Akatsuki in Naruto was one of the biggest team threats since the Ginyu Force in Dragon Ball Z or the Zeon Principality in Mobile Suit Gundam. Each member had their own unique powers, abilities, and attitudes, but they all shared the same goal of trying to make the world better via sealing the Tailed Beasts.
But they were all deceived because the organization was a ruse for the schemes of Madara Uchiha and Obito Uchiha. The two Uchiha were further deceived by the ancient Black Zetsu, who planned on reviving his mother Kaguya Ōtsutsuki.
Akatsuki had quite a diverse group of members, from the aforementioned ancient Black Zetsu to younger and fresher faces like the clay explosives expert Deidara.
Here are 10 Akatsuki members in Naruto, ranked from youngest to oldest.
Note: This article contains spoilers for Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. Relative ages will be provided if no concrete age is established.
Note 2: As Akatsuki has had so many members, only the mainstay members are included, affiliates or temporary allies like Sasuke or Orochimaru don't count.
10 of Naruto's Akatsuki members, ranked from youngest to oldest
10) Yahiko - 15 years old
The youngest Akatsuki member and original founder alongside Konan and Nagato, Yahiko was similar to Naruto Uzumaki when he was alive. Like Naruto, Yahiko was determined to become the leader of the Hidden Rain Village. Unlike Naruto, however, Yahiko possessed the Social Darwinist principles of "Survival of the Fittest" and "Eye for an Eye" philosophies.
Yahiko was seen as the charismatic leader of the group, and he started gathering the original Akatsuki as a peacekeeping effort. With his powers over fire, water, and wind release, Yahiko planned on making the world better with Akatsuki behind him.
It didn't last, unfortunately, as Yahiko killed himself to spare Nagato the choice of either him or Konan getting killed when the dictator Hanzo of the Hidden Rain forced him into the choice.
Yahiko's death made Nagato believe the world was beyond salvation. Yahiko's corpse would become the Deva Path of Pain, the primary body used and spoken through for Pain's messages.
9) Deidara - 19 years old
Technically the youngest member of Akatsuki, this explosion-loving artist hails from the Hidden Stone Village. Deidara fled his village after stealing one of his clan's kinjustus: allowing him to knead chakra into substances with mouths in his palms. After taking out his pursuers, he found art in a single moment (art that lasts for just a moment) and generally wreaked havoc as a bomber on various insurgents across various countries.
While seeming cool and relaxed, his sadistic arsonist personality would always come through in battle. He dedicated himself to his explosive art and would often boast about it to anyone who listened.
Deidara's recruitment was unconventional as he lost to Itachi's Sharingan in his proving fight. He never forgave or forgot Itachi's Sharingan and tried to take steps to counter Genjutsu and create C4.
Deidara and Sasori would eventually capture Gaara but not before Deidara lost his left arm to Gaara's sand. Trying to fight Team 7 and Team Guy didn't work for him either, as his left arm was severed by Kakashi's Kamui and he was forced to fake his death with a clone bomb.
He was scarily intelligent, mostly tricking opponents and using his clay in rather subtle ways, like putting it in Gaara's gourd or making Sasuke get caught between a dragon and landmines. Sadly, it often took a backseat to his art, which led to his death against Sasuke in Naruto Shippuden.
8) Itachi Uchiha - 21 years old
Itachi Uchiha has done much during his young years, from massacring the Uchiha Clan and joining the Akatsuki to stopping Kabuto and Orochimaru's schemes. This particular entry will only focus on his Akatsuki days.
After joining Akatsuki, he was initially partnered up with Juzo Biwa. The duo were given a mission in the Land of Water and had to battle Yagura, the Three-Tails Jinchuriki. While Itachi defeated Yagura, Juzo was slain.
Itachi fought off Orochimaru after the snake tried to steal Itachi's body. Soon after, he was partnered with the sharklike Kisame Hoshigaki, and Itachi was instrumental in recruiting Hidan and Deidara.
The elder Uchiha contracted a terminal illness at one point and was determined to die by Sasuke's hand. He did, but his plans for Sasuke didn't work. When he was resurrected, he was upfront with everything about the Uchiha Clan and told Sasuke the elder Uchiha said he loved him no matter what.
Itachi entrusted Naruto to keep Sasuke on the right path, and Naruto kept his word.
7) Hidan: 22
One half of the aptly named "Zombie Combo" with Kakuzu, Hidan is a missing ninja from the Hidden Steam Village. After venturing to the appropriately named Valley of Hell, and being infuriated that his village became a tourist site, he slaughtered his neighbours and joined the cult-like Jashin and gained immortality as a result.
His rude and masochistic attitude impressed itself upon his enemies, as he cannot die and can survive otherwise fatal wounds. His ultimate technique — possessing people via eating their blood — can link the two together and Hidan's wounds become his opponent's. This killed Asuma Sarutobi and led to his demise: he was blown to pieces by Shikamaru Nara and buried beneath a cave.
Whilst he may still be alive, he was last seen slowly dying from a lack of nutrition.
6) Obito Uchiha: 31
Obito Uchiha was buried under rubble and barely survived, falling into darkness when Rin was killed and then masquaraded as Madara. Once the Akatsuki was formed, he roamed around as Tobi for a long time until he usurped control from Pain and slayed Konan.
