First Manga Appearance: Chapter 35
First Anime Appearance: Episode 20
Name Meaning: A famous kabuki player, kurou=crow
Character Study: Acting as Gaara's protective older brother, Kankurou tried to calm down his younger brother's violent tendencies. After Gaara's fight with Naruto, Kankurou's need to help Gaara diminished. He advanced his skills, expanded his puppet arsenal and acted in support of Gaara in his new position as Kazekage.
Chuunin Exam | DB 1
Pre-Timeskip | DB 2
Post-Timeskip | DB 3
Height: 175.0 cm
Weight: 61.2 kg
Registration ID: 53-002
Hidden Village: Sand
Team: Gaara, Temari, Baki
Academy Grad Age: 12
Chuunin Exam Age: 16
Jounin Age: ?
Jutsu: Kugutsu, Kairai Engeki Kuro Higikiki Ippatsu, Kuro Higi Kiki Ni Hatsu
Weapons: Puppets: Karasu, Kuroari, Sanshouou
Kankurou is the son of Yondaime Kazekage and the younger brother of Temari and the old brother of Gaara. Kankurou graduated from the Ninja Academy at an unknown age and acted as a Genin alongside his siblings. He is known for wearing his kabuki make-up, which he has changed in appearance throughout the years. At some point in his youth he became part of the Suna puppet squad. With this training he inherited several of the puppets made by legendary Suna puppet master Sasori. At some point he bore witness to Gaara going into his full Shukaku mode, which shocked and sickened him. The village leaders began to resent the way their village was being treated by the Wind Country Daimyou. For that reason Suna planned to invade and attack Konoha with Hidden Sound. Little did they know that Sound was using Suna for their own ends, with Orochimaru killing Kankurou's father and then impersonating him to further draw them into war.
Plans were in place for Gaara to be used in the invasion, so he and his siblings were entered into the Chuunin Exam under their sensei Baki. When they arrived in Konoha other Leaf Genin confronted them about why they were there. Kankurou became annoyed by the little "pest" Konohamaru and threatened him harm, Sasuke soon stepped in and Kankurou back off. He and his siblings then took their leave and went to the first test. The skillfully trained team easily made it past the first portion of the exam. Kankurou made use of his puppet Karasu to impersonate a Chuunin proctor. Though he felt his plan was excellent, Chuunin examiner Morino Ibiki saw through the fake. Even with this, he was not caught cheating enough times to be disqualified.
His team then moved on to the second test of the exam. Due to Gaara's Shukaku protection they breezed through this portion as well. When they sought out their scroll, Gaara took the forefront and easily killed the Rain ninja who attacked them. When Gaara's bloodlust began to get the better of him, his siblings pleaded for him to stand down. He finally relented and they made it to the test finish in record time. His team then moved on to the preliminary matches for the third test.
In the prelims Kankurou was placed against Tsurugi Misumi. Misumi quickly moved to attack Kankurou and used his body to snake around Kankurou's locking him in place. Misumi then began to constrict and broke Kankurou's neck. Kankurou revealed that wasn't him though, he was the concealed object "he" was carrying and Karasu was impersonating him. Karasu quickly wrapped its arms around Misumi and Kankurou did some squeezing of his own. The constriction was too much and Misumi was knocked out, allowing Kankurou to enter the third and final test.
In the third test Kankurou was placed against Aburame Shino. Because their invasion orders were predicated on Gaara participating in his match first, Kankurou panicked when Gaara's match was delayed. This would force him to reveal more of Karasu's secrets before the invasion even began. When asked to come down for his match, Kankurou announced he was forfeiting, which drew the suspicion of both Shino and other Leaf ninja. An angered Temari then jumped in to cut short any talk.
When the invasion was finally launched, Kankurou and Temari moved to escort the wounded Gaara outside the village to allow him to transform. Shino followed in pursuit to confront Kankurou. Both Shino and Uchiha Sasuke managed to catch up to the trio at the same time. Shino directed Sasuke to continue after Gaara as he wanted to finally have his match with his former opponent Kankurou.
