Masashi Kishimoto's masterpiece Naruto follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a boy who chases his dream of becoming the Hokage of Hidden Leaf Village. A recurring theme of the series is the value of never giving up on adversities. Showing how hard work can beat talent, Rock Lee is a fantastic example of how an individual can rise up through sheer determination.
Unable to use ninjutsu and genjutsu, people said that Lee would never be able to become a ninja. Luckily for him, he met Might Guy, the strongest taijutsu user, who decided to make him his disciple. Thanks to his own hard work and Guy's teachings and burning passion, Lee was able to become a skilled martial arts fighter and one of the most prominent young ninjas in the Hidden Leaf Village.
For his encouraging and heartening story, Lee is widely considered one of the most inspiring characters in the Naruto series. This article will list the quotes that best manifest his dedication and willpower.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the writer's personal views.
The 10 best Rock Lee quotes from Naruto, ranked
10) Honesty even in the middle of a fight
"Please wait…I’m sorry but it’s about time for my medicines."
During the battle against Gaara in the second stage of the Chunin Exams, Lee suffered heavy injuries, to the point it was said that he must abandon being a ninja. He underwent a risky surgery which ultimately succeeded in healing his otherwise crippled body. After the operation, he still needed to take some medicines to complete his healing.
Following the events of the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, Lee took Naruto's place in the fight against Kimimaro, who proved himself to be a very dangerous opponent. In the midst of the fight, Lee abruptly comes to a halt and politely requests that his opponent allow him time to take his medicine. This demonstrates the purity and kindness of his soul, which believes that honesty and integrity are required even when dealing with enemies.
9) The excitement of testing one's own abilities
"I would like to see how my moves will do against a descendant of the genius clan."
Rock Lee has always been an underdog. People believed he could not even become a ninja. Even after massively improving his skills due to his own hard work and the irreplaceable teachings from Might Guy, Lee's strength was unknown to most in the Hidden Leaf Village.
For this reason, when he met Sasuke Uchiha, the last descendant of the notorious Uchiha clan, Lee was adamant about challenging him to see how he measured up to the heir of that clan of talented fighters. In the subsequent fight, Lee brutally defeated Sasuke by outmatching the Uchiha's Sharingan with his refined martial arts.
8) No hardship could break Lee's determination
"I will never give up Gai Sensei. I will be back stronger than ever."
During the second stage of the Chunin Exams, Lee fought a tremendous battle against Gaara from the Sand Village. To overcome his opponent's defense, the former unleashed five of the Eight Gates, enhancing his physical abilities at the cost of his health. But that effort was in vain, and Gaara defeated him, inflicting Lee with heavy injuries, to the point that it was said that the latter would remain crippled.
Afterwards, Tsunade returned to the Hidden Leaf Village and assumed the role of Hokage. As a medician, she proposed Lee have a risky surgery that had a 50% chance of failure. Strongly encouraged by his master Guy, Lee agreed to undergo the operation, ultimately succeeding in healing his body.
7) Lee's beautiful dream
"I want to show I can be a splendid ninja as well even if I don't have ninjutsu or genjutsu...I want to prove it to the whole world!"
When he was an apprentice in the Ninja Academy, Lee showed no talent for ninjutsu and genjutsu, completely lacking the ability to perform those techniques. Despite this, Lee persevered, focusing his training only on taijutsu. His hard work finally bore fruit, and he was finally able to graduate from the Academy.
After he succeeded in graduating, Lee was added to Team Guy. In the team's first meeting, he vowed to become a great ninja even without using ninjutsu or genjutsu. His teammates, Neji Hyuga and Tenten, didn't take him seriously, but his master, Might Guy, took a special interest in him, deciding to help him achieve his very uncommon dream, just like his father did with him many years before.
6) How you're born doesn't define what you can become
"A dropout will beat a genius through hard work."
Rock Lee had a heartfelt drive to succeed. As someone who everyone believed was a failure, he wants to show that, with enough hard work and perseverance, even a dropout can surpass a natural genius. But Neji, Lee's most talented teammate, who came from the powerful Hyuga clan, found Lee's efforts to be useless, believing that a failure could never defeat a genius.
Neji's conviction pushed Lee to become determined to defeat him in order to prove him wrong, but every time they fought, he always lost to the Hyuga offspring. After suffering defeat against Naruto Uzumaki, another so-called dropout, Neji rejected his belief in fate and started holding great respect for Lee's efforts.
