| Uzumaki Naruto was born twelve years before the series start to Uzumaki Kushina and Namikaze Minato, the Fourth Hokage. Naruto was named after the lead character in one of Jiraiya's lesser known semi-biographical works, while Jiraiya himself got the name while eating ramen. Minato felt the main character's drive and determination made excellent qualities and he hoped to raise his son to be a shinobi like the "Naruto" character. Kushina agreed that the name would fit their son nicely. They then agreed that Jiraiya should be Naruto's godfather, as he was the finest shinobi they knew. Jiraiya was embarassed but accepted the honor, a role he would finally fullfil later in life. A short time later within moments of having his umbilical cord cut, Naruto was made the vessel for the Kyuubi fox demon attacking Konoha. The Fourth Hokage was able to finally end its destruction when he used the Shiki Fuujin technique to seal the demon's yin chakra away and leave the yang within the body of his newborn son Naruto. Minato lost his life, but he made sure that the Kyuubi would help Naruto while sealed away. Jiraiya would later surmise Minato knew precisely what he was doing, putting such a burden on his new son. Minato would leave a "key" to Naruto's seal with Jiraiya and the toads, to allow Naruto to manipulate the seal holding the Kyuubi, potentially to utilize an unknown incomplete and powerful jutsu. Naruto would know neither of his parents, as Kushina was unable to raise her son for some unknown reason. The imbuing of the Kyuubi made Naruto a "Jinchuuriki," a person with a tailed demon sealed within his body. As a side effect, Naruto would gain "whisker" marks on his cheeks. The hope of Jinchuuriki creation is for the human and the tailed beast to resonate together, thereby granting the human some measure of the demon's immense power. There were nine demons in total, known by their number of tails. Naruto got the nine-tailed and most powerful of the demons. The seals the Fourth used would ensure the Kyuubi would lend some of its power to Naruto. The seals would allow the Kyuubi chakra to leak back into Naruto's own chakra. This allows Naruto to draw on the chakra of the Kyuubi and still keep the Kyuubi itself imprisoned. The biggest benefits are the way it grants Naruto some measure of the Kyuubi's immense chakra and heals most any wounds he receives. Please see Naruto's entry in the Jinchuuriki Guide for further information. Naruto's father hoped the village would look on Naruto as a hero for containing the Kyuubi demon. Unfortunately quite the opposite happened; as Naruto grew the village began to see Naruto as the demon itself. The adults who knew the real story of the Kyuubi looked down on Naruto, and their feelings were passed down to their children who didn't even know he was the Kyuubi vessel. This resulted in Naruto living a lonely life as he was often shunned when seen in public. Because his parents were no longer present, he was an orphan who was raised by the village itself, under the direction of the Third Hokage who resumed his position after the Fourth died in battle. When Naruto was old enough he was given money for living and an apartment to live in. He was also enrolled in the Konoha Ninja Academy. It is unknown at what age he entered the Academy, but he attempted the graduation exam several times before those of his same age group. Naruto grew to resent his outcast status in the village, turning to pranks to gain the attention of the other villagers. He would slack off in school, much to the dismay of his teacher Umino Iruka. Naruto would sometimes play hooky with other slackers in his class like Nara Shikamaru, Inuzuka Kiba and Akimichi Chouji. For the most part though, Naruto had no real friends. He would also feel annoyed by his fellow classmate Uchiha Sasuke, who was loved by all and always got the best grades. When Sasuke's clan was wiped out the two young boys shared a moment in their loneliness when Naruto saw Sasuke sitting by the river. As Naruto grew he saw Sasuke as a rival, especially for the affection of Haruno Sakura. Sakura was a fellow classmate of Naruto's who he had a crush on. Unfortunately Sakura found Naruto annoying and instead had eyes like most girls her age on Sasuke. Because everyone viewed Naruto negatively, he yearned for respect and admiration, the best way to gain that would be to become the village Hokage. Unfortunately Naruto had trouble mastering even the most basic of Ninjutsu, like the Bunshin technique. When the graduation exam arrived once again, Naruto was asked by his teachers Iruka and Mizuki to do the Bunshin test, unfortunately he managed to make only one pitiful Bunshin. Once again he was held back while those around him graduated. Mizuki had his own plans for Naruto though, confiding that there was another way to graduate. Unfortunately Mizuki was manipulating Naruto for his own ends, to gain access to the scroll of sealing, which held the secrets to many forbidden jutsu. Naruto stole the seal from the Third Hokage's office and managed to learn one of its jutsu, Tajuu Kage Bunshin, a technique which created multiple clones with real substance in exchange for an equal part of the ninja's chakra. The village ninja were sent to track down Naruto but Iruka managed to find him first. Iruka couldn't believe Naruto's actions and he was surprised that the normally jutsu challenged Naruto could learn a jutsu from the scroll. He also soon learned that Mizuki was behind Naruto's actions. Mizuki further manipulated Naruto, revealing to him why the village shunned him, that he was the vessel for the Kyuubi Demon. Naruto reacted in fear and anger and fled, both men gave chase and when Mizuki went to kill Naruto with a giant shuriken, Iruka stepped in the way to take the blade for him. Iruka told Naruto he led a lonely life too, losing his parents to the Kyuubi he acted stupid to get attention. Naruto fled and they gave chase. Iruka stated he believed in Naruto and Mizuki moved to kill him. Naruto arrived to save him and his emotions boiled. Using his new technique, Naruto created numerous Kage Bunshin which pummeled Mizuki for hurting Iruka. The Third Hokage watched from afar and realized Naruto was developing in interesting ways. Iruka was amazed by his growth and gave him a reward, the headband from his forehead. He congratulated Naruto on graduating from the Academy. Naruto began to cry and hugged Iruka after achieving his first step on the path to Hokage. Shortly thereafter Naruto and Iruka would go and have a meal at Naruto's favorite place to eat, Ichiraku Ramen. He would also be introduced to the Third Hokage's rambunctious grandson Konohamaru. Naruto would not be impressed by Konohamaru's bad attitude and hit him for his actions. Konohamaru was shocked and wanted Naruto to be his boss and teach him his secret pervy adult weakening "Sexy Techniques". Naruto would teach Konohamaru and the two boys would become fast friends. With Naruto now a Genin he was placed in a squad under the leadership of a Jounin sensei. Naruto waited with eager anticipation to learn who his teammates were. He rejoiced when Sakura was placed on his team, and felt miserable when Sasuke was too. The group then waited for their sensei, who was late. The sensei eventually arrived, Hatake Kakashi, who appeared to have a rather droll personality, being unimpressed with his new squad. Kakashi revealed he had his own test for the Genin; they would have to take two bells from him. If they failed to take them in the allotted time, they would be sent back to the Academy. The Genin began to go after Kakashi and the bells in their own unique way, and all failed, Naruto especially. He was easily caught in Kakashi's traps and then tied up when he attempted to cheat. Kakashi chastised them for not seeing the truth behind things, and that if they fed the tied up Naruto they would fail his test. Knowing that a hungry Naruto did them no good, they fed him. An angry Kakashi then appeared and demanded to know why they went against his wishes, they stated that it was like he said; they were a team and had to act as one, no matter what the consequences. His attitude then did a complete 180 and he congratulated them on being the first Genin to past his test; telling them that those who didn't take care of their comrades were worse than trash. The next day they then began their missions as Team 7. Unfortunately the missions of a Genin team typically consist of menial labor. Naruto began to grow frustrated and begged the Third Hokage for a more exciting mission, he then got his wish. Tazuna, a drunken bridge builder from the Wave Country asked to be escorted back to his home. Team 7 set out and Kakashi quickly realized they were being followed. Two missing-nins appeared to kill Kakashi and then moved to kill Tazuna. Sasuke and Sakura moved to protect him and Naruto could only watch on in fear. Kakashi then jumped in to subdue them. He congratulated Sakura and Sasuke and Sasuke asked if the scaredy-cat Naruto was okay. Naruto did not take kindly to being called names and was angry at himself for freezing up like he did. He then took a kunai and stabbed his hand, drawing blood. He made a promise to himself and the others that he would never be afraid and make the same mistake again. They continued on their journey and were soon attacked yet again, this time by Momochi Zabuza, a missing-nin who wielded a large head-cleaving sword. Kakashi began to do battle with Zabuza but was soon imprisoned. Zabuza moved to kill Tazuna and Naruto went to flee against the deadly foe, feeling pain from his stabbed hand he reaffirmed his promise to never run away. He then created a large number of clones to subdue Zabuza but they were easily thrown away. Naruto then threw a large windmill shuriken to Sasuke. Moving in unspoken planning they tricked Zabuza with a real windmill shuriken and fake shuriken which was actually Naruto, which forced Zabuza to end his imprisonment of Kakashi. Kakashi and he then did battle and when Kakashi moved in for the kill, a masked boy took Zabuza out. Naruto was angry and confused that a boy his age could be so powerful. The group then escorted Tazuna home. Tazuna's grandson Inari had a poor view of heroes. His stepfather was killed by Gatou, Zabuza's employer, for trying to stop him from taking over their country. Naruto reacted harshly to Inari's hopeless outlook. Kakashi explained to Inari that Naruto once felt useless too, but he never gave up and cried about it. With their mission now more dangerous, Kakashi had his students train. Showing them how to focus their chakra, he directed them to climb trees with only their feet. Sakura quickly mastered it while Sasuke and Naruto had problems. The two boys constantly trained in their desire to one-up the other and soon mastered it. While resting Naruto was approached by an unmasked Haku, the mysterious boy from earlier. Haku asked Naruto why he trained so hard and if he had any precious people in his life. He