Nine-tailed Fox Taming and Karmic Encounters
The twelve season of Naruto Shippuden (Part II of the by Kishimoto Masashi) began airing from Jan. 5, 2012 to Aug. 16, 2012. Since Jan. 2, 2009 Viz Media and Crunchyroll have been subtitling Naruto: Shippuden. The allies prepare for the Fourth Shinobi World War against Akatsuki led by masked man Tobi. Naruto finally reaches Kumogakure and will be schooled on how to draw on kyuubi’s (Kurama’s) powers.
The season’s opening and ending themes:
1. tacica’s “newsong” (ep. 243-256)
2. Hemenway’s “By My Side” (ep. 243-256)
3. The Cro-Magnons’ “Totsugeki Rock” (突撃ロックAssault Rock) (ep. 257-275)
4. UnLimits’ “Cascade” (カスケード Kasukēdo) (ep. 257-268)
5. Aisha ft. Chehon’s “Kono Koe Karashite” (この声枯らして Shout This Voice Dry) (ep. 269-275)
As Naruto and his senseis near Kumogakure, they are attacked by a giant squid, which Naruto incorrectly identifies (excitedly) as THE Tako (Octopus), as predicted by the Great Toad Sage. The mist clears and the Leaf ninjas see a foreboding island before them, complete with dead carcasses as decoration. The real octopus comes to their rescue and lead them to land. The seafarers are welcomed to the island by Motoi.
(The Raikage has “hidden” Naruto in a “safe” place, to deter Naruto from joining the war when it hits their door step. Even Tsunade is not privy to this location)
Motoi gives the new residence a quick 101 on the island and Bee-san. The island is inhabited by giant animals, all who have been tamed by Killer Bee. If they did not know, Killer Bee has also mastered control of his tailed beast (much to the delight of Naruto). And this island is where Killer Bee first learned to control his bijuu. That night, the excited Naruto rushes over to ask Killer Bee to train him.
“No way!” came the immediate answer. As far as he is concerned, he is only there because of the Raikage’s orders, which is fulfilled with his presence on the island. He is on vacation. Seeing Bee’s affinity towards enka, Naruto tries his hand at it. Even though he stumbles, Bee quickly acknowledges him, by fist bumping him. With that bit of encouragement, Naruto continues, but ends up dissing Bee instead. The door is slammed on his face, after Naruto tries to save the day by using his sexy jutsu.
Desperate, Naruto seeks out Motoi and complains about Bee. This time, Naruto manages to anger another. However, the more understanding Motoi softens his stance when he sees and hears Naruto’s determination. So, together with Yamato, the trio head to Bee’s training ground at the Waterfall of Truth.
As Naruto meditates in front of the Fall and his true self, Dark Naruto, appears. The falls becomes a mirror of one’s true self or innermost desires. Dark Naruto spews Naruto’s darkest thoughts: “Everyone in his village hated him since young. Oh, but how they have changed their tunes after he saved the village!”
This is his hatred. The true self. The self that kyuubi likes. In fact, Naruto is deemed the impostor.
A fight quickly ensues between them with no winners. Naruto has to face himself in order to move forward. He must defeat Dark Naruto to gain the strength of kyuubi. Overcoming Dark Naruto is his first step towards that.
Elsewhere in the island, Killer Bee reasserts his “top dog” position with the animals. Hachi then questions Bee’s reluctance in training Naruto. The boy does remind him of Bee.
Jan. 12, 2012 | ep. 244: Killer Bee and Motoi (Kirābī to Motoi キラービーとモトイ)
In order to defeat Dark Naruto, Naruto asks about Bee (to get clues about Bee’s life, which may aid him. Although, Naruto isn’t the brightest of the bunch for this kind of a intricate character analyzation). Even though he was chosen as the container of hachibi from a very young age, he was and still remains to be a happy chap. He never succumbed to the ridicule, constant jeering and ostracization of his own people, even though he was doing it FOR them.
To prevent disloyalty, the kage’s family was chosen as the vessels. Today, Bee is very much-loved, compared to what he endured as a child. But, Motoi and Bee, who were once good friends (and Bee’s only friend) is no longer on talking terms.
Thirty years ago, hachibi went on a rampage. While Kumogakure’s best and the Third Kage tried to suppress him, Motoi’s father was killed. Motoi was only 5 and transferred that loneliness and anger towards the next chosen vessel: Bee. His hatred of hachibi grew so much until one day, he picked up a kunai and tried to kill Bee (who he transferred his abhorrence to). He tried, but failed miserably. Bee still wanted to be his friend, but Motoi ran away in shame when he realize the situation Bee was put into, upon seeing the villagers shunning and ridiculing young Bee. Through it all, Bee remained jovial and light-hearted. It was then, that Motoi realized that he couldn’t kill him. Bee’s suffering was worse than his own.
Hearing this, Dark Naruto sneers at Naruto, “How convenient. The villagers are the same everywhere. How quickly they turn from the past and act like the past never happened.” Naruto, even though angered, quietly reflects on his own life. Bee and Gaara, even though hated, pushed on for their village. Does he truly have everyone’s trust, like Bee and Gaara? But they earned it. Has he?
Suddenly a large squid, from earlier, attacks and takes hold of Motoi. Yamato and Naruto tries to help, but Bee comes to Motoi’s rescue instead. Bee never did put the incident from years ago in his heart. He only remembers the good times. Motoi, as far as he is concern, is still his good friend.
Jan. 19, 2012 | ep. 245: Naruto vs. The Nine-Tails!! (Naruto VS Kyūbi!! ナルトVS九尾!!)
After the close encounter, Killer Bee thanks Naruto for attempting to save Motoi from the giant squid. He acknowledges Naruto with a fist bump, there by giving his approval and taking Naruto under his wing.
“Go to the Waterfall of Truth. You will certainly pass this time!” Bee announces confidently.
Naruto proceeds to the waterfall and begins to meditate. Dark Naruto appears and smugly says, “You can’t beat me!”
Naruto doesn’t disagree. In fact, he knows it as the truth. They are, afterall, the same. But he had long decided on something, to be the Hokage. And he has even created his signature as such – to give out the autograph to the villagers who adore him.
“The villagers are hypocrites! Liars! They cannot be trusted!” screamed Dark Naruto.
That is true. But he choose to put his trust on himself first. And that trust is telling him that he can trust the sincerity of the villagers too. He saw the same pride in Killer Bee when he put his people.
“What do I do now,” a frustrated Dark Naruto screams. He then charges at Naruto, intending to assault him. However, Naruto opens his arms, and embraces his dark self.
“Be one with me,” Naruto says calmly. “We don’t have to fight each other anymore.” At peace, Dark Naruto dissipates. He has overcome his dark self. But it is not time to celebrate – yet. Now he has to learn how to control kyuubi’s power.
Yamato enters the falls with Naruto and Killer Bee while Motoi returns to his duties. They enter a hidden cave, a ruins of sorts with headless statues guarding the outer sanctum. The statues were carved without heads for a reason. The site is a sacred place for jinchuuriki to talk to their bijuu.
Naruto is told to stick his head into the mouth of the beast. There can be no darkness in his heart, in order to pass. If there is even a little bit of darkness in him, his head will be bitten off. The horrified Yamato immediately tells Naruto to use his clone. But no lies can be pulled on these statues. The statues senses true sincerity.
