|— Shindō Shunsoku’s introduction to Team Kakashi, the first four-genin squad.|
Shindō Shunsoku (俊足新堂, Shunsoku Shindō) is the last surviving member of the Shunsoku Clan and the son of Toshirō, infamously known as Konoha’s Tailed Beast Without a Tail, and former samurai Mina. He was on a team with Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno, and Naruto Uzumaki under Kakashi Hatake, becoming a genin and his taijutsu, ninjutsu, and genjutsu skills developed. He later defected with Sasuke from Konohagakure in the quest for power and vengeance. Years later, he and Sasuke would learn of a dark truth about Konoha and must forge their own path moving forward.
Shindō was born to Toshirō and Mina of the once powerful and legendary Shunsoku clan, living in the outskirts of Konohagakure alongside the Uchiha clan. He grew up wanting to be a great shinobi like his father and is one of the few people obsessed with and adored the Uchiha for their power and combative prowess. Shindō’s only friends were Uchiha, with Itachi Uchiha, his little brother Sasuke, along with their parents Fugaku and Mikoto Uchiha. He and Sasuke became best friends upon entering the Academy together.
During his early childhood, he and his clan were also the only childhood friends of the young Naruto Uzumaki as he and his father knew who the jinchūriki of the Kyūbi no Kitsune. Since the blonde orphan was four, Shindō, Toshirō, and Mina all hid and protected Naruto from bullies, aggressive villagers, and Naruto began to look up to Shindō as a surrogate older brother, much to latter’s amusement.
One day, Shindō and his father were training when Toshirō informed him about the cruelty and unfairness of life, but that a shinobi’s true strength and power lies from their heart and having someone precious to protect, willing to give up their lives in the name of love and friendship. Toshirō passed down to his son the idea that ONLY those who have the power to protect the innocent, especially those precious to them, should be allowed to rule this world. Shindō would linger on this idea before heading off with Sasuke to train. During their training, Sasuke and Shindō encounter Naruto, inviting him to train with them until nightfall.
Later that same day, Shindō and Sasuke bid farewell to Naruto while they walked towards Sasuke’s house, recounting that both their families were having a family get-together at the Uchiha’s residence. Upon their arrival, however, they saw the dead and bloody bodies of every Uchiha littered throughout the streets. The boys rushed over to Sasuke’s house to inform their families, only to discover both their parents dead with one lone figure standing over them in the darkness. The figure revealing himself to be Itachi Uchiha in his ANBU attire and armed with a sword freshly stained with blood. He used Tsukuyomi to torment the two boys with visions of him murdering the Uchiha clan, including Shindō’s parents. The moment where Shindō saw Itachi slay his father and mother with his sword inside Tsukuyomi was too much for him to handle, he awakened the first stage of his Rōtasugan and his dormant Rōtasumāku, much to Itachi’s surprise and Sasuke’s shock. Itachi comes around to stab Shindō in the gut and whispering something in his ear before he collapsed.
Horrified, Sasuke pleaded with Itachi for an explanation and to stop after watching his best friend get stabbed fatally in the stomach. Itachi answered that he did all this to test his own power, with Shindō regenerating from his stomach wound and swore he will avenge his parents.
Fearful of what Itachi would be next and scared of what Shindō has become, Sasuke attempted to run but was cornered and beat by Itachi, telling Sasuke that (back then) he was not worth killing because he was too weak to protect Shindō. Both boys looked up to him as an older brother and best example of a shinobi, and this near-death experience and emotional trauma awakened Shindō’s two kekkei genkai, vast amounts of chakra throughout his entire tenketsu network thanks to the Rōtasumāku but he first needed to get Sasuke to safety, carrying his beaten friend out of the house and into the streets, yelling for help.
Outside, Itachi cornered the boys, telling them that only by getting stronger—Sasuke acquiring the Mangekyō Sharingan and Shindō the Kōdona Rōtasugan which shocked Shindō—can they ever stand a chance against him or his Mangekyō.
Before leaving, Itachi encouraged the two boys to hate him and to desire revenge, saying they will gain power from that. Sasuke awakened his Sharingan and Shindō activated his Rōtasugan before they both passed out, but not before catching Itachi crying. Sasuke would forget about this part for many years; however, Shindō fixated on this moment and would ponder over it for years afterward. Why Itachi cried and knew so much about his clan’s two kekkei genkai?
