The Akatsuki was a secret criminal organization that gathers most of the major antagonists and the main antagonistic faction of Naruto.
The Akatsuki contains over 10 official members, a handful of unofficial members, and all except for one are males. It was founded by Yahiko, and Konan with Nagato as the leader though he acts under the alias known as Pain.
In fact, Akatsuki was a tool for its true leader, Obito Uchiha, to carry out the Eye of the Moon plan as laid out by his deceased mentor Madara Uchiha. Most Akatsuki members did not know this, and most of those who did believed Obito to be Madara himself.
During Part 1, they had a minor role.
Search for Tsunade
Zetsu was watching the battle between Naruto and Sasuke as well as appearing in the Akatsuki meeting.
Deidara and Sasori appeared in the sand village to capture Shukaku the One-tails from Gaara.The Akatsuki members sealed him while the Leaf ninja and Chiyo were tailing them. After fighting both Chiyo and Sakura, Sasori dies and he was replaced by Tobi who was pretending to be the "Rookie".
Hidan and Kakuzu
The Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu captured Yugito Nii and the Akatsuki extracted the Two-tails. Asuma and his squad fought the duo but Asuma was killed by Hidan. Then the two fought Kakashi with Team 10 and Team 7 as back up. Hidan was defeated by Shikamaru and Kakuzu was killed by Kakashi after Naruto beat him. Meanwhile, Deidara and Tobi in his goofy persona captured the Three-Tails.
Kisame and Itachi captured Roshi and appeared in an Akatsuki meeting. When Orochimaru was annouced dead Deidara goes after Sasuke with Tobi still in his goofy facade to kill him. Deidara commits suicide trying to blow up Sasuke but he survived. Later, Tobi in his true self appeared to Pain and Konan. He tells them to collect the Nine-tails while he goes after Sasuke.
Sasuke faces Itachi one-on-one, while Naruto and his friends go up against Tobi. When Itachi dies, Zetsu alerts Tobi and they collect Sasuke. Tobi then indoctrinates Sasuke in the ways of Madara Uchiha, successfully turning Sasuke against his former friends and allies. Tobi sends Sasuke and his team (now known as Taka) to retrieve Eight-Tails, but they are tricked and only manage to bring in one of it's tentacles.
Invasion of Pain
Jiraiya infiltrates the Rain Village hoping to find out more on the Akatsuki leader, only to find that it is lead by his former pupils, Nagato and Konan. He goes up against Konan and then Nagato's Animal Path. When Nagato is forced to use all six bodies against Jiraiya, he successfully kills him. Konan, Nagato and the Six Paths of Pain then invade Konoha, causing havoc. A large number of ninja are killed and Pain manages to level most of the village with his gravity Jutsu. Just then, Naruto arrives, having mastered Senjutsu, and defeats all Six Paths. He then confronts Nagato and while angry that Nagato would kill their mentor, he finds it in his heart to forgive him. Nagato, touched by Naruto's character, pays him back by reviving all the dead residents of Konoha. He dies from exhaustion and Konan leaves Akatsuki.
Tobi, Zetsu and Taka sneak into The Land of Iron and plan an assassination of the Five Kage. Zetsu spreads his spores, allowing him to drain their chakra. Sasuke then takes on all the Kage, managing to take the Raikage's arm. Jugo and Suigetsu are arrested and Karin is kidnapped by the proxy Hokage, Danzō. Tobi then appears, declaring himself as Madara Uchiha and demanding that the Eight and Nine-Tails be handed to him. When the Kage refuse, he declares war on them.
Kisame Hoshigaki tracks down Killer B and fights him, only to be defeated by the tag-team of Raikage and Jinchukiri. Its later revealed that he had switched places with a Zetsu clone and was hiding in his sword.
Sasuke catches up with Danzō and the two fight, using their respective Sharingan. Sasuke manages to kill Danzō just as his former teammates arrive. Sasuke takes them on one-by-one before Tobi calls him back. Sasuke, now wishing to kill everyone he ever knew, has Itachi's eyes transplanted into his own to give him greater power.
