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[[quoteright:345:[[Manga/{{Naruto}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Naruto_Orochi_3489.jpg]]]]

The ''Yamata no Orochi'' is an eight-headed, eight-tailed serpentine monster in JapaneseMythology, similar in appearance to the [[ClassicalMythology Lernaean Hydra]], give or take a head or two. According to Shinto legend, the Orochi was defeated by the storm god Susano-o, who while WalkingTheEarth after getting booted out of Heaven answered a request for aid by two earthly deities who were forced by the Orochi to hand over one of their daughters every year to be devoured by the beast, and were now down to their eighth and last one, [[BarrierMaiden Princess Kushinada]]. Just to distinguish the tale from Western dragon slaying myths, Susano-o first [[AttractiveBentGender lured]] the Orochi out by [[WholesomeCrossdresser disguising himself as Kushinada]] (with the real one [[ShapeShifting turned into a comb that he was wearing]] on his long hair, and then killed it by setting out a bowl of strong sake for each head, letting it drink itself into a stupor, ''then'' lopping them off. Inside Orochi's body Susano-o [[RandomlyDrops found]] the sword ''[[NamedWeapons Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi]]'' ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kusanagi "Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven"]]) that was later re-named "Kusanagi" ("Grass Cutter"), and is one of [[PublicDomainArtifact Japan's Three Sacred Treasures]].

According to a wide assortment of {{anime}} and video game series, the Orochi is alive and well and at large in present-day Japan. Sometimes it's literally Orochi, or anything from a MonsterOfTheWeek to a BigBad with snake-themed powers. The trope holds pretty strong and is different than simply being associated with snakes; if your anime or manga story has a CrystalDragonJesus, chances are that Orochi will be its [[{{Satan}} Devil]].

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' had one that shared a personality almost identical to its mythological counterpart; when it stirred itself, it did little more than just wanting to eat women and drink booze. However, it appeared to have only seven heads. [[spoiler: Turns out the eighth is in back - it's ''the size of a small mountain,'' with the seven smaller (though still huge) dragon heads and necks sprouting from the back of the main head's skull. Kind of like a dragon version of a [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Beholder]].]] This Orochi had magical moss growing on its main head that was a powerful curative- even drinking water that had flowed past the moss could sustain a person's life, as well as making animals grow to [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever unnatural sizes]]. Notably, the male characters also had to dress in drag in order to lure it out (while Akane disguised herself as a boy to avoid it.) Unfortunately, they all looked so hideous the Orochi wasn't fooled.
** Another spiritual example/reference is Happosai[[note]]"Master of the Eight Treasures"[[/note]], a [[TheAlcoholic sake-swilling]] DirtyOldMan who ''goes into withdrawal'' if he is unable to sate his perversion and perhaps ''the'' most powerful martial artist in the series. In his BackStory, he was only beaten when his students re-enacted the myth; left out enough sake for him to drink himself into a stupor. Then, lacking any weapon they trusted to cut the nut's head off, they sealed him in a cave with a bundle of dynamite by means of a {{Shimenawa}}-adorned boulder. He of course returns to bug Ranma, and finds himself thwarted time and time again by his intended victim - a HotBlooded "[[TestosteronePoisoning Manly Man]]" acting as a perfect Susanoo figure, complete with an AttractiveBentGender curse that Happosai always falls for.
* ''BlueSeed''. Unless you read the subtitles, which tend to mistranslate it as [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "Orochi no Orochi"]].
* ''Manga/KannazukiNoMiko'' has an Orochi whose 'necks' are giant mecha.
* One of the [[BigBad main villains]] of ''{{Naruto}}'' is Orochimaru, a rogue ninja with the ability to summon snakes (And oddly, the Kusanagi sword.) In this case, he's actually based on the character of the same name from the folktale ''Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari'' (As are Jiraiya and Tsunade, of course). However, since the original Orochimaru was likely named after the Orochi, we'll keep him here.
** Also, later on, Orochimaru briefly displays the ability to turn ''into'' one with a technique called Yamata no Jutsu. Shortly afterward, [[spoiler: he is killed by Itachi using a technique named Susanoo in a pseudo - ShoutOut / MythologyGag. The sword wielded by Susanoo is even made of sake.]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'': Yamata Dragon, one of Noah's monster cards in the Virtual World Arc.
** Chimeratech Overdragon, mechanical version of this.
* ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' has Orochimon, who is a cyborg with seven robotic heads and one biological one. ''They grow back'' after being damaged by most attacks, too.
