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What will happen to the reincarnated people if the Edo-Tensei user (jutsu caster) dies?

As Kabuto mentioned, the jutsu will not be released if he gets killed. If that's the case, what will happen to the reincarnated shinobi?

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If the summoner dies, then all the reanimated shinobi will keep on existing without the controller.

Before I begin, it is important to know how control works in Edo Tensei. There are 3 methods of control the summoner can place on a shinobi:

  1. Shinobi are allowed to have control over themselves
  2. Shinobi are given an objective and they must complete it
  3. Summoner fully controls the Shinobi

Kabuto can decide which layer of control he wants to assert on each individual.

When alive, Kabuto can freely change the control type over all the shinobi under his command. Once he is dead, his army will continue fulfilling his last order before he passed.

That means people who had control over themselves still have control of themselves. Ones that are given some assignment(s) still have to finish that assignment(s) (which is probably a combination of very detailed tasks in order to gain leverage over Madara). As for the last group, they revert back to the most recent option between 1 and 2. If they were previously had full control, then they will regain full again.

NOTE: While Kabuto determines his control over his army, there are multiple ways to also break out of it - explained in my answer here.

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To my understanding Edo-Tensei is run by the caster's Chakra, which is required to refuel the reincarnated shinobi.

So the ones still running, will be able to use their remaining Chakra and then cease to function (and thus die).

But then again, you might also assume that with the correct knowledge and application of seals, you would be able to siphon Chakra from the environment, or you could have an army of shinobi fueling the entire thing.

  • If thats the case, Sasuke and Itachi could've easily killed kabuto to end the edo-tensei. So that, all the reincarnated shinobi will run out of chakra and die in no time. – Rikudu Sennin Dec 30 '13 at 13:08
  • Also, I don't think reincarnated people are getting chakra from the jutsu owner. They just get instructions from the jutsu user through the talisman inserted to their brain. – Rikudu Sennin Dec 30 '13 at 13:10
  • That's why I added the latter part, if you killed the guy and he did setup an elaborate seal somewhere to fuel Edo-Tensei, then you wouldn't have anyone with the knowledge of its location, and thus would be stuck with a plethora of reincarnated shinobi. Something else though, killing Kabuto would stop his instructions, you might wonder whether that would be enough. – J. Xu Dec 30 '13 at 13:10
  • Pls provide the source for your claims :) – Rikudu Sennin Dec 30 '13 at 13:12
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    No, it was explicitly stated that even if the caster dies, the army still remains immortal and unstoppable. So your answer has little merit, I think. – Madara Uchiha Dec 30 '13 at 14:18

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