The Akatsuki Organization
     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.
The Gear
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.
Forehead Protector
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.
The Members
Pain [Nagato (Former Member - Deceased)]
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 363First Anime Teaser Appearance: Ep. 135Hidden Village: RainRing: Rei (Zero)Finger Position: Right ThumbInfo: Pain acts as the leader of the group, though he and Konan secretly reported to Tobi. He has been adamant that the group can fulfill their desires if they finally possess the bijuu. Pain's true form is that of Nagato, a frail man who uses a mechanical walker to transmit the chakra signals which manipulate the six Realm bodies. After attacking Konoha, he fought Naruto, losing all his Realm bodies in the process. After speaking with Naruto, he learned they both shared similar philosophies. Being moved by Naruto's personality and will power, Nagato hardened persona regained some hope in the future. Using the last of his power, he revived all those he killed at the cost of his life to atone.
Deidara (Former Member - Deceased)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 247First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Ep. 2Hidden Village: RockRing: Sei (Blue-Green)Finger Position: Right IndexInfo: Deidara is from Hidden Rock and he utilizes mouths on his palms to create exploding art. He left his village behind to work as a terrorist for anti-nationalists. He was then invited into Akatsuki. He and his partner Sasori were responsible for capturing the One-Tail Jinchuuriki Gaara. Though he lost both arms in battle, both were reattached. After Sasori was killed, Tobi became his partner. Deidara later squared off against Uchiha Sasuke. Unfortunately Sasuke's Sharingan and his Lightning Element attacks got the better of Deidara's Earth based Exploding Clay. In anger, Deidara chose to self-detonate himself to show the true beauty of his art.
Konan (Former Member - Quit)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 363First Anime Teaser Appearance: Ep. 135Hidden Village: RainRing: Byaku/Haku (White)Finger Position: Right MiddleInfo: Konan is the lone female member of the group. She works alongside Pain. Konan possesses the ability to disperse her body into paper, which can then fold itself into butterfies for tracking purposes. When she was younger, she, Nagato and another orphan named Yahiko were trained by Jiraiya for a short period. He helped them become stronger and able to fend for themselves in the war torn Rain Country. She followed her friends in battle and saw her friend Yahiko die and Nagato become Pain. After Nagato entrusted his will to Naruto, she did as well. She returned to Rain with the bodies of her fallen friends and left the group.
Uchiha Itachi (Former Member - Deceased)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 139First Anime Appearance: Ep. 80Hidden Village: LeafRing: Shu (Scarlet)Finger Position: Right RingInfo: After murdering everyone in his clan, Uchiha Itachi fled his village and joined Akatsuki. Itachi was partnered with Hoshigaki Kisame. They were assigned to capture the Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki Naruto. They attempted to capture Naruto once, but fled when confronted by Jiraiya. Itachi finally faced his brother Sasuke in battle and died. After the battle, Uchiha Madara revealed that Itachi had did everything for Konoha's well being, even sacrificing himself to help keep Sasuke out of Madara's hands.
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 234First Anime Appearance: Ep. 134Hidden Village: GrassRing: Kai (Boar)Finger Position: Right LittleInfo: Zetsu appears venus-fly trap-like in appearance. His main body is split into two halfs, both light and dark. He appeared to be traveling alone when he spied on Naruto and Sasuke's battle at the Valley of the End. For a period he was teamed with non-Akatsuki member Tobi. Once Tobi was admitted into the group, it appears Zetsu once again works alone.
Orochimaru (Former Member - Neutralized)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 49First Anime Appearance: Ep. 27Hidden Village: SoundRing: Sora (Sky)Finger Position: Left LittleInfo: After being passed over for Fourth Hokage, Orochimaru began to study forbidden jutsu. He then fled Leaf and joined Akatsuki. He was partnered with Sasori during this period. Orochimaru coveted Uchiha Itachi's Sharingan. He moved to take Itachi's body but Itachi bound Orochimaru with Genjutsu and cut off his arm. Orochimaru fled and took his ring with him. He would later form Hidden Sound and train Itachi's brother Sasuke. When he moved to insert his spirit into Sasuke, the young man bound Orochimaru in Genjutsu and suppressed him. Orochimaru's underling Kabuto also inserted some of Orochimaru's flesh into his body, which soon exerted its will by gradually taking over his body.
Hoshigaki Kisame
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 139First Anime Appearance: Ep. 80Hidden Village: MistRing: Minami (South)Finger Position: Left RingInfo: Kisame engaged in murder and rebellion in his home country, fleeing Mist he joined Akatsuki. Kisame is partnered with Uchiha Itachi. They have been assigned to capture the Nine-Tails Jinchuuriki Naruto. They have attempted to capture Naruto once, and are likely waiting for the right moment to try again.
