|Manga||Volume #5, Naruto Chapter #45|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #27|
|Novel||Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds|
|Game||Naruto: Ninja Council|
|OVA||Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||6|
Orochimaru (大蛇丸, Orochimaru) is one of Konohagakure's legendary Sannin. With a life-ambition to learn all of the world's secrets, Orochimaru seeks immortality so that he might live all of the lives necessary to accomplish his task. After being caught red-handed performing unethical experiments on his fellow citizens for the sake of this immortality, Orochimaru defected from Konoha rather than be persecuted for his ambitions, and for many years sought the village's destruction in order to take revenge and demonstrate what he had learned. After several apparent deaths in the pursuit of his goals, Orochimaru realises his approach is flawed through Kabuto Yakushi, his former associate, and begins monitoring the choices and actions of his former apprentice, Sasuke Uchiha.
- 1 Background
- 2 Personality
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Part I
- 6 Part II
- 7 Blank Period
- 8 New Era
- 9 Influence
- 10 In Other Media
- 11 Creation and Conception
- 12 Trivia
- 13 Quotes
- 14 References
Orochimaru was once an orphan who became a pupil of Hiruzen Sarutobi alongside Jiraiya and Tsunade. Compared to the more laid back Jiraiya, Orochimaru stood out as a genius — his talents, knowledge, and determination were considered by Hiruzen to be that of a prodigy seen only once in a generation. According to Tsunade, Orochimaru had a twisted personality even as a child. His sadistic attitude was presumably due to the death of his parents. At some point after losing them, Orochimaru found a white snake near his parents' grave, with Hiruzen's explanation of it representing fortune and rebirth inspiring Orochimaru to study kinjutsu and obtain knowledge of all techniques. Jiraiya theorised that Orochimaru went down this path in an attempt to forget his painful memories.
During the Second Shinobi World War, Orochimaru joined Jiraiya and Tsunade in fighting Hanzō, who gave them the title of Konoha's "Three Legendary Shinobi" (伝説の三忍, Densetsu no Sannin) as a reward for surviving their battle with him, while the rest of their group were easily slaughtered in the process. On their way back to Konoha, they encountered three Amegakure orphans, with Orochimaru proposing a mercy killing before Jiraiya chose to train them instead. In the anime, Orochimaru orchestrated the last known rampage of the Eight-Tails in Kumogakure by infiltrating the village while disguised as a Kumo-nin and posing as Blue B's doctor in order to trick him into taking special genjutsu inducing pills, allowing him to extract the tailed beast. After its rampage, Orochimaru obtained the severed horn of the Eight-Tails and harvested Blue B's DNA from it.
Some time after Team Hiruzen was disbanded, Orochimaru became an Anbu member and joined Root to work directly under Danzō Shimura, while also becoming a mentor to Anko Mitarashi. It was during that time that Orochimaru met Kabuto Yakushi while accompanying Danzō in forcing the boy's guardian, Nonō, into a mission. While Orochimaru's ambitions did include becoming the Fourth Hokage, he intended to use the title for his own agenda. Though Hiruzen knew the potential evil his former pupil had in him, he hoped to stir Orochimaru from the path before slowly realising that he was beyond anyone's help. When Hiruzen finally named Minato Namikaze his successor, Orochimaru saw no more reason to remain in Konoha and began to be less discreet with his actions. This led to his experimentation on Hashirama Senju's DNA with sixty children he kidnapped to recreate the First's Wood Release, having help from Danzō. Believing it to be a failure, Orochimaru was unaware that one child had survived his Wood Release experiment. He later refined the process enough to inject Hashirama's cells into the Sharingan-infused right arm of Shin Uchiha, which he transplanted to Danzō.
Orochimaru performed various experiments on his prisoners, some being fellow Konoha shinobi he kidnapped. He used them as human guinea pigs to develop techniques that would grant him immortality, the end result being Living Corpse Reincarnation. Some time later, Orochimaru was at the outskirts of Kirigakure as he found Kimimaro, the sole survivor of the Kaguya clan. Soon after, thanks in part to Kimimaro, Orochimaru's research on the source of Jūgo's powers led him to find the Ryūchi Cave and master senjutsu. Unable to enter Sage Mode because of the fragility of his host body, Orochimaru instead developed an alternate method of harnessing his senjutsu chakra through cursed seals, which he tested on Anko and several others before eventually using the finalised versions on Kimimaro and the Sound Four. In the anime, Orochimaru found the Iburi clan living underground near Konoha. Taking an interest in their ability to become smoke, Orochimaru took advantage of the clan's fear of their imperfect and potentially fatal transformation by partially stabilising it with his cursed seals. Telling them that he needed more research to perfect the process, the clan willingly gave Orochimaru test subjects. In the anime, Orochimaru witnessed Itachi Uchiha performing a training run normally meant for older and more experienced users due to the danger of it. After the young Uchiha flawlessly completed it, Orochimaru instantly became amazed and excited at Itachi's advanced growth rate. In the anime, he also allied himself with Amachi out of interest for creating a shinobi capable of underwater combat, kidnapping Land of the Sea villagers for their experiments, while introducing Anko to the project. Sometime after, Orochimaru lost interest in the project, and ordered Amachi to cancel it, while also seeing Anko as a lost cause for her refusal to use the cursed seal, and wiped her memories as she left him.
Orochimaru was later sent on a mission by Danzō to Iwagakure to ensure that both Kabuto and Nonō, the former having joined Root as a spy, killed each other as they had become major liabilities. Orochimaru instead brought Kabuto to his hideout, which would become part of his personal hidden village, Otogakure, and revealed Root's intent for Kabuto's life and the role he was to play in it. Though Orochimaru revealed that he was also sent to kill the one who survived this ordeal, he told Kabuto that he saw a bit of himself in the boy and decided killing him would be a waste of great talent. Therefore, Orochimaru offered Kabuto a position as his right hand man and spy with the promise of an identity.
As his test subjects began to die off, Orochimaru was caught red-handed by Hiruzen. Though he knew it was his duty, Hiruzen lacked the will to kill his student, allowing him to escape. In the anime, during his escape, Orochimaru was found by Kakashi Hatake. Despite the young prodigy's best efforts, Orochimaru swiftly defeated him. Letting his guard down at the approach of a snake, Orochimaru was greatly injured by an explosive tag concealed in the snake's mouth. Cursing Hiruzen for ruining his plans, though greatly injured, Orochimaru quickly regained his composure. He then resumed his retreat from the country, leaving a terrified Kakashi frozen in place from his malicious glare alone. Seriously wounded, Orochimaru visited the cave where the Iburi clan lived and killed them all, trying to restore his power. Upon the arrival of the youngest member, Yukimi, Orochimaru pursued her while being chased by Kakashi Hatake and Kinoe. Eventually, he managed to take a sample of Yukimi's blood, intending to inject it into himself to temporarily gain her ability and slip across the border, but he was attacked before he could do so and quickly escaped. Orochimaru managed to destroy most of his research facilities and booby-trap the rest.
