|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) was one of Konohagakure's most powerful ninja: a legendary Sannin, but defected from the village in pursuit of his own self-seeking desires, such as learning every technique. Prior to his defection, he was an ANBU-level shinobi and a member of the Root faction. He was the main antagonist throughout most of Part I and a major antagonist in Part II.
Orochimaru was originally a student of Hiruzen Sarutobi as part of a three-man team, consisting of himself, Jiraiya and Tsunade. Even at a young age, Orochimaru stood out as a prodigy — his talents, knowledge, and determination were considered by his sensei a prodigy only seen once in a generation.
During the Second Shinobi World War, Orochimaru and his former team-mates fought 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. On their way back to Konoha, they encountered three Amegakure orphans, who Orochimaru proposed to kill to put them out of their misery, but Jiraiya chose to train them instead.
Some time after Team Hiruzen was disbanded, Orochimaru became an ANBU and a member of Root, working directly under Danzō Shimura. On one occasion, he encountered Kabuto Yakushi amongst a group of orphans that were aiding Nonō in healing Konoha-nin. He enquired whether or not the boy — who had displayed remarkable skills with medical ninjutsu — wanted to be a shinobi. After he declined Orochimaru lamented that it was a waste of talent. After accompanying Danzō to the orphanage to speak with Nonō, he and another shinobi subtly threatened to rob the orphanage and kidnap the orphans if she refused the mission. Five years after Kabuto — who had volunteered to accompany them when they demanded an orphan to replace the Root member that had been killed recently — was on a mission in Iwagakure and had his cover blown, Orochimaru appeared to the young man once again.
Taking him back to his hideout, Orochimaru explained Root's elaborate plan to have Kabuto and Nonō kill each other. As they had become risky assets to Root because of what they knew (and the great skills they possessed as spies), eliminating both of them by "mutual kill" was the safest way of dispatching them. After this Orochimaru inveigles Kabuto into allying himself with him and gives him a new background story. From then on Orochimaru and Kabuto worked together on experiments while Kabuto also spied for him, gathering information.
According to Tsunade, Orochimaru had always been twisted, even back when he was 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, told by Hiruzen how a white snake is known to represent good fortune and rebirth, Orochimaru became inspired. Ultimately, he began to study kinjutsu and became obsessed with learning all ninjutsu. Jiraiya theorised that Orochimaru went down this path in an attempt to forget his painful memories. Sarutobi in particular had very high hopes for Orochimaru, often berating the clumsy Jiraiya and telling him he should be more like his team-mate. After becoming the Third Hokage, Sarutobi hoped that one day Orochimaru would succeed him. He eventually became Anko Mitarashi's mentor, teaching her ninjutsu and taking her, along with nine others, as a subject for the Cursed Seal of Heaven.
While Orochimaru's ambitions did include becoming the Fourth Hokage, his eyes were set upon goals quite alien to the ideals traditionally associated with the title and emphatically embraced by his teacher. Hiruzen knew that "a shinobi's true strength will manifest when protecting something important", and the Hokage's role is to love and protect the people of the village as if they were a family. For Orochimaru, however, Hokage was nothing more than a potential conquest on the way to what truly interested him: power. This mindset influenced the image he had on people around him, with a young Ibiki Morino seeing him as "something inhuman in human form".
Hiruzen had hoped to make his student see the error of his ways, but as more time passed, it became evident that Orochimaru was a lost cause. When Hiruzen finally retired years later he chose a student of Jiraiya's, Minato Namikaze, over Orochimaru as his successor, thus making Minato the Fourth Hokage. Realising that he had hit a dead end in his quest to become the ultimate being and therefore had nothing to gain from staying in Konoha, Orochimaru began to be less discreet with his actions.
Over the years, he had been kidnapping his fellow Konoha shinobi and used them as human guinea pigs. He experimented on them to develop techniques that would grant him immortality, as he had already decided that he would settle for no less than to learn all of the techniques in the world (a task that would take much more than one human lifetime). When the many disappearances were finally traced to Orochimaru, Hiruzen knew that it was his duty to kill him. At the time however, Hiruzen was unable to bring himself to kill his prized student for whom he had such high hopes.
