There have been many iterations of Akatsuki throughout the years under many different leaders, but they are retained the same goal: peace.
The group was first started by Yahiko and his two close friends, Nagato and Konan with the purpose of bringing peace to their war-torn nation, Amegakure. This ideal helped draw more attention with the villagers, and soon dozens of ninja began to join and the group grew in strength and size. Eventually, the group was approached by Tobi, masquerading as the famed Madara Uchiha, and offered his services and help in their effort. Yahiko didn't like the union and told "Madara" he wasn't interested, but this wasn't the last time the group would be asked to cooperate with another party. Hanzo, leader of the group's hometown Amegakure, was alerted to the group's growing attention and offered to help them make peace with Konohagakure, Sunagakure, and Iwagakure, helping to reach the group's goal. Unfortunately, the whole thing was a set up as Hanzo teamed up with Konoha's Danzo Shimura and betrayed the group, capturing Konan and making her their hostage. As soon as Yahiko and Nagato arrived they were surrounded by enemies and found out the only way Konan would be set free was if Yahiko took his own life. Nagato was repulsed by this, but Yahiko knew he wasn't destined to lead the Akatsuki and bring peace, so he ran into the kunai knife his friend was holding. As Yahiko fell to the ground, Nagato completely lost it and summoned the Gedo Mazou and its abilities to siphon away his enemy's life force. Reeling from the attack, Hanzo, Danzo, and their allies left but injured his legs to the point he couldn't stand.
Realizing Akatsuki's goal couldn't be met through their previous methods, now leader Nagato chose to take a different approach. Reanimating his friend through his Rinnegan abilities, Nagato chose to create the Six Paths of Pain and devote a different ability of the Rinnegan to each of the reanimated bodies. With a new found strategy, Nagato, through Pain, reached back out to "Madara" and with his help, intended to show the world devastating pain, enough so that no one would risk waging war for fear of witnessing that pain again. After the end of the Third Great Shinobi War, this new Akatsuki began contracting themselves as mercenaries as they rounded out to their staple ten members, all consisting of powerful rogue shinobi.
Nagato soon believed Akatsuki needed to take control of the ninja world to maintain peace, and implemented a three step plan to achieve that goal. First they needed to gather and raise funds for their organization. Next, they were to provide their mercenary services to other countries at low rates, ensuring that these countries would regularly hire them, eventually crippling the other nations economically and making their business obsolete. After they had undermined the great nations' power to their desired point, Akatsuki would swoop in and take control over the weakened nations.
Years passed, and the Akatsuki's plans were moving along smoothly. To better aide in the mercenary part of their plan, Akatsuki began to search out and find the Tailed Beasts, beings of massive chakra and destructive power. After they captured the Tailed Beasts, Akatsuki planned to create a powerful weapon with them, one strong enough to completely take out villages and cities with ease. With this weapon, Akatsuki would auction this weapon off to the highest bidder in times of conflict, making sure each country and nation knew the consequences of war and would do their best to prevent it. The first time the Akatsuki sent its members to capture a Tailed Beast was when Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki were sent to Konohagakure to capture the Nine-Tailed Fox demon housed inside Naruto Uzumaki. After running into some opposition, the two were forced to leave empty-handed and return to the Akatsuki lair, preparing the process to extract the other Tailed Beasts.
After two years pass, members Deidara and Sasori are sent to Sunagakure to abduct the One-Tailed beast from its host, Gaara. After a lengthy battle, Deidara emerged victorious and took Gaara from the village, taking him back to the group's hideout between Konoha and Suna. Once there, they begin the long process of extracting the Bijuu (Tailed Beast) from its host. As soon as they complete this, they run into Team Kakashi and Team Guy and in the ensuing fight, the hideout is destroyed and Sasori is killed. However, Pain had been using a technique so that all the members could meet up in one place, but only Deidara and Sasori were actually present in the hideout. By now all the major villages had been alerted to the danger the Akatsuki presented and were put on high alert, with villages ordered to attack anyone seen wearing the distinctive black coats with red clouds on sight. Regardless, Akatsuki's mission stayed the same and wasn't affected. Going in order of Tail number to make the sealing process easier, the group sent out the "Immortal Duo", consisting of Kakuzu and Hidan, to capture the Two-Tailed beast. As they led it's jinchuuriki Yu'gito Nii into a cavern, she revealed that it was actually her plan to lead and trap them there to take them out. Unfortunately for her, she wasn't aware of the duo's capabilities, and was defeated because of this. Zetsu then appears to take the body away as the "Immortal Duo" heads off to the Land of Fire to locate another jinchuuriki.
