Anko Mitarashi is one of the supporting characters in the anime Naruto Shippuden. She is a special jonin of the hidden leaf village, Konoha, and a former student of Orochimaru, one of the legendary Sannin and a rogue ninja.
She is known for her cheerful and energetic personality, her love for dango (a sweet dumpling), and her hatred for snakes. She is also a skilled and fearless ninja, who specializes in snake-based techniques and tracking skills.
In this article, we will explore the background, personality, abilities, and role of Anko Mitarashi, and how she contributed to the events of Naruto Shippuden.
All about Anko Mitarashi
- Birthdate: October 24
- Sex: Female
- Age: Part I: 24/Part II: 28
- Height: Part I: 167 cm
- Weight: Part I: 45.8 kg
- Blood type: A
- Occupation: Chūnin Exams Proctor/Academy Teacher/Genin Exams Proctor
- Affiliation: Konohagakure/Ryūchi Cave/Allied Shinobi Forces
- Team: Team Orochimaru/Kaima Capture Team/Infiltration and Reconnaissance Party
Anko Mitarashi’s Background
When she was a genin, Anko was on a team led by Orochimaru. Their team took part in the Chūnin Exams; during the second round, they confronted a team consisting of Hayate Gekkō, Ibiki Morino, and Tokara.
Orochimaru took a strong interest in Anko, teaching her several of his signature jutsu and, in the anime, what he’d learned about immortality. Orochimaru eventually used Anko as a test subject for his Cursed Seal of Heaven. Of the ten subjects, Anko was the only survivor.
In the anime, Anko refused to continue following Orochimaru after she received her cursed seal. Unwilling to kill her because she was so valuable as a research subject, Orochimaru altered Anko’s memory so she would believe she’d been abandoned for lacking the ideal drive to fuel the cursed seal.
She always held a grudge against Orochimaru for what he did and believed it was her responsibility, as his former student, to stop his criminal actions.
Anko Mitarashi’s Personality
Anko is noted to be similar to Naruto Uzumaki, both being loud, stubborn, and prone to acting without thinking. Naruto himself is somewhat unsettled by her because, when he mocked her during their first meeting, her immediate response was to throw a kunai at him and lick the blood from his resulting wound.
Despite her personality quirks, Anko has a strong commitment to her village and mission, often choosing to face threats alone in order to buy time for her allies to escape or for backup to arrive.
This is particularly true in matters relating to Orochimaru: although she admired him when she was a child and aspired to be like him when she was older, she now believes it is her obligation to use the same jutsu he taught her to bring him to justice. The Third Hokage insists that Anko shouldn’t blame herself for anything that Orochimaru does.
The Early Years of Anko Mitarashi
Anko Mitarashi was born in Konoha during the era of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi. She was orphaned at a young age and had no relatives or friends. She was lonely and desperate for attention and recognition. She enrolled in the Ninja Academy, where she showed great potential and talent. She graduated at the age of 10 and became a genin.
Anko was then selected by Orochimaru, one of the most powerful and respected ninjas in Konoha, to be his apprentice. She was overjoyed and honored by this opportunity, and she admired Orochimaru as her mentor and idol.
She trained under him along with two other students, Kabuto Yakushi and Kimimaro Kaguya. She learned various ninjutsu techniques from Orochimaru, especially those involving snakes.
However, Anko soon realized that Orochimaru was not the kind and noble teacher she thought he was. He was actually a cruel and twisted man, who experimented on his students and used them as guinea pigs for his forbidden jutsu.
He also had a secret agenda to overthrow Konoha and achieve immortality. He branded Anko with his Cursed Seal of Heaven, a mark that enhanced her chakra but also corrupted her mind and body.
Anko was horrified by Orochimaru’s true nature and intentions, and she tried to escape from him. However, Orochimaru caught her and tried to kill her, but he spared her life after seeing that her Cursed Seal was defective and did not activate.
He abandoned her in the Forest of Death, a dangerous area filled with deadly traps and beasts. He also told her that she was worthless and weak, and that he had no use for her anymore.