Before Orochimaru defected, he kidnapped sixty children and injected them with the First Hokage's DNA, hoping to recreate the First's Wood Release techniques. Before he could finish his work he was forced to leave Konoha, but he believed all the test subjects to be dead. Yamato was the only survivor of the experiments, and had gained the use of the wood element. Orochimaru conducted similar experiments on Danzō, endowing the elder with the Wood Release and multiple Sharingan.
Orochimaru defected from the village and joined the elite criminal organisation of Akatsuki. His former team-mate, Jiraiya, tried to convince him to reconsider, but to no avail. Although the role Orochimaru played in Akatsuki is unclear, it is known that he was partnered with Sasori prior to his defection (the two apparently had great respect for each other when they were partners; Sasori also claimed that he and Orochimaru did a lot of good deeds when they were together in the organisation).
It was around this time that Itachi joined Akatsuki after conducting the Uchiha clan massacre. Orochimaru saw his opportunity to gain possession of the Sharingan, and soon Orochimaru made his attempt to steal Itachi's body. Orochimaru tried to use his Living Corpse Reincarnation, but Itachi used his Sharingan to reverse it and cut off Orochimaru's left hand to prevent him from breaking the genjutsu, causing him to leave Akatsuki to acquire a new body. For Orochimaru's defection, Sasori developed a grudge, and sent a brainwashed Kabuto Yakushi to spy on him, however, Orochimaru undid the brainwashing and Kabuto became the loyal right-hand man of Orochimaru. He eventually founded his own village, Otogakure, to perform various experiments on his prisoners. Orochimaru had also searched for the Totsuka Sword, an ethereal sword, for all his life, unaware that it was in the possession of Itachi's Susanoo.
At some point, when the Kaguya clan attempted to destroy Kirigakure and were themselves destroyed instead, Orochimaru was on the outskirts of the village, watching and commenting on their foolishness. It is there that he met Kimimaro and, Kimimaro being the sole survivor, was taken in by Orochimaru, in the hopes of becoming his new vessel.
At some point, Orochimaru began researching the source of Jūgo's powers and uncovered the Ryūchi Cave, where he attempted to attain senjutsu, but failed due to his current body not being able to absorb natural energy.
Orochimaru's various human experiments took place so as to serve two purposes, most prominent of which was his desire to learn every technique in the world. He was often described as twisted by a large number of people, including Tsunade. Jiraiya speculated that this was due to the fact that both of his parents died when he was at a very young age, and flashbacks shown during his battle with the Third Hokage spoke to this effect. Perhaps he wanted to see his parents, or as a means of avenging their deaths. Another reason might be that he witnessed the deaths of Tsunade's younger brother, Nawaki, and her lover, Dan, and the pain that it caused her first-hand. He seemed saddened by the fragility of human life and how it affected those still living, which lead him to desire immortality.
He experimented on others to see what kind of modifications the human body could endure and to otherwise harness a subject's unique abilities for himself. Once accomplishing this goal, Orochimaru had hoped to be worthy of the title of "ultimate being". Because a human's lifespan would not allow enough time to learn every technique, Orochimaru also experimented on others in order to achieve immortality. By living throughout the ages, Orochimaru would never need to worry about death and thus, all the knowledge he gained would never be lost.
Above all else, Orochimaru cared only for himself. He grew bored when there was no conflict or violence in the world, and immediately struck fear into others when they first met him. Though he had a number of followers who would do anything for him, Orochimaru treated them as mere pawns. He did not hesitate to send them to their deaths for his own personal benefit, and only found remorse in their loss if they were unable to properly complete a task. To win over these followers to their disposable status, Orochimaru approached them with promises of making their dreams come true. He applied a cursed seal to many of his stronger subordinates in order to corrode their body and mind, making them more susceptible to his influence and control. According to Sasuke, Orochimaru has lost his purpose over time and was merely playing with other people's lives, as though he (Orochimaru) thought of himself as a god.
While he showed great interest in Sasuke Uchiha as a prodigy, Orochimaru had shown disdain toward Naruto Uzumaki, believing him to be a failure with barely any talent in ninjutsu arts. However, when Naruto injured Kabuto with his Rasengan (successfully performed with the use of shadow clones), Orochimaru came to the realisation that Naruto would become a threat in the future and tried to kill him. After the time skip, Orochimaru revealed he was now more interested in Naruto's development, despite the failed murder attempt against him, taunting and angering Naruto about Sasuke.
