Kabuto Yakushi (薬師カブト, Yakushi Kabuto) spent most of his life as a spy working for many different individuals, organisations, and countries during his life. His natural talents in intelligence-gathering and medicineattracted the attention of Orochimaru when he was younger, who made Kabuto his right-hand man. Although Kabuto learns much about the world under Orochimaru, he eventually decides that his life of serving others has prevented him from making an identity for himself. He thereafter seeks power and becomes a major factor in the Fourth Shinobi World War, using his higher place in the world so that he can find where in it he belongs. After finally finding himself in the world, Kabuto returns to Konohagakure to run theorphanage there, helping others such as himself to find their own way.
- 1 Contents
- 2 Personality
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Part I
- 6 Part II
- 6.1 Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission
- 6.2 Three-Tails’ Appearance
- 6.3 Itachi Pursuit Mission
- 6.4 Power
- 6.5 Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
- 6.6 Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
- 6.7 Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
- 6.8 Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki
- 6.9 Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
- 7 New Era
- 8 In Other Media
Kabuto Yakushi (薬師カブト, Yakushi Kabuto) spent most [show]==Background== A young Kabuto developing amnesia from his injury. Kabuto was found as a child by Nonō Yakushi on the outskirts of a city recently destroyed in a battle; he had suffered a head injury, leaving him with no memory of his name or past. Nonō treated his wound and brought him to the Konoha Orphanage.Urushi, another orphan, placed a helmet on his head so he wouldn’t be injured again, prompting Nonō to name him “Kabuto”. Kabuto liked the name and left his bed that night so that he could thank her, unaware of the orphanage’s strict schedule. When Nonō found him, she discovered that this was in part because he couldn’t read a clock due to his poor eyesight. She gave him her glasses so that he could see, overwhelming Kabuto with thankfulness.[external_link_head]
To earn money for the orphanage’s operations, Nonō used her medical ninjutsu to treat injured shinobi ofKonohagakure; Kabuto, having been taught medical ninjutsu by Nonō, would assist. Although the money helped, they still relied on direct funding from Konoha in order to get by. Aware of this fact, Danzō Shimuravisited the orphanage one day threatening to withhold Konoha’s funding if Nonō didn’t turn one of the orphans over to his Root organisation. Kabuto, after eavesdropping on this conversation, volunteered against Nonō and Urushi’s protests. Root trained Kabuto in espionage and over the years sent him to gain intel by, at different times, posing as a ninja of Kumo, Kiri, Suna, and Iwa. While in Iwa, Kabuto’s spying was discovered and an Iwa-nin cornered him. He was able to strike down his pursuer, but only afterwards discovered that it was Nonō, who was also working for Root.
|Orochimaru confronts Kabuto.|
Kabuto apologised profusely and tried to heal Nonō, but she didn’t recognise his face, even when he told her his name. She died from her injuries and Kabuto was forced to flee before Nonō’s backup found him. Once safe, Kabuto was disillusioned by what had happened, wondering who he was if even Nonō didn’t know him. He was soon confronted by Orochimaru, an underling of Danzō who’d taken an interest in Kabuto over the years. Orochimaru explained that Danzō had been giving Nonō falsified photographs of Kabuto so that she would no longer recognise him when they met. This in turn allowed Danzō to pit Nonō and Kabuto against each other and thus eliminate Root’s two most effective, and consequently, knowledgeable spies. Assuming that Orochimaru planned to finish him off, Kabuto attacked him, distraught by the loss of both Nonō and the self-identification he’d acquired through her. Kabuto meeting Sasori. Orochimaru survived the attack and suggested that Kabuto now try making a new identity for himself using whatever knowledge of the world he could acquire. Orochimaru offered to help him in this regard and invited him to help make a new village, Otogakure, where individuality could thrive. Kabuto agreed and Orochimaru gave him a new backstory: that he was found by Nonō – a captain of Konoha’s Medic Corps – after the Battle of Kikyō Pass and adopted as her son. With this backstory, Kabuto was able to become a genin of Konoha, which he used to enter the biannual Chūnin Exams so that he could gather information on his fellow participants for Orochimaru’s use. Later, he was found by Akatsuki and was turned into one of Sasori’s sleeper agents so he would spy on Orochimaru. Shortly afterwards, Orochimaru realised the truth and freed him from this control, allowing Kabuto to effectively infiltrate the organisation for Orochimaru. When not spying, Kabuto helped Orochimaru with his experimentations and his studies of different Oto-nin’s abilities. In the anime, Kabuto also helped Orochimaru find genetic samples for use in the Impure World Reincarnation and also helped him escape fromItachi Uchiha after the latter’s failed attempt to capture Itachi.
At times, Kabuto can seem quite open, more than willing to approach people and always confident in his own words and actions. By his own admission, he is an introvert who doesn’t like to be looked at and who wants to stick to the background. He can be very critical of others, dismissing their personal desires and outlining all the flaws he perceives them to be making. To those he feels are deserving, he is nothing but polite, regarding them with deference, using the appropriate honourifics, and chastising those who don’t do the same. He can be cruel, preying on sensitive topics in order to rile someone up and punctuating his comments with sarcasm. Other times he is kind, putting himself at risk and being helpful for no immediate benefit to himself.
The many contradictions of Kabuto’s personality are a result of his frequent role as a spy, having spent most of his life changing identities and loyalties in order to gather information for some organisation. Although he’s been serving Orochimaru for the longest period of time, even Orochimaru isn’t always sure what Kabuto’s true feelings are: he trusts Kabuto implicitly, yet secretly suspects that Kabuto might intentionally undermine him. When Kabuto begins working with Tobi, Tobi is careful to be on guard with Kabuto and keep him on a short leash, aware that Kabuto does not always act for the reasons he claims to; even so, Kabuto is able to make himself simultaneously so valuable yet so dangerous that Tobi can’t really do anything about it.
