Rock Lee (ロック・リー, Rokku Rī) is one of the main supporting characters of the series. He is a chūnin of Konohagakure and a taijutsu specialist. Along with Neji and Tenten, Rock Lee is a member of Team Guy, under the leadership of their jōnin-sensei, Might Guy.
Backround Lee when he first joined Team Guy.During his time as a student in the Ninja Academy, Lee proved to have no talent for ninjutsu and genjutsu. He was mocked by his peers because of this. Even his teachers labeled him as "just another failure", and later the "Dead-Last" of his graduating class. Lee persevered, focusing on taijutsu.
When Lee eventually graduated he was added to Team Guy. During the team's first meeting he vowed to become a splendid ninja that specialized in taijutsu. Neji Hyūga laughed at him, but their sensei, Might Guy, took a special interest in Lee. He encouraged Lee to keep at it and, in time, began teaching him powerful forms of taijutsu.
Personality Lee is extremely energetic, single-minded, and over-enthusiastic. He is characterized as being the epitome of a "nice guy", having assumed many of Guy's personality quirks. One such trait is his apparent lack of common sense, believing at times that he can get what he wants by not wanting it. At other times, he takes copious notes, but forgets that he cannot check them during a fight. He also has a keen sense of honor, and respects his opponents, refusing to hold grudges against those who have defeated him, and returning favors to those that have helped him. This was shown by his readily befriending Gaara and forgiving him for crushing his arm and leg, which led to his hospitalization and nearly ended his career as a ninja. Lee feels others should show the same respect towards their opponents, and is disgusted whenever someone is unnecessarily cruel to their enemies.
Lee is known for speaking respectfully to others, being very proper in both English and Japanese language versions, and never using contractions or swearwords. He also uses formal Japanese, applying proper titles to anyone he meets. However, Lee refers his team-mates Neji Hyūga and Tenten just by their given names, implying that he is close enough to them to use such an informal way to speak to them. His relationship with Guy has also caused him to acquire many of Guy's traits; in addition to his personality, his dedication to his promises, as well as his belief that one cannot dislike food, are characteristics of Guy.
Lee's attempts to prove and better himself are recurring themes for his actions throughout the series. He is generally optimistic, and believes that, with hard work and passion, he can surpass a natural genius, but can be prone to depression when faced with setbacks. His drive to succeed was initially most evident with his rivalry with Neji, having learned from Guy that having a rival will provide incentive to succeed. Neji, a "genius" ninja, found Lee's efforts of bettering himself to be in vain, believing Lee would be stuck as a "failure" for the rest of his life.
As such, Lee resolved to prove Neji wrong, and confronted another "genius", Sasuke Uchiha, in an attempt to test his worth. While Lee maintained the desire to defeat Neji in a fight throughout the Chūnin Exam Arc, after Neji's eventual defeat by Naruto Uzumaki, another so-called "failure", Lee became less interested in this goal. Neji's rejection of his previous belief in fate might also have contributed to this, as he now respects Lee, believing that he will surpass the gifted with enough work.
Shortly after his introduction, Lee revealed that he liked Sakura Haruno, asking her to be his girlfriend and vowing to protect her immediately after they met. While she did not seem to share these feelings for him, and considered him weird, Lee maintained these feelings, and went out of his way to help her throughout the Chūnin Exams. Sakura becomes more appreciative after this, and punches Naruto whenever he insults Lee.
Despite this, Sakura does not seem to return any romantic feelings for Lee, as she refers to him with the more formal "Lee-san", as opposed to "Lee-kun". After the Exams' conclusion, Lee's interest in Sakura goes largely unaddressed in the manga. It is occasionally referenced in the anime, such as when Naruto fought Lee in the Lee's Dojo arc; Naruto transformed into Sakura, causing Lee to forget about the fight long enough for Naruto to attack him.
edit Appearance Lee has a very unique appearance. Unlike most other characters in the series, Lee possesses very thick eyebrows (leading to the nickname "Bushy Brows" by Naruto) and large, perfectly round black eyes. During his academy days, Lee's hair was much longer and fastened in a braid, and his attire had more of a traditional Chinese appearance. After joining Might Guy's team, his appearance changed considerably to emulate his idol and sensei.
