|"A Plea from a Friend"|
|(涙の咆哮!オマエはオレの友達だ, Namida no Hōkō! Omae wa Ore no Tomodachi da)|
|Previous||"For a Friend…"|
|Next||"The End of Tears"|
|Arc||Sasuke Recovery Mission|
|Manga||Chapter #229, Chapter #230, Chapter #231|
|Japanese||May 4, 2005|
|English||January 19, 2008|
Sasuke is dumbstruck by Naruto's display of power and asks Naruto what he is. In tears, Naruto says that he is Sasuke's friend and will not let him defect to Orochimaru even if it means breaking Sasuke's arms and legs to stop him. The boys fight, and Sasuke struggles to counter Naruto's increased speed and strength. After a severe beating, Naruto pins Sasuke against the rock wall and asks him if he has come to senses yet. Sasuke tells Naruto that he could not possibly understand what it feels like to lose his whole family, because Naruto was alone from the very beginning.
Naruto admits that whereas he knows nothing about parents or siblings, he thinks of Iruka as a father, and he wonders if his relationship with Sasuke is similar to having a brother. Naruto states that to protect this bond, he will stop Sasuke no matter what. Sasuke resists Naruto's appeals and says that it is too late for him to go back. He puts on his forehead protector and calls for Naruto to come, saying that he will break the bonds of their friendship. A third tomoe appears in Sasuke's Sharingan signifying that it is now fully mature. Naruto asks Sasuke why he's bothering with the forehead protector if he seeks to break his bond with Naruto and the rest of Konohagakure. Sasuke explains that he recognises Naruto as an equal, though he once again taunts that Naruto won't even be able to scratch his forehead. Elsewhere, Kakashi catches up to Pakkun and the two hurry to stop Sasuke and Naruto.
Naruto and Sasuke resume their battle, but this time Sasuke has the upper hand, harnessing the full power of the Sharingan. Naruto uses a chain of shadow clones to throw Sasuke into the cliff wall, but Sasuke counters with Fire Release: Dragon Fire Technique. A half-conscious Naruto again implores Sasuke to stop, but Sasuke declares it is too late and as a finishing move, pile drives Naruto into the ground below. Inside Naruto's subconscious, the Nine-Tailed Fox says that Naruto is too weak and that the boy should be thankful to him. Seemingly defeated, the fox's red chakra begins pouring out of Naruto, who slowly gets up and punches the shocked Sasuke. Naruto grows a chakra tail, makes a very fox-like stance, and attacks Sasuke once more. Sasuke struggles against Naruto's onslaught and notices that the red chakra seems to have a mind of its own.
Sasuke tries using his cursed seal, but even this state is weak in comparison to Naruto's current form. Sasuke laughs and says that Naruto has given him no choice but to use the second level of his cursed seal. As the seal transforms his body, Sasuke's hair grows longer, his nails extend, and his skin turns grey. He acknowledges that Naruto possesses a special power, but says that he is more special.
- This particular episode is noted for its use of a more fluid, less exact animation style than most of the episodes in the original series. This is a trademark of animator Norio Matsumoto, who also did key animation for episodes 30, 48, 71, and Naruto: Shippūden episodes 85, 123 and 167.
- When Naruto first lauches a series of blows and then a kick to Sasuke, it is similar to Sasuke's ultimate technique in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 when he's about to perform the falcon drop.