Friday, January 09, 2009

Maito Gai

Might Guy (マイト・ガイ, Maito Gai) is one of the supporting characters in Naruto. Fansubs have often dubbed his name as Maito Gai, a direct and unaltered transliteration of the character's name, but the second official Naruto data book (Hiden: Tō no Sho) states his name as Might Guy. The English version of the anime and manga both use Might Guy as well.

In the Shonen Jump magazine, Viz rendered Guy's name as "Mighty Guy" in some of the earlier chapters; this was changed back to "Maito Gai" in most of the graphic novel stories and later changed to "Might Guy" when the guidebooks were released.

The name "Might Guy" is a joke aimed at the "hot-headed hero" archetype that appears in many movies and anime.

Might Guy is the extremely zealous leader of Team Guy, consisting of Rock Lee, Neji Hyuga, and Tenten. Known for his thick eyebrows, green jumpsuit, and shiny bowl haircut, Guy often refers to himself as "Konoha's Prideful Green Beast" (木ノ葉の気高き碧い猛獣, Konoha no Kedakai Aoi Mōjū; aka. "Konoha's Noble Green Beast"). Guy's favorite foods are super-spicy curry rice and curry udon, though he finds it impossible to dislike food. His favorite phrase is "Bursting with youth!" or "Let the power of youth explode!" in the English version.

Guy is on good terms with all of his students, though seems to have a particular interest in Lee, who reminds Guy of himself when he was younger, in that they were both considered to be losers and have had to earn everything through hard work. As such, Guy puts much more interest in Lee's training than Neji's or Tenten's, continuing to train Lee long after the others have given up for the day. Because of this, and due to Lee's unyielding desire to master the art of taijutsu, Guy has taught Lee a number of dangerous and forbidden techniques, giving the stipulation that Lee can only use them under specific circumstances. Although Guy knows of the dangers that teaching the techniques to Lee entails, Guy wishes for Lee to be able to prove himself to be a splendid ninja, and as such turns a blind eye to the repercussions.

Chunin Exam arc

Guy's first appearance came when voicing his disapproval of Kakashi putting Team 7 in the Chunin Exams when they were still just first-year students. He later appeared and introduced himself shortly before the start of the exams. Upon appearing, he quickly punished Rock Lee for attempting to use a forbidden jutsu before having an emotional embrace with him, causing Team 7 to feel incredibly awkward.

During the preliminary matches of the Chunin Exams, Guy was amazed to discover that Tenten's aim of weapons missed Temari. After Tenten was defeated, Guy stopped Lee from attacking Temari out of anger for her treatment of Tenten. Guy was later seen helping some of the other Jonin to prevent Neji from killing his cousin Hinata Hyuga out of anger, where Guy emphasized his disgust towards Neji, who broke his promise of not trying to put his family problems with the Main household ahead of the match. Guy then took the role of Lee's coach prior to his match with Gaara, giving him general advice on what to do. During the actual fight, Lee continually found his fighting level to be inadequate in defeating Gaara, and each time Guy gave his consent for Lee to increase the strength of his attacks. When Lee began to run out of options, Guy allowed Lee to open the first five chakra gates in order to defeat Gaara. Although Lee did so, his efforts were unsuccessful and he was left heavily injured. When Gaara was about to kill Lee, Guy stepped in to stop the match, not willing to allow anything to happen to Lee. As Lee was taken away to be healed, one of the medics informed Guy that the injuries to Lee's body were so severe that he would never be able to fight as a ninja again. Guy was crushed by this prospect, and regretted ever teaching Lee so many dangerous techniques.

During the Chunin Exam finals, Guy accompanied Lee in watching the final matches. He arrived too late to watch Neji's match, so he was immensely amazed to hear that Naruto had defeated him. Then during Sasuke's battle against Gaara, Guy was even more amazed to see that Sasuke had successfully replicated Lee's speed and taijutsu prowess along with a few key techniques. When the invasion of Konoha began, Guy teamed up with Kakashi in repelling the invading forces and protecting the unconscious spectators. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Guy still made clear that he was considering this another challenge against Kakashi. He also demonstrated his tremendous speed and power along with combat skills to fend off countless sand and sound ninja.