The duo believed they knew where to look for a jinchuuriki without having to enter Konohagakure, so they headed over to the Fire Temple, knowing them to house powerful shinobi. Once there, they encountered its leader, Chiriku, and defeated him along with all the other shinobi there, save for one. As soon as they were finished, Kakuzu chose to collect the bounty on Chiriku's head and headed off to a collection house, telling Hidan it was important because of his job as Akatsuki's money handler. The two collect the bounty and as they are leaving, they are attacked by a team consisting of Asuma Sarutobi, Shikamaru Nara, Izumo Kamizuki, and Kotetsu Hagane and a battle ensues. Although they had the early advantage because of their unique abilities, Hidan's was eventually figured out by Shikamaru, and although they took measures to counter it, Asuma lost his life. Before long another team came to assist the earlier Konoha team, but Kakuzu and Hidan were called back by Pain in order to seal away the recently captured Two-Tails.
The next assignment was for Deidara and his new partner Tobi to capture the Three-Tailed beast. Unlike the other jinchuuriki captured, this Bijuu wasn't sealed inside a human host and was living its life however it pleased. Deidara tasked the newcomer Tobi to deal with the creature by himself, telling him that if he was really Akatsuki, he wouldn't have any problem doing so. After tiring of seeing no progress, Deidara took out the beast with one of his clay pieces, created a bird piece for Tobi, and dragged the Three Tails to their hideout to be sealed.
In accordance to their agenda, the Four-Tailed beast was next on their list, and Kisame and Itachi were sent this time to obtain it. The two were victorious, and as they headed back to their hideout, large amounts of rain began to pour down. Itachi looked to the sky and began thinking, deciding that the time had come that his younger brother Sasuke had been gathering allies to challenge him, and after he and Kisame dropped off Four-Tails and its jinchuuriki, they headed off to one of the Uchiha Clan's hideouts to await the confrontation. Leaving Kisame as a bouncer to the hideout, only Sasuke was allowed forward and the two brothers prepared for their final fight. Engaging first in a battle of genjutsu, the two Uchihas eventually traversed into full on conflict, using all the taijutsu and ninjutsu skills they could muster. After the two brothers made their way to the roof of the hideout and were pretty much exhausted of chakra, Sasuke activated his trump card, calling forth a bolt of lightning from the sky and enhancing it with his chakra, destroying the hideout and mountain that housed it as well. Itachi managed to survive the attack with his own jutsu, Susanoo, a large chakra-based armor that wielded two spirit weapons. With his Susanoo, Itachi defeated the large snakes summoned by Sasuke's Curse Mark and rid him of Orochimaru's power. Defeated, Sasuke awaited the death blow, but was surprised when Itachi ran his fingers down his face, fell against a wall, and suddenly died. As Sasuke collapsed as well, Zetsu and Tobi arrived and transported both Uchihas away from the ruins of the hideout.
When Sasuke woke, Tobi told him that he was really "Madara Uchiha" in an attempt to gain his trust and cooperation. To further convince him, he told the younger Uchiha about the history of their clan and Itachi, stating that everything Itachi did, he did it to protect his younger brother and home village. He recounted the tragedies he and his brother faced when they were younger, the rise of the Uchiha clan, the segregation of their people from the rest of the Konoha villagers, leading all the way up to Itachi's and Sasuke's birth. The Uchiha clan soon grew tired of the treatment they were receiving and decided to overthrow the Konoha government. Caught between the two sides, Itachi chose to murder his family and loved ones to prevent a civil war between Uchiha and the rest of the village, and because of this he was able to save the young and innocent Sasuke. After his stories begin to make sense and connect with Sasuke, the younger Uchiha agrees to have his team join the Akatsuki, but only to help Sasuke get closer to the elders of Konoha in order to kill them. With the recent deaths in the organization, the help was welcomed, as only Zetsu, Kisame, Tobi, Konan, and Pain remained alive out of the original ten. It was at this time Tobi chose to reveal his other identity to Kisame, Pain, and Konan, and urge Pain to head to Konohagakure himself in order to obtain and capture the Nine-Tailed fox spirit while he sent off Sasuke and his team to capture the Eight-Tails. Sometime before Sasuke's fight with Itachi, the remaining Akatsuki members had captured the Five-Tails, Six-Tails, and Seven-Tails, and only needed these last two until they had captured all and were ready to move forward with their plans.
