Hiruzen was a light-skinned man of below-average stature with grey hair. Since his time training the Legendary Sannin, he has had a small goatee and short spiked hair - both being dark brown in color during his youth. He also initially had a single line running vertically under outer corners of each eye, which stretched down into his face as he aged until they reached his cheeks. As an old man, age had not taken much of a toll on his overall appearance. His only changes were slight; he obtained more pronounced cheekbones, a longer and thicker goatee, a prominent crease across his forehead, grey hair, a few wrinkles, a wart near his left nostril, and a few liver-spots.
As a Hokage, Hiruzen would commonly wear the official uniform - consisting of the customary white hat and haori, along with a red, full-length kimono that was tied using a white sash. With age, had also taken to smoking a pipe. He also occasionally wears an orange shirt, with the kanji for fire on its back. His combat attire consisted of a black jumpsuit, which featured mesh segments over the lower portions of his limbs, and a grey gauntlet that covered his right wrist, forearm and elbow. He also wore an armored hood with a bandanna-like Hidden Leaf forehead protector over this, which featured two long straps. The kanji for "Third Hokage" was inscribed onto an additional piece of metal plating on the back of his outfit, although at the time of Kurama's attack when he retired the post, it merely had the kanji for "fire". He also had two shuriken holsters strapped to either side of his back.
Hiruzen is a firm believer in the Will of Fire, which holds that all the people of Konoha are a family and that the Hokage is chiefly responsible for that family's well-being. Throughout his tenure, Hiruzen lives up to the Will of Fire by being available for Konoha's villagers and shinobi during their time of need, making decisions to the betterment of as many people as possible, and providing his wisdom and guidance whenever he can. His delicate, thoughtful approach to not only issues within the village but also his interactions with foreign powers has given Hiruzen the reputation of being soft, something the Konoha Council spends much of its time trying to rectify. Nevertheless, Hiruzen's kind and pacifist ways are widely valued by the Hidden Leaf's residents and even his rival Kage, and for those reasons his eventual death is regretted by many. However, Hiruzen was not entirely for his softness as he allowed Danzo to form an Anbu faction of his own, to handle the dark side of the Hidden Leaf's actions.
Although he loved all of the Konoha, Hiruzen held his students especially dear, believing they were the village's future and, as such, must be cultivated and protected. He favoured Orochimaru, seeing in him a prodigy similar to himself whose contributions to the village could someday be greater than his own. Even when Orochimaru increasingly went astray and then finally defected from Konoha, Hiruzen could never abandon his attachments to Orochimaru, instead blaming himself for not being a better teacher. When he is reincarnated, he reflects on his life and finds it similarly flawed: he feels responsible for Danzo Shimura's taking on of the village's darkness, believing Danzo would not have turned out so badly had he been more willing to make the difficult decisions; he believes that some of the village's - and even the world's - problems could have been avoided had he led with a firmer hand. Hiruzen's own son, Asuma, was defiant towards Hiruzen's philosophies during his youth, but eventually sees the merits in valuing future generations after Hiruzen's death.
Despite his reputation and responsibilities, Hiruzen is somewhat lecherous: he and Jiraiya bonded over their shared desire to spy on naked women; he falls victim to Naruto Uzumaki's Sexy Technique on more than one occasion and suspects he would be defeated by the Harem Technique as well; talking to young girls as his favorite "hobby".
Ninjutsu Grandmaster: During his lifetime, Hiruzen had accumulated a vast knowledge of ninjutsu. Hiruzen was also called The Professor, due to his mastery of all forms of shinobi combat, his own personal arsenal of original and ingenious techniques, as well as having mastered thousands of techniques in general. Likewise, he is reputed for having advanced knowledge and skill in all techniques to ever exist within the Hidden Leaf, including the many Hiden techniques that reside within it.
- Nature Transformation: Even while under Tobirama's tutelage, Hiruzen was stated to have shown even greater potential in elemental ninjutsu than his teacher. As such, Hiruzen was one of the few individuals who had learned how to perform all five basic nature transformations. He could also use Light and Dark Style. Despite not having been shown preforming the extent of his elemental prowess, Hiruzen did show a considerable array of talents with both Fire and Earth Style. Using the former, he could exhale anything from a simple stream of fire to an extremely intricate one, using both with enough prowess to reduce his targets into ash. He could even exhale smaller blasts. Utilizing Earth Style, Hiruzen could manipulate both rock and mud, proving capable of erecting a massive wall of stone. In order to catch his opponent off guard, Hiruzen can convert the landscape of the battlefield into a turbulent river of mud. He could then follow up by forming the mud into an earthen, dragon-like head to rapidly fire projectiles that he could additionally engulf in flames for added ferocity. He could also expel from his mouth mud and boulder-sized projectiles. His skill in the other three nature transformations, however, were not entirely expanded upon.
- Bukijutsu Master: Hiruzen frequently used shuriken in combat, both the standard size and the larger demon wind shuriken. By using the Shuriken Shadow Clone Jutsu he could create copies of these shuriken, allowing him to bombard a target with thousands of projectiles without needing to physically carry that many on his person. In the Naruto anime, Hiruzen was similarly shown utilizing his surroundings like shuriken, such as launching roof tiles at opponents. Hiruzen's personal summon, Enma, could transform into an extendable staff that was as sharp as diamond. The staff was Hiruzen's weapon of choice and he wielded it with great proficiency, though its weight became a greater burden to him in his later years. Enma can manifest parts of his body from the staff transformation, attacking with claws or fangs to take opponents by surprise
- Fuinjutsu Master: Hiruzen's knowledge extended to fuinjutsu. He was able to performing the Uzumaki Clan's Sealing Jutsu: Reaper Death Seal. By combining it with shadow clones he could seal the souls of multiple targets, thus delaying the sealing of his own soul.
Taijutsu Master: Hiruzen displayed a masterful skill in taijutsu. He was able to counter the reincarnated Hashirama and Tobirama in close combat. It was also shown during his battle with the First and Second Hokage that he had a great amount of strength despite his age, enough to lift and throw Tobirama across a significant distance. He also showed quick-thinking during their confrontation, and in one instance he was able to place explosive tags on each of them, without them nor Orochimaru even knowing. With Enma, he was able to break through Wood Release branches with ease. He was also able to save Naruto from the Ten-Tails's chakra-absorbing branches with a few strikes of Enma.
- Enhanced Strength:
- Enhanced Speed and Reflexes:
- Enhanced Agility:
- Enhanced Endurance:
- Enhanced Durability:
- Enhanced Perception:
Master Strategist and Tactician: Hiruzen's long life had given him a great deal of experience that he can use on the battlefield, such as identifying a technique simply by seeing the hand seals. While pressured by multiple opponents, he could also quickly assess the situation and use the proper counter-measure for it. Even when he encountered something new, as in the case of Truth-Seeking Balls, he could discern their attributes and limitations from only brief observation.
Immense Chakra Power: Even in his old age, his chakra was noted for being very strong. Similar to Hashirama, Hiruzen's chakra causes a dense effect on the atmosphere when released, cracking the building he and Orochimaru were battling on. Furthermore, he was known for having immense reserves of chakra in his youth. Despite his diminished reserves of chakra in his old age, he also showed great chakra control, needing only the minimum amount of chakra to use each technique.
- Tobirama Senju (Sensei)
- Danzo Shimura (Childhood best friend and rival, formerly)
- Team Hiruzen
- Naruto Uzumaki (Surrogate Grandson)
- Ryuha Armament Alliance
- Madara Uchiha
- Obito Uchiha
- Orochimaru (former student)
- Hidden Sound Village