The Ame Orphans play a major role in the Naruto story. Each orphan (Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan) also have character arc’s which define a huge chunk of the series.
What began as a passionate dream and quest to bring peace to the world became one of the greatest villain arc’s in conjunction with Madara.
The story of Naruto is about so much more than the lead character. It is a tale of suffering, war, human emotions, and most importantly — redemption for those who fall off the humane path.
Each orphan had a horrible upbringing. Nagato had Madara’s Rinnegan transplanted into him without his parent’s knowledge as a small child. His parent’s lives were cut short during the war by a Konoha ninja who didn’t realize they were civilians.
Yahiko also lost his parent’s during the war and was forced to steal food just to survive. Konan was in the same boat when she stumbled across a dying Nagato and his dog.
Eventually, the three became one, relying on each other to survive. This went on until they were discovered by the Legendary Sannin, of which Jiraiya stayed behind to care and teach them all he knew. And the rest, is the story of the three Ame Orphans.
From tears and hope to red cloud designs and Rinnegan power, here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Nagato, Yahiko, And Konan.
15 Known as Team Jiraiya within Tsunade's Infinite Tsukuyomi dream
The Infinite Tsukuyomi is a genjutsu within the Naruto series that traps the entire world in an illusion. Its purpose is to enslave all who gaze upon its light in a dream. Once in that dream state, an individual’s chakra is slowly drained until they are converted into White Zetsu.
During Tsunade’s dream, Dan is Hokage. Jiraiya and Nawaki are also alive and well, and Orochimaru never defected from the village. She also dreams about the Ame Orphans.
They are a part of the village and have named themselves Team Jiraiya, paying respect and homage to their teacher and mentor. Also, the Akatsuki's goal is different, as they are no longer searching for tailed beasts to achieve world domination.
None of these visions within Tsunade’s dream were real, however. Only a Rinnegan user can block light from the Infinite Tsukuyomi, keeping themselves from entering its deadly dream state.
14 Poor Decisions
Following Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade’s fight at Amegakure during the Second Shinobi World War — Jiraiya felt guilty over his involvement.
When Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan (each now orphans) approached Jiraiya and asked to be taught ninjutsu, Jiraiya agreed. This in itself wasn’t a poor decision.
However, once Jiraiya discovered Nagato possessed the Rinnegan, he should have returned to the village with them.
Instead, he thought Nagato was the Child of the Prophecy, so he trained them personally. Except, Jiraiya wasn’t necessarily the best teacher for the Ame orphans.
After three years’ time, Jiraiya felt they were capable of making decisions on their own (another bad choice) and left them to find their own paths. While honorable, Jiraiya didn’t really teach them about the world, just ninjutsu.
13 God's Angel
When Konan was just a small girl, she realized she had a knack for origami. Under Jiraiya’s tutelage, her talent would lead to the creation of the Dance of the Shikigami.
This technique transforms her body (clothing too) into sheets of paper she can control. Konan can shape the paper however she wants and can even give the sheets different colors.
Konan learned to create wings from her technique, earning her the title of Gods Angel from the villagers. Her paper wings gave Konan the ability to fly, and they even could shoot out weapons at her opponents.
During her battle with Jiraiya, his Fire Release: Flame Bullet barely damaged her angelic wings. Konan also has a jutsu called Paper Person of God Technique. This was used to fight Obito as a way to counter his five-minute limit intangibility.
12 Sacrifice Gone Astray
In Yahiko’s own words, he wanted to become a god to stop all the fighting. Yahiko vowed to become strong enough so he could protect Konan, Nagato, and eventually all of Amegakure.
These beliefs and ideals led to the creation of the Akatsuki.
Nagato and Konan viewed Yahiko as the leader due to his strong beliefs and actions. Hanzō, however, saw the orphans as a threat and set a trap for them with Danzō Shimura’s help.
As the trap unfolded, Nagato was left with a choice of either saving Konan or Yahiko. Not wanting Nagato to be burdened by his choice, Yahiko sacrificed himself.
