There are numerous reasons for the popularity of the Naruto anime series, and one of them will certainly have to be the existence of Pain in Naruto. Despite being an adversary, Pain’s character was a huge hit with the fans. The soulful Girei (Pain’s Theme Song) immediately plays in our minds whenever we hear his name. Though he is a villain and the founder of the infamous Akatsuki, Pain will always be remembered as one of the anime’s most iconic characters. However, be it newbies or seasoned fans, you might need a recap about his life and powers. So in this article, we will explore the character of Pain, his background, abilities, and role in the story of Naruto.
Pain in Naruto: Everything You Need to Know
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers about the character Pain from Naruto. We suggest you watch the anime and read the manga first to avoid ruining your experience.
What Is Pain’s True Identity in Naruto
If you have watched Naruto Shippuden already, you will know Pain was an alias for Nagato, who belonged to the Uzumaki Clan. Behind the six paths of Pain, there was just one man all along, and his real identity was “Nagato Uzumaki.” After certain soul-crushing life events, he picked up the alias of Pain and formed the infamous Akatsuki. He was one of the main villains in the anime series.
What led to this, you ask? We have broken down the events that transformed an innocent Nagato into the ruthless and menacing Pain from Akatsuki. That said, let’s recap the story of Pain in the next section.
The Life Story of Pain in Naruto
- Real Name: Nagato Uzumaki
- Alias: Pain
- Clan: Uzumaki
- Rank: S-rank
- Kekkei Genkai: Rinnegan
- Role: Leader of Akatsuki
- Chakra Natures: Fire Release, Wind Release, Lightning Release, Earth Release, Water Release, and Yang Release
“I Want You To Feel Pain, To Think About Pain, To Accept Pain, To Know Pain”– NAGATO
Nagato was born on the outskirts of Amegakure to Ise (father) and Fusō (mother). He was a descendant of the Uzumaki clan, just like our protagonist Naruto. Madara Uchiha covertly transferred his Rinnegan to Nagato while he was a child without his or his parent’s knowledge. That is how Nagato acquired the great Rinnegan power at such a young age. He lived with his parents until being compelled to take shelter elsewhere during the Second Shinobi World War for survival.
During the Second Shinobi World War, two shinobi from Konoha broke into Nagato’s house in search of food. Nagato’s parents started to panic and decided to attack the shinobis to save their son and help him escape. But things did not go as planned, as the shinobis killed Nagoto’s parents in self-defense.
They realized their mistake as they had killed civilians and tried to apologize to Nagato. But he lost control at that moment and awakened his Rinnegan, killing both the shinobi as a result. This poor kid had to bury his own parents amidst a war-torn world. This is the moment that tipped the scale of Nagato’s moral principles and made him question himself.
Now that he was completely alone by himself, he collapsed and fainted due to hunger in the middle of nowhere. But luckily, two fellow war orphans named Konan and Yahiko found Nagato and helped him. Yahiko and Konan befriend Nagato, and this trio started looking for food for their survival. Finally, after the tragic incident in his life, Nagato earned much-needed peace with his new friends.
Cross Paths with Legendary Sannins
One day, this trio of war orphans crossed paths with the legendary Sannins — Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru. While Orochimaru asked, “Shall I kill these children to put them out of their misery”, Jiraiya took them under his wing. At first, he found the trio shelter and taught them the necessary and basic skills of survival.
But things went south when some shinobis attacked Yahiko in order to steal his food. At that moment, we see Nagato go berserk again and kill the shinobis who ambushed them. That was when Jiraiya noticed the almighty Rinnegan in the eyes of Nagato.
After Jiraiya found out the true power of Nagato, he eventually agreed to train the trio (he had rejected their request earlier). Jiraiya believed that Nagato was the true reincarnation of the Sage of Six Paths, and that one day, he would achieve peace across the world. Thus, he trained them for the next three years, and Nagato (aka Pain) surprised everyone by mastering Ninjutsu in a short period (thanks to his Rinnegan) in the Naruto anime series.
When this trio battled against a shadow clone of Jiraiya, they emerged victorious, and Jiraiya declared they had gotten stronger. And then, he mentioned there was nothing more left to learn. As a result, he decided to return to Konoha and bid them farewell. He wished them to bring the true peace they desired to their home country. It is very important to note that Jiraiya taught them the moral principles one should follow to become a greater person in life. Jiraiya entrusted Nagato to attain world peace. This event played a vital role in shaping the lives of this trio.
Formation of Akatsuki
Right after Jiraiya left, the war orphan trio started an organization called the Akatsuki and announced Yahiko as its official leader. Their first goal was to put a stop to the never-ending war in Amegakure. Soon their actions started to sound loud and attracted many people to their organization.
Well, in no time, Akatsuki became a powerful organization that cumulated a lot of followers. As their popularity skyrocketed, even Jiraiya started hearing news about how this trio was making a change in the world. During this time, Obito Uchiha and White Zetsu paid a visit to their organization. Obito presented himself as Madara Uchiha and volunteered to assist Akatsuki and Nagato in unleashing the full power of Rinnegan. Yahiko outright refused the offer as it sounded suspicious, and he was certain that Nagato’s power would be exploited.
