|“||Two brothers, whose abilities are identical. How could what your eyes perceive be so different. The truth about Itachi isn't important to you at all. Instead you simply want to destroy everything with your hatred. All you're doing is making the sacrifice of the Uchiha clan meaningless.||„|
|~ Danzo Shimura|
Danzō Shimura is a member of the Hidden Leaf's council and a major antagonist in the manga and anime series Naruto. His unbridled jealousy of Hiruzen Sarutobi, caused Danzō to do despicable acts in pursuit of the position of Hokage, Danzō's militant and archaic views made him a danger to the village he professed to love and protect as he created the hatred in some of Konoha's greatest attackers and major villains - Kabuto Yakushi, Pain, and Sasuke Uchiha due to his harsh and cruel indifference to human suffering. Strangely, despite Danzō's views that ninja should always be ready to sacrifice their lives, he was afraid of death, much to his own shame.
In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Hiroshi Ito, and Masayuki Katō as a young adult. In the English version, he was voiced by William Frederick Knight, and Peter Lurie as a young adult.
BackgroundIn his youth, Danzō was good friends with Hiruzen Sarutobi, having felt the need to upstart him. During the First Shinobi World War, Danzō and Hiruzen, along with the latter's team-mates Koharu Utatane and Homura Mitokado, were placed together in a squad under the Second Hokage Tobirama. When being late pursued by the Kinkaku Squad of the Village Hidden in the Clouds, Danzō attempted to volunteer in sacrificing himself as a decoy to ensure the others' safety. However, paralyzed with fear as Hiruzen volunteered for the task, Tobirama sacrificed himself instead while naming Hiruzen as his successor much to the shock of both Hiruzen and Danzō.
With Hiruzen as the Third Hokage, with him, Koharu, and Homura appointed roles as his advisors, a grudge filled Danzō resolved to become Hokage someday and formed the ANBU subsidiary named Root. Though the group was later officially disbanded, Root remained secretly active as Danzō executed shady dealing. The group became even more mindlessly devoted to Danzō, who started branding them with cursed seals, even attempting to assassinate Hiruzen on one occasion.
One such event was aiding Hanzo in his attempt to wipe out the but the men he sent to the Village Hidden in Rain were all wiped out by Nagato. Danzō also played a role in Kabuto Yakushi becoming a rogue ninja under his former subordinate Orochimaru, whom Danzō had implanting the DNA of Hashirama Senju to use his Earth Style.
In the aftermath of Kurama's attack on Konoha, Danzō suspected the Uchiha clan to have involvement and supported their relocation for better observation, which led to the Uchiha becoming more isolated and discontent, and thus eventually plotting to rebel. Years later, learning of the planned coup d’état by the Uchiha clan and playing on Itachi Uchiha's pacifist tendencies to provide him and the other elders with information of the clan's actions, Danzō secretly killed Shisui Uchiha, despite the fact that Shisui was actually already planning to use a genjutsu to prevent the Uchiha rebellion. He kills Shisui to to obtain his Sharingan eyes. However, Danzo then secretly ordered Itachi to slaughter his clan in return that his younger brother Sasuke Uchiha would be spared death. Though Itachi committed the deed, he left Danzō with a warning to not harm Sasuke or he would expose the circumstances of the Uchiha Clan's demise to the other ninja villages. Hiruzen however guesses much of what had happened, although he had no proof, and becomes even more suspicious of Danzō, and demands that Root be disband.
When Team Kakashi decide to meet with the spy Sasori installed in Orochimaru's camp, Danzō took advantage of Kakashi's absence to assign Sai to the group as part of a plan to secretly assassinate Sasuke. To achieve that goal, Danzō had Sai trick Orochimaru into thinking he wants to join forces with him to destroy Konoha. Though Sai failed his mission, Danzō allowed him to remain with Team Kakashi, as Danzō had become worried about Naruto becoming a problem, and Sai would be in a perfect place to watch him.
During the events of Pain invading Konoha, Danzō was against Tsunade calling Naruto back to the village in fear that they would lose Kurama. To that end, Danzō not only killed the messenger toad Kōsuke, but also ordered his subordinates not to come to the Hidden Leaf's aid with the expectation that Tsunade would be killed off Not caring about the deaths of the other villages. Most of the villagers were killed in the attack. However, despite Danzō's action, Naruto arrived none the less with everyone Nagato killed revived while Tsunade ended up in a coma. Following the invasion, the Hidden Leave are summoned before the Lord of Fire over what occurred, with Danzo convincing the feudal lord to name him the new acting Hokage. Danzō becomes the leader of the armed forces by influencing Mifune's mind, but is caught.
Soon after, Danzō uses his power to mark Sasuke as a criminal to be killed before leaving for the Kage Summit in the Land of Iron to discuss dealing with the Akatsuki. Before leaving, seeing that he cannot confine Naruto due to his reputation as a hero, Danzō ordered Sai to spy on the boy while sending his men to track down Kabuto for his medical knowledge. With Torune and Fuu as his bodyguards, Danzō arrives to the Kage Summit and attempts to name himself leader of the alliance that would fight the Akatsuki. However, the abrupt appearance of Taka and White Zetsu forces Danzō to flee.
