The Akatsuki Organization
The "Akatsuki" kanji means daybreak, breaking down the word itself gives us "aka" meaning red and "tsuki" meaning moon. Akatsuki was founded in the Rain Country by Yahiko, Konan and Nagato. Yahiko wanted to bring peace to the bloody, war-ridden country and sought like minded individuals at his side. When he met Rain leader Hanzou to talk peace, he was betrayed by the man and had to kill himself to save Konan's life. After being traumatized by Yahiko's death, Nagato adopted a new harder outlook on how to achieve peace as the group's new leader.
Around this time the group became affiliated with a man claiming to be Uchiha Madara. The masked figure used his power and influence to secretly run the group and draw in new more deadly allies from throughout the world. Under Madara, Akatsuki began to attract new S-Ranked criminals. Many of these are missing-nins who fled their villages after causing death and destruction. Over time most of the Akatsuki members were killed or neutralized in battle. There are currently only 2 active Akatsuki members: Tobi (Uchiha Madara) and Zetsu. Most members wear a forehead protector from their hidden village with a scratch through it, and all wear a ring identifying their position in the organization and a black cloak with red clouds. In the early years of the group, they acted as mercenaries for hire, offering their services to villages wary of taxing their own resources. While travelling about, the group members will work in groups of two collecting knowledge of new skills and jutsu.
Akatsuki seeks to capture the Bijuu and their hosts the "Jinchuuriki," meaning the power of human sacrifice. These are the individuals possessing bijuu (tailed beasts) within their bodies. The demons are known by the number of tails their body possesses. When the Bijuu is removed from the Jinchuuriki's body, the host dies. All the captured hosts lost their lives save for Gaara, who was later resurrected with a tensei jutsu. The only remaining Bijuu are the Eight-Tails and the Nine-Tails within Naruto. Akatsuki's current base of operation is unknown, however they have multiple bases to which they can travel. These bases are used to summon the gigantic King of Hell statue known as Gedou Mazou. The statue's mouth is bound and his hands are cuffed. Each respective finger of the statue's hand represents the Akatsuki member. Each statue finger thus represents the kanji and ring finger of the member.
The members have the ability to project their presence to their base, this allows them to remain out and about and still conduct the business of Jinchuuriki demon extraction. This process takes three days and nights due to the absence of Orochimaru. This length of time goes for both free roaming bijuu and bijuu enhanced Jinchuuriki. To begin to leach the power from the Jinchuuriki, the members will use the sealing technique of GenryuuKyuu Fuujin (Mystical Dragon Nine Exhaustion). This causes the mouth of the statue to open. Nine spectral dragons will emerge to coalesce around the Jinchuuriki to begin the extraction process. When extraction is completed, the bijuu spirit will be sealed within the statue and one of its eyes will open denoting a captured bijuu spirit. The Jinchuuriki themselves will fall back to the earth, dead.

Akatsuki's ultimate goal is to control the world. This would be accomplished through capturing and sealing away the Bijuu into the Gedou Mazou statue. The tailed beasts were once part of one more powerful creature known as the Juubi. The first ninja, Rikudou Sennin, split the Juubi's soul from its body and sealed it within himself. He then encased its body in rock to create the moon. When his life was nearing its end, he split the Juubi out into 9 separate Bijuu. Akatsuki sought to recombine these Bijuu back into the Juubi. Uchiha Madara would then embue the Juubi into himself, to gain enough power to cast a permanent Genjutsu on the moon known as his "Eye of the Moon" plan. One which would make him the supreme power in the world and cause "peace" under his rule. To that end, Madara used the genetic material of Shodai Hokage and the captured Yamato, to greatly bolstered his army of White Zetsu. Madara then aligned with the Orochimaru tissue-infected Yakushi Kabuto, who was working towards his own ends. With Kabuto's increase in power, he cast Edo Tensei, resurrected scores of dead ninja, including many former Akatsuki members. With a combined army of White Zetsu and resurrected ninja, Madara declared war on the world and the Fourth Great Ninja War began.

The Gear
Ring and Manicure
Drawn from ancient Chinese and Japanese lore, the kanji on each ring have served in the past as representations of Gods, to help in concentration before battle and in protection from evil. Their ring placement on their finger corresponds to their position on the summoned statue, with each member wearing the ring on a different finger. The rings seem important to each member, as Deidara was set on finding his when it was lost. Orochimaru also took his when he left the group, which apparently denied the group the ability to replace him with someone new. With Sasori's death, Tobi was eager to get his ring and join, but he would need to go through their entrance requirements first.

The Akatsuki member also has manicured and painted nails.

Forehead Protector
Each member wears the traditional forehead protector of the hidden village from which they fled. The protector has been modified though to bear a large scratch through the symbol, showing they no longer hold the same ideals their village does.
Each member wears a black cloak that bears red clouds. The inside of the cloak is red in color. The cloak is knee length and has a high collar. Underneath the cloak the ninja is seen to wear the more traditional clothing of their home village.
Members wear a traditional bamboo hat (kasa) to hide their appearance when traveling. The hat will be removed when the member enters battle.
The Members
Pain [Nagato (Former Member - Deceased)]

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 363

First Anime Teaser Appearance: Ep. 135 Hidden Village: Rain Ring: Rei (Zero) Finger Position: Right Thumb Info: Pain acts as the leader of the group, though he and Konan secretly reported to Tobi. He has been adamant that the group can fulfill their desires if they finally possess the bijuu. Pain's true form is that of Nagato, a frail man who uses a mechanical walker to transmit the chakra signals which manipulate the six Realm bodies. After attacking Konoha, he fought Naruto, losing all his Realm bodies in the process. After speaking with Naruto, he learned they both shared similar philosophies. Being moved by Naruto's personality and will power, Nagato hardened persona regained some hope in the future. Using the last of his power, he revived all those he killed at the cost of his life to atone. He was later resurrected using Kabuto's Edo Tensei jutsu.

