Naruto/Characters/The Legendary Sannin
The Legendary Sannin ("Three Ninja") are a trio of extremely powerful ninja of Konoha. They were students of the Third Hokage in their youth and eventually developed into powerful, feared ninja. Two of them, Jiraiya and Tsunade, play mostly mentor roles, while the third, Orochimaru, is the main antagonist of the first series. All three are in their fifties during the main series, but only Jiraiya looks his age.
All the Sannin provide examples of:
- Facial Markings
- Public Domain Character: They are based on three main characters from the classic Japanese story Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya). Lampshaded when an episode in the anime about Jiraiya has the exact same name as this book.
"You're wrong; that's not what makes a shinobi. You never did get it. A real ninja is one who endures no matter what gets thrown at him… Let me explain something to you: there is only one thing that matters if you're a shinobi, and it isn't the number of jutsu you possess. All you do need is the guts to never give up!"
Voiced by: Hochu Otsuka (JP), David Lodge (EN), Jesús Rodriguez (Spain), Paco Mauri (Latin America)
The legendary Toad Mountain Sage, Jiraiya is a perverted loner who spends much of his time Walking the Earth. His first appearance in the series was during the Chunin exam arc, when he knocked out Naruto's trainer when the latter caught him peeking on a women's shower. Naruto (who had no clue as to the old man's true identity and power, and called him "pervy sage") subsequently badgered him into continuing his training personally.
Jiraiya is basically indolent and shuns responsibility, despite his great skill as a ninja. The village elders initially offered him the position of Hokage after the Third's death, but he turned it down because he knew he'd screw it up and then he suggested Tsunade as an a better option. He makes most of his money from writing the pornographic novels that are a runaway hit in the Naruto universe (the same ones Kakashi is never seen without), and would much rather spend his time drinking, gambling, and wenching than doing anything serious. Nevertheless, Jiraiya is a fierce warrior and never backs down when he's really needed, helping to beat back Orochimaru's attack on Konoha in the Chunin Exam arc and always keeping his eyes and ears open regarding the whereabouts of Konoha's enemies, particularly Orochimaru and the Akatsuki.
Prior to the series, Jiraiya spent some time in the home of the great toads, who trained him and prophecized that he would eventually meet and train The Chosen One. (Jiraiya initially believed this person to be Pain, but later came to believe that it was Naruto. (Eventually it was revealed that both were the "Chosen One".) Jiraiya returned to the village after this and operated as part of Konoha's active military for a time along with the other two Sannin. (During this period, he also trained several genin, one of whom would eventually become the Fourth Hokage.) When Orochimaru defected, Jiraiya tried to convince him to return to the village, but his failure to do so shamed him so much that he left the village and wandered alone for many years.
Jiraiya and Orochimaru's relationship is deliberately designed to mirror Naruto and Sasuke's. Sasuke, like Orochimaru, is naturally gifted and believes only in his own personal power, while Naruto, like Jiraiya, had to work his way up and believes in comradeship. Jiraiya gave up on Orochimaru, but Naruto is determined not to do the same for Sasuke.
Jiraiya teaches Naruto the Summoning Jutsu and the Rasengan (which he himself learned from his former student the Fourth Hokage) over the course of the series. He also attempted to find a way to allow Naruto to control his Nine-Tailed Fox transformations, but failed in this and settled for merely suppressing them instead. Many of Jiraiya's techniques are toad-themed as a result of his time in their community; he can summon them to assist him in battle, and can draw on their power to go into a more powerful "Sage Mode". He also has several Fire-Style and Earth-Style techniques, and is implied to know many more, although he does precious little fighting in the series. His presence and power is what keeps Akatsuki away from Naruto for a time; Itachi believes that Jiraiya could beat any two Akatsuki members single-handedly. In Shippuden, it's revealed that Jiraiya is Naruto's godfather, explaining his interest in the boy's safety and development.
At the end of the first series, Jiraiya takes Naruto on a three-year long journey to train in preparation for his future battles with the Akatsuki; this journey forms the Time Skip that separates the two series.
In Shippuden, Jiraiya returns Naruto into Kakashi's keeping, then returns to gathering intelligence on Orochimaru and Akatsuki. Following a tip, he tracks the Akatsuki's leader Pain to the Hidden Rain Village, and engages him in battle. Jiraiya realizes that Pain is a former student of his, although greatly changed, and sends one of his toads with that information back to the village. He uses up all of his tricks, even going Sage Mode, but Pain kills him by crushing his throat with one blow. His final thoughts are of Naruto.