After the Uchiha clan’s massacre and the murder of Toshirō and Mira Shunsoku, Sasuke and Shindō were the sole survivors of the tragedy and were alone to mourn their losses. Shindō combed through his family’s home and belongings while Sasuke wandered through the Uchiha compound, reflecting on all the people now gone thanks to Itachi. Later, Shindō and Sasuke met together at a nearby lake, with Shindō explaining to Sasuke about what Itachi meant by the Kōdona Rōtasugan what it entailed. They decided to do what Itachi instructed: to dedicate their lives to vengeance, restore both their clans, and protect their only source of happiness - each other.
For the next four years, they threw themselves into studying at the Academy, with Sasuke and Shindō being labeled as prodigies and earning the title of Rookie of the Year. Several fangirl clubs emerged, and they would stalk and harass the Uchiha and Shunsoku; however, Sasuke made no efforts to make new friends outside of Shindō while Shindō distanced himself from Naruto who still looked to him as an older brother, now to his annoyance. Their quest for power and revenge was kept private from everyone around them, and they shared every secret of their respective clans in the hopes of becoming stronger together and growing as brothers.
Shindō was once a happy, naïve, and curious child, eager to be loved by everyone around him and wanting to have his clan’s name become respected and feared like the Uchiha. When he was a boy, he adored Itachi, looking up to him as an older brother who would occasionally train him alongside his little brother Sasuke. He and Sasuke were rivals and before becoming close friends after entering the Academy together. As for his parents, he had a strong relationship with his father, Toshirō as he was known throughout the world as Konoha’s Tailed Beast Without a Tail thanks to the latter’s combative abilities and subjugation of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox alongside the Yondaime Hokage. He was so significant in Shindō’s life that just his name, image, and voice elicited strong emotions from his otherwise calm demeanor. His mother, Mina, was loving but disciplinary as his father, especially when teaching her son the ways of the samurai.
Thanks to both his parents, mainly his father, he was the only childhood friend for the blonde orphan and the Kyūbi jinchūriki Naruto Uzumaki, the social pariah of Konoha. He was such a good friend that Naruto looked up to him as an older brother, much to his amusement. He would also introduce him to Sasuke who was also like a brother to him and the two became close rivals at the Academy, but with Shindō Naruto got along better with some classmates like Shikamaru, Chōji, Ino, Sakura, Kiba along with his white pup, Hinata, and Shino whom Shindō got along with the most thanks to his stoic demeanor and logical thinking. At the beginning, he was an introverted but social boy who spoke with people of the same ‘wavelength’ as he put it but hated loud and obnoxious people like Sakura and Ino. This would change in the coming years, but it remained an annoyance which took everything he had to keep himself under control.
He was crushed when Itachi, a friend and shinobi he looked up to as much as Sasuke, murdered his parents and the rest of the Uchiha clan who he adored and respected. The psychological trauma awakened one of his clan’s kekkei genkai, the Rōtasumāku, which regenerated his stomach wound inflicted by Itachi. When the older Uchiha stabbed him with his sword, he whispered to him how much he hated him and that the love he showed Shindō was never real, breaking his heart and emotionally scarring him. This deep emotional trauma awakened the first stage of his clan’s dōjutsu, the Rōtasugan. Despite healing from the stomach wound, there was a permanent scar on his upper abdomen which tormented him for years, a reminder of his hatred for the older Uchiha.
During mourning, Shindō wept for his dead father and mother, cradling their severed heads then bodies in his arms, making him hate Itachi even more. He also hid most of his pain behind a smile or neutral expression around other people. On the other hand, around Sasuke he was comfortable expressing his sad or depressed side with the Uchiha who shared his pain of loss, bringing them closer together, almost like brothers in everything but blood.
Shindō devoted years of his life to avenging his and Sasuke’s families, which Itachi encouraged every time they met. At the same time, however, he was determined to do so through his own means, like when he rejected Itachi’s instruction to obtain the Kōdona Rōtasugan, as did Sasuke for the Mangekyō Sharingan, for power. This was to simply not give Itachi any satisfaction, nor kill each other as the Shunsoku and Uchiha acknowledged each other as brothers in everything but blood. He also fixated the last image of Itachi crying the night he left Sasuke and him alone, wondering why such a murderer like Itachi would be crying.
With a more pragmatic outlook, Shindō has a calm and focused demeanor, and is sometimes ruthless when the situation calls for it. For example, when he killed any shinobi who got in his and/or Sasuke’s way. He also tolerates most of Sasuke’s coldness and dark tendencies without a second thought but is more open and even smiles when he is alone with the Uchiha, with the latter doing the same. He is also the negotiator and tactician between him and Sasuke as the Uchiha stopped using honorifics, something considered rude in the Japanese language. Thus, Shindō often reprimands Sasuke for really bad behavior during opportune moments, and the two would regularly argue or disagree. To resolve their problems, they sparred against one another, keeping their brotherlike bond intact.
