The Akatsuki kanji means daybreak, breaking down the word itself gives us "aka" meaning red (a common color in the group) and "tsuki" meaning moon. This Organization is a collection of S-Ranked criminals. Many of these are missing-nins who fled their villages after causing death and destruction. There are currently only 3 active Akatsuki members: Tobi, Zetsu and Kisame. Most members wear a forehead protector from their hidden village with a scratch through it, and all seem to wear a ring identifying their position in the organization and a black cloak with red clouds. The group itself acts as mercenaries for hire, offering their services to villages wary of taxing their own resources. When the organization members leave to travel the country they will work in groups of two collecting knowledge of new skills and jutsu. The exact origins of the group are clouded in mystery, rumors suggest it may have formed in the Water Country.
Their ultimate goal is to control the world; this will be accomplished through three steps. Step One is for the group to attain money. Step Two is to create the first mercenary group. Shinobi villages make money for their country, and for the money to be steady it requires war. Because there have not been any large scale wars in approximately the last decade, the ninja villages were being reduced in size. The Five Great Shinobi Villages could handle the downtrend, but the smaller villages could not. Akatsuki will form their own fighting force with no country allegiance. With this force they will undercut all the other villages and fight their battles for cheap. Then using the bijuu they can create new battles and new wars and gain a monopoly over the whole market. In the end they plan to control all the wars and be powerful enough to even collapse the shinobi villages of the large countries, forcing them to rely on Akatsuki as well. With all that in hand, the group can achieve Step Three, to control the world. It should be noted their goal and plans have been explained by Pain, the man acting as leader. While Pain was separated from the group, he expressed his own desire for the Bijuu, to use them to create a powerful Kinjutsu. However Pain also reported to Tobi, who was revealed to be Uchiha Madara. What Madara wants with the Bijuu and powerful Sharingan of Uchiha Sasuke is unknown. He may share Pain's deadly Kinjutsu plan or have his own goal mind.
The stated goal of the group is far reaching and it requires the capturing of the bijuu and "Jinchuuriki," meaning the power of human sacrifice. These are the individuals possessing bijuu (tailed beasts) within their bodies. The demons are known by the number of tails their body possesses. When the Bijuu is removed from the Jinchuuriki's body, the host dies. All the captured hosts lost their lives save for Gaara, who was later resurrected with a tensei jutsu. The only remaining Bijuu are the Eight-Tails and the Nine-Tails within Naruto. Akatsuki's current base of operation is unknown. Previously they met at a cave in the River Country, which was later destroyed. They then moved on to a new base. These bases are used to summon the gigantic King of Hell statue.
The statue's mouth is bound and his hands are cuffed. Each respective finger of the statue's hand represents the Akatsuki member. Each statue finger thus represents the kanji and ring finger of the member. The members have the ability to project their presence to their base, this allows them to remain out and about and still conduct the business of Jinchuuriki demon extraction. This process takes three days and nights due to the absence of Orochimaru. This length of time goes for both free roaming bijuu and bijuu enhanced Jinchuuriki. To begin to leach the power from the Jinchuuriki, the members will use the sealing technique of GenryuuKyuu Fuujin (Mystical Dragon Nine Exhaustion). This causes the mouth of the statue to open. Nine spectral dragons will emerge to coalesce around the Jinchuuriki to begin the extraction process. When extraction is completed, the bijuu spirit will be sealed within the statue and one of its eyes will open denoting a captured bijuu spirit. The Jinchuuriki themselves will fall back to the earth, dead.
|Ring and Manicure|
|Drawn from ancient Chinese and Japanese lore, the kanji on each ring have served in the past as representations of Gods, to help in concentration before battle and in protection from evil. Their ring placement on their finger corresponds to their position on the summoned statue, with each member wearing the ring on a different finger. The rings seem important to each member, as Deidara was set on finding his when it was lost. Orochimaru also took his when he left the group, which apparently denied the group the ability to replace him with someone new. With Sasori's death, Tobi was eager to get his ring and join, but he would need to go through their entrance requirements first. |
The Akatsuki member also has manicured and painted nails.