Deidara (Former Member - Deceased)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 247

First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Ep. 2 Hidden Village: Rock Ring: Sei (Blue-Green) Finger Position: Right Index Info: Deidara is from Hidden Rock and he utilizes mouths on his palms to create exploding art. He left his village behind to work as a terrorist for anti-nationalists. He was then invited into Akatsuki. He and his partner Sasori were responsible for capturing the One-Tail Jinchuuriki Gaara. Though he lost both arms in battle, both were reattached. After Sasori was killed, Tobi became his partner. Deidara later squared off against Uchiha Sasuke. Unfortunately Sasuke's Sharingan and his Lightning Element attacks got the better of Deidara's Earth based Exploding Clay. In anger, Deidara chose to self-detonate himself to show the true beauty of his art. He was later resurrected using Kabuto's Edo Tensei jutsu.

Konan (Former Member - Deceased)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 363

First Anime Teaser Appearance: Ep. 135 Hidden Village: Rain Ring: Byaku/Haku (White) Finger Position: Right Middle Info: Konan is the lone female member of the group. She works alongside Pain. Konan possesses the ability to disperse her body into paper, which can then fold itself into butterfies for tracking purposes. When she was younger, she, Nagato and another orphan named Yahiko were trained by Jiraiya for a short period. He helped them become stronger and able to fend for themselves in the war torn Rain Country. She followed her friends in battle and saw her friend Yahiko die and Nagato become Pain. After Nagato entrusted his will to Naruto, she did as well. She returned to Rain with the bodies of her fallen friends and left the group. When Madara sought Nagato's Rinnegan, he fought Konan in battle. He eventually delivered a critical blow and found the information he needed.

Uchiha Itachi (Former Member - Deceased)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 139

First Anime Appearance: Ep. 80 Hidden Village: Leaf Ring: Shu (Scarlet) Finger Position: Right Ring Info: After murdering everyone in his clan, Uchiha Itachi fled his village and joined Akatsuki. Itachi was partnered with Hoshigaki Kisame. They were assigned to capture the Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki Naruto. They attempted to capture Naruto once, but fled when confronted by Jiraiya. Itachi finally faced his brother Sasuke in battle and died. After the battle, Uchiha Madara revealed that Itachi had did everything for Konoha's well being, even sacrificing himself to help keep Sasuke out of Madara's hands. He was later resurrected using Kabuto's Edo Tensei jutsu.

First Manga Appearance: Ch. 234

First Anime Appearance: Ep. 134 Hidden Village: Unknown (Potentially Grass) Ring: Kai (Boar) Finger Position: Right Little Info: Zetsu appears venus-fly trap-like in appearance. His main body is split into two halfs, both light and dark. He appeared to be traveling alone when he spied on Naruto and Sasuke's battle at the Valley of the End. For a period he was teamed with non-Akatsuki member Tobi. Once Tobi was admitted into the group, it appears Zetsu once again works alone.

Orochimaru (Former Member - Neutralized)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 49

First Anime Appearance: Ep. 27 Hidden Village: Sound Ring: Sora (Sky) Finger Position: Left Little Info: After being passed over for Fourth Hokage, Orochimaru began to study forbidden jutsu. He then fled Leaf and joined Akatsuki. He was partnered with Sasori during this period. Orochimaru coveted Uchiha Itachi's Sharingan. He moved to take Itachi's body but Itachi bound Orochimaru with Genjutsu and cut off his arm. Orochimaru fled and took his ring with him. He would later form Hidden Sound and train Itachi's brother Sasuke. When he moved to insert his spirit into Sasuke, the young man bound Orochimaru in Genjutsu and suppressed him. Orochimaru's underling Kabuto also inserted some of Orochimaru's flesh into his body, which soon exerted its will by gradually taking over his body.

Hoshigaki Kisame (Former Member - Deceased)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 139

First Anime Appearance: Ep. 80 Hidden Village: Mist Ring: Minami (South) Finger Position: Left Ring Info: Kisame engaged in murder and rebellion in his home country, fleeing Mist he joined Akatsuki. Kisame is partnered with Uchiha Itachi. He was assigned to capture the Yonbi Jinchuuriki and did so with little difficulty. When he was sent to capture the Hachibi Jinchuuriki Killer Bee, he was forced to merge with Samehada. Unfortunately Samehada liked the taste of the Hachibi chakra and betrayed Kisame. Kisame then faked his death and infiltrated the Lightning Country inside his former sword Samehada. He was eventually discovered and fought Might Guy in battle. He managed to deliver the data he gathered to Akatsuki and then killed himself to prevent the shinobi alliance from gather any intelligence from him.