He trained Sasuke so he could become strong enough to kill his older brother, Itachi. But Orochimaru was actually planning to take over Sasuke's body, and as a result obtain the Sharingan, as with it, his progress towards his prime objective of learning all the techniques in the world would sky-rocket. It was his failed attempt to take over Itachi's body that made him target Sasuke. Because of that, he would help Sasuke in whatever he needed, with the knowledge he had to become his perfect, new vessel, and became very obsessed with having the Sharingan. However, despite knowing that Sasuke is willing to do anything for revenge, including sacrificing his own body, Orochimaru did anticipate foul play from his disciple to a certain level, and showed only a small level of surprise when Sasuke moved to betray him, merely stating "so, it came down to this after all". Sasuke revealed that he never intended to become Orochimaru's new body, instead always planning on creating his own platoon and leaving Orochimaru behind once he had surpassed him.
Orochimaru has a deep hatred of his former affiliation, Akatsuki. Throughout Part II, if Orochimaru was not busy with Sasuke's development, he would try to cripple the Akatsuki operation, seen in the "Sai and Sasuke Arc" as well as the "Three-Tails Arc". He is shown to be happy when he found out that Sasori was dead, and the only reason why he prevented Sasuke from killing Team Yamato is because he hoped that they would thin out the Akatsuki membership. Orochimaru also hated his former home village, Konohagakure, and has attempted several times to destroy the village.
As a former member of Root, Orochimaru supposedly had his emotions eliminated by Danzō's strict training regime.
Originally, Orochimaru appeared as an extremely pale-skinned human with waist-length black hair. He had amber eyes with slits in his pupils and purple markings around his eyes — a reference to his snake-like nature. Although he has taken on new bodies repeatedly, he has modified them each to resemble his original form, minus the height differences. Though he seems to be able to change at least his face back and forth between his own and the host's — such as when he battled the Third Hokage.
Orochimaru is sometimes seen sporting different attires. He usually wears plain grey garbs with black pants and a thick purple rope belt tied in a large knot behind his back and blue tomoe-shaped earrings. He is seen wearing a black polo neck under it. As a young child, he wore long white robes with purple lining embroidered with black or yellow tomoe markings, tied with a purple ribbon forming a bow in the front, as well as white leggings and black open-toed shoes, and mesh top with a purple lining under it. In various flashbacks, he is also seen wearing the Oto ninja uniform and headband, as well as the Konoha ninja uniform. His casual wear during his time in Konoha usually consists of a dark kimono shirt with violet lining over a mesh shirt, bandages that he uses as a sash, dark pants, and armour around his hips. On his left hand he has an intricate tattoo that he uses to summon snakes.
On one occasion, in which he proposed the request for Tsunade to heal his arms, he was seen wearing long purple robes with a loose pink vest, as well as a off-grey kimono with a polo neck in Zaku's flashback. During his time with the Akatsuki, he wore the standard red and black Akatsuki robes. In his room, he is sometimes seen wearing a mahogany shirt with a design of two white snakes on the back of the sleeves to the back on both sides, as well as black pants.
After countless experiments with his body, his true form became a giant snake ("The Great White Serpent") made up of a multitude of smaller snakes, with long and spiky black hair, a scaled face with snake-like teeth and a long tongue, black eye markings, and a pointed chin.
Being one of the Sannin, as well as a former member of the S-rank criminal organisation Akatsuki, Orochimaru is an extraordinarily powerful ninja. He was also considered a child prodigy that appeared only once a generation. His skills were so great that during the time of his invasion in Konoha, the Third Hokage feared no one in the village would be able to defeat him or fight on equal footing with him, even the Third himself. Even Kakashi, one of Konoha's greatest shinobi, was filled with tremendous fear when he met him during the Chūnin Exams, and himself admitted he wouldn't even stand a chance against his power. Sasuke Uchiha also stated that his victory over Orochimaru was only because the latter was already severely weakened prior to their confrontation.
