|“||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.||„|
|~ Orochimaru to a young Kimimaro.|
|“||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.||„|
|~ Orochimaru reveals his ultimate goal to Hiruzen.|
Orochimaru (in Japanese: 大蛇丸, Orochimaru) is one of the main characters in the Naruto franchise. He started off as the main antagonist in Part I of the manga and anime series Naruto, then later as a major antagonist in Part II of Naruto Shippuden. He is one of the three legendary Sannin of Konoha that trained under Hiruzen Sarutobi, alongside his former friends, Jiraiya and Tsunade.
Ever since the Second Shinobi World War, Orochimaru became fascinated with the idea of learning all jutsu around the world. In order to accomplish this goal, he began to conduct illegal experiments that involved experimenting with the corpse of deceased people, as a mean of cheating death. When his secrets were discovered, Orochimaru abandoned Konoha and was branded as both a criminal and a traitor.
Orochimaru would eventually return to Konoha and plot revenge against the village. Since then, his influence still affected the events leading to the Fourth Shinobi World War. By the end of Part II, Orochimaru saw how flawed his goals were and gave up his previous villainous ambitions.
He was voiced by Kujira in the Japanese version, and by Steven Blum in the English dubbed version.
Orochimaru's various human experiments take place so as to serve two purposes, most prominent of which is his desire to learn every jutsu in existence. Jiraiya speculates that this is due to the fact that his parents died when he was at a very young age, and flashbacks shown during his battle with the Third Hokage speak to this effect. Perhaps because he wanted to see his parents or as a means of avenging their deaths, he experiments on others to see what kind of modifications the human body can endure and to otherwise harness a subject's unique abilities for himself.
Another reason might be that he witnessed firsthand the deaths of Tsunade's younger brother Nawaki and her lover Dan, as well as the pain that it caused her. It is implied that Orochimaru was especially fond of Tsunade and her brother as he found it endearing how enthusiastic Nawaki was and was deeply disturbed when he saw Nawaki killed. He showed regret when he referred to Nawaki's mutilated body, although in the first part, he seemed more bitter than actually sad, reprimanding Tsunade for not being there to heal him, and retrieved the necklace that Tsunade had given Nawaki and returned it to her. When he witnessed the death of Tsunade's lover Dan and how much pain it caused her, Orochimaru was clearly distraught to the point of crying. Even at his worst, Orochimaru showed some level of affection for them, noting that he sincerely would have resurrected them for Tsunade if she would heal his hands and giving Tsunade chances to let him kill Naruto. He seemed saddened by the frailty of human life and how it affects those still living. It was this that steadily tore down his initial personality, as he was known for having initially been loyal to Konoha, fearlessly engaging in wars for his village and although he had already began researching, his experiments did not include human life and he used it to benefit Konoha. Also, he did seem to hold value over life, as shown by how he was genuinely horrified and concerned when Itachi boldly tried a challenging training session and was about to stop him. Once accomplishing this goal, Orochimaru hopes to be worthy and unimpeachable of the title of "ultimate being". Because a human's lifespan does not allow enough time to learn every jutsu, Orochimaru also experiments on others, so as to achieve immortality. By living throughout the ages, Orochimaru never needs to worry about death and thus all of the knowledge he gains will never be lost.
Above all else, Orochimaru cares only for himself. He grows bored when there is no conflict or violence in the world, and immediately strikes fear into others when they first meet him. Though he has a number of followers who would do anything for him, Orochimaru treats them as mere pawns. A master manipulator, he does not hesitate to send them to their deaths for his own personal benefit, and only finds remorse in their loss if they are unable to properly complete a task. To win over these followers to their disposable status, Orochimaru approaches them with promises of making their dreams, such as obtaining power, revenge, or a purpose to their lives, come true. He applies 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.