Kakuzu (Former Member - Deceased)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 312

First Anime Teaser Appearance: Ep. 135 Hidden Village: Waterfall Ring: Hoku (North) Finger Position: Left Middle Info: Kakuzu is a missing-nin from Hidden Waterfall. He and his partner Hidan were responsible for acquiring the Two-Tailed Jinchuuriki. He was a bounty hunter who often got sidetracked on bounty hunts. His body was stitched together by strange tendrils which he used to rip out the hearts of his opponents and then insert into his own body. This granted him their elemental affinities in the form of masked tendril entities. Along with his own Water affinity, he had access to Wind, Fire, Earth and Lightning attacks. Kakashi destroyed the Earth Heart, Hidan accidentally destroyed Water and Naruto destroyed Wind and Fire. Kakuzu was then finished off by Kakashi. He was later resurrected using Kabuto's Edo Tensei jutsu.

Hidan (Former Member - Neutralized)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 312

First Anime Teaser: Ep. 135 Hidden Village: Hot Springs Ring: San (Three) Finger Position: Left Index Info: Hidan bears a large rope scythe and he admits that he is the slowest attacker of the group. He hails from Hot Springs village. He and his partner Kakuzu were responsible for acquiring the Two-Tailed Jinchuuriki. Hidan practices an evil god cult religion named Jashin. This religion loves chaos and death, and Hidan himself is near immortal due to the Kinjutsu used on him by Jashin. On one of Kakuzu's side bounty trips, he killed Sarutobi Asuma in battle using his Jashin Kinjutsu. He was eventually blown up and buried deep underground by Shikamaru. Because the Kinjutsu allows him to live only as long as he kills and performs his rituals, his burial underground may eventually cause his death.

Akasuna no Sasori (Former Member - Deceased)

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 247

First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Ep. 2 Hidden Village: Sand Ring: Tama (Sphere) Finger Position: Left Thumb Current Status: Deceased Info: Sasori (meaning scorpion) traveled with Deidara from Hidden Rock. He was a legendary puppet master from Hidden Sand who left his village approximately 20 years before the start of the series. Sasori converted portions of his body into puppet parts, retaining a flesh and blood portion of his original self in a chest container. He used the "hitokugutsu" method to turn people into puppets while still alive, allowing him to use their jutsu even after their "death." He fell in battle to Chiyo and Sakura, hesitating to not avoid the lethal strike of his parents who had been made into puppets. He was later resurrected using Kabuto's Edo Tensei jutsu.

Tobi / Uchiha Madara

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First Manga Appearance: Ch. 280

First Anime Teaser Appearance: Shippuuden Ep. 32 Hidden Village: Leaf Ring: Tama (Sphere) Finger Position: Left Thumb Info: Tobi was initially appeared clumsy and was very polite in his speech. After Sasori was killed in battle, he took over Sasori's position in the group. He was then partnered with Deidara. After Deidara's death, it was revealed Tobi gave direction to Pain as the real Akatsuki leader Uchiha Madara. The full nature of Tobi and Madara's full identity is unknown, however he has acted in ways which seem to confirm his nature as Madara. Madara's ultimate goal being to collect the 9 Bijuu and re-create the Juubi, which he will then use to cast a mind-controlling Genjutsu on the moon, which he can use to control the world.

