The world of the commercially and critically acclaimed Naruto anime and manga is a bizarre blend of mystical fantasy and science fiction. Technology comparable to the real world’s and magical energy inspired by the martial arts concept of chakra mix to form a world where just about anything can happen and those talented enough can do almost anything. This combination of genres also leads to nearly every supernatural feat in Naruto having some kind of biological or scientific explanation.
Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village and one of the legendary Sannin, possesses a bizarre anatomy that allows her to perform all kinds of incredible actions. While the bulk of her abilities are due to her excessive physical training and medical studies during the Second Great Ninja War, her lineage also grants her many powerful abilities. As a descendant of both the Senju and Uzumaki clans, Tsunade has a strong affinity for ninjutsu and is able to use her naturally large chakra reserves in all kinds of unique ways.
Moreover, her character arc – which sees her go from a gambler running away from her problems to the inspirational leader of the Hidden Leaf Village – is one of the strongest in Naruto and makes her a rather compelling character. Even if her abilities are rarely shown after she takes on the role of Hokage, Tsunade’s fights and achievements are some of the most interesting in Naruto and it’s always entertaining to see all of the remarkable things she can do with her strange anatomy.
Here are 20 Strange Things About Tsunade’s Anatomy.
20 She Can Change Her Age At Will
In order to avoid paying her gambling debts, Tsunade designed a ninjutsu that allows her to alter her appearance at will without having to exert any effort. She can shift how old or young she appears at will, and this is why she looks like she’s in her mid-twenties, despite being in her fifties and sixties as the series progresses.
The only downside to this ability is that if she runs out of chakra, she will revert back to her natural appearance immediately. While she really only uses this technique to appear in her mid-twenties over the course of Naruto, hopefully, fans of the series will get to see all the shenanigans that come along with this power in the sequel series, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
19 She Has Four Elemental Affinities
Most characters in Naruto can manipulate their chakra and transform it into an element for more powerful attacks. While a ninja can transform their chakra into any element, they all have a natural affinity for particular elements that allow them to better utilize certain nature transformations.
Most ninja can only best use one or two elements, but Tsunade can fully utilize four nature releases. Even if she rarely uses these techniques in the series, Tsunade is a master of Fire, Water, Earth, and Lightning elemental ninjutsu; making her an even more versatile fighter than her other natural abilities allow. Such a range of elemental techniques means that she is able to effectively counter just about any foe that tries to take her on in battle.
18 She Cannot Use Wood Release Techniques
Despite having an affinity for the Earth and Water elements, and a heritage that would grant her access to the ability, Tsunade is not able to use the Senju clan’s devastating Wood Release Techniques. The Wood Release nature transformation is a kekkei genkai ability, which means that only ninja from a particular genetic background are able to use these abilities.
However, as a descendant of the Senju clan and wielder of the elements that combine to form Wood Release techniques, Tsunade should be able to use this power. Whether it’s her lack of interest in mastering this ability or some genetic hiccup that prevents her from using this ability, Tsunade never uses any of her clan’s special techniques and likely never will.
17 Her Tatoo Contains Overwhelming Power
The diamond shaped tattoo on Tsunade’s forehead actually contains a vast amount of chakra that she stores up over time. By donating a little bit of her energy to the seal every day, she can release the Strength of a Hundred Seal to access a colossal pool of chakra that allows her to push her abilities even further.
This technique allows her to further enhance her physical strength, survive even the most fatal of injuries, and heal others almost instantaneously. Granted, using it is a gamble and she can only utilize the technique once every few years, but this ability is utterly devastating and lets her control month’s or year’s worth of chakra in the span of minutes.
16 She Can Talk And Heal Through Slugs
Tsunade’s personal summon is a giant slug named Katsuyu. Not only is Katsuyu an offensive powerhouse that can spit lethal acid on command, but she can also divide herself into thousands of smaller slugs that share a hivemind.
Tsunade can use Katsuyu in her divided stated to heal other people and even communicate through the slug and give orders to entire armies directly. This ability of her’s is a major boon in large-scale battles and lets Tsunade organize complex battle strategies easily. Even if this technique does require a ninja to walk around with a slimy slug affixed to their back, the ability to follow the events of every part of a battlefield in real time is well worth the slight discomfort.
15 She Can Alter People’s Somatic Nervous System
Combining her impressive chakra control and her medical knowledge, Tsunade is able to alter a person’s somatic nervous system and essentially rearrange all of their motor skills. To do this Tsunade sends a bit of her chakra into a person and changes how their body interprets brain signals, making them move their foot when they mean to move their hand and so on.
