Nagato , known primarily under the alias of Pain , is a fictional character in the manga and anime series Naruto created by Masashi Kishimoto. Nagato appears as the acting leader of the Akatsuki who wish to capture the tailed beasts sealed into various shinobi around the shinobi world. After he works behind the scenes and seals most of the beasts within a statue, Nagato’s superior gives him the mission to capture the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox sealed inside the series’ protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki(whom he turns out to be related to).Before leaving to capture Naruto, Nagato engages in a mortal battle with his former mentor, Jiraiya. His past as a child who lost his parents and best friend during war is explored. Due to his traumatic experiences related to the conflicts from the ninja village, Nagato aims to create a new world that does not have to suffer from the chaos of wars. Nagato also appears in the series’ video games, reprising his role from Naruto.
Nagato was conceived by Kishimoto as a villain, a victim of war, who would show Naruto the impact of world wars, something Kishimoto aimed to explore throughout the series. While Nagato does not fight in the story, he uses a group of corpses known as “The Six Paths of Pain” . All of them were given an elaborated design with multiple piercings across their bodies to reinforce the idea that despite his calm demeanor, Nagato is a dangerous person. Several voice actors have voiced Nagato and the Six Paths of Pain in both the English and the Japanese animated adaptations of the series.
Critical response to Nagato’s character has been generally positive because of the chaos he creates throughout the story, including the murder of Jiraiya and the destruction of an entire village while chasing Naruto. His eventual fight against Naruto has been regarded as one of the best battles in the entire series. This is due not only to the techniques used by both fighters, but because of their interactions in relation to the chaos of wars. Because of this, Kishimoto was able to bring more depth to a series aimed at a young demographic.