|Members:|| Uchiha Itachi|
|Related:||ANBU, Taka (formerly Hebi)|
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The organization is made up of some of the most powerful criminals of the moment. Each member of the Akatsuki is an S-class criminal (the highest rank in the Naruto universe) feared for their tremendous powers and ruthless nature.
Some of the Akatsuki members are among the most popular characters in the entire franchise, both in Japan and in the West. In the most recent popularity poll, included in the manga chapter 531, Itachi is ranked 5th, Deidara is 6th and Sasori the 8th most popular character.
Even though Sasuke, Karin, Suigetsu, Juugo and Orochimaru are also part of the Akatsuki at some point, fans don't think of them as proper Akatsuki members, as in most of their screen time they don't belong to the organization (although there are many fanworks about the subject).
Because the Akatsuki members usually work in pairs, each member is paired the most with their canonical partner. This hasn't stopped fans from shipping any member with other members of the organization. Akatsuki members have appeared in canon scenes that can be interpreted as homosexual subtext. An example of one of those scenes the moment where Kakuzu gives Hidan his headband back. Hidan tells him he is a really nice guy and that he should admit he likes him a little, with Kakuzu telling him to shut up, making Hidan think he's just embarrassed to admit it.
Even though the majority of the ships involving the Akatsuki members are yaoi, there are also some popular het ships. Mostly with Sakura Haruno, even though she never meets in canon some of the members, making her a Little Black Dress character.
Examples of ships involving Akatsuki members:
Akatsuki canonical pairs (and most often shipped together)
- Kisame x Itachi (Kisaita)
- Kakuzu x Hidan (Kakuhida)
- Tobi x Deidara (Tobidei, Obidei)
- Deidara x Sasori (Sasodei)
- Konan x Nagato (Peikona)
Other ships within the organization
- Itachi x Deidara (Itadei)
- Hidan x Deidara (Hidadei)
- Nagato x Itachi (Nagaita)
- Kisame x Tobi (Kisaobi)
- Hidan x Konan (Hidakona)
- Sasori x Konan (Sasokona)
Ships of Akatsuki members with other characters
- Itachi x Sakura (Itasaku)
- Itachi x Izumi (Itaizu)
- Itachi x Shisui (Shisuita)
- Deidara x Sakura (Deisaku)
- Sasori x Sakura (Sasosaku)
- Sasori x Third Kazekage (Sansaso, Sasothird)
- Konan x Yahiko (Yahikona)
- Konan x Rin (Rinkona)
Original Female characters are often paired with Akatsuki members, especially Itachi and Deidara.
It upset some fans that some of the members of the organization died too soon or their potential got wasted. Especially Sasori, who seemed to have such a big arsenal of weapons and techniques, was quite powerful and a ruthless killer.
On Sasori's death:
I was dissappointed, Sasori was such a cool character, and he get's 1 decent fight, and it's not even good for him.
Sakura and Chiyo are basically the direct counter to Sasori, AND Sasori was weakened from helping extract Shukaku from Gaara, AND it's said that Sasori basically let himself get hit because the puppets were his parents.What a way to go, countered, weakened, and let himelf die, for his 1 big fight. He could have been so much more, I would have loved to see him fight Tsunade using her 100 Healing, or heck even Sakura once she get's hers, or Naruto &Kyuubi, or on a compltely different way, fight against someone like Sasuke, where Sasuke see's how everythign works, but will die if he get's scratched, but no, this really cool charcter get's beaten in 1 fight that you could not pick worse conditions for him without just outright harming him or bringing in the God teir characters.
Deidara's death was also surrounded by controversy and often fandom wank where Sasuke supporters would pit against Deidara supporters on whether the fight was realistic or illogical and nonsensical.
On Deidara's death and Sasuke's plot armour, in support of Deidara:
Sasuke was out of Chakra but still summoned a boss summon. And by out of Chakra I mean he couldn't even stand up or activate his sharing an. That is pretty flimsy. A small snake? OK, maybe but still highly unlikely. A boss summon tho was overkill and defintally important for the plot (getting rid of all orochimaru step by step and making sure kabuto could frankenstein his way into some kind of Orochimaru 2.0). Not saying it wasn't clever but he also was armored in plot.
Konan's death was also criticised, for similar reasons, along with Nagato's changed of heart after a conversation with Naruto.
- Mafia AU: Because they're a criminal organization, they're often portrayed as their real life counterparts on Alternate Universe fanworks.
- Modern AU: Often comedy ones, there are plenty of Alternate Universe works where the Akatsuki are a bunch of friends or university students that live together.
- Kittens: Especially popular in the early days of the fandom. Kitten stories featured the Akatsuki members transformed into kittens by some forbidden accidental jutsu and sent to the real world, where they were adopted by usually an Original Character. Sometimes they could transform back into real people, or adquire the ability to morph back and forth from human to kitten.
- Akatsuki!Character: A character from the series that is not part of the Akatsuki was made into one. In fanart, they are drawn wearing the Akatsuki black robe with red clouds. In fanfics, a canon divergence occurred where said character ended up joining the Akatsuki. This theme is also popular with character from other media.
- SI OC: Original Character dies in real life and reincarnates in the body of an Akatsuki Character, often Itachi or Deidara.
- Original Character: A new member, usually a girl, joins the organization and gets romantically involved with some of the akatsuki members (Usually Sasori, Itachi or Deidara), in love triangles or otherwise.
- Good Akatsuki AU: Where the organization isn't criminal.
- Crack: especially popular on the early days, lost popularity as the fandom aged. Still popular in websites known for having younger userbases like Wattpad or TikTok.
- with friends like these by Reckless Writer Sasuke travels back in time to stop the war. He infiltrates the Akatsuki in order to kill them - he doesn't expect to take a page out of Naruto's book and befriend them instead.
- Piano Man and Church Boy by firefly (Naruto fan) Hidan and Itachi have to work together to assassinate their target, and due to circumstaces beyond their control, have to crash a wedding to do so. Humor.
- Blood Water an AMV by Brunion using the song "Blood // Water" by grandson (2020)
- AKATSUKI GANG ft. $UICIDEBOY$ an AMV by Ape Trvp Visuals 猿, using the song "$UICIDEBOY$" by Audubon (2017)
- Itami o shire by aslan ocal. Pein-centric fanmade trailer made with Pein quotes and scenes (2014)
Essays & Meta
Links & Resources
- Chapter 531: Reunited, Team Asuma! Including Popularity Poll
- https://www.quora.com/What-was-your-reaction-when-Sasori-from-Naruto-Shippuden-died-1 Ethan Thomas on Sasori's death.
- https://www.reddit.com/r/Naruto/comments/qde9ll/it_seems_entertaining_when_people_say_sasuke_won/ DeltaHypothesis on Deidara's death.