Obito Uchiha is a former chūnin-level shinobi from Konohagakure and member of Team Minato who was thought to have died at the Kannabi Bridge during the Third Shinobi World War. Following a tragic loss, Obito later began operating as a masked man under the guise of Madara Uchiha, and later under the alias Tobi and became an international criminal responsible for various felonies, as well as becoming the benefactor for the Akatsuki. He is one of the two remaining living Uchiha, and one of the main antagonists of the series.
Zetsu is a mysterious missing-nin from Kusagakure. Not much is known about him, other than his allegiance to Akatsuki and his function as a spy. His head appears to be enveloped in a large venus flytrap, which can also envelop the rest of his body. The right side of his face and body is black in color while his left side is white in color. He has pupil-less eyes similar in appearance to those of a Byakugan user and superior vision. He also has the ability to merge with the ground, trees, and other plants, allowing him to travel long distances fairly quickly. Akatsuki members have so far generally seemed to report to Zetsu as if he was a superior, though perhaps only because he is often acting directly on the instructions of the leader.
Pain / Nagato
Nagato, better known as Pain, was the recognized leader of Akatsuki and Amegakure and was a major antagonist in the series. Referred to as "Leader" by all Akatsuki members, except for Konan (who referred to him by his name) he directed the actions of the rest of the members and maintained authority over them. However, he collaborated with Tobi, who was actually Madara Uchiha, the benefactor of Akatsuki.
As the leader of Akatsuki, and one of the two sides of the Amegakure Civil War, Nagato was an extraordinarily powerful shinobi. His partner, Konan, had stated that he had never lost a single battle, but it wasn't until his fight with Naruto Uzumaki that he encountered an opponent capable of defeating him. He was also able to single-handedly defeat and overthrow the former Amegakure leader, Hanzō, and made short work of Jiraiya after unveiling all six of his bodies, though he stated that he wouldn't have won if Jiraiya knew their secret.
Nagato's most powerful and most used technique was the Six Paths of Pain. This technique allowed Nagato to control six separate bodies as though they were his own. Each of these bodies were reanimated corpses that were both kept mobile by and made use of Nagato's chakra. While controlling them, Nagato used the alias "Pain", yet still regarded them as separate entities from himself.
In order to use the technique, Nagato remained in a machine, that moved with six relatively small mechanical legs, and used several large chakra rods on his back to transmit chakra. From that point, the chakra was picked up by the numerous receivers, modeled as body piercings on each body. To control them, Nagato had to be close by, and ideally at the highest possible point, so he could have the best possible range.
Konanis the only female ninja in Akatsuki and the only member to call her partner, Pein, by his name. When she was younger, Konan, Nagato, and Yahiko were left orphaned by one of Amegakure's many wars, forcing them to fend for themselves. The three eventually encountered Jiraiya, who looked after them and taught them ninjutsu. Jiraiya believed Konan to have died with Nagato and Yahiko some time later, and upon seeing her again years later he comments on how beautiful she has become.
Konan has a natural talent for origami, as seen with the paper flower she keeps in her hair. This talent extends to her type of jutsu, as she can divide her body into countless numbers of paper sheets. These sheets can be controlled individually and formed into various shapes for a number of purposes; butterflies for scouting, spears for attack, or darts with which to pummel opponents. Konan can even form wings from that allow her to fly. This has led to her title as "God's Angel" amongst the villagers of Amegakure, a reference to her doing Pein's bidding. Like all paper, Konan is unable to use her abilities while wet.
Orochimaru is a missing-nin from Konohagakure. After he defects from Konoha he joins Akatsuki and is paired with Sasori. Once Itachi Uchiha does the same, Orochimaru attempts to use one of his abilities to forcefully take control of Itachi's body. Itachi repels his effort and severs his hand as punishment, forcing Orochimaru to flee the organization in defeat. Upon leaving he takes his severed hand and the ring he wore on it with him. Because of this, as well as the fact that he had intimate knowledge of Akatsuki's secrets and plans, the members of Akatsuki began making every effort possible to find and eliminate him.
Itachi Uchiha is an S-class criminal and a Konohagakure missing-nin noted even within the Bingo Book (a list of powerful ninja who have been marked for assassination). He is currently partnered with Kisame to capture Naruto for the nine tailed fox. Unlike most other two-man teams of Akatsuki, Itachi gets along well with his partner. The name "Itachi" means "weasel". In Japanese folklore, weasels are an ill omen, signifying bad luck and death.
Kisame Hoshigaki is a missing-nin from Kirigakure and is partnered with Itachi Uchiha. Their first appearance was shortly after the attack on Konoha by Orochimaru, where they attempted to kidnap Naruto Uzumaki. They were thwarted by Jiraiya. Itachi later explained that it wasn't the proper time to kidnap Naruto yet, and that Naruto could be captured at any time given his skill level at the time. Unlike most other two-man teams of Akatsuki, Kisame gets along well with his partner.
Kakuzu is a missing-nin from Takigakure and Hidan's partner. He and Hidan display the most animosity towards each other out of all members of Akatsuki, neither being very fond of the other's interests. The two often trade barbs with one-another, Kakuzu's usually being better timed than Hidan's. Kakuzu is the longest-lived known character in the series, having lived at least since the time of the First Hokage, whom Kakuzu mentions having fought at one point. Kakuzu is defeated about thirty chapters after his introduction by Naruto Uzumaki and finished off by Kakashi Hatake. His partner, Hidan, is still alive, but in no condition to fight.
Hidan is a missing-nin from an unknown village and is the second-newest member of Akatsuki, Tobi being the newest. Unlike the other members of Akatsuki, the Akatsuki leader does not seem to have Hidan's respect. He is the partner of Kakuzu, despite their obvious dislike of one another. Kakuzu has little patience for Hidan's battle style, rituals, and speeches, which he believes take far too long. Hidan, in turn, detests how Kakuzu fights solely for money. He was eventually dismembered and buried alive by Shikamaru Nara. The leader considers him to be effectively dead.
Deidara is a missing-nin from Iwagakure and the partner of Tobi. Deidara was originally teamed with Sasori, whom Deidara referred to as Master Sasori. This is probably because Deidara had a lot of respect for his 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!"
Sasori was Deidara's first partner in Akatsuki. A powerful ninja puppeteer, he was a missing-nin from Sunagakure. In the Rescue Gaara arc, he assisted Deidara in his mission to capture Gaara from Sunagakure. While there, he fought against Kankuro, nearly killing him and easily destroying Kankuro's puppets in the process. After Gaara was delivered to the Akatsuki lair, he acted as a rear-guard for the rest of Akatsuki, fighting Sakura and his grandmother Chiyo. This battle turned out to be his last, as he was eliminated by two puppets he designed himself, "Mother" and "Father" (his actual mother and father converted into puppets), which Chiyo had taken possession of after Sasori left the village.
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