Orochimaru ultimately escaped Konoha, leaving his emotionally broken mentor, with Jiraiya's plea for him to reconsider falling on deaf ears. Orochimaru soon became affiliated with and joined the elite criminal organisation Akatsuki. Orochimaru was then partnered with Sasori, with whom he did much good for the organisation.. He later watched in amazement when Itachi Uchiha joined the organisation. Later, when Orochimaru saw his opportunity to steal his body to gain possession of the Sharingan, Itachi used his Sharingan to stop him from doing so, while also cutting Orochimaru's left hand off to prevent him from breaking the genjutsu he was under, which lead to him leaving Akatsuki to acquire a new body. For Orochimaru's defection, Sasori developed a grudge against him and used Kabuto, whom Orochimaru had sent to serve as his spy within Akatsuki, to counter spy as his sleeper agent. However, Orochimaru discovered and undid the technique Sasori had used on him. In the anime, when tipped off by Kabuto that Sasori was on his trail, Orochimaru chose to use this as an opportunity to test his development of the Second Hokage's Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation. Against Sasori's Third Kazekage puppet, Orochimaru summoned the actual Third Kazekage through his technique. While proving his reincarnated ninja being stronger than the human puppet, the technique ultimately proved incomplete as the Third Kazekage was able to regain control and break the summoning contract..
Orochimaru had also been on a life-long search for the Totsuka Sword, an ethereal sword, but was unaware that it was in the possession of Itachi's Susanoo. In the anime, Orochimaru witnessed Mizuki killing a comrade during a mission. Under the pretence as a gift for Mizuki's bold actions, Orochimaru granted him a specialised cursed seal. In truth however, it was an incomplete experimental tool that would destroy whoever used it, to which Orochimaru was merely curious as to how the effects would happen on Mizuki.
Orochimaru possesses a complex personality; however, more often than not, he was described as "twisted" by a large number of people, including Tsunade. Jiraiya speculated that the death of his parents while he was young, along with his horror for Tsunade losing Nawaki and later shedding tears when she lost Dan, implies that Orochimaru grew to disdain the fragility of human life and how it affected those still living, which led him to desire immortality. To that end, the primary purpose of Orochimaru's human experimentation is to test what modifications the human body can endure and harness a subject's unique abilities for himself. Once accomplishing this goal, Orochimaru had hoped to be worthy of the title of "ultimate being", unable to die and able to achieve his secondary goal to learn every ninja technique in the world, which would normally take many lifetimes to obtain.
According to Sasuke, becoming cruel with any good he had as a member of Team Hiruzen long gone, Orochimaru's agenda made him develop a god complex and highly value himself while delighting in striking terror in his first impressions. Though causing conflict to ease his boredom, Orochimaru seems to have no interest in wars started by others. His charisma also attracts a number of followers, many of which he would not hesitate to send on potential suicide missions if for his own personal benefit, expressing some remorse if they're unable to properly complete a task, and having no sentimental attachments to any of them despite their value to his goals. Despite this, Orochimaru has genuine interest in the development of his underlings and experiments.
Taking Sasuke as an apprentice, and seeing him as a prodigy like himself, Orochimaru intended to take the youth's body to obtain the Sharingan to reach another step in his goal of immortality and learning every technique in the world. This goal has developed to the point of obsession. However, despite knowing that Sasuke was willing to do anything for revenge, including sacrificing his own body, Orochimaru did anticipate treachery from his disciple and showed only a small level of surprise when it actually occurred. What truly surprised Orochimaru was Sasuke's decision to follow his own path and his eventual decision to defend the village he initially swore to destroy, one that Orochimaru openly approved of and was curious to see what would be the end result of.
He also had an initial disdain toward Naruto Uzumaki, believing him to be a poor excuse for a ninja until he defeated Kabuto with the Rasengan. Despite attempting to kill Naruto at the time after coming to the realisation that he would become a threat to him in the future, Orochimaru became interested in Naruto's development, provoking Naruto during their battle to draw out his full abilities at the time. During the war seeing Naruto's indomitable willpower and his memories with Jiraiya caused Orochimaru to begin to respect him. Though coming to hate his home village, orchestrating a few attempts to destroy it, Orochimaru despised his former Akatsuki colleagues more. Throughout Part II, if Orochimaru was not busy with Sasuke's development, he would try to cripple Akatsuki's operations, as seen in the "Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission" arc and "Three-Tails' Appearance" arc. He expresses delight over the death of Sasori and later convinced Sasuke against killing Team Kakashi so they would thin out Akatsuki's membership.
An aspect of Orochimaru's personality is also his greatest weakness: his arrogance. He truly believed he was immortal at times, attacking recklessly against powerful opponents such as his former teacher and Itachi Uchiha. Both times, he was left crippled in some way since he either wanted to make his opponent suffer, like against Hiruzen, or because he was too uninformed to face his opponent, like against Itachi. Despite his distinct lack of morals, Orochimaru seems to be well-versed in psychological warfare and displays insightful wisdom when disparaging Tobirama for the actions resulting from his policies. He is also amusingly afraid of insects and bugs as seen during Naruto and Hinata's wedding.
After being revived by Sasuke, his personality changed a bit. While he’s still as self-serving as ever, he also realised that copying someone completely was a mistake from his observation of Kabuto and displayed interest in Sasuke's "different path". Wanting to see Sasuke's path, he chose to fight alongside the Uchiha instead of ignoring Madara's war like he planned, and even made it a priority to heal Tsunade and the other Kage after their defeat before hurrying to the battlefield. Orochimaru also seems to genuinely care about Sasuke's wellbeing, as he originally thought it was best to take his time figuring out how to battle Tobi but quickly decided against taking his time when Karin sensed Sasuke was on the verge of death. Orochimaru has also shown signs of regret, seemingly saddened by his childhood friend Jiraiya's death. In the anime, he was one of people who congratulated Naruto and Hinata on their wedding.
Years later, while still as driven as ever to uncover the greatest secrets of life, he apparently now does so in a relatively more humane manner. Also, while his relationship with the rest of the world is still dubious at best, he has at least developed a relatively trusting relationship between the higher-ups of Konohagakure, willingly aiding them in research on pressing matters and likewise feels responsible enough to make amends for past mistakes. He apparently is on amicable terms with Konoha by sending his son, Mitsuki, to the village. In the anime, he also feels indebted to Naruto as the Hokage for watching over Mitsuki. Orochimaru's experiences also resulted in him wishing Mitsuki to make his own decisions, admitting that he has high hopes for the boy's natural growth, though he at times used manipulation and deception to put him in a situation where important decisions must be made. He also shows some interest in the respective children of Naruto and Sasuke, particularly intrigued by Boruto sharing the same unwavering spirit and loyalty as his father. Ultimately, his changes have made even the White Snake Sage view Orochimaru as going "soft".
Orochimaru's most conspicuous characteristic is his snake-like appearance: he has very pale skin, golden eyes with slitted pupils, purple markings around his eyes and fang-like teeth. He also has pronounced cheekbones and straight waist-length black hair with some locks covering and framing his face or to his shoulders. The various bodies he takes over have each been modified to resemble his original form, except for the height differences. In Naruto Gaiden, Orochimaru's facial features soften and somewhat androgynous with his eye markings becoming black. He also wears his hair in a ponytail, allowing two locks to frame the sides of his face. In the manga, his skin-tone becomes noticeably fairer in complexion.
Orochimaru usually wears plain grey garbs with a black polo and pants underneath, a thick purple rope belt tied in a large knot behind his back, blue tomoe-shaped earrings, and shinobi sandals with bandages around his calves. He is seen wearing a kimono with different colours on several occasions, shown usually in flashbacks or inside his hideouts. During his time with Akatsuki, he wore the standard red and black Akatsuki robes with a slate blue ring, which bears the kanji for "sky" or "void" (空, kū), on his left pinky finger. After countless experiments with his body, his true form became a giant white snake made up of many smaller snakes, with longer, spikier hair, a scaled face with snake-like teeth and a long tongue, black eye markings, and a pointed chin. Years later, he wears a white robe tied at his waist by a dark-coloured sash and a purple rope, blue pants and shirt.
