|(猿飛ひとみ, Sarutobi Hitomi)|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game|
|Occupation||Academy Instructor (Formerly)|
|Academy Grad. Age||9|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||11|
Hitomi Sarutobi is a kunoichi from the Sarutobi Clan and a fearsome international intelligence agent for Konohagakure. Hitomi is also the longtime friend, love interest and eventual wife of Densetsu Uchiha and granddaughter relative of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi. Feared mainly for her expertise in the Transformation Technique and voice manipulation, Hitomi was a brutally efficient deep cover agent for many years, before her eventual retirement to teach at the Academy instead.
Hitomi was born the only child of Hideki Sarutobi and Nanako Sarutobi. Her mother Nanako died during labour, leaving Hitomi to grow up under the care of her single father without knowing the loving and gentle care of a mother. The young Sarutobi did however have the support of numerous clan members as well as the careful eye of the Third Hokage and her grandfather, Hiruzen Sarutobi, behind her. Bright and keenly perceptive, she was brought up by Hideki to be extremely competitive and driven, dedicating her efforts into the line of shinobi combat and skill from her early childhood.
Her talents were lauded by her prestigious clan, driving her father to intensify his methods while also pushing Hitomi to strive even harder for both the approval of her father and her own wild, aggressive desire to surpass everyone around her. By the age of eight, she was head and shoulders above her age mates in Taijutsu and Shurikenjutsu, while also being able to dispel Genjutsu before entering the Academy.
It therefore came as no surprise that she initially dominated her batch mates when entering Konoha's Ninja Academy; before seeing her undisputed talents get challenged by Densetsu Uchiha and Hiroki Nara; two young Academy Students who could never match her in sheer academics but surpassed her at times in practical examinations. While her superiority complex never allowed her to accept her challengers' gifts, it drove her to reach new heights as she pushed herself even harder — leading to the assembly of the infamous Team Ayato, where Hitomi was placed alongside Densetsu and Hiroki under the infamous firebrand Jōnin, Ayato Shinohara. Hitomi's years spent in Team Ayato not only turned her into a frighteningly skilful shinobi; but matured her as a person. She learned to grow past her obsession to be the best while also slowly detaching herself from the compulsion to win her father's approval constantly. Her gradual personality change culminated in her developing feelings for Densetsu after a period of obsessively seeking to surpass him bloomed into genuine feelings of admiration — something which she kept hidden.
Hitomi, Densetsu and Hiroki became exceptionally close friends and worked extremely well together as a squad, even completing B-ranked and even three A-ranked missions, as proof of their prodigious competence under Ayato's tutelage, with many believing them to be beyond Chūnin level already. It was during this stage that Hitomi's aptitude for Genjutsu truly bloomed, as she mastered the notoriously difficult Temple of Nirvana Technique, astounding her peers and even surprising Ayato; who noted that among the trio she was the only one that didn't possess a direct weakness in terms of combat ability. As she learned of Densetsu's dream to explore the frontiers of their world and Hiroki's dream to become a medical nin, Hitomi set her sights on becoming an intelligence operative; though this was not something she revealed to them.
Thus at the age of 11, Hitomi undertook the Chūnin Exams. Having passed the first stage with minimal difficulty, Hitomi and Team Ayato became the targets of the other groups, having been named as the front runners of the tournament. Together with Densetsu and Hiroki, Hitomi fought viciously in the Forest of Death, functioning as the spear to Densetsu and Hiroki's shield: finishing off the enemies they baited or opened up with her precise and accurate attacks. Eventually Team Ayato made it to the individual battles, the final rounds, where the pattern continued — the trio fighting fanatically driven opponents, with Hiroki eventually taking the first elimination among them. The quarter finals match up took a toll on Hitomi, but despite taking a pummelling from one of Iwagakure's strongest contenders, she managed to make it to the semi finals where she was drawn against another front runner — Akuhei Iwao.
While Hiroki and Ayato supported Hitomi's seemingly mad idea to fight, there was still opposition to her determined stance. Densetsu strongly protested when she decided to go up against Iwao despite suffering heavy injuries in the quarters; as they had all seen how brutal Iwao was and how uncompromising his attacks were against his fellow competitors. But Hitomi remained firm, lashing back and chastising her teammate's lack of faith in her; and for belittling her resolve. Though taken aback, Densetsu respected her courage and placed his faith in her, telling her not to dare face him without destroying Iwao. Hitomi took his word with a grin and promised to shatter Densetsu next in the final.