- Achilles in His Tent: Because he's always out of the village travelling.
- A Death in the Limelight: Doesn't do much in Shippuden until he goes to investigate Pain's whereabouts, a mission from which he never returns.
- Badass: He's on par with the four other Kages in power, and would've become a Hokage if he wanted to. Put it this way: when Kisame acknowledges someone as a clear superior and Itachi isn't sure he can take them in a straight fight? This guy is serious news.
- Badass Beard: Sage Mode
- Badass Bookworm: He Is an author after all.
- Badass Grandpa: He's over fifty, but he can still kick some serious ass.
- Badass Long Hair: Long white hair.
- Blood Magic: Most of his strongest abilities (Sealing, Kuchiyose, Sage mode) are activated this way.
- Brilliant but Lazy: He's a smart guy, but he prefers to spend his time messing around chasing girls instead.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: Lazy, perveted, self proclaimed voyeur and all around slacker... who is also one of the strongest Shinobis in the Elemental lands, to the point that even Pain had to take him seriously.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: While nowhere near as strong as Tsunade, he could still level buildings and slaughter dozens of Ninjas in Taijitsu alone. By using Sage Mode he could throw Titan Kuchiyoses through half a city with a punch.
- Casanova Wannabe: He's a sucker for women, even though his work is romantic enough to catch Kakashi's attention
- Chivalrous Pervert: He always protects the ladies, who he has a thing for.
- Cool Old Guy: Definitely, when he's not acting pervy.
- Dishing Out Dirt
- Eccentric Mentor
- Evil Former Friend: Orochimaru was this, and it's probably the reason why he didn't kill him.
- The Determinator: Believes that the most important thing for a ninja to have is the willingness never to give up.
- December-December Romance: What it was shaping with Tsunade after the Time Skip before being croacked by Pain.
- Generation Xerox: Initially displaying outward interest in Naruto for the latter matching his perversion and determination, he was eventually shown to be Naruto's godfather, who did truly care for his welfare and making him his inheritor of his philosophy of the "Will of Fire."
- Go Out with a Smile: Right before he dies, Jiraiya recalls that Naruto was named after the character in his book, and decides that he had succeeded in something after all.
- Facial Markings: born with 'em.
- Flanderization: Fanfics usually have him constantly hitting on Tsunade.
- Frogs and Toads: His signature style.
- Geometric Magic: Probably the greatest Seal Master, right behind (or maybe above) even the Yondaime Hokage.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He knew that Pain could overpower him, but still fought him to gather information to help the village instead of running away and escaping. His defeat ended up costing him his life.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Near-pathological, even in his last moments he believes that his life was a complete waste that he was a loser. His only goal in life was to have an awesome death. He managed it.
- Heroic Willpower: When fighting Pain he manages to get up after being impaled multiple times and his heart apparently stopping long enough to scribble out a message on Fukasaku for the rest of the village.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Look at him. He attract more attention that Naruto could ever dream off.
- Its Not Peeping Its Research: Basically his excuse.
- Killed Off for Real
- Large Ham: One among various examples:
"When you've reached the stature I have... THE LADIES KNEEL AND WORSHIP... AT YOUR AWESOMENESS!!"
- Like a Grandson to Me: Towards Naruto.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: He's called "Pervy Sage" for a reason.
I'm not a Pervert. I'm a SUPER PERVERT/BIG ONE!
- The McCoy
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Infiltrating the Land of Rain.
- Mundane Utility: How he use the Rasengan.
- My Greatest Failure: Not having been able to stop Orochimaru from defecting, nor to save his pupil (the 4th Hokage) or his master (The 3rd Hokage).
- To Sandaime, for not being able to kill Orochimaru when he first had the chance and the ability.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He acts as dumb as Naruto, but is the best Information broker in the Elemental Lands.
- The Obi-Wan: This to Naruto, even dying at his protege's future big enemy, who was once his student.
- Old Master: Easily the greatest one in the Naruto Verse. Is easy to miss, but all his students had become absolute legends/walking gods in the Series. While Pain was as strong as a God and in fact, undefeatable, Yondaime was feared in the Elementals lands as One-Man Army and Naruto is shaping to become The Messiah as off this moment.
