The sky is crying & so is Nagato....
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, who referred to him by his name, he directed the actions of the rest of the members and maintained authority over them. However, he took orders from Tobi, who was actually Madara Uchiha, the benefactor of Akatsuki.
Nagato as a child.
During the war in Amegakure, two Konoha shinobi broke into Nagato's house looking for food thinking that the house had been abandoned. His parents, believing they were going to be killed, attacked the two strangers so Nagato could escape. Thinking that they were enemy ninja, the Konoha shinobi killed Nagato's parents, prompting Nagato to awaken his Rinnegan and dispose of the intruders. He would come to consider this incident the first great pain of his life.
Having no one left to call family, Nagato left his home after burying his parents and began wondering aimlessly with nothing but a few supplies, along with meeting and befriending a stray dog that he named 'Chibi'. He later grouped up with fellow orphans Konan and Yahiko and they looked after each other. One day, the three friends got caught in a battle crossfire between the Legendary Sannin and Hanzō, resulting in Chibi dying in Nagato's arms. This infuriated Yahiko to the point of declaring that he would become a god to stop all madness, which eventually became Nagato's desire.
After the great war ended, Nagato and his friends met the Sannin, who at first were less than willing to help them. Orochimaru even suggested to kill them as they were orphans of war and as such would only live their lives full of misery. Jiraiya, on the other hand, decided that he would take care of them to compensate for what the Sannin did.
One night at dinner, Nagato cried because eating together with his master and friends reminded him of his family; Later that night, he ran away with Yahiko. The two were attacked by an Iwagakure chunin, who injured Yahiko. To his horror, Nagato activated his Rinnegan and killed 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. He also revealed the truth behind Nagato's Rinnegan, that his eyes may be the key to finding the peace they both desired for the world.
After three years, Jiraiya felt they were strong enough to fend for themselves, so he was convinced to head for home. Jiraiya believed Nagato to have later died with the other orphans under unexplained circumstances, but has told Konan that whenever their names were mentioned outside their village, it was always about someone being killed when they opposed them.
In truth, Nagato, Konan, and Yahiko began a quest to find the peace that they desired, just like Jiraiya did. While becoming full-fledged Rain ninja, they followed their own path and began gathering several supporters with Yahiko as their leader. Unfortunately, the current leader of Amegakure viewed Yahiko's gang as a threat to his position as leader and schemed with Danzo and Konoha's Foundation to eliminate them. Luring Yahiko's group into a trap under the guise of three-way peace talks with the Land of Fire, Land of Wind, and Land of Earth, Hanzō took Konan hostage and used her life as a bargaining chip to try and force Nagato to kill Yahiko. Faced with a horrible decision and with both Konan and Yahiko showing their willingness to die for the sake of the other, Nagato struggled with himself until Yahiko physically forced Nagato to kill him by placing the kunai in his hand and guiding it. 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.
After Yahiko's death, Hanzō ordered his shinobi to kill Nagato as well, but Nagato managed to unleash his Shinra Tensei to repel their kunai. As Nagato rescued Konan, Hanzō captured him with exploding tags, severely burning his legs and hands in the resulting explosion. However, Nagato continued to hold his ground and returned Konan to safety, telling her to take hold of Yahiko's body. Nagato then performed Summoning: Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, despite Konan's pleas, and used the Illusionary Dragon Nine Consuming Seal statue to decimate both Hanzō and Danzo's forces. The technique didn't kill Hanzō and Danzo, as they were able to flee. However, it left Nagato emaciated with numerous chakra rods embedded in his back, which, along with the injuries from the explosion, seemed to necessitate his future use of a robotic transport. Leadership of the gang passed on to Nagato as he scratched through the symbol of his Amegakure forehead protector, presumably indicating both the origin of the rebellion that would lead to civil war and the beginning of his teaching of enlightenment through pain.
Upon adopting the alias "Pain", Nagato led the rebelling forces in the Amegakure civil war and took control of the village by assassinating Hanzō, then solidified his leadership by systematically killing anyone who had direct ties to the former leader. The members of Pain's faction then wore their forehead protectors with scratches through them (a practice shared by the members of Akatsuki) to symbolize their rebellion and continued to wear them even after gaining control of the country, despite no longer being rogue ninja, to symbolize their victory in the conflict.
