Characters: Naruto - The Legendary Sannin

aka: Naruto-The Legendary Sannin

The Legendary Sannin ("Three Ninja") are a trio of extremely powerful ninja of Konoha. They were students of the Third Hokage in their youth and eventually developed into powerful, feared ninja. Two of them, Jiraiya and Tsunade, play mostly mentor roles, while the third, Orochimaru, is the main antagonist of the first series. All three are in their fifties during the main series, but only Jiraiya looks his age.

Here be spoilers. Any thing that has not been aired on the free versionnote  of Crunchyroll should be spoiler-tagged.

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    In General 

All the Sannin provide example of:

  • The Aces/Broken Aces: They are one of the most renowned ninjas in the world. But, they never had it as easy a lot of people think.
  • Badass: All three are very powerful ninjas.
  • Facial Markings: They all have facial markings. Orochimaru has them weird eye outline delays, Jiraiya has two red tear track type thingys and Tsunade has the jewel on her forehead, which extends to a full face marking when she's using her Creation Rebirth technique.
  • Old Master: At the start of the series they are 50 years old and very very powerful.
  • Power Trio: Back in the day.
  • Public Domain Character: They are based on three main characters from the classic Japanese story Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya). Lampshaded when an episode in the anime about Jiraiya has the exact same name as this book.
  • Summon Magic: They each can summon an animal, Jiraiya summons Toads, Tsunade summons Slugs and Orochimaru summons Snakes.



Voiced by: Hochu Otsuka (JP), David Lodge (EN), Jesús Rodriguez (Spain), Alfredo Leal (Latin-American Spanish, young), Paco Mauri (Latin-American Spanish, adult)

"You're wrong; that's not what makes a shinobi. You never did get it. A real ninja is one who endures no matter what gets thrown at him… Let me explain something to you: there is only one thing that matters if you're a shinobi, and it isn't the number of jutsu you possess. All you do need is the guts to never give up!"

The legendary Toad Mountain Sage, Jiraiya is a randy loner who spends much of his time Walking the Earth. His first appearance in the series was during the Chunin exam arc, when he knocked out Naruto's trainer when the latter caught him peeking on a women's shower. Naruto (who had no clue as to the old man's true identity and power, and called him "pervy sage") subsequently badgered him into continuing his training personally.

Jiraiya is basically indolent and shuns responsibility, despite his great skill as a ninja. The village elders initially offered him the position of Hokage after the Third's death, but he turned it down because he knew he'd screw it up and then he suggested Tsunade as an a better option. He makes most of his money from writing the pornographic novels that are a runaway hit in the Naruto universe (the same ones Kakashi is never seen without), and would much rather spend his time drinking, gambling, and wenching than doing anything serious. Nevertheless, Jiraiya is a fierce warrior and never backs down when he's really needed, helping to beat back Orochimaru's attack on Konoha in the Chunin Exam arc and always keeping his eyes and ears open regarding the whereabouts of Konoha's enemies, particularly Orochimaru and the Akatsuki.

Prior to the series, Jiraiya spent some time in the home of the great toads, who trained him and prophesied that he would eventually meet and train The Chosen One. (Jiraiya initially believed this person to be Pain, but later came to believe that it was Naruto. (Eventually it was revealed that both were the "Chosen One".) Jiraiya returned to the village after this and operated as part of Konoha's active military for a time along with the other two Sannin. (During this period, he also trained several genin, one of whom would eventually become the Fourth Hokage.) When Orochimaru defected, Jiraiya tried to convince him to return to the village, but his failure to do so shamed him so much that he left the village and wandered alone for many years.

Jiraiya and Orochimaru's relationship is deliberately designed to mirror Naruto and Sasuke's. Sasuke, like Orochimaru, is naturally gifted and believes only in his own personal power, while Naruto, like Jiraiya, had to work his way up and believes in comradeship. Jiraiya gave up on Orochimaru, but Naruto is determined not to do the same for Sasuke.

Jiraiya teaches Naruto the Summoning Jutsu and the Rasengan (which he himself learned from his former student the Fourth Hokage) over the course of the series. He also attempted to find a way to allow Naruto to control his Nine-Tailed Fox transformations, but failed in this and settled for merely suppressing them instead. Many of Jiraiya's techniques are toad-themed as a result of his time in their community; he can summon them to assist him in battle, and can draw on their power to go into a more powerful "Sage Mode". He also has several Fire-Style and Earth-Style techniques, and is implied to know many more, although he does precious little fighting in the series. His presence and power is what keeps Akatsuki away from Naruto for a time; Itachi believes that Jiraiya could beat any two Akatsuki members single-handedly. In Shippuden, it's revealed that Jiraiya is Naruto's godfather, explaining his interest in the boy's safety and development.

At the end of the first series, Jiraiya takes Naruto on a three-year long journey to train in preparation for his future battles with the Akatsuki; this journey forms the Time Skip that separates the two series.

In Shippuden, Jiraiya returns Naruto into Kakashi's keeping, then returns to gathering intelligence on Orochimaru and Akatsuki. Following a tip, he tracks the Akatsuki's leader Pain to the Hidden Rain Village, and engages him in battle. Jiraiya realizes that Pain is a former student of his, although greatly changed, and sends one of his toads with that information back to the village. He uses up all of his tricks, even going Sage Mode, but Pain kills him by crushing his throat with one blow. His final thoughts are of Naruto.

Ultimately, Naruto was able to redeem his former student Nagato through his teachings and is still thought of highly by his friends and loved ones after his death (i.e. Tsunade, Orochimaru, Naruto, etc.)

His hobby was sneaking a peek into a Women's Bathing House.
Favorite phrase: "Free and uninhibited"

