Since 1999, the Naruto franchise showed us the crazy things ninja (also known as shinobi) can do. With chakra providing the basis for their superhuman abilities, there are almost no limits to what they can accomplish.
Jiraiya was a character who really did seem to push the shinobi limits. Debuting in the manga in volume 10 (more than 50 episodes into the anime), he became a mentor for Naruto. He quickly proved himself a fan-favorite. As powerful as a Hokage, he didn’t think himself worthy of a leadership position. He did have certain predilections, like spying on women, that made him ill suited to a position of power.
His faults didn’t make him less powerful as a shinobi, though. In fact, he was a legend among his people, known as the student of the Third Hokage, the mentor of the Fourth, and one third of the Legendary Sannin. During five decades of being a shinobi, he mastered more jutsu than most of the other characters fans met in the franchise.
Mastering all manner of jutsu meant that he could do more than just spit fire or produce a ball of energy in his hand. Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto took inspiration for Jiraiya from a Japanese folktale called The Tale Of Jiraiya The Gallant. In it, Jiraiya fell in love with a woman named Tsunade and was betrayed by Orochimaru. Naruto fans will find plenty of similarities there. Jiraiya could also shapeshift into a frog, which gave Kishimoto ideas for much of what happens to Jiraiya’s anatomy in the franchise.
Find out just what happened to Jiraiya and what he could do with these 30 Strange Details About Jiraiya’s Anatomy.
30 He Uses His Blood To Summon Different Toads
Given that his nickname is the Toad Sage, it’s probably not surprising that he has a summoning contract with toads. In order to summon an animal for help in the Naruto franchise though, the act doesn’t just require a shinobi signing a paper and wishing for some backup.
Instead, every time Jiraiya wants to summon a helping hand (or tongue as the case may be), he bites the end of one finger to use his own blood to call for help.
Jiraiya is unique in that the same toad doesn’t appear every time. His former teammates, Tsunade and Orochimaru, typically call the same animal every time they need backup.
29 He Doesn’t Have Complete Control Of Sage Mode
Sage Mode is something only elite shinobi can achieve. It involves tapping into natural energy to increase power and abilities. Despite his intense training, and even living among the toads he summons for a while, Jiraiya has difficulty maintaining complete control in Sage Mode. His control is so strained that his body changes during his use of it.
While using Sage Mode, he actually begins to resemble the animals he relies on so much. Warts surface on his skin and his hands and feet develop webbing. Jiraiya hates Sage Mode changing his appearance because he thinks it makes him less attractive.
28 He Only Has To Tap An Opponent With His Finger To Knock Them Down
The manga makes it clear just how strong Jiraiya is in a pretty great way: he can send an opponent flying with one simple motion. When confronted by Naruto in one of their earliest meetings, Jiraiya simply taps Naruto with one finger to quite literally launch the young shinobi away from him.
While the anime doesn’t show Jiraiya’s strength in the same way, we do still get the idea that he’s stronger than the average shinobi. Not only can he pick a grown man up and throw him, but Jiraiya is also seen breaking large boulders with his bare hands.
27 His Hair Can Be Needle Sharp
While in Sage Mode, Jiraiya can increase the power behind some of his more interesting attacks. One of those attacks involves turning his hair into projectile needles. The process hardens the skin on his head and causes his hair to sharpen at the ends. He can then project hair outward to shoot at his enemy. His hair lengthens so he can continue sending needles of hair his enemy’s way, creating a rapid fire.
He doesn’t have enough chakra on his own to keep the process up for long, so when he’s in Sage Mode, Jiraiya borrows a little chakra from the toads that accompany him. They keep his chakra replenished and his hair growing.
26 Kabuki Inspired Jiraiya
In addition to being inspired by a Japanese folk tale, Masashi Kishimoto also took inspiration from Kabuki theater for Jiraiya. Kabuki got its start in the 1600s. The theater show was a dance-drama that involved elaborate costumes and makeup. It’s gone through changes over the years, but it still involves stylized drama and dramatic posing as number begin and end.
Naruto: Words of Wisdom Collection revealed that Kishimoto modeled Jiraiya’s speech patterns on Kabuki actors.
He also gave Jiraiya particularly dramatic poses and introductions at the start of fights as a nod to the genre.
25 Tsunade Nearly Destroyed Him
Jiraiya and Tsunade knew each other almost their entire lives. Placed on a shinobi team with one another right out of the Academy, they spent their formative years training together. However, this didn’t stop their friendship from being volatile.
When they were kids, Tsunade disapproved of his spying habits. She disapproved of them even more when they were directed at her. When she caught Jiraiya spying on her, she nearly destroyed him on the spot. She broke both of his arms, six of his ribs, and ruptured many of his internal organs in retaliation. It’ a good thing Konohagakure had a good hospital.
