Sarutobi Asuma was a Konohagakure Jōnin and a member of the Sarutobi Clan. He was also a former member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja. He led his own team of genin, Team 10, which consisted of Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka and Chōji Akimichi; combined, known as the Ino-Shika-Chō trio. He also played a major role in assisting Naruto Uzumaki with the latter’s nature transformation training with Wind Release. He taught Shikamaru the meaning of a real “King”, while they played shōgi.
Even if it was a little modest, Asuma left behind a valuable legacy. He left a stellar legacy of military prowess in Konoha and the greater shinobi world, which many new Konoha shinobi look up to and wish to imitate. Additionally, he will always be known for his abilities because he was chosen as one of the twelve individuals who were powerful enough to defend their nation’s leader.
He left behind his lover Kurenai Yūhi, with whom he fathered a child. Upon his dying breath, he asked Shikamaru to protect his child, who later would grow up to follow him and Asuma. Even now, his students continue his tradition of taking their children to Yakiniku Q to celebrate their achievements.
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Episode 3|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Jūrōta KosugiFujiko Takimoto|
|English Voice Actor||Doug Erholtz|
|Birth date||October 18|
|Team||Twelve Guardian Ninja|
Asuma was the son of Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi and Biwako. He became friends with Kurenai Yūhi during his entrance ceremony. Later, he was placed on a team with Kurenai and Raidō Namiashi during the Chūnin Exams.
When the Nine-Tailed Fox attack was unleashed in the village, Asuma along with the rest of the young Konoha shinobi were barred from involvement in the village’s defenses by Shinku Yūhi and other senior shinobi. A few years after the incident, Asuma became an uncle to Konohamaru. He also became jōnin at that point.
He had a disagreement with his father about seven years before the start of the series. Asuma left Konoha to pursue his personal interests, and he joined the Twelve Guardian Ninja, a force that guarded the Daimyō of the Land of Fire. During this period, he developed a close friendship with the monk Chiriku, who would go on to become the Fire Temple’s head monk.
Before returning to Konoha to continue military duties, he amassed a bounty of 35 million ryō on the black market, something he felt especially proud of because it was a tribute to his competence, and he even boasted that his bounty was 5 million more than Chiriku’s.
When Asuma returned to the village, he resumed his jōnin duties and became a teacher to Inomatsu and probably some other students. Watching his classmate fall deeper into self-pity after losing Obito Uchiha and Rin Nohara, Asuma, along with Might Guy and Kurenai, decided to speak with the Third Hokage, and voiced their disapproval of Kakashi being in Anbu with such bitterness and suggested that he be re-assigned as a jōnin teacher in the hopes of restoring Kakashi’s kindness.
When Chōji, fearful of the competition, considered forfeiting his match during the Chūnin Exam preliminaries, Asuma convinced him not to by offering to take him out for an “all you can eat” barbecue (yakiniku kr Korean kalbi). Asuma also stated that if the match got too intense, he would stop it. Both Ino and Shikamaru noticed that Asuma didn’t actually help in that situation.
Shikamaru was left alone to defend against an invasion of Otogakure shinobi during the Konoha Crush. Later, just as Shikamaru was going to be killed by the nine Otogakure shinobi, Asuma appeared and single-handedly beat the group, rescuing his student. After the invasion, Asuma attended his father the Third Hokage’s funeral.
When Kisame Hoshigaki and Itachi Uchiha had entered the village, Asuma managed to catch Kisame off guard with his trench knives during his brief struggle, creating a wound on Kisame’s cheek below the eye. Kisame switched to ninjutsu noticing the blade made of wind chakra, while Asuma appeared to be still battle stationed with the swords. Soon, Kakashi Hatake arrived and copied Kisame’s technique to deflect the attack. Asuma, Kurenai and Kakashi battled the two Akatsuki members, but Kakashi was soon defeated by Itachi’s Tsukuyomi.
Might Guy arrived just in time to stop the Akatsuki duo and buy time for the rest of his comrades who were about to be attacked by Kisame, which led to him coaching Asuma and Kurenai on the fundamentals of fighting a Sharingan. The Akatsuki duo fled the area to pursue Naruto Uzumaki, their true target.
Asuma was later seen among the villagers at Tsunade’s inauguration ceremony as the next Hokage.
Asuma chastised Chōji for eating too much and not practicing enough before he set out with Shikamaru’s unit to track down the rogue Sasuke Uchiha and the Sound Four. After the mission when Chōji requested Asuma for more severe training, the latter agreed and admired his student’s will.
