Is Kisame Hoshigaki a Sage?

Is Kisame Hoshigaki a Sage?

What is a Sage in Naruto?

Let’s just answer the question from the title right now. No. Kisame Hoshigaki is not a sage. But, that’s not a very fun answer. And since the latest arc in Boruto has me thinking about Kisame, I figured it’d be fun to make an argument for him being a sage.

Before I get into that, though, I should probably explain what a sage is within the Naruto universe. A sage is someone who has the ability to absorb and use chakra from the nature around them.

Every living thing has chakra within it, even if they can’t directly mold that chakra like Rock and Metal Lee. Even those two can still use chakra by releasing their Eight Inner Gates. But a sage can use both the chakra stored within their body and the chakra outside of their body.

Kabuto Yakushi's Snake Sage Mode from the anime series Naruto: Shippuden
Kabuto Yakushi’s Snake Sage Mode

Often, when this nature chakra is absorbed into the body (called Sage Mode), it causes the user to develop animal-like traits. The more the nature chakra overwhelms them, the more animal-like they become. Kabuto (pictured above) gained snake traits, while Jiraiya and Naruto gained toad traits.

The traits one develops are connected to how they learned to use Sage Mode. If Konohamaru were to learn Sage Mode from the monkeys, like Enma, he would gain monkey traits. But, achieving a “perfect” sage mode can eliminate these traits, as seen with Hashirama Senju and Koji Kashin.

Additionally, sages generally excel in jutsu that relate to their particular type of Sage Mode. Orochimaru (formerly) and Kabuto could use a bunch of snake jutsu. And Jiraiya could use a bunch of Toad jutsu. If only there was a slug sage to use slug jutsu.

Tailed Beast Without a Tail

Kisame Hoshigaki is known as the Tailed Beast without a tail because of his massive amounts of chakra. I want to bring this up for two reasons. First, all sages must have a massive amount of chakra so that they aren’t overwhelmed by the nature chakra they absorb.

Second, it’s very possible that some of Kisame’s massive chakra reserves aren’t his own. Yes, he has a lot of chakra. But Tailed Beasts have insane amounts of it. How could one person have that much without being a Jinchūriki?

The answer is simple: They absorb chakra from their surroundings. If Kisame was a sage, that would perfectly explain how he never runs out of chakra despite expending huge amounts of it constantly. Nobody aside from Jinchūriki and sages can do what Kisame does — and we know he’s not a Jinchūriki.

Kisame holding Samehada from the anime series Naruto
Kisame holding Samehada

Consider for a moment some of the things we’ve seen Kisame do that use up his chakra. For starters, merely holding his sword Samehada drains his chakra. Samehada is a living weapon that feeds on the chakra of its wielder. And anyone who doesn’t have enough chakra will be sucked dry.

On top of that, we’ve even seen Kisame use extremely large-scale Water-style jutsu. In his fight against Team Guy, Kisame flooded the entire battlefield to give himself an advantage. And after doing that, he summoned a bunch of sharks and continued to use other jutsu.

The source of Kisame’s chakra has, unfortunately, never been confirmed. But, it seems pretty clear that even if Kisame isn’t actually a sage, he’s was a prime candidate to become one simply due to his chakra.

Oh, and he can use four chakra natures, which also shows that he’s exceptionally skilled when it comes to chakra usage.

Shark Sage Kisame

Clearly, if Kisame was a sage, he would be a shark sage. He has the traits of a shark, has a summoning pact with sharks, and uses a bunch of shark jutsu. Also, even his sword is shark-themed.

As for his physical traits, Kisame has gills that allow him to breathe underwater. It’s unclear if the gill slits we see below his eyes are functional. But even if they aren’t, we know he has functional gills on his shoulders, as pictured below.

Additionally, Kisame has sharp teeth, though this can be discounted because that’s a common trait within the Hidden Mist Village. Even the current Mizukage has sharp teeth, and there’s no reason to suggest that he’s a sage of any kind.

But, Kisame’s shark traits do make it seem like his body has been altered due to his use of nature chakra just like Orochimaru, Kabuto, Jiraiya, and Naruto.

Kisame showing off his gills from the anime series Naruto Shippuden
Kisame showing off his gills

It’s pretty crazy that I have to say Kisame isn’t a sage when he checks literally every box. The only thing that’s missing is official confirmation that he is one. But, unfortunately, there’s one more nail in the coffin for Kisame’s sage dreams.

If everything I’ve described so far was all there was to it, we could safely assume Kisame is a sage. However, the Boruto anime series messes this all up. We can’t assume Kisame is a shark sage anymore because there are other characters with the same traits in Boruto who clearly aren’t sages.

Shizuma Hoshigaki, a relative of Kisame, also has a shark-like appearance and could wield Samehada. But I don’t think anyone would argue that he’s a sage. And then there’s a member of the Funato clan in the current arc who also has fish traits, such as gills on his neck. And again, I can’t see anyone arguing he’s a sage either.


What do you think of Kisame Hoshigaki’s sage status? Have I convinced you that he is in fact a sage despite what Boruto would have you believe? Personally, I still like to think Kisame is a sage even if it’s not confirmed.

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