24 Tsunade Saved Him From Orochimaru
As an adult, Jiraiya turned down the offer of the Hokage position, opting to search out Tsunade in her travels and offer it to her instead. During his search, Tsunade contemplated making a deal with Orochimaru to resurrect her loved ones.
She turned on Orochimaru and tried to fight him instead. When Jiraiya and Naruto intervened, trying to help, Jiraiya ended up with some pretty severe injuries. Despite having her own injuries to take care of, Tsunade healed Jiraiya first. She mended his broken bones on the fly and even replenished his chakra levels with some of her own.
23 He Has Access To Four Basic Nature Types Of Chakra
Chakra determines what kind of jutsu a shinobi can use. If a shinobi isn’t a Water Type chakra user, they’re not going to be able to do something like create a water prison - unless, of course, they’re a villain who actually steals someone’s chakra.
Most shinobi have one or two Nature Types that they start off with innately, but they can gradually learn to manipulate more. Hokage level shinobi usually have access to the most. Jiraiya is able to access Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth Types. The only basic chakra type he doesn’t use? Lightning, which is manipulated by most of the Hyuga and Uchiha clan members.
22 He Invented The Transparent Escape Technique
Jiraiya enjoys spying on people. That’s part of the reason why Tsunade trusts him to undertake such dangerous missions when she becomes Hokage. It’s also something that used to put them at odds as kids. Even though Jiraiya spies for the good of the Hidden Leaf Village, he also enjoys spying on women in particular.
As a kid, he developed his own jutsu so he wouldn’t get caught.
Fans never actually see the jutsu in action in the manga, but Jiraiya can use it to make himself invisible. He passed the trick on to Naruto as well. We see Naruto use it in the Blood Prison movie.
21 He Has Toad-Like Abilities
Jiraiya isn’t just called the Toad Sage because he calls on the animals for help - he also has some of his own abilities that he learned from his time spent with them. One of those is spitting oil. This technique probably isn’t going to be useful in every battle, but it can be combined with a Fire Type’s abilities to create some massive flames.
Another is the ability to conceal himself within someone’s shadow. While hidden, he can also attempt to control their movements. It is something in between his own ability to become invisible and Shikamaru Naru’s ability to control people with their own shadows.
20 He Is One Of Four Shinobi To Survive Hanzo
In the Naruto franchise, there are some villains who are more difficult to defeat than others. While Orochimaru often got the spotlight, there was one that proved himself nearly undefeatable. During the Second Shinobi World War, Jiraiya reunited with his former teammates Tsunade and Orochimaru. During one of their battles, everyone else in their platoon was wiped out by their enemy Hanzo except for the three of them. Hanzo dubbed the trio the Legendary Sannin for making it out with few injuries.
Later, when Jiraiya traveled to Amegakure, he discovered that Hanzo had been defeated by a shinobi known as Pain. This shinobi was actually his former student Nagato.
19 The Genjutsu World Version Of Jiraiya Lost His Life For A Scroll
When Naruto and Sakura found themselves in a genjutsu-induced new dimension, it was one without Jiraiya. This is because in the Road To Ninja movie, Jiraiya perished before the duo arrived on the scene. In it, they found that Jiraiya lost his life on a mission to retrieve a special scroll. Known as the Red Moon Scroll, the artifact was supposed to be the key to defeating a villain in that world.
Jiraiya did retrieve the scroll, but he never made it back to his home village. Instead, one of his final acts was setting up traps so that only his student Minato could get to the scroll.
18 He Shares His Voice With Power Rangers Villains
In the world of voice actors, there are a lot of talented people who stick with anime. In the case of Jiraiya, though, his voice actors have done their share of work in live action.
The Japanese voice of Jiraiya is Hochu Otsuka. The actor has provided vocals for characters in different installments of the Super Sentai franchise - like Signalman.
If that franchise name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s what inspired Power Rangers in the United States. The English voice of Jiraiya is provided by David Lodge. Like his predecessor, Lodge also voiced monsters in the Power Rangers franchise, like Loki in Lightspeed Rescue and some of the Orgs in Wild Force.
17 He Can Create Two Rasengan At The Same Time
Fans spent a lot of time watching Naruto learn to form his Rasengan. When he first learns the technique, Jiraiya teaches him each step in the process separately. While Naruto needs both hands and the help of his shadow clones to start, Jiraiya is able to make a Rasengan with one hand.
The ball of pure chakra is created in the palm of the hand before the energy is literally pushed into an opponent or obstacle. With decades of experience, Jiraiya is one of the few shinobi strong enough to make a Rasengan in each hand. Naruto only learns to do this much later.