Murder, betrayal, and whatever else he had to do to see the Moon's Eye plan through, he would get it done. This culminated in his plan to destroy the Leaf using Kurama via forced extraction from Kushina. He also tried to kill Naruto, which failed after he underestimated Minato and Kushina's abilities. He participated in the Uchiha clan massacre and recruited Itachi.
His abilities were astoundingly powerful, owing to his chakra reserve enhancements thanks to Zetsu, his Sharingan and Rinnegan, and his ninjutsu thanks to Madara's teachings. He fought the Third, Fourth, and Second Hokage to a draw by becoming the Ten Tails Jinchuriki.
Obito was eventually convinced to aid the allied Shinobi forces and sacrificed himself to save Kakashi, Sasuke, and Naruto from Kaguya. With his curse of hatred lifted, Obito finally got to join Rin in the afterlife.
5) Kisame Hoshigaki: 32
The Sharklike Kisame Hoshigaki was disillusioned with the world after slaying his mentor Fuguki once he found out he was selling information to other villages. Kisame figured Moon's Eye plan's "World of Truth" was perfect. He and Itachi didn't get along well at first, but they eventually partnered up to try and capture Naruto.
Kisame loves to fight, showing an eagerness to mutilate and using very aggressive water techniques like fast-moving sharks and larger volumes of water. His blade Samehada was able to absorb and eat chakra. He also fused with it to become fully sharklike himself. He also had immense physical strength, which overpowered Asuma and even Guy at one point.
None of this saved him in the end. Might Guy trounced Kisame, and the shark man killed himself by having his sharks consume him to avoid interrogation.
4) Sasori: 35
Sadistic former sand puppet master Sasori was partnered with Orochimaru and later Deidara during his time with Akatsuki. He was known to create human puppetry in order to stave off the loneliness he'd felt since childhood.
Sasori also assassinated the Third Kazekage and made his body a puppet too. His induction to Akatsuki was a brawl between him and Konan, which he lost and subsequently joined up.
Cruel, nihilistic, and impatient, Sasori used wicked bladework in his puppetry and summoned well over 200 puppets to try and kill Sakura and Chiyo. Sasori was a literal puppet master at long ranges, thanks to the chakra thread mastery, and could even control living people as puppets. The puppets had multiple weapons: blades, flamethrowers, poison spitters; the list goes on. He even took down a small nation with them all!
Despite all that, plus a major intellectual capacity, he was killed by Chiyo and Sakura. He was later killed and contained by Kankuro and Sai upon being revived. However, as compensation, he handed his mother and father puppets to Kankuro to be givento future generations.
3) Konan and Nagato: 35
Konan and Nagato were the remaining two of the original Akatsuki at the time of Naruto Shippuden. At that time, Yahiko died and Nagato lost the use of his legs.
The two were instrumental in forming Akatsuki. While Nagato led, Konan watched and kept the peace between the members. She did Nagato's bidding without question, and saw through Tobi's orders to capture Kurama for the suicide mission that it was.
They both wielded considerable power, with Nagato having the Six Paths of Pain to slay opponents like Jiraiya and even outlast Kazuku, while Konan was able to nearly kill Obito with her paper ninjutsu opening up into the lake of the Hidden Rain and detonating over 600 billion explosive tags.
They changed the world and then some, deserving better than being tossed aside by a greater-scope villain.
2) Kakuzu: 91
The other half of the "Zombie Combo" alongside Hidan, Kakuzu was more of a monster than Hidan was.
Kakuzu was first spotted trying to kill the First Hokage, then slayed his village elders after they harshly punished him and stole their hearts. Sasori used hearts to power himself like a bizarre Frankenstein Monster of parts and sewed together masks and organs. He was good enough to intercept Kakashi, not to mention catch Choji's enhanced arms with ease. He could also rip his body apart with large threads to attack an enemy in a giant octopus-like form, hitting people with enough force to shatter rocks.
When Naruto and team Asuma fought Kakuzu, he had at least five hearts, causing him to have to be killed at least five times before truly dying. He also had access to fire, wind, lightning, and water releases due to his masks having different chakra natures woven into them.
He was also greedy, taking cash from bounties and side tasks to feed his own finances. Kakuzu hated Hidan and Hidan likewise. Kakuzu's violent rage ultimately led to his death, as he tried to kill Naruto Uzumaki and ultimately got his last heart destroyed by a Rasenshuriken before being killed by Kakashi's Lightning Blade.
1) Zetsu: Ancient
The ancient Zetsu is far older than anyone else because he's not fully human; he was an artificial human created by Kaguya before the events of Naruto to serve her will. He has therefore manipulated it all since the beginning.
From making Indra so sour against Asura that it resulted in their fight, changing the Uchiha stone tablet and making Madara fight the First Hokage, to even manipulating Madra all the way to the end, Zetsu was there like Reverse Flash of DC. It is capable of intangibility, wood release, and durable enough to not be bisected.
All the while, it appeared friendly, charming, and always keeping its would-be partners in the dark. It was all for Kaguya and it would ultimately be sealed up with her. All that manipulation, pain, and bloodshed just to end up sealed forever.
The Akatsuki, a diverse group of characters spanning many different ages, gained from the talents and experiences that each member brought to the group. The age hierarchy among the Akatsuki adds even another level of depth to their interesting characters, from the young artistic drive of Deidara to the ancient secrets surrounding Zetsu. Whether they were young or old these powerful ninjas created a lasting impression on the Naruto series and continue to be admired by viewers all around the world.
As the anime makes a reappearance for its 20th anniversary, be sure to follow for more news relating to Naruto.