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1 "Homecoming"
"Kikyō"
February 15, 2007
Running through an underground hideout, Naruto Uzumaki and Sakura Haruno are reunited with their former teammate, Sasuke Uchiha, and try to bring him back to Konoha, but Sasuke retaliates with a fight, ending with him suppressing the Nine-Tailed Fox within Naruto's subconsciousness. A few months earlier, Naruto returns to Konoha after a two-and-a-half-year training journey with Jiraiya and is reunited with Sakura. They are then summoned to Tsunade's office for their first assignment.
2 "The Akatsuki Makes Its Move"
"Akatsuki, shidō"
February 15, 2007
Naruto learns that all of his friends have advanced to Chunin rank and even beyond. Jiraiya tells Kakashi Hatake about Akatsuki's plan to capture all the Tailed Beasts, and that Naruto is in danger. Later, Kakashi gives Naruto and Sakura a test to see how far they had improved. Meanwhile, two Akatsuki members, Deidara and Sasori, arrive at the entrance of the Sunagakure to capture the One-Tailed Shukaku's host, Gaara. They discover that Yura, their sleeper agent, has already killed off the guards at the entrance of the village.
3 "The Results of Training"
"Shugyō no seika"
February 22, 2007
Kakashi challenges Naruto and Sakura in a bell test, in which they must forcefully take from Kakashi two jingle bells using whatever means necessary. Sakura and Naruto both demonstrate their newly acquired skills. At Sunagakure, Deidara reveals his ability to create and manipulate exploding clay. He takes to the skies aboard a giant clay bird and begins his aerial assault on the village by lobbing exploding clay spiders onto the guards, instantly killing them. As soon as he makes it to the Kazekage building, however, he finds Gaara there waiting for him.
4 "The Jinchuriki of the Sand"
"Suna no Jinchūriki"
March 1, 2007
Deidara tries to strike, but Gaara's sand manages to push him away. An aerial battle between the two ensues above Sunagakure. Meanwhile, Kankuro gets alerted to the presence of Akatsuki in the village and he begins to mobilize the troops. In Konoha, Naruto and Sakura continue to fight against Kakashi, but are unable to get past Kakashi's barrage of elemental jutsu to get the bells from him. Later on, Naruto manages to trick Kakashi by pretending to ruin the ending of his new book; with Kakashi's ears covered and eyes closed, Naruto and Sakura get their bells and finish the test.
5 "The Kazekage Stands Tall"
"Kazekage to shite...!"
March 15, 2007
Gaara tries to trap Deidara with his sand, but the latter escapes, although his left arm gets crushed in the process. Because of this, Deidara plans to launch his C3 level clay bomb on the village itself. Kakashi, meanwhile, allows Naruto and Sakura to be placed on a team with him, by Tsunade, named Team Kakashi. As Deidara prepares his clay, Kankuro remembers Gaara's yearning to be someone's precious individual and friend, as Naruto had taught him. As Baki orders the village troops to stop firing, Deidara drops his C3 explosive down on the village and initiates the detonation.
6 "Mission Cleared"
"Norumakuriā"
March 29, 2007
Deidara, determined to defeat Gaara and capture him, unleashes his C3 clay bomb on the village, causing a massive explosion. But Gaara is able to deflect the explosion in time by using his sand to create an enormous shield over the village. However, this leaves him open to a sudden surprise attack from Deidara, and he inadvertently uses sand that had been seeded with Deidara's clay, to defend himself. Deidara then detonates the clay-infested sand, knocking Gaara unconscious. Deidara then captures the falling Gaara and prepares to take him away.
7 "Run, Kankuro"
"Hashire Kankurō"
March 29, 2007
As Deidara carries an unconscious Gaara out of the village, Kankuro chases after them. At the village entrance, Kankuro discovers that all the guards there have already been killed. Upon catching up to Deidara and Sasori, Kankuro initiates his puppet techniques by summoning his the puppets: Crow, Black Ant, and Salamander. Sasori sees this as an opportunity to demonstrate his own skills, and he allows Deidara to go ahead so that he can battle Kankuro alone.