His hair was cut and styled into a shiny bowl-cut like Guy, and he also began wearing the same attire, consisting of a green jumpsuit, orange leg warmers, and wearing his red forehead protector as a belt. The only attire different Lee had to his sensei were the bandages he regularly wore around his hands and wrists, a trait that was due to his regular taijutsu training.
During Part II, his appearance has changed the least out of his friends. The most noticeable changes are that he has grown considerably taller, and wears a flak jacket, as a Chūnin, further emulating his sensei.
Abilities Guy's leadership has influenced Lee's training habits, which, coupled with his hard-working resolve, has allowed Lee to rapidly improve. When making a promise, for example, Lee assigns himself arduous tasks to complete in the event that he doesn't live up to his expectations. When this promise is broken, usually just barely, he ends up training to prevent it from happening again.
Since Guy began training him, Lee has worn extremely heavy weights on his ankles that appear deceptively light, increasing his strength at the cost of inhibiting his speed to levels that his peers still consider quite fast. Upon removing the weights, Lee's speed vastly increases, making it almost impossible to see his movements with the unaided eye. As such, the removal of his weights is a huge trump card for Lee. When he removed his ankle weights during his fight with Gaara, they enabled him to be the first person to ever bypass his defenses and strike him.
Lee has trained so extensively he can run and even fight while unconscious, using nothing but pure muscle memory. A flashback during the 'Curry of Life' filler arc, in Part I, highlighted that Lee can run in his sleep, due to training from Guy. Lee, as a properly-trained ninja, is more highly aware of his surrounding through his senses than a regular person would be: Highlighted in the 'Three-Tails Arrival' arc, when he was blinded by Kigiri's Vanishing Smoke Prison Technique, Lee called on his training from Might Guy to be able to home in on Kihō through his 'spirit sensor'--which he had developed through "unceasing diligence and determination".
Taijutsu Lee using Front Lotus on Gaara.Lee has no talent for ninjutsu or genjutsu, leaving him unable to use them. Because this would ordinarily make life as a ninja impossible, Lee's dream is to become a famous ninja who uses only taijutsu, despite having had very little talent for this, as well. Guy has specially trained him to reach this goal, teaching him a number of forbidden techniques in the process. The most basic of these is his Strong Fist style of combat, a martial art style focusing on external damage. In doing so, Lee has become a taijutsu master, as he has only trained in that form and has therefore almost perfected it. Lee is shown to be very fast even with the weights on his legs, but his true speed was first shown in his match against Gaara. His speed and prowess surpass those of more experienced ninja, and it is only in unique circumstances that his taijutsu is not enough to defeat an opponent. During Lee's fight with Kimimaro in Part I, before Lee accidentally drank sake instead of his medicine, and slipped into Drunken Fist. After Lee slipped into Drunken Fist, Kimimaro noted that Lee's attack form was "too angular". In the anime, it also seems that Lee is proficent with melee weapons. He tried to attack Kisame with a pair of Tonfa, but he was stopped before he could show his abilities.
Eight Inner Gates Lee after opening the third chakra gateThrough Guy's teachings, Lee has learned how to open the first five of eight chakra gates, a feat that is difficult for even the most talented ninja. Because of the danger to his body that the gates' power presents, Lee is only permitted to open them in certain circumstances (such as life-or-death situations, protecting someone dear, or defending his way of the ninja). Most humans can only access less than 20% of their muscle potential but the eight gates uses chakra to "force" the muscles to work at much more power than they normally do, allowing the user to run at phenomenal speeds, pick up enormous weights, and much more at the expense of the muscles themselves. Near 50%, the muscles start to wear down and tear. Much more than that, approaching 100%, the muscles begin to break down and disintegrate. Once the Eighth Gate has been opened, they are practically unstoppable, but they die in the process. Lee has also learned or developed a number of taijutsu that take advantage of the extreme power and speed he gains from opening chakra gates. In Part II, he seems to be able to recover from using the chakra gates quickly as he was not injured after using it, but was very exhausted.
