Gray Kazuki (グレー一樹, Kazuki Gray) is a Tokubetsu Jōnin-ranked Shinobi for his exceptional skill in the area of Nature Transformation who is a part of the Kazuki Clan. He resides in Konohagakure, alongside his childhood friend and rival Kenji Nagakura and maternal uncle Shin Takahiro, forming the three-man cell known as Team Takahiro (チーム隆弘, Chīmu Takahiro). His usage and early maturity of his clans Kekkei Genkai has led to his nickname among the Shinobi of Konoha of Kazuki of the Burittsuai. He once formed a Genin-team with Kenji Nagakura and Harumi Misuteri, under his uncle Shin.
Following Part I, Gray 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, Gray has begun training in preparation for the upcoming war with Hoshigakure, having obtained the rank of Jōnin.
Gray is a tall man who many girls in Konoha consider handsome. He has distinct reddish-brown hair that spills down his back, stopping at his waist, with several spiked strands that hang to shadow his face, especially his brown-colored eyes. He wears a white scarf around his neck almost exclusively as it was a gift from his deceased mother. Gray usually wears some variation on the color white as it is his favorite color because it represents, in his opinion, something that is plain and simple. His undershirt is white as a result, and worn beneath a plain black jacket. His trousers are black as well and hang over his shoes enough to hide his laces. His shoes are basic trainers with waterproof bottoms for extra grip and he carries two pouches which hold his equipment hanging over either hip. His katana is secured on his back, with the hilt sticking out over his right shoulder. His headband is worn tied around his right arm.
In Part II, Gray's physical appearance has changed quite considerably. He no longer favors the long spikes he once had, now sporting a short-cut hairstyle with spiked bangs and fringe, the latter of which is styled to cover the right-hand side of his face, as well as the eye. His clothing generally remains the same, only he now goes without his black jacket, opting instead for a simple white shirt with a Flak Jacket worn over the top when on duty. His facial features have also changed, becoming more serious, determined, stern and frightening as time progressed. He has also grown taller, now standing at 6ft in height, with him all dwarfing Kenji height-wise.
Gray is usually calm and collected in most situations, rarely loosing his cool or giving into taunts, though on a rare occasion he has been known to lose his temper. He would much rather use logic to work through a situation rather than blindly charging into a situation without thought for the consequences; making him quite a mature young man. This often gives others the impression that he is cold, despite the fact he is quite caring to those he considers his friends; as he was the first to befriend Kenji Nagakura, despite knowing he was the Jinchūriki of the Two-tails. Gray also has a quick wit and astute mental eye, picking up on people's subtle habits before using techniques, or by seeing through lies rather quickly. He is generally respectful to those above him, and holds unshakable loyalty towards the Hokage and his village as a whole.
Gray has also shown a level of fearlessness - a trait first seen in him as early as his childhood as he was the first to befriend Kenji Nagakura, knowing full well that he was the Jinchūriki of the Two-tails and widely feared by the other children. He also forms friendships quickly, evident from the popularity he received among his fellow classmates during his time in the Ninja Academy. He also shows a deep understanding of events and people; as he correctly predicted Kenji's emotional reaction when he heard Harumi Misuteri was still alive, and when he correctly identified that the Hokage was lying through the study of his facial features - showing he is also a keen analyst.
In Part II, Gray has also undergone changes following Part I. Now more determined and stern in his believes, his fellow Shinobi generally refer to him as intimidating based on his facial expressions; something his newfound persona doesn't lessen a hair. This act only serves to strengthen his fearlessness as well, with Gray rarely backing down from a challenge, either to himself, his village or his allies; though his calm reasoning still remains. These traits, both old and new, serve to come together and form a dynamic young man who is quite boisterous and loud, with a sharp mind matched by few others.
Born into the Kazuki Clan whose prestige and importance in Konoha grew as a result of the massacre of the Uchiha Clan as they became the clan responsible for policing Konoha; Gray had a childhood that was filled mostly with tutelage and training. Shin mentions that while other children were off playing with toys and enjoying their childhood, Gray's toys consisted of Kunai and Shuriken and that he was taught from a young age - because of his potential and quick grasping of what he was being taught in the Ninjutsu-arts.