The Groups
Deidara and Sasori
Deidara and Sasori were known for being artists. Deidara uses clay to model his explosive animals and Sasori was a master puppet maker. Deidara acted as the junior in their partnership, deferring to Sasori as the stronger ninja. This did not stop them from getting into spats about the nature of art though. After Sasori's death, Tobi assumed his position and role as Deidara's partner. Deidara was assigned to capture the Ichibi and Tobi the Sanbi. Sasori did not know where his Jinchuuriki was. It is unknown if this was the Sanbi or some other individual.
Deidara and Tobi
Deidara and Tobi share a very strained relationship. Always eager to impress his new teammates, Tobi is prone to excitement. This often annoys Deidara who tries to do his best to show Tobi what it means to be an Akatsuki member. Tobi was assigned to capture the Sanbi. Though he boasts that he took out the beast himself, he was helped in his assignment by Deidara.
Hidan and Kakuzu
Hidan and Kakuzu work together and share a somewhat testy relationship. Hidan follows a very strict religion, which annoys Kakuzu with its long rituals. Hidan is very defensive of the religion, causing Kakuzu to often get tired of his partner's diatribes. Kakuzu on the other hand often makes side-trips to collect bounties, which annoys Hidan. Hidan was assigned to capture the Nibi. It is unknown what tailed beast Kakuzu was assigned.
Itachi and Kisame
Itachi and Kisame work together and form a rather strong partnership. Both men seem to respect each other and Kisame seems to act as the junior in the group, deferring to Itachi's decisions. Itachi was assigned to capture the Kyuubi and Kisame was assigned the Yonbi.
Pain and Konan
Pain and Konan work together, carrying out a partnership that has lasted since their youth in the Rain Country. Both report to Uchiha Madara, who operates in the guise of Tobi.
Yakushi Kabuto
Several years before the series started, Kabuto worked for Sasori as a spy. He operated under Sasori's memory block jutsu and was placed into Orochimaru's confidence in the hopes of learning more about Orochimaru's body transfer jutsu. However, Orochimaru removed the memory block jutsu and the young man was impressed enough by Orochimaru that he chose to join him. Sasori was ignorant of this fact and had scheduled a meeting with Kabuto. Kabuto went to the meeting playing the part of his loyal spy, but he planned to kill Sasori with the help of Orochimaru. When Orochimaru himself was later neutralized by Sasuke, Kabuto implanted some of Orochimaru's tissue into his body, gaining new power in the process as it began to take over his body. He then located Uchiha Madara and offered his services to Akatsuki once again. To prove he was trustworthy, he resurrected Deidara, Itachi, Kakuzu, Nagato and Sasori. He then worked alongside Madara to control his many resurrected ninja during the Fourth Great Ninja War.
Team Hawk
After Uchiha Madara revealed the true events behind Itachi's actions, Sasuke chose to side with the legendary ninja against Konoha. After that revelation, he changed the name of his team from "Snake" to "Hawk". The group then donned Akatsuki robes and set out to capture the Eight-Tails Jinchuuriki for Madara. The group then infiltrated the meeting of the Five Kage, with Sasuke eventually abandoning the others to find revenge against Danzou. During the battle with Danzou, Sasuke sacrificed Karin's safety to kill the elder ninja from Konoha. The gravely wounded Karin was eventually captured by Konoha and expressed willingness to leave her ties to Akatsuki and Sasuke behind for good. Suigetsu and Juugo's current ties to Sasuke and Akatsuki are unknown.
Former Akatsuki member Kakuzu was a bounty hunter and obsessed with wealth. He used the services of Ginji to manage his extensive wealth. After his death, Team Snake sought out Ginji to learn about Akatsuki's whereabouts.
Yuura has served as a trusted member of the Kazekage advisory council for four years. Little did Yuura know that he had been placed under a memory block jutsu for over a decade. This block was placed by his former master Sasori. The block made Yuura forget that he was actually gathering data and serving as a plant to wipe out the Sand's defenses. When Sasori returned to Hidden Sand, he activated Yuura and removed the memory block. Returning to his masters commands, Yuura wiped out the Sands defenses, allowing them easier access to capture Gaara. Yuura was later used in a sacrifical jutsu to provide a host body for Uchiha Itachi to inhabit when he fought Kakashi and Naruto. Zetsu later ate his body for sustenance.
Mukade served was an underling of Akatsuki member Sasori. He was used as a sacrifice to take on the form of Hoshigaki Kisame in Pain's Shouten no Jutsu. Kisame fought Guy and managed to imprison Neji, Lee and TenTen. Guy was forced to open several gates and used his Asakujaku technique to pummel "Kisame" and defeat him. In the rubble, the body of Mukade lost its appearance and revealed to Guy that they had not actually been fighting Kisame at all.
Zangei was a bounty exchange master who ran one of the disposal centers located in Fire Country region. The center was located in a secret area accessed through a men's restroom. Akatsuki member Kakuzu often used this center to drop off corpses of the bounties he had collected. Zangei would gladly pay Kakuzu for his services. He was later captured by Konoha and taken in for interrogation by Morino Ibiki.
The Jinchuuriki and their Bijuu
Gaara and Ichibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 35

First Anime Appearance: Naruto Episode 20 Hidden Village: Sand Rank: Kazekage Bijuu: Shukaku the Ichibi (One-Tailed Tanuki Demon) Power: Mini-Shukaku form ~ protective sand tanuki form, automatic sand defense Drawbacks: If Gaara sleeps Shukaku can take control Status: Captured Akatsuki Member: Deidara Info: Chiyo imbued the demon Shukaku into the Kazekage's son Gaara. Gaara lead a lonely life until he met Uzumaki Naruto. He pledged himself to prove his worth and protect his village. His drive led him to become Kazekage. He was defeated in battle by Deidara and Akatsuki removed the Shukaku demon from within Gaara, killing him.

Nii Yugito and Nibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 312

First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Episode 71 Hidden Village: Cloud Rank: Jounin Bijuu: Two-Tailed Cat Demon Power: Fiery mouth blasts Drawbacks: Unknown Status: Captured Info: Yugito was a kunoichi from Hidden Cloud. Like Gaara and Naruto, she was an active part of her village. She contained the two-tailed cat demon, which was defeated in battle by Hidan and Kakuzu. Akatsuki then removed the Nibi from within Yugito, killing her.

Yagura and Sanbi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 317

First Anime Appearance: NA Hidden Village: Formerly Mist Rank: Mizukage Bijuu: Three-Tailed Turtle Demon Status: Captured Info: Akatsuki tracked down the location of the Sanbi, the three-tailed demon, which has the characteristics of turtles and shrimp. In the past, the Sanbi was imbued within Yagura, the Yondaime Mizukage. When Akatsuki captured it, Sanbi was "in the wild," with no Jinchuuriki host. For this reason he was weaker, as he could not properly control his power. Tobi was assigned to capture this demon and did so with the assistance of Deidara. This demon was succesfully sealed in the King of Hell by the group.

Roushi and Yonbi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 353

First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Episode 121 Hidden Village: Rock Rank: Unknown Bijuu: Four-Tailed Demon Ape Power: Youton Ninjutsu Drawbacks: Unknown Status: Captured Info: Roushi contained the four-tailed demon, which took the form of a large lava-emitting gorilla.. He was made a Jinchuuriki by Hidden Rock, at some point he and his village parted company. He travelled the world to try and understand his powers. He used his Bijuu to create Youton (Lava Element) Ninjutsu, a combination of Earth and Fire Elements that created a lava which could melt through anything. He was defeated in battle by Kisame.

Han and Gobi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 420

First Anime Appearance: NA Hidden Village: Rock Rank: ? Bijuu: Five-Tailed Demon Whale-Horse Status: Captured Info: Akatsuki captured Han and his Bijuu at some point in the past. The demon takes the form of a whale-horse hybrid. It is unknown which Akatsuki member captured the demon. Two of the unseen captured Jinchuuriki's were outcasts, who were abandoned by their village when Akatsuki came to capture them.

