First Manga Appearance: Chapter 39
First Anime Appearance: Episode 23
Name Meaning: Yakushi=Short for Buddhist Healing God, Kabuto="Helmet"
Character Study: Acting ever loyal to Orochimaru, Kabuto had free reign to assist his master in his dark experiments. And though Kabuto attempted to create his own identity after Orochimaru's apparent death, he still relied on the man. After implanting some of Orochimaru's tissue within his own body, the tissue has taken on a life of its own and become a possible vessel for Orochimaru's return.
Chuunin Exam | DB 1
Pre-Timeskip | DB 2
Post-Timeskip | DB 3
Height: 177.0 cm
Weight: 65.0 kg
Registration ID: 012140
Hidden Village: Sound
Rank: - (Jounin Level)
Team: Akadou Yoroi (Former), Tsurugi Misumi (Former), Unnamed Jounin Sensei (Former)
Academy Grad Age: 10
Chuunin Exam Age: -
Jutsu: Chakra no Mesu, Inyu Shoumetsu, Nehan Shouja, Shikon, Shousen
Yakushi Kabuto loyalties are at the heart of his character. When he first appeared in the series he played the part of the trusting experienced confidant. He was then revealed as a spy for Orochimaru and his right hand man. Acting as Orochimaru’s spy, Kabuto entered the Chuunin exam seven times, gathering information for the Sound village. Each time that he had reached the final rounds, he opted to drop out, so he could compete again, and gather more data for his master. He was on a Genin team with Akadou Yoroi, and Tsurugi Misumi, who also acted as spies.
Years ago a battle took place at Bell Flower (Kikyou) Pass between Leaf and some unknown persons. In the aftermath a young child of the enemy was found by a Leaf Jounin medical doctor. The doctor adopted the boy and raised him as a son, teaching him medical jutsu. This boy would grow and have an unremarkable career, graduating from the academy at the age of 10 after taking the finals three times and taking on many low-ranking missions.
Before the first test of his latest Chuunin exams, Kabuto interacts with the Rookie Nine. He somewhat gains the trust of Team 7 and even shows them his information cards about various ninja. When the teams enter the Forest of Death for part 2 of the exams, Kabuto shows up after a near fatal encounter between Team 7 and three Sound ninja. Kabuto shows up just in time to stop Naruto from opening the scroll that they possessed, which would knock their team out disqualifying them from the competition.
Kabuto hatches a plan, asking them to head towards the Tower at the center of the forest. He surmised that other teams would be in the vicinity, which would allow Naruto and company to steal the scroll they required. While executing the plan, Kabuto and Team 7 are halted by Rain Ninja, who use Genjutsu to try and tire out in order to pilfer the scrolls from the team. In this sequence, Kabuto’s glasses are knocked off, showing his eyes, which took a deep hue of red bloodshot. This combined with Kabuto’s “old blood” comments has led many viewers to speculate he may be harboring some secret ability, although none have been revealed to date. Kabuto, like in previous years chose to refrain from entering the combat rounds of the Chuunin exams. Though his teammates entered, Kabuto chose to withdraw much to the surprise of Team 7.
Kabuto stated he was wiped out from their battle with the Rain ninja and from his earlier run in with the Sound Genin. After the prelims were over, he met Orochimaru. The two were discussed Orochimaru’s target, Sasuke, and a ploy to kidnap him. Orochimaru implanted the idea and told Kabuto the only way to foil him would be to kill Sasuke which Kabuto appeared to consider. Kabuto would proceed to the hospital, killing the ANBU guarding Sasuke, and also apparently seriously considering killing Sasuke himself, if not for Kakashi’s interference. Kakashi would chastize Kabuto for his arrogance, but he would be in for a surpise. As he moved to take out Kabuto, the young man fell dead, while one of the ANBU corpses rose to flee. One of Kakashi's clones would stop him, only to see the other ANBU corpse jump through the window to escape, revealing himself to be the real Kabuto in disguise. His medical skills and trickery impressed even Kakashi.
Kabuto would surface again, killing another ANBU before the start of the finals in the Chuunin exams. In this disguise he would make his way into the arena. There he healed an injured Hinata after she collapsed during the Neji-Naruto fight, leading viewers to once again question his motives. Later on, during the Gaara-Sasuke battle, Kabuto activated Nehan Shouja no Jutsu, knocking many people in the stadium unconscious, and signaling the beginning of the Sand and Sound Invasion. Kabuto himself did not participate in battle, but his identity was surmised by Kakashi right before his retreat.
After the failed invasion, Kabuto and Orochimaru sought out Tsunade, who Orochimaru hoped could fix his injured arms from his battle with Sandaime Hokage. During the fallout of this arc, Tsunade had refused to help Orochimaru. Tsunade with the help Naruto, Jiraiya and Shizune, the four ninja did battle with Kabuto and Orochimaru. Kabuto exposed Tsunade’s hemophobia spraying blood onto her, hindering her performance in battle. Though he fared well in the battle, Naruto’s newly formed move, the Rasengan, caused him great damage at the end of the fight. If not for his medical expertise, Kabuto may have sustained fatal injuries. With the tide of the battle turning, Kabuto and Orochimaru retreated to their lair once more.
