The Legendary Sannin are a group of three extremely powerful shinobi — Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Orochimaru — who effectively retired from service in the Hidden Leaf Village. They were each famous for their part in the past shinobi wars and their vast knowledge and capabilities. They saw a lot in their long time as shinobi, and this made them both respected and feared.

RELATED: Naruto: 5 Characters Stronger Than The Legendary Sannin (& 5 Who Are Weaker)

The three had been a team in the past, and they learned under the Third Hokage (who Orochimaru killed). However, not all the Sannin remained on good terms with the village, as the three had been so traumatized from those past wars that they parted ways. With that being said, here are ten of the harsh realities of being one of the Legendary Sannin.

10

They Have Seen A Lot Of War And Death

The Legendary Sannin have been around for multiple ninja wars, and because of this, they have seen a lot of death in their time. This is not just including their teammates for their various wartime missions — it also includes close loved ones. Tsunade lost her younger brother, Nowaki, and her lover, Dan.

Furthermore, they have lost students and teachers. For example, Minato Namikaze, one of Jiraiya’s students, died during the Nine-Tailed Fox attack on the Hidden Leaf Village. So much death is bound to shake a person to their core.

9

They Have Great Responsibility

Being some of the strongest people in the entire shinobi world, the Sannin are looked up to and revered by many. A lot of ninjas do not live as long as they did. For the Hidden Leaf shinobi, they either died on war missions or in one of the various attacks on the village. Even the Fourth Hokage was not exempt from the carnage.

So, having a group of shinobi that have grown old enough to see so much and to learn so many jutsu is an anomaly. They have the wisdom of many wars and ages, and they have seen many places around the world. Their jutsu are informed by the plethora of experiences they have, and they have had time to craft and perfect some of the most powerful techniques known to the shinobi world.

8

They Have A Lot Of Power That Can Corrupt

With all the power, experience, and trauma these characters have, the risk of turning evil is ever-present. Orochimaru’s quest to find immortality in a world where shinobi died left and right sent him in a spiral that saw him kidnap and experiment on children, in addition to helping Danzo Shimura and his shadowy organization of brainwashed child soldiers.

RELATED: Naruto: The 10 Best Legendary Sannin Fights, Ranked

Even Tsunade was tested when Orochimaru offered to bring her dead lover, Dan, back in exchange for her fixing his arms. She eventually turned this down, but if it were not for Naruto Uzumaki’s words, it is suggested the outcome may have been different.

7

They Are Linked To The Hidden Leaf For Better Or Worse

Even though they consider themselves retired and do not engage in Hokage-ordered missions like the rest of the shinobi, the Sannin are inexplicably tied to the Hidden Leaf Village, whether they like it or not.

For example, Tsunade was brought back to be the Fifth Hokage, and the Konoha council had originally wanted Jiraiya to take that role. Even Orochimaru could not let go of his ties to the Hidden Leaf via his obsession with destroying it and the Third Hokage. Fans even see him allying himself with the Hidden Leaf once more in Boruto.

6

They Have To Come To Terms With The Destruction They Have Caused

While Orochimaru has caused great destruction throughout the Hidden Leaf Village on multiple occasions and does not seem to be bothered by it much, the rest of the Sannin also have to come to terms with the way they have affected the village.

For Jiraiya, he felt that he had failed his students and looked to Naruto to continue the legacy he could not. For Tsunade, her inability to be the medical ninja she was supposed to be due to her fear of blood and trauma was a loss for the village, though it made her a better Hokage.

5

They Have To Watch The Next Generation Surpass Them

Despite how much Jiraiya and Tsunade wanted to help the young shinobi of the Hidden Leaf Village, and despite how much Orochimaru wanted ultimate power, the three of them had to accept that the new generation would surpass them. Whether that was a good or bad thing was entirely situational.

Jiraiya could not protect the orphans of the Hidden Rain Village, and Tsunade could not protect her loved ones. Both of them had to look to Naruto and Sakura Haruno to continue their efforts. Orochimaru had to admit his loss of Sasuke Uchiha and pass on his dreams to Mitsuki in Boruto.

4

The Battles Become Bigger And More Destructive

At the beginning of the Naruto series, fans watch ninja relying on subtle tactics, paper bombs, the set up of traps, and the use of clones or substitution jutsu to quietly and quickly finish any battles. As Kakashi noted, one wrong move could change the tide of a battle that would only last seconds.

RELATED: Naruto: Every Hokage Ranked By Strength

This was different for the Sannin, though. They could summon large, destructive beasts, and could render their bodies nearly indestructible. The battles between these characters could last for a long time and create a lot of damage, not just on each other but also on the landscape.

3

They Cannot Settle Down

Even when the Sannin tried to retire, they were always called back to claim their duties. Tsunade changed her appearance on multiple occasions trying to hide from debtors and the responsibilities of the Hidden Leaf. Jiraiya worked closely with the Hidden Leaf until his death at the hands of Pain.

Even Orochimaru came out of retirement and found himself drawn back to the Hidden Leaf Village as he continued his cloning experiments and advised the village on various matters. Settling down never lasts long for these characters who are always on the move and are always called back to the village.

2

Finding Love Would Put Their Partners In Danger

Tsunade proved that trying to find love in the shinobi world often just leads to tragedy. Fellow shinobi die at alarming rates, and marrying out of the shinobi line can put one’s partner at risk of physical danger. Even Jiraiya and Tsunade could not be together. It is not until Boruto that parents/spouses tend to be more present in the community.

It’s not just the Sannin, either. Minato and Kushina Uzumaki were killed while in the village. The entire Uchiha clan was massacred. One of the Hyuga clan heads was killed as an act of goodwill for the Hidden Cloud Village. Asuma died before getting to meet his unborn daughter.

1

It Is Lonely At The Top

Being so old and so powerful, these characters are often left alone at the top. They have lived long enough to see everyone they knew when they were younger pass on. Truly only another Sannin can understand the other’s pain and experiences, so it gets lonely at the top.

For a while, Tsunade and Jiraiya had one another, but Jiraiya lost his life while fighting Akatsuki leader, Pain. Eventually, after waking up from a coma, Tsunade went back on the road alone. Orochimaru has his experiments, but there is still an atmosphere of loneliness about him.

NEXT: Naruto: 5 Reasons Why Tsunade Is The Best Hokage (& 5 Why It Is Kakashi)

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About The Author

Brooke Thomas

(134 Articles Published)

Brooke Thomas lives and writes out of Houston, TX. She has an MA in English Literature and works as an Anime List Writer for CBR.com. When she is not watching anime, drawing her own comics, and writing, you can find her playing catch with her dog and rock climbing.

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