One of the most powerful concepts in Naruto is sage mode, so it’s something every fan should learn about
Sage mode, or sennin mode, is one of the many special forms Naruto takes throughout the course of the series. Though many of these forms are related to the nine-tailed beast Kurama taking over his body, sage mode is something else entirely.
While “magic” in Naruto is largely about channeling power within oneself, sage mode is about harnessing the power of nature. It’s initially presented as powerful but only situationally useful. But as ever in Naruto, characters figure out some way to completely ignore every possible drawback in order to use it whenever a cool moment is needed.
Here’s everything you need to know about sage mode.
What is sage mode in Naruto?
Sage mode is a power-up in Naruto that lets ninjas use the power of nature. Instead of simply manipulating their chakra, the ninja draws power from their surroundings and combines it with their chakra to access new abilities.
Theoretically, this requires the ninja to stop what they’re doing and draw power in order to maintain sage mode. Different characters have been shown to get around this in a variety of ways.
Sage mode is initially introduced with Jiraiya, who summons sage toads Shima and Fukasaku. Shima and Fukasaku fuse with Jiraiya’s body, draw energy from nature, and then transfer it to Jiraiya. This allows him to use sage mode without having to leave himself vulnerable.
Naruto takes a different approach. Instead of using Shima and Fukasaku, he summons shadow clones to siphon energy. A variety of other characters have sage modes including Kabuto and Jugo.
When does Naruto learn sage mode?
Naruto officially learns sage mode in chapter 418 of the manga and episode 156 of the Naruto Shippuden anime.
Naruto is able to quickly learn how to use sage mode thanks to his shadow clones, which transfer memories of their experiences to Naruto after death. The initial issue with sage mode is that not using it perfectly threatens to turn him into a stone frog and kill him. He overcomes this in short order.
Towards the end of the series, Naruto unlocks another version of sage mode called Six Paths sage mode. This new form is ultimately what allows the heroes to win in the climactic battle.