The Immortal Devastators – Hidan and Kakuzu
Season four of Naruto Shippuden (Part II of the manga by Masashi Kishimoto)) aired from Aug. 21 to Dec. 11, 2008. It ran with a total of 17 episodes (72-88).
Konoha ninjas go up against two powerful Akatsuki members who don’t seem to want to die. Naruto improves on the rasengan and creates a new jutsu under the careful tutelage of Kakashi and watchful eyes of Yamato. While Shikamura learns the horror of wars and finally lives up to his fullest potential to avenge a beloved mentor.
Season 4 has two opening themes and two ending themes.
Aug. 21, 2008. ep. 72: The Quietly Approaching Threat
Naruto and Sai are recovering in the hospital. Not a moment too soon and Naruto is up and back on his training again (if he hopes to meet Sasuke again).
Kakashi reports to Tsunade that Akatsuki is on the move – hunting down Jinchuurikis.
Kakuzu and Hidan corner two-Tail Jinchuuriki, Yugito Nii. She struggles against them, resorting to unleashing her beast (a large flaming cat), but is easily defeated and captured. They then eye the Fire Country hungrily.
Aug. 28, 2008. ep. 73: Akatsuki’s Invasion
The body of the two-tail is handed over to Zetsu, who brings it back to the Akatsuki hideout. On their way to Fire Country, Kakuzu decides to attack the Fire Temple to collect the bounty on the head monk, Chiriku. It becomes a bloodbath with Chiriku trying to defend the temple and his own life, but everything and everyone is ultimately destroyed and killed.
Under the watchful eyes of Kakashi and Yamato, Naruto goes through elemental training, where he discovers he has an affinity to wind. By focusing his wind chakra, he can cut things with his chakra – as shown by Asuma who has the same elemental affinity as him. Naruto then trains to cut down a waterfall, created by Yamato. Yamato, with his two elemental chakras, watches vigilantly incase kyuubi accidentally escapes while Naruto pushes himself to his limit. Kakashi explains that Naruto is the only one who can go through this rigorous training, as he has the ability to create multiple kagebunshins (shadow clones) of himself – thereby learning in a fraction of the time.
Sept. 4, 2008. ep. 74: Under the Starry Sky
Konoha village catches wind of the massacre at the Fire Temple. Tsunade sends out the Nijuu Shotai (20 teams) composed of four ninjas each to capture the Akatsuki members.
• Asuma, Shikamaru, Izumo & Kotetsu
• Raido, Aoba, Ino & Choji
– only two teams were revealed. The Nijuu Shotai is created by Tsunade to search for member of Akatsuki, and capture them alive –
Naruto is still unable to move forward in his second stage of training. However, after witnessing a shooting star and vowing to improve, he succeeds in cutting down the man-made waterfall. He subsequently collapses from hunger and exhaustion soon after. This prompts Sakura to create “energy pills” for Naruto, which tastes like horse feet.
That night, Sakura cries over an old photo of Team Kakashi, formerly Team 7, when they were younger.
Sept. 11, 2008. ep. 75: The Old Monk’s Prayer
Team Asuma arrives at the Fire Temple. Asuma mourns the loss of a former member of Twelve Guardian Ninja and a dear friend. Izumo theorizes that the Akatsuki team will try to claim the bounty on Chiriku’s head at an exchange point. Team Asuma then prepares to head toward that location.
Back at the training ground, Kakashi reveals the true reason for Naruto’s grinding training by showing Naruto his own mastery of the Rasengan.
Sept. 25, 2008. ep. 76 & 77: The Next Step & Climbing Silver
The Rasengan is an incomplete jutsu since Kakashi is unable to combine his own elemental chakra into it. Likewise, the Fourth Hokage, creator of the jutsu, was unable to achieve that before he died. However, Kakashi hypothesizes that Naruto might be successful, thus inspiring Naruto to do his best. Naruto pushes himself even further until kyuubi tries to break free. Fortunately, Yamato is standing by just for suppressing the beast.
At the temple, Asuma sends word to the other teams of Akatsuki’s whereabouts and leaves.
Kakuzu collects the bounty on Chiriku’s corpse – in a bounty station hidden in a bathroom, while Hidan chooses to wait outside. When he finally leaves the bathroom after counting out his money, he finds team Asuma attacking Hidan. Kakuzu attacks Shikamaru, but is forbidden by the over-zealous Hidan to join in the battle. He agrees only if he gets to pick up the bounty on Asuma’s head later.
