|“||My goal is to become a great ninja without using Ninjutsu!!||”|
Rock Lee (ロック・リー Rokku Rī) is a chūnin-level shinobi from Konohagakure and the main protagonist of the series. Because he is unable to use any ninjutsu or genjutsu, he relies on taijutsu in his battles. He is a member of Team Guy along with Neji Hyūga and Tenten.
Rock Lee is is unable to perform any ninjutsu or genjutsu. As a result, he has been mocked by his peers since his time at the academy, though Might Guy took a special interest in him. When he graduated the academy, he joined Neji and Tenten as a member of Team Guy.
During his time as a genin, Lee along with his teammates, took the chūnin exams along with the Rookie Nine. In the preliminaries of the chūnin exams, Lee was matched up against the once cold heartless Gaara. Lee met his defeat after Gaara crushed his left arm and leg. His condition put his ninja work on hold, though Lee refused to quit training, though it made his wound worse. His condition was so bad, that a surgery performed by the worlds greatest medical ninja Tsunade only had a fifty percent chance of him survival. Tsunade encouraged him to forget about his dreams of becoming a ninja, but Lee after encouraging word from Guy, Lee decided to undergo the surgery anyways, unwilling to give up. When the surgery did take place, Lee survived, deeming it a success. Since then, he has continued his dream of becoming a splendid ninja without the use of ninjutsu or genjutsu.
Lee bears a Chinese-styled design along with the rest of the Team Guy. He is seen as almost an exact copy of Might Guy. Lee has rounded, black eyes with promenent lashes and bears considerably thick eyebrows which earns him a variety of nicknames such as "Centipede Brows" (ゲジマユ, Gejimayu; English TV "Bushy Brows"). His hair is styled in a bowl-cut fashion like Guy's and wears white bandages on his arms, which are also used in some of his jutsu. Lee's typical attire consists of a green jumpsuit, orange leg warmers, a standard Konoha flak jacket and a red forehead protector which he wears as a belt underneath it.
When Lee first joined Team Guy, Lee had shorter hair than before that curved upwards in the back, he maintained a Chinese appearance, since he wore a robe and a martial arts belt around his waist. After joining Might Guy's team, his appearance changed considerably to emulate his idol and sensei.
After training under Might Guy, Lee cut his hair and styled into a bowl-cut style like Guy, and he still wears the same attire. The only difference is the absence of the flak jacket.
Rock Lee is an enthusiastic and gutsy ninja that unforturnately cannot utilize ninjutsu or genjutsu, so he solely works on improving his taijutsu, in which only requires physical exertion.
Lee is incredibly determined to prove himself and had resorted to somewhat unorthodox antics to do so. Though he is unable to use any form of ninjutsu, Lee has resorted to fake ninjutsu, running around so quickly he created several afterimages, calling them Shadow Clones.
In addition, Lee harbors a tremendous respect for his mentor, Might Guy. He goes through great lengths simply for Guy to acknowledge him, as shown when he attempted to perform a variety of made-up ninjutsu with the collaboration of Neji Hyūga and Tenten.
Lee is known for his somewhat insane antics, often scaring off onlookers, such as Tenten. He has a very intense personality, quick to challenge and battle. He also seems to be courageous and quite fearless, never hesitating to battle powerful opponents. Lee attempts to prove his strength to other people that are seen as more special than him, particularly those known as "genuises" like Neji or Gaara. This is shown when he challenges Neji and Guy to a duel and when he is set on proving that he has grown to Gaara.
Lee revealed that he liked Sakura Haruno, asking her to be his girlfriend and vowing to protect her. While she did not seem to share these feelings for him, and considered him weird, Lee maintained these feelings.
Lee also is seen to be a pervert, trying to peek on various occasions.
Lee is a shinobi who is only proficient in taijutsu, with no skill at all for ninjutsu or genjutsu, which is why he is infamously known as The Ninja Who Can't Use Ninjutsu (忍術の使えない忍者, Ninjutsu no Tsukaenai Ninja). Through Guy's leadership and Lee's hard-working resolve allowed Lee to improve rapidly. Lee has trained so extensively he can climb a building with three huge boulders strapped to his back, giving him physical strength and endurance.
Due to his training with Might Guy, Lee is highly skilled with taijutsu. He was able to easily defeat an opponent with a single kick. He is also able to make out any technique he sees and make it his own as shown when he saw Might Guy's Morning Peacock and created Morning Gorilla or Morning Chicken.
