|“||We are but men, drawn to act in the name of revenge we deem to be "justice". But when we call our vengeance "justice", it only breeds more revenge... forging the first link in the chains of hatred.||„|
|“||All is meaningless before overwhelming power. You Great Nations have proved that over the years. You all think of yourselves as the main forces of this world and push death out of your thoughts. Lawed by peace you have become shallow. If you kill, you shall be killed... Hatred is what connects this cause and effect.||„|
|“||We are Pain, we are God.||„|
|~ Nagato's quote as Pain when introducing himself.|
Nagato (in Japanese: 長門), better known as Pain (ペイン), is one of the main antagonists of the Naruto series. He served as the main antagonist of the Tale of Jiraiya The Gallant Arc, a major antagonist in the Six Tails Unleashed Arc and the main antagonist of the Pain's Assault Arc.
Initially an idealist devoted to bringing peace to the violent Ninja World, he is the apparent leader of Akatsuki and the lord of Amegakure (the Village Hidden in the Rain). While he appeared in control the organization for a long time, it was eventually revealed that he is in fact Tobi's second-in-command. He is later revealed to be a member of the scattered Uzumaki Clan, making him a distant relative of the series' protagonist Naruto Uzumaki.
He is voiced by Junpei Morita in the Japanese dubbed version of the anime and he was voiced by Vic Mignogna and Troy Baker in the English dubbed version of the anime.
Nagato was once a well-built man with pale skin and chin-length hair of the Uzumaki Clan’s trademark dark red colour, clad in long dark cloaks. His most noticeable trait is his Rinnegan Eyes, of a purplish grey colour, with several circles around a small pupil. Getting crippled at the hands of Hanzō, and subsequently summoning the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, left him horribly frail, skinny, emaciated and shriveled. He uses a six-legged walking machine for mobility, he has many Chakra Rods implanted into his back, and many smaller Chakra Receivers into his arms, which he keeps his forearms in a device in his walker to transmit his chakra toward long distances.
The Six Paths of Pain all look like the people they once were, but they all share Yahiko’s ginger hair, Nagato’s Rinnegan eyes and the Akatsuki black cloak covered with red clouds. Their bodies and face are covered with black, piercing-like Chakra Receivers that Nagato uses to transmit his chakra to them, and to perceive what they see and hear.
|“||If you don't share someone's pain, you can never understand them. But just because you understand them doesn't mean you can come to an agreement.||„|
|~ Nagato (to Naruto).|
Nagato was once a kind, emotional and sensitive boy, very quiet, withdrawn and prone to crying. He heavily disliked the prospect of killing, even to save his friends, but wanted nothing more to protect them and to make the world a better place for everyone. Due to his past, he had a strong distrust towards Konoha ninjas, but would form a close bond with Jiraiya. He regarded his friends and his master as examples and worked hard to emulate them; admiring Yahiko's strong-will and determination and calling Konan his "angel".
As Pain, he has become serious, aloof, cynical, brutal and relentless. He believes that the suffering he experienced enlightened him, making him rise above humanity toward godhood. He is extremely composed and indifferent, barely showing surprise even when Naruto drove him to a corner. Moreover, he mercilessly destroys all opposition and obstacles, killing thousands without batting an eyelid, even when said obstacle is his former teacher. Due to the tragedies he has suffered, he has grown heavily disillusioned, and openly scorns Jiraiya’s ideals of mutual understanding as a pointless delusion.
He heavily despises the five Great Ninja Nations, for building their prosperity on the tragedies they inflicted on smaller nations like his own, and cannot stand their speeches about peace, which he considers as a patronizing aggression. Despite this, he always speaks courteously even to people of the Great Nations. He genuinely praises his foes’ merits and shows a real appreciation for his subordinates, stepping in to stop squabbles and disrespect among them. He is often seen paying respect for the fallen, ally and enemy alike.
More importantly, Pain made Yahiko’s principle of the “understanding of suffering” into the very core of his philosophy. He believes that no-one can understand the value of peace without first experiencing first-hand the horror of war. He makes a point in teaching suffering to anyone he speaks to, making sure that they would see what they hold dear destroyed before their very eyes. He is highly sensitive about it and dislikes when someone criticizes his beliefs, or believes in something else. However, he is not opposed to the idea of confronting points of views with his foes.
|“||Naruto. I'm going back where our teacher waiting for me. To watch... how your story ends. I think you're the third part of this trilogy... The first was Jiraiya... he was a masterpiece. But I... I was a garbage, I was a bomb... an utter failure. My way was wrong... Even our master wouldn't acknowledge me as a true part of the series. The third and final part is here... Wrap it all up. Be so stellar that everyone forgets how horrible the second part was, Naruto!||„|
|~ Nagato last words to Naruto before sealing away|
After redeeming himself, Nagato turns back to his childhood dreams. His respect for Jiraiya returns tenfold and he embraces Naruto's ideals of breaking the chain of hatred. He also becomes even more melancholic, contemplating the errors of his ways and going as far as calling himself a "failure".
