Naruto: Pain – Who Is Pain & Best Quotes, Explained

Almighty Push!

Pain from Naruto

The world of Naruto is filled with many unique Shinobi taking the roles of valuable Sensei, beloved comrade, and fearsome antagonist. One of the most memorable villains throughout the story is the individual known as Pain, but he’s quite a complex character, so it can take some time to wrap your head around his entire backstory and persona. Follow along below to learn everything you’ll need to know about the orange-haired Amegakure Shinobi and discover some of his most memorable quotes.

Who is Pain in Naruto? Explained

Naruto Shippuden The Six Paths of Pain
Image Source: Pierrot via Crunchyroll

Pain is one of the strongest characters in the Naruto franchise, and this is largely due to the fact that he has not one, but six different bodies known as “the Six Paths of Pain”. These Six Paths are corpses controlled by one individual from afar using Chakra receptors in their skin that resemble metal piercings, and boast special skills like multiple different Jutsu which are split up between bodies; shared sight via copies of the Rinnegan; and near invincibility so long as their Chakra receptors aren’t damaged.

Nagato in Naruto
Image Source: Studio Pierrot

The person controlling the Six Paths is a Shinobi from the Hidden Rain Village named Nagato. Crippled by past battles and unable to move on his own, he is the inheritor of the Rinnegan and one of the few remaining apprentices of Jiraiya. His worldview was twisted by the loss of his close friend Yahiko, who acts as the main body of the Six Paths.

Pain’s Backstory in Naruto, Explained

Jiraiya with Konan, Nagato, and Yahiko
Image Source: Studio Pierrot

How Yahiko died is laid out in a flashback by Nagato, which acts as Pain’s backstory.

During the Second Shinobi World War, Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade stumbled across a trio of children in the enemy Hidden Rain Village orphaned by the war. The three are named Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan. After noticing that these children were struggling to get by and fending for themselves by stealing what little they could, Jiraiya opted to stay behind in the Hidden Rain Village to teach them how to survive as shinobi.

For the next three years, Jiraiya became a Sensei to the trio. He taught them how to hunt for food, trained them in combat skills and Ninjutsu, and ensured they knew how powerful a close friendship could be. Jiraiya embraced each orphan’s talents, encouraged them when hesitant, and taught them how to step up as young Shinobi.

Konan, Yahiko,and Nagato
Image Source: Studio Pierrot

After these three years of training, Jiraiya left the orphans to return to the Hidden Leaf. During his absence, the trio formed the organization known as the Akatsuki. Led by Yahiko, it operated with the intention of bringing peace to the Hidden Rain, as the village always found itself in the crossfire of war due to its power-hungry leader.

Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan
Image Source: Studio Pierrot

Tragically, Hanzo, the leader of the Hidden Rain at the time, saw the rising Akatsuki and their ideals as a threat to his position. He conspired with Danzo Shimura to eliminate Yahiko himself and destroy the group’s morale.

After ensnaring them in a trap, Hanzo gave the two an ultimatum: If Nagato didn’t kill Yahiko, the two could watch Konan be slaughtered in front of them. Not wanting Nagato to bear the pain of killing his best friend, Yahiko drove himself into the Kunai in Nagato’s hand without hesitation, causing a fatal wound. In his last moments, Yahiko told Nagato to continue their mission of bringing peace.

The internal pain that Nagato felt from this tragic event caused him to snap, and he then used his Rinnegan to summon the Gedo Mazo. This drained his life force, and when paired with the injuries sustained in his battle with Hanzo, he was left crippled and unable to move on his own.

After being taken to safety by Konan, Nagato then turned Yahiko’s lifeless body into the Diva Path of Pain and collected five other corpses of powerful Shinobi to form the Asura, Human, Animal, Preta, and Naraka Paths. He also modified each of these bodies by dying their hair to match his beloved friend Yahiko’s natural hair color, keeping the leader of the Akatsuki alive in his own twisted, tragic way.

His outlook on life was also corrupted by his experiences. Because of this, Nagato began to adopt a mindset that peace was only obtainable through destroying the world, and that people would only strive for peace if they experienced pain on par with his own. He also genuinely believed that war is humanity’s natural state and that he must save the world from itself, hence labeling the Six Paths with the alias of “Pain.”

Did Madara and Obito Help Set up Yahiko’s Death? Answered

Yahiko dying in Nagato's arms
Image Source: Studio Pierrot

As it turns out though, the event of Yahiko’s death and Nagato’s corruption were orchestrated by some of the series’ other villains.

Obito Uchiha, acting under the alias of Madara, planned to awaken Nagato’s Rinnegan in the rawest and most painful way possible in order to nudge him toward collecting the Tailed Beasts for a less peaceful master plan. He then went on to influence Nagato, reforming the Akatsuki as a terrorist organization which could help bring about the “Eye of the Moon” plan he’d been working toward with the real Madara.

Pain’s Best Quote’s in Naruto, Listed

Pain is perhaps the most philosophical character in the entire Naruto franchise, with several significant quotes uttered while he’s in the spotlight. We’ve rounded up the very best quotes that are emotionally moving, badass, or just plain terrifying. Keeping Nagato’s history in mind, some of these quotes cut deep and are extremely chilling in context.

  • “All the pain forced me to grow up.”
  • “When I had nothing and no one, I always had pain.”
  • Love is the reason why there is pain. When we lose someone precious to us, hate is born. Vengeance is the product of that hate and so death follows. But in death there is only more death.
  • “if there is justice in vengeance, then justice will breed only more vengeance. And trigger a cycle of hatred”
  • Just by livingpeople hurt others without even realizing it. So long as humanity exists, hate will also exist.
  • “Those who do not understand true pain can never understand true peace.”
  •  “This unbearable pain will give rise to momentary peace. That is my dream and my goal.”
  • “Religion, ideology, resources, land, spite, love or just because… No matter how pathetic the reason, it’s enough to start war.”
  • If you kill someone, someone else will kill you… this hatred binds us together. I want you to feel pain, to think about pain, to accept pain, to know pain.
  • “Naruto, I believe you of all people… can.”

That’s everything you need to know about the character of Pain in Naruto. Now that you know his origins, why not take our fun Akatsuki quiz to find out which member of this evil organization you’re most similar to? You might have more in common with this guy than you think!

About the author

Grace Black

Grace is a writer, digital artist, and character illustrator from New Zealand with a love for fiction and storytelling. Grace has been writing for Twinfinite for seven months and in the games industry for a year. She's a horror enthusiast, occasional anime enjoyer, and die-hard Ghost-Type Pokemon fangirl. Her favorite video games include Overwatch 2, Life is Strange, The Last of Us, and Pokemon - all of which she will never tire of.