While he was greatly interested in Sasuke Uchiha as a prodigy, Orochimaru was contemptuous and disdainful towards Naruto Uzumaki, believing him to be a lost cause without any talent in ninjutsu arts. However, when Naruto injured Kabuto with his Rasengan (Improved with the use of Shadow Clones), Orochimaru thought 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 stronger to kill his older brother, Itachi. But Orochimaru was actually planning to take over Sasuke's body, and as a result the Sharingan (in his possession) would skyrocket him towards his prime objective of learning all of the jutsu in the world. Because of that, he would help Sasuke in whatever he needed, with the knowledge he had to become his new vessel.
However, following his revival by Sasuke, Orocimaru lost interest in his previous goals and recognized how copying someone else was a mistake after his former assistant Kabuto had tried to copy him completely. He chose to observe Sasuke's participation in the Fourth Shinobi War, and as a result of his new change, Orochimaru made sure to heal Tsunade and the other Kage, and later assisted in healing Sasuke, after he was badly injured by Madara Uchiha. While he does not seem to feel regret for many of his actions still, he seems to feel a certain amount of remorse for what he did when it came to those who he cared for, showing sadness for the death of his childhood friend Jiraiya and also looking solemn as Naruto showed his memories of Jiraiya, which was what inspired him to join the Shinobi Alliance. Orochimaru also finally gained some respect for Naruto as he learned just how far he had come under Jiraiya and saw his indomitable will. He appeared to genuinely care for Sasuke, showing that with his previous single-minded belief of Sasuke as being merely his vessel eradicated, he had came to subconsciously be fond of his apprentice, as he looked solemn when Sasuke was near-death and appeared to be nearly proud of Sasuke's growth. Following the war, he is on amicable terms with Konoha and also sent his son Mitsuki there, despite the fact that they still keep him under observation due to his past misdeeds.
Powers and Abilities
Being one of the Sannin, as well as a former member of Akatsuki, Orochimaru is an extraordinarily powerful and skilled ninja. Considered to hold easily Kage level abilities, Orochimaru is considered to have enough prowess to destroy an entire city of Ninja and Hiruzen admits that with his prowess deteriorated from old age, even he may not be able to stop him. Although Hiruzen ultimately managed to triumph, sealing away Orochimaru's ability to perform Ninjutsu and otherwise overpowering him in combat and even taking on him and the revived Hokages, it was only because of Hiruzen performing a suicidal jutsu and the forces of Konoha were left crippled by Orochimaru. Even while heavily weakened, he remained considerably powerful, able to take on Jiraiya while he too was handicapped and also battle Tsunade, although with Jiraiya he only bested him via surprise and Tsunade ultimately bested him. While mostly restored, he could go up against Naruto in his Fourth-Tail Form. Sasuke, despite his improved prowess, admits that had Orochimaru been at full power, he would have posed a difficult challenge and maybe even won when they fought.
Although he rarely uses Taijutsu, he has proven to be highly capable in hand-to-hand combat, able to easily take on and eventually pummel Sasuke despite his Sharingan. He overall prefers to wield his Sword of Kusanagi, with which he was able to battle Hiruzen wielding his Adamantine Staff but was inevitably beaten.
From his relentless pursuit of all techniques in the world, Orochimaru gained unprecedented knowledge and proficiency in Ninjutsu, with only the likes of his old mentor, Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha possibly being able to rival or even surpass him in the field. Wielding 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, Orochimaru's abilities ranged from using Medical Ninjutsu, creating Chakra Scalpels, 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 and Hiding in the Surface Technique, allowing him to quickly merge with a surface to avoid damage.
Orochimaru is also very skilled in the use of fūinjutsu, even in the midst of battle. Most notably, he has been seen using the Five Elements Seal, to seal off another's access to chakra and thus, rendering them useless. Using this technique, Orochimaru was not only land a seal on an enraged Naruto, but also completely subdue the Nine-Tails' chakra. In the anime, he was shown capable of using its counterpart, the Five Elements Unseal. His prowess with it, was great enough to release the seal and extract a tailed beast from its jinchūriki.