- One-Man Army: He managed to face off the 6 Paths of Pain all out. What other opponent was thoroughly defeated trying the same feat? The entire Village of Konoha, including Naruto in 2 consecutive Sage modes and 8-tails Kyuubi mode. Now that is badass.
- Old Soldier
- Parental Abandonment: Being Naruto's godfather and, you know, alive, Jiraiya really had no excuse for not raising the boy.
- The Peeping Tom: Jiraiya spies on girls in hot springs all the time. He calls it "research." Somewhat justified in that he's a popular author of trashy romance novels.
- Prehensile Hair: Used as a weapon.
- Playing with Fire: Can use fire jutsu, and often combines them with toad oil jutsu to make them the single strongest Fire Elemental attack in the series.
- Rapunzel Hair: Long White hair. And hard enough to pulverize reinforced Chakra steel like wate paper.
- The Red Mage
- Renowned Selective Mentor: Fits this trope to a T. He only had two groups of students before Naruto, and in both cases one of them was an insanely gifted shinobi who became a legend. He chose to train Naruto become he reminded him of the Fourth Hokage, his previous student and Naruto's father.
- Retired Badass
- Summon Magic: Toads.
- Super Mode: Sage Mode which he himself never fully mastered after 30 years.
- Team Dad: To Naruto, despite refusing to become Hokage.
- The McCoy
- Took a Level in Badass: In his backstory he was the "loser" of the Sannin and was incapable of defeating his friend Orochimaru. At the end he's one of histories most powerful ninja.
- Tragic Hero: Always failed to save the ones he loved.
- Trickster Mentor: To Naruto
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Tsunade, he was even gonna marry her, but Pain killed him.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
- The Worf Effect: Averted. He's hyped up to be very strong, but we actually never see him win a fight, and even in his Backstory, we're only told about his failures (couldn't defeat Hanzou, was defeated by Orochimaru when he left the Leaf) rather than his victories. He's unable to prevent Itachi and Kisame from escaping, and is poisoned during the Sannin's fight. It's his fight with Pain (or more importantly, Pain's fight with All of Konoha's forces, the Toad Tribe, Kyuubi and Naruto that established his Memetic Badass reputation.
- Worf Had the Flu: See above. But Orochimaru couldn't use his own arms...
- White Haired Old Man: A handsome devil ain't he.
- World's Strongest Man: Along with Pain and the Sandaime Hokage as among the most powerful shinobi in history.
"I am the Fifth Hokage… You've trampled on our ancestors' treasure… their dream… And you will pay the price! As the Hokage, I will put a stop to you here and now!"
Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (JP), Haruhi Terada (child, JP), Debi Mae West (EN), Ana Jiménez (Spain)
Big-breasted (despite her early lack of such endowments) and with a personality to match, Tsunade is the second of the Legendary Sannin.
Tsunade is a veteran Hard-Drinking Party Girl and gambler, although her lack of luck at the latter, which earned her the nickname "The Legendary Sucker", is almost as famous as her fighting skill and miraculous healing abilities. Tsunade, whose grandfather was the First Hokage (therefore, the elders refer to her as "Tsunade-hime" aka "Princess Tsunade"), became jaded and disillusioned regarding the village when both her younger brother Nawaki and her fiancee Dan were killed during the wars which criss-crossed the Naruto world prior to the series. She turned her back on the village and sought her own amusements, with her fiancee's niece Shizune and her pet pig Tonton as her only companions.
She first appears in the Search for Tsunade arc, when Jiraiya and Naruto are seeking her to offer her the position of the Fifth Hokage. She initially refuses, and bets Naruto her treasured necklace that he won't be able to master the Rasengan in three days. Orochimaru also seeks her out during this time, wanting her to heal the crippling injuries he sustained during his fight with the Third Hokage, and offering to revive her brother and fiancee in exchange. After seeing Naruto successfully perform the Rasengan for the first time, a three-way battle ensues in which Jiraiya and Tsunade team up to defeat Orochimaru. Tsunade then returns to Konoha and accepts the position of the Fifth Hokage.
Tsunade has Super Strength and the ability to concentrate chakra in her limbs, further increasing the power of her strikes. She is widely considered the greatest medical ninja in the world, and can hit vital points with precision or completely heal herself in midfight. She also uses a transformation jutsu to keep her appearance eternally young, although that's more for the sake of her vanity than any strategic purpose.
