Momochi Zabuza was a missing-nin from Kirigakure’s Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Most. He was renowned around the shinobi world as “Demon of the Hidden Mist”. He is also the first major antagonist in the Naruto manga and series.
After his death, the Hidden Mist shinobi started associating him with members of Team 7. Even Kisame Hoshigake referenced Zabuza when he first met Kakashi, whereas the Fifth Mizukage and Chōjūrō believed that it was Sasuke who defeated him and Haku. Zabuza himself credited Naruto for his defeat.
Years laters, Zabuza’s sword was stolen from his grave by Tenzen Daikoku, which was later retrieved by Suigetsu Hōzuki. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, when Zabuza and Haku were reanimated and confronted by Kakashi, he admitted it to them: they strove Naruto to become the shinobi and hero he is today. Naruto himself accepts and credits Zabuza and Haku as people who had a huge influence on his life and his perception on the world.
|Alias||Demon of the Hidden Mist Fierce God|
|First Appearance in Anime||Naruto Episode 6|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Unshō Ishizuka|
|English Voice Actor||Steven Blum|
|Team||Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist|
Before Karatachi Yagura became the Fourth Mizukage, Kirigakure began the practice of putting the Academy’s students against each other in death matches as a final exam in a bid to short list the most exceptional students as prime candidates for the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist.
Before Zabuza even became a student, he slaughtered over one hundred Academy students, due to this the practice was discontinued and he thereafter was recognised as the “Demon of the Hidden Mist” in Kirigakure and all around the shinobi world.
Zabuza became known over the years when he became an Anbu, killing Konoha shinobi Kumade Toriichi at that time and eventually joining the Seven Swordsmen. Later at some point, he found Haku, a child who possessed a social kekkei genkai, and started to train the child to be the ultimate weapon. Some day, he and Haku saw the Kaguya clan attacking Kirigakure but they decided not to help his village and soon after, they encountered Kimimaro, who was the sole survivor of the Kaguya Clan.
Before they moved on, Haku wished to speak to Kimimaro, to which Zabuza denied and they kept moving. When the Fourth Mizukage took reign over the Bloody Mist, Zabuza disagreed with his tactics on the village and so he formed a group of people to attempt a coup d’état against the Mizukage, which ultimately led to being betrayed by one of their own, resulting in failed attempt on Yagura’s life.
Later, Zabuza fled the Hidden Mist with Haku and a few of his followers, such as the Demon Brothers, and they all later became mercenaries to collect funds to attempt again in the future; that is why he worked with Gatō. Following his departure he took the Kubikiribōchō with him which caused Kirigakure to lose one of its famed swords. While Zabuza continued to work with corrupt people, countless of his followers became disillusioned about such goals and departed, among those followers was Gengo.
Sometime later, Zabuza was hired by Gatō to kill the bridge builder named Tazuna who, according to Gatō, was a threat to his employer’s business. After the Demon Brothers failed to slay Tazuna, Zabuza decided to take matters into his own hands. Soon, he tracked down Tazuna and found that he was being protected by Kakashi Hatake and his students. He challenged Kakashi to battle, which resulted in Kakashi revealing his Sharingan.
Soon after the battle erupted between Zabuza and Kakashi, he managed to catch Kakashi off guard and imprisoned him with his Water Prison Technique. After doing that, he sent a water clone to slay Tazuna and Kakashi’s team, assuming it to be an easy matter. However, Naruto and Sasuke came up with a plan to sneak up on Zabuza, which forced him to release Kakashi. Kakashi and Zabuza continued their battle, where Kakashi had the upper hand due to his Sharingan abilities, and he managed to defeat Zabuza.
However, Haku appeared disguised as a hunter-nin, as soon as Kakashi was about to eliminate Zabuza. Haku threw two needles into Zabuza’s neck, which apparently killed him. He took Zabuza’s body away, pretending to destroy it, but in reality, he did so to revive Zabuza as the needles he used on Zabuza only paralyzed him. After Zabuza recovered, he needed a week to recover properly, and he planned to kill Tazuna and Kakashi then.
A week later, Zabuza and Haku appeared before Team 7 for a rematch, where Zabuza fought Kakashi, and Haku dealt with Kakashi’s students. Zabuza made aware Haku of the Sharingan’s abilities, blanketed the area in a thick mist and kept his eyes closed to counter both of the Sharingan’s abilities.
He slashed Kakashi using his sword which severely injured Kakashi. However, Kakashi deliberately allowed himself to be attacked and he summoned his ninken to trace out the blood which was now on Zabuza’s sword as well, allowing him to take advantage of the fact that Zabuza kept his eyes closed in a heavy fog to land a surprise attack and pin him down.
