Template:Infobox Character (fixed)Orochimaru (大蛇丸, Orochimaru) is one of Konohagakure's legendary Sannin. With a life-ambition to learn all the world's secrets, Orochimaru seeks immortality so that he might live all the lives necessary to accomplish his task. After being caught red-handed performing unethical experiments on his fellow citizens for the sake of this immortality, Orochimaru defected from Konoha rather than be persecuted for his ambitions, and for many years sought the village's destruction in order to take revenge and demonstrate what he had learned. After several apparent deaths in the pursuit of his goals, Orochimaru realizes his approach his flawed through Kabuto Yakushi, his former associate, and beings monitoring the choices and actions of his former apprentice, Sasuke Uchiha.
Orochimaru was once an orphan who became a pupil of Hiruzen Sarutobi alongside Jiraiya and Tsunade. Orochimaru stood out as a genius - his talents, knowledge, and determination were considered by Hiruzen to be that of a prodigy seen only once a generation. According to Tsunade, Orochimaru had a twisted personality even as a child. His sadistic attitude was presumably due to the death of his parents. At some point after losing them, Orochimaru found a white sneak near his parents' grave, with Hiruzen's explanation of it representing fortune and rebirth inspiring Orochimaru to study kinjutsu and obtain knowledge of all techniques. Jiraiya theorized that Orochimaru went down this path in an attempt to forget his painful memories.
Orochimaru possesses a complex personality; however, more often than not, he was described as "twisted" by a large number of people, including Tsunade. Jiraiya speculated that the death of his parents while he was young, along with his horror for Tsunade losing Nawaki and later shedding tears when she lost Dan, implies that Orochimaru grew to disdain the fragility of human life and how it affected those still living, which led him to desire immortality. To that end, the primary purpose of Orochimaru's human experimentation is to test what modifications the human body can endure and harness a subject's unique abilities for himself. Once accomplishing this goal, Orochimaru had hoped to be worthy of the title of "ultimate being", unable to die and able to achieve his secondary goal to learn every ninja technique in the world, which would normally take many lifetimes to obtain.
According to Sasuke, becoming cruel with any good he had as a member of Team Hiruzen gone, Orochimaru's agenda made him develop a god complex and valued himself while delighting in striking terror in his first impressions. Though causing conflict to ease his boredom, Orochimaru seems to have no interest in wars started by others. His charisma also attracts a number of followers, many of which he would not hesitate to send on potential suicide missions if for his own personal benefit, expressing some remorse if they're unable to properly complete a task, having no sentimental attachments to any of them despite their values. Despite this, Orochimaru has genuine interest in the development of his underlings and experiments.
Taking Sasuke as an apprentice, seeing him as a prodigy like himself, Orochimaru intended to take the youth's body to obtain the Sharingan to reach another step in his goal of immortality and learning every technique in the world. This goal has developed to the point of obsession. However, despite knowing that Sasuke was willing to do anything for revenge, including sacrificing his own body, Orochimaru did anticipate treachery from his disciple and showed only a small level of surprise when it actually occurred. What truly surprised Orochimaru was Sasuke's decision to follow his own path and ultimately choosing to defend the village he initially swore to destroy, one that Orochimaru openly approved and was curious to see what would be the end result of this decision.
He also had an initial disdain toward Naruto Uzumaki, believing him to be a poor excuse for a ninja until he defeated Kabuto with the Rasengan. Despite attempting to kill Naruto at the time after coming to the realisation that he would become a threat to him in the future, Orochimaru became interested in Naruto's development, provoking Naruto during their battle to see his full abilities at the time. During the war Naruto managed to gain some of Orochimaru's respect for not giving into despair. Though coming to hate his home village, orchestrating a few attempts to destroy it, Orochimaru despised his former Akatsuki colleagues more. Throughout Part II, if Orochimaru was not busy with Sasuke's development, he would try to cripple Akatsuki's operations, as seen in the "Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission" arc and "Three-Tails' Appearance" arc. He expresses delight over the death of Sasori and later convinced Sasuke against killing Team Kakashi so they would thin out Akatsuki's membership.
An aspect of Orochimaru's personality is also his greatest weakness: his arrogance. He truly believed he was immortal at times, attacking recklessly against powerful opponents such as his former teacher and Itachi Uchiha. Both times, he was left crippled in some way since he either wanted to make his opponent suffer, like against Hiruzen, or because he was too uninformed to face his opponent, like against Itachi. Despite his distinct lack of morals, Orochimaru seems to be well-versed in psychological warfare and displays insightful wisdom when disparaging Tobirama for the actions resulting from his policies. He is also amusingly afraid of insects and bugs as seen during Naruto and Hinata's wedding.
After being revived by Sasuke, his personality changed a bit. While he still wished that he could gain Sasuke's body, he also realised that copying someone completely was a mistake from his observation of Kabuto and displayed interest in Sasuke's "different path". Wanting to see Sasuke's path, he chose to fight alongside the Uchiha instead of ignoring Madara's war like he planned, and even made it a priority to heal Tsunade and the other Kage after their defeat before hurrying to the battlefield. Orochimaru also seem to genuinely care about Sasuke's well being, as he originally thought it was best to take his time figuring out how to battle Tobi but quickly decided against taking his time when Karin sensed Sasuke was on the verge of death. Orochimaru has also shown signs of regret, seemingly saddened by his childhood friend Jiraiya's death. In the anime, he was one of people who congratulated Naruto and Hinata on their wedding. Years later, he appears to be on amicable terms with Konoha by sending his son, Mitsuki, to the village. In the anime, he also feels indebted to Naruto as the Hokage for watching over Mitsuki.
Orochimaru's experiences also resulted in him wishing Mitsuki to make his own decisions, admitting hat he has high hopes for the boy's natural growth, though he at times used manipulation and deception to put him in a situation where important decisions must be made.
Orochimaru's most striking characteristic is his snake-like appearance: he has very pale skin, golden eyes with slitted pupils, purple markings around his eyes and fang-like teeth. He also has pronounced cheekbones and straight waist-length black hair with some locks covering and framing his face or to his shoulders. The various bodies he takes over have each been modified to resemble his original form, except for the height differences. In Naruto Gaiden, Orochimaru's facial features soften and somewhat androgynous with his eye markings becoming black. He also wears his hair in a ponytail, allowing two locks to frame the sides of his face. In the manga, his skin-tone becomes noticeably fairer in complexion.
Orochimaru usually wears plain grey garbs with a black polo and pants underneath, a thick purple rope belt tied in a large knot behind his back, blue tomoe-shaped earrings, and shinobi sandals with bandages around his calves. He is seen wearing a kimono with different colours on several occasions, shown usually in flashbacks or inside his hideouts. During his time with Akatsuki, he wore the standard red and black Akatsuki robes with a slate blue ring, which bears the kanji for "sky" or "void" (空, kū), on his left pinky finger. After countless experiments with his body, his true form became a giant white snake made up of many smaller snakes, with longer, spikier hair, a scaled face with snake-like teeth and a long tongue, black eye markings, and a pointed chin.
Like other students of the Third Hokage, Orochimaru is an exceptionally talented shinobi, recognised as a natural prodigy; Hashirama Senju, a God of Shinobi, praises Orochimaru's skills. It wasn't until the Second Shinobi World War that their skills became widely known, dubbed by Hanzō as the Sannin, the strongest of their generation. Orochimaru's power was known and feared throughout the ninja world, such that Akatsuki, of which he was once a member, viewed him as a threat that needed to be eliminated. Shortly before the Konoha Crush, Hiruzen believed that no one in Konoha, himself included, could defeat Orochimaru. Although his invasion fails, it is indeed through Orochimaru's actions that the Third Hokage dies among many others and Konoha's military force is temporarily crippled. Although Sasuke defeats Orochimaru in Part II, he admits that his victory was attributed partially to the Sannin's weakening body.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
Orochimaru has reserves of chakra large enough to summon Manda and powerful enough to uproar dense surges of wind and crack stone. He can also absorb chakra through physical contact. Orochimaru rarely relies on taijutsu in battle, though the anime shows he is very strong, enough to knock down a tree with a single kick while under great physical pain. He is also fast enough to land a punch on a four-tailed Naruto that temporarily stunned him.
Body Modifications Edit
In his quest to gain immortality, Orochimaru has made a number of modifications to his body over the years, referred to as the Power of the White Snake. With it, he can heal and regenerate from varying lengths of damage, usually through snake-like means; for injuries like bisection, he can reconnect himself using snakes; for more severe injuries, he can shed his skin to regurgitate a new body, free from all damage. Orochimaru's body modifications have also allowed him to manipulate the shape of his body for greater manouvreability, and enhanced his physical durability enough to survive a powerful punch from Tsunade.
Orochimaru's body modifications have resulted in his true form taking on the appearance of a giant white snake. The body is composed of many smaller snakes that can be used to attack the opponent. Even if the opponent manages to incapacitate him, the blood released by killing the snakes is poisonous, evaporating into the air and paralysing anyone who inhales it. This form also enables Orochimaru to use his Living Corpse Reincarnation, his main method of immortality. It allows him to transfer his soul into a new body by swallowing that person whole and absorbing their consciousness, thereby gaining control of their body. This can only be used once every three years, as Orochimaru's current body begins to reject him and forces him to find a new host. The souls of the bodies he has taken remain in Orochimaru's subconscious and he can modify his body as he sees fit.
Orochimaru has conducted research on Hashirama Senju's DNA in order to access the latter's rapid healing abilities. He eventually gains the ability after taking over the body of a White Zetsu clone, which contains Hashirama's DNA.