Another Tragedy Strikes
As previously stated, Akatsuki’s fame had spread to every nook and cranny. As a result, Hanzō of the Salamander (the leader of Amegakure village) perceived them as a danger to his reign. So he decided to deceive them by proposing an alliance to negotiate with the other villages and stop the war. Since this aligned with their goal, the trio agreed to his offer and arranged a meeting between the villages. But they were entrapped by Hanzō and Danzo’s men (he lent his support to Hanzō) at the meeting place.
Hanzō captured and held Konan as a hostage, threatening to kill her if Nagato didn’t kill Yahiko. Nagato was completely shaken up and sensed that all the things they had done so far were starting to fall off. And yet another tragedy struck him when Yahiko forced himself into Nagato’s kunai knife, which ended up killing him.
During his last moments, Yahiko entrusted the quest for peace to Nagato, as Jiraiya did earlier. This event blew up the ticking bomb inside Nagato, and he completely lost control over his abilities. He used his Rinnegan and summoned the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path and destroyed everyone around him. Hanzō luckily escaped, and Nagato rescued Konan safely. However, his legs were obliterated by Hanzō ‘s attacks, resulting in him being immobilized.
Undoubtedly, Yahiko’s death led to the birth of Pain in the Naruto anime series. After the aforementioned events, Nagato ended his ties with the village by striking a line on his headband. His best friend’s death made him question his goals and philosophies for achieving eternal peace in a war-torn world. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that the world would never stop the endless cycle of hatred and death. And he decided that peace can only be achieved through mass destruction – by waging war and making people experience loss.
Thus, to make everyone witness true pain, he took the alias of Pain. Due to his crippled body, he made the Six Paths of Pain from six dead bodies, including Yahiko’s. He used Yahiko’s body for the Deva Path to lead this pack of six members. Therefore, Pain was born after the death of his beloved friend.
Since Nagato and the organization’s goals had reversed after Yahiko’s demise, Nagato gladly accepted Obito’s offer and formed Akatsuki 2.0, which we saw in the anime. Their goal was to collect the tailed beasts and unleash them all over the world to bring mammoth-level destruction. In order to achieve their long-term goal and collect funds, they became a group of mercenaries and offered their services to other ninja villages in the meantime.
Becoming a God
Hanzō was once a hero in the eyes of Nagato. But Pain decided to go against him after Hanzō betrayed him and caused the death of Yahiko. The popular catchphrase – “Never meet your heroes” became real here, isn’t it? He and Konan started a civil war to overthrow Hanzō and succeeded in this endeavor.
Nagato killed Hanzō and all the people related to him to make a statement. His fellow villagers saw these actions and considered him to be a god. He took control of the Amegakure village, and in doing, so he literally became a god to his people.
Betraying his Sensei
Nagato got better at utilizing the Six Paths of Pain in Naruto and led the Akatsuki very well. They managed to recruit powerful individuals and went on to become a notorious organization. They started collecting the tailed beasts, which alerted all the nations around. As a result, Jiraiya infiltrated the Amegakure village to investigate them and collect intel. But unluckily, he got caught red-handed by Pain and was forced to battle against tough foes.
Jiraiya recognized Rinnegan in all of the Six Paths of Pain, but he couldn’t figure out the bodies. He certainly assumed that Nagato was the one pulling the strings behind the scenes. He couldn’t believe that the Nagato he once knew strayed away from the right path and spiraled toward darkness. Jiraiya was greatly disappointed as he believed Nagato was a reincarnation of the Sage of Six Paths. And after an intense battle, Nagato used his Six Paths and killed his own sensei. Nagato didn’t hesitate in killing his sensei, which clearly demonstrated the path he had accepted.
Who Killed Pain in Naruto Shippuden
After he killed Jiraiya, Nagato visited the Leaf village to steal the nine-tail fox from Naruto. He eventually destroyed the village, including all of its residents, with his ultimate power move Shinra Tensei. This spun a series of events and orchestrated a legendary battle between the two children of prophecies — Naruto and Pain. The fight resulted in Naruto obliterating the Six Paths of Pain, tracing back the chakra to Nagato’s original location. That’s when Nagato revealed his tragic backstory, and Naruto understood how the never-ending cycle of death and hatred gave birth to Pain.
Naruto made the decision not to kill Nagato and followed the honorable path taught to him by Jiraiya sensei. This, together with Naruto’s Talk no Jutsu, covered Nagato’s heart. So he decided to entrust the pursuit of peace to Naruto. Nagato used the Outer Path — Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique to sacrifice his own life and resurrect all the victims he slaughtered during his storming invasion of Konoha. Thus, he killed himself in this process.
