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Wakasa Momochi (桃地若狭, Momochi Wakasa) is the current Jōnin Commander of Kirigakure under Chōjūrō and one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, wielding Kubikiribōchō. Formerly, Wakasa was a captain in Kirigakure’s Anbu, where he operated as a Hunter-nin under the alias of Nakata (中田, lit. "center field"), completing many high-risk missions alongside his younger brother, Ryōhei. It was during this time that he became known as "Cold-blooded Wakasa" (残忍の若狭, Zan'nin no Wakasa) due to his ruthless tactics and brutal use of Water Release techniques and kenjutsu in battle. To those in the Anbu who knew him, it seemed as though Wakasa was carrying out the blood-stained legacy of his father, and as such they came to avoid him out of fear. This cold-bloodedness was further demonstrated when Wakasa showed no hesitation in cutting down and capturing his younger brother when the latter, alongside Shizuma Hoshigaki and other revolutionaries, attempted to reinstate the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist and overthrow the Mizukage ten years ago.
Shortly after the attempted coup, Wakasa retired from the Anbu. He served as an instructor for several years before he was eventually promoted to Jōnin Commander, where he has proven himself to be extremely reliable due to his years of experience and level-headed advice. He seems to have had a change of heart since his hunter-nin days, as he hesitates to commit to violence and wishes to distance himself from his dark past. Above all, Wakasa is devoted to maintaining the peace in Kirigakure in order to ensure a bright future for his family.
- 1 Background
- 2 Personality
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Plot
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Quotes
- 8 References
Wakasa was born two years after Yagura Karatachi became the Fourth Mizukage, during the time that many considered to be the darkest of Kirigakure’s "Village of the Bloody Mist" (血霧の里, Chigiri no Sato) era. His mother, Noe, was one of the few surviving members of the Yuki Clan and the young flame of Zabuza Momochi, who was the then-apprentice of Jūzō Biwa. At the time, Zabuza had been assigned to track down and exterminate surviving Kekkei Genkai-wielding shinobi following the Kaguya Clan’s attack on the Hidden Village. However, when he met Noe he was unable to carry out his duty, instead falling for her. They shared a brief relationship which ended when Zabuza was called away on another mission. Noe gave birth to Wakasa a few months later, clinging to the hollow promise that Zabuza would come back for her and they would begin a new life together elsewhere. Two years passed, but Zabuza never returned.
Eventually, Noe's identity was found out and she was forced to flee from the Land of Waves. Fearing she would be unable to provide for Wakasa, Noe decided his chances of survival would be better with his father's family. She left him at the Momochi Clan's doorstep with a simple note of explanation before disappearing, her fate unknown. Initially, the Momochi refused to take in the orphan Wakasa, but Zabuza’s older brother Yutaka at last agreed to raise him to spare him from exposure. Nonetheless, he was immediately ostracized by the Momochi because of Zabuza’s reputation, who had been disowned from the family after he infamously slaughtered his academy year's entire graduating class.
Due to Kiri's social turmoil under the tyrannical reign of the Fourth, Wakasa's training as a shinobi began at an early age, and he quickly progressed to difficult forms on ninjutsu even before entering the academy. However, despite all his efforts he could never seem to meet Yutaka's expectations in the Momochi Clan's own specialty: kenjutsu. One day, when Wakasa was about six years old, Yutaka took him on a "training mission" which was really a cover to meet Zabuza discreetly. Yutaka was the only member of the Momochi who had continued to interact with Zabuza after the latter's exile from the clan, and he wanted to confirm that Wakasa was truly his child. For his part, Zabuza tried to convince Yutaka to rebel against the Mizukage with him, as he had realized that Yagura was under the control of Akatsuki. While troubled by Zabuza's discovery, Yutaka refused to join him, and they parted on tense terms. However, what left the greatest impression on Wakasa was the boy who traveled with Zabuza, as he could not understand why his father had chosen Haku instead of him.