Return of Itachi arc

As Kakashi lies on the verge of defeat in his battle with Akatsuki members Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, Guy arrived in time to repel Kisame and save Kakashi. Itachi, not wanting to start a war, ordered Kisame to flee. After getting Kakashi some medical attention, Guy followed the two and tries to sneak attack them, though ended up kicking Jiraiya in the face instead. After apologizing for his mistake, Guy learned that Jiraiya was looking for the talented medical ninja Tsunade, and asked that Jiraiya be sure to find her in the hopes that she would be able to heal Lee. Before leaving for Konoha with an unconscious Sasuke Uchiha, he gave Naruto his spare green jumpsuit, as a reward for his determination. Jiraiya was, naturally, unsettled by this, but Naruto was ecstatic.

Search for Tsunade

Once Tsunade was found and returned to Konoha, she found that the operation that would heal Lee has a 50% chance of death or losing the capabilities of being a ninja. Although Lee was reluctant to risk his occupation, Guy convinced Lee to go through with the operation, saying that all the work Lee has done meant that he would definitely survive. In the event that Lee does die during the operation, Guy said that he would die too, as he had no point in living if he couldn't help Lee become a great ninja. Lee's operation was a success, and Guy visited him daily until he was ready to start training again.

Anime filler arcs

During the course of the filler arcs, Guy was the only adult to receive a considerable amount of screen time. When Lee's dojo went unchallenged in one arc, Guy challenged Lee himself disguised as a stranger. Although the disguise was very bad, Lee never caught on that it is actually Guy. In The Third Great Beast arc, Guy began training a visiting ninja named Yagura. Yagura trapped Guy and Lee in a castle together and forced them to fight each other through artificial, mute proxies - they figured this out by communicating through Morse code, then broke out by opening the first 5 gates, the stress of their high-speed attacks causing the constructs to break apart. Later, in the Konoha 11 arc, Guy led Konoha's available Jonin to stop a suspected invasion by Takigakure, though in reality the Takigakure forces were just having a training exercise.

Rescue Gaara arc

Team Guy was assigned by Tsunade to assist Team 7 in rescuing Gaara. On their way to meet Team 7, Guy again encountered Kisame Hoshigaki, who wanted revenge on Guy for hitting him during their last encounter. Guy, however, didn't seem to remember Kisame, which greatly agitated the Akatsuki member. When Kisame succeeded in imprisoning Guy's teammates, Guy opened the sixth chakra gate and used his Morning Peacock to defeat Kisame. As the group examined Kisame's corpse, they found that it was not Kisame, but merely a body double.

Upon reuniting with Team 7 and reaching the Akatsuki hideout, Team Guy was assigned to disable a barrier surrounding the hideout's entrance. Although they completed the task, they were forced to fight clones of themselves, though each member eventually succeeds in defeating their lookalikes. After Gaara was rescued, Guy carried Kakashi back to Konoha via a piggyback, the latter too exhausted to walk there under his own power. Their students were deeply disturbed by the sight, though Guy didn't seem to notice and instead has a race with Lee to see who could reach Konoha first.
Invasion of Pain

Guy was next seen returning with his team to Konoha, unaware of the horror that awaits them. When Tenten stopped the team so that they could have a break, Guy noticed several birds flying in the opposite direction of the village, as if trying to escape it. Neji said that he had a bad feeling and that they should go back to the village right away. Worried, Guy ordered the team to keep moving, much to Tenten's annoyance.

Guy believes that "hard work without believing in yourself is worthless", and as such trains by repeatedly jumping sideways and hitting mitts in an effort to better himself. Guy, and by extension Lee, lives his life by his own "My Rules" philosophy, which involves setting tougher goals for failure so something good comes of it. For example, he vowed to walk 500 laps around Konoha on his hands if he lost a contest with Kakashi, and proceeded to do so upon losing, even though people stopped paying attention eventually. Lee's willingness to train in the same manner as Guy seems to have caused him to surpass his master's stamina, as by the end of Part I Guy has difficulty keeping up with Lee, lamenting that he is not as youthful as he once was.

Guy is the self-proclaimed rival of Kakashi Hatake. Kakashi, however, is indifferent to their rivalry, which annoys Guy to no end. Guy randomly challenges Kakashi to contests of skill, and has a acquired a record of 51 wins and 49 losses in doing so. Given that the contests that make up this figure are so varied (ranging from Rock, Paper, Scissors to sumo-wrestling), this it is not much of an achievement on Guy's part. Nevertheless, Guy is proud of his record. His might as a ninja however do seem to be on a similar level to Kakashi, as shown from Guy's impressive display of superior speed during the Chunin Exams.