Naruto proceeds to feed his head into the mouth of the beast. Soon, he screams. Yamato reacts quickly as Naruto withdraws from the mouth. He has lost his head! Yamato is in shock!
But Naruto was just playing, just as Bee once did too. There was a switch inside the mouth, to be opened. Yamato, furious, scolds both the jinchuurikis. “Baka yero, Kono yaro!” throwing Bee’s words back to him.
Soon, the trio enter a dimension-less place. Bee walks Naruto through on how to unseal his Tetagram Seal with his key. He warns Naruto that if he looses control of kyuubi, the site that they are in will seal kyuubi and a new host will be chosen immediately.
So the unsealing begins, with the help of Bee. Naruto meets the glaring kyuubi subconsciously and pulls of the first seal at the door. Then, he unlocks the gate with his key that Jiraiya kept for him. With kyuubi free, Naruto is supposed to touch/grab kyuubi’s chakra and meld with his. But kyuubi is too strong for both Naruto and the aiding hachibi, as he realizes Naruto’s intention of taking his chakra. He transits to the Sage Mode and tries to attack kyuubi with his Super Rasengan. But Naruto quickly gets sucked into kyuubi’s hatred.
Jan. 26, 2012 | ep. 246: The Orange Sparkle (Orenji-iro no Kagayaki オレンジ色の輝)
Naruto’s no match against kyuubi, but manages to grab the nine tails by his tail and gives him a nice heaping dose of Rasenshuriken. Kyuubi falls and Naruto takes the opportunity to pull his chakra out. Unfortunately for Naruto, kyuubi’s hatred and yen for revenge proves too much for him. Unable to control kyuubi, Naruto slowly loses control of himself and gets drawn in. He tries to control himself, and suddenly a gentle female voice calls out to him. She appears before him, with her crimson hair.
“Naruto,” she calls out.
“Who are you?” Naruto questions suspiciously. “Kyuubi’s real form?” he quips.
The lady slaps him.
“Minato didn’t say anything?” bemused.
Before she even continues, the revelation hits him (as she speaks using made up words like him, “Dattebayo!” Her flustered verbal tic is “Dattebane!”).
“Ka-chan,” Naruto calls his mother, a word that is so foreign but dear to him.
Minato had sealed Kushina’s chakra in their beloved son. She teaches him to control kyuubi, but he is only half listening, as he enjoys the moment with his mother and takes in her beauty and wondrous red hair.
“I want your red hair,” he blurts out in awe.
She giggles. He’s the second boy to ever say that he likes her red hair. Young Minato was the first.
Curious, Naruto asks about his parent’s love.
Uzumaki Kushina, of the famed Uzumaki clan, was a transfer student from Uzushiogakure to Konohagakure. On the first day of class, she pledged herself to be the first female Hokage of Konohagakure (just as Minato too proclaimed himself to the next Hokage). In their disgust, her classmates called her Tomato: for her round face and fiery red hair. This irritated her and prompted her to beat up those who teased her. This episode earned her a new nickname: the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero (赤い血潮のハバネロ, Akai Chishio no Habanero).
– Naruto: Note to self, mom IS scary –
No one wanted to be a part of Kushina’s team. What’s more, the older brother of one of her classmates decides to teach her a lesson. The brothers ambush her in the forest, and teases her mercilessly of her red hair. She manages to overcome him and runs away. Little did she know then, Minato was watching over her, waiting to rescue her, if need be.
One day, poor Kushina was kidnapped by the ninjas of the Kumogakure, Hidden Cloud Village, who want her for her special chakra to gain control of kyuubi. Hoping that someone will find her, she leaves a trail of her red hair behind. Fortunately for her, Minato (her guardian angel) picks up on that trail and saves her. He fell in love with her hair and tracked her down. He was always watching over her. He saw how strong she was in fending off her attackers, but this time, he knew she needed help. Her hair was their “red thread of fate” (運命の赤い糸, unmei no akai ito) that brought them together.
Seeing Naruto, Kushina wells up with love and tells him, “I have words for two men who love my hair: I love you.”
The elated Naruto can only smile and reply, since mom is the Red Habanero and dad is the “Yellow Flash,” Naruto is the Orange Spark (Hokage).
With the aid of mommy dearest, Naruto pulse out kyuubi’s chakra and merges it with his, creating a new burst of flame and power. This, of course, angers kyuubi. Before she takes leave to finally join Minato, she tells Naruto of his origins.
She was brought to Konohagakure to be the next vessel of kyuubi following Uzumaki Mito’s impending death. Mito was the wife of Hashirama Senju (the First Hokage) and the first jinchuuriki of kyuubi. Thanks to her special chakra, she led a long and fruitful life. Her clansmen, who specialize in sealing jutsu, and Hashirama were distant relatives. Their land, unfortunately, was destroyed during the war to end their fearful power. To commemorate both Konoha and Uzushio’s ties, the symbol behind all of Konohagakure’s ninjas today is that of Uzushiogakure, the Land of Eddy.
Kushina’s reason for “transfer” to Konoha was only known by the Third Hokage. In her fear of being the new vessel, Mito managed to calm Kushina by telling her that she can find happiness as the new vessel by first filling herself with love. Love that she would eventually find in Minato.
As time went by, Kushina married Minato and eventually conceived Naruto, who became Jiraiya’s godson. But the elders began to fret as the due date drew near. The only time that the seal can be broken (and kyuubi stolen) is when Kushina’s body is at its weakest: during childbirth. Arrangements were made with the ANBU (Biwako and Taji) and Minato to protect Kushina during this crucial time.
While on the way to the secret birth site, Kushina meets with her best friend Uchiha Mikoto and newly born son, Sasuke whereby she wished for friendship between their children in the future.
Upon reaching the hideout, Kushina goes into labor as kyuubi’s seal begins to break.
Feb. 9, 2012 | ep. 248 & 249: The Fourth Hokage’s Death Match!! (Yondaime no Shitō!! 四代目の死闘!!) & Thank You (Arigatō ありがとう)
The celebration of Naruto’s birth is cut short as Tobi infiltrates the hideout, taking out the ANBU: Taji and Biwako and kidnaps Naruto. Tobi’s attempt to kill the infant Naruto is foiled by the father who saves him and places him far away from harm’s way. But Tobi’s move is two-fold. The move was not for the baby. It was to separate husband and wife, so that he will be alone with Kushina and her weakened seal over kyuubi. Kushina is kidnapped, and hidden (at least for a while) away from Minato to force the extraction of kyuubi. Even though weakened from childbirth and with kyuubi extracted from her, she does not die – testament to the powers and strength of the Uzumaki’s chakra. Tobi takes control of kyuubi with his Sharingan and turns the nine tails on Kushina to finish her off. Fortunately, Minato arrives in time, and teleports her back to her son. Leaving wife and baby, Minato realizes he not only has to stop Tobi, but kyuubi too as he rushes off to save his village.
