Hanzō (半蔵, Hanzō), also known as Hanzō of the Salamander (山椒魚の半蔵, Sanshôuo no Hanzō), was a legendary shinobi and former leader of Amegakure (Hidden Rain village) before being knocked down and murdered by Pain. He was then revived by Kabuto Yakushi during the Fourth Great Ninja War.
As a child, Hanzō was implanted with the poison bag of a dead black salamander in his village. The operation was to create a ninja capable of poisoning others and immune to any form of toxin. Hanzō had to wear a mask to protect others from his poisonous breath: this earned him his nickname of Hanzō of the Salamander.
In his youth, having defeated Mifune in the past but spared his life, Hanzō once sought the ideals of “peace” and even attempted to achieve it with the unification of the five great countries. However, after realizing that such a method would only lead to perpetual war and thus leave only death in its wake, he put aside this belief and focused on maintaining his status as the leader of the Hidden Rain Village.
Hanzō then gave the same respect to the team of Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru during the Second Great Ninja War where he christened them the Sannin for enduring his attacks. He also fought with Chiyo on numerous occasions, allowing him to create an antidote to his salamander poison.
Years later, during the Third Great Ninja War, Hanzō feared that the Akatsuki and their unorthodox means of ending the conflict posed a threat to his regime, requesting the services of Danzō Shimura to eliminate the organization’s top three ninja (in an anime, it was revealed that Danzō was secretly manipulating Hanzō into this alliance by framing the Akatsuki for attempting to overthrow him).
Hanzo kidnapped Konan to force Yahiko to kill himself to save her
However, although Yahiko died, Hanzō’s plan only prompted Nagato, as Pain, to launch a civil action that ended with Hanzō being killed by Nagato through Yahiko’s body. Pain not only killed him, but also killed his relatives and ambassadors from other nations, and considered his name a taboo in the hidden Rain village under his rule.
Fourth Great Ninja War
Hanzō was among the ninja revived by Kabuto for the Fourth Great Ninja War. After being drafted, he was part of the group that Chūkichi from the surprise attack and diversion section asked for help, along with Chiyo and Kimimaro.
Encountering the remnants of the Alliance’s surprise attack division with this impromptu team, Hanzō chastised Deidara for getting caught and remarked that he would have had no intention of releasing him, if he were not under the influence of the cursed technique.
Summoning Ibuse, Hanzō restrained the allied ninja until Mifune arrived. As they engage in their revenge and are defeated by Mifune, Hanzō learns that the loss of conviction in his ideal of peace has dulled his skills.
After Hanzō recalls his past battle with Mifune, where he divulged the details surrounding his infamy and ultimately spared the defeated samurai due to his strong devotion to his allies, he then explains that the weakness he describes then remains despite his immortality.
In a tremendous show of will, Hanzō places his faith in Mifune and – overcoming the talisman that governed his actions – stabs himself to pierce his poison sack and leave him paralyzed so that the Fifth Division could quickly seal him for the duration of the war until the Reanimation Jutsu was cancelled.
Hanzo was very concerned about his personal safety. He was watched 24 hours a day and would not allow anyone to be in his presence, even children, until they had been searched. He cared greatly about his position as village leader. This obsession with security deceived Hanzo into thinking that he was preserving the great skills he had amassed, instead he was only deteriorating them through lack of practice.
Although he saw the Big Five countries as his enemies, he was always ready to ally himself with foreign countries, even those that had caused him great harm, in order to remain in power. He was also willing to betray people without remorse, the leader of the Ame Orphans and their team paid the price, he tried to kill them all without mercy; this betrayal, ironically, led to his own demise.
Long ago in his youth, Hanzo had once sought ideals of “peace” and even attempted to achieve this belief through the unification of the five great countries. However, after realising that such a method would only lead to perpetual war and thus simply leave death in its wake, he rejected his beliefs.
Thereafter Hanzō became exclusively devoted to preserving the power he had already amassed, increasingly arrogant of his own martial skills, which had declined well through lack of practice. Even at the time of his death, Hanzō still could not understand how someone he had once defeated could have become more powerful than him.
A distinctive trait of Hanzō, however, was his belief in the faith of the people: he believed that a strong faith would have survived the death of its owner. He had great respect for those with strong faith, as seen when he spared the lives of many strong-willed opponents he defeated, demanding their names in order to call them heroes despite their defeat.
He claimed that his faith was fueled by his will to bring peace to the world and that it, despite his harsh words and attitude when he was older, seemed to have survived, as seen when, before releasing a cloud of poison from his stomach and losing his free will to Kabuto’s Edo Tensei, he entrusted his will to Mifune.
Hanzō was a rather muscular man of average height, with long blond hair that reached down to his back and had a visible scar on his right cheek. In the manga, he had unusual eyes with dark corneas and light-coloured irises, similar to Kakuzu’s.
In the anime, his eyes were normal and he had a very dark eye. In the anime, his eyes were normal, depicted with a clear cornea and a brown iris.
On the left side of his abdomen, he had a distinctive character, a cross-shaped scar obtained from implanting a salamander’s venom sac into his body.
He had a black hat on his head and the lower part of his face was mostly obscured by an oxygen mask-like mask, which he used to wear because of his own poison and which differed from those worn by other Ame shinobi. The upper part of his mask bore the symbol of his village, which was reflected by four slashes on the part covering his mouth.
His typical costume consisted of an outfit resembling a typical village wetsuit, accented by bandages wrapped around his wrists and lower legs, a protective waistcoat, standard ninja sandals, and a dark coat that reached down to his waist. Underneath this suit, he wore a dark short-sleeved shirt that showed his entire lower abdomen, much like the one worn by Sai.
In his youth, his hair was much shorter and he wore a respirator with only one cartridge instead of two. During his fight with Mifune in the past, Hanzo was shown shirtless, wearing only the lower part of his wetsuit-like outfit, complete with a pair of dark gloves covering his hands.
Thanks to his skills, Hanzo is easily considered one of the most powerful ninjas of his era and an icon in the entire ninja world. With such a powerful strength, Jiraiya was stunned to hear that he was single-handedly defeated by Pain. It is said that Hanzo’s speed is unmatched in water.
Hanzo was able to use Katon, and in his attempt to kill Nagato, he combined skill with trapping techniques, showing impressive capacities as he not only anticipated Nagato’s attack, but also placed correctly explosion scrolls have been prepared before.