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Monday, August 18, 2008

Akatsuki


The Akatsuki (暁; Literally meaning "Dawn" or "Daybreak") is a criminal organization of S-rank missing-nins. Their main goal is to collect all of the tailed beasts for their plan of world domination. As such, the Akatsuki, despite initially having a minor role during the first half of the series, became major antagonists in the Naruto universe.

The Akatsuki; prior to the execution of their plans, at any given time had ten primary members, all of whom are or were S-Class from their respective villages. The Akatsuki always work in teams of two with the exception of Zetsu, who functions as the organization's spy, and make use of their unique skills to the teams advantage. Team members at the very least have to have functional team work with their partner even if they don't like each other. Despite this, it appears the organization hardly ever has a full meeting with them all together, as when they first met at the end of Part I, one said it was the first time in seven years they were all together.

The Akatsuki is widespread, spanning several countries with many agents possibly in all the ninja villages at least once. When one team finds a tailed beasts and has to begin the job of sealing the demon, they have hidden hideouts with many traps ready, to begin the sealing with the leader's astral projection for a three day long jutsu.

Goal

Main Goal: Although some members joined Akatsuki to further their own goals, all are united in Akatsuki's ultimate goal of gaining domination over the Shinobi world.[1] The leader, Pein, has created a three-step process to work their way towards this goal.[2] First, they plan to obtain a large amount of money to support their organization.[2] Second, they plan to set up a mercenary group loyal only to Akatsuki.[3] To build their reputation, they plan to accept any mission below the usual cost and operate off of the excess funds earned in the first part of their plan.[3] Because there haven't been any wars in some time, the established shinobi villages can't afford to charge such low prices, leading the smaller countries to hire Akatsuki over the more expensive shinobi villages.[3] By using the tailed beasts, Akatsuki can start wars and then immediately quell them, solidifying their reputation and convincing every country to depend on them, thus cornering the market in shinobi labor.[4] Without any business, the other shinobi villages will collapse due to a lack of funds.[4] Finally, after Akatsuki is the only major force of shinobi in existence, they can easily conquer the other countries.[4] Despite the severity of this plan, members do not automatically learn of it upon joining; Hidan did not find out about it until he had been a member for quite some time.[2]

The tailed beasts, nine gigantic demons of immense power, are the focus of much of Akatsuki's effort and screentime within the series. Each Akatsuki member is assigned to capture one of the nine beasts alive or, in most cases, the person that beast has been sealed into.[5] Akatsuki has so far obtained seven of the nine:[6] the one through seven tailed beasts.

Apparently this is just a ruse as Akatsuki's three most prominent members have two separate goals in mind instead of world domination; one of which involves world peace.

Madara's Goal: Madara Uchiha, Akatsuki's benefactor, has another goal in mind instead of world domination. Madara wishes to use the beasts to return his Sharingan to its true power. Anything after this point is currently unknown but he has shown interest in destroying Konoha.

Pein's Goal: Pein later went into further detail on the tailed beasts' role in his plans. The beasts would be used to create a deadly technique that could wipe out one of the five great nations in an instant, so if countries go to war and do not have ninja villages to fight for them they would turn to the Akatsuki and their technique. Whichever side uses the technique first would wipe out the opposing country which would scare them into never using their weapon again, and scare the other countries to never start a war or they would be wiped out too, which in a sense, will cause world peace.

This greatly conflicts to Madara's plan so this goal could in fact be a secret goal that only Pein and Konan are aware of.

[edit] Wardrobe

Akatsuki members have a similar way of dress, which could give them away if a village is alerted of their presence. Members wear long dark cloak with red clouds, red interior with a chin-high collar. All members wear nail polish of varying colors on their finger and toenails, and may wear a conical straw hat with small spike-like balls hanging down to cover their faces. The hats may be used to move around in the general population unnoticed, or for when the weather requires one[7]. Some members tend to wear their village headband with a scar through the middle to show their defection.

What seems to be most important however are their rings. In total there are ten rings given to each of the ten main members of the Akatsuki. It appears these rings are important to being a member of the Akatsuki as when Orochimaru defects, he takes his ring with him[8] and as such wasn't replaced[9]. The rings may be connected to the sealing jutsu used to extract the tailed beasts but it has not been confirmed.