Tsunade assigned Asuma and Kurenai to bring the chūnin criminal Mizuki in for questioning about his alleged involvement with Orochimaru. The Legendary Stupid Brothers, Fūjin and Raijin, greeted the couple as they arrived at the Lead Village Maximum Security Prison. Soon, both Asuma and Kurenai were outnumbered and beaten unconscious, and were later found by Naruto, who brought them to the hospital for medical treatment.
Konoha planned to hold an early Chūnin Exams alongside Sunagakure about two years after Naruto left the village with Jiraiya for training. After the first exam, which was held in Konoha, Asuma and Kurenai served as the second exam’s supervisors, and alerted genin teams that weren’t among the first 30 to arrive at the checkpoint that they had already lost and couldn’t participate in the second round.
Later, after the second exam commenced, he, Kurenai and Guy received a message from Tsunade to stay alert for possible assassination attempts on Gaara since many still didn’t accept him as the Kazekage.
Asuma appeared standing at the grave of the Third Hokage, commenting on how he was finally beginning to grasp what the Third had taught him. He admitted that he had always felt disconnected from Konoha, but after witnessing his father’s sacrifice for the village, he was now happy to be a member of the Sarutobi clan.
Later, as Naruto began training to master wind chakra, he sought assistance from Asuma, who was also a wind-type user. Asuma agreed to offer him tips in exchange for paying for his team’s next lunch.
When team Kakashi returned to Konoha after their failed mission, Asuma recognized a young monk from the Fire Temple named Sora who accompanied them. He invited Sora and the boys of the Konoha 11 to join him for a guys day out at a restaurant. He then confessed to Sora that he knew his father and that he murdered him for attempting to kill the Hokage. An infuriated Sora tried to attack him, but was stopped by a few Anbu members, and Sora stormed out.
Later, members of Furido’s 4-man team invaded Konoha, resurrecting multiple shinobi. Asuma recognized several of the resurrected shinobi from the Twelve Guardian Ninja, who planned to destroy Konoha with a deadly technique. He fought Kitane and eventually defeated him. Furido stayed after the three members of Furido’s 4-man team were killed.
Asuma found out that Furido was Kazuma, Sora’s father, and the man Asuma thought he had murdered. Kazuma then removed the seal he implanted on Sora over 15 years ago, exposing him to be a Pseudo-Jinchūriki of the Nine Tails. Asuma fought Kazuma, and later, with Sai’s assistance, killed Kazuma. Ultimately, Naruto was able to stop Sora by releasing the chakra sealed within the nine tails.
When the invaders failed, Sora, having come to his senses, left Konoha. After that, Asuma was seen playing shōgi with Shikamaru.
Asuma was assigned to the Twenty Platoons alongside Shikamaru, Kotetsu Hagane and Izumo Kamizuki. His crew, along with the rest of the group, was tasked with tracking down and, if possible, capturing a pair of Akatsuki members who had infiltrated the Land of Fire.
Asuma and his squad ultimately tracked down the Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuzu, at a Bounty Station, where they found out that Hidan had become immortal following their first attack. Hidan told Kakuzu to stay out of it because he wanted to do this on his own. Asuma chose to approach him directly and fight him, while Shikamaru supported him from a distance with his shadows, keeping Hidan on his toes.
Hidan’s counter-attack worsened the situation when he “linked” himself to Asuma via a ritual. Hidan took a Grim Reaper-like form, causing any bodily harm to himself to be shared with Asuma while at the same time not hindering himself in any way. Shikamaru’s quick thinking allowed Asuma to decapitate Hidan with his chakra-extended trench knives after breaking Hidan’s ritual and pinning him down. Surprisingly, Hidan’s served head began to speak, hurling expletives at Asuma and then Kakuzu for failing to assist him.
Kakuzu finally intervened, and chastised his partner for letting his guard down and then briefly attacked Asuma, so he couldn’t stop Kakuzu from sewing Hidan's head back onto his body. Hidan resumed the rite after his body was restored, and impaled himself in the heart. Though the attack did not kill Asuma immediately, it was lethal. The rest of Team 10 arrived as backup, which forced the Akatsuki duo to depart due to a telepathic call from Pain. Before passing away, Asuma said his final goodbyes to his students and smoked one last cigarette.
Later, Shikamaru took revenge on Hidan for killing Asuma, where he appeared in front of Shikamaru and congratulated him for finally slaying the immortal. Asuma vanished in a puff of cigarette smoke after entrusting his Will of Fire to Shikamaru, just as his student killed Hidan with a massive explosion. Shikamaru was also able to comprehend who the “King” of Shōgi was in the actual world thanks to his flashback memories. It is the next generation of shinobi, such as Asuma and Kurenai’s unborn child, and how they will be taught to care for and live peacefully by the great shinobi of today. That’s why Asuma gave his child to Shikamaru as an apprentice and future sensei.
