Disclaimer: This article will contain details revolving around Kakuzu and might contain spoilers for some viewers. Readers are advised to proceed at their own discretion.
Kakuzu was a member of the infamous criminal organization, the Akatsuki, and was a rogue shinobi from Takigakure, also known as the Village Hidden in the Waterfall. Kakuzu played the role of an antagonist in the series.
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Shippuden episode 71: My Friend|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Takaya Hashi|
|English Voice Actor||Paul St. Peter (Episode 135) Fred Tatasciore|
|Affiliation||Takigakure (Village Hidden in the Waterfall) Akatsuki|
Kakuzu belonged to Takigakure, also known as the Village Hidden in the Waterfall, and was an S-rank shinobi. Unfortunately, very little is known about his childhood and past as his heritage is still shrouded in mystery. Because of his formidable abilities, the higher-ups of Takigakure assigned him a mission to assassinate The First Hokage of Konoha, Hashirama Senju, who is renowned as the God of Shinobi. Although he was one of the strongest shinobi of his time, he was still no match for Hashirama Senju. Despite the fact that he laid his life on the line for his village and faced overwhelming danger, he was severely punished for failing in his mission. Kakuzu developed a fierce hatred for Takigakure as he escaped from prison as a result of this treatment. Kakuzu killed the village elders, stole their hearts, and left with the knowledge of the most valuable kinjutsu (forbidden jutsu) in the village, known as Earth Grudge Fear. He earned a living as a rogue ninja by engaging in black market bounty hunting and ripping out the still-beating hearts of formidable shinobi in order to lengthen his own lifespan and prowess.
At some point, he was tracked down by the infamous criminal organization, the Akatsuki, and soon he became a member of it. It is stated that in his early years in the Akatsuki, he had already killed his first four partners due to his short temper and used their hearts for his Earth Grudge Fear jutsu before teaming up with Hidan. He wanted to kill Hidan as well but he tolerated him, just because he could not get rid of him, as Hidan was immortal and could not die.
Kakuzu acted as the Treasurer of Akatsuki. He would often go on missions for the sake of collecting funds. In the Akatsuki Suppression Mission Arc, Kakuzu and Hidan were tasked with hunting down and capturing the Two-Tails Jinchuriki, Yugito Nii, which they accomplished relatively easily, proving how strong the Akatsuki members are. After they handed over the jinchuriki to Zetsu, the duo headed over to the Land of Fire, where midway through, Kakuzu decided to attack the Fire Temple and capture a monk, Chiriku, to claim the hefty bounty he had on his head. After defeating Chiriku and annihilating the monks present, the duo headed on their way.
As Kakuzu and Hidan reached the bounty station to claim the bounty, they were confronted by a shinobi team of Konoha (Hidden Leaf Village), led by Asuma Sarutobi. The Konoha shinobi had been waiting for them as they were informed of the situation by a monk who escaped their grasp. The Konoha shinobi first attacked Hidan while Kakuzu was still inside the station. Even though they thought they had successfully eliminated him, they were surprised to find out that Hidan was immortal and cannot be killed by usual means. As Kakuzu made his way outside, he decided to stay on the sidelines as Hidan instructed him to. Kakuzu noticed Asuma and warned Hidan to not let him go as he had a huge bounty as well.
Asuma was able to behead Hidan with Shikamaru’s help, rendering Hidan immobile. Kakuzu intervened and sewed Hidan’s head back to his body. While Kakuzu fought Kotetsu and Izumo, Hidan landed a fatal blow on Asuma, which led to his unfortunate demise. Although Kakuzu wanted to finish the job and claim the bounty on Asuma’s head, he retreated with Hidan following the orders of Pain, the leader of Akatsuki, to extract the Two Tails Chakra Beast from its host and seal it.
After the sealing was finished, Kakuzu and Hidan started looking for Naruto Uzumaki, the jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Team Asuma, which consisted of Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka, and Choji Akimichi along with Kakashi Hatake for the time being, confronted them to avenge Asuma's demise. Shikamaru tricked both Akatsuki members into being pinned in place using Asuma's chakra blades, but Kakuzu was quick to analyze the trap and was able to escape using a separate arm. Kakuzu was able to harden his skin, making him largely impervious to further attacks. Kakashi analyzed Yakuza's fighting style and realized that Kakuzu was using Earth-Style based techniques to harden his skin. With this newfound knowledge, Kakashi attacked Kakuzu and pierced his heart with his Lightning Blade, exploiting the natural weakness Earth Release possesses against Lightning Release.
To Kakashi’s surprise, Kakuzu launched a counterattack. Kakashi was shocked as he was sure that he pierced his heart. Kakuzu then revealed his secret technique and the fact that he had five hearts in total and Kakashi had destroyed only one of them. Kakuzu then removed his cloak, exposing his back which revealed four masks on his back, one of which was broken as Kakashi pierced its heart. Kakuzu then used his ability and gave the masks their own bodies, giving them the ability to move and fight freely. This proved to be a lot to handle for the Konoha shinobi and they had their hands full. As Kakashi destroyed his heart, Kakuzu now planned to replace it with Kakashi’s heart while Shikamaru used this opportunity to drag Hidan into the woods with his shadow manipulation technique, separating Kakuzu from his partner and putting an end to their deadly combo attacks.