He was able to hold his own against a four-tailed Naruto Uzumaki in Part II while his body was in a weakened state, and despite the danger Naruto imposed, he found the battle highly entertaining, even playing with Naruto's initial three forms. Even then, his body gave in, he expressed regret that he couldn't complete the battle. Even among the Sannin, he was the one who originally stood out for individual ability. Due to him rarely being shown fighting, he has only displayed a limited amount of techniques, although it stands to reason that in his efforts to learn all existing techniques, his array of abilities has probably become larger than any other single person. He has a vast knowledge in all forms of techniques. According to Kabuto Yakushi, he had attempted to master senjutsu but couldn't due to his body not being suitable for it.
Quality-wise his chakra was quite powerful as noted by Kabuto who was amazed at a portion of Orochimaru's chakra absorbed from Anko even after he assimilated Orochimaru's remains into himself. His fighting style is very fluid and he is nearly invulnerable to most conventional techniques, even being bisected couldn't even slow him down. He even survived a direct punch from Tsunade's monstrous superhuman strength and all it did was damage the skin that made up his face mask. He also has immense strength in the anime, as when he was walking to Tanzaku Quarters, he was immensely frustrated by the pain he was in and used only a kick to knock down a tree.
Wishing to obtain all of the techniques in the world, Orochimaru has a vast arsenal of techniques at his disposal, ranging from simple offensive ones, which nonetheless become deadly when performed by him, to higher ranking, more complicated ones. In the anime, of the few techniques he was seen using is the Earth Release Shadow Clone, which creates a copy of himself out of mud that can attack on his behalf. He was also able to use Wind Release: Great Breakthrough, through which he can level a wide area with a powerful gust of wind. In terms of defensive techniques, Orochimaru uses both Summoning: Rashōmon and Summoning: Triple Rashōmon, in which he summons a varying number of large demonic gates that are capable of enduring even the most intense forms of damage. If need be, he can also place a Five Elements Seal on an opponent, sealing off their access to chakra and thus, rendering them useless in battle.
Orochimaru was one of the three people capable of performing Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation, which allowed him to reincarnate the dead. The technique was developed but left incomplete by the Second Hokage, and Orochimaru himself completed the technique. To perform the technique, Orochimaru must sacrifice a living human so that the soul of the deceased person can be tied to the living world. The sacrificed body is then surrounded with dirt and dust that compacts into the shape of the summoned soul's original body. Although the reincarnated retain their original memories and personalities, thus leaving them out of the control of Orochimaru. However, he can suppress their free wills with his own special seal to force them to do his bidding. The bodies of the resurrected are also able to regenerate any wound, meaning the only way to truly defeat them is to remove the soul within them.
In his quest to gain immortality, Orochimaru has made a number of modifications to his body, resulting in his natural form taking on the appearance of a giant, white snake composed of many smaller snakes. The snakes that compose Orochimaru's body can extend themselves to strike and bind the targets, and if Orochimaru is sliced to pieces, the body simply can reform, making him very difficult to kill. Also, the blood that is released by killing the snakes is also poisonous, evaporating into the air and paralysing anyone who has breathed it in, something that makes long lasting fights against him a bad choice.
The primary use of the form is with his Living Corpse Reincarnation, which allows him to transfer his soul to another body and extend his life indefinitely. To use this technique, Orochimaru leaves his former body, revealing his true form. Once he has done this, he swallows the new body and transports its current inhabitant to a dimension within himself where he absorbs them, thus allowing him to take over their body. Orochimaru can only perform this technique once every three years, which is also around the time that his new body begins to reject him and forces him to find a new host. Although he might leave their bodies behind, the souls of those whose bodies he has taken always remain within Orochimaru's subconscious. After taking over another body, Orochimaru modifies it to suit his theme of snakes, in order to increase his survival capabilities, such as stretching and bending his body, reconnect his body from bisection and shedding his skin to heal injuries. Thus, even if Orochimaru is unable to transfer bodies, he can easily heal and evade attacks rendering him virtually immortal. Orochimaru also alters the face of his host body to look like his original form.
Orochimaru's trademark trait was his affinity with snakes that, in addition to impacting the appearance and composition of his true form, and granting him the ability to extend his limbs to abnormal lengths and to take on snake-like traits in battle, caused him to learn a number of snake-related abilities. One such ability was being able to summon giant snakes to fight alongside him in battle, made possible by the summoning contract tattooed on his arm. His signature summon was Manda, a colossal snake which was described as the largest in the world, with immense fighting capabilities. With Hidden Shadow Snake Hands, Orochimaru could instantly call forth snakes from his sleeves and mouth to attack opponents in large numbers with poisonous bites. A stronger variation of this technique was the Many Hidden Shadow Snake Hands, in which the summoned snakes grow noticeably in both numbers and size.