Wakasa's sense of abandonment was exacerbated when he enrolled in the Kirigakure Academy later that year, as his classmates avoided him out of fear once they realized who he was. Their suspicion of him only increased following Zabuza's defection from Kiri, which brought Wakasa immense shame. As a result, he vowed at a young age that he would never betray Kirigakure, and came to value loyalty to his village above all else. Despite the hardships he experienced, Wakasa graduated from the academy with top grades. However, because of the unrest caused by the Fourth’s sudden death, Kiri did not participate in the joint Konoha-Suna Chūnin Exams that year, and as such Wakasa was not assigned to a Genin team.
While Wakasa was still a student at the academy, Yutaka married a kunoichi named Reiko. Their son Ryōhei—Wakasa's younger (adoptive) brother—was born when he was ten. At first, the new addition to the family only compounded Wakasa's feelings of being unwanted. While Reiko had never gone out of her way to be cruel to Wakasa, she had never completely accepted him as her child. And with Ryōhei's birth, she increasingly ignored him. At first, Wakasa was jealous of the care and attention that Reiko lavished upon Ryōhei. However, he soon came to care for Ryōhei, who looked up to Wakasa and was the only member of his family who genuinely enjoyed spending time with him.
Because of the mistreatment he suffered as a child, Wakasa became withdrawn and solitary, preferring to spend time alone practicing his favorite pastime: free-diving. Unlike his parents and peers, the ocean accepted him for who he was, and the pressure he felt hundreds of meters beneath the surface seemed light in comparison to what he experienced at home. He mostly dove for clams, and would bring back sponges, coral, unique pieces of driftwood, and even pearls, which he usually gave to Ryōhei. As a toddler, Ryōhei often begged to go with him when he went diving, but Wakasa always refused to bring him because Reiko had strictly forbidden it. One day, however, after having received a rare, harsh scolding, Wakasa stormed out of the house to go to the shore, ignoring the clear danger of the storm brewing on the horizon. He brought Ryōhei with him to spite Reiko, and they headed out to sea on Wakasa's small diving raft.
As the waves became more violent, Ryōhei begged Wakasa to turn back, but he ignored his pleas until it was too late. The storm broke with typhonic force, threatening to push them farther out to sea. Fighting against the wind and torrential rain, Wakasa at last reached a rock outcropping where he managed to temporarily stabilize the raft. In the meantime, Reiko had realized that Wakasa must have taken Ryōhei with him when she couldn’t find them at the house. Terrified for her son's safety, she took a small fishing craft and headed out to sea to search for them.
Since Reiko was a Sensor Type, she was able to pinpoint their location by tracking Ryōhei's chakra signature. She reached them just as the waves smashed Wakasa’s raft to pieces against the rocks. Wakasa succeeded in placing Ryōhei safely in Reiko's arms, but then as she was helping him into the boat a massive upswell surged over the side of the fishing craft, pulling Reiko under the waves. Wakasa was unable to leave Ryōhei to dive after Reiko, as it took all of his strength just to keep the boat from crashing into the outcropping. The only thing he could do was scream Reiko's name helplessly, but she never emerged.
While Reiko's sacrifice had saved both him and Ryōhei, Wakasa never forgave himself for her death. Yutaka blamed him as well, becoming even more distant towards him and asserting that Wakasa was truly "Zabuza's son." In order to earn his father's acceptance, Wakasa dedicated himself to mastering the kenjutsu that Yutaka had taught him, which became a self-fulfilling prophecy as he unwittingly set off on the same path as the "Demon of the Hidden Mist."
Shintarō and Meiko:
Although Wakasa is of average height, he possesses a compact build and broad shoulders that serve to create a more powerful stature. While not overly muscular or massy, he has a strong figure that was crafted by years of training. As swimming is his preferred method of exercise, his physique has been honed by the water, and is characterized by a triangular shape and high muscle tone without bulk. He has thick shoulder muscles, a long flat torso, thin waist, and lean powerful legs, with his calf, arm, and abdominal muscles being quite prominent, although swimming works all of the muscle groups in the body. His wide chest cavity also means he has incredible lung capacity, which has aided him in his Water Release techniques.