Orochimaru is an exceptional shinobi, recognised as one of the strongest to ever exist. One of the only people who could compete against Hanzō in his prime, he became a Sannin. At the same time, amongst his team, Orochimaru stood out the most in sheer aptitude as a natural prodigy and the best of his generation, earning praise from even Hashirama Senju, a God of Shinobi. Easily Kage-calibre, Orochimaru was once considered for Fourth Hokage. His power is feared throughout the world, such that Akatsuki, of which he was once a member, viewed him a threat. Following the Konoha invasion, while failing, Orochimaru's actions left the village crippled for years and the Third Hokage dead. Even in a crippled, gradually weakening state, Orochimaru remained extremely formidable, able to compete against either of his fellow Sannin and even toy with a Version 2 jinchūriki. In the anime, he easily overwhelmed an Inner of Kara, despite their monstrous might and Shinobi-Ware modifications.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
Orochimaru has large reserves of strong chakra, powerful enough to stir up winds and crack stone. Likewise, the intensity of his killing intent can reduce most foes petrified in fear. He can absorb chakra through physical contact, which also grants him their skills and knowledge. His chakra control is very advanced, excelling in various chakra applications. Even while his hands were sealed, leaving him unable to perform handsigns, he could still perform various powerful techniques with ease. Orochimaru is very adept in taijutsu, able to overwhelm Sasuke in Part I despite his Sharingan-enhanced clarity. He is very strong, able to knock down a tree with a single kick, and temporarily stunned a Four-Tailed Naruto with his punch. He is also blazingly fast, able to move with such sudden change in direction to leave his opponent's disoriented.
In his quest for immortality and the perfect body, Orochimaru has numerous modifications to his body over the years. He can heal from varying lengths of damage in short periods of time. For more grievous injuries, like bisection, he can reconnect himself or regurgitate a new, fully-healed body. Orochimaru's body is also able to stretch and manipulate its form for greater manoeuvrability. His durability can endure being stabbed by the giant Sword of Totsuka and shrug the damage off, and endure multiple solidly-landed enhanced punches from the already-super strong Tsunade.
Orochimaru's modifications have resulted in his true form becoming a giant white snake. Its body is composed of many smaller snakes that can attack the opponent. The released blood is poisonous, evaporating in the air to paralyse all who inhales it. This form is used for the Living Corpse Reincarnation, letting him transfer his soul and physical essence into a new body by swallowing that person whole, thereby gaining control of and adding his own abilities to the new body in addition to extending his lifespan. This can only be used once every three years. The souls of the bodies he has taken remain in Orochimaru's subconscious and he can modify his body as he sees fit.
After Orochimaru physically died, as Kabuto heavily modified his body with various genetic sources, including Orochimaru himself, Sasuke used a sample of Kabuto's flesh as a basis to reconstitute Orochimaru. This gave Orochimaru the added benefit of heightened chakra reserves and access to the various techniques and unique abilities Kabuto acquired. This included the Sound Five and Taka's respective skills; Sakon and Ukon's Kekkei Genkai, Jūgo's Clan's Kekkei Genkai, Kimimaro's Shikotsumyaku, a variation of Suigetsu Hōzuki's Hydrification Technique, as well Karin's Uzumaki life-force and healing powers. He also gains the abilities of a White Zetsu clone, which was modified with Hashirama's DNA, after taking over its body; this included accelerated healing, perfect shapeshifting into others, and no need of nourishment. Some point after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Orochimaru's body became able to instantly regenerate his lost anatomy unfazed.
Orochimaru's depth of knowledge and skill in ninjutsu is greater than any other shinobi, leading to him wielding a vast and unmatched arsenal of styles and techniques. He is proficiency with the Transformation Technique can stay undetected for long periods; his fūinjutsu skill is able to use the Five Elements Seal to seal off a person's chakra; he can summon a Rashōmon gates to protect himself from enemy attacks; he can hide within surfaces to avoid damage, or use juinjutsu to temporarily paralyse an opponent. The anime shows Orochimaru's advanced prowess in clone techniques, medical ninjutsu, space–time ninjutsu, and barrier ninjutsu.
Orochimaru is masterful in wielding the legendary Sword of Kusanagi, able to compete against his former teacher while wielding his mighty bo-staff. The blade is able to extend great distances, cut through almost anything, and even be remotely controlled. He normally keeps the blade within a snake's mouth inside his own throat and retrieves it by having it turn into a snake after use.
Orochimaru can use all five basic nature transformations, along with Yin and Yang Release. With Wind Release, he can create a powerful gust of wind and with Earth Release can travel underground. In the anime, he can create mud-based clones. With Fire Release he can easily unleash powerful fire streams. After taking over the body of a White Zetsu clone, modified with Hashirama's DNA, Orochimaru gained access to the latter's Wood Release — a simultaneous mixture of earth and water.
Orochimaru has an affinity for snakes, using the unique arm tattoo to quickly summon them for assistance, his largest and strongest being Manda. He can eject snakes from his sleeves or mouth to strike with; the snakes can sprout blades from their own mouths for deadlier effect. He can even turn his lower body into a snake's tail, increasing his speed and mobility in battle. Orochimaru's ultimate snake-related technique is the Eight Branches Technique, where he transforms into an eight-headed, eight-tailed giant serpent with size superior to that of Manda.
Orochimaru can perform the Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation, having further refined the kinjutsu developed by Tobirama Senju. Upon reviving the dead, he can implant them with special tags that erase their personalities and/or free will, granting him complete control over their actions. Originally, despite improving this technique's quality compared to its creator, Orochimaru's reincarnated soldiers were still considerably diminished in overall capacities compared to when alive. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, after Orochimaru's own capacities and knowledge of the technique were further augmented from Kabuto's essence, his prowess was also increased, as he revived all four previous Hokage with nearly their full power and could use Hashirama's cells to strengthen his control.
During his research of Jūgo's clan, Orochimaru eventually tracked down the power source at the Ryūchi Cave and senjutsu. Although his host body was not strong enough to enter Sage Mode, Orochimaru developed another use for senjutsu chakra: his cursed seals. These seals contain some of Orochimaru's senjutsu chakra mixed with the enzyme produced by Jūgo, triggering a change similar to Sage Transformation, but with different side-effects. These cursed seals also enhance the power of one's techniques, and serve as an extension of and anchor to Orochimaru's consciousness, allowing him to observe events through anyone branded by the seal. He can even be revived any number of times from a cursed seal by using the Evil Releasing Method, provided there is a proper DNA source as a basis. He also created the Mind Awakening Pill to help speed up the cursed seal's progression.
Orochimaru has acquired a vast amount of information of the shinobi world from his time with organisations such as Root and Akatsuki, having set up a network of fully supplied hideouts throughout various countries. He has great charisma in manipulating people into becoming his pawns, providing insight into their past and promising them power in order to gain their loyalty. In battle, he can deduce the workings of an enemy's fighting style and respond accordingly.