Back in Konohagakure, the villagers enjoy their quiet, peaceful night, until Tobi arrives and summons kyuubi, who goes on a rampage that destroys everything in sight. As the ninjas and the Third Hokage prepare themselves, Minato arrives. Kyuubi sees Minato and immediately attacks him with a huge ball of chakra: the Tailed Beast Ball, the ultimate technique of a bijou (尾獣玉 Bijūdama), which is bound to destroy the village in one blow. Minato, however, teleports the ball of destruction away from the village. But before he can reach the Third Hokage, Tobi almost captures him in his teleportation. The saving grace is the Yellow Flash is no weakling and a namesake either. Tobi finds Minato, as the Fourth Hokage tries to figure out who this masked man is. His actions point to it being Uchiha Madara, but that cannot be so, as that man has long passed. In any case, he is no easy opponent. His attacks against Tobi do not work, but he cleverly outmaneuvers him. Using his Rasengan and Level 2 Flying Raijin, Minato injures Tobi and removes the controlling seal Tobi has over kyuubi.
Before Tobi leaves, he warns Minato, that even though he seemingly “lost” their match, there will be other ways for him to return, to rule the world.
The unsealed kyuubi goes berserk and worsens his destruction. As the ANBU buys him time, the Third Hokage summons the Monkey King Enma and pushes kyuubi out of the village walls. The younger ninjas (Kakashi’s batch) are told to stay away from kyuubi as they will have to pass on the Will of Fire to the next generation.
Minato returns to the village with the aid of Gamabunta, and restrains him long enough to teleport the Nine Tails away from the village. Having no other way to stop kyuubi, Minato is forced to teleport his family to the location of kyuubi too. Kushina, with her diminishing bit of chakra, restrains kyuubi and tries to seal him back in her, so that on her passing in her weakened state, he too will perish. This will save not only Naruto, but Minato too, and she quickly thanks Minato for all that happiness he has shared with her.
But Minato is not in agreement. He cannot let the mother of his son die, even though her life will be short, Naruto cannot live without his mother. Neither can he let kyuubi be destroyed. Tobi is the harbinger of death, and he truly believes, from Jiraiya’s talk with him, his son will be Tobi’s fateful counter. In order for that prophecy to become true, he will seal half of kyuubi with the Dead Demon Consuming Seal (Reaper Death Seal 封印術・屍鬼封尽, Fūinjutsu: Shiki Fūjin) and the other half in Naruto with the Eight Trigrams Seal (八卦の封印式 Hakke no Fūin Shiki). Kushina wants to object, because the seal will be the death of Minato, but she can’t argue with saving her home, even though her son will have the onus of the Nine Tails forever.
The Third Hokage reaches the clearing in time and tries to stop Minato from unleashing the deadly seal, but he is stopped by a barrier that Minato erected earlier. With half of kyuubi’s chakra sealed in the slowly dying Minato, Naruto is then placed in a make-shift altar to prepare for the other part of the ritual. Minato leaves but a second to retrieve Kushina back to the altar, but kyuubi, seeing this opening and refusing to be sealed in a baby, attacks Naruto with a deadly intention. Fortunately, and unfortunately, for Naruto, both parents come to his rescue in a fatal outcome as kyuubi’s nail pierces both parents.
With his dying breath, Minato summons Gerotora to create a key to strengthen or remove the seal (in time) and sends the scroll toad off to his master, Jiraiya, for safe keeping. As his time runs out, he seals kyuubi in Naruto and leaves some of his chakra in Naruto. Kushina’s chakra too is sealed in Naruto, to help him tame kyuubi later in life. With that, they say their parting words (mainly Kushina), who tells Naruto to always bathe, sleep well, eat well and to make a few good and lasting friends. She continues to say to find someone to love like his mom (Sakura with her pink hair). Although he will be faced with pain and hardship, he has to be true to himself. Her final advice, “I love you.”
Kushina’s family name was given to Naruto by the Third Hokage, in hopes that no one will discover the link between Naruto and the Fourth Hokage.
Back in the present, Kushina apologizes for their decision to make Naruto the vessel of kyuubi. But Naruto doesn’t blame his parents. He knows now only the extent of the love of his parents for him, and they gave everything to give him his life. Knowing that Naruto has heard their dreams and wishes, Kushina slowly vanishes while embracing Naruto.
Her final words to him, “Thank you for being born to us. Thank you.”
Feb. 16, 2012 | ep. 250: Battle in Paradise! Odd Beast vs. The Monster! (Chinjū VS Kaijin! Rakuen no Tatakai! 珍獣VS怪人! 楽園の戦い!)
Naruto awakens from his trance with Kushina and vows to push himself even more to become the next Hokage. In his newly discovered state, he senses a negative auto from Killer Bee’s Samehada. The once thought eliminated Hoshigaki Kisame reappears from the inner sanctum of the sword. He has been gathering intel all this time on the remaining bijuus. Kisame immediately extracts and absorbs Killer Bee’s chakra through Samehada.
Waiting on the other side of the island, is Motoi, Aoba and Guy (who is interested in sparring with his inner-self at the Falls of Truth). When Kisame splashes out from the waterfall, in an attempt to escape to island to pass intel to Madara, Guy gives chase and a battle ensues.
Kisame realizes he has meet this sparring partner years before, but Guy seems to be oblivious of this fact. However, knowing this was an enemy he has to quash quickly, Guy summons Ningame (the ninja turtle) to aid him mid-flight into the ocean miles away from land. Seeing Kisame trying to send intel for Akatsuki through his sharks, Guy opens his sixth gate: the Morning Peacock. Unable to stop the rapidly increasing sharks, Guy is forced to open the seventh gate: Gate of Wonder – Daytime Tiger, a supposed one-hit kill technique against Kisame’s Great Shark Bullet Technique. The Daytime Tiger cuts throughout the Shark attack and erupts into a massive shock wave felt by even by inhabitants of the island. Kisame is down.
Feb. 23, 2012 | ep. 251: The Man Named Kisame (Kisame to Iu Otoko 鬼鮫という男)
Surprisingly, Kisame is still able to move. He is down but not dead. Guy brings him back to his comrades as Yamato restrains him for Aoba to extract info from him. He was once a shinobi with team mates to protect. However, this one mission change things. He was told to protect the code in a scroll at all cost, including sacrificing his mates. Returning from his mission, he meets up with the Fourth Mizukage, only to be greeted by a masked man with the Sharingan. As Aoba is about to learn of Tobi’s true identity, Kisame stops the probe by bitting off his own tongue. Awakened from the trance, he breaks free from his restrains and traps himself in his Water Prison Technique.
With his dying breath, he recalls Itachi’s final few words to him about learning about oneself when one is knocking at the door of death. A comrade that raises a hand on another comrade will die a terrible death. Too weak to fight, Kisame summons his ravenous sharks to feed them. At the end, he was willing to give his life to protect the cause he believed in.
Impressed by his final act of “loyalty,” Guy promises to finally remember this worthy adversary. The allies try to read the scroll Kisame protected, but realize too late that it is only a trap; leaving them in a Water Prison with a shark. Meanwhile, another shark takes that same scroll and swims away with the intel, finding its way to Zetsu.
Elsewhere, Tobi finds his way to the Amegakure (Hidden Rain Village) to retrieve Nagato’s Rinnegan but is immediately stopped by Konan. Refusing to impart the location of Nagato’s corpse, she instead tells him that she has been preparing for his arrival to finally put a stop to him. Tobi merely brushes off her fantasy and instead questions her and Nagato’s betrayal.
To that she simply replies, “Naruto is the light that gives hope to all.” He believed in Jiraiya’s idea of peace. Nagato was Jiraiya’s hope. And Nagato, in turn, placed that hope in Naruto. Akatsuki was formed by Nagato, just as rinnegan was his. There was never a betrayal, only a change of ideals.