Orochimaru's trademark trait is 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, including learning Sage Mode. His snake-related techniques have been referred to as Power of the White Snake. One such ability is being able to summon giant snakes to fight alongside him in battle, made possible by the summoning contract tattooed on his arm. This allows him to summon snakes within his vicinity, as opposed to having to place his hand on a surface. If need be, Orochimaru can morph into a giant snake, despite being slightly smaller in size to his larger summonings. 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 can instantly call forth snakes from his sleeves and mouth to attack his opponents in large numbers with venomous 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. He also is able to summon the Sword of Kusanagi and it is capable of cutting through almost anything and he is also capable of having numerous Kusanagi-like blades sprout from the mouths of the snakes he summons.
Orochimaru's ultimate offensive technique was the Eight Branches Technique, an ability which allowed him to transform into a massive eight headed snake - causing him to transcend from a Snake to Dragon God, with him appearing inside the mouth of the primary snake head. Orochimaru's Dragon God form possessed the full power of reincarnation and its heads could unite to create his own variant of the Tailed Beast Ball; an extremely powerful beam which could break through the defenses of an armored Susanoo.
For a long time, Orochimaru searched for a way to make himself immortal. Due to the numerous modifications to his body, Orochimaru become a giant white snake composed of many smaller snakes with instantaneous regenerative abilities and poisonous blood that dissolved and when released into the air would paralyze anyone who breathed it in. This form became ideal when Orochimaru devised the Transference Ritual, consuming an ideal host and taking it to a subspace to transfer his soul into the new body.
Since this is his true body and is stronger than his host bodies, Orochimaru is capable of taking on Sage Mode in this form - resulting in his facial appearance changing - his skin becoming pinker, his hair turning brown, and his eyes altering to their Sage Mode appearance. 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.
Once in a new body, modifying it function like his previous host, Orochimaru uses the Vanishing Facial Copy Jutsu to wear the face of his original body as a mask. Orochimaru also use this Jutsu to assume take the identities of others one he kills them. A side effect of the Transference Ritual is that the souls of the bodies Orochimaru took became a part of his overall subconscious, causing some of their traits to slightly affect the choices he makes.
Orochimaru also mastered the forbidden Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation Jutsu that was developed by the Second Hokage Tobirama Senju. For this process, Orochimaru needs only a genetic sample of the ninja he wishes to bring back to life and the body of a living ninja to be sacrificed as the reanimated ninja's vessel. From there, Orochimaru can bend the near indestructible reanimated ninja to his will. In Part I, Orochimaru displayed the ability to summon Hashirama Senju and Tobirama Senju (though both were weakened so that he could control them), Osoi, and Yota, in Part II he is able to summon Hiruzen Sarutobi and Minato Namikaze after undoing the Reaper Seal on them. He could also reincarnate the Third Kazekage to fight for him if he wished. After using his Transference Ritual on a White Zetsu, obtaining Hashirama's DNA as a result, Orochimaru's influence on reanimated ninja intensified (though Hashirama himself is immune to his control), this allowed Orochimaru to revive and control anyone at near their full power (other than Hashirama, and presumably Madara). In the story of the video game Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2, Orochimaru also reincarnates Zabuza and Haku.
Orochimaru is one of the few to ever master all 5 Nature Transformations. His skill in Wind Release can create a powerful gust of wind and he is powerful enough with Fire Release to burn Naruto while he was augmented by Kyuubi. With Earth Release, he is able to create a copy of himself out of mud to fight for his behalf.
Orochimaru is also proficient in Genjutsu, capable of binding the likes of Sasuke and Sakura at once with ease despite their own resistance to it.
Orochimaru learned Snake Sage Art from the White Snake Sage in Ryuuchi Cave but was unable to use it. However, by combining Sage Chakra with the enzyme provided by Jugo, he was able to create the Cursed seals and the increased power it grants. Having branded his Curse Marks on Anko, Sasuke, Kimimaro, Sakon and Ukon, Tayuya, Jirobo, Kidomaru, Orochimaru essentially gave them each a piece of his consciousness that would be used to recreate his physical form if destroyed or disposed of. Despite the limitation, he does have enough knowledge to both release another person's Sage Mode and absorb the senjutsu chakra inside them as seen with Kabuto.
