life. The curry, however, accidentally contains wine, and Lee is intoxicated. He fights Raiga, but is defeated, and Naruto finishes him off.

In a one-episode filler story, Guy and Lee go out on a mission, and two spies try to imitate them. Tsunade immediately sees through their disguise, and gives them various difficult, disgusting, or humiliating missions in order to keep them busy and prevent them from learning anything. They encounter the real Lee and Guy on the way out of the village and try to attack, but are sent flying.

In the Hidden Star Village arc, Lee accompanies Neji and Naruto on the mission to the village, playing a lesser role than previous arcs. He attempts to follow two of Akahoshi's men while hiding under a barrel as Tenten suggests, but is discovered almost instantly. While trying to infiltrate Akahoshi's mansion, he pretends to use a jutsu known as Wall Removing Technique, but in actuality, it involves him moving at high speed to open a door from the other side. He is wounded during the final battle with Akahoshi, leaving Naruto to fight him alone.

In the Lee's Dojo arc, Lee, seeing that he has little time to train with other people due to the many missions that must be done, seeks a new means of training. He sees a man challenging a dojo, ready to take the sign if he wins, and ready to join if he loses, and believes that a dojo will bring many strong opponents. When Naruto stumbles upon the dojo, Lee asks that he fight, but Naruto hastily leaves, late for reporting back to Tsunade. Guy hears about the dojo from Naruto, and decides to disguise himself to fight Lee, but is given a mission at the last second, and an impostor replaces him. Lee fights the impostor and easily defeats him, but Naruto believes that the impostor is Guy and that he is not fighting at full strength to avoid revealing himself. Naruto fights Lee while the impostor transforms into Lee, but meets the real Guy while trying to leave, and is easily defeated.

In the Third Great Beast Arc, Lee's condition worsens, and Tsunade becomes concerned about him injuring himself again. She removes him from missions, but allows him to keep training after he convinces her to do so. Around this time, Guy arrives with a new student, who easily defeats Lee and injures his ankle. While Lee is recovering, Guy takes the new student with him on a mission, causing Lee to believe that he has abandoned him. It is then revealed that the new student is an imposter, and that he plans on seeking vengeance against Guy. Lee heads to Guy's location, but is trapped in a castle made out of sparring posts. He and Lee are tricked into fighting each other by seeing the other as a sparring dummy, but they see through the technique and open their chakra gates to destroy the dummies without harming the actual person, freeing themselves and destroying the castle.

In the Konoha 11 arc, Lee, despite having few special abilities, makes some noteworthy contributions to the investigation. While he initially encourages the academy students to keep practice throwing kunai, once he realizes that hitting the bull's eye will cause a chain reaction that will detonate explosives around Konoha, he catches a kunai in midair just before it hits the target despite being far away from it. He defeats Gennou with his taijutsu during the final confrontation.

In the Shinobazu arc, Naruto accompanies Sakura and Lee to escort Gantetsu in prison. When the ship is sliced in half by a metal wire, Lee ends up with Sakura, and finds the orphans Gantetsu had cared for. During the raid on the hideout, he fights the Shinobazu members outside.

In the final filler arc, Lee and Naruto help Gaara fight and defeat an opponent who can absorb his enemies' chakra with his armor. He spars with Tenten, who is upset over being the only member of the Konoha 11 left out of the mission despite having a mission at the time, and notes that in order to be able to face Naruto when he returns, they too must become stronger.

[edit] Part II

Rock Lee in Part II
Rock Lee in Part II

[edit] Rescue Gaara arc

Fearing the worst Tsunade sends Team Guy to help Kakashi's Squad rescue Gaara.

When they leave they are attacked by Kisame at the exact same time that Team 7 is attacked by Itachi Uchiha. Kisame is quite angered that Guy doesn't remember him from their fight in Part I. Kisame soon captures Rock Lee, Neji and Tenten but by opening the 6th gate and using a move called Morning Peacock, Guy ends the fight quickly and they move on.