Kabuto appears to take his shifting allegiances in stride, but in truth he suffers an ongoing identity crisis. Because of the head injury he experienced when he was younger, Kabuto’s early past is unknown to him and he has been having to construct an identity for himself ever since. While he was recruiting Kabuto, Orochimaru encouraged him to follow his own example and quite literally build who he wants to be out of whatever knowledge and abilities he can gather. Kabuto latched on to this idea at the time, but eventually realised that this was no different than what he did as a spy: aligning himself under some larger entity and then defining himself according to that. Kabuto decides it is better to follow Naruto Uzumaki’s example and establish his own identity by becoming even greater than those under whose shadows he’s lived under, namely Orochimaru. Kabuto sets out to become stronger, perfecting all the skills that Orochimaru could not, and use the resulting power so that he would never need to be answerable to anyone ever again.
In his quest to surpass Orochimaru, Kabuto convinces himself that he has become the “perfect” being. He uses this believed distinction in order to ally with Tobi during the Fourth Shinobi World War, pitting Tobi against the Allied Shinobi Forces so that they will destroy themselves and enable Kabuto to capitalise in the aftermath. But when his plans see continued setbacks, especially in his repeated failure to defeat Sasuke and Itachi Uchiha in battle, Kabuto’s self-image as “perfect” starts to crack and he begins desperately trying to defend his final attempt at being recognised. Itachi tries to explain the misstep that Kabuto has been making, but it isn’t until he is subjected to Izanamithat Kabuto accepts it: in the act of making an identity for himself, he has only been burying who he truly is. When he peels away all his false personas, Kabuto again becomes the adoptive son of Nonō Yakushi, one who could be trusted to do things on his own and who was valued by the entire orphanage because of it. Despite having claimed to have surpassed Orochimaru, Kabuto still held great respect for Orochimaru, still referring to him with the honourific “-sama”.
Kabuto feels indebted to Itachi for restoring to him the knowledge of who he is and where in the world he most belongs; he later returns the favour to Itachi by saving Sasuke’s life. After the war, Kabuto returns to the orphanage where he was raised – his long-neglected true home – and resumes the life he once had there. He believes it is vital that the orphans have identities of their own and not allow themselves to be defined by their past associations.
- Kabuto’s appearance for most of the series.
1 of 4
Kabuto has onyx eyes and ash-grey hair, which he normally keeps in a ponytail. His most consistent feature are his black rimmed circular glasses, given to him by Nonō. During Part I and for much of Part II, Kabuto wears a dark purple shirt with a high collar, a white under-shirt, and dark purple pants with a white cloth waistband. In Part I he wears also dark purple fingerless gloves with armoured plates on the back of the hand and a blue forehead protector. During Part II, he infuses himself with Orochimaru’s remains, causing his skin to turn white and scaly around the point of application on his left arm; this gradually spreads its influence across the rest of his body. In the anime’s Power arc, set before his body is fully covered by Orochimaru’s remains, Kabuto wears a black robe with red lining and he starts allowing his hair to grow long and unkempt, all of which help to hide the changes to his body.
Once his body is fully converted, his appearance becomes starkly similar to Orochimaru’s, so much so that Sasuke Uchiha initially mistakes Kabuto for him. In addition to the changes to his skin, Kabuto’s eyes become yellow with slitted pupils, around which are Orochimaru’s characteristic purple markings. A long, white snake also fuses with his abdomen, which he wraps around his waist and which sometimes slithers under or behind him like a tail. His mostly human appearance is actually a shell, as his true form is much more serpentine, having a long body, comparatively short legs and arms, and an elongated face. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Kabuto wears a maroon-coloured cloak with a hood designed to resemble a serpent’s head, with white, red, and yellow markings that resemble eyes. Many years later, after returning to the orphanage, he starts wearing the staff’s typical garb and once again ties his hair in a ponytail, although the effects of infusing himself with Orochimaru’s remains appear to be permanent, as Kabuto’s body continues to resemble Orochimaru’s.
AbilitiesKabuto noting himself to be the closest in power to Hagoromo. While Kabuto was just a child he possessed a natural talent in the shinobi arts, a trademark that caught the attention of Orochimaru upon first meeting Kabuto and studying his service record with Root, which ultimately led to Kabuto being his right-hand man. In Part I, Kabuto’s skills are noted to be comparable to Kakashi Hatake’s, and enough to defeat members of Konoha’s Anbu with ease, noting that they should have readied at least ten guards for him. Tsunade even notes that his knack for ninjutsu and his sharpness surpass that of hers in her prime. During Part II, Kabuto sets out to correct the talents he feels were never fully realised: he later boasts that he has surpassed Orochimaru, is the closest living person to match the power of the Sage of Six Paths, and is the single most important player in the entire Fourth Shinobi World War. Kabuto’s improved prowess enabled him to overwhelm Sasuke and the reincarnated Itachi, two Uchiha clan prodigies, several times in battle.