Guy has many mannerisms unique to him in the series that are meant to be seen as corny and old fashioned, a reference to common clichés of "youth" (青春, seishun) anime. He is best known for his "nice guy pose", which consists of giving a thumbs up, winking, and smiling with teeth so white they give the proverbial "ping". This action is often used by both Guy and Lee to indicate commitment to a statement they had just made, their highest form of a promise. Guy's teacher-student relationship with Lee also carries distinct attributes, such as when Guy will punch Lee for a slight infraction of a rule. After Guy assigns Lee an arduous training task as punishment, meant to recapture Lee's focus and discipline, the two may then burst into tears and embrace, in brief regret for the strong blow Lee was given.


At first appearance, Guy's overly-enthusiastic nature makes it hard to take him seriously, but in reality Guy is one of Konoha's top ninja. He is also a master and the top specialist of taijutsu in the Leaf Village, and is able to use many powerful taijutsu techniques. By his "My Rule" Guy has gained a strong body, by constantly training himself, and constantly pushing his own limits, allowing him to utilize the style known as Strong Fist a taijutsu skill that focuses on creating external damage. In addition, his intense training has given him such tremendous speed that his movements can seem as if like disappearing to untrained eyes and strength capable of plowing a full-grown man through a solid wall with ease as shown from his introduction and during Orochimaru's invasion respectively.

Amongst others, Giu has his Taijutsu skills led to the development of his signature move known as Dynamic Entry (ダイナミック・エントリー, Dainamikku Entorii; literally "Dynamic Entry") an attack where he uses a flying kick to catch his enemy of guard, usually by distracting them with a thrown Kunai to change their attention away from him. He is also skilled in using nunchaku but only resorts to his weapon when absolutely necessary (The only time he's used them was during his battle with Kisame)

Like his student Rock Lee, Guy is able to utilize the Eight Gates (八門, Hachimon; English TV "The Eight Inner Gates") (a feat that is difficult for even the most talented ninja) and has shown the abillity to open at least six of the eight gates. During his fight with Kisame Hoshigaki he opened the sixth gate and utilized the Morning Peacock, a technique so fast that his hand was set a blaze by sheer speed and friction. However since opening the gates can cause sever damage to the users body, Guy has, like he has told Lee, decided that he will only open the gates if it is life-or-death situations or protecting someone dear to him. Despite the danger of it, Guy's intense training has allowed him to handle the after-effects with no visible damage beyond extreme exhaustion, which he has shown to recover from shockingly fast.

In his rivalry with Kakashi, Guy has developed an effective counter against Sharingan users: by focusing on their feet, Guy can both predict the movements of the enemy and negate the Sharingan's necessity of having eye-contact. Currently, Guy is the only ninja who can use this technique, though he has taught the basics of it to Kakashi and presumably Asuma, and Kurenai.

While he is capable of using ninjutsu and genjutsu, he tends to choose not to, even going so far as to use regular disguises instead of the Transformation Technique. In the few instances that he has used ninjutsu, it has always been offscreen, such as when he summoned Ninkame prior to his first appearance. Despite considering himself a loser as a child, Guy is a talented ninja, graduating from the Academy at age 7 and becoming a Chunin at age 11. Itachi Uchiha has on different occasions warned others against underestimating Guy. Given that Itachi and his accomplices are extremely dangerous ninja, such a warning is an indicator that Guy is an excellent combatant.

* Along with being the self-proclaimed rival of Kakashi, Guy has shown himself to be in many ways a polar opposite to Kakashi. He has shown to be more easily excited compared to the more laid back Kakashi. He also relies mainly on taijutsu in contrast to Kakashi's ninjutsu specialties and had to work tremendously hard to reach his level of prowess as Kakashi's natural talent and Sharingan made it easier for him to improve.
* Guy's appearance and mannerisms seem to be based off Bruce Lee.
* While preferring taijutsu tactics, official databooks have shown him to be capable in ninjutsu and genjutsu.
* Some fans have speculated that Lee and Guy may be related in some way because of the Naruto series' trend of making characters closely resemble their parents. However, it should also be pointed out that Lee had a different hair style and outfit before he started with Guy and that he changed to resemble Guy out of respect. Also, if Guy was Lee's father, he would have had to be 13 when Lee was born.

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