Akatsuki (暁; Literally meaning "Dawn" or "Daybreak") is a criminal organisation of S-rank missing-nin and is the most wanted group in all of the shinobi world. Their main goal is to collect all of the tailed beasts for their plan of world domination. As such, Akatsuki, despite initially having a minor role during Part I, has become the primary antagonistic force in Part II.
Akatsuki at any given time is composed of no more than ten primary members, all of whom were S-rank criminals of their own respective villages, with the exception of Nagato and Konan. Members always work in teams of two with the exception of Zetsu, who functions as the organisation's spy, and make use of their unique skills to the team's advantage. Team members must function very well or at least to accomplish their task even though they have a mutual problems with each other. The organisation is rarely fully assembled, as seen in the end of Part I, when one member said it was the first time in seven years when they were all together.
Akatsuki is widespread, spanning several countries with agents in various places. When one team finds a tailed beast and has to begin the job of sealing the beast, they have hidden hideouts with many traps ready, to do the three-day long technique.
The original Akatsuki.Added by AlienGamerAkatsuki was originally founded by Yahiko during the Third Shinobi World War and consisted of Amegakure ninja that wished to create peace for their home country, which acted as a battleground for three of the Five Great Shinobi Countries. Yahiko insisted that his and the rest of Akatsuki's actions were meant only to aid Nagato in bringing world peace, though Konan claimed that it was Yahiko's charisma that held the group together and spurred them on. Madara Uchiha alleges that it was his encouragement which lead to Yahiko forming the organisation, and thus credits himself as the group's creator.
In its early days, Akatsuki gained fame and recognition in Amegakure, drawing the attention of Hanzō, a world-renowned ninja and leader of the country. Hanzō, believing that the group was becoming a threat to his rule, approached the organisation and falsely claimed that he wanted to use them as the axis to negotiate peace between Konohagakure, Iwagakure, and Sunagakure. However, Hanzō betrayed Akatsuki and, working together with Danzō Shimura of Konohagakure's ANBU, kidnapped Konan and orchestrated Yahiko's death. After synchronising with the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path and attempted to exact revenge on Yahiko's killers, Nagato inherited leadership of the organisation and prompted a civil war, eventually killing Hanzō and gaining victory and control of Amegakure.
Following the Third Shinobi World War, Akatsuki became a mercenary group for hire and Nagato presumably began taking direction from Madara, who acted as the organisation's collaborator and benefactor. In times of peace most of the ninja villages, rather than increasing their own armaments, employed Akatsuki to fight in wars, spy on enemies, or carry out assassinations. The Fourth Raikage claims that only Kumogakure has never used Akatsuki's services, and during this time it became widely believed that Akatsuki was founded and based in Kirigakure, perhaps due to Madara's influence over the Fourth Mizukage. Eventually, Akatsuki would begin capturing the tailed beasts, in the process antagonising many of its former clients.
Events relating to Akatsuki before the start of Part II have only been given in pieces. Sasori and Orochimaru were partners for a time and were apparently very effective. Kakuzu had a number of partners that he killed in fits of rage. For this reason he was partnered with Hidan shortly before the start of Part II, Hidan's immortality meaning there would not need to be constant replacements. Itachi Uchiha apparently joined before carrying out the Uchiha clan massacre for which he defected from Konohagakure, though his membership seems to have come with the stipulation that Akatsuki could make no direct movements against Konoha. When Itachi joined, Orochimaru attempted to steal his body in order to gain the Sharingan. This failed and he was forced to defect. Deidara was recruited to replace Orochimaru as Sasori's partner, but because Orochimaru took his Akatsuki ring with him he could not also replace Orochimaru's position. Akatsuki also captured two tailed beasts before Part II, which in the anime are indicated to have been the Five-Tails and the Seven-Tails.
