Nagato (長門), better known as Pain (ペイン, Pein), was the recognized leader of Akatsuki and Amegakure and was a major antagonist in the series. Referred to as "Leader" by all Akatsuki members, except for Konan, he directed the actions of the rest of the members and maintained authority over them. However, he had secretly collaborated with Tobi, who was actually Madara Uchiha, the benefactor of Akatsuki.
Nagato as a child.During the Second Great Shinobi World War, Nagato used to live with his parents in a village near Amegakure. One day two Konoha shinobi broke into their home looking for food, unaware that the place was still inhabited. Nagato's parents, believing they were going to be killed, attacked the two so that Nagato could escape. Having mistaken them to be enemy ninja, the Konoha ninja killed his parents. In his grief, Nagato awakened his Rinnegan and killed the assailants. He would come to consider this incident the first great pain of his life.
His family gone, Nagato wandered the country, going from house to house asking for food. In time he met a dog named Chibi and later, Konan and Yahiko, who began traveling with him in his search for food. One day, Chibi was killed in the crossfire from Hanzō's fight with the soon to be Sannin. Nagato mourned his death and promised himself that he would change the world. Soon afterwards the war ended, and the three orphans ran into the Sannin. Rather than return to Konoha with his teammates, Jiraiya decided to teach the three how to look after themselves.
|The Ame Orphans after completing Jiraiya's training.|
Soon after Jiraiya began living with the orphans, Nagato and Yahiko were attacked by an Iwagakure ninja. Nagato reactivated his Rinnegan to defend Yahiko, killing the ninja. When Jiraiya found out about this, he decided to train them in ninjutsu. Nagato was very emotional about killing the ninja, and asked Jiraiya for help so he could protect Konan and Yahiko. Jiraiya's response was for Nagato to grow up and to use his eyes to find the peace that they both desired for the world. Three years later the orphans had become competent ninja, so Jiraiya returned to Konoha.
Over the years, news of the three's exploits would reach Jiraiya. This often consisted of the death of someone who opposed them; eventually he received word that they had all died. In truth, Nagato, Konan, and Yahiko began a quest to find peace. They became full-fledged Amegakure ninja and gathered followers who shared their philosophies of an end to war. The leader of Amegakure, Hanzō, viewed the group as a threat to his position as leader and schemed with Konoha's Foundation to eliminate them. Claiming to want to discuss peace, Hanzō lured Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan to an ambush. There he forced Nagato to choose between killing Yahiko or Konan. Not wanting to force Nagato to make the choice, Yahiko impaled himself with a kunai that was placed in Nagato's hand. With Yahiko's dying breath, he told Nagato to survive, because he believed in Jiraiya's words that Nagato would become the world's savior. This would become the second great pain of Nagato's life.
Devastated, Nagato retrieved Konan and Yahiko's body and launched an attack against Hanzō's men. With the Summoning: Demonic Statue of the Outer Path he was able to kill all but Hanzō. However, the technique left Nagato emaciated, with numerous chakra rods embedded in his back. He severed his loyalties with Amegakure by scratching through the symbol of his Amegakure forehead protector, resolving to teach the village and the world his pain. Yahiko's body would later be incorporated into the Six Paths of Pain as the Deva Path.
Upon adopting the alias "Pain", Nagato led the rebelling forces in the Amegakure civil war, and took control of the village by assassinating Hanzō. He then solidified his leadership by systematically killing anyone who had direct ties to the former leader. At some point he assisted Madara Uchiha in the creation of Akatsuki, using Amegakure as his base of operations.
Nagato is a fair-skinned man with chin-length red hair whose most noticeable trait is his Rinnegan eyes. As a child, his hair would regularly hang off his face blocking the view of his eyes. Nagato grew into a tall man, but after subjecting himself to the Summoning: Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, Nagato was reduced into a withered version of his former self with chakra receivers implanted into his back and smaller ones in his forearms. Nagato regularly uses a mechanical walker for mobility, which could fire Chakra Disruption Blades for personal defense.
