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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.Back to the main character index
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All the Sannin provide example of:
- 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.
"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!"
Voiced by: Hochu Otsuka
(JP), David Lodge (EN), Jesús Rodriguez (Spain), Paco Mauri (Latin America)
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
". He also has several Fire-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.
, 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.
His hobby was sneaking a peek into a Women's Bathing House.
Favorite phrase: "Free and uninhibited"
- 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).
- 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...)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- That, and having Itachi and Kisame tuck 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.
"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.
, 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.
Her hobby is gambling.
Favorite phrase: "One grab, a thousand gold" referring to getting rich without much effort.
"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!"
Voiced by: Kujira
(JP), Steve Blum
(main series), Vic Mignogna
(Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth
) (EN), David Robles (Spain), José Luis Reza (Latin America)
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
, 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.
His hobby is creating techniques.
Favorite words: "destroy" and "chaos"
- 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.
- Animalistic Abomination: His true form is a bizarre snake-demon after decades' worth of experimenting on himself.
- Animal Eyes: He has yellow irises with vertically slitted pupils, just one of his snake features.
- 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.
- 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 pedophiliac 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.
- 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.
- 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 he's lost ground to Akatsuki in Part 2. Now that he's joined Sasuke's side and Sasuke has temporarily rejoined Konoha's side, he's technically undergone a Heel-Face Turn.
- 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: To the Leaf, once a respected member of the Sannin, now a world class criminal who runs everyone's lives for his experiments. He has been redeeming himself as of late.
- 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.
- 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 independent 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 Jar]]s. 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.
- 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.
- Evil Former Friend: To Jiraiya. This is also probably the reason why he didn't kill Jiraiya when the latter tried to prevent him leaving the Leaf.
- 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 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 came back at least twice from his Curse Mark thanks to his chakra stocked there. It's also heavily implied that the snakes that make 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.
- 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 used his powers until he was 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.
- Hazy Feel Turn: He has aligned himself with Sasuke during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Sasuke has decided to aid the United Shinobi front, and Orochimaru went 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!
- 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: Barring a revelation of his fate in The Last, he gets away scot-free in the ending!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pragmatic Villainy: If a more selfish version. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Spymaster: He has a huge intel network that allows him to maintain control of less powerful villages or nations
- 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.
- 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. The two had a very twisted bond, but a bond nonetheless. When revived, while he doesn't break the genjutsu on Kabuto, all he did was to reclaim his chakra and release Sage Mode on Kabuto, while leaving the rest of him perfectly safe.
- He also lets Kabuto get away with things that he clearly wouldn't tolerate from 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. 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.