Despite not being able to use ninjutsu, Lee tries to create his own ninjutsu by using his taijutsu to imitate others or create his own.
Fake Nature Transformation
Lee has also shown to imitate nature transformations. By using materials or his taijutsu he is able to generate his own nature. He is able to create wind by spinning rapidly fast, create fire by using a match, create lightning by rubbing a carpet around himself to create electricty, and create water urinating.
Fake Summoning Technique
Lee has been shown to imitate a fake summoning technique. This is done by allowing Neji to put on a turtle costume. Lee has also been shown to summon Neji's uncle, Hiashi Hyūga.
Through Guy's teachings, Lee has learned how to open at least the first five of the eight chakra gates. By opening five chakra gates, Lee's speed and strength boost. He was able to overwhelm Might Guy despite opening the sixth gate.
Lee has a very low tolerance for alcohol, which gives him a natural predisposition for the Drunken Fist style. When he drinks or even smells the fumes of alcohol, he becomes an unpredictable and near unstoppable force of destruction and chaos.  Guy explained that, after Lee accidentally drank a small amount of sake, he demolished an entire bar they were in.  Lee's usage of this style gives him considerably greater speed and dexterity, allowing Lee to strike and effectively dodge from various positions. 
In episode 5, it was shown that Lee can also go into this style of fighting by getting dizzy.
Lee is also highly skilled in weaponry. His personal weapon of choice is the nunchaku, and from what has been shown he uses them with great speed indicating his proficiency.
The Ninja Rock Lee
In Konohagakure, an enemy attempts to burn the village, however Lee managed to defeat the enemy. He then reveals to a villager that he can't use ninjutsu and it was not a big problem to him. Lee's teammates Tenten and Neji Hyūga reprimand Lee who finished the mission by himself. Lee then overheard his teacher, Might Guy, talk to two shinobi about how "a ninja is not a real ninja without ninjutsu". Hearing this, Lee was shocked.
Meanwhile, Lee and his teammates begin their defence training. After seeing Neji block Tenten's kunai, Lee tries to block Tenten's kunai by copying Neji's technique. However he failed and got badly injured. After patching up his wounds, Lee explains to Tenten and Neji that he just wants Guy's acknowledgement.
Lee and his team then went on a mission to take out a few missing-nin. Lee starts off by summoning a turtle, but instead summons Neji dressed in a turtle costume and then attacks the enemy ninja. Lee then proceeds to attack by copying the Shadow Clone Technique by creating mirages with his speed. Lee then copies Naruto's Sexy Technique by wearing bikini, making the enemy feel disgusted, and begins creating shadow clones by creating mirages of himself due to his speed. Guy reprimands Lee for mimicking ninjutsu techniques. Lee excuses that Guy wouldn't acknowledge him unless he can do ninjutsu after overhearing his talk with the shinobi, but Guy dismisses him, saying that he beat those who said that. After hearing encouraging words from Guy, they team up and were able to defeat the enemies. In the end, Guy copies Lee's Sexy Technique, annoying Tenten enough to attack them with various weapons.
- Main Article: Episode 1
Rock Lee asks Sakura Haruno, his crush, to go out with him, but was turned down. Devastated, Lee walks around and finds an Icha Icha book, which he recognized as the book Kakashi Hatake always reads, on the ground. He reads the x-rated book and reveals to his teammates, Neji, who reads the book with his Byakugan, and Tenten that he has discovered the secret to impressing women. With this, he leaves trying to follow the tactics, but his plan fails. As Tenten tries to console Lee, Kakashi arrives to warn about a lone ninja group from another country lurking around the village, and sees the book Lee read, saying that it was his. Lee asks for advice from him on how to be cool, and Kakashi replies that "cool guys are guys that protect their precious friends". Sakura appears to be surrounded by the enemy ninja. However, Lee arrives and defeats them with a bee inspired attack, earning an apology from Sakura. However, he accidentally grabs her breast which results to a typical Sakura beat down. Lee returns to Tenten, who comforts him. He finds Icha Icha on the ground, making Tenten realize that he has not learned a thing from his exploits.
Part 1: Love is a Part of the Springtime of Youth
After being rejected by Sakura, Lee becomes heartbroken and visits his teammates Neji and Tenten. Tenten tells Lee that he does not understand the way women think, causing Lee to ask her and Neji for help. Neji tells Lee to play it cool, but is soon reminded that Lee's sense of "cool" does not match those of many others.
