When Sasori was young, his father and mother were killed by Sakumo Hatake, leaving him with no one but his grandmother, Chiyo, to take care of him. To cheer up Sasori, Chiyo began to teach him the art of making puppets. He began making puppets at the age of five, and even made puppets that resembled his parents to get rid of the terrible loneliness he felt. But because they were only puppets, incapable of giving him the natural parental love he desired, he lost interest in them. They later fell into Chiyo's possession. Sasori proved to be a born natural at the art, even devising masterful ways of eliminating a puppet master's weakness.
Sasori created many ingenious puppets, including the ones that were now owned by Kankurō. During the Third Shinobi World War, these puppets were used so successfully, they dyed the sand red with blood. This gave rise to the name Sasori of the Red Sand. Twenty years before his introduction in the series, he left Sunagakure at age fifteen, after which he secretly kidnapped and killed the Third Kazekage (although his involvement in the Third's disappearance would not be discovered until around the time of his death). More than that, Sasori eventually converted himself into a human puppet to maintain his youthful appearance and increase his own offensive capabilities.
Sometime after leaving the village, Sasori joined Akatsuki, and was eventually paired with Orochimaru. They had great respect for each other during their partnership, and did many things together. After Orochimaru left Akatsuki (after a failed attempt at stealing fellow member Itachi Uchiha's body), Sasori was teamed up with Deidara, although he always carried a grudge against his former partner. He sent Kabuto Yakushi to spy on Orochimaru, but Orochimaru dispelled Sasori's technique and convinced Kabuto to join him. Sasori was also shown having numerous other underlings and spies in many nations, such as Yūra and Mukade.
Without his puppet armour he maintained the appearance of a teenage boy with wide brown eyes (which he inherited from his mother), and short red hair (inherited from his father). As a child, he wore green robes with a pale jacket around them. As an adult, he was mostly seen in the Akatsuki robe. When Sasori revealed his true body, which was a puppet with a pair of spinning claws attached to his lower back, a holder for four scrolls on the back, a stinger in the empty and open stomach cavity, a compartment in the right chest, and a core in the left, his eyes were wide open in a maniacal-like way, as opposed to his normal calm looking eyes.
On his left thumb was his Akatsuki ring, which bears the kanji for Jewel or Sphere (玉, gyoku). Sasori also wore teal nail polish. Even though he possessed a headband from Sunagakure that was slashed out, he was never seen wearing it.
As a child, Sasori always seemed sad, due to the lack of parental love. When introduced to the art of puppetry by his grandmother, Chiyo, he grew a little happier. He eventually created puppets with the likeness of his parents, but when the puppets couldn't give him the parental love he desired, he became cold and aloof. This led to him having little regard for human life, and he went so far to state that he would feel nothing if Chiyo died, as he claimed that his heart had become like his puppet body: without any emotions. Despite his cruelty, Sasori also had been shown to possess a very down-to-earth outlook on life, rarely growing worked up over obstacles that came his way. He also rarely showed any extreme emotions, and even these instances were short-lived.
Sasori was also known for his impatience, as he repeatedly noted that he did not wish to wait or keep others waiting. Despite his impatience, he took his time with his first battle against Kankurō due to seeing interest of fighting against his old creations used by the next generation, making Deidara wait.
Sasori and his second partner in Akatsuki, Deidara, both had conflicting views of art, and they frequently argued about their different views. Deidara maintained the opinion that art was something transient that departs quickly, where as Sasori believed that fine art is something wonderful that is left long into the future. This reflected their individual natures; Deidara made clay sculptures which exploded, while Sasori created long-lasting puppets out of humans. Nevertheless, Deidara outwardly seemed to respect Sasori's beliefs, although Sasori never respected Deidara's.
Sasori's ambition was to become art by becoming a puppet, because he thought art is something wonderful that is left long into the future. He abandoned this ambition when Kankurō told him that it was his creations that he put his heart and soul into that would last forever. After accepting Kankurō's view on eternal art, he entrusted his Mother and Father puppets to Kankurō, and told him to pass them on to the next generation when he dies. In this moment, he is shown to have an emotional side as well.
Also worthy of note is that he was willing to accept other people's views on certain topics, unlike Deidara, who stubbornly stood by his beliefs.