Wakasa’s features are somewhat masculine, with a square nose, angular jaw, and wide mouth. While he is considered by many to be somewhat handsome, he himself has described his face as being “rather forgettable,” as it is plain with commonplace features or simply easy to miss. He has found that this has actually served as an advantage while on missions in the past. Wakasa has dark brown hair that is swept over his eyes, tanned skin, and narrow, light blue eyes. He usually sports stubble on his chin, and is rarely seen without something in his mouth, whether that be his vice of choice—a cigarette—a toothpick, or a piece of straw. He typically wears a basic uniform that consists of a black, long-sleeved shirt with a high neck, arm and hand guards, dark trousers with lower leg mesh armor, standard sandals, and a flak jacket that is reminiscent of those worn by the Anbu. His Shinobi headband is tied to the strap holding his sword, which is slung across his back.
When Wakasa was young, his skills were largely late to emerge. However, over the years of hard work and dedication he has proved to be a formidable combatant. As an ex-ANBU and hunter-nin, he is proficient in all of the skills of his former occupation, including reconnaissance, tracking, and capture. Serving as the current jōnin commander of Kirigakure, he has shown considerable strategic and tactical genius, proving that he is extremely competent for his role.
Wakasa's typical style of combat utilizes a wide range of low-level techniques, and his strongest areas of combat are in Water Release jutsu, kenjutsu, and genjutsu.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
Doesn't have vast amounts of chakra, but he has extremely high stamina. He can hide his presence well and is extremely economic of his use of jutsu, utilizing low-cost jutsu to their maximum effect whenever possible.
Knows basic Kiri academy jutsu as well as Kiri ANBU jutsu. He has a range of basic, D-level and E-level techniques such as Cloak of Invisibility Technique. He can also use a Chakra Disguise in conjunction with the Hiding in Mist Technique to suppress his chakra signature even further.
See: Water Release
Has a technique which enables him to embue his sword(s) with water release chakra, so he can channel jutsu through his blades. He uses his physical prowess (impressive agility and strength to give him an edge in Kenjutsu as well). As one of the current Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, his skills are almost incomparable within Kirigakure.
- His taijutsu is mainly used for close-combat self defense, and is characterized by locks, throws, pins, chokes, and strikes that take down an opponent by utilizing their own force against them. Once an opponent is on the ground or otherwise immobilized, the result is brutal. Fast, vicious strikes with the hands and feet are used as well. Although it is technically a "soft" martial art, his taijutsu can suffocate, dislocate limbs, and otherwise incapacitate an opponent.
Water Release: This is his main skillset. Water Whip: Water Dragon Whip Azure Stream Instant Water Flight of the Obliterating Water Secret Technique: Mist Rain Thousand Flying Water Needles of Death Water Release: Water Blade Technique Half-Sphere Water Summoning Water Clone Technique Water Palm Blade Water Pillar Thrust Water Prison Technique Water Release: Azure Dragon Palm Water Release: Cold Sky Water Attack Water Release: Drizzle Water Release: Great Waterfall Technique Water Release: Great Whirlpool Enfolding Technique Water Release: Gunshot Water Release: Lotus Light Rupture Water Release: Exploding Water Colliding Wave Tornado of Water
Hiding in Mist Technique: Perhaps one of his most notable techniques, Wakasa is highly skilled in using his own chakra to condense and disperse a thick veil of mist in a given area. Like his uncle Zabuza, who was also renowned in the use of the jutsu, Wakasa is capable of controlling the mist’s density and can quickly fade in and out sight while maneuvering within the white realm. The blanket of chakra allows Wakasa, as the technique’s caster, to both sense the opponent and move freely in the mist despite the extremely limited visibility, even though he is not a sensor-nin himself. It also has the added effect of interfering with the use of the sharingan since the particles of ambient chakra mask the caster’s presence and make it impossible for jutsu to be seen and subsequently copied. Wakasa has demonstrated significant innovation in the use of the technique, utilizing it in versatile and creative ways, as well as its variants.