Wanting to decipher all of the world's secrets, Orochimaru conducted extensive research and numerous experiments on himself and the DNA of other individuals to comprehend, attain, or reproduce their abilities. Research of abilities such as Hashirama Senju's Wood Release and Jūgo's Sage Transformation have allowed him to recreate those same abilities, or at least produce techniques based off of them, into other people. From experimentation on Shin Uchiha, Orochimaru has become more knowledgeable of human genetics, facilitating his overall research.  In the anime, he could build a sophisticated robot with advanced weaponry, creates genjutsu pills that can subdue a jinchūriki and their tailed beast simultaneously, and even cultivate the cells of a tailed beast to create a pseudo-jinchūriki.
Main article: Chūnin Exams
For a while, since leaving Konoha, Orochimaru left his hometown alone until the chance to destroy it presented itself. The opportunity presented itself when he forms a partnership with the Fourth Kazekage of Sunagakure, who desired Konoha's destruction like him, planning their invasion during the Chūnin Exams. Orochimaru also used the invasion as an opportunity to test Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi's younger brother, if he can be of use as a vessel. Prior to the commencement of the second part of the Chūnin Exams, Orochimaru murdered a team of Kusagakure genin to impersonate its leader Shiore and infiltrate the Forest of Death. Using a snake summon to separate Naruto from Team 7, the disguised Orochimaru subjected Sasuke to his Killing Intent with the youth unable to fight due to the fear instilled into him. However, the fear subsided with Naruto's timely appearance and convincing Sasuke to muster his courage before Orochimaru interferes with the jinchūriki's seal while knocking him out for the duration of the fight. After being subjected to Sasuke's Dragon Fire Technique as it partially burned off his disguise, Orochimaru expresses pride in Sasuke's abilities before branding his target with his Cursed Seal of Heaven and taking his leave.
As he sends Team Dosu as sacrificial lambs to test Sasuke, having Kabuto accompany Team 7 to witness Sasuke use the curse seal's power, Orochimaru is confronted by Anko as he tells her that the Konoha will continue the exams under threat of his retaliation if they cancel it. During the preliminary rounds of the Chūnin Exams, Orochimaru disguised himself as the leader of his genin team to watch Sasuke's performance against Yoroi Akadō and more obsessive upon seeing him suppress the Cursed Seal with sheer will. After Kakashi was able to seal away the mark on Sasuke, Orochimaru confronted him. He made no attempt to hide his envy of Kakashi's Sharingan, and noted before leaving that Sasuke will eventually come to him seeking power.
Main article: Konoha Crush
Eventually, on the day of the final round matches, with all attack preparations complete, Orochimaru murdered the Fourth Kazekage and assumed his identity to sit next to Hiruzen to oversee the proceedings. However, the Konoha Crush began, Orochimaru makes his move to kill his former master. Having the Sound Four discard the guises of the Kazekage's bodyguards, Orochimaru has them erect a barrier to hold the other Konoha ninja back to prevent any interference. Having regretting letting Orochimaru escape years earlier, Hiruzen agrees to battle his former pupil. Exhilarated that he could finally fight his former teacher, Orochimaru used Impure World Reincarnation to summon Hashirama Senju and his brother Tobirama to have the first two Hokage to attack their successor. During the fight, Orochimaru reveals to Hiruzen the fruits of his labour from mastering Living Corpse Reincarnation with the host body he took after his brush-in with Itachi and his intention to make Sasuke into his next host.
Horrified on how far Orochimaru has truly went, with both his age and the regenerative abilities of the two first Hokage placing him in a grand disadvantage, Hiruzen resolves to stop Orochimaru with the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, sealing away the souls of the two Hokage prior to going after Orochimaru himself. Not wishing to join the three Hokages' souls in being trapped within the Reaper's stomach, Orochimaru stabbed Hiruzen through the back of his chest with his Sword of Kusanagi before the weakened Hiruzen resolves to only seal the part of Orochimaru's soul within his arms. Cursing the dying Hiruzen for robbing him of his use of ninjutsu, Orochimaru is carried off by the Sound Four with the invasion halted. Afterwards, Sunagakure broke ties with Orochimaru upon discovering the corpse of the Fourth Kazekage.
Search for Tsunade
Main article: Search for Tsunade
After barely being able to stand the pain from his rotting arms, Orochimaru plans to have his condition healed by appealing Tsunade with the offer to reincarnate her Nawaki and Dan to win her cooperation. However, though she seemed to agree, Tsunade had actually intended to kill him to ensure he never attacks Konoha again. Kabuto intervened before she could do so, intending to force her to help before Jiraiya, Shizune and Naruto soon arrived to her aid. While Orochimaru and Jiraiya (having earlier been drugged by Tsunade and thus unable to properly perform techniques) faced off, Kabuto battled Naruto before being defeated. Seeing this and seeing a potential threat, Orochimaru resolves to kill Naruto before Tsunade teams up with Jiraiya to face their former teammate. Despite summoning Manda, managing to hide his condition from the giant serpent as he fights Gamabunta, Orochimaru is forced to give up healing his arms and just take a new host body.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
Main article: Sasuke Recovery Mission
Even though he had hoped to wait for Sasuke to grow older, Orochimaru sent his Sound Four to retrieve and bring Sasuke to him. He held out for as long as he could, anticipating Sasuke's arrival, but the pain in his arms became too unbearable so he is given no choice but to take the body of Gen'yūmaru, whom Kabuto had prepared earlier. After agreeing to release Gen'yūmaru's clansmen in return for his sacrifice, Orochimaru proceeds to use Living Corpse Reincarnation on his new host. Though the act undid most of the damage caused by the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, it still left Orochimaru incapable of using techniques requiring hand seals.
While still waiting for Sasuke, bandaged up within his new host with Kabuto by his side, Orochimaru comments that either Jirōbō or Kidōmaru would be slowing down the group, but expressed doubts about Sakon's strength, which Kabuto brings up, stating Tayuya was just as strong, and Kimimaro, lamenting that the latter's illness made it impossible to have him as a perfect vessel as originally intended. But with Kimimaro's death, Orochimaru stated that he no longer cared about his previous protégé and instead commented his desire for Sasuke. As he is stuck in Gen'yūmaru's body for the next three years, Orochimaru decided to start training Sasuke once he finally arrived, hoping to shape him into the ideal host while being highly impressed and excited by the chakra that Sasuke revealed in response to Kabuto's threat for not giving Orochimaru his respect.
Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission
Main article: Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission Two and a half years later, a Yamato-led Team Kakashi, hoping to find Sasuke, learned of an opportunity from a dying Sasori that he was meeting with his spy, Kabuto. Posing as Sasori within his Hiruko puppet, the group's temporary leader Yamato met with Kabuto while the others watched. However, Orochimaru arrived as Kabuto destroyed the Hiruko, with Orochimaru clarifying to a confused Kabuto that Sasori never came as the rest of Team Kakashi reveal themselves to fight the two ninja. Although he was surprised to see Yamato has survived his experiments involving Hashirama's DNA, Orochimaru was more interested to see if Naruto had become as strong as "his Sasuke". When Naruto assumed his three-tailed form in response, Orochimaru eluded Naruto, enjoying the battle while provoking Naruto further.