Pain headed out towards Konoha and killed every scout ninja stationed outside. Using the new Animal Path, Asura Path launched Animal Path over the walls and into the midst of village. On the way down she summoned the other Pain bodies to throw off the Konoha sensors in the village. The Pains then unloaded on the buildings and people of the village, using large summons and missiles to wreck havoc and destruction. Each Pain body went in search of any information of Naruto and the Nine-Tailed beast, fighting Konoha ninja along the way. Soon the Human Path found information after reading the mind of Shizune and learned that Naruto was off training with the Toad Sages on Mount Myoboku. With this information, the other Pain bodies regrouped as Deva path, in Yahiko's body, traveled to the Hokage's office and told them his plan, and that he intended to show them "pain". He used his powers to float high above the village and then in one overpowered blast, leveled the entire village, as he had no more need for it and absolutely no love for it. Right after the village was blasted away, though, Naruto was summoned back to the village with other large Toads to aide him.
Pain gathered his other bodies and faced off against Naruto, but was without his main offensive body after the major attack just prior. Using his summons and Preta Path, Pain did battle with Naruto and his Toad allies, but eventually was only left with Preta Path and Deva Path after Naruto managed to systematically defeat the other bodies. With his power now back, Deva Path used his gravitational powers to pull Naruto towards Preta Path and was "captured", being put in a headlock and having his chakra drained at the same time. Naruto used this chance to replenish his senjutsu chakra, which caused the Preta Path to turn into a stone toad. Seeing that Naruto's Toad Sage allies were preparing to use a powerful genjutsu, Deva Path used his powers to pull Fukasaku forward and kill him, using the shock of that moment to pin Naruto to the ground and stab him with his chakra receivers. Pain then decides to ask Naruto how he would rid the world of its hate, and when he can't provide an answer, Pain tells him his life story and conviction. Before he can take Naruto away and extract the Nine-Tails, though, Hinata Hyuga attempted to save Naruto by attacking Pain and taking out the chakra receivers. Pain wasn't bothered by her presence and made short work of her, striking her down right in front of Naruto. This caused the Nine-Tailed spirit inside of him to become active and release, breaking Naruto out of the receivers and entering his Six-Tailed chakra mode. This version proved to be too powerful for Pain, and soon he was overpowered and forced to use another one of his top tier jutsu, Chibaku Tensei. A black ball formed between his hands and he threw it towards the sky. Once high enough, the ball began to act as a gravitational magnet, pulling tons of material from the surface of the earth towards it until it created a satellite many times larger than a mountain. Nagato, controlling the bodies from afar, was scolded by Konan for using too much chakra but told her he needed to in order to complete the mission.
Naruto was able to break out of this as well, transforming as far as Eight Tails after losing more control of the seal on his stomach. Pain marveled at the strength of the beast, and then seemed surprised when it up and vanished. Naruto stood outside the satellite, again in Sage Mode, and prepared to face off for the last time against Pain as the satellite crumbled and fell around them. After dodging hundreds of his Shadow Clones, Pain finally fell to Naruto's "Rasengan". Naruto then used his Sage Mode to track the chakra signal back to a tower outside of Konoha and followed it to its source, finding a heavily injured Nagato and Konan inside.
Naruto questioned Nagato and tried to learn how a former student of the same sensei, Jiraiya, could turn out the way he did and think of a way to deal with him. In the end, Naruto was able to convince Nagato that he was Jiraiya's destined "Child of Prophecy" and that he could rid the world of its hate. Using a forbidden jutsu, Nagato was able to bring back everyone he had killed during his attack on the village, but at the cost of his own life. Konan took the chance to thank Naruto and give him a bouquet of flowers, telling him that with her two best friends now gone, she didn't have any reason to stay with Akatsuki. Taking the bodies of her two deceased friends, she left to her own devices.