Nagato would then take up the mantle as the leader, but his view of achieving world peace differed now from Yahiko’s. Konan would loyally stay by Nagato’s side.
11 Crybaby Villain
Prior to meeting Yahiko or Konan, Nagato was very sensitive and would often cry over his own sufferings and that of others. Yahiko tried to teach him that crying wouldn’t change anything after they met, but Nagato continued to cry, anyway.
Jiraiya stated Nagato’s sensitivity was a strength, allowing Nagato to understand pain which would result in him being kind to others. This helped change Nagato’s perspective, and ironically, it was Yahiko who cried when Jiraiya left them.
But Nagato’s beliefs became corrupted over time. Possibly because of Yahiko’s death or due to manipulation from Tobi. This led to a self-appointed divinity as leader of the Akatsuki and his use of the Deva Path. Nagato would use the Deva Path through the deceased body of Yahiko as his Pain alias.
10 Unwavering Loyalty
Konan was fiercely loyal towards her friends and comrades. As a child, she was bright and had a cheerful outlook on life, but life’s events turned her into a very serious individual. She also had romantic feelings towards Yahiko (as did he for her) and his death only turned her world upside down even more.
Entrusting Nagato to lead, she loyally followed his orders without question. Konan understood his pain all too well and devoted her life towards serving him.
After Nagato’s passing, she devoted her loyalty to Naruto Uzumaki.
Tobi would become her number one enemy. Konan would even go so far as to consider sacrificing herself in order to protect Naruto and Nagato's remains.
Despite one’s opinions regarding Konan, it can’t be argued that she wasn’t loyal.
9 Revealing Designs
Masashi Kishimoto (creator and illustrator of Naruto) discusses Konan’s character creation in the Naruto Hiden: Sha no Sho Character Official Data Book. In the book, Kishimoto states he always intended for Konan to be the only female member of Akatsuki.
Because of this, he purposely gave her character a “revealing design.”
Kishimoto also states, “she's obscene, but she still wears clothes, although her Akatsuki mantle covers it up, and she turns into paper right away.”
Within the treasure trove of concept art, Konan is shown to have her belly button pierced. Even her blue hair was done on purpose in order to draw attention towards her character. She was also given orange nail polish to compliment her hair and the Akatsuki cloak.
8 Red Cloud Design Origins
As with all things concerning Naruto, every design within the series was added for a specific reason. Sometimes this meant more work for Masashi Kishimoto, but in his mind, it was totally worth the extra effort. He would try to tie in every design and correlate it with the overall stories and character arcs.
The infamous design on the black and red Akatsuki cloaks resembles a cloud that is colored red. Kishimoto did this intentionally, having the red cloud symbolize the horrors and bloodshed which took place at Amegakure during the Second Shinobi World War. It also stood for all those who lost their lives during any of the other wars too.
Once Nagato takes over Akatsuki, the meaning behind the symbol changes. Instead of being an icon for peace, it becomes the sign of death and destruction.
7 Uzumaki Power
Because Nagato is an Uzumaki, he has the power to wield the Rinnegan in both eyes with no issues. In the Naruto franchise, this is a big deal. In using the Rinnegan, Nagato had complete access to all the Six Paths Techniques.
The one he used the most was the Deva Path because of his immobility. He also had access to the Animal Path, Preta Path, control over others through the Human Path, options within the Asura Path, and access to the King of the underworld through the Naraka Path.
Nagato could switch Paths instantly and with ease.
Nagato’s preferred branch of Six Paths Techniques was the Outer Path. This allowed him to summon and control the Demonic Statue, produce black receivers, and use the Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique to revive the dead.
6 Undead Leader
After Yahiko’s sacrifice, Nagato incorporated Yahiko’s body into his Six Paths of Pain. Nagato still saw Yahiko as the leader of Akatsuki and specifically used his undead body as a symbol for his beliefs. As the Deva Path, Yahiko’s body became Pain’s main body.
Nagato would use Yahiko’s body for Akatsuki meetings. He also viewed it above other bodies he was using, sacrificing those to protect the body that used to be Yahiko.