Nagato was a sensitive, but kind boy, prone to crying, and was traumatized by the idea of killing others, even to save his friend Yahiko. Scared and unsure of his place in the world, he desired to help those he cared about, but never knew how. Nevertheless, he was a talented and gifted student, mastering every technique Jiraiya had taught him. He was consistently respectful and kind to Konan, who he claimed to be his "angel" in Amegakure. He was shown protecting her, without request or hesitation, from Jiraiya, before his battle with his former teacher. Apparently, she was the only Akatsuki member that addressed him by his names, Pain and Nagato.
As Pain, his personality was very different, having become a calm, serious, aloof, and detached man. Apparently believing traumas he experienced in his youth had enlightened him to the true meaning of pain and suffering, he considered himself a deity, and believed he had evolved beyond a mere human being. He sought to show the world the meaning of pain by using an ultimate weapon to deter future wars, by means similar to "mutually assured destruction", and showed no moral qualms about his actions. He was willing to kill Jiraiya to ensure the completion of his plans. He even went so far as to proclaim himself a "god of peace", that had to guide the world to maturity through pain. Finally, he felt that no-one could understand true peace unless they understood "true" pain, something his childhood friend Yahiko believed. Minato Namikaze believed Madara Uchiha to have been using this philosophy in his favor, in order to manipulate Nagato.
Nonetheless, he was seen to be quite respectful, particularly to the fallen and the dead. Given the Akatsuki members' frequent bickering, he often restrained them, and encouraged better relations among members. He even suggested that they mourn for Deidara after his passing, and reprimanded Kisame for calling Hidan and Kakuzu the "Zombie Brothers". After his battle with Jiraiya, he held a moment of silence for his former teacher, out of respect for his power.
Because Konohagakure was partly responsible for the tragedies in his life, he held some form of animosity for the village. Although Jiraiya's influence improved his opinion of the village during their time together, he eventually came to believe that Konoha profited from the tragedies of others and hated it and his former teacher.
Nagato seems to be extremely sensitive when it comes to talk about "pain" as when Ibiki Morino used a special summoning jutsu to trap the Animal Path with wires and constrict it, as he put more effort and claim that "they were linked by pain" Nagato got furious (through the Animal Path) and shouted that "he had no idea of what true pain was" releasing itself from the jutsu and attack Ibiki violently.
As the leader of Akatsuki, and one of the two sides of the Amegakure Civil War, Nagato was an extraordinarily powerful shinobi. His partner, Konan, had stated that he had never lost a single battle, and that he is "unbeatable." Nagato was strongly recognized as the most powerful member of Akatsuki; even Madara Uchiha stated Pain to be "invincible."  Even one of the elder toads, Fukasaku, stated that without understanding Pain's power, no one could beat him. It has also been noted at several points in time that Nagato possessed an unusually large amount of exceptionally strong chakra.
He was able to single-handedly overthrow Amegakure and its leader, Hanzō. He made short work of his former teacher Jiraiya after unveiling all six of his bodies, but stated he might not have won if Jiraiya knew the secret to his techniques. Pain was also able to destroy Konohagakure, one of the five great hidden villages. It wasn't until his fight with Naruto that he encountered an opponent capable of matching him.
Main article: Rinnegan Nagato's incredible power stemmed mainly from his Kekkei Genkai, the legendary Rinnegan. This was originally possessed by the Sage of the Six Paths, the world's first ninja, and the founder of modern ninjutsu. The Rinnegan's abilities are largely unknown, but it did permit the user to use all types of elemental chakra, and allowed Nagato to master every technique Jiraiya taught him at the age of ten. It also enhanced his vision of chakra in a similar manner to the Uchiha clan's Sharingan and the Hyūga clan's Byakugan, allowing him to see the chakra of barrier techniques around the perimeter of his location, and the chakra gathered at a shinobi's feet. According to Ibiki, the Rinnegan allows Nagato to use any technique he wishes.
