Is it necessary for, for example, Kabuto (the Edo Tensei user) to know all the hand seals and adequate knowledge on other techniques to control and fully utilize the reanimated person per his wish?

Or is it just a matter of "controlling a person somehow and use him"? What I observe is even when being controlled physically, mentally the reanimated character is reluctant (sometimes except few exceptions). Then, if the mind is not under Edo Tensei user's control, how does controlling work?

2 Answers 2


In order to perform any jutsu you need to perform proper handseals to accompolish the result. Kabuto needed to know the hand seals for ET provided he should also make himself aware of the reanimated soul's skills, too. If these two conditions are provided, ET can perform better (I did say better, not the best). Remember Kabuto was recalling the skills of Nagato ET while he confronted with Naruto, Itachi and Bee.

ET is a forbidden jutsu and the first person to use that was Second Hokage (Nidaime). The result was much better when Orochimaru performed it, but it didn't give optimum result.

Kabuto's ET is kind of weird as he gave some liberty to reanimated souls. They can think as long as the jutsu controller doesn't control their mind. In this case they were allowed to perceive the world and react to it. Therefore (and this is the important part) if the reanimated souls motive is similar to the person performing ET (in this case, I am referring to Kabuto), then performer's work for controlling the souls would be less and easier as soul's motive and performer's are same.

Kabuto's ET was scalable, too. He was sitting in the cave and visualizing the entire war scene through Reanimated Soul.

By which I conclude that even if the mind is reluctant towards ET, their physical movements will always be under the control of ET [this was the common denominator for all ET performers (Nidaime, Orochimaru and Kabuto)]. Remember the Zabuza's ET where he told Kakashi that he can't control his movements although he was barely able to think? Same goes for Asuma's ET, too.


No, it isn't needed.

Neither Kabuto nor Orochimaru can use the Wood element, they don't know and cannot use all the Kekkei Genkai of the users they reanimated.

Controlling works by setting a goal for the reanimated person. "Kill them all", "Fight to hold them off", "Go to that point in the battlefield". The reanimated person will now do anything on his own to complete that goal, even if it is against his own will.

  • and how is that goal set?
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 12:35
  • @Vogel612: Using the tag which is inserted at the back of the head of the reanimated person. That tag allows the caster to control him and give him orders to follow. Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 15:55
  • Why not mention that in your Answer? ?
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 17:23
  • The tag is for complete control. You don't necessarily need the tag to command people. That's probably why it isn't in the answer. For example, Kabuto did not put tags in everyone he revived.
    – krikara
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 2:55

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