At the same time Pain's attack was going on, Sasuke and his team, Team Taka, travel to Storm Cloud Ravine in the Land of Lightning to find and capture the Eight-Tailed Beast. They arrive and find its host, Killer Bee, practicing his skills at both ninjutsu and rapping. Sasuke tells his team to follow his lead and let him spearhead the attack, but after a short exchange he learns that Bee is super strong and manages to take away Suigetsu's Executioner's Blade in the process. After Sasuke successfully manages to return the sword back to his teammate, Bee jots down some rap lyrics before bringing out his own swords, eight short knife-like blades that he uses in both his hands, mouth, and even biceps. Sasuke sought the upper hand quickly by channeling his chakra through his katana but found that his enemy employed the same tactic, stopping any sort of earlier advantage on the Uchiha's part. With his unique fighting and sword style, Bee was able to impale Sasuke with his swords and send him flying back. Before he could finish him, Bee was interrupted by Sasuke's other teammates, allowing for them to hit him and hit him hard.
Bee took the hit, but managed to escape the area quickly without the team noticing. he was found out by Sasuke's sensory ally, Karin, and located the target fast enough to prevent him from getting too far away. Since Sasuke needed to be healed, other teammate Jugo used his Curse Mark abilities to transform and took the opportunity to engage Bee himself. After Sasuke was healed, he joined back in on the fight, but Bee underwent Tailed Beast transformation not soon after. He became the whole Eight-Tailed beast, an octopus with the upper body of a bull. The team was soon outmatched and Jugo, after using his own abilities to heal Sasuke a second time, transformed into a kid as a side effect. Suigetsu took to the water, combining himself with the nearby lake to become a giant water avatar and was holding the Eight-Tails back in order for the team to make a retreat. Sasuke, given new determination after seeing his teammates risk everything for him, used his new "Amaterasu" jutsu given to him by Itachi to attack the Eight-Tails. Despite the strain it put on his body, he kept the jutsu up until Bee transformed back into his human form, unconscious. Successful, the team took the jinchuuriki back to the Akatsuki hideout.
By now, Akatsuki's strength was greatly diminished. The only members still active were Sasuke and his three allies, Tobi, Kisame, and Zetsu after Pain's death and Konan's resignation and betrayal. On top of it all, when Tobi, Zetsu, and Kisame tried to extract the Eight Tails, they found out that it was a fake, just a small portion of a tentacle that Bee had replaced himself with during the fight. Greatly angered by this, Tobi located Sasuke and his team and told them the news, thinking they had betrayed Akatuski. The two came to an agreement, and Tobi informed Sasuke that the five Kage, leaders of the five great nations, were meeting in the Land of Iron. Tobi sent sasuke and his team to infiltrate the meeting, hoping they would manage to defeat the Kage's and greatly weaken the great nations. He also sent out Kisame to locate the real Eight-Tails and bring him back, knowing he wouldn't be fooled by the same trick as Team Taka was.
At the Kage Summit, Sasuke and his team reconvened outside, preparing to attack Danzo and question him about Itachi's true mission. As they navigate their way inside, one of Zetsu crashes the meeting and tells them that Sasuke has infiltrated the meeting and is inside somewhere. The Fourth Raikage charges out of the meeting room with his body guards, intent on killing the rogue Konoha shinobi for capturing his younger brother Bee. Sasuke runs into a group of samurai and ruthlessly slaughters them, a change in tone and mercy he had shown earlier against his enemies. The Raikage soon destroyed the ceiling above him, and the samurai fled to the back of the large room as Raikage and his allies fell down from the floor above the face Sasuke and his team. Sasuke charges forward but is stopped by Darui with a Water style jutsu, then hit with his Lightning style jutsu as he is sent backwards. Sasuke's team realizes the Cloud ninja have advanced intel on him, and soon the Raikage's other guard, Shee, uses a genjutsu that produces a bright white light. This briefly stunned the team, allowing Raikage to charge forward and pummel Sasuke, however this was the illusion. Since Sasuke had used his Sharingan to see through the technique, he allowed time for the Raikage and Darui to charge next to him and prepare to strike him down. They were intercepted by Suigetsu and Jugo, but Raikage proved too strong for them and broke Suigetsu's sword in two, as well as destroyed a portion of the ground where they had been fighting. Jugo realizes that Shee, staying in the back of the battlefield, is a sensory-type shinobi and transforms into his Curse Mark's second state, knowing they would have to kill Shee to allow Karin the chance to sense out Danzo. Raikage gets angered by their cockiness and punches Jugo hard enough to send him flaying into the back wall, barely able to prevent the Raikage's fist from going through his hand-shields. His efforts prove to be in vain, as Raikage manages to push his hand into Jugo's chest, apparently defeating him. Sasuke had dodged the attack and was gathering chakra while positioned on the wall above, but before Raikage can move towards him, Jugo surprises him by firing off over a dozen blasts at him from point-blank range. As he did this, Sasuke paralyzed Shee with his Sharingan, taking him out of the fight.