Utakata and Rokubi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 420

First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Episode 144 Hidden Village: Mist Rank: ? Bijuu: Six-Tailed Demon Gastropod Status: Captured Info: Akatsuki captured Utakata and his Bijuu at some point in the past. The demon takes the form of a slimy slug. It is unknown which Akatsuki member captured the demon. Two of the unseen captured Jinchuuriki's were outcasts, who were abandoned by their village when Akatsuki came to capture them. This individual may have been one of the outcasts.

Fuu and Shichibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 420

First Anime Appearance: NA Hidden Village: Waterfall Rank: ? Bijuu: Seven-Tailed Demon Rhino Beetle Status: Captured Info: Info: Akatsuki captured Fuu and her Bijuu at some point in the past. The demon takes the form of a beetle with six wings and one cerci acting as its tails. It is unknown which Akatsuki member captured the demon. Two of the unseen captured Jinchuuriki's were outcasts, who were abandoned by their village when Akatsuki came to capture them. This individual may have been one of the outcasts.

Killer Bee and Hachibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 408

First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Episode 142 Hidden Village: Cloud Rank: Unknown (Probably Jounin) Bijuu: Eight-Tailed Demon Ox-Cephalopod Power: Mini-Hachibi form ~ protective Hachibi chakra taking ox-cephalopod form, gigantic chakra and power boost to Bee Status: Active Info: Akatsuki has yet to find and seal two Jinchuuriki: Naruto and the Hachibi Bijuu named Kiraa Bii (Killer Bee). After Uchiha Madara swayed Sasuke to his side, he sent the young man after this Bijuu. Killer Bee posseses the ability to become his Bijuu, that of a tentacled ox beast. He was eventually knocked out by Sasuke's Amaterasu and taken for sealing. His body was revealed as a transformed tentacle, while the real Bee was still safe in Lightning. This allowed Bee to escape capture and evade Akatsuki.

Uzumaki Naruto and Kyuubi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 1

First Anime Appearance: Episode 1 Hidden Village: Leaf Rank: Genin Bijuu: Kyuubi no Youko (Nine-Tailed Fox Demon) Power: Mini-Kyuubi form ~ protective Kyuubi chakra taking fox form, gigantic chakra and power boost to Naruto Drawbacks: Excessive use of Kyuubi destroys Naruto's body and makes him a mindless killing machine Status: Active Info: Yondaime Hokage imprisoned the Kyuubi within Naruto after it attacked Konoha. Like many Jinchuuriki, Naruto led a lonely life. Over time though, he gained friends and left his life of despair behind. He has been trained by the Sannin Jiraiya to make full use of Jinchuuriki gifts. He later trained alongside Killer Bee to fully master control of the Kyuubi chakra.

Akatsuki (暁?, lit. "Dawn" or "Daybreak") is an organization of criminal ninja that serves as the primary antagonistic force of the Naruto series. Led by [[|Tobi]], though he acts through the group's figurehead leader [[|Pain]], the Akatsuki's goal is world domination by using the power of the nine tailed beasts.[[|ch. 239]] The members of Akatsuki are ninja who have abandoned their villages, and are considered by their former homes to be S-class criminals, the most powerful and wanted ninja in the Naruto universe. At any given time, Akatsuki is composed of ten members, who operate in two-man teams. They share similar clothing, most notably a long, dark cloak bearing red clouds and a chin-high collar. Aside from an attempt by two Akatsuki members, Itachi Uchiha and [[|Kisame Hoshigaki]], to capture [[|Kurama]] (the nine-tailed fox sealed within Naruto Uzumaki) Akatsuki is not prominently featured in Part I.[[|ch. 143]] In Part II, they take a more active role, capturing Gaara and extracting the one-tailed tanuki, Shukaku, from his body, as well as working towards capturing the remaining tailed beasts.[[|ch. 261]]

Itachi UchihaEdit

Main article: Itachi UchihaItachi Uchiha (うちは イタチ Uchiha Itachi?) is a former ninja of Konohagakure and the partner of Kisame Hoshigaki. Though having spent his early youth as the child prodigy of the Uchiha clan, Itachi is treated as a villain for much of the series. He is initially portrayed as being solely responsible for the killing of his entire clan and family, sparing only his brother, Sasuke Uchiha, with the explanation that he was testing his abilities.[[|ch. 224]] Around the time of his death his villainous role is downplayed; not only is he revealed to have had help from Madara Uchiha in killing the clan, but he performed the massacre under the orders of Konoha's leadership so as to prevent an Uchiha coup d'état.[[|ch. 400]] In the Japanese anime, Itachi's seiyū is Hideo Ishikawa. His first voice actor in the English anime was Skip Stellrecht, who voiced Itachi in episodes 29 and 30, but in all following appearances, he has been voiced by Crispin Freeman.

