First Manga Appearance: Chapter 12
First Anime Appearance: Episode 7
Name Meaning: Momo=Peach tree chi=earth, Za=again bu=never za=kill
Character Study: Zabuza is the first antagonist Team 7 faces, providing the first glimpse of more highly skilled ninja. He also acts as one of the first villains emotionally moved by Naruto's pleas. And though he died early on, his "second coming" in Suigetsu continues his influence within the series.
At Death | DB 1
Age: 26 (Deceased)
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 72 kg
Registration ID: -
Hidden Village: Mist
Team: Seven Swordsmen
Academy Grad Age: 9
Chuunin Exam Age: ?
Jounin Age: ?
Jutsu: Daibakufu, Kirigakure, Mizu Bunshin, Muon Satsujin, Shunshin, Suirou, Suiryuudan
Known Elements: Suiton
Weapons: Head cleaving sword
Zabuza was a Jounin-level ninja of the Hidden Mist village. He earned himself the nickname of The Devil of Hidden Mist and was a truly fierce warrior. Zabuza’s early days in the village even changed the way it worked in selecting Genin candidates. Previously, academy students would be put into pairs and when the exam came, forced to fight to the death. However, one year occurred where nobody became a Genin because a single child that wasn’t even in the exam had slaughtered all one hundred candidates. That child was Momochi Zabuza.
Zabuza grew up to earn his reputation as an expert in silent killing, concealing himself in a thick fog and sneaking through it without a sound to take his victims apart. He eventually joined the elite group of the Mist’s Seven Shinobi Swordsmen. However, he did not remain loyal to his village and for reasons still unknown, attempted a coup by killing the Mizukage. The attempt failed, however, resulting in Zabuza fleeing and taking with him a pair of Chuunin-level warriors, Gozu and Meizu, collectively known as the Demon Brothers. While traveling, he encountered a small boy persecuted for being the bearer of an advanced bloodline named Haku, who he groomed and taught the arts of a ninja. Despite the endless pursuit from Hidden Mist’s Hunter-Ninja team, Zabuza managed to stay one step ahead of them, with Haku possibly being his greatest weapon of all thanks to his genetic gifts.
In order to finance his second assault on his home village, Zabuza became an agent of the shipping magnate, Gato. The greedy businessman had formed a monopoly over the poverty-stricken Wave Country, but faced opposition from a resident that planned to build a bridge to the mainland that would relieve the pressure Gato placed on everyone. Zabuza’s task was to assassinate the architect, Tazuna, who was returning to the Water Country with a small escort team from the Fire Country’s Hidden Leaf village. The first attempt on his life came from the Demon Brothers but was foiled by Kakashi. Zabuza himself then tried to complete the job, keeping the upper hand on all four of the Leaf ninja team. With Kakashi trapped, it required teamwork to set him free again. Zabuza’s water clones made the job difficult and kept pressure on Tazuna’s life, too. However, Kakashi revealed his trump card, the Sharingan.
Zabuza was forced into a corner, but thanks to a clever deception, was rescued by Haku, posing as a hunter-ninja and allowing Zabuza to fake his own death. The next time Kakashi and Zabuza clashed, Zabuza unveiled the perfect counter to the Sharingan – his own Mist Concealment technique, which flooded the area with thick fog and blocked the Sharingan from working. While he confronted Kakashi, Haku held onto Naruto and Sasuke. However, the escalation of their fight led to Kakashi’s hand being forced. Holding Zabuza in place with the assistance of his pack of ninja dogs, Kakashi prepared to gather a huge amount of chakra into his hand and run it through Zabuza. As the strike was delivered, Kakashi realized Haku had used himself as a human shield. Zabuza attempted his own fatal slice, but found himself literally de-armed as Kakashi disabled both his arms with a kunai.
Before any further events could transpire between them, Gato and his private army of hired thugs showed up on the bridge, expecting Tazuna dead. He revealed his intention of killing Zabuza off once the assassination had been completed to avoid paying for his services then began to mock Zabuza and beat the corpse of Haku. Naruto began to question Zabuza’s humanity, allowing Gato to defile Haku’s memory. Zabuza told Naruto that ninja are more weapons than humans, but Naruto persisted and awakened Zabuza’s heart. Taking a kunai in his mouth, Zabuza lunged through the crowd of hired muscle, taking horrific injuries all over his body. However, the numbers could not prevent him from reaching Gato and with spears still stuck inside him and no use of his arms, the Devil of Hidden Mist sent Gato to hell with a fatal slash. The injuries he received were critical and had already sealed his own fate.
Zabuza made a final request to Kakashi, to be buried alongside Haku. Their graves were next to each other atop a cliff. A little over three years later, Zabuza's sword was removed by Suigetsu. Suigetsu was a Mist Seven trainee who hoped to one day join the group. The Mist Seven pass on their swords to the next generation of members, and he hoped to carry on Zabuza's legacy.
Zabuza is the first major enemy encountered in the series and believed by many to be among the best, even giving Kakashi a run for his money. His only relation to any character was Haku, who looked up to Zabuza as a father figure and eventually grew to love him just as such. Zabuza tried to mask his feelings for Haku as using him as a tool, but in the end, it appeared that he had accepted Haku as a surrogate son of his own. He is also viewed by some as a “prototype” for the later villain, Hoshigake Kisame, who was also a part of the Mist’s Seven Shinobi Swordsmen and also carried a gigantic sword. In the games, the two share moves and fight alike, though in the canon manga and anime, Kisame refers to Zabuza as a mere punk in comparison to him.
|Momochi Zabuza Timeline
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
26 Yrs. BSS - Zabuza Born
17 Yrs. BSS - Graduates Academy and slaughters classmates
17-6 Yrs. BSS - Becomes Chuunin and Jounin, Joins Mist Seven Swordsmen.
5 Yrs. BSS - Finds Haku, Attempts to assassinate Mizukage and then flees country.
5 - 1 Yrs. BSS - Trains Haku, Travels world fleeing from Mist Hunter-nin
0 - Series Start
0 - 1 Mo. ASS - Begins assault against Tazuna, Fights Team 7 and turns against Gatou, Dies due to injuries.