In order to achieve the “perfect being” identity he desires for himself, Kabuto makes a number of modifications to his body prior to the Fourth Shinobi World War, causing him to develop a newchakra signature. The first and most notable of these modifications is infusing himself with the remains of Orochimaru’s body, which initially grants him a larger and stronger reserve of chakra. Over time, the remains alter his body, making his “true” appearance very snake-like, in which he can move around quickly and use his large mouth to swallow and thus capture targets. He usually disguises his appearance within a more normal-looking skin, which he can shed as needed. This outer skin has a snake embedded in its navel, which he can merge with others’ bodies in order to heal them. Kabuto can in fact produce white snakes of varying sizes from either of his bodies, either to act as additional appendages or to detach from him and carry out his will. These snakes can use their heightened senses to communicate targets’ locations to him, possess his chakra signature, and share some of his other bodily modifications. Kabuto manifesting Orochimaru from his body. From his extensive study of Orochimaru’s various human test subjects, Kabuto alters his body to replicate certain others’ trademark skills: he creates a version of Suigetsu Hōzuki’s Hydrification Technique to escape capture by liquefying his body; he can reproduce Karin’s naturalUzumaki-based rejuvenation to heal injuries he suffers; he can useJūgo’s kekkei genkai to passively absorb natural energy, allowing him to continuously use Sage Mode without assistance. While in Sage Mode, he can make further use of others’ abilities through his Strange Transmission Distant Shadow technique, granting him all the skill-sets of whoever he has genetic samples of. He does this through an application of Sakon’s body merging ability, generating mindless clones of others from his navel snake that can use all of their techniques. With this, he is able to access the abilities of the Sound Five, such as Kimimaro’s accelerated bone production andKidōmaru’s spider web-based bindings.[external_link offset=1]
Kabuto’s natures include Earth, Water, and Wind, as well as Yin and Yang release. He can use Earth Release travel underground and, with Jirōbō’s DNA, upend the earth. He can also use Water Release without a nearby water source, able to create large water projectiles and water dragons. Kabuto can produce barriers to hide his location and, in the anime, make himself invisible.
Medical NinjutsuKabuto using the chakra scalpel. Kabuto was taught medical ninjutsu by Nonō Yakushi when he was young and immediately displayed a natural talent for it. He can heal most injuries without difficulty, even performing the ordinarily close-contact Mystical Palm Technique from a slight distance. He inventsYin Healing Wound Destruction as a way of keeping test subjects alive longer by preemptively healing damage they receive, but he can also use it on himself when he expects to be badly injured. He uses chakra scalpels quite extensively outside their intended surgical use, either to cut through defences or augment his physical strikes, severing muscles on contact in order to disable opponents.
Kabuto has an unprecedented knowledge of the human body, enough that, when his body’selectrical signals are scrambled, he is able to quickly compensate and relearn how to control his limbs. For others, he can use his knowledge to create drugs to various effects, either as pain killers, hormones to enhance physical attributes, poisons to specifically neutralise a particular target’s abilities or immunities, and truth serums to aid in interrogations. Kabuto has a unique affinity for corpses, able to reanimate them for use as allies in combat or decoys; in the case of the latter, he can quickly alter the corpse’s appearance to look like someone else, which is so convincing that the alteration is only noticeable on close scrutiny. He in fact likes to keep a supply of variously-aged corpses with him at all times, which he stores in scrolls until he needs them.
Kabuto uses his own blood to help Orochimaru summon snakes a few times in Part I, but it’s not until after he takes on Orochimaru’s remains that he starts summoning snakes for himself. Like the snakes he makes with his own body, he can use these snake to restrain targets or inject them with venom. He creates some genetically modified snakes for his own usage, such as a clone ofManda, with several other varieties seen in the anime’s Power arc: snakes that can absorb chakra, snakes that can morph into copies of himself, and small clone snakes that can combine into functional replicas of others. Kabuto using Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation. Kabuto claims to have perfected the Impure World Reincarnation: he is able to reincarnate dozens of individuals at a time – something its creator, Tobirama Senju, could not – and bring them back with the same power they had while alive – something Orochimaru could not.Kabuto typically allows his reincarnated forces to keep their personalities while they carry out his bidding, making them more effective and allowing for a degree of psychological warfare against those who knew them when alive. By siphoning chakra fromOrochimaru’s cursed seals, he can remotely suppress their personalities and take full control of their actions. In the case of Madara Uchiha’s reincarnated body, Kabuto makes several modifications to it in order to restore Madara’s youth and give him the Rinnegan and Wood Release.
SenjutsuKabuto in Sage Mode. Due to the larger chakra reserves he gains from Orochimaru’s remains, Kabuto is able to learn senjutsu from the White Snake Sage at theRyūchi Cave. This allows him to enter Sage Mode, which he can use indefinitely due to his research of Jūgo’s passively ability to constantly absorb natural energy. In Sage Mode, Kabuto’s only noticeable physical alterations are the markings around his eyes, the four horns on the back of his head, and brille to give him immunity to genjutsu and other visual attacks; he describes his transformation as changing him from a snake to a dragon.Using Sage Mode makes Kabuto’s jutsu and physical attacks stronger, improves his physical defences, heightens his speed and reflexes, and allows him to sense his surroundings. He can also infuse natural energy into inanimate objects, giving them life.
During his years in Root, Kabuto became one of the organisation’s best spies, a role he continued to serve for Orochimaru. Over the years, he uncovers a great deal of information unknown to most of the world, such as how Zetsus are made, the truth surrounding the Uchiha Clan Downfall, andTobi’s true identity. In combat, Kabuto can use his vast intel to plan around opponents’ abilities, either by employing the appropriate countermeasures or depending on their attacks for his plans to be successful. This also speaks to his considerable ability to manipulate opponents, as he frequently tries to break down their resolve, turn them against their allies, or even come up with similarities that might convince them to join forces with him. Even if his manipulations fail or they cannot in and of themselves benefit him, Kabuto is good at making all possible outcomes work in his favour: the Allied Shinobi Forces’ losses help his stated objective of winning the Fourth Shinobi World War, while the Allied Shinobi Forces’ victories help his long-term objective of undermining Akatsuki.
Although Kabuto rarely uses genjutsu, his high skill with it allows him to put a large number of people to sleep. After integrating Tayuya’s DNA, he could use trap Itachi and Sasuke in her flute-based genjutsu, and despite the two being genjutsu masters, they were unable to break it independently. Although Kabuto admits that taijutsu is not his forte, he has shown to have good reflexes, reacting to threats just in time to defend himself or allies as well as fending off Naruto Uzumaki’s and his shadow clones despite being outnumbered.