** Inverted in that drinking sake made it stronger, not weaker.
** There's also a Susanoomon. He also has a BFS, though - ''named Orochi.'' [[note]]Well, maybe it's the doohickey that projects it is named Orochi. Not much difference there, though. How big? It's more of a BFG whose beam has a fixed length. Imagine a lightsaber the length of a football field and the width of a tree trunk.[[/note]] Sadly, he and Orochimon never met, and Susanoomon being an end-of-season super-duper mode and Orochimon being a mid-season MonsterOfTheWeek the previous year, they're not really in the same league.
* In ''Manga/ShamanKing'', Bokuto no Ryu's [[spoiler:spirit ally Tokagero's Oversoul form is an eight-headed dragon on top of a Formula One car.]] In addition, one of Ryu's strongest attacks is his "Ame-No-Murakumo that slew Yamata-No-Orochi", which surrounds his wooden sword in cloud-like swirls of energy before slashing. A bit of a mix-up of the legend's particulars[[note]]as mentioned above, the ame-no-murakumo was found ''after'' the orochi was killed[[/note]], but cool either way.
* In ''AyakashiAyashi'' a main character just happens to be Orochi himself, and the fight with Susanoo is re-enacted in the end (well, more or less), with interesting results.
* In ''HellTeacherNube'', the most powerful [[{{Obake}} Yokai]] of all (surpassing even Baki) is the great and terrifying Yamata No Orochi, whom a MadScientist summons from the netherworld using [[MagiTek ancient technology and mystic rituals]]. It would have devastated all of Japan if not for Nube and his students' intervention.
** The method by which it was dispatched is actually an [[MomentOfAwesome awesome moment]] for the manga --[[spoiler:Nube's kids use the same MagiTek to summon a ''city-wide [[{{Obake}} Kesaran Pasaran]]'' (a benign, [[GenieInABottle wish-granting]] white fluffball with eyes) and [[{{Wishplosion}} ask it to send the Orochi back where it came from]]. The Orochi isn't so much whisked away as ''torn to shreds'' when the Kesaran Pasaran [[ColonyDrop squashes it]].]].
* ''Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara: Dream Saga'', based on Japanese myth, has a chapter re-enacting the Orochi story.
* In ''{{Sekirei}}'', Tsukiumi has an attack called Yamata no Orochi
* In the manga ''TenjhoTenge'', the story of Susanoo and Orochi is presented as a symbolic allegory for the story of the founding of the Gaoshiki clan, to which most of the characters in the series belong. [[spoiler: the story goes that a shogun who was referred to as "Susa" discovered that the rivers of his domain were being polluted by the runoff from iron mines run by eight clans (portrayed as the eight heads of Orochi). Susa invites the eight clan heads to a party, tricks them into lowering their guard and then decapitating them. Going a bit further, Susa then rapes the clan heads' daughters, who commit suicide, all except one, whose attempts fail, thus putting her in the role of Kushinada, albeit considerably less willing than the traditional version.]]
* AkazukinChacha and friends defeated a nine-headed snake who ate virgin girls by getting him drunk on sake.
* The Yamata no Orochi dragon appears in the penultimate story arc in ''{{Yaiba}}''. Is revealed that [[spoiler: his body actually IS Japan, and when revived he turns into a country-sized, planet-wrecking abomination.]]
* In ''{{Kanokon}}'' [[spoiler: the female protagonist [[{{Kitsune}} Chizuru]] is revealed to be its reincarnation.]]
* In ''Anime/{{Persona 4}}'', Yamata no Orochi is one of Yu Narukami's personas. Notably, it's the first persona Yu created through fusion.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Hiyori Sarugaki's Zanpukuto is called ''Kubikiri Orochi''. Its Shikai is a saw sword.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In one ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'' arc, Grasscutter, the tale is told as the origin of the story of the sword Kusanagi.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Orochi (though not mentioned by name) appeared in Toei' Animations 1960's film ''The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon'', where Susano (who appears here as a cute little kid), battles him in by killing the heads one-by-one in a [[OverlyLongGag 21-minute long battle]] that takes up a quarter of the film.
* In ''Film/GodzillaMothraKingGhidorahGiantMonstersAllOutAttack'', King Ghidorah is alluded to be an immature Orochi-- having only grown 3 of his fated 8 heads.
* Toho's 1994 movie ''Orochi: The Eight-Headed Dragon'' had a very chubby Orochi. It also bore an notable resemblance to Ghidorah, another Toho creation. The monster's model kit was sold by D-tech, though it is [[http://d-tech-pro.com/en/detail/D-0009.html now sold out]].
