Kenji Nagakura (賢治長倉, Nagakura Kenji), known more by Kenji Nara (賢治奈良, Nara Kenji) when he takes his mothers maiden name, is the son of an unknown father and an unnamed woman of the Nara Clan (奈良一族, Nara Ichizoku), who has risen to the rank of Chūnin. He resides in Konohagakure with the rest of his clan, seeking answers to his father's identity.
Kenji is resented by many due to the fact he is the current Jinchūriki of the Two-Tails, having been chosen at the age of six following the Fourth Great Shinobi World War; though some do respect his growing abilities as a Shinobi and his desire to help others. He has been good friends with his fellow team-mate Gray Kazuki, and Sensei Shin Takahiro since he was a child, and forms a three-man cell with those two dubbed Team Takahiro (チーム隆弘, Chīmu Takahiro). He once formed a Genin-team with both Gray and Harumi Misuteri who both boys thought dead in a past mission.
Following Part I, Kenji has been reunited with Harumi and their old Genin Team, also known as Team 17, has been fully reestablished with Shin once again as the Sensei in charge. As per Part II, Kenji has begun training to master the Two-Tails sealed within him in preparation for the coming war with Hoshigakure.
Kenji is a tall, lean-built man in his late teenage years. He wears his black hair short, with two spiked bangs on either side to frame his face; accompanied by a smaller spiked fringe. He usually wears a tight, leather-packed black outfit for added protection with a cape he usually discards during combat draping his shoulders. Beneath the cape he carries several pieces of equipment, most notably his coils of wire to aid in his fire-release skills and his Tantō. His lower attire consists of a pair of tight-fitting black trousers, with his forehead protector tied to one of the loops of his leather belt. To protect his arm while using his bow, Kenji also wears a pair of brown bracer's that bear the name of his clan on their surface.
In particularly dangerous missions, or those he may get wet in, Kenji also wears the average Shinobi Flak Jacket over his predominately black garb - but covered by his cloak. Like the majority of the models saw in Konoha, Kenji's jacket has three pouches on each side of their chest for scrolls, medicine, and other ninja tools; including poison Kenji sometimes uses for dipping his arrows in. For protection, they include a neck guard and extra padding over the shoulders which Kenji has shown a huge hatred for.
As per Part II, Kenji's appearance has changed little, with him still wearing the same attire as he did in Part I. He has grown more muscular though, which is reflected in his increased weight and muscle mass. His hair has also grown longer, with his bangs now extending down to the base of his chin, where they previously only reached his cheeks. He has also been noted by his fellow Shinobi to have grown in maturity, appearing older and wiser, as well as more reliable.
Kenji, although playful and carefree during his free time, has shown a seriousness and maturity rarely seen in one as young as he is in terms of his duty as a Shinobi of the Leaf. He sees missions as exercises that require a level-head and a mature approach, and see those who put their allies in risk through anger or rash actions as dangerous individuals; as he likens a three-man cell to the inner workings of a clock, saying "If all the gears don't mesh as they should, the clock doesn't work." However he has, on occasion, undertaken a a mission while angry; nearly succumbing to a surprise attack by a Missing-nin when he spaced out thinking about the past.
As a Jinchūriki, Kenji has had to life with the negative aspects normally associated with holders of the tailed-beats; though because of past exploits by the Jinchūriki Naruto Uzumaki, his treatment has not been as harsh as it had been for previous Jinchūriki. However, he did find it hard to make friends because others still viewed him as a beast. Though instead of giving in and becoming isolated, Kenji found friendship in Gray Kazuki and Shin Takahiro, and used his childhood experiences to mold and strengthen him; which only served to increase his overall loyalty to Konoha, as he sees his past as a driving force in his everyday actions and decisions and not as mistreatment. This also highlights the fact that Kenji rarely holds grudges.
Kenji has shown a great deal of loyalty towards his friends and village, stating that "they knew what I was, and yet they still accepted me," showing his feelings regarding the village and his allies to be strong indeed; particularly those of his past team-mate Harumi Misuteri who Kenji had deep feelings for. Kenji also has a distinct fear of water, as he absolutely refuses to be near large bodies of water; making it particularly difficult for him to combat Ninja specializing in water-Jutsu. This stems from two instances in his life that scarred him somewhat mentally, as he almost drowned as a child, and watched Harumi seemingly drown in a river. At the conclusion of Part I, where Harumi was returned safely, Kenji's fear of water has lessened somewhat, though he still freezes up at the sight of large quantities, no longer fearing simple rain.
