|“||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).|
Orochimaru, for a time, was the main villain of the manga and anime series Naruto during Part I; though his role has diminished in Part II. Orochimaru's influence still effected the events leading to the Fourth Great Ninja War. He voiced by Steven Blum in the English version and Kujira in the Japanese version.
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.
During the Second Great Ninja 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.
Some time after Team Hiruzen was disbanded, Orochimaru became an ANBU member and joined Root to work directly under Danzo 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 realising 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. 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 Jugo'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 finalised 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 a 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 labour 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.
Two and a half 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 was Sasuke into a genjutsu to enact the ritual. However, Sasuke uses Orochimaru's jutsu against him and altered in so that Orochimaru would become a prisoner within Sasuke's 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 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 Great Ninja War, and his reunion with Suigetsu Hozuki and Jugo, 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 Jugo 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 Great Ninja 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 ensnarged Orochimaru into the fantasy he was trying to avoid.
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, and the pain that it caused her. It is implied he was 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 then retrieved the necklace that Tsunade had given Nawaki and returned it to her, later when he witnessed the death of Tsunade's lover Dan and how much pain it caused her he once again felt remorse He seemed saddened by the frailty of human life and how it affects those still living. Once accomplishing this goal, Orochimaru hopes to be worthy 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 need never worry about death and thus all 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. 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 showed great interest in Sasuke Uchiha as a prodigy, Orochimaru had shown disdain toward 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 timeskip, 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 sky-rocket him towards his prime objective of learning all 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.
Powers and Abilities
Being one of the Sannin, as well as a former member of Akatsuki, Orochimaru is an extraordinarily powerful ninja. Only in cases like Naruto in his Four Tailed state can keep up with Orochimaru. Sasuke Uchiha, his apprentice and one of the only ones who has ever defeated Orochimaru, openly admitted he would not have been able to do so if not for the fact that he was already severely weakened prior to their confrontation. Though Itachi Uchiha was able to catch him off guard both times he met Orochimaru, the only reason he could successfully do anything he did to him was because Orochimaru was unaware of certain details each time and in the end, nothing he did to Orochimaru was effective because Orochimaru was one step ahead each time. Orochimaru's trademark ability is the use of serpents in his jutsu. In fact, he performed modifications on his own body, and that of his hosts, possess to snake-like characteristics, such as shedding his body to escape injury or extending parts of his body to great lengths. His usual weapon of choice is the Kusanagi Sword, an extendable blade that he stores within a snake that is in turn stored in his own mouth.
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 regenerative abilities. 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. 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.
Another downside is that Orochimaru could not properly use Snake Senjutsu before learning to utilize his Sage chakra by mixing it with Jugo's enzymes to produce his Curse Marks. 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.
Orochimaru also mastered the forbidden Reanimation 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. After using his Transference Ritual on a White Zetsu, obtaining Hashirama's DNA as a result, Orochimaru's influence on reanimated ninja intensified though the First Hokage himself is immune to his control.
Orochimaru's other abilities include the Earth Clone Jutsu, a mud-based copy of himself, and 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: Rashomon and Triple Rashomon, in which he summons a varying number of large demonic gates that are capable of enduring 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.
In the Naruto Collectible Card Game, White Snake Orochimaru possessed the ability to make many other cards in the game (those with an Entrance cost of less than six) Orochimaru's vessel. Examples of this include the likes of Naruto (regular, Version 1, and Version 2), Sasuke (Regular, Curse Seal 1, and Curse eal 2), Itachi (regular, Susanoo), and Madara. Giving Orochimaru access to all of their abilities.
Orochimaru's ultimate offensive technique was the Eight Branches, an ability which allowed him to transform into a massive eight headed snake, with him appearing inside the mouth of the primary snake head. The Eight Branches heads could unite to create the Dragon God Ball, an extremely powerful attack which could break through the defenses of a Susanoo.
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.
- Any character in the Naruto Collectible Card Game with an entrance cost of less than six - including the likes of Naruto, Sasuke, Itachi, and Madara.
- Orochimaru does not appear along with Hidan and/or Deidara in some Naruto episodes.