* In ''Onmyouji II'', the two [[ChosenOne chosen children]], who are actually reincarnations of Susanoo and Amaterasu, are each marked with a four-headed serpent tattoo that combine to make the Mark of Orochi.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The BigBad of the ''Series/KamenRiderHibiki'' movie is actually Orochi, but it only has one head. But other elements of the legend are used : the villeagers are forced to give one of their daughters as sacrifice each year, and Ibuki disguises himself as the sacrifice.
** Orochi is also the name of the event at the end of the TV series, where if it is not stopped "everything will be destroyed", but Orochi itself doesn't appear.

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[[folder: Oral Tradition ]]

* Various legends around the world, such as Hercules and the Hydra, or the legend of Mount Kanlaon, involve a warrior slaying a multi-headed serpent, whose heads vary from seven to a hundred.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'''s Kamigawa setting, the term 'orochi' refers to a race of forest-dwelling four-armed bipedal snake-people. O-Kagachi, the biggest and baddest of all spirits, is a take on Orochi proper.
* In ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'', Orochi are simple (one-headed) sea serpents.
* The first appearance of the Yuan-Ti Anathema in TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 3rd Edition resembled a giant, multi-headed, vaguely humanoid snake.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Videogames ]]

* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' (specifically, the ''[='95=]'' to ''[='97=]'' [[StoryArc arc]]) has the literal Orochi. (He's technically [[NoBiologicalSex sexless]] but is referred to as a "he" due to plot developments and for convenience's sake.) In this series, he's a [[WellIntentionedExtremist fanatical servant]] of [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Gaia]] ([[AllMythsAreTrue yes]], [[ClassicalMythology that]] [[MotherNature Gaia]]) who believes that HumansAreTheRealMonsters and [[LawfulStupid considers the very beings that Gaia made a threat]]. Similarly to the myth, he is defeated by the Kusanagi, Yasakani, and Yata clans, who sealed him away (a scant amount of official artwork and ''The King of Fighters: Kyo'' actually depicts Orochi [[AttractiveBentGender as a woman]] during this period, implying he reincarnated into a female host back then). Unfortunately his influence spread to the Yasakani and after a time, they [[DealWithTheDevil made a contract with him to gain power]]. This caused a [[KillEmAll civil war]] with their former allies, much to Orochi's glee. He's also got a [[ReligionOfEvil cult]] of servants known as the Hakkesshu, who in the present are made up of a [[NotSoHarmlessVillain musical]] [[FiveBadBand band]] (Chris, Yashiro, Shermie), a SinisterMinister (Goenitz), two [[SexySecretary sexy secretaries]] (Mature and Vice), a [[AxCrazy homicidal]] [[PsychoForHire maniac]] (Ryuji Yamazaki), and the father (Gaidel) of a hot soldier girl (Leona) who was killed by the SinisterMinister because [[DefectorFromDecadence he decided to bow out on Orochi's plan]], and his plan is to gather enough energy so it can be fully revived and destroy humanity (alongside a back-up plan consisting on the HumanSacrifice of a GirlNextDoor who happens to be the reincarnation/descendant of Princess Kushinada). He doesn't make an actual appearance until ''[='97=]'', where he [[DemonicPossession possesses]] [[CreepyChild Chris]] to act as the FinalBoss (an AntiClimaxBoss, given his [[SNKBoss predecessors]]). In the end, he is defeated by the [[RuleOfThree Three]] [[MeaningfulName Sacred]] [[PublicDomainArtifact Treasures]] (Chizuru, Kyo and Iori). In a last-ditch effort, he tries to turn [[TheRival Iori]] against [[TheProtagonist Kyo]] and [[TeamMom Chizuru]] by [[VillainOverride stirring up Iori's half-Orochi blood and turning him into]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Orochi Iori]]. This fails, as [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Orochi Iori ensnares Orochi long enough for Kyo to deliver the deathblow]] (under approval of the spirit of Iori's ancestors, who regret what they've done), thus letting Kushinada's incarnation Yuki (who also ''happened'' [[LadyAndKnight to be Kyo's girlfriend]]) escape her destiny ''and'' giving [[BarrierMaiden Chizuru]] the chance to [[SealedEvilInACan seal him away again]] and prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Orochi, on his death throes, [[HumanityOnTrial decides to wait and observe humanity to see if they're truly deserving of his "judgment."]]