Their battle quickly ensues, with Konan attacking Tobi with her Paper Shuriken, but it merely passes through his body. She then envelops him with her paper while mixing it with explosive tags, planning to kamikaze her way through. However, he saves them both by warping away most of the explosives – at the cost of his right arm and a broken mask. He jeers at her failed attempt, to which she responds by dividing the lake they stand on, revealing an abyss of paper (with explosive tags attached) that Tobi falls into.
March 8, 2012 | ep. 253: The Bridge to Peace (Heiwa e no Kakehashi 平和への懸け橋)
She immediately detonates the 6 hundred billion explosives she has been preparing the last 10 minutes (much longer than the 5 minutes Tobi can remain intangible for). He, however, survives it using Izanagi (at the cost of his left eye) and promptly impales Konan with a rod. Konan frees herself to prepare for the next attack, but as she does, the endless rain of Amegakure stops; surprising both her and Tobi.
At this point, she problems Naruto to be the “support holding the bridge that will lead them to peace.” As the darkness, Tobi crushes the light by ending Konan’s life, but not before placing her under his genjutsu to reveal Nagato’s location. As she dies with the end of the illusion, Tobi enters a crypt where Nagato and Yahiko lies, and retrieves the Rinnegan he profess to have “given” to Nagato. He then returns to the Akatsuki hideout and learns of Naruto’s location through Kisame’s final intel.
Konan’s body drifts in the water as one of her blood-soaked paper flies off to the friends’ old hideout. The paper billows off and finally rests on her “Hop-In” card, signifying their promise that the three friends made to return one day before leaving.
March 15, 2012 | ep. 254: The Super Secret S-Rank Mission (Doesu-kyū Gokuhi NinmuドS級極秘任務)
The enemy knows the location of the bijuus: Killer Bee and Naruto. It is time to move them. They immediately relocate, without leaving the island, as the island is a mobile stronghold on a giant turtle.
In the meantime, Tsunade sends Naruto a fake S-Rank mission, calling for Naruto to amass the animals for the impending war. The teachers worry that Naruto may see through this ridiculous mission, but Naruto falls for it hook, line and sinker.
In the meantime at the enemy hideout, Tobi, Kabuto and Zetsu enter a cavern of sorts where the Gedo Statue rests and holds the clone of Senju Hashirama’s body: alive but unconscious. Underneath the pool lies an army of 100,000 Zetsu ready for deployment against the 80,000 allied forces. Kabuto asks for Tobi’s trust, and Zetsu’s body. Tobi counters with only the white Zetsu in return for Naruto. Kabuto sets out with resurrected Deidara.
In Kumogakure (Hidden Cloud Village), the Five Kages decide on a course of action with Naruto’s location leaked. Onoki, the Tsuchikage, (volunteers to head out to the island to protect it as it relocates. The Tsuchikage, together with Akatsuchi and Kurotsuchi, ambushes the approaching Kabuto and Deidara. The zombies grandson greets his cantankerous grandfather by immediately trapping him in a clay explosion.
March 22, 2012 | ep. 255: The Artist Returns (Geijutsuka Futatabi 芸術家再び)
A giant snake, summoned by Kabuto, spots the bijuus and stops their mobile island. Kabuto and Deidara head towards the island, intent on retrieving Naruto and Killer Bee, but the Tsuchikage stops them. Deidara counters by creating an explosion that flips the turtle on its back, thus immobilizing it. At this point, the enemy splits as Kabuto goes into the island in search of Naruto and Killer Bee while Deidara holds off his gramps.
The Tsuchikage tries to take Deidara down with his Particle Style, but Akatsuchi stops him as it will not only kill Deidara, but all on the island. Seeing the opening, Deidara throws an explosive towards the Tsuchikage, only to be stopped by Akatsuchi’s protective golem.
Kabuto’s snake, Manda, puts a choke hold on the turtle as Kabuto figures out how to enter the island. Realizing they are under attack, Yamato, Aoba and Motoi head out to check on the situation. Meanwhile, Kurotsuchi sees Kabuto and attacks him, successfully trapping him in her cement. As Aoba approaches to get intel from Kabuto, the snake molts and catches Yamato instead. That was his true intentions as he escaped with Hashirama’s clone.
Tsuchikage counters again, this time soaring above the sky to use his Particle Style away from the island, but Kabuto reaches Deidara and takes off with him. He returns to the lair with the wood user, Yamato, to strengthen Zetsu and to remove Naruto’s guard and potential sealer.
March 29, 2012 | ep. 256: Assemble! Allied Shinobi Forces! (Shūketsu! Shinobi Rengōgun! 集結! 忍連合軍!)
After the enemy leaves with what they came for, the Tsuchikage then flies the giant turtle back to Konohagakure (Leaf Village). Inside the island, Naruto knows something’s amiss, and insists that he will return to his village. Killer Bee stops him, reasoning that he has yet to control kyuubi’s chakra.
The Mizukage, Terumi Mei, welcomes Tsuchikage back to Konohagakure only to be told of Yamato’s capture. The villages have prepped and gathered for the war. Even the headbands have been created: reading 忍 – ninja. The ninjas are then divided into 9 division, to better pool together ninjas with similar abilities. While the Great Battle Regiment is divided into 5 teams, each lead by a commander, with Gaara, the Kazekage, as the Regimental Commander (連隊長, Rentaichō) and A, the Raikage, as the Supreme Leader of the forces.
The Great Battle Regiment consists of (in the initial deployment):
1. First Division (第一部隊, Daiichi Butai): Mid-Range Battle Division led by Darui of Kumogakure (Cloud Village)
They are stationed in the North of the Land of Lightning (to prevent Akatsuki’s infiltration through the small gulf by ways of Mountain’s Graveyard – their hideout).
• Akimichi Chouza (Chouji’s dad), Hyuga Hiashi, Samui and Tenten
2. Second Division (第二部隊, Daini Butai): Short-Range Battle Division led by Kitsuchi (son of Onoki, Tsuchikage) of Iwagakure (Rock Village)
They are deployed at the border of Land of Lightning and the Land of Frost to seal the North path into the Land of Lightning.
• Hyuga Neji and Hinata, Karui, Kurotsuchi
3. Third Division (第三部隊, Daisan Butai): Short-to-Mid-Range Battle Division led by Hatake Kakashi of Konohagakure
They are stationed in the middle of the Land of Frost (but later moved to the North of the Land of Hot Water to aid Kankuro’s Surprise Attack Division).
• Mighty Guy, Haruno Sakura, Rock Lee, Maki (Nara Ensui, Tajiki, Yamanaka Santa – manga)
4. Fourth Division (第四部隊, Daiyon Butai): Long-Range Battle Division led by Gaara, Kazekage, of Sunagakure, who is also the Commander
Proxy Commander is Nara Shikamaru of Konohagakure (even as Gaara’s proxy, he is effectively in command).
They are deployed at the border of Land of Lightning and the Land of Frost to seal the South path into the Land of Lightning.
• Akimichi Chouji and Temari (Dodai – manga)
5. Fifth Division: Special Battle Division led by Mifune of Tetsu no Kuni (Land of Iron)
Aligned at the North of Land of Frost, through the middle of the of the border between the Land of Frost and the Land of Lightning, all the way to the South of the First Division (in the Land of Lightning). This team is strategically placed to go to the aid of any of the divisions in need of immediate response.