16 He’s Suspicious Of Women Who Find Him Attractive
Jiraiya isn’t drawn as a physically unattractive character, but his physical attributes aren’t enough to find him a partner. He has terrible luck with women. It’s this terrible luck with women that clues him in when he’s the subject of a trap.
While spending time training Naruto away from the Hidden Leaf Village, Jiraiya supposedly catches the eye of a local woman. As it turns out, that woman is actually under the influence of a genjutsu courtesy of Itachi Uchiha. While Jiraiya spends a lot of time with her, Naruto trains on his own. Jiraiya realizes something is up when the woman never finds fault with him, and he rushes to save his student.
15 He Has One Major Scar
For a shinobi who has been through two world wars and does his share of spying, you would think Jiraiya would be covered in scars. However, this isn't the case. In the anime, the audience only sees one major scar on Jiraiya. It’s revealed shortly after the timeskip in Naruto Shippūden.
While speaking with Tsunade, Kakashi, and other high ranking shinobi, Jiraiya lifts his shirt to reveal a massive scar in the middle of his chest. The sunken section of his chest is a result of Naruto losing control when drawing on the chakra of the nine-tailed fox inside of him. Jiraiya nearly lost his life in the incident, but Naruto remembered nothing.
14 He Keeps A Toad In His Abdomen
A lot of shinobi practices defy the laws of physics in the real world. Thanks to chakra and mystical beings, just about anything is possible. One of these physics defying feats from Jiraiya is that he actually keeps a toad named Gerotora bonded to him - inside his stomach. Gerotora is a scroll toad, which means his abdomen is a scroll.
With a secret stored on his own scroll-stomach, Gerotora remains bonded to the person who contracted him until that person loses their life.
In Gerotora’s case, he’s bonded to Jiraiya because the secret held on his stomach was entrusted to Jiraiya by Minato. It’s the key to unlocking the seal holding the nine-tails to Naruto.
13 He Lost An Arm To Pain
Most Naruto fans remember Jiraiya tragically losing his life to his former student Nagato in the guise of Pain. What some don’t realize is that had he survived that battle, Jiraiya would have been with one less arm.
During Jiraiya’s fight with the different animated bodies that Nagato controlled, he believed he finally had the upper hand near the end of the fight. He even used stone swords, believing that the enemy was eliminated. Unfortunately, one of the Paths of Pain got the drop on him during his momentary relief. It was the Asura Path who actually severed one of Jiraiya’s arms completely.
12 He’s Not A Genjutsu Type
Genjutsu is a type of ability that allows a shinobi to make others hallucinate a specific set of circumstances. Not every shinobi is a “Genjutsu Type” with a predisposition toward the skill. Of the shinobi that feature prominently in the franchise, only Kurenai, the sensei of Team 8, is someone we see use it regularly. Sakura is skilled at breaking genjutsu, but not at performing it herself. Enemies like Itachi Uchiha can also wield it incredibly effectively.
Jiraiya, despite training Naruto in controlling his chakra to break genjutsu, isn’t a Genjutsu Type. In fact, he can’t cast hallucinations on his own, and instead needs the help from other shinobi, or trusted toads, to use Genjutsu in battle.
11 He Has Incredibly Precise Chakra Control
Chakra is the force that fuels different jutsu. That chakra can also be controlled and focused to do things like walking up walls or walking on water. While all shinobi learn to walk up walls at the Academy, other feats require much more precise chakra control.
Medical ninjutsu and super strength require focusing chakra at specific points in the body. These are things Tsunade and Sakura learned. Jiraiya, though he’s not a medical-nin, has just as precise control. His control is so precise that he can focus his chakra to a pencil point and use it to write a message. With his final moments, as his chakra was nearly spent, he carved a message for the Leaf Village.
10 His Hair Can Be Used As A Barrier
In addition to using his hair as projectiles, Jiraiya can also turn his hair into something of a protective shield. Once the hair is hardened into needle points and extended, Jiraiya can encase himself in his hair instead of sending it at an enemy. It’s like he’s cocooned inside of it.
Instead of a hardened shell, though, it’s razor sharp points protrude from him, making him more like a human pincushion.
It keeps his enemies from getting too close and allows him to withstand the effects of some weapons. The Akimichi clan also has a similar technique. When Choji changes size and becomes a “human boulder,” there is a variation where he has spikes.
9 He Can Create Swamps
With each specific Nature Type, there are vastly different abilities. Earth Release has its roots in dirt and rock, but it does have some surprising applications. By using Earth Release, Jiraiya can actually cause the physical ground beneath an enemy to change, going from solid dirt to murky swampland. The consistency of the ground changes, sucking the enemy down.
Of course, the effect of the swamp depends on the size of the enemy. When Jiraiya used this ability in a confrontation against Orochimaru, his chakra levels were too low. His swamp was too shallow to actually pull Orochimaru’s summoned snake Manda.
