Graphic descriptions ahead.
While Naruto is famous for redeeming even its worst villains, in the case of Orochimaru the series has gone too far, proving that sometimes evil characters should just be evil, with no chance at redemption.
Orochimaru is the first major villain in Naruto, introduced as a major antagonist during the Chuunin Exam arc. As a renegade shinobi of Konoha, Orochimaru has a deep connection with the village. He was formerly one of the Sannin, Konoha’s three most powerful shinobi, along with Jiraiya and Tsunade. However, Orochimaru’s twisted personality led him to conduct profane experiments in his pursuit of ultimate knowledge, which led to his exile. Despite the fact that, during his attack on Konoha, Orochimaru even kills his former mentor, the Third Hokage, later in the series he joins the effort of the Allied Shinobi Forces against Madara Uchiha, and receives a full pardon for his crimes.
To understand just how cruel and twisted Orochimaru actually is, readers have to look no further than chapter #121 of Naruto, which shows a flashback of when the Third Hokage broke into Orochimaru’s secret hideout and discovered his experiments. What they see is a scene straight out of a horror movie. The walls of Orochimaru’s lab are covered with dead human beings, the leftovers of his macabre experiments. One poor victim is still tied to the table, while Orochimaru performs some sort of surgery. There is a basket full of detached human limbs. What is worse, is that all these people were not even enemies, but Konoha shinobi that Orochimaru abducted.
Orochimaru Is The One Naruto Villain That Should Have Never Been Redeemed
This macabre scene was effectively used to set up Orochimaru as a dreadful, evil villain, and it worked. However, the series quickly moved forward and Orochimaru quickly became a secondary character, who was then easily killed by his own protégé Sasuke, before coming back to life. Meanwhile, Naruto introduced other apparently despicable villains, who however all had a tragic story that ended up justifying their actions. This happened with Itachi, Pain, and even Tobi/Obito in the finale, setting up a trend for the series. Orochimaru’s redemption, however, sticks out more, because of how twisted and deranged the manga portrayed him to be.
In Boruto, Orochimaru is not only still around, but he is even allowed to continue his experiments. He created a clone of himself, Mitsuki, who has joined Konoha has a shinobi in training, and is one of Boruto’s best friends. Orochimaru then becomes a sort of weird but lovable dad (who even has parent-teacher conferences), when, actually, Naruto correctly portrayed him as a psychopath and a serial killer. Among all the memorable Naruto villains, Orochimaru is the only one who should have never been redeemed, and this decision ended up hurting both the character and the series.