Kisame HoshigakiEdit

Kisame Hoshigaki (干柿 鬼鮫 Hoshigaki Kisame?) is a former ninja of Kirigakure and partnered to Itachi Uchiha, having a unique appearance with pale blue skin, a gill-like facial structure, and sharp triangular teeth. While he was still loyal to Kirigakure, Kisame was one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a group of violent ninja that use particularly large swords in battle. His sword, Samehada (鮫肌 "Sharkskin" in Shippuden?), is a living weapon covered in scales that can absorb untold amounts of an opponent's chakra. Only allowing those it sees as worthy to wield it, Samehada can provide the user with the chakra it holds, ensuring him an infinite amount of stamina. Kisame himself has massive amounts of chakra, comparable to a tailed beast, enough so that a clone created by the Akatsuki that held only 30% of his power contained an amount of chakra comparable to Naruto when using the Nine-Tails' chakra.[[|ch. 142]] By fusing Samehada into him, Kisame can assume a more shark-like form that increases his abilities. In battle, he frequently shapes water into the forms of sharks to damage opponents.[[|ch. 258]] After discarding Samehada when it chose Killer Bee over him, Kisame is decapitated by Bee and the Raikage. It is later revealed that was just a shapeshifting technique performed by Zetsu; the real Kisame having hidden inside Samehada.[[|ch. 487]] He attempts to flee from the ninjas but is defeated by Guy and captured. Kisame committes suicide by summoning sharks and allowing them to eat him, but not before using one of them to steal back the information he had compiled and send it to the Akatsuki.[[|ch. 508]] His seiyū in the Japanese anime is Tomoyuki Dan, and his English voice actor is Kirk Thornton.


Deidara (デイダラ?) is a former ninja of Iwagakure. He was also a terrorist bomber-for-hire before Itachi Uchiha forced him to join Akatsuki. Though he came to embrace the organization, Deidara holds a grudge against Itachi and all Uchiha throughout the series, as he feels their Sharingan eyes look down on his abilities.[[|ch. 359]] Upon joining the Akatsuki, he is partnered with [[|Sasori]], and is replaced by Tobi after his death. Though he abuses Tobi when he annoys him, Deidara becomes more like a teacher to Tobi, and adopts a genuine care for his well-being.[[|ch. 366]] Each of Deidara's hands have mouths on them that, by infusing clay or other fine-grained minerals with chakra, create "sculptures" that are actually bombs that explode with varying intensities. Deidara's bombs can take any form he chooses, and from the time of their creation to their detonation, he can animate and control them remotely.[[|ch. 248]] Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi's younger brother, is able to systematically nullify his bombs in combat, and so Deidara transforms himself into a living bomb in an effort to kill Sasuke and to prove the supremacy of his art, but fails in the attempt, literally "going out with a bang" as his fellow Akatsuki members put it.[[|ch. 363]] He is later resurrected by Kabuto.[[|ch. 520]] His seiyū in the Japanese anime is Katsuhiko Kawamoto.[[|[18]]] In his cameo appearance in episode 135 of the English adaptation, he is voiced by Quinton Flynn, and in the anime of Shippuden by Roger Craig Smith.


Sasori (サソリ?) is a former ninja of Sunagakure and known as "Sasori of the Red Sand" (赤砂のサソリ Akasuna no Sasori?). His parents were killed by Sakumo Hatake, leaving him in the care of his grandmother, [[|Chiyo]] who taught Sasori the art of puppetry, which he refined to fit his needs over the years. Lacking the love of parents, Sasori left Sunagakure when he got older and joined Akatsuki where he is initially partnered with Orochimaru.[[|ch. 267]] After Orochimaru's defection Sasori teamed with [[|Deidara]], who looks to him and his artistic knowledge with reverence.[[|ch. 248]] In due time he devised a way to convert the corpses of humans into puppets, allowing him to use any of the ninja abilities they possessed during their life for himself.[[|ch. 263]] In time he even converted his own body into a puppet, which essentially gives him eternal life and allows him to control hundreds of puppets at once.[[|ch. 271]] Sakura Haruno and Chiyo eventually destroy his heart, the only part of his humanity he kept when converting himself to a puppet, resulting in his death, but not before telling Sakura about his rendezvous with one of Orochimaru's henchmen who had been working for him as a spy.[[|ch. 464]] After being resurrected by Kabuto, Sasori fights Kankuro, but is defeated and released from Kabuto's jutsu after being captured. In the Japanese anime, Sasori is voiced by Akiko Yajima as a child; and in the English version he is voiced by Kari Wahlgren and as an adult, he is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai and the English version by Johnny Yong Bosch. His scorpion-like puppet body, Hiruko, is voiced by Yutaka Aoyama in the Japanese version and in the English version by J. B. Blanc.[[|[18]]]


Zetsu (ゼツ?) is the only member of Akatsuki to regularly act without a partner. This is in part a result of his ability to merge with any object and quickly travel to a new location, something that few other ninja are capable of. Because of this Zetsu serves a variety of different positions in Akatsuki, such as a spy that observes and reports on battles of interest.[[|ch. 255]] He is cannibalistic, and is often sent to dispose of bodies Akatsuki does not want found.[[|ch. 261]] Zetsu's body is split into two different colors, his right side being black and his left being white. Similarly, the two sides have their own personalities and knowledge bases, frequently leading to discussions and arguments between the two. If necessary, the two halves can split apart and act independently with the white half able to create perfect clones of himself or whoever he touches along with using spores in his attacks.[[|ch. 289]] Using the DNA of the First Hokage and chakra from the tailed beasts, Madara created numerous clones of Zetsu's white half to use as soldiers in the Fourth Ninja World War.[[|ch. 512]] As Kishimoto originally planned Akatsuki to be a group of individuals with close to no human characteristics, he decided to make Zetsu half black and half white to emphasize his split personality.[[|[19]]] In the Japanese anime, Zetsu's seiyū is Nobuo Tobita,. In his cameo appearance in episode 134 of the English adaptation, Zetsu has two voice actors: the black half is voiced by Michael Sorich and the white half is voiced by Brian Beacock, and in the English Shippuden anime he is voiced by Travis Willingham.


