The Akatsuki in Naruto Had a Completely Different Design Before Masashi Kishimoto Chose to Change Them

The Mangaka of Naruto had a completely different design for The Akatsuki initially as they were meant to be all Monsters!

the akatsuki in naruto had a completely different design before masashi kishimoto chose to change them


  • Akatsuki has been the major villain in Naruto for a significant part of the plot.
  • The original idea that Kishimoto had for Akatsuki was to make them more Monster-like beings.
  • The Mangaka of Naruto, Kishimoto doesn't perceive the Akatsuki as villains, but rather Anti-heroes.

Akatsuki is the primary antagonist for a significant portion of Naruto’s plot. They’re a terrorist organization that houses criminal ninjas from a variety of different villages and backgrounds. The members include the likes of Itachi Uchiha, Orochimaru, Kakuzu, and secretly, Obito Uchiha! The group was quite overpowered, and they were a constant threat to people.

Naruto Pain
Pain – Akatsuki

As powerful as these terrorists were, different members of Akatsuki had different goals and different approaches towards them. The group was made to rejuvenate peace in a war-torn land and led by the morally sound and charismatic Yahiko. However, Akatsuki’s name gets dragged in the mud due to the meddling of Obito, whom Black Zetsu was manipulating. The group became infamous and started attracting a more unfavorable type of ninja.

Also Read: “He is troubling others in his pursuits”: Masashi Kishimoto Knows One Character from Naruto isn’t a Villain Unlike What Fans Think

Masashi Kishimoto planned for all Aktasuki to be Monsters originally

Akatsuki in Naruto
Akatsuki in Naruto

Kishimoto initially imagined the concept of the Akatsuki as a group with monster-based members rather than any human at all.

Fandomwire Video

Some members of the Akatsuki can still reflect this idea as we saw in the anime series. Members like the shark hybrid Kisame and the plant-like Zetsu were retained from Kishimoto’s original idea. Another member who started as more of a monster was Kakuzu. His earlier designs were based on the Kuchisake-onna creature from Japanese mythology. As Kishimoto’s idea shifted more towards the human-like aesthetics of the characters, members like Kakuzu and Sasori became less outlandish, and full-fledged humans like Deidara and Itachi were also brought into the fold.

It indeed would have been interesting to watch an Akatsuki full of monsters. However, this could’ve massively influenced the plot and their morally grey stand in various instances.

Also Read: Despite Always Being Compared to Naruto, Boruto Pulled Off a Time Skip Better than Masashi Kishimoto’s Magnum Opus


Kishimoto perceived the Akatsuki as Anti-Heroes rather than Villains

Itachi Uchiha reanimated in Naruto shippuden
Itachi Uchiha reanimated in Naruto Shippuden

Also Read: Masashi Kishimoto’s Original Pitch for Naruto Didn’t Even Involve Ninjas, Was So Underwhelming it Was Instantly Rejected

As we have seen in Naruto Shippuden, the actions of Akatsuki painted them as nothing more than the most dastardly of villains. However, the Mangaka has a different perception of these villains. In an interview with Naruto publisher Shonen Jump(via YouTube), Kishimoto said they were more like a group of antiheroes than other antagonists, as their tough, emotional backstories somewhat justified their criminal actions.

A very prime example of this is members like Itachi, Nagato, and Sasori. However, other organization members, like Hidan and Deidara, are nothing more than a bunch of villains. However, this proves how well Kishimoto can write characters with immersive and empathetic histories. Some Akatsuki members still managed to earn sympathy from viewers and readers despite their evil actions.

Also Read: What was the Special Technique Minato Wished Naruto to Learn that Forced him to Merge Half the 9-Tailed Fox in Masashi Kishimoto’s Iconic Character?

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Written by Archak

Despite holding a degree in Chemistry Majors, Archak found himself as a Journalist. His love for anime and choccy milk is unmatched! When not writing, Archak can be found indulging with motorcycles. After all, four wheels move the body but two wheels move the soul!