When Lee is told by Tenten that it is too hard to explain, he sets a scenario up to help her. In the skit, both Neji and Lee come up to Tenten, asking her who she would prefer. Tenten reveals that she believes that her significant other should be kind, open, honest, know how to keep her happy and give her gifts, though she wouldn't mind him being forceful every so often.
Lee keeps note of Tenten's words and decides to take her advice. As Lee runs back to town, Naruto arrives to warn Tenten and Neji that rogue foreign ninja have been appearing. He then asks where Lee is, to which Tenten asks him what he thinks makes a man cool.
Naruto answers in predictable fashion, a cool man is someone who treats people to ramen, but he gives a real answer shortly later: Cool people are those who protect people close to them. While resting on a bench, Sakura is approached by Lee, who just jumped out of the bushes. Seeing how dirty the bench is, Lee offers to clean it for her. Realizing that if he scrubbed hard enough it would be a good exercise for his arm, Lee begins to rapidly scrub the bench, disappearing after he finished his job. Lee then encounters Tenten, who tries to warn him about the foreign shinobi, but
Lee quickly returns to Sakura, giving her a bouquet of roses, shocking Sakura, though a hoard of bees soon flies from the flowers. Lee offers to help rid of the bees, but he accidentally injures Sakura instead. She scolds him for hitting her and Lee tries to fix things by trying to be open and honest regarding his feelings. He begins his sentance, but is stung by a bee midway, and accidentaly hits Sakura once more. Having gone through all of Tenten's steps of advice but one, Lee tries to be forceful and tries to kiss Sakura. However, Sakura punches Lee and walks away. Later, Sakura wonders to herself if she had been too harsh on Lee. As she thinks this, she is confronted by a stranger.
Meanwhile, Tenten is trying to comfort Lee in hopes of making him feel better, but to no avail. Neji appears and reminds Tenten that the foriegn shinobi were still lurking around. Hearing this, Lee quickly runs towards Sakura's direction, believing her to be in danger. Upon finding his crush, Sakura is surrounded by rogue ninja. Lee appears and saves Sakura, shocking Sakura.
She inquires Lee to why he would want to save her when she said so many harsh things to him. In reply, Lee tells Sakura that she is so precious to him, he doesn't need a reason to save her. Sakura is touched by Lee's words and Lee offers to walk Sakura home. However, because Lee becomes dizzy, he accidentaly gropes Sakura's breasts, causing Sakura to punch him once more.
Later that day, Lee meets up with Tenten and they discuss how he messed up that day. Lee begins to think he isn't cool, but Tenten seems disagree. Lee is very touched by her comment, but as he tries to thank her, he looks very creepy and as a result, Tenten attacks him.
Part 2: Love Makes Both Sides Crazy
Main Article: Part 2
Rock Lee vs. Neji Hyūga
Part 1: A Competition with the Genius Ninja, Neji
When Kusagakure shinobi attack Konohagakure, Lee easily manages to defeat them. However, Lee sees an unharmed Neji standing behind a huge Kusagakure ninja. The group of shinobi flees and Lee feels disappointed, comparing his quantity with Neji's quality and qualifying his achivement as inferior.
Later, Lee finds Tenten searching for something. Tenten reveals that she had lost a photo of their team together and wanted to find it. Lee made finding Tenten's picture a personal goal, but only to find that Neji had already found it shortly after Sakura and Naruto's arrival. After recieving the photo, Tenten and Sakura talk about Neji while Neji returns to his home. This frustrates Naruto and Lee and the two decide to spy on Neji to see his true strength. However, the two are disappointed when they only witness Neji in the restroom. Lee states that he will not admit defeat and challenges Neji to a match.
A week later, Neji is waiting together with Sakura and Tenten for Lee to come. He them arrives with a really strong and muscular appearence. They start fighting until Neji attacks Lee with his Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Palms and causes Lee's "muscles" to fade away. So Lee uses his "Byakugan" as a last resource and confuses Neji, and manages to find an opening. He hits Neji with his Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Headbutts and makes Tenten think for a moment Lee had finally won for the first time.