Akatsuki becomes much more active in Part II. At its start they assault Sunagakure to capture the One-Tail, but Sasori is killed. Madara, disguised as "Tobi", replaces him. Next are the Two-Tails and Three-Tails, though Hidan and Kakuzu are lost during an unrelated scuffle with Konoha ninja. After obtaining the Four-Tails, Deidara dies during his fight with Sasuke Uchiha, who soon afterwards causes Itachi's death too. Madara soon afterwards convinces Sasuke to work with Akatsuki. Although Akatsuki lost five members at this point, Madara claims it was worth it in order to gain Sasuke's loyalty. Despite this, their diminished numbers force Akatsuki to become more drastic in their efforts.
In the anime, Nagato goes to capture the Six-Tails (the beast having been caught at some earlier point in the manga). He and Konan are then sent to Konoha to capture the Nine-Tails. Konoha is destroyed, but they fail in their assignment; Nagato dying and Konan leaving the organisation. At the same time, Sasuke and his team are tasked with capturing the Eight-Tails, but they too fail to complete the assignment. Akatsuki's actions finally provoke a response from the ninja villages, who hold a Kage Summit to discuss what should be done. Madara, wishing to accelerate his plans, infiltrates the meeting and declares war against the great nations, promising to use the seven tailed beasts Akatsuki has already captured as weapons. The villages and their associated countries form a Shinobi Alliance to combat Akatsuki, beginning the Fourth Shinobi World War.
The revived Akatsuki.Added by FmakckIn preparation for the war, Kisame Hoshigaki infiltrates Kumogakure to gather intel on the Shinobi Alliance, as well as to learn the location of the two remaining tailed beasts. He dies in the process, but not before sending what he has learned to Madara. Madara, meanwhile, goes to Amegakure to retrieve Nagato's body and the Rinnegan, as well as kill Konan. Kabuto Yakushi, a new ally of the organisation, then captures Yamato, allowing him to strengthen an army of 100,000 white Zetsus. After Kabuto uses Summoning: Impure World Resurrection to supplement Akatsuki's numbers with ninja famous during their lives, Akatsuki marches off for war.
Although some members joined Akatsuki to further their own goals, all are united in Akatsuki's ultimate goal of gaining world domination. Nagato has mentioned a three-step process to work their way towards this goal. First, they plan to obtain a large amount of money to support their organisation. Second, they plan to set up a mercenary group loyal only to Akatsuki. To build their reputation, they plan to accept any mission below the usual cost and operate off of the excess funds earned in the first part of their plan. Because there haven't been any wars in some time, the established shinobi villages couldn't afford to charge such low prices, leading the smaller countries to hire Akatsuki over the more expensive shinobi villages. By using the tailed beasts, Akatsuki would start wars and then immediately quell them, solidifying their reputation and convincing every country to depend on them, thus cornering the market in shinobi labour. Without any business, the other shinobi villages would collapse due to the lack of funds. Finally, after Akatsuki is the only major force of shinobi in existence, they can easily conquer the other countries. Members do not automatically learn of the plan upon joining; Hidan didn't find out about it until he had been a member for quite some time.
The tailed beasts, nine gigantic demons of immense power, are the main focus of much of Akatsuki's efforts and screen time within the series. Each member is assigned to capture one of the nine beasts alive or, in most cases, the person that beast has been sealed into. Akatsuki has sealed seven of the nine beasts before the start of the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Main article: Eye of the Moon Plan Since the early years of Konoha, Madara has shown great interest in destroying it for the betrayal of his own Uchiha clan and the defeat by Hashirama Senju. He has also stated that he wants people to acknowledge the Uchiha clan and plans to use Sasuke to do so. Another one of Madara's goals is to become "complete" by collecting the tailed beasts. All of this seem to be part of his "Eye of the Moon Plan" (月の眼計画, Tsuki no Me Keikaku). His plan is to gather all of the tailed beasts so he can fuse them and bring forth the Ten-Tails and become its jinchūriki, then cast an Infinite Tsukuyomi on the moon to control the world. Currently the body of the Ten-Tails is sealed in the moon due to Sage of the Six Paths using Chibaku Tensei. To this end, Madara declared a world war to succeed in his goal.
