Naruto: Can Orochimaru ever be truly good again?

Orochimaru smiling (Image via
Orochimaru smiling (Image via

Orochimaru made his debut in Naruto Chapter 45 and has had a tumultuous relationship with the Naruto fans since then. He was an orphan who eventually became a pupil of the third Hokage (Hizuren Sarutobi) along with Jiraiya and Tsunade.

Orochimaru was so intelligent that he was considered by Hizuren to be a once-per-generation prodigy. Despite standing out as a talented, knowledgeable and determined, he had a reputation in the Naruto series for having a twisted personality, something which even Tsunade pointed out.


His sadistic attitude was chalked up to his parents’ death. It was theorized by characters such as Jiraiya and Naruto fans alike that Orochimaru went down the path of studying ninjutsu in an attempt to forget his painful past.

This shift was revolutionary. Begging the question, can Orochimaru be good?

Orochimaru in Naruto

Carrying a heavily burdensome past and not really grasping how to deal with pain in a healthy way, Orochimaru was infamously the antagonist of Naruto. He was notorious for ending the lives of many honorable ninjas. He even sacrificed some of his own people for personal gain. No one was safe, not even his precious acolytes. Wherever he went, the threat of violence followed.

In the thick of the series, Orochimaru was not on best terms with the powerful ninjas Sasuke and Naruto. Sasuke used him to get more power, then rejected him when Orochimaru tried to make him a new vessel. Naruto only saw him as the evil Sannin that ended the life of his Hokage.

These make up just the tip of the iceberg of the horrible things he did to them. There is a lot more Orochimaru did to ruin the lives of Naruto and Sasuke.


Needless to say, as Naruto progressed, fans had an entire series to associate Orochimaru with being a stone-cold villain. Little did they know that his character arc would begin to change as he fathered Mitsuki in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.

Orochimaru in Boruto: Naruto Next Generation

One of the major redeeming factors of Orochimaru was his hand in creating one of the best characters in Boruto: his son, Mitsuki. Whilst there was no indication of him having any romantic inclination back in Naruto, he did have one great love: Science. Orochimaru’s relationship with science not only caused destruction, but it was also how he was able to bring forth the great, young ninja, Mitsuki.

Whilst he may not be the greatest father, maturity agrees with him as he is shown to not be as destructive and inherently evil as he was in Naruto. He is less violent. Although he is still sketchy, plots and schemes, and carries out ethically questionable experiments, he is not casually slitting throats as he was before.


Orochimaru has developed much better workplace manners than he had in Naruto. Most of his plans included manipulating others into executing his will, just as he did with Hiruzen. He manipulated him into fighting against his friend, the second Hokage, by sacrificing two subordinates.

Also, in Boruto, he seems to be on better speaking terms with Naruto and Sasuke. Despite their troubled past relationship in Naruto, they decided to put aside their differences for the sake of Mitsuki.

Final Thoughts

Orochimaru was destined to be evil since the days of the parent series, Naruto. With his reputation firmly in the mind of the fanbase, the shift to Boruto: Naruto Next Generations had to encapsulate that personality trait. Whether his character arc in Boruto is due to age or fatherhood, the more mellow Orochimaru is accepted and appreciated by those who followed from day one.

Regardless of the change, he still maintained glimpses of his true self. Based on that, it's unlikely that he will be good anytime soon. For every good Orochimaru does, he will inevitably do the same amount, if not more, bad things. It is in his nature.

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