Main article: Six Paths of Pain
The Six Paths of Pain.Nagato's most powerful and most used technique was the Six Paths of Pain (ペイン六道, Pein Rikudō). This technique allowed Nagato to control six separate bodies as though they were his own. Each of these bodies were reanimated corpses that were both kept mobile by and made use of Nagato's chakra. While controlling them, Nagato used the alias "Pain", yet still regarded them as separate entities from himself. All the Pains can't feel physical pain, as Ibiki Morino discovered when he tried torturing the new female Animal Path.
In order to use the technique, Nagato remained in a machine, that moved with six relatively small mechanical legs, and used several large chakra rods on his back to transmit chakra. From that point, the chakra was picked up by the numerous receivers, modeled as body piercings on each body. To control them, Nagato had to be close by, and ideally at the highest possible point, so he could have the best possible range. Fukasaku stated, the best way of fighting Pain is to take out the paths one at a time as they were most formidable when fighting together in combos.
Based on the six Buddhist paths of Reincarnation, each body was named after one of the different "paths": Deva, Asura, Human, Animal, Preta, and Naraka. The only common feature shared by these bodies was their bright orange hair and their Rinnegan. Each also had a vast number of body and facial piercings of various shapes, sizes, and patterns. Each body seemed to serve a specific purpose in battle, such as summoning, repairing, and defensive capability. There is also a seventh body, the Outer Path, with control over the forces of life and death.
A similar effect is that if Nagato is close enough to an opponent, piercing them with a chakra receiver will allow him to control their body as if they were another Path. However, when he attempted to do so to Naruto Uzumaki, Naruto was able to resist the technique by simultaneously activating his initial jinchūriki form and Sage Mode.
As stated by Konan, Nagato is able to use all the powers of the Paths himself, as they are all powers of the Rinnegan.
Pain appears frequently as a hologram during the early arcs of Part II, convening the Akatsuki members whenever a tailed beast needs to be sealed. As Part II progresses, portions of his face are shown before culminating in his full debut alongside Konan.
The first full view of Pain outside of Akatsuki meetings.Madara Uchiha instructs Pain to go to Konoha and capture Naruto Uzumaki, the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, but Pain detects Jiraiya infiltrating the village before he can depart. He sends Konan to distract Jiraiya while he switches to his Animal Path, and then confronts his old master. During the first half of their battle, Pain fought with unique summons. It wasn't until Jiraiya activated his Sage Mode and summoned Shima and Fukasaku to help him fight that Pain revealed two more of his bodies: the Preta Path and the Human Path. After a short fight, Pain gained the upperhand against Jiraiya, forcing him to flee. The fight was continued within some tunnels where Jiraiya brought down all three of the bodies by using the toad elders to perform a powerful genjutsu, and then pierced each body through the heart with a sword.
Jiraiya mortally wounded by PainWhen Jiraiya prepared to head back to Konoha, Pain introduced his Asura Path and attacked Jiraiya from behind, severing his left arm. When Jiraiya looked back up, he witnessed all of Pain's six Paths standing above, who attacked him together. However, Jiraiya did manage to incapacitate the Animal Path, and sent it to Konoha through a toad. He also recognized that all the rest of Pain's six Paths were ninja he met before.
In his attempt to learn more about Pain, his throat was crushed by the Asura Path and his body was pierced by the remaining five bodies. Believing his teacher to be dead, Pain prepared to leave, but Jiraiya was still alive, and used his chakra to make a coded message regarding Pain's true identity on Fukasaku's back. Pain tried to attack the toad, but Fukasaku managed to escape from Pain and reach Tsunade. Jiraiya then died, sinking into the watery depths of the battlefield. Afterwards, Pain held a moment of silence in respect for his former teacher.