The next week, Neji, Sakura and Tenten await Lee appearance. When Lee arrives, he appears to have obtained a very strong and muscular appearance. Guy appears and reveals to be the same way, but with only half of his body ripped. Neji and Lee begin their match and Neji attacks Lee, deflating his "muscles". As a last resort, Lee performs the "Byakugan", confusing Neji for a long enough period of time for Lee to use Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Headbutts on Neji. Tenten begins to believe that Lee had won, but it is soon revealed that Lee's headbutts had not only hurt Neji, but Lee as well. The two settle for a tie, much to Lee's dismay, but Neji tells Lee that recognizes him as powerful shinobi.
Part 1: Guy Sensei Didn't Do It...
Main Article: Part 1
Copy Ninja Rock Lee?!
Lee appears to Neji and Tenten with three large stones attached to his body as part of his training. Kakashi and Guy prepare for their competition, but Guy has a cold, so Kakashi advises him to call the competition off. When Guy refuses, Kakashi uses his One Thousand Years of Pain to win the challenge, much to Tenten's horror. Due to the pain Guy experienced due to Kakashi's attack, Kakashi substitutes Guy as leader of Team Guy and tells Lee that he has twenty consecutive victories over Guy. Knowing Guy's losses, Lee tries to copy Kakashi from his techniques such as One Thousand Years of Pain to the point of wearing the same outfit as him. Noting Kakashi's tardiness, Team Guy heads off without him. The enemy ninja almost mistaken Lee for Kakashi due to his outfit. Lee continues acting to be Kakashi's imposter by showing the Sharingan, which is actually just a contact lens. Neji claims to have perfected his jutsu with Byaku-Sharingan. Lee attacks the enemy with One Thousand Years of Pain, but the enemy has a shield on his butt, stating that he has been hit by the same technique from Kakashi's Father. As the enemy is about to overwhelm them, Guy and Kakashi arrive in time to save Team Guy. Regretting his actions to imitate Kakashi, Lee changes his outfit to his normal ones and helps Guy and Kakashi to beat the enemies. It is then that Kakashi reveals that it was the Make-Out Tactics' hero who has twenty consecutive wins. Once Guy is completely healed, Lee practices Kakashi's jutsu with him.
Part 2: Guy-Sensei's Rival is Kakashi-Sensei
Tenten, Lee, and Neji watch as Guy and Kakashi prepare to face off. Seeing Guy's sickly state of health, Kakashi suggests skipping the challenge, but Guy refuses and attacks Kakashi. Kakashi is able to get behind Guy and hits him with his One Thousand Years of Death, defeating him.
Later on in the day, Neji and Tenten discuss how Guy doesn't measure up to Kakashi's talents as a ninja. Lee is doubtful and he begins to think about the past before he began to emulate Guy. He tries to convince himself that Guy has bested Kakashi plenty of times, but cannot seem to think of one time not made up. Tenten points out that even if Guy has enough motivation and energy, girls love Kakashi's cool demeanor. Which makes Lee question if Guy really is as good as Kakashi or not before he decides he is going to mold himself after Kakashi now, not Guy. But Lee believes first of all, to do this, he must master his most epic move first.
The following day, Neji and Tenten are anxiously awaiting the arrival of both Lee and Kakashi. When Lee shows up they note his appearance and Lee reveals to them that he decided to go full-out on emulating Kakashi, to the point of wanting to dress like him. So they leave the village out of concern that the enemy may escape, sure that Kakashi will join them eventually. The trio is quickly surrounded by the enemy ninja and Lee claims to be Kakashi. They do not believe him however and pressure him to prove it by showing them his Sharingan. Tenten momentarily panics until Lee reveals he does have a Sharingan eye, to which Neji explains that Sharingan contact lenses have been out for some time, even showing Tenten his own.
The ninja don't believe Lee however and Lee attempts to use Kakashi's attack... which fails because the ninja reveals he has an iron plate covering himself. Before the ninja can attack Lee, Guy and Kakashi save him and they begin to fight the bad ninja. Seeing Guy before him restore's Lee's faith in his master and he quickly changes clothes before the three of them attack the group of ninja by making a new attack: Three Thousand Years of Death.
Lee shares a hug with Guy while Kakashi reveals that he does acknowledge Guy has his rival. The following day, Lee and Guy both try to practice the Thousand Years of Death.
- ↑ Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth manga chapter 7, page 17
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth manga; Chapter 1, page 6
- ↑ Rock Lee's Springtime manga; Chapter 1, page 14
- ↑ Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth manga chapter 11, page 16
- ↑ Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth manga chapter 11, page 15
- ↑ Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth manga chapter 11, page 18 & and 22