|“||I'm Madara's will. I'll eliminate whoever stands in his way. You and Obito took Madara way too lightly, and you underestimated me as well||„|
|~ Black Zetsu as he speaks to Minato and Kakashi.|
|“||You're not the saviour… and it's not over. Why do you think, that unlike Obito, you can use everyone else? Why would you be any different?", "That's not true either! My will is… Kaguya's!||„|
|~ Black Zetsu revealing his true allegiance.|
|“||You… you're just another part of the shinobi history I created! A brat like you can't touch the likes of me||„|
|~ Black Zetsu to Naruto.|
Black Zetsu is the overall secondary antagonist of the Naruto franchise. He initially served as Madara's right-hand man and a servant to Tobi. He worked as an agent of the Akatsuki, in which he functioned as the organization's spy and worked alongside White Zetsu.
In reality, Black Zetsu was the spawn of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki's will, before she was sealed away by her two sons. He has been secretly manipulating everyone behind the scenes, being responsible for the creation of the Uchiha and Senju clans, manipulating them into war in order to accomplish his ultimate goal of bringing back Kaguya by unleashing the Infinite Tsukyomi.
He was voiced by Nobuo Tobita in the Japanese version of the anime, and Travis Willingham in the English version.
Zetsu is easily distinguished by two large Venus flytrap-like extensions that envelop his head and upper body, giving him a plant-like appearance. Zetsu also has unusually rounded teeth. He has a red nail polish for his fingers (his toenails, seen at his debut, are bluer) and wears his ring on the right little finger. In the manga, Zetsu does not have fingernails.
When his extensions are open and his head is visible, it is revealed that Zetsu has short green hair, yellow eyes, and that his body has two different colored halves: The left side is completely white and the right side mostly black, the hand and feet white, with almost no facial features. When he splits into two the plant like extensions go down the waist and now have the appearance of spikes, each halve has half of the Akatsuki robe and the halve they are missing is replaced with new body mass.
Unlike the white side, which shows a normal mouth, a normal nose, and a normal eye, the black side shows no visible orifices at all and only shows the iris of the eye. The black side also has white dots along the edges; these are not flat markings, but rather protrude from his body, like little white bumps. The dots disappear shortly before Zetsu splits. Black Zetsu is actually a whole being, but keeps his other half hidden. He is also capable of turning into liquid and forming a wide empty grin with a stitch-pattern echoing sharp teeth.
Compared to White Zetsu, Black Zetsu was shown to be more intelligent and took his position as a spy seriously. While White Zetsu spoke a high-pitched tone, Black Zetsu often spoke in a deep, growling tone in order to capture his serious nature. He initially portrayed himself to be very loyal to those around him, including Madara and Obito. In reality, however, he proved himself to be a master at manipulating others, as it was revealed that he was the one responsible for the majority of the events that have happened and that his loyalty remained solely towards Kaguya.
Due to his manipulative nature, he does not value others. He has used everyone as his pawns, as means of bringing back Kaguya to the world. He even went as far as to say that the shinobi world exists solely for the purpose of Kaguya's inevitable return. He has also shown disgust towards Hagomoro's ideals of ninshū and went as far as to rewriting his stone tablet, which would serve as the key of gaining the Uchiha clan's trust.
As Black Zetsu later revealed, he is actually a nameless extension of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki's will, while the entire White Zetsu species is what humans gradually turn into as they are bound to the God-Tree. Black Zetsu was originally conceived from Kaguya's final will before she was assimilated by the Ten-Tailed Beast and sealed into the moon. Black Zetsu spied on the Sage of Six Paths, before moving onto his son Indra Ōtsutsuki after noticing his aggressive nature.
Black Zetsu persuaded Indra to wage war against his brother Ashura, a feud that would span over a thousand years. Black Zetsu patiently watched over Indra's descendants, now known as the Uchiha clan, in the hopes that one of them would awaken the Rinnegan, which would provide the means for reviving Kaguya. When Madara Uchiha was fatally wounded in his battle with Hashirama Senju, Black Zetsu revived him while hiding in his body, allowing Madara to plot their revenge.