But the battle against Akuhei Iwao proved to be almost completely one sided. Hitomi started aggressively, wielding her ninja tools and forcing Iwao on the defensive, where her quick Taijutsu made it past his slower defences; kicking and punching him back and forth, while managing to even get him in a triangle choke. But his strength proved to be colossal, as he broke her choke and flung her across the arena. Her quick start was dampened as her precise Fire Release was utterly overwhelmed by Iwao's mighty, unshackled Water Release, which neutralised her ninjutsu and also targeted her injuries. Iwao cut the distance between them and launched his own Taijutsu: powerful punches laden with momentum, smashing through her swift blocks and helmet guard and closing her whole left eye at the end of his combination.
Despite being beaten into submission, Hitomi refused to stay down, trying twice to launch a surprise counter with her kunai, but she was foiled both times and finally slammed onto the ground by the enraged Iwao. Still refusing to stay down, Hitomi continued to force herself up, despite chants from the crowd to stay down, as Akuhei grabbed her by the throat and prepared to drive a kunai at her. But this attempt was foiled by Hiroki's Nara clan ninjutsu, which took possession of Iwao, automatically disqualifying Hitomi, who was already unconscious by then. Outclassed by Iwao, she awoke several hours later to find Densetsu by her bedside; who revealed that he'd be fighting Iwao in the final. He chastised her for almost getting herself killed, but finally told her he'd avenge her and shatter every bone in Iwao's body, if it was the last thing he did. Hitomi smiled as he left briskly.
A week later Densetsu and Akuhei Iwao fought, with Hitomi, Hiroki and Ayato watching in the stands. In a brutal slugfest, Densetsu fought like an unshackled monster, absorbing Iwao's attacks with the force of his will, but delivering incredible punishment. Iwao eventually lost, as Hitomi realised at that very moment — all along she had been the one without weaknesses, but Densetsu was undisputedly the strongest of the trio. And unlike the past, she could finally accept it. All three of Team Ayato was promoted to Chūnin, but only Hitomi was not offered a position in the ANBU Black Ops, much to her disbelief.
Farewell for Friends
The decision not to consider Hitomi for the ANBU while Densetsu and Hiroki were inducted initially drove Hitomi into a rage, but she also accepted that her friends had shown the composure needed for such a responsibility, which she had allowed her impulses to take over, forcing Hiroki to save her. But with some help from Ayato, Hitomi became involved with the intelligence department, where she began to undergo her training as a deep cover agent which would facilitate the actions of the ANBU Black Ops. She began to notice her former teammates faces change when she saw them, as though they had been through unimaginable suffering. And eventually she stopped seeing them altogether.
Hitomi grudgingly accepted that this was part and parcel of life within the ANBU, focusing on her own blooming career. She made good headway, blessed with the gift of the gab and excellent acting abilities. Combined with her natural intellect, those around her noted that she had a peculiar proclivity for subterfuge within her, naturally.
Hitomi was described to have been a tomboy in her childhood, preferring to wear the more movement limiting clothes the boys wore, while also keeping her hair relatively short in comparison to the other girls in her class. While she had the soft eyes of a young girl, her features had been eternally fixed in a snarling like disposition, and she had given off a notably unpleasant vibe to many of her classmates. She was very skinny as a child, to the point where her cheeks and undersides of her eyes were hollow and sunken: a side effect of excess training without adequately addressing her nutritional needs.
As she outgrew these toxic habits in her late childhood, Hitomi began to resemble a young and healthy girl. Her short hair began to lengthen and take a healthy, chestnut hue. She grew considerably, reaching a height above that of an average girl while also beginning to develop a fairly well toned physique. During Part I in her early teens, Hitomi began to undergo her transformation into womanhood, as her face lengthened and assumed the structure of a woman who would be beautiful in the very near future. Her once bright eyes became piercing, while her luscious chestnut hair was kept long, much past her shoulders. Hitomi chose a more revealing red combat attire with straps around her arms and a black fishnet beneath it: but opted for the classic Konoha flak jacket and grey undershirt for more informal delegations of duty — a clothing sense designed to facilitate ease of movement and stealth.
