Name: Namikaze Minato (aka “Konoha’s Yellow Flash”; more recently, “Yondaime”)
Age: 31 at ANBU Trials
Birthday: January 25, Sandaime Year 3
Ninja ID: 003681
Service: Yondaime Hokage
Height: 179.2 cm (5’ 9”)
Weight: 68.1 kg (150 lbs)
Appearance: Lean and sinewy; his devastating techniques rely on blinding speed, not brute strength. The boyish, open face has grown a little thinner and graver over the years, and there are faint lines etching at the corners of his mouth and eyes, but he’s still regularly acknowledged as one of the most handsome men in Konoha. Brilliant blue eyes, ruffled dark blond hair worn long over the ears and the forehead; it nearly hides his hitai’ate. Slightly angled brows, a straight nose, level mouth.
Voice: warm tenor
Handedness: ambidextrous. He can even write with both hands at the same time, which used to drive Obito mad.
Usual Clothing: Minato’s most comfortable in jounin blues, which he’s worn nearly every day since he was fifteen years old. At home, he ditches the flak vest; for work, he adds a long, flame-bordered white haori coat, with short sleeves and a high collar fastened by a red cord. The kanji for “Fourth Hokage” are embroidered vertically down the back. (He actually has a couple of these by now. One, fire-scorched and bloodstained, he wears only once a year.)
He wears the hat only for the most formal of events, and he’s still talking about getting it redesigned. The other Kage will just have to put up with not being a matching set anymore.
Living Situation: A set of rooms in the Hokage’s Palace, with two bedrooms, bathroom, sitting room, study, and a small kitchen. (Minato’s a terrible cook, but Kushina would have wanted Naruto to grow up eating homecooked meals, so—they have a housekeeper, and on Sunday nights he sends the housekeeper home early and grimly flips to the next page in the cookbook.)
There’s a round-the-clock ANBU guard, but they generally stay pretty discreet: outside doors, on the roofs, near the windows. He’s been working on teaching Naruto not to bother them while they’re working. Honestly, though, if they let themselves get tagged by a 4 year old, they deserve it.
Fighting Style: There’s a reason Minato earned the name “Konoha’s Yellow Flash” before he was eighteen, and enemy villages in the war were right to issue a “Flee on Sight” order to anyone who met him on the battlefield. He’s a whirlwind of destruction in six places at once, and he shows no mercy.
Special Techniques: Minato has refined his special techniques to the point that he needs no handseals to perform them, lending him an extra edge of speed and leaving no openings.
Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Technique): extremely fast movement at near-untraceable speed; short to long distance. D-rank, widely used by other ninja but perfected by Minato.
Translocation: A combination of the Body Flicker and Flying Thunder God technique, which utilizes high speed with a space-time twist to skim the borders of reality at a speed slightly below the speed of sound; a ninja can translocate to a location he does not know, but cannot move through solid objects. Limited by chakra control and stamina; most ninja can go no more than 500 meters, with great difficulty. Minato can manage a few miles before he breaks a sweat. B-rank. Taught to Konoha shinobi when they make jounin.
Hiraishin no Jutsu (Flying Thunder God Technique): actual teleportation through a dimensional void to a seal marked at the destination location; unlimited range. S-rank.
Minato can also use space-time barriers to teleport other people and objects away from himself. He created and has by now perfected the Rasengan, adding his own fire and wind affinities to the whirl of chakra. He’s a master of fuinjutsu and has signed a summoning contract with toads, though he doesn’t exercise it as often as Jiraiya does.
Service Record: Entered the Academy at 5 and graduated at 10. At 12, he was promoted to chuunin, and to jounin at 15—the youngest in a generation, although his own student would later surpass him. At 19, he became technically the youngest jounin sensei ever—though he didn’t receive a full team until he was 21. He was Konoha’s most prominent and famous hero of the Third Shinobi War, and his appointment as the Yondaime Hokage was announced just after he turned 27. Now, at the peak of his powers, he’s generally recognized as one of the most gifted—and the strongest—shinobi in the world.
General Traits: Calm, collected, and perceptive. As a boy he was cheerful and polite; as a young man, sunny-tempered and encouraging. The good humor conceals a fierce determination and an iron will; he’s ruthless in pursuit of his goals, and he has no tolerance for those who try to obstruct his way. He gets more icy and controlled as he gets angry, and he never slips up.