Sasori was an extemely powerful shinobi. He was a highly analytical man. Sasori's use of his puppets were greatly feared during the Third Shinobi World War as he turned the sand red with blood, thus giving him the nickname "Sasori of the Red Sand". Sasori's abilities also gave him the power to defeat and kill the Third Kazekage, who was said to be the strongest ninja in the history of Sunagakure, though Sasori states that he had some trouble obtaining him. Deidara himself even admitted that Sasori was stronger of the two.
Being trained by his powerful grandmother, Chiyo, in the art, Sasori was a master of puppetry and had great skill in both creating and controlling them. He created a number of ingenious puppets; while in Sunagakure he created the three puppets that Kankurō used, and had 298 other puppets in his personal collection. His status as a master puppeteer offered him a tremendous advantage against other puppeteer shinobi, especially if the puppets they were using happened to be formerly his own, as seen in his battle against Kankurō. As puppets are usually installed with long-range weapons, Sasori was an expert at fighting at long distances. Sasori can also control living people as puppets, even against their will, if they are weakened enough. His usage of puppets were at such a high level that he made mere techniques appear as an artistic performance, what he called his "Red Secret Technique".
Hiruko was the first puppet to be shown being used by Sasori in the series. Sasori actually wore this puppet as an armour and weapon, and controlled it from the inside, thus eliminating the puppeteer's weakness of being a separate and exposed target. While within Hiruko, Sasori had a deeper and more hoarse voice. Hiruko was his favourite puppet, such that he adorned it during nearly his entire tenure with Akatsuki, and had it wear the Akatsuki cloak and hat. Sasori used Hiruko so much that many people seemed to have rarely seen Sasori himself in person, as evidenced by Zetsu and Kabuto's responses to seeing that Hiruko was not his actual body. On the other hand, Orochimaru did realise he was not Sasori, implying he had seen Sasori's true face during his time with Akatsuki. During an anime omake, it was shown that Deidara has also seen Sasori's true face while Sasori was doing maintenance of Hiruko.
Hiruko had a long mechanical, scorpion-like tail (an allusion to Sasori's name meaning "scorpion"), extending from the mouth of what appeared to be a demon mask on its back. Chiyo said this mask was a recent addition by Sasori to add extra defence to a weak point in the puppet. The tail worked as Hiruko's main offensive weapon, and was laced with his poison. The tail was also used as an extra defence by spinning it around his body at a rapid speed. Hiruko's left arm was rigged with a projectile launcher capable of firing poisoned shrapnel and needles, and its mouth could also be used to serve a similar function of firing poisoned needles.
Hiruko is only said to have been a human puppet in the anime, from a once famous Sunagakure shinobi that Sasori converted upon death. In the manga it was just a regular puppet.
Main article: Human Puppet Sasori's puppets were unique in that they were made from the still-living bodies of humans. These human puppets were more versatile than regular puppets, since, in addition to having many dangerous devices installed within them (as is common with regular puppets), they were also able to use chakra and perform jutsu. Any jutsu or kekkei genkai abilities possessed by the converted human were also passed onto the puppet.
Main article: Third Kazekage (puppet)
Sasori's favourite human puppet was the Third Kazekage, which retained its unique kekkei genkai Iron Sand techniques. When mixed with Sasori's poison, the Iron Sand was given a more lethal edge. The Iron Sand could also be used to fill up the joints of other puppets, thus immobilizing them. Due to the Iron Sand being derived from the Third's ability to convert chakra to magnetism, this grants Sasori immunity from metallic weapons. The Third's puppet's right arm held several poisoned blades, while the left arm could open up to reveal several summoning seals that summoned thousands of similar arms to attack the target. These arms were capable of crushing an opponent, emitting poisonous gas clouds, and releasing wires that dragged the opponent into the gas cloud. If these arms were cut off, a small buzz-saw took their place.
Main article: Scorpion
Although Sasori was thirty-five years old, he maintained the appearance of a teenage boy. Sasori's unnaturally young appearance was a product of his design. Aside from his heart, Sasori's body was actually a puppet. In place of his stomach was a thick cable coiled around a pole, allowing Sasori to use it as a stinger and retract it if necessary. Attached to his back was a scroll holder, containing four scrolls that seemed to serve as "ammunition", which Sasori used to store his human puppets. Sasori also added a pair of poles to the back of his hips, each equipped with five large blades that could spin like a propeller, granting him both a way to move faster and a monstrous close combat weapon, and pipes to each of his hands that could spew out intense fire, hot enough to even melt rock, or, in the anime, powerful water jets with such pressure that they were capable of cutting through rock.