Main article: Chūnin Exams Kabuto and his teammates. Kabuto is teamed with Yoroi Akadō and Misumi Tsurugi so that they can enter the Chūnin Exams being held in Konoha. Before the exam’s first stage begins, Kabuto befriends the Rookie Nine. Because they’re all quite confident in their prospects, he warns them about the exam’s inherent difficulty as well as the considerable competition that some of the other participants pose. He confesses that he has little information on the ninja of Oto, but he doesn’t feel this is an issue. This provokes the eavesdropping Dosu Kinuta – an Oto-genin – to attack him; although Kabuto dodges, Dosu’s Resonating Echo Speaker shatters his glasses and makes him nauseous. The exam proctors break up the fight.
As the second stage of the exams near completion, Kabuto finds the members of Team 7 in the Forest of Death, arriving in time to stop Naruto Uzumaki from opening one of the scrolls they’re supposed to be gathering; he explains that doing so results in unconsciousness and thus failure. When asked, he explains that he was separated from his team and that he’s on his way to meet them with the two scrolls he’s acquired. Sasuke Uchiha challenges him to a fight, needing one of the scrolls if Team 7 is to pass. Kabuto suggests that they instead trying taking a scroll from one of the teams gathering in the centre of the forest. He offers to help them in exchange for accompanying him, providing safety in numbers.
As they approach the centre and the deadline to finish nears, Kabuto and Team 7 are caught in agenjutsu by Team Oboro, who have similar plans of taking scrolls as they do. Naruto uses shadow clones to draw out Team Oboro, who fight his clones with their own haze clones. Kabuto is impressed by Naruto’s large chakra supply, but, as Sasuke discovers with his Sharingan, the fight is meaningless since the haze clones are only a distraction. Team Oboro tries sneaking up on Naruto and attacking him, which Kabuto blocks, becoming injured instead; he exudes killing intent in response, creating an opening for Naruto to knock them out. Team 7 takes Team Oboro’s scroll and Kabuto accompanies them to the centre of the forest where he reunites with his team. He thanks Team 7 for their help.
Kabuto and his team meet with Orochimaru before the next stage of the exams start and Kabuto gives him the intel he’s gathered on Sasuke. They then assemble with the other qualifying teams and are informed that one-on-one preliminary matches will be held. Kabuto opts to withdraw. When asked by Naruto, he claims to be too tired from his encounters with Dosu and Team Oboro to fight. When asked by Yoroi, he claims that this will give Yoroi and Misumi a chance to earn Orochimaru’s favour. In truth, Kabuto is concerned that he won’t be able to hold himself back in combat and that he’ll end up blowing his cover; Orochimaru’s presence in the audience also means Kabuto no longer needs to gather intel for him. Kabuto leaves with the Third Hokage’s permission, eager for his next encounter with Naruto and Sasuke. Kabuto meets with Baki. Kabuto meets with Orochimaru after the preliminaries conclude. Although he doesn’t want to trigger his long-term plans yet, Orochimaru is concerned about Sasuke’s development, believing that Naruto is having too positive an influence on him. He sends Kabuto to capture Sasuke while it’s still possible for Orochimaru to corrupt him. Kabuto locates Sasuke in the Konoha Hospital and kills his eight Anbu guards. He is discovered by Kakashi Hatake before he can accomplish his task and is forced to flee through the window. He meets with Baki of Sunagakure later that night to discuss their villages’ planned invasion of Konoha. When they notice that their conversation is being listened to by Hayate Gekkō, Kabuto offers to eliminate him, but Baki does so instead.
A month later, during the final matches of the Chūnin Exams, Kabuto kills one of the Anbu guarding the stadium where the finals are being held. He disguises himself with the Anbu’s clothes and mask so that he can infiltrate the stadium and watch Naruto’s match. During the fight, Hinata Hyūga starts having a coughing fit—still recovering from her preliminary match with Neji Hyūga prior a month ago. Kabuto offers to treat her and she is healed, but falls unconscious; Kabuto knocks out Kiba Inuzukaand Akamaru as well.
Main article: Konoha Crush Kabuto faces Konoha’s defenders. The invasion of Konoha is supposed to be initiated by Suna’s Gaara. When Gaara ends up being injured during his fight with Sasuke and thus left unable to fulfil his intended role, Kabuto initiates the invasion instead: he uses the Temple of Nirvana Technique to put most of the people in the stadium to sleep. Some of Konoha’s forces are able to fend off his genjutsu and engage other Oto-nin that infiltrated the stadium. Kabuto, however, avoids fighting, and both he and Baki are eventually cornered by Kakashi and Might Guy. When he notices Orochimaru fleeing his own fight with the Third Hokage, Kabuto decides to flee as well and advises that Baki do the same.
Search for Tsunade
Main article: Search for TsunadeDuring the failed invasion, Orochimaru’s arms are bound by the Dead Demon Consuming Seal. Kabuto tries healing them and, when that doesn’t work, he provides Orochimaru with medicine for the pain, but those are also ineffective. With few other options available, Orochimaru has Kabuto locate Tsunade, one of his fellow Sannin. Kabuto tracks her to Tanzaku Quarters and they go to meet her. Upon finding her, Orochimaru offers to reincarnate her brother and lover in exchange for her healing his arms. This proposal provokes Tsunade’s attendant, Shizune, into attacking Orochimaru with a Prepared Needle Shot, which Kabuto blocks. When Tsunade displays a certain willingness to attack them herself, Orochimaru sheds some of his own blood, paralyzing her due to herhemophobia. He and Kabuto leave, giving Tsunade a week to decide. Kabuto facing Shizune. As they return to Tanzaku Quarters a week later, Orochimaru is confident that Tsunade will heal his arms. However, he believes Shizune may represent an issue, so he sends Kabuto to kill her. Kabuto finds her in the company of Naruto and Jiraiya, another Sannin, forcing him to withdraw and return to Orochimaru. He arrives in time to stop Tsunade’s apparent healing of Orochimaru’s arms, having noticed her killing intent. Since she won’t cooperate, Orochimaru decides that they must fight her and take her by force, though because of his arms, he relies on Kabuto to do the actual fighting; they draw her away from the city so that Shizune and the others can’t help her.
