Naruto introduced us to many unique sets of characters that breathe life into the world. I am attached to many characters in this show because I can relate to their dreams and struggles. I cheered when they did something awesome, cried when they were hurt, and prayed that they would be safe whenever they were going in for a fight.
These characters aren’t real people, but they felt real to me, and that is why I am rooting for them. The characters are why I felt invested in the show, and they are why I have been following the series for almost a decade.
What I like about the villains in Naruto is that they are not pure evil. The show taught me the idea that nobody was born evil but was forced to because of circumstances beyond their control. The villains here are so conflicted and nuanced that there are even times that I root for the villain because their plans and goals make much more sense. One of those villains that I rooted for is Haku, a missing-nin who accompanies Zabuza Momochi.
Haku is one of the earlier villains in Naruto. Sadly, he is known on the internet as one of the trap characters due to his feminine appearance. However, there is more to Haku than an internet joke. I believe that Haku is the person who set Naruto on the path to heroism. If you are interested in who Haku is, his relationships, and his abilities, this blog is just for you.
Bottom Line Up Front
Haku is a descendant of the Yuki Clan that possesses the Ice Release Kekkai Genkai. A Kekkai Genkai is a unique set of abilities that are passed down through genetics. He is under the tutelage of the infamous Zabuza Momochi.
Both shinobis were hired by a corrupt businessman named Gato to assassinate Tazuna, a master bridge builder. As a mercenary, his speed and mastery of his Ice Release made him a dangerous opponent to face. He is fiercely loyal to Zabuza and will do anything to protect him.
Who is Haku?
Haku is born in the Hidden Mist, a land infamous for forcing students to kill each other to become Shinobi earning it the nickname ‘The Bloody Mist.’ The land has suffered from internal unrest recently and has become quite hostile to people who possessed any Kekkai Genkai. People blamed them for all the destruction and death that has spread across their country.
Haku’s parents were simple peasants from a remote village. However, Haku’s mother has a secret; she belongs to the Yuki Clan, which possesses the Ice Release Kekkai Genkai. One day Haku discovers his abilities. Haku’s mother was terrified because of the dangers and so sternly warned her son not to show it to anybody. Sadly, it was too late because Haku’s father saw everything.
All the love and time they spent together is now meaningless because Haku’s father gathered an angry mob and killed Haku’s mother. The mob tried to kill Haku, but he used his Ice Release to kill everyone – including Haku’s father.
Haku becomes a lost child who rummages trash to survive without anything, without anyone, and without purpose. Haku met Zabuza, who has the ‘same eyes’ like him. When Zabuza asked Haku to be his tool, Haku eagerly accepted it, finally giving him what he lost that day when his parents died, purpose.
Haku: Appearance, Personality, Quotes, and more
Haku has a slender figure, long black hair, pale skin, and black eyes. At first glance, you may think that he is a she. You are not the only one who made that mistake because Naruto even exclaimed that he is ‘prettier than Sakura.’
When we first met Haku, he is wearing a shinobi outfit consisting of a Green Kimono wrapped around a brown stash. He wore a white mask with thin eye-holes and a Hidden Mist symbol etched on the forehead. The thick mist made his sudden appearance all the more mysterious and creepier. I remember wanting to see him again because a mask means a face reveal later on.
Before the final battle, we saw Haku wearing his casual attire. His hair is loosely worn, and a pink sleeveless kimono with a white sash tied in a ribbon around his waist. Haku also wore a black choker around his neck.
At first glance, Haku is cold and ruthless, especially when confronting his enemies. However, deep down, Haku is a gentle person who has a strong moral compass even if he stands against our main heroes. Haku does not kill his enemies, even when in great danger or with an opportunity to do so, preferring to knock them out to finish the fight.
Following the loss of his parents, Haku came to believe that he is unnecessary. That changed when he met Zabuza Momochi. Haku believes that by becoming a tool for Zabuza, his life would once again have purpose and meaning. Haku felt gratitude for Zabuza and looked up to him as a father figure. The only time when we see Haku enraged is when Gato’s goons disrespect his master.
Haku alluded to his relations with Zabuza to Naruto by stating that a shinobi would become strong if they had someone important. His devotion to Zabuza was strong that he broke his arms and threatened to kill anyone who disrespected him. Haku is willing to go as far as using himself as a shield to protect Zabuza.
I believe that Haku is not a villain at birth but because of circumstances that happened. Zabuza described Haku as a good person with a pure heart, noting that Haku’s good deeds will lead him to heaven while he will be condemned to hell.