In Shippuden, Tsunade mostly plays a support role, assigning missions and providing exposition. She's also come under attack from various militaristic factions in Konoha itself. She is confronted by Pain's Deva Path, but he decides to run away... but not before nuking Konoha. After the Shinra Tensei, she uses a great deal of chakra to save those that she can and heal people, but this has the side effect of wearing off her genjutsu and putting her into a coma, causing the position of Sixth Hokage to go to Danzo (pending approval by the village jonins), however she has since woken up from said coma and began complaining about the decision to send Naruto and Killer Bee into hiding instead of rushing recklessly into an attack on Madara without knowing anything about his true abilities.
- A Mother to Her Men
- Absolute Cleavage: Definitely in this series.
- Action Girl <-> Faux Action Girl: Tsunade definitely has the power and combat skills to be Hokage but it is in her philosphy as a medical ninja that she not enter combat unless absolutely necessary lest someone tries to Shoot the Medic First. And while subject to The Worf Effect, she's still one of the series' biggest Action Girls.
- There's one exception to her rule: the medic can enter battle at will if she, or he, has mastered her Healing Factor technique. Something only she has succeeded into, so far.
- A-Cup Angst: During her teenage years.
- Afraid of Blood: Initially. Naruto helps her get over it. It was because her boyfriend was killed, and she couldn't heal him.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: When they were young, she caught Jiraiya peeping. She then proceeded to break six of his ribs, both of his arms, and puncture one of his lungs.
- Badass: Most need powerful high level jutsu to do enough damage to invoke the Chunky Salsa Rule, Tsunade just needs to punch.
- Bare-Fisted Monk
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted, as she takes a good amount of damage during her fights and has the battle damage to show it.
- Berserk Button: She does not appreciate being called old.
- Big Damn Heroes: Arrives with the other kages and proceeds to kick Madara.
- Boobs of Steel: By far the bustiest woman in series (106 cm!), and is the strongest person in the series when it comes to physical power.
- Brilliant but Lazy
- Broken Bird: Lost the love of her life twice and her brother to battle.
- Buxom Is Better: She's regarded as the most beautiful Kunoichi. Who knows why?
- Subverted in some of the Bonus Material when, after being asked how she remains so young and beautiful by Sakura, Naruto butts in and calls her breasts "ridiculous", says she's "too big" and that he doesn't find her attractive. Of course he then says he prefers "flat-chested Sakura" more, prompting both women to punch him so hard Superboy Prime called it overkill.
- Boring but Practical: Tsunade's Super Strength and medical ninjutsu gives her the most raw physical power and regenerative ability in the series but they has a significantly less amount of flash then the techniques of other high-ranking ninja.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Yep.
- Cartwright Curse: She sure seems to have bad luck with the men she likes....
- Cast From Lifespan: Her Mitotic Regeneration technique uses the chakra stored in her forehead to heal all her wounds, but it shortens her life.
- The Chick: Of the Sannin. And of the Kages... even when there is another female Kage around.
- Christmas Cake: She's 50 years old when introduced.
- Combat Medic: Her specialty.
- Combat Stilettos: wears high heels.
- Convenient Coma: Goes into one after the Pain invasion arc and is out of it within weeks.
- Curb Stomp Battle: She literally defeats Naruto using only one finger.
- Curtains Match the Window: Fiery blonde.
- Eyes of Gold: Though it's rather "amber" but you get the picture.
- Deadly Doctor: Uses less combative medical techniques the Kabuto but is fully capable of causing harm with her medical abilites.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dead Little Brother: Poor Nawaki.
- Even the Girls Want Her: She's thought of as "very beautiful" by both men and women.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Jiraiya for Tsunade. Too bad things didn't work out.
- Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Tsunade have Super Strength, even by the standards of the already inhumanly strong ninja of series. She's also a Deadly Doctor and nearly unkillable in combat.
- Failure Doctor: Couldn't save Dan, despite her skills and best efforts.
- Flanderization: In fanfics she is known to hit Naruto for calling her Baa-chan.
- And hitting Jiraiya whenever he tries to hit on her.
- Gag Boobs
- The Gambling Addict: Her quirk.
