Zabuza Momochi is the first major antagonist from the manga and anime series Naruto. He acts as one of the two secondary antagonists in the Land of Waves arc, the other being his apprentice Haku.
He was voiced by Steven Blum.
BackgroundDuring the time under the term of Fourth Mizukage Yagura when the Hidden Mist Village was known as the Blood Mist Village, Zabuza gained his moniker "Demon of the Mist" when he slaughtered the ninja academy graduates as part of the tradition started by Yagura to select ideal candidates to join the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, though Zabuza had never attended the academy. His actions had the practice discontinued, Zabuza gained further fame as member of the Kirigakure ANBU before finally joining the Seven Swordsmen. As a member, Zabuza gained the Executioner's Blade, a blade that can repair itself using the iron within the blood of those it cuts.
At some point, Zabuza discovered Haku, a child with a special kekkei genkai and began training him to be the ultimate weapon. In time, after his assassination attempt on Yagura in a coup d'etat failed, Zabuza subsequently fled with Haku and some other followers, such as the Demon Brothers. Since that day, Zabuza and his forces became hired muscle for the highest bidder in hopes to gain enough funding to make another attempt on Yagura's life.
Part IHired by the underworld criminal Gatō, Zabuza took the job killing the bridge builder Tazuna. However, Zabuza learns that Tazuna hired Kakashi Hatake, and Team 7 (Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, and Sakura Haruno) by extension, to protect him. Wanting to test his ability, Zabuza challenged Kakashi to a battle but found himself overpowered by his opponent's Sharingan before he got saved by Haku posing as a Tracker Ninja.
Once Zabuza was awakened and was taken care of by Haku, he swore to get the job done and kill Kakashi. After a week of bed rest and recovery, Zabuza joined with Haku at the bridge to have a final battle with Team 7 to the death. As Haku dealt with Kakashi's students, Zabuza battles Kakashi while covering the area in a thick mist, to avoid falling prey to the Sharingan's influence. However, Zabuza is tricked into slashing Kakashi so his ninja dogs can follow the scent of their master's blood and pin him down so Kakashi can finish him off with a Lightning Cutter. However, Haku sacrifices himself to save Zabuza, who reluctantly tried to slash through Haku's body to kill Kakashi before the ninja avoided it and disabled Zabuza's arms.
With Zabuza no longer able to battle, Gatō revoked their agreement so that he could have his own henchmen kill Tazuna instead. No longer having a reason to kill Tazuna, Zabuza ended his battle with Kakashi, although Naruto was not satisfied by this as Gatō kicked Haku's corpse aside. Angered that Haku died for Zabuza, while Zabuza had shown no signs of remorse, Naruto lectured him on the feelings Haku had for him, and the loyalty he felt towards Zabuza.
After hearing the young Ninja's words, and for the first time in so many years, Zabuza silently shed tears and told Naruto that he truly cared for Haku. Wanting to repent for what he had done, Zabuza took one of Naruto's kunai with his mouth and endured numerous beatings and stabs from Gatō's men before reaching and killing him. Zabuza soon collapsed from his injuries, with Kakashi honoring his final request to be by Haku's side in his final moments. Soon after, Zabuza and Haku are buried with the former's Guillotine Sword as their grave marker before it ended up in the hands of Suigetsu Hozuki.
Part IIHowever, as the Fourth Great Ninja War begins, Zabuza is among the ninja brought back by Kabuto Yakushi using the Reanimation Jutsu. Being informed of his revival, Zabuza voiced his disgust of the horrific deed while outright defiant to obeying someone who would do such a thing. As he crosses paths with Kakashi and Sakura once more, Zabuza learns the impact that his death had on Naruto before Kabuto began to erase his mind so he would be a obedient killer. Before completely losing himself, Zabuza pleas Kakashi to stop him by any means as he is no longer human.
During the fight, Zabuza is rejoined by the former members of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist he was a part of while regaining his Guillotine Sword and using the iron collected from the blood of his victims to restore the broken blade to its original form. Eventually, Zabuza is captured and sealed by Maki before his soul is allowed to rest once more the moment the Reanimation Jutsu is released.
PersonalityWhile originally appearing to be a cold hearted man who would not hesitate to get the job done, Zabuza was raised under the harsh conditions of the Hidden Mist to not show emotion and mercy at any time. Though Zabuza saw Haku as a useful tool, he deeply cared for his ward as Naruto forces him to accept that part of him. As a result, in his final moments, Zabuza embraced his humanity. When reanimated later, Zabuza saw his return from the grave as a sin against nature and pleaded with Kakashi to kill him before his mind was the completely rewrote into a that of a blood thirsty monster.
AbilitiesAs one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, Zabuza was a very gifted Ninja and was one of the most dangerous warriors of the Hidden Mist Village before taking his position in the group. Known for his Silent Killing Technique he could immobilize an entire area with mist, making it impossible to see infront of even their face and with the slightest movement Zabuza with his eyes closed would find that person within his mist and assassinate them.
As a Swordsman, Zabuza inherited the Guillotine Sword, a giant cleaver-like blade that he can use to strike at multiple people and uses the blood of its victims to repair any damage to it. Zabuza uses the Guillotine Sword in his trademark Hidden Mist Jutsu where he creates a fog bank to conceal himself to land a deathblow on his enemy on behind.
As a Hidden Mist ninja, Zabuza's forte is using water-nature chakra to manipulate water to take in many forms as he wishes such as creating Water Clones. Among his abilities is the Water Dragon jutsu where he creates a serpentine dragon out of water to consume his target. Another is the Giant Vortex jutsu where he uses a whirlpool to knock opponents off their feet.
The Water Prison is a jutsu in which Zabuza simply uses his hand to create a dome of water around the opponent. The wall of water is even stronger than steel itself that it is impossible to destroy it because of the high density of chakra that Zabuza manipulates in his hand to hold it in place.
- Zabuza's surname, "Momochi", may be a reference to the famous ninja Momochi Sandayu though his name is written differently in kanji.
- Zabuza's first name means "Never Cut Twice"
- Zabuza, like the other Seven Ninja Swordsmen, his surname is derived from a type of produce. Momochi meaning "Peach Soil"