One more aspect of his personality that the Hokage has commented on - albeit internally - is that Kenji is extremely determined; a trait Okita went on to attribute to Kenji's father. Shin Takahiro has also commented that Kenji is very stubborn, and that he could "give a mule lessons and teach a stone to talk". Gray describes him as "a hot-head who has amazingly developed the ability to think." This stubborn streak hasn't dulled a hair as pert Part II, though at least he now takes the time to plan and be cautious; mainly due to the fact he is responsible for his friends lives.
The circumstances which led to Kenji being a Jinchūriki are unknown, as neither Kenji's mother nor the Hokage have explained the circumstances behind it. He did, however, know that he was a Jinchūriki, as did many of the villagers. This led to a great many of the children fearing him, as did their parents as they knew the power of the tailed-beasts from past experiences with the Nine-Tails. This left Kenji rather isolated from all those outside his own Clan, who looked at Kenji as one of their own, instead of a Jinchūriki.
As Kenji grew and practiced the Ninja-arts, he met and befriended Gray Kazuki during a game of tag, as the other children had went off on their own to play because of the fear they had towards him and what he was. Only Gray remained, who made it very clear he didn't fear Kenji or what was sealed within him. The two became fast friends and fierce rivals in everything they did, competing the entire way through their Academy and Genin years. Whilst a Genin, Kenji developed a deep-rooted phobia of water, particularly rivers and lakes. This stems from an incident in which he almost drowned, being saved only because his Jōnin Sensei Shin Takahiro leapt in to save him. Kenji has had a fear of water ever since; this event being one instance causing his phobia.
While still a Genin, Shin led his Genin-team on a mission to the Land of Tea. Although the mission itself was only serving as guards for a traveling tea merchant, who sought a guard across the Land of Fire in the event of a run-in with Missing-nin; the mission was completed without mishaps, with Shin commenting on the clients paranoia. On the return trip, the team had to cross the large rope bridge which connected the two islands which made up the Land of Tea with stormy conditions making the crossing treacherous. Although Gray and Shin succeeded in crossing with little mishap, Harumi was not as lucky and slipped over the side; only to be caught by Kenji - who after an emotional few moments - lost his grip on her; Harumi plummeting to her supposed death in the river which had burst its banks due to the weather. This was the second instance which led to Kenji's growing fear of water. The team returned to the Land of Fire, the emotional scars caused being carried by Kenji for the next six years.
- A New Mission Received: Shin's Shock
- Ill News: Departing with the Wind
- A Bestial Encounter: The Missing-nin of Iwagakure
- The Journey Seeking the Past Continues
- A Difficult Reunion: Kenji's Rage Peaks!
Bow: Kenji carries a dull, silver-colored longbow with him for use as a long-range weapon. The bow was the only thing his father left him before he vanished, making it an important and sentimental piece of Kenji's history. Aside from its long-range capabilities, the bow itself it also quite durable.
Shuriken: Like almost any Shinobi, Kenji carries Shuriken with him to either throw his enemy off when they're using Jutsu, or to use as a long-range attack. He is quite accurate and rarely misses a stationary target.
Kunai: Kenji carries several kunai around his body and is quite proficient in their use, especially at close range or when using them in conjunction with explosive tags. He also carries an item that allows him to instantly extend and retract kunai from his sleeve using spring-loaded wire. Kenji often uses this as a means of greatly injuring his opponents, while maintaining his use of surprise-based tactics.
Dual Knives: Kenji's trademark weaponry are his dual knives connected to his metal wire, which he uses as an offensive weapon and as a grappling hook should the need arise. The knives are double edged, making them ideal for disarming users of Kenjutsu.
Wire Dispensers: Kenji carries several coils of his specialized wire secured to his belt for use in Taijutsu and fire-related jutsu. Made especially to react to Kenji's own Chakra, he usually ensnares his enemies where he makes full use of their explosive properties by setting it alight with fire release jutsu.
High Chakra Levels: Even without the Two-tails influence on his Chakra, Kenji has quite an amount at his own disposal; as he regularly fights to his own Chakra limit before tapping the Two-tails for additional strength. His Chakra reserves are high due to his training in order to increase both the physical and spiritual aspects of Chakra control. His Chakra levels allow him to use the Nara Clan's shadow manipulation skills to full effect, as well as other elemental-based Ninjutsu.