It was only after Naruto submitted to Kurama's influence and entered his mindless four-tailed form that Orochimaru took the fight seriously due to Naruto now being able to kill him and his host body beginning to reject him after he used his Kusanagi to force Naruto away. While he briefly recuperated, Orochimaru was approached by Sai, who made an offer on behalf of Danzō to work together in destroying Konoha. Intrigued, Orochimaru and Kabuto took him back to their base. Later, after the rest of Team Kakashi arrived at the lair and Sai teamed up with them, Orochimaru confronted Sai and Naruto to question Sai about his loyalties. He fled before he could be drawn into another fight and later kept Sasuke from killing the team, noting that they might kill another Akatsuki member like they had done with Sasori.
Main article: Three-Tails' Appearance
In the anime, sensing that the time was close approaching to change vessels, Orochimaru sent Kabuto to find Guren, so that she could help with preparations for the process. During this time, Orochimaru was also experimenting on Yūkimaru, a child with unusual powers. Orochimaru eventually decided it was time to test Sasuke's abilities and watched in awe as he defeated an army of ninja, without killing any, and without receiving a scratch. As Sasuke walked off, Orochimaru admitted that while he used to be recognised as a genius, Sasuke's powers far surpassed his own when he was Sasuke's age.
Noticing that Guren was watching, he offered her another chance to prove herself worthy as Orochimaru's next vessel, which she was delighted with. Orochimaru teamed her up with Yūkimaru, noting that their two abilities should work well together. Later, it was revealed that Orochimaru also chose Guren because he knew she would eventually grow attached to Yūkimaru, which he appeared to have used for. He ordered Kabuto to be ready to eliminate her should she betray him.
Later, after receiving word that the Konoha shinobi were complicating things, Orochimaru decided he might have to intervene personally. After Yūkimaru's loss of his abilities and Guren's supposed death, Kabuto reported back to his master about the failed operation. Orochimaru dismissed it as nothing more than a minor setback, saying that once he had Sasuke's body, it wouldn't make any difference.
Itachi Pursuit Mission
Main article: Itachi Pursuit Mission
On the verge of being rejected by his current body, Orochimaru contemplated about the best way to take Sasuke's body. In the anime, he and Kabuto recapped all the events that led to Sasuke defecting and how much he had improved since. Before he could formulate his plan, however, Sasuke attacked him, having decided that Orochimaru was unworthy of having an Uchiha's body, and tried to kill him with Chidori Sharp Spear but only succeeds in piercing his arm. Orochimaru proceeded to reveal his true body, a large white snake made of a multitude of smaller snakes in order to initiate the body-switch process.
Sasuke, however, cuts up Orochimaru's large snake body, only to realise that the vaporising blood was turning into a paralysis-type poison. Orochimaru then successfully started the body-switch process. Sasuke stopped the process like Itachi had done years earlier but took it a step further by turning the switch against Orochimaru, absorbing him into his own body. Sasuke gained access to some of Orochimaru's abilities but, at the same time, had to dedicate some of his chakra to suppressing Orochimaru. Kabuto later took Orochimaru remains and transfused his blood into himself, giving him access to Orochimaru's abilities.
Fated Battle Between Brothers
Main article: Fated Battle Between Brothers
During the battle with Itachi, Sasuke ran low on chakra and Orochimaru was able to emerge from his cursed seal using his signature Eight Branches Technique. He marvelled at the fact that he would finally have the chance to take Sasuke's body, but was immediately pierced through by the blade held by Itachi's Susanoo. At first Orochimaru boasted that it would take more than that to kill him, but he soon realised that he had been pierced by the Totsuka Sword that he himself had been searching for. Orochimaru was then sealed away by Itachi's Susanoo, which had the effect of removing Sasuke's cursed seal in the process. Three white snakes escaped from Orochimaru's body as he was sealed, but at least one of these snakes was subsequently killed by the black flames of Amaterasu.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Following Kabuto's defeat, and his reunion with Suigetsu Hōzuki and Jūgo, Sasuke learns of the scroll they found at one of Orochimaru's hideouts and resolves to revive him for answers following what he learned from Itachi. Sasuke succeeds in reviving Orochimaru by pulling his consciousness out of Anko's cursed seal and transferring it into the physical form Jūgo provided by absorbing some of Kabuto's modified flesh. Despite Suigetsu's fears of his next action as he reclaims the rest of his chakra that Kabuto took from him, Orochimaru explains that he is neither interested in Tobi's war nor strong enough to even attempt to take Sasuke's body if he wanted to. However, Orochimaru, noting the change in his former student, does agree to take Sasuke to one who has the answers he wants.
Arriving in Konohagakure, Orochimaru and the others sense Naruto's chakra from a great distance away. Noting that Sasuke was annoyed by this, Orochimaru pressed on with the group at the young man's behest. He led them to the Uzumaki Clan's Mask Storage Temple to pick up a mask from the ruins, and then takes the group to the underground hall in the Naka Shrine. Orochimaru proceeded to don the mask which invoked the Shinigami to possess his body. Orochimaru then proceeded to cut open the Shinigami's stomach, a wound reflected on his own body, to release the trapped contents inside the Shinigami.
With his arms restored as well, Orochimaru performed the Impure World Reincarnation using four of the six White Zetsu clone spores that Jūgo activated from Sasuke's body. Ordering Suigetsu and Jūgo hold two of the Zetsu down, the remaining four Zetsu are used as the bodies for the reincarnation of the previous four Hokage. To escape death, Orochimaru transferred his being in the White Zetsu Suigetsu was holding down. Once the Hokage were reincarnated, revealing he researched the means to undo the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, Orochimaru explained that his reasons for bringing them back were for them to aid Sasuke by giving him the information he desired. When Orochimaru accused the Second Hokage of being the one to cause the coup d'etat to surface, he was rebuffed by the Hokage who later explained that he had tried to save the Uchiha from themselves. When Tobirama later declared that he was heading to the battlefield, Orochimaru's new vessel provided him with access to Hashirama's cells, allowing him to bind the Hokage. Noting that Hashirama had broken his control over him, Orochimaru is told by the First that he would first free Sasuke from the darkness which surrounded him. During this course of events, Sasuke had a flashback about a conversation he and Orochimaru had as they made their way to Konoha where Sasuke stated that he does not believe Orochimaru's reasons to destroy Konoha were on a whim.
After hearing Sasuke's decision to protect the village, Orochimaru announces that he will also help in the war effort against Madara. When Hiruzen asks him after why he changed his mind after all these years, Orochimaru explains that he made an error in judgement from watching Kabuto act in his stead and is now interested to see the result of Sasuke's "different path" of not letting those who sacrificed themselves for the village go to waste.
Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
Main article: Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
Later, Orochimaru arrived to the place where Tsunade and the other Kage were left severely wounded, alongside Suigetsu and Karin, commenting that Tsunade was in a rather bad shape. He broke up the arguing Karin and Suigetsu, and ordered them to help Katsuyu heal Tsunade. Later, Orochimaru, along with the five Kage, Suigetsu, and Karin, arrive at the battlefield, where the entire Allied Shinobi Forces are struggling against Obito Uchiha, who recently became the jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails. As Obito began the final stages of his and Madara's grand plan: "Infinite Tsukuyomi", Hashirama had Ino Yamanaka telepathically link everyone via the Mind Body Transmission Technique to inform everyone about the plan as well as try and rally the shinobi to continue fighting. While Hashirama's words fail to inspire them, Naruto's memories are conveyed to them via Ino's telepathy. The Sannin looked on solemnly as Naruto remembered the memorial he erected for Jiraiya.