Because of how strong Tsunade’s attacks are, Kabuto stays out of her reach as much as he can, only striking when he can get in a disabling blow. Tsunade heals all the damage he does to her and Kabuto similarly recovers from her counterattacks. When they are found by Shizune, Jiraiya, and Naruto, Kabuto slits his wrists so that Tsunade is paralysed with fear and thus unable to fight back. Naruto is confused by Kabuto’s presence, slow to realise he’s working for Orochimaru; Kabuto informs him that it’s this sort of ignorance that prevents him from matching Sasuke. Naruto attacks him with shadow clones, which Kabuto easily fends off. He then fights Shizune, quickly knocking her out while he attempts to restrain Tsunade. Naruto stops him and tries attacking with the Rasengan, but he lacks full mastery of it and misses. Kabuto struck with Naruto’s Rasengan. Kabuto tries to convince Naruto to give up, as otherwise he will be killed and thus left unable to achieve his dream of becoming Hokage. Naruto refuses, so Kabuto attacks with a kunai. Naruto catches the kunai and latches on to Kabuto’s hand, preventing him from escaping while Naruto strikes with another Rasengan. Kabuto is propelled backwards and tries healing the damage with his Yin Healing Wound Destruction, but the damage is too extensive and he collapses. Naruto also collapses, Kabuto having severed his heart muscles when the Rasengan hit him; he boasts that nothing can be done to save Naruto, but Tsunade is able to successfully heal him. The fight is now left to Orochimaru and Kabuto helps him summon Manda. Tsunade overcomes her haemophobia and defeats both Manda and Orochimaru, forcing him and Kabuto to retreat.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
Main article: Sasuke Recovery MissionSince Tsunade won’t help, the only way for Orochimaru to heal his arms is to transfer to a new body, which he selects Sasuke’s for. He sends the Sound Four to recruit Sasuke and Kabuto tends to him while he waits. The Sound Four end up taking too long and Kabuto takes it upon himself to find a different body: he has several of their prisoners fight each other to the death, with Orochimaru taking the body of the victor, Gen’yūmaru. While Orochimaru does that, Kabuto talks to Kimimaro, reminding him that Orochimaru’s current predicament is his fault since he became ill, thus making him unsuitable as Orochimaru’s new body. This compels Kimimaro to go retrieve Sasuke as his last act of service, which Orochimaru characterises as cruel of Kabuto when he learns of it.
Sasuke does eventually arrive at their lair, though Kimimaro and the Sound Four have all died. When Sasuke acts disrespectful towards Orochimaru, Kabuto advises him on proper etiquette, to which Sasuke responds with killing intent; Kabuto is surprised by this and Orochimaru is pleased.
Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission
Main article: Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission Kabuto attacks “Sasori”. Over two-and-a-half years after Sasuke joins forces with Orochimaru, Kabuto is summoned to meet with Sasori at the Tenchi Bridge inKusagakure. Pretending to be his loyal agent, Kabuto answers Sasori’s questions about Sasuke, telling him that he’s at Orochimaru’s nearby base. Orochimaru confronts them during their meeting and Kabuto retreats closer to Sasori. While Sasori talks to Orochimaru and prepares to fight him alongside Kabuto, Kabuto cuts through Sasori’s puppet,Hiruko. Having never seen the real Sasori before, Kabuto initially believes the man inside Hiruko (Yamato) is him, but when Naruto and the rest of Team 7 join Yamato he realises his mistake. Orochimaru taunts Naruto about his desire to see Sasuke again, provoking him into using the Nine-Tails’ chakra. Kabuto attempts to attack him, but Naruto easily blasts him away with a mere roar.
Once he recovers, Kabuto approaches Yamato and Sakura Haruno and asks if their presence here means that Sasori is dead, which they confirm. He watches Naruto’s fight with Orochimaru, observing that Naruto’s version 2 form is proof of how desperate he is to retrieve Sasuke. When Naruto, not in control of his actions, injures Sakura, Kabuto heals her wound as his thanks for their killing Sasori and thus weakening Akatsuki. While Yamato restrains Naruto, Kabuto goes looking for Orochimaru and finds him with Team 7’s other member, Sai. He initially assumes that Sai means to attack Orochiamru and therefore tackles him, but Orochimaru informs him that Sai is an ally and they take him back to their base. They notice that the rest of Team 7 is following them, apparently because of Sai, so Kabuto prepares a fake dead body that looks like Sai for them to leave behind and throw Team 7 off their trail. Sai turns on Kabuto. When they get back to their base, Kabuto finds a room for Sai to stay in and then leaves to analyse the intel that Sai has given them. He accidentally leaves the intel in Sai’s room and goes back for it, but both Sai and the intel are gone. He tracks Sai down and finds he’s been captured by the rest of Team 7. Kabuto releases Sai from his confinements, defeats Naruto’s shadow clones, and requests Sai’s help in fighting Team 7, but Sai restrains him instead. When asked, Kabuto is forthcoming with information about where to find Sasuke, though he warns them against it since they may draw out Orochimaru. Yamato leaves behind a wood clone to guard Kabuto while they go searching. Orochimaru eventually finds and frees him and they go to find Sasuke, arriving in time to stop him from killing Team 7. Kabuto recommends Sasuke spare them since they may further weaken Akatsuki, which he agrees with. Kabuto then departs with Orochimaru and Sasuke.
Main article: Three-Tails’ AppearanceIn the anime, as Orochimaru’s body starts to reject him, he instructs Kabuto to bring him Guren. Guren challenges Kabuto to a fight as he nears her location in order to test if he is worthy to serve Orochimaru. He meets with her approval and she accompanies him to Orochimaru. Orochimaru offers Guren an opportunity to replace Sasuke as his next body if she can prove herself on a mission; Kabuto is tasked with gathering a team for her from their assorted prisoners. Guren ends up failing her mission, so Kabuto is sent to give her another task: help him capture the Three-Tails. Guren fails to restrain the Three-Tails with her crystal release and Yūkimaru, whose abilities are essential in capturing the Three-Tails, is himself captured by Konoha-nin.