• Aburame Shino, Akamaru, Inuzuka Kiba, Inuzuka Hana, Yamanaka Ino, and the 3 Haimaru Brothers
The supporting divisions consists of:
1. The Surprise Attack Division (奇襲部隊, Kishū Butai)/ambush team led by Kankuro of Sunagakure (Sand Village)
Stationed at the Land of Hot Water.
• Hyuga Hoheto, Ittan, Kiri, Omoi, Sai, Zaji (Tango – manga)
2. The Logistical Support and Medical Division (後方支援医療部隊, Kōhōshien Iryō Butai) led by Shizune of Konohagakure (Leaf Village)
• Tonton the pig (Hino, Takemaru, Toyosa – manga)
3. The Intelligence Division led by Yamanaka Inoichi of Konohagakure (father of Ino)
At headquarters with A the Fourth Raikage, Tsunade the Fifth Hokage and Oonoki the Third Tsuchikage (who later deploys out).
• Tenga and Yamashiro Aoba
4. The Sensor Division led by Ao of Kirigakure (Mist Village)
At headquarters with A the Fourth Raikage, Tsunade the Fifth Hokage and Oonoki the Third Tsuchikage (who later deploys out)
Sasuke makes a cameo appearance, as Zetsu tells him his blindfold is not ready to be removed yet. Outside of the lair at the Mountain’s Graveyard, Anko senses something awry underground. Hyuga Tokuma immediately uses his byakugan and discovers the alarming number of Zetsu army deeply concealed.
As Kabuto returns, he warns Madara that Yamato cannot be extracted for info as that will kill him. In the meantime, he has Yamato restrained with his poison, thus stopping him from using his wood jutsu. With that, it is time for war! Kabuto summons Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei 口寄せ・穢土転生 and reawakens former members of Akatsuki, Former Kages, the six jinchurikis and other “famous shinobis”. What’s more, Yamato is secured below the clone of Hashirama to bolster the strength of the 100,000 white Zetsu soldiers. They leave their lair, to fight the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
– Deidara, Uchiha Itachi, Kakuzu, Nagato, Sasori,
• Former Kages
– Fourth Kazekage (Gaara’s father), Muu Second Tsuchikage, Second Mizukage, Third Raikage (A’s father)
– Fuu, Han, Roushi, Utakata, Yagura, Nii Yugito
• Otherwise famous
– Ringo Ameyuri, Sarutobi Asuma, Chiyo, Chuukichi, Katou Dan, Suikazan Fuguki, Gari, Ginkaku and Kinkaku, Haku, Hanzou, Hyuuga Hizashi, Akebino Hini, Munashi Jinpachi, Kimimaro, Kuriarare Kushimaru, Uchiha Madara, Houzuki Mangetsu, Pakura, Shin, Toroi, Torune, Momochi Zabuza
Little Naruto was not only nuisance to the Leaf Village, but he was a worry to them too, as the host kyuubi. But all he wanted was to be noticed and loved. When he asked the Third Hokage why he is parentless, unlike the other children, he was told that the answer will not bring his parents back.
At the same time, he was enrolled into the academy, and thus began the fateful meeting and teaming of Sasuke-Naruto and eventually Sakura.
April 12, 2012 | ep. 258: Rivals (Raibaru ライバル)
Although Team 7 is assembled, teamwork is sorely missing among the three. Then, at the Chunnin Exam, a test of survival, they begin to learn the meaning of teamwork. Unfortunately for them, this is also when Orochimaru first struck, with his trusty spy Kabuto acting as an ally to Team 7.
As Orochimaru attacks, Naruto stops him from injuring Sasuke while awakening the dormant kyuubi’s powers. After five days of test, Naruto ends the exam with not only multi-clones of himself, but Sasuke, Sakura and Kabuto to end the stalemate of the ambushing ninjas of Orochimaru’s calling. It is then, that Sasuke finally sees Naruto as someone worthy of his rivalry.
After the test, Sasuke heads to Kakashi for training (learning the one original skill of the copy ninjas – Chidori), while Naruto became the disciple of Jiraiya (drawing kyuubi’s chakra and learning rasengan).
April 19, 2012 | ep. 259: Cracks (Kiretsu 亀裂)
The rivalry and training continue, until Itachi makes and unexpected visit with Kisame. However, when he lets it known that he is not there for his brother, but Naruto. Something snaps in Sasuke.
He realizes his stay in the Village is not moving him forward towards his vengeful goal. He begins to look elsewhere, and coincidentally, Orochimaru’s peons show up offering him a way out (or in in this case).
April 26, 2012 | ep. 260: Schism (Ribetsu 離別)
Shikamaru, Choji, Neji, Kiba, Akamaru and Naruto are assembled to retrieve Sasuke. Even though they have not developed such strong ties, he is one of them. And as one of them, they will do everything they can to get him back. However, the road is not without obstacles. Even the Sand siblings come to the aid of the Leaf villagers.
But to no avail. Sasuke and Naruto meet for a final time at the Valley of the End, where ironically, the statues of Uchiha Madara and Senju Hashirama stand. It’s a battle that knows to time. No victorious were won that day, only losses. Sasuke, hoping to gain Mangekyo Sharingan by killing a friend, was lost to the dark side. Naruto, gaining strength by trying to save a friend, lost a friend.
May 3, 2012 | ep. 261: For My Friend (Tomo no Tame ni 友のために)
Kabuto resurrects the dead by using the reanimation jutsu, edo tensei. The reanimated zombies do not want to fight, but they have no say in the matter. Even the once evil doers find it an abhorrent act, because they are forced against their will. Even though they retain their memories, as the fighting begins, Kabuto will erase them and make them a true fighting and killing machine. This will not only confuse the ally forces but toy with their emotions, making it harder for them to kill their loved ones.
Anko sends her team back to the Leaf to report on the intel that they found (the army of Zetsu) at the Mountain’s Graveyard as she remains to ascertain a few things about the lair. However, she is waylaid by Kabuto who poisons her and her team is stopped by Deidari-Sasori and two reanimated Leaf ninjas sent on an aerial attack.
Meanwhile, at the allied shinobi side, even as they gather, distrust brew among them as they have all fought each other at one time. The Sand against the Leaf. The Leaf against the Cloud. The Mist against the Cloud. The Stone against the Mist. No one is blameless. But Gaara puts a stop to the hatred and frustration.
He, of all people, should know. He was born into this hatred and hunger for power because of their long distrust of each other. But that is falling right into the enemy’s trap: a destruction of the villages. He was once that way too. But for one Leaf ninja that stopped him, saved his life at (almost) the cost of his own, and forever changed his perspective. This ninja shed tears for him, his enemy, and turned around and called him his friend. So, there are no enemies among the villagers. Only friends. The Sand, the Stone, the Leaf, the Mist and the Cloud. And they are all one, the shinobi 忍.
With that, Gaara, the young and inexperienced leader of the allied troops, unites the villagers and give them hope.
May 10, 2012 | ep. 262: War Begins! (Kaisen! 開戦!)
