|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.
Orochimaru was 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 spirited 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 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. 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 gone, Orochimaru's agenda made him develop a god complex and valued 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, having no sentimental attachments to any of them despite their values. Despite this, Orochimaru has genuine interest in the development of his underlings and experiments.
Taking Sasuke as an apprentice, 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 ultimately choosing to defend the village he initially swore to destroy, one that Orochimaru openly approved and was curious to see what would be the end result of this decision.
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 see his full abilities at the time. 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 the 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 from killing Team Kakashi so they would thin out the Akatsuki membership.
An aspect of Orochimaru's personality is also his greatest weakness: his arrogance. He truly believed he is 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.
After being revived by Sasuke, his personality changed a bit. While he still wished that he could gain Sasuke's body, 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 seem to genuinely care about Sasuke's well being, 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. Years later, he appears to be on amicable terms with Konoha by sending his son, Mitsuki, to the village.
Orochimaru's most striking 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 his skin-tone becomes fairer with black eye markings. He also wears his hair in a ponytail, allowing two locks to frame the sides of his face. 
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 little 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.
Like other students of the Third Hokage, Orochimaru is an exceptionally talented shinobi, recognised as a natural prodigy; Hashirama Senju, a God of Shinobi, praises Orochimaru's skills. It wasn't until the Second Shinobi World War that their skills became widely known, dubbed by Hanzō as the Sannin, the strongest of their generation. Orochimaru's power was known and feared throughout the ninja world, such that Akatsuki, of which he was once a member, viewed him as a threat that needed to be eliminated. During the Konoha Crush, Hiruzen believed that no one in Konoha, himself included, could defeat Orochimaru. Although his invasion fails, it is indeed through Orochimaru's actions that the Third Hokage dies among many others and Konoha's military force is temporarily crippled. Although Sasuke defeats Orochimaru in Part II, he admits that his victory was attributed partially to the Sannin's weakening body.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
Orochimaru has reserves of chakra large enough to summon Manda and powerful enough to uproar dense surges of wind and crack stone. He can also absorb chakra through physical contact. Orochimaru rarely relies on taijutsu in battle, though the anime shows he is very strong, enough to knock down a tree with a single kick while under great physical pain.
In his quest to gain immortality, Orochimaru has made a number of modifications to his body over the years, referred to as the Power of the White Snake. With it, he can heal and regenerate from varying lengths of damage, usually through snake-like means; for injuries like bisection, he can reconnect himself using snakes; for more severe injuries, he can shed his skin to regurgitate a new body, free from all damage. Orochimaru's body modifications have also allowed him to manipulate the shape of his body for greater manouvreability, and enhanced his physical durability enough to survive a powerful punch from Tsunade.
As Power of the White Snake's name suggests, Orochimaru's body modifications have resulted in his true form taking on the appearance of a giant white snake. The body is composed of many smaller snakes that can be used to attack the opponent. Even if the opponent manages to incapacitate him, the blood released by killing the snakes is poisonous, evaporating into the air and paralysing anyone who inhales it. This form also enables Orochimaru to use his Living Corpse Reincarnation, his main method of immortality. It allows him to transfer his soul into a new body by swallowing that person whole and absorbing their consciousness, thereby gaining control of their body. This can only be used once every three years, as Orochimaru's current body begins to reject him and forces him to find a new host. The souls of the bodies he has taken remain in Orochimaru's subconscious and he can modify his body to as he sees fit.
Orochmaru has conducted research on Hashirama Senju's DNA in order to access the latter's rapid healing abilities. He eventually gains the ability after taking over the body of a White Zetsu clone, which contains Hashirama's DNA. After being revived using Kabuto's modified flesh, Orochimaru obtained the numerous body enhancements that Kabuto had placed upon himself.
Orochimaru has a vast arsenal of ninjutsu styles. He is proficient enough with the Transformation Technique to stay undetected for long periods of time; his skill in fūinjutsu allows him to use the Five Elements Seal to seal off a person's chakra; he can summon a single Rashōmon gate or more to protect himself from enemy attacks; he can hide hide within surfaces to avoid damage, or use cursed seals to temporarily paralyse an opponent. The anime shows Orochimaru using other techniques, such as the Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique, chakra scalpels, as well as space–time ninjutsu.
Orochimaru wields the legendary Sword of Kusanagi, showing enough proficiency to fight evenly with his former master Hiruzen. 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 turning into a snake after use.
Orochimaru can use all five basic nature transformations, along with Yin and Yang Release. His elemental displays are brief in the manga, using only Wind Release to create a powerful gust of wind and Earth Release to travel underground. In the anime, he can create mud-based clones. After taking over the body of a White Zetsu clone, Orochimaru gained access to the latter's Wood Release — a simultaneous mixture of earth and water.