With things becoming desperate, Kabuto tricks members of Guren’s team into undergoing operations that will forcibly activate their cursed seals. He also kills and impersonates Rinji, and in that role tries to manipulate Yūkimaru into unleashing the Three-Tails against Guren and Konoha’s forces. Yūkimaru refuses to do so, prompting Kabuto to attack him; Naruto counters the attack and, in the process, exposes the Rinji disguise. While Kabuto fights Naruto, he uses Rinji’s reanimated body to attack Guren, neutralising her crystal release with Rinji’s bats. Guren seemingly gives her life to defeat Rinji and Yūkimaru, overcome with grief, finally unleashes the Three-Tails. Kabuto leaves, satisfied with what’s happened.
Itachi Pursuit Mission
Main article: Itachi Pursuit Mission Kabuto injecting himself with Orochimaru’s remains. With Orochimaru’s body on the verge of failure, Kabuto prepares the strongest medication he can to help him cope with the pain. As he’s away getting the medicine ready, he notes that Orochimaru will need to take Sasuke’s body within the next day or two, though he doubts Sasuke will be cooperative. When he returns, he finds Sasuke leaving Orochimaru’s room, with Orochimaru’s body now lying abandoned. Kabuto asks Sasuke who he is, unable to tell if the body transfer was successful or not. Sasuke uses Genjutsu: Sharingan to show Kabuto how he overpowered Orochimaru’s consciousness and absorbed it into his own. Kabuto is surprised by this and Sasuke leaves without further comment.
Kabuto later tracks down Naruto, who is in the company of Yamato and Hinata Hyūga. He confirms to Naruto the rumours that Sasuke has killed Orochimaru and then gives him a book with all the intel that he and Orochimaru have gathered on Akatsuki over the years. When Naruto and the others can’t understand why he would do this, he explains that it is a present for Naruto, partly to help Naruto in his own confrontations with Akatsuki and partly out of gratitude. He tells them how lost he felt after Orochimaru’s death, having identified himself in terms of Orochimaru for so long, in the same way that Naruto was once identified in terms of the Nine-Tails. Naruto, however, was able to forge out on his own and establish himself as independent of the Nine-Tails; Kabuto now intends to follow his example and establish himself as greater than Orochimaru. Orochimaru’s remains taking over Kabuto’s body. Kabuto shows them how he has grafted Orochimaru’s remains into his body, which Hinata notices with her Byakugan are in the process of taking control of him. Kabuto claims that the remains themselves make him stronger, as does the constant struggle to keep them at bay. Naruto and the others try capturing him, but he retreats, vowing to fight Naruto once he’s mastered Orochimaru’s powers and also dealt with Sasuke. Kabuto further crafts himself over the following weeks and months: he uses his research of different human test subjects to modify his body; he finds Ryūchi Cave and learns senjutsu from the White Snake Sage; he acquires DNA samples of various dead ninja, some of which, in the anime, he or Orochimaru already possessed; Black Zetsu meets him at some point and shows him the corpse of Madara Uchiha.[external_link offset=2]
Main article: Power Kabuto creating a clone of Hidan. In the anime, Kabuto is hired by Disonasu to help him access the Ama no Hoko. He attacks Tonika Village with reincarnated pawns and slaughters most of the villagers in preparation for awakening the Ama no Hoko, which soon draws the attention of Team 7. He’s able to create a clone of Hidan to attack them, but the forces he raises with theImpure World Reincarnation are unresponsive to his commands. He decides to retreat, leaving behind a reincarnated Deidara as a distraction while he tries to figure out a way improve his control of the Impure World Reincarnation.
After figuring out a way to allow reincarnated individuals to retain their personalities, Kabuto sneaks into the Hachō Village by reincarnating the Tonika Village Head. They try making the final preparations for restoring the Ama no Hoko, but they are discovered by the village head’sgranddaughter and Kabuto is drawn into another battle with Team 7. During the fight, a Nine-Tailed Naruto Clone emerges, having been inadvertently created during Kabuto’s previous fight with Naruto. With some difficulty, Kabuto is able to capture the clone, the original Naruto, and Dokku. He brings them to Dionasu, who is now able to activate the Ama no Hoko. Konoha ninja start attacking and Kabuto uses his reincarnated forces to fight them off, but they are interrupted by the Naruto clone’s sudden mutation. While the others deal with the clone, Kabuto quietly leaves.
After the fighting is over, Kabuto locates the dying Disonasu and summons the Tonika Village Head, who he allows to finish Dionasu off in order to have revenge. Kabuto afterwards sheds his skin, having finally gotten Orochimaru’s power under control.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown Kabuto blackmails Tobi. Once he’s confident that he’s mastered Orochimaru’s powers, Kabuto travels to the Mountains’ Graveyard to confront Tobi of Akatsuki, who has been using the name of Madara Uchiha in order to start the Fourth Shinobi World War. Tobi recognises Kabuto as a former spy of Sasori, so tries to kill him for betraying Akatsuki. Kabuto responds by using the Impure World Reincarnation to revive five deceased Akatsuki members, which he offers to use to help Tobi in the approaching war. Tobi asks what Kabuto would want in exchange for this alliance, to which Kabuto responds he wants Sasuke. When Tobi contemplates refusing, Kabuto summons the real Madara Uchiha, forcing Tobi to agree. He stipulates, however, that Kabuto can’t have Sasuke until after the war is won, which Kabuto agrees to.