As Kakashi prepared to slay Zabuza using his Lightning Cutter, Haku appeared as a human shield and took the attack on himself, fulfilling his promise of being a tool for his master. Zabuza, not willing to waste the opening that Haku created for him, he tried to slash through Haku’s body to kill Kakashi, which went in vain and Zabuza was injured in the arm which disabled him.
Soon, Gatō arrived and withdrew their agreement as he decided to hire other henchmen to slay Tazuna. Since Zabuza no longer needed to kill Tazuna, he concluded his battle with Kakashi. Since Naruto witnessed the last moment of the fight, he got really angry towards Zabuza for Haku’s fate. Naruto lectured Zabuza on Haku’s feelings for him and the loyalty he felt towards his master.
Naruto’s remarks moved Zabuza to tears, and he admitted that he truly cared about Haku and regarded him as more than a simple tool. He begged Naruto for a kunai in order to atone for his sins. Naruto answers by throwing a kunai at him, to which Zabuza leaps up, clutching it with his teeth, and charges past Gatō’s soldiers, being stabbed numerous times along the way.
When Zabuza arrived near Gatō, he slashed him and killed him before falling from his injuries. As Gatō’s men withdrew, Zabuza requested Kakashi to take him near Haku, so he could see his face again. Staying by Haku’s side in death, as Haku was in his life, Zabuza wished as he passed away that he might travel to the same place Haku did. Kakashi believed that they would be able to go to that place together. Later, Team 7 buried Zabuza and Haku next to each other, with the Kubikiribōchō stabbed into the ground.
Zabuza was reincarnated by Kabuto Yakushi ahead of the Fourth Shinobi World War. He was later mobilized alongside Haku, Gari, Pakura and Toroi. Gari notified them of their situation after overhearing Zabuza tell Haku that they were no longer in the afterlife. This infuriated Zabuza as he didn’t want to follow someone who would stoop so low as to use the dead.
Later, when they were assaulted by the Surprise Attack Division, Haku shielded them both from the explosive tags carried by Sai’s ink birds. Zabuza, after regenerating, got even more upset over the fact that they were not just brought back but were also rendered impossible to kill. As he charged towards the grounded opponents, he was intercepted by Kakashi, whom he never expected to see again. He greeted Sakura and admired her progress, and also inquired about Naruto and got to know from Kakashi about how well-known Naruto had become.
He begged Kakashi to stop him, as soon as Kabuto wiped the memories of the reanimated shinobi, which resulted in his humanity getting completely shut. He attacked the Third Division, and covered the area in a thick mist, but was soon confronted by Kakashi. During the conflict, the previous generation of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist were summoned to the field to aid the Akatsuki keep the upper hand.
Later Zabuza joined them as well and brandished his damaged Kubikiribōchō. After surviving a futile barrage of various tactics, Zabuza’s blade began to regenerate using the iron gained from his victim’s blood.
Kakashi eventually came in from behind to knock him out, but once again, Haku deflected the strike. Zabuza attacked by slicing through Haku but it hardly injured Kakashi. He charged towards Kakashi again once his blade was restored, but as they clashed, Kakashi severed Zabuza’s sword-holding arm and impaled him through his chest. This allowed Ensui Nara to immobilize Zabuza, who was subsequently seized and sealed by Maki, forcing the mist to clear.
Later, Zabuza’s soul was released into the afterlife when the reanimation jutsu was undone.
Initially, Zabuza was recognised as a charismatic and inspiring individual as he dreamt of a society with shinobi as the ruling class. His personality grew cold as the planned coup on the life of Fourth Mizukage failed. Overtime, he turned into a ruthless hitman, who was willing to be hired out by anyone corrupt.
He was initially portrayed as aggressive, arrogant, cruel, cold and ambition, willing to become Gatō’s thug in order to gain enough funds to launch a second coup against the Mizukage and have the nation under his feet, and kill anyone who stood in his way, including plotting to kill Gatō once he had received enough money from him. His wickedness and ruthlessness began as a youth, when he murdered every single candidate in Kirigakure’s Academy, which gained him the title of, “Demon of the Hidden Mist”.
He willingly used his own men as pawns to fulfill his own ambitions, as he raised Haku to a powerful tool, which could be exploited at any given time. But, he was completely different from the future antagonists, as he spoke openly about the purpose his recruits were needed for. He didn’t manipulate or pretend to be benevolent to inspire loyalty. This is consistent with his cynical perspective of the world, which only consists of the used and users, as well as his opinion of shinobi as nothing more than tools.
