First Manga Appearance: Chapter 36
First Anime Appearance: Episode 21
Name Meaning: A play on "Bruce Lee"
Note: Like his teammates, Lee bears certain Chinese stylings including his style of hair.
Character Study: Inspired by Might Guy, Lee constantly trained to prove that he could be an excellent ninja. His drive almost cost him his life, but he was able to recover and continue to advance his skills. After becoming a Chuunin, he has yet to feature much in the series.
Chuunin Exam | DB 1
Pre-Timeskip | DB 2
Post-Timeskip | DB 3
Height: 172.0 cm
Weight: 54.7 kg
Registration ID: 012561
Hidden Village: Leaf
Team: Might Guy, Hyuuga Neji, TenTen
Academy Grad Age: 12
Chuunin Exam Age: 15
Jutsu: Gouken, Suiken, Dainamikku Entorii, Konoha Dai Senpuu, Konoha Senpuu, Konoha Kage Buyou, Konoha Reppuu, Konoha Shoufuu, Omoto Renge, Seishun furu pawaa!, Ura Renge
Rock Lee is a determined ninja who seeks to overcome those called "genius" through sheer hard work. Characterized by his green jumpsuit and his admiration for his teacher and mentor Might Guy, Rock Lee is a character known for his determination and fiery personality. Lee was picked on at the Ninja Academy because of his lack of talent with Ninjutsu and Genjutsu. This forced him to devote his time into honing his Taijutsu skills. His ability to use Taijutsu allowed him to graduate from the Ninja Academy at the age of 12. After graduation Lee was placed on a team with TenTen and Hyuuga Neji under Might Guy.
Lee would form a close relationship with his teammates and set his goal to defeat the "genius" Neji in battle. Early on when Lee and Neji sparred, Neji would always be the victor. Neji would attribute their difference in skill with his being a genius and Lee being a hopeless no talent. Lee and his sensei, Guy, shared a very close bond. Guy saw himself in Lee and offered to teach Lee his Taijutsu techniques, which the young man eagerly accepted. Guy taught Lee the idea of a "self-rule" to push oneself beyond their limits. This often took the form of boldly declaring how many of a particular exercise one would do, if that number wasn't met due to exhaustion, they had to do a large number of yet another strenuous exercise.
Lee began to idolize Guy and changed his hairstyle and clothing to resemble his sensei. He would memorize every lesson, writing them in his notebook. Guy would help him realize his goal as a ninja, to show the world that he could be a great ninja without the ability to use of Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. His Taijutsu would also be helped by Guy teaching him how to open his celestial gates, the valves which regulate the flow of chakra. By opening these gates Lee gained more power, however with each gate opened Lee's life is put at risk. Lee has been able to open five of these gates. Lee was the only one on his team to be able to use the Omote Renge (Initial Lotus) through opening the first gate. Opening the third gate gave him the ability to use Ura Renge, which gave rise to Lee's "Konoha's lotus blooms twice" motto. Kakashi regarded Lee's ability to open five gates with amazement, as Lee was achieving more with his body than mere hard work alone should grant him.
Over the following year he and his team would take on several missions. Early on Lee faired poorly during the assignments, but with his tutelage under Guy, he learned Guy's Renge techniques and became highly skilled in Taijutsu. This all thanks to his determination to prove himself, which Guy stated made Lee a "genius of hard work." A year after graduating Guy entered his team into the Chuunin Exam. By this point the three Genin worked well together and were eager to prove their skills against the rest of the competition. Before the exam Lee was attempting to enter the test room but he was stopped by two Genin, really two Chuunin examiners. Though it seemed as if he was being pushed around, he revealed his true speed when he stopped Sasuke and one of the examiners from getting into a fight. Lee's team chided him for not playing the part of the dumb Genin and he apologized.
Lee then took notice of Sasuke's teammate Haruno Sakura. His instant infatuation was unfortunately one-sided, as Sakura was appalled by Lee's "bushy-brows". Lee said his feelings were serious, that he would protect her until he died. She dismissed him though as lame, much to Lee's sadness. After Lee saw Sasuke's display of his speed he was eager to test himself against the "genius" Uchiha. He followed Sasuke's team and challenged him to a fight. He also reiterated his love for Sakura, much to her anger. A jealous Naruto charged wanting to prove himself but Lee easily swept him aside.
Lee then moved against Sasuke. Lee was able to handle Sasuke with his superior speed. Sasukeís Sharingan was shown a major flaw. Lee explained that even if Sasuke could see his movements, if his body could not keep up with the superior speed, then there really wasnít much advantage in seeing the movements. Lee moved to use one of his secret techniques, but he was stopped by Guy's turtle summon and Guy himself. Guy slugged Lee but recognized the youth's fiery passion with a tearful embrace. Lee would return to the exam and his team would breeze past the opening test and then proceed to the next test.