Orochimaru was originally an orphan who became a pupil of Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, alongside Jiraiya and Tsunade. Compared to the more laid back Jiraiya, Orochimaru stood out as a prodigy found once in a generation. However, Orochimaru has a twisted and sadistic personality that may have been due to the death of his parents. At some point after losing them, Orochimaru found a white snake near his parents' grave and Hiruzen explained how it represented fortune and rebirth inspiring Orochimaru to obtain knowledge of all forms of ninjutsu. This desire was initially suppressed by his loyalty to Konoha and nobleness and he devoted himself as Konoha Shinobi fully; although he still started researching, it was known for having been solely for the sake of Konoha and his village benefited from it.
During the Second Shiniobi World War, Orochimaru joined Jiraiya and Tsunade in fighting Hanzo, who gave them the title of Konoha's Legendary Sannin for surviving their battle with him while the rest of their group were easily slaughtered in the process. On the way back to Konoha with his team, Orochimaru met Nagato and his friends who were orphans in the Land of Rain. While Orochimaru suggested killing the orphans in an act of mercy, Jiraiya stayed to train the children. It was also during this war that Orochimaru succumbed to darkness as he watched Tsunade's precious ones die, due to Orochimaru holding a certain fondness for her. First was Nawaki's death. Having had high expectations of the boy, a distraught Orochimaru retrieved his necklace and gave it to Tsunade and he also criticized her for not being there to heal him. The last straw was Dan's, Tsunade's lover, death. As Orochimaru was searching for Tsunade's platoon, he found Dan dead and the broken Tsunade crying devastatingly, causing him to once again feel emotional disturbance and pain. This was the last straw and Orochimaru steadily fell to darkness.
Some time after Team Hiruzen was disbanded, Orochimaru became an ANBU member and joined Root to work directly under Danzō Shimura while 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 realizing that Orochimaru is beyond anyone's help.
Sent on a mission by Danzo to ensure both Kabuto and Nonō, the former joining Root as a spy, kill each other as they have become major risks. Orochimaru instead spirited Kabuto to one of his many hideouts, what would become part of his personal hidden village Otogakure.
Though Orochimaru reveals Root's intention for him to be dead, he explains to a horrified Kabuto that he sees a bit of himself in the boy and sees killing him to be a waste of great talent. Therefore, Orochimaru offers Kabuto a position as his right hand and spy with the promise of an identity for Kabuto to call his own.
While working for Root, Orochimaru began an experiment to infuse Hashirama's DNA into a person, an early experiment in his attempt to gain the Sage's powers. However, he thought the experiment was a failure when all 60 babies he implanted with Hashirama's genetic code seemingly died (though there was an only survivor who became the ANBU known as Yamato). With Kabuto's assistance, he performed various experiments on his prisoners, some being fellow Konoha shinobi he kidnapped.
He uses them as human guinea pigs to develop techniques that would grant him immortality, the end result being the Transference Ritual where Orochimaru transfers his being into a host body every few years, allowing him to cheat death. Some time after, 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 to him into finding Ryūchi Cave and mastering Sage Jutsu. Unable to use it because of the fragility of his host body, Orochimaru instead developed an alternate method through the Curse Marks, testing it on Anko and his other students before using the finalized versions on Kimimaro and the Sound Four.
When Hiruzen finally retired and 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 the cultivation of Hashirama Senju's DNA with sixty children he kidnapped to recreate the First Hokage's Wood Style. However, as his test subjects begin to die off, Orochimaru was found red-handed by Hiruzen who knew it was his duty to kill him yet lacked the will to do so. Leaving Konoha and his emotionally broken mentor and despite Jiraiya's pleas for him to reconsider falling on deaf ears, Orochimaru left; unaware that Yamato survived his experiment.