8 Tsunade Dosed Him With Something That Depleted His Chakra Levels
When Jiraiya set out to track down Tsunade and offer her the Hokage position, she wasn’t interested. Instead, she was still wallowing in the grief of losing loved ones decades earlier. After she turned down the position, she and Jiraiya spoke further over drinks. Much to Jiraiya’s surprise, he found himself exhausted, ill, and losing time. She slipped something in his drink that sapped his chakra levels.
We don’t know exactly what she used on him, but Tsunade made sure it was nothing fatal. It was simply enough to buy her time to negotiate with Orochimaru before Jiraiya caught up to her again.
7 He Can Will His Heart To Beat
During his final confrontation with Pain, Jiraiya knows that he’s on his way out. In fact, his heart ceases to beat, but he’s able to keep going. As Jiraiya thinks back on his life in his final moments, one of the things that sticks with him is how much he learned from his own students.
The sheer determination of Minato and Naruto to do the right thing hardens his own resolve. He’s able to will his heart to beat for just a little bit longer. It’s this will that also allows him to control his limited chakra and send his final message to the Leaf Village.
6 His Body Doesn’t Rest In The Hidden Leaf Village
With all of the tragedy that follows Jiraiya’s loss, Naruto doesn’t want his contribution to the Leaf Village forgotten. He erects a monument to his former sensei in the forest on the edge of the village, with the kanji for “teacher” on the stone.
Of course, that monument is not Jiraiya’s grave. Jiraiya’s body was lost to the sea.
Following his confrontation with the Six Paths of Pain, the Leaf Village wasn't allowed the respect of retrieving him. Instead, the Paths of Pain tossed his body off a cliff and into the ocean below.
5 Kabuto Wanted To Reanimate Jiraiya’s Body
As the Fourth Shinobi World War broke out, Kabuto used a lot of dirty tricks to give himself an edge against shinobi who were better at hand-to-hand combat. One of his favorite methods was reanimating the loved ones of his enemies and forcing them to fight.
He wanted to use Jiraiya in an attack against the Leaf Village. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t actually able to reach Jiraiya’s body. It was too deep in the ocean. Some fans believe that this might point to the possibility of Jiraiya not actually being gone.
4 Jiraiya Shared A Blood Type With His Team
For some reason, the Naruto data books and fact files added into the manga like to give fans information about the characters’ blood types. Jiraiya is Type B. This might seem like an insignificant piece of information, but interestingly, a lot of the people close to Jiraiya share the same blood type. All three of the Legendary Sannin are Type B. It’s almost like it was fate that they ended up on the same team.
Jiraiya’s most famous students are also Type B. Both Minato and Naruto are Type B. It appears that Type B blood might be indicative of some serious power in the shinobi world.
3 A Cosplayer Provided A Reference For Jiraiya
When Masashi Kishimoto paid a visit to New York Comic Con in 2015, it was in an effort to promote the Boruto movie. It had been years since the franchise creator had drawn Jiraiya’s likeness for the manga.
While speaking at his panel, though, he revealed that the student-teacher relationship between Naruto and Jiraiya was one of his favorites in the entire franchise. He offered to do some quick sketches for the crowd, and Jiraiya, as a favorite, won out. After finishing the quick sketch, Kishimoto admitted that it had been so long since he’d drawn the character that he had to use a cosplayer’s makeup and wig in the audience to provide him with a reference.
2 ~His Hair Can Bind His Enemies
If razor sharp needles and creating a shield for his body weren’t enough things for Jiraiya to do with his hair, he’s got one more. His hair can also be used to bind his enemies.
Because he can lengthen his hair, Jiraiya can send it toward an enemy like a rope instead of needles.
Of course, these ropes are still going to be super strong. Just like his strands of hair are hardened with chakra to create strong needles, they can be hardened to create ropes as strong as steel. Escaping Jiraiya’s hair is nearly impossible.
1 He Can Reverse-Summon Himself
We know that Jiraiya can summon his toad allies to him, but few fans know that he can also “summon” himself to them. In other franchises, we might call this teleporting, but the Naruto franchise has another version of teleporting already. For teleportation, a shinobi can travel lightning-fast anywhere. In a reverse-summons, a shinobi can only travel to the animal being summoned.
Of course, Jiraiya takes it a step farther. He doesn’t just reverse-summon himself, but himself and his enemies in a fight. They also don’t just show up to visit a toad. When he employs the reverse-summons, he takes his enemies to the literal belly of the beast to make them squirm in the toad’s digestive system.
Did you know all of these crazy details about Jiraiya? Did we miss something important about the Sannin from the Naruto franchise? Let us know in the comments!