Nagato was a sensitive but kind boy, prone to crying, and was traumatized by the idea he had killed another man, 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. Nonetheless, he became a talented and gifted student, mastering every technique Jiraiya had taught him.
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. 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 also willing to kill his own teacher, Jiraiya, in cold blood and brutally executed all of Hanzō's friends and family to ensure Amegakure's compliance to his takeover. 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.
Pain also held hatred for Konoha because during the war between Konohagakure and Amegakure, his parents died by the hands of two Konoha ninjas. Nagato's hatred was quelled when he met Jiraiya, who gave him a new goal in life: to protect his friends. However, when Danzo teamed up with Hanzō and forced him to kill Yahiko, Nagato realized that his goal was worthless and hated Konoha even more, to the point of losing his affections for Jiraiya.
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.
Pain was also very respectful and kind to his childhood friend, 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.
Part in the Story
Pain first appeared as a hologram at the end of Part I, stating the need to capture the Tailed Beasts, particularly the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. He appeared in the same form at various points in Part II, regulating the actions of other Akatsuki members. As Part II progressed, portions of his face were shown, until he made his debut alongside Konan when receiving orders from Madara Uchiha. Madara assigned him to capture Naruto Uzumaki, the Jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.
Hunt for Uchiha arc
The first full view of Pain outside of Akatsuki meetings.
Before Sasuke battled Itachi, Pain encountered Jiraiya as the latter infiltrated Amegakure, putting a short halt at the Akatsuki leader's attempt to hunt down Naruto. Pain switched to his Animal path in order to deal with his old master. During the first half of his battle with Jiraiya, Pain fought the Sannin off with unique summons. It wasn't until Jiraiya activated Sage Mode and summoned Shima and Fukasaku to help him fight that Pain reveal two more of his bodies (the Preta path and the Human path) and quickly began to fight Jiraiya back personally. Jiraiya brought down all three of the bodies by using the toad elders to perform a genjutsu, then pierced each body through the heart with a giant sword.
When Jiraiya prepared to go back to Konoha, Pain reappeared in his Asura path and struck him, destroying his left arm. When Jiraiya looked back up, he looked at all of Pain's six paths and was assaulted. However, Jiraiya did managed to kill the Animal path and sent it to Konoha. In his attempt to learn more about Pain, he was pummeled by the remaining five bodies and his throat was crushed. Jiraiya then died, sinking into the watery depths of the battlefield, but not before giving a message about Pain's identity to Fukasaku, who managed to escape.
Invasion of Pain arc
After finding a replacement for the Animal path, Pain and Konan set out for Konoha. They eliminated the border guards upon arrival, infiltrated the village, and dispersed with each of the six paths having a specific task: the Asura, Preta, and Animal paths as diversions, while the Deva, Human, and Naraka paths in reconnaissance. While combing the village, the Deva path is confronted by Kakashi Hatake and a group of Konoha ninja. The Asura path comes to its aid and is destroyed during the battle, but Kakashi and the other Konoha ninja were ultimately defeated.
In other locations across the village, the other paths were drawn into battle as well. The Preta path, while trying to dispose of the captured Animal path, was attacked by Kiba Inuzuka, Tsume Inuzuka, and their dogs. Meanwhile, the Naraka path was challenged and seemingly defeated by Konohamaru's Rasengan. Elsewhere, the current Animal path decimated an ANBU building where a captured Rain ninja was being interrogated. As for the Human path, he captured Shizune to find out the host of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's whereabaouts.
The Deva path then met with Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage. Tsunade refused to tell him where Naruto was and rejected his philosophy of pain. When the Human path was able to extract Naruto's location from Shizune, the Deva path destroyed the village to teach Tsunade a lesson while Konan and the rest of the bodies evacuated. The Naraka path restored the Asura path to its normal condition and caught up with the Deva path at the center of the destroyed village. There, they found Naruto and his toad allies, having been summoned during the village's destruction to help in its defense.