Even though they left a few days after Team Kakashi they arrive a few minutes before Kakashi's Team. The two Squads find out that there is a five seal barrier on the Akatsuki headquarters. A jutsu that involves putting 5 seals in 5 different locations. So Team Guy goes to remove them so that they may enter the current Akatsuki Headquarters. But as they remove them they are attacked by clones of themselves. When they are about to be defeated, Lee figures out how to beat the clones-by being stronger than when they meet them. With that, they all make up a new technique and defeat their clones. Team Guy races back to help team Kakashi. Unfortunately Gaara is dead, but they take him to a open field and Elder Chiyo performs a self sacrificing jutsu and brings Gaara back. The two teams and a bunch of other sand ninja that showed up, all go back to the Sand Village, where Gaara gets a huge welcome back by the whole village. As they leave Guy is carrying a wounded Kakashi piggy-back style and Lee thinking its training, tells Neji to get on his back so that they may race back to Konoha.

[edit] Personality

Lee is known for speaking respectfully to others, being very proper in both English and Japanese language versions, and never using contractions or swearing. He also uses formal Japanese, applying proper titles ("-san", "-kun", etc.) to anyone he meets. His relationship with Guy has also caused him to acquire many of Guy's traits. Lee's green jumpsuit and shiny bowl haircut, having already had Guy's distinctive thick eyebrows (leading to the nickname of "Bushy Brow"), are direct results of his modeling himself in his sensei's image. In Part II he even begins wearing a flack jacket like Guy. Guy's influence has also caused the reshaping of Lee's personality, and his dedication to his promises as well as his belief that one cannot dislike food are also characteristics of Guy.

Lee has a number of other odd personality traits, though whether or not they are results of Guy's mentorship is unknown. 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 also has a keen sense of honor and respects his opponents, refusing to hold grudges against those who have defeated him and returning favors to those that have helped him. This innate goodness of heart is proved by his befriending Gaara and forgiving him for crushing his arm and leg and putting him in hospital and then trying to kill him in his sleep. Lee feels others should show the same respect towards their opponents, and is disgusted whenever someone is unnecessarily cruel to their enemies.

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 is initially most evident with his rivalry with Neji Hyuga, having learned from Guy that having a rival will provide incentive to succeed. Neji, a "genius," finds Lee's efforts of bettering himself to be in vain, believing Lee to be stuck as a "failure" for the rest of his life. As such, Lee resolves to prove Neji wrong, and confronts another "genius," Sasuke Uchiha in an attempt to test his worth. While Lee maintains the desire to defeat Neji in a fight throughout the Chunin Exams, after Neji's eventual defeat by Naruto Uzumaki, another "failure", he seems less interested in this goal. Neji's rejection of his previous belief in fate may also have contributed to this, as he now respects Lee, believing that he will surpass the gifted with enough work, and that he would have given up if he were in Lee's situation.

During his battle with Gaara during the Chunin Exams, Lee's attempts to prove himself have terrible consequences for him. Gaara's abilities render Lee's attempts to damage him futile, and Lee's attempts at using his more powerful techniques to defeat Gaara leave his body broken. After Gaara's attacks further damage his body, crushing his left arm and leg, Lee is left injured so badly that he can no longer pursue life as a ninja. Despite this, Lee would often sneak out of his hospital room in attempts to train. When Tsunade offers him an operation that carries a fifty percent chance of returning him to his former state, and a fifty percent chance of killing him, Lee is hesitant to accept the operation. While he can't stand the thought of not living as a ninja, he is scared by the possibility that he will die before he can fully prove himself. Through Guy's encouragement and words of dedication to him, Lee goes through with the operation and survives, causing his resolve to get stronger to only increase.

Shortly after his introduction, Lee reveals that he likes Sakura Haruno, asking her to be his girlfriend and vowing to protect her immediately after they meet. While she does not seem to share these feelings for him and considers him weird, Lee maintains these feelings throughout the Chunin Exams. At one point, he distracts himself from looking for resting Genin groups with a task of catching falling leaves, the success of which would 'prove' Sakura loves him. He purposely abandons this in order to save the life of an endangered squirrel, leading him to find Sakura, also endangered. He comes to her rescue, against three to one odds and uses forbidden techniques in an attempt to protect her, considering her someone dear to him. Sakura becomes more appreciative after this and punches Naruto whenever he insults Lee. Despite this, she does not seem to have any feelings for him, as she refers to him by the more formal "Lee-san", as opposed to "Lee-kun". The only apparent return of his feelings is when she brings him a bouquet of flowers while he is in the hospital to wish him well, catching him when he trips and falls in reaching for them, and in her gentle wishes and telling him that if he ever needs anything all he has to do is ask, which moves him nearly to the point of tears. After the Exams' conclusion, Lee's interest in Sakura goes largely unaddressed. Despite this, when Naruto fights Lee in the Lee's Dojo arc, he transforms into Sakura, causing Lee to forget about the fight long enough for Naruto to attack him, and in Part II, he is especially pleased that Sakura is doing well against Sasori. Also Lee envisions Sakura when fighting his clone, resulting in Lee figuring out how to win that battle.