8 "Team Kakashi, Deployed"
"Shutsugeki, Kakashi han"
April 12, 2007
Kankuro's attacks are all nullified by Sasori's scorpion-like tail. He eventually pierces Kankuro with his tail, inflicting him with a slow-acting poison which would kill him in three days. Kankuro is puzzled at how easily Sasori countered his fighting style, to which Sasori responds by revealing to him his identity and reminds him that he was the designer of all of Kankuro's puppets. Meanwhile, an urgent plea for assistance that Sunagakure sent to Konoha arrives and is brought to Tsunade's attention. Acting immediately, she assigns Team Kakashi to backup Sunagakure.
9 "The Jinchuriki's Tears"
"Jinchūriki no namida"
April 12, 2007
Kankuro is brought back to the village, but he is feeling the effects of Sasori's deadly poison. The village's medics are helpless in finding a cure. Baki decides to seek help from the village's elders, Chiyo and her brother, Ebizo. Meanwhile, Team Kakashi, on their way to Sunagakure, pick up Gaara's elder sister, Temari, after telling her of Gaara's kidnapping. They all continue towards the village, as Naruto sheds tears over the hard life that Gaara's had.
10 "Sealing Jutsu: Nine Phantom Dragons"
"Fūin Jutsu: Genryū Kyū Fūjin"
April 19, 2007
Deidara and Sasori arrive at the secret Akatsuki hideout. The Akatsuki leader gathers the other members, using an astral projection technique, and they begin a three-day long jutsu to extract the One-Tailed Shukaku from Gaara and seal it in a giant statue. At Sunagakure, Kankuro's condition worsens and Chiyo claims that even her expertise is not enough to counteract Sasori's poison. At Konoha, Tsunade foresees the difficulty of Team Kakashi's mission and orders Team Guy to back them up.
11 "The Medical Ninja's Student"
"Iryō ninja no deshi"
April 26, 2007
On reaching Sunagakure, Team Kakashi and Temari get informed of Kankuro's attack. Using the medical ninjutsu that she had learnt from Tsunade, Sakura manages to extract the poison from Kankuro by creating an antidote. Afterwards, Kankuro gives Kakashi a piece of Sasori's clothing that he managed to get from him, allowing Kakashi's ninja dogs to track down the Akatsuki's whereabouts. Before heading out themselves, Kankuro asks Naruto to retrieve his brother, and Naruto acquiesces, stating with a smile that Gaara will have to owe him one later on.
12 "The Retired Granny's Determination"
"Inkyo babaa no ketsui"
May 3, 2007
Team Kakashi heads out to Akatsuki's hideout, along with Chiyo. On the way, Chiyo tells them about the nine Tailed Beasts in the world, two of which are sealed within Gaara and Naruto. Meanwhile, Kakashi's summon, Pakkun notices Team Guy's approach and informs them of the Akatsuki's lair positioned in the Land of Rivers. Zetsu, the Akatsuki spy, notices the two Konoha teams approaching, and informs the others. The Akatsuki leader then sends out Kisame Hoshigaki and Itachi Uchiha to delay Team Guy and Team Kakashi, respectively, to gain Akatsuki time to seal the One-Tailed Shukaku.
13 "A Meeting With Destiny"
"Innen aimamieru"
May 10, 2007
The battle between Team Guy and Kisame begins, while Team Kakashi encounters Itachi. Kakashi warns his team of the danger of Itachi's Mangekyo Sharingan, and reveals what he's discovered to be it's weakness. Guy's team is quickly contained by Kisame's powerful Water Style Jutsus, leaving Guy himself to fight Kisame alone. Kakashi leads the attack against Itachi with Naruto following close behind, but Naruto is shocked when the real Itachi explodes into a cloud and his allies morph into Itachi's clones.