Another usage of snakes came in the form of his signature weapon, the Sword of Kusanagi, the Kusanagi of Japanese legend. The sword, kept within the mouth of a snake within his own throat, was able to extend to great lengths to attack enemies that are very far away, could be controlled remotely by Orochimaru, and could return to him by turning in a snake. Although he was capable of wielding the sword normally with great proficiency, it was not uncommon for him to use it without ever removing it from his mouth. The sword was stated to be able to cut through almost anything, and despite failing to penetrate Four-Tailed Naruto's chakra shroud, did push him back an incredible length. He was also capable of having numerous Kusanagi-like blades sprout from the mouth of the snakes he summoned.
His strongest technique was the Eight Branches Technique, which allowed him to transform into an eight-headed, eight-tailed giant serpent bigger than the already colossal Manda, another reference to the Japanese myth. This was described as the ultimate snake-related technique, which turned the user into an immensely powerful "Dragon God".
Chūnin Exam Arc
For a while, Orochimaru left Konoha alone, plotting to destroy them when he was ready. The opportunity presented itself with the start of the Chūnin Exams. With this, Orochimaru saw both a chance to destroy his former home and acquire Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi's younger brother. Acquiring Sasuke's body would give him the Sharingan, which would aid him greatly in his ultimate goal. To this end, Orochimaru enlisted the help of Sunagakure, since his own village lacked the necessary strength to defeat Konoha. Although the village gladly accepted, Orochimaru later killed the Fourth Kazekage and assumed his place to make controlling Sunagakure easier. He also had the Kazekage's bodyguards killed off and had the Sound Four impersonate them.
During the second part of the Chūnin Exams, he killed a team of Kusagakure genin and impersonated Shiore so that he could infiltrate the Forest of Death. During a confrontation with Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, he sealed Naruto's Nine-Tailed Demon Fox chakra and branded Sasuke with his Cursed Seal of Heaven. Orochimaru was discovered by Anko, but the exams continued due to his threat of retaliation. His genin team was sent to kill Sasuke, but the three were unaware that they were just measuring posts for Sasuke's power. They failed in their effort, as Sasuke proved compatible with the Cursed Seal and used its power to drive them off.
During the preliminary rounds of the Chūnin Exams, Orochimaru disguised himself as the leader of his genin team. There he watched Sasuke's performance against Yoroi Akadō. While initially hoping Sasuke's emotional state would further release the Cursed Seal, he instead watched in shock at Sasuke's will being strong enough to suppress it, ironically making Orochimaru become awestruck and desire Sasuke even more. 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 despite Kakashi's best efforts, Sasuke will eventually come to him seeking power.
Invasion of Konoha Arc
During the final round matches, Orochimaru disguised himself as the Fourth Kazekage so that he could sit next to the Third Hokage. When the invasion of Konoha began, this gave him an easy opportunity to capture his former master. He isolated the Third from the other Konoha ninja, and had the Sound Four erect a barrier to prevent any interference. The Third, regretting letting Orochimaru escape years earlier, agreed to battle. Exhilarated that he could finally fight his former teacher, Orochimaru used Impure World Reincarnation to summon the First and Second Hokage to give Hiruzen the same feeling.
In his old age, the Third was little match for Orochimaru and two of the Hokage, something made all the more difficult when the Hokage regenerated from any damage they received. In the end, the Third decided to use the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to seal away the souls of the two Hokage, before turning on Orochimaru. Sensing what was happening, Orochimaru stabbed the Third in the back with his Sword of Kusanagi. Unconcerned with the wound, since he would die anyway, Hiruzen struggled to seal Orochimaru's soul as well, but only had the strength to seal his arms. To do what little he could, he robbed Orochimaru of the use of his arms, in turn taking away his ability to use techniques. The Third died, and Orochimaru cursed him. Unable to proceed with his plans, Orochimaru and the invaders retreated. Afterwards, Sunagakure broke ties with Orochimaru, after discovering that he killed the Fourth Kazekage.