Tobi (トビ?) is one of the primary antagonists of the Naruto series and an Akatsuki masked member who replaces Sasori after the latter's death as Deidara's partner. He initially acts carefree and goofy often resulting on him being attacked by Deidara.[[|ch. 317]] In battle, he is capable of making his body intangible as well as teleport over great distances at will including to a pocket dimension inside him.[[|ch. 395]] After Deidara dies in a bid to kill Sasuke Uchiha with him, Tobi takes the name of Madara Uchiha (うちは マダラ Uchiha Madara?), one of the founders of Konohagakure and the Uchiha clan, who came into direct conflict with the First Hokage and was thought to be dead.[[|ch. 385]] Now behaving more seriously, he starts taking a special interest in Sasuke's development up to Itachi Uchiha's death while leading Akatsuki.[[|ch. 364]] He also reveals having the Sharingan, which allows him to use the Uchiha's techniques.[[|ch. 310]] Taking Sasuke under his wing, Tobi discloses the truth behind Itachi's secret life to him to have him on his side in destroying Konoha.[[|ch. 400]] It is also revealed that Tobi is responsible for unsealing [[|Kurama]], the nine-tailed fox, from within its previous host, Kushina Uzumaki, to attack Konoha before the series' start resulting in the sacrifice from the Fourth Hokage, [[|Minato Namikaze]], who re-sealed Kurama.[[|ch. 501]]

After Pain's death, Tobi announces to the five Kage his objective: he intends to recreate the Ten-Tails using the nine tailed beasts to become its host and cast an eternal illusion called the Infinite Tsukuyomi (無限月読 Mugen Tsukuyomi?), bringing all life-forms under his command. After the Kage refuse to surrender to him, Tobi declares the Fourth Shinobi World War.[[|ch. 467]] Tobi is blackmailed by [[|Kabuto Yakushi]] to form a reluctant alliance with him when presented with the real Madara's corpse.[[|ch. 490]] To prepare for the war, Tobi takes Nagato's body to retrieve his Rinnegan. Replacing his left Sharingan with a Rinnegan, Tobi becomes able to replicate Pain's manipulation of six corpses.[[|ch. 510]], [[|544]] During the ensuing war, the original Madara is revived to aid Akatsuki exposing Tobi as an impersonator.

Kishimoto found him to be his favorite Akatsuki character at the time to draw, noting his mask to be easy to make.[[|[20]]] In the Japanese anime, Tobi's seiyu is Wataru Takagi and since taking the name of Madara, he is voiced by Naoya Uchida.[[|[21]]] In the English anime, his first persona is voiced by Michael Yurchak and the Madara one by Nolan North.


Hidan (飛段?) is the immortal, foul-mouthed, and sadomasochistic partner of [[|Kakuzu]] and a former ninja of Yugakure, the Village Hidden in Boiling Water.[[|[22]]] He is a member of the Jashin (ジャシン?, lit. "evil god") religion, a religion that worships a deity of the same name and where wreaking anything less than death and utter destruction in battle is considered a sin.[[|ch. 313]] His religion's experimentations have led to the creation of his unique abilities; by consuming an opponent's blood and then drawing Jashin's triangular-design on the ground, Hidan can create a voodoo doll-like link with his opponent. Once this link is created, any damage done to Hidan's body is reflected on his opponent, allowing him to kill them by giving himself fatal injuries. Because he is immortal, Hidan is not impaired while doing this, instead finding pleasure in the pain it causes him.[[|ch. 325]] After Hidan uses this ability to kill [[|Asuma Sarutobi]], Shikamaru Nara fights him to avenge his teacher. Their battle culminates in Hidan being blown up, and Shikamaru burying his still-speaking remains in a place Akatsuki will never be able to reach.[[|ch. 339]] As such, Hidan is no longer considered a member by the rest of Akatsuki.[[|ch. 353]] In the Japanese version of the anime, Hidan's seiyū is Masaki Terasoma. In the English version, he is voiced by Chris Edgerly and in Naruto Shippūden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 by Wally Wingert.


Kakuzu (角都?) is the partner of [[|Hidan]] and a former ninja of Takigakure, the Village Hidden in the Waterfalls. Kakuzu is motivated by greed and joins the Akatsuki to seek out valuable bounties. However, his extreme temperament led Kakuzu to dislike having a partner and eventually killing whomever he is partnered with in a fit of rage, being paired up with the immortal Hidan as a result.[[|ch. 322]] Kakuzu's body is composed of large amounts of black threads, allowing him to reattach any bodypart, his or another, back onto its owner. The threads are also capable of piercing flesh, which Kakuzu uses to remove the still-beating hearts of his opponents for his personal use while executing a jutsu called Jiongu (地怨虞?) to integrate their hearts into his body to cheat death and extend his life indefinitely.[[|[23]]] Kakuzu can store up to four spare hearts in animal masks that are sewn to his back. The masks can be detached during combat situations to shoot elemental blasts at his opponents, and can quickly be recalled to his body if he needs a replacement heart.[[|ch. 336]] Kakuzu's hearts are systematically destroyed soon after his introduction by a group of Konohagakure ninja. After Naruto Uzumaki leaves his final heart on the brink of failure, Kakuzu is easily finished off by Kakashi.[[|ch. 342]] After being resurrected by Kabuto, he is sent out to participate in the war until being sealed. In the Japanese anime, Kakuzu's seiyū is Takaya Hashi and in the English version he is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.