When he was only seven years old, Gray succeeded in mastering the Immature Stage of his clans Kekkei Genkai; though Gray's early training came to an abrupt end as Shin - his uncle - put an end to it and allowed Gray his first experiences of an average childhood life. During a game of tag with the other children he became friendly with, Gray stayed behind to speak to a young, black-haired boy who had been left alone out of fear of being a Jinchūriki. Expressing his desire to become the boys friend and that he had no fear of him, the two became the closest friends and fiercest rivals Konoha had known for quite some years - their rivalry being compared to that of Naruto and Sasuke before the latter betrayed his village.
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. Gray was forced to watch helplessly, as Shin voiced his concern about as many as three people on the bridge in such conditions and was held back once again as his uncle made his way across just in time to stop Kenji leaping in after her. The emotional scarring suffered by Gray was that he had to watch his dearest friend - who loved Harumi - attempt to hide his hurt from those closest to him.
Part I Edit
- 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!
Part II Edit
Part III Edit
- Katana: Gray carries an average, curved katana blade that he can charge with wind chakra to improve its cutting power. The weapon has a blue-colored hilt, an average circular-shaped guard and a dark-blue sheath which Gray carries on his back at an angle, with the hilt sticking out over his right shoulder.
- Shuriken: Like almost any Shinobi, Gray carries several Shuriken for use in battle. His accuracy is quite spot on, allowing him to hit moving targets even at range.
Like most of the current generation of the Kazuki Clan, Gray is a tremendously skilled young Ninja, capable of performing at the same consistently high level as a Jinchūriki: a testament to his superb levels of Chakra and sheer combat prowess. At the tender age of four years old Gray began a personal training regiment that would later grow in its intensity to all but eclipse practices by those his own age, as well as those who were older. As he grew he and Kenji developed the Free-form Fighting Style to develop their already impressive skills even further, building strength, speed, flexibility and strategic thinking; as the boys were climbing and leaping from heights that could kill them if they put a single foot or hand wrong.
This early training was always accompanied with the Burittsuai: Zōdai, which aided in muscle contraction, which resulted in greater muscle strength both as he grew and matured and through his free-running. The practice also built Chakra control through the practices usually seen in the tree climbing and water walking skills. At only fourteen years of age Gray could overpower Shinobi in their late teens and early thirties either through Taijutsu or Kenjutsu and his skills in Ninjutsu all eclipsed most of his generation. This led many to label Gray a genius seen once a generation, though Gray insists it was hard work and dedication, not predisposed birth that granted him his skills, for he compared his drive to be similar to that of Rock Lee, even though he didn't have the same limitations as Lee did before him.
Chakra, Chakra Control & Ninjutsu Edit
The levels of Chakra he exhibited growing up were consistently on the same level as Kenji Nagakura, the Jinchūriki of the Two-Tailed Monster Cat, even when in his initial Jinchūriki and One-Tailed forms. His sheer control over the flow of Chakra has often been compared to a healing-nin, for when he finally became a Genin his control was such that he could easily perform C-rank techniques without much effect on his stamina, such as the Dragon Fire Technique and the stronger Great Fireball Technique: something that initially shocked his teachers. He could also perform the powerful Chidori which his uncle and mentor, Shin Takahiro, taught him. His sheer levels of Chakra were such he could perform the Jutsu three times safely in a single day, while only being twelve years of age.
Gray's main Ninjutsu skills lie in the three elemental natures common amongst his clan - the Fire, Wind and Lightning Release natures of Ninjutsu. Coupled with his fighting skills and Chakra control, not to mention intelligence, Gray only ever utilizes a select number of Jutsu, figuring his skill can only improve by studying their composition. Any other techniques he demonstrates are variants of this parent jutsu, the sole exception of this rule being his Wind related skills, which are heavily Kenjutsu focused. He also copied via his Burittsuai Shin's usage of the Lightning Release: Azure Kitsune Stream, where he uses the initiation procedure of the Chidori to complete and fire the subsequent lightning bolt.