Search for Tsunade Arc
After barely being able to stand the pain from his rotting arms, Orochimaru plans to have his condition healed by appealing to his old team-mate, Tsunade, a legendary medical-nin. He offered to reincarnate her brother and lover, in the hopes that it would persuade her to cooperate. Although it seemed as though he had succeeded at first, it turned out that Tsunade had actually intended to kill him rather than heal him, in order to prevent another attack on Konoha. Kabuto intervened before she could do so, and Orochimaru expressed disappointment in the betrayal, even going so far as to say that he "would have kept his promise". Kabuto engaged Tsunade in an attempt to capture her and force her to help, but Jiraiya and Naruto soon arrived to help her.
Orochimaru and Jiraiya (having earlier been drugged by Tsunade and thus unable to properly perform techniques) faced off, but could do little to each other. Kabuto, meanwhile, dealt with Naruto and Tsunade. When Naruto defeated Kabuto, Orochimaru, concerned that Naruto and the Nine-Tails might become a problem in the future, tried to kill him. Tsunade stopped him, having decided to become the Fifth Hokage, and teamed up with Jiraiya against Orochimaru. Despite summoning Manda, Orochimaru was defeated. Healing his arms no longer being an option, Orochimaru retreated with Kabuto, deciding it was time that he took a new host body.
Sasuke Retrieval Arc
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 much, and he was forced to switch to the body of Gen'yūmaru, a host Kabuto had prepared earlier. While still waiting for Sasuke, Orochimaru and Kabuto pondered about Kimimaro's skills and potential, and lamenting on the fact that were he not terminally ill, he would have made a perfect vessel.
Though ultimately, when Kimimaro finally died in battle against Gaara and Rock Lee, 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 to retaliate against Kabuto's warning for being rude.
Pre-Shippūden Filler Arcs
Orochimaru's background is expanded upon in the anime, delving into parts of his past not addressed in the manga.
In the Land of Rice Fields Arc, he was shown to have recruited some of the members of the Fūma clan to become Otogakure ninja, by promising to restore them to their former glory. Later, Arashi disguised himself as Orochimaru, killing his fellow clansmen to gain power before being killed himself.
In the Land of the Sea Arc, Orochimaru's time with Anko Mitarashi is expanded upon. It is also revealed during his time in Konoha, he secretly built many experiment facilities in many countries, including Land of the Sea and gather many human guineapigs over ten years. Orochimaru, Anko, and nine others came to the Land of the Sea, where he branded them with cursed seals. When Anko was the only one to survive, he arrived at the ten percent survival rate of the process. However, Anko lacked the personality to properly utilise its power, and as such proved to not be very useful to Orochimaru. Although she believed he had abandoned her, she remembered during the arc that she chose to leave him. During this arc, he is also shown to have previously had an interest in creating an army capable of breathing and operating underwater. Realising it would take too much time on his own, Orochimaru contracted with a rogue scientist named Amachi, and began experimenting on the country's citizens, notably Isaribi. He eventually lost interest in the program and demanded it be discontinued, but Amachi continued regardless.
Sai and Sasuke Arc
Two and a half years later, Team Yamato, hoping to find Sasuke, learned of an opportunity to meet with a spy in Orochimaru's organisation. Kabuto turned out to be this spy, having come to meet with Sasori, Orochimaru's former partner, who had been keeping tabs on Orochimaru. Yamato disguised himself as Sasori and met with Kabuto, but Orochimaru soon interrupted. Having switched sides, Kabuto attacked Sasori, finding it to be Yamato. He called the rest of his team for back up and they faced off with Orochimaru and Kabuto. Although he was surprised to see Yamato, a former test subject of his, he showed more interest in Naruto. He expressed interest in seeing if Naruto was as strong as "his Sasuke", provoking Naruto to change into his three-tailed form.
In this form, Orochimaru was able to elude Naruto, finding the battle extremely enjoyable. When Naruto progressed to his four-tailed form, Orochimaru took the battle seriously, recognising that Naruto's Tailed Beast Ball could kill him. After evading the attack, he used his Kusanagi to force Naruto away while he collapsed; a sign that his body was beginning to reject him. While he briefly recuperated, he 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 Yamato 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.
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 a child named Yūkimaru, 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, to which she was delighted. 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 a 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. Later, after Yūkimaru lost his abilities and Guren supposedly died, Kabuto reported back to his master about the failed operation. Orochimaru dismissed it as nothing more than a minor setback, saying once he had Sasuke's body, it wouldn't make any difference.