Pain later goes into further detail on the tailed beasts' role in his plans. The beasts would be used to create a deadly Kinjutsu technique that could wipe out one of the five great nations in an instant, so if countries go to war and do not have ninja villages to fight for them, they would turn to Akatsuki and their "weapon". Whichever side has Pain use the technique first would wipe out the opposing country. After witnessing the mass destruction caused by the weapon, the other remaining countries would become too afraid to start wars for fear of being wiped out as well. Thus, through this mutual fear, war would cease to exist and the world would know peace, until the people forget that fear and use the weapon again. Thus the cycle would repeat, creating small periods of peace in an endless chain of hatred.
Apparently, Pain and Konan were the only Akatsuki members aware of this part of the plan. After Pain's death and Konan's defection, this goal has been ceased.
After the Uchiha clan massacre and leaving Konoha, Itachi, instead of using the tailed beasts for his own self-interest, continued to protect the village by joining Akatsuki and keeping an eye on the villagers, especially Sasuke, from the outside. During his time in the group, Itachi would delay his own attempts to capture the Nine-Tails, indirectly leaked information about the organisation to Konoha, and attempted to kill Madara through Sasuke.
Akatsuki members have a very distinctive wardrobe, which could give them away if a village is alerted of their presence. Members wear long, dark cloaks with red clouds, a red interior, and a chin-high collar. Madara and the members of Taka wear a similarly marked hooded mantle. The red clouds represent the rain of blood that fell in Amegakure during its wars, and were seen as a symbol of justice by its original members. All members wear black nail polish on their fingers and toenails, although the colours vary in the anime, and may wear a conical straw hat with small ornamental torques and tassles hanging down over their faces. The hats may be used to move around in the general population unnoticed, or for when the weather requires one. Some members cross out the symbol on their forehead protectors to symbolise the broken ties with their former villages, a practice originating with Nagato and his rival faction in Amegakure's civil war. Others members simply cease wearing them altogether, for several reasons. Everyone also wears a ring with a kanji on different fingers depending on who the member is.
Now that the original members of Akatsuki (Konan and Nagato) are dead, Madara seems to have changed the garb after revealing his new mask and outfit-which were robes completely bereft of the red clouds.
What seems to be most important, however, are their rings. In total, there are ten rings given to each of the ten main members of Akatsuki. The rings apparently signify one's membership and ring position, since when Orochimaru defected, he took his ring with him and as such wasn't replaced. The rings' exact purpose have not been revealed.
- Right thumb: 零 (rei, "zero"); worn by Pain. Its colour is purplish-grey.
- Right index finger: 青 (Ao, shō, "blue," "green"); worn by Deidara. Its colour is teal.
- Right middle finger: 白 (bya, "white"); worn by Konan. Its colour is white.
- Right ring finger: 朱 (shu, "vermilion," "scarlet"); worn by Itachi Uchiha. Its colour is red.
- Right little finger: 亥 (gai, "sign of the boar"); worn by Zetsu. Its colour is green.
- Left little finger: 空 (kū, "sky," "void"); worn by Orochimaru. Its colour is slate blue.
- Left ring finger: 南 (nan, "south"); worn by Kisame Hoshigaki. Its colour is yellow.
- Left middle finger: 北 (hoku, "north"); worn by Kakuzu. Its colour is dark green.
- Left index finger: 三 (san, "three"); worn by Hidan. Its colour is orange.
- Left thumb: 玉 (gyoku, "jewel," "ball," also the black king in shogi); worn by Sasori and later by Tobi. Its colour is purple.
Eight of the ten kanji of the rings are taken from a kuji-in (Nine Syllable Seals): a collection of nine hand postures used in meditation. These kuji-in have found their way into ninja folklore as a kind of magic spells. Pain's "rei" and Zetsu's "gai" are not from this kuji-in. However, the only unused kuji-in kanji, 玄 (gen, "mysterious") bears a strong resemblance to Zetsu's "gai," suggesting an error. It would be a consistent error, however, since the "gai" kanji has been used in every instance the ring's kanji has been shown, both in the manga and the data books.