Despite being loaded with weapons, Sasori kept them (and his true form) hidden with his Akatsuki robes, which were large enough to conceal them without problem. Curiously, when using "himself", Sasori's eyes were always wide open, giving him a somewhat maniacal look. In contrast, prior to revealing his puppet body, they were always half-closed, making him appear calmer and aloof. Sasori has claimed that he has not used "himself" since joining Akatsuki, until his last battle with his grandmother and Sakura Haruno.
Installed in the right part of his chest was a mechanism that could spin numerous Chakra Threads, allowing Sasori to use his Red Secret Technique: Performance of a Hundred Puppets. With it, he was given a drastic advantage over other puppeteers, such that he claimed to have taken down an entire country with it. Sasori's left part of his chest held the only part of him still human and thus the only, and necessary, part of his body capable of controlling chakra: a cylinder-shaped device containing his heart.
Because Sasori's heart was the only living part of himself, his puppet body was virtually indestructible, allowing him to survive the poison mist Kankurō bombarded him with, as well as the impact from Sakura's punches. He was also able to fight for extended periods of time without hindrances that would normally affect a human's body, such as fatigue, muscle failure, loss of blood, wounds and pain. When smashed apart, he could simply draw the pieces back together. Additionally, he could transfer his heart to other puppets in a split second, allowing him to abandon a body should it be damaged beyond repair or otherwise incapacitated. It is suggested in the manga that Sasori created more than one puppet body in his image. The core was his only weakness, and its destruction would mean his death. After Sasori's death, Kankurō would later take the body and use it as his puppet.
Repeatedly, Sasori has demonstrated to be a highly cunning ninja, able to handle situations with various traps and misdirection. He is also shown to be a highly analytical man, able to quickly determine his opponent's strengths and combat methods. Like his grandmother, Sasori has a great knowledge of the human body, as shown from his brainwashing technique and his mastery over creating different types of poisons. His unique poisons, that he laced nearly every weapon in his arsenal with, took effect instantly, and one such poison could kill the target after three days of suffering; according to Sakura, this poison is refined with heavy metals, which gets into the muscles and destroys the cells. Sasori initially believed this poison to be incurable, but later, to his surprise, Sakura came up with a successful antidote for the poison; Sasori noted that creating the antidote requires extreme precision, with no room for failure, and that is something difficult even for himself.
Kazekage Rescue Arc
At the start of Part II, Sasori, hidden in his puppet, Hiruko, returned to his former village, Sunagakure, with Deidara to capture the One-Tailed Shukaku's jinchūriki, and the Fifth Kazekage, Gaara. Both the Akatsuki members easily penetrated Suna's defences, as the village was betrayed by one of Sasori's own subordinates, Yūra. After Deidara captured Gaara, the latter's elder brother, Kankurō, attempted to stop the Akatsuki duo from fleeing. But Sasori confronted him so that Deidara could go on ahead unopposed, and made quick work of Kankurō, poisoning and nearly killing him, and easily destroying his puppets, as he had pre-existing knowledge of their secrets. After the Akatsuki members extracted and sealed the One-Tailed Shukaku from Gaara at the Akatsuki hideout, Sasori and Deidara were left in charge by their leader of defeating the pursuing Team 7 and Sasori's grandmother, Chiyo. As Deidara led Naruto Uzumaki and Kakashi Hatake away, using Gaara's dead body as bait, Sasori was left to face Sakura Haruno and Chiyo.
Soon after the battle began, with Chiyo controlling her as a puppet, Sakura was able to destroy Sasori's puppet, Hiruko. As Sasori emerged from Hiruko's remains and revealed his true self, Chiyo and Sakura were shocked to see his youthful face, considering he had left Sunagakure over twenty years ago. Not wasting any time, however, Sasori brought out his Third Kazekage puppet, who he revealed to be his favorite, as the Third was the hardest to kill and add in his collection. Since the Third Kazekage was a human puppet, Sasori was able use its various Iron Sand abilities to attack and overwhelm Chiyo and Sakura. To try and combat the Kazekage, Chiyo brought out Sasori's parents' puppets. Although Chiyo had since equipped them with extra weapons and defences, the Kazekage's puppet's Iron Sand quickly disabled the two puppets. Acting on her own, Sakura demolished the Kazekage puppet after picking up on its movements and using herself as bait to lower Sasori's guard.
