One of the more notable and memorable characters in the Naruto universe is Orochimaru. He has one of the most complicated and compelling backstories out of all of the characters from both the anime and manga, as well as one of the most twisted personalities of any villain.
All of these qualities provide Orochimaru with the makings of a perfect antagonist. As a member of one of the three legendary Sannin (alongside Tsunade and Jiraiya), his backstory is both tragic and vastly interesting. He used the tragedy of his origin to manipulate others, destroy anything in his path, create techniques, and create devious experiments to achieve his dreams of becoming immortal.
Since there are so many gravitas to his multi dimensional character, Orochimaru is the furthest thing from an open book. Much of his character and motivations are left to interpretation and, even when we put aside the more subtle aspects of his story, we are left with a lot of questions.
Here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About Naruto's Orochimaru.
15 He's the strongest of The Three Sannin
It is common knowledge that Orochimaru was a member of the infamous Three Sannin. He fought alongside both Jiraiya and Tsunade during the Second Shinobi World War and was a feared warrior.
However, not many fans know that Orochimaru is actually the strongest and the most powerful member of the three ninja.
When the three were first training, Orochimaru was able to surpass his allies, and become a far stronger fighter. In addition, he was able to use the summoning jutsu long before either of his teammates.
This does not take away from either Jiraiya or Tsunade's abilities, though, as both are powerful warriors in their own right. However, it does go to show that Orochimaru is an extremely powerful and talented ninja, whose skills easily surpass most.
14 He joined Root and worked directly under Danzo
Not long after Hiruzen's team disbanded, Orochimaru joined Root. He joined the origanization shortly after becoming a member of the Anbu.
In addition to training under the Root subdivision, he worked directly under Danzo Shimora. In fact, when Orochimaru first began his experimentation on Hashirama's DNA, Danzo even helped him. In turn, Orochimaru was able to become a mentor to Anko Mitarashi.
During this time, Orochimaru also met Kabuto Yakushi, who would later work with him. The two met when Orochimaru went with Danzo to force the boy's guardian, Nono, to go on a mission.
Orochimaru had ambitions to become the Fourth Hokage. It seems only fitting that he found himself working under the man who would later be a candidate to become the Sixth Hokage.
13 The meaning behind his Snake Symbolism
Orochimaru's connection to snakes has many connotations. Various cultures perceive snakes in many different ways, as they can symbolize everything from death to rebirth.
For example, both Eastern and Western cultures perceive snakes as being symbolic of both immortality and rebirth due to the shedding of their skin. This is relevant to Orochimaru's character, since he is often able to switch back and forth from one body to another in order to keep himself alive and strong.
In many ways, these transformations are Orochimaru's way of shedding his skin and slithering into someone else's, or at the very least, create a new one. He also died and came back to life through the cursed seal, which was another method of his rebirth.
12 He is the only one of the Sannin to have children
Out of the Three Sannin, only one member went on to have children-- and this member is none other than the great snake, Orochimaru.
Orochimaru had one child named Mitsuki. While he was not created naturally and was merely made as a synthetic human clone of Orochimaru that was created as part of another one of his experiments, Mitsuki is still technically Orochimaru's son since he shares his identical DNA.
Much like Orochimaru, Mitsuki is extremely talented and powerful at a young age. With his high chakra levels, the young Mitsuki is even able to achieve the status of both Shinobu and Sage Mode.
According to Orochimaru, Mitsuki is genetically perfect and thus he is even more powerful than Orochimaru.
11 He might have a last name
With all of the extravagant details dedicated to so many of the characters within the Naruto universe, it is easy to forget that a lot of these characters carry normal, human qualities.
Behind the magic, the jutsu, and the anime hair lies characters who are not all that different from the average human being. For example, Orochimaru is still a typical human being.
He might even have a last name. Both of his parents are written with two words in the manga. However, these two words are hard to read since they're both written in bad kanji.
Until fans manage to figure out what his last name could be, all we know is that the name "Orochi" translates to the "great snake" while "maru" is the common suffix for male names.
10 The Third Hokage believed that he was a prodigy
Growing up, Orochimaru was a talented ninja who picked up and learned skills and techniques much faster than the majority of his peers. One person who took quickly notice of his gifted abilities was Hiruzen, the Third Hokage.
Initially, Hiruzen took Orochimaru in when the boy was an orphan and trained him alongside his future Sannin teammates, Jiraiya and Tsunade. It did not take long at all before Orochimaru stood out in Hiruzen's eyes. He believed that Orochimaru was a genius and a one of a kind talent, seeing him as a prodigy who only comes around once in a generation.
Some time after Hiruzen and the Three Sannin were disbanded, Orochimaru decided to become a member of the Anbu. He then joined Root and started working under Danzo as his pupil.
Though Hiruzen wasn't wrong-- Orochimaru went on to become an extremely skilled fighter and talented mastermind-- he probably didn't think that his student would go on to become a villain.
9 His name comes from Japanese folklore
The inspiration for Orochimaru comes from Japanese mythology. Primarily, from the Japanese folklore The Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant. The names of all three of the Sannin also come from this mythological story.
In this story, Orochimaru is a student of Jiraiya called Yashagorō. He uses the name "Orochimaru" after he is corrupted by snake magic. The are many parallels between this Orochimaru and the Orochimaru of Naruto.
