|33||"The New Target"|
|November 8, 2007|
|In Konoha, Kakashi rests in a hospital, while Sakura tells Tsunade about the information the dying Akatsuki member, Sasori gave her: that he was supposed to meet with one of his spies from within Orochimaru's ranks in ten days at the Tenchi Bridge. As four days had already passed, Naruto realises the need of another teammate and so, starting searching Konoha for a willing recruit. He runs into Team 8, but they are unable to help, as they are assigned a mission of their own. Later, just as Choji agrees to help Naruto, the two and Shikamaru are attacked by Sai.|
|34||"Formation! New Team Kakashi"|
"Kessei! Shin Kakashi han"
|November 15, 2007|
|Unable to identify Sai, Naruto, Choji and Shikamaru attempt to capture him, but Sai withdraws. Concerned that Akatsuki might soon come to Konoha looking for the Nine-Tailed Fox, the village elders confront Tsunade. They propose to Tsunade to keep Naruto in Konoha and not send him to missions outside the village. Tsunade declines, and promises to protect Konoha with her own life if Naruto is captured. But she is still forced to compromise with Danzo by adding Sai as a new member to Team Kakashi. With Kakashi in the hospital, Tsunade temporarily replaces him with ANBU member Yamato and tells him to keep an eye on Sai. Later, Naruto and Sakura meet their new team members, and Naruto is immediately angered upon Sai's appearance.|
|35||"An Unnecessary Addition"|
|November 22, 2007|
|Yamato takes leadership of Team Kakashi, while Sai, devoid of any human feelings or emotions, insults both Naruto and Sakura. While preparing to set off, Sai receives an envelope from an ANBU Root shinobi containing secret orders from Danzo. Jiraiya then meets with Tsunade and Yamato in Kakashi's hospital room to brief Yamato on the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed within Naruto, detailing the "demon fox's cloak", and revealing a scar on his chest he got from Naruto, when the latter ascended to a Four-Tailed form. Finally, the new Team Kakashi sets off on their new mission to capture and intercept the spy in Orochimaru's subordinates, and gather information about Sasuke.|
|36||"The Fake Smile"|
"Itsuwari no egao"
|November 29, 2007|
|Team Kakashi heads out for the Tenchi Bridge. Sakura and Naruto come down hard at Sai for making fun of their former teammate, Sasuke. Seeing the tension in the team, Yamato decides they need to improve on teamwork and uses the Wood Style Jutsu to create a wooden cage, threatening to lock the trio up unless they behave. Sakura is shocked to see Yamato using the secret techniques that only the First Hokage was said to possess. Given an ultimatum between being locked up or spending the night at a hot springs by Yamato, the team chooses to visit the springs to improve team cohesion. Despite this fact, Naruto still despises Sai.|
|November 29, 2007|
|Sakura sees Sai drawing by a river and finds out that he has artistic talent, but has never given titles to anything he ever drew. Naruto and Sakura begin to realize the reason behind Sai's repulsive personality. After the hot springs, the team heads off to the Tenchi Bridge to meet with Sasori's spy. Yamato, being suspicious of traps, suggests to the team to alter their route and go through a forest. Camping for the night, Yamato then creates a two story house by again using his Wood Style Jutsu. Inside the house, the team formulates their plan of capturing the spy.|
|December 6, 2007|
|Yamato decides a mock test for his team to see how everyone coordinated with each other. Naruto is paired with Sai despite his objections, and Sakura is assigned to support Yamato. Yamato conducts a simulation of the meeting, with himself as "the spy", to gauge Naruto and Sai's abilities and teamwork. After Naruto makes a mistake, Sai immobilizes him and goes off alone. Naruto is angered with Sai for not acting as a comrade would, but resolves to work together with him to get Sasuke back. Sai then reveals to Sakura that he has no emotions, and little understanding of them, as a part of his training in ANBU Root.|
|39||"The Tenchi Bridge"|
|December 13, 2007|
|Yamato disguises himself as Sasori within Hiruko, and goes to meet "the spy" at the Tenchi Bridge. The spy is revealed to be Kabuto, who spills out the location of Orochimaru's current hideout. Before the meeting could finish, Orochimaru appears and interrupts the two. While Kabuto initially seems frightened by Orochimaru's appearance, he stops the ruse and turns around to attack Yamato disguised as Sasori, revealing his and Orochimaru's trap. Seeing Yamato's Wood Style Jutsus, Orochimaru recognises him as one of his test subjects in Konoha years agao, when the latter tried to replicate the Wood Style from First Hokage's DNA by injecting it in the bodies of numerous unborn babies, out of which only Yamato survived. Orochimaru then tells Yamato to call out Naruto, Sakura and Sai from where they are hiding.|
