I stumbled over this question on Facebook. I was wondering how Rock Lee got out of the academy and why did they let him leave?

  • Presumably he got out the same way everyone else did. What do you mean, exactly
    – kuwaly
    Sep 26, 2013 at 5:25
  • 1
    I guess he refers to the part of the test where you need to prove that you can use Henge no Jutsu (Transformation Technique).
    – looper
    Sep 26, 2013 at 5:38
  • 1
    or any ninjutsu
    – Vond Ritz
    Sep 26, 2013 at 5:38

3 Answers 3


One does not need to use Henge no Jutsu in order to graduate the ninja academy. Promotion throughout the entire series is never dependent upon a certain technique, but rather the capabilities of that shinobi determined by the Hokage and village elders.

Take a look at the Chuunin selection exam. Shikamaru received the only promotion yet there was no way he could have won the entire tournament.

While Lee could never use ninjutsu nor genjutsu, he was able to have very good technique with taijutsu and that allowed him to graduate. Lee just uses his chakra in a different way, but that doesn't make him any less of a ninja.

Same with Shino for that matter. Shino lets his bugs eat his chakra and then he can command them. So instead of making a kage bunshin, Shino uses a lot of bugs to form a clone.

Because every shinobi specializes in different areas, there is no set requirements in order to be promoted. The decision comes from the Hokage and the elders for Chuunin and above. For the academy, the instructor decides when the child is ready to be a Genin.


Although the final exams of the Ninja Academy do include a demonstration of Henge no Jutsu, that is almost certainly not the whole test. There should at least be demonstrations of Ninjutsu and Taijutsu, and probably a written exam and some sparring matches (not unlike what appear in the Chunin Exam, but scaled down). Rock Lee couldn't have gotten much more than a zero on his Genjutsu and Ninjutsu demonstrations, to be sure. But depending on the Ninja Academy's grading rubrics, he might have done well enough on the other parts of the exam to pass even with those zeroes.

It is also possible that Guy got these sections of the exam waived for him, due to special circumstances. But from a literary standpoint, it makes more sense for Rock Lee -a character who stands for achievement through ludicrously hard work- to have passed the exam even with the zeroes in place. Indeed, I'd argue that the most likely scenario is that Guy probably tried to get those parts waived, but Rock insisted on taking them anyway.


not all students had to be able to make shadow clones in order to graduate. Naruto was failed for not being able to make a shadow clone simply because he was worst in his class and had no skill in order to become a genin. Rock lee being exceptionally skilled in taijutsu had no reason to be failed while he had many skills in taijutsu

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