Raikage had actually dodged the attack and when he came back, he elbowed Jugo into the far wall, finally knocking him out for good. Sasuke takes this chance to strike at the Raikage, but his katana isn't strong enough pierce his Lightning Armor, so he resorts to his using his own "Chidori", which only manages to pierce his fingers into the Raikage's chest. Now within striking distance, Raikage grabs Sasuke and power slams him down into the ground, a move Darui notes had killed everyone it was used on. However, Sasuke managed to enact his Ribcage Susanoo to survive the attack. Darui finishes off Suigetsu by charging lightning chakra through his sword and stabbing him, paralyzing him because his body is made up of water, and returns to Shee to release the genjutsu. The two of them note that Raikage is increasing his power level to the max, hoping to use his speed to prevent Sasuke from keeping up with him. Raikage creates an afterimage of himself and dodges Sasuke's "Amaterasu" attack, landing behind him to attack with a karate chop to the neck. Before he can do so, Sasuke uses his skill with "Amaterasu" to coat his Susanoo with it, stopping the Raikage for a brief second to prevent catching on flame himself. After a brief second, he completely disregards the fire and hits Sasuke anyway, telling him not to underestimate him. Sasuke is knocked to the ground as the Raikage's arm catches fire but he continues to attack Sasuke, planning on taking his head off with a downward kick. Sasuke then uses "Amaterasu" again to create spikes facing upward towards the Raikage's legs but is he still determined to attack, only stopped by the intervention of Gaara's sand.
The other Sand Siblings helped save the samurai and defend against Sasuke as Gaara took the time to talk some sense into Sasuke, doing his best to bring him out of the darkness and back into the light. Sasuke rejects the light and his Susanoo evolves, growing from a ribcage to a whole upper body. He uses its swords to slash at the supports holding the ceiling and makes his way up as the room caves in, however he forgets his teammates and leaves them behind. After he makes his way to the higher levels, Sasuke runs into the other Kage and battles the Fifth Mizukage and her bodyguard Chojuro. He makes extensive use of his Susanoo to defend against lava attacks and Chojuro's sword, but his new ability starts to take it's toll on him, causing him to nearly black out and his eyesight to waver. He eventually comes into contact with the Third Tsuchikage and nearly dies from his jutsu, but is saved by Tobi phasing him out of the way. Tobi then tells the gathered Kages that he intends on starting a war and if they don't surrender and hand over the Nine and Eight Tails, he wouldn't spare any of them. The Kage obviously reject, so Tobi declares war on them and leaves with Sasuke.
After Tobi takes Sasuke and Karin to his Kamui dimension to heal and recover, he finds Danzo and his body guards near a bridge outside of the Land of Iron. He has a short fight with his bodyguards, loses and arm, but ultimately manages to kidnap both of them and send them away to the Kamui dimension. Once there were taken care of, Tobi called back Sasuke and Karin so that Sasuke could get his answers from Danzo.
