Orochimaru (Naruto)

Naruto character
Orochimaru, Screenshot (manga).jpg
Orochimaru by Masashi Kishimoto
First appearance
  • Naruto chapter 45
Voiced byJapanese
Steven Jay Blum[2]
Notable relativesMitsuki (son)
Ninja rankRogue Ninja[3]

Orochimaru (大蛇丸) is a fictional character from the Naruto manga created by Masashi Kishimoto. In the anime and manga, Orochimaru is a former ninja of the village of Konohagakure who is known for his abilities. However, creating his ninja village Otogakure as means to perform inhuman experimentation, Orochimaru sought a means to gain power and cheat death. In the latter, Orochimaru obtained a means for immortality by transferring between different host bodies which became one of his driving motivations throughout the series as he targets Sasuke Uchiha for his genetic heritage. While the main antagonist in Part I of the series, Orochimaru's role became overshadowed by the Akatsuki organization prior to the Fourth Ninja War arc. Orochimaru has appeared in media outside the Naruto anime and manga, including several video games.

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.[4] 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 Kujira whereas in the English dub he is voiced by Steve Blum.

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.

Creation and conception

Yamata no Orochi fighting Susanno. This scene is similarly shown in Naruto.

Most of the traits of Orochimaru's character were taken from Japanese mythology. Orochimaru originates from the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Gōketsu Monogatari where he opposes the title character who also appears in Naruto as his former ally.[5] He wields a sword named Kusanagi is said to be related to creature known as the Yamata no Orochi.[6] In Japanese mythology, Yamata no Orochi is defeated by the god Susanoo with Orochimaru taking and using a technique also known as Yamata no Orochi but is defeated by Itachi Uchiha's own Susanoo technique.[5]

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 Shikamaru Nara's victory. However, he eventually accepted their advised and Orochimaru was set up to interrupt this arc.[7] As one of the villains in the story, Kishimoto created Orochimaru as an antithesis to the protagonists' 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 an interview, Kishimoto asserted that making the villains "flamboyant" was one of his "guiding principles," and attributed this to his desire to have the villains have a "powerful aura."[4] When asked if Orochimaru was still good, Kishimoto answered that Orochimaru is "truly evil" and that he is one of the several "hopeless evil characters" that appear in the series.[8] Originally Kishimoto planned to make Orochimaru's look androgynous. However, because of the concept of him being a strong antagonist, he made him more creepy.[9] Of most of the characters, Orochimaru was hardest one to write. Kishimoto wanted him to be a terrifying opponent, so he wondered if that was really the way to go to make him sound strong. Then I started thinking it was good like that, he's strong and creepy, and the creepyness started increasing.[9]

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."[10]

Other Languages
العربية: أوروتشيمارو
dansk: Orochimaru
español: Orochimaru
galego: Orochimaru
한국어: 오로치마루
Bahasa Indonesia: Orochimaru (Naruto)
italiano: Orochimaru
Bahasa Melayu: Orochimaru (Naruto)
norsk: Orochimaru
português: Orochimaru
shqip: Orochimaru
Simple English: Orochimaru (Naruto)
српски / srpski: Oročimaru
suomi: Orochimaru
svenska: Orochimaru
українська: Оротімару (Наруто)
Tiếng Việt: Orochimaru (Naruto)
中文: 大蛇丸