The ring positions of the members
The ring positions of the members

The various rings are:[10]

  • Right thumb: 零 rei, "zero"; currently worn by Pein.
  • Right index finger: 青龍 Seiryū, the Azure Dragon; formerly worn by Deidara.
  • Right middle finger: 白虎 Byakko, the White Tiger; currently worn by Konan.
  • Right ring finger: 朱雀 Suzaku, the Vermilion Bird; formerly worn by Itachi Uchiha.
  • Right little finger: 玄武 Genbu, the Black Tortoise; currently worn by Zetsu.
  • Left little finger: 空陳 Kūchin, the Void; formerly worn by Orochimaru.
  • Left ring finger: 南斗 Nanju, Sagittarius (lit. Southern Star); currently worn by Kisame Hoshigaki.
  • Left middle finger: 北斗 Hokuto, the Big Dipper (lit. Northern Star); formerly worn by Kakuzu.
  • Left index finger: 三台 santai, "three levels"; currently worn by Hidan (Incapacitated).
  • Left thumb: 玉女 gyokunyo, the Virgin; currently worn by Tobi, formerly worn by Sasori.

[edit] Teams

The Akatsuki Teams are put together in teams of two to exploit combined strengths for the Organization's goals to be met. Each team is lead by a senior member of the Organization.

Itachi/Kisame

A team that functioned well together and was unbelievably effective. Mission wise; the team completed almost every assignment Pein gave them with little trouble with the Nine-Tailed Fox being the only known exception. Personality wise; Itachi and Kisame were both on good terms with each other with little or no fighting between them. Kisame appeared to be the "Brawn" of the group while Itachi served as the "Brains". This team has since been dissolved with Itachi's death.

Orochimaru/Sasori

  • Status: Inactive
  • Senior: Presumably Orochimaru
  • Target: Unknown

Sasori claimed that he and Orochimaru worked well together during their partnership. However, when Orochimaru defected from Akatsuki after his failed attempt on stealing Itachi's body, Sasori has developed a grudge against his partner.

Sasori/Deidara

Formed by the two artists of Akatsuki, Sasori and Deidara worked well for the most part but had conflicting ideas on art. Sasori thought all art was to be permanent, such as his puppets, while Deidara thought art was instantaneous and then gone forever, such as his exploding clay. Sasori, having many connections, was able to get a spy into Sunagakure for years before their arrival, to learn the villages defenses for their raid.

Kakuzu/Hidan

A very effective yet unruly team; usually doing unrelated jobs and always late. Pein decided to put these two together because of their unique abilities. Hidan for unknown reasons could not be killed, even by decapitation, and Kakuzu could easily go into a rage and kill anyone around him, including his partner. Therefore, with Hidan, Kakuzu can go into a rage and not worry about his partners' life afterwards. They have shown the most hostility towards each other due to a conflict of interest; Kakuzu sees the rituals and beliefs of Hidan's religion to be a waste of time, and Hidan sees Kakuzu's willingness to do blasphemous things and his greediness to be unbearable. Their team was assigned to capture the Two-Tailed Demon Cat, but later decided to also capture unknown target, because they happened to be close to the Land of Fire after capturing Yugito Nii; after the sealing of the Two and Three Tails, they decided to go after Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.

Deidara/Tobi

Formed after the death of Sasori, Tobi was introduced as his easily found replacement. Despite Tobi's eagerness to please his "senpai", his childish attitude was seen as a annoyance to Deidara's expectations of the organization. Beyond this, the two worked well together, with Tobi planted Deidara's explosive clay underground during their fights. When Deidara was about to blow himself up to kill Sasuke Uchiha, he apologized to Tobi, saying that he too would be caught up in the blast.

Zetsu

  • Status: Active
  • Target: Unknown

Not an actual team, but Zetsu has two personalities that converse and even disagree with each other. So in a sense, it's a team of two.

Pein/Konan

A team that so far, functions very well with each other, evident that Konan is the only member to refer to Pein by name. As the leader of Akatsuki, Pein directs the rest of the organization to their respective goals, his most direct interaction with the organization is using the Illusionary Dragon Nine Consuming Seals. Pein is the leader of Amegakure, and has sense been referred to as a god there. Konan for doing her duties to Pein has been declared God's Angel.

Akatsuki/Team Hawk

More of an alliance between factions than actual teams, they were created by Madara Uchiha for his final revenge against Konoha. Due to the loss of five members, the Akatsuki doesn't have the strength they used to have, so Madara enlisted the aid of Team Hawk, who also wish the destruction of Konoha. To complete their goals, Madara ordered Hawk to hunt the Eight-Tailed beast while Akatsuki hunts the demon fox.

Ironically, Madara has no faith in Pein's ability to capture the Nine Tails; while Pein and Konan have no faith in Sasuke's abilities to capture the Eight Tails

[edit] Members

[edit] Former members

[edit] Associates


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