Tobi incorporates Kabuto and his reincarnated army into his war plans. When they later receive intel on the location of Naruto and Killer B – whose capture is the reason Tobi started the war – Kabuto offers to capture them himself if Tobi will show him the White Zetsu Army. Tobi complies, also showing him the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path and the biomass of Hashirama Senju that the Zetsus are cultivated from. Satisfied, Kabuto reincarnates Deidara and together they fly to the Island Turtle. As they approach, they draw the patrolling Third Tsuchikage away, creating an opening for a simultaneous attack on the island by Kabuto’s Manda II and Deidara’s Explosive Clay. Kabuto capturing Yamato. Deidara drops Kabuto off on the Island Turtle and then keeps the Tsuchikage busy so that Kabuto can find Naruto and B. He is quickly found by Naruto’s guards and his body is bound by Kurotsuchi. Believing Kabuto’s been captured, Aoba Yamashiro approaches him with the intention of reading his mind to see what he knows about Akatsuki. In short order, Kabuto sheds his skin to get free, captures Yamato, and takes refuge within Manda II’s nose; Manda II escapes and Kabuto withdraws Deidara. Tobi is angry with Kabuto when he returns since he wanted Naruto and B, not Yamato. Kabuto explains that studying Yamato’s wood release will allow him to make the White Zetsu Army stronger. He adds that Yamato has intel they can use, which finally convinces Tobi.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation Kabuto and Anko clash. Once all their preparations are completed, Kabuto and Tobi mobilise their respective armies against the Allied Shinobi Forces. While Tobi is busy overseeing that, Kabuto locates Anko Mitarashi nearby, who he led to the Mountains’ Graveyard with a trail of dead bodies. Kabuto captures her after a brief fight. Tobi discovers this and demands that Kabuto kill her. Kabuto refuses, explaining that he can use her Cursed Seal of Heaven to strengthen his use of the Impure World Reincarnation, which is in Tobi’s interests. Tobi stipulates that he’ll only allow this if Kabuto thoroughly demonstrates how the Impure World Reincarnation works, and to that end instructs him to reincarnate Torune Aburameusing Fū Yamanaka as a sacrifice. Kabuto complies and Tobi is satisfied. Kabuto afterwards takes the opportunity to request Tobi’s help in reincarnating Shisui Uchiha and Jiraiya, which Tobi refuses.
Kabuto relocates to a remote area to start monitoring his reincarnated forces. When several encounter the Allied Shinobi Forces’ Third Division, Kabuto drains the chakra from Anko’s cursed seal to fully suppress his reincarnated forces’ personalities, turning them into pure killing machines. He’s very satisfied with the causalities that the Third Division suffer, so he sends all of his Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist to join the battle. Exerting so much control over his combatants requires a great deal of effort on Kabuto’s part, for which reason he allows his other forces to retain their personalities and uses other tactics instead: when the Second Tsuchikage is discovered by the Fourth Division, Kabuto sends the Second Mizukage, Third Raikage, and Fourth Kazekage to reinforce him; against the First Division, he sends a number of individuals whose reincarnation will unnerve members of the Allied Shinobi Forces, thus potentially making them less effective.
Kabuto’s forces have mixed results: though the Third Division experiences heavy losses, they are able to figure out an effective, if slow, way of defeating the reincarnated forces; the Fourth Division chooses to retreat from the reincarnated Kage; the First Division defeats or captures all of their reincarnated opponents, most notably Kabuto’s Gold and Silver Brothers. He sends Hanzō againstMifune of the Fifth Division, expecting an easy victory, but Hanzō deliberately creates an opportunity for the Fifth Division to capture him and Kabuto doesn’t suppress his personality in time to stop him. On the first night of the war, Tobi takes the captured Gold and Silver Brothers from the First Division, which Kabuto guesses to mean he’s getting impatient with his plans. When he learns that Naruto and Killer B have left their confinements, Kabuto becomes determined to capture them so that he can use them as leverage against Tobi.
Kabuto sends Nagato and Itachi Uchiha against Naruto and B, expecting that their respectiveRinnegan and Mangekyō Sharingan will overpower Naruto and B. Itachi, however, is able to removeKabuto’s control over him and teams up with Naruto and B against Nagato. Kabuto attempts to temporarily kill Naruto and B with Nagato while he tries to regain control of Itachi, but Nagato is defeated. Meanwhile, the Fourth Division finally starts fighting the reincarnated Kage, eventually defeating each of them with the help of one of Naruto’s shadow clones. With his forces dwindling, Kabuto decides he’ll need to use his “trump card”. In the anime, the trump card requires preparation, so he tries different ways of buying time: he sends Hayate Gekkō to acquire DNA samples of dead members of the Allied Shinobi Forces so that he can reincarnate them, but this fails; he sends a force led by Torune Aburame to release the captured reincarnated ninja from their bindings, but this fails as well.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: ClimaxAlthough the Second Tsuchikage was apparently defeated and captured, he split apart at the last moment without the Fourth Division’s notice. Kabuto takes control of the uncaptured half of the Tsuchikage and through him summons to the battlefield his trump card: Madara Uchiha. He uses the Tsuchikage to speak to Madara, introducing himself, explaining the modifications he’s made to Madara’s body (his youth, his Rinnegan, and a graft of Hashirama Senju), and requesting a demonstration of Madara’s powers. Madara complies, and after destroying much of the Fourth Division he asks Kabuto why Tobi hasn’t kept to their plans. Because Kabuto doesn’t know what exactly their plans are he can’t give an answer, but he knows Madara requires the Nine-Tails and so directs him to Naruto. Madara then turns his attention to fighting the Allied Shinobi Forces and Kabuto relinquishes his control of the Tsuchikage. Kabuto faces Sasuke and Itachi. Kabuto monitors Madara’s fight until he is found in his cave by Itachi (using information received earlier from Nagato). Itachi states his intentions to kill Kabuto in order to end the Impure World Reincarnation, so Kabuto informs him that the