14 "Naruto's Growth"
"Naruto no seichō"
May 17, 2007
The battle between Guy and Kisame intensifies. Guy bring outs his nunchaku to compensate for Kisame's Samehada sword, but takes a beating from Kisame's Water Style Jutsu. After being submerged by Kisame's attacks, Guy resorts to opening up six of his Inner Gates, and defeats Kisame with the Morning Peacock technique. Meanwhile, Naruto realizes he is caught in a genjutsu that Itachi cast upon him, and recalls his training with Jiraiya to try to dispel Itachi's illusion on his own.
15 "The Secret Weapon is Called..."
"Kakushi dama — Nazukete"
May 24, 2007
After the terrible visions that Itachi makes him suffer, Naruto is released from the genjutsu by Chiyo and Sakura. Distracted and immobilized by Kakashi's shadow clone, Itachi takes a direct hit from Naruto's Rasengan. Meanwhile, Guy frees Neji, Rock Lee and Tenten after defeating Kisame. Later, the two Konoha teams find, to their surprise, that the two foes that they had defeated are neither Itachi or Kisame, but two entirely different people, who the Akatsuki leader had used to stall the Konoha teams using Itachi and Kisame's likenesses.
16 "The Secret of Jinchuriki"
"Jinchūriki no himitsu"
May 31, 2007
Kakashi and Guy's teams both figure out that their battles were only set-ups to delay them from rescuing Gaara. Chiyo goes on to explain that the Tailed Beasts' hosts were individuals burdened with the task of carrying the Beasts within them, such as Gaara and Naruto, and that if their Beast is removed, then they will die. As the two teams rest from their battles, the Akatsuki leader sends out Zetsu to dispose of Itachi and Kisame's clone's bodies.
17 "The Death of Gaara!"
"Gaara shisu!"
June 7, 2007
Team Guy and Team Kakashi both finish their breaks and go on towards the Akatsuki lair. After noticing Naruto's agitation towards Gaara's capture, Chiyo is explained to by Kakashi that Naruto is himself a Jinchuriki. Chiyo then reveals that she was the one who sealed the One-Tailed Shukaku in Gaara, to protect Sunagakure. Meanwhile, Akatsuki finishes the sealing of Gaara's Tailed Beast, thereby killing him. Outside the base, Teams Guy and Kakashi arrive, prepared to break into the cave and retrieve Gaara.
18 "Charge Tactic! Button Hook Entry!!"
"Totsunyū! Botan fukku entorī"
June 21, 2007
Kakashi and Guy's teams find out that there is a barrier protecting the Akatsuki hideout, being generated by five forbidden tags in the nearby area. Neji pinpoints the tags' locations with his Byakugan, and Team Guy dispatches to remove the tags and disables the barrier, allowing Team Kakashi to enter the hideout. Meanwhile, the Akatsuki members end their astral projection technique and leave the hideout, save Deidara and Sasori, who are ordered by the Akatsuki leader to dispose of the intruders.
19 "Traps Activate! Team Guy's Enemy"
"Torappu sadō! Gai han no teki"
July 5, 2007
Once removing the tag seals to open the Akatsuki lair's entrance, Team Guy is individually ambushed and attacked by exact clones of themselves. Inside the lair, Deidara angers Naruto by stating Gaara's death. Kakashi tells Naruto to calm down. After Deidara and Sasori get into an argument about what art truly is, Deidara takes Gaara's body away within a clay bird as bait, forcing Naruto and Kakashi to follow him. Sakura and Chiyo remain behind to battle Chiyo's grandson, Sasori.
20 "Hiruko vs. Two Kunoichi!"