Kankuro’s Surprise Attack Division enters enemy territory via air, with Sai and his painted birds. The outcome of the war and number of casualties is depended on them: the first line of defense. Once at the rendezvous point at the Land of Hot Water, they set up camp and traps within a 10-mile radius. He warns his men of Edo Tensei, and worse yet, killing the jutsu owner will not stop the undead.
Elsewhere, the Lords are moved to safety.
Anko’s team is pursued and later captured by Deidara and his team of zombies. With Tokuma, Ranka and Muta nabbed, Deidara and Sasori proceeds to ambush Kankuro’s team. Anko, not faring better, is captured by Kabuto.
Muta of the Aburame clan is not only controlled by Sasori, but has denotations placed in him. Zaji the sensor in Kankuro’s team sees this, and warn the rest. Ittan of the Stone creates a deep trench, with his Earth style jutsu, separating the team from Deidara’s c4s. The kidnapped Tokuma and Ranka are used to attack their own, but Omoi swoops in to sever Sasori’s hold on them. Kankuro jumps in and takes down Sasori while Ittan raises the outpost. Kankuro squares of with the master puppeteer himself, but his own puppet: Sasori.
The war begins.
Shin, Sai’s dead brother appears. “Run,” Shin warns his brother. “I can’t be broken.”
May 17, 2012 | ep. 263: Sai & Shin (Sai to Shin サイとシン)
Shin is sent in as Sasori’s puppet, and with Deidara’s explosion placed in him. But Kankuro’s puppet stifles the explosion by encasing Shin. Even though Shin imploded within, he is able to regenerate and the brothers are pitted against each other. With the aid of Omoi and the enraged Sai, Deidara and Sasori are knocked out of the sky into Kankuro’s awaiting puppets.
Since young, Shin and Sai were pitted against each other by the Foundation (under Danzou). Shin, the elder of the two and sickly, knew what awaited them at the end of their training: they were both to fight to the death. Unable and unwilling to go through with the final test, Sai is convinced by Shin to leave as he takes his own life. Resurrected, but seeing Sai’s sketch of the two brothers holding hands, Shin’s wish of remaining on earth is fulfilled and thus frees his soul.
Entrapped, Kankuro relays to Sasori what Sakura told him of the way the puppeteer fights. His source of power is his soul, one that can bring down a nation if need be. Before, he used Kabuto. Now, he is merely Kabuto’s puppet. How fate has turned on him! But his legacy will live on to the next generation through his puppets. With that, Sasori “dies,” but not before entrusting Kankuro with his Mother and Father puppets.
With that, Sai, Omoi and Zaji then deal with a persistent Deidara.
Meanwhile, Kabuto, who realizes his lost of Shin and Sasori, tells Tobi that it’s time for him to head out to the battlefield.
May 24, 2012 | ep. 264: Secrets of the Reanimation Jutsu (Edo Tensei no Himitsu 穢土転生の秘密)
Naruto trains with Killer Bee to better sync with kyuubi to create bijuu dama (bomb). However, there are limits and risks to the bijuu chakra mode. As he absorbs kyuubi’s chakra, and kyuubi takes his, he can die if his own chakra is depleted. He cannot clone himself and restoration of his own chakra takes time. While they train, Killer Bee/Naruto realizes that Rasengan is exactly the same as the bijuu dama. The Bijuu chakra is a combination of red and blue chakra of 2:8 parts. But the slower Naruto doesn’t understand this ratio. So he trains the only way he knows how: by repetition, feel and perseverance.
Meanwhile at the outskirts of Mountains’ Graveyard (山岳の墓場 Sangaku no Hakaba), Tobi’s lair, Kabuto senses the lost of Shin and Sasori. He tells Tobi that it’s time for him to head out to the battlefield. But before heading out, the weary Tobi tells Kabuto to finish of Anko. But Kabuto reasons that he needs Anko for Orochimaru’s blood that flows in her, to complete the reanimation jutsu Edo Tensei. In that case, he wants to know the inner workings of Edo Tensei, including how to stop it. He releases Danzou’s men, Fu and Torune as test subjects. As Kabuto prepares the jutsu, he explains that there are certain people he cannot call up with this especially those whose soul have been sealed like the First, Second, Third and Fourth (all four sealed or consumed by the Death God / Reaper Death Seal) Hokages. Also, he can’t reanimate those whose body he cannot find, like Shisui, Jiraiya and Danzou. Most of all, this jutsu poses no risk whatsoever to the wielder.
First, the DNA of the intended revival is acquired, in this case, Torune for identification and soul retrieval. Then, a living sacrifice is attained for the resurrected to use as a vessel, Fu. The blood of the revived is smeared on a special scroll and then activated. When Torune is revived in Fu, looking exactly like Torune, and having his skills, he is stored in a casket.
The three ways of countering Edo Tensei is to seal the soul of the revived, giving an emotional closure to the revived individual (like Sasori and Shin) and finally having the summoner (Kabuto) end the technique. As this is an unlikely voluntary act, Tobi can simply use Sharingan to force Kabuto’s hand. The canceling sequence is Rat – Ox – Monkey – Tiger – Dragon – Boar and then release 解, kai. However, Kabuto lies, saying the releasing seals are Dog – Horse – Tiger. What’s more, killing the summoner before the technique is deactivated doesn’t stop the Jutsu. Satisfied, Tobi leaves, but sends the white Zetsu to tail Kabuto.
Elsewhere, Aburame Muta’s insects reach the shinobi allies’s headquarter with the intel on the underground army.
The second division led by Kitsuchi feels the enemy of a thousand white Zetsus (almost 20,000) closing in on them underground at the Land of Frost. Using the earth erupt jutsu, the father and daughter team (Kitsuchi and Kurotsuchi) spit up the White Zetsu from underground. Although a significant quantity of the clones are destroyed, more emerge, seemingly overwhelming and tiring out the Allied Forces.
May 31, 2012 | ep. 265: An Old Nemesis Returns (Shukuteki to no Saikai 宿敵との再会)
Kabuto sends in reinforcement for the downed Deidara team in the form of Zabuza, Haku, Pakura and Gari. Zaji, Omoi and Sai counter from midair, but are taken down. Unfortunately for the reinforcements, they are truly fighting against their will.
Kakashi arrives as backup and tells the unfortunate souls that they are revived by Akatsuki’s Edo Tensei. Irritated that his drones are defying him, Kabuto turns them into killing machines. Feeling something else overtake him, Zabuza quickly begs Kakashi to kill him.
The mist quickly envelopes them, and Kakashi develops a formation with his team: stationing them at specific points 12, 3, 6, 9 and back to back. Reinforcing Zabuza’s team, Kabuto sends the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist!
June 7, 2012 | ep. 266: The First and Last Opponent (Saisho no Teki, Saigo no Teki 最初の敵, 最後の敵)
Suigetsu escapes with Juugo from Mifune’s prison. He goes in search for his Hiramekarei, a sword once wielded by his brother, Mangetsu (but currently owned by Choujuuro). He will reform the once legendary team of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist.