technique will not end with his death. Itachi is quickly joined by Sasuke, who initially mistakes Kabuto for Orochimaru. Sasuke has other business with Itachi and tries to kill Kabuto, but Itachi blocks his attack. Kabuto, aware that Sasuke wants to confront Itachi about the Uchiha Clan Downfall, tries to convince Sasuke to join forces with him, but Sasuke refuses. Since Itachi’s only option of stopping him is to use genjutsu, Kabuto covers his eyes with his hood and sends his snakes to attack them. They destroy the snakes with their Susanoo and then attack Kabuto himself. Kabuto attacks Sasuke and Itachi. Kabuto is able to slip free of their Susanoo using his research ofSuigetsu Hōzuki’s Hydrification Technique; he then heals the little damage he did receive using his research of Karin’s Uzumaki-lineage. Because Sasuke was on a team with both of Suigetsu and Karin, he asks if Kabuto also has the abilities of its other member, Jūgo. Kabuto confirms this, explaining how he used Jūgo’s passive ability to absorbnatural energy in order to achieve Sage Mode, a state Orochimaru was never able to master and thus proof that Kabuto has surpassed him. Kabuto uses the brille of his Sage Mode form to shield his eyes and then blinds Itachi and Sasuke. Because Sasuke is unable to sustain his Susanoo, Kabuto tries to go after him, but Itachi blocks the attack. Itachi cuts Kabuto’s horn. Sasuke and Itachi go on the offensive and coordinate attacks with their Susanoo. Kabuto avoids serious injury and is able to take Sasuke’ssword, which he uses to stab Itachi. Itachi in turn takes the sword back and uses it to cut off the tip of one of Kabuto’s horns. Although their attack didn’t seem to have much effect, Sasuke and Itachi are nevertheless pleased by how well they work together. Kabuto once again tries convincing Sasuke to change sides, reminding him of all Itachi’s lies and manipulations and explaining how he, like Sasuke, also wants to destroy Konoha. Sasuke is too committed to Itachi to betray him, so Kabuto explores his own similarities to Itachi: how both of them sacrificed their identities for Konoha’s greater good and how neither was appreciated for it. This also fails, so Kabuto attacks, manipulating the cave’s interior to crush them; Itachi uses his own body to protect Sasuke. Kabuto cuts through Itachi. Kabuto tries to get close to Itachi so that he can regain control over his body, but Sasuke keeps him away with Amaterasu until Itachi’s body recovers. Itachi admits that he used to be like Kabuto, as he also struggled with who he was and tried to define himself by becoming perfect. He eventually discovered that this was the wrong tactic and that the only way to understand himself was to accept his faults. Kabuto is unmoved, having thought long and hard about one’s identity and now firmly committed to his current course. He uses his Strange Transmission Distant Shadow technique in order to manifest aspects of the Sound Five and even Orochimaru, using their broad range of abilities to overwhelm Itachi and Sasuke from a safe distance. They counter each of his attacks and Itachi continues trying to reason with him, frustrating Kabuto enough that he moves closer in order to attack Itachi in person. Kabuto forced to release the Impure World Reincarnation. Kabuto and Sasuke briefly exchange attacks while Itachi’s body recovers. Kabuto avoids serious injury and is able to take Sasuke’s sword, which he uses to stab Itachi. Itachi in turn takes the sword back and uses it to cut off the tip of the same horn as before. Kabuto notes the déjà vu of this previous exchange, but thinks nothing of it and resumes the attack. However, the exchange keeps happening over and over, with his horn reappearing each time only to be cut off again: this is Itachi’s Izanami, a genjutsu that traps its victims using a sensory loop rather than vision. Kabuto realises that something has happened to him, but none of the jutsu he tries are able to change the outcome. While Kabuto is trapped in his own mind, Itachi opens his brille and uses a genjutsu to force him to release the Impure World Reincarnation, returning himself and everyone else to the Pure Land.
Sasuke shortly afterwards revives Orochimaru using a sample of Kabuto’s flesh. Orochimaru then absorbs his own chakra from Kabuto’s body and they leave him behind.
Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki
Main article: Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki Kabuto saving Sasuke. By design, the only way to escape Izanami is to be humble and to stop trying to alter events in one’s favour. Kabuto, by stopping trying to make himself into something new and perfect and instead accepting who he’s always been deep down, satisfies this criteria and is released from Izanami. Kabuto is deeply glad to have rediscovered his long-abandoned identity and feels indebted to Itachi for showing it to him. In order to return the favour, Kabuto heads to the last remaining battlefield of the war and uses his medical skills to heal Sasuke’s mortal wounds. Although Karin and Suigetsu are suspicious of Kabuto, Sasuke recovers and is able to rejoin the fight against Madara Uchiha.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Main article: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki StrikesMadara is able to cast Infinite Tsukuyomi, trapping Kabuto and the rest of the world in a dream. Naruto and Sasuke are eventually able to release the Infinite Tsukuyomi, thus freeing the world and ending the war.
Despite his crimes, Kabuto wasn’t imprisoned following the war, and was instead allowed to operate with a degree of autonomy, eventually becoming the director of the Konoha Orphanage. Orochimaru noted to Sasuke that the three of them were not truly free, and had most likely only been spared because the village considered them invaluable tools that could be called upon should another threat to the shinobi world arise.
Sarada Uchiha Arc
Main article: Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet SpringNaruto, now Hokage, delivers Shin Uchiha’s many clones to the orphanage. Kabuto decides that giving each clone their own name should be the top priority.
In Other Media
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds
Main article: Naruto Shippūden the Movie: BondsSasuke is summoned before Orochimaru and Kabuto. Kabuto informs Sasuke of the Land of the Sky’s attack on Konoha, but Sasuke isn’t interested. Orochimaru sends Sasuke to capture Shinnō, which he ultimately fails to do, surprising Kabuto.
Kabuto Yakushi is a playable character in the following video games: