Membership status: Active leader
Ring position: Right thumb
Partner: None or not yet introduced
First cameo: Chapter 238; Naruto Episode 135
First appearance: Chapter 363
Defining characteristics: Spiked, auburn hair, unusual eyes, several bridge piercings and ear piercings.
Pein is leader of Akatsuki and a missing-nin from Amegakure. None of the other Akatsuki members aside from the unnamed female member refer to him by name, instead simply calling him "leader," and his face is rarely shown. He has the respect of most of his subordinates (Hidan is an exception) and is the one directing their actions. He is also the one to initiate and supervise the jutsu that forcibly brings a tailed beast out of its host. He can also use the Shapeshifting Technique to clone his subordinates using human sacrifices, allowing them to engage the enemy without risking themselves. The clones formed are a perfect copy of the target, even possessing the kekkei genkai and unique weapons of the original. Their abilities are proportionate to the amount of chakra given to the clone (in its debut, the leader requested thirty percent). When it becomes necessary to gather his subordinates, he can communicate with them over long distances through some form of telepathy.
Membership status: Active
Ring position: Left ring finger
Partner: Itachi Uchiha
First appearance: Chapter 139; Naruto Episode 80
Defining characteristics: Shark-like appearance, expert in water-based jutsu, exceptionally large chakra supply, high physical strength and speed, Samehada (sentient, chakra-absorbing sword)
Konanis the only female ninja in Akatsuki and the only member to call her partner, Pein, by his name. When she was younger, Konan, Nagato, and Yahiko were left orphaned by one of Amegakure's many wars, forcing them to fend for themselves. The three eventually encountered Jiraiya, who looked after them and taught them ninjutsu. Jiraiya believed Konan to have died with Nagato and Yahiko some time later, and upon seeing her again years later he comments on how beautiful she has become.
Konan has a natural talent for origami, as seen with the paper flower she keeps in her hair. This talent extends to her type of jutsu, as she can divide her body into countless numbers of paper sheets. These sheets can be controlled individually and formed into various shapes for a number of purposes; butterflies for scouting, spears for attack, or darts with which to pummel opponents. Konan can even form wings from that allow her to fly. This has led to her title as "God's Angel" amongst the villagers of Amegakure, a reference to her doing Pein's bidding. Like all paper, Konan is unable to use her abilities while wet.
Madara Uchiha is the founder of Akatsuki and the first possessor of the Mangekyo Sharingan, a rare form of the eye condition unique to the Uchiha. Though it gave him the strength needed to take control of the Uchiha clan, overuse of the Mangekyo Sharingan left him blind, and it was only by taking his own brother's eyes that he was able to regain his sight. Madara eventually banded together with Hashirama Senju to create Konohagakure. The two founders disagreed on who should lead their new village and after a momentous battle between the two Madara was expelled from Konoha. In later years the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked Konoha, an act Itachi Uchiha states to have been Madara's doing, though Madara denies it. Once the fox was defeated by Minato Namikaze, Madara infiltrated Konoha in secret, trained Itachi, and subsequently assisted him in assassinating the Uchiha clan. Kisame Hoshigaki, upon seeing his face, notes him to be the Mizukage.
To keep in Akatsuki's shadow, Madara eventually took on the disguise of Tobi, giving orders to Pain in secret. He wears an orange, swirl-patterned mask that reveals only his right eye. When he trained Itachi, he wore a similar mask with black flame-like patterns on it, and he had longer hair than he does now. His hair is cut short from the days of Konoha's founding, and he wears a uniform consisting of a number of bolts and pins, which is usually concealed by his Akatsuki cloak.
While acting as Tobi, he is happy-go-lucky and goofy, something that annoys most of the other members. Deidara, who believed all the members of Akatsuki should be serious and calm, was not pleased with Tobi's childish personality, and frequently attacked the latter in a comedic fashion when annoyed. Apparently, Madara is very committed to keeping his identity secret, as he has been seen keeping up his goofy appearance even when no-one was around (at least during the anime's filler arc). Kisame and Zetsu, on the other hand, somewhat appreciate Tobi's ability to brighten up a gloomy organisation such as theirs. However, once his identity is revealed to everyone in Akatsuki, Madara largely abandoned his "Tobi" persona, using it only to distract the Eight man squad during Sasuke's battle with Itachi. By the Fourth Shinobi World War where his identity is known to the world, Zetsu still calls him Tobi.
Zetsu is a mysterious missing-nin from Kusagakure. Not much is known about him, other than his allegiance to Akatsuki and his function as a spy. His head appears to be enveloped in a large venus flytrap, which can also envelop the rest of his body. The right side of his face and body is black in color while his left side is white in color. He has pupil-less eyes similar in appearance to those of a Byakugan user and superior vision. He also has the ability to merge with the ground, trees, and other plants, allowing him to travel long distances fairly quickly. Akatsuki members have so far generally seemed to report to Zetsu as if he was a superior, though perhaps only because he is often acting directly on the instructions of the leader.
Hidan is a missing-nin from an unknown village and is the second-newest member of Akatsuki, Tobi being the newest. Unlike the other members of Akatsuki, the Akatsuki leader does not seem to have Hidan's respect. He is the partner of Kakuzu, despite their obvious dislike of one another. Kakuzu has little patience for Hidan's battle style, rituals, and speeches, which he believes take far too long. Hidan, in turn, detests how Kakuzu fights solely for money. He was eventually dismembered and buried alive by Shikamaru Nara. The leader considers him to be effectively dead.
Itachi Uchiha is an S-class criminal and a Konohagakure missing-nin noted even within the Bingo Book (a list of powerful ninja who have been marked for assassination). He is currently partnered with Kisame to capture Naruto for the nine tailed fox. Unlike most other two-man teams of Akatsuki, Itachi gets along well with his partner. The name "Itachi" means "weasel". In Japanese folklore, weasels are an ill omen, signifying bad luck and death."(Killed in an battle with Sasuke)
Kakuzu is a missing-nin from Takigakure and Hidan's partner. He and Hidan display the most animosity towards each other out of all members of Akatsuki, neither being very fond of the other's interests. The two often trade barbs with one-another, Kakuzu's usually being better timed than Hidan's. Kakuzu is the longest-lived known character in the series, having lived at least since the time of the First Hokage, whom Kakuzu mentions having fought at one point. Kakuzu is defeated about thirty chapters after his introduction by Naruto Uzumaki and finished off by Kakashi Hatake. His partner, Hidan, is still alive, but in no condition to fight.
Membership status: Defected, unreplaced
Ring position: Left little finger
Partner: Formerly Sasori
Defining characteristics: Snake-like appearance, able to extend life via transferring soul into new bodies, mastery of snake-based jutsu, able to extend body parts to infinite lengths
Orochimaru is a missing-nin from Konohagakure. After he defects from Konoha he joins Akatsuki and is paired with Sasori. Once Itachi Uchiha does the same, Orochimaru attempts to use one of his abilities to forcefully take control of Itachi's body. Itachi repels his effort and severs his hand as punishment, forcing Orochimaru to flee the organization in defeat. Upon leaving he takes his severed hand and the ring he wore on it with him. Because of this, as well as the fact that he had intimate knowledge of Akatsuki's secrets and plans, the members of Akatsuki began making every effort possible to find and eliminate him.
Sasori was Deidara's first partner in Akatsuki. A powerful ninja puppeteer, he was a missing-nin from Sunagakure. In the Rescue Gaara arc, he assisted Deidara in his mission to capture Gaara from Sunagakure. While there, he fought against Kankuro, nearly killing him and easily destroying Kankuro's puppets in the process. After Gaara was delivered to the Akatsuki lair, he acted as a rear-guard for the rest of Akatsuki, fighting Sakura and his grandmother Chiyo. This battle turned out to be his last, as he was eliminated by two puppets he designed himself, "Mother" and "Father" (his actual mother and father converted into puppets), which Chiyo had taken possession of after Sasori left the village.
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.
Akatsuki breaks its members into two-man partnerships to have them explore the world, collecting new jutsu and information on jinchuuriki. Akatsuki members Deidara and Tobi work together. Deidara uses clay to model his explosive animals; Tobi's jutsu are currently unknown. Deidara acts as the senior in their partnership.