White Zetsu was originally still-living remains of one of the many victims of the Ten-Tailed Beast. He was hypnotized and absorbed into the beast's tree-form until he eventually became a plant-human hybrid. Madara Uchiha used the DNA of Hashirama Senju and the power of Demonic Statue of the Outer Path to summon the White Zetsu from the statue to act as his servants. Unlike his developing siblings, Zetsu was only semi-formed and yet his intelligence gathering was vital.
At that moment, Madara believed that White Zetsus was his creations that made from both power of Demonic Statue and Hashirama's DNA, while in reality, Black Zetsu was released them without he knowing: Knowing that Madara intended to create Hashirama's clones with his DNA as servants, Black Zetsu released still-living remains of Ten-Tailed Beast's past victims and trick Madara to use them as necessary components for creating his Zetsus in addition of Hashirama's DNA. This explained why when Sakura performed autopsy on one of them, their DNA greatly match Hashirama's. In time, he and another deformed White Zetsu became friends with Obito Uchiha as he was rehabilitating.
Eventually, when Madara was near death after teaching Obito everything he knew, the man grafted Black Zetsu onto White Zetsu to aid Obito in completing his life-long plan. Now a complete being, with two personalities, Zetsu became Obito's right hand while playing the role of his master's subordinate when he first dons the Tobi alias. Years later, Zetsu witnessed at the battle between Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha at the Valley of the End, reporting this event to the Akatsuki.
Zetsu appears frequently, usually to serve his various Akatsuki duties, observe battles of interest to report the outcomes, and devour the corpses of dead associates and Akatsuki members. After Sasori's death, Zetsu was to eat his corpse and the presumed dead Deidara's, Zetsu is accompanied by Tobi to find the deceased member's ring. Though Zetsu is displeased to find Sasori being a puppet and though inedible, he was a bit conflicted when Tobi decides to become an official member to fill the vacant spot Sasori left. Zetsu also witnessed Sasuke's fight with Itachi Uchiha, noticing the change in the latter's fighting style before leaving to tell Tobi of fight's result. Though White Zetsu took offense to Naruto calling him "aloe vera", Black Zetsu tells him to ignore it as they lead Tobi to Sasuke.
After Sasuke's recruitment, and the number of pawns within the Akatsuki dwindling, Zetsu took a more active role in Taka. The first being to for White Zetsu to guide Sasuke and his group Taka to the Kage Summit to assassinate Danzō Shimura, with Black Zetsu remaining by Tobi's side to provide him council over the recent chain of events while update him on Taka's progress. However, unknown to Taka, Zetsu's mission was to expose them to the Kage to cause a situation that Tobi hoped would resulted with the Kage defeated so he would hold them ransom to get Naruto and Killer B. When the plan failed, helping Sasuke during his fight with Naruto, Tobi orders White Zetsu to fall back and rejoin Black Zetsu to aid Kisame Hoshigaki in his plan to infiltrate Kumogakure.
As the Fourth Great Ninja war commences, with his clone brothers all deployed to fight the Allied Shinobi Forces, Zetsu splits into two again with White Zetsu remaining by Sasuke's side to oversee his progress and protect him from Kabuto Yakushi while Black Zetsu is given the mission to hunt down the five Feudal Lords and hold them hostage. But once Naruto and Killer Bee arrive to the battle to make his mission moot, Black Zetsu is given new orders to hold the Feudal Lord protection group, led by the Fourth Mizukage Mei Terumi, at bay and keep them from regrouping with the rest of their forces. By the second day of his guerrilla warfare, as his White Zetsu counterpart was destroyed by Sasuke testing his Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan on him, Black Zetsu finds himself fighting one of Naruto's shadow clones before being pinned down by Chojuro.
While the other ninja are fighting Obito, Madara and the Ten-Tailed Beast, Black Zetsu silently sneaks onto the battlefield. As Obito is defeated, Madara controls Black Zetsu and has him fuse to Obito, whom he then forces to use the resurrection technique that would revive him. Stating that he will retrieve Madara's Rinnegan, Black Zetsu uses Obito's dying body to fight off Kakashi and Minato. As Minato tries to seal his portion of the Nine-Tailed Fox into Naruto's dying body, Black Zetsu temporarily loosens his hold on Obito to step in and take the Fox for himself.