The fight starts off with Sasuke easily grabbing Danzo with his Susanoo, prompting the old man to answer his questions about Itachi and refusing to release him until he did so. Instead, Danzo chose to say things that further angered Sasuke, so he chose to crush the older man with his Susanoo's hand, making Sasuke believe he had rid the world of the stand-in Hokage. Sasuke was soon surprised, though, to find Danzo still alive, and that every time he dealt damage to him, Danzo seemed to simply erase the damage and come back unharmed. Karin soon told him that every time Danzo "came back" and reversed the damage done to him, one of the Sharingan on his arm would close and deduced that each Sharingan allowed Danzo to erase any damage done to him within the time frame of a minute. Sasuke soon mixed things up after Danzo started to get the upper hand, and soon found himself facing his giant summoned elephant that could produce strong force winds by sucking air inside its mouth. The young Uchiha used this to his advantage to power up his "Fireball Jutsu", effectively taking out the summon and bringing him into close range of Danzo. The two stabbed each other with a "Chidori Sword" and a Wind-style enhanced kunai, both dealing intense damage. Danzo thought he had the fight in the bag until the last Sharingan one his arm was revealed to be closed; Sasuke had used a Genjutsu that made him believe the eye was open and that he could use his technique again. Danzo still had Shisui's eye in reserve, but wanted to use that on Madara (Tobi in the background) so he instead chose to take Karin hostage in order to let Sasuke allow him to leave. He underestimated Sasuke, though, and the Uchiha shot a "Chidori Spear" right through Karin's shoulder to pierce Danzo's heart. As he was dieing, Danzo tried to take out Tobi and Sasuke with an explosion seal on his body, which would trap the two and kill them. Tobi's ability allowed the two of them to escape, and not soon after, Sakura Haruno appeared with the intent of joining Sasuke, all with the ulterior motive of killing him though. Just before Sasuke could strike at her, Kakashi Hatake and Naruto joined the fray. The two old friends have a brief exchange in which Sasuke tells Naruto he'd be the one to kill him before Tobi takes him away to heal again and transplant Itachi's Sharingan into Sasuke's to further strengthen him.
As Sasuke was attacking the Kage Summit, Kisame made his way to Killer Bee, who was hiding in the Land of Lightning and training with Sabu and Ponta. When Killer Bee asks how he was found, Kisame tells him that he just had Samehada track his chakra scent because it was so large. Telling Kisame that he is intruding on land that isn't his, Sabu and Ponta rush in to attack, but are easily overpowered and thrown back. Bee attempted to attack Kisame with a V-2 jinchuuriki state attack, but Kisame absorbed his chakra with Samehada, so the attack fizzled and was easily blocked. The two continued to attack back and forth, with each time Samehada absorbing more of Bee's chakra every time he charged at him, until Bee took him by surprise and landed a hit before his chakra was stolen.
Kisame was severely injured to the point where his ribcage was showing, but Samehada proved invaluable again - with the chakra it was able to steal from Bee, the shark-skin sword gave the energy right back to Kisame and healed him. With enough strength now, Kisame used a Water-style move that flooded the entire area they were fighting in, creating a dome as large as the surrounding mountains. Kisame revealed the secret of his and Samehada's relationship, in that he can fuse with the sword to become a half-shark, half-human hybrid. Now more shark than man, Kisame had the upper hand in the water, coupled with the fact that the dome always positioned him in the center no matter where he swam. The dome also slowly drained Bee's and Sabu's chakra while they were in the water, made worse by the fact that they also were running out of breath. Bee was informed by Hachibi that the dome followed Kisame around as he swam in it, and decided to leave him away from Sabu and Ponta in order to release them from the water and save them. Kisame anticipated this, however, and jetted straight for the man and large raccoon, prompting Bee to turn around and try to intercept him.
This went according to Kisame's plan, however, as he quickly turned on Bee when he came close enough. Bee then partially transformed and grabbed Kisame with octopus tentacles, swimming away from Ponta and Sabu and releasing them from the water. However, Kisame absorbed some more of his chakra, being able to do that by mere physical touch now that he is fused with Samehada. As Bee weakened, he tricked Kisame by spraying the water with ink before trying to race away to safety. Kisame tracked him down and repeatedly hit him until Bee was knocked unconscious. With no more need for the water dome, Kisame dropped the technique and fused back to his normal self in order to transport Bee back to the Akatsuki hideout. Kisame decided to cut off Bee's legs to prevent him from somehow waking and attempting to escape, but was stopped by Samehada, who had taken a liking to Bee because of his particular chakra. Outraged, Kisame kicked Samehada out of the way, but not before the sword could give some chakra to Bee to revitalize him. At this time, the Fourth Raikage and his bodyguards arrived to help, noting that they could see the water dome from miles away, on top of sensing his and Bee's chakra. The two brothers team up and, before Kisame can perform a jutsu, decapitate him with their signature Lariat attack. While they were in the dome, though, Kisame switched his body out with a White Zetsu clone, so he himself wasn't actually killed. Using Samehada's newfound admiration with Bee, Kisame decided to use this to his advantage, hiding inside the sword as it now traveled with Bee.