explained it was the desire to help these people which drove one to become stronger. Haku took his leave and he and his boss soon moved to strike Tazuna again. Because Naruto was so tired he was left at Tazuna's house, when he awoke he rushed to join his comrades. When Gatou's men moved to kidnap Inari's mother, Naruto returned after he realized what was going on. Appearing at the last instant he saved both Inari and his mother, and Inari was inspired to then do what he could to help. He rushrf out and tried to rally the frightened villagers to finally rise up against Gatou. Back at the bridge Naruto's team began to battle Zabuza and Haku, and Sasuke fight Haku one on one, becoming trapped in his deadly mirror prison. Naruto soon arrived and unfortunately chose to save Sasuke inside the prison rather than destroy it from without. The two men attempted to stop the quickly moving Haku as he passed from mirror to mirror throwing kunai. Sasuke began to get the feel of Haku's movements and in a surprise move, jumped in front of a fallen Naruto when Haku moved in for the kill. Sasuke was pierced with needles and Naruto could not grasp why the young man sacrificed himself for the one he always insulted. With emotions raging inside Naruto, the seal holding the Kyuubi back began to weaken, pouring forth from within him. This powerful red chakra turned Naruto feral, growing out his teeth and nails and making his hair go shaggy. With his new found power and speed he quickly captured the moving Haku and laid a powerful strike into his face, knocking him outside the mirror prison, destroying it. Naruto then charged to kill Haku but stopped as the young man's mask fell away, revealing the youth Naruto had spoken with earlier. With his sanity regained Naruto demanded to know why he was helping Zabuza, and Haku explained how he had come from a wiped out bloodline. Naruto could not understand how he could have been twisted by following a precious person so steadfastly. Seeing his usefulness to Zabuza at an end he asked Naruto to kill him. Naruto moved to do so but Haku quickly realized Zabuza was in trouble, he rushed to his aid and sacrificed himself. Zabuza was soon beat by Kakashi and Gatou arrived with mercenaries to finish them off. Zabuza managed to kill Gatou in one last act of redemption, and when the mercenaries moved to kill the rest of them, Inari arrived with help from the villagers, who had finally rallied to his cause. The mercenaries fled and Naruto went back to his team. He then soon discovered that Sasuke wasn't dead after all, Haku felt some measure of compassion and didn't go for the killing blow. Looking back at the fallen Haku and Zabuza, it began to snow. Naruto began to cry, explaining how Haku had come from a snowy village and had found a precious person in Zabuza. Team 7 then buried Zabuza and Haku. Naruto promised to be a different type of ninja who didn't bury his emotions. He would use his drive to protect his precious people to get stronger. They finally took their leave from the Wave Country and Tazuna finished his bridge, which he named the Great Naruto Bridge in honor of the young man who helped inspire Inari and in turn them to finally stick up for themselves. Team 7 would return to Konoha and undertake even more mundane missions. However it was soon time for the Chuunin Exam. Kakashi had been impressed enough that he chose to enter his team into the exam, an unheard of move for a rookie team. Two other rookie teams were also entered, Teams 8 and 10. Naruto was eager to prove himself and the squad headed to the Academy for the first test. Before they could enter the classroom they saw two older Genin blocking the entrance, really Chuunin Examiners in disguise. They noted that it wasn't actually the real classroom, it was Genjutsu. They also met another team, lead by the previous year's number one rookie Hyuuga Neji. Neji ignored Naruto and instead focused on Sasuke, much to his anger. When Neji's teammate Rock Lee later challenged Sasuke, a jealous moved to attack him first. Lee easily swatted Naruto away and battled Sasuke. Lee's sensei Gai showed up and chastised him. The team then went to take the first test. When they made it to the exam room an excited and boastful Naruto yelled his arrival to the other gathered Genin. His fellow rookie Genin tried to quiet him and another elder Genin named Yakushi Kabuto came to warn him to be careful. Kabuto explained how the test worked and provided data on other test takers. Naruto and his team then sat down for the first test. The first test was a written exam demanding the ninja have a wide variety of knowledge and practical experience as a ninja. The point of the test was to make the Genin realize they had to cheat to proceed. Unfortunately Naruto failed to realize this and began to panic. When fellow rookie Genin Hyuuga Hinata offered Naruto the chance to cheat off her, he considered taking her offer. He did not know whether to trust her though. Naruto didn't realize that Hinata had long had a huge crush on him. Naruto reaffirmed himself though, stating that an awesome ninja like him didn't need to cheat. With time run out and none of his nine questions answered, Naruto had to rely on answering the final question. Examiner Morino Ibiki offered the remaining Genin a stark choice, if you answer the question correctly you'll proceed, if you do not you can never take the Chuunin test again. Quitting now allowed one to take the test again in the future. Many Genin decided to leave then and Naruto appeared to consider the matter raising his hand. Sakura thought it would be best to have their team withdraw to fight another day but Naruto screamed out that he would never give up. Even if he had to remain a Genin forever he would never back down. To the confusion of the remaining Genin, Ibiki congratulated them on passing the first test. The will to go on and take that leap of faith showed their resolve to be courageous and make it through any hardship which a mission could throw at them. Naruto and his squad then moved to the second test. The next test took place over the next week and forced the squad to obtain another scroll from another team. Naruto was eager yet again to prove himself. As the team rushed into the exam area, Naruto excused himself to use the bathroom. In his place a Rain Genin impersonated him to take their scroll. By the time the Rain Genin was driven off, they were under watch by yet another ninja, a Grass ninja who soon separated the real Naruto from his squad with a huge wind gust. Naruto was then attacked by a gigantic snake, which soon swallowed him. Naruto was in a bad spot being slowly digested until he used Tajuu Kage Bunshin to explode the snake's stomach and escape. When he came back to his team, he found Sasuke in a fierce battle with the Grass Genin. When Sasuke reacted in fear to his opponent Naruto struck him for his cowardice. He then moved to fight the Grass ninja. When the Grass ninja and his summoned snake moved to get Sasuke, Naruto stopped it as his Kyuubi powers emerged. The Grass ninja quickly realized who Naruto was. Naruto asked Sasuke what kind of scaredy-cat he was. Before he could do more, the Grass ninja struck, putting another seal over his Kyuubi seal, disrupting his ability to access that power. The Grass ninja was revealed to be Orochimaru, a Leaf village missing-nin. He had set his sites on Sasuke and the two did battle. Naruto remained unconscious and Sasuke was soon knocked unconscious too when Orochimaru put his curse seal on him. Naruto was taken care of by Sakura and he awoke a short time later to see the outcome of a battle between Sakura and other Leaf Genin against the Sound Genin. The team rested and began to worry about how to gather their needed scroll in the short time remaining. Naruto theorized they could open their scroll, going against the rules, and then fake their needed scroll. Before he could carry out his actions Kabuto arrived to warn them not too. With Kabuto's help they proceeded to the tower to try for another scroll. On the way they got caught in the Genjutsu of the Rain Genin who had attacked earlier in the test. They did battle and made use of Naruto's stamina to trick the Rain, knock them out and get their scroll. With the needed scroll they completed the test. At the central tower they met Iruka who congratulated them and talked about what it meant to be a Chuunin. The group then proceeded on and saw that their fellow rookies also made it. The Third Hokage explained the purpose of the test and stated since so many who passed, a preliminary tournament would be held. The Genin would be randomly paired against another, with the winner advancing. Sasuke spoke of how eager he was to test himself. And thinking over the strength shown by Naruto in the last test, he added that he couldn't wait to fight Naruto as well. Their compatriot Kabuto, really Orochimaru's spy, took his leave and he wished them luck. Naruto watched the battles and eagerly awaited his turn. It soon came when he was placed against Inuzuka Kiba and his dog Akamaru. Kiba remembered how poor Naruto was in the academy and began to launch his attacks against Naruto. Despite flooring Naruto with a beast mimicking style of Taijutsu that made Naruto bleed from the mouth, Naruto refused to stay down. Kiba then created a cloud of smoke and used the lack of sight along with Akamaru to keep the advantage to himself. However, Naruto once again stole the advantage back and used a combination of Kage Bunshin and Henge to fool Kiba and capture Akamaru. Insulted, Kiba fed Akamaru a pill that turned his fur red and increased his strength. The two then used a combination technique to make them both into feral-looking versions of Kiba that boasted enhanced speed and strength, double-teaming Naruto with a spinning drill attack. Kiba’s confidence only increased after the attack, causing him to taunt that he would be more likely to be Hokage before Naruto. However, Naruto’s determination caused him to stand again. Irritated, Kiba and Akamaru proceeded to shred him up even more, throwing more smoke bombs to prevent his escape. However, they halted their assault as Naruto masked himself as one of them. Kiba’s sense of smell proved superior, however, causing him to lash out at the fake. However, the hit figure changed into Akamaru. Instantly, Kiba slammed an even more savage hit into the other, who also slide away and transformed into Akamaru. The first Akamaru then transformed back into Naruto and attacked Kiba, now Akamaru was out of the match entirely thanks to Kiba. Kiba resumed his solo assault against Naruto; seeking revenge for making him hit his own dog. The tide of the match began to turn in his own favor but Naruto repeatedly threatened a new move which he could never complete. Kiba would rush in to finish him off before he could start by slipping in for an attack on his blind side. However, Naruto’s nervousness caused him to lose control of his bodily functions inadvertently. Kiba