Naruto is not the only one who can dish out ‘Talk-no-jutsus.’ Plenty of characters in the Franchise have many great quotes, and Haku is no exception. Many of his quotes revolve around the concept of purpose in life. Haku has emphasized that his life only had meaning and purpose if he continued to serve and protect Zabuza.
“I want to protect the person important to me. I want to work for that person. I want to fight for that person. I want to make that person’s dream come true. That is my dream.”
“When people are protecting something truly precious to them. They truly can become as strong as they need be!”
“Can you understand? Not having a dream. Not being needed by anyone. The pain of merely being alive.”
“Often people have it wrong, mistakenly believing that showing mercy to the enemy is kindness. They spare the foe whose life is in their hands. But don’t you see? It’s an empty existence, to go on living alone and unloved when defeats already cost you your dream!”
“I realized the most painful thing in this world. My existence was not needed.”
“It is only through the eyes of others that our lives have any meaning.”
The last quote hit me personally like a truck. Our need to be validated by others stems from our desire to belong to something. Haku’s devotion to Zabuza would become understandable because before Haku met Zabuza, he lost everything. When Zabuza adopts him to be his ‘tool’ he gives Haku a new sense of belongingness which explains why Haku is devoted to the missing-nin.
Haku’s heritage as a member of the Yuki Clan means that he possessed the Ice Release Kekkai Genkai, which allows him to combine both Water and Wind Release. Haku has many deadly ice-related techniques, such as Demon Mirroring Ice Crystal which allows him to summon mirrors that trap his opponents.
Haku can travel freely between mirrors allowing him to attack his opponents on all sides. In his youth, he summoned massive spikes of ice in order to kill an angry mob. His Ice Release can also be used defensively; in part 2, Haku summoned an igloo-shaped crystal to protect him and Zabuza from multiple paper bombs.
Haku’s speed is so tremendous that he can travel between mirrors and disarm opponents almost instantaneously. He is also proficient in Silent Killing, meaning he could take down his opponent without them realizing.
Haku is capable of Taijutsu, as demonstrated when he managed to block Might Guy’s and Rock Lee’s kicks, both of whom are Taijutsu experts. He also has the strength to carry Zabuza, a man that outweighs him without easily tiring.
Haku has medical knowledge of the human body. He can disable opponents by attacking the body’s weak points using his senbon. He is also very observant as he manages to deduce Naruto and Zabuza and made a judgment about their characters. Haku also has knowledge of herbs as he usually collects plants in order to make medicine.
This section here explores Haku’s relationship that was shown throughout the series.
Haku lost everything after discovering his powers. He was forced to fend for himself and fight dogs for food. At the lowest point in his life, Haku became disillusioned with it and thought that the world does not want him. Zabuza was merely passing by the village when he saw the homeless child; seeing Haku’s potential, he adopts him as his student.
For Haku, Zabuza gave him a new purpose in life, and he was grateful for it. This is the reason why Haku respected him and considered him an important person in his life. Zabuza, on the other hand, only sees Haku as a tool and was delighted that Haku was willing to sacrifice himself so that Zabuza has an opportunity to kill Kakashi.
Zabuza’s view of Haku changed when Naruto told him about how Haku cherished him as a person. Moved by Naruto’s impassioned speech, he killed Gato in a fit of rage before dying beside Haku. Zabuza reciprocated Haku’s devotion by telling him that he would like to be by his side in the end.
Naruto stated that Haku and Zabuza who has a great influence on his life and views. Naruto’s ninja way of not abandoning comrades was shaped by his interaction with Haku about fighting for someone they cherish. Haku’s willingness to sacrifice himself to protect Zabuza has moved Naruto. Kakashi said that it was Haku that made Naruto the hero that he became and we love.
Sasuke is catching up on Haku in terms of fighting skills. Zabuza noted that Sasuke’s speed has begun to match Haku’s. Haku used his Ice Release only when he is forced to do so, regretting that the fight had come to this. Nonetheless, despite surrounding Sasuke and attacking him with a barrage of senbon, Haku is still unwilling to kill him. It was during Haku’s fight that awakened Sasuke’s sharingan.
Kakashi Hatake never underestimated Haku. In their first fight, Kakashi was impressed that Haku is capable of one-hand sealing, a feat only the best Shinobi can do. Kakashi would kill Haku after the latter blocked the Chidori using his own body to protect Zabuza.
Kakashi respected Haku and gently laid down his corpse. Years later, Kakashi told Haku about Zabuza’s true feelings after they met again during the 4th Shinobi World War.