Itachi Pursuit Arc
On the verge of being rejected by his current body, Orochimaru contemplated how best to take Sasuke's body. Also, in the anime only, 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, Sasuke attacks him, having decided that Orochimaru was unworthy of having an Uchiha's body, and tries 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 is turning into a poison and Orochimaru successfully starts the body-switch process. Sasuke however stops 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.
During his battle with Itachi, Sasuke ran out of chakra, and Orochimaru was able to emerge through 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 Itachi's Susanoo. At first Orochimaru boasted that it would take more than that to kill him, but he suddenly realised something was wrong and that he was pierced by the Totsuka Sword that he himself had been searching for. Orochimaru was then permanently sealed away by Itachi's Susanoo, as well as removing the Cursed Seal from Sasuke. A single white snake escaped from Susanoo, but was later killed by Amaterasu's black flames.
In a separate encounter, Kabuto met with Naruto, and revealed that he had integrated some of Orochimaru's remains into his body, hoping to surpass his former master, but was also slowly being taken over by them. Now Orochimaru is struggling to possess Kabuto, which in turn has caused Kabuto to look more like Orochimaru.
Despite being sealed away, Orochimaru's influence continues to penetrate future events. From his infusing of Hashirama Senju's DNA into Danzō Shimura and implanting several Sharingan eyes into his arm, which also lengthened the duration of Izanagi, to surprising Tobi and Zetsu on how much he knew after Kabuto revealed some of Zetsu's truths and knowledge of their plan to revive the Ten-Tails, he still continues to have an impact. Also, the research notes left behind by Orochimaru in Kabuto's hands were coveted by Danzō, in the hopes of assisting his Sharingan and right arm. Kabuto, in particular, took Orochimaru's remains and integrated them into his own body, and, though they tried to take him over at first, he eventually mastered Orochimaru's powers, and grew into a serpentine like creature, just like his former master.
Orochimaru's chakra continues to exist in his former students, such as Anko Mitarashi, through the cursed seals he branded them with (though Kabuto plans to absorb it to strengthen himself). He also lives on, in a sense of the word, through his subordinate Kabuto after the latter's experiment with his master's DNA.
Orochimaru was also an extensive researcher. His work remains behind as an extensive wealth of knowledge to those who come across it 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. His work alongside Kabuto has enabled the latter to improve Madara Uchiha upon his resurrection, improving upon his "golden age" body with Hashimara's cells and formulating the theory that Madara's Rinnegan was gained via natural evolution of his Mangekyō Sharingan, and, perhaps most significantly, his work on and use of Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation has allowed Kabuto to expand upon it, providing countless powerful shinobi for use in war.
Naruto Shippūden 2: 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:
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".
- Orochi means "Great Snake" and Maru is a common suffix in male names.
- 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.
- 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 headband.
- According to the databook(s):
- Orochimaru's hobby was creating techniques.
- Orochimaru wished to fight those with techniques that can be used in the future.
- Orochimaru's favourite food were eggs, while his least favourites are anything cold.
- Orochimaru had 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 were "destroy" (破壊, hakkai) and "chaos" (混沌, konton).
- (To Kabuto, talking about Tsunade) "The best medicines always taste bitter."
- (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 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 Jiraiya and Tsunade) "Hate only gives birth to even more hate."
- (About Naruto) "This child… intrigues me to no end!"
- (To Sasuke) "How impressive. A thousand foes stand before you and you don't even bat an eyelid."
- (About Sasuke) "When I watch this boy, I look back to the time I was called a genius, and think how ridiculous it was."
- "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!!"
- (Last words) "Everything… will be mine!"
- ↑ First Databook, pages 46-49
- ↑ Second Databook, pages 57-61
- ↑ Third Databook, pages 52-55
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 72
- ↑ Naruto chapter 369, pages 11-12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 583, page 1-8, 17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 584, pages 1-20
- ↑ Naruto chapter 344, pages 16-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 116, pages 3-4
- ↑ Naruto chapter 121
- ↑ Naruto chapter 122
- ↑ Naruto chapter 345
- ↑ Naruto chapter 579, page 17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 394, page 3
- ↑ Naruto chapter 574, pages 6-7