When Orochimaru sent his elite to retrieve Sasuke, Kabuto took a backseat in the arc. He advised his master to quickly switch out of his deteriorating body, and even offered himself as a host. Orochimaru however rejected his offer and elected to take another alternative. Kabuto, then coerced the fatally ill ninja, Kaguya Kimimaro to enter the battle for Sasuke to help Orochimaru obtain his perfect body.
Several years later Konoha received word that Akatsuki member Sasori had a spy in Orochimaru’s confidence. This spy was revealed as Kabuto, who had last seen Sasori five years before. Posing as Sasori the Leaf ninja went to meet Kabuto. Kabuto arrived and revealed that he had been unable to gather the cellular material from Orochimaru's former body. When Orochimaru then appeared, Kabuto quickly fled to Sasori's side. However he soon revealed that his true allegiance was with Orochimaru, and that the meeting was a ruse for an assassination attempt on Sasori.
It was also revealed that Orochimaru had removed a memory block put on him by Sasori years ago and that Kabuto came around to Orochimaru's thinking. In his new position he could help Orochimaru with his excellent medical skills and allow his master to make better use of their test subjects. Orochimaru would eventually square off with the newly formed Team 7, with Yamato and Sai instead of Kakashi and Sasuke. Orochimaru would fend off Kyuubi-Naruto, however in the battle, Sakura is badly burned by the Kyuubi chakra after trying to calm Naruto down. Kabuto was bound by Yamato but he chose to heal her anyway. Leading viewers once again to wonder where his loyalties lay and what his true motivations are. Kabuto would then help Orochimaru, Sai and himself escape to their hidden lair. There Kabuto would receive Sai's gift, the real identities of Leaf's ANBU members. With this data he would greatly expand their Bingo book.
He was then in for more betrayal, as Sai had no plans to really side with Orochimaru. His real goal was to get close to Sasuke and assassinate him, preventing Orochimaru from taking over his body. Kabuto was captured by Sai and bound in wood by Yamato. He soon escaped and would retreat with Orochimaru and Sasuke to yet again. A short time later Orochimaru's body began to falter. As Orochimaru lay in bed Kabuto administered the medicine to ease his pain. When Kabuto left to collect more medicine, Sasuke to his chance to take out Orochimaru. Kabuto returned to see Orochimaru's body transference form cut up and dead on the ground. He questioned whether Sasuke was in control or Orochimaru. Sasuke confirmed Kabuto's fears with the words "I’ve taken over". Orochimaru was no longer truly alive, but could possibly exist as a subconscious thought in Sasuke’s mind.
Kabuto had found difficulty finding a place for himself now that he was yet again a man without direction. Feeling that he never did surpass Orochimaru, Kabuto looked to Naruto for inspiration. Naruto's persistence allowed him to create his own identity beyond the Kyuubi and Kabuto hoped that by utilizing Orochimaru's strength he could become more powerful than even the original Orochimaru. So Kabuto took some of Orochimaru's tissue and placed it into his body. Unfortunately, the tissue began to spread and quickly take root, transforming his appearance to resemble that of Orochimaru. Kabuto then set out to give Naruto a gift for inspiring him. After tracking down Naruto and his team, Kabuto gave the Leaf ninja the information Sound had gathered on Akatsuki. Kabuto revealed his new gifts and then retreated when Leaf moved to capture him. Kabuto stated he would face Naruto once he was fully in control of Orochimaru's gifts. His first target however, would be the man who killed Orochimaru... Sasuke.
Kabuto is a very mysterious person. Even though he is a subordinate of Orochimaru, he often defies him, and even shows signs of his own agenda. Who knows what sort of surprises this enigmatic ninja still has up his sleeve. He is a very skilled and clever ninja, as he shows his prowess many times, keeping up with the likes of Kakashi and even the Sannin Tsunade in battle.
|Yakushi Kabuto Timeline
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
19 Yrs. BSS - Kabuto Born.
15-10 Yrs. BSS - Found and raised by Leaf medical ninja.
9 Yrs. BSS - Graduates Ninja Academy.
2-1 Yrs. BSS - Orochimaru removes Sasori's memory block, Participates and drops out of numerous Chuunin Exams.
0 - Series Start.
6 Mo. ASS - Enters Chuunin Exam, Revealed to be a spy.
7 Mo. ASS - Impersonates ANBU and helps in Sand and Sound invasion.
8 Mo. ASS - Goes with Orochimaru to find Tsunade.
9 Mo. ASS - Revives Kimimaro, Welcomes Sasuke to Hidden Sound.
10 Mo. ASS - Leaves Hidden Sound for new hideout with Orochimaru and Sasuke.
3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Goes to meet and kill Sasori at the Tenchikyou Bridge, Leaves Sound compound with Sasuke and Orochimaru.
3 Yrs. 5 Mo. ASS - Learns of Orochimaru's death, implants some of Orochimaru's tissue within his body.