Orochimaru has a vast arsenal of ninjutsu styles. He is proficient enough with the Transformation Technique to stay undetected for long periods of time; his skill in fūinjutsu allows him to use the Five Elements Seal to seal off a person's chakra; he can summon a single Rashōmon gate or more to protect himself from enemy attacks; he can hide hide within surfaces to avoid damage, or use cursed seals to temporarily paralyse an opponent. The anime shows Orochimaru using other techniques, such as the Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique, chakra scalpels, as well as space–time ninjutsu.
Orochimaru wields the legendary Sword of Kusanagi, showing enough proficiency to fight evenly with his former master Hiruzen. The blade is able to extend great distances, cut through almost anything, and even be remotely controlled. He normally keeps the blade within a snake's mouth inside his own throat and retrieves it by having it turning into a snake after use.
Orochimaru can use all five basic nature transformations, along with Yin and Yang Release. His elemental displays are brief in the manga, using only Wind Release to create a powerful gust of wind and Earth Release to travel underground. In the anime, he can create mud-based clones. After taking over the body of a White Zetsu clone, Orochimaru gained access to the latter's Wood Release — a simultaneous mixture of earth and water.
As his appearance suggests, Orochimaru has an affinity for snakes, using the unique arm tattoo to summon them for assistance in battle, his largest and strongest being Manda. He can also eject snakes from either his sleeves or his mouth to attack opponents; in the anime, the snakes can sprout Kusanagi-like blades from their own mouths for deadlier effect. He can even turn his lower body into a snake's tail, increasing his speed and mobility in battle. Orochimaru's ultimate snake-related technique is the Eight Branches Technique, where he transforms into an eight-headed, eight-tailed giant serpent with size superior to that of Manda.
Orochimaru can perform the Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation, having further refined the kinjutsu developed by Tobirama Senju. Upon reviving the dead, he can implant them with special tags that erase their personalities, granting him complete control over their actions. During the Konoha Crush, Orochimaru revives the Second and First Hokage to fight his former teacher Hiruzen; the latter later seals away part of Orochimaru's soul within his arms, making him temporarily lose access to this technique. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Orochimaru uses the Shinigami Mask to spiritually restore himself, allowing him to use the technique once more. His prowess with it has increased, as he revives all four previous Hokage with nearly their full power and can use Hashirama's cells to strengthen his control.
During his research of Jūgo's clan, Orochimaru eventually tracked down the power source at the Ryūchi Cave and senjutsu. Although he lacked the body and chakra reserves strong enough to learn Sage Mode, Orochimaru developed another use for senjutsu chakra: the cursed seals. These seals contained some of Orochimaru's senjutsu chakra mixed with the enzyme produced by Jūgo, triggering a change similar to Sage Transformation, but with different side effects. These cursed seals can be used to enhance the power of one's techniques, and serve as anchors to Orochimaru's consciousness, allowing him to observe events through anyone branded by the seal. He can even be revived any number of times through the Evil Releasing Method, provided there are enough cursed seals and DNA.
Orochimaru has acquired a vast amount of information of the shinobi world from his time with organisations such as Root and Akatsuki, having set up a network of fully supplied hideouts throughout various countries. He has great charisma in manipulating people into becoming his pawns, providing insight into their past and promising them power in order to gain their loyalty. In battle, he can deduce the workings of an enemy's fighting style and respond accordingly.
Wanting to decipher all of the world's secrets, Orochimaru conducted extensive research and numerous experiments on himself and the DNA of other individuals to comprehend, attain, or reproduce their abilities. Research of abilities such as Hashirama Senju's Wood Release and Jūgo's Sage Transformation have allowed him to recreate those same abilities, or at least produce techniques based off of them, into other people. From experimentation of Shin Uchiha, Orochimaru has become more knowledgeable of human genetics, facilitating his overall research.
The anime expands on Orochimaru's knowledge in other areas: he creates the Mind Awakening Pill to help speed up the cursed seal's progression; he builds a sophisticated robot with advanced weaponry; he creates genjutsu pills that can subdue a jinchūriki and their tailed beast simultaneously; he cultivates the cells of a tailed beast to create a pseudo-jinchūriki.
New Era (Plot)
In the following years, between gaining a new appreciation for natural development of people and forming a truce between Konohagakure, Orochimaru ultimately reestablished Otogakure as a legitimate shinobi village.
Sarada Uchiha Arc
Fifteen years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Orochimaru revealed himself to Sasuke and Naruto when the former demanded to meet him, wanting to inquire about Shin Uchiha. Naruto commented on his youthful looks, to which Orochimaru replied to "not stress on the details". After a talk, he explained that Shin was, in fact, an experiment of his in cloning technology and that he would be glad if they took him off his hands. He then went on to lecture about the ethics of cloning. Once he finished his story, Orochimaru happily decided to tell all he knew Shin's whereabouts in hope of the true Uchiha killing Shin.
Later on, Orochimaru commented the possibility that Sakura being already dead. Sasuke, however, disagreed, saying that she is strong enough to protect herself.
Versus Momoshiki Arc
Upon Team Konohamaru capturing a bear within Konoha, Orochimaru overlooks the genin completing their mission from atop a building.