|December 20, 2007|
|Yamato signals Naruto, Sakura and Sai to appear on the bridge. On seeing Naruto, Orochimaru begins mocking him and compares him to Sasuke, which causes the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra to leak from an enraged Naruto's body and ascends him to a Three-Tailed form. Meanwhile, Yamato remembers Jiraiya speaking of the appearance of number of tails on Naruto during their training, and had specifically warned of Naruto's Four-Tailed transformation.|
|41||"The Top-Secret Mission Begins"|
"Gokuhi ninmu sutāto"
|December 20, 2007|
|Naruto gets more enraged in his three-tailed state, and throws Kabuto away, who inadvertedly knocks Sakura out too. Naruto's anger eventually escalates to him destroying the Tenchi Bridge and he takes to a forest to battle Orochimaru. Sai creates an ink bird and flies beneath the collapsing bridge to the site of Naruto and Orochimaru's battle, instead of catching a falling Sakura. Yamato saves her using his Wood Style Jutsu, and creates a wood clone to follow Sai. In the forest, Naruto's ever-increasing aggression causes his blood to mix with the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra and transform him into a four-tails-bearing miniature fox.|
|42||"Orochimaru vs. Jinchuriki"|
"Orochimaru tai Jinchūriki"
|January 10, 2008|
|Naruto, in his Four-Tailed form, attacks Orochimaru, and devastates the surrounding landscape, also preventing Sai and Yamato's wood clone from approaching him. The majority of Orochimaru's attacks prove to be ineffective against Naruto, but he still manages to keep up with Naruto with his Regenaration Jutsu. Meanwhile, Kabuto advances toward Sakura and Yamato, deducing that Sasori has died. Orochimaru finally manages to strike Naruto with his Kusanagi Sword, even though he fails to pierce the sword through him. Seeing Naruto in his Four-Tailed state, Sakura is awestruck and terrified.|
"Sakura no namida"
|January 17, 2008|
|Kabuto states that Naruto's current form is a consequence of his desperation to bring back Sasuke to Konoha. Sakura begins to cry and tries to approach Naruto, but is attacked by him. Yamato erects chakra-suppressing wooden pillars using his Wood Style Jutsu to bind Naruto before he does any more harm. Kabuto heals Sakura and disappears after reasoning that the Konoha ninja are not Orochimaru's enemies because they are also fighting Akatsuki. Yamato forcibly returns Naruto to his normal state. Meanwhile, Sai, who was hiding nearby the battlefield the entire time, confronts Orochimaru on behalf of orders from Danzo.|
|44||"The Secret of the Battle!"|
"Tatakai no tenmatsu"
|January 24, 2008|
|Sakura tries to heal Naruto, but her medical ninjutsu has little effect on his wounds. In the forest, Orochimaru tries to kill Sai, but it is revealed to be an ink clone. The real Sai emerges from the ground and gives Orochimaru a letter from Danzo. Sai, then, leaves with Orochimaru and Kabuto for their hideout, with Yamato's wood clone on their trail. After Naruto comes to his senses, the team reaches the battefield spot, and picks up Sai's picture book. At the same time, Yamato infers that Danzo seeks to destroy Konoha with Orochimaru's aid.|
|45||"The Consequences of Betrayal"|
"Uragiri no hate"
|January 31, 2008|
|To confuse and slow down Yamato's wood clone, Kabuto creates a fake corpse, resembling Sai. Naruto, still recovering from the effects of his Four-Tailed state, is told to stay behind by Yamato. However, Naruto tells Yamato he is fine and the trio continue to follow Sai. During their pursuit, the team is forced to take a break when Sakura's own injuries take their toll on her. As she heals herself, Yamato talks to Naruto in solace, and tells him that it was he, in his Four-Tailed form, who hurt Sakura. Naruto is shocked to know this and condemns his own actions.|
|46||"The Unfinished Page"|
"Mikan no pēji"
|February 7, 2008|
|Yamato tells Naruto not to rely on the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra, as Naruto is strong on his own. The Konoha team decides to browse Sai's book to give them some clue about him, and they notice that it's filled with the story of two boys' paths and battles, however, the pages where the two boys would meet are unfinished. Meanwhile, Orochimaru's group reach their hideout, not realizing that Yamato's wood clone had spotted them. There, Sai confronts a shadowed Sasuke, realizing that this is the man whom Naruto and Sakura have been searching for.|