- Generation Xerox: She did train Sakura to become a Hot-Blooded Combat Medic after all.
- Genius Bruiser: She's the smartest of the Sannin.
- Good Samaritan: Tsunade heals nearly everyone in Konoha. To put this into perspective, Konoha's army contributions are around fifthteen to sixteen thousand', not factoring in the endless amount of pedestrians that appear here and there.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Tsunade is able to regenerate any wound she receives after releasing her Yin Seal causing her reputation as ageless and immortal in battle.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: Yeah, she's over fifty years old, but just look at her! This might be subverted due to the fact that she uses her chakra to make herself look younger.
- Hartman Hips
- Healing Factor
- Hello, Nurse!
- Her Heart Will Go On: Twice.
- Heroic Fatigue: So much, that she works herself up into a comatose state.
- Heroic Resolve: She so desperately wants to save the people of the Leaf Village after the attack that she ends up overexerting herself into a coma.
- Heroic Second Wind: Tsunade's Yin Seal on her forehead functions as one of these, it has a constant storage of chakra built up in it which she can release to fuel her Healing Factor which earned her reputation as immortal in battle.
- Hot Amazon: Oh yes, very much!
- Hot Teacher: To Shizune and Sakura.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She was delivering a Shut UP, Hannibal and tons of asskicking to the revived Madara Uchiha, (who was continuously berating here for never getting near the level of her grandfather Hashirama) until he got annoyed enough to drive a Susanoo Blade through her. And she still survives it, snaps the blade in half and throws it at him!
- Implacable Woman: Thanks to her seal, she will always get back up.
- Ironic Echo: When Jiraiya seeks her out and tries to get her to take the Hokage position, she badmouths it, calling it a "fool's goal". Later in her fight against Orochimaru, he says the same thing much to Tsunade's horror as she realizes she's been no better than him. This is one of the main factors that gets her to take the position.
- Irony: She has a massive losing streak when she gambles, but when she does win, it means something bad is about to happen.
- The Kirk
- Lady Drunk: Previous to accepting the position of Hokage.
- Lust Object: For Jiraiya.
- Mama Bear: She becomes this for the village after she becomes the Fifth Hokage.
- Master Poisoner: Jiraiya touts her as the only person in the world who can spike a ninja's drink without their knowledge.
- Megaton Punch: Good God, yes...
- Ms. Fanservice: Serves this for this series.
- Never Mess with Granny: She may be over fifty years old, but don't underestimate her. Orochimaru learned this the hard way.
- Oba-san: Naruto calls her Granny.
- The Obi-Wan: To Sakura, and to a degree Shizune.
- Older Than They Look: Both played straight and inverted. She uses a spell to create the illusion of looking like she's in her 20's or 30's. It falls apart when she runs low on chakra, which reveals that she actually looks much older than she is (like she was in her 70's or 80's).
- Why does she look so much older that she should? Probably because of her use of Creation Rebirth which shortens her lifespan whenever she uses it. If she's used that technique enough, it's very likely that her body is physically older than she is.
- Professional Gambler: She actually has very bad luck.
- Promotion to Parent: Took care (if one can really say that) of Shizune, her fiance's orphaned niece, after his death. Although it would be more accurate to say it's Shizune who tried her best to take care of the broken, alcoholic and compulsively gambling Tsunade...
- Power Tattoo: The Yin Seal on her forehead which gives a large boost of chakra when released.
- Marked Change: When released.
- Running Gag: Destroying her desk in a fit of rage. She must have a storage full of them.
- Sexy Mentor: To Shizune and Sakura.
- Super Strength: In addition to possessing generic Super Strength, she can further increase the power of her punches thanks to impossibly precise chakra control.
- Tall, Blonde And Bishoujo
- Team Mom: To Konoha after she becomes the Fifth Hokage.
- Tragic Keepsake: Her pendant.
- Tsundere: A grown up version.
- Unfortunate Nicknames: She's called "The Legendary Sucker" because she's terrible at gambling. Think about it, she's a blond, buxom, beautiful woman with the nickname "The Legendary Sucker".
- Vain Sorceress: Subverted. She's very vain, but is also benevolent.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Tsunade's schtict in combat is to hit things. Hard. It works.
- World of Cardboard Speech: Delivered one to Orochimaru before kicking his ass.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: It constantly touted as such.
"When there is a true desire in the heart and that desire is strong… That is when he finds real strength that even he did not know he had!"
Voiced by: Kujira (JP), Steven Jay Blum (EN), David Robles (Spain), José Luis Reza (Latin America)
Orochimaru is pretty much the worst person ever. He wants to be the most powerful shinobi who ever lived, and figures he can accomplish this by mastering every jutsu ever devised. However, a single human lifespan is far too short to learn every jutsu, so he also needs immortality as part of the bargain. To that end, Orochimaru has experimented with various scientific and magical methods of extending his own lifespan, but until he finds a perfect method, he opts to go with the riskier and less reliable Grand Theft Me method of immortality, switching his body for a younger one every few years. His desire to gain the body of an Uchiha (whose unique Sharingan would allow him to master jutsu much more quickly) is the driving force behind most of the events of the first series.
Orochimaru was initially trained by the Third Hokage along with Jiraiya and Tsunade, and was the most naturally talented of the three. The Third initially hoped that Orochimaru would become his successor, but as Orochimaru's selfishness and lust for power grew and made him go off the deep end, that forced him to select one of Jiraiya's students instead. While in the village, Orochimaru experimented extensively on its inhabitants, including his own students, hoping to develop new routes to power. He applied for the position of Fourth Hokage, hoping it would give him more leeway in this department, and when he was turned down, decided the village had offered him all it could and defected.....shortly after being exposed as a Serial Killer who had been abducting innocents, and pro ninja, for lethal experiments. His closest friend Jiraiya chased him down and tried to reason with him, but Orochimaru laughed in his face.
From there, Orochimaru joined the criminal organization Akatsuki and tried to steal the body of Itachi Uchiha, and when that failed, conquered the Land of Rice Fields to give him a base of operations for his activities and a ready supply of test subjects, changing its name to the Land of Sound in the process. Then, during the actual series, Orochimaru destroyed Sasuke's confidence during the Chuunin exams and tried to bait him into betraying the village with promises of new and unlimited power, tricked the Sand Village into attacking Konaha, and killed his old mentor the Third Hokage, desecrating the graves of the First and Second and sacrificing his own proteges to do so. He treats his followers like pawns and is unconcerned when they die.
Orochimaru's original intention was to take Sasuke's body by the end of the first series, but Konoha's interference during the Sasuke Retrieval arc forced him to switch with some random prisoner instead. Since he has to wait three years before he can switch again, he decides to train Sasuke during the Time Skip instead.
In Shippuden, Orochimaru's most recent body has all but given out on him, but he's still tough enough to tangle with Naruto's Four-tailed Fox form during the second arc. Later, Sasuke attacks him while he's bedridden. Orochimaru reveals his true form (a snake made out of a bunch of smaller snakes) and tries to take Sasuke's body by force, but is defeated offscreen. The fact that fragments of his body have been integrated into the bodies of both his right-hand man Kabuto as well as Sasuke himself means we probably haven't seen the last of him, however. The portion of his body absorbed by Sasuke shows up in the fight with Itachi, where Sasuke, exhausted, lacks the chakra needed to suppress him. Orochimaru doesn't contribute much to the fight and is promptly flattened by Susanoo, the third technique of the Mangekyo Sharingan, trapping him in an endless dream state that cannot be undone or escaped from while also absorbing in his body, effectively killing him. Or at least killing the portion of him that leaped out of Sasuke and tried to attack Itachi.
- Animal Motifs: Snakes
- Arch Enemy: Orochimaru seems to make it his life's work to earn the hatred of a significant portion of the cast, from Anko Mitarashi and Hiruzen Sarutobi, to Jiraiya and Tsunade. Naruto probably feels this way about him too, since even though Oro hasn't done that much to him personally, he doesn't forgive him for murdering the 3rd or corrupting Sasuke.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Even before he went all crazy, he was apparently very snake-like.
- Ax Crazy
- Badass: Orochimaru is many things: creepy, twisted, and with serious pedophiliac undertones, but there is no denying that he is a Badass.
- Badass Bookworm: He is a mad scientist, after all.
- Bad Boss: Pitted the Sound Trio against Sasuke so he could test the latter's power and potential; sacrificed two of them (and an unknown third) to summon the former Hokages as his ensalved zombie warriors; shrugs off the death of his most fanatical, devoted and powerful follower; gave the Curse Seal to Anko when she was his student, which very nearly killed her; implied to perform all kinds of horrid experiments on his own men, though most of his victims seem to be prisoners.
- Big Bad: for most of Part I.
- Blow You Away: One of the two elemental ninjutsu he's used in the series was wind style.
- Breath Weapon: Notably unique use of this trope involving launching snakes, swords and even himself from his throat.
- Broken Ace
- Brought Down to Normal: The 3rd did this, which remained for the majority of Part 1. He got his powers back only to be sealed away twice.
- Contemplate Our Navels: He sometimes slips into this when he describes why he's seeking immortality.
- Cool Sword: The Kusanagi which is said to be able to pierce nearly anything as well as extend and float and attack independent of Orochimaru with a special jutsu. Interestingly it is a straight sword in the anime like it was supposed to be in the legend but is a katana in the manga because Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana.
- The Corrupter: He excels at this, most of his pupils are batshit insane and twisted due to his influence. He only partially succeeded with Sasuke (enough to make him leave the Leaf, but not sufficiently to make him his pawn).
- Creepy Child: Young Orochimaru wasn't evil yet, but he was rather disturbing to look at.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Voiced by a woman in the Japanese version.
- Disc One Final Boss: He's impressive in Part 1, much less so in Part 2, essentially because his host body is two weak and has started to reject him.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Can disappear through walls and trees, an ability of earth users in Naruto.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Twice, in an incredibly awkward manner both times. The first time, shortly into Shippuden, Sasuke attacks him, deciding he's not useful anymore. Orochimaru tries to use his Grand Theft Me no Jutsu on Sasuke, only for Sasuke to turn it back on him. Much later, during Sasuke's fight with Itachi, Sasuke runs out of chakra, which somehow frees Orochimaru... only for Itachi to seal him in a permanent, inescapable genjutsu before he can do anything.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Evil Genius
- Evil Mentor: to Sasuke. But mostly to Kabuto.
- Evil Overlord: Ruled the Land of Sound with an iron fist, until Sasuke kills him.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Tries to find the meaning of existence by constantly experimenting on himself and his subjects so he can discover even more jutsu techniques.
- Eyes of Gold: Just one of his snake features. Actually more like olive than gold.
- Face Stealer
- Facial Markings: Born with them.
- Fallen Hero: Despite his claims to the contrary, his flashbacks establish that while he was always creepy, Orochimaru was, once upon a time, a genuine hero, or at least an Anti-Hero. Watching everyone around him die caused him to become obsessed with obtaining immortality, first for the entire village, and eventually just for himself. Orochimaru would rather bite out his own tongue than admit this of course.
- Fan Nickname: His physical resemblance with certain superstar and his obsession with Sasuke's body have earned Orochimaru the nicknames of "Jacksonmaru", "Orochi Jackson" and "Michael Jackson". Also some variations of his name combined with "Voldemort" when some fans noted their similarities.
- For Science!: His primary motivation was to create completely new jutsus. Too bad he thought that in order to achieve it, he needed to experiment on human beings and to live forever.
- For the Evulz: So, why did he kill the Third Hokage and try to wipe Konoha off the map? Because peace is boring, that's why.
- Four Is Death: Guess what number Sasuke was?
- Generation Xerox: He has passed on his villainy and high amounts of creepy very well, if his proteges Kabuto, Sasuke and any self-respecting Sound shinobi are any indication.
- Grand Theft Me: When his current body begins to rot, he does this to an unwitting victim, it gets used against him by Sasuke, who used his powers until he was removed by Itachi.
- Healing Factor: Can regenerate most damage by vomiting a new body out of his mouth. Sasuke had minor healing powers inherited from him.
- Hellish Pupils
- Hero-Killer: Peaked with his assassination of the Third Hokage.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Frequently. He betrayed Akatsuki by trying to take Itachi's body, only for the latter to curb stomp him and Akatsuki to put him on their death list. He drew out his fight with Sarutobi to torment him, which gave Sarutobi time to fall back on his suicide justu and cost Oro his arms. And he corrupted Sasuke only to be betrayed and curb stomped by him when the time came to steal his body. He tried to get Sasuke's body years earlier too and if Kabuto hadn't convinced him to choose someone else (as Sasuke was taking too much time to arrive), he may have even died.
- Humanoid Abomination: The sheer amount of shit he did to himself eventually made him into one of these, able to turn his legs into a snake tail, shed his body to grow a new one, stretch his limbs and tongue, and throw up snakes. His real appearance is something to be seen.
- Immortality: Type IX
- Implacable Man
- Ironic Hell/Laser-Guided Karma: He wanted to live forever and now he will, it's just that he's also stuck in an eternal illusion.
- It's All About Me: Orochimaru may well be the most selfish character of the whole story.
- It Amused Me: Gives a quote for this to the Third Hokage before they begin to fight.
- Knight of Cerebus
- Lean and Mean
- Looks Like Cesare: A reason why people were wary of him before his Face Heel Turn.
- Mad Scientist: Tries to discover ninjustu and immortality through experimentation on his subjects and victims.
- Manipulative Bastard: He plays on literally everyone's emotions. Tricked the entire Sand village into a war with Konoha by murdering and impersonating their leader.
- More Than Mind Control: How he gets most of his followers.
- Mega Manning: He wants to get this ability and this is why he wants so badly the sharingan.
- Necromancer: One of three, the other two being Kabuto and the Second Hokage. They all used the same technique too: Impure World Resurrection.
- No Sense of Personal Space: In regards to anyone.
- Orochi: Turns into one when Sasuke is weakened enough to unseal him, only to be sealed again by Itachi.
- Overly Long Tongue: Weaponized of course.
- Poisonous Person: His true form has poisonous blood which will vaporize and become airborn.
- Post-Mortem Comeback: A particularly bad execution, since he just randomly rematarialized during the fight between the Uchiha brothers, after getting sealed within one. Itachi finsihed the job by sealing him a second time, finally ridding Orochimaru from the series for good.
- Retcon: Orochimaru was presumably the one in charge when Tsunade's brother Nawaki died. He was there to meet her when she arrived. In the first part of Naruto, he's shown giving a callous response that Tsunade throws back at him later: All living things that have form must perish eventually. Later, during his death scene, it is one of several events shown in a montage and instead he's obviously clearly upset as he hands Tsunade the pendant. Obviously, the latter is more sympathetic as it's part of a sequence showing how twisted he became over time instead of the original portrayal of always being a twisted monster.
- Which actually makes sense in series as well: having become a monster, it's likely that both he and Tsunade have gone out the way to forget that he ever did her any favours.
- Scaled Up: His true form.
- Serial Killer: Before his formal defection, he had been abducting an unknown number of victims and performing gruesome, typically fatal experiments on them- this included ANBU, Jounin, Chuunin, innocent civilians, teenage children (including his own pupil), and sixty newborn babies of whom only one- Yamato- ultimately survived.
- Shout-Out: Medusa is based on him.
- Snake Person: Can take this shape giving himself tremendous speed.
- Smug Snake: Naturally.Though, he remains a high-functioning type, straddling the line between this and Magnificent Bastard. Its arguably the smugness itself that is what gets in his way.
- Though, that said, Tobi is seriously worried that he knew more than he let on. The fact he actually used Sasori from the beginning also shows he's far more cunning than he appears.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: His final fate. Note that the can is not even material.
- Spanner in the Works: He was this to the Akatsuki which is why he was marked for death by them.
- The Spock
- The Sociopath
- Too Powerful to Live: The only way to get rid of him was to seal him. And it had to be done twice to actually work. He's technically still alive.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: in his Backstory
- Ubermensch: Tries to change the world through war. Tobi beat him to it. Abandoned the village largely because he rejected its ideals and values.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Inverted. He was certainly no where near as evil as a child, and had a couple of sweet moments, but even Sarutobi admitted that even back then Oro had "eyes full of malice and ambition". He ignored this because it was a time of war and someone like that might be needed; that, and he was too proud of him to admit it.
- Villain Ball: He is far too arrogant and sadistic for his own good and he has been guilty of Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? since as far back as the Chuunin Exam arc, which ultimately cost him his arms.
- Villainous Friendship: with Kabuto. The two had a very twisted bond, but a bond nonetheless.
- The Worf Effect: In Part II
- Worf Had the Flu: When he loses, this is usually because of this. Save for when the 3rd Hokage sealed his arms and later when Itachi sealed him entirely.
- Would Kill a Child: Once proposed to kill three war orphans, although he viewed it as a Mercy Kill, since "a miserable life is all that awaits them".