Powers and Abilities
Nagato is an incredibly powerful fighter, even above the Five Kage (the lords of the five Great Ninja Nations, numbering among the mightiest ninjas in the world). He was able to kill Hanzō and Jiraiya, who were feared worldwide, with relative ease. (It must be noted though that Jiraiya might have won if he knew the secret of the Six Paths of Pain.) His large array of abilities makes him as versatile and unpredictable as he is formidable, and he is immensely strong, fast, spry and skilled with weapons and martial arts. As a member of the Uzumaki Clan, Nagato is gifted with exceptionally vast amounts of extremely powerful chakra.
Nagato's main power is the Sage of the Six Path’s Rinnegan (Samsara Eye).The Rinnegan makes him able to physically see the chakra, to perceive someone’s chakra even kilometres away, to use the five elemental natures of chakra of Water, Fire, Wind, Lightning and Earth, as well as Yin (spiritual energy) and Yang (physical energy) or a combination of both, and to master any normal technique he came across.
Nagato's Rinnegan is actually that of Madara Uchiha, who transplanted it into Nagato's eyes without his knowledge. Because the Rinnegan is not truly his, Nagato cannot use the Rinnegan at the same level as Madara can.
The Outer Path
The Rinnegan's main power is called the Outer Path (Gedō in Japanese) or Seventh Path. It enables its wielder to channel their chakra through Chakra Receivers. The wielder can control everyone and everything infused with their chakra, alive or dead, to perceive what they see and hear and to transmit it through their other "puppets" and to speak through them. The Outer Path also enables its wielder to conjure chains of ethereal energy that can bind anything and anyone they touch and suppress their powers.
In spite of his perfect mastery of the Rinnegan, Nagato did not have access to the fullest extent of its power, something he is perfectly aware of. Madara Uchiha for instance was able to cast two formidable spells: the Tengan Shinsei (Divine Quaking Star) which conjures incredibly destructive, skyscraper-sized meteors, and the Limbo Hengoku (Limbo Border Jail) which conjures up to five immensely powerful clones of the caster that cannot be detected without powers similar to the caster's own and move independently for a defined amount of time.
Other users of the Rinnegan were able to teleport where they can see and open gates toward other dimensions, to create and transform all sort of objects and weapon made of red energy, and to absorb an attack and fire it back or use it as a power boost. Tobi has stated that the Rinnegan is so powerful that he himself cannot bear its full power. As such, one can guess that only the Sage of the Six Paths, and likely his mother Princess Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, can use each and every power it grants.
The Demonic Statue of the Outer Path
This titanic, otherworldly statue is in fact the shell of the Ten-Tailed Beast, the Primal Demon from the beginning of times that the Sage of the Six Paths sealed into the moon. Wielders of the Rinnegan can summon it and use its power as a fuel, or summon it for warring purposes.
Nagato used The Demonic Statue of the Outer Path to extract the Tailed Beasts from their jinchurikis and to store them within it. The more Tailed Beasts it absorbs, the mightier it becomes. It is absolutely gigantic, standing over 50 meters tall, and has incredible strength and surprising speed.
It can fire Chakra Rods and the Outer Path's chains of ethereal energy. It can also unleash many dragon-like spirits that rip out the soul of anyone they touch and absorb it, killing the victim. At its most powerful, the Statue can unleash devastating, blasting shockwaves or huge bolts of energy that rain down on its targets.
Six Paths of Pain
As if all of the above was not enough, the Rinnegan grants its wielder six powers known as the Six Paths. Nagato was the only wielder of the Rinnegan to master all six. He was able to use at least two at the same time and to switch between one and another within seconds, enabling him to face all types of foes at once.
Due to his crippled state, Nagato uses these powers through his signature Six Paths of Pain. He remotely controls six corpses, each wielding one of the six powers and using it as its name. Nagato can use one to six of them indiscriminately, but he needs to be close to transmit his chakra. The closer he is, the more they can use their power. Nagato always acts through them using the alias "Pain", and regards them as separate entities or vessels.
Each body is named after one of the six paths of Reincarnation from the Buddhist mythology: Deva, Asura, Human, Animal, Preta, and Naraka. When fighting together, the six can combine their powers, protect one another, and overwhelm their foes. They all display incredible fighting skills. Being roughly as good fighters as Nagato himself, and being impossible to catch by surprise due to sharing their vision, they prove absolutely formidable in battle. However, after being resurrected Nagato has proven able to use their powers at an even higher-level.