  • The Ace: Jiraiya became one of the strongest ninjas in the world (a giant leap from his Genin days) and a world-renown author.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Because he's always out of the village traveling.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Naruto calls him "Pervy Sage".
  • All-Loving Hero: Despite Jiraiya's eccentric behaviour and prowess as a shinobi, he was a strong believer in peace; his hope being to one day end the hatred that plagued the ninja world. Jiraiya also held a great deal of faith in the next generation, and saw them as the solution to this hate.
  • Animal Motifs: Frogs and toads.
  • Badass:
    • He's on par with the four other Kages in power, and would've become a Hokage if he wanted to.
    • He actually defeated the first 3 bodies of Pain soundly, only got taken out by other 3 bodies whom he had no idea of their existence. Pain even doubted his own possibility of winning if Jiraiya had known about the 6 bodies in the beginning
  • Badass Beard: In Sage Mode, Jiraiya sports an impressive beard.
  • Badass Boast: Per the usual for Jiraiya to proclaim his legendary stature to an opponent. See Large Ham below.
  • Badass Bookworm: He is an author after all.
  • Badass Grandpa: He's over fifty, but he can still kick some serious ass.
  • Badass Teacher: He became the teacher of the Ame Orphans, Minato Namikaze (and the other members of Team Jiraiya), and Naruto Uzumaki.
  • Barbarian Longhair: This Sage has a long and unkempt white hair.
  • Big Good: For Part 1, he was one of the most powerful shinobi in the series and directly safeguarded Naruto from Akatsuki.
  • Blood Magic: Most of his strongest abilities (Sealing, Kuchiyose, Sage mode) are activated this way.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: He's a smart guy, but he prefers to spend his time messing around chasing girls instead.
  • Broken Ace: Jiraiya was never able to win Tsunade's heart, the one woman he genuinely had feelings for. He was unable to convince Orochimaru from abandoing he village. He also blames himself for being unable to save either his teacher and his student. And despite his apparent big ego, he had a lot of self-loathing.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Lazy, perverted, self proclaimed voyeur and all around slacker... who is also one of the strongest Shinobi in the Elemental lands, to the point that even Pain had to take him seriously.
  • Casanova Wannabe: He's a sucker for women, even though his work is romantic enough to catch Kakashi's attention
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While nowhere near as strong as Tsunade, he could still level buildings and slaughter dozens of Ninjas in Taijutsu alone.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: He always protects the ladies, whom he has a thing for.
  • Cool Old Guy: Definitely, when he's not acting pervy.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jiraiya is (even by his own admission) a "super pervert" and is just as clumsy as Naruto. He also is one of the most powerful shinobi in history and when he gets serious...Look. Out.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Doesn't do much in Shippuden until he goes to investigate Pain's whereabouts, a mission from which he never returns.
  • Death Seeker: He isn't particularly interested in dying on its own, but believes that a Failure Knight like himself will only be remembered if he has a spectacular death like the ninjas of old.
  • December-December Romance: What it was shaping with Tsunade after the Time Skip before Pain made him croak.
  • Determinator: Believes that the most important thing for a ninja to have is the willingness never to give up.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: His Swamp of the Underworld jutsu is a Earth Release jutsu.
  • Eccentric Mentor: To Naruto and Nagato. He forced the latter to wear frog suits.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: The only woman he was truly in love with was the blonde kunoichi and his former teammate, Tsunade.
  • Facial Markings: Born with 'em.
  • Failure Knight: The deaths of Minato and Hiruzen took a huge toll on him. So did failing to bring back Orochimaru and finding out that Yahiko died and Nagato and Konan turned evil.
  • Fatal Flaw: Played for Laughs. Jiraiya's perverted nature has led to him being tricked (e.g., Naruto, the Akatsuki) or severely beaten up (e.g., Tsunade).
  • Generation Xerox: Initially displaying outward interest in Naruto for the latter matching his perversion and determination, he was eventually shown to be Naruto's godfather, who did truly care for his welfare and making him his inheritor of his philosophy of the "Will of Fire."
  • Geometric Magic: Probably one of the greatest seal masters in the series.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Right before he dies, Jiraiya recalls that Naruto was named after the character in his book, and decides that he had succeeded in something after all.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He knew that Pain could overpower him, but still fought him to gather information to help the village instead of running away and escaping. His defeat ended up costing him his life.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Near-pathological - even in his last moments he believes that his life was a complete waste and that he was a loser. His only goal in life was to have an awesome death. He managed it.
  • Heroic Willpower: When fighting Pain he manages to get up - after being impaled multiple times AND his heart apparently stopping - long enough to scribble out a message on Fukasaku for the rest of the village.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Look at him. He attracts more attention that Naruto could ever dream of.
  • Honey Trap: Villains attempt this on him once or twice throughout the series. Surprisingly, it doesn't actually work either time.
  • Idiot Hero: He was one as a child: his sole motivation for training and getting stronger was to catch the eye of every pretty girl around him, especially Tsunade. Orochimaru thinks he's one even in his fifties.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: A filler arc delves into the reason why Jiraiya has always been reluctant to go out with Tsunade. He doesn't want to, out of fear of hurting her by dying before her.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: He claims his peeping on women in the bath is actually research for his books.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's killed by Pain. And when Pain uses Rinne Tensei to bring back the characters who died in the conflict, Jiraiya is the only one to not return, presumably due to his body sinking to the bottom of the ocean; he isn't even resurrected by Kabuto's Edo Tensei spell.
  • Large Ham: One among various examples:
    Jiraiya: When you've reached the stature I have... THE LADIES KNEEL AND WORSHIP... AT YOUR AWESOMENESS!!"
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: He's called "Pervy Sage" for a reason.
    Jiraiya: I'm not a Pervert. I'm a SUPER PERVERT!
    (or, if you're watching the english dub)
    Jiraiya: I am not a little pervert! I'm a BIG ONE!note 
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Infiltrating the Land of Rain, led to his death.
  • Mundane Utility: How he use the Rasengan.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not having been able to stop Orochimaru from defecting, nor to save his pupil (the 4th Hokage) or his master (The 3rd Hokage).
  • Nice Guy: Jiraiya is a pervert and a show off, but he's a lover of peace and is easy to befriend.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He acts as dumb as Naruto, but is the best Information broker in the Elemental Lands.
  • The Obi-Wan: This to Naruto, even dying at his protege's future big enemy, who was once his student.
  • Old Master: He's 50 and still one of the strongest people in the series.
  • One-Man Army: He managed to fight off several of Pain's Paths, consecutively and concurrently, where those same Paths were only taken out by lots of teamwork from Konoha.
  • Parental Abandonment: Being Naruto's godfather and, you know, alive, Jiraiya really had no excuse for not raising the boy.
    • Other than putting a target on the boy's back and Jiraiya's job of tracking both Akatsuki and Orochimaru, that is?
  • Parental Substitute: He is Naruto's godfather who also acted as his sensei and father figure during the time skip.
  • The Peeping Tom: Jiraiya spies on girls in hot springs all the time. He calls it "research." Somewhat justified in that he's a popular author of trashy romance novels.
  • Playing with Fire: Can use fire jutsu, and often combines them with toad oil jutsu to make them the single strongest Fire Elemental attack in the series.
  • Prehensile Hair: Used as a weapon.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Long white hair. And hard enough to perforate reinforced Chakra steel as if it were wet paper.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: Fits this trope to a T. He only had two groups of students before Naruto, and in both cases one of them was an insanely gifted shinobi who became a legend. He chose to train Naruto become he reminded him of the Fourth Hokage, his previous student and Naruto's father.
  • Retired Badass: Subverted. He seems to be just goofing off and ignoring his responsibilities to go on an endless vacation, but he's actually been keeping tabs on the Leaf's enemies.
  • Static Character: According to Orochimaru, who claims Jiraiya died without changing anything about himself. At least he managed to reconcile his failure complex (in his last moments...)
  • Stern Teacher: To Naruto when he began taking him under his wing.
  • Summon Magic: Toads.
  • Super Mode: Sage Mode which he himself never fully mastered after 30 years.
  • Take Up My Sword: His last action before dying was to leave Naruto a code for how to battle Pain.
  • Team Dad: To Naruto, despite refusing to become Hokage.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In his backstory he was the "loser" of the Sannin and was incapable of defeating his friend Orochimaru. At the end he's one of history's most powerful ninja.
  • Tragic Hero: Always failed to save the ones he loved.
  • Trickster Mentor: To Naruto.
  • Undying Loyalty: Although he left Konoha for many years, Jiraiya was still loyal to his village. When Konoha found itself in need of a new Hokage after the Third Hokage's death, Jiraiya volunteered to look for Tsunade so that she could be the Fifth Hokage, after turning down the position himself. His reason for refusing the position was, among other things, that he felt unworthy to take the role, since he had failed to save either of the previous Hokage from dying, or stop Orochimaru from turning traitor, as well as him having to conduct more "research". After he found Tsunade, and began to suspect that she might be helping Orochimaru, he made it clear that he would kill her if she betrayed the village, a proof of his loyalty to Konoha. However, once it became clear that Tsunade was still loyal to Konoha, and later accepted the title of Hokage, Jiraiya served as her most trusted adviser, loyal confidant, and a spy into the dealings of Akatsuki and Konoha's enemies.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: The only woman he had true feelings for was Tsunade, his childhood teammate. However, she was interested in another shinobi (Dan) and never got over him after his death.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: His Sage Mode turns him into a bestial version of himself.
  • Walking the Earth: He dedicated his life to travelling the world and meeting people along with keeping an eye on Orichimaru and Akatsuki for Konoha.
  • Warts and All: Naruto loves him like family and admires him more that anyone else but still refers to him as "Pervy Sage" ("Ero-Sennin").
  • The Worf Effect: Averted. He's hyped up to be very strong, but we actually never see him win a fight, and even in his Backstory, we're only told about his failures (couldn't defeat Hanzou, was defeated by Orochimaru when he left the Leaf) rather than his victories. He's unable to prevent Itachi and Kisame from escaping, and is poisoned during the Sannin's fight. It's his fight with Pain (or more importantly, Pain's fight with All of Konoha's forces, the Toad Tribe, Kyuubi and Naruto) that established his Memetic Badass reputation.
    • The first hint given about the magnitude of his badasstitude was that Itachi and Kisame tucked their tails between their legs and run for it when he showed up to fight.
  • Worf Had the Flu: See above. But Orochimaru couldn't use his own arms...however Jiraiya's handicap was even greater due to most of his techniques requiring refined chakra control and that he could barely throw a kunai straight.
  • World's Strongest Man: For a time he held this title. He was flat out said to be the only one strong enough to defeat Orochimaru during his invasion by Ebisu. Itachi AND Kisame both considered a too great of a threat for both of them (this is huge since despite Itachi's allegiance, he would kill Konoha shinobi to keep his cover), with Kisame even saying he was on an entirely other level. Not only that, he defeated Naruto's Four-Tailed Version 2 form within base, holding back so he wouldn't hurt his student (thus why he got such an injury), note Orochimaru couldn't do anything to Naruto in that form and at the end frantically pushed him away rather than keep fighting despite his bravado. And then his student Nagato considered him strong enough to be able to defeat him if Jiraiya had prior knowledge. And then we learn that Sage Mode is essentially the only thing that can possibly damage the Ten-Tails and its Jinchuuriki. That's just how strong Jiraiya is.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Minato tells him this when Jiraiya considers writing his book, and by extension much of his life, to be a waste of his time.



Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (JP), Haruhi Terada (child, JP), Debi Mae West (EN), Ana Jiménez (Spain), Dulce Guerrero (Latin-American Spanish)

"I am the Fifth Hokage… You've trampled on our ancestors' treasure… their dream… And you will pay the price! As the Hokage, I will put a stop to you here and now!"

Tsunade is a veteran Hard-Drinking Party Girl and gambler, although her lack of luck at the latter, which earned her the nickname "The Legendary Sucker", is almost as famous as her fighting skill and miraculous healing abilities. Tsunade, whose grandfather was the First Hokage (therefore, the elders refer to her as "Tsunade-hime" aka "Princess Tsunade"), became jaded and disillusioned regarding the village when both her younger brother Nawaki and her fiancé Dan were killed during the wars which criss-crossed the Naruto world prior to the series. She turned her back on the village and sought her own amusements, with her fiancee's niece Shizune and her pet pig Tonton as her only companions.

She first appears in the Search for Tsunade arc, when Jiraiya and Naruto are seeking her to offer her the position of the Fifth Hokage. She initially refuses, and bets Naruto her treasured necklace that he won't be able to master the Rasengan in three days. Orochimaru also seeks her out during this time, wanting her to heal the crippling injuries he sustained during his fight with the Third Hokage, and offering to revive her brother and fiancee in exchange. After seeing Naruto successfully perform the Rasengan for the first time, a three-way battle ensues in which Jiraiya and Tsunade team up to defeat Orochimaru. Tsunade then returns to Konoha and accepts the position of the Fifth Hokage.

Tsunade has Super Strength and the ability to concentrate chakra in her limbs, further increasing the power of her strikes. She is widely considered the greatest medical ninja in the world, and can hit vital points with precision or completely heal herself in midfight. She also uses a transformation jutsu to keep her appearance eternally young, although that's more for the sake of her vanity than any strategic purpose.

In Shippuden, Tsunade mostly plays a support role, assigning missions and providing exposition. She's also come under attack from various militaristic factions in Konoha itself. She is confronted by Pain's Deva Path, but he decides to run away... but not before nuking Konoha. After the Shinra Tensei, she uses a great deal of chakra to save those that she can and heal people, but this has the side effect of wearing off her genjutsu and putting her into a coma, causing the position of Sixth Hokage to go to Danzo (pending approval by the village jonins), however she has since woken up from said coma and began complaining about the decision to send Naruto and Killer Bee into hiding instead of rushing recklessly into an attack on Madara without knowing anything about his true abilities.

She later joins the rest of the Kage in fighting a resurrected Madara Uchiha but, despite their valiant efforts, were all defeated. A resurrected Orochimaru later helps her back up and together they go on to confront the Ten-Tails and Madara once again. After being caught in the Infinite Tsukiyomi, she, along with the other four Kage, faced the threat of death from Sasuke but was ultimately saved by Naruto. Shortly afterwards, she steps down from the Hokage position to give the mantle to Kakashi before going on to retirement.

Her hobby is gambling.
Favorite phrase: "One grab, a thousand gold" referring to getting rich without much effort.