Kakashi was able to handle Kakuzu and keep him at bay but Kakuzu captured him by attacking Ino and Choji, forcing Kakashi to save those young shinobi and fall into Kakuzu’s trap. Although Kakuzu was close to stealing Kakashi’s heart, Kakashi was saved by Shikamaru as he tricked Hidan into using Kakuzu’s blood in his rituals and destroying yet another one of Kakuzu’s hearts. Although Kakuzu had lost two of his hearts, he was still a threat as he possessed three more hearts. He then caught the rest of Team 10 to replenish his lost hearts. Fortunately, Naruto, along with the rest of Team 7, arrived on the scene on time and saved them.
At first, Kakuzu did not see Naruto as a threat but then he changed his mind after witnessing Naruto’s Wind Release: Rasenshuriken. Although this technique was deadly, Naruto was unable to maintain it for a long time and it was a short-range technique, meaning it posed no threat to Kakuzu as long as he maintained his distance. Kakuzu switched to his long-range attacking mode as Naruto prepared his next move. As Kakuzu attempted to eliminate Naruto from a distance and assumed that he had succeeded, he realized that was a shadow clone while Naruto attacked him with Rasenshuriken from the other side. Naruto’s attack destroyed Kakuzu’s remaining three hearts and his chakra network, rendering him unable to do anything. Kakashi then finished him off with his lightning blade.
In the Fourth Great Ninja War, Kabuto Yakushi reincarnated Kakuzu along with other deceased members of the Akatsuki to fight in the war. Kakuzu fought on the battlefield at the coast of the Land of Lightning. He emerged from the sea alongside the White Zetsu Army and started wreaking havoc on the battlefield, annihilating anyone in his path as he confronted the First Division of the Allied Shinobi Forces.
After killing the shinobi of the First Division and stealing their hearts, he unleashed his masks as soon as acquired his fifth heart. As the battle raged on, his lightning heart was destroyed by Tenten while his other masks were defeated by Choji, Darui, Izumo and Kotetsu. As he lost all of his hearts, he was restrained by Choji with his giant fist and was later bound to stop him in his tracks.
After Itachi Uchiha was successful in releasing the Edo Tensei no Jutsu, all the reincarnated souls started to pass on to the afterworld, as they were now free from the binds of this forbidden jutsu. Just like many others, Kakuzu’s soul was freed and passed on to the afterlife.
Kakuzu was a rather peculiar individual. He was one of the few antagonists in the series who can be purely identified as evil. Unlike most of the antagonists who did what they did for the greater good, Kakuzu did not mix himself with such notions. He did evil things, killed people and stole their hearts because he simply could.
Despite his loyalty and past willingness to lay down his life for the village, Kakuzu had a violent loathing for the same. He was supposed to kill Hashirama Senju and for failing to do so, he received unusually severe punishment. He retaliated by ruthlessly betraying Takigakure by stealing their most treasured kinjutsu and murdering all of the elders before fleeing.
Kakuzu was a penny-pinching and greedy person. He would often act based on the maximum profit he could get from a particular task and was frequently reluctant to become involved in something if there was nothing to gain. He once claimed that he had a tendency to forget opponents who were not valuable after finishing them off. He even said that the only reliable thing in the world is money. He referred to himself as the "Treasurer of Akatsuki".
Kakuzu was kind of a lone wolf and could not work together with anyone. It was stated that before Hidan, he had eliminated many of his partners for petty reasons, like being irritating, or simply getting in his way. One of the major reasons behind Hidan being paired up with him is Hidan’s immortality. Hidan shared the same personality trait with Kakuzu as he also tended to kill on a whim. With both of their unique abilities, they were suited to be partnered with each other because even if they tried, they could not kill each other.
Kakuzu was not particularly a religious person. The only things he valued in life were strength and money. He would often make fun of Hidan’s rituals and even attacked a monk, Chiriku, in the Fire Temple for the sake of money as Chiriku had a huge bounty on his head.
Despite the fact that Kakuzu had kind of a short temper and would often kill on a whim, he was rather cautious and calm-minded on occasion. He appeared to assess a situation carefully, coming up with all possible outcomes and then preparing accordingly. Kakuzu constantly cautioned Hidan not to let down his guard and then mocked him when he did. Despite his stern demeanor, Kakuzu also appeared to be fairly obedient. Kakuzu instantly obeyed Pain's orders to retreat despite the huge bounty he could have earned by capturing Asuma. In his rage, he appeared to ignore the organization's larger objectives as he tried to kill Naruto, despite the fact that Akatsuki must capture every jinchuriki alive in order to achieve their ultimate objective.