Deva Path (Tendō)
The Deva Path of Pain (God's Realm - Realm of Bliss) is Nagato's most treasured Path, which was created from Yahiko's dead body. Nagato used this Path on a daily basis, practically living through it. Because of this, this Path was the only one seen using other spells and techniques than the special power it was granted, and likely the only one able to do so.
The Deva Path is by far the mightiest of all six, with the highest chakra level and fighting skills. It wielded Nagato's power to control gravity, which enabled it to perform telekinesis and to levitate at will, and was the source of his three major techniques:
- Banshō Ten'in (Universal Pull) This technique pulls anything towards the Deva Path at variable force. It is mostly used to attract the target at close range to deliver an unavoidable fatal strike, but also to attract something toward the targets, to make them collide violently.
- Shinra Tensei (Almighty Push) This technique blows anything away from the Deva Path at variable force; either as a shockwave all around or as a frontal blast. It can be used for defence, to deflect every kind of attack, or offence, to blow up everything in its field of action. When Nagato gathers all the chakra from his other Paths into the Deva Path, it can use Shinra Tensei to its maximum and obliterate everything within an immense area, though it costs a great deal of Nagato’s energy.
- Chibaku Tensei (Planetary Devastation) Nagato's most powerful technique. It hurls a black orb of energy into the sky, where it attracts everything around from all directions (landscape included) at a very fast rate; compressing it together to form an immense sphere in which anyone gets crushed to dust, and leaving an equally big crater behind. The Deva Path can only use it near Nagato's location and it put a heavy strain on him.
This makes the Deva Path close to invincible, but after using his powers, it becomes unable to use it again for a moment determined by the amount of energy used (the minimum being five seconds). Such weak point leaves it open for an attack. The Deva Path is by no mean defenceless though, as it can still use its incredible fighting skills and is usually protected by the other Paths. In the anime, the Deva Path is also seen using Water-based techniques, (a violent gush of water and a huge tidal wave erupting from the ground) likely stemming from Yahiko's elemental affinity.
Asura Path (Shuradō)
The Asura Path of Pain (Divine War-Demon Realm) wields Nagato's power to duplicate its body parts and to transform them into mechanical ones, filled to the brim with chakra-powered weapons. When fully transformed, it looks like a three-faced, six-armed humanoid, the same as its Mythological namesake. The Asura Path is the physically strongest and most resilient of the six, being able to toss someone dozens of meters in the air and to function when half destroyed. It is arguably the second most powerful and destructive of the six and one of the most diverse, being able to:
- Focus its chakra on its feet to propel itself like a plane.
- Project a massive, long-lasting, laser-like blast of chakra that causes devastating explosions on its wake, from a cannon hidden inside its head.
- Unfold a large, tail-like, serrated sash from around its waist.
- Release several long, flexible, serrated blades from its arms.
- Release a drill from its hands.
- Fire off its forearms like a rocket, with enough force to destroy a building.
- Turn one of its arms into a cannon, similar to the one in its head, only bigger and possibly even more powerful.
- Separate on of its arms (still linked by a bone-like pole) to reveal many fast-moving, mechanical tentacles.
- Pull out one of its arms to fire a barrage of guided missiles of great destructive power. It can also fire these missiles to a much larger extent from all parts of its body at once.
- Fire a single, bigger and more destructive homing missile from its back.
Human Path (Ningendō)
The Human Path of Pain wields Nagato's power of Soul Removal. By grabbing its victim it can read their minds, transferring the knowledge gained to Nagato. By doing so, it always rips its victims' soul out of their bodies, instantly killing them. Even worse, it could extract the soul from every body part it grabbed. That is to say: anyone it caught was already as good as dead. Moreover, the Human Path is the fastest of the six, to the point that even sensor ninjas could not immediately sense it coming, and were caught off-guard before they could react.
Animal Path (Chikushōdō)
Nagato has used two of them, the first used to be a ninja from the famed Fuma clan, then a young girl, likely from Amegakure. The Animal Path wields Nagato's power of Summoning, being able to summon many giant monsters unique to it, as well as anyone related to Nagato, as evidenced when it summoned Konan.