When Tsunade arrived at the village center to seek revenge, the Asura path attacked her, only to be quickly destroyed by Naruto's Rasengan. Naruto then sent Tsunade away and instructed the rest of the villagers not to interfere, engaging Pain's remaining bodies on his own.
The Animal path summoned its ram, rhino, and dog to attack Naruto, but the latter parried all attacks with the benefits of his Sage Mode and left their defeat to his toad allies. Naruto then neutralized the Preta path and destroyed the Human path with his perfected Wind Release: Rasenshuriken. Consecutively, Gamabunta swallowed the Animal path, along with Naruto, in his mouth, where the toad sage was able to finish it off without interference by using the Rasenrengan.
Naruto then tried to defeat the Deva and Naraka paths with another Rasenshuriken, only for the Preta path to reappear and absorb the attack. Realizing that the Naraka path was the key to the Preta path's revival, Naruto focused his efforts on getting rid of it. Although he succeeded in destroying the Naraka path, the Deva path, after being left temporarily powerless in destroying Konoha, regained its powers and captured Naruto. He gave him to the Preta path to absorb his senjutsu chakra, only to turn to a stone toad due to its inability to handle the natural energy Naruto possessed. Naruto broke free because of this, only to be captured again by the Deva path, who restrained him with its Chakra Disruption Blades.
Nagato transmitting his chakra to control the Six Paths of Pain.
With Naruto no longer able to fight back, his allies came to aid him. Pain killed Fukasaku and was later drawn into battle with Hinata Hyuga, who he quickly dispatched. The latter's defeat prompted Naruto to enter a six-tailed transformation, which the Deva path was unable to compete with in its current condition. With this epiphany, he retreated to a location closer to Nagato, who controlled the Six Paths of Pain nearby in order to strengthen his flow of chakra. This allowed the Deva path to use Chibaku Tensei to capture the six-tailed Naruto, which led to a short-lived victory until Naruto progressed to an eight-tailed state. The sphere of rubble created by the Chibaku Tensei crumbled and Naruto, having later receded the demon fox's transformation, emerged from its shambles.
With his resolve renewed, Naruto demanded to be taken to Nagato to speak with him himself. The Deva path, however, states that although Naruto now understood true pain, they could never understand each other as they are just too different. As the Deva path attacked, Naruto removed one of his chakra blades and located Nagato by stabbing himself in the shoulder. Naruto then battled the Deva path by throwing two Rasenshuriken in a shadow shuriken method, though the Deva path dodged both attacks. In the ensuing chaos, Naruto was able to amass enough shadow clones to resist the Deva path's Shinra Tensei, and was able to hit it with a Rasengan. Sensing that the last of his bodies have been defeated, Nagato figured that Naruto would soon track him down. When Naruto finally found him, Nagato informed Konan to stand aside and let Naruto in. He then sarcastically stated that "peace has arrived".
Upon his arrival, Nagato attempted to control Naruto by striking him with one of his chakra blades, but Naruto managed to resist it with the Demon Fox-augmented Sage Mode. Naruto admitted his anger towards Nagato, but held his ground and asked Nagato how he became to be despite being a student of Jiraiya. Nagato decided to tell Naruto about his past, recalling his two great sources of pain, the deaths of his parents, and his friend Yahiko. After discussing his past, Nagato asked Naruto to give him the answer that he had promised earlier. Naruto answered him with a combination of both Nagato's and Jiraiya's plans to achieve peace, greatly confusing Nagato. Nagato became even more shocked as Naruto "broke the cycle of hatred" by deciding not to kill Nagato despite his hatred towards him.
Calling that vision of peace a fantasy, Nagato berated Naruto and Jiraiya on their vision of peace. Naruto replied with a line from The Legend of the Gutsy Ninja, which Nagato read after Jiraiya left the Ame Orphans. Taken aback, Naruto declared he would become Hokage to break the end of the suffering of Konoha and Amegakure and pleaded Nagato to believe in him, as Jiraiya had once believed in him. Questioning himself, Nagato remembered how Jiraiya had high hopes for him and remarked how Naruto reminded him of himself. He then removed his arms from the support machine to perform a final hand seal stating that he would also believe in Naruto.
