a good pivot point is when the second hokage passed the title to sarutobi. sarutobi was quite young but was he old enough to be in charge of the sannin?
when i think about that transition to the third hokage it makes tsunade and jaraya toddler age at the oldest during the period if second hokage since it's still assumed nidaime was hokage only after hashirama died.
the time dilates into confusion over several generations because when oro battled sarutobi the difference in age appeared to be at least 20 years between them, that puts sarutobi as the sannin mentor at an older age than the nidaime period suggests.
classic kishimoto at work. starting the timeline at present and working backwards results in wildly different circumstances than starting in the past and figuring forward.
imo, they were no older than 5 when hashirama died. they were already sannin when mito was present to confort kushina and relinquish kyubi.
anyway, that detail wasn't so important. whats important is tobirama hokage only after hashirama dies?
Anyway, given that the 3rd Hokage was still alive when the 4th Hokage was active, the 1st could have still been alive, then stepped down and passed the title to the 2nd.
To be clear they must have battled with the 2nd Hokage two times. The first being at the attempted coup where they attacked the Raikage & Hokage together. The second time being when the 2nd became a decoy and left Sarutobi to become Hokage.
The story with the Gold & silver brothers is a bit confusing as they did attempt to kill the Raikage so it seems odd that they would still be allowed to work in the village. My only conclusion can be is that since it was a time of war the Cloud needed all the muscle they could muster and sent those bothers on the most dangerous missions in the hope they would die in battle taking a dangerous enemy with them.
I would venture to say if the 2nd truly did fight the two brothers when he became a human diversion at that time he may have killed them and died himself. I assume this was his second time fighting them and he was aware of their abilities. He probably used Edo Tensei on some of the lesser squad members by ambushing them.
ok that cleared up some things for me. the nidaime very well could have died im danzo's flashback. the "verge of death'' situation was at a peace treaty where both hokage and raikage were present. peace treaties/alliances happen on the beginning or end of war. danzo's flashback appears to be taking place during a war.
unless i am missing more details i would piece it together as the assassination attempt on the two kages happened at the onset of a war or was a factor creating the war. the danzo flashback would be a follow up event where tobirama probably died.
what has me more confused than ever is when was the fox loose to be able to swallow the brothers? i dont see where it could have been free from madara, hashirama, and mito... which were the primary three people to subject the fox during such times as the manga refers to as "their era" (kin and gins)
one hypothesis now is that the brothers didn't have the spiritual weapons the first time around with tobirama. the next time they did, them being too much for tobirama to handle and is why he sent his pupils away, to not suffer that kind of sealing. edo tensei probably was used to counter those weapons.
i just don't know :/
edit: im confused.. the panels show the bros. having ay least the banana fan when being swallowed by the fox. 4th raikage says "cloud" tried to capture the fox. inclusive of kin gin means pre assassination attempt? or did cloud try to capture it and kin gin were poised vultures to swoop in and take from both leaf and cloud.
taking the fox was either before mito was jinchuriki but sometime after madara battled with hashirama. that would be two reasons to seal the fox out of reach. the only other time would be after they killed tobirama and knew the leaf was weak without a hokage (sarutobi barely having time to adjust). i could then see mito stepping up with the fox to protect konaha and battle the bros. how they still escaped is beyond me. in both cases they would be anticipated or noticed if they were freed.
sarutobi probably was present and gained kyubi experience that one and only time if the bros tried to capture after weakening konaha. it's the only time he would see the fox having presence in actual combat. the only other time before tobi freed it would be when mito passed it to kushina.
omg: kishomoto screwed up. catch-22 mistake! the illustration shows the brothers with banana fan and sword. yet it's stated that they could sustain the massive chakra drain thanks to gaining the fox's chakra.
to solve that riddle you end up with any and all scenarios each having at least one shoddy aspect
perhaps the chalea drain is what made the kin gin seek the fox and/or was the reason they were weakened to the point of being swallowed.
Supposedly there were many attempts to obtain the fox, one example was when the cloud tried to capture it and it ended up in failure (it was around the time that the villages were created just recently), in turn Kurama swallowing the brothers and making them stronger.
There might have been attempts to obtain bijuu power, well before the villages were formed. After all, the Uzumakis held the sealing method all along.
Madara was the first person that was able to successfully control the fox, then there was Mito who was the first to be even able to host it, then Kushina and now we have Naruto (you have to remember that the history in Narutoverse is really short).
Madara didn't rebel right after forming Konoha, no. The moment the Uchiha X Senju X other clans happened, everyone around did the same, otherwise they would have been destroyed. Right after others formed villages, it's possible that important people of Konoha, like Hashirama and Madara, were sent out to make alliance with other villages. We even see Madara in the name of Konoha "negotiating" with the Rock village's representatives. Since the first great War most likely broke up soon after the villages were formed, it's possible that Konoha had to quickly chose a Hokage then, or perhaps they chose Hashirama right after the war ended.
We don't really know for how long Madara was gone, until he returned with the fox.
well, the cloud was established and it was that establishment that attempted to capture the fox.
it seems the major villages were already formed when kin gin bros were swallowed. it's also noteworthy that the first raikage was already dead or retired since tobirama was just a younger brother, not a new generation. first raikage a case of a ninja dead before his time?
also, the danzo flashback of the 20 enemies said only bounty hunters and that their tracking merhod was of kumogakure. it may not have been kin gin at all and cannot be immediately connected to the assassination attempt.