  • The Ace: Tsunade is the most well regarded and famous Medic Nin and has been dubbed, "The World's Most Beautiful and Strongest Woman".
  • Action Girl: She's a powerful and skilled ninja, more than strong enough to defeat Naruto with one finger when he foolishly challenges her to a fight.
  • A-Cup Angst: During her teenage years.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Naruto calls her Grandma Tsunade. Doubles as Hilarious in Hindsight, as we now know that they are both related through the Senju clan. She is Naruto's cousin of some variety.
  • Animal Motifs: Slugs, owing to her ability to summon Katsuyu (though that's where the motif ends).
  • Afraid of Blood: Initially. Naruto helps her get over it. It was because her boyfriend was killed, and she couldn't heal him.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Orochimaru offers to resurrect both her dead younger brother and her boyfriend if she'll heal his arms, which were rendered useless due to the Third Hokage's final attack sealing them. She seemed like she would take him up on the offer. But knows that he's a liar, and through Naruto remembered the promises and dreams of her two departed loved ones of becoming Hokage and protecting the people they care about.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: When they were young, she caught Jiraiya peeping. She then proceeded to break six of his ribs, both of his arms, and puncture one of his lungs.
  • Badass: Most need powerful high level jutsu to do enough damage to invoke the Chunky Salsa Rule, Tsunade just needs to punch.
  • Badass Bookworm: She's the physically strongest of the Sannin and no slouch in the brains department either (though not as smart as Orochimaru).
  • Badass In Charge: The 5th Hokage of the Konoha.
  • Badass Pacifist: Tsunade definitely has the power and combat skills to be Hokage but it is in her philosophy as a medical ninja that she not enter combat unless absolutely necessary lest someone tries to Shoot the Medic First. There's one exception to her rule: the medic can enter battle at will if she or he has mastered her Healing Factor technique (something only she and Sakura have succeeded at, so far).
  • Badass Teacher: She trained Shizune and Sakura Haruno, among others, in the art of medical ninjutsu.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Her punches are enough to kill anything that isn't an Edo Tensei immortal zombie, but even Madara was worried about being hit by that.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted, as she takes a good amount of damage during her fights and has the battle damage to show it.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Jiraiya goes off to face Pain in Amegakure, she bets against him, thinking he will die, in hopes that her bad luck will ensure that he'll live. Unfortunately...
  • Berserk Button: She does not appreciate being called old.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Arrives with the other kages and proceeds to kick Madara's ass.
  • The Big Gal: ...Kind of. She's a mixture of the third and the fifth, but she fits this role effectively well with her fighting style. She only has to hit you once to kill and she's nearly immortal.
  • Boobs of Steel: By far the bustiest woman in series (106 cm!), she's one of the strongest characters when it comes to fighting (she basically can one-hit-kill most of the fighters, provided she comes close enough).
  • Brilliant but Lazy: She'd rather laze about, but is forced to take action to maintain the village's safety. Must be why she's perpetually angry all the time.
  • Broken Ace: Lost her only sibling to war. Was unable to save her fiance's life despite her prowess, and developed a fear of blood ever since. She then spent years away from her home (along with Shizune and Tonton), gambling and drinking.
  • Broken Bird: Lost the love of her life and her brother to battle. Orochimaru attempts to use this to his advantage when attempting to have her heal his arms by promising to resurrect them.
  • Buxom Is Better: She's regarded as the most beautiful Kunoichi. Who knows why?
    • Subverted in some of the Bonus Material when, after being asked how she remains so young and beautiful by Sakura, Naruto butts in and calls her breasts "ridiculous", says she's "too big" and that he doesn't find her as attractive as Sakura. However, this is mainly Naruto being his usual dumbass self (picking on Tsunade and hitting on Sakura, both of which he does regularly). Cue Naruto getting K.O.ed by both women.
  • Boring but Practical: Tsunade's Super Strength and medical ninjutsu give her the most raw physical power and regenerative ability in the series, but, conversely, significantly less flash than the techniques of other high-ranking ninja.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: She gets drunk easily.
  • Cartwright Curse: She sure seems to have bad luck with the men she likes...
  • Cast from Lifespan: Her Mitotic Regeneration technique uses the chakra stored in her forehead to heal all her wounds, but it shortens her life.
    • The exact effect this has on her is not greatly explored. She's still alive in the series epilogue (when she'd be in her 70s) and there's no indication at all that she's in poor health. However, immediately after the War she had to retire from the position of Hokage; whether this was because she got tired of wars of because she no longer had the stamina necessary to protect the Hidden Leaf is not explained.
  • Celibate Heroine: Tsunade never remarried or started another relationship by the end of the series.
  • Close Range Combatant: Be it with taijutsu or medical techniques. She apparently knows multiple elemental ninjutsu, but that's an Informed Ability.
  • The Coats Are Off: She always wears a green coat with the kanji for "Gamble" written in the back. Well, almost always.
    • After she decides she's going to pulverize Orochimaru and Kabuto, she takes off her coat and drops it on the ground. She discrads it againnote  when she rushes to heal the crittically wounded Naruto.
    • During the battle of the Five Kage against Madara, her coat gets shredded/discarded off-screen.
  • Combat Medic: Her specialty.
  • Combat Stilettos: Sports heels even when kicking ass.
  • Convenient Coma: Goes into one after the Pain invasion arc and is out of it within weeks.
  • Cool Big Sis: Was a caring big sister to her brother when he was alive.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: She literally defeats Naruto using only one finger.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Fiery blonde.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Not her little brother, but her fiancée. Dan's death makes into a cynic for whom "Only fools want to be Hokages".
    Tsunade: One of the Legendary Sannin taking on a snot-nosed genin… I oughta be ashamed of myself.
  • Deadly Doctor: Uses less combative medical techniques than Kabuto but is fully capable of causing harm with her medical abilites.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Quite the one with the quips.
  • Dude Magnet: Heavily implied given her being called the "world's most beautiful woman".
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Tsunade has Super Strength, even by the standards of the already inhumanly strong ninja of the series. She's also a Deadly Doctor and nearly unkillable in combat.
  • Failure Knight: Couldn't save Dan, despite her skills and best efforts.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Bets she can beat Naruto with one finger and she does.
  • Gag Boobs: They're huge. Kabuto has a brief moment of wondering if an attack to her chest didn't connect properly because her boobs got in the way.
  • The Gambling Addict: Her quirk. It's apparently her grandfather Hashirama's fault.
  • Generation Xerox: She did train Sakura to become a Hot-Blooded Combat Medic after all.
  • Genre Savvy: She shows shades in this in thinking that the Shonen Protagonist couldn't possibly lose and has faith that he'll be able to not be killed or captured in any circumstance. She also states that the younger generation will eventually become stronger than theirs. Naturally, the other characters are convinced she's nuts and reckless
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Tsunade is able to regenerate any wound she receives after releasing her Yin Seal causing her reputation as ageless and immortal in battle.
  • Half The Woman She Used To Be: Courtesy of Madara. She's gotten better with a bit of help from Orochimaru and Katsuyu.
  • Healing Factor: When the seal on her forehead is released.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Even after Jiraiya was unable to win her affections before his death.
  • Heroic Fatigue: So much that she works herself into a comatose state.
  • Heroic Resolve: She so desperately wants to save the people of the Leaf Village after the attack that she ends up overexerting herself into a coma.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Tsunade's Yin Seal on her forehead functions as one of these, it has a constant storage of chakra built up in it which she can release to fuel her Healing Factor. This earned her reputation as immortal in battle.
  • The Heroine: Seems to be all but stated with the five Kages' battle with Madara. She shares this role with Onoki.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She was delivering a Shut Up, Hannibal! and tons of asskicking to the revived Madara Uchiha, (who was continuously berating her for never getting near the level of her grandfather Hashirama) until he got annoyed enough to drive a Susanoo Blade through her. And she still survived it, snapped the blade in half and threw it at him.
  • Implacable Woman: Thanks to her seal, she will always get back up.
  • In-Series Nickname/Embarrassing Nickname: According to Jiraiya, she's widely known as the Legendary Sucker thanks to her awfully bad luck at gambling.
  • Interface Screw: Her Important Body Points Disturbance inflicts this on opponents, using chakra to scramble the electrical signals the brain uses to control the limbs.
  • Ironic Echo: When Jiraiya seeks her out and tries to get her to take the Hokage position, she badmouths it, calling it a "fool's goal". Later in her fight against Orochimaru, he says the same thing much to Tsunade's horror. This is one of the main factors that gets her to take the position.
  • Irony: She has a massive losing streak when she gambles, but when she does win, it means something bad is about to happen.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Brash, rude, and loud. With a kind and soft heart.
  • Lady Drunk: Previous to accepting the position of Hokage.
  • Lust Object: For Jiraiya when they were younger.
  • Mama Bear: She becomes this for the village after she becomes the Fifth Hokage.
  • Marked Change: When she uses her Strength of a Hundred technique.
  • Master Poisoner: Jiraiya touts her as the only person in the world who can spike a ninja's drink without their knowledge.
  • Mighty Glacier: Can literally pulverize any opponent if she manages to touch him/her. Unfortunately, she's not focused on speed attack but on avoiding the enemies blows, demonstrating the limitations of this character type.
  • A Mother to Her Men: Eventually develops this relationship with Konoha, especially to Naruto and Sakura.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Serves this for this series.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She may be over fifty years old, but don't underestimate her. Orochimaru learned this the hard way.
    Tsunade: Why am I putting my life on the line? Because now… I am the Fifth Hokage of Konohagakure!
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: After Madara gets bored fighting the Kages and buggers off, it's revealed that Tsunade has been bisected by a giant tree branch.
  • Oba-san: Naruto calls her Granny.
  • The Obi-Wan: To Sakura, and to a degree Shizune.
  • Older Than They Look: Both played straight and inverted. She uses a spell to create the illusion of looking like she's in her 20's or 30's. It falls apart when she runs low on chakra, which reveals that she actually looks much older than she is (like she was in her 70's or 80's—probably because of her use of Creation Rebirth which shortens her lifespan whenever she uses it). She is actually in her 50s.
    • Her looks in the Distant Finale is one of the most youthful she sports for all the series, while she's probably over 60 by then.
  • Pen-Pushing President: One of the least pleasant aspects of her job as Hokage. The morning Sasuke disappears, she is actually caught sleeping on her parchments.
  • Professional Gambler: She actually has very bad luck.
  • Promotion to Parent: Took care (if one can really say that) of Shizune, her fiance's orphaned niece, after his death. Although it would be more accurate to say it's Shizune who tried her best to take care of the broken, alcoholic and compulsively gambling Tsunade...
  • Power Tattoo: The Yin Seal on her forehead which gives a large boost of chakra when released.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The only times she ever wins at gambling is before something terrible happens. Therefore, whenever she actually wins she's too busy waiting for the other shoe to drop to enjoy the victory.
  • Retired Badass: She had retired for many years and was out of practice when she went back into combat (see Worf Had the Flu). After the re-sealing of Kaguya, she retires again, this time from Hokage entirely, giving the job to Kakashi.
  • Running Gag: Destroying her desk in a fit of rage.
  • Sexy Mentor: To Shizune and Sakura.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Tsunade fell in love with Dan because of his desire to become Hokage in order to protect the villagers.
  • The Smart Guy: Though it's not commonly exploited like Shikamaru or his father, she does have a great deal of intelligence, as might be expected from the world's foremost medical expert.
  • Super Strength: In addition to possessing generic Super Strength, she can further increase the power of her punches thanks to impossibly precise chakra control. She's even stronger than A the Raikage and can shatter Madara's Susano'o with a single punch (if after activating her Super Mode).
  • Team Mom: To Konoha after she becomes the Fifth Hokage.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her pendant used to belong to her brother before he was killed on a mission.
  • Vain Sorceress: Subverted. She's very vain, but is also benevolent.
  • Willfully Weak: She outright refuses to use her strongest abilities in most of her fights, even if they would very easily turn the tide in her favor.
  • Worf Effect: The vast majority of her existence. When she gets into a physical confrontation, she proves that while she is quite powerful, she ultimately lost one of the two fights she was in pretty swiftly once Madara got serious making her seem weaker in comparison to the other Sannin who had much more fleshed out fights and screen time.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When she's introduced she's been retired for many years and is out of practice, as Kabuto and Orochimaru observe. Additionally, she never uses her Strength of a Hundred technique, which gives her the power to surprise Madara who was just playing around when he otherwise curbstomped the other four Kages.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Delivered one to Orochimaru before kicking his ass.
  • World's Strongest Woman/World's Most Beautiful Woman: Shikamaru's father refers to her as "the strongest and most beautiful of all kunoichi."



