|Ninja rank||Rogue Ninja|
Orochimaru (大蛇丸) is a
Based on Japanese mythology, Orochimaru was created as one of the series' main antagonists, and intended to represent the opposite of the protagonists' morals and values. His snake-like appearance and related features were intended to make it easier for the reader to recognize that he is a villain. In Japanese, Orochimaru has been voiced by
Several anime and manga publications have praised and criticized Orochimaru's character. As one of the series' premier villains, he has been praised in this regard. His lack of redeeming qualities and open malevolence was also praised by reviewers. Among the Naruto reader base, Orochimaru has been popular, ranking within the top twenty characters in several polls. Numerous pieces of merchandise in Orochimaru's likeness have also been released, including action figures and plush dolls.
Most of the traits of Orochimaru's character were taken from Japanese mythology. Orochimaru originates from the
The introduction of Orochimaru to the series was first suggested by Masashi Kishimoto's superiors in order to improve the series' popularity. Kishimoto believed the series grew personality based on the Chunin Exams story arc and wanted it to end normally with
Following this theme of distinguishing villains, Kishimoto attempted to make Orochimaru's face appear "pasty and sickly," which serves to emphasize the "scary looks" that Kishimoto frequently has Orochimaru performing in the manga. Orochimaru's nature type is fire, earth, and wind. As these occurrences are his "trademark," Kishimoto modifies Orochimaru's appearance and the scene to focus on Orochimaru's face; for instance, highlights that are normally added to Orochimaru's hair are removed and the background is blanked out to create a "creepy atmosphere."