"Hiruko vs. futari no kunoichi"
July 19, 2007
Chiyo explains to Sakura that Sasori used to be one of the best puppeteers in Sunagakure, but he left the village after he started making puppets out of humans. Chiyo also reveals that Sasori's true body is hiding within his favorite puppet, Hiruko, and the only way to kill Sasori is to first destroy his puppet. Chiyo and Sakura are able to dodge Sasori's poison-laced attacks and successfully demolish the puppet using Sakura's strength. Sasori then emerges from the puppet's remains. Just outside, Deidara begins telling Naruto and Kakashi how much stronger Sasori is compared to himself.
21 "Sasori's Real Face"
"Sasori no sugao"
July 26, 2007
With his puppet destroyed, Sasori reveals himself to Chiyo and Sakura, looking no older than when he left his village over twenty years ago. Meanwhile, Temari's team, along with Kankuro and Ebizo continue to make their way towards the Land of Rivers, where Ebizo tells the others of the strongest ninja in Sunagakure's history, the Third Kazekage, and his mysterious disappeance. Back in the Akatsuki lair, Sasori summons the Third Kazekage puppet, whom he had kidnapped and turned into a Human Puppet many years ago. Using it's weapons, which are even more dangerous than Hiruko's, Sasori is able to catch Sakura in a cloud of poison gas.
22 "Chiyo's Secret Skills"
"Chiyo no oku no te"
August 2, 2007
Sakura manages to escape the poison gas cloud by using an explosive scroll on herself. Chiyo calls forth the "Mother" and "Father" puppets, that Sasori had modeled out of his dead parents as a child, to fight him with. They manage to hold down the Third Kazekage for a while until Sasori releases the Third's secret technique: Iron Sand. Meanwhile, Team Guy are having trouble fighting their clones and showing exhaustion from the battle. Elsewhere, Naruto and Kakashi manage to avoid Deidara's clay bombs and keep up with him.
23 "Father and Mother"
""Chichi" to "Haha""
August 2, 2007
The Third Kazekage, being a Human Puppet, is built to retain the chakra the body once had when it was alive, allowing the Third to use his special Iron Sand techniques. The Iron Sand clogs the mechanism in the "Mother" and "Father" puppets, as well as Chiyo's right puppet arm. Chiyo remembers back to when Sasori was a child and created the "Mother" and "Father" puppets to try to get parental love. Chiyo uses a willing Sakura as a puppet, and has her dodge the Iron Sand techniques to get close to Sasori.
24 "The Third Kazekage"
"Sandaime Kazekage"
August 9, 2007
Sasori attacks with an Iron Sand pyramid and prism, but Sakura is able to fend them off, causing a cave in in the lair. Sasori then uses the Iron Sand to create a makeshift globe-model out of randomly growing spikes of iron, one of which hits Sakura and paralyzes her with poison. With a one last attack from the Third Kazekage puppet, Sasori attempts to kill the seemingly helpless Sakura, only to discover that Sakura is somehow immune to his poison and she destroys the Third Kazekage puppet with a single punch.
25 "Three Minutes Between Life and Death"
"Sei to shi no san punkan"
August 16, 2007
Sakura reveals to Sasori that she had taken an antidote to his poison, that she brought with her. Meanwhile, Deidara attempts to split Naruto and Kakashi by creating a swarm of explosive jumping crickets out of his clay and has them pursue Kakashi. Kakashi makes a shadow clone as a decoy and the crickets, mistaking the clone for the real Kakashi, detonate harmlessly. Kakashi then catches back up with Naruto and strategizes a plan. Sakura and Chiyo ready themselves for the battle with Sasori, who reveals the reason behind his eternal youth: he had transformed himself into a human puppet.
26 "Puppet Fight: 10 vs. 100!"
"Jukki vs hyakki"
August 23, 2007
Sakura and Chiyo continue the battle with Sasori, who overwhelms them initially. Sakura manages to later destroy Sasori's puppet body, but he reforms back. Seeing this, Chiyo summons the Ten Puppets of Chikamatsu, which Sasori counters with his One Hundred Puppet Manipulation Jutsu. Sakura and Chiyo, with the help of her Ten Puppets seem to trap and defeat Sasori, but, under cover of the battle, Sasori secretly transfers the only living part of his body - his heart - into another puppet, and tries to attack Chiyo from behind. Sakura notices this and intercedes, forcing Sasori to stab her through her torso.