Izumo and Kotetsu pierce Hidan’s vital organs but are unable to kill him. Hidan is eerily immortal.
Asuma is unwilling to retreat knowing that Konoha will be endangered if the immortal pair is released. Shikamaru senses that Asuma is willing to sacrifice himself to defeat them. Asuma deals blows after blows to Hidan, but too no avail. Meanwhile Shikamaru distracts Hidan by forcing him to dodge his Shadow Sewing Jutsu. In a split second, Hidan nicks Asuma on the cheek with his scythe. Just as quickly, a circle of blood is drawn on the ground and Hidan steps into it. Asuma uses a Fire Style Jutsu to engulf Hidan in flames.
Oct. 2, 2008. ep. 78 & 79: The Judgement & Unfulfilled Scream
The flames strikes Hidan, but Asuma gets scorched instead.
Hidan is able to connect his body to his opponent’s after ingesting their blood. Whatever thrown at him, will hurt him, but the opponent as well.
Asuma tries another tactic, but crumbles to the ground when Hidan stabs himself in the leg, injuring Asuma instead of himself.
Watching quietly on the sideline waiting to jump in at a moment’s notice, Shikamura notices that Hidan needs to be in the blood circle for the curse ritual to work. Using his Shadow Possession Jutsu, Shikamaru forces Hidan out of the circle and Asuma finishes him with a blow. Writhing in pain, Asuma decapitates Hidan with his chakra knife.
Unbeknown to the Leaf Ninjas, Hidan is still alive even with a lopped off head. Kakuzu, waiting patiently for Hidan to have his fun, steps in and reattaches Hidan’s head to his body with threads that sprout from his body.
Seeing a possible revival, Izumo and Kotetsu attack Kakuzu, but Kakuzu grabs them both with his body threads instead, restraining and suffocating them in the process. A moving Hidan now returns to the blood circle and stabs himself with the blades of his scythe. He completes the ritual by impaling himself in the chest, thereby fatally wounding Asuma.
Inoue Joe’s Closer
Release Date: 2008.12.17
03 考えたくない ～Can a guy talk all night？～
04 CLOSER -NARUTO オープニング ver.-
05 CLOSER -”ケリオキ”ver.-（KARAOKE）
Oct. 16, 2008. ep. 80: Last Words
A mortally wounded Asuma collapses as Choji and Ino’s team finally arrive.
The Akatsuki pair would have continued their bloodbath if not for a summons by their leader to return to seal the Two Tails.
Ino uses her medical jutsu to treat Asuma but fails as all the attacks were on his vital organs. Asuma leaves advice for his students and finally reveals the identity of the Konoha’s “king” to Shikamaru. As he takes his last puff of his cigarette, he passes on.
Oct. 23, 2008. ep. 81: Sad News
News of Asuma’s death travels to Konoha as Kurenai sobs for the loss of her beloved.
Naruto struggles to combine the shape and element manipulation, but finally figures out the solution as he recalls his training. Instead of forcing himself to create the combination, he uses two shadow clones.
Deep in the Akatsuki hideout, the two-tailed jinchuuriki is drained. The leader reveals a plan of using the bijuus (tailed beasts) to create conflict among the ninja nations. The Akatsuki would then step in as mercenaries at a lower cost than the surrounding nation’s ninjas, thus replacing them and monopolizing war. They would eventually take over the world.
Oct. 30, 2008. ep. 82: Team Ten
Asuma’s funeral is held, but Shikamaru skips it, choosing instead to mope at home and to hatch a plan to defeat the Akatsuki pair. Nara Shikaku, knowing that his son is deeply affected by the loss of his mentor, “talks it out” with Shikamaru during a game of Shogi. Shikamaru finally sees a loophole in Hidan’s seemingly unbreakable immortality.
When all the preparations are made, Team 10 visits Asuma’s grave before leaving to avenge their sensei. Tsunade stops them, insisting on a four-man team. Kakashi steps in, volunteering as the team leader (in appearance), as Shikamaru modifies his plan to accommodate the new member.
Nov. 6, 2008. ep. 83: Target: Locked On
Tsunade permits Team Kakashi to follow on Team 10’s mission, only if Naruto finishes his training within 24 hours. And train he does.
The Leaf Ninja tracks down Hidan and Kakuzu, who are on their way to search for kyuubi’s jinchuuriki (Naruto). Shikamaru restrains their shadows (and movements) with Asuma’s chakra knives. Using his Shadow Possession Jutsu, Shikamaru forces Hidan to attack Kakuzu.