|Each member wears the traditional forehead protector of the hidden village from which they fled. The protector has been modified though to bear a large scratch through the symbol, showing they no longer hold the same ideals their village does.|
|Each member wears a black cloak that bears red clouds. The inside of the cloak is red in color. The cloak is knee length and has a high collar. Underneath the cloak the ninja is seen to wear the more traditional clothing of their home village.|
|Members wear a traditional bamboo hat (kasa) to hide their appearance when traveling. The hat will be removed when the member enters battle.|
|Pain [Nagato] (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Deidara (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Konan (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Uchiha Itachi (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Orochimaru (Former Member - Neutralized)|
|Hoshigaki Kisame (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Kakuzu (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Hidan (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Akasuna no Sasori (Former Member - Deceased)|
|Tobi / Uchiha Madara|
|Deidara and Sasori|
|Deidara and Sasori were known for being artists. Deidara uses clay to model his explosive animals and Sasori was a master puppet maker. Deidara acted as the junior in their partnership, deferring to Sasori as the stronger ninja. This did not stop them from getting into spats about the nature of art though. After Sasori's death, Tobi assumed his position and role as Deidara's partner. Deidara was assigned to capture the Ichibi and Tobi the Sanbi. Sasori did not know where his Jinchuuriki was. It is unknown if this was the Sanbi or some other individual.|
|Deidara and Tobi|
|Deidara and Tobi share a very strained relationship. Always eager to impress his new teammates, Tobi is prone to excitement. This often annoys Deidara who tries to do his best to show Tobi what it means to be an Akatsuki member. Tobi was assigned to capture the Sanbi. Though he boasts that he took out the beast himself, he was helped in his assignment by Deidara.|
|Hidan and Kakuzu|
|Hidan and Kakuzu work together and share a somewhat testy relationship. Hidan follows a very strict religion, which annoys Kakuzu with its long rituals. Hidan is very defensive of the religion, causing Kakuzu to often get tired of his partner's diatribes. Kakuzu on the other hand often makes side-trips to collect bounties, which annoys Hidan. Hidan was assigned to capture the Nibi. It is unknown what tailed beast Kakuzu was assigned.|
|Itachi and Kisame|
|Itachi and Kisame work together and form a rather strong partnership. Both men seem to respect each other and Kisame seems to act as the junior in the group, deferring to Itachi's decisions. Itachi was assigned to capture the Kyuubi and Kisame was assigned the Yonbi.|
|Pain and Konan|
|Pain and Konan work together, carrying out a partnership that has lasted since their youth in the Rain Country. Both report to Uchiha Madara, who operates in the guise of Tobi.|
|Several years before the series started, Kabuto worked for Sasori as a spy. He operated under Sasori's memory block jutsu and was placed into Orochimaru's confidence in the hopes of learning more about Orochimaru's body transfer jutsu. However, Orochimaru removed the memory block jutsu and the young man was impressed enough by Orochimaru that he chose to join him. Sasori was ignorant of this fact and had scheduled a meeting with Kabuto. Kabuto went to the meeting playing the part of his loyal spy, but he planned to kill Sasori with the help of Orochimaru. When Orochimaru himself was later neutralized by Sasuke, Kabuto implanted some of Orochimaru's tissue into his body, gaining new power in the process as it began to take over his body. He then located Uchiha Madara and offered his services to Akatsuki once again. To prove he was trustworthy, he resurrected Deidara, Itachi, Kakuzu, Nagato and Sasori. He then set out with Deidara to capture Killer Bee and Naruto for the group.|
|After Uchiha Madara revealed the true events behind Itachi's actions, Sasuke chose to side with the legendary ninja against Konoha. After that revelation, he changed the name of his team from "Snake" to "Hawk". The group then donned Akatsuki robes and set out to capture the Eight-Tails Jinchuuriki for Madara. The group then infiltrated the meeting of the Five Kage, with Sasuke eventually abandoning the others to find revenge against Danzou. During the battle with Danzou, Sasuke sacrificed Karin's safety to kill the elder ninja from Konoha. The gravely wounded Karin was eventually captured by Konoha and expressed willingness to leave her ties to Akatsuki and Sasuke behind for good. Suigetsu and Juugo's current ties to Sasuke and Akatsuki are unknown.|
|Former Akatsuki member Kakuzu was a bounty hunter and obsessed with wealth. He used the services of Ginji to manage his extensive wealth. After his death, Team Snake sought out Ginji to learn about Akatsuki's whereabouts.|
|Yuura has served as a trusted member of the Kazekage advisory council for four years. Little did Yuura know that he had been placed under a memory block jutsu for over a decade. This block was placed by his former master Sasori. The block made Yuura forget that he was actually gathering data and serving as a plant to wipe out the Sand's defenses. When Sasori returned to Hidden Sand, he activated Yuura and removed the memory block. Returning to his masters commands, Yuura wiped out the Sands defenses, allowing them easier access to capture Gaara. Yuura was later used in a sacrifical jutsu to provide a host body for Uchiha Itachi to inhabit when he fought Kakashi and Naruto. Zetsu later ate his body for sustenance.|
|Mukade served was an underling of Akatsuki member Sasori. He was used as a sacrifice to take on the form of Hoshigaki Kisame in Pain's Shouten no Jutsu. Kisame fought Guy and managed to imprison Neji, Lee and TenTen. Guy was forced to open several gates and used his Asakujaku technique to pummel "Kisame" and defeat him. In the rubble, the body of Mukade lost its appearance and revealed to Guy that they had not actually been fighting Kisame at all.|
|Zangei was a bounty exchange master who ran one of the disposal centers located in Fire Country region. The center was located in a secret area accessed through a men's restroom. Akatsuki member Kakuzu often used this center to drop off corpses of the bounties he had collected. Zangei would gladly pay Kakuzu for his services. He was later captured by Konoha and taken in for interrogation by Morino Ibiki|