In Part II, Hitomi completed her phase of growth into adulthood, blooming into a woman whose good looks were recognised by her peers and led to a notable few suitors. She has prominent cheekbones, a small yet sharp nose and a smooth feminine chin; giving her the much desired traditional oriental appearance. However, the years of intense combat with vicious enemies on behalf of Konoha also took its toll on the young woman's body; with her husband Densetsu noting that she had almost as many scars and blemishes on her body as he did. Upon receiving her fourth child, Hitomi got rid of her long flowing hair, instead opting for a more convenient pixie cut, which she continues to maintain. While not exceptionally curvaceous or in possession of the wild assets her peers boasted about, Hitomi's body is hardened and sleek, lined by mild outlines of muscle and the occasional protruding vein: fruits of the rigorous routines she put her body through to maintain her highly kinetic, acrobatic fighting technique.
In her youth, Hitomi possessed a fun and carefree side. She was eager to get her work done quickly and efficiently. Coming off as exuberant and even fiery tempered at times, Hitomi's personality never got in the way of her judgement, and she was capable of immediately calming herself to make the most of a tense or dangerous situation. Hitomi was an individual who took pride in being well informed, never taking a 'too cool to be bothered' approach on anything, comically having a reputation for being a mild gossip. Generally she had a good sense of humour and a gentle sarcasm which went hand in hand, seen in her skill with puns. However even while being extroverted and easily able to express her thoughts, she was shy when it came to her true heart's feelings, incapable of revealing her longtime feelings towards Densetsu until the night he fled Konoha. She is also courageous and possesses a very steely character, never losing her cool in dangerous situations and never giving in to fear; a trait that left her in good stead as a spy. Hitomi was also extremely loyal to her friends and her clan, expressing intense pride in being a Sarutobi and never backing away from her friends when they needed her. She also opted to loyally wait for Densetsu until his return even though she never knew if he would ever return or not, never having engaged in any romantic relationships with anyone aside from him. She is also a positive individual who always focuses on the bright side of life, never letting disappointments get her down and always looking for opportunities to pull herself back up. This trait of hers goes well to counter the occasional personal troubles and insecurities of her boyfriend, as she has become his most trusted confidant over the years in the absence of his family.
Hitomi was naturally a talented kunoichi who excelled in ninjutsu and genjutsu. Quick to learn and eager to absorb knowledge, she became a cunning and intelligent shinobi, relying on calculated strategy and stealth to win battles instead of direct attacking moves. While she didn't have particularly large amounts of chakra, Hitomi did however possess intricate and precise chakra control which enabled her to siphon off and use only necessary amounts of chakra. Hitomi was capable of holding her own against stronger opponents with little trouble, and was also recognised as a very capable kunoichi and Jonin in Konoha despite her relative youth.
Hitomi was a ninjutsu fighter by nature. She was able to use her long hair for offensive purposes as senbon, rapidly firing them at opponents from multiple angles. She could also use her hair and grab opponents with it, also forming spikes with her hair to hurt enemies while they were bound by the hair. Also she is well versed with the Shadow Clone Technique, using it skilfully as a distraction or to draw an opponent's attention away.
Naturally affined to the Fire Release, Hitomi was dangerously well versed with several techniques in this element. Her signature technique was the Fire Release: Ash Pile Burning, which she used frequently often to deadly and devastating effect to catch enemies offguard and incinerate them. She could also fire long streams of fire to incinerate a portion of the landscape to cut off pursuers or to trap opponents; or even generate a huge flame bullet to catch opponents in a sphere of flames. Her versatility with this element also enabled her to boost her other signature techniques with flames, such as firing flaming needles of hair at enemies to create an attack with a wide surface area to minimise or completely block off any chance of evasion.
True to her reputation as a masterful spy, Hitomi relied on Genjutsu to turn enemies away from her non lethally, enabling her to slip by them while she rendered them unconscious or confused. Hitomi was a capable user of the Temple of Nirvana Technique, able to knock multiple enemies unconscious before they noticed her. Genjutsu such as the Demonic Illusion: Tree Binding Death were also her common attacks to disorientate single enemies and avoid fights.