Who are the strongest Akatsuki members? Akatsuki, the evil organisation that plagued Naruto and his friends, is one of the most memorable groups of villains in any modern anime series. With their iconic black and red robes, love of nail polish, and jewellery, they were undoubtedly the most stylish, but this criminal gang was no pushover when it came to raw strength.
Plotting to take over the ninja world by rounding up all the tailed beasts, Akatsuki members were capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful Naruto characters around. But this rabble of rebel S-rank ninjas wasn't created equal, and there was definitely a pecking order when it to power among these anime villains.
So who were the strongest ninjas in the group? Well, we've looked through the Bingo Book and come up with our own ranking of the Akatsuki members. We've not included Orochimaru or any of the filler members for the record. We didn't put Orochimaru on the list because he's mostly a Part One villain and didn't get a fair crack of the whip in Naruto Shippuden. As for the filler Akatsuki? I just don't like them.
Akatsuki members ranked by strength:
Easily the weakest member of Akatsuki, Hidan is still a deadly opponent who shouldn’t be underestimated. The missing-nin was completely immortal thanks to extensive experiments conducted on his body and was capable of surviving seemingly any injury, including decapitation.
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Hidan wasn’t just immortal, though; he could combine his invincibility with a deadly cursed seal that used his enemy’s blood to transfer any damage done to his body to his opponents. So why is Hidan at the bottom of the list?
Well, he’s a bit of a one-trick pony and relatively easy to outsmart if you know his strategies. Hidan also lacks any real trump card, making him easy to defeat.
One of the founding members of Akatsuki Zetsu wasn’t exactly weak; he just lacked the destructive abilities of his colleagues. Obito himself says that Zetsu isn’t a front-line fighter (although he still made an army of him) and is instead more valuable as a spy.
With his Mayfly jutsu, he could travel almost anywhere without being detected by sensor ninja. He could also monitor people from a distance using spores and drain his victim’s chakra if he chose to.
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Zetsu also has the most impressive transformation technique in the entire Naruto series, able to create duplicates that not even the Byakugan could see through.
If Zetsu did find himself in a situation he couldn’t escape from, he was capable of using Wood Release that, while not as strong as other users, still made him a deadly fighter. He technically defeated Madara as well, which we have to give him credit for.
The only female member of Akatsuki is also, unfortunately, one of the weakest. While still a dangerous missing-nin, Konan’s lack of screentime means we just don’t know enough about her powers to justify putting her higher.
Still, Konan’s mysterious origami jutsu is pretty cool. Her most impressive ability is probably the Dance of the Shikigami technique that allows her to transform her entire body into paper, giving Konan the ability to fly as well as shoot deadly razor-sharp shuriken.
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She’s also one of the few people who managed to get the better of Obito Uchiha. Konan used her Paper Person of God Technique to disguise billions of explosive tags in Amegakure’s lake and timed their detonation, so Obito was forced to use Izanagi to survive, sacrificing his left Sharingan eye in the process.
If this were a ranking of our favourite Akatsuki members, Deidara would have been a lot higher, but as we’re looking at strength, he’s rounding out the bottom four. Sure, Deidara is powerful, capable of battling Gaara when he was the jinchūriki of the One-Tailed Beast, but we just can’t see him beating anyone higher on this list.
Deidara is capable of creating explosive clay using mouths embedded in his hands. These mouths knead his Explosion Release chakra into the clay creating exploding works of art. A skilled sculptor, Deidara was capable of making all sorts of creatures using his clay, including snakes, birds, and even a dragon.
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His unique jutsu made him a deadly long-range fighter, and his ultimate jutsu, C4, which created microscopic clay explosives, was pretty much undodgeable. Still, his bombs, even the microscopic ones, were easily disarmed by those with lightning release, and his explosive temper meant he was an easy opponent to trick.
Sasori is often considered one of the weaker members of Akatsuki because he dies early in the series. This is a relatively common misconception, even though Deidara admitted that Sasori was stronger.
Sasori was an absolute beast and the most powerful puppet user we see in the series, capable of controlling hundreds of puppets at once. He also wielded a “human puppet” made from the corpse of the Third Kazekage that granted him access to Magnet release.
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This alone would make him one of the most dangerous members of Akatsuki, but when you combine it with his knowledge of lethal poisons, it becomes clear just how lucky Naruto and his allies were to beat him.