This renders a person essentially immobile, unless they also possess a deep understanding of their nervous system and are able to account for the changes. This technique is an effective and nonviolent means of defeating an opponent and was likely developed as a way for Tsunade to fight without triggering her.
14 She Can Heal Her Wounds Instantaneously
After Tsunade releases the chakra seal on her forehead, she is able to drastically increase her regenerative abilities and instantly heal from any and all attacks. This means that even if one of her vital organs receives damage or is outright destroyed, she can recover from the harm before she passes from the injury. Even if this is technique is extremely draining, if functionally makes her immortal for as long as she is able to maintain the jutsu.
This is perhaps Tsunade’s strongest ability and her use of it throughout Naruto allowed her to overcome incredibly strong foes such as Orochimaru and Madara Uchiha. Although the price she pays for the technique makes it barely worth it.
13 She Ages Rapidly If Overexerted
Not only does the strain of her impressive healing techniques cause Tsunade to rapidly burn through her chakra reserve, but it also means that her body ages more quickly than normal due to the increased strain on her cells.
This means that when she does use up all of her chakra and her transformation jutsu is undone, she enters a withered and weakened state where she unable to defend herself from enemy attacks. Her actual appearance is far older than her natural age because she repeatedly pushed her body beyond its natural limits and aged rapidly as a consequence. Even though this weekend state has never fully appeared in the series, it’s implied to be rather severe and pitiable.
12 She Can Manipulate Living Things
Having a mastery of the Yang chakra release, Tsunade is able to use her chakra to control the life force of other living things. For instance, she can send her chakra into something like a plant and cause it to grow rapidly.
Generally, she uses this technique in conjunction with her medical knowledge to enhance her own or another’s vitality and increase the likelihood of successful surgery. While her utilization of this technique is heavily reliant on her chakra reserves and therefore isn’t as expansive as a tailed-beast user like Naruto, her precision with this life manipulation is almost unrivaled. Her life manipulation is a critical part of both her offensive techniques and her support abilities as a medical ninja.
11 She Can Transfer Her Chakra to Others
While Tsunade’s medical expertise allows her to perform delicate operations and create restorative drugs during peaceful situations, most of her in battle healing techniques come from donating her chakra to her wounded teammates. By giving her chakra to someone who has an injury, she invigorates their natural healing ability and allows them to recover from otherwise lethal injuries.
If not for this feature of her anatomy, there would be little hope for her comrades to survive the many devastating attacks present in Naruto. Either through direct contact or through her slug Katsuyu, Tsunade can give her energy to others and save them from an imminent and painful demise so long as she has enough chakra to spare.
10 She Inherited Her Gambling Habit From Her Grandfather
Tsunade’s grandfather is the first Hokage and the God of Shinobi, Hashirama Senju. While he is a tremendously powerful ninja who founded the Hidden Leaf Village by ending a decades-long conflict between different ninja clans, he’s also a bit of a goofball and an awful gambler.
He passed on his affinity for games of chance to his granddaughter, as well as his awful luck. Tsunade’s luck is so bad that her winning at a slot machine is indicative of some kind of disaster approaching, and she’ll even place bets that go against her interests in the hope of raising the chances of a positive outcome for her and those involved. While Senju did giver her access to plenty of useful abilities, he also made Tsunade a bit of a jinx.
9 Her Chakra Control is Incredible
As expected of the world’s most renowned medical ninja, Tsunade has an exceptionally high degree of chakra control. She can channel her chakra into blades to form impromptu scalpels for emergency surgery and manipulate the biology of whoever she touches.
This gives her tremendous abilities in both offense and defense, as she can overwhelm opponents with her chakra enhanced strength or recover from injuries using her chakra. The fact that she can maintain a transformation technique indefinitely to appear younger is proof enough of her ridiculous chakra control. This level of control on top of her larger well of chakra and emergency reserve make Tsunade borderline invincible with only the strongest ninja in the series able to inflict serious harm upon her.
8 She Has Exceptionally High Strength and Fighting Prowess
The third Naruto databook ranks Tsunade’s strength, ninjutsu, taijutsu, and intelligence as perfect five out of five scores. This means that her combat ability is essentially as high as it can be when measured in conventional terms.
Not only does she hold a variety of powerful ninja techniques, she also has the physical ability and battle expertise necessary to turn those talents into complex and powerful attacks. Such a high level of combat ability is a requirement for the position of Hokage, but Tsunade goes above and beyond and holds a level of ability that’s unobtainable for most ninja. With these maxed out stats and her level of experience, Tsunade is literally a legendary figure in the ninja world and holds both the status of Sannin and the ranking as the strongest kunoichi.
