One thing I really like to do is watch Japanese anime, and one of my favorite shows to watch is Naruto. Naruto is a Japanese manga series that tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who searches for recognition from the people of his village and has dreams of becoming Hokage (the “chief” of the village, so to speak).
Throughout the series, Naruto and his band of ninjas from the Leaf Village encounter numerous threats from outside their borders. One such threat is from a band of rogue ninjas called The Akatsuki, which means “Dawn” or “Daybreak”. Upon watching an episode of where Naruto and company engaged the Akatsuki, I couldn’t help but marvel from the design of the anime characters, as well as the scripted fighting scenes. I really like the Akatsuki because they to have their own unique powers, and have their own background story.
This is one member of the Akatsuki named Deidara. He is a rogue ninja from the hidden stone village who specializes in clay sculptures that he can manipulate to move freely and explode. He considers it “art”, and that it is the strongest form of art. As you can see, he has what it appears to be mouths on his hands, which he uses to chew and mold his “explosive” clay. He can mold his clay into animal-like sculptures, which he can manipulate at will.
The picture above is of another Akatsuki member named Sasori. He is a rogue ninja from the Hidden Sand Village, is a puppet master. Considered an art, ninjas that practice mastering puppets need to collect resources to build their puppets. Sasori does this to a huge extent that he uses other people’s corpses!
The one above is my favorite member of the Akatsuki! His name is Hidan, and he is from the hidden steam village. He has a unique ability of immortality, and can link his bodies to others after he ingests his victims blood. Once that is done, his body takes the form of a skeleton, where he then makes a pentagram on the ground where he needs to stand to complete his “ritual”. He would then puncture himself with a spear-like ritual weapon, inflicting pain and death on his linked-opponents.
Watching an episode featuring the Akatsuki sparked ideas of what my next art activity would be. I really took interest in the design and ideas behind these band of rogue ninjas that I decided I wanted to recreate it, featuring me and my friends as new band of rogue ninjas. I used pencil, graphite, charcoal and finished off with using a pen to make these portraits. We’re the next generation, and we’re called the “Okami” translated means “wolf”. Choosing this as our band title is an illustration that we try to stay together in a pack and perform similar missions of the Akatsuki, as in terms of assassinations, sabotage and chaos.
The above picture is me as a member of The Okami. My name is Raion, which means lion, and I’m a rogue ninja from the Hidden Leaf Village. I have the stolen Sword of the Land of Fire (a large area of land that encompasses the Village Hidden in the Leaves). I’m a swords master, as well as skilled fighter that can use ninjutsu and taijutsu effectively. My background story was that I abandoned my village due to disagreements I found with their politics and performed multiple raids, sabotage missions and assassinations revolving around corrupt politicians.
Here is a picture of my best friend Danny as a member of The Okami, and his name is Fantomu (translated meaning “phantom”). Being a rogue ninja from the Hidden Grass Village, he was exiled for his experimentation and mechanical creations. He’s responsible for multiple top assinations and is considered a terrorist among his people. As you can see, he has a multi-purpose cannon-like arm that he had built after a malfunctioning detonation of an explosive he built. However, with this gadget and his innovation to bombing tactics, he is considered one of the most lethal Okami members.
Known for his stealth and witty remarks, above is my friend Jake, who we sometimes (used to) call “Jake the Snake”. His name in this universe is Hebi, which means “Snake” translated into English, and is a descendant of the Hidden Sand Village. What you see on his back is a large urn which contains gases he can manipulate using chakra (concentrated and manipulated energy that creates an effect that could not be done otherwise, like walking on water, exhaling fire, creating illusions). He can manipulate the gases in his urn to fight and kill his opponents. He can release toxic gases or create armies at his will. He is responsible for killing the Kazekage (the “chief” of the Hidden Sand Village), and is considered an S-rank ninja (similar to FBI’s or CIA’s most wanted).
Last member (but more will be added) is my friend Alejandro. Quick note, this one is not completed yet, but he is depicted as a member of the Okami known as Sunaipa (meaning “Sniper”) and that’s his ninja hound Tagetto (meaning “Target”). One of his weapons he has at his disposal (which I haven’t finished drawing yet) is a high-tech, personal rifle responsible for the massacre of his hometown located in the Hidden Mist Village. He also has his ninja-hound Tagetto, who he used during his massacre to track anyone trying to escape. Tagetto, with the help from Sunaipa’s chakra, can manipulate his own size and strength, and is a sensory type where he can sniff out and track his enemies from miles away. Neighboring villages and nations were informed of the massacre after his escape.