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Rock Lee

Japanese name: ロック リー
Nickname: Bushy Brows, The Green Beast of Konoha
Lee is unable to use any type of ninjutsu or genjutsu. His fellow students teased him for this handicap while he was in the Academy, though Lee ignored their words and began specializing in taijutsu, hoping to become a powerful ninja despite his inability. Upon being assigned to Team Guy, Might Guy took a personal interest in Lee's attempts to prove himself and began to help him in his dream of excelling in taijutsu. With Guy's assistance Lee learned many advanced taijutsu abilities, bringing him ever closer to achieving his goal of becoming a splendid ninja. Lee looks up to Guy as a father type figure.

Lee is known for speaking respectfully to others and never using contractions. He also uses formal Japanese, applying proper titles ("-san", "-kun", etc.) to anyone he meets. His relationship with Guy has also caused him to acquire many of Guy's traits. Lee's green jumpsuit and shiny bowl haircut, having already had Guy's distinctive thick eyebrows (leading to the nickname of "Bushy Brow"), are direct results of his modeling himself in his sensei's image. In Part II he even begins wearing a tactical vest like Guy, the only difference being that Guy leaves his unzipped. Guy's influence has also caused the reshaping of Lee's personality, and his dedication to his promises as well as his belief that one cannot dislike food are also characteristics of Guy.

Lee has a number of other odd personality traits, though whether or not they are results of Guy's mentorship is unknown. One such trait is his apparent lack of common sense, believing at times that he can get what he wants by not wanting it. At other times, he takes copious notes, but forgets that he cannot check them during a fight. He also has a keen sense of honor and respects his opponents, refusing to hold grudges against those who have defeated him and returning favors to those that have helped him. Lee feels others should show the same respect, and is disgusted whenever someone is unnecessarily cruel to their opponent.

Lee's attempts to prove and better himself are recurring themes for his actions throughout the series. He is generally optimistic and believes that with hard work and passion, he can surpass natural genius, but can be prone to depression when faced with setbacks. His drive to succeed is initially most evident with his rivalry with Neji Hyuga, having learned from Guy that having a rival will provide incentive to succeed. Neji, a "genius," finds Lee's efforts of bettering himself to be in vain, believing Lee to be stuck as a "failure" for the rest of his life. As such, Lee resolves to prove Neji wrong, and confronts another "genius," Sasuke Uchiha in an attempt to test his worth. While Lee maintains the desire to defeat Neji in a fight throughout the Chunin Exams, after Neji's eventual defeat by Naruto Uzumaki, another "failure", he seems less interested in this goal. Neji's rejection of his previous belief in fate may also have contributed to this, as he now respects Lee, believing that he will surpass the gifted with enough work, and that he would have given up if he were in Lee's situation.

During his battle with Gaara during the Chunin Exams, Lee's attempts to prove himself have terrible consequences for him. Gaara's abilities render Lee's attempts to damage him futile, and Lee's attempts at using his more powerful techniques to defeat Gaara leave his body broken. After Gaara's attacks further damage his body, crushing his left arm and leg, Lee is left injured so badly that he can no longer pursue life as a ninja. Despite this, Lee would often sneak out of his hospital room in attempts to train. When Tsunade offers him an operation that carries a fifty percent chance of returning him to his former state, and a fifty percent chance of killing him, Lee is hesitant to accept the operation. While he can't stand the thought of not living as a ninja, he is scared by the possibility that he will die before he can fully prove himself. Through Guy's encouragement and words of dedication to him, Lee goes through with the operation and survives, causing his resolve to get stronger to only increase.

Shortly after his introduction, Lee reveals that he likes Sakura Haruno, asking her to be his girlfriend and vowing to protect her immediately after they meet. While she does not seem to share these feelings for him and considers him weird, Lee maintains these feelings throughout the Chunin Exams. At one point, he distracts himself from looking for resting Genin groups with a task of catching falling leaves, the success of which would 'prove' Sakura loves him. He purposely abandons this in order to save the life of an endangered squirrel, leading him to find Sakura, also endangered. He comes to her rescue, against three to one odds and uses forbidden techniques in an attempt to protect her, considering her someone dear to him. Sakura becomes more appreciative after this, punching Naruto whenever he insults Lee. Despite this, she does not seem to have any feelings for him, as she refers to him by the more formal "Lee-san", as opposed to "Lee-kun". The only apparent return of his feelings is when she brings him a bouquet of flowers while he is in the hospital to wish him well, catching him when he trips and falls in reaching for them, and in her gentle wishes and telling him that if he ever needs anything all he has to do is ask, which moves him nearly to the point of tears. After the Exams' conclusion, Lee's interest in Sakura goes largely unaddressed. Despite this, when Naruto fights Lee in the Lee's Dojo arc, he transforms into Sakura, causing Lee to forget about the fight long enough for Naruto to attack him, and in Part II, he is especially pleased that Sakura is doing well against Sasori.

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