As Sasuke had Jūgo transfer some of his natural energy into the Uchiha, who immediately channelled it into his complete Susanoo, Orochimaru watched on, greatly impressed at how far Sasuke has come and notes that he still had much room to grow. Later, while asserting that he had no interest in the war, Orochimaru noted that Obito's plan would interfere with his experiments, he then decided to heed his former sensei's urgings and participate in the war. With his assistance, Hiruzen was able to destroy the branches of the Ten-Tails into pieces. As Naruto began his great tug-of-war against Obito, Orochimaru alongside Hiruzen watched on as the tree's flower halted its blooming.
After a momentary lull in the battle after Obito is defeated, the Allied Forces were attacked by Tobi, who created an enormous wooden statue to assault them. Orochimaru teamed up with his former subordinates to effectively subdue their attacker in order to make a break for Sasuke's location. He was then impressed by Karin's ability to use the chakra chains and he was reminded of Kushina Uzumaki. As they raced towards where Karin last senses Sasuke, Orochimaru noticed that the young woman was expending herself. Contemplating the situation, he wondered solemnly if this was really the end for Sasuke.
Upon reaching Sasuke, they found Kabuto merging with Sasuke, seemingly to assimilate the Uchiha. When asking his former right-hand man why he came, Kabuto simply explained that his experience under the effects of Izanami made him rediscover his true identity as simply Kabuto Yakushi and acknowledged what he always sought was back at the Konoha orphanage. Wanting to make up for his mistakes, starting with healing Sasuke through his medical ninjutsu and instructions from Tobirama. Eventually, Kabuto succeeded in healing Sasuke, who quickly returned to his feet and was ready to resume the battle. Orochimaru was later caught in Madara's Infinite Tsukuyomi.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Main article: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes Ultimately, he and the rest of the world are freed from the genjutsu by Naruto and Sasuke after they ended the war.
After the war's conclusion, Orochimaru would return to conducting his genetic experiments. He also formed a truce with Konoha and the Five Great Nations that he would be pardoned for his crimes under the condition he is placed under strict 24-hour surveillance by Konoha jōnin. Despite the strict watch, Orochimaru was allowed to move freely as the shinobi that watched over Orochimaru were ordered not to make any form of contact with him until he made a move against Konoha or did anything suspicious. He was even allowed to move freely in and out of Konoha.
Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise
Main articles: Sasuke Shinden (novel) and Sasuke Shinden (anime) Orochimaru meets with Sasuke, who is gathering information on the Dark Thunder Group, for the first time in a few years since the war. Orochimaru tells Sasuke to meet with En Oyashiro, who is a medical ninja but is a notorious kekkei genkai collector, because he may have connections to the group since its leader is a kekkei genkai owner. They take a boat to En's "Coliseum", where a tournament is being hosted with En's clients attending to purchase the winning shinobi. Orochimaru reveals to him that Sasuke is a kekkei genkai owner himself, causing Sasuke to be forced into participating in the tournament.
In the following years, between gaining a new appreciation for natural development of people and forming a truce between Konohagakure, Orochimaru ultimately reestablished Otogakure as a legitimate shinobi village. At some point, Orochimaru created multiple synthetic humans such as Log and Mitsuki using his genetic source with cloning technology. Later, Orochimaru and Log orchestrated a test for Mitsuki to unknowingly participate in, which was devised for his son to find a third option that neither Orochimaru or Log presented him. Having failed the test fives times, Orochimaru used a drug each time to remove Mitsuki's memories. On the sixth attempt, Mitsuki passed the test by rebelling against the pair to forge his own destiny himself, resulting in him wanting to migrate to Konoha. Supporting his decision, Orochimaru asked Naruto to take his son in, which the Hokage allowed, as it was believed Orochimaru's research would prove useful to Konoha in time, as well as being critical to the shinobi world when the time came to battle the Ōtsutsuki clan.
Sarada Uchiha Arc
Main article: Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Fifteen years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Orochimaru revealed himself to Sasuke and Naruto when the former demanded to meet him, wanting to inquire about Shin Uchiha. Naruto commented on his youthful looks, to which Orochimaru replied to "not stress on the details". After a talk, he explained that Shin was, in fact, an experiment of his in cloning technology and that he would be glad if they took him off his hands. He then went on to lecture about the ethics of cloning. Once he finished his story, Orochimaru happily decided to tell Sasuke all he knew about Shin's whereabouts in the hope of the true Uchiha killing Shin. Later on, Orochimaru commented on the possibility of Sakura Uchiha being already dead, to which Sasuke disagreed.
School Trip Arc
Main article: School Trip Arc In the anime, when learning of civil unrest in Kirigakure and rumours of the Sixth Mizukage killing off people against the peaceful expansion of his village, Orochimaru sent Suigetsu to investigate, hoping to find useful new allies. Ultimately, Suigetsu reported that the horrific rumours on Chōjūrō were in fact done by Shizuma Hoshigaki, who used the Mizukage as a diversion for his plans at a coup d'état, which were stopped with the aid of Boruto Uzumaki. Orochimaru surmised that Chōjūrō decided to keep the actions quiet in fear of regressing the village to its darker times. While realising that Suigetsu got directly involved in exposing Shizuma's actions, he decided to keep quiet about it, instead marvelling at how much Boruto was like his father.
Graduation Exams Arc
Main article: Graduation Exams Arc
In the anime, as Konoha's Academy classes began preparing for graduation exams, Orochimaru stealthily came to the village with Yamato, to avoid any commotion from villagers still uneasy about his presence. Meeting with Naruto in his office, they discussed Danzō's research he was analysing and Mitsuki. Afterwards, he attended Mitsuki's parent-teacher conference, where he and his son met with Shino Aburame. Wanting to become a Konoha shinobi, Orochimaru allowed Mitsuki to stay in the village to become one.
Versus Momoshiki Arc
Main articles: Boruto: Naruto the Movie and Versus Momoshiki Arc In the anime, having contacted Mitsuki through their snakes, Orochimaru instructed him to not reveal his true strength, as Mitsuki wouldn't be able to remain in Konoha. Upon Team Konohamaru capturing a bear within Konoha, Orochimaru overlooked the genin completing their mission from atop a building.
Sasuke Shinden: The Teacher's Star Pupil
Main article: Sasuke Shinden: The Teacher's Star Pupil On a moonlit night, Orochimaru decides to visit Mitsuki in Konoha. When he finds Mitsuki, Mitsuki is in the middle of practicing with the Lorentz Gun. Although Mitsuki isn't able to perform it successfully, Orochimaru is nevertheless impressed by his progress, believing such skill is proof of being Orochimaru's son. Mitsuki is not comforted by this, as his Lorentz Gun still pales in comparison to Sasuke's, who taught it to him in the first place. Orochimaru stirs at the mention of Sasuke and tries to casually offer to accompany Mitsuki the next time he trains with Sasuke. Mitsuki tells Orochimaru to stop.
Main article: Chōchō Arc
In the anime, Mitsuki brought Orochimaru a scroll for him to sign so he could partake in an upcoming mission. Before which, they had a sparring session. While Orochimaru decisively won, he applauded Mitsuki's improvement. When Mitsuki asked if he should refer to Orochimaru as his father or mother, Orochimaru said it was irrelevant as he has been all kinds of entities over the years and all that matters is one's core.