Nagato used the Outer Path: Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique and revived all the people of Konoha that had been killed during his invasion. As he had used all of his chakra, a severely-weakened Nagato died after entrusting Naruto to find the answer to peace and pain in the world. Following a series of unexpected events, Konan shed the origami tree that she had created to hide Nagato and wrapped the dead bodies of Nagato and Yahiko to take them with her. Fortunately, Konan revealed that she was through with Akatsuki as Nagato and Yahiko meant everything to her and as Nagato believed in him, she would also believe in Naruto. After Naruto accepted Nagato as a "fellow pupil," she gave him a bouquet of origami flowers as a memento of the three Ame orphans and headed out to Amegakure. Just before she left, Konan said that Amegakure would help Naruto to make his dream come true, perhaps implying that she would attempt to take over leadership of Amegakure in place of Nagato, as she already had been declared as "God's angel" in the village.
As the leader of Akatsuki and one of the two sides of the Amegakure Civil War, Nagato was an extraordinarily powerful shinobi who could easily be considered to be Kage-level, maybe even higher. His partner, Konan, had stated that he had never lost a single battle, but it wasn't until his fight with Naruto that he encounterd an opponent capable of defeating him. He was also able to single-handedly defeat and overthrow the former Amegakure leader, Hanzō, and made short work of Jiraiya after unveiling all six of his bodies (though he admitted that killing Jiraiya would have been very unlikely had Jiraiya had prior knowledge of his six separate bodies).
Deva path's Rinnegan eyes.
Main article: Rinnegan Nagato's incredible power stemmed mainly from his Kekkei Genkai, the 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 were 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. It also enhanced his vision of chakra in a similar manner to the Uchiha Clan's Sharingan and the Hyuga clan's Byakugan, allowing him to see the chakra of barrier techniques around the perimeter of his location and the chakra gathered located at a shinobi's feet.
Six Paths of Pain
The current Six Paths of Pain.
Main article: 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.
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, modelled 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.
Based after the six Buddhist paths of Reincarnation, each body was named after the 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 Rinnegan eyes. 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 capabilities.
Sketches and unused concept designs for Pain, by Masashi Kishimoto.
In Naruto Hiden: Sha no Sho Character Official Data Book, Kishimoto briefly explains 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 gray 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.
While the Six paths are depicted with a standard, pinkish skin tone in official color illustrations by Kishimoto, the anime depicts them with deathly pale skin, likely as a visual cue that the bodies are in fact deceased.
Several of Nagato's abilities are inspired by Buddhist beliefs and terminology, and he teaches that enlightenment is reached through experiencing and understanding pain and suffering, similar to a path the Buddha took but then rejected.
Before Nagato (specifically the Deva path) was revealed, some speculated that Minato Namikaze was the leader of Akatsuki because their silhouettes were similar and Pain had some knowledge of Konoha. This theory was propagated by a fan-made manga collage where the Akatsuki leader revealed himself as Minato.
Due to an error made by Scanlators, many fans were led to believe that Pain had a Sharingan when he first appeared at the end of Part I, while it was indeed a very visual nod at the true leader of Akatsuki. It was corrected in the anime and all subsequent scanlations.
* As Nagato's Six Paths of Pain were all deceased ninja, it could have been also be assumed that Animal path's summonings were reanimated corpses as well as they too had several body piercings and Rinnegan eyes (possibily meaning that Nagato could see through their eyes as well).
* Due to the unique nature of Nagato/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 in particular.
* Whether or not Nagato was actually crippled has yet to be confirmed, but it seemed that the black rods in his back were responsible for his weakened state.
* Pain's defeat came through a combination of Naruto's abilities and the information gathered by Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Kakashi.
* The original Six Paths of Pain are composed of individuals associated with Jiraiya, this implies that Nagato continued to follow his master even after he left Amegakure.
* (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, spite, love, or just because...no matter how pathetic the reason, it's enough to start war."
* (To Jiraiya) "We are Pain! We are God!"
* "Those who do not understand true pain can never understand true peace."
* "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 Naruto) "Peace is right before my eyes."
* (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!"
* "I...will believe in you...Naruto Uzumaki..."
Pein -deva path
from left 2 right:Konan,Nagato,Yahiko a.k.a 'The Ame Orphans'