Zetsu is a member of Akatsuki and one of Tobi’s most loyal subordinates. The black half is known as Black Zetsu, while the white half was known as White Zetsu.
After obtaining the cells of Hashirama Senju, Tobi used them to cultivate an alter ego for Black Zetsu, thus creating the white half that would be known as “White Zetsu”.
Accordingly with his two differently coloured halves, Zetsu has a split personality. The two halves also converse with each other, and occasionally differ in opinion (Black Zetsu is more serious and knowledgeable while White Zetsu is carefree and easygoing). Despite these individualities, they are still able to communicate through their thoughts and function as a single entity.
Zetsu is seemingly very trustworthy, being entrusted with knowledge of Pain and Tobi’s true identities. He has apparently been working with the latter for some time. Tobi first appearing as his “subordinate” and Zetsu later commenting that Tobi’s plans had been in the works for a long time. The character showed some lust for money when he quoted Kakuzu on his principle that money is most important. However, whether or not this applies for both personalities is as of yet a mystery to be dealt with. White Zetsu is also very confident in himself as he was willing to fight Naruto despite knowing Pain had lost in battle against him.
Zetsu’s main role within the Akatsuki is to function as a spy, and often performs duties that are similar to a hunter-nin. He is able to control his body and take part in the tailed beasts sealing ritual simultaneously which, in addition to being unique to him, allows him to act as a lookout while the sealing takes place. When an agent to Akatsuki, or possibly even a member, dies, Zetsu is sent to devour their bodies so as to not have their secrets revealed, which adds further to his venus fly-trap theme. Zetsu is also the one sent to retrieve the rings of dead Akatsuki members. Due to the role he plays, Zetsu is the only member of Akatsuki to act without a partner on a regular basis. Despite this, Zetsu serves as a sort of superior to other members, as they often report directly to him instead of to the actual leader, Pain.
Zetsu is easily distinguished by two large venus fly-trap like extensions that envelop his head and upper body, giving him a plant-like appearance. When his extensions are open and his head is visible, it is revealed that Zetsu has short green hair, yellow eyes, and that his body has two different coloured halves. His left side is completely white and the right side black with small white dots along his body. The black colour doesn’t extend all the way down Zetsu’s body, as his feet are both white. When he splits into two, the plant-like extensions go down the waist and now have the appearance of spikes, each halve has half of the Akatsuki robe and the missing half is replaced with new body mass.
Unlike White Zetsu, which shows a normal mouth, nose, and eye, Black Zetsu shows no visible orifices at all and only his iris is visible. Black Zetsu also has white dots along the edges of his body where the two halves meet; these are not flat markings, but rather protrude from his body, like little white bumps. Zetsu also has unusually rounded teeth. His fingernails are painted pink and his toenails, as seen at his début, are blue. He also wears his Akatsuki ring on the right little finger. In the manga however, Zetsu does not have fingernails. Black Zetsu is also seen wearing standard shinobi sandals and pants, along with bandages on his ankle.
Zetsu, as a whole, has yet to be seen in battle. The technique he has been shown using the most is his Mayfly technique, with which he merges with the ground to quickly travel to a new location, though he isn’t as fast as Tobi’s own space–time travelling. This technique makes it ideal for Zetsu’s function as a spy, as it erases his presence as well, and is an ability both his halves can use. Zetsu can also use it to extend roots underground through which he can communicate with his other half should they be separated. It has also been noted that Zetsu has the ability to “record” the things he sees, as noted when he tells Tobi that he had recorded the whole battle between Sasuke and Itachi, and between Kisame and Killer B but it is unknown how he is able to show these “recordings”. He is also a very powerful sensor, able to sense Uzumaki Naruto and Killer B as soon as they left the Island Turtle which was some distance away.
Zetsu can also split in two, so that his two personalities can act independently. Tobi refers to the White Zetsu as not being a “front line” fighter, and White Zetsu has mainly been seen using support abilities. White Zetsu is able to use a time-delayed Spore Technique to grow into a mushy mass around several individuals at once, thereby sucking their chakra out, and can even use it to replenish another persons’ chakra. Furthermore, White Zetsu is able to create multiple copies of himself as well as a special clone which can simulate the appearance anyone Zetsu has ever touched right down to their chakra, stating it was a mix of the original person’s chakra and the Transformation Technique. These clones however, are much weaker than the original, and therefore mostly useful as decoys.
Due to being created from Hashirama Senju’s cells, Zetsu is capable of using the former’s Wood Release, albeit on a much weaker scale. This has been most prominently demonstrated through Black Zetsu, who has been depicted transforming parts of his body into roots to converse with White Zetsu for near instantaneous communication, as well as freely manipulating them during battle.
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