In the anime, after getting a replacement for the Animal Path, Pain is shown to have been assigned to capture the Six-Tailed Slug, which was sealed within Utakata, a missing-nin from Kirigakure. During his search, the Animal Path had his Giant Multi-Headed Dog scout the area, where it found and killed a group of Kirigakure Hunter-nin lead by Tsurugi. When Utakata later sought out Tsurugi and his men to turn himself in, he instead found Pain; Pain told Utakata that he would be needed to create his world, and informed the jinchūriki that he would be taking the Six-Tails. The Asura Path then fired its Flaming Arrow Missiles at Utakata, carving out an enormous crater and trapping Utakata beneath a rock slide, allowing the Deva Path to capture the young man.
See also: Invasion of Pain With only the Nine-Tails remaining, Pain and Konan set out for Konoha. After eliminating the border guards upon their arrival, they infiltrated the village and dispersed, with each of the six Paths having a specific task: the Asura, Preta, and Animal Paths served as diversions, while the Deva, Human, and Naraka Paths looked for Naruto, with Konan aiding the latter team. While exploring and laying waste to the village and its inhabitants, the Deva Path was confronted by Kakashi Hatake. The Asura Path came to its aid and together they overwhelmed Kakashi and his allies at the cost of the Asura Path's destruction.
Konoha's Destruction by PainAcross the village, the remaining Paths continued their tasks, fighting whatever Konoha ninja they came across. The Deva Path met with Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, who refused to reveal Naruto's location. Elsewhere, the Human Path used its unique interrogation techniques on Shizune to learn that Naruto was at Myōbokuzan. Declaring that he would teach Tsunade the pain that Konoha had been so ignorant of, Nagato had the Deva Path use Shinra Tensei to obliterate the village while Konan and the other Paths withdrew.
As the smoke cleared, the Deva Path found that Naruto had returned with his toad allies. In retaliation for the village's destruction, Naruto swiftly crushed the newly restored Asura Path and began his fight with the remaining Paths of Pain. The Animal Path called upon its summons to attack Naruto, who parried them with the aid of his toads and proceeded to defeat the Preta Path. Soon afterwards, Naruto eliminated the Human Path with his Wind Release: Rasenshuriken, and then teamed up with Gamabunta to defeat the Animal Path.
With four of the Paths gone, the temporarily powerless Deva Path protected the Naraka Path, which restored the Preta Path. The Preta Path absorbed a second Rasenshuriken, but it had only been a diversion to give Naruto an opportunity to finish off the Naraka Path. The Deva Path, its power returned, detained Naruto so that the Preta Path could capture him, however Naruto allowed it to absorb his senjutsu chakra, which had the side effect of turning it to stone. Naruto escaped its clutches, but was seized once again by the Deva Path, who pinned him to the ground with fragments of a chakra disruption blade. The Deva Path then lectured Naruto about the chain of hatred, pain, suffering, and war that the ninja system brought to the world, and how he planned to use the tailed beasts' power to achieve peace and end conflict. He asks if Naruto can think of a better solution, but Naruto does not respond.
Nagato transmitting his chakra to control the Six Paths of Pain.Before the Deva Path could take Naruto away, Hinata Hyūga came to his defense. She confessed her love for Naruto and engaged the Path, but was quickly struck down. Believing her to be dead, Naruto became enraged and activated his six-tailed form, with which the Deva Path could not compete in its current condition. With this realization, the Deva Path retreated to a location closer to Nagato, who had secluded himself nearby in order to control the Six Paths of Pain. This allowed the Deva Path to use Chibaku Tensei, trapping Naruto in a massive orb of earth and debris. This victory was short-lived, as Naruto soon progressed to an unprecidented eight-tailed form and broke free of the Chibaku Tensei. The sphere of rubble created by Pain's Chibaku Tensei crumbled, and Naruto, reverting to his normal form, emerged from the ruin.