Anko was traumatized by this experience, and she developed a deep hatred and fear for Orochimaru and snakes. She also felt guilty and ashamed for being his student, and she blamed herself for his crimes. She vowed to never use his techniques again, and to dedicate her life to stopping him.
Anko Mitarashi’s Appearance
Anko is an average-sized, young woman who was of slender frame. She has light brown, pupil-less eyes. Her hair – black with a blue tint in the manga and violet in the anime – is styled in a short, spiky, fanned-out ponytail.
She usually wears a custom-made outfit that is crafted of thin metal mesh to fit the lines of her body, that covers her from neck to thigh. Over this, she typically wears a tan overcoat with a purple in-seam and a pocket on each side, a dark orange mini-skirt, a dark blue belt, and pale grey shin guards. In addition to the typical forehead protector, she also wears a small pendant that looks like a snake fang.
As a child, Anko wore a sleeveless chainmail mesh shirt, chainmail armbands that reached to her elbows, dark shorts, and knee-length boots. Though during her time as a preteen when following Orochimaru in the anime, she instead wears a brown-red t-shirt with bracelets, white shorts and chainmail leggings.
Years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, she puts on weight and starts wearing red lipstick. Her chainmail bodysuit is replaced with an orange blouse with a white coat cape over it.
The Chunin Exams Arc
Anko made her first appearance in Naruto Shippuden during the Chunin Exams arc. The Chunin Exams were a series of tests that determined the promotion of genin (the lowest rank of ninja) to chunin (the intermediate rank of ninja). The exams were held in Konoha, and they attracted many participants from different villages.
Anko was assigned as the proctor of the second test, which took place in the Forest of Death. She explained the rules of the test to the genin teams: each team had to obtain two scrolls (one heaven scroll and one earth scroll) from other teams within five days, while surviving the dangers of the forest. She also warned them about the possibility of encountering Orochimaru, who had infiltrated the exams under a disguise.
Anko then encountered Orochimaru herself, who had attacked Sasuke Uchiha, one of the main protagonists of Naruto Shippuden. Sasuke was a member of Team 7, along with Naruto Uzumaki (the host of the Nine-Tailed Fox) and Sakura Haruno (a medical ninja). Orochimaru had given Sasuke his Cursed Seal of Heaven, hoping to make him his next vessel.
Anko recognized Orochimaru’s presence and confronted him. She tried to fight him, but she was easily overpowered by him. She also tried to persuade Sasuke to resist his Cursed Seal, but she failed to do so. She then witnessed Orochimaru’s true face, which he had hidden under a mask. She was shocked and terrified by his appearance, which had become more snake-like due to his experiments.
Kakashi was also the leader of Team 7, who had replaced their original leader Jiraiya (another legendary Sannin and a former teammate of Orochimaru).
Kakashi used his Sharingan eye (a unique ocular ability that he had obtained from Obito) to suppress Sasuke’s Cursed Seal. He also confronted Orochimaru, who retreated after seeing Kakashi’s Sharingan.
Anko then reported Orochimaru’s presence and actions to Hiruzen Sarutobi, who was still the Third Hokage at the time. She also revealed her past as Orochimaru’s student, and she offered to resign from her position as a ninja.
However, Hiruzen forgave her and told her that she was not responsible for Orochimaru’s sins. He also told her that she was a valuable and loyal ninja of Konoha, and that he was proud of her.
Anko then continued to monitor the Chunin Exams, along with other jonin such as Asuma Sarutobi (Hiruzen’s son and a former member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja), Kurenai Yuhi (a genjutsu specialist and a former member of Team 8), and Might Guy (a taijutsu master and a former member of Team Guy).
She also helped to evacuate the genin teams after the invasion of Konoha by the hidden sand village, Sunagakure, and the hidden sound village, Otogakure, which were allied with Orochimaru.
