- Membership status: Active
- Ring: 青 (“blue”, “green”)
- Ring position: Right index finger
- Partner: Tobi, formerly Sasori
- First cameo: Chapter 238; Naruto Episode 135
- First appearance: Chapter 247; Shippūden Episode 2
- Defining characteristics: Specialist in explosive-based jutsu using clay, clay manipulation with mouths in palms of hands, scope on left eye
- Seiyu: Katsuhiko Kawamoto
Deidara (デイダラ?) is a missing-nin from Iwagakure and the partner of Tobi. A fancy and skillful fighter, Deidara uses special mouths in the palm of each hand to create Exploding Clay (起爆粘土 Kibaku Nendo?). The clay, infused with his chakra, is typically molded into animal forms that come to life to get close to his opponents. Deidara can also use the clay for other purposes, as he is frequently seen creating birds to be used for transportation. As the name suggests, Deidara can make the clay explode using the command Katsu (喝?). He also has a scope on his left eye for long-range observation.
Deidara’s gender is sometimes confused due to the Japanese language‘s sparse use of third person pronouns, which forces translators to use their own ideas of Deidara’s gender to make sentences flow smoothly. This caused a lot of confusion, since both “he” and “she” were used to refer to Deidara in early English fan translations. However, Deidara speaks of himself using male pronouns and was initially given a very deep, male voice in the anime. His current anime voice is significantly lighter, but still clearly masculine. Deidara also has a habit of ending his sentences with a mumble/grunt, usually transcribed as un or mmm, in the same way Naruto ends most of his sentences with -ttebayo. Deidara has become the most popular member of Akatsuki among fans in Japan. In the most recent character popularity poll, Deidara ranked in third place, even higher than Naruto Uzumaki.
Deidara was originally teamed with Sasori, whom Deidara refers to as Master Sasori (サソリの旦那 Sasori no Danna?). This is probably because Deidara greatly respects him as a fellow artist. He also admits that Sasori was a lot stronger. Despite that, Deidara still argued with Sasori about what art is and directly disobeyed his command in spite of a threat to be killed. Deidara held that art is transient, departing quickly. Sasori believed that fine art is something wonderful that’s left long into the future. This reflects their individual natures (Deidara makes clay sculptures that explode, Sasori makes long-lasting puppets out of humans). Deidara outwardly seems to respect Sasori’s beliefs, but couldn’t resist getting a final jab in after Sasori’s death: “Like anything that is left for the future as a thing of eternal beauty… He got killed straight off!” One of Deidara’s catchphrases, “Art is a bang” (or variations therein), was originally coined by famous Japanese abstract artist Tarō Okamoto.
Deidara’s first appearance is during his mission to kidnap Gaara from Sunagakure. Deidara initially seems to be no match for Gaara’s powerful sand attacks as his forearm is torn off by Gaara’s Desert Coffin. The loss of his arm actually turns out to be part of his strategy. By threatening to destroy Sunagakure with his strongest clay bomb (which he refers to as “C3”), he successfully draws Gaara’s attention away from the exploding clay that he had snuck into Gaara’s sand through his mangled arm. Gaara is knocked unconscious by the subsequent explosion. Deidara remarked after winning that it was typical of a Kage to save his village over his own life.
Deidara later faces off against Naruto Uzumaki and Kakashi Hatake, and his right arm is severed by Kakashi’s Mangekyo Sharingan. When Team Guy arrives to assist, Deidara creates a Suicide Bombing Clone (自爆分身 Jibaku Bunshin?) that ingests as much clay as possible and detonates, allowing Deidara time to escape, though Kakashi teleported the clone away from the scene before it can do any damage. Deidara later tries to locate his right arm (specifically the ring on it), only to find Zetsu and Tobi next to it. Both express surprise that Deidara had managed to survive while Sasori had not. Tobi teases Deidara about his injuries then asks if he’s alright, the answer being obvious with Deidara’s missing limbs. Annoyed, Deidara threatens to assign Tobi a cause of death. Tobi asks if it’s death by explosion again, having apparently already been assigned a cause of death once. In response, Deidara tells him death by suffocation and proceeds to strangle Tobi with his feet in a comical fashion.
Deidara has his arms reattached by Kakuzu sometime after this point, and now has Tobi as his new partner. Deidara gets impatient with Tobi fairly easily since Tobi rarely pays attention to what he is saying. Tobi also tends to take credit for their work, despite whatever Deidara did. After they capture the three-tailed beast, Deidara lectures Tobi about being too overconfident. He becomes greatly annoyed when he discovers that Tobi has fallen asleep and proceeds to “wake him” by blasting Tobi with his exploding clay.