Voiced by: Kujira (JP), Steve Blum (main series), Vic Mignogna (Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth) (EN), David Robles (Spain); Hecor Emmanuel Gómez (Latin-American Spanish, as a child); José Luis Arenas (Latin-American Spanish, adult), Irina Índigo (Latin-American Spanish, in his Leaf Ninja disguise), Ricardo Brust (Latin-American Spanish, when impresonating the Fourth Kazekage)

"When there is a true desire in the heart and that desire is strong… That is when he finds real strength that even he did not know he had!"

The series' first Big Bad, Orochimaru wants to be the most powerful shinobi who ever lived, and figures he can accomplish this by mastering every jutsu ever devised. However, a single human lifespan is far too short to learn every jutsu, so he also needs immortality as part of the bargain. To that end, Orochimaru has experimented with various scientific and magical methods of extending his own lifespan, but until he finds a perfect method, he opts to go with the riskier and less reliable Grand Theft Me method of immortality, switching his body for a younger one every few years. His desire to gain the body of an Uchiha (whose unique Sharingan would allow him to master jutsu much more quickly) is the driving force behind most of the events of the first series.

Orochimaru was initially trained by the Third Hokage along with Jiraiya and Tsunade, and was the most naturally talented of the three. The Third initially hoped that Orochimaru would become his successor, but as Orochimaru's selfishness and lust for power grew and made him go off the deep end, that forced him to select one of Jiraiya's students instead. While in the village, Orochimaru experimented extensively on its inhabitants, including his own students, hoping to develop new routes to power. He applied for the position of Fourth Hokage, hoping it would give him more leeway in this department, and when he was turned down, decided the village had offered him all it could and defected... shortly after being exposed as a Serial Killer who had been abducting innocents, and pro ninja, for lethal experiments. His closest friend Jiraiya chased him down and tried to reason with him, but Orochimaru laughed in his face.

From there, Orochimaru joined the criminal organization Akatsuki and tried to steal the body of Itachi Uchiha, and when that failed, conquered the Land of Rice Fields to give him a base of operations for his activities and a ready supply of test subjects, changing its name to the Land of Sound in the process. Then, during the actual series, Orochimaru destroyed Sasuke's confidence during the Chuunin exams and tried to bait him into betraying the village with promises of new and unlimited power, tricked the Sand Village into attacking Konaha, and killed his old mentor the Third Hokage, desecrating the graves of the First and Second and sacrificing his own proteges to do so. He treats his followers like pawns and is unconcerned when they die.

Orochimaru's original intention was to take Sasuke's body by the end of the first series, but Konoha's interference during the Sasuke Retrieval arc forced him to switch with some random prisoner instead. Since he has to wait three years before he can switch again, he decides to train Sasuke during the Time Skip instead.

In Shippuden, Orochimaru's most recent body has all but given out on him, but he's still tough enough to tangle with Naruto's Four-tailed Fox form during the second arc. Later, Sasuke attacks him while he's bedridden. Orochimaru reveals his true form (a snake made out of a bunch of smaller snakes) and tries to take Sasuke's body by force, but is defeated offscreen. The fact that fragments of his body have been integrated into the bodies of both his right-hand man Kabuto as well as Sasuke himself means we probably haven't seen the last of him, however. The portion of his body absorbed by Sasuke shows up in the fight with Itachi, where Sasuke, exhausted, lacks the chakra needed to suppress him. Orochimaru doesn't contribute much to the fight and is promptly flattened by Susanoo, the third technique of the Mangekyo Sharingan, trapping him in an endless dream state that cannot be undone or escaped from while also absorbing in his body, effectively killing him. Or at least killing the portion of him that leaped out of Sasuke and tried to attack Itachi. Using Anko's Cursed Seal of Heaven and a chunk of Sage Mode Kabuto's flesh, Sasuke resurrects Orochimaru, who strips Kabuto of his One-Winged Angel and agrees to help Sasuke despite openly admitting he still intends to take over his body.

He later proves instrumental in driving the outcome of the war towards the Alliance's favor when he helps Sasuke resurrect the original four Hokage. When questioned why he's doing all this, Orochimaru notes that his way of trying to obtain everything was mistaken and from now on wants to see what Sasuke is going to do.

Years after the Fourth Shinobi War, Orochimaru and the rest of Team Taka go back to their regular hideout to continue their usual activities. Naruto and Konoha continue to keep an eye on him but don't actually do anything to impede his activities.

His hobby is creating techniques.
Favorite words: "destroy" and "chaos"