Mitsuki's Disappearance Arc
Main article: Mitsuki's Disappearance Arc In the anime, when Mitsuki apparently betrayed and deserted Konohagakure, Orochimaru was confronted by Yamato about it. Orochimaru insisted he was clueless about the situation. Later, Orochimaru found Boruto Uzumaki and Sarada Uchiha sneaking into his base. The boy wanted to ask Orochimaru about a last message from Mitsuki through a snake, which simply stated that "It is his will". After doing tests on the snake, Orochimaru concluded that there was no apparent hidden message, but suggested going to White Snake Sage who might know more. After all this, Orochimaru was left intrigued, both by his son's random actions and Boruto's unwavering loyalty to Mitsuki like Naruto's to Sasuke from years ago.
Afterwards, knowing that Konohagakure would send a team to retrieve Boruto and Sarada, Orochimaru sent Suigetsu (while concealing his identity) to stall the two genin's pursuers long enough for them to reach Ryūchi Cave. Later, learning about Ōnoki's passing and Mitsuki confirmed loyalty to Konohagakure by working to stop the Fabrications, Orochimaru was pleased to see how well Mitsuki was developing as a person in finding more about his true self. At the same time, Orochimaru was concerned when learning that the investigation into the development of the Fabrications was covered up by an unknown person, leading Orochimaru to wonder who else besides himself could create artificial humans that advanced.
Main article: Jūgo Arc In the anime, when Jūgo abruptly left the base to deal with a mysterious outbreak of cursed seals infecting wildlife, Orochimaru tasked Suigetsu and Karin with retrieving him.
Later, Mitsuki came to Orochimaru to discuss his recent memories about Ōnoki and how they began flashing through his mind as dreams. The Sannin scanned his son's mind to research the memories with Log. There, they learned about how Mitsuki went through great personal discoveries about his being, wondering what choices are really his own and if he is on the right path. While Orochimaru was proud to see how much he was maturing into a true human being, he was concerned how the still-raw child was reacting to such personal loss. Log voiced his disapproval of erasing Mitsuki's memories after how far they had come. Ultimately, they gave Mitsuki a choice to continue enduring these painful memories or have his mind reset to before he ever even knew about Boruto. Mitsuki decided to keep his memories and move ahead, impressing Orochimaru.
Kara Actuation Arc
In the anime, after pressured into using his Sage Mode Transformation to save his team-mates against Deepa, Mitsuki's body began breaking down from over-usage. He was brought to Log and Orochimaru for treatment. Orochimaru was dismayed at the severity of Mitsuki's condition, noting that various organs would have to replaced from scratch. Log noted that Orochimaru was very concerned for Mitsuki, who simply said that he has invested so much time and resources into creating Mitsuki, not wanting it to be a wasted effort.
Later, Log investigated and learned that the Hashirama Cell Kara acquired was actually stolen from one of Orochimaru's old laboratories. Despite this news, Orochimaru simply said not to bother taking any action, as the First Hokage's genes weren't easily harnessed. When Mitsuki regained consciousness, he asked the boy if it was worth the risk of dying to save his friends, testing Mitsuki's resolve.
Later, Orochimaru found Suigetsu detaining the genin of Team 5. Orochimaru stopped the battle, not wanting his equipment to get any more damage. He asked what they wanted from him, truly intrigued by why such inexperienced genin would approach him. His intrigue quickly turned to shock and dismay as they simply requested for his autograph. While finding the request trivial and annoyed at the stats the trading card had on him, Orochimaru agreed to it. As he left, the genin asked about Mitsuki's condition, to which Orochimaru said he would be fine. Noting to himself that Mitsuki had made more friends than just Boruto, Orochimaru was pleased at his son's development in Konohagakure.
As Mitsuki's replacement organs were almost viable, Suigetsu returned with news of Mitsuki's team. He revealed they all returned the Land of Valleys. While the genin and jōnin respectively went for different reasons, Suigetsu suspected that there was a connection between the two. As Suigetsu's speculations roused Mitsuki into leaving prematurely, an annoyed Orochimaru decided to punish Suigetsu for his reckless words by using him as a test subject for another experiment.
Later, after Mitsuki's recovery was sped up by Log donating his own organs, Orochimaru decided to investigate matters in the Land of Valleys personally with Mitsuki. Upon arriving, he discovered the the sprouting of the God Tree created by Victor. He found Mugino attempting to leave the country safely with the unconscious Valleys Daimyō. He was stopped by a Kara Outer, who was instantly defeated by Orochimaru after his sudden appearance.
Orochimaru confronted Victor as he was battled Konohamaru. While Konohamaru was shocked by his arrival, Orochimaru insisted that he was only here to make Victor pay for stealing from him. Victor remained defiant and attacked Orochmaru, showing off his advanced skill set. Orochimaru however easily repelled Victor's efforts, pressuring him into seeking the God Tree's fruit for more power. Victor's efforts ultimate backfired as the God Tree ensnared him. Orochimaru mocked Victor's scientific efforts and obliviousness, noting that Victor's God Tree was a crude imitation, unable to actually produce fruit. Orochimaru proceeded to destroy the God Tree. After succeeding and the enemies defeated, Orochimaru decided to leave, noting that he already informed Naruto about the events.
Orochimaru apparently kept tabs on Akatsuki, as Kabuto was knowledgeable about Zetsu, and Tobi's machination to revive the Ten-Tails. Even when removed from reality by Itachi, being an extensive researcher, the notes he left behind were still coveted as vast stores of knowledge to those fortunate enough to come across them, as seen when one of his hidden rooms is found by Suigetsu and Jūgo, the former of which finds information he believes can impact the war.
In the anime, Kabuto used Orochimaru's cells in order to create special snakes which could multiply at a rapid rate and merge into either a clone of another living being using a genetic sample or a larger serpent for combat. The clone snakes are first used to create a clone of Hidan, and then later a clone of Naruto with Kurama's chakra.
In his absence, Kabuto used Orochimaru's remains from his battle with Sasuke to integrate his master's DNA into himself in order to surpass him. Having also assimilated the DNA of Sakon and Ukon to procure their abilities, Kabuto uses the twins' Attack of the Twin Demons to produce a construct of Orochimaru that transforms into his White Snake form and lunges at an opponent. However, Orochimaru lived on, in a sense, through cursed seals and Kabuto after the latter integrated Orochimaru's DNA into himself. Knowing the nature of the seal to contain parts of Orochimaru's consciousness, Sasuke revived Orochimaru by transferring a portion of Orochimaru's DNA which was retrieved from Kabuto's modified body into Anko's Cursed Seal of Heaven.
In Other Media
Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds
Main article: Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds Orochimaru made a small appearance along with Kabuto. Feeling that his time was running out before he had to transfer his soul again, but fearing that the repeated use of his techniques was starting to be too taxing, he ordered Sasuke to retrieve a man named Shinnō, who had developed his own immortality technique. In the end, Sasuke failed to get the man, but did retrieve the scroll containing the technique's information. Orochimaru noticed that Sasuke's demeanour seemed shaken from the mission.
Orochimaru is a playable character in the following video games:
Live Spectacle Naruto
Main article: Live Spectacle Naruto Hiro Yūmi plays as Orochimaru in this stage play adaption.
Creation and Conception
As one of the villains in the story, Kishimoto created Orochimaru as an antithesis to the protagonists' values. His snake-like appearance and related features were intended to make it easier for the reader to recognise that he is a villain. In an interview, Kishimoto asserted that making the villains "flamboyant" was one of his "guiding principles", and attributed this to his desire to have the villains possess a "powerful aura".