At the battleground in the Land of Hot Water, Kakashi forms a plan to stop the zombies and the mist, starting with taking down Zabuza. With the help of Nara Ensui (shadow jutsu), Yamanaka Santa (mind manipulation) and Maki they set out to stop the Undead. They are stopped by the legendary Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist consisting of Ameyuri Ringo, wielder of Kiba, the Thurder Sword, Jinin Akebino with his Kabutowari, the Blunt Sword, Jinpachi Munashi with Shibuki, the Blast Sword, Mangetsu (swordless, but the one who can handle all seven swords), Zabuza with Kubikiribocho, the Executioner’s Blade/Sever Sword, which repairs itself with the iron in human blood, Kushimaru Kuriarare with Nuibari, the Sewing Needle/Long Sword and Fuguki Suikazan (first owner of Samehada that Kisame stole from).
Kakashi finds Zabuza through the thick mist, and just as he is about to ambush him from the back, Haku steps up again and saves Zabuza. Zabuza reacts, and takes down both of them. Kakashi is injured but manages to land a punch as Ensui traps him while Maki seals Zabuza. With that, the mist clears.
Elsewhere, at Kitsuchi’s outpost, Neji is caught by a Zetsu clone and is slowly drained of his chakra. Neji quickly takes down the clone. The situation looks gloom with the ten of thousands army, and worsen when news arrive that more White Zetsu infiltrated pass them.
In the desert at the border of Land of Lightning and the Land of Frost, where Gaara stands guard, the Second Tsuchikage Mu (無, Mū) of wagakure (Stone Village) materializes.
June 21, 2012 | ep. 267: The Brilliant Military Advisor of the Hidden Leaf (Konoha no Tensai Gunshi 木ノ葉の天才軍師)
Mu, despite his excellent camouflage techniques, is detected by Gaara. He is one of the few people capable of using kekkei touta, an advanced and powerful form of kekkei genkai, allowing him to combine different chakra elements: fire, earth and wind, which he taught to Oonoki, the Third Tsuchikage. Kubuto then forces his hand to summon three other Kages for support: Second Mizukage (mutual distrust and dislike for each other and both died in the hands of the other), Fourth Kazekage (Gaara’s father) and Third Raikage (A’s father).
They bicker amongst themselves, blaming the Second Hokage for reviving them but only the Fourth Kazekage disagrees with this scapegoat, seeing as how the Second Hokage has long passed. The only other person with the Edo Tensei ability is Orochimaru. The only person who first senses Gaara’s presence and later notices his Third Eye observing from afar is the unassuming Fourth Kazekage.
Gaara quickly disseminates the intel to headquarters.
Meanwhile, white zetsus begin to show up at Darui’s stronghold at the Land of Lightning’s Coast. Worse yet, Ao at headquarters begin to sense the arrival of many Edo Tensei “recipients” including Sarutobi Asuma (Team 10’s mentor), Hyuuga Hizashi (Neji’s father), Katou Dan (Tsunade’s ex-flame), Kakuzu, and Kumogakure’s infamous Gold and Silver Brothers: Ginkaku and Kinkaku filled with kyuubi’s chakra.
Nara Shikaku immediately devises a new strategy of confronting the two distinct group of attacks by concentrating their forces on Darui’s line of defense: Battle A. Mifune’s Fifth Division would move in to connect with them together with the majority of Kitsuchi’s Second Division to sandwich the enemy force.
As this happens, Gaara’s Fourth Division will buy time by slowly retreating and luring the enemy (the Kages) into the First Division’s station to further support each other: Battle B. This will enable the remainder resources of Battle A to attack Battle B from the rear (once Battle A concludes).
As the plan of attack is agreed by all, and the strategy disseminated, the Third Tsuchikage then brings up a wrench in the plan. The Second Tsuchikage is not one to sit on the fence and wait (like the rest), as Shikaku’s Battle B’s plan of prolonging it will only work if the Kages didn’t suspect anything amiss. With that, Oonoki decides that he needs to be out in the field to support the young un, Gaara.
June 28, 2012 | ep. 268: Everyone’s Fierce Battle!! (Sorezore no Gekisen!! それぞれの激戦!!)
The Feudal Lords/Daimyos who are placed at a fortified palace are losing patience of being cooped up. However, Black Zetsu finds their hideout. Lucky for them, that “discovery” is but a trap for the Akatsuki member. As Black Zetsu makes his escapes he hangs back to survey the area and to find out the actual location housing the Lords.
At the same time, Mizukage and Choujuurou are escorting the Frost Lord to the Land of Mist. In truth, he would be moved to five different hideouts at regular intervals and guarded by shinobis to keep them safe.
Elsewhere, the coastline is attacked by White Zetsus and the revived ninjas. The Hyuga brothers finally meet again, and the younger of the twin, Hizashi, reiterates once again that his death is for the sake of the Hyuga clan. (Simultaneously, both the younger generation Hyuga cousins come to each other’s aids) Darui faces off with the Gold and Silver Brothers, 金銀兄弟, Kingin Kyōdai, Kinkaku and Ginkaku.
Tsuchikage closes in on Gaara’s Fourth Division. As the tactical orders are disseminated to the team captains, Shikamaru begins preparation to move half of the Fourth Division to Battle B. Temari and Choji voice their dissent on the plan, knowing that Muu the Second Tsuchikage is a known “Kekkei Touta;” just the word itself frightens them (even though they do not understand the significance of it). So Shikamaru proceeds to explain to them: An average shinobi has only one known chakra element. There are those who can fuse two elements to create a new source, like Haku, Yamato and Darui. Muu, has the ability to combine three elements, much like the Third Tsuchikage, Oonoki.
Meanwhile Kankuro’s moving team is ambushed by a new set of revived ninjas: Chiyo Obachan, Kimimaro, and Hanzou while transporting Deidara. Knowing they are unable to match the experience and skills of their elders, Kankuro calls for a retreat of his Surprise Attack Division.
A begins to fret about the men meeting Kinkaku and Ginkaku, the most reviled criminals of the Hidden Cloud Village and their attack on the Second Hokage that left him on the verge of death. A long time ago, while trying to capture kyuubi, the brothers tried their hand at nabbing the bijuu, but got swallowed instead. They trashed inside the belly of the beast for two weeks and feasted on his flesh until kyuubi was forced to regurgitate them. Because of that, they are filled with kyuubi’s chakra.
On top of that, they wield the Treasured Tools of the Sage of Six Paths, 道仙人の宝具, Rikudō Sennin no Hōgu: Koukinjou (rope: 幌金縄 Golden Canopy Rope), Shichiseken (sword: 七星剣 Seven Star Sword), Benihisago (gourd: 紅葫蘆Crimson Gourd), Bashousen (fan: 芭蕉扇 Banana Palm Fan) and Kahoku no Jouhei (pot: 琥珀の浄瓶 Amber Purifying Pot – not with the brothers, but with the Raikage).
Darui is supported by Atsui (hot) and Samui (cold), but the hot-headed Atsui attacks without a plan and is immediately injured by Kinkaku. He then uses the Koukinjou (golden rope) to draw the spirit word (word often used by the opponent), while Ginkaku uses the Shichiseiken (sword) to curse the word, and then sucks it into Benihisago (which records the word and when prompted seals the speaker in it). Atsui, loving the phrase “atsui” becomes the first victim followed by Samui. Darui is almost sucked into the red gourd, until he profusely apologizes to the Raikage for disappointing his trust, thus changing the spirit word and releasing Darui in the process.
With the unexpected turn, Darui immediately steals the gourd and sword and turns it against Ginkaku. The unfortunate brother is sucked into Benihisago with his overuse of his brother’s name. Seeing his brother bested at their own game, Kinkaku becomes furious and releases kyuubi’s chakra, turning him into a six-tail form of kyuubi.