Essentially, Yahiko was the face and body of Nagato since he could not move or battle with ease due to his injured legs.
After Nagato’s death, Konan took both bodies back to Amegakure, giving them a proper burial and a shrine for others to remember them by. Tobi would later steal Nagato’s body but left Yahiko in his resting place.
5 Strange Origins
Masashi Kishimoto was known for coming up with interesting concept ideas regarding the Naruto franchise. Some were instantaneous hits while others flopped. Some never made it past the drawing board. Kishimoto initially wanted the Akatsuki to be monster based. Yep, that meant no humans.
Various monster creations did pass, such as Kisame and the plant-like Zetsu.
Even the early origins for Kakuzu were based on a creature from Japanese mythology called the Kuchisake-onna creature. Eventually, things would get toned down, with Kakuzu and Sasori becoming humans instead.
In the end, this was a wise choice for Kishimoto, as it allowed him to incorporate morality and human failings into his story even more. After all, Naruto is about human growth and redemption for those who have fallen into despair and evil.
4 Long-Lasting Gate
In Japanese culture, the name Nagato translates to mean long-lasting gate (長門). There are others who have had the name before him, such as the famous ninja Fujibayashi Nagato. Fujibayashi lived during the 16th century and is considered to be one of three greatest Iga jōnin.
Kishimoto enjoyed creating adaptations out of Japanese folklore for his characters (the Legendary Sannin). And it seems he did the same with the Iga jōnin.
Hattori Hanzō is how the character Hanzō received his name. As did the character Zabuza Momochi, from the third Iga jōnin, Momochi Sandayū.
Nagato is also named after a World War II Japanese battleship, just like his parents were in the Naruto storyline. Kishimoto created a fantastic new world out of adaptations from real life events, people, and stories that make up the Japanese culture.
3 Akatsuki Objectives
What began as a dream and passion for Yahiko, turned into something completely different under the helm of Nagato. While fandom might see the Akatsuki as villains who needed to be destroyed, Kishimoto had a much different view concerning these now famous characters.
During several interviews, he has stated that the “Akatsuki were made up of antiheroes.”
Which is different when compared to other antagonists. As Kishimoto puts it, “their tough emotional backstories account for their criminal actions.”
Because Kishimoto designed the Akatsuki and its members in this fashion, the readers of the manga and viewers of the anime were able to identify with the “bad guys.”
Creating empathy in this manner makes for better storytelling, in that audiences care about characters on both sides. Similar story structure exists in other popular media such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones.
2 Sensor Type Shinobi
Konan had plenty of abilities in Naruto, but the one most often overlooked is her ability as a sensor type shinobi. With this ability, Konan could detect the presence of others, usually through their chakra.
Nagato was also a skilled sensor. He could pinpoint the exact location of an individual controlling another person even if that individual put up a barrier around themselves.
Others who used the ability in Naruto include Mū and Tobirama Senju, who could detect chakra signatures of shinobi from different areas while linking them back to their relatives.
Minato Namikaze and Tobirama Senju also had the ability to detect enemies approaching them by touching the ground with just their index finger. Certain sensor types can even detect changes in an individual’s personality by sensing through their chakra.
1 Nagato’s Path
“Peace. I don't know how to get there — but — but someday I'll break the curse. If there's such a thing as peace, I will find it!” These were words spoken by Nagato to Jiraiya. He also said, “Even a foolish child can grow up in a right way when he learns what pain is. Knowing pain controls ones thoughts and decisions.”
Nagato thought his path was concrete and solid.
He truly believed his actions would lead to never-ending peace. This is the path of a soul who’s been overburdened, unable to see clearly anymore and will do anything to achieve their goal. This is the path of a true villain, even the redeemed.
In his final words to Naruto, Nagato says, “You're the third part that concludes the series. The first part was Jiraiya. The second part was me, an almost complete failure.”
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Naruto's Nagato, Yahiko, or Konan? Sound off in the comment section!