In Part II, Taka aligns themselves with Akatsuki. They wear hooded Akatsuki mantles over their usual clothing, but do not wear any other markers of the organisation, signifying that their alliance is only one of convenience. Sasuke claimed that he was only using Akatsuki, and attempted to sever connections with them when they thought Killer B was captured. In turn, Madara threatened to kill them for any attempts of betrayal.
|Member ||Status ||Village of origin |
- Amegakure (Village run by Pain, association ended following Pain's death and Konan's defection)
- Yūra (Sasori's underling, deceased)
- Mukade (Sasori's underling, deceased)
- Funari (Kakuzu's subordinate, presumed deceased)
- Ginji (Kakuzu's banker, status unknown)
- Kyōya (Kakuzu's accountant, status unknown)
- Zangei (Bounty collector, captured)
- Taka (Affiliated group, disbanded, only Sasuke still associated with Akatsuki)
- Kabuto Yakushi (Sasori's underling, defected to Orochimaru; allied with Akatsuki; provides additional fighters to the organisation)
Akatsuki teams are put together in teams of two to exploit combined strengths for the organisation's goals to be met.
An unruly yet arguably the most effective team; a team that seemed unstoppable when together, something that Shikamaru commented on for the need to separate the duo. Pain decided to put these two together because of their unique abilities. Hidan could not be killed as a result of becoming the successful "Jashin experiment", even by decapitation, and Kakuzu could easily go into a rage and kill anyone around him, including his partner. Therefore, Kakuzu could go berserk and not worry about Hidan's well-being. They refer to themselves as the "Immortal Combo" (不死コンビ, Fushi Konbi), because of their own methods of avoiding death. Kisame jokingly referred to them as the "Zombie Combo" (ゾンビコンビ, Zonbi Konbi).
They have shown the most hostility towards each other due to a conflict of interest; Kakuzu saw the rituals and beliefs of Hidan's religion to be a waste of time, while Hidan saw Kakuzu's willingness to do blasphemous things and his greediness to be unbearable, not to mention that Kakuzu's job as a bounty hunter usually got on Hidan's nerves. As a result of their sideline in collecting bounties and conducting rituals, this team was usually late in the line of work. Pain and Konan's début.Added by AlienGamer;Pain & Konan
A team that functioned very well with each other, as evidenced by Konan's loyalty towards Pain. Acting as the leader of Akatsuki, Pain directed the rest of the organisation to their respective goals; his most direct interaction with the other members was using the Illusionary Dragon Nine Consuming Seals. In addition, Pain was the leader of Amegakure, and used the village as a type of headquarter for Akatsuki, while Konan served as the village's second-in-command.
;Orochimaru & Sasori
Sasori claimed that he and Orochimaru worked well together during their partnership. However, when Orochimaru defected from Akatsuki after his failed attempt to steal Itachi's body, Sasori developed a grudge against his former partner.