Kankurou and Shino exchanged attacks, with Kankurou unleashing many of Karasu's hidden weapons including detachable limbs with blades and poison gas. Shino was able to make use of Kankurou's chakra puppet strings for his own purpose, using them to locate the hidden Kankurou and overcome him with his chakra consuming destruction bugs. Though Kankurou fell, Shino did too to Karasu's poison.
Elsewhere his brother was defeated by Uzumaki Naruto. Temari was able to find Kankurou and Gaara. Kankurou and Temari then fled with their younger brother and they reacted in surprise when he apologized for his behavior. With both Gaara's and Orochimaru's defeat the invasion failed and Suna retreated. In the following weeks Suna would bow to Konoha's terms and once again become their ally. This help would soon be needed when Uchiha Sasuke left Konoha to seek out power under Orochimaru.
Tsunade dispatched a Genin team led by Shikamaru to retrieve Sasuke and also contacted Suna for help. With the Leaf in trouble with the Four Sounds, Kankurou and his siblings arrived and he moved to assist the injured Kiba and Akamaru against Sakon and Ukon. Kiba warned of their ability to enter the body of others, but Sakon grabbed Kankurou's face before Kankurou could stop him. Showing his penchant for surprise his face crumbled to reveal a new puppet, Kuroari, which acted as a defensive puppet. Kuroari quickly grabbed Sakon with his serated arms and cut Sakon badly, forcing him to retreat into his brother. Then using both Karasu and Kuroari, Kankurou maneuvered the brothers into retreat, right into Kuroari's chest cavity. With a little bit of showmanship he broke apart Karasu and extended poisoned knives which quickly plunged into Kuroari's chest and into the vulnerable Sakon and Ukon, killing them.
While the Konoha ninja were saved from death they failed to return Sasuke. Kankurou and his siblings then returned to Konoha with the injured ninja and a short while later they took their leave. A shortwhile later in an anime filler arc, Kiba got his chance to pay Suna back, coming to the aid of Kankurou when ninja abducted an academy trainee from their village. During this same time period in the second anime movie, an invasion was launched along the Wind Country's southern shores by an invading power far from the south led by a man named Haido. Both Kankurou and Gaara went up against the invaders with the help of Shikamaru, Naruto and Sakura and defeated them.
In the following years Kankurou passed the Chuunin Exam and advanced in rank to Jounin. During this time he spoke with his brother about his plans for the future. He was surprised by how changed Gaara was from the dour outlook he held in the past. He understood it was all thanks to Uzumaki Naruto, who had gone through the same pain as Gaara. During this time he also added yet another puppet to his arsenal, Sanshouou, a large salamander. With this new expanded arsenal, he would use summoning scrolls to hold his puppets. When Akatsuki arrived and abducted Gaara, Kankurou went in pursuit. He learned one of the attacking Akatsuki was legendary puppet master Sasori. Unfortunately Kankurou was highly outclassed by the skilled Sasori, who managed to destroy Kankurou's puppets and inject him with his lethal poison. With his strength waning Kankurou made one last maneuver, to tear off a piece of Sasori's mask to allow for later tracking.
Kankurou was taken back to the hospital and his prognosis was dire. Fortunately Haruno Sakura removed most of the poison and worked out an antidote with puppet master Chiyo. He and Temari then remained behind to guard the village when Naruto and his team began to track down Gaara's abductors. When he was sufficiently recuperated, he and Temari alongside numerous other Sand ninja raced to help Gaara. They arrived in time to see Chiyo bring him back to life. He was greatly relieved and thanked Naruto for saving his brother. He later wished the Leaf ninja goodbye when they left Hidden Sand.
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
14 Yrs. BSS - Kankurou Born.
0 - Series Start.
6 Mo. ASS - Enters Chuunin Exam, Defeats Misumi in prelims.
7 Mo. ASS - Forfeits his match against Shino, Escorts Gaara out of village, Loses to Shino in battle.
9 Mo. ASS - Comes to Konoha's aid against Sound Four.
10 Mo. ~ 3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Increases skills and strength, Passes Chuunin Exam, Selected to become Jounin.
3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Fights Sasori and is poisoned, Rushes to Gaara's aid after recuperating.
3 Yrs. 6 Mo. ASS - Goes with Gaara to Kage Summit.