The term AKATSUKI means “dawn or daybreak” and symbolizes hope and optimism. In the anime, AKATSUKI aimed for ultimate peace across the globe. However, their process to attain this peace was vastly different. They attacked many villages and worked for various nations for money, fulfilling their needs and causing chaos across all nations.
AKATSUKI is a band of rogue shinobi who call themselves peace seekers. Their ultimate goal is to gather the chakra of all tailed beasts to give rise to a fruit chakra. They are manipulated by Obito, who, in turn, is manipulated by Madara Uchiha. Madara himself is controlled by Black Zetsu, sown by Kaguya Otsutsuki. This chain of events is aimed at reviving Kaguya Otsutsuki.
The AKATSUKI is a group of highly skilled and powerful shinobi, surpassing regular shinobi in strength. Some members are from the Village Hidden in the Mist, some from the Village Hidden in the Leaves, and others from the Village Hidden in the Stone and Cloud. Nagato Uzumaki is the leader of AKATSUKI, which was primarily founded by Yahiko. Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan, all from the Rain village, suffered greatly during the Third Ninja War, stuck between greater nations and losing loved ones.
Returning to AKATSUKI, it was founded by Yahiko. Hanzo the Salamander, the leader of the Rain village, betrayed Yahiko in alliance with Danzo of the Leaf village, leading to Yahiko’s death. Nagato Uzumaki then took charge of AKATSUKI, creating the Six Paths of Pain, using the bodies of his deceased friends, including Yahiko. With Konan, he expanded AKATSUKI into a formidable group that challenged great nations.
Below, I will list AKATSUKI members with their rankings, mentioning only those who are shown as AKATSUKI members, excluding Madara Uchiha:
- Obito Uchiha/Tobi: Tobi tops the AKATSUKI list with powerful abilities like Izanagi, Rinnegan, Mangekyo Sharingan, and Kamui.
- Nagato/Pain: Nagato, with the Rinnegan, can create the Six Paths of Pain, making him one of the most powerful.
- Kakuzu: A highly underrated member with five hearts, having lived through many eras and fought Hashirama Senju.
- Itachi Uchiha: Despite his illness, he instilled fear in most members, and none dared to pick a fight with him.
- Kisame: Partnered with Itachi, Kisame was one of the Great Swordsmen of the Mist and could use sharks for his benefit.
- Orochimaru: Extremely powerful, one of the Legendary Sannin, with a strong grip on science to create special beings.
- Konan: Skilled in paper jutsu, almost defeating Obito and defeating Sasori during the recruitment.
- Hidan: Immortal follower of Lord Jashin, killed by Shikamaru Nara to avenge Asuma Sarutobi.
- Sasori: A master puppet user, considered stronger than Deidara by Deidara himself.
- Deidara: A skilled user of the Art of Clay, able to form bombs and explode anything in its radius.
I won’t mention Zetsu here, although he plays a main role by manipulating the entire AKATSUKI, he is not worth mentioning practically. I have only listed those characters whose screen time is enough and who have fought with the shinobi in person.
AKATSUKI plays a significant role in the development of the main character, Naruto Uzumaki. They pursued Naruto to extract the chakra of Kurama within him, leading Naruto to become stronger. With Master Jiraiya, he trained hard to gain control over Kurama and learned many new jutsu.
Who was the founder of AKATSUKI?
Yahiko was the founder of AKATSUKI, further led by Nagato/Pain.
Who is the weakest AKATSUKI member?
Deidara is considered the weakest AKATSUKI member. However, he is still stronger than many other characters in the anime.
Who is the strongest AKATSUKI member?
Obito Uchiha/Tobi is considered the strongest AKATSUKI member.
Is AKATSUKI helping Kaguya Otsutsuki in her revival?
Yes, AKATSUKI is helping to revive Kaguya Otsutsuki by gathering the chakra of all the tailed beasts. However, they are not aware of this.