was forced to stagger back due to the flatus, as it revolted his ultra-sensitive nose. Naruto then managed to do his move, a Taijutsu attack using Kage Bunshin. Inspired by Sasuke's own new move, he kicked Kiba into the air and then spun around and kicked him back into the ground. Naruto was victorious to everyone's surpise and he went to watch the remaining matches. When Hinata was matched against her cousin Neji, Naruto became angry at his words concerning losers, and their destiny to always remain such. Naruto inspired Hinata to not give up and fight back. Neji won the match but didn't give up on his "loser" talk. An annoyed Naruto gathered Hinata's blood on his fingers and made a promise to Neji, that he would kick his butt in the next test. He would get his chance, as he was paired against Neji in the third test. After the prelims Naruto was eager to train under Kakashi, but his sensei instead had him train under Ebisu, the "elite" ninja who had trained Konohamaru. Naruto didn't care for Ebisu, calling him a closet pervert. Ebisu managed to get through to Naruto and began to teach him how to walk on water. Before they could finish their lesson Ebisu moved to stop a spying pervert at the women's hot springs. The pervert was Jiraiya, Orochimaru's former teammate and one of the three Legendary Sannin. Jiraiya was the sensei of the Fourth Hokage, and saw a bit of himself and the Fourth in Naruto. Naruto demanded the pervy sage teach him in Ebisu's place. With the usage of his Sexy Technique, Naruto convinced the experienced ninja to train him. Jiraiya first set about removing the seal Orochimaru had placed on Naruto several weeks before. He then allowed Naruto to sign his toad contract, and be the next ninja to have a summoning contract with the toad family. Jiraiya began to teach Naruto how to draw upon the Kyuubi's chakra whenever needed, rather than just during times of heightened emotion. Jiraiya forced Naruto to learn to draw it out by pushing him off a cliff. When Naruto focused he found himself in an internalization of the Kyuubi prison. He met the Kyuubi face to face for the first time and demanded the fox give him chakra as rent. The Kyuubi was angered at his imprisonment but chose to humor Naruto, as Naruto's death would result in his own. From that point on Naruto could draw on the Kyuubi power when he needed a large amount of chakra. This power allowed him to summon the toad boss Gamabunta. After summoning Gamabunta, Naruto was taken to the hospital to recuperate. While there he met up with Shikamaru and learned that Gaara had come to finish off Rock Lee, who was also in the hospital. Shikamaru managed to bind Gaara with his shadow and Naruto struck Gaara, demanding to know why he was there. Gaara explained how a monster had been sealed himself him and Naruto quickly realized the two young men were the same. Gaara explained how his own father had overseen the process and then sought to kill him. Gaara's life had mirrored Naruto's own. He realized his existence was acknowledged and he had formed bonds that made him stronger, something Gaara didn't have. Gaara moved to attack but Gai arrived to send him away. Naruto then returned to his home and waited for the third test to start. Unfortunately he was so nervous he could barely sleep the night before test. He woke early to go to the Genin training area, where he had been taken the bell test. There Naruto met Hinata, and he explained how worried he was. He may appear strong but he always failed. Hinata told him that's not true. Even if he failed he never gave up, that's what true strength was. Naruto felt revived and thanked her. He then told her that though he once thought she was weird; he actually liked people like her. To the girl who had such a huge crush on him, the words stunned her. Naruto made it to the exam stadium and saw that Sasuke had yet to arrive. Naruto and Neji were up first for their match and Naruto reiterated his promise to make Neji change his views on "losers". Naruto formed numerous Kage Bunshin and began to launch an assault against Neji. Unfortunately Neji's superior Taijutsu managed to take out most of the clones. He then moved through the crowd of Naruto's to strike the one not attacking, he acted smug stating he knew the real one wouldn't attack, but that Naruto puffed away, and from among the crowd the real one jumped to strike. Unfortunately Neji used his Kaiten to blow the Narutos away from him, and then launched a Juuken attack against Naruto, closing off his tenketsu, the points in the body which maintained chakra flow. Naruto refused to stay down. He told Neji he failed to understand why he acted so high and mighty, so Neji explained to Naruto the Hyuuga history. Naruto said he didn't care for their sad past. He then began to draw on the Kyuubi power using Jiraiya's training. The Kyuubi power soon emerged and encased his body, greatly increasing his speed and power. Naruto then charged, telling Neji that if he didn't believe he could change his family's problems, then Naruto himself would when he became Hokage. The two men locked in combat and the area surrounding them exploded in dust as they exchanged blows. When the dust settled two craters marked the ground. Neji climbed out of one and Naruto lay still in the other. Neji limped over and gloated that a loser will always be such. Suddenly the ground beneath him cracked and Naruto rose to uppercut him in the chin, knocking him backwards to the ground. Naruto had left a clone in the crater while he himself had dug underground to surprise Neji. Naruto's belief in himself allowed him to change whatever "perceived" destiny given to him. A motionless Neji soon realized that. With his opponent down, Naruto was declared the victor. The crowd roared in congratulations and an embarrassed Naruto finally got the respect and admiration of Konoha. Naruto would return the waiting area and eagerly wait for Sasuke to show up. When he finally did, Naruto responded to Sasuke's earlier statement before the third test prelims, that he was eager to fight him too. He then watched as Sasuke battled Gaara in his match. Naruto and Shikamaru thought over their previous encounter with Gaara and rushed to warn Kakashi that Sasuke was in trouble. Kakashi then revealed that he had trained well with Sasuke, teaching him Chidori. Naruto watched as Sasuke managed to inflict damage on Gaara. Soon Naruto grew tired, a Genjutsu attack was being launched on the stadium, Sand and Sound's invasion of Leaf had begun. Naruto was soon awakened by Sakura, and she, Shikamaru and Naruto were ordered to chase Sasuke, who had went in pursuit of Gaara and his siblings. Lead after Sasuke by Kakashi's summoned dog Pakkun, the group realized they were being pursued by Sound ninja. These ninja had been ordered to eliminate Naruto. Shikamaru decided to hang back and stop them while Naruto and Sakura continued on. When they finally caught up to Sasuke they saw him weak from battling a partially Shukaku formed Gaara. Naruto didn't recognize Gaara but the sand encasing his body took the form of the Bijuu inside him. Gaara managed to pin Sakura to a tree with sand. The constriction of which threatened her life. Naruto looked on with determination and Gaara wondered why he didn't flee. Naruto stated he would protect his friends and went to summon Gamabunta; unfortunately he only managed his son Gamakichi. Naruto saw Gaara's wild lonely eyes and thought of his own lonely past, but then thought of Iruka and his team, and the new bonds he had formed. Naruto formed Kage Bunshin and jumped to attack but he was swatted away. After attacking again he was still knocked down. Rising to his feet he felt a new drive welling inside him. That even if he lost his life, he would not lose this battle. He charged and managed to lay an explosive note into Gaara. Naruto thought back over his past, and he told Sasuke that he and Gaara were alike, but his precious friends made them different. Thinking back to his talk with Haku, he knew the drive to protect someone special made someone truly strong. Charging his chakra again he used Tajuu Kage Bunshin and the clones launched an all out pummeling assault against Gaara. When they went in for the kill Gaara's full Shukaku power emerged, creating a life-size sand incarnation of the demon. Sand soon began to well around Naruto as Gaara planned to crush him, out of chakra he thought back to his training with Jiraiya and tried to summon again, this time it worked and he brought forth Gamabunta. Gaara then made himself sleep and let Shukaku take over. Gamabunta was reluctant to help, but his son Gamakichi spoke highly of Naruto's recent actions so he changed his mind. The two gigantic creatures began to exchange attacks. Gamabunta stated they had to awaken Gaara and that he had to transform into a creature that would allow him to grasp a hold of the demon, thinking of the Kyuubi, Naruto and Gamabunta transformed into the beast and grabbed on to Shukaku. Naruto moved to awaken Gaara but was held back by sand. Naruto felt weak from using so much chakra. Focusing internally he asked the Kyuubi for help and the power welled. He charged and was once again held in place by sand, mere inches from Gaara. He struggled and head butted his opponent, awakening him. Shukaku crumbled and Gamabunta took his leave. The two men then fell back to the earth and landed in the trees. Looking intently at the other they launched to strike. Naruto's strength won out and he socked Gaara back to the ground below. As they lay on the ground Gaara watched as the exhausted Naruto began to crawl towards him with just his chin. A frightened Gaara worried that his existence would soon end, he warned him to come no further but Naruto kept on. Naruto then looked at him in tears, saying he understood the pain of being alone but that he would kill him if he hurt the people precious to him. Gaara realized that the drive to protect others made one like Naruto truly strong. Naruto said he had people who finally acknowledged his existence. Sasuke arrived and told Naruto Sakura was okay. Gaara's siblings then arrived and took him in retreat. Sakura thanked Sasuke for saving her, but he said it was Naruto, who had shown an unknown strength. Sasuke's growing annoyance at the strength of the supposed loser Naruto began to gnaw at him. In the following days Naruto recuperated and Konoha gathered for the Third Hokage's funeral, who had fall fallen in battle to Orochimaru. There Naruto talked with Iruka about the nature of death and life. A few days later Jiraiya arrived and told Naruto they were going in search of Tsunade, one of his former teammates and fellow Legendary Sannin. They could use the time to further train and he would teach Naruto a technique which rivaled Sasuke's Chidori. An excited Naruto jumped at the chance to train under the pervy sage and the two men headed out. At this same time the group Akatsuki came in search of Naruto. They sought the Kyuubi demon within him. Part of the Akatsuki