The Akatsuki were an organization of villains in the Naruto universe whose sole objective was to collect all of the tailed beasts. When combined, they hoped to use the beasts’ destructive power in order to obliterate the Five Nations and share pain that would unify people on a global scale.
Despite the organization’s dark and depraved mission, there are a surprising number of benefits that come with joining them. By identifying the best and worst facets of joining the Akatsuki, we can better determine if it’s worth the horrors that members are expected to commit.
10 Harsh Reality: Members Are Expected To Fight Against Powerful Jinchuriki
Being a member of the Akatsuki takes an enormous amount of strength and resolve. Since collecting the tailed beasts is the organization’s mission, they’re expected to fight against some of the most powerful and talented jinchuriki on the planet.
Not only are their targets extremely skilled in their own right, they are also well-protected. For example, the Fourth Raikage stopped Kisame from abducting Killer Bee, and Jiraiya prevented both Kisame and Itachi from laying a finger on Naruto.
9 Perk: The Akatsuki Provide All Members Fashionable Robes And Accessories
When joining the Akatsuki, members are given a new set of fashionable robes to distinguish themselves and embody the mission they’ve agreed to take on. Each wear beautiful sable cloaks embossed with crimson clouds and a stylish interior.
The Akatsuki are also given signets to further help identify each other. In order to complete the look, they drag a kunai knife across their headbands to create an even horizontal line. It symbolizes being a rogue ninja and the dedication they have to their cause.
8 Harsh Reality: The Akatsuki Are Hunted As International Fugitives
Since jinchuriki are well-protected by their villages, the Akatsuki’s attempts to steal them have severe consequences. Not only do they paint massive targets on their backs, they’re no longer protected by their own villages since they’ve long since sworn them off. Worse, each member’s actions reflect poorly on the village of their origin, as demonstrated at the Five Kage Summit.
Because the Akatsuki are international fugitives, they must constantly live in a state of constant alertness. Should their guard slip for even a moment, the finest shinobi of the Five Nations would ambush and kill them.
7 Perk: The Akatsuki Are Powerful And Can Protect Each Other Well
While being hunted by the entire world may be a problem, it’s important to remember that the Akatsuki only recruit shinobi of legendary skill. As a result, they are more than capable of protecting each other from the threats sent their way.
Moreover, the villains almost never travel alone. They personally assign each member a partner in order to optimize their safety and increase the odds that their mission will be a success. Potential matches are based on who Pain personally thinks would be able to accommodate each other’s talents the most.
6 Harsh Reality: The Akatsuki Have An Unacceptable Number Of Double Agents Among Their Ranks
The Akatsuki’s ranks include a disturbing and almost inexcusable number of infiltrators and double agents. While everyone has their own endgame, these rogues are personally invested in either usurping the organization or destroying it entirely.
Itachi joined to ensure that the Akatsuki never made too much progress, Obito wanted to usurp Pain’s position for himself, and Zetsu simply wanted to restore Kaguya no matter the cost. Given that thirty percent of the organization is against its best interest, it’s difficult to regard the Akatsuki as credible villains.
5 Perk: Akatsuki Members Can Pursue Personal Passions Without Scrutiny
Many in the Akatsuki do not pursue Pain’s ideology, but instead use the organization as a vehicle to chase their own personal passions. For instance, Deidara loves watching things (and people) explode, Sasori enjoys making puppets from human flesh, and Kakuzu is well compensated for his work on the organization’s behalf.
Considering that the Akatsuki protects its own, all three villains are free to pursue their personal interests without the laws of their home villages to restrict them. Simultaneously, it guarantees that they will remain loyal to Pain, since they have nothing to return to.
4 Harsh Reality: Many Akatsuki Members Have A History Of Killing Their Partners
Given the unscrupulous individuals that the Akatsuki attract, it’s no surprise that members have a history of killing their partners. Such a trend is ubiquitous within the organization’s ranks and can make it jarring to work as a team.
Itachi was infamous for massacring his entire village, Kisame slaughtered the Mist in order to preserve its secrets (and later to avenge a betrayal), and Kakuzu killed partners simply because they were either in his way or annoyed him.
3 Perk: The Akatsuki’s Mission Is Somewhat Coherent
The Akatsuki’s mission is predicated on the fact that the Five Nations ignore the suffering of other villages. This was a reality that Nagato lived through firsthand during his childhood after he was orphaned by war.
Considering that the Five Nations seldom consider those they trample in their battle for supremacy, Pain’s quest to make its denizens feel the way he does is at least understandable, albeit not morally justifiable. He doesn’t want to cause death; instead, he hopes to bring people together through suffering.
2 Harsh Reality: The Akatsuki Ultimately Fail And Are Systematically Exterminated
As appealing as it might seem to join the Akatsuki, it’s important to remember the organization’s ultimate destiny in Naruto. One by one, they’re picked off and exterminated by Konoha’s finest ninja. Hidan even suffered a fate worse than death, since he was still conscious when Shikamaru buried him.
While the organization may have begun with a more positive outlook on the rest of the world, everyone who joined it was perceived as a monster regardless of their intentions.
1 Perk: Akatsuki Members Are Spared From Pain’s Wrath
Perhaps the most immediate benefit of joining the Akatsuki is being spared from the destruction wrought by fellow members. Specifically, signing on with the organization will guarantee protection from Pain, one of the most deadly shinobi alive.
Should any of the fallen ninja have been caught within Konoha’s borders at the time of his Almighty Push, aside from Obito, they would have almost immediately been killed. Moreover, it’s presumed that the Akatsuki will also be spared from the apocalypse they attempt to engineer with the tailed beasts.