Yin Release: Essentially enables him to use genjutsu.
Wakasa was 9 during the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, and while he was too young to remember Kirigakure's era of Bloody Mist, he was forced to survive in the streets of a post-war Kiri with little more than his own guts and wits. In learning how to survive, Wakasa soon picked up on the observational and quick-thinking skills that gave him his street smarts. He never did well in orthodox school, such as the ninja academy, but as an ANBU operative he was skilled at intelligence and reconnaissance, learning further techniques from there. He is an experienced battle expert and strategic mastermind, able to take in a battlefield, analyze the situation, and make a quick decision. While not necessarily a long-distanced thinker, he is extremely adaptable, and is able to adjust quickly in the flow of combat to find the best route to defeat an opponent with the least amount of injury to his comrades and his himself. As the jounin commander of Kirigakure, he is also responsible for the management and coordination of Kiri's jounin, and serves as an informal advisor to the Mizukage alongside Mei. His “go with the flow” mentality and adaptability also makes him an unpredictable adversary, which is partly why his genjutsu is so effective.
Attack on the Three-Tails
- Main article: Rebels on Rough Seas
Wakasa first appears in Naruto: Kaimetsu when he is summoned by the Sixth Mizukage to a meeting to discuss the emergence of the Three-Tails in the sea south of Kirigakure. He reunites with Mētsuki Hōzuki, his former student, who was also called to the Mizukage's office. Chōjūrō assigns Wakasa and Mētsuki, along with Kagura Karatachi, the Mizukage's aide, to a stealth force to intervene in Harōgakure's bid to seal the Three-Tails, who they suspect are mercenaries by the Land of Waves. Wakasa surmises that by "intervention" Chōjūrō means for them to capture the Three-Tails for themselves. However, Wakasa is shocked when Chōjūrō tells him that his brother, Ryōhei Momochi, along with other convicts from the Hōzuki Prison, will be assigned to the mission. Should they succeed, the convicts will win their freedom, which leaves Wakasa conflicted in his role as Jōnin Commander. Together, Chōjūrō, Wakasa, Kagura, Mētsuki, Ryōhei, Ichirōta Oniyuzu and Kyohō Fuefuki form the temporarily reassembled Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist.
In the Kaijū Ocean, the task force observes the initial stages of Harōgakure's struggle against Isobu. They wait until the Three-Tails disappears underwater to make their approach on two speed boats, and Wakasa is careful to use various cloaking techniques to remain undetected. After making an intitial diversionary attack to break the Four Violet Flames Formation, Wakasa divides the task force, leaving Ichirōta and Kyohō in the boats on the surface, while he and the other Kiri-nin submerge using oxygen rebreathers. Mētsuki surrounds the area with an extended Hydrification Technique while Wakasa and Kagura attack Nisshō Fuyutama to distract him so that Ryōhei can reach Isobu. As he fends off Nisshō's senjutsu-enhanced clones and water techniques, Wakasa enters stage two of his plan. He instructs Kagura to gather the dispersed chakra from the underwater Hiding in Mist Technique using Hiramekarei, and tells Mētsuki to freeze the water around Isobu. In the meantime, Ryōhei places a tracker on Isobu and distracts the tailed beast so that Mētsuki can prepare another barrier to seal the Three-Tails.
However, his plans go awry when Isobu, angered by Nisshō's Azure Sky Piercing Spear, absorbs the spear into a portal dimension and melds the attack with its own chakra to form a Tailed Beast Ball. Wakasa only escapes the enhanced beast ball thanks to Nisshō's Summoning: Gate of Eternity. As he stands face to face with the leader of Harōgakure, Wakasa stalls to try and buy his team some time to extract the tailed beast. When this fails, he dispells Nisshō's genjutsu and regroups with Ichirōta in the remaining boat, where they are joined by Ryōhei, Mētsuki, and Kagura—who Mētsuki has just made into the new Jinchūriki of Isobu.