However, Danzō and his men were halted by Tobi at the Samurai Bridge. By that time his men were defeated by Tobi and Sasuke, who then challenged Danzo to personal combat, Danzō unsealed his arm and revealed it to have been embedded with multiple Sharingan eye as he admits his role in the Uchiha Clan Massacre. Sasuke pretends to attack in anger with his Susanoo, Danzō uses Izanagi to evade the fatal attack, until it becomes evident that Sasuke was actually just making Danzō lose track of how many Sharingan he had in his arm, and in the end Sasuke is able to overcome Danzō by using a simple genjutsu making Danzō think he has one extra. With the powers of both Senju and Uchiha at his disposal, causing Tobi to realize that Danzō is targeting Naruto, Danzō clashes with Sasuke before before forced sever his right arm before he overwhelmed by the Senju DNA.
Refusing to accept defeat, Danzō takes Karin as a hostage so he can use Shisui's eye on Sasuke. However, Danzō was shocked that Sasuke had his attack pierce through Karin to kill him. On the verge of death, seeing that he can never surpass Hiruzen, Danzō decided to use the last of his life to take both Sasuke and Tobi down with him with the Reverse Four Symbols Seal. Though both were able to get out of range, Danzō destroyed Shisui's Sharingan to prevent Tobi from obtaining it.
Because of the stolen Sharingan eyes and the cells from the Third Hokage (which Tobi suspects that he implanted them all with Orochimaru's aid), Danzō was an immensely powerful and skilled ninja. He could fight on even terms with Sasuke Uchiha.
Danzō was highly skilled with Wind Style chakra nature, able to utilize various, very powerful techniques with instant ready ease, them being strong enough to equal the strength of Sasuke's Susanoo in any of its stages. He had access to the unique summoning contract for the Baku, a giant, tapir-like creature that dwarfed Sasuke's Susanoo, and that was capable of complimenting Danzō's Wind Style with its extreme suction ability to the point that Danzō was able to rip open Sasuke's armored Susanoo with one attack. Despite his old age, Danzō was very strong, fast, and agile, able to repel Karin with a single kick, catch Sasuke off-guard(placing a paralyzing curse mark as he did), and easily dodge Sasuke's Susanoo's attack with one high leap, despite noting its capabilities, also showing great reflexes. Along with paralysis curse marks, Danzō was skilled at using marks that could silence a member of Root if they tried to speak about him and set a creative booby trap with his Reverse Four Symbols Sealing Technique to activate at death. Sasuke counted on Danzō being overconfident because of this technique. Danzō's pride is possibly his biggest weakness.
Danzō's most fearsome and formidable abilities were the various bodily implants he received from Orochimaru. Before the latter's being sealed, Danzō took Shisui Uchiha's right eye, capable of using the Mangekyo Sharingan and the strongest genjutsu, and replaced his right eye with it, and took his right arm after his death and replaced his with it, and after the Uchiha clan massacre, Danzō took up to ten Sharingan eyes and implanted them into that arm. From Orochimaru, Danzō had the cells of the First Hokage implanted in his right arm as well. Doing this allowed him to use the forbidden dojutsu Izanagi through all his Sharingan, but only doing so with the ones in his arm. To conserve his chakra, as all his eyes were active, Danzō placed a seal on his right arm and bandaged his eye to conceal these implants. Using Izanagi allowed Danzō to control reality and illusion about himself, transferring any disadvantages, like fatal wounds, into a dream and making his own desire for successful attacks a reality. With the advantage the First's cells, Danzō could use Izanagi for one minute an eye, at the cost of losing its use afterwards to blindness. Using this to the full effect, Danzō was able to exhaust Sasuke and mortally wound him at the cost of the same. Danzō was very skilled at using Shisui's eye, able to easily locate a squad of assassins and use his Kotoamatsukami technique very effectively, able to control others with ease without direct sight of them. Along with the with the enhancements to his body and chakra reserves(which were very large) they gave, having the First's cells in him also allowed Danzō access to his Wood Style kekkei genkai, which he could use without hand signs, but only from his right arm, and its power was pale compared to the original. Aside from Sharingan, Danzō was very skilled at using and dispelling genjutsu, even Sasuke's inept Tsukuyomi, although this led to his death.
- Danzō's death is very similar to that of Deidara, both use a last ditch effort to kill Sasuke but failed. Unlike Deidara however, the jutsu Danzō used to kill Sasuke can only be used if the person is dying, so Sasuke technically killed Danzō.
- Danzō was not the Sixth Hokage, but rather a candidate. Though some people still think he is, he is obviously not, as he was not chosen by Tsunade as a successor and was not voted in by the villagers of Konoha. Additionally after it was discovered that Danzō has power of mind control, his title of Hokage is not recognized. Kakashi Hatake ultimately became the official Sixth Hokage after the Fourth Shinobi World War at the end of the series.
- In omake titled Photo Album, when Tsunade and Shizune decided to take a peek on what Danzō look like in his early days, they immediately closed the latter's photo due to getting more than they bargained for. This omake foreshadows the revelation of Danzō's young appearance to be handsome.