duo was Itachi, Sasuke's brother. Itachi and his partner Hoshigaki Kisame tracked down Naruto to a hotel. Sasuke arrived too looking for Itachi. Naruto had been left alone while Jiraiya had gone off with a woman. Naruto looked on in fear as the men planned to subdue him. When Kisame moved to cut off Naruto's limbs, Jiraiya arrived in the knick of time to save him. He drove the two ninja off and then sent Sasuke back to Konoha's hospital. The two men then continued on their journey. They traveled throughout the countryside and then stopped to rest. Naruto demanded to know when he would be trained and Jiraiya revealed the Rasengan, a destructive spiraling sphere of chakra developed by the Fourth Hokage. This highly ranked technique had multiple chakra manipulation steps which Naruto fought to figure out. The two men finally tracked down Tsunade and Jiraiya revealed his secret goal, to offer her the position of Fifth Hokage. Naruto couldn't believe that the position would be offered to drunken women who hid her true age. When she declined the job and stated that anyone who risked their life was a fool Naruto took it personally. Naruto was furious at her talk and demanded they fight. Going outside he charged but she easily cut off his protector and then swatted him away with a flick of a finger to the forehead. He stated that unlike her, it was his dream to be Hokage. Forming his incomplete version of Rasengan he charged, and she yet again easily avoided the attack. She chastised Jiraiya for teaching the jutsu to a foolish kid with dreams of becoming Hokage. Naruto was angered by her words and stated he could complete the jutsu in another couple days time. Tsunade stated she would give him the week, and if he completed it she would acknowledge his ability to become Hokage and give him the priceless necklace which belonged to her grandfather the First Hokage. What Naruto didn't know was that at the end of that week, Tsunade was expecting to meet with Orochimaru. For her former teammate had come seeking her healing abilities, to repair his arms which were damaged in battle with the Third. Over the following week Naruto would continue to practice his Rasengan training. Tsunade's attendant Shizune came and spoke with Naruto, telling him Tsunade's bad mood wasn't his fault. Tsunade's younger brother and boyfriend shared the same dreams as Naruto and they had died hopelessly in battle in pursuit of those dreams. Naruto continued to practice to exhaustion. The week was finally up and Naruto was unable to totally complete his training. He was eager to show what he had learned though. Jiraiya soon arrived and they learned Tsunade had gone to meet with Orochimaru, in exchange for healing his arms he promised to resurrect her fallen brother and boyfriend. Thinking how much it would let them down, she chose to fight, striking out against Orochimaru and his spy Kabuto. Naruto and the others went to help, coming at the right moment to save Tsunade. It was then that Naruto reacted in surprise to Kabuto's presence. Tsunade charged to continue her assault and Naruto was confused about why she was fighting him, Jiraiya pointed out he was a spy and Naruto couldn't believe it. Kabuto insulted Naruto, telling him he was weak and relied on the monster inside him. He was so pitiful that he could easily kill him. Naruto was pissed and charged with Kage Bunshin, they were easily dispersed by Kabuto and Naruto was thrown aside. Orochimaru and Kabuto then summoned a giant snake and Jiraiya attempted and failed. He was weak from an earlier poisoning by Tsunade and only managed to call forth Gamakichi. Naruto then tried to summon Gamabunta but only managed to summon Gamatatsu, Gamakichi's brother. Jiraiya and Orochimaru began to battle and Naruto injured his leg in the melee. Kabuto continued his assault against Tsunade, using her fear of blood against her. When he went to strike her, Naruto moved to intercept the blow, taking the strike right to his forehead protector. He quickly formed Rasengan to Tsunade's surprise but Kabuto easily dodged the attack, cutting Naruto's leg muscles in the process. Kabuto then read off his data card on Naruto, stating he was nothing special. That if he wanted to be Hokage he should flee now, because he was about to die. Naruto stated he would not run away, standing wobbly in front of Tsunade he told her to remember the bet. Kabuto would strike him several times, severing his internal organs. Naruto would not stay down though, forming a Bunshin he watched intently as Kabuto charged with a kunai. Naruto stood his ground and lifted his hand, taking the kunai through the palm to grasp Kabuto and hold him in place. He then held his other hand out while the clone formed Rasengan in it and then sent it home, straight into Kabuto's chest. Kabuto was sent spiraling backwards, unfortunately his medical skills allowed him to avoid the brunt of the attack, but he was severely weakened from the blow. Tsunade could not believe what he had accomplished in such a short time. Naruto collapsed and his life began to fade, even the Kyuubi inside felt his end drawing near. Tsunade rushed to heal him. Looking up at her weakly he told her the necklace was now his, as he had won their bet. Tsunade looked at him with tears and placed the necklace around his neck. Naruto was soon escorted to safety with Shizune while Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru began their battle. Orochimaru and Kabuto were soon driven off and the Leaf ninja returned to the city to rest. Tsunade told them she would accept the position as Hokage and Naruto couldn't believe the old and crabby fool could do it. Tsunade grew agitated by his words and demanded he come outside, challenging him to yet another one finger battle Naruto charged. She flicked off his protector, but inside of flicking him away this time, she kissed his forehead, congratulating him on a job well done. She told him to grown into a good man and a good Hokage. The group then headed back to Konoha. Naruto was eager for Tsunade to help heal Kakashi and Sasuke, who had both been damaged in battle with Itachi. When Sasuke awoke his feeling of inadequacy had grown huge. After being easily beaten by his brother and seeing Naruto's huge growth he challenged him to a fight. Naruto was eager to prove himself so the two young men headed for the hospital roof. Naruto expressed his excitement, as he was not the talentless ninja he once was. He told Sasuke to put on his headband but he retorted that Naruto could not scratch his forehead. Sasuke then yelled that they were not equals. An angry Naruto charged and Sasuke knocked him aside. Naruto used Tajuu Kage Bunshin and sent numerous clones in attack. Sasuke used his advanced Taijutsu to avoid their attacks, three clones managed to sneak in though and launch him into air for a Naruto Rendan. Sasuke avoided the kick in the air and launched a fireball towards the Naruto's below. Most poofed away but two remained, forming Rasengan. Sasuke formed Chidori and the two men rushed towards each other. Sakura yelled for them to stop and Kakashi appeared before the moves could connect, throwing the boys aside into nearby water towers. Sasuke's Chidori opened a large hole while Naruto's made a small one. Kakashi demanded to know what was going on and Sasuke retreated, feeling good about himself. He soon saw though that Naruto's Rasengan had ripped a gigantic hole in the backside of his water tower. His growing feelings of inadequacy would drive him into the hands of Orochimaru. Sasuke fled Konoha with Orochimaru's men and Naruto could not believe it. Tsunade had a Genin squad gathered under Shikamaru to go in pursuit. Sakura saw the team off and stated that only Naruto could bring Sasuke back. Naruto made her a promise, that he would return Sasuke no matter what. The team then headed out, with each team member eventually facing off against one of the Sound ninja one on one. Finally an enraged Naruto himself had caught up to Sound ninja Kimimaro who was carrying the casket holding Sasuke. Naruto demanded to know why Orochimaru wanted Sasuke and Kimimaro explained Sasuke was to be the next vessel to hold Orochimaru's spirit. Naruto yelled that he wouldn't let that happened and created a gigantic number of clones. The clones launched their attack but Kimimaro's superior Taijutsu and bone usage soon took out the large force. The casket carrying Sasuke soon burst, revealing a long haired Sasuke who had been granted further dark powers by Orochimaru. Naruto yelled for him, asking to know why he was doing this. Sasuke merely laughed and bounded away. Kimimaro moved to strike but Naruto was saved by Rock Lee. Lee told Naruto he could handle Kimimaro, Naruto then went off again in pursuit of Sasuke. He caught up to Sasuke at the river which formed the border between the two countries. Two huge statutes marked the spot where two ninja, one the First Hokage, had done battle and ripped the landscape asunder. Naruto demanded to know why he left and Sasuke said he had his own path. Naruto jumped towards Sasuke stating the others had risked their lives for him and how he could disrespect them like that. Naruto knocked Sasuke down and pinned him to the ground. Slamming his fist into Sasuke's face he yelled that Orochimaru only wanted his body. Sasuke stated he didn't care. Naruto then firmly told him that if he didn't come willingly, he'd use force. Sasuke then lifted Naruto off his body and punched him into the water below. Surprised by his power, Naruto quickly moved to attack again. The two men exchanged blows and Sasuke stated his dreams were in the past. Naruto demanded to know if their time as a team meant nothing. Sasuke stated no, he now considered Naruto his closest friend. Unfortunately Naruto did not know that to attain another level of Sharingan, one had to supposedly kill their closest friend. The two men exchanged attacks over the face of the statues, and Sasuke warned that he would kill him. Naruto stated he would have to beat sense into him and formed Rasengan. Sasuke then formed Chidori and charged. The attacks connected and the two young men were thrown backwards. Naruto lay in the water and thought over how Sasuke could be acting this way. The two men began exchanging attacks again and Naruto thought back over how he felt they were similar while growing up, both loners. Sasuke would never speak to him though and simply excelled at everything. He grew to see him as a rival and secretly wanted to be like him. When Sasuke stated that he wanted to fight him too, he felt acknowledged by him for the first time. But even now he simply doesn't understand. Sasuke then picked up the motionless Naruto and lifted him high, forming Chidori. Naruto simply looked on, turning feral with Kyuubi power. The Chidori struck home, right into Naruto's chest. Looking on Naruto reiterated his promise to stop Sasuke. Sasuke had pierced Naruto's lung and arm making it impossible to move his arm. He moved to choke Naruto but he jerked back, as the Kyuubi power rushed through him. He watched on in shock as the red chakra flowed through Naruto's body and healed the gaping wound. A furious Naruto looked on, stating he would bring him back to Konoha, even if he had to break his bones to do it. Sasuke demanded to know what Naruto was and he responded a friend. Using his new speed and power he swatted Sasuke away, avoiding and deflecting his attacks. Pinning Sasuke to the rock face Sasuke stated Naruto had no bonds growing up, so he didn't know what it was like to lose them. Naruto stated that's true, but when he's around Sasuke it's like he has a brother. Sasuke was one of his first bonds, and he would do everything in his power not to lose it. Sasuke then put on his forehead protector, finally acknowledging Naruto's strength for the first time, but he added, Naruto still couldn't scratch his headband. Using his new Sharingan abilities Sasuke managed to take control of the fight and knock Naruto into the water again. As he lay there the Kyuubi spoke out, calling him weak, that Naruto should thank the Fourth for allowing Naruto to access his power. Suddenly a new surge of power flowed through the even more feral Naruto, encasing him in a red fox-like chakra. Sasuke finally understood Naruto's special power and moved to defend himself. Naruto came at blinding speed, extending the fox chakra out of his body to attack, allowing him to avoid the Sharingan's predictive capabilities. Using the chakra as a hand he slammed into Sasuke and then threw him into the cliff face. Sasuke then revealed the true extent of his curse seal gift from Orochimaru, turning dark and growing large wings. The two men exchanged attacks and Naruto severely injured his left arm. Looking at the other from opposite sides of the river bank, Sasuke formed a dark Chidori and Naruto a Kyuubi-chakra infused Rasengan. The two men then launched themselves at the other. A huge orb of destruction formed as the attacks drew near. Neither man could force themselves to go for the killing blow though. Naruto moved to instead scratch Sasuke's protector, proving Sasuke wrong, while Sasuke himself moved to draw back his fingers into a fist, punching Naruto instead. When the dust settled both men were back to normal and Naruto lay unconscious on the ground with Sasuke over him. Sasuke's forehead protector slipped off and he took one last look at Naruto and then left to join Orochimaru. Kakashi soon arrived, too late to stop the battle. Kakashi carried Naruto back to Konoha. Naruto awoke on the way and wished for the safety of his fellow teammates. Naruto rested and recuperated at the hospital. He was glad that his fellow teammates were okay, but afraid to face Sakura. When she came to his room he apologized for failing, and that he wouldn't give up. She stated that was okay, next time they would do it together. Soon Jiraiya arrived and he stated he would take on Naruto as his apprentice. That they had three years until Orochimaru would take over Sasuke. He recommended Naruto give up on Sasuke, as only a fool would keep on trying to get him back. He stated he once chased after Orochimaru for similar reasons and failed. Naruto stated he'd be a fool then, but he'd get stronger and be powerful enough to stop Orochimaru and Akatsuki. After leaving the hospital Naruto met up with Iruka for one more Ichiraku meal. With his stuff in tow, he headed off with Jiraiya. He would travel the world and train, and grow strong enough to stop Akatsuki and bring back Sasuke.Uzumaki Naruto Personal Stats Total Stats Latent Potential Luck First Manga Appearance: Chapter 1 First Anime Appearance: Episode 1 Name Meaning: Uzumaki="Whirlpool", Naruto=A steamed fish-paste cake, also a maelstrom Character Study: The titular character, Naruto has a mixed approval rating among the fan base. He is a character whose sometimes idiotic personality conflicts with his occasional brilliance and natural talent, a staple seen in many shonen characters. Occasional power-ups have done little to help the cause as they are based off similar past techniques, and as of yet Naruto has not taken full advantage of the knowledge transference concepts introduced with Kage Bunshin, a glaring oversight on the author's part. This has caused many fans to question the author's investment in the character. While other characters grow and develop, Naruto sometimes fall to the wayside in his own series, never satisfactorily achieving the development he is long due. Stat GramChuunin Exam | DB 1 Pre-Timeskip | DB 2 Post-Timeskip | DB 3 Physical Information Age: 16 Sex: Male Birthday: 10/10 Bloodtype: B Height: 166.0 cm Weight: 50.9 kg Ninja Information Registration ID: 012607 Hidden Village: Leaf Rank: Genin Team: 7 - Haruno Sakura, Sai, Hatake Kakashi/Tenzou, Uchiha Sasuke (Former) Advancement Data Academy Grad Age: 12 Chuunin Exam Age: - Jutsu: Bunshin Kaiten Kakatou Otoshi, Bunshin Taiatari, Fuuton: Rasen Shuriken, Harem Technique, Kage Bunshin, Naruto Rendan, Oiroke, Rasengan, Fuuton: Rasengan, Sennen Goroshi, Sennin Mode, Tajuu Kage Bunshin, Toad Kuchiyose Known Elements: Fuuton Missions Completed D-Rank: 7 C-Rank: 1 B-Rank: 2 A-Rank: 6 S-Rank: 0 Over two and half years would pass before Jiraiya and Naruto would return to Konoha. During their time away Jiraiya taught Naruto how Genjutsu functioned and showed him how to better take advantage of the Kyuubi power. Unfortunately this power grew too much for Naruto to contain, causing him to lose even more of his self-awareness when the power grew. Like the tailed form he took at the Valley of the End, Naruto would further expand his "tailed" capabilities, achieving a four-tailed form. In this wild state, he became a uncontrollable and powerful beast. His skin peeled and melted away, causing his blood to boil out and encase him in a feral poisonous red fox body. This beast proved too much even for Jiraiya, inflicting a large scar on his chest. Unfortunately prolonged usage of this state further weakens the seal the Fourth used. Also the boiling chakra and power simultaneously destroys and heals Naruto's body, shortening his life span. Naruto finally returned to Konoha at the age of 15. He wore a new outfit and forehead protector cloth, as his old ones were worn to shreds in his training. Naruto presented Kakashi with the latest edition of the Icha Icha book series, which Jiraiya had finished in their time away. Jiraiya then turned Naruto over into Kakashi's care. Naruto was surprised at how Sakura had matured and she the same of him. Naruto warmly greeted Konohamaru and when the young boy showed him his latest refinement to the Sexy Technique Naruto calmly stated he shouldn't use that jutsu anymore. Sakura was amazed at his maturity but Naruto quickly shattered her hopes when he boldly declared he had developed an even more perverted jutsu. She then socked him into the ground for being such an idiot. Kakashi was eager to test their development so he brought back an old challenge, the bell test. For many hours Naruto and Sakura revealed their new strength and battle intelligence, but they still could not get the bells. Naruto finally devised a plan, threatening to spoil the end to Kakashi's new Icha Icha book; Naruto and Sakura were given an opening to take the bells. Naruto ran into Shikamaru and Temari and learned his friends had grown and advanced as well. Because he was away from Konoha, he was unable to participate in any of the Chuunin Exams. This meant Naruto was still a Genin while all his friends advanced in rank. He was even surprised to learn Gaara had become Kazekage. His friend had finally been acknowledged by his village and become a Kage, and he was happy from the bottom of his heart. Naruto also met back up with Iruka and Naruto told him about his tough training regimen. A short time later Team 7 awaited their new mission. Naruto was eager for something challenging and he quickly got his wish. Akatsuki had began to move and word soon arrived that they had invaded Hidden Sand and captured Gaara after a tough battle. Tsunade then ordered them to head to Sand and back them up. The team prepared to leave and Jiraiya warned Naruto not to use a certain jutsu which had been learned in their time away. Naruto rushed to Sand and explained to Sakura why he was in such a rush. He and Gaara were alike, they both had demons sealed inside. Gaara was even lonelier than he growing up, as Gaara had no precious people in his life. Naruto expressed his frustration that it was always Gaara who was alone, and now they had him. When they arrived they learned Kankurou had been poisoned. Elder Sand kunoichi Chiyo saw Kakashi and mistook him for his father, who had killed her son years before. When she moved to attack the surprised Kakashi, Naruto quickly intercepted her attack. She soon realized her mistake and plans were made to track down Akatsuki using a piece of cloth taken from one of the members. Kankurou thought back over previous conversations with his brother Gaara, and how changed he was after fighting Naruto. How Gaara realized it was the connections with others which made one truly strong. Kankurou knew he owed Naruto much, and he wished him luck on his mission. The team headed to the River Country to track down Akatsuki. Chiyo joined them in search of her grandson Sasori who was now with Akatsuki. She explained to Naruto and Sakura for the first time the true nature of the Bijuu, and how dangerous they were. Their conversation was soon cut short as an opponent blocked their path, Uchiha Itachi. Naruto was eager to prove himself but Kakashi offered to take him on. Itachi sent a Kage Bunshin after Naruto and he hit it with Rasengan. It poofed away and Naruto soon saw everyone was unconscious. They rose and turned into Itachi's, though he had been careful not to look into Itachi's eyes, he had been caught in his Genjutsu. Naruto focused on his training with Jiraiya but Itachi began to assault Naruto with shuriken and mental attacks. The heads of his teammates began to emerge from his body, chastising him for his failures. He was soon awakened by Sakura and Chiyo, and went to help Kakashi take out Itachi. Kakashi managed to pin Itachi in place with a Kage Bunshin. Calling for Naruto the young man struck through the clone right into Itachi's chest with an Oodama Rasengan. With the assistance of a Kage Bunshin, a feral Naruto had taken out Itachi. Unfortunately it wasn't Itachi, for Itachi himself had merely been using a host body to delay them. Chiyo surmised Akatsuki may plan to make a new Jinchuuriki. She explained to them and Naruto what a Jinchuuriki's purpose was and how the removal of the Bijuu results in the their death. Sakura was afraid for Naruto but he told her not worry. The team then made their way to Akatsuki's hideout and Kakashi explained to Chiyo that Naruto was a Jinchuuriki as well. And that he knew the same pain as Gaara and was happy he had become a Kage. Chiyo understood their youth gave them a different outlook, and that they could possibly make things better. Outside of the Akatsuki cave base they met Team Gai, who had been sent as reinforcements. Naruto was eager to enter the cave and once Team Gai had removed the barrier the team moved in. Naruto looked on in horror as two Akatsuki's members, Deidara and Sasori, nonchalantly reclined on Gaara's lifeless body. Naruto had arrived too late, Gaara's bijuu had been removed and he had died in the process. With emotions boiling he moved to take Gaara's body back but Kakashi stopped him. When Deidara and Sasori began to argue a furious Naruto pulled a scroll and hurled a summoned giant shuriken at them. It was easily batted away and Deidara took his leave. Jumping on his clay bird he scooped up Gaara and flew out of the cave. Naruto and Kakashi then gave chase. Furious with rage Naruto launched himself at Deidara and smashed into a nearby cliff. Deidara coldly stated Naruto wasn't like the other Jinchuuriki they had captured and killed, who were abandoned by their villages. Deidara said Gaara had lost his Bijuu and life, and Naruto would be next. Naruto stared intently, yelling that he would kill them all. Deidara then fled and they gave chase. Naruto charged on and Kakashi told him to calm down, revealing his new Mangekyou Sharingan. With this new doujutsu he managed to collapse in Deidara's arm. When he attempted to focus the attack again Naruto jumped and detached the bird head carrying Gaara with a Rasengan. He created two clones to take the head to safety and examine Gaara. Deidara jumped away and a Naruto moved to assist Kakashi. The Naruto looking at Gaara told Deidara he would finish him. The Akatsuki member looked on and thought Kakashi was the problem, unfortunately he failed to see the feral Naruto jumping from his blindside. That Naruto smacked Deidara to the ground below, created clones to pummel him and rammed Rasengan into Deidara's chest. Unfortunately Deidara had replaced himself with a Kawarimi. The clones poofed away and Naruto stood with the Kyuubi chakra boiling out of him. A tail grew from his body and another began to grow. The Naruto assisting Kakashi doubled over, feeling a burning sensation through his body. Kakashi realized this was a Kyuubi form Jiraiya had warned him about. He then rushed to slap a seal Jiraiya had given him on Naruto's forehead. The seal suppressed the Kyuubi chakra and returned him to normal. Deidara made his escape using an exploding Bunshin and Sakura and Chiyo arrived from their battle. Sakura examined Gaara and confirmed his passing. Naruto demanded to know why these things had happened to Gaara. Why had they put a demon inside him and had they even asked if he wanted it. Crying, he told them he trained hard, but he could save neither Sasuke nor Gaara. Chiyo moved to use a jutsu and Naruto demanded to know what she was doing. Sakura explained Chiyo planned to revive Gaara. Chiyo didn't have enough chakra so Naruto offered his own. Putting his hands on hers she thought over how highly Kakashi had spoken of the young man and stated she was entrusting the future to their capable hands. A short time later many other Sand shinobi arrived to help, including Gaara's siblings. They watched as Gaara was resurrected and Naruto told the young man he had put them through a lot. Kankurou thanked Naruto again and Naruto said they should thank Chiyo. Naruto failed to realize her jutsu cost her her life. Chiyo had left the future to them, and Naruto said the Third had spoken the same way. They returned to Suna and prepared to leave. An embarrassed Naruto stated that this was usually when people shook hands to say goodbye. Gaara raised his hand and used sand to raise Naruto's. The two men shook hands and the Leaf ninja returned to Konoha. Their mission also revealed that Sasori was planning to meet a spy of his who was in Orochimaru's cadre. In a weeks time the two were to meet at a Grass Country bridge. With Sasori dead, Team 7 could impersonate him and gather intel on Orochimaru. Naruto spoke with Tsunade about meeting the spy. Council advisers Koharu and Homura recommended Naruto stay in Konoha, as Akatsuki was hunting him. Tsunade agreed to allow a member of ANBU Root to join the team. The Root were known for their lack of emotions and strong loyalty to Konoha. Tsunade then added an ANBU of her choosing named Yamato, who would lead them due to Kakashi's recuperation. Naruto met Team 8 again and asked if they would help on his new mission but they already had one. He also met with Shikamaru who also had other duties. Chouji offered to help but he had a mission too. Out of nowhere ink tigers began to attack the trio. They came from a pale young ninja wearing a Konoha forehead protector. Naruto moved to attack the stranger and demanded to know what was going on. The young man was Sai, an ANBU Root member newly assigned to Naruto's squad. He was testing Naruto and he was not impressed, questioning Naruto's very manhood. The team left for the Grass Country and Naruto felt Sai was a poor replacement for Sasuke. Sai felt that was a good thing, calling Sasuke a bastard traitor. Naruto was infuriated but Sakura held him back, warning Sai to watch his mouth. Yamato attempted to build some camaderie with a visit to a hot springs but Naruto still disliked Sai. Naruto was infuriated with Sai's fake smiles and weird emotionless demeanor. Sai and Naruto were then paired as Yamato tested their skills. Naruto didn't work well with Sai and demanded to know if he even knew what it meant to be a comrade. Finally stating he would never accept Sai as an ally. The team finally made their rendevous and learned the spy was Kabuto. Kabuto revealed he was still loyal to Orochimaru who suddenly appeared. Yamato was quickly revealed not to be Sasori and the team jumped in to assist. Orochimaru wondered who between Naruto and Sasuke was stronger, and he quickly got his chance to find out. Filling with rage the Kyuubi chakra poured from Naruto. It was then revealed that Yamato was infused with Shodai Hokage's genes by Orochimaru in the past. This gave Yamato the ability to control the Bijuu. Naruto began to lose his self-awareness, as three tails now marked his Kyuubi form. Naruto's power soon destroyed the bridge and ripped into Orochimaru, tearing off his arm. Orochimaru then shed to a new body and gloated that Sasuke was still more powerful. At that point Naruto totally lost himself to the Kyuubi. His skin boiled off and his blood encased his four-tailed body. Naruto launched an all out assault on Orochimaru, culminating in a concentrated chakra blast. Orochimaru was barely able to protect himself and quickly moved to stab Naruto with his Kusanagi blade but it failed to pierce Naruto's skin. Sakura began to fear the lengths Naruto was going to retrieve Sasuke so she ran towards him. Unfortunately in his wild state Naruto failed to recognize friend from foe and hit her with his poisonous tails. Kabuto then healed Sakura for his own reasons and Yamato used his ability to contain the Kyuubi power and put an end to Naruto's destructive spree. Sakura then healed Naruto's wounds, as the Kyuubi wasn't healing him as quickly as before. When she regretted not being able to help very much Yamato told her it was okay. The strength of her feelings showed how much she cared for Naruto. Sakura began to cry and Naruto awoke demanding to know if Sai had made her sad. Naruto failed to realize he had lost control and wondered what happened to the landscape. Sakura told him Orochimaru did it after he was knocked out. Yamato confided to Naruto that he was the one who had hurt Sakura. He stated he could seal the Kyuubi power as it was not his true strength anyway. Naruto wasn't sure, but Yamato stated he could stand Kyuubi's chakra because of his own. Naruto was surprised and Yamato stated if he really wanted to help his friends, he should do it on his own power. Naruto empathically affirmed and the team went in pursuit of Orochimaru, Kabuto and Sai, who had mysteriously joined them. The team tracked down Orochimaru's underground base. They made it inside, captured Sai and learned he planned to spy on Orochimaru for the Root leader. Sai stated it was doubtful Naruto could get Sasuke to return. Naruto explained that he hated Sasuke at first but then formed a close bond to him over time. Sai was unsure but Naruto said even if his body was destroyed he would not stop. No matter what he would take Sasuke back from Orochimaru. This surprised Sai and inspired him to help Naruto retrieve Sasuke rather than assassinate him like originally ordered. Sai and Naruto then searched the compound. Naruto got a better feel for Sai when Sai mentioned how alike Naruto was to his dead brother. Orochimaru appeared and Sai went to find Sasuke. Orochimaru told Naruto that he would not kill him, as he had some use in taking out Akatsuki members. Sai located Sasuke but Sasuke quickly destroyed his room. Naruto and Sakura rushed to his location and saw Sasuke for the first time in three years. Naruto recalled Sasuke's words on cutting bonds at the Valley of the End and demanded to know why he didn't kill him. Sasuke stated he didn't because that path was merely to attain power. Naruto demanded to know what he meant by that and Sasuke retorted that he did not have to explain himself and that he only saved Naruto on a whim. In an instant Sasuke was chest to chest with Naruto mocking that his dream was to become Hokage and yet he failed his mission to stop him. He then said this time his whim would be to end Naruto's life and pulled his sword. A determined Naruto retorted back that he was correct. One who could not save his friend could hardly become the Hokage. Naruto jumped away and Sasuke released a Chidori current electrocuting everyone. Naruto turned feral and inside the Kyuubi prison the beast boiled outside the bars telling him now was the time. Naruto told the beast he was staying inside this time. The Kyuubi stated Naruto had no chance unless the seal was completely released. Naruto began to raise his arm in defiance but another reached out to touch Kyuubi's nose, it was Sasuke's. The Kyuubi was surprised that one from the cursed bloodline appeared and Sasuke replied that he finally saw Naruto's hidden power. Sasuke then focused and dispersed the Kyuubi head. Kyuubi was surprised Sasuke could suppress him and warned that he would regret killing Naruto. In the real world Sasuke retreated and Naruto yelled that Orochimaru just wanted his body. Sasuke moved to attack but Orochimaru stopped him, saying they should be left alive to kill more Akatsuki members. They left in a whiff of smoke and Naruto crumbled over in agony, he had failed to retrieve Sasuke yet again. The group then returned to Konoha, believing with Sai's help all three could retrieve Sasuke together. The new Team 7 was sent on another mission and came back to Konoha for some downtime. Naruto spoke with Kakashi about increasing his abilities. Kakashi told Naruto he had figured out a special training only Naruto could do. It would help him develop an ultimate Ninjutsu to he can call his own. The training would take advantage of Kage Bunshin's memory transfer capabilities. By creating a massive number of clones and then dispersing them, Naruto could drastically cut down the time it took to learn a new skill. A thousand clones could learn in a week what would normally take one ninja numerous years. The jutsu would be based on Naruto's elemental affinity, which he learned was Wind by using a special paper which split when he put chakra into it. Because Rasengan was pure shape manipulation, all he had to learn was nature manipulation to get the jutsu started. Kakashi then had Naruto create clones and attempt to cut a leaf. Yamato would assist by controlling the Kyuubi chakra. A Naruto clone was then sent to speak with Sarutobi Asuma, another Wind user. Asuma gave him tips which Naruto used to complete the first training step. Next Naruto worked on splitting a waterfall. When he became annoyed that he was being held back by only 10 clones, Yamato created a bigger waterfall for numerous clones. Naruto worked on the step for long hours and rested during the night. That night he thought of Sasuke and got up to train more. By dawn Yamato and Kakashi watched in surprise as all the Narutos managed to split the water. When Yamato was surprised what the training had done for Naruto, Kakashi explained it wasn't just the training, it was Naruto's feelings towards Sasuke as well. Naruto then rested and prepared for the final step. Kakashi explained to Naruto that the ability to fuse nature and shape required a special knack and that neither he nor his teacher the Fourth Hokage could do it. The Rasengan was a high level form manipulation technique, uncompleted and lacking nature, making it a half-complete jutsu. Kakashi told Naruto only he could potentially finish it, as he believed only Naruto could surpass the Fourth. Naruto blushed and focused on adding Wind to Rasengan, which proved difficult, causing some clones to turn Kyuubi. With Kakashi's help he further refined his approach and managed to rack up close to 4,800 hours of training in a days time with all the clones. The training was soon interrupted though when they received word that Asuma was killed in battle by Akatsuki. Naruto attended Asuma's funeral and comforted Konohamaru, who was Asuma's nephew. Kakashi then had Naruto try his partially completed Rasengan against the basic version he himself could make. Naruto's easily won out and Kakashi once again saw the Fourth in Naruto. Kakashi took his leave to help Team 10 track down Akatsuki while Naruto remained behind with Yamato to finish his jutsu. Naruto managed to further refine his new jutsu and went with Team 7 to assist Team 10. They arrived to find them in battle with Akatsuki member Kakuzu and Naruto used his new Fuuton: Rasengan to counter one of Kakuzu's attacks. A determined Naruto was only half-way done with his jutsu and he asked to take on Kakuzu alone. Naruto sent clones to attack Kakuzu and gather information. With new clones he then formed Rasen Shuriken. The clones charged and were blasted away. Naruto himself came charging from Kakuzu's blindside but his attack dissipated before it could connect. Naruto asked to try again telling Kakashi that he said only Naruto himself could surpass the Fourth Hokage and that crossing that dangerous bridge alone would show he was not just a kid anymore. Thinking of Sasuke, he formed clones and the technique again. They charged and split off around Kakuzu while Naruto charged from ahead with the attack. Kakuzu extended his tendrils into Naruto but it was a clone. From behind came the real Naruto wielding another Rasen Shuriken which he slammed into Kakuzu's back, ripping him and his tendrils apart in a gigantic sphere of destruction. Naruto was thrown to the ground and Kakuzu continued to be struck by the attack. It soon dissipated and Kakuzu fell back into the huge crater and remained motionless. Naruto felt relief and the onlookers were amazed. Naruto used the technique three times, when in training he only managed two. Kakashi recognized that Sasuke drove Naruto to get better. He then finished off the injured Kakuzu with Raikiri. The teams returned to Konoha and Tsunade congratulated them. She warned them though not to let down their guard. Naruto spent the next few weeks recuperating, as the use of the Rasen Shuriken had heavily damaged his hand. He was then informed that Sasuke had killed Orochimaru and left Hidden Sound. Naruto hoped Sasuke would return but his friend still had unfinished business. Recognizing that Sasuke was still set on killing his brother, Naruto and Team 7, under Yamato, and Team 8, under Kakashi, set out to track down Itachi and hopefully then locate Sasuke. While on their journey the trio of Naruto, Hinata and Yamato were stopped by Kabuto, who revealed that Naruto had inspired him to go beyond his identity of spy and underling. He explained that Naruto went beyond the "Kyuubi" identity and became his own person. He then gave the trio the Sound's information on Akatsuki. Naruto charged hoping to capture Kabuto but he quickly escaped. They then continued on with their task of tracking Itachi. The group continued their search and saw the explosive conclusion to Sasuke and Deidara's battle that was occurring nearby. When they rushed to the location of the battle, Sasuke was already gone. Using Kiba's tracking skills they moved on, eventually splitting up to increase their chances. Naruto formed clones, which scoured the forest and found Uchiha Itachi instead. Itachi asked Naruto why he was obsessed with Sasuke. Naruto explained how he was more a brother to Sasuke than Itachi was. Dispersing into crows, Itachi caught Naruto in a Genjutsu and demanded to know how Naruto could force Sasuke to come back? What if it meant killing him to save Konoha? Naruto answered he could do both, protect the village and save Sasuke. Itachi called that view childish, but Naruto responded that he made his choices known and he won't go back on his ninja way. Itachi then forced one of his crows into Naruto's body, granting Naruto some measure of his power, which he would hopefully never have to use. Naruto expressed confusion and Itachi took his leave. As Naruto rushed through the forest to continue his search, he came face to face with Sasuke once again. The man quickly pierced Naruto with Chidori, dispersing the clone. The remaining Naruto's quickly received the data update and rushed to Sasuke's location. On their way they were confronted by another delay, Tobi. As the Akatsuki member looked on from a tree limb above, Naruto smiled from below. A Rasengan wielding clone then moved to strike Tobi from the back, unfortunately it slid right through the man. He continued to easily avoid Naruto's attacks but the young man remained stoic. Working with his friends they launched more attacks on Tobi, but they failed as well. They were then shocked by the news delivered by the newly arrived Zetsu, Sasuke had killed Itachi and had passed out. As Tobi left they moved in pursuit, eventually reaching the site of the battle too late, the Uchiha brothers had already been spirited away. Naruto returned to Konoha and continued to ponder Itachi's actions. He was then summoned to the Hokage's office where he was given heart breaking news; the Akatsuki leader Pain had killed Jiraiya in battle. Fukasaku, the toad sage who had trained Jiraiya in Senjutsu, had come to deliver the news and to show a coded message he had left for Naruto. Naruto ignored the code and demanded to know how Tsunade could have let Jiraiya go on such a dangerous mission alone. He expressed his distaste with the meeting and left the building. Tsunade and the others let him go, and pondered if he really was the "destined" child. The pupil who the elder toad sage said would be trained by Jiraiya and bring about a great change in the ninja world. Naruto walked through the village and began to reflect on his time together with Jiraiya. Iruka met Naruto and tried to treat him to ramen but the young man brushed him off. Returning to his apartment he sat alone with his thoughts. Taking a walk later that night, he bought a popsicle, a reminder of his time training in Rasengan with Jiraiya. The uneaten treat began to melt and Naruto cried. Iruka joined the young man and Naruto explained how he wanted Jiraiya to see him become Hokage, but all he ever did was screw up. Iruka said that wasn't the case, Jiraiya always spoke highly of him and would continue to watch over him. Moreover, if he continued feeling down, he would no longer be the person that earned Jiraiya's praise. Iruka explained that Naruto inherited Jiraiya's will and was the man Jiraiya believed in. Naruto remained withdrawn but was soon visited by Shikamaru, who was working to decipher Jiraiya's message. Naruto decided to help but remained distant until Shikamaru explained how he would one day be the sensei for Asuma's child. Their generation could't stay children forever, they have to grow into excellent shinobi who could inspire their students as their former teachers once did. Moved by Shikamaru's words, he joined in the work to break the code. Using Naruto's knowledge of Jiraiya's writing style, the group discovered that the code lined up with Jiraiya's latest Icha Icha book to reveal a strange phrase, "The real one isn't with them." Fukasaku stated the phrase was too vague, but he had work for Naruto over the next few weeks if he was up for it. He would be trained in Senjutsu like Jiraiya was. Excited by the challenge, Naruto accepted. He and Fukasaku were then summoned back to Myouboku Mountain, the home of the toads.Naruto (in Sage Mode), Fukasaku, Gamaken, Gamahiro, Gamabunta, and Gamakichi were summoned to the centre of Konoha. Naruto did not immediately recognize the crater he had been summoned to, before noticing the Hokage Monument in the distance. Realizing that Pain had destroyed the village, an infuriated Naruto stopped Pain's Asura path from attacking Tsunade with his Rasengan. The body was destroyed, and Naruto sent Tsunade away, instructing her to make sure none of the other villagers intervened in the battle. Pain's Animal path summoned a number of animals to attack Naruto, who used the increased strength granted to him by Sage Mode to bat them aside to his toad allies. While they dealt with the summons, Naruto disposed of the Preta path, before preparing the fruits of his senjutsu training: a perfected Rasenshuriken. He hurled the attack at Pain's remaining bodies, and it expanded when it neared them, disintegrating the Human path. Running low on chakra because of the attack, Naruto had Gamabunta trap the Animal path in his mouth, where Naruto was able to defeat it with his Rasenrengan without interference from the other bodies. Having run out of natural energy and thus having exited Sage Mode, Naruto had Fukasaku summon one of his shadow clones from Myōbokuzan. As a workaround for his inability to have a constant supply of natural energy, he had had some of his shadow clones gather it for him. Revitalized, Naruto attacked with another Rasenshuriken, only for the Preta path to appear and absorb the attack. Realizing that the Naraka path must have restored it, Naruto focused his efforts on getting rid of it. He distracted the Deva path with a smokescreen, and landed another Rasenrengan on the Naraka path. Though he had defeated four of Pain's six bodies, Naruto was captured through a combination of efforts from the Deva and Preta paths. The Preta path absorbed his chakra to make sure he was no longer a threat but, being unable to handle natural energy, turned into stone, allowing Naruto to free himself. The Deva path captured Naruto again, and killed Fukasaku when he tried to come to help. While immobilizing Naruto, the Deva path told Naruto of his plans for world peace. When Naruto disagreed with his views, Jiraiya's death being a byproduct of that peace, the Deva path asked Naruto for a better solution. Naruto in his six-tailed transformation. Before he could answer, Hinata came to Naruto's aid. She confessed her love for Naruto (greatly shocking him) and engaged Pain in battle in a futile effort to save him. When she was apparently killed, an enraged Naruto exploded into his six-tailed transformation. His necklace reacted in an effort to quell the transformation, but the Nine-Tails destroyed it and attacked Pain. Unable to deal with this new threat, the Deva path retreated to a location where it could use Chibaku Tensei. The animalistic Naruto was drawn into it and restrained, prompting Naruto to give his heart to the Nine-Tails in a desperate attempt to gain the power needed to stop Pain, releasing the eight-tailed transformation. Before he could completely release the Nine-Tails, however, Minato appeared in Naruto's subconscious to stop him. Minato revealed that he had designed the seal of the Nine-Tails to allow an imprint of himself to appear if ever the seal was about to break, a failsafe meant to protect his son. Picking up on this, Naruto realized that the Fourth Hokage was his father, and was overjoyed to finally know who one of his parents was. His time being short, Minato revealed that he had sealed the Nine-Tails into his own son because he thought Naruto would someday find use for it in finally stopping Madara Uchiha. They also discussed the concept of peace, and Minato revealed that hatred gave rise to Pain, and that ninjas must find a way to end the hatred. While Naruto doubted that he could do it, Minato replied that he believed Naruto would be able to find the answer, and restored the Nine-Tails' seal before disappearing. Outside, Naruto emerged from the Chibaku Tensei, the Nine-Tails' influence gone and Sage Mode having returned. He clashed one final time with the Deva path, using the five-second gap in the time between its attacks to his advantage. Although his Rasenshuriken missed, he was able to muster enough shadow clones to resist the path's gravitational abilities. In the brief interlude between attacks, Naruto struck it with the Rasengan, defeating the last of Pain's bodies. The battle won, Naruto sought out Nagato, Pain's base mind, to finally answer his earlier question about peace. Naruto admitted to his raw anger and hatred towards Nagato, but he held his ground, and asked Nagato how he had turned out this way after being Jiraiya's student. After hearing Nagato's past, Naruto agreed that, on some points, Nagato was right, but he shocked both Nagato and Konan after he declared that, despite hating them, he would not kill them, simply for his desire to "break the cycle of hatred", and his answer was to believe in Jiraiya's idea of peace. Amazed by Naruto's determination to his answer, Nagato said that he would believe in Naruto, and revived all the people Nagato had killed in Konoha, at the cost of Nagato's own life. With this, Naruto helped Konan retrieve Nagato and Yahiko's bodies for burial in Amegakure. After confirming that she had quit Akatsuki and taken leadership of Amegakure, she left Naruto a bouquet of paper flowers for him, symbolizing their newly found alliance. Five Kage Summit arc Villagers of Konoha greeting Naruto after his return from confronting Nagato. Kakashi fetched the weakened Naruto and brought him back to Konoha. There, Naruto was greeted by all of the Konohagakure villagers and shinobi, prompting him to think back to his original reason to become Hokage: to be acknowledged by everyone in the village. Some of the villagers are also shown saying that Naruto's heroism makes him worthy of becoming Hokage. Later, while wandering the village, he runs into Tazuna and a grown-up Inari, who have come to help rebuild Konoha as carpenters. While catching up, they ask him about Sasuke. Naruto replies that they had "had a fight" that made Sasuke leave, but that he would be bringing him back soon. Soon afterwards, Naruto learns that Danzo has been appointed as Hokage to replace the comatose Tsunade. As his first act, Danzo has ordered Sasuke eliminated as a missing-nin. Naruto tries to go to object to this but is stopped by Kakashi, who points out that doing so would give Danzo a reason to put him in jail. Instead, he questions Sai about Danzo, but is unable to learn anything useful. Naruto, Sai, and Sakura are confronted by the Kumogakure ninja, Karui and Omoi. Karui informs them that Sasuke has joined Akatsuki and captured Killer Bee, something that has created some animosity between Kumogakure and Konoha. Naruto reassures them that there is still time to save Killer Bee and offers to tell them about Akatsuki; however, when they ask about Sasuke, Naruto, thinking back to his conversation with Pain, is unable to sell out Sasuke, knowing that that will only create a new cycle of revenge. As compensation, Naruto offers to let Karui beat him up, which she gladly accepts. Sai intervenes, and the Kumogakure ninja leave. As Naruto recovers from his beating, he tells Kakashi and Yamato that he must meet the five Kage to inform them of Madara Uchiha, as well as convince the Raikage to forgive Sasuke. Kakashi and Yamato agree to be Naruto's escorts to the Kage Summit. Yamato places a tracker on Karui and her team, allowing Naruto to follow them to the Land of Iron. Due to his injuries suffered from Karui's assault Naruto is seen wearing a bandage across his right eye as he sets out for the Kage Summit. Eventually, Naruto, Kakashi, and Yamato catch up to the Raikage, stopping them before they head off to the summit. Naruto then begs for the Raikage to forgive Sasuke of his crimes, a request which the Raikage refuses to listen to. At this point, Naruto prostrates himself and bows before the Raikage, begging to change his mind, as chasing Sasuke for revenge would not only lead to war between Konoha and Kumo, but also twist him into what Sasuke became. The Raikage promptly shouts at Naruto, putting down his notion of friendship and tells him that the only thing ninja respect are power and strength. The Raikage then heads off to the summit as Kakashi tells Naruto to stand up. After that, Naruto lay saddened and confused at an inn somewhere in the Land of Iron, wondering if Sasuke's hatred had indeed turned him into a common criminal, and Naruto claims that he no longer understands Sasuke. His thoughts are interrupted by the sudden appearance of Tobi, who casually requests an audience with him. A startled Naruto greets him with a Rasengan but is unsuccessful in harming him. Kakashi and Yamato intervene, quickly restraining Tobi, who Kakashi identified as Madara Uchiha. Unfazed, Madara admits that he is curious about Naruto and queries about how he managed to turn Nagato into a collaborator. An enraged Naruto quickly dismisses the relevance of his question and demands to know what he plans to do with Sasuke. Madara agrees to elaborate on Sasuke's descent into darkness. After Madara's explanation, Naruto refused to believe that Itachi was actually a spy for Konoha and gave up everything for Sasuke's well-being. Madara then explained that on the deathbed of the Sage of the Six Paths, he entrusted his power and dream to two brothers. The older brother, who inherited the Sage's powerful chakra and spiritual energy, believed that power was the key to peace; and the younger brother, who inherited the Sage's willpower and physical energy, believed that love was the key to peace. In the end, the Sage chose the younger brother to be his successor. Overcome by bitterness and envy, the older brother attacked the younger one, beginning a war between them. Their struggle would continue on through their descendants: the Senju clan and the Uchiha clan. Madara explained that Naruto has inherited Hashirama Senju's Will of Fire, and that Sasuke inherited the Uchiha's hatred, which would lead to an inevitable battle. Madara also tells Naruto that he will have to fight Sasuke at some point, or rather he'll make Sasuke fight Naruto and prove the Uchiha's existence. Naruto yells that Sasuke isn't Madara's toy. Madara counters by saying Naruto won't be able to change Sasuke's mind like he did with Nagato. Naruto yells to not include Nagato in the same company as Madara himself, as Nagato had good ideals, even if he carried them out in the wrong way. Kakashi asks why Madara needs the tailed beast then if he just wants proof? Madara offers that he just wants to achieve a perfection of form, which confuses them. Madara says they'll talk again and takes his leave by swirling out of existence. After a while of thinking and reflecting on Madara's words, Naruto decides there is nothing else but for him to confront Sasuke face-to-face. Naruto is then seen on the roof of a building training with his senjutsu when Kiba, Rock Lee, Sai and Sakura approach him. Once everybody gathers around, Sakura tells Naruto that she loves him, leaving Naruto shocked. She explains to him that she has learned to love him because of him always being by her side supporting her just like to the rest of the villagers who have grown fond to him. She assures him that she has forgotten Sasuke because of what he has done, and that he can forget about the promise he made to her that he would bring Sasuke back home. Naruto proceeds to call her off stating that there is no time for jokes, and that it isin't funny at all what she is doing. He seemed genuinely angry by the way he pushed her away from her hug, finally getting her to look him in the eye instead of avoiding it, and told her he hated people that lie to themselves. He soon manages to get half of the truth from Sakura as she reveals she truly wasn't being honest and just wanted him to return to Konoha so he wouldn't be in any danger from the Akatsuki. With this, Naruto remembers Sasuke's reasons for hatred and nearly tells the others about them but Kakashi reminds him not to tell others about the Elders' possible conspiracy. Naruto then reminds Sakura that he battles to save Sasuke not just for her, but because he wants to himself.