Even if you manage to destroy his army of puppets, you still have to deal with his modified body that makes him into a living weapon. With built-in flamethrowers, hidden razor-sharp blades, and poison weaponry, there are few ninjas capable of taking down Sasori.
The other half of Akatsuki’s “immortal team”, Kazuku, is basically the opposite of Zetsu. While Zetsu wasn’t much of a front-line fighter, Kakuzu was essentially a one-man army capable of using all five elements at once and used some of the most destructive techniques seen in the series.
His elemental versatility made him a dangerous opponent, but his tactical abilities truly made him a threat. After living for hundreds of years, there were few tactics that Hidan couldn’t see through, but even if you did manage to mortally wound him, he’d survive thanks to his Earth Grudge Fear abilities.
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This forbidden power granted Hidan the ability to use hundreds of black threads hidden in his body, stitching him together and allowing him to stretch and contort in an unnatural way. The most disturbing way Hidan used this power, though, was to steal the hearts of his opponents, granting him their elemental affinity and extending Hidan’s life. Hidan’s only weakness was his overconfidence; he really should have seen that Shadow Clone feint coming.
Easily one of the most powerful members of Akatsuki, Kisame was known as the Monster of the Hidden Mist and the Tailed Beast Without A Tail. Kisame boasted incredible levels of chakra, allowing him to use a myriad of different water-based jutsu and shark summons, plus he had strength and speed to boot.
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His most dangerous abilities were derived from his ownership of Samehada. This living sword formed a symbiotic bond with Kisame, allowing him to absorb chakra and further boost his superhuman abilities. He was also a skilled swordsman capable of dispatching other Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist with relative ease.
One of the most skilled ninjas in the entire series Uchiha Itachi was a deadly fighter who was as dangerous with a simple kunai as most ninjas were with a fistful of lightning. His abilities were some of the most beguiling in the series, capable of trapping his opponents in powerful illusions with a glance.
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If an opponent was capable of breaking out of his basic genjutsu, they’d have to deal with the far more powerful Tsukuyomi, one of the most broken techniques in Naruto. Beyond his ability to warp perception, Itachi had mastered fire ninjutsu and was capable of using the black flames of Amaterasu.
Itachi’s most powerful ability, though, was his ability to use Susanoo, a sort of chakra golem that could be used for both offence and defence. Itachi’s Susanoo was unique, however, in that it wielded the Sword of Totsuka, a weapon capable of sealing any opponent it cut.
Nagato — or Pain, to use his preferred title — completely redefined Naruto’s power scale. Basically, he’s a Dragon Ball Z character who somehow fell through the anime multiverse and ended up in Naruto. Capable of levelling villages with a single technique, mastering any jutsu, and using all five elements, he’s a supreme opponent.
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However, what makes him truly dangerous is his Six Paths of Pain technique, which splits his powers among six different bodies. While it may seem like splitting his power would weaken the leader of Akatsuki, it actually makes up for Nagato’s major weakness, his lack of mobility. With each body capable of moving independently but sharing a field of vision, Pain’s defence is near absolute.
All of Pain’s powers are derived from the Rinnegan eye, and despite not being the eye’s original owner, he was clearly the most skilled in its use. By drawing on its power, he could manipulate gravity, souls, his own body, read minds, and even resurrect the dead. When Pain claimed to be the God of Shinobi, he wasn’t lying.
So with all that power, how could we rank Tobi, aka Obito, as more powerful? Well, to be frank, it’s because Obito, for lack of a better word, is one of the most broken characters in anime.
With his Kamui jutsu, Obito can manipulate space-time, giving him the ability to teleport his body. Obito uses this power to make himself intangible, meaning any and every technique phases through him.
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Defeating Obito requires two things either knowledge of Kamui’s five-minute time limit or — as Naruto and his allies had, thanks to Kakashi — access to the Kamui dimension. Even then, Obito’s secret knowledge of forbidden jutsu makes him an extremely tough opponent. We saw Konan defeat him, but he used Izanagi to warp reality and escape death.
He also, later in the series, gains a Rinnegan. While Obito couldn’t use it as effectively as Pain, it did give him access to some of his abilities and boosted his overall abilities considerably. Let’s not even go into how powerful he becomes after taking the power of the Ten-Tails.
If you love Naruto, then be sure to read our guide to the best Naruto jutsu we’ve also looked into whether Kurama is the strongest Tailed Beast.. If you want more Shounen action, though, you should also check out our lists for the best Dragon Ball Z characters, the best My Hero Academia characters, the best One Piece characters, and the best Demon Slayer characters.