  • The Ace: A talented shinobi since he was a child, with his skills growing ever since. Developed into an amazing scientist.
  • Affably Evil: In Naruto Gaiden, he chats politely with Sasuke and Naruto, like they're old friends visiting for tea. It may have something to do with the fact that those two are the strongest people alive and he's really not trying to piss them off.
  • Agent Peacock: Word of God says that Orochimaru was made flamboyant for him to have a "powerful aura" as a villain.
  • Ambiguous Gender: In the Seventh Hokage Gaiden. His current host's gender is ambiguous due to its youthful appearance and the fact that he's neatly combed his bangs and tied his hair into a ponytail.
  • Animal Eyes: He has yellow irises with vertically slitted pupils, just one of his snake features.
  • Animalistic Abomination: His true form is a bizarre snake-demon after decades' worth of experimenting on himself.
  • Animal Motifs: Snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.
  • Arch-Enemy: Orochimaru seems to make it his life's work to earn the hatred of a significant portion of the cast, from Anko Mitarashi and Hiruzen Sarutobi, to Jiraiya and Tsunade, and is probably this to the Leaf as a whole given his goal is to wipe it from the face of the Earth and that he topped its Most Wanted List. Naruto probably feels this way about him too, since even though Oro hasn't done that much to him personally, he doesn't forgive him for murdering the 3rd or corrupting Sasuke.
  • Asshole Victim: He's one of the few characters in the series to die more than once (particularly painfully), and he deserves it for what he's done.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Even before he went all crazy, he was apparently very snake-like. A picture taken of him, Tsunade, and Jiraiya when they were all young showed that yes, Orochimaru always looked like that.
  • Ax-Crazy: Not as blatant as Hidan or Deidara, but he definitely is abnormal.
  • Back from the Dead: With a little help from Sasuke and Juugo. Was anyone surprised?
  • Badass: Orochimaru is many things: creepy, twisted, and with serious pedophilia undertones, but there is no denying that he is a Badass. The man fought (a drugged) Jiraiya and (a freaked out) Tsunade without his arms, and it ended in a stalemate. Later, he went mano-a-mano with a Four-Tailed Naruto while maintaining his For the Lulz attitude throughout the whole fight. The man gets mad props for that.
  • Badass Bookworm: He is a mad scientist, after all, as well as a legendary soldier, assassin and spy and war hero.
  • Badass Teacher: He taught Anko Mitarashi (and the other members of Team Orochimaru), Kabuto Yakushi, and Sasuke Uchiha.
  • Bad Boss: Pitted the Sound Trio against Sasuke so he could test the latter's power and potential, knowing that Sasuke might cripple or even kill them; sacrificed two of them (and an unknown third) to summon the former Hokages as his enslaved zombie warriors; shrugs off the death of his most fanatical, devoted and powerful follower; teaches his underlings to not give a shit about each other (to the point of potentially killing each other for tactical advantages) gave the Curse Seal to Anko when she was his student, which very nearly killed her; implied to perform all kinds of horrid experiments on his own men, though most of his victims seem to be prisoners.
  • Big Bad: His efforts to destroy Konoha and acquire Sasuke's body make him the main antagonist of Part I.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: He's one of the main villains in the series, especially the main villain in Part 1, though hes lost ground to Akatsuki in Part 2. He later pulls a Hazy Feel Turn, joining Sasuke's side (who was temporarily on Konoha's side after another trip through the Heel-Face Revolving Door), saying that he simply wants to see if Sasuke's path will be more succesful than his was.
  • Blow You Away: One of the two elemental ninjutsu he's used in the series was wind style.
  • Body Surf: He developed a jutsu called Living Corpse Reincarnation, which lets him transfer his soul into a host body. He's used it a grand total of four times, though the third attempt was turned against him by Sasuke.
  • Breath Weapon: Notably unique use of this trope involving launching snakes, swords and even himself from his throat.
  • Broken Ace: His love for obtaining every jutsu sent him into a downward spiral of crime, leading to him defecting the Leaf and transforming into a complete sociopath. The bonds he had with his teammates, teacher, and the village were irrevocably damaged. By the start and end of the series, Orochimaru was a wanted Missing-Nin.
  • Broken Pedestal: To the Leaf, once a respected member of the Sannin, now a world class criminal who runs everyone's lives for his experiments. He does his share to defeat Obito and Madara, however, claiming he can't let his precious laboratory (meaning, the world) get destroyed.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The 3rd did this, which remained for the majority of Part 1. He got his powers back only to be sealed away twice. He later fixed this by cutting open the death god's stomach, which restored his arms.
  • Came Back Strong: His new body after being revived yet again is mostly composed of Hashirama's cells, being a Zetsu clone. One benefit is that his Edo Tensei is powerful enough to restrain even the Second Hokage at near-full strength.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Clearly recognizes certain potential, and won't kill those who are outright useful to him or his goals, even if frustrated and in a You Have Failed Me mood.
  • Character Development: His new watchword. After some humbling losses at the hands of Itachi and Sasuke, he admits that while in the past he wanted to "be the wind that made the windmill move", he finds it more interesting to see where Sasuke's path takes him. When Tsunade observes a change in his attitude, he reasons that everyone changes, and that if they don't they die, presenting Jiraiya as an example of this.
  • The Chessmaster: In comparison to Tobi's Gambit Roulette, he sets out long laid plans that involve using others to ultimately get what he wants. However, it often results in some huge hitches due to unexpected actions.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: He sometimes slips into this when he describes why he's seeking immortality.
  • Cool Sword: The Kusanagi which is said to be able to pierce nearly anything as well as extend and float and attack independently of Orochimaru with a special jutsu. Interestingly, it is a straight sword in the anime like it was supposed to be in the legend but is a katana in the manga because Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana.
  • The Corrupter: He excels at this, most of his pupils are insane and twisted due to his influence. He only partially succeeded with Sasuke (enough to make him leave the Leaf, but not sufficiently to make him his pawn).
  • Crazy-Prepared: His Curse Seals turn out to be Soul Jars. All of them. Not only can he use them to resurrect himself — though he needs outside help for this — but they even double as Sinister Surveillance, since he can see and hear everything all of the victims do all the time, allowing him to remain up-to-date with the plot. Presumably, this only works when he is Only Mostly Dead and not when he is alive and kicking. On a broader sense, Tobi implies several times, to his chagrin, that Orochimaru knew more than he let on, and Kabuto confirms it. Sasuke even brought him Back from the Dead explicitly to help him get to the heart of the Kudzu Plot by resurrecting all four past Hokage.
  • Creepy Child: Young Orochimaru wasn't evil yet, but he was rather disturbing to look at.
  • Deal with the Devil: Offers one to Tsunade and Sasuke; Tsunade turns him down, while Sasuke managed to scam him, albeit with some difficulty. Other deals probably didn't turn out so well for anyone but him.
  • Death Is Cheap: Don't even get us started.
  • Demoted to Extra: Was once the main villain of the entire series, then the time skip happened and suddenly Akatsuki took over everything. Post time skip, he was prominent for one relatively short arc (and one filler arc in the anime) and then gets defeated by Sasuke and doesn't appear again for ages. Worse is the fact that in the grand scheme of things his biggest contribution to the plot was just getting Sasuke to defect from Konoha. His actions have almost no role in the overarching myth arc of the series, beyond foreshadowing the Rinnegan.
  • Determinator: Not even getting his arms sealed, having his Body Surf jutsu reversed on him, or being sealed for all eternity can keep him down.
  • Devour the Dragon: He was planning on doing this to Sasuke, but it got turned around on him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He cuts open the stomach of the Shinigami in order to break the rules of Edo Tensei.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Part 1 ended on a note that he would still be the Big Bad of Part 2, or at least a villain driving much of the storyline. Nope; he gets dealt with pretty quickly, and while he does return, he's not nearly as big of a threat as he was in his prime.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Can disappear through walls and trees, an ability of earth users in Naruto.
  • The Dreaded: In Part 1, and still in Part 2 if to a lesser extent.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Twice, in an incredibly awkward manner both times. The first time, shortly into Shippuden, Sasuke attacks him, deciding he's not useful anymore. Orochimaru tries to use his Grand Theft Me no Jutsu on Sasuke, only for Sasuke to turn it back on him. Much later, during Sasuke's fight with Itachi, Sasuke runs out of chakra, which frees Orochimaru... only for Itachi to seal him in a permanent, inescapable genjutsu before he can do anything. It's later revealed that he can be resurrected as long as his Cursed Seals are still around.
