- Membership status: Defected, unreplaced
- Ring: 空 (“sky”)
- Ring position: Left little finger
- Partner: Formerly Sasori
- Defining characteristics: Snake-like appearance, able to extend life via transferring soul into new bodies, mastery of snake-based jutsu, able to extend body parts to great lengths
Orochimaru was formerly a member of Akatsuki, where he worked as Sasori’s partner. He eventually attempted to use his Living Corpse Reincarnation jutsu to steal the body of Itachi Uchiha, a fellow member, six years before the start of the series. Itachi responded, effortlessly paralyzing him and severing his left hand. After this incident, Orochimaru left Akatsuki. Upon leaving, he kept his Akatsuki ring, which is currently still on the hand of his original body. The apparent special nature of his ring, his knowledge of their plans, and bad blood have led to him being the target of a number of Akatsuki plots, one of which involved a member of his retinue being a (eventually double) sleeper agent. Orochimaru intended to eliminate Akatsuki, as well; however, he is currently presumed to be dead.
Whatever their remaining connections were, Orochimaru and Akatsuki also seemed to have been working off similar timetables, as the three years it takes Orochimaru to prepare to take over Sasuke’s body seem to coincide with Akatsuki’s plans for capturing more tailed beasts.