27 "Impossible Dream"
"Kanawanu yume"
August 30, 2007
Chiyo injects the last remaining antidote into Sakura, and finally kills Sasori by stabbing him through his heart using the "Father" and "Mother" puppets. With Sasori immobilized, Chiyo revives the nearly-dead Sakura using her Resurrection Technique. As he dies, Sasori tells Sakura where he had planned to meet with one of his spies, who had been secretly working as one of his former Akatsuki partner, Orochimaru's subordinates. Meanwhile, as Kakashi and Naruto are pursuing Deidara, Kakashi reveals his plan to activate his version of the Mangekyo Sharingan.
28 "Beasts: Alive Again!"
"Yomigaeru kemono-tachi"
September 13, 2007
Team Guy continues to fight their clones. Neji explains to each member of the team that they are growing weaker as the fight drags on, and their clones, being non-human, remain as strong as they were when they were formed. Lee realizes that the only way for them to defeat their clones is to become stronger than they were when they first started fighting. After remembering their training, they remember their resolve to constantly become stronger. This gives them the strength needed to overpower and destroy their clones.
29 "Kakashi Enlightened!"
"Kakashi kaigen!"
September 27, 2007
Kakashi reveals his Mangekyo Sharingan, and uses his interdimensional warping technique, Kamui, to try and warp Deidara, but succeeds only in warping his arm. While Deidara has his guard down, Naruto manages to separate him from his clay bird, and has his clones retain Gaara's body from the bird's mouth. Naruto attacks Deidara, only to discover that he is beating up a clay clone. Angered, Naruto's Nine-Tailed Fox chakra begins to emerge, leading Naruto to transform to his Two-Tailed form.
30 "Aesthetics of an Instant"
"Shunkan no bigaku"
September 27, 2007
After Naruto is taken over by the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra, Kakashi uses a seal that Jiraiya gave him to suppress it. Team Guy finds Deidara thanks to Neji's Byakugan, and seeing the pursuiting team, Deidara seemingly self-detonates by ingesting his own clay and exploding. However, the explosion is countered by Kakashi's Kamui, who is able to warp it to a different dimension just in time. Meanwhile, Sakura fails to bring Gaara back to life, and the group mourns Gaara's death. Seeing Naruto's emotions as a friend for Gaara, Chiyo moves over to Gaara's body and uses a Life-Transfer Jutsu to resurrect him.
31 "The Legacy"
"Tsugareyukumono"
October 18, 2007
Chiyo finishes her Life-Transfer Jutsu, after Naruto volunteers to her to use his chakra with her dying chakra. As she continues the technique, she begins to reflect on how Konoha and Sunagakure have acted in the past, and she passes down to Naruto and Sakura her wisdom for the future. A revived Gaara finds himself surrounded by shinobi from Sunagakure celebrating his return. Temari and Kankuro soon reveal that Chiyo gave her life to rescue Gaara, shocking Naruto and Sakura. Gaara asks his villagers to mourn for Chiyo.
32 "Return of the Kazekage"
"Kazekage no kikan"
October 25, 2007
Deidara, revealing that the self-detonation was caused by his clone, survives his battle and begins to search for his missing arm. Meanwhile, Zetsu and his new subordinate, Tobi, who wishes to join Akatsuki, search Sasori's remains for his ring. Deidara later finds the two searching for his own ring. The Konoha ninja begin to leave Sunagakure after their mission. In Konoha, Danzo gives Sai instructions for his secret mission after joining Team Kakashi. In Sunagakure, the Konoha and Sand ninja pay their respects at Chiyo's grave, and Naruto and Gaara shake hands before departing.

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