Intelligence: Perhaps one of Kenji's greatest assets - even in light of his status as a Jinchūriki - is his natural intelligence, brought further through the personal tutelage of the Hokage himself. Kenji's intelligence is often highlighted during battle, where he skillfully deploys several strategies and feints so he doesn't need to rely on the added power of the Two-tails, and to reflect the limitations of his shadow manipulation jutsu. Using fire release justu's to create smoke - and thus shadows - Kenji can increase the usage of his Hiden jutsu.
Keen Accuracy: Kenji is incredibly accurate with his bow, being able to fatally injure targets from a great distance, even whilst moving. Even when out of Chakra and usable jutsu, Kenji has shown the ability to continue fighting with just his equipment; his bow specifically.
Taijutsu Specialist: Kenji has a high level of skill in the field of Taijutsu, being able to use it to combat other Shinobi of similar skill for extended periods. He prefers a defensive-minded style so he can draw his opponents into shadowed areas in order to catch them using shadow manipulation.
Nature Transformation Expert: Kenji has a wide range of knowledge regarding nature transformation, being capable of performing B-ranked Fire Release jutsu like Great Dragon Fire Technique, Ash Pile Burning and how he uses his fire release to extend his shadow through effective use of the smoke caused. He also has an above-average skill in earth related skills, as he regularly mixes his fire and earth natures to create Ash Release, which focuses on swamping an opponent with ash from a distance. he is also quite fond of creating mirages to confuse his foes.
Wire Expert: Kenji usually supplements his battle style with wire that bares explosive properties, using it in conjunction with his ample Taijutsu skill at close range to entangle, disarm and unbalance his foes. The wire he favors is specially made to react to his Chakra alone, making it an effective tool when used in conjunction with the Body Flame Technique, allowing Kenji to not only cause devastating damage to his foes via an explosion, but also to escape quickly himself. He also uses it as a means of bridging gaps by attaching the wire to an arrow and then firing, in order to cross canyons and the like easily.
Skillful Teamwork: Kenji has a great understanding regarding Gray's individual strengths and weaknesses; as he and Gray have shown effective teamwork, by binding a foe in place with Kenji's wires so Gray can strike them with the Chidori without suffering its drawback; and then using his own wires and fire release to create an explosion.
Kenji's control in Ash Release is quite advanced, allowing him to use various ash-related skills to burn, trap and ultimately crush his opponents from a relative distance. Kenji usually manipulates the ash through eyesight, allowing him to use his ash control in conjunction with his bow; making him a potent and effective mid-to-long-range combatant.
Kenji's skill in the use of his Clan's Hiden-jutsu has been honed to an expert level, allowing him to easily combine his shadow manipulation techniques with his other attributes. Using fire release techniques to create smoke, and thus a larger shadowed area, Kenji can make effective use of techniques like Shadow Imitation Technique and the Shadow Sewing Technique to immobilize and ultimately constrict his foes. When utilized alongside the Chakra offered by the Two-tails, Kenji can extend his shadows and hold even Kage-level Shinobi, though this tires him even with the use of the Two-tails as he has yet to fully master the Two-tails within him.
As the current Jinchūriki of the Two-Tailed Monster Cat, Kenji can access its Chakra in order to increase his own. So far, Kenji has little control over his tailed-beast, as it manifests more easily the angrier he becomes. As a Jinchūriki, Kenji's wounds heal at an accelerated rate.
Initial Jinchūriki Form
Just by tapping the Chakra of the Two-tails, Kenji's body begins its initial transformation. This is shown from how his hair becomes somewhat spikier, like when a cat arches its back and raises its fur. His eyes also become a darker shade of their usual blue. In this form, Kenji usually moves on all fours like a cat, and has shown enhanced reflexes and speed. When enough of the Two-tails Chakra has been tapped, Kenji's body adopts a blue-colored aura reminiscent of flames surrounding his body.
Kenji reaches this stage through extreme fits of rage and frustration, and has only a bare minimum of control over himself when used. Kenji has also been shown releasing a hiss, which creates a shock-wave when performed. His physical strength is also increased, allowing him to perform on higher plains on the physical plain. When in this stage, Kenji has shown a much smaller version of the Two-Tailed Cat Menacing Fire Ball that is fired from his open mouth.