Quirks: He’s read Jiraiya’s Icha Icha novels, but he much preferred the straightforward adventure story of Tales of the Gutsy Shinobi; they have long arguments over the state of the book market and what does and doesn’t sell. Allergic to shellfish, cats, and tomatoes. After years of practice matching drinks with Jiraiya and Gamabunta, he can hold his alcohol with barely a slur in his speech, right until he falls over.
Sexual orientation: Straight.
Gifts/Talents: Aside from being one of the strongest ninja in the world, and certainly the fastest? He has a natural talent for leadership, and he’s one of Konoha’s premiere jutsu specialists. He can always keep his temper a little longer the next man. He also has beautiful handwriting, because he wrote a lot of letters to Kushina (and even sent some of them). He tells great bedtime stories, and he’s a pretty decent singer of bedtime songs. He can also change a diaper one-handed, though fortunately there is not much call for that talent anymore.
Flaws: He’s got a slight tendency to judge and dismiss people when they don’t meet his standards (see: Danzou, the Daimyo), though he’s willing to revise opinions when offered proof. He has no tolerance for traditions that hold up progress, and no patience for those who feebly bleat about them (see: the Village Council). He’s a little arrogant, though not boastful—there’s no need to boast when you are the best. And he’s sometimes impatient with the slowness or failings of lesser mortals, when he notices their struggles at all.
Enjoys: Reading. Playing with Naruto. Running. Teasing Kakashi.
Dislikes: Obstructionists. Stupidity upheld merely for tradition’s sake. Disloyalty. He’s not overly fond of the Fire Country Daimyo, who is both weak-willed and easily swayed by his advisors, but at least the man has the good sense to leave Konoha largely to its own affairs.
Fears: Losing Naruto.
Dreams and Ambitions: He’s already summited the pinnacle of ambition for most shinobi—but Minato’s dreams don’t stop there. He wants to see Konoha strong, threatened neither by danger outside nor dissension within.
Family: Minato’s parents died before he was a jounin; his grandmother, who raised him after his parents’ deaths, passed away when he was 17. Jiraiya, his genin sensei, is a slightly seedy uncle, loved fiercely despite his flaws.
He never met his in-laws, who were among the rearguard that stayed behind to defend Whirlpool as it fell, buying time for their daughter and the other refugees to escape. He met Kushina at 10, fell in love with her at 15, lost his virginity to her at 18, and never actually dated her for more than two months at a time until they were 23. They moved in together at 24 and married in that brilliant year of peace between the end of the war and the Sandaime’s resignation, when they were both 26. He still speaks of Kushina as “my wife,” never his “late wife.”
Minato never mastered the knack of training up a group of genin and then setting them loose as chuunin, seldom to interact again. Kakashi and Rin are as much his as Naruto is—students, younger siblings, competitive son and independent daughter. It’s hurt a little to see them drawing away, these past few years, but he still manages to get them together for family dinner once or twice a month. He visits the Heroes’ Stone on the anniversaries of Obito’s birthday and his death, and he keeps the team picture on his desk and on his bedroom wall.
Naruto is, quite simply, his reason for living—and the reason he’s alive. He’s frustrating, charming, cuddly, tempestuous, endlessly obnoxious and eternally sweet. Sometimes Minato is scared of just how much he adores his son.
Friends: Most of Minato’s generation, including both members of his genin team, are dead. Most of the survivors are the ones he never liked much anyway—Uchiha Fugaku and Hyuuga Hiashi top that list. Minato’s found the majority of his friends outside his age-group: Jiraiya, Sagara, Oita, Shibata, and Kakashi. Sometimes he goes drinking with Gamabunta.
Lovers: Kushina, always and forever.
Hero: For about three hours when he was 10 (and, okay, off and on in the years afterwards), Jiraiya-sensei. Until he was 27, the Sandaime Hokage. Now, there’s only one person he really tries to live up to.
Enemies: Most of Kumo and Iwa. Orochimaru. A fair number of members of the Konoha Council, a good chunk of the Uchiha clan, and a few in the Fire Country Daimyou’s court. Most of them are because of his position, but a few are personal.
