Rock Lee is a fictional character in the Naruto anime/manga series and the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime/manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto. He is voiced by Yōichi Masukawa (Japanese) and Brian Donovan (English). He symbolizes human weakness. Unlike other shinobis who were born with ninjutsu and genjutsu, Rock Lee was different he lacks the necessary skill for these techniques. He is affiliated with Hidden Leaf village.
Due to the fact he was born without any talent is constantly bullied and discouraged by his peers as was told he doesn’t have what it takes to be a shinobi. But Lee was persistent and kept going because he wants to become a successful ninja. To him giving up is something worse than death.
Rock Lee special bond with Might Guy
After the academy he met Might Guy, a man who was also born without ninjutsu and genjutsu. He was the only one who believed that one day Rock Lee will become an outstanding shinobi, he believed that Talent can be defeated by hard work if the talent fails to work hard and more importantly the only man who believed in Lee. Might Guy is optimistic, persistent and energetic, Might Guy helped Lee to require these traits. Guy played a crucial part in Lee’s dream of becoming a splendid ninja. Guy sensei and Lee have a bond unlike any other in the Naruto series and at every road, block Guy was there to keep Lee going.
“Sensei! I want to prove that you can become a great ninja even without being able to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu! That is everything to me!”-Rock Lee to Might Guy
Hard work vs Talent
Under Might Guy supervision Rock Lee trained day and night. He has worn heavy training ankles weights for training purposes, which increases his strength but decreases his speed and agility. In the chunin exams, he was faster than Sasuke Uchiha’s Sharingan, easily defeating him in a short fight. Posed a great challenge to Gaara of the Sand. Gaara was someone wasn’t even touched before, Lee overcomes Gaara’s Sheild of Sand and strikes him with his speed and agility, while no other shinobi in exams came close. All of this proves that even without ninjutsu or genjutsu he can become a splendid ninja.
Lee vs Gaara – A fight to prove himself
To me, Gaara versus Rock Lee was the most memorable fight in the Naruto series. It was something more than just a fight to pass the exam. It is a clash between two opposite lifestyles it was talent against hard work. We see Lee struggle and dedication from time to time but it wasn’t the case for Gaara because he was born with talent, in that regard Gaara perfect. It was the talent that went against the hard work and Rock Lee represents the outcome of hard work when he lands a kick on Gaara overcoming his defences when he takes off his ankle weight and shows off his speed when he enters the fifth gate when Lee is sacrificing his future as a shinobi to win this fight that is what resolve and determination is.
Rock Lee wanted to prove that he was a worthy shinobi without genjutsu and ninjutsu and he did. Gaara was untouchable before he fought Lee, he was coldblooded and would not hesitate to kill anyone, he was feared by his teammates due to his bloodthirsty nature by lee was fearless when fighting him.
Lee saw Gaara as an opportunity to prove himself, even though Rock Lee lost the but Rock Lee proved himself that he is more than the splendid shinobi and that ninjutsu and genjutsu is not necessary while determination, hard work and persistence is necessary to become a capable shinobi.
Advancement to Jonin
Later on, Rock Lee fought with Kimimaro and held his own against such a powerful foe. As a chunin, he was capable of defeating taijutsu master Chen, as well destroy a meteorite. As an adult, he advanced to the rank of jonin that even with ninjutsu and taijutsu. Reaching this rank is considered a great achievement.
“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!”-Rock Lee to Might Guy