Orochimaru is a veteran shinobi from Konohagakure, a member of Team Hiruzen, and one of the legendary Sannin, along with his companions Jiraiya and Tsunade. He was a member of the Root organization under the leadership of Danzō and later defected from the village after being discovered doing experiments on the villagers, as well as being a former member of Akatsuki. He was one of the main antagonists of the series until his death at the hands of Sasuke Uchiha. But, in Boruto, Orochimaru came back… so did Sasuke kill Orochimaru in Naruto or not? And what happened after? Keep reading to find out!
Sasuke managed to defeat and absorb Orochimaru in Naruto, and while that effectively killed him, Orochimaru wasn’t dead in the most literal sense. Parts of his chakra remained in Kabuto (who would later be defeated) and in Sasuke (from whom it emerged, but was killed by Itachi), sealed, until Sasuke decided to revive him later on in the story.
As you might have deduced, this article is going to be focused on Orochimaru and his story in Naruto and what happened after his supposed death at the hands of Sasuke. You’re going to find out what exactly happened to the former antagonist in Naruto and how he actually returned in Boruto, as well as what happened to him after his death. You’re also going to find out how Orochimaru’s return influenced the plot in general. Some spoilers might be present in the article.
Sasuke killed Orochimaru because he was a vile and manipulative villain
Orochimaru was born in Konohagakure about 50 years before the beginning of the story. His parents passed away at an unknown point in his childhood. Already in his childhood, his interest in immortality developed. As a result, he left some shinobi with the impression that he was inhuman and that something evil was developing in him. However, his master, Hiruzen Sarutobi, who later became the Third Hokage, always stood behind him. He saw a good person in Orochimaru and even a coming Hokage.
About 26 years before the start of the series, he experimented on 60 newborns, in which he implanted the DNA of the first Hokage in order to “breed” the wood element in them. Believing that all children died from these experiments, he “disposed of” them. Because of these experiments, Konoha condemned him and eventually banished him for being a villain, which is why he grew to detest not just his former allies and friends but also the whole village. He left it and continued to work on his experiments in secret.
During his work, Orochimaru came into contact with the powerful Itachi Uchiha, who was also exiled from Konoha for massacring his whole family. Due to his enormous power and talents, as well as the fact that Itachi had a very powerful Dōjutsu, Orochimaru found Itachi intriguing. Since he was a “collector,” he wanted Itachi’s body.
But when Itachi’s body couldn’t be found, Orochimaru went for Sasuke Uchiha, the next best option. Sasuke Uchiha was a young shinobi at the time with a lot of questions and nearly no answers. This made him the ideal pawn for Ochimaru, who not only duped him but also used his abilities to manipulate him. And while Sasuke was not as powerful as Itachi at the time, Orochimaru realized his potential and knew that such a young prodigy would definitely be of use later on in his endeavors, which is why he – in a way – decided to groom Sasuke.
Sasuke’s physique would be ideal for Orochimaru if he were to develop to be as powerful as Itachi. Sasuke additionally possessed Itachi’s Djutsu, the Sharingan, and because Orochimaru was aware of the Sharingan’s clan affiliation as well as the fact that such Jutsu are passed down through families, he regarded Sasuke as a tool. Now, while Orochimaru genuinely thought that he had a foolproof plan, his plan was actually far from it, as Sasuke, however emotionally unstable, wasn’t stupid, and he saw through Orochimaru’s plans.
Sasuke assaulted Orochimaru before his intended takeover of Sasuke’s body because he believed he was superior to him and wanted to revoke Orochimaru’s authority to do so. After a struggle, it was discovered that hundreds of individually controllable snakes form some type of symbiotic relationship to form Orochimaru’s real body. When Orochimaru tried to utilize his Fushi Tensei, Sasuke’s Sharingan fooled him, leading the jutsu to be performed on himself instead.
The rest of Orochimaru’s corpse was then inserted into Kabuto, leaving a living component of Orochimaru inside of him. One more time, Sasuke and Itachi were fighting when Orochimaru briefly escaped from Sasuke’s body and made an effort to use Yamata no Jutsu to exact revenge on Itachi. But Totsuka used the sword to vanquish him once more, and he was forever consigned to a Gen-Jutsu. Three little snakes, however, were able to separate from Orochimaru’s Yamata form and avoid being dragged into the genjutsu. Amaterasu soon after incinerated at least one of them. And with that, Orochimaru appeared to be gone forever, but things weren’t quite so straightforward.
But, Sasuke also revived Orochimaru
After Sasuke successfully defeated Kabuto, he opted to Orochimaru by using material from Kabuto’s body and Juugo’s Sennin chakra from Anko’s Bane Mark to grow a snake that spat out Orochimaru. Unlike those revived with Edo Tensei, Orochimaru was not actually dead. His rebirth was possible because he channeled his Senjutsu chakra into the cursed marks. By his own admission, Orochimaru has seen everything that Anko has seen and thus knows about the war and Sasuke’s motives.
He also drains Kabuto of his own chakra to regain some of his strength. Along with Juugo and Suigetsu, Orochimaru and Sasuke go to Konoha, where they visit the remains of the Uchiha’s Naka Shrine to invoke the god of death. Orochimaru uses secret art to trick the god of death into releasing the souls of those once sealed within him. In return, he demands the user as a victim.
However, with his rebirth jutsu, Orochimaru manages to survive this process and take over the body of a white Zetsu clone. Furthermore, through the ritual, he has regained the full power of his once-sealed arms and is now able to wield Edo Tensei himself. Finally, he summons the previous four Hokage and forces them to answer Sasuke’s questions. Speaking to him later on, Orochimaru reveals that he has changed and now no longer wants to “be the wind that turns all windmills” but instead wants to enjoy the unexpected wind that others (especially Sasuke) create.
After that, he goes to the battlefield together with Karin and Suigetsu with Katsuyu’s help. Although he said he was not interested in the war, he realized that the fulfillment of Obito’s “dream” meant the end of his experiments and that he could not allow it. Along with Sarutobi, he fights the Shinju and remembers the time when he was still a student and Hiruzen of the Sensei. And he really did change. He did not become a hero, but in Boruto, Orochimaru definitely stopped being a villain; and while his demeanor towards Mitsuki wasn’t ideal, Orochimaru remained an ally of Konoha and is considered to be one even now.