During this time Lee split off from the group and come to the aid of Sakura and her teammates. Honoring his pledge to always protect her, Lee decided to take on the three Sound Genin by himself. Unfortunately being forced to protect three other injured ninja and also not knowing the abilities of the Sound Genin put him at a disadvantage. Lee knew that he might be forced to use Omote Renge, which Guy had stated required only be used to protect someone precious to him, Sakura was such a person. To that end Lee attempted to go all out and use Omote Renge against Dosu Kinuta.
Kicking him into the air he prepared to bring him crashing back to the earth. Unfortunately Zaku Abumi quickly moved to nullify the move by injecting an air cushion into the ground. Dosu then used his sound attacks to damage Lee's hearing and equilibrium, making him vulnerable. Thankfully Neji and TenTen had gone in search for him. Various Genin groups converged on the battle to help Sakura's team including Neji and TenTen. Before Neji had to step in to dissuade them, the newly curse sealed Sasuke rose and sent then running. The injured Lee was passed off to TenTen for treatment. Showing her squads more physical approach she violently shook the young man to reawaken him. Lee could not believe he failed where Sasuke succeeded. When Naruto went to greet "bushy-brows" Sakura slugged him for insulting Lee and gave him her deep thanks. Lee's squad then took their leave and obtained their needed scroll, passing on the next portion of the exam.
In the third test prelims, Lee eagerly watched the other matches, providing commentary and encouragement for his team. As time wore on Lee stated he no longer wanted to fight, which resulted in him finally being selected, much to his satisfaction. He explained it was simple reverse psychology. Lee's opponent was Gaara from Hidden Sand. The two men sized each other up and Lee quickly moved to strike Gaara. His opponent stood his ground though, letting his automatic sand protection deflect all the strikes. Lee soon retreated and looking to his sensei he saw his approval to remove his training weights, which were hidden under his leggings. Lee stated he was told to remove them only to protect someone precious but Guy said it was okay. The on looking crowd expressed confusion over how removal of some weights would change Lee's speed, they soon learned they were heavier than they appeared, crushing the ground when they were dropped.
Lee then disappeared in the blink of an eye, launching kicks and strikes from every direction. His speed proved too much for the sand and he landed a direct hit on Gaara. As time wore on Lee's technique began to grow less and less effective, forcing Lee to use his special techniques. He attempted his Omote Renge on Gaara, however Gaara's weight was more than Lee expected, forcing him to launch multiple kicks against Gaara to give him the needed height. When he finally reached the apex he winced and wrapped Gaara up, and then brought him spinning back to implant in the floor.
Gaara remained motionless and to Lee's surprise crumbled, revealing he had replaced himself with a sand replica when Lee winced. Lee was weakened from Renge's side-effects and Gaara went on the offensive. Lee thought back over how Guy believed in him and seeing his sensei look down on him with approval Lee was revitalized. He then began opening celestial gates to meet his way of the ninja, unleashing a torrent of strength and power to everyone's shock. Unfortunately such power comes at great risk to the userís life. Lee began to move at blinding speed, pummeling Gaara throughout the air. However because of the strain his muscles began to tear. By unleashing his final Ura Renge attack, Lee smashed Gaara into the ground. Unfortunately Gaara's gourd gave way, dampening the impact on the ground. Lee fell to the ground weak and injured. Gaara himself was not quite finished though; raising his arms he grasped Lee's leg and arm with his sand.
Though Lee tried to hobble away, the sand constricted, crushing his bones. When Gaara moved to crush Lee again, Guy stepped in to protect his precious student. Gaara was declared the victor and everyone was surprised to see Lee rise to continue the fight. Amazingly Lee was standing but he was actually unconsciousness; his drive to protect his way of the ninja made him stand. Medical ninja rushed to check Lee and made a horrifying discovery. His injuries were so severe from the gate usage and sand crushing that he had no chance for a full recovery, ending his ability to be a ninja.
Lee was thereafter taken to the hospital for recuperation. While sleeping in his hospital bed, Gaara came to finish him off. Creeping into his room he was stopped by Shikamaru and Naruto. When Gaara began to lose it Guy arrived and told them to cut it out, that they could get their chance to fight in the third test. During his time in the hospital Lee would continue his training, though his body would falter him. Even when he was told to rest, Lee would sneak out to do his strenuous exercises. When the third Chuunin test was held Guy and Lee went to watch the matches. Lee reacted in surprise when he found out Naruto had beat Neji, but he sincerely felt happy that Naruto had beat the "genius". Lee would also be surprised when Sasuke revealed he had copied many of Lee's moves, attaining close to his own weighted speed. Lee would then be among those knocked out by Kabuto's Genjutsu when Sand and Sound launched their invasion.