Formed by the two artists of Akatsuki, Sasori and Deidara worked well for the most part but had conflicting ideas on art. Sasori believed all art was to be kept permanent, such as his puppets, while Deidara thought art was to be instantaneous, then gone forever, such as his Exploding Clay. Ironically though, Sasori was impatient and liked to finish things quickly while Deidara liked to take his time. Sasori also had a network of spies that he manipulated (in the form of mind control) to aid Akatsuki in their affairs. Deidara was formerly a terrorist bomber for hire who was later recruited by Itachi. Interestingly, both members of this team made the conscious decision to die, Sasori by allowing himself to be impaled by the puppet replicas of his parents and Deidara blowing himself up, thus becoming art. Deidara and Tobi hunting for the Three-Tails.Added by Dadadaft;Deidara & Tobi
- Target(s): Three-Tails (Tobi, Sealed)
Formed after Sasori's death, Tobi was introduced as his easily found replacement. Despite Tobi's eagerness to please his "senpai", his childish attitude was seen as an annoyance to Deidara's expectations of the organisation. Despite the eminent irritation, the two worked well together, as evidenced by Tobi planting Deidara's explosive clay mines underground during Deidara's last stand against Sasuke. Deidara also tries to protect Tobi although the latter usually annoys him with his playful personality. Itachi and Kisame's début.Added by AlienGamer;Itachi Uchiha & Kisame Hoshigaki
- Target(s): Nine-Tailed Demon Fox (Itachi, Failed), Four-Tails (Kisame, Sealed), Eight-Tails (Kisame, Failed)
A team that functioned very well together and was highly effective. The pair completed almost every assignment Pain gave them with little trouble with the Nine-Tails being the only known exception. With Itachi working as a double agent, however, Itachi failed this mission purposely. Unlike most Akatsuki teams, Itachi and Kisame got along pretty well; Kisame did as Itachi had asked him unquestioningly and they would often converse casually when not in combat. In his battle against Killer B, Kisame failed in his mission to capture the Eight-Tails. However, this was later shown to be a ploy designed by Madara to infiltrate the Land of Lightning. Before that, however, Kisame was able to capture the Four-Tails. Zetsu, an enigmatic member with two personalities.Added by RexGodwin;Zetsu
- Function: Spy, army
Although not exactly a two-man team, Zetsu has two personalities, which effectively makes him a team of two. Since each side has a level of individuality, they frequently argue with each other over which battles to watch, among other things. The two sides can also split apart, allowing each personality to act individually. Both of his sides seem to have an awareness of what the other is doing or thinking, making them a very effective team, although the white half has been shown to have a tendency to ask the black half questions that would be unnecessary if they completely shared their thoughts.
Another unique feature of Zetsu is his ability to create clones. Those clones are described by Kisame as living beings comparing with the regular clones made of chakra. The members of Taka as part of Akatsuki.Added by AlienGamer;Taka
- Target(s): Eight-Tails (Failed)
When Akatsuki's ranks are thinned to five members, Madara enlists the aid of Taka, who shares the desire for the destruction of Konoha. To complete their goals, Madara has ordered Taka to hunt down the Eight-Tails while Akatsuki (particularly Pain) hunts for the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Technically, the members of Taka are not full members of Akatsuki, as they do not possess the rings worn by each of the primary members. However, they have been wearing Akatsuki cloaks (albeit not with high collars but with hoods), signifying their affiliation with the organisation. After catching what appeared to be Killer B, Sasuke claimed that Taka was no longer affiliated with Akatsuki. Out of all the members, however, only Sasuke chooses to remain affiliated with Madara and Akatsuki after Taka's disbandment.
==Creation and Conception Edit==
In the Naruto Hiden: Sha no Sho Character Official Data Book, Masashi Kishimoto stated that he had originally planned on making Akatsuki a group of monsters with almost no human characteristics, with Zetsu emphasising that specifically. He also states that Akatsuki teams get two single rooms to sleep in.
- Hidan and Kakuzu were the only Akatsuki two-man team to have both members eliminated simultaneously.
- In the manga, they sealed the Three-Tails just before the Two-Tails, while in the anime, due to the more detailed capture of the Three-Tails, they seal it just before the Four-Tails.
- In the anime, after the sealing of the Two-Tails, Pain stated there are four tailed beasts remaining. Later in the anime, after the Three-Tails and Four-Tails were sealed (making it two tailed beasts remaining) and Taka joined forces with Akatsuki, Kisame stated there were three tailed beasts remaining. This retcon was put in place to allow a filler arc, featuring the Six-Tails.
- The three remaining Uchiha after the Uchiha clan massacre all eventually joined Akatsuki: Madara, Itachi, and Sasuke.
- Both leaders of Akatsuki, Pain and Madara wear their rings on their thumbs