When Madara orders Zetsu to hand him Obito's Rinnegan, Obito resists and steals some of Madara's power before teleporting away. Madara steals Kakashi's Sharingan and follows Obito. When they teleport back, Madara has taken Obito's Rinnegan while Black Zetsu has both Sharingan and Obito's now dead body.
After Madara finally casts his illusion across the earth, trapping everyone in the Infinite Tsukuyomi before also performing the God: Nativity of a World of Trees which eventually wraps those caught in the dream into trees but thanks to Sasuke, Team 7 of Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi are spared. Upon seeing them, Madara arrogantly dubs himself the Savior of the World, one who has saved the world from itself by replacing the hells of reality with the heavens of dreams but as he rambles, Black Zetsu appears, stabbing Madara in the back, shocking everyone.
As the distraught Madara struggles to comprehend this betrayal, he states that Black Zetsu was his will. However, Black Zetsu states that it has never served Madara, and that he is the will of Madara's ancestor Kaguya Ōtsutsuki. Zetsu then assimilates Madara the same way he assimilated Obito with the move bringing Kaguya into the modern world.
After Kaguya corners Naruto and Sasuke, Black Zetsu extends from her to siphon their chakra, all the while telling them Kaguya's history. Naruto is able to shake him off and separates Zetsu from the battle by chopping off Kaguya's left arm. After Kaguya is defeated, Black Zetsu decides to retreat for now, vowing to wait for another opportunity to revive Kaguya and begin again.
Unfortunately for Black Zetsu, his dreams are shattered when Naruto sends him into Kaguya's prison, trapping the two there for eternity with no possibility of them ever returning to inflict any harm on the ninja world, while at the same time ironically fulfilling Black Zetsu's desire to never leave his mother's side. By sealing Black Zetsu alongside Kaguya, Naruto has defeated the two biggest threats the world has ever known. With no-one around to carry out Kaguya's will, the shinobi world will now be able to see an end to their conflict and finally bring about a new age of peace and understanding.
Powers and Abilities
Though normally a spy, Zetsu's powers make him not a "front line" fighter. Instead, Zetsu uses the jutsu Mayfly where he merges into the ground to instantly travel to a new location, though he isn't nearly as fast as Tobi's Kamui but ideal for spying along with a photographic memory.
Zetsu has also shown the ability to split in two, so that his two personalities can act independently. He is also able to use a time-delayed spore jutsu to grow into a mushy mass around several individuals at once, thereby sucking their chakra out, and can even use it to replenish another persons' chakra. Zetsu's white half has also shown the ability to create multiple copies of himself. Zetsu can create a special clone which can simulate the appearance anyone Zetsu has ever touched down to their chakra, but it is much weaker than the original person, and therefore mostly only useful as a diversion.
All Zetsu incarnations have the ability to either steal chakra from other ninja or encase them like a suit.
Rock Lee & His Ninja PalsZetsu made a minor appearance in the chibi spin-off Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals. As opposed to the original series, Zetsu is portrayed as a single person instead of having split personalities, notably having Black Zetsu's voice. He made a minor appearance in the credits where he joins his teammates fight Konoha 11. Zetsu then made a minor appearance in Episode 30 in Tobi's story under the name of Zetsy and in Deidara's story as a referee of the race and then in person near the end of Episode 38. He arrived with Tobi, who is possibly his current partner, on their hideout and then wondered what happened there upon seeing it destroyed. Sasori upon seeing him starts to blame him for "recruiting" Lee and Guy into the Akatsuki. Zetsu rejects what Sasori said but Hidan proves what the latter said is true by describing Lee's physical appearance in which Tobi easily recognized. Upon learning the truth from Tobi, everyone in Akatsuki (and possibly Zetsu) beat up Deidara for not telling Lee was a spy.
- White Zetsu's line "It'll be all right, after all, Tobi is a good boy" to Black Zetsu upon convincing him to let Tobi "join" Akatsuki became a popular meme for Tobi leading to the birth of "Tobi is a Good Boy".
- Black Zetsu is a villainous counterpart to the Sage of the Six Paths:
- He considers himself the son of Kaguya, but was conceived asexually,
- He has black skin while the Sage has white.
- He is obedient to his mother while the Sage was rebellious.
- He steals power while the Sage shares it.