Reflecting on the earlier lecture, Naruto demanded an opportunity to speak with Nagato, but was denied and attacked by the Deva Path. By taking advantage of the five second gap between the Deva Path's ability, Naruto was able to defeat it with a well-timed Rasengan; removing its Chakra Receivers, Naruto realized that he could use the incoming chakra transmission to track down Nagato. Upon discovering Nagato's hiding place, Nagato attempted to gain control of Naruto's body by firing another Chakra Receiver from a hidden compartment in his transportation device. The rod pierced Naruto's stomach, but Naruto was able to resist the influence of Nagato's chakra. Admitting to the rage he now felt towards Nagato, Naruto held his ground and asked Nagato how—despite being a student of Jiraiya—he could have strayed so far from their master's teachings. Hoping that Naruto would come to agree with his solution for peace, Nagato told him of the tragic past he shared with his childhood friends, Konan and Yahiko, and of the series of events that lead to Yahiko becoming the Deva Path and Nagato taking up the moniker of Pain.
Konan leaving with Nagato's and Yahiko's dead bodies.Although Naruto agrees with Nagato's ultimate conclusion, he rejects it for differing with Jiraiya's ideals. In doing so, he answers Nagato's earlier question about how to attain peace: by "breaking the cycle of hatred". He decides not to kill Nagato, as that would only lead Konan to seek revenge, and in turn, lead others to seek revenge because of her actions. Amazed by Naruto's resolve and remembering Jiraiya's teachings, Nagato decides to put his faith in Naruto's method. Nagato then used the Outer Path: Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique to revive all the Konohagakure citizens that had been killed during his invasion. The strain of the technique costs Nagato his life, so with his final breath he wishes for Naruto's dream of peace to come true.
In the aftermath, Konan encases Nagato and Yahiko's bodies in paper and takes them back to Amegakure for burial. She leaves Akatsuki and pledges Amegakure's allegiance to Naruto and Konoha on behalf of Nagato, giving him a bouquet of origami flowers as a memento.
After Nagato's death, Madara made a note to steal Nagato's Rinnegan to be used for his own purposes.
Later on, when Madara was confronted by Kabuto, Nagato was one of the five deceased members of Akatsuki that Kabuto summoned using Summoning: Impure World Resurrection, along with Kakuzu, Deidara, Sasori, and Itachi Uchiha. His hair was visibly gray, as it was upon his death, as opposed to the bright red that he had sported in life, and his body was likewise emaciated. Despite this, he lacked the chakra transmitters that were formerly embedded in his back, and could stand without the support machine he had once used to move around.
Sketches and unused concept designs for Pain, by Masashi Kishimoto.In Naruto Hiden: Sha no Sho Character Official Data Book, Kishimoto briefly explained the philosophy behind Pain's design, stating, "He's Akatsuki's leader, so he has to look fairly cool, but I still wanted him to look dangerous. Since his name is "Pain", I decided to add some piercings to his body, like he's the kind of guy who would inflict pain upon himself." Notable among the few unused concept designs is a small sketch in which he appears to wear a partial face mask and feather, or horn-like accessories fitted to his forehead protector.
When first appearing in the anime and other media, Pain's eyes were depicted with an incorrect color scheme; the two center rings of the Rinnegan were colored separate shades of grey, while the outermost ring was flesh-colored, and the ring in between was white. Following his appearance in chapter 377 of the manga, which featured the first official color illustration of his face, the color scheme was corrected.
Several of Nagato's abilities were inspired by Buddhist beliefs and terminology, and he thought that enlightenment was reached through experiencing and understanding pain and suffering, similar to a path the Buddha took but then later rejected.
- His name means "long-lasting gate".
- Due to the unique nature of Nagato or Pain, Nagato's name was used for all actions done by the main body, while Pain was used for all the actions done by the Deva Path.
- The original Six Paths of Pain were composed of individuals associated with Jiraiya. They all seemed to share the want for peace.
- As Nagato's Six Paths of Pain were all deceased ninja, it could also be assumed that Animal Path's summonings were reanimated corpses as well, as they too had several body piercings and Rinnegan (possibly meaning that Nagato could see through their eyes as well).