[[]]EnlargeThe Six Paths of Pain, from left to right: Animal, Naraka, Asura, Deva, Human, Preta.Pain (ペイン Pein?) is one of the major antagonists of the Naruto series, the leader of Akatsuki, partnered to [[|Konan]] and the principal figure in the tailed beast sealing ceremony thanks to his ability to manipulate souls. The first Pain appearing in the series is actually Deva Pain, one of six different bodies collectively known as The Six Paths of Pain (ペイン六道 Pein Rikudō?). Controlled by a single conscious mind, each of the six bodies are individually named after one of the six Buddhist paths of reincarnation.[[|ch. 378]], [[|419]] All but one of the bodies have orange hair and a number of body piercings that, from a design standpoint, give Pain a "more dangerous" appearance and relate the pain of their installation to the character's name.[[|[19]]] Each also has a Rinnegan (輪廻眼?, lit. "Saṃsāra Eye"), the unique eye technique possessed by the Sage of the Six Paths. As a result, the six Paths use the Rinnegan to share visual information and coordinate attacks.[[|ch. 378]]

The Paths of Pain are controlled by Nagato (長門?) who, like Konan, was an Amegakure orphan trained by Jiraiya alongside Yahiko (弥彦?) before he became Deva Pain. Awakening his Rinnegan secretly provided by Madara, Nagato's desires peace for the world.[[|ch. 373]], [[|509]] After Yahiko's death as a result of a trap by Hanzo years later, Nagato came to the realization that peace could only be attained by teaching the world the pain caused by war. To that end he adopted the name "Pain" to conquer Amegakure before killing Hanzo, becoming a "god" in the eyes of Amegakure's citizens.[[|ch. 369]]

All six bodies are eventually defeated by Naruto. Naruto is able to renew Nagato's faith in his late master and in the possibility of peace, prompting Nagato to sacrifice his life in order to revive the people he killed in Konoha.[[|ch. 449]] Nagato is later resurrected by Kabuto and sent alongside Itachi to battle Naruto and Killer Bee, but after Itachi escapes Kabuto's control he is sealed by Itachi. In the Japanese anime, Pain's seiyū is Ken'yū Horiuchi, while Nagato's seiyū is Junpei Morita. In his cameo appearance in episode 135 of the English adaptation, he is voiced by Dave Wittenberg, and in the Shippuden anime he is voiced by Troy Baker, while Nagato is voiced by Vic Mignogna.


Konan (小南?) is the only female ninja in Akatsuki. As such, Kishimoto originally wanted her to have an obscene appearance showing more of her bust.[[|[19]]] Being a partner of Nagato, Konan was also a pupil under Jiraiya after she was orphaned as a child by one of Amegakure's many wars and forced to fend for herself. Because she serves under Pain, she is referred to by villagers of Amegakure as "God's angel". While under Jiraiya, Konan learned to take advantage of her natural talent with origami, using it as a key component in her battle style.[[|ch. 373]] Konan can divide her body into countless sheets of paper, which she controls and reshapes remotely to scout out an area, form weapons for attack, or create wings that mirror her title. While Konan's abilities are restricted when the paper is wet; since paper will cling to itself and lose its stiffness, she is able to use this weakness to her advantage as she implements explosive tags into her paper clones. After Nagato's death, Konan withdraws her position in Akatsuki and leaves the organization.[[|ch. 372]] Later, she is confronted by Madara over the location of Nagato's Rinnegan eyes. She fights him, but is killed after being forced to reveal Nagato's resting place.[[|ch. 510]] In the Japanese anime, Konan's seiyū is Atsuko Tanaka and in the English anime, her voice actor is Dorothy Elias-Fahn.


Taka (鷹?, "Hawk") is a group formed by Sasuke Uchiha that consists of Orochimaru's former subordinates. When first formed it goes by the name "Hebi" (蛇?, "Snake"), with its mission being to find and kill Sasuke's brother, Itachi Uchiha, to avenge the latter's slaughter of the Uchiha clan.[[|ch. 352]] Its first recruited member is Suigetsu Hozuki (鬼灯 水月 Hōzuki Suigetsu?), a former test subject of Orochimaru able to turn his body to liquid form, who wishes to restore the Kirigakure's Seven Swordsmen by taking their swords.[[|ch. 352]], [[|523]] The second member is Karin (香燐?), a former assistant to Orochimaru who specializes in track specific individuals through chakra over long distances,[[|ch. 365]] and is highly flirtatious when she is alone with Sasuke.[[|ch. 348]] The third and last member is the prisoner Jugo (重吾 Jūgo?) ,who was used to create Orochimaru's cursed seals thanks to his enzymes that cause him to be mentally unstable, and sees Sasuke as the living legacy from his late friend Kimimaro.[[|ch. 351]]

After Itachi's death and Sasuke's discovery that the Uchiha were wiped out under the orders of Konohagakure, Sasuke renames their group "Taka" and changes its mission to the destruction of Konoha. Prior to carrying out this intent, Sasuke agrees to work with [[|Akatsuki]] to help them capture the eight-tailed beast.[[|ch. 403]] After Sasuke's failed infiltration of the Kage Summit in the Land of Iron, Taka splits as Jugo and Suigetsu are captured by the samurai of the Land of Iron, and Karin is abandoned by Sasuke during the ensuing fight with Danzō Shimura