Akatsuki, translated to “Dawn”, was easily the most iconic group of antagonists Naruto and his comrades faced throughout the manga and anime. The Akatsuki members were each highly distinctive from one another in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden and carried one of 10 rings to signify their official membership. The villainous syndicate was originally founded as an insurgency with pacifist intentions, by Amegakure (Village Hidden in the Rain) shinobi Yahiko. Unfortunately, after Yahiko’s tragic suicide brought about by Amegakure’s bid to suppress their rebellion, the surviving members Konan and Nagato went on to form the Akatsuki we’re all familiar with.
Nagato reformed the group’s intents with a more misanthropic angle on achieving world peace after seeing how his predecessor’s leadership ended up, although even this was the result of devious machinations behind the scenes. This led to their mission to extract the Tailed Beasts from the various Jinchuriki (carriers of the Tailed Beasts) scattered across different nations in the series. Read on for our list of All Akatsuki Members and Rings in Naruto!
All Akatsuki Members and Rings in Naruto
Akatsuki has gone through a fair share of members due to the dangerous nature of their work but has amassed a fascinating roster whose members have been active throughout the entire plot of Naruto, whether behind the scenes or otherwise. Its members each wear a ring on a different finger, and despite them having different meanings and designations, there’s never a distinct purpose other than identification and possible pecking order. This list will go by each ring, their positions on the hand, names, and the members who wore them in the series, starting with the following:
Sasori – Akatsuki Ring: Left Thumb, “Jewel”
The first Akatsuki to be defeated and killed in the Naruto franchise, Sasori was a ruthless puppet master shinobi, whose mechanical creations and lethal efficiency gave him the title, “Sasori of the Red Sand” in Sunagakure. He had operated alongside Orochimaru and Deidara, and proved to be a deadly opponent for young Jonin Kankuro, but was ultimately defeated by Sakura Haruno and puppet master Chiyo. His mission nearly ended in Gaara’s death but did result in the extraction of Shukaku, his Tailed-Beast.
Tobi – Akatsuki Ring: Left Thumb, “Jewel” (Successor to Sasori)
A brand new member of the Akatsuki who took Sasori’s ring, this enigmatic character had the most childish but peculiar demeanor of all the new Akatsuki group, although this was a facade, and much like his mask, it concealed his nefarious nature very well. It’s none other than Tobi who brought about the biggest, final arc in Naruto Shippuden, the Fourth Shinobi World War, and his true identity was firmly tied to Kakashi’s backstory.
Hidan – Akatsuki Ring: Left Index Finger, “Three”
Hidan was the ruthless new partner of Kakuzu, who went on to slay Asuma Sarutobi and have a fierce battle of wits with his protege, Shikamaru Nara. Hidan took the ring from an unnamed previous Akatsuki member, who was also Kakuzu’s partner. Hidan was the second-newest member of Akatsuki along with Tobi, and his particular brand of Shinobi tactics come from an unusual source. Hidan is a practicing member of the Jashin religion, an occultist discipline whose rituals effectively granted him immortality. He and Kakuzu captured the Two-Tailed and Seven-Tailed Beasts for the Akatsuki, leaving behind an impressive record. Hidan’s fight with Shikamaru would also go on to be among the series’ best arcs.
Kakuzu – Akatsuki Ring: Left Middle Finger, “North”
Kakuzu was a deadly member of the Akatsuki whose particular abilities such as Earth Grudge Fear rendered him effectively immortal as long as he had hearts from dead shinobi to spare. Having killed his village’s elders and stolen their techniques, Kakuzu was a wanted criminal and skilled bounty hunter, often putting said bounties ahead of other missions to the chagrin of Hidan. He originally met Hidan on a mission to kill him, who managed to put up a fight against Kakuzu, and this piqued the organization’s interest, so they recruited him to work alongside Kakuzu, likely because this would be a partner Kakuzu wouldn’t as easily be able to lash out against and kill. Kakuzu was eventually slain by Naruto.
Kisame Hoshigaki – Akatsuki Ring: Left Ring Finger, “South”
Kisame was a member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a deadly group of shinobi whose members included another iconic Naruto antagonist, Zabuza Momochi. Kisame was partnered with Itachi Uchiha, so as a result, this led to the first encounter with the Akatsuki that fans would see in the series. Kisame, armed with his signature weapon, Samehada, can fuse with to take on a shark-like appearance and become incredibly deadly. He can even hide within Samehada, rendering him difficult to track, and he used this to gain intel when Killer B took the sword, assuming Kisame to be deceased.
In a bid to prevent spilling secrets during interrogation, he committed suicide in the Fourth Shinobi World War. Before Kisame, Juzo Biwa was the previous wearer of the ring as a member of the Akatsuki and Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. Kisame in particular was a memorable antagonist, who had some incredible fights, chief among his opponents being Might Guy.
Orochimaru – Akatsuki Ring: Left Little Finger, “Void”
What more can be said about this cunning member of the legendary Sannin? Orochimaru was by many accounts the ultimate example of a nefarious villain for many of Naruto’s story arcs, whose pursuits of greater knowledge on all things esoteric resulted in his alienation from his village and Akatsuki, the latter of which he had to leave after attempting to steal Itachi’s Sharingan eyes. He fought alongside the Five Kage and the Shinobi Countries in the Fourth Shinobi World War, eventually working out a truce despite his many sins in the past. His machinations, however, were among the largest contributions to the rift between Naruto and Sasuke, and by extension, much of the entire series plot.
