BackgroundAs a child, Kurenai met Sarutobi Asuma during the Ninja Academy entrance ceremony, and graduated at age 9. In the anime, during the Chunin Exams, Kurenai was placed in a team with Asuma and Namiashi Raido. She was later seen cheering for her classmates during the third round of the Chunin Exams. Eventually becoming a chunin at age 13, Kurenai became a jonin shortly before the start of the series.
During the Kyuubi's attack on Konoha, Kurenai, Kakashi, Asuma and Maito Gai were amongst the young ninja that wanted to help in repelling the beast, but the group was barred from participating by the older shinobi, one of whom was her own father. Though she protested greatly about this, her father told her that this wasn't war but an internal village issue and as they were shinobi, their lives were brief and that she should live long enough to ensure that the next generation would come and would inherit the Will of Fire. In the anime, after the Nine Tails Attack on Konoha. Kurenai was present during Minato and Kushina's funeral.
Because of Kurenai's natural talent for genjutsu, the Third Hokage tasked Kurenai with helping to train Kurama Yakumo, another talented genjutsu user who longed to be a ninja. However, because Yakumo couldn't control her illusions and thus endangered those around her, Kurenai had to seal away her ninja abilities, preventing her from ever becoming a shinobi.
About twelve years after the Nine-Tail's attack, seeing her classmate fall into deeper self-pity from losing Uchiha Obito and Nohara Rin. Kurenai, along with Gai and Asuma decided to speak with the Third Hokage, voicing their disapproval of Kakashi being in Anbu with such bitterness and suggested instead that he be re-assigned as a jonin sensei in the hopes of restoring Kakashi's kindness.
Later Kurenai is seen in the Dumpling Shop with Asuma and Gai. She and Asuma ask Gai about his new genin team. Gai tells them that he is lucky to have great students. Then Sarutobi Hiruzen comes to them in the dumpling shop. Asuma tells his father that he treats him and his friends like little kids. In which Hiruzen admits that it is true. Hiruzen then tells them about a Sensei-student relationship, and how it is formed. The Hokage hopes just like, Gai, Kurenai and Asuma that Kakashi's dark side will disappear. Hiruzen then shows Kurenai and the others the Graduate Ninja Academy Registration photos of Uzumaki Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura. In which Hiruzen tells them that they will be Kakashi's true Students. Much to Kurenai, Gai and Asuma's shock.
PersonalityKurenai is a caring and brave woman. She shows great care and concern towards her students and takes a vested interest in their growth, especially in regards to Hinata due to knowing full well how Hinata was viewed by her father. When Hinata tried to offer Naruto some medicine after his fight with Kiba, Kurenai convinced Naruto to take it because she knew of her student's monsterous crush on him. Her personality is unyielding, honest, and simple. She is also portrayed as the "big sister type".
It has been heavily hinted that Kurenai was romantically involved with fellow jōnin Asuma. The two appeared together in most of their scenes, and the other characters made it a point to note this fact on several occasions. When Kakashi found the two together at a dumpling shop, he asked if they were on a date, which made Kurenai blush and made an excuse that she was running an errand only. During Asuma's battle with Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuzu, Kurenai was often shown wondering about his progress, appearing anxious. When she learned of his death, she fell to her knees in tears and disbelief, and later laid flowers on his grave during his funeral. The truth of their relationship was made clear in Part II when Kurenai revealed that she is pregnant with Asuma's child.
Since becoming a single mother, Kurenai proved very capable, raising her child to be very cheerful and responsible.
AppearanceKurenai is a fairly tall and light-skinned woman of slender build. She has long, black, shoulder-length untamed hair, and very unique eyes that are red in colour, with an additional ring in them. She wears make-up consisting of red lipstick and purple eye shadow. Her regular outfit consists of a red mesh armour blouse with only the right sleeve visible. Over this is very broad material which resembles bandages with a pattern on it similar to those of rose thorns. Her hands and upper thighs are also wrapped in bandages and she wears the Konoha forehead protector and regular shinobi sandals.