[edit] Abilities

Guy's leadership has also influenced Lee's training habits, which, coupled with his hard-working resolve, has allowed Lee to rapidly improve. When making a promise, for example, Lee assigns himself arduous tasks to complete in the event that he doesn't provide. For example, he promises himself that if he cannot do a certain number of exercises in a row, he will have to do a larger number of other exercises. As he usually barely fails each goal, he usually trains for a long period of time on each promise. Since Guy began training him, Lee has worn heavy weights on his ankles, increasing his strength at the cost of inhibiting his speed to levels that his peers still consider quite fast. Upon removing the weights, Lee's speed vastly increases, making it almost impossible to see his movements with the unaided eye. As such, the removal of his weights is a huge trump card for Lee, and in most situations doing so can all but guarantee victory. Lee has trained so extensively he can run and even fight while unconscious, using nothing but pure muscle memory. Over the timeskip he becomes a Chunin, indicating his training has paid off well.

Lee after opening the third chakra gate
Lee after opening the third chakra gate

Through Guy's teachings, Lee has learned many powerful taijutsu techniques. The most basic of these is his Strong Fist style of combat, a martial art style focusing on external damage. Lee has also learned how to open the first five of eight chakra gates, a feat that is difficult for even the most talented ninja. Because of the danger to his body that 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). 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.

Lee has manifested a natural predisposition towards the Drunken Fist or Loopy Fist in the English dub. When he drinks as little as one drop of alcohol, or Elixer in the English dub, he becomes an unpredictable and unstoppable force of destruction and chaos. His actions while drunk are usually a combination of misguided attempts to impress Guy, regardless of whether or not Guy is around, and he drunkenly attacks any friend or foe that is near him. Guy explains 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. Also in the Naruto Shippuden Movie, Rock Lee was given a chocolate bonbon which is a alcoholic chocolate snack that he eats when he is in a "dire pinch."

[edit] Other Media

  • Rock Lee is a playable character in all the Naruto games. As he cannot use ninjutsu or genjutsu techniques, moves such as the Front and Reverse Lotuses and opening chakra gates serve as the equivalent of other characters' special ninjutsu moves.
  • He appears in Naruto the Movie 3: The Animal Riot of Crescent Moon Island. Lee acts as the third member of Team 7 for the movie's duration. During his battle with Kongou, Lee shows proficiency with nunchaku and a bo, both of which are made from his ankle weights. Its also the first time he actually managed to beat an opponent on screen.

[edit] 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 symbolize human weakness (at least in the beginning).

[edit] Speculation

Some fans have speculated that Lee and Might Guy may be related in some way because of the Naruto series' trend of making characters closely resemble one of their parents. However, this is unlikely as Might Guy would have been 13 when Lee was born. Lee also did not look like Guy when he was younger and only started to dress like him out of respect when he became his Teacher.

[edit] Quotes

  • " Chomp it... And boom! Boom!
  • " A drop-out can defeat a Genius with hard work! "
  • " Primary Lotus! "
  • " GUY SENSEI!!! "
  • " I will not be the only one who loses! "
  • " I will show the world even I can be a splended ninja! "
  • " Sakura, please be my girlfriend? I vow to protect you with my life! "
  • " Guy sensei is the coolest! He practically GLOWS with cool! "
  • " The Lotus of Leaf Village blooms twice. "
  • " I am the Handsome Devil of the Hidden Leaf Villages! My name is Rock Lee! "
  • " If I can't do 400 push-ups I'll hit the dummy 800 times! If I can't hit the dummy 800 times, I'll do 2000 jump ropes! "
  • " I wont lose to Neji "
  • " To protect and maintain one's own ninja way! "
  • " If introducing yourself to a outsider is starting a fight, why no one called me "
  • " Sakura you're so beautiful "
  • " I'll make you proud Guy Sensei!!!! "
  • " Achoooo!!!"
Facts about Rock LeeRDF feed
Age 13 -14
  • Part II: 16 +
Birthdate November 27 +
Blood type A +
Gender Male +
Height 164.2 cm (1.642 m, 5.387 ft, 64.646 in) +
Weight 47.5 kg (104.72 lb) +

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