Akatsuki (literal meaning "Dawn" or "Daybreak") is a criminal organization of S-Rank rogue ninja and is the most wanted group in all of the Ninja World. Their main goal is to collect all of the tailed beasts for their plan of world domination.
As such, the Akatsuki had a minor role in the original series (minus Shippuden), but they have accelerate their plans as they've become the primary antagonist in Kaipuden.
Although some members joined the Akatsuki to further their own goals, all are united in Akatsuki's ultimate goal of gaining world domination. Nagato has mentioned a three-step process to work their way towards this goal. First, they plan to obtain a large amount of money to support their organization. Second, they plan to set up a mercenary group loyal only to the Akatsuki. To build their reputation, they plan accept any mission below the usual cost and operate off of the excess funds earned in the first part of their plan. Because there haven't been any wars in some time, the established shinobi villages couldn't afford to charge such low prices, leading the smaller countries to hire Akatsuki over the most expensive shinobi villages. By using the tailed beasts (the ones from the original Ten-Tailed Beast), the Akatsuki would start wars and then immediately quell them, solidfying their reputation and convincing every country to depend on them, thus cornering the market in shinobi labor. Without any business, the other shinobi villages would collapse due to the lack of funds. Finally, after the Akatsuki is the only major force of shinobi in existence, they can easily conquer the other countries.
Since the early years of Konoha, Tobi has shown great interest in destroying it. While using the name "Madara Uchiha", he claimed that it was for the betrayal of his own Uchiha Clan and the defeat by Hashirama Senju. He has also stated that he wants people to acknowledge the Uchiha Clan and planned to use Sasuke to force them to do so. Another one of Tobi's goals is to become "complete" through collecting the tailed beasts. All of this seem to be part of the "Eye of the Moon Plan" (translation to "Tsuki no Me Keikaku"). His plan is to gather all of the tailed beasts so he can fuse them and bring forth the Ten-Tails and become its jinchuriki, then cast an Infinite Tsukuyomi on the moon to control the world.
Akatsuki members have a very distinctive wardrobe, which could give them away if a village is alerted of their presence. Members wear long, dark cloaks with red clouds, a red interior, and a chin-high collar. Madara and Itachi wear a similarly marked hooded mantle. The red clouds represent the rain of blood that fell in Amegakure during its wars, and were seen as a symbol of justice by its original members. All members wear black nail polish on their fingers and toenails, although the colors vary in the anime, and may wear a conical straw hat with small ornamental torques and tassles hanging down over their faces. The hats may be used to move around in the general population unnoticed, or for when the weather requires one. Some members cross out the symbol on their headband to symbolize the broken ties with their former villages, a practice originating with Nagato and his rival faction in Amegakure's civil war. Others members simply cease wearing them altogether, for several reasons. Everyone also wears a ring with a kanji on different fingers depending on who the member is.
Now that the original members of Akatsuki (Konan and Nagato) are defected, Madara seems to have changed the garb after revealing his new mask and outfit-which were robes completely bereft of the red clouds.
|Members||Status||Village of Origin||World of Origin|
|Madara Uchiha||Active||Konohagakure||Ninja World|
|Kisame Hoshigaki||Active||Kirigakure||Ninja World|
|Itachi Uchiha||Active||Konohagakure||Ninja World|
|Koi Shurai||Active||Sunagakure||Ninja World|
|Associates||Status||City/Town/Village of Origin||Worlds of Origin|
|Rikurei Ochi||Active||Katasei City||Science Force World|
|Tomizo Tanagi||Deceased||Shikaku Town||Samurai World|
|Kizuato||Deceased||Purayosa Town||Swimmer World|
|Asura Shurai||Active||Sunagakure||Ninja World|