Template:Infobox Character (fixed)Kurenai Sarutobi (猿飛紅, Sarutobi Kurenai, née Yūhi (夕日)) is a member of Konohagakure's Sarutobi clan. During her time as an active duty kunoichi, she served as the jōnin-leader of Team 8.
As a child, Kurenai meant Asuma Sarutobi during the Academy entrance ceremony and graduated at age nine. In the anime, during the Chunin Exams, Kurenai was placed in a team with Asuma and Raido Namiashi. She later was 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 Naruto series.
During the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's Attack, Kurenai, Kakashi, Asuma and Guy 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 about that would inherit the Will of Fire.
In the anime, because of Kurenai's natural talent for genjutsu, the Third Hokage tasked Kurenai with helping to train Yakumo Kurama, 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-Tailed Demon Fox's Attack, seeing her classmate fall into deeper self-pity from losing Obito Uchiha and Rin Nohara, Kurenai, along with Might Guy 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 jōnin sensei in the hopes of restoring Kakashi's kindness.
At some point in time, Kurenai visited the Hyūga estate and took on Hinata on as her charge. She asked Hiashi whether he was certain about his decision to have his daughter join the regular forces, he promptly dismissed her stating that the Hyūga clan had no place for the weak.
Kurenai is a caring and brave woman. She shows great concern towards her students and takes a vested interest in their growth, especially in regards to Hinata Hyūga 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 Uzumaki to take it because she knew of her student's infatuation with him. Her personality is unyielding, honest, and simple. She is also portrayed as the "big sister type".
Throughout the series, 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 Hatake 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 daughter, Mirai Sarutobi. Since becoming a single mother, Kurenai proved very capable, raising Mirai to be very cheerful and responsible.
Kurenai is a fair-skinned woman of slender build. She has long black untamed hair reaching her upper back, 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. Overall, 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 in colour when she was a child, and red when she got older.
Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, she returned to her previous slender frame before the pregnancy. She also wears a black-coloured 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. Thirteen years later, Kurenai develops minor wrinkles at the corner of her mouth, and wears a red kimono with a white belt.
Kurenai's skills quickly enabled her to be recognised as one of Konoha's elite jōnin, despite her being relatively new to the rank at the time. As such, Kakashi entrusted her and Asuma to face the likes of the Akatsuki, proving she's a capable kunoichi. Tsunade even referred to Kurenai's skills as 'elite' when talking about her battle with Itachi and Kisame.
Being a prodigy with genjutsu, she is considered Konoha's number one user, whose skills are said to rival that of Itachi Uchiha's. Capable of discerning the truth in an instant and luring enemies to a place far beyond genjutsu, most of her techniques focus around flora; primarily using large trees to bind opponents, as well as flower petals for various purposes. She is able to simultaneously affect multiple opponents with her genjutsu, and, in the anime, revert the effects of genjutsu onto the caster. Itachi Uchiha, a genjutsu master himself, has even praised her skills.
She has rather impressive reaction speed, being able to quickly defend against Itachi's attack despite only recently breaking out of her own reflected genjutsu. In the anime, she can travel through surfaces, sense others by their chakra, lengthen her hair to cover her entire body, seal away a person's kekkei genkai, and enter the subconsciousness of a person to see their "true nature".
New Era (Plot)
After Shino, who was now a teacher at the 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.
Konoha Shinden: Steam Ninja Scrolls
Kurenai will appear in this arc.
- (To Hiashi) "I will be watching over Hinata from now on… but are you sure it's all right? Hinata is a member of the Hyūga main family… working as genin may cause her to be surrounded by death."
- (About Hinata) "Hinata… You used to be a quitter… But you began to try and change yourself. I know better than anyone, the tough training you put yourself through. But you'd always fail on missions, you were weak when it mattered most and quickly lost confidence. But today you're different… That child… I have never… seen her with eyes like that…"
- (About Hinata) "Hinata, that's enough… You may have lost but you have changed… Good job…"
- (To Shikamaru) "You lost your shōgi partner… you were Asuma's favourite. You must miss him too."