In a flashback, it was shown that Kurenai used to wear the standard Konoha shinobi outfit with a flak jacket and a simple sleeveless red outfit underneath it. During her pregnancy, she wore a long, loose fitting maternal dress with a simple blouse underneath and after giving birth she was seen in a simple kimono. As a genin, she wore a similar outfit to the one she wears currently with the signature thorn pattern on it with a simple sash around her waist. These thorns were pink when she was a child, and red when she got older.
Two years after the Fourth Shinobi War, she returned to her previous slender frame before the pregnancy. She also wears a black-colored long-sleeved shirt under a burgundy sleeveless shirt with three red-orange stripes on it. She wears a light shade of grey pants with tan brown sandals. Her hair is also shoulder-length. Several years later, Kurenai developed minor wrinkles at the corner of her mouth, and wears a red kimono with a white belt.
Years later after the Fourth Shinobi War, Kurenai shortened her hair and developed minor wrinkles at the corner of her mouth.
The full extent of Kurenai's abilities are predominantly unknown. But, her skill with genjutsu is so vast that it is said to rival even those of Uchiha Itachi. Most of her techniques focus around flora; primarily using large trees to bind opponents as well as flower petals for various reasons. She is also able to simultaneously affect multiple opponents with her techniques, as seen during her fight with Kisame and Itachi. Itachi, a genjutsu master himself, has also praised her skills. Furthermore, she could revert the effects of genjutsu to the caster.
In the anime, it was shown that she is even able to enter the subconsciousness of a person to see their true nature. She was also seen using her hair to cover her entire body, allowing her to freely travel through objects by seemingly merging with them. She also seems to be very proficient at using fuinjutsu as seen when she used the Evil Sealing Method to seal [Yakumo's kekkei genkai.
Naruto (Part l)
She was shown when all the Jonin were lookking at Sasuke,who was the last member of the Uchiha Clan.
Chunin Exam arc
During the Chunin Exams, Kurenai watched her pupils from the sidelines. After Shino's battle, she commented on how it suddenly became cold in the room, in reference to his rather merciless defeat of Abumi Zaku. During Kiba's fight with Naruto, she thought to herself that Naruto couldn't possibly beat Kiba, only to be surprised again and again as Naruto took everything Kiba threw at him and finally defeated her student. She bore Naruto no ill will after this and even acknowledged him as a strong opponent. During Hinata's fight with her cousin, Neji, she remembered the terrible relationship Hinata had with her father. She also noted the stark contrast between the current Hinata, who refused to give up, and the former Hinata, who would give up easily. When Neji was sent into a blind rage and tried to kill Hinata, Kurenai helped stop him along with Kakashi, Gai, Asuma and Hayate.
During the one month after the preliminaries, she was seen along with Kiba training Shino in preparation for the final rounds. At the finals she sat next to Asuma and was surprised when Naruto successfully called upon the Nine-Tails' chakra to pull off a victory over Neji. She also doubted that Shikamaru had a strategy to win over Temari, and although the former decided to quit, the skills he had shown during the match made Kurenai think that Shikamaru may have the qualities of a chunin after all.
Invasion of Konoha arc
Afterwards, Kurenai repelled the genjutsu that fell over the stadium and assisted with the village's defence against invading Suna and Oto ninja during the invasion of Konoha. She later attended the Third Hokage's funeral.
Search for Tsunade arc
Soon after Konoha proved successful in defending the village, Kurenai and Asuma discovered that the Akatsuki members, Itachi and Kisame, had infiltrated the village. The two pairs engaged each other in battle, and Kurenai was able to trap both men in her Demonic Illusion: Tree Binding Death technique. As she was about to land the deadly blow on Itachi from above, however, the Uchiha turned her genjutsu against her. Biting her lip, Kurenai was able to cancel the genjutsu in time to deflect Itachi's physical attack. As the battle takes to the water, Kisame's Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique is countered by one of Kakashi's own. When Kakashi attempted a covert attack on Itachi, Kurenai prepared to ambush him from behind but is stopped by Kakashi who forced Kurenai down to avoid the explosion.
Later when Itachi activated his Mangekyo Sharingan, Kurenai and Asuma kept their eyes shut on Kakashi's directives but the latter is affected by Itachi's Tsukuyomi. When Itachi later instructed Kisame to kill them because they knew too much about their organisation, however Might Guy arrived and intercepted Kisame's attack. She is later tasked with taking Kakashi to the hospital while their opponents, not wanting to start a war, fled.
Kurenai can later be seen attending Tsunade's inauguration ceremony as the new Hokage, alongside several other villagers.
Pre-Shippuuden Filler arc
In the anime, Asuma and Kurenai were dispatched by Fifth Hokage Tsunade to bring the criminal chunin Mizuki in for questioning, regarding his suspected involvement with Orochimaru. The pair arrived at the Leaf Village Maximum Security Prison, only to be greeted by a swarm of released inmates, including the Legendary Stupid Brothers Fujin and Raijin. Outnumbered, the two were beaten into unconsciousness, and were quickly rushed to the Leaf Village hospital for medical treatment. She was last seen talking to Tsunade in the Hospital.
Yakumo resurfaced several years after Kurenai had sealed away her kekkei genkai, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. After Yakumo created the illusion of the Academy being struck by lightning (something everyone believed to have actually happened), Kurenai took a temporary leave from Team 8 so that she could deal with the problem. Naruto confronted her about her involvement with Yakumo, but she simply used a genjutsu on him to keep him occupied.
As she approached Yakumo's cabin, Kurenai appeared to be trapped in a rebel's genjutsu. In actuality, she had attacked her attacker in a genjutsu. She discovered that these attackers were in fact Kurama clan members, who were intent on kidnapping Yakumo. From this point, she and the opposing ninja basically fought with nothing but pure genjutsu technique, such as the Demonic Illusion: Tree Binding Death and the String Bean Binding Illusion. Kurenai ended up successful until the final encounter, where she was caught and couldn't escape from his genjutsu, and so she took a kunai and stabbed herself in the shoulder to break out and used Genjutsu: Flower Petal Escape to trap him in her own genjutsu. But he saw the blood from her wound and managed to hit her with a shuriken.
Kurenai was saved by the arrival of her team, along with Naruto, Sakura, and Might Guy. Later, when explaining to Team 8 the reasons for her departure, she claimed that the village "doesn't need any genjutsu masters other than herself". This was her supposed reason for sealing Yakumo's abilities, but Shino recognised that she was lying. Yakumo, on the other hand, believed Kurenai did so in order to eventually wipe out the Kurama clan.
She trapped her former sensei, Naruto, Sakura, and Team 8 in a genjutsu-created replica of the village which appeared to have been ravaged by war. Unkai was also in the illusion. Unkai, concerned by the powers Yakumo had, and her continually degrading mental state as a result of being unable to control them, freed Naruto from the illusion so that he could kill Yakumo. Everyone else was freed as well, except for Kurenai. Yakumo kept her trapped in the illusion in the hopes of getting revenge and answers about her past.
Naruto and the others headed back to the mountain villa and Naruto re-entered Yakumo's genjutsu world to help Kurenai. Yakumo learned that a monster named Ido that lived within her subconscious mind was the one who killed her parents. With Kurenai's help, she overcame the monster in her heart and freed Kurenai from her genjutsu. With her final mission from the Third Hokage completed, Kurenai reassigned herself as the jonin leader of Team 8.
Two years after Naruto left the village to train with Jiraiya, in order to help the village restore its reputation after Orochimaru ruined the previous Chunin Exams, Konohagakure decided to host an early Chunin Exams alongside Sunagakure. After the first exam was finished being held in Konoha, Kurenai and Asuma acted as proctors, informing the genin participants that weren't part of the first 30 to arrive at the checkpoint, that they already lost and couldn't participate in the second round. The duo was later present to oversee the second exam begin.
Later, Kurenai and the other Konoha proctors received word from Tsunade to be on guard for potential assassins towards Gaara as many still rejected Gaara as Kazekage. Later Asuma, Kurenai and Guy are seen observing the sandstorm, noting that postponing the Chunin Exams was a wise decision. As the three approach the desert, they are stopped by Sunagakure shinobi. The jonin try to deceive their way through, only for Suna shinobi to respond that the second rounds of the Chunin Exam is under their village's jurisdiction. Despite their efforts, a large cloud of sand provides the jonin easy coverage and they quickly run through into the desert. Once he and the others reach the Kazekage residence, they try to enter the building to give a scroll to Gaara from Tsunade personally in person, but the Suna shinobi won't let them only for Guy to angrily complain about this. Before he can say anything else Kurenai and Asuma quickly cover his mouth. He and others find out from some Suna shinobi running away inside the building, that Gaara is no where inside the building, only for the three of them to quickly realize that something isn't right.
After learning that Gaara was missing, Kurenai confirmed that their fear of Gaara setting himself as bait to lure out the enemy was fulfilled. The three then notice Yukata and Mikoshi, struggling in the desert. Off screen, the two genin told them that Gaara was in danger, and begged the three to save him. After this, they headed to Gaara's location, once they got there Kurenai noted that their help is no longer needed.
Naruto Shippuuden (Part ll)
Hidan & Kakuzu arc
At the hospital, before Asuma could speak with Kakashi, Kurenai arrived and the two had to leave, telling Kakashi that they would have to talk later. Later, as Asuma and his team from the Niju Shotai mobilised, he lingered staring at an apartment window before mobilising. Inside, it's revealed that it was Kurenai's apartment. She senses something, but when she turned to look out the window, Asuma and his team were already gone. Returning to watering the flowers that were given to her by Asuma, one of the petals falls off its stem, and she has a feeling of foreboding.
When Shikamaru returned from the mission, he was the one to break the grim news of Asuma. Kurenai stared on in shock and then collapsed to her knees devastated. During Asuma's funeral, Kurenai laid flowers on his grave. After Team Asuma avenged their sensei's death, Shikamaru found her at Asuma's grave in the cemetery. Kurenai asked him if he'd be lonely now that his shogi partner was gone. Shikamaru stated Asuma taught him both important and stupid stuff, and that he had always brushed off responsibility and whined when he was young, because Asuma was there to protect him. Shikamaru noted that Asuma was the coolest adult he knew, and he told Kurenai, when she had her baby, it would be his turn to become a cool adult too, and to protect her child.
Invasion of Pain arc
To help Naruto cope with Jiraiya's death, Shikamaru took him to the hospital where Kurenai was just leaving and explained her pregnancy to Naruto (because Naruto believed she had gotten fat). Kurenai insisted to Shikamaru that he did not need to check on her every time she went to the hospital, but Shikamaru said he couldn't help it as Asuma told him to watch over her and the child.
In the anime, during Pain's invasion of Konoha, as Kurenai wondered what was happening, Shikamaru then came to ensure her safety. One of Pain's summon, a Giant Centipede, appeared. Shikamaru told her to move back while he took care of the summon, killing it with his shadow. He then told her of how he couldn't face Asuma if something happened to her and the baby and advised her to go to the evacuation centre through the underground passage. She was then seen going to the evacuation centre falling in line with many other people.
Adventures at Sea arc
At a meeting held by the Hyuga clan regarding the impending war, Neji is appointed as the commander of the clan on the frontlines by Hiashi which shocked some of the members. Hinata later meets with Kurenai where she is told by Shikamaru that he and quite a few of the other members of the Konoha 11 had seen Naruto since he left the village and that Tsunade was looking for her.
Hopeful that Tsunade had in fact requested her to go on a mission so she could see Naruto she goes in search of her only to be disappointed. She along with the other females of the Konoha 11 and Shiho are later invited by Tenten to a girls night out at Yakiniku Q. Somewhat saddened that he wasn't invited, Chōji comes up with the idea of a guys night out at the same place. The two groups talk about Naruto and the past, reminiscing about the first Chūnin Exams. The girls are later joined by Shizune and a moderately intoxicated Tsunade. Tsunade attempts to apologise for how she dismissed Hinata earlier but Hinata tells her it was fine as she knew what she had to do. The next day during her training with Neji she tells him that she bore no ill will towards him for her father's decision and that he was the right person to lead them in the war.
In Konohagakure, Shino is telling a few younger Konoha shinobi, who are curious, about the upcoming war. Shino tells them that this was in fact true but he was not worried because he had friends he could depend on. Shino recounts a mission he had while a genin to capture a bandit. The mission was initially unsuccessful, as Suika was able to defeat Shino in close combat taijutsu and at the same time called him weak and mocked him use of insects in battle. It is later revealed that the bandit is a jōnin-level missing-nin from Takigakure and as such they would not have stood a chance against him. His pride hurt greatly however, Shino secludes himself at his house to work alone. Kiba, Akamaru, and Hinata however had other plans. Together the team trained to help Shino improve his taijutsu skills. The next day a messenger pidgeon from Kurenai says that the bandit was in the area, Kiba, Akamaru and Hinata prepare to go ahead leaving Shino, who had said just before that he didn't feel qualified to be on their team, much to Kiba's and Hinata's shock. Leaving Shino behind, Hinata uses Byakugan to track Suika but he realises that he is being pursued and attacks the young genin mercilessly, with a volley of attacks.
Surrounded by web from the summoned spiders, Suika attacks them with his Fire Release: Flame Whirlwind technique, they are however saved by Shino's wall of bugs. Trapping them beneath his Net-Shaped Prison, he attacks Shino first but is taken by surprise by Shino's now improved taijutsu skills. As the two clash, Shino begins to overpower him. Calling on his insects, Shino creates a clone of himself and the two attack Suika with the Iron Mountain Leaning technique sending him flying into his own web. Using her Gentle Fist, Hinata easily cuts through the web and attacks Suika, leaving him wide open for a Fang Passing Fang attack from Akamaru and Kiba incapacitating him. Later while at the hot springs, it is revealed that Kurenai had been watching them all along.
Fourth Shinobi War arc
As Shikamaru remembers the "king" Asuma entrusted him with, he thought of Kurenai and her daughter Mirai. When Madara's Infinite Tsukuyomi was activated, Kurenai is seen in Shikamaru's dream alongside a still alive Asuma and holding Mirai. Shikamaru tells Temari that he won't get marry to which Temari agrees. After the war is over, she attended Neji's funeral.
Two years after the war ended while visiting Asuma's grave, Shikamaru runs into Kurenai and Mirai. Shikamaru reminds himself of his promise to Asuma to train Mirai, and as such becomes determined not to die on his mission. A few weeks after Naruto defeat Toneri, Kurenai was stilling walking with Mirai while being spotted by Sakura.
Years later in Konoha, Kurenai gets an invitation to attend Naruto and Hinata's wedding. While preparing for Naruto and Hinata's wedding, Kurenai is visited by Kiba and Shino. Kurenai is happy to help them pick a wedding present for Hinata, but suggests that Hinata's little sister, Hyuga Hanabi, would be a better person to ask. She then suggests honey wine, a drink with various nutritional and restorative qualities once given by the Senju clan as a wedding present. Shino and Kiba like the idea and leave to find some. Before they go, Kurenai — a heavy drinker before Mirai was born — quietly asks Shino to buy some honey wine for her too.
On the day of the wedding, guests start arriving at the ceremony to be held under the Hokage Monument. Kurenai is seen while Kiba asked her questions about the Senju clan so that he can later appear knowledgeable regarding honey wine. She also watches how Shino gives Mirai a ride on his back,
13 years later, Kurenai continued raising her daughter by her self. Once Naruto become Hokage, Kurenai meets up with Lee along with his son including Tenten and Gai. After Shino, who was now a teacher at the Ninja Academy, was having trouble making the class connect with the new transfer student, Mitsuki, he went to Kurenai for advice. While Kurenai admitted that teaching was not Shino's specialty, he should not let that discourage him, insisting that all he has to do give it his best effort and use his strengths. While looking at an old photo of her students, Kurenai admits that even though, Shino is quiet he has a great desire to make friends which in turn makes him a great teacher.
When Mirai is a teenager, Kurenai makes sure she never forgot her father Asuma. Ultimately, Mirai became a high-ranking kunoichi.
She is seen in a flashback by Naruto.
Kurenai made a small cameo before Team Kakashi was being called up, Team Kurenai, except Shino, were seen running through the streets.
During Naruto's flashback to the members of the village when he was gathering natural energy to enter Sage Mode, Kurenai can been seen amongst the villagers.
Along with her daughter, she is seen during the end credits of the movie.
Yuhi Kurenai is a playable character in the following video games:
- Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution 2
- Naruto Shinobi Collection
- Naruto Shinobi Collection Shippu Ranbu
- Naruto Shippuuden Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
- Naruto Shippuuden Gekito Ninja Taisen! EX 3
- Naruto Shippuuden Gekito Ninja Taisen! Special
- Naruto Shippuuden Ninja Destiny 2
- Naruto Shippuuden Ninja Destiny 3
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja 4
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja 5
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Blazing
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Impact
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
- Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution
- Naruto Ultimate Ninja
- Naruto Ultimate Ninja 3
- Yuhi Shinku (Father/dead)
- Sarutobi Asuma (Husband/dead)
- Sarutobi Mirai (Daughter)
- Sarutobi Biwako (Mother in law/dead)
- Sarutobi Hiruzen (Father in law/dead)
- Sarutobi Konohamaru (Nephew)
- "Kurenai" means "crimson", while her last name "Yuhi" means "evening sun".
- Kurenai's red lipstick is in a way, a pun on her own name. The kanji for "Kurenai" can also be read as "beni", which is a word used for red make-up used traditionally in Japan to color the lips red.
- In her first appearance her dress is red with white sleeves but every time she is seen after that it's the opposite.
- In later episodes of Part II, she is usually seen with a ring on her left ring finger. It is unclear if this is a wedding ring, an engagement ring, or something else. The ring was first seen while Kurenai was worried about Asuma during his battle with Hidan. After Kurenai is revealed to be pregnant, she is always seen wearing the ring. The ring first appears in the manga after the reveal of her pregnancy.
- During a question and answer session held at Tokyo's Jump Fest '09, Masashi Kishimoto stated that he was thinking of making Kurenai and Asuma's child a girl, which he follows through with.
- Although her eyes are very distinct, they are not a dojutsu.
- Kurenai is the only one of the four principal sensei (Asuma, Kakashi, Gai, and herself) who doesn't regularly wear a flak jacket; the only two times she is seen wearing one was in a flashback with Hyuga Hiashi and in a scene with her and Asuma. She can also be seen wearing it in Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja 5 and Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3.
- Studio Pierrot's Settei sheets of Kurenai show that she was 144.4 cm around the time of the Kannabi Bridge incident.
According to the databook(s):
- Her birthday is June 11, & her bloodtype is AB.
- Her hobby is having evening drinks.
- She wants to fight Sarutobi Asuma (first databook) and later she doesn't want to fight anyone (third databook).
- Kurenai's favorite foods are shochu (strong o-sake), vodka & takowasa (octopus and wasabi). While her least favorite food is cake.
- Kurenai's favorite phrase is "Glory like a violet blooming a single day" (菫花一日の栄).
- Kurenai has completed 697 official missions in total: 152 D-rank, 158 C-rank, 235 B-rank, 138 A-rank, 14 S-rank.
- Japanese : Rumi Ochiai (Adult), Megumi Han (Child)
- English : Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
all information on Yuhi Kurenai is from http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Kurenai_Y%C5%ABhi