Questioning the Mizukage
- Main article: Secrets of the Hidden Mist
On the speedboat back to Kirigakure, Wakasa attempts to administer first aid to Kagura. He is angry that Ryōhei inflicted a mortal wound, even though Ryōhei explains it was to save his life. He also tells Wakasa that it felt as though Kagura's soul had been "sealed off," and so his soul might have escaped damage from the Hiramekarei. Ichirōta interrupts their heated conversation, suggesting they use Mētsuki to heal Kagura. After reviving the Hōzuki with Ryōhei's chakra reserves, Wakasa tells Mētsuki to extract Hiramekarei's poison from Kagura's wound, thus saving his life.
Once they return to Kirigakure, Chōjūrō orders the weakened Mētsuki transfer control of the Jinchūriki seal to him. After Kagura and Mētsuki are transferred to the infirmary inside the Anbu base, Wakasa questions why Chōjūrō went behind his back to create the Jinchūriki, as they would have had far fewer casualties had he known about the true nature of their mission beforehand. Chōjūrō implies that he didn't trust Wakasa with carrying out such a brutal plan, especially since Ryōhei and the other prisoners were to be used as backup vessels for the Three-Tails had the plan to seal Isobu inside of Kagura failed. Angered by this, Wakasa questions what Chōjūrō blackmailed Mētsuki with and accuses him of betraying his own commitment as Mizukage. In response, Chōjūrō attacks Wakasa with Hiramekarei, but Ryōhei intervenes, halting their fight. Chōjūrō admits that he "made a mistake" in not trusting Wakasa and asks him to follow him inside the Anbu base.
They enter Kirigakure's Strict Containment Facilities (known as the "Well"), and Wakasa again tells Chōjūrō that creating a Jinchūriki is in violation of the Shinobi Union's sanctions. Chōjūrō points out that there are factions within Kiri who want to return the Hidden Village to the era of the Bloody Mist, such as the clan elders. As such, he intends to keep the human weapon as insurance to prevent the outbreak of war. While Wakasa understands the tactical practicalities, he stresses that the only way to maintain peace is to remain on good terms with their allies. Mei meets them inside the Well, and they enter the cell where Kagura has been sealed by several powerful Fūinjutsu seals. Together, Wakasa, the Fifth and the Sixth extract the foreign chakra signature from Kagura's chakra system, allowing his body to begin to synthesize with the Three-Tail's chakra.
After leaving the Well, Wakasa stops in an alleyway on the way home to smoke a cigarette and ponder his new position as the Sixth's "accomplice." He begins to question whether or not his loyalty to the Mizukage is misguided, but vows to himself to keep his professional and personal lives separate. However, when he returns home he finds his brother waiting for him.
Wakasa is deeply suspicious of Ryōhei's motives, and feels threatened when he sees him interacting easily with his two children, Shintarō and Meiko. Wakasa's wife, Ayume, is worried that Wakasa and Ryōhei will fight, so she tells Wakasa to take Meiko with them when they step outside to "talk." Ryōhei questions Wakasa's loyalty to Chōjūro, asking him just how far he is willing to go for the Mizukage. Wakasa responds that he isn't doing it out of a sense of loyalty to Kiri—he's doing it to protect his family. Ryōhei tells him he has things to protect as well, but Wakasa makes it clear that he will not help Ryōhei with whatever it is he's planning to do. They part on uneasy terms after Ryōhei promises not to bother him.