His control of the Fire and Lightning release is exemplary, even when compared to his mentor, Shin. Gray can form the Chidori using only half of the required hand seals and was smart enough to mostly eliminate the tunnel vision before he developed he awoke his Kesshō Burittsu through a near-death experience where he was hit by a bolt of lightning. He can use the Dragon Fire Technique on impulse, expelling flames from his mouth and other body parts easily; as well as coating wires and other projectiles in the flames via Chakra Flow. Before he became a Jōnin, Gray spent a year as a Tokubetsu Jōnin for his superb Jōnin-level skills in Ninjutsu and Chakra control, which speaks volumes for his abilities. He later became a Jōnin between Part I and II and is one of Konoha's strongest Ninja, because he still remains stronger than his best friend, Kenji.
Kekkei Genkai Edit
Kesshō Burittsu Edit
As a scion of the Kazuki Clan, Gray was introduced to the sword the moment he could tell which end was the business end without hurting himself and others. As a result, he's been wielding some manner of bladed weapon since he was only four years old. Okita Souji once remarked that while other children were playing with toys, the "toys" Gray played with were Kunai and Shuriken, his "games" target practice. He had already mastered a good number of Wind Release Kenjutsu passed down amongst his clan when he was only eight years old and had been training with a muscle stimulant to aid contraction since he was six. This resulted in him being very strong for his age, especially since he actively used free-form running to build his muscles and Chakra control. These early feats of training honed Gray into an exceedingly dangerous swordsman. Anything that even remotely resembled a bladed weapon became such in his hands, for he was as deadly with a piece of wood as he was with a traditional blade and only became all the deadlier as his training and age increased. At only fourteen years of age Gray could easily overpower most Shinobi in their late teens to early twenties because of his strength and superb skill with a blade. He could even contend with Kenji Nagakura when he entered his initial Jinchūriki form.
In terms of actual swordsmanship, Gray prefers dual-bladed swordplay as opposed to a single blade: even though he's just as deadly with a single blade as he is with two. On this merit alone he is a highly adaptable combatant as his two swords have allowed him to become ambidextrous, meaning that he is able to switch hands between the two swords without effecting the strength of his swings - which are tremendous. The Burittsuai: Zōdai has allowed him to reach levels of physical strength beyond average Shinobi, enough to crush stone with only two strikes along the same line. Gray's fighting style involves evasion and attacking an opponent either in the front or back using the element of surprise to overwhelm them and then crushing them with his various elemental Kenjutsu techniques, all the while employing a brutal fast-paced method that makes great use of his skillful speed. At short-to-mind range he can inflict both internal and external injuries, defend himself with a shroud of fast-moving wind and conjure cutting gales by tracking a foes Chakra signature to its source. These Kenjutsu and Ninjutsu skills only further Gray's already impressive abilities.
In addition to his adaptability being ambidextrous, Gray uses everything to his disposal as a weapon, as he is one of the select few of the Kazuki Clan of the current generation to use the Free-form Fighting Style as an actual combat style and more than just training. He commonly uses everything at his disposal - a hidden Kunai as an assassination tool, the environment to increase his striking range and even everyday items such as cooking utensils, brooms or even pokers. Everything is a weapon to be used to defeat your opponent and each can be made as effective as any sword by means of the Flying Swallow and basic Chakra Flow. In short, Gray is a master of urban combat and many different "weapons". A knife for eating dinner with becomes a killing weapon in his hands.
However, his true skill and easily the most brutal of all his practices are the Kazuki Clans unique brand of Kenjutsu - the Unshūmusan. The Unshūmusan is an incredibly potent style of Kenjutsu that focuses on explosive bursts of physical strength and speed to dispatch ones target. The style encompasses an extensive set of techniques, each one focusing on a different aspect of battle to aid the user. This style could appear as either last-second faints to create openings in an opponents defensives, grapples which place the target in very precarious positions and simple techniques designed to knock the foe unconscious - and Gray has a level of expertise in its usage just beneath that of the Kazuki Clans elite. All the practice in his youth in regards to free-running and muscle stimulation was solely so he could use and learn this unique style.