** Whereas the second ''KOF'' saga (The [[NebulousEvilOrganization NESTS]] Chronicles) had a plot that resembled a bad sci-fi movie, the third and current saga (The Tales of [[CreatorsPet Ash]], which started in ''2003'') seems to be sticking closer to the original Orochi Saga. Not only is there a NebulousEvilOrganization known as "Those From the Past" trying to undo the seal on Orochi [[spoiler:(and they've partially succeeded, thanks to their [[{{Brainwashed}} hold]] over [[BarrierMaiden Chizuru]] in ''2003'')]], but the VillainProtagonist of the saga, [[MagnificentBastard Ash]] [[ManipulativeBastard Crimson]], is going around with the [[ObfuscatingStupidity facade of a weak and unassuming fighter]], only to pop up and [[BroughtDownToNormal steal the powers]] of Chizuru and Iori (as ''[[SuperpoweredEvilSide Orochi Iori]]'', no less) at the end of ''2003'' and ''XI'', leaving Kyo as the only remaining non-depowered descendant of the three clans that sealed Orochi. Of course, Ash has singled out Kyo as his final target.
*** In ''XIII'', it turns out that [[spoiler: Ash is a mix of FakeDefector, WellIntentionedExtremist and GuileHero whose actions have been one long BatmanGambit to counteract the ambitions of his {{time travel}}ing [[IdenticalGrandson identical]] [[UncannyFamilyResemblance ancestor]] Saiki, the leader of Those From the Past. In an unforeseen HeroicSacrifice, Ash attempts to take Saiki's own powers, and when Saiki performs a GrandTheftMe on Ash (the infamous SNKBoss Evil Ash), Ash regains control and stays in the future, creating a TemporalParadox: as Saiki is stuck in the present, [[RetGone Ash will be erased from history]], [[TakingYouWithMe with Saiki in tow]]. All to protect the LadyOfWar who was supposed to battle Those of the Past instead, Elisabeth Blanctorche, who doubled as Ash's OnlyFriend and CoolBigSis. This causes a ''massive'' CosmicRetcon, which reverts everything back to the way it was before ''2003''. End of story? Orochi's still sealed away. [[AlasPoorScrappy And Ash became a post-mortem hero for at least half the fandom]].]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' takes this trope even further by retelling the original legend, featuring the characters [[FakeUltimateHero Susano]] (who deals the final blow to the monster) and Kushi (the woman who was to be sacrificed to it). It is a long, two-phase battle that involves force-feeding Orochi the legendary sake, then taking out its heads one by one, before Susano jumps in to deal the final blow. The player even receives their first sword/glaive as a prize from the battle, although it's not the Kusanagi blade. You get that from a different boss entirely. The sword you ''do'' get is a reborn version of Tsukuyomi, which is a sword in the game. Fitting that the same event would bring together Amaterasu, Susano, and Tsukuyomi.
** When the same battle reoccurs in the past, Nagi is even dressed up in Nami's sacrificial robes. Defeating him ''that'' time earns you the Thunder Edge, which seems to be based off of the Ame-No-Murakumo, the Kusanagi Blade's original name.
* Likewise, ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'' has Susa and Kushinada who fill similar roles. The party has to solve a puzzle involving mirror redirection before Susa's sake gambit can work, though. After the Orochi dies, the party can return to where his body is, and retrieve the Ame-No-Murakumo, titled Cloudrender in the game.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei''. Orochi can usually become one of your {{Mons}}.
** Hilariously, in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' (where the protagonist wears full-body-concealing armor), telling it you're a beautiful woman will cause Orochi to join ''instantly''.
* A loose reinterpretation of Orochi is the BigBad of the game ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi'', where he's a demonic, humanoid BloodKnight with his own army.
** The very premise of ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi'' is that Orochi himself essentially got bored and squished Japan's Sengoku era and China's Three Kingdoms era together (represented by characters and areas from the ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'' and ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'') in order to fight history's greatest warriors. Predictably, he's the final boss of every story mode in the first game and is rather difficult to beat. Although it takes a fair amount to unlock Orochi in the first game, you're able to play him right off the bat in the second. And in both he's still about as absurdly powerful when you're in command of the giant snake man with the funny hat as he is as a boss.
** The third game has the more familiar form of Orochi called Hydra (lit. "demon snake"/Youja in Japanese), which is stated to be the actual Orochi's power running wild after his defeat in the previous game(s). The expansion expanded Orochi's origin further. [[spoiler:Instead of a demon out of nowhere, it turns out he used to a mythological ''Chinese'' Dragon, Yinglong, who rebelled against the Celestial Emperor because he saw the Emperor enslaving demons via a magic merror and thinks that's terrible. Breaking the mirror to give the demons free will corrupted him into Orochi. [[MST3KMantra Don't mind how doing such thing can change one's nationality.]]]]