Despite his outward attitude, Zabuza learned to profoundly care about Haku and saw him as much more than a tool. Despite his arrogance, he possessed a softer side that he himself wasn’t aware of. While Zabuza initially laughs at his uselessness after Haku’s death, Kakashi notices Zabuza is no longer able to fight to his true potential because he is secretly heartbroken over Haku’s death.
In his final moments, Zabuza realized how much he genuinely loved Haku, and after being persuaded by Naruto, he sacrifices his life to slay Gatō, and eventually dies wishing he might join Haku in the afterlife. He is an observant individual as he can easily analyze his opponent’s techniques, but he becomes overconfident if he sees the technique as useless.
He has also demonstrated a sense of honor, as witnessed by his disgust at the prospect of working for anybody who would descend so low as to use the dead as tools, thereby making the revived immortal. His sense of honor is heightened as he begs Kakashi to stop him and Haku from causing harm, wishing for his death as a human being to be preserved.
Zabuza was a tall and muscular man with light grayish skin, short spiky black hair, dark brown eyes and small brows. He was usually seen with bandages covering the bottom half of his face like a mask. He also had somewhat thin Hawkins and jagged teeth beneath his mask, which he shared with his fellow Swordsmen.
He wore his forehead protector sideways on his head and wore the village’s Anbu inform and flak jacket before defecting from Kirigakure. He was seen shirtless after his defection, with his chest only covered by a belt to which he fastened his Kubikiribōchō, and wore loose pants with striped pattern distinctive of Kirigakure and mimetic wrist-warmers coming up to his elbows, with matching leg-warmers.
During his second appearance, he wore sleeveless black shirt and matching slacks, complete with a waist-guard and Kirigakure’s striped wrist and leg warmers. Other swordsmen of his generation wore clothing similar to this, showing that they were clothing associated with the gang. He was dressed similar to his fellow Swordsmen, with bandages loosely looped over his neck like a scarf.
As a child, he wore a dark sleeveless shirt with light shoulder straps and a circle mark on the back with the character for demon (oni) as a child. He also wore black shinobi-sandals and dark fingerless gloves, as well as dark slacks with two straps covering the bottom and a hip bag.
Zabuza was an extremely powerful fighter. He was vicious in combat even as a child, who was yet to begin in the Academy, as he slayed over one hundred students single-handedly. As an adult, even when he was severely injured with both arms crippled, Zabuza proved himself a dangerous enemy, who was able to attack dozens of Gatō’s men and Gatō himself.
While he favored direct attacks, Zabuza was also skilled at misdirection. He has extensive knowledge of the human body’s pressure points and most sensitive organs since his Anbu days. He was also well-versed in foreign techniques and kekkei genkai, possessing Sharingan expertise and instantaneously recognising the Shadow Clone Technique. He was also an excellent teacher, it was under his instruction that Haku grew up to be such a great shinobi despite his youth.
Zabuza was physically strong, who was able to hold the massive Kubikiribōchō for extended periods of time unafraid, even with one hand. He was also lightning fast and equally skilled in taijutsu, able to match Kakashi in both disciplines with the latter able to fight off and kill scores of Gatō’s men despite losing both limbs, using well-coordinated kicks and a kunai in his mouth.
Throughout, he displayed extraordinary tenacity and endurance, fighting effectively despite the injuries he got from Kakashi and the vast number of swords that penetrated him. He could even take a direct hit from a powerful water technique and appear to be unharmed, moving around normally shortly thereafter.
Zabuza was also an expert assassination and stealth. He was widely known throughout the world for his ability to slaughter opponents in complete darkness. Kakashi remarked that his Silent Killing abilities were unparalleled. This technique puts the victim under immense pressure before Zabuza attacks, as even the smallest movement of the eye alerted him to his victim’s location.
True to his name, Zabuza possessed an extraordinarily powerful chakra, which could be seen when he was freed, taking the form of a demon. Even though he was barely standing, Zabuza’s look made the rest of Gatō’s goons stiff with fear. Similarly, he possesses incredibly excellent chakra control, allowing him to perform a second technique while retaining the first.
Zabuza was a member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a group of the village's elite swordsmen during his tenure as a Kiri-nin. Zabuza’s generation of swordsmen was acknowledged as the strongest ever produced within Kirigakure, a testament to his amazing abilities.