Asuma moved to the coast of the Land of Lightning and appeared from the sea with the White Zetsu Army and a few other resurrected shinobi before assaulting the enemy First Division. He initially confronted Chōza Akimichi with Dan, but soon parted from them and began battling other shinobi, engulfing several in a massive explosion.
Later, Asuma was confronted by his former students, whom he praised for their progress before engaging them in battle. Asuma moved involuntarily to attempt to assist them by advising them about the best ways to counteract his attacks. Shikamaru and Ino were able to battle despite their unwillingness to harm their teacher, but Chōji couldn’t bring himself to attack his beloved sensei. Asuma got an opportunity to attack but Ino managed to throw Chōji out of the assault’s direction. Asuma intentionally tried to irritate Chōji, whom he even called obese, but was ultimately forced by his comrades to come to his help once again.
Ino then took control of Chōji’s body to battle Asuma in his place, but Asuma took advantage of her confusion by attacking with his Fire Release: Ash Pile Burning technique. Chōza, on the other hand, dived in front of the attack, sparing them from injury and eventually supplying Chōji with the necessary motivation after remembering the oath he swore as the next Akimichi leader. Asuma cheerfully encouraged them to defeat him after observing Chōji’s new found confidence and makeover. Despite the combined efforts of Ino and Shikamaru, Asuma was unable to dodge Chōji’s attack and was sent flying over a neighboring cliff, where he is hilariously immobilized with his previous weapons. He thanked his students after complimenting them on their perfect formation before being completely tied and sealed by the Sealing Team.
When the Impure World Reincarnation technique was released, a light encased Asuma’s sealed body as the technique was dissolved and his soul returned to the afterlife.
An adult Sasuke and Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, followed Urashiki Ōtsutsuki back in time, arriving just after Sasuke’s desertion from Konoha, to protect the young Naruto from being captured by the enemy. While Sasuke and Boruto claimed to be traveling entertainers in order to not disrupt the chronology, Boruto was eventually invited to join Naruto and Team Asuma at a BBQ restaurant, much to Asuma’s dismay at having to spend even more money than normal.
Asuma was a laid-back individual who did not get involved in things unless absolutely essential, as evidenced by his refusal to assist Hinata Hyūga during her fight in the Chūnin Exams. He was a heavy smoker, but he would quickly quit under particular circumstances, such as when his father died or when he found out that Kurenai was pregnant. Although he did not always agree with his father, Asuma eventually learned to accept his father’s role as Hokage, referring to him as a fine father and being pleased to be born into the Sarutobi clan.
Despite his blunt personality, and often referring to his students as “gluttons” (Chōji), “loud mouths” (Ino), and “slackers” (Shikamaru), he had a very strong connection with all three. He frequently took them for lunch and dinner, where Chōji would frequently overeat, forcing Asuma to pay more and apologize profusely to the owner.
Asuma attempted to use bribery and blatant trickery to manipulate his students into doing what he wanted in order to help them overcome their underachieving natures. This was especially noticeable with Chōji, whom he was usually able to persuade into action with the promise of food, and Shikamaru, on whom he had to rely on games such as shōgi to measure his skill level. He spent most of the time with Shikamaru, whom he was closest with among his students. In their spare time, Asuma and Shikamaru would play shōgi or Go, however he was never able to defeat Shikamaru. He was the one who found out that the lazy Shikamaru was actually a genius with an I.Q. Of over 200.
Throughout the series, it was extensively hinted that Asuma was romantically involved with fellow jōnin Kurenai Yūhi, whom he had known since childhood. The two appeared together in the majority of their scenes together, and the other characters made a point of mentioning it multiple times. Their relationship was finally revealed by Kurenai when she disclosed that she was pregnant with Asuma’s child.
Asuma had brown eyes, olive skin, short black spiky hair, and a beard. He wore the traditional Konoha shinobi costume with the sleeves rolled up halfway, a flak jacket, conventional shinobi footwear, and a forehead protector. He also wore a ribbon around his waist with the kanji for “Fire” written on it, a pair of black bangles, and bandages wrapped around the arms of his sleeves.
When he was a genin, Asuma wore a white short-sleeved shirt with a blue and black collar over chain-mail armor, a basic white vest, black pants, and a white belt. He was shown wearing a plain long-sleeved shirt with bandages on the arms, jeans, the sash showing that he was a guardian, and a jacket with a fur collar while he was a member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja. He was also carrying his trench knives at that point.