During his pursuit of revenge with Sasuke, the two evaluated all abilities of every person they encountered. For Sasuke, he would arrogantly disregard them, giving them little attention so as to not hold him and Shindō back. Shindō, however, perceived things Sasuke could not, and investigated things further before dismissing them; however, if Sasuke and him agreed someone was stronger or more powerful, they fixated over them in an attempt to surpass their intended target.
They also worked and trained together, but also alone, to develop their tactical and strategic abilities. Although Sasuke is known for having a more creative and versatile arsenal of techniques, Shindō’s approach is more methodical as he always remembered his father teaching him to never underestimate his opponents and to wait for the right moment to strike. He also kept showing Sasuke that a battle is not necessarily a goal in and of itself, but could be a distraction from your true goals, and is best countered by an even better distraction. In their latter shinobi career, he and Sasuke adopted this approach in every fight to beat opponents such as Orochimaru, Deidara, and Killer B.
In Team 7, Shindō learned from their Jōnin instructor Kakashi Hatake about the importance of teamwork and was a natural-born leader. For a time, he and Sasuke valued it and began bonding with their teammates. He and Sakura Haruno even started developing romantic feelings for each other. Naruto and Sakura were the reason Shindō, and to an extent Sasuke, began to turn away from revenge; however, between the manipulations of Orochimaru, the second meeting with Itachi, and being put under Tsukuyomi again to experience their families’ murder all over again resulted in Sasuke deciding to sever ties with Konoha in the single-minded pursuit of power. Shindō, however, tried to help Sasuke realize the contradiction in his viewpoint: he wanted to obtain power because he lost his family, but is willing to sacrifice the family he has now (him and Team 7) in exchange for that power, making Sasuke realize that he was wrong and that he would have lost Shindō who was the only person who shared his pain.
He would have turned away from the path of darkness until the Sound Four arrived and influenced the two boys afterwards. Despite Shindō impressing them who likening him to their former leader Kimimaro because of his taijutsu and kekkei genkai in a unique combination with his Cursed Seal of Earth, he was still defeated by the more powerful Sound Four and their greater control over their seals. He wanted to learn more about and use his Cursed Seal of Earth properly to harness its power while not losing Sasuke. Realizing he cannot do so while being in Konoha and with a heavy heart, he decided to seek out Orochimaru alongside Sasuke who in turn wanted power, and with their goals aligned they left Konoha.
Shindō knew that Orochimaru was using Sasuke and him for his own personal gain; however, they both had a plan: they accepted his offer for power, seeking out the Sannin to train them in all he knew. Their bodies were also experimented on, despite knowing what Orochimaru wanted to do to them. It was during this time when he and Sasuke met Suigetsu Hōzuki and Karin whom Shindō remembered saving from a giant bear during the Forest of Death in the Chūnin Exams. Shindō also trained under Orochimaru but hated him for his experiments and lust for immortality; however, he was still thankful nonetheless for what he learned about how dark and twisted human nature can be because of existential fear of death.
When the time came, he and Sasuke fought Orochimaru when he was at his most vulnerable and defeated him. Then they created a new team with abilities to help achieve their goals. There, Shindō and Karin grew closer as a couple. Shindō still retained his morals and kept Sasuke from turning evil. For example, he and Sasuke both expressed disgust over Orochimaru being such a monster: willing to sacrifice human lives, especially the innocent, in an attempt to obtain power and immortality. The Uchiha and Shunsoku instituted a no-kill policy for both themselves and their team against anyone not related to their revenge or were innocent from wrongdoings as Shindō had a sense of honor and justice. Despite severing ties with their former teammates and Jōnin sensei, he grew attached to their new team and subconsciously held on to the notion of teamwork, going to extreme lengths to save or protect them, garnering praise and respect from all of them.