Pain in Naruto: Powers and Abilities
Don’t let the appearance of Nagato fool you, as he was one of the most powerful characters in the Naruto anime series. That said, let’s take a look at Pain’s various powers and abilities.
As a descendant of the renowned Uzumaki clan, like Naruto, Pain had massive amounts of chakra generated within him. His chakra was further amplified by his Rinnegan. Thus, he had an undeniable amount of chakra reserves within him. With such vast amounts of chakra energy, he could perform some of the most chakra-demanding Jutsus without breaking a sweat. That’s how he could perform devastating attacks like Shinra Tensei, Chibaku Tensei, and so on during the Pain arc in Naruto. It’s one of the most beautiful and painful arcs in the anime series, as opposed to the filler episodes in Naruto Shippuden.
Also, it’s important to mention that Pain had precise control over his chakra and its frequency, such that he could change the frequency to conceal his presence from shinobis. Nagato sure mastered the art of chakra control, didn’t he?
As mentioned earlier, Ninjutsu was taught to Pain by Jiraiya sensei in the Naruto anime series. As someone who possessed Rinnegan, he was able to master all forms of nature transformation — even Yang release, which is difficult to learn. To think that he achieved this feat when he was just a mere kid amazed the fans. Apart from this, throughout the show, he performed various Jutsus like:
- Ukojizai no Jutsu (Rain Tiger at Will Technique), which allowed him to create an endless rainfall over Amegakure and analyze the people living/ moving within this area using his chakra.
- Gentōshin no Jutsu (Magic Lantern Body Technique) allowed him to participate in Akatsuki meetings in a hologram-esque form.
- Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique), using which he was able to create shadow clones of himself, the Six Paths of Pain as well as the summoned creatures.
Six Paths of Pain
Using the powers of Rinnegan, Pain gathered five unknown shinobi bodies (whom Jiraiya have met) along with Yahiko’s body to create the Six Paths of Pain in Naruto. He controlled the bodies like puppets from afar and acted like a puppeteer as he was immobilized forever. Each of them was recognized as a deva, namely Deva Path, Asura Path, Human Path, Animal Path, Naraka Path, and Preta Path.
Theoretically, the six devas could perform all the Ninjutsu that Nagato can pull off. But each of them was given a unique power to carry out mass destruction. Thus, you can consider these devas to be an extension of Nagato. The required things to form the Six Paths of Pain are:
- Receivers in the form of black rods should be placed inside all of the dead bodies (which were seen as nose piercings) to control them remotely, like his own extension.
- He could control the Six Paths even when they were at a longer distance. But, for most of the chakra-challenging Jutsus, Nagato had to be near the Six Paths.
- He could stop the flow of chakra to the dead bodies as per his wish and focus on one to perform chakra-demanding techniques.
Each of the Six Paths of Pain was given a special power (except Deva as he can perform various techniques) in Naruto. They are as follows:
- Deva Path: Primarily gravitational powers, but he performed various Jutsus.
- Asura Path: Performs different forms of mechanization.
- Animal Path: Performs summoning of wild animals.
- Preta Path: Performs absorption of limitless substances.
- Human Path: Absolute control over the souls of other people.
- Naraka Path: Granted access to the King of Hell.
Apart from them, Nagato could summon the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path and bring back dead people to life using the Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique.
Though he wasn’t born with Rinnegan, Nagato was able to achieve a lot of things in his life with the Rinnegan bestowed on him by Madara. One can even say that Rinnegan was the backbone of all his powers and abilities. As he was a member of the Uzumaki clan, he could utilize the full potential of the Rinnegan without any flaws. Thus, he earned the title “Third Six Paths” due to his fantastic use of Rinnegan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Nagato called Pain?
Nagato declared to inflict ultimate pain on everyone around the world to make them desire true peace. Hence, he took over the alias “Pain”. It is symbolic and metaphorical to define his character in the show.
Is Pain an Uzumaki?
Yeah, it is confirmed that Pain aka Nagato is also a descendant of the Uzumaki clan, just like Naruto. Therefore, you can consider Naruto and Nagato to be distant relatives.
Who are the 6 pains?
The Six Paths of Pain are as follows: Deva Path, Asura Path, Human Path, Animal Path, Naraka Path, and Preta Path. He took the bodies of Yahiko and five other unknown shinobis to create them. The deva path is created from his friend Yahiko’s body as Nagato wanted him to lead the group again even after his death.
Nagato Uzumaki aka Pain in Naruto Anime
And that’s a wrap for our detailed guide about Pain, aka Nagato, his life, and his abilities. We hope you now understand the tragic story that made Nagato turn into the ultimate villain that is Pain. He is one of the most intriguing and complex characters in the anime. Also, he was a child of prophecy — similar to Naruto, and both got their life teachings from the same sensei. But the course of his life changed, leading him to become the complete opposite of who he was and attain peace by means of mass destruction. Still, to this day, Nagato is considered a fan favorite by many across the world. That said, what is your favorite moment or quote from Pain? Let us know in the comments below.