Asuma was a highly accomplished and well-respected Jōnin of the village, warning Shikaku Nara’s praise as a brilliant shinobi who is difficult to bring down. He developed a stellar record in military prowess, which many aspiring shinobi respected. His abilities won him a place in the Twelve Guardian Ninja, an elite hand-picked team that guards the Daimyō of the Land of Fire — a duty that subsequently earned him a 35,000,000 ryō reward. During the Konoha Crush, he was able to easily take down nine Oto-nin, all of whom were Chūnin or higher level, and compete against Hidan, a powerful member of the Akatsuki, while simultaneously protecting his squad.
Asuma was regarded as Konoha’s most skilled close-ranged melee combatant. His fighting style was mostly based on taijutsu, which he paired with his particular trench knives to produce a melee-style fighting approach. These blades are composed of a unique metal that can easily be imbued with chakra.
With his Flying Swallow, he could use chakra to extend the blades and hurt an enemy many feet behind the blades’ physical range, as well as boost the blades’ cutting strength to the point of effortlessly slicing through trees, rocks and even metal. He was also physically strong enough to use his trench knives to stop Kisame Hoshikage’s Samehada.
Asuma was taught the Fire Temple’s ultimate technique, the Welcoming Approach: Thousand-Armed Murder. While he admitted that he was not as competent as Chiriku, he was able to properly manifest the spirit to attack and defend to some level.
Asuma was particularly fond of Wind Release. He’d mostly use it in conjunction with his trench knives to boost its lethality. He stated to Naruto that the trench knives will have enough striking force to pierce through rock due to their love for nature. He could also create a tremendous torrent of wind and use his wind-based chakra to levitate and operate his trench blades remotely.
Asuma could also use Fire Release. With it, he could use the Fire Release: Ash Pile Burning skill to expel a dense cloud of gunpowder-infused ash, which when ignited causes a terrible explosion, leaving the target with third-degree burns.
(To Ino, before he died) “Ino, you are strong willed, and dependable. Chōji and Shikamaru, they are total goof-offs. Keep them in line. And, don’t let Sakura beat you. In ninjutsu, or romance.”
(To Chōji, before he died) “Chōji, you’re a kind man who cares for his comrades. That’s why… you’ll become a shinobi more powerful than everyone else. Be more confident in yourself. And… maybe diet a little.”
(To Shikamaru, before he died) “And Shikamaru. You’re so smart.. and have great sense as a shinobi. You could definitely become Hokage. But… you’re too lazy… You’d probably hate it. I never even beat you once at shōgi.. Ah, yes… Remember our talk about the King?..”
(To Shikamaru, before he died) “The “kings” are the unborn children who will grow up to take care of the leaf. One is still in Kurenai’s womb… hers and my child. Take care of my “king”!”
(Last words) “I want one last smoke.”
(To Team Asuma about his last words before being sealed) “Then let me add to them something I couldn’t say back then… I’ve got nothing more to say to you three. Your Ino-Shika-Chō formation was perfect!”
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Lost Tower
Sarutobi Asuma is a playable character in the following video games:
|Game Name||Japanese Release||English Release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3||17 November 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Getikō Ninja Taisen! EX 2||29 November 2007|
|Naruto Shippūden: Getikō Ninja Taisen! EX 3||27 November 2008|
|Naruto Shippūden: Getikō Ninja Taisen! Special||2 December 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 2||24 April 2008||15 September 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3||28 April 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 4||5 April 2007||24 March 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 5||20 December 2007||27 November 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing||14 July 2016||24 August 2016|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3||10 December 2009||11 May 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2||21 October 2010||19 October 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3||18 April 2013||5 March 2013|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4||4 February 2016||9 February 2016|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations||23 February 2012||13 March 2012|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution||11 September 2014||16 September 2014|
|Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Tribes||June 2019||June 2019|
|Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Voltage||22 November 2017||22 November 2017|
|Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2||21 October 2008|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection||2014|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu||27 July 2015|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2||30 September 2004||12 June 2007|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3||22 December 2005||25 March 2008|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Online||14 April 2013||20 July 2016|
A. Asuma Sarutobi was killed by the Akatsuki member, Hidan.
A. No, Konohamaru is Asuma’s nephew. Asuma had a brother, whose son is Konohamaru.
A. Yes, Asuma was the son of the Third Hokage.
A. Asuma was revived by Kabuto Yakushi in preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War.