5) Each one has his capabilities
"A genius, huh? What does that mean? 'Genius'? So I was not born with a whole lot of natural talent, not gifted like Neji but I work hard and I never give up! That is my gift, that is my ninja way!"
Lee always speaks respectfully and politely to others, but he just couldn't hold himself when he heard the word "genius". People have told him since he was a child that he lacks talent and that without ninjutsu and genjutsu skills, he can achieve nothing in the ninja world. Even when he succeeded in graduating from the Academy, people still said that he couldn't be compared to true geniuses.
Thanks to his own unwavering determination and to Might Guy's precious teachings, Lee proved all of them wrong. A genius is not necessarily someone who is born with exceptional natural abilities. Lee proved himself to be a genius in his own way: the genius of hard work and perseverance.
4) When the moment comes, Lee is ready to put his life on the line
"It is now…the time to carry through and protect one’s own way of ninja."
In the second stage of Chunin Exams, Lee was matched against Gaara of the Hidden Sand Village. Despite the remarkable prowess of his martial arts, Lee was unable to bypass Gaara's defenses. Because of this, he needed to try his hardest to achieve victory against such an opponent.
Ready to put his life on the line to defend his own way of ninja in front of everyone, Lee asked his master Guy's permission to use the secret taijutsu technique of the Reverse Lotus. He was allowed to perform that, but Gaara managed to survive that, using his sand to cushion him from impact. Gaara then tried to kill the fatigued Lee, but Might Guy stopped him, protecting his beloved disciple.
3) Lee's determination is such that he shows other people the way
"If you believe in your dreams, I will prove to you, that you can achieve your dreams just by working hard."
Under Might Guy's leadership, Lee has acquired some of his sensei's personality traits. Since he started training under his tutelage, he has become energetic, optimistic and hot-blooded. Lee self-promises to achieve daily goals; if this promise is broken because he can't manage to fulfill what he scheduled, he assigns himself arduous training to prevent that from happening again.
Lee not only wants to become a great ninja, but also wishes to help other people achieve their dream. Nothing teaches better than an example and he knows that, thanks to Guy's passionate commandments. For this reason, Lee warmly encourages his mates by showing them his resolve and determination.
2) It doesn't matter if you fall, it's whether you get back up
"A hero is not the one who never falls. He is the one that who gets up, again and again, never losing sight of his dreams.”
Most of the strongest characters in the Naruto series had incredible powers and were hailed as talented geniuses since they were born. Lee was unique in that he lacked Kekkei Genkai abilities, visual powers, and ninjutsu and genjutsu skills. People used to mock him, saying that he would never be able to become a ninja. But Lee proved them wrong.
After the fight against Gaara, which left Lee severely injured, people said that he would never be able to be a ninja anymore. He proved them wrong again. During the entirety of the Naruto series, no matter what happened to him, Lee never lost sight of his dreams. It wasn't because he never fell; he stumbled many times. But every time he was able to get up and try again, like a true shinobi would do.
1) Lee never stops working hard to improve himself
"My motto is to be stronger than yesterday, if I have to I’ll be stronger than half a day ago, even a minute ago!”
During the Kazekage Rescue Mission, the first arc of Part II of the Naruto series, more commonly known as Naruto Shippuden, Rock Lee was tasked, together with Might Guy and the rest of the team, to act as a back up for Team Kakashi. After Guy defeated a Kisame clone created through the Shapeshifting Technique, Lee and the others were suddenly attacked by exact clones of themselves.
The clones were able to match Team Guy members' attack for attack. Lee had an idea and communicated it to the others: the copies were as strong as he and the others were in the moment those copies were created, so to defeat them they needed to become stronger than they had been at that moment. By surpassing their previous selves, Lee and the others defeated the clones.
On this occasion, Lee's positive philosophy of never giving up but always looking forward and becoming better proved to be not only inspirational, but also extremely effective. A ninja can't be satisfied with what he has already achieved, but needs to always be willing to improve further, because new and unpredictable challenges can arise at any given time.
Shaped from the image of the great martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, there's little doubt that Rock Lee is one of the most appreciated Naruto characters. His story is deeply inspirational, teaching people to never stop believing in their dreams and always try to get up even when they happen to fall. His quotes from the series communicate positive values that fans will keep in their hearts everlastingly.
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