July 19, 2012 | ep. 270: Golden Bonds (Ekonjiki no Kizuna 金色の絆)
Kinkaku goes into a rampage against Darui’s team after Ginkaku is sealed in Benihisago. Unable to stop him, Darui asks headquarters for a solution. Aid comes in the form of the Rikudou Sennin’s sealing pot, the Kohaku no Johei, and the Fourth Division: lead by Shikamaru. The younger generation of Ino-Shika-Chou has arrived. Choji begins his ambushed assault against Kinkaku, leading to Shikamaru capturing his shadow and then Ino grasping on to Kinkaku’s mind. With that, Kinkaku is successfully sealed in the Sage’s sealing pot.
However, things couldn’t have gotten worse for them as Kakuzu replenishes all his five hearts and announces that they too have their gold and silver pawns: in the form of their revived sensei Sarutobi Asuma and Tsunade’s love Kato Dan.
July 26, 2012 | ep. 271: Road to Sakura
Ino on an errand in the forest sees Sakura taking a fall. Finding her friend, she retrieves her back to the village only to be told that Sakura has a minor amnesia: seemingly remembering some things/people but not others.
Kankuro’s moving Surprise Attack Division tries to retreat with Deidara, but is hunted down by the revived ninjas: Chiyo Obachan, Kimimaro, and Hanzou. Kankuro sends out an SOS to HQ for aid, and Mifune’s Special Battle Division is sent. Before Mifune’s team arrives, Hanzou summons his poisonous salamander, Ibuse, which unleashes a paralyzing fog of poison towards its targets. Luckily for Kankuro, as Hanzou is about to deal him the death blow, Mifune and his samurais arrive for the save and send the fallen off to the medic team.
A long time ago, Mifune met Hanzou in battle and was left to die a slow poisonous death. Thinking his opponent is sure to meet his maker, he tells him his story. As a child, Hanzou was implanted with the sac of a poisonous salamander. To prevent self-poisoning, he wears a respirator in case his scar on his torso is ruptured (where the sac is inserted). But before passing, Mifune entrusts Hanzou with the sparing of his fellow comrades. Touched, Hanzou gives him the anecdote.
As they trade attacks, Mifune breaks Hanzou’s sickle and later, respirator. Seeing a different Hanzou standing before him, Mifune chastises Hanzou for losing his conviction to hone his skills, turning his blade blunt and worthless like the handler. Remembering their old encounter, the defeated Hanzou commits seppuku with his broken blade, the act of a samurai: thus honoring Mifune, and entrusts him with his conviction. Kabuto tries to stop him by putting him on a mindless mode, but the act itself releases the poisonous sac, thus enabling Hanzou to be “killed” and sealed.
Aug. 9, 2012 | ep. 273 & 274: True Kindness (Hontō no Yasashisa 本当 の優しさ) & The Complete Ino-Shika-Cho Formation! (Kanpeki na Inoshikachō!! 完璧な猪鹿蝶!!)
Ino-Shika-Cho steps in to try to seal Kakuzu as he replenishes all five of his hearts. But he warns them, their “accomplishment” of sealing Ginkaku and Kinkaku will be short lived as they still have trumps cards to play: in the form of Kato Dan, Tsunade’s old love, and Sarutobi Asuma the youngsters’ deceased teacher. Izumo and Kotetsu step in to deal with and seal Kakuzu as orders come in from Shikaku telling Team 10 to confront their sensei Asuma.
They recall during one of their trainings as genin, Asuma taught them a lesson in kindness after seeing Choji unwilling to lift a hand against his own comrades. Even on his last breath, he told Choji his kindness will make him stronger than the rest. His message to Ino as the strong-willed and dependable person of the group to pull the two boys together, guiding them.
Seeing them, Asuma proudly says to them, “You’ve become a fine shinobi.” The attack begins, but at the last moment, Choji just can’t perform. Even Asuma is shocked, as he moves to strike with his ash dust, but Ino comes in for the save. His hesitation will not only cost him his life, but his friends too. Shikamaru even resorts to calling him a “fatso (debu デブ)” to rile him up, but it doesn’t work, as Choji can’t bare to hurt those he loves.
Elsewhere on the battlefield, Ten-Ten finds the Bashousen (Banana Palm Fan), while Darui picks up Shichiseken (the Seven Star Sword). Ten-Ten uses her new chakra-eating equipment to take out one of Kakuzu’s hearts (even though Dario tried to use his, he was out of chakra to properly wield it).
Since Choji can’t bring himself to attack Asuma, Ino enters his mind and reminds him the meaning of their earrings given by Asuma. They all do not want to fight Asuma, but this is not just for them. It’s for the “king” – the future generation. Chouza is forced to step in on behalf of his son (his “king”), to protect the future generation of the Akamichi clan. But soon, Chouza is called off to handle Dan, but before he leaves, he warns his son, “Are you kind or just plain cowardly? Be more confident!”
With his resolve, Choji pushes Ino out and finally grows blue wings without the help of the family pills. Team 10 attacks Asuma with the sealing team on standby. Choji makes a direct hit on Asuma as Shikamura pins him down with his shadow jutsu. Before Asuma is sealed, he leaves them with encouraging, but sad words, “I don’t have anymore things to say (teach) to you. Your formation is perfect.”
Aug. 16, 2012 | ep. 275: A Letter In the Heart (Kokoro no Naka no Tegami 心の中の手紙)
At the moving island training hall, Naruto can’t help but stop his unfinished training to voice his unrest. (Sealed and secluded) He felt kyuubi’s chakra outside of him and decides to leave the grounds. He is immediately stopped by guards lead by Aburame Shibi (Shino’s dad) and an arriving Iruka who tries to fool him yet again. Not taken in, Naruto turns on his Sage mode and punches out of the cave, and in doing so, his band on his forehead drops. Restrained by the shadow jutsu, Iruka tries to convince Naruto to remain behind. But during the scuffle, he suddenly sees the war and its casualties. Iruka is forced to tell him that Madara’s war is upon them, and the sole purpose of the war is to retrieve hachibi and kyuubi to complete his “mission” to recreate the ten-tail to bring about doomsday.
But Naruto, telling Pain once about his peace, decides that he will continue to break this curse. As others have entrusted him, he will move on to stop the war. He tells Iruka Sensei to have faith in him, and not just as the host to kyuubi, but as his pupil. However, Iruka replies, “You are more than a pupil to me. You are like my little brother.” With that, he picks up Naruto’s dropped headband, returns it to him, and simultaneously sets a seal on him. But Naruto easily breaks the seal, the shadow hold and Shibi’s insects, and escapes. As he leaves, and reties his band, he finds a note left by Iruka, “If you are reading this note, it means I was too weak to hold you back.…But, no matter what, come back alive!” With that, Naruto eats the letter: his word is his promise.
At the same time, Killer Bee too breaks out of the cave to go after Naruto (half-heartedly, knowing that Naruto’s best training is on the field of battle). He is stopped by Iruka who begs for him to protect Naruto.
Naruto and Killer Bee quickly meet up but are stopped by the Barrier Corps. But the two easily break through the blockade and busts out of the Turtle Island.
They will head towards the heart of the war (but not before being stopped by an infuriated Raikage!)