Since his introduction in Naruto chapter 372: The Crying Land in 2007, Nagato, and his alias Pain, have been one of the most popular villains and antagonists of Naruto Shippūden.
Overwhelmingly powerful in his introduction, with a compelling backstory and ideology, as well as an iconic design, especially as the Paths of Pain, Nagato has remained one of the most enduring characters introduced in the latter half of the Naruto manga.
And that is at least in part to his unique eyes: The Rinnegan.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the things that make the Rinnegan so powerful, as well as about their wielder and his story, and explain how exactly Nagato came to own one of the most powerful sets of eyes in the Naruto universe.
The Rinnegan itself is a powerful ocular power passed down by bloodline in the world of Naruto, and its the most powerful of the three ocular bloodlines, known as Dōjutsu.
Many characters in Naruto have attempted to gain access to this legendary power. And that’s for good reason, as every character who has wielded these eyes have been some of the most powerful characters in the story Naruto.
For starters, the Rinnegan gives the user an enormous boost to the power of their chakra, and superb vision that allows them to see the flow of chakra around them, both in nature and in other people.
The Dōjutsu also give them access to use and master all the basic five elemental nature transformations: Fire, Lightning, Wind, Water, and Earth, something that only a handful of characters in Naruto can achieve, even with decades of training and experience.
However, this amazing ability is just the tip of the iceberg.
Having the Rinnegan also gives the wielder a whole range of unique abilities that are unique to the Rinnegan, known as Six Paths Techniques, something only another Rinnegan Wielder or someone with Six Path’s chakra can do.
- The Deva Path allows the user to control forces of repulsion and attraction, a terrifying power when used on the offensive.
- The Asura Path allows a person to make mechanical modifications to their body that give them extra speed and strength.
- The Naraka Path allows a person to access the gates and King of Hell, able to absorb information from a target by absorbing their soul.
- The Preta Path allows the user to absorb the chakra of others and can dispel or absorb their opponent’s chakra attacks.
- The Animal Path allows the wielder to summon powerful creatures to aid them in whatever they are trying to accomplish
- The human Path allows them to absorb a person’s soul.
- The Outer Path allows them to send and receive chakra from others, as well as resurrect those that have died.
This is just a fragment of the long list of abilities that the Rinnegan offers. It’s no surprise that they are so sort after.
Nagato: Orphan Of The Hidden Rain
Nagato himself, as a child who grew up during the Second Shinobi World War, was a victim of that conflict. His parents were killed in front of him by two ninjas from Konoha,
and would be forced to bury them and survive on his own. Eventually, he would find other orphan children like him, Konan and Yahiko. They promised each other that they would find a way to end all wars and create lasting peace.
To accomplish this, they would seek tutelage from the most powerful ninja that was around in the aftermath of the 2nd Shinobi World War, the Legendary Sannin of Konoha.
Jiraiya, the Toad Sage, would go on to teach them how to take care of themselves. Upon discovering Nagato’s Rinnegan, Jiraiya believed that he was the Child of Prophecy, who help usher in world peace.
However, as both war and time took their toll on Nagato, he would become disillusioned with his ideals, the death of Yahiko only cementing that chasing peace was a fool’s dream.
Nagato’s Rinnegan, All That Is Seems?
For the longest time, it was assumed that the Rinnegan was a bloodline ability that was exclusive to Nagato, whether because he was at one point considered the Child of Prophecy, or due to his Uzumaki heritage.
However, as more information about the world of Naruto was shown, and its history was explained, we came to see that this was not the case.
It was eventually revealed that Nagato’s Rinnegan were originally those of Madara Uchiha, who had gained access to the Dōjutsu shortly before his death, transplanting them into Nagato without him even realizing it.
The exact reason for this is unclear, but the reason that he chose Nagato as his eye’s host was due to his strong life force, as a descendant of the Uzumaki, that would both allow him to survive the transplant and be able to use the eyes to some degree.
The fact that he lived in a then-obscure village made Nagato as a host-only more appealing.
Nagato’s Rinnegan After His Death
Nagato’s Rinnegan would be buried along with him. When the Akatsuki member Tobi, later revealed to be Obito Uchiha, was preparing for the 4th Shinobi World, and needed the Rinnegan to complete his goals.
He would kill Konan, who had been guarding his grave in just such an event, in a lengthy battle that would rob him of one of his eyes, and have one of Nagato’s eyes transplanted into him to replace it.
Obito would go on to create his own Six Paths for the Shinobi World War with this power that he had stolen.
So, Nagato’s eyes were never his own, but a pair that had been transplanted into him as part of Madara Uchiha’s grand plan to end human conflict and strife.
Still, even with a pair of eyes that were not his own, Nagato was able to become one of the most powerful ninjas in his day, with his invasion of Konoha showing the power of someone with even a borrowed pair of Rinnegan could achieve.
It was only with the victory of Naruto Uzumaki over pain, and being able to show him that his path to peace was flawed, that the Rinnegan did not totally destroy the village.