Anko Mitarashi’s Abilities
Being a tokubetsu jōnin, Anko is indeed a highly skilled kunoichi. Even as a child, her talent gained the attention of Orochimaru who would take her up as his disciple. Her prowess ultimately earned her recognition as a legendary kunoichi a decade after the Fourth Shinobi World War.
While under Orochimaru’s wing, she was taught many of his techniques, such as the Hidden Shadow Snake Hands and its stronger variant. Her skill with these techniques, in particular, allowed her to easily outmaneuver the collaborative efforts of the Ino-Shika-Chō trio during their Genin Exams.
She could also perform Orochimaru’s murder-suicide technique as well. She was also the first surviving recipient of his Cursed Seal of Heaven, which appears as three tomoe at the back of her neck.
Though it flares up from time to time in its attempt to encourage her to use it, she refrains from doing so. It is eventually removed from her body following the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Anko has incredible aim, able to make a perfect Konoha symbol out of dango sticks without even looking. She has excellent tracking skills, evidenced by her being placed in charge of a team tasked with finding Kabuto Yakushi.
In the anime, she has been stated to have built up an immunity to poisons with Orochimaru’s help, and it was also revealed that she’s able to manipulate Fire and Yin Release; performing the Fire Release: Dragon Fire Technique and Sly Mind Affect Technique respectively.
The Search for Tsunade Arc
Anko made her next appearance in Naruto Shippuden during the Search for Tsunade arc. The Search for Tsunade arc was a series of events that occurred after the invasion of Konoha by Orochimaru and his allies.
The invasion had resulted in the death of Hiruzen Sarutobi, who had sacrificed himself to seal Orochimaru’s arms and prevent him from using ninjutsu. The invasion had also left Konoha in ruins and in need of a new Hokage.
Anko was part of a team that was sent to track down Orochimaru and his hideout. She was accompanied by Shizune (a medical ninja and the assistant of Tsunade, the third legendary Sannin and a former teammate of Orochimaru), Iruka Umino (a chunin and a teacher at the Ninja Academy), and Mizuki (a chunin and a former teacher at the Ninja Academy).
They followed a trail of snakes that led them to an abandoned castle, where they found several corpses that had been experimented on by Orochimaru.
Anko then encountered Kabuto Yakushi, one of Orochimaru’s former students and his right-hand man. Kabuto had betrayed Konoha and joined Orochimaru, becoming his loyal servant and spy. He had also participated in the invasion of Konoha, where he had fought against Naruto Uzumaki and Tsunade.
Anko recognized Kabuto as one of her former teammates under Orochimaru, and she attacked him with her snake-based techniques. However, Kabuto revealed that he had also implanted himself with Orochimaru’s cells, which gave him enhanced abilities and allowed him to use snake-based techniques as well.
He also revealed that he had betrayed Orochimaru several times, but he always returned to him because he was fascinated by him.
Kabuto then trapped Anko in a genjutsu (an illusionary technique) that made her relive her past with Orochimaru. He tried to break her spirit and make her join him and Orochimaru.
However, Anko resisted his genjutsu and declared that she hated Orochimaru and Kabuto. She also declared that she loved Konoha and Hiruzen Sarutobi, who had given her a new life and purpose.
Anko then tried to escape from Kabuto’s genjutsu, but she was stabbed by him in the chest. She collapsed on the ground, bleeding profusely. She was then found by Sasuke Uchiha, who had left Konoha and joined Orochimaru in order to gain more power and kill his brother Itachi Uchiha (who had massacred their clan). Sasuke recognized Anko as one of Orochimaru’s former students, but he ignored her and proceeded to confront Kabuto.
Anko was then rescued by Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, Shikamaru Nara (a genius strategist and a former member of Team 10), Pakkun (a talking dog summoning of Kakashi Hatake), and Tonton (a talking pig summoning of Shizune).
They had followed Sasuke’s trail in order to bring him back to Konoha. They carried Anko back to Konoha, where she was treated by Tsunade, who had become the Fifth Hokage after being persuaded by Naruto Uzumaki.