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|"Hero of the Hidden Leaf"|
|(木ノ葉の英雄, Konoha no Eiyū)|
|Previous||"Tale of Naruto Uzumaki"|
|Episode||Naruto: Shippūden #175 (Watch Online)|
|Next||"Rookie Instructor Iruka"|
|Arc||Pain's Assault (Arc)|
|Manga||Naruto Chapter #426, Naruto Chapter #449, Naruto Chapter #450|
|Japanese||August 26, 2010|
|English||March 30, 2013|
In the afterlife, Kakashi converses with his father, Sakumo, about how the latter chose to ignore the shinobi rules and save the lives of his comrades, despite knowing he would be condemned for it. He reveals that he felt bitter after his father committed suicide as a result of it, but tells Sakumo that he forgives his father for his actions and is even proud for saving the lives of his friends. At that same moment, Nagato uses his Outer Path — Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique to resurrect those he had killed during his attack on Konoha, and Kakashi's soul begins to return to the land of the living. As he begins to fade, his father tells him that he can finally move on in peace with his son's forgiveness and now see his wife.
The citizens of Konoha are perplexed as they see their fallen comrades come back to life, while Shikaku merely states that the event is proof that Naruto had succeeded in his talk with Pain. Nagato's hair becomes white and recalls when Jiraiya had saved the lives of the three Ame Orphans, taking care of them as he claimed it was the least he could do. Nagato tells Naruto that reviving the people he killed is the least he can do, and with his dying breath, places his faith in Naruto. Konan uses her Dance of the Shikigami ability to wrap the bodies of Nagato and the Deva Path, which she reveals is the corpse of their friend Yahiko. Konan tells Naruto that she is deserting the Akatsuki and is returning to Amegakure and that she, along with the village, are placing their hopes in Naruto as he now embodies both Nagato and Yahiko's dream. Producing a bouquet of roses, she hands it to him as she departs; Naruto places the bouquet, as well as Jiraiya's novel, at a make-shift memorial he makes for Jiraiya. As he begins to walk away, he nearly collapses, but is caught by Kakashi, who, along with the other villagers, had been debriefed on everything that had happened by Katsuyu, who had one of her bodies with Naruto the entire time. Kakashi thanks Naruto for his success and carries him back to the village, where Naruto is shocked to see all the citizens cheerfully welcoming him back.
Kakashi recalls how Naruto had told him that his dream was to be Hokage so the entire village would respect him and muses how Naruto has succeeded in doing so. Sakura arrives and bops Naruto on the head, although she hugs him and thanks him. Chōji and Shikamaru marvel in surprise that Naruto had actually defeated the Six Paths of Pain while Ino murmurs that she may actually be attracted to Naruto now; Kiba proudly declares to the villagers that Naruto was a classmate of his as Shino states that Naruto has outclassed them all. Meanwhile, Ebisu tells Konohamaru and Iruka that he had once viewed Naruto as nothing more than a nuisance, an extension of the Nine-Tailed Fox, and thus had kept it at arm's length, and how the other jōnin were against the Third Hokage's decision to accept Naruto as a genin. He recalls hearing how Naruto had defeated Zabuza, only for another villager to state that it was probably Kakashi who had done so, and how everyone was shocked when he was able to defeat Neji, a skilled member of the Hyūga clan, during the Chūnin Exams.
As Ebisu praises how Naruto had come far from then and how he had made the village finally accept him, Iruka thinks back upon how the villagers' opinions on Naruto began to change as word spread out that it was Naruto who defeated Gaara, the jinchūriki of Sunagakure, and how their perspective progressed when they heard that Naruto and Jiraiya were the ones who convinced Tsunade to become their new Hokage and how Naruto was the one who had rescued the Fifth Kazekage from the Akatsuki and had thus ensured an alliance between the two nations. Iruka remembers the Third Hokage notifying him that Naruto pulled pranks in order to force the villagers to acknowledge his existence and that the Fourth Hokage's dying wish was for Naruto to be seen as a hero someday; shedding tears, Iruka remarks to the Third and Fourth Hokages that there is a new hero amongst them as the villagers haul Naruto into the air.