Hump Day Husbandos: Deidara (Naruto)

Hump Day Husbandos

It has been a long time coming for me to tackle Naruto in some way here at Rice Digital, and what better topic to cover than that of a character who just missed out on a place in our very own husbando review of the series. I am going to rectify this, since as one of my earliest anime crushes — and one that is not at all similar to my tastes now — Deidara still manages to captivate me to this very day for his ideology and way of living that he never abandoned.

Here’s to one of my very favourite parts of this legendary series!

Who is Deidara?

Deidara from Naruto

As an ex-terrorist bomber of Iwagakure, Deidara’s fighting style uses explosive clay infused with his nature based kekkai genkai, Explosion Release. While he is not the first member of the Akatsuki to appear in Naruto, Deidara makes (for lack of a better word) an explosive entrance as soon as the Shippuden anime and manga time skip commences. That is during the capture of Gaara in the first arc of the time skip/Shippuden.

Partnered up with both Sasori and later Tobi, Deidara provides us with some of the very best dynamics of the entire series while demonstrating underrated battle talents and tactics throughout his time in it. He is often overlooked in the series by the characters around him due to his loud mouth that underplays his intelligence and skills.

Considering his archetype, his chill, laid-back personality that is at odds with the majority of the other Akatsuki members hides how much of a serious and deadly opponent he really is. He’s a legitimately clever cookie, even training his left eye to negate Sharingan, and he joined the Akatsuki around the age of 17 when he was a child prodigy-turned-infamous S-class ninja.

Why we love him

Deidara from Naruto

Since we are already getting to the meat on the bone in terms of Deidara’s characterisation and depth, let’s get the most obvious trait of his character out of the way first and foremost. As an artist, Deidara’s entire sense of worth comes from the excellence and further improvement and evolution of his art: that of his explosions. This is due to how he appreciates art, in this case in the form of the short-lived burst of the resulting clay forms he creates.

Those around Deidara actively put down or challenge his artistic vision, even though it’s a core trait that he values his entire life and livelihood on. We see this as early as his origin story when he first encounters the Akatsuki, with Itachi challenging him to a one-on-one fight. Itachi proposes the consequences of the match being that if he loses, Deidara will never be approached by the Akatsuki again — or if Itachi gets the win, Deidara has to join their ranks. This plants the all-consuming hatred Deidara would carry throughout his life towards both Itachi and all Sharigan bearers.

All this effectively traps Deidara into working within a group that doesn’t see eye-to-eye with his own ideology. And it only gets worse from there. There are several within the group who either believe in or represent immortality, and this goes completely against Deidara’s own principles of art. This is particularly seen in the case of Hidan and Kakuzu, two characters that Deidara absolutely loathes.

The same cannot be said for Sasori who, despite also representing eternal art with his puppetry, does come to appreciate Deidara’s outlook. The two learn to respect each other, and this is really well presented in the Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom novel.

While not at all as deep, his relationship with Tobi remains as one of the better comedic relief duos of the entire series, further showing another side to Deidara and his exhausting patience he clings to, with the majority of those around him failing to appreciate him and his art.

Considering he’s a supposed bad guy who apologises for potentially putting his comrades in danger or even complimenting his enemy, I can’t help but be interested in Deidara. I do feel a certain amount of sympathy for him, despite his flaws, particularly considering how both Itachi and Sasuke treat him and his art — though the fact his friendship with Tobi probably doesn’t mean much in the end, considering his true identity, does get me down a bit.

Why you will love him

That should be more than enough about how entertaining he is, despite how short-lived his time in the series was. Fittingly, his character goes out with a real bang.

The Akatsuki were the most entertaining part of Naruto, if you ask me, and nowhere is this anymore applicable than with Deidara. As the evil group’s hot-headed, narcissistic lunatic who just wants to blow things up, regardless of who he is working for or the reasons why, he was wildly fun and chaotic.

While he was arrogant and far too prideful, resulting in his own downfall and swift exit, he deserved the respect any artist seeks. It’s also hard to deny just how impressive and capable he was as a ninja, for several reasons.

He was more than capable of fighting in close combat despite being a long range fighter — even without the use of his arms during his fight with Team Guy. He went toe-to-toe with Sasuke, despite Sasuke’s lightning abilities being his own powers’ ultimate weakness. He was typically seen battling his enemies on their home turf, where their abilities are naturally stronger. And he was not afraid to pull out the big guns – a literal suicidal bombing where he gives his own life up for the sake of closing out his life as his very own, final art piece.

While much of his character is seemingly undermined with his reappearance in the latter part of the series, he still manages to uphold much of his remarkable principles at that point. Unlike how the vast amount of us fans of him spammed his move set in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series of games, Deidara would go on to deny ever repeating his attacks when reanimated, due to it cheapening his art.

It also was really hard to ignore him when Roger Craig Smith voiced him in the English Dub – that’s multiple Chris Redfield iterations of Resident Evil and Apex Legends’ Mirage. (And Sonic! – Ed.) That just begs the question: how can you not love him?

Check out the anime now if you have not already done so. Do it for the Akatsuki and by extension, Deidara.

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Lilia Hellal
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