After Itachi died, he and Sasuke learned from Tobi the truth about Itachi, and that the hateful older brother and traitorous friend they knew was all an act, and that in reality they were both precious to him and that he regretted every time he harmed them in every way. Shindō realized his Kōdona Rōtasugan awakened, as did Sasuke with his Mangekyō Sharingan upon learning the truth from Tobi. Sasuke wanted to conspire against Konoha and its citizens for the hell they have been through, knowing full well this is not what Itachi wanted. Shindō, however, had time to think everything over and did not want Sasuke to become evil. The two fought an intensive battle which he placed Sasuke under Senshiryoku, revealing his depression and regrets of leaving Team 7, Kakashi, Naruto, Sakura, and Konoha behind in the pursuit of power, and their revenge has not made him happy and reminded Sasuke of what Kakashi and Sakura told them all those years ago before they left: vengeance would not make things better, instead brining more pain and darkness. He also showed Sasuke the many scars of self-inflicted cuts because of his depression he hid until now. He told Sasuke not to sever their bond, nor harm those who are innocent and to destroy their former home. Instead, he compromises with Sasuke about making Danzō Shimura, and by extension Root, pay for what they did to Itachi and their lives. After seeing the true pain, suffering, and heart of his surrogate brother, Sasuke agreed, and the Shunsoku hatched up an elaborate plan to pull it off.
They took Tobi’s offer to assassinate Danzō, in return they joined the Akatsuki and had to capture the Eight Tails’ jinchūriki, only to fail while learning of their former teammate Naruto Uzumaki defeated Pain. Afterwards, Tobi managed to have Sasuke’s and Shindō’s eyes swapped, awakening the Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan and the Eternal Kōdona Rōtasugan, respectively. After some time, they decided it was time to exact their revenge on Danzō and Root.
They tracked Danzō and his Root bodyguards to the Five Kage Summit, with Sasuke and Shindō disguising themselves as masked Akatsuki members. During the attack, Danzō escaped out of the fray, but then fought Sasuke and Shindō who dropped their disguises. The rest of Taka—Karin, Suigetsu, and Jūgo—fought Fū Yamanaka, Torune Aburame, and Sai from Root. Throughout the fight, Danzō attempted to use Shisui’s Kotoamatsukami but failed thanks to Shindō using Senshiryoku on both himself and Sasuke. Eventually, Shindō and Sasuke exacted their revenge, killing Danzō and sealing Shisui’s eye in a scroll for safekeeping and escaping before Team Kakashi arrived (with Yamato as Danzō’s eyes and ears). Next, in Shindō’s plan, Taka departed from the Akatsuki and arrived in Konoha, surrendering themselves to the authorities before being pardoned by Tsunade on behalf of Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi along with Sai, having completely gotten away with their crimes of treason against Konoha by having the blame put on the Akatsuki, specifically the masked man Tobi who Team Kakashi confirmed to be present, who attacked and killed the old War Hawk.
During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sasuke and Shindō were assigned to accompany Naruto and Killer B and encountered a reanimated Itachi Uchiha who used Shisui’s Mangekyō Sharingan Kotoamatsukami implanted on one of his crows within Naruto when he was alive to free himself from Kabuto Yakushi’s control over the Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation over him. Later, Sasuke, Shindō, and the reanimated Itachi fought Kabuto in his newly acquired ‘dragon’ Sage Mode, using Shisui’s Kotomatsukami and forced him to release the Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation. This released Itachi from the technique, bidding farewell to Sasuke and Shindō who he now calls them both his little brothers.
Later, Shindō, Sasuke, and the rest of Taka captured five White Zetsus and resurrected Orochimaru using Shindō’s Cursed Seal of Earth and performed Kotoamatsukami to turn the snake Sannin away from evil and to protect Konoha with his life. Next, Orochimaru performed the Dead Demon Consuming Seal: Release at the Uzumaki Clan’s Mask Storage Temple outside Konoha to reincarnate all the previous Hokage while Orochimaru transfer his soul into the fifth and remaining White Zetsu. Afterwards, Sasuke and Shindō conversed with the four Hokage individually and summarized everything pertaining the Fourth Shinobi World War. From listening to one another, and with the reincarnated Hiruzen Sarutobi seeing his prized student is no longer evil, Taka, Orochimaru, Sasuke, and Shindō head off to the battlefield.
Shindō returned to the battlefield alongside Sasuke, Taka, the previous four Hokage, and Orochimaru who help Naruto and the Allied Shinobi Forces fight against Madara and Obito. Shindō used his vast experience and leadership to lead the newly reborn Team 7 to defeat Jūbito; however, Madara nearly killed Sasuke and Naruto before becoming the Ten-Tails’ jinchūriki. At the brink of death, Naruto and Sasuke each inherited half of the chakra and power from a disembodied Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki who explained to them the history of himself, his lineage, and how to end the Cycle of Hatred.
