The first time I saw Asuma fight (when he was protecting Shikamaru from that group of Sound Nin) I knew I had sorely underestimated him. In this world of ninjas where most people used ninjutsu or genjutsu, here we have one hell of a taijutsu specialist. And I’m not talking about the almost graceful style of taijustu used by Guy and Rock Lee, I’m talking about a nitty-gritty raw brawling style of fighting. And if that wasn’t enough, this guy fights with a pair of bladed knuckle dusters!!
So who was Asuma Sarutobi? Asuma was the son of Hiruzen Sarutobi – the Third Hokage. So from birth he was destined to become a great ninja. He was a member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja – a group of elite ninja who were bodyguards to the Fire Daimyo. His skills were so legendary that he had a bounty of 35 million ryo on his head on the black market. He became the Sensei of Team 10 (which consisted of Shikamaru, Ino and Chouji) who went on to become one of the best tag teams in the Naruto Universe. But I think his best achievement was hooking up with one of the hottest kunoichi Naruto has to offer – Kurenai Yuhi. Asuma was definitely living the life!
Jutsu-wise, Asuma was a pretty rounded guy. His taijutsu was amazing to watch and he specialised in fire and wind nature ninjustu. His Fire Style: Ash Pile Burning Jutsu is one of my favourite jutsu in the Naruto Universe. It’s such an effective move. First it surrounds its victim in a smokescreen of ash then BOOM!!! A massive and destructive explosion of fire using the ash as its medium. His chakra blades are nothing to turn your nose up at either. When infused with his wind chakra, their cutting potential is greatly increased and can even block an attack from Kisame’s Samehada.
I dont think Asuma’s death wasn’t as big as a blow as Kishimoto was possibly expecting but that’s to be expected since he hardly got any screen time and there wasn’t really anything that memorable about him. Plus the fact he was killed at the beginning of the Kakazu/Hidan ‘arc’ just made him seem like a throwaway character. But the scene where he said his last words to his pupils was amazing!
I loved how even whilst dying he was still cracking jokes.
When he got brought back by the Edo Tensei Jutsu I was actually really excited at the prospect of him going up against Team 10. I was pretty happy with how the fight panned out (no plotkai complaints here lol), they truly deserved that win..although I feel that Asuma could have easily won that fight. And his final words to his pupils…
In conclusion, he may have hardly had any screen time but he did more than enough to find his way into our heart – the chain-smoking, bladed knuckle duster boxing ninja that was Asuma. RIP Dude.