Kakuzu (Former Member - Deceased)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 312First Anime Teaser Appearance: Ep. 135Hidden Village: WaterfallRing: Hoku (North)Finger Position: Left MiddleInfo: Kakuzu is a missing-nin from Hidden Waterfall. He and his partner Hidan were responsible for acquiring the Two-Tailed Jinchuuriki. He was a bounty hunter who often got sidetracked on bounty hunts. His body was stitched together by strange tendrils which he used to rip out the hearts of his opponents and then insert into his own body. This granted him their elemental affinities in the form of masked tendril entities. Along with his own Water affinity, he had access to Wind, Fire, Earth and Lightning attacks. Kakashi destroyed the Earth Heart, Hidan accidentally destroyed Water and Naruto destroyed Wind and Fire. Kakuzu was then finished off by Kakashi.
Hidan (Former Member - Neutralized)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 312First Anime Teaser: Ep. 135Hidden Village: Hot SpringsRing: San (Three)Finger Position: Left IndexInfo: Hidan bears a large rope scythe and he admits that he is the slowest attacker of the group. He hails from Hot Springs village. He and his partner Kakuzu were responsible for acquiring the Two-Tailed Jinchuuriki. Hidan practices an evil god cult religion named Jashin. This religion loves chaos and death, and Hidan himself is near immortal due to the Kinjutsu used on him by Jashin. On one of Kakuzu's side bounty trips, he killed Sarutobi Asuma in battle using his Jashin Kinjutsu. He was eventually blown up and buried deep underground by Shikamaru. Because the Kinjutsu allows him to live only as long as he kills and performs his rituals, his burial underground may eventually cause his death.
Akasuna no Sasori (Former Member - Deceased)
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 247First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Ep. 2Hidden Village: SandRing: Tama (Sphere)Finger Position: Left ThumbCurrent Status: DeceasedInfo: Sasori (meaning scorpion) traveled with Deidara from Hidden Rock. He was a legendary puppet master from Hidden Sand who left his village approximately 20 years before the start of the series. Sasori converted portions of his body into puppet parts, retaining a flesh and blood portion of his original self in a chest container. He used the "hitokugutsu" method to turn people into puppets while still alive, allowing him to use their jutsu even after their "death." He fell in battle to Chiyo and Sakura, hesitating to not avoid the lethal strike of his parents who had been made into puppets.
Tobi / Uchiha Madara
First Manga Appearance: Ch. 280First Anime Teaser Appearance: Shippuuden Ep. 32Hidden Village: LeafRing: Tama (Sphere)Finger Position: Left ThumbInfo: Tobi was initially seen as an associate of Zetsu. He appeared clumsy and was very polite in his speech. After Sasori was killed in battle, Tobi was eager to replace Sasori as a new member of Akatsuki. He eventually succeeded and took over Sasori's position in the group. He was then partnered with Deidara. After Deidara's death, it was revealed Tobi gave direction to Pain as leader. He was also revealed to possess the Sharingan and claimed to be Uchiha Madara. When Tobi revealed his true nature to Kisame, the man recognized him both as Madara and as his village's Mizukage. The full nature of Tobi and Madara's full identity is unknown.
The Groups
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.
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 Gai and managed to imprison Neji, Lee and TenTen. Gai 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 Gai that they had not actually been fighting Kisame at all.
Yakushi Kabuto
Several years before the series started, Kabuto was already working for Sasori as a spy. He last saw Sasori during this period and operated under Sasori's memory block jutsu for a period of time. Sasori placed Kabuto into Orochimaru's confidence in the hopes of learning more about Orochimaru's body transfer jutsu. However, Orochimaru removed the memory block jutsu from Kabuto and the young man was impressed enough by Orochimaru that he chose to still stand beside him. Sasori was apparently ignorant of this fact, and had scheduled a meeting with Kabuto to give him some item. Sasori was killed before this meeting and Konoha ninja went in his place and impersonated him. Kabuto went to Sasori playing the part of his loyal spy, but he turned against Sasori and planned to kill him with the help of Orochimaru. When it was revealed not to actually be Sasori, they chose to fight the Konoha ninja, including Naruto, anyway.
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.
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.
Team Hawk
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 Jinchuuriki and their Bijuu
Gaara and Ichibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 35First Anime Appearance: Naruto Episode 20Hidden Village: SandRank: KazekageBijuu: Shukaku the Ichibi (One-Tailed Tanuki Demon)Power: Mini-Shukaku form ~ protective sand tanuki form, automatic sand defenseDrawbacks: If Gaara sleeps Shukaku can take controlStatus: CapturedAkatsuki Member: DeidaraInfo: Chiyo imbued the demon Shukaku into the Kazekage's son Gaara. Gaara lead a lonely life until he met Uzumaki Naruto. He pledged himself to prove his worth and protect his village. His drive led him to become Kazekage. He was defeated in battle by Deidara and Akatsuki removed the Shukaku demon from within Gaara, killing him.
