In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths

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In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths (ナルトの背中~仲間の軌跡, Naruto no Senaka ~ Nakama no Kiseki, Literally meaning: Naruto's Back: Friends' Tracks) is an arc of the Naruto: Shippūden anime. It covers episodes 394 to 413. This arc focuses on the second Chūnin Exams that took place after Sasuke Uchiha's defection to Otogakure and Naruto Uzumaki's departure to train with Jiraiya. This arc takes place in the middle of the Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki.


The Invitations & Preparations

Suna and Konoha meeting

Tsunade and the Konoha Council meet with the Suna delegation.

Tsunade, along with the Konoha Council, arranges a meeting with Gaara, who was recently appointed Kazekage, to propose her plans of the new Chūnin Exams. During this meeting, Kankurō and Temari are unsure of Tsunade's intentions and she reveals her motive behind it is to lure Akatsuki in the open. Gaara proposes the exams be held in Sunagakure, hoping to bring Akatsuki out of hiding, as well as exposing those who are staging a coup d'état against him. Both sides then agree to sponsor the exams jointly — with the first phase held in Konoha, and the second phase held in Suna. Tsunade deploys her Anbu to the other villages, but her invitations are all declined, with each of the Kage refusing to have their villages take part. Elsewhere, Kakashi approaches Amegakure, preparing to meet Hanzō face-to-face.

Kakashi enters Hanzō's fortress — under tight security — and gives him the message sent by Suna and Konoha, while, unknowingly, it is actually Konan in disguise, due to Hanzō having been killed by Pain. Informing Pain of this upcoming exam, he orders Konan to send Ame's genin teams to participate. Elsewhere in Takigakure, Shibuki accepts the invitation, and agrees for 's participation. Meanwhile in Sunagakure, Gaara expresses his intention on not only to supervise the second exam, but to make amends with those against him as well. Back in Konohagakure, Tsunade informs her jōnin of the upcoming Chūnin Exams. Meanwhile, Asuma recommends his team to take part, but with Team Asuma a man down (due to Shikamaru already being a chūnin), Ino invites Sakura to join the team. Though Sakura turns down this offer, she eventually accepts in the end. All of the genin teams from foreign villages enter through the Konoha gates, signifying the beginning of the Chūnin Exams.

First Phase

The Written Exam

The first phase of the exams.

All the arriving genin wait in line for the first phase of the exams. Konohamaru, disappointed that Naruto would not be attending the latest Chūnin Exams, disguises himself as the latter to participate, but is exposed by Neji. All the participating genin are placed in three separate rooms to take the test, which was proctored by Shikamaru. Should any of them get a score higher or below average, they fail the test. The genin of each room try to deduce Shikamaru's test, Sakura and Neji coming to the conclusion that all members of each team must equal the required score to pass.

One Worthy as a Leader

Shikamaru addressing the genin that passed.

The genin question Neji's actions, to which his response is to send vibrations through the classroom walls to notify the other teammates what question to answer. Sajin, not wanting everyone to pass, seemingly offers to help, but punches and kicks the wall a fifth time. Neji states that regardless of how many times the walls are struck, his message would have been conveyed to his comrades. As the genin finish their written tests, Shikamaru informs them of a second part. For the second part, everyone must write on the back of their sheets who they would choose as a decoy if their team is surrounded, within a 3 minute time limit. Meanwhile, Kankurō informs Tsunade that they will look after their Sunagakure genin during the second phase, leaving the Hokage suspicious. Homura and Koharu, who arrived before Kankurō, relay a warning from Danzō to be wary of the Amegakure genin. With the first phase of the Chūnin Exams completed, those who pass are instructed to journey to Suna for the next phase, which would be proctored by Temari.

Second Phase

Demon Desert

The Demon Desert which serves as the stage for the second exam.

During nighttime in Sunagakure, a masked man breaks into the Kazekage's office building, only to be confronted by Kankurō. The masked assassin makes his escape, but Kankurō pursues him. Cornered, he attempts to blow himself up along with Kankurō, but is saved thanks to Temari's timely arrival. The next morning, Kankurō and Temari alert Gaara that his rebels are stepping up their efforts against him, but the Kazekage, aware of the dangers that await him, refuses to cave in under pressure. Elsewhere, the first thirty people — including the Konoha 11 — arrive in time to the Demon Desert checkpoint to secure their qualification. During dinnertime, a mayhem breaks out between the genin, and Fū is kept locked inside a room by Kegon and Yōrō. Back in Konoha, Kakashi reports to Tsunade of his failed infiltration of Amegakure. Meanwhile, Chōji — having sneaked out to find food — is attacked by a giant scorpion along with Sakura and Ino. They are all however rescued by Fū. Arriving to the scene, Gaara notices a stark similarity between Fū and Naruto due to her unique charisma. The next day, the second phase begins, with Temari instructing the genin teams to obtain both the Heaven and Earth scrolls to pass the exam.

Day One

As all the genin await for the signal to enter the desert, Neji analyses his opponents' abilities to come up with a strategy effective enough to counter them. Meanwhile, Guy, Asuma, and Kurenai deploy into the desert upon receiving orders from Tsunade. Within the desert, Neji is puzzled upon failing to detect the other teams before realising that they have been caught under a genjutsu. After breaking free from the genjutsu, Neji detects a Suna team up ahead, and engages in battle with them. However, Team Shira arrives to buy enough time for their fellow Suna team to escape. Giving their opponents no time