When the legendary medical ninja Tsunade returned the Leaf village to become Hokage, she examined Lee. She agreed that his time as a ninja was over. There were numerous bone fragments lodged within his spine and only she could perform the surgery which might allow him to continue being a ninja. The procedure was very high risk, with a chance of success of only 50%. And even if successful, Lee would have to go through extensive rehabilitation. Lee spoke with Guy about it and his mentor stated that Lee should undertake the surgery. And if Lee died during the procedure, he would as well, for he had made a self promise to train Lee to become a good ninja. And if that failed, his life was void. Lee decided to pull it all in Tsunade's hands, risking it all to regain his path as a ninja. Lee would see off his comrades when they set out to retrieve Sasuke from Hidden Sound and then head in for his surgery. The surgery was performed and Lee remained in the hospital to recover.
His drive to help his friends though caused him to act rashly once again. Gathering up his weapons and the "medicine" he thought was left by Tsunade; he snuck out of the hospital and raced north towards his comrades. Using his speed and quickness he managed to catch up to Naruto who was in battle with Hidden Sound member Kimimaro. Lee told Naruto to go on ahead after Sasuke while he alone would face Kimimaro and his strange bone techniques. Coming at Kimimaro from all sides he was unable to get a solid hit on his opponent. Lee then asked for a moment of pause, and ingested the "medicine" left by Tsunade. Unfortunately Lee had grabbed Tsunade's sake bottle rather than his medicine. Back in Konoha the mistake was discovered by Tsunade and Guy. Guy revealed that in the past Lee had drank some of his alcohol, causing him to get into a quick drunken stupor. Guy told Tsunade that Lee is natural Suiken (Drunken Fist) user.
Lee began to sway and fall, preventing any reliable prediction of attack. Lee and Kimimaro exchanged attacks but his opponent began to get the upper hand once again. Moving to use his Omote Renge he was once again blocked by bones. When Kimimaro moved in for the kill Lee himself was saved by yet another new entry to the battle, Gaara. Gaara stated he and his siblings had been sent by Tsunade to help the Leaf squad retrieve Sasuke. Gaara was emotionless but it was clear he wanted to make up for his past transgressions against Lee. Ever since Gaara had lost to Naruto in battle, he had changed his outlook on life. Protecting Lee, Gaara took the offensive against Kimimaro, unleashing wave after wave of Sand attack. Kimimaro was eventually forced to use his ultimate technique, causing a field of bones to rise from his body. Unfortunately due to his failing health this proved his end. With their opponent defeated Lee and Gaara rested and talked over the nature of loneliness.
As the years passed Lee and his team eventually passed the Chuunin Exam. Lee himself would don a flak jacket, drawing his appearance even closer to that of his idol Guy. When a request came in from Hidden Sand to help rescue their Kazekage Gaara from Akatsuki, Guy and his team were sent to help. The team raced to Hidden Sand but was stopped by Hoshigaki Kisame. Kisame avoided most of their attacks and got the drop on the team and imprisoned Lee, Neji and TenTen in water prisons. Neji broke them free and Guy managed to eventually defeat their opponent.
The team then proceeded on to Akatsuki's base. When they removed the seal guarding the cave, they were faced with doppelgangers that emerged from the earth itself. The copies used their same exact weapons and abilities. The team managed to eventually defeat the guardians and assist Naruto and Kakashi, who were chasing Akatsuki member Deidara. Lee's team stopped Deidara escape. Neji soon saw that Deidara planned to blow himself up. Hatake Kakashi had enough time though to send Deidara to another location using his Mangekyou Sharingan. With Deidara stopped, elder Sand kunoichi Chiyo was able to revive Gaara. They returned to Sand, then wished their comrades goodbye. Guy moved to carry the weakened Kakashi on his back on the return trip. Their appearance inspired Lee, who saw it as training. Offering Neji the opportunity to be carried on Lee's back, Neji refused, much to Lee's disappointment. The Leaf ninja then finally set out for Konoha.
|Rock Lee Timeline
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
13 Yrs. BSS - Rock Lee Born.
3 Yrs. BSS - Lee introduced to Guy sensei.
1 Yrs. BSS - Graduates Academy.
1 - 0 Yrs. BSS - Guy teaches Lee how to open celestial gates and use Renge attacks.
0 - Series Start.
6 Mo. ASS - Enters Chuunin Exam, Loses to Gaara in Third Round Preliminaries and has body permanently damaged.
6 - 7 Mo. ASS - Recuperates in hospital, Trains against doctors wishes.
7 Mo. ASS - Travels to watch third Chuunin test, Knocked out by Kabuto's Genjutsu.
9 Mo. ASS - Tsunade performs successful surgery on his body, Leaves to assist Naruto in chasing Sasuke, Fights Kimimaro with Gaara.
10 Mo. ~ 3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Increases skills and strength, Passes Chuunin Exam.
3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Meets Naruto again, Travels to River Country to save Gaara, Fights with his team against Hoshigaki Kisame.