Nii Yugito and Nibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 312First Anime Appearance: Shippuuden Episode 71Hidden Village: CloudRank: JouninBijuu: Two-Tailed Cat DemonPower: Fiery mouth blastsDrawbacks: UnknownStatus: CapturedInfo: Yugito was a kunoichi from Hidden Cloud. Like Gaara and Naruto, she was an active part of her village. She contained the two-tailed cat demon, which was defeated in battle by Hidan and Kakuzu. Akatsuki then removed the Nibi from within Yugito, killing her.
Yagura and Sanbi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 317First Anime Appearance: NAHidden Village: Formerly MistRank: MizukageBijuu: Three-Tailed Turtle DemonStatus: CapturedInfo: Akatsuki tracked down the location of the Sanbi, the three-tailed demon, which has the characteristics of turtles and shrimp. In the past, the Sanbi was imbued within Yagura, the Yondaime Mizukage. When Akatsuki captured it, Sanbi was "in the wild," with no Jinchuuriki host. For this reason he was weaker, as he could not properly control his power. Tobi was assigned to capture this demon and did so with the assistance of Deidara. This demon was succesfully sealed in the King of Hell by the group.
Roushi and Yonbi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 353First Anime Appearance: NAHidden Village: RockRank: UnknownBijuu: Four-Tailed Demon ApePower: Youton NinjutsuDrawbacks: UnknownStatus: CapturedInfo: Roushi contained the four-tailed demon, which took the form of a large lava-emitting gorilla.. He was made a Jinchuuriki by Hidden Rock, at some point he and his village parted company. He travelled the world to try and understand his powers. He used his Bijuu to create Youton (Lava Element) Ninjutsu, a combination of Earth and Fire Elements that created a lava which could melt through anything. He was defeated in battle by Kisame.
Han and Gobi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 420First Anime Appearance: NAHidden Village: RockRank: ?Bijuu: Five-Tailed Demon Whale-HorseStatus: CapturedInfo: Akatsuki captured Han and his Bijuu at some point in the past. The demon takes the form of a whale-horse hybrid. It is unknown which Akatsuki member captured the demon. Two of the unseen captured Jinchuuriki's were outcasts, who were abandoned by their village when Akatsuki came to capture them.
Utakata and Rokubi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 420First Anime Appearance: NAHidden Village: MistRank: ?Bijuu: Six-Tailed Demon GastropodStatus: CapturedInfo: Akatsuki captured Utakata and his Bijuu at some point in the past. The demon takes the form of a slimy slug. It is unknown which Akatsuki member captured the demon. Two of the unseen captured Jinchuuriki's were outcasts, who were abandoned by their village when Akatsuki came to capture them. This individual may have been one of the outcasts.
Fuu and Shichibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 420First Anime Appearance: NAHidden Village: WaterfallRank: ?Bijuu: Seven-Tailed Demon Rhino BeetleStatus: CapturedInfo: Info: Akatsuki captured Fuu and her Bijuu at some point in the past. The demon takes the form of a beetle with six wings and one cerci acting as its tails. It is unknown which Akatsuki member captured the demon. Two of the unseen captured Jinchuuriki's were outcasts, who were abandoned by their village when Akatsuki came to capture them. This individual may have been one of the outcasts.
Killer Bee and Hachibi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 408First Anime Appearance: NAHidden Village: CloudRank: Unknown (Probably Jounin)Bijuu: Eight-Tailed Demon Ox-CephalopodPower: Mini-Hachibi form ~ protective Hachibi chakra taking ox-cephalopod form, gigantic chakra and power boost to BeeStatus: ActiveInfo: Akatsuki has yet to find and seal two Jinchuuriki: Naruto and the Hachibi Bijuu named Kiraa Bii (Killer Bee). After Uchiha Madara swayed Sasuke to his side, he sent the young man after this Bijuu. Killer Bee posseses the ability to become his Bijuu, that of a tentacled ox beast. He was eventually knocked out by Sasuke's Amaterasu and taken for sealing. His body was revealed as a transformed tentacle, while the real Bee was still safe in Lightning. This allowed Bee to escape capture and evade Akatsuki.
Uzumaki Naruto and Kyuubi
First Manga Appearance: Chapter 1First Anime Appearance: Episode 1Hidden Village: LeafRank: GeninBijuu: Kyuubi no Youko (Nine-Tailed Fox Demon)Power: Mini-Kyuubi form ~ protective Kyuubi chakra taking fox form, gigantic chakra and power boost to NarutoDrawbacks: Excessive use of Kyuubi destroys Naruto's body and makes him a mindless killing machineStatus: ActiveInfo: Yondaime Hokage imprisoned the Kyuubi within Naruto after it attacked Konoha. Like many Jinchuuriki, Naruto led a lonely life. Over time though, he gained friends and left his life of despair behind. He has been trained by the Sannin Jiraiya to make full use of Jinchuuriki gifts.