Minato was born to shinobi parents from a minor clan that had never produced anyone of distinction. He was a quiet child with a delicate build and a polite manner of speaking that did him no favors among the rough-and-tumble Academy children. He refused to respond to their teasing, and they gave up eventually; Uzumaki Kushina, the red-haired refugee, was much more fun to provoke. Minato studied quietly, trained until his hands bled, and resolved to become a ninja that no one would ever, ever ignore.
By the time he graduated, at 10, he was already well on his way. His classmates’ early teasing had shaded to respect; when he was selected for the genin squad taught by Jiraiya himself, none of his teachers were surprised. He passed Jiraiya’s bell test, but he didn’t hear any praise for it. Jiraiya alternatively mocked, badgered, and ignored his students, but he taught them as best he could and he expected them to learn as best they could. For years, the only praise Minato and his teammates had ever heard came second and third-hand, trickling down from idle comments Jiraiya tossed off to his friends and fellow sensei. He’d expected them to ace their chuunin exams together, and so of course they did, but even then he’d only ruffled Minato’s hair and thanked him for not making too much of an idiot out of their sensei.
At fifteen, Minato passed the jounin exams to become the youngest jounin of his generation. He was six months older than Jiraiya had been, and he could have passed the exam a year earlier. When he finally recognized that his teammates weren’t going to qualify for the exam with him, he decided to get a perfect score instead.
He lost three points for getting blood on his uniform. He wasn’t surprised. By that point, the examiners were probably just scrambling for any way to avoid giving him an unprecedented perfect score.
That was also the year he fell in love with Uzumaki Kushina. She very loudly and very publicly did not love him back. Jiraiya advised missions as the best cure for a broken heart. They didn’t cure, exactly, but they did distract.
By the time Minato was eighteen, people were beginning to call him Konoha’s Yellow Flash, and he was well on his way to building the reputation that would eventually put him on par with Konoha’s White Fang and the Sannin themselves. Kushina unbent once long enough to make out with him at a party, and then, astonishingly, to invite him home. He made a fool of himself; she teased him mercilessly. He took another mission.
At home, he was cheerful and outgoing; around Kushina, he was alternately tongue-tied with embarrassed longing or repellently polite. In the field, he was lightning.
At 19, he arrived in the Sandaime’s office expecting a new mission. He left with his name on the jounin sensei register and a tiny silver-haired seven-year-old trotting behind him.
Teaching Kakashi was a challenge and a thrill. No one in the field had ever made Minato scramble so hard to keep up with them; no one had ever looked at him with such worshipful eyes, or examined every word he said, or kept up with him. If Minato was a prodigy, Kakashi was a genius. Together, they’d shake the heavens.
Then Hatake Sakumo died.
Minato couldn’t fill the hole. He couldn’t retrieve the boy who’d laughed at the jokes they made up together, and he couldn’t answer the question Kakashi never asked. He did his best for a year, and when the next Academy class graduated he took two more students, in hopes they’d crack something in Kakashi that he couldn’t.
It took five years, and Obito’s death. Minato hates himself for wondering sometimes if the exchange was worth it.
He’d proved himself to Kushina, in the interim. After years of second chances and lost opportunities, post-mission makeouts, heartbroken drinking bouts, deliriously hot sex, and fights where she raged and he iced, they finally got it right. At 24—the year before Obito died—they moved in together. At not quite 26, with Kakashi in the hospital and Obito ashes on the wind, Kushina held him while he cried.
Five months later, Konoha signed a treaty to end the war, and Kushina asked Minato to marry her.
The January he turned 27, Kushina told him she was pregnant, and Sandaime told him he’d be the next Hokage. For ten months nothing—not even Orochimaru’s defection, Sandaime’s disgrace, and his own unexpectedly early investiture—could mar his perfect happiness.
Then the night of Naruto’s birth came, and with it the Kyuubi.
By dawn Konoha was rubble and Minato was a widower, and only the weight of Naruto in his arms kept him from following her.
He pulled himself together, eventually; handed Naruto over to Kakashi and pulled Konoha together too. It seemed like as good a time as any to institute reforms, while they were rebuilding institutions. The old methods still worked; throwing himself into administration didn’t cure the pain of a heart that would never heal, but sometimes it was enough to distract. He ate whatever Rin put in front of him, followed Kakashi out to the training fields when Kakashi insisted, held Naruto and paced the rooftop for hours on nights when neither of them could sleep.
Eventually, he remembered how to laugh again.