With Shindō supporting Naruto and Sasuke with his more powerful abilities and Sakura Haruno doing the same using everything she learned under Tsunade, the reunited Team Kakashi battled against the Six Paths Madara and managed to defeat him. Shindō sealed Black Zetsu alongside the Ten-Tails whom the former despised with a passion, resulting in Madara Uchiha’s death and setting all nine bijū free.
Sasuke, however, attempted to bring an end to the old Shinobi World and create a new one where there would be peace by having everyone united in one goal against him as the only villain. For once, Shindō aligned with Naruto to stop his longtime ‘brother’ in one final duel for the fate of the world. At the Valley of the End, Naruto and Shindō fought Sasuke, where the latter cried for the first time in battle; however, thanks to teamwork with Naruto, they stopped Sasuke, but at the cost of Shindō losing both arms whereas Naruto and Sasuke lost only one of each from using their most devastating attacks. Once Sakura and Kakashi arrived, they helped the trio before the Uchiha and Uzumaki were well enough to undo the Infinite Tsukuyomi casted by Madara. Once true peace came to the Shinobi World, Sasuke and Shindō left Konoha for adventure, respectively, only meeting on the road from time to time. They returned to their families on special occasions.
Shindō is a short, stocky man with dark eyes, tanned skin, and spiky black hair. Shindō’s hair went from short during adolescence to long as a young adult. There is a scar from when he got stabbed by Itachi Uchiha shortly after seeing the older teen murder his parents along with the Uchiha clan in one setting. He was considered cute by girls, and now handsome by females of all ages. As for attire, it changed throughout his life, but the Shunsoku Clan’s crest was present somewhere on his clothing, preferably on the back of his shirts and kimonos.
In Part I, he wore the standard blue shinobi footwear, but switched to a black pair during the Chūnin Exam Finals. He then switched back to blue when defecting with Sasuke. As a Konoha genin, he wore his forehead protector around his neck and donned a black short-sleeved t-shirt, white shorts, and black fingerless gloves with metal plates on the backhand. He did not, however, wear them when he left Konoha.
In Part II, Shindō’s attire was similar to Sasuke’s: a blue cloth covering his lower body, from his stomach to his knees, which was secured by a purple rope belt along with a pair of navy pants and black shinobi boots beneath it all as is common for Orochimaru and his followers. The difference, however, is that his gray shirt was loose-fitting and long-sleeved with a zipper and high collar that was kept open to reveal his Cursed Seal of Earth, a circular pattern of three curved lines, over his manubrium. He also wore black arm guards and a different pair of black fingerless gloves.
After Itachi’s death, he wore a loose, white kimono with his clan’s crest on the back with black arm guards covering his forearms, the same black fingerless gloves, and a black hooded cloak over his attire upon forming Taka. He briefly sported the trademark Akatsuki cloak before ditching it after failing to capture the real Killer B. Throughout Part II, he attached his signature weapon, the Sword of Genso and its sheath, on his left hip and a special sack on the other containing the Sacred Scrolls on his right.
Orochimaru branded Shindō with the Cursed Seal of Earth after their first encounter in Part I. When activated just by his kekkei genkai alone, the cursed seal could only sap a portion or even half of Shindō’s total chakra and replace it with a larger amount of Orochimaru’s, in exchange increasing his strength and speed. Though useful, Shindō’s early uses of the cursed seal were often involuntary and struggled against the dark influence of Orochimaru. He also suffered debilitating pain if he used the cursed seal for too long, leaving him unable to move afterwards. These drawbacks, however, were overshadowed from the benefits that the cursed seal did for him like limiting and somewhat making it easier to control his kekkei genkai over time, massively improving his chakra control than ever before, and greatly improving his physical attributes to superhuman levels.
These drawbacks would be eliminated after achieving the second state of the cursed seal: a transformation that turns his skin dark, lengthens his hair, his irises becoming yellow with black sclerae, and a dinosaur-like tail with small deadly spikes running down the middle. In this state, Shindō is given an inhuman power boost in strength, speed, and durability that is able to match Sasuke’s stage two curse seal transformation, and even stonewall a jinchūriki’s version 1 form. In Part II, much like Sasuke, he learned isolate his stage two to specific parts of his body without completely transforming. Even though Itachi Uchiha removed Sasuke’s curse seal, Shindō managed to keep the curse seal a while longer until he awakened the Kōdona Rōtasugan, asking Jūgo to remove it as he never intended to keep this power after killing Itachi. His body, however, remained compatible with the cursed seal’s source, Jūgo, allowing him to provide his flesh or chakra if the need arises.