The members of Akatsuki may fight together for a common cause, but their motivations for joining in the first place are as varied as their different abilities. However, fans of the Naruto subreddit pointed out that their different reasons for joining are linked by a symbolic factor. Fans found that each Akatsuki member represented a different common cause of why humans might have been at war in the past. The first post by u/awesomehuder mentions examples like Hidan representing religion and Itachi illustrating the idea of someone protecting their own country. As some fans agreed with the post, adding how much the possible connection gives Akatsuki more weight than just being simple villains that Naruto must overcome. “It might not be an earth-shattering philosophy, but there’s some pretty cool depth to the Naruto villains,” wrote u/Komnenos_Kasuki.
Other fans pointed out that the concept of the Akatsuki members serving as various symbolic causes of war is less theory and more canon. “Why is everyone acting like this is breakthrough information? I’m pretty sure Pain said this almost verbatim at one point,” u/Agorbs wrote. The particular Naruto: Shippuden episode fans are talking about is Sad News (via Crunchyroll). In one scene, Pain gives a speech to Naruto about the various reasons people choose to go to war. But what’s remarkable about this moment is that while he lists various war motives, pictures of the Akatsuki members appear as if connected to each specific pain list for reasons. It adds a belief that perhaps series creator Masashi Kishimoto wanted fans to carefully consider the complexities of War and Peace through this anti-hero group.