Kabuto approaches Tobi, offering his allegiance. When he presents the five dead Akatsuki members as reanimated corpses, along with a sixth coffin that has Tobi scared, he reluctantly agrees. Kisame sneaks into the secret training grounds of the Jinchuriki. When Naruto masters Nine-Tails' chakra, he uncovers Kisame hiding in his sword. Kisame flees, only to be beaten by Might Guy. When they try to interrogate him, Kisame summons several sharks who tear him apart.
Kabuto tries to ambush them, but is intercepted by the Tsuchikage. He does, however, manage to kidnap Yamato and Tobi fuses him to the Senju tree to make his Zetsu army stronger. Tobi meets up with Konan, who tries to kill him, but is ultimately unsuccessful. Tobi uses genjutsu to find Nagato's location and leaves Konan to die. Tobi then plants Nagato's Rinnegan into his left eye-socket and marches to war with Kabuto, his undead army and 100,000 White Zetsu.
Shinobi World War
The now reanimated Deidara and Sasori take on Sai and Kankuro, with Sai beating Deidara into submission and Kankuro sealing the two of them in his puppet-containers. Kankuro appeals to Sasori's sense of pride, which causes him to let go of his physical form and return to the afterlife. Kakuzu decimates an entire ninja platoon, only to be stopped by two Leaf ninja who pin him down. After the reanimated Kinkaku and Ginkaku are sealed into the sacred treasures of the Sage of Six Paths, Tobi and the Statue of The Outer Path arrive on the battlefield to claim the vessels, which contain traces of Nine-Tails Chakra.
Tobi turns the six Jinchuriki corpses into his own Six Paths of Pain, resealing the Tailed Beasts into them. Itachi and Nagato confront Naruto and Killer B, which Kabuto attemptss to press to his advantage by forcing them to fight. Itachi breaks free and seals away Nagato with the help of Naruto and Killer B, then goes after Kabuto. When the reanimated Kage are defeated by Naruto and their successors, Kabuto pulls out his trump card: Madara Uchiha. The five Kage fight Madara while Naruto, Killer B, Kakashi and Guy face Tobi. The four manage to incapacitate his Paths of Pain, but are not able to free the Tailed Beasts stored within.
Meanwhile, Sasuke has recovered from his surgery, on his way to hte battlefield, he runs into the reanimated Itachi. Wanting answers, he follows his brother and the two confront Kabuto. Kabuto is able to fight them with his Senjutsu and other techniques, but Itachi traps him in genjustu and forces him to undo the Edo Tensei Jutsu. All the reanimated ninja are vanquished, save for Madara, who resists and defeats the five Kage.
Tobi seals away the remnants of Nine-Tails' chakra into The Demonic Statue, causing a metamorphosis as the nine most potent forms of chakra pool together to form the Ten-Tailed Beast. Naruto and the others fight Tobi, all the while gaining cryptic clues as to his true identity. When Naruto manages to break Tobi's mask, it confirms Kakashi's suspicions: Tobi is Obito! Also Kakashi asks why is Obito is doing this and Obito stated that it was because of Rin's death. Then Madara Appeared and explained that Obito is too impatient and that the original plan was for Madara to be revived by Nagato. Madara then fights of Naruto and Bee while he lets Obito deal with Kakashi and Guy.
Despite the defeat of Akatsuki during the Fourth Shinobi World War and the death and destruction they caused, Akatsuki's methods of peace remain attractive to certain individuals. Some, such as the Ryūha Armament Alliance and Gengo, carry on Akatsuki's goals in spirit. About fifteen years after the end of the war, a former test subject of Orochimaru's, Shin, develops a fascination with Itachi and adopts the Uchiha name while plotting to avenge Itachi by killing Sasuke. In addition, Shin goes so far as to adopt Akatsuki's name, believing its former goal of endless warfare is the perfect evolutionary tool, weeding out the weak and promoting strength for all of humanity. He composes Akatsuki with numerous clones of himself and seeks to start moving forward with Akatsuki's revival. Shin's plans start facing complications as soon as the Seventh Hokage becomes aware of him following an encounter between Sasuke and a clone. Shin uses drastic measures to counter Naruto and Sasuke, such as sending his clones to unsuccessfully kidnap Sasuke's daughter, Sarada Uchiha and forcefully take his wife, Sakura. Shin is soon afterwards betrayed and killed by his clones, who accordingly surrender and are dropped off at the Konoha Orphanage, ending his new Akatsuki before it ever truly begins.
Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals
In the chibi spinoff Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, Akatsuki plays a minor villainous role. They first appeared in the series' credits wherein Lee accidentally fell into their hideout. Pain was annoyed by his trespassing that he ordered his teammates to attack him only to be saved by Konoha 11.
In episode 30, Akatsuki made their debut under the appearances of Deidara and Tobi who tried to made an attempt to infiltrate Konoha, only to end up failing thanks to Team Guy.
In episode 38, the entire Akatsuki appeared wherein they mistook Lee as a newbie which later started a fight, ending up destroying their hideout. Later after Zetsu and Tobi's return, Tobi admits the truth about Lee as a spy, thus making them beat up Deidara for lying.
In episode 47, Akatsuki, under the appearance of Kisame, brought Samehada to a dog cafe and pretends that his sword is a dog who ends up befriending Akamaru. Tobi ultimate shows up and unintentionally admits that Samehada is not a dog in which they end up getting kicked out of the dog cafe after being revealed.
In episode 51, Sasuke teams up with Akatsuki to avenge his brother Itachi, who is possibly dead before the episode. Pain, Konan and Kakuzu are the only known ones who appeared in the episode while seen fighting Team Asuma.
Unfortunately, after many tragedies, it turned into a criminal organization gathering the most powerful renegade ninjas in the world. Their goal is to capture the Tailed Beasts to obtain unlimited power, with Nagato and the members thinking it was means for domination.
Nagato himself sought to use the Tailed Beasts to create superweapons that would ensure world peace through mutually assured destruction, while he told his subordinates that the plan was to conquer the world by monopolizing warfare.
The true purpose of the Akatsuki, however, was to gather the Tailed Beasts so that Madara Uchiha could become the Ten-Tails jinchuriki and place the entire world under a genjutsu called the Infinite Tsukuyomi. Of the Akatsuki, only Tobi, Zetsu, Nagato, Konan, and Kisame knew of Madara's Eye of the Moon Plan, and all but Tobi and Zetsu believed Tobi to be Madara himself. Tobi was in fact Obito Uchiha, Madara's apprentice and proxy, and Zetsu was apparently a creation of Madara's. The plan also called for the real Madara to be resurrected and take charge of Akatsuki in the plan's final stages - Tobi did not intend to revive Madara, but Zetsu ensured that it happened anyway. However, this was all been a plot by Black Zetsu to revive his mother, Kaguya Ōtsutsuki.
Members and Status
The Impure World Resurrection
Thanks to Kabuto forming an alliance he has resurrected some Akatsuki members and more famous ninja for supplements for Akatsuki's membership. The only ones who weren't revived are Konan, Hidan (who is still alive), Kisame, and Orochimaru.
The White Zetsu Army
The Akatsuki's main army consists of 100,000 copies of White Zetsu using the chakra of the Tailed Beasts and Hashirama Senju's DNA. They appear to have full bodies unlike the original White Zetsu. They have been enhanced by Yamato who was captured by Kabuto while locating the Jinchuriki and can shape shift into anyone once they collect their opponent's chakra. The first White Zetsu clones were grown by Madara Uchiha, and they remained ultimately loyal to him even though he had delegated command to Tobi.
The Demonic Statue of the Outer Path
The Statue served as the container of the Tailed Beasts and the Ten Tails used by Nagato's Deva Path.
- In an original draft of Naruto, the Akatsuki were supposed to be a group of villainous monsters without any human aspects, as shown in the Naruto: Official Data Book. In the final draft, a few members carry abnormal characteristics that can be described as monstrous, such as Kisame, Kakuzu and Zetsu (and to a lesser extent, Deidara and Sasori).
- Akatsuki has been featured many various times in many fanmade YouTube video series, featuring them as the protagonists and has been portrayed more hilarious.
- When the Reanimation Jutsu was released, all of the souls of the reanimated Akatsuki members appear to be smiling. This may mean that they are happy that they are free from control and they can finally return to the afterlife.
- According to Black Zetsu's goal, he used the Akatsuki (including Obito and Madara) to revive Kaguya.