First Manga Appearance: Chapter 34
First Anime Appearance: Episode 20
Name Meaning: Yuuhi=Setting sun, Kurenai=Crimson
Character Study: Kurenai remains a largely unexplored Jounin master. Her relationship with Asuma eventually results in her losing her lover, but not before they conceive a child together. Looking to honor his master and look out for the next generation, Shikamaru has promised to train Kurenai's child.
Chuunin Exam | DB 1
Pre-Timeskip | DB 2
Post-Timeskip | DB 3
Height: 169.1 cm
Weight: 54.4 kg
Registration ID: 010881
Hidden Village: Leaf
Team: 8 - Aburame Shino, Hyuuga Hinata, Inuzuka Kiba + Akamaru
Academy Grad Age: 9
Chuunin Exam Age: 13
Jutsu: Jubaku Satsu, Kurenai's Flower Petal Escape (Unnamed), Kurenai's Flower Petal Dissolve (Unnamed)
Yuuhi Kurenai is the teacher of Team 8, consisting of Aburame Shino, Inuzuka Kiba and Hyuuga Hinata. Upon taking her pupils on, she was a recently-promoted Jounin herself, dubbed a rookie by her peers. She was shown acquiring Hinata in a flashback, wearing a distinctly different outfit as her father virtually disowned Hinata and gave her to Kurenaiís care. Kurenaiís outfit was also completely red in an early episode of the anime, possibly being an animation error. All subsequent anime appearances have given her a single red sleeve and white patterned bandages.
Kurenai, alongside the rest of Team 8, has suffered a lack of exposure save for the anime-exclusive episodes. In the Chuunin Exams, she provided commentary about the fights, but was not shown actively defending the village. It is highly unlikely that she fell asleep from Kabutoís mass Genjutsu considering her talent in that field. Kurenaiís actual Genjutsu abilities would not be showcased until a later episode. During the Akatsuki infiltration of Konoha, Kakashi semi-jokingly asked if there was any chemistry between her and Sarutobi Asuma from the amount of time they spent together. Kurenai blushed and explained that she was running an errand for sweets for Anko, indicating the two were just friends. Kakashi had them then track Uchiha Itachi and Hoshigake Kisame. While Asuma kept Kisame busy, Kurenai displayed the ability to entrap both of the intruders in a simultaneous Genjutsu, placing them under the illusion that a tree was ensnaring them.
As Kurenai emerged from the bark ready to kill, Itachi used his Sharingan to reverse the effects, where Kurenai found herself unable to move as the same tree was now pinning her in place. Biting her lip to the point it bled to negate the effects, she was still dispatched by Itachi and then, on Kakashiís command, rendered helpless as Itachiís Mangekyou Sharingan threatened them all with a Genjutsu more powerful than they had ever experienced. However, as Guy arrived to lead the counterattack, she stood and prepared to go at them again, forcing their retreat. Aside from a brief appearance at the end of the manga, this would be Kurenaiís last moment in the spotlight until the second part.
The anime-exclusive episodes offered Kurenai little more than the treatment she received in the manga. She and Asuma were both trampled as the traitorous Mizuki led a prison break from a correctional facility for ninja-criminals. Outnumbered by several hundred, Kurenai was hospitalized. However, her Genjutsu abilities were once again showcased in a short story arc involving a former pupil of hers named Kurama Yakumo, the monstrous Idou (a psychological term for part of the psyche) and a decision made with the Third Hokage to seal it. Kurenai discovered that Yakumo had a part of her subconscious that manifested itself as a twisted version of Yakumo and abused her amazingly strong powers of Genjutsu to satisfy the murderous intent it held.
Kurenai, under great resentment, sealed up the Idou along with a large deal of Yakumoís power in a ceremony greatly resembling Kakashiís with Sasuke, inking various charms and seals around her. Several years later, Kurenai made another resentful decision to abandon her team and deal with Yakumo once more as her power was seeping out again. Throughout the incident, Kurenai showed an almost motherly side of herself trying to protect Yakumo from her innermost dark self, even going as far as entering an illusionary world where any Genjutsu damage would become permanent if desired by the Idou and risking the loss of everything below her neck. It was her words that finally motivated Yakumo to muster the strength to fight and defeat it.
Kurenaiís role in part 2 of the manga has also been small so far, looking concerned at several points when Asuma was fighting. When Asuma falls in battle, she feels a sudden shock as if hit by a premonition. Shikamaru himself would later give Kurenai the bad news. She and the rest of Konoha would then gather to honor the fallen ninja. Shikamaru would get revenge for his Team and Kurenai, neutralizing Hidan by blowing him up and burying him deep in the earth. Shikamaru would return and find Kurenai at Asuma's grave. He explained how Asuma always looked out for him and he in turn would look out for her son. We then learn that Kurenai is pregnant and wearing a ring. During Naruto's time away Kurenai and Asuma took their relationship to the next level and became engaged. Though she had lost her love, she would soon have a new Sarutobi in her life.
The pairing of Asuma and Kurenai by fans was a firm favorite, with the two cited being together and quickly denied with blushing even in the manga. Their eventual marriage carried out Kishimoto's hint that there would be romance in the second part of the series. On a trivial note, Kurenai is one of the few kunoichi that uses cosmetics and makeup in a regular manner, with purple eye shadow and dark red lipstick. In conjunction with her striking two-tone red eyes, it might be possible she uses this to draw attention to herself and trap the enemy in Genjutsu more effectively.
|Yuuhi Kurenai Timeline
BSS: Before Series Start
ASS: After Series Start
(All dates approximate - There is no official comprehensive timeline)
27 Yrs. BSS - Kurenai Born.
18 Yrs. BSS - Graduates Ninja Academy.
14 Yrs. BSS - Passes Chuunin Exam.
2-1 Yrs. BSS - Promoted to Jounin.
0 - Series Start, Becomes Jounin sensei of Team 8
6 Mo. ASS - Enters her team in Chuunin Exam
7 Mo. ASS - Helps repel Sand and Sound invasion.
8 Mo. ASS - Faces Itachi and Kisame.
10 Mo. - 3 yrs. 2 Mo. ASS - Increases skills and strength.
3 Yrs. 3 Mo. ASS - Remains in Konoha as Leaf faces Akatsuki, Faces Asuma's death.