Zetsu – Akatsuki Ring: Right Little Finger, “Boar”
One of the most mysterious members of the Akatsuki, fans were immediately intrigued by his unusual Venus flytrap-like appearance, split personalities, and seemingly limitless abilities to blend into his surroundings, making for him to be a naturally excellent shinobi. A victim of Kaguya Otsutsuki’s Infinite Tsukuyomi, White Zetsu was joined with Black Zetsu to form one unified body. White Zetsu, essentially an artificial human, was harvested using the DNA Hashirama Senju (First Hokage) by Madara Uchiha, while Black Zetsu was secretly under the control of Kaguya. In a story about ninjas, it shouldn’t be surprising just how much subterfuge happened, but it leaves the head spinning a bit.
Itachi Uchiha – Akatsuki Ring: Right Ring Finger, “Scarlet”
A central character to the plot, Sasuke’s character arc, and labeled responsible for the Uchiha Clan Massacre, Itachi had a lot of secrets he kept with the ultimate intent of guarding Konoha. Unfortunately, this resulted in Sasuke bearing a white-hot vendetta against the older brother, seeing him for a long time as his ultimate objective in life, to get revenge for his fallen clan. Partnered with Kisame, Itachi is a consistent fan favorite, and his gifts for illusive, crow-based Genjutsu were nothing short of iconic. Ultimately, he tells Sasuke the truth behind his betrayal of the clan and passes away acknowledging the younger brother as an equal.
Konan – Akatsuki Ring: Right Middle Finger, “White”
A stalwart ally of Yahiko and then Nagato, and OG for the Akatsuki, Konan’s abilities largely revolve around origami and papercraft, making for a visually compelling repertoire of moves. Konan’s motives, above all else, were achieving peace, and even she was dismayed by Nagato’s continuous descent into violent means, especially his decision to use the Shinra Tensei or “Almighty Push”, resulting in a devastating attack that crushed Konohagakure but also drastically shortened Nagato’s lifespan. When Nagato ultimately conceded to Naruto and passed away, Konan entrusted the young shinobi with the task of achieving world peace. She is later killed by Tobi, who sought to take Nagato’s Rinnegan eyes.
Deidara – Akatsuki Ring: Right Index Finger, “Blue-Green”
Deidara was the youngest member of Akatsuki, but no less skilled in devastating abilities thanks to his clay-based explosives, powered by his Explosion Release kekkei genkai. This led to him being a natural adversary for Gaara in the opening arc of Shippuden but also led to him clashing with Kakashi later on. With a galvanized hatred for Itachi’s Sharingan-based Dojutsu, Deidara trained himself to resist this and Genjutsu alike, making for him to be an adaptable opponent. Fancying himself an artist with his explosives, Deidara’s ego would prove to be his downfall when he attempted to fashion his own body into an explosive and kill Sasuke, who escaped, resulting in Deidara’s suicide being a wasted effort.
Pain – Akatsuki Ring: Right Thumb, “Zero”
Possessor of the Rinnegan Eyes and new leader of the Akatsuki after the passing of Yahiko, Pain, originally known as Nagato, had a particularly violent vendetta against Konoha. Responsible for many of the tragedies that befell his home village and him personally, Nagato, Konan, and Yahiko were personally trained by Jiraiya, who felt guilty for his village’s actions. When Nagato lost Yahiko though, he took on the identity of Pain, believed by Jiraiya to be the Sage of the Six Paths but with twisted motivations in using these abilities to bring about world peace.
Pain uses his Rinnegan and Six Path abilities to control additional bodies to carry out his means. This includes his former comrade, Yahiko’s corpse, being used at his disposal and largely acting as the main face behind Pain. He killed Jiraiya in a tragic confrontation after the sage attempted a recon mission and discovered secrets Pain didn’t wish to be revealed. Additionally, during his assault, Pain killed everyone in Konohagakure as well as destroyed the village itself, before Naruto won him over, convincing him to reverse his actions (because he was that powerful) and ultimately pass the torch. This was also the greatest arc in the entire franchise.
Akatsuki Members List – Abridged
Along With Previous Founding Members:
Akatsuki Rings List – Abridged
- Left Thumb, “Jewel”
- Left Index Finger, “Three”
- Left Middle Finger, “North”
- Left Ring Finger, “South”
- Left Little Finger, “Void”
- Right Little Finger, “Boar”
- Right Ring Finger, “Scarlet”
- Right Middle Finger, “White”
- Right Index Finger, “Blue-Green”
- Right Thumb, “Zero”
This concludes our list of All Akatsuki Members and Rings in Naruto! While Sasuke briefly joined Akatsuki, he never joined as one of their official members or got any of their rings but the group nonetheless had some powerful contributors throughout Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. This was a storied organization in the Naruto lore with plenty of involvement in the series’ many arcs, with some wonderful, eclectic characters, as well as their black robes with red clouds resulting in an enormously popular cosplay trend for fans. They left their mark on the Naruto franchise, both on and off the pages, and are among the most memorable anime villain organizations ever conceived.