The Akatsuki was a group of S-ranked criminals who originated from different places in the world of Naruto. Making their first appearance after the death of the Third Hokage, the Akatsuki started collecting the Tailed Beasts gradually to bring world peace.
Although this organization has had multiple leaders over time, all have, in one way or another, tried to bring peace to the world through unconventional methods. The Akatsuki was home to some of the strongest ninjas to ever exist in Naruto, some of which were even threats to entire villages alone. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about the Akatsuki.
10 The Akatsuki Leaders
The Akatsuki has been led by multiple people throughout Naruto. The first known leader of the Akatsuki was Yahiko, who ended up dying due to Hanzo's dirty ploy. Following Yahiko's death, Nagato took over the entire organization. While the once Akatsuki utilized benign strategies, it now resorted to violence to accomplish their goals. Following Nagato's death during the Pein arc, Obito Uchiha was revealed to be the next leader from the shadows. After the conclusion of the Fourth Great Ninja War, it was revealed that Shin Uchiha had recreated the Akatsuki, however, Team 7 saw to it that he died before he could actually attempt something dangerous.
9 The Akatsuki Jutsu
Although the Akatsuki featured an all-star list of characters, they had a mighty Jutsu that required the power of all of their members to work efficiently. This Jutsu, known as the Nine Phantom Dragons, was a technique that could forcibly extract Tailed Beasts from within a Jinchūriki, and was thus, truly a Jutsu worth the powers of all the members of the organization. According to Zetsu, this technique took a while longer to work with fewer members, although it still got the job done. It has been speculated that this Jutsu would only work if one of the members possesses the Rinnegan since it employs the use of the Outer Path Statue.
8 The Akatsuki Deserters
Although most of the members of the Akatsuki were loyal, the fact that it dealt with powers as astronomical as the Tailed Beasts and at the same time, changed so many leaders meant that some were forced to leave the organization. While the exact count of the members is unknown, according to the series, two people have deserters the Akatsuki in history.
These were Orochimaru and Konan. Orochimaru was in the Akatsuki simply because it suited his interests. Meanwhile, Konan's reason for desertion was the death of Nagato, after which she entrusted Naruto with her dreams and left the organization for good.
7 The Suicide Squad
While some members of the Akatsuki had their own interests in mind when they joined, others were so devoted to their cause of the group that they considered killing themselves. In one way or another, four members of the Akatsuki have committed suicide to date. These include Yahiko, Nagato, Deidara, and Kisame Hoshigaki. Yahiko killed himself to protect the Akatsuki and save Konan, while Nagato did the same thing when Naruto made him realize his mistakes. Being consumed by his obsession with the Uchiha, Deidara completely blew himself up, while Kisame was loyal to the organization to the bitter end where he fed himself to sharks.
6 Members Who Are Alive
The Akatsuki itself may be dead, but some of its members are certainly alive and well. For one, Hidan was an immortal person. Even after being buried by Shikamaru Nara, it was never confirmed that he had died, and thus, it is possible that he's alive even now. Other than Hidan, Black Zetsu is also alive right now. He was sealed away by Naruto Uzumaki when the fight against Kaguya Otsutsuki concluded. Although he is sealed, he's definitely alive, just like his mother Kaguya Otsutsuki. Orochimaru, one of the Legendary Sannin has also survived to date, and others who were once allies of the Akatsuki (but not the Akatsuki itself) such as Team Taka are also alive and well.
5 The Akatsuki Dress Code
As witnessed in the Naruto series, the Akatsuki have a unique way of dressing up, apparently, compulsory to all the members. Apart from the obvious cloak, the members are also asked to wear nail polish on their fingers and toe nails.
To depict their loyalty to the organization's cause, the forehead protectors are slashed with a Kunai. Some even go as far as wearing Straw hats while on a mission to avoid being noticed by ninjas or Anbu members since most of them are wanted, S-ranked criminals.
4 The Meaning Of Akatsuki
The word Akatsuki has multiple meanings, each relating to one or the other aspect of this organization's formation. One of the meanings of the word Akatsuki is "Dawn", hinting towards ending of the darkness that the wars caused in the world, and aiming to bring peace all around. The other meaning of the name is "Red Moon", which refers to the Infinite Tsukuyomi plan select leaders of the organization wished to impose on the entire world, subjecting it to an eternal Genjutsu.
3 The Three-Tails Capture
While it was once theorized that the Akatsuki had to collect the Tailed Beasts in order, it proved to be untrue according to the Naruto manga. In the manga, the sealing process for Three-Tails is completed before the capture of the Two-Tails. However, this was reversed in the Naruto Shippuden anime, where the Two-Tails was sealed after Shukaku and was followed by the hunt for the Three-tails, which had an entire arc dedicated to it.
2 The Rinnegan Users
Being one of the biggest threats in the world of Naruto with some of the worst criminals in the entire series, it's no surprise that the organization featured Rinnegan users as well. Interestingly, there were three Rinnegan users in the Akatsuki. Nagato Uzumaki, the second leader of the organization was the first user of this eye, and after his death, Obito Uchiha took control over it prior to the beginning of the Fourth Great Ninja War. Finally, Black Zetsu managed to gain control of this eye during the war where he used it to revive Madara Uchiha using Obito's body as a host.
1 The Teams
Since the Akatsuki was a massive organization, the members were usually sent on missions in two-man teams, especially during the reign of Nagato Uzumaki. A total of 8 teams are noted to have been formed to date. Each team was assigned with bringing a Tailed Beast Jinchūriki back to the Akatsuki hideout. Although most of the teams succeeded in the Jinchūriki capture mission, two have been noted to fail. These were the teams of Nagato and Konan who went to hunt the Nine-Tails, and the alliance of Team Taka who were tasked with retrieving the Eight-Tails.