As his appearance suggests, Orochimaru has an affinity for snakes, using the unique arm tattoo to summon them for assistance in battle, his largest and strongest being Manda. He can also eject snakes from either his sleeves or his mouth to attack opponents; in the anime, the snakes can sprout Kusanagi-like 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, granting him complete control over their actions. During the Konoha Crush, Orochimaru revives the Second and First Hokage to fight his former teacher Hiruzen; the latter later seals away part of Orochimaru's soul within his arms, making him temporarily lose access to this technique. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Orochimaru uses the Shinigami Mask to spiritually restore himself, allowing him to use the technique once more. His prowess with it has increased, as he revives all four previous Hokage with nearly their full power and can 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 he lacked the body and chakra reserves strong enough to learn Sage Mode, Orochimaru developed another use for senjutsu chakra: the cursed seals. These seals contained 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 can be used to enhance the power of one's techniques, and serve as anchors to Orochimaru's consciousness, allowing him to observe events through anyone branded by the seal. He can even be revived any number of times through the Evil Releasing Method, provided there are enough cursed seals and DNA.
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 is capable of deducing 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 of Shin Uchiha, Orochimaru has become more knowledgeable of human genetics, facilitating his overall research. 
The anime expands on Orochimaru's experimentation in other areas: he creates the Mind Awakening Pill to help speed up the cursed seal's progression; he builds a sophisticated robot with advanced weaponry; he creates genjutsu pills strong enough to subdue a jinchūriki and their tailed beast simultaneously; he cultivates the cells of a tailed beast to recreate the original in chakra reserves, enough to create a pseudo-jinchūriki.
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.
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
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 agreed, 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 team-mate. 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
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
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 use 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
On the verge of being rejected by his current body, Orochimaru contemplated how best 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.
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
At the point of his battle against Itachi and Sasuke, Kabuto had begun to think that he was Orochimaru, and thus throughout the battle an image of Orochimaru would overshadow him as he spoke. During his battle against Sasuke and Itachi, Kabuto creates a manifestation of Orochimaru in his true form several times. The first time Orochimaru is manifested he is in his regular human appearance, but quickly changes into his true snake form and speeds towards the two Uchiha, while the two brothers fend of the snake with their Susanoo, Kabuto emerges from Orochimaru's mouth and bisects Itachi. Kabuto later creates the manifestation of Orochimaru again when attacking the brothers, but it is stopped once again by the Susanoo.
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 lead 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 broke 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
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 was 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
Ultimately, he and the rest of the world were 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. Although seemingly passive, Konoha still didn't trust him and kept a close watch on him, constantly keeping watch outside his hideout. At one point, his son Mitsuki was born, although it is left unclear as to the nature of which his child was born and came to live in Konoha.
Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring
Main article: Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring 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 the possibility of Sakura being already dead. Sasuke, however, disagreed, saying that she is strong enough to protect herself.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Main article: Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Orochimaru makes a cameo appearance in this film's post-credit scene. Boruto and Sarada ask Mitsuki who his parents are and after he tells them it's Orochimaru, Sarada asks if he's the mother or the father. Mitsuki answers that either one is fine, while Boruto loudly asks who Orochimaru is. He's then shown standing on top of a house, looking at the three genin.
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
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 Yuumi 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 team-mates, 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, 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.
- (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
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Fourth Databook, page 72
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Chapter 122, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 344, pages 16-17
- ↑ Chapter 369, pages 11-12
- ↑ Chapter 372, page 11
- ↑ Chapter 446, page 4
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
- ↑ Chapter 583, page 1-8
- ↑ Chapter 121, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 116, pages 3-4
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 351
- ↑ Chapter 291, pages 14-15
- ↑ Chapter 478, pages 10-11
- ↑ Chapter 700+7
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Chapter 579, page 17
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 352
- ↑ Naruto episode 171
- ↑ Chapter 583, page 17-20
- ↑ Chapters 121-122
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 354
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 355
- ↑ Chapter 267, page 4
- ↑ Chapter 345
- ↑ Chapter 290, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 392, pages 16-17
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 147
- ↑ Chapter 593, pages 9-10
- ↑ Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring volume cover
- ↑ Chapter 122, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 620, pages 10-11
- ↑ Chapter 353, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 94, pages 7-8
- ↑ Chapter 363, page 15
- ↑ Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, OVA cutscene
- ↑ Chapter 117
- ↑ Chapter 593, page 16
- ↑ Naruto episode 88
- ↑ Chapter 171, pages 1-4
- ↑ 42.0 42.1 Fourth Databook
- ↑ Chapter 593, pages 4-6
- ↑ Chapter 663, page 11
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 361
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 113
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 303
- ↑ Naruto episode 30
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 41
- ↑ Chapter 47, page 19
- ↑ Chapter 618
- ↑ Chapter 620, page 10-11
- ↑ 53.0 53.1 Chapter 593, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 521, page 17
- ↑ Chapter 478, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 593, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 700+7, pages 10-13
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 366
- ↑ Chapter 394, page 3
- ↑ Boruto: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Chapter 512, page 6
- ↑ Chapter 574, pages 6-7
- ↑ Chapter 584, pages 16-17
- ↑ Chapter 627, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 593, pages 6-7
- ↑ Chapter 584, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 121, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 122, page 15
- ↑ Naruto episode 126
- ↑ Chapter 153, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 293, page 15
- ↑ Chapter 343, page 3
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 105
- ↑ Chapter 346, page 6
- ↑ Chapter 618, page 6
- ↑ Chapter 635, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 650, page 4