The Kage Summit
- Main article: Distant Thunder: An Uneasy Summit
Three days after he returns from the Three-Tails mission, Wakasa is summoned to Chōjūrō's office for the virtual Five Kage Summit, where he disguises himself as Kagura to throw off the suspicions of Harōgakure and the other Five Great Shinobi Countries. Wakasa thinks it would be better to be honest about the fact that Kirigakure has created a Jinchūriki despite the sanctions of the Shinobi Union, and does not agree with Chōjūrō's "cloak and dagger" tactics. Nonetheless, his loyalty to Kiri compells him to go along with the Mizukage's plan. During the meeting, Harōgakure raises an accusation against Kirigakure, implying they had something to do with the disappearance of the Three-Tails. In response, Wakasa presents the "facts" of the mission, and suggests that Harō's "scouts" were the attackers themselves. Yue Hōshu, disguised as Nisshō, realizes the subtle threat and backs down.
After the Summit ends, Wakasa advises Chōjūrō that, even though Harō's accusation during the meeting was proof that they were the ones involves in the attack on Isobu, since Kagura is a Jinchūriki it will be difficult to get the Five Great countries on their side without irrefutable evidence. Specifically, they need to confirm that the chakra signature that possessed Kagura belongs to Nisshō to make their case. The Fifth reminds Chōjūrō of his commitment to peace in the new era and that he can't preemptively attack Harōgakure. While Wakasa appreciates her sentiment, he is far more pragmatic in his outlook: he knows that peace between Harōgakure and Kirigakure is impossible as the former already had the spine and firepower to attack a tailed beast. Since war is looming on the horizon, Wakasa is concerned that Chōjūrō is so distrustful of their shinobi allies.
The Sixth instructs Wakasa to select a jōnin for the Shinobi Union's tailed-beast task force and they discuss their next plans for Kiri. Chōjūrō decides to stage a funeral for Kagura and announce that he was killed by Harō. When Wakasa points out that they had already presented Kagura—alive—before the other nations at the summit, Chōjūrō says they'll claim the death was caused by the lingering effects of the Spirit Transformation Technique, which Wakasa realizes is a way for Chōjūrō to avoid claiming that they have a jinchūriki since Kagura would have "died" in the attempt of becoming one.
Wakasa encounters Mētsuki a few days after the staged funeral outside of Chōjūrō's office. At first, Wakasa is genuinely concerned for her well-being, but when he learns that she has just been made the Mizukage's aide in Kagura's place, he unwittingly grows cold towards his former student, angry that Chōjūrō has made her into his puppet. He warns her to be careful and assures her that she can still trust him. Wakasa then attends the meeting he was summoned to, where Chōjūrō lays out the plans they had made earlier during the Summit. Alongside Ryōhei, Wakasa is assigned a new mission to the Land of Waves.
Land of Waves Mission
- Main article: Cutting Against the Tide: Intrigue In the Land of Waves and Cutting Against the Tide: Intrigue In the Land of Waves, part II
- Wakasa's theme song, as stated by the author, is Crossfire, by Stephen.
- Wakasa's voice actor in Japanese would be Rikiya Koyama, who voiced Shinjurō Rengoku in Demon Slayer.
- The kanji for Wakasa’s first name translates to "young" (若, waka), and "narrow-minded" (狭, sa).
- According to the databook(s):
- Wakasa’s hobbies include spending time with his family and swimming.
- Wakasa wishes to fight Ryōhei Momochi.
- Wakasa’s most favorite food is fresh vegetables, especially cucumbers. His least favorite food is shellfish, notably clams.
- Over his 24 years of service as an Anbu and Jōnin, Wakasa has completed 210 official missions in total: 17 D-rank, 39 C-rank, 83 B-rank, 51 A-rank, and 20 S-rank.
- Wakasa’s favorite phrase is "the earth hardens after the rain" (雨降って地固まる, ame futte chi katamaru), meaning "adversity builds character."
- (Speaking about Ryōhei) "Maybe it was my own fault—that I neglected him—that he ended up a demon. That was partly the reason why I became an instructor: I wanted to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else all over again."
- (Speaking about Zabuza) "I thought I hated him, and maybe part of me still does... but I've started to realize that I was so focused on running from his life, that I wasn’t living my own."