The Kubikiribōchō, an over-sized broad blade whose shape was intended to decapitate enemies, was Zabuza’s hallmark weapon. This massive sword has the usual capacity to absorb and use the iron from all the blood it spills, from anyone it cuts, in order to reform itself if it gets damaged or broken. He was an expert at using it, defeating multiple enemies with a few slashes and saying that his sword “never cut a second time”, which means that he had slain a huge number of people with a single strike.
The weight of the weapon didn’t seem to slow Zabuza down at all, as he could use it in a fight for long periods of time with no evident strain on himself. He could not only handle it like an expert, but also toss it spinning at numerous foes with enough force to lodge itself into a sturdy tree trunk.
He also wielded a kunai with a sharp protrusion on one side, built for thrusting and stabbing rather than slicing, which was ideal for his stealthy abilities. He could also use fūma shuriken in a similar manner, whirling the weapon within his hand to hit his opponent in melee combat.
Zabuza was an expert at Water Release methods. He could use multiple of them at the same time, as witnessed when he kept Kakashi confined in the Water Prison Technique while assaulting the rest of Team 7 with a water clone. He could keep numerous of these clones alive at the same time, and he frequently used them as distractions. He also demonstrated competence in large-scale, highly damaging water-attacks by firing huge torrents of water at his opponents in the form of dragon bullets and giant waterfalls.
Zabuza was proficient at the Hidden Mist Technique which made his Silent Killing even easier. He could blind his targets by blanketing the area in a thick mist, making it even more difficult for them to defend against him. He was therefore capable of carrying out sneaky strikes even in entirely wide spaces, disappearing from an enemy’s sight and striking unnoticed.
His mastery of this method allowed him to create an impenetrable mist without the need for a nearby source of water. Even Kabuto Yakushi admired Zabuza’s use of the technique, as seen by his willingness to sacrifice other reanimated shinobi to protect Zabuza and keep the Hiding in Mist Technique alive.
Zabuza in a playable character in the following Video Games:
|Game Name||Japanese Release||English Release|
|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 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 to Boruto: Shinobi Striker||30 August 2018||31 August 2018|
|Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Tribes||June 2019||June 2019|
|Naruto x Boruto: Ninja Voltage||22 November 2017||22 November 2017|
|Naruto: Clash of Ninja||11 April 2003||3 March 2016|
|Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2||4 December 2004||26 September 2006|
|Naruto: Getikō Ninja Taisen! 3||20 November 2004|
|Naruto: Getikō Ninja Taisen! 4||21 November 2005|
|Naruto: Konoha Senki||12 September 2003|
|Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2||13 July 2006||14 October 2008|
|Naruto: Rise of a Ninja||30 October 2007|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection||2014|
|Naruto: Shinobi Collection Shippū Ranbu||27 July 2015|
|Naruto: Shinobi no Sato no Jintori Kassen||26 June 2003|
|Naruto: The Broken Bond||18 November 2008|
|Naruto: Ultimate Ninja||23 October 2003||26 June 2006|
|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|
(To Team 7) “When you’ve hovered between life and death so many times that it doesn’t faze you, you may be called a ninja. When you’ve become so deadly that your profile has been entered into my bingo book, then you may have earned the title ninja.”
(To Naruto) “Shut up kid, Haku’s already dead… As I was used by Gatō, I used Haku. That was all. I’ve said it already… in the world of shinobi, there are only those who use and those who are used. We shinobi are simple tools.. what I wanted was his blood, not him… I have no regrets.”
(To Naruto) “You talk too much, kid… your words cut deep… deeper than any blade.”
(To Naruto about Haku) “…You don’t need to say anymore… it pained him to have to fight you… Haku fought not only for me… he fought for you guys too. He was too kind. I’m glad I got to face you guys in the end. You may be right… a shinobi is still a human… we may not be able to become emotionless tools…”
(Last words to Haku) “You were always by my side, the least I can do is to be beside you at the end. I know it cannot be, but I wish I could go to where you have gone. How I wish I could join you there, Haku.”
A. Zabuza’s ideals changed a lot after the failed attempt on Fourth Mizukage’s life. He was renowned as a Demon of the Hidden Mist after he slayed over hundred students before entering the Academy. His personality is overall straightforward as an antagonist, which makes him evil, but at the same time, his love towards Haku proves that he had a soft side somewhere.
A. Haku was Zabuza Momochi’s partner. He became a shinobi under Zabuza’s wing.
A. The Kubikiribōchō (meaning; Decapitating Carving Knife), a mystical sword renowned as the “seversword”, is the sword that Zabuza carried.