  • Easily Forgiven: As of Naruto Gaiden, Orochimaru is still kicking around and up to his usual inhumane experiments. And for all that, Naruto and Sasuke simply treat him like an old friend.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ever since he was a child, his had unnaturally pale skin and lank black hair.
  • Enemy Mine: He agrees to help Sasuke Uchiha find the answers he is looking for only because he is too weak to attempt his Grand Theft Me Jutsu.
    • And in Naruto Gaiden, he agrees to help Naruto and Sasuke track down his former student and test subject, Shin Uchiha.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Jiraiya.
  • Evil Genius: To Akatsuki alongside Sasori and Tobi and to the Sound Village.
  • Evil Mentor: To Sasuke, and implicitly to nearly all of his named underlings. But mostly to Kabuto.
  • Evil Overlord: Ruled the Land of Sound with an iron fist, until Sasuke kills him.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: His Japanese voice is rather hoarse.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Tries to find the meaning of existence by constantly experimenting on himself and his subjects so he can discover even more jutsu techniques.
    Orochimaru: I want to obtain all the techniques and gain a true understanding of everything in this world. The first one to mix blue and yellow called the new color "green". I want to do something similar to that. If blue is the chakra, then yellow is the seal, and green is the technique… Just as there is no end to the variety of colors, there are so many thousands… tens of thousands of techniques in the world as well. But in order to obtain every possible technique and truth, it would require an eternity. Only one who understands everything after spending such time on this can be fittingly called the Ultimate Being.
  • Face Stealer: Stole the face of a Grass genin before the second task of the chunin exam.
  • Facial Markings: Born with unnaturally pale skin and purple marks around his eyes.
  • Fallen Hero: Despite his claims to the contrary, his flashbacks establish that while he was always creepy, Orochimaru was, once upon a time, a genuine hero, or at least an Antihero. Watching everyone around him die caused him to become obsessed with obtaining immortality, first for the entire village, and eventually just for himself. Orochimaru would rather bite out his own tongue than admit this of course.
  • For Science!: His primary motivation was to find the origin of ninjutsu. To do that, he needed immortality, and the Rinnegan. Too bad that in order to achieve it he needed to experiment on human beings.
  • For the Evulz: So, why did he kill the Third Hokage and try to wipe Konoha off the map? Basically because he was butthurt that he didn't get picked for Fourth Hokage fifteen years previous.
    • When the Third Hokage presses him for his motives beyond revenge, the only other reason Orochimaru gives ... is that he was bored.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Orochimaru reveals to his former sensei, the Third Hokage, that he invented a technique called Living Corpse Reincarnation to let him transfer his soul into a different body at least once every three years. As expected, the Third Hokage is horrified by this revelation when Orochimaru shows him the true face of his host's body which comes off as completely unfamiliar to him.
  • Four Is Death: Sasuke was going to be the fourth body Orochimaru claimed before Sasuke thwarted Orochimaru and killed him, and before that, was going to be the fourth body Orochimaru had, including his original, before the Sound Four took too long and Orochimaru had to transfer prematurely.
  • From a Single Cell: Orochimaru comes back at least twice from his Curse Mark thanks to his chakra stocked there. It's also heavily implied that the snakes that make up his true form can also have this use.
  • Generation Xerox: He has passed on his villainy and high amounts of creepy very well, if his proteges Kabuto, Sasuke and any self-respecting Sound shinobi are any indication.
  • A God I Am: Orochimaru's self-stated goal is to learn all ninjutsu and discover their origin, which led him to covet the Uchiha Clan's Sharingan. After researching Madara and decoding the Uchiha Tablet, he learned of the Sage of Six Paths and wanted to acquire the Sage's god-like power. To this end, Orochimaru unsuccessfully attempted to attain Sage Mode, developing his Nature Transformation Cursed Seals instead, and developed the incorrect hypothesis that the Rinnegan could be attained by reuniting the Sage's bloodlines, the Senju and Uchiha clans. To this end, he figured out how to transfer his soul into a host body and experimented to see if it was possible to transplant Hashirama Senju's cellsnote  into others, succeeding with Yamato and Danzo. His efforts to acquire an Uchiha as a host, however, have continually backfired and gotten him killed twice.
  • Grand Theft Me: When his current body begins to rot, he does this to an unwitting victim. It gets used against him by Sasuke, who sublimates him and uses his powers until he gets removed by Itachi. After he's revived and releases the Hokages from the Death God's belly, he takes the body of a Zetsu.
  • Green Thumb: After possessing a White Zetsu clone.
  • Handicapped Badass: At one point he lost both his arms to the Reaper Death Seal and still managed to put up a fight against Jiraiya and Tsunade.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: He aligns himself with Sasuke during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Sasuke has decided to aid the United Shinobi front, and Orochimaru goes along with him. Ultimately it seems to be more like a Face Neutral Turn than any real change to his character; none of his actual opinions or ultimate goals seem to have changed, but he has no particular reason to want the world to be destroyed or to end up in a Lotus-Eater Machine, so he has no objections to aiding Sasuke in preventing this.
  • Healing Factor: Can regenerate most damage by vomiting a new body out of his mouth. Sasuke was able to do this as well after absorbing him, but lost the ability after Itachi extracted Orochimaru from him.
  • Hellish Pupils: Golden eyes with slitted snake-like pupils, to be exact.
  • Hero Killer: Peaked with his assassination of the Third Hokage.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain:
    • A flashback of a conversation he had with Sasuke implies that he is this; Sasuke tells Orochimaru that he knows the reason he gave for trying to destroy the Leaf Village was a lie, and asks why he really did it. The story cuts back to the present before we see Orochimaru's answer, so his true agenda is still unknown.
    • While the motives for his experimentation with Senju cells and obsession with attaining Sasuke as a host remained a mystery for most of the series, It was eventually revealed through Kabuto that Orochimaru was trying to attain the power of the Sage of Six Paths: the Rinnegan.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Frequently. He betrayed Akatsuki by trying to take Itachi's body, only for the latter to curb stomp him and Akatsuki to put him on their death list. He drew out his fight with Sarutobi to torment him, which gave Sarutobi time to fall back on his suicide justu and cost Oro his arms. And he corrupted Sasuke only to be betrayed and curb stomped by him when the time came to steal his body. He tried to get Sasuke's body years earlier too and if Kabuto hadn't convinced him to choose someone else (as Sasuke was taking too much time to arrive), he may have even died.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The sheer amount of shit he did to himself eventually made him into one of these, able to turn his legs into a snake tail; shed his body to grow a new one; stretch his limbs, neck, and tongue, and throw up snakes. His real appearance is something to be seen.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Sasuke was dying, and Karin said a chakra she didn't recognize was next to him, Orochimaru said they better hurry because "some creep who slithered out from under some rock somewhere is doing who-knows-what to Sasuke-kun"...perfectly describing himself and his weird fixation on Sasuke throughout the entirety of the series.
  • Immortality Seeker: It initially was to wait until his parents reincarnated, but eventually it devolved into becoming the perfect being.
  • Implacable Man: It takes a legendary technique to finally seal him away, and it is revealed that even THAT didn't kill him. He will not die!
  • Informed Ability: Supposedly he was the strongest of the Sannin at one point. Considering what we've seen Jiraiya and Tsunade pull off, even after they've supposedly lost their edge due to age and lack of practice, this is a somewhat dubious claim.
  • Ironic Hell/Laser-Guided Karma: He wanted to live forever and now he will, it's just that he's also stuck in an eternal illusion. He was set free by Sasuke.
  • It's All About Me: Orochimaru may well be the most selfish character of the whole story. Outside of the Uchiha clan.
  • It Amused Me: Gives a quote for this to the Third Hokage before they begin to fight.
  • Joker Immunity: The guy just won't stay dead or sealed, even if he can be Put on a Bus for quite long periods.
  • Karma Houdini: As of the end of Part II and The Last, he gets away scot-free in the ending! In Naruto Gaiden, which takes place at least 15 years after the end of the war, he's shown to still be free and lounging about in his hideout, doing what he wants. Plus he has an even younger body than he had in Part II. So far he's the biggest Karma Houdini in the series, bar none.
  • Killing Intent: His is so strong that it can induce visions of their gruesome death into weaker opponents (Sakura and Sasuke in part 1), or paralyse even experienced one (Kakashi).