With the loss of the Kazekage puppet, Sasori revealed the reason behind his eternal youth: his own human puppet body, which itself was fitted with numerous weapons and traps laced with poison. When Chiyo brought out her own ten puppets in an attempt to level the playing field, Sasori used his Red Secret Technique: Performance of a Hundred Puppets, allowing him to control ten times as many puppets as Chiyo. Since Chiyo's puppets were designed to work together, a trait lacking with all of Sasori's puppets, her puppets fared far better than his, although they were eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers. During the battle, Chiyo attempted to seal Sasori's chakra with a special orb from one of her puppets, but missed his heart - the only living part of his body and the source of his chakra - and only trapped his puppet body. As Chiyo and Sakura were distracted by his summoned puppets, Sasori was revealed to have transferred the cylindrical container housing his heart into another one of his own puppets, possessing his own face's likeness, before the seal nailed his original body to a wall.
Using the seal as a distraction, Sasori, in his new puppet body, attempted a sneak attack on Chiyo. However, Sakura took the sword's attack from Sasori for Chiyo. As Sasori prepared to attack again, it gave Chiyo a chance to use Sasori's parents' puppets to stab him through the heart in the form of a hug, a position that he always wanted to be in ever since his childhood.
Before dying, as a reward to Sakura for defeating him, Sasori informed her of a spy that he had within his former Akatsuki partner, Orochimaru's, ranks, and told her of when and where she could meet that spy. When Sasori died, Chiyo implied that Sasori could have avoided her last attack, but he deliberately allowed himself to be killed. Thus, it appeared as if Sasori chose to die in the loving embrace of his parents.
Confining the Jinchūriki Arc
Shinobi World War Arc
He is resurrected again, and placed, alongside Deidara, Shin and Chūkichi in Akatsuki's Surprise Attack and Diversion Platoon. He is disappointed to see that he has to take orders from his former subordinate, and that the only living members of Akatsuki are Zetsu and Tobi (his replacement). He and Deidara get into a fight about art. Later, the platoon moves in on the remaining members of Anko Mitarashi's team. During the battle against the Ambush Squad, he was surprised that Omoi managed to cut his chakra strings. He is pulled down by Kankurō, and compliments him on his increase in skill. When Kankurō pulled out Sasori's old puppet body, he commented on how pointless making that body seemed now, as he had gotten the body he had always desired, while becoming a puppet in every sense of the word. He attached his chakra strings next to Shin, using him to combat Kankurō.
After Deidara caused Shin to explode, Sasori explained his knowledge of Root, stating they are very similar to him. He and Deidara are attacked by one of Sai's paintings in a fit of rage, and trapped inside two Black Ant puppets, and bound by lightning enhanced blades. As Shin collapses into dust, Sasori notes how he can't feel any response from his chakra strings. As Kankurō explains that Sasori's strength comes from his soul, as he poured his heart and soul into the puppets he created. Sasori, now filled with emotion, finally accepts that his puppets and techniques were what immortalized him and starts to crumble away. Before his soul was freed, he entrusts his Mother and Father puppets to Kankurō, telling him to pass them down to future generations when Kankurō himself dies. After his soul had been freed and he crumbled away, the corpse of the sacrifice used to bind his soul appeared among the dust and ashes.
At the time of his death, Sasori had not yet captured his assigned tailed beast. A short dialogue between himself and Deidara suggested that Sasori did not even know what beast he had been assigned to target. However, after his death, Tobi took his place as Deidara's new partner and his ring in Akatsuki, and, later, he captured the Three-Tails, thereby suggesting that the beast was Sasori's target.
However, due to the preservation of his body, Sasori's influence on future events was not over with his death. Sometime after the puppet master's death and prior to the Five Kage Summit, Kankurō recovered his puppet body to replace the three puppets that Sasori destroyed. It seems that some modifications have been made to his body since Sasori's death, although it's unknown if certain mechanisms were previously installed, but were not shown prior to Sasori's death.