Orochimaru soon joined the elite criminal organization Akatsuki, his role unclear but was partnered with Sasori whom he did much good for the Akatsuki with. However, when Itachi Uchiha joined the Akatsuki after conducting the Uchiha clan massacre, Orochimaru saw his opportunity to steal his body to gain possession of the Sharingan. Itachi used his Sharingan to reverse it while cutting Orchimaru's left hand off to prevent him from breaking the genjutsu, causing him to leave the Akatsuki to acquire a new body.
Since then, with Kabuto posing as a sleeper agent that an infuriated Sasori sent to keep tabs on him, Orochimaru become an independent rogue ninja using the Hidden Sound Village to continue his experiments to achieve true immortality.
Eventually, when the chance to attack Konoha presented itself, Orochimaru forms a partnership with the Fourth Kazekage of Sunagakure, who desired Konoha's destruction, planned their invasion during the Chunin Exams. Orochimaru also used the invasion as an opportunity to test Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi's younger brother, if he can be of used as a vessel.
During 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. During a resulting confrontation with Team 7, Orochimaru expressed pride in Sasuke's abilities after he managed to partially burn off his disguise. Orochimaru sealed Naruto's Nine-Tails chakra before branding Sasuke, his intended target, with a Cursed Mark.
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.
During the preliminary rounds of the Chunin Exams, Orochimaru disguised himself as the leader of his genin team to watch Sasuke's performance against Yoroi Akadō and became more obsessive upon seeing Sasuke suppress the Cursed Mark with sheer will. After Kakashi was able to seal away the mark on Sasuke, Orochimaru confronted him and made no attempt to hide his envy of Kakashi's Sharingan before leaving while adding 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. When the invasion of Konoha began, Orochimaru made his move and attacked Hiruzen. Orochimaru has the Sound Four erect a barrier to hold the other Konoha ninja back to prevent any interference.
Orochimaru, exhilarated that he could finally fight his former teacher and Hiruzen intending to redeem himself for letting Orochimaru free; Orochimaru used the Reanimation Jutsu to summon Hashirama Senju and his brother, the Second Hokage Tobirama, to attack their successor. During the fight, his opponent summoning Enma to his aid, Orochimaru reveals to Hiruzen the fruits of his labor in achieving immortality by revealing 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 and 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 Reaper Death Seal, sealing away the souls of the two Hokage prior to going after Orochimaru himself. However, Orochimaru stabbed Hiruzen through the back of the chest with his Kusanagi. Hiruzen weakened, Orochimaru is horrified when his mentor resolves to only seal the part of Orochimaru's soul within his arms so Orochimaru could make any more seals. 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.
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 brother Nawaki and lover Dan to win her cooperation. However, though she seemed to have 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. After seeing Naruto defeat Kabuto, Orochimaru's attempt on the boy's life is stopped by Tsunade and Orochimaru summons Manda with Kabuto's help, hiding his condition from the giant serpent who would have turned on Orochimaru for being injured. Jiraiya and Tsunade response with their own summons and an epic battle ensues.
Forced to fall back, though hoping to go after him when he was older, Orochimaru decides to just take a new host body and sends the Sound Four to retrieve Sasuke. Due to complications as the Leaf Village attempted to recover Sasuke, despite Kimimaro going to aid the Sound Four, Orochimari is forced to take the body of a experimental prisoner named Gen'yūmaru. 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 after retaliating against Kabuto's warning for being rude.
2.5 years later, Yamato-led Team Kakashi, hoping to find Sasuke, learned of an opportunity from a dying Sasori that he was meeting with Kabuto. Posing as Sasori within his Hiruko puppet, the group's temporary leader Yamato meets with Kabuto while the others watch. However, Orochimaru arrives as Kabuto destroys the Hiruko, 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 has become as strong as "his Sasuke". As Naruto assumes his three-tailed form in response, Orochimaru is able to elude Naruto, finding the battle extremely enjoyable while provoking Naruto further.