  • Knight of Cerebus: While Zabuza was intimidating, Orochimaru brings the first present death of a main protagonist, helps send The Lancer into serious Sanity Slippage and was playing for keeps.
  • Lean and Mean: Not as buff as the rest of the Akatsuki.
  • Looks Like Cesare: A reason why people were wary of him before his Face-Heel Turn.
  • Mad Scientist: Tries to discover ninjustu and immortality through experimentation on his subjects and victims.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He plays on literally everyone's emotions. Tricked the entire Sand village into a war with Konoha by murdering and impersonating their leader.
  • Master of Disguise: A very gruesome example, since he tears off the faces of his victims to wear over his body. In fact, his usual face is actually a mask worn over his host, only worn out of Shape Shifter Guilt Trip as well as maintaining his identity.
  • Mega Manning: Orochimaru desires the ability to obtain any technique and for that he needs the Sharingan and the Rinnegan.
  • Motive Decay: Pointed out in-universe by Sasuke. His stated goal is to attain true immortality and learn the truth behind ninjutsu, but by the series proper he's devolved into conducting cruel experiments on people, few of which really have anything to do with his goals.
  • Necromancer: One of three, the other two being Kabuto and the Second Hokage. They all used the same technique too: Impure World Resurrection.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: In regards to anyone.
  • Obviously Evil: Just look at him: pale skin, snake eyes, snake tongue, snake body... The guy has "evil" written all over him and that's before his motives are even revealed.
  • Orochi: Turns into one when Sasuke is weakened enough to unseal him, only to be sealed again by Itachi. Currently provides the page picture.
  • Out of Focus: Suffers from this in Part II's climax.
  • Overly Long Tongue: Weaponized of course.
  • Poisonous Person: His true form has poisonous blood which will vaporize and become airborn.
  • Post Mortem Comeback: A particularly bad execution, since he just randomly rematarialized during the fight between the Uchiha brothers, after getting sealed within Sasuke. Itachi finsihed the job by sealing him a second time. This comeback also sets up his eventual resurrection by Sasuke using Anko's Cursed Seal.
  • Retcon: Orochimaru was presumably the one in charge when Tsunade's brother Nawaki died. He was there to meet her when she arrived. In the first part of Naruto, he's shown giving a callous response that Tsunade throws back at him later: All living things that have form must perish eventually. Later, during his death scene, it is one of several events shown in a montage and instead he's obviously clearly upset as he hands Tsunade the pendant. Obviously, the latter is more sympathetic as it's part of a sequence showing how twisted he became over time instead of the original portrayal of always being a twisted monster.
    • Which actually makes sense in series as well: having become a monster, it's likely that both he and Tsunade have gone out the way to forget that he ever did her any favours.
  • Scaled Up: His true form is a serpentine monster made up of smaller snakes.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: By the time of Naruto Gaiden, Orochimaru, international terrorist extraordinaire, is still up to his usual business. Naruto, 7th Hokage, is not only fully aware of this, but knows where Orochimaru's base is and hasn't got word one to say about Orochimaru's activities until rogue experiments that slipped his leash start to show up in Konoha.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: His final fate. Note that the can is not even material. Then Sasuke opens the can...
  • Serial Killer: Before his formal defection, he had been abducting an unknown number of victims and performing gruesome, typically fatal experiments on them- this included ANBU, Jounin, Chuunin, innocent civilians, teenage children (including his own pupil), and sixty newborn babies of whom only one- Yamato- ultimately survived.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Sage of Six Paths himself debunked Oro's hypothesis on how to get the Rinnegan by revealing that it's not combining Uchiha and Senju DNA that awakens the Rinnegan, but combining the chakras of his sons Indra and Asura, who are periodically reincarnated into the Uchiha and Senju clans respectively. Ergo, if Orochimaru had succeeded in possessing Itachi he would been unable to achieve his goal.
  • Sinister Surveillance: His Cursed Seals let him spy on everyone who has one, letting his see and hear whatever they do. They seem to only serve this function when he is "dead", though.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Naruto Shippuden Ultimateninja Storm Revolution reveals he joined the Akatsuki to steal Pain's Rinnegan, and left it after failing to body-snatch Itachi to acquire his Sharingan.
  • Smug Snake: Naturally. Though, he remains a high-functioning type, straddling the line between this and Magnificent Bastard. Its arguably the smugness itself that is what gets in his way.
    • Though, that said, Tobi is seriously worried that he knew more than he let on. The fact he tried to acquire Sasuke as a host ranter than continually pursuing Itachi hints also shows he's far more cunning than he appears, as subsequent revelations suggest he knew Sasuke's actual worth in terms of Oro using him to become a new Sage of Six Paths, and not just for his Sharingan eyes as he claimed. And now he is back.
  • Snake Person: Can take this shape giving himself tremendous speed.
  • The Sociopath: Should be pretty obvious by this point of the page.
  • Soul Jar: Orochimaru set up the Cursed Seals to function as these in case anything happened to him.
  • Spanner in the Works: He was this to the Akatsuki which is why he was marked for death by them.
  • The Spymaster: He has a huge intel network that allows him to maintain control of less powerful villages or nations.
  • Take a Third Option: In a cutscene from Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution that shows how he joined the Akatsuki, Orochimaru is confronted by Sasori and Pain's Deva Path. After being beaten by Sasori, he vomits out a new body and flat out attempts to steal Pain's Rinnegan, therefore bypassing having to steal an Uchiha body, mature its Sharingan, and implant Hashirama's cells. Naturally, it doesn't work.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In his backstory - see "Used To Be A Sweet Kid".
  • Too Powerful to Live: The only way to get rid of him was to seal him. And it had to be done twice to actually work. He's technically still alive. And now he's at large again.
  • Tragic Villain: The loss of his parents hit Orochimaru hard. He believed that if he lived long enough, he would be able to meet their reincarnations, hence his pursuit for immortality. Originally he desired to find immortality for the entire village, but war made him cynical, and he gradually descended into madness, losing sight of his original goal.
  • Truly Single Parent: Mitsuki reveals him to be his father in the Boruto Movie. Another parent is never mentioned.
  • Übermensch: Tries to change the world through war, but Tobi beat him to it. He also abandoned the village largely because he rejected its ideals and values.
  • The Unfettered: Orochimaru is willing to do anything to attain immortality and discover the truth behind ninjutsu.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Downplayed. He was certainly nowhere near as evil as a child, and had a couple of sweet moments, but even Sarutobi admitted that even back then Oro had "eyes full of malice and ambition". He ignored this because it was a time of war and someone like that might be needed; that, and he was too proud of him to admit it.
  • Villain Ball: He is far too arrogant and sadistic for his own good and he has been guilty of Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? since as far back as the Chuunin Exam arc, which ultimately cost him his arms.
  • Villain Decay: He's impressive in Part 1, but much less so in Part 2, essentially because his host body is too weak and has started to reject him.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Kabuto. He seems to legitimately like him and lets him get away with a lot more snark than his other subordinates.
  • War Is Glorious: Expresses this belief in the Chuunin Exam/Konoha Invasion arcs. Or rather, he expresses the belief that "peace is boring".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nowhere to be seen after the great war; the character's final on-panel appearance shows him being freed from Mugen Tsukuyomi along with Kabuto, Suigetsu, Jugo and Karin. He's apparently a Karma Houdini.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He called out the Second Hokage for creating Edo Tensei, as well as for revealing it to the world.
  • Wild Card: Following his second resurrection, Orochimaru pledges to support Sasuke regardless of whether he chooses to destroy or protect Konoha. Sasuke ultimately chooses the latter option.
  • The Worf Effect: At the start of Part II he was quickly killed off by Sasuke to show off how strong Sasuke had gotten.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When he loses, this is usually because of this. Save for when the 3rd Hokage sealed his arms and later when Itachi sealed him entirely. And he's still around, even after all that, and is more powerful than ever.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Once proposed to kill Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan when they were children, although he viewed it as a Mercy Kill since "a miserable life is all that awaits them". He has actually murdered many, many children though (For Science!), including infants and his own pupils/minions, and has made several attempts to kill others. He also attempts to kill an unconscious Naruto during his battle with his former teammates.

Alternative Title(s):

Naruto-The Legendary Sannin