* The portion of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' taking place in [[{{Wutai}} Zipangu]] is a loose retelling of the Orochi myth, with your party in the place of Susanoo.
* The same is true of the primary sidequest of the Japan-inspired village in ''MetalSaga''. This is strange, as it's an AfterTheEnd game.
* In ''VideoGame/GotchaForce'', the green-haired main antagonist [[spoiler:although if you win all the optional missions against her she does join your side]] of the game was named Orochi.
* Orochimaru is depicted as a pretty blue haired bishounen and one of the hero characters in the ''VideoGame/TengaiMakyou'' (Far East of Eden) games.
** Also a ''Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari'' reference, as his partners are Jiraiya (although spelled differently, as Ziria) and [[CuteBruiser Tsunade]].
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}} DS: Blade of Fate'' and its sequel ''Dark Souls'', Yamata no Orochi is Head Captain Yamamoto's ultimate attack, consisting of sending a large snake-like pillar of fire straight upwards, which then comes back down as eight smaller streams. Subverting the trope, this character is actually a protagonist and ally.
** Furthermore, his basic special attacks are all numbered heads. Useable are heads 1 through 5, though sound test data reveals there were heads 6 through 8 planned.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII's'' Soul of Rebirth mode in Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, the Yamata no Orochi is available as an optional boss, as a PaletteSwap of Tiamat.
* The first ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' game has the Guard Orotic, a Boss occupying a factory that LaResistance must take over. Two heads represent each of the three elements (fire, ice, lighting), while the last pair is non-elemental.
* In ''PrincessTomatoInTheSaladKingdom'', the Orochi is actually a monster made of... bananas.
* The Black Beast of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' bears a heavy resemblance to Orochi in its appearance. It was created from The Murakumo Unit (ν-13), and defeated by the wielder of The Susanoo Unit (Hakumen). [[spoiler:It was a failed attempt to create The Kusanagi Unit, and destroy The Master Unit Amaterasu.]]
** ''Phase 0'' reveals that [[spoiler: Caelica A. Mercury]] was engineered to be a sacrifice to the Black Beast to temporarily halt its rampage, making her a Kushinada figure. Oddly enough the one who rescued her from this fate is ''not'' the Susanoo figure. The original Bloodedge fought against the Black Beast to ensure that her sacrifice would not be necessary.
** Hazama [[spoiler: who helped make the Black Beast]] also invokes Orochi imagery; one of his attacks involve creating a swarm of snake heads behind him. To make things even odder [[spoiler: he used to be in the Susanoo Unit.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/OtogiMythofDemons Otogi: Myth of Demons]]'', the Yamata no Orochi (or its equivalent) is the guardian of the tower that separates the afterlife and life. Raikoh must climb the tower while avoiding the creature, as it is almost impossible to kill without the Moonlight Sword. If one has the sword, though, they can kill the Orochi in about one hit, and the prize for doing so is the Orchid Malevolence, a sword that kills everything in one hit, but also makes Raikoh a OneHitPointWonder.
* The {{Pokemon}} Hydreigon is partially based on King Ghidorah, who is based on Orochi.
* In ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', the true form of [[spoiler: Gohma Vlitra]] is an eight-headed Orochi made of rock and lava, and is probably the biggest depiction of an Orochi ever, literally having his heads so big they cover the entire circumference of planet earth. It makes the ''{{Yaiba}}'' version above seem tiny by comparison.
* In ''TheSecretWorld'', [[PeaceAndLoveIncorporated The Orochi Group]] is the name of an AmbiguouslyEvil multinational [[MegaCorp megacorporation]] based in Tokyo.
* King and Queen Hisstocrat of ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'' might be this. Their giant heads dressed in regal clothing emerge from the sands, and they can summon a maximum of seven smaller snakes each to help fight. Their smaller snakes are a different color than the Hisstocrats and you don't see them connect, but damaging the Hisstocrat causes all of their summoned snakes to take damage, implying them to be like the example listed up in Ranma 1/2.

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/MutantNinjaTurtlesGaiden'', [[spoiler: the curse that caused the death of Splinter and devastated the turtles originated from the slaying of the Orochi and the creation of the swords Kusanagi and Tokuta, the latter being the cursed sword from the prologue]].

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