It was only after Naruto submitted to Kurama's influence and entered his mindless four-tailed form, Orochimaru took the fight more seriously due to both Naruto now able to kill him and his host body beginning to reject him after he used his Kusanagi to force Naruto. While he briefly recuperated, Orochimaru was approached by Sai, who made an offer on behalf of Danzo 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.
Later, on the verge of being rejected by his current body, Orochimaru contemplated how best to take Sasuke's body. However, he hadn't truly planned on foul play from Sasuke, who no longer needs him. Though Sasuke used the Curse Mark to have the upper hand against his White Snake form, Orochimaru placed Sasuke into a genjutsu to enact the ritual. However, Sasuke uses Orochimaru's jutsu against him and ironically altered it so that Orochimaru would become a prisoner within Sasuke's body. As a result, Sasuke gained access to some of Orochimaru's abilities. However, he also 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 Eight-Headed Serpent Jutsu. Appearing out of one of the Serpent's mouths, Orochimaru's chance to take Sasuke's body is thwarted by Itachi using his Susanoo's Totsuka Blade and sealed Orochimaru inside his Susanoo's Gourd, which in turn freed Sasuke from the Curse mark. However, many of the snakes that composed Orochimaru's body endured as Kabuto harvested them and assimilated them into his body as part of his intent to transcend his former master. Following Kabuto's defeat during the Fourth Shinobi World War, and his reunion with Suigetsu Hozuki 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.
Having learned that Curse Marks hold parts of their creator's mind in them, Sasuke succeeds in reviving Orochimaru by pulling his consciousness out of Anko's Curse Mark and transferring it into the physical form Jūgo provided by absorbing some of Kabuto's 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 the Fourth Shinobi World War nor strong enough to even attempt to take Sasuke's body if he wanted to. But Orochimaru does agree to take Sasuke to those who know everything: the first four Hokage. To that end, Orochimaru is forced to mortally wound himself to break the Reaper Death Seal, releasing not only the Hokage's souls but also spiritually restoring himself to use the Reanimation Jutsu on four of the Zetsu spore clones while using the Transference Ritual on another.
With them under his control, stating to them that he not acting on his own intent, Orochimaru tells the Hokage that he plans to have them destroy Konoha if Sasuke deems it so after getting Hashirama's answer. During Sasuke's interview with the four Hokage, he derides his former sensei for failing to stop him before, as well as makes the conversation go his way by pinning the blame of the Uchiha Massacre on Tobirama Senju's policies. However, when Sasuke decided to support Konoha against Madara, he tagged along for his own amusement to see how Sasuke turned out, as well as keep the possibility of his own experiments continuing an option. To this end he had Suigetsu and Karin save the Gokage after their battle with Madara, even insulting Tsunade to her face when she asked why he was doing this by claiming 'given time, Jiraiya may have turned dark'.
Later, when he arrived on the battlefield he joined the battle against the Shinju itself, and finally against Spiral Zetsu. However, despite his intentions, Madara successfully cast Infinite Tsukuyomi and ensnared Orochimaru into the fantasy that he was trying to avoid. Ultimately, he and the rest of the world were freed from the genjutsu by Naruto and Sasuke after they ended the war.
With the Fourth Shinobi World War over, Orochimaru resumes his genetic experiments with Taka serving as his lab assistants, though Konoha remains suspicious of him and keeps him under constant surveillance.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Orochimaru appeared in a cameo in Boruto: Naruto the Movie. He is seen on the top of a roof, watching Mitsuki, Boruto, and Sarada's conversation.
List of vessels
- Original body
- Unknown former hosts - seen in Orochimaru's mind space.
- Unknown female - the host used to attack Konohagure.
- Gen'yūmaru - host used during three year time gap.
- Kabuto Yakushi - partially taken over after Kabuto integrated some of his cells.
- Sasuke Uchiha - briefly taken over.
- White Zetsu clone - host during the Fourth Shinobi World War.