The large number of highly dangerous monsters it can summon makes the Animal Path arguably the third most powerful and the one with the most diverse abilities. All summoned monsters have piercings similar to the Six Paths, implying that Nagato controls them like he does with the Six Paths, and the Rinnegan, enabling Nagato to see through their eyes. Both Nagato and the Six Paths frequently use them as mounts. The summoned monsters are:
- A gigantic Hummingbird with a spear-like beak, who can move at high speed, attacking with dives and drill-like charges. The anime also depicts it firing explosive eggs that can be used as remote mines, and flapping its wings at high speed to produce huge lightning-filled clouds of dust behind it as it flew.
- A gigantic Centipede (three at the same time in the anime) that can travel underground.
- A gigantic Crustacean with enormous pincers, able to spit powerful waves of foam and watery bubbles as both a mean of attack and a smokescreen, among other Water-based attacks.
- A gigantic, snake-tailed Chameleon with a tentacle, which it can use to bind people. Pain can hide in its mouth and turn it invisible for a near-perfect stealthy offence and defence combo, opening its mouth when Pain attacks. The Chameleon can fight on its own and catch its targets off-guard when it is invisible and its foe focuses on Pain.
- A gigantic Rhinoceros that charges forward and devastates all in its path. Pain was also seen hiding in its mouth.
- A gigantic yack-like Ram who serves the same purpose as the Rhinoceros; though it was possibly faster, more precise, more agile and slightly less destructive.
- A huge Panda with an extremely hard and sturdy skin that makes it a very convenient shield.
- A gigantic, Multi-Headed Hound that is without a doubt Pain’s mightiest and most dangerous summon. It can separate itself between as many hounds as it had heads and fuse back together, gaining more heads every time it's attacked and thus becoming more dangerous. This dividing power activates whenever the Hound is attacked, making it virtually invincible. Only attacks powerful enough to destroy it entirely could work.
Preta Path (Gakidō)
The Preta Path of Pain (Hungry Ghost Realm) is large, overweight, very strong, and wields Nagato's power of Energy Absorption. It can absorb people's chakra through physical contact, replenishing Nagato's own strength. It most often catches its targets and drains their energy until they die. It can absorb any Ninjutsu technique within seconds, making it a priceless defence for the other Paths. By creating a barrier spell around its body, the Preta Path could absorb chakra-based attacks from all sides.
Naraka Path (Jigokudō)
The Naraka Path of Pain (Hell Realm) is tall, bulky and one of the strongest Paths. It wields Nagato's power to control Life and Death, by summoning the King of Hell. The King of Hell can only be seen by its victims, or those with perception power. It has Rinnegans so Nagato can see through its eyes.
The King of Hell can devour people's very life, but also store dead souls and resurrect those it swallows, including the Paths of Pain, As such, Nagato always has the Nakara Path protected by the other five. When the Naraka Path catches someone, the King of Hell appears and forms tendrils from its mouth to question them. The King of Hell devours the life of those who lie or refuse to talk, but releases those who tell the truth. The King of Hell is needed for the Samsara of Heavenly Life technique: which sacrifices the caster’s life for a mass resurrection.
Chakra Disruption Blades
Each Path of Pain has at least one of these weapons, made of the same material as the Chakra Receivers. Not only does each Path of Pain wields them with incredible proficiency, but even Nagato's walking machine can shoot them like javelins. Nagato can infuse the body of anyone stabbed by these blades with his chakra, disrupting the victims' own chakra and hindering the use of their powers. At close distance, he is able to remotely control their bodies like one of the Six Paths. The victim needs to have a chakra even stronger that Nagato's to overcome this.
Nagato demonstrated several Ninjutsu techniques unique to him, including:
- To cause rain at will and use it to sense the chakra of anyone and anything inside its range. He uses it to watch over Amegakure, creating a god-like omniscience and detecting stealthy infiltrations.
- To shape-shift human sacrifices into exact doubles of a determined person, with the same powers. The doubles' might depends on how much chakra the duplicated one pours into it. The duplicated ones can remotely control their doubles but they can do nothing else, otherwise the spell would break.
- To cast an astral projection of himself, and anyone who channels their chakra to him, to communicate to others while in a different place.
- To create a perfect doppelganger of someone, with the exact same strength, techniques, powers and weaknesses, and control it. It was usually used as a trap to fight evenly the foe who triggered it.
- In the anime, when Nagato's Deva Path said, "My pain is greater than yours" while fighting Naruto's six-tailed jinchuuriki form, his expression became distorted (or rather became ugly) as he angrily punches the ground. This caused many viewers to express their disappointment with the episode’s “weird” quality production and the excessive smear animation (especially in the said scene). In the manga version on the other hand, Nagato's Deva Path's expression while saying the said line was obviously more calmer without any signs of sudden outbursts of rage albeit with the colder tone.
- In spite of this, Deva Path's distorted expression was good enough as the inspiration of an internet meme.