|47||"Infiltration: The Den of the Snake!"|
"Sennyū! Dokuhebi no ajito"
|February 14, 2008|
|Sai is temporarily trapped in a powerful genjutsu from Sasuke's Sharingan, that frightens him. After recovering, Sai gives Orochimaru an envelope with information from Danzo about Konoha's ANBU. On reaching near Orochimaru's hideout, Yamato gives Sakura and Naruto wooden seeds to ingest, which are imbued with his chakra, that would enable him to track them down in case they are lost, and reveals that he was able to track Sai with the same seeds that he had secretly fed Sai. In the hideout, Kabuto locks Sai in a room, and the latter summons a bingo book. Outside, Yamato uses a Wood Style Jutsu to open a tunnel into Orochimaru's hideout, and he, Naruto and Sakura travel to Sai's room undetected.|
|February 28, 2008|
|Yamato and his team enter Sai's room and confront him. Sai tells them that not only was he to help in Konoha's destruction, but also act as a spy against Orochimaru. Yamato reveals that in ANBU Root, one must murder his own comrades and sever their emotions, but Sakura returns Sai's picture book to him, remarking that he still has emotions because he treasures it. Afterwards, the team ties up Sai. Once outside, Naruto informs Sai about his bonds of a brother with Sasuke and about how far he would go to bring Sasuke back.|
"Taisetsu na mono"
|March 6, 2008|
|Before Yamato's team departs to find Sasuke in the hideout, Kabuto appears in front of them and attacks them, before freeing Sai. However, Sai, wanting to learn more about his own bonds with his deceased brother through Naruto's bond with Sasuke, betrays Kabuto and aids Yamato in his capture. A tied up Kabuto gives a vague description of Sasuke's location to the team, thinking that Orochimaru would just kill them either way. Leaving Yamato's wood clone to watch over Kabuto, Yamato and his team enter Orochimaru's hideout and they split up to find Sasuke, Naruto and Sai heading one way, with Sakura and Yamato to another.|
|50||"The Picture Book's Story"|
"Ehon ga kataru sutōri"
|March 13, 2008|
|As the Konoha team continues their search for Sasuke, Naruto suddenly collapses due to exhaustion from his previous battle with Orochimaru. As Naruto wakes up, Sai remembers what he wanted to draw in the middle pages of his picture book: him and his brother smiling; an action which Sai mirrors. As Sai talks about his bonds, Orochimaru suddenly appears and attacks them. Sakura and Yamato come to Naruto's aid, while Sai goes alone to continue the search. Just as Sai finds Sasuke with his ink rats, Yamato finds Sai's bingo book with Sasuke listed as a target for assassination, realising that this is Sai's top-secret mission.|
|March 20, 2008|
|Yamato suggests that Sai's true objective is to kill Sasuke, who, according to his master Danzo, is a threat to Konoha. Sai enters Sasuke's room and wakes him up. But instead of following his orders and killing Sasuke, Sai reveals that he wants to preserve Naruto and Sasuke's bonds. Sasuke retaliates by causing a giant explosion in his room, which attracts Sakura, Naruto and Yamato's attention. As Naruto and Sakura meet with their former friend, Sai declares that he is discarding his mission orders and now wishes to aid Naruto in bringing Sasuke back to Konoha.|
|52||"The Power of the Uchiha"|
"Uchiha no chikara"
|March 20, 2008|
|With his skills immensely improved over the years, Sasuke begins to attack Naruto, but Sai intervenes. Sasuke keeps the two at bay with his Chidori Current. Sakura decides to charge at Sasuke, but Yamato jumps in front of her, only to wind up being stabbed by Sasuke's Chidori-infused katana. As the Nine-Tailed Fox attempts to goad Naruto to use it's power in his consciousness, Sasuke, using his Sharingan, appears in front of them. The Nine-Tailed Fox states that Sasuke's chakra reminds him of Madara Uchiha, before it's chakra is totally suppressed by Sasuke.|
|April 3, 2008|
Orochimaru and Kabuto convince Sasuke to withdraw with them and they disappear, leaving a weeping Naruto, who confesses his failure to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, but Sakura reassures him, saying that they will soon bring Sasuke back together. Back in Konoha, Yamato's team reports to Tsunade about the results of the mission, and Tsunade is greatly angered over Danzo's treachery of leaking classified information of Konoha ANBU to Orochimaru. In the ANBU Root base, Sai asks Danzo to allow him to remain longer with Team Kakashi, and Danzo reluctantly agrees. Later, Sai goes on a mission with his team, having come to see them as his friends.