Drunken Fist Lee using the Drunken Fist.Lee has manifested a natural predisposition towards the Drunken Fist. When he drinks as little as one drop of alcohol, he becomes an unpredictable and unstoppable force of destruction and chaos. His actions while drunk are usually a combination of misguided attempts to impress Guy, regardless of whether or not Guy is around, and he drunkenly attacks any friend or foe that is near him.
Guy explained that, after Lee accidentally drank a small amount of sake, he proceeded to demolish the bar they were in, and it took the combined efforts of Guy and Neji to hold him down without harming him. To help him take advantage of the Drunken Fist, Guy has given Lee a number of alcoholic chocolates in Naruto: Shippūden the Movie to be used only in a "dire pinch"--Lee however is under the mistaken impression that they are simply an aid for opening his sixth chakra gate, commenting that they taste like his medicine.
Trivia Like his sensei, Rock Lee's character seems to be inspired by Bruce Lee, as shown from his name and having the same birthday.
Additionally, Bruce Lee once received the same type of injury as Rock Lee did in the Chūnin Exams against Gaara, and he was also never expected to walk, much less fight again.
Rock Lee placed very high in the first four Naruto character popularity polls. He finished 5th in the first and second polls, 8th in the third poll and 7th in the fourth poll. But his popularity slipped in the last two polls, finishing 13th in the fifth poll and 18th in the sixth and most recent. In the 3rd Databook, a combination of the previous six polls ranked him as the 9th most popular character overall.
According to the Naruto databook: Rock Lee's hobbies are his and Might Guy's intense taijutsu training regimes.
Lee wishes for rematches with Neji, Sasuke and Gaara, and for an all-out match with Naruto.
Lee's favorite food's are medium spicy curry rice and curry pilaf, though, like his sensei, he finds it impossible to dislike any sort of food.
Lee has completed 61 official missions in total: 25 D-rank, 21 C-rank, 4 B-rank, 10 A-rank, 1 S-rank. Lee's favorite phrase is "Springtime of Youth".
Quotes (To Sakura) "Sakura, please go out with me! I'll protect you with my life!"
(To Sasuke) "You know what? Here is what I believe. There are two different kinds of ninja. Those like you who are born with a natural talent and do not have to work at it. And those like me! The ones that have to train everyday of our lives!"
"Guy-sensei is the coolest! He practically GLOWS with cool!"
(To Kimimaro) "I am the Handsome Devil of the Hidden Leaf Village! My name is Rock Lee!"
"If I can't do 400 push-ups, I'll hit the dummy 800 times! If I can't hit the dummy 800 times, I'll do 2000 jump ropes!"
(To Might Guy) "A rock thrown at a pole will not hit, but if one does not aim at the pole, it will hit! That is the law I used!"
(To Might Guy) "I want to show I can be a splendid ninja as well even if I don't have ninjutsu or genjutsu ... I want to prove it to the whole world!"
(To Tenten) "A genius, huh? What does that mean? 'Genius'? So I was not born with a whole lot of natural talent, not gifted like Neji ... but I work hard and I never give up! That is my gift; that is my ninja way!"
"Why wasn't I invited to the 'meeting of fists under a sunset sky to develop the friendship of men?!'"
(To Sakura) "The lotus of the Leaf Village blooms twice."
(To Guy) "Wise words, Guy sensei! So simple but filled with such profound meaning!"
"With hard work and dedication, I will become a splendid ninja!"