Haku was born to a simple yet loving family. Haku’s mother kept her and Haku’s heritage a secret from Haku’s father but still believes that their time spent together would erase all hatred. One day, Haku discovered his Ice Release and showed it to his mom.
His mom slapped him because of her terror but instantly regrets it. Unfortunately, Haku’s father saw it and began amassing a crowd of angry mobs.
Haku’s father killed his own wife before attempting to kill his own son. Haku killed them all by summoning massive ice spikes that killed everyone inside. Haku is forced to fend for himself after becoming a street child. Haku began to acknowledge how little his existence matter to the world. Haku’s situation would only change when he met Zabuza.
Interesting Trivia Facts about Haku
Haku’s death mirrored Rin Nohara’s Death
Haku died is almost the same as Rin Nohara, Kakashi’s former teammate. Haku and Rin threw themselves at Kakashi’s Chidori, killing them.
Haku sacrificed himself to protect Zabuza, while Rin Nohara killed herself to take down a dangerous beast sealed within her. Maybe Kakashi remembered Rin when Haku threw himself at him, which explains Kakashi’s horrified expression.
Haku looked even more feminine in Naruto: Shippuden
In the first Naruto Series, Haku does not wear any makeup whenever his face is shown. In Naruto: Shippuden, Haku now sports lipstick when he was resurrected during the 4th Shinobi World War making him look even more feminine.
Haku cried when he learns that Zabuza cares for him
Haku died without witnessing Zabuza’s transformation after Naruto talked to him. He did not also hear Zabuza’s gratitude for Haku’s loyalty. Kabuto resurrected Haku and Zabuza during the 4th Shinobi World War. Haku met Kakashi again and learns that Zabuza cared for him, though Zabuza does not want to admit it. Haku was touched and was in tears when Zabuza claimed that he died as a human.
Question: What village did Haku serve before he defected?
Answer: Haku once served as a shinobi of the Hidden Mist. As one of the Five Great Shinobi Villages, the Hidden Mist has a Kage called the Mizukage. The village has a long and bloody history filled with rampant corruption and internal unrest. It was infamous for having a graduation ceremony where the graduates must kill one another before they become full-fledged shinobis earning the village the nickname “The Bloody Mist Village.” The Hidden Mist is home to the famed Seven Swordsman of the Mist, a group of elite ninjas who wields the Seven Swords.
During the reigns of the Fifth and Sixth Mizukage, the village distanced itself from the Bloody Mist era. Since then, the Hidden Mist became a prosperous place that became a popular tourist destination during Boruto’s time.
Question: Where did Haku and Zabuza die?
Answer: Haku and Zabuza died in the unfinished bridge located in the Land of Waves. After the bridge’s completion, Tazuna named the bridge ‘The Great Naruto Bridge’ in honor of our favorite knuckle-headed ninja for his efforts in defending the bridge from Gato’s gang.
Question: Who hired Haku and Zabuza?
Answer: Gato is the corrupt businessman who hired Haku and Zabuza. Gato hired Zabuza and Haku to assassinate Tazuna. Gato monopolized access to the Land of Waves by controlling the sea routes making him wealthier and the citizens poorer. Tazuna believed that building a bridge would make traveling goods and services to the land much more convenient and decrease Gato’s control. For Gato, the bridge is a threat to his business, and he wants to stop it as soon as possible.
Question: Who resurrected Haku?
Answer: Kabuto Yakushi is the person who resurrected Haku and Zabuza. Kabuto is an ally of Obito during the 4th Shinobi World War. Kabuto resurrects and controls shinobis he deemed powerful by using the Impure World Reincarnation Jutsu. Kabuto deemed Haku powerful enough to be resurrected along with Zabuza.
Haku Naruto Final Thoughts: The World does not deserve Haku
Haku introduced to us just how tragic the world of Naruto can be. Haku’s arc tells us that not everything is Black and White. Nobody is inherently good nor black, but all of us have a shade of gray. When I see Haku, I see a good person who became a villain because of his tragic upbringing.
Haku never compromised his morality, even if he is a tool to the bloodthirsty Zabuza. He refuses to kill Sasuke and Naruto even when the opportunity presents himself. Haku is willing to sacrifice his own life to protect the person he cares about the most, even if that person does not reciprocate.
Haku is more than a trap character. He is a character that influenced Naruto to grow up to be the splendid ninja that we all know and love. He is loyal, kind-hearted, and selfless and will never abandon his allies and friends. Haku may be a villain, but deep inside, I know that his heart is as pure as snow.