Orochimaru from Naruto 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 and his relationship with Sasuke is going to be the main topic of this article. Namely, in it, we are going to explain why Orochimaru wanted Sasuke so badly.
There are two reasons why Orochimaru wanted Sasuke. The first was that Sasuke was becoming a powerful prodigy like his brother, Itachi, which was quite alluring to Orochimaru. The second is the Sharingan, the Dōjutsu of the Uchiha Clan, which is a powerful technique whose potential Orochimaru was well aware of.
The rest of this article will further elaborate on the story between Sasuke Uchiha and Orochimaru. You’re going to find out how the two of them are connected and why Sasuke was the one Orochimaru chose to have his body “stolen” by him. If you’re not up to date with the story of Naruto, this article might contain some spoilers.
Why did Orochimaru want Sasuke’s body?
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. However, one of these children, Yamato, survived the experiments unnoticed, even displaying the ability Orochimaru bestowed upon him.
Anko Mitarashi became Orochimaru’s pupil. It’s unknown if she was put in his care. Anko was used as a test subject by Orochimaru to pass on the curse’s mark, and when she survived but appeared too frail, he abandoned her. Orochimaru believed he would have a good chance of being chosen as the Third Hokage’s successor. But Minato Namikaze, not he, succeeded him as the Fourth Hokage. He said that something evil was rising in him and that he was no longer qualified to serve as the Hokage when Orochimaru challenged him about it.
As a result, Orochimaru has grown to loathe Konoha and Hiruzen Sarutobi very much. To lead Danzou Shimura through the chaos of the Third Shinobi World War, Orochimaru collaborated with Tatsuma Aburame. Orochimaru has been compelled to leave Konoha to carry on his studies after being startled by his former sensei and a few ANBU troops during his tests. He and Jiraiya got into a fight, which Orochimaru won, and Konoha finally turned his back on him. He soon became a member of the Akatsuki group.
But, even though he was banished and condemned by his village, Orochimaru did not change his nature (initially, at least; he would go on to become a good guy later in the story) and continued to be a twisted scientist who would stop at nothing to achieve his own goals and desires. During his work and life, 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 Orochimaru ultimately failed to capture Itachi’s body, so he simply turned to the next best thing and that was – Sasuke Uchiha. At the time, Sasuke Uchiha was still a young shinobi and had too many questions and almost no answer at all. This, of course, made him a perfect pawn for Ochimaru, who not only tricked him but also manipulated him by using his powers. Orochimaru was like that then, so Boruto fans shouldn’t worry about this aspect.
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 could become as strong as Itachi in Orochimaru’s eyes, which means that his body would be perfect for Orochimaru. But, on top of that, Sasuke also had Itachi’s Dōjutsu, the Sharingan, and since Orochimaru knew both that the Sharingan is clan-related, as well as that such Dōjutsu are inherited, he saw Sasuke as a means to an end.
Sasuke was, due to him being younger, much weaker than Itachi and easier to manipulate, which explains why Orochimaru was, initially at least, so successful in his endeavors. Sasuke was a much easier target, and Orochimaru, being the villain he is, simply abused that fact. Some fans also wonder why Orochimaru never picked Naruto, but we have said why – Sasuke was an Uchiha, which was enough for Orochimaru; plus, Naruto was much harder to control at the time because he was not as troubled as Sasuke.
Now, we know how this ended – Sasuke killed Orochimaru (and brought him back to life, but that is a complex story) – and Orochimaru’s seemingly perfect plan ultimately failed, which goes to show that he heavily underestimated Sasuke and his willpower, which was a fatal error on his side from the very beginning.