Kakuzu was a rather tall, tan-skinned man with long, dark-brown hair. His eyes had red sclerae, no pupils, and green irides. Despite his mature age, he still appears to be a man in his prime, with a very strong frame. His Hidden Waterfall headband covered his forehead, a black mask covered his lower face with his eyes exposed, and his mouth was stitched together at the borders underneath it before he joined the Akatsuki. He was dressed in a dark-green pair of ruffled-up pants, no shirt to cover the stitches on his body, and standard black shinobi sandals.
He kept the black mask covering his lower face after joining the Akatsuki, but his clothing changed with time. He was wearing a gray hood over his hair, the typical Akatsuki cloak with red clouds, a Takigakure forehead protector with a scratch in the middle signifying his rouge status. He also dressed in gray slacks with matching shinobi sandals as part of his attire. His left middle finger was adorned with a dark green Akatsuki ring and also had brown nail polish.
After being reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi with Edo Tensei no Jutsu and serving as a reincarnated shinobi in the Fourth Great Ninja War, Kakuzu acquired dark gray sclerae, which are typical of reincarnated souls, but he kept his green, pupil-free irides and his hair was exposed, just as it had been when he had died. He also took off his vest and replaced it with a dark red cloak with a white lining, but he kept the four masks on his back.
Kakuzu was from a rather strong generation and one of the strongest shinobi of his time. Kakuzu was a member of the S-rank shinobi and a valuable member of the infamous criminal organization, the Akatsuki. He was one of the few individuals who faced Hashirama Senju, renowned as the God of Shinobi, and lived to tell the tale.
Although he was not from a strong bloodline, Kakuzu possessed great physical prowess. He had rather fast reflexes. He was able to react to and intervene with Kakashi's Lightning Blade, a feat only a handful had achieved. Apart from speed and fast reflexes, he also possessed great physical strength, capable of sending someone flying with his attacks. Although he did not acquire these naturally, Kakuzu possessed all five basic chakra natures, namely:
Although he was able to manipulate all five basic chakra natures, his innate chakra nature affinity is stated to be Earth Release.
Kakuzu mastered a rather peculiar and cruel kinjutsu (forbidden jutsu). With this, he was able to extend his lifespan and avoid death by acquiring and implanting the hearts of others. This technique made him immortal to some extent. Other than this, he was also able to acquire the chakra nature of the individuals whose hearts he stole. This technique had a visual giveaway as Kakuzu had four masks implanted on his back, each possessing a chakra nature. Kakazu was able to give these masks their own body, making them capable of fighting on their own which proved beneficial when it came to winning by greater numbers. When one of his hearts is destroyed, the mask of the said heart is also destroyed.
These are the four face masks that Kakazu was seen using:
Here is a list of all the jutsus that Kakuzu possessed in his arsenal or showcased throughout the course of the series:
Along with great physical prowess and formidable jutsus, Kakuzu also possessed keen intellect. He was undeniably the oldest member of Akatsuki and the experience he gained in his lifetime did not go to waste. He was quite observant and showcased his ability to quickly assess and devise counterattacks based on his opponent’s actions.
Kakuzu plays a significant role in the Naruto series' novels and video games, in addition to the manga and anime adaptations and movies. With the publication of Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom, Kakuzu makes his literary debut in the novel category.
Kakuzu is also part of Naruto OVAs and made his debut with Naruto Shippuden: UNSG Anime Cutscenes. He also appeared in Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie as a member of Akatsuki dispatched by the Hidden Leaf Village to aid Naruto in his battle.
With Naruto Shippuden: Gekito Ninja Taisen! EX 3, Kakuzu made his video game debut. Kakuzu is a playable character in the games mentioned below:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3||17 November 2009|
|Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 3||27 November 2008|
|Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! Special||2 December 2010|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3||28 April 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 Impact||20 October 2011||18 October 2011|
|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: Shinobi Collection||2014|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu||27 July 2015|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Online||14 April 2013||20 July 2016|
To Hidan - "Even Hell runs on money. I'd be just fine."
To Kakashi - "Looking at your forehead protector reminds me of the very first Konoha shinobi I fought… the First Hokage, that is."
To Kakashi - "Heh… No one is immortal."
To Kakashi - "It's only fitting that I take your heart to replace the one you've destroyed!"
A. Naruto Uzumaki attacked Kakuzu with his newly developed jutsu, Rasenshuriken. Even though it destroyed Kakuzu’s chakra networks, it did not kill him. He was finished off by Kakashi Hatake, the Copy Ninja.
A. Kakuzu was voiced by Takaya Hashi in the original Japanese version of the anime. Paul St. Peter voiced Kakuzu in episode 135 of Naruto Shippuden and the rest of his appearance was voiced by Fred Tatasciore in the English dub version of the anime.
A. Kakuzu was a member of the infamous criminal organization, the Akatsuki, and was a rogue shinobi from Takigakure, also known as the Village Hidden in the Waterfall. Kakuzu played the role of an antagonist in the series.