Kakuzu evades the attack, revealing that he secretly detached his arm from Shikamaru’s earlier attack, thus removing the chakra knife holding down his shadow. Choji, seeing the cornered Kakuzu, attacks Kakuzu from above.
Nov. 13, 2008. ep. 84: Kakuzu’s Abilities
Choji hurls a spiked cannonball at Kakuzu with zero effect as Kakuzu hardens his skin against the attack. Kakashi, having analyzed Kakuzu’s hand seals of earth-based jutsu, then attacks with his Lightning Blade piercing Kakuzu’s heart. This proves ineffective too, as Kakuzu produces another four masked entities with new hearts from his back. Each mask has a specific elemental attack: Wind, Lightning and Fire, all of which is used against Team 10 and Kakashi.
Back in the training grounds, Naruto learns the relation of the five elemental chakra against each other.
Nov. 20, 2008. ep. 85: The Terrifying Secret
Shikamaru is cognizant that the only way to defeat Kakuzu is to kill the remaining four hearts. He is also aware that Hidan and Kakuzu have to be separated in order for them to triumph over the Akatsuki duo. Armed with this revelation, Shikamaru drags Hidan into a dense forest with his Shadow Possession Jutsu. Even with the careful preparation of Shikamaru lining the forest with explosive tags, Hidan manages to strike Shikamaru with his spear. He draws blood and ingests it, preparing for his accursed ritual to kill Shikamaru.
Meanwhile, Kakuzu is looking to replace his fifth heart with Kakashi’s. Ignoring the other two ninjas, Kakuzu focuses his attacks on Kakashi.
Dec. 4, 2008. ep. 86 & 87: Shikamaru’s Genius & When You Curse Someone, You Dig Your Own Grave
Hidan smugly stabs himself in the chest, but instead of fatally wounding Shikamaru, he destroys Kakuzu’s main body’s heart.
Shikamaru then explained that before Hidan was pulled into the forest, Kakashi had given him a vial of Kakuzu’s blood which he collected when he pierced Kakuzu’s heart the first time. Using that blood, he poured it onto Hidan’s spear, tricking him into thinking that he had drawn blood from Shikamaru instead. Shikamaru then traps Hidan with his Shadow Possession Jutsu again. Hidan tries to break free from the weakened Shadow Possession, but Shikamaru leads him to a myriad of explosive tags striking him instantly. Shikamaru then reveals a trap hole he prepared to bury Hidan beneath, in the Nara family woods – watched over by the deers of the family. He sees Asuma entrusting his “will of fire” to him, and ignites the tags on Hidan, dismembering him instantly.
Kakuzu, temporarily incapacitated, absorbs the remaining three hearts to revive himself making him that much more powerful. Using his Fire-Wind Jutsu, he captures Team 10 with his threads hoping to finish them off and replenishing his stock.
Team Kakashi led by Yamato arrives in time to stop the massacre with Naruto and Yamato’s Wind-Water Jutsu combi.
Sakura and Sai leave to aid Shikamaru.
Dec. 11, 2008. ep. 88: Wind Style: Rasenshuriken!
At first, Kakuzu doesn’t see Naruto as a threat, until the Wind Release: Rasenshuriken was released. He recognized the danger of this Jutsu if he comes in contact with it. However, Naruto’s inability to maintain the technique more than a few seconds eases Kakuzu’s mind.
Kakuzu almost kills Naruto but for Yamato and Kakashi stepping in to rescue him. Naruto, calling up his reserves, tries the Rasenshuriken again, this time with his shadow clones. Kakuzu uses his threads from a distance, and attempts to defeat Naruto. Unfortunately, he pulls a clone. Naruto appears from behind Kakuzu and crushes him with his Rasenshuriken destroying both of Kakuzu’s replacement hearts. His remaining heart tethers on the brink of failure as Kakashi finishes him off with his Lightning Blade while Ino heals the injured and drained Naruto.
With Hidan’s remains trapped in a hole, Shikamaru ignites another explosive tag to finally bury Hidan (who is still alive). The Nara deers will be they guards of the burial site. Hidan’s immortality is only valid if he can reassemble himself with live preys. With him buried, and no possible victims in sight, Hidan is as good as dead. Sakura and Sai arrive in time to see the elimination of one Akatsuki member, as they head back to meet with the others.
Kakuzu’s corpse is brought back for Tsunade to autopsy to analyze the capabilities and effects of Rasenshuriken.