It also worth noting that the character borrows influence from the myth of Yamata-no-Orochi, which is a massive snake with eight tails and eight heads. Much like how the Naruto character was sealed with a Totsuka Sword, the mythos monster was slain to death by a man wielding a Totsuka sword of his own.
8 He was created to be a complete opposite of the protagonists
The original creative mastermind behind the popular Naruto manga series was Masashi Kishimoto. One of his more notable contributions to the series was the character of Orochimaru.
According to Kishimoto, he created Orochimaru with the intention of making the character an antithesis and a major challenge to the protagonists. Kishimoto used Orochimaru's snake-like features to distinguish him as a villain. He also wanted to make the character "flamboyant."
The artist also made sure to provide Orochimaru with a "pasty and sickly" complexion to highlight his villanious characteristics and "scary looks," as Kishimoto puts it.
Kishimoto managed to morph every one of Orochimaru's scenes in order to give proper emphasis to the villain's face to create a creepy atmosphere.
7 He built his own village
Orochimaru is one of the more accomplished and talented characters in the Naruto universe. This is not only because he has created so many techniques, jutsus, and experiments throughout his life, but also because he managed to create his very own village.
He managed to become the founder of the Village Hidden in the Sound, which is also known more simply as the Sound Village. Orochimaru founded the Sound Village in order to lure ninjas into his village so that he could learn everything about their fighting styles and techniques.
Orochimaru even managed to lure Sasuke and Itachi into his grasp so that he could learn how to copy and learn about any and every technique that they knew.
6 His introduction is different in the English version
In the English VIZ translation of chapter 49 of the Naruto manga, Orochimaru introduces himself to Sasuke as "Orochimaru, the Great Snake." However, this specific introduction is not included in the original text of Orochimaru's introduction in the Japanese version.
No one knows why this change was made or if it was necessary, but it is one of the remarkable differences between the original Naruto text and the translation which is created for English readers.
If nothing else, we can at least take note of the fact that it is a really interesting distinction for the English VIZ translators to make for the English dub, even if it is a somewhat pointless new addition that does not add anything.
5 Shares the same blood type as former teammates
Blood is thicker than water-- this phrase is extremely true when it comes to the Three Sannin. All three of warriors were extremely close, performing various missions and assignments together. The three began training under Hiruzen together and continued to work together during the Second Shinobi World War.
However, the Three Sannin are also literally bonded by blood, as Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Orochimaru all coincidentally share the same blood type. All three miraculously have type B blood.
Though neither Tsunade, Jiraiya, nor Orochimaru happen to be family and are not related in the slightest, the bond among the Three Shannin remains as strong as the bond between true blood relatives-- and the shared blood type only further proves this.
4 He has created various new techniques
Among the many frivolous facts about Orochimaru that have been addressed in the Naruto databooks, is one fact that happesn to be about one of his favorite hobbies. Orochimaru spends a great deal of time and energy on creating techniques.
This certainly is easy to believe when readers and viewers of the Naruto manga and anime consider just how many techniques and experiments that Orochimaru has created and conducted during his tenure in the ninja world.
Most notably, Orochimaru has created his own jutsu. He mastered and created the curse mark, which is known as Orochimarus Juinjutsu. He created it by mixing the Senju power enzyme with his own chakra, which allowe dhim to gain a lot of power. The first person who he infected with the cursed mark was Jugo.
3 He has completed 1,468 missions
The Naruto databooks, which track all of the most minuscule (yet heavily detailed) aspects of the manga's universe, are the most comprehensive glimpses into the ninja world that any fan could possibly ask for.
The books are so detailed, in fact, that they have even managed to keep a record of the exact number of missions that these fictional characters have been on.
In Orochimaru's case, he has gone on 1,468 official missions while working under the leaf village, according to the databooks. Sixteen of these were D-rank missions, 332 C-rank missions, 521 B-rank missions, 491 A-rank missions, and 108 S-rank missions.
Clearly, this is a lot of missions, which reminds us why he is one of the strongest characters in the Naruto universe.
2 Kekkei genkai is not listed as one of his specials, even though he's a wood type
In order to expand on the ever growing and vastly complicated universe of Naruto, databooks have been released. These books allow fans to have a way to keep up with all of the craziness that goes on in the ninja world, providing them with various facts and trivia.
However, there is a strange omission in the fourth databook that leaves even some of the most die-hard fans scratching their hands.
In The Naruto Secret: Scroll of Formation Character Official Databook, kekkei genkai is not listed as one of Orochimaru's special characteristics, despite Orochimaru being a wood type, which grants him Wood Release.
Perhaps this is because he did not get this body naturally and instead did this through multiple experiments. Still, it is a strange inconsistency in the universe's lore.
1 He stopped wearing his headband after the preliminaries
One of the most widely recognized staples of Naruto culture are the headbands that so many of the ninja wear. These headbands represent the village that each fighter belongs to.
If someone happens to be skimming through a manga bookshelf or stumbles across the anime while flipping through television channels and they happen to see a plethora of characters wearing headbands with leaf symbols on them, then they can bet top dollar that they are viewing some sort of Naruto memorabilia.
Orochimaru in particular frequently wore his headband during his initial run on Naruto. However, as time went on and the preliminaries of the Chunin Exams Tournament came and went, he stopped wearing it and no explanation was given as to why.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Naruto's Orochimaru? Let us know in the comments!