Following this theme of distinguishing villains, Kishimoto attempted to make Orochimaru's face appear "pasty and sickly," which serves to emphasise the "scary looks" that Kishimoto frequently has Orochimaru performing in the manga. As these occurrences are his "trademark", Kishimoto modifies Orochimaru's appearance and the scene to focus on Orochimaru's face; for instance, highlights that are normally added to Orochimaru's hair are removed and the background is blanked out to create a "creepy atmosphere".
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- The name "Orochi" literally means "great snake" (大蛇) while "maru" (丸) is a common suffix in male names.
- It is possible that Orochimaru has a last name, since both of his parent's names are written with two words. However, reading them is impossible due to the kanji's bad quality.
- Orochimaru borrows heavily from Japanese myth and literature:
- Literature — Orochimaru's name, as well as those of Jiraiya and Tsunade, come from the "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya" (児雷也豪傑物語, Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari). The Orochimaru in that story was originally a student of Jiraiya's called Yashagorō, until he was corrupted by snake magic and took on the name Orochimaru.
- Myth — Yamata-no-Orochi (八岐大蛇, Eight-forked Giant Snake), a giant eight-tailed, eight-headed snake killed with the Totsuka Sword by the god Susanoo-no-Mikoto, who found the Kusanagi Sword in one of its tails. This mirrors almost exactly how Itachi Uchiha using Totsuka Sword wielding Susanoo sealed Orochimaru, while in his Yamata form, and wielding the Kusanagi Sword kept inside of him.
- In the English VIZ translation of chapter 49, Orochimaru introduces himself to Sasuke as "Orochimaru, the Giant Snake". This was not present in the original version.
- The symbolism of Orochimaru's snake affiliation can be also tied to how many cultures, Eastern and Western, perceived snakes as symbols of immortality and rebirth via the shedding of their skin.
- Orochimaru shares his blood type with his former teammates, Jiraiya and Tsunade.
- After the preliminaries conclude, he is never shown again wearing an Otogakure forehead protector.
- Studio Pierrot's Settei sheets of Orochimaru show that he was 153 cm when he was part of Hiruzen's genin team, and as an adult he is always 179.5 cm even after taking bodies, even though the databook puts him as 179.4 cm.
- According to the databook(s):
- Orochimaru's hobby is creating techniques.
- Orochimaru wishes to fight those with techniques that can be used in the future.
- Orochimaru's favourite food are eggs (likely a gag to his snake motif), while his least favourites are anything cold.
- During his time as a Konoha-nin, Orochimaru has completed 1,468 official missions in total: 16 D-rank, 332 C-rank, 521 B-rank, 491 A-rank, 108 S-rank.
- Orochimaru's favourite words are "destroy" (破壊, hakai) and "chaos" (混沌, konton).
- In the fourth databook, kekkei genkai is not listed among Orochimaru's special characteristics, despite his body granting him Wood Release.
- In Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds, Orochimaru claimed that Shinnō had taught him many Reincarnation Ninjutsu.
- Throughout the anime adaption of Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding, Orochimaru makes comedic cameos throughout Konoha while being pursued by Yamato
- (To Kabuto) "You just don't have enough information to explain yourself yet. Your glasses, your name, being someone's child is not something that can show who really you are. But that is fine. If you're not happy on what you have now… you can just find new things to find up. …You see, I also want to find who I really am. That's why I'm collecting a bit of everything."
- (To Hiruzen) "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 colour "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 colours, 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."
- (To Hiruzen) "What nonsense! In the grand scheme of time, you're nothing more than a trivial footnote in the brief history of a cluster of huts called "Konoha"! In time, the Hokage Stone Faces will crumble and be worn down to nothing…"
- (To a young Kimimaro) "Maybe, just maybe, there is no purpose in life. But if you linger a while longer in this world, you might discover something of value in it, like how you discovered that flower. Or, how I discovered you one fateful night."
- (To Kabuto, talking about Tsunade) "The best medicines always taste bitter."
- (About Naruto) "This child… intrigues me to no end!"
- (About Sasuke) "When I watch this boy, I look back to the time I was called a genius, and think how ridiculous it was."
- (About Yūkimaru) "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."
- (To Sasuke) "I refuse… to let this happen! I am Orochimaru! I am immortal! I will not die here! Destined to discover the true meaning behind everything! Destined to take control of everything in this world!!"
- (To Suigetsu about Sasuke) "It's just like the time when I planned on crushing the Konohagakure… He has chosen a divergent path from the village… But even so, it'll always have some sentimental value. He's soaking that all in and coming to terms with… The consequences of his future actions and reaffirming his resolve."
- (To Tsunade, about Jiraiya) "People change. It's just a matter of whether they die before it happens. Although he died just the way he was."
- (To Hiruzen) "Fine, let's bring back the memories… of when I was your student."
- First Databook, pages 46-49
- Second Databook, pages 57-61
- Third Databook, pages 52-55
- Fourth Databook, page 72
- Naruto chapter 122, page 7
- Naruto chapter 344, pages 16-17
- Naruto chapter 416, page 7
- Naruto chapter 369, pages 11-12
- Naruto chapter 372, page 11
- Naruto chapter 446, page 4
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
- Naruto chapter 583, page 1-8
- Naruto chapter 121, page 7
- Naruto chapter 116, pages 3-4
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 351
- Naruto chapter 291, pages 14-15
- Naruto chapter 478, pages 10-11
- Naruto chapter 700+7
- Naruto chapter 579, page 17
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 352
- Naruto episode 171
- Naruto chapter 583, page 17-20
- Naruto chapters 121-122
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 354
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 355
- Naruto chapter 267, page 4
- Naruto chapter 345
- Naruto chapter 290, page 14
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 457
- Naruto chapter 392, pages 16-17
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 147
- Naruto chapter 593, pages 9-10
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 500
- Boruto episode 35
- Boruto episode 22
- Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring volume cover
- Naruto chapter 122, page 7
- Naruto chapter 620, pages 10-11
- Naruto chapter 353, page 14
- Boruto episode 175
- Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, OVA cutscene
- Naruto chapter 117
- Naruto chapter 593, page 16
- Naruto episode 88
- Naruto chapter 294, page 9
- Naruto chapter 171, pages 1-4
- Fourth Databook
- Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise chapter 3
- Naruto chapter 663, page 11
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 361
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 113
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 303
- Naruto episode 30
- Naruto chapter 294, page 3
- Naruto chapter 47, page 19
- Naruto chapter 620, page 10-11
- Naruto chapter 593, page 9
- Naruto chapter 521, page 17
- Naruto chapter 478, page 10
- Naruto chapter 700+7, pages 10-13
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 366
- Naruto chapter 394, page 3
- Boruto episode 5
- Boruto chapter 25, page 38-39
- Naruto Gaiden: The Road Illuminated by the Full Moon
- Boruto episode 73
- Boruto episode 72
- Naruto chapter 512, page 6
- Naruto chapter 574, pages 6-7
- Naruto chapter 584, pages 16-17
- Naruto chapter 627, page 13
- Naruto chapter 593, pages 6-7
- Naruto chapter 584, page 10
- Naruto chapter 121, page 12
- Naruto chapter 122, page 15
- Naruto episode 126
- Naruto chapter 153, page 13
- Naruto chapter 293, page 15
- Naruto chapter 343, page 3
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 105
- Naruto chapter 346, page 6
- Naruto chapter 618, page 6
- Naruto chapter 635, page 9
- Naruto chapter 650, page 4