7 She Can Grow Functional Limbs For Other People
Following the final events of Naruto where Sasuke and Naruto both lose their dominant arms in one last impressive conflict, Tsunade is able to create functional prosthetics for both of them using her grandfather’s cells and her own medical expertise.
By gaining a greater understanding of her grandfather’s unique genetic structure and manipulating those cells with her own chakra, she attaches new arms to Sasuke and Naruto with seemingly no drawbacks. Not only is this a medical accomplishment of the highest caliber within the series, it also restores two of the strongest ninja in the franchise to their full fighting prowess. This ability of Tsunade’s is by far one of her most useful and can greatly improve the lives of countless characters within the series.
6 She Can Create Antidotes for Any Poison
Tsunade possesses medical prowess and knowledge to such a high degree that she’s capable of creating an antidote to virtually any poison in existence. Famed for her ability to nullify any poison during the Second Great Shinobi War, she can even treat the works of poison masters, like Chiyo from the Hidden Sand Village.
Much like her apprentice Sakura, Tsunade can physically remove poison or venom from a person’s body using her chakra which slows its effects and gives her more time to analyze the lethal substance and create something to counteract it. This skill is exceptionally useful in the subtitle and stealthy world of ninja, and makes her an even greater medical ninja than her other techniques made her already.
5 Her Strength Comes At the Expense of Her Speed
While most of Tsunade’s states in the third Naruto databook are at or near the maximum score, her marks in the Genjutsu and Speed categories are decidedly middling. While her lower marks in Genjutsu are understandable since illusions aren’t a major part of her fighting style, her average Speed stats are pretty surprising.
It would seem that in exchange for her overwhelming physical strength and precise chakra control, she has to sacrifice some of the agility that most ninja are known for. Although, since most of her fights center on the creation and execution of detailed plans, it doesn’t matter how quickly she sets up her traps so long as an enemy falls into it.
4 She Can Force Other People’s Cells to Multiply
As a part of her chakra induced healing, Tsunade can force the cells of other people to multiply which creates healthier and non-damaged cells. She can use this ability to rapidly heal lacerations and other more surface level wounds immediately, and also cause healthy cells to grow during surgery to further increase the chances of a successful operation.
Granted this cell multiplication has the same negative consequences as when she uses it herself, meaning that those healed this way can expect to age more quickly and have a shorter lifespan. Even if this technique only appears during the direst of circumstances, it’s still a lifesaving ability that Tsunade uses to great effect in the series.
3 She Had Hemophobia
Following the passing of her younger brother and lover, Tsunade developed a crippling case of hemophobia. This fear of blood prevented her from working as a medical ninja and sent her into a kind of exile where she would wander from casino to casino as a means of distracting herself from her loss.
It was only after meeting Naruto and being inspired by his dedication to his goals that she recovered from this trauma and began to fight and heal at her full capacity once more. The stress of traumatic events manifesting as phobias is pretty common, and while her suddenly overcoming this anxiety thanks to Naruto is a bit heavy-handed in its writing, it’s a sweet moment in the series and a great development for Tsunade’s character.
2 Her Longevity Makes Her The Longest Living Hokage
Tsunade is in her mid-fifties at the end of Naruto and in her mid to late sixties by the start of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Not only does this mean that she’ll soon be the oldest Hokage to appear in the series, it also makes her the only Hokage to witness multiple generations of ninja to rise to prominence following her rise to the status.
Even if her role so far in Boruto is rather limited, it seems like she’s playing a more substantial role in this most recent story arc and might even become a regular member of the cast once more. Either way, her longevity is impressive and is likely a result of the genes she inherited from the Uzumaki and Senju clans.
1 She Can Undoing Most Sealing Techniques
As a member of the Sannin, Tsunade is able to use the Five Elements Unseal technique. This jutsu allows her to undo any sealing technique that’s equal to the power she puts into it. While most unsealing techniques are rather intricate, this one basically just lets a user strongarm their way through a chakra lock or binding.
It’s super useful as it lets a user quickly undo a power seal and free a person from the negative effects of a binding. Even if she never uses this ability over the course of the series, knowing that she has this in her back pocket if the need ever arises makes Tsunade an even more capable and dangerous ninja.
Do you know of any more interesting details about Tsundae's anatomy from Naruto? Let us know in the comments!