- When he was young, Orochimaru offered to kill him and his friends so they would not have to suffer the horrors of war (at least, any more than they already had), but many years later he let Orochimaru join Akatsuki. It is unknown if Orochimaru is aware that two of the Ame orphans he tried to kill became his superiors.
- Three of the Six Paths of Pain appear as playable characters in Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3, with the other three as support characters, allowing all six to appear simultaneously in three-versus-one match-ups.
- Nagato is the only Akatsuki member never seen wearing the organization's uniform. However, his Six Paths of Pain wear it in his stead.
- In the anime, Nagato is shown to have a jutsu for the Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind elements but not one for the Lightning element.
- Yahiko's last words and Nagato's last word were similar.
- Nagato's eyes are never seen without the Rinnegan design.
- According to the third Naruto databook:
- His hobby was practicing ninjutsu.
- His desired opponent was anyone in order to protect his friends.
- His favorite food was grilled fish and stew.
- Nagato's favorite phrase is "The stars are hidden on a rainy night". As a child, his favorite phrase was "Growing up".
- Nagato is reported to have wielded all five basic elements and at only ten years of age he mastered countless jutsu of all kinds.
- All Paths of Pain are playable in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2.
- (At meeting in Part I) "Of course ... no mistakes. Remember what we seek ... everything, including the Nine-Tailed Fox!"
- "We're both of the same breed, after all ... motives for war are of no concern. Religion, Ideology, Resources, Land, Grudges, Love, or 'A whim ...' No matter how pathetic the reason, it's enough to start a war."
- (To Jiraiya) "Yahiko has been dead for quite some time. All that remains is... Pain."
- (To Jiraiya) "We are Pain! We are God!"
- "Those who do not understand true pain can never understand true peace."
- (To Naruto) "We are but men, drawn to act in the name of revenge we deem to be "justice". But when we call our vengeance "justice", it only breeds more revenge ... forging the first link in the chains of hatred."
- (To Tsunade) "I want you to feel pain, to think about pain, to accept pain, to know pain."
- (To Jiraiya) "But someday I'll break the curse. If there's such a thing as peace, I will find it!"
- (To Tsunade) "You think you're the only ones who matter. You think you can put off death. But that peace made you foolish and thoughtless. If you kill someone, someone else will kill you... this hatred binds us together."
- (To Naruto) "I see... That is noble of you. That is Justice indeed. However... My family...My friends... My village... They suffered the same fate as this village by you ninjas of Konoha. How is it fair to allow only you people to preach about peace and justice?""
- (To Naruto) "Love breeds sacrifice... which in turn breeds hatred."
- (To Self) "I will make the world feel Yahiko's pain."
- (To Naruto) "I ... will believe in you ... Naruto Uzumaki ..."
- (Last Words to Naruto) "Dying like trash... never ending hatred... pain that never heals... that is war... Naruto... this... is what you must face... The book... and you... It's like... someone... set this all up... Or... maybe... this... is... the hand of the real god... My role is over now... Naruto... you... can really--"
- ↑ Third Databook, page 120
- ↑ Third Databook, pages 153-157
- ↑ Naruto Chronicle Mini Book character relationship chart, page 30
- ↑ Naruto chapter 444
- ↑ Naruto chapter 373, page 04
- ↑ Naruto chapter 372, page 07
- ↑ Naruto chapter 368, page 07
- ↑ Naruto chapter 407, page 15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 406, page 03
- ↑ Naruto chapter 364, page 15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 375, page 11
- ↑ Naruto chapter 443, page 03
- ↑ Naruto chapter 489, pages 18-20
- ↑ Naruto chapter 429, page 03
- ↑ Naruto chapter 429, page 02
- ↑ Naruto chapter 437, page 07-08
- ↑ Naruto chapter 448, page 17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 449, pages 12-13