With the secret now out about Tobi being the legendary "Madara", the five great nations decided to all join forces for the first time in history, prompting Tobi to speed up his plans earlier than expected. Gathering what he needed for the war, Tobi was soon approached by Kabuto Yakushi with the proposal of an alliance. Kabuto has recently learned the "Edo Tensei" jutsu, an ability that allows the user to bring back the dead, and offers Tobi the deceased Akatsuki members and other various strong ninja throughout history as a way of increasing the Akatsuki's war strength. Tobi refuses, but when Kabuto reveals he has the actual body of Madara Uchiha ready to be revived, Tobi reluctantly agrees and shows Kabuto his Zetsu army, cloned from the Gedo Mazou under their lair. Now with the added strength of various S-class threat level ninja, some former Kages, and 100,000 Zetsu bodies, the Fourth Great Shinobi War begins.
Tobi starts by sending the Zetsu out underground to various battlefields in order to find Naruto and Killer Bee, the last two jinchuuriki he needs to complete his plan, accompanied by the ninja revived by Kabuto above ground. The first day and night of fighting sees tremendous losses to both sides, with each losing about half of their total forces. The white Zetsu, however, already outnumbered the collective ninja army by about 30,000, so even though they both lost the same proportion of their forces, the Akatsuki still had a numbers advantage. Due to Zetsu's ability to transform into anybody, they started to impersonate some members of the Ninja Alliance they killed and infiltrated their camps, stealing information and spreading distrust throughout the Allied army.
Elsewhere, the Ninja Alliance thought it best to keep Naruto and Bee out of the war for the sole purpose of removing any chance of the Akatsuki finding them, so the two were sent on a "secret mission" to the Land of Lightning's floating Island Turtle. There, Naruto trained to master and control the Nine-Tails chakra inside of him, and once he did, he gained incredible new sensing abilities. However, with these new abilities, Naruto was able to sense Kisame inside of Samehada, forcing him to reveal himself and attempt to flee the island. Before he could reach the ocean and escape, he's intercepted by Might Guy and the two have another rematch from Kisame's first visit to Konohagakure. Kisame is defeated and captured, but before the ninja on the island could extract any information from him, he breaks his restraints, traps himself in a "Water Prison" jutsu, and summons sharks to kill himself, believing that selling out one's comrades should never be tolerated. His sacrifice wouldn't be in vain, however, as the information he gathered and had stowed in a summoned shark's mouth escaped and found it's way to Tobi back at the Akatsuki headquarters.
With the information about the whereabouts of Naruto and Bee, Kabuto decided to take matters into his own hands, summoning Deidara and using him to locate the island in hopes of capturing the two jinchuuriki. On the way, they run into Ohnoki and his bodyguards before releasing a cloned Manda to take out the Turtle, slipping it on it's back and forcing the ninja on the island to come outside to combat the intruders. During the fighting, Yamato is captured and the fighting outside causes Naruto and Bee to realize the truth behind their "secret mission". The two escape the island, and after an encounter with a group of Zetsu, Tobi is informed of their presence and focuses his attention on them.
They all dress in the same clothing but some a little different. It is a long black coat with red clouds on it, they also have their nails and toenails polished, and when they're on a mission they often wear decorated straw hats. The team still wear the head band from their former village, but a scratch through the symbol that symbolizes their severance from that village; although some members' headbands aren't visible.
Every single Akatsuki member wears a ring, the total rings are ten and every last one of them is unique. Tobi wanted to be a member because he found Sasori's ring, Zetsu says its not going to be easy but he does indeed join and becomes part of the Akatsuki. When Deidara loses both of his arms, he is more concerned in finding the ring instead of finding a new arm. When Orochimaru leaves the Akatsuki, he took the ring with him and didn't give it back. Each ring holds a symbol of their nickname in Japanese characters. No ring can be on the same finger as someone else, each have their own ring to put on one finger.
The right thumb is Pein and his kanji is "Zero" which is on his ring in Japanese characters. The right index finger is Deidara and his kanji is the "Azure Dragon". The right middle finger is Konan and her kanji is called "White Tiger". The right ring finger is Itachi Uchiha and his kanji is "Vermilion Bird". The right pinkie finger is Zetsu and his kanji is "Black Tortoise". The left pinkie finger is formerly Orochimaru's and his kanji is "Void". The left ring finger is Kisame Hoshigaki and his kanji is "South Star". The left middle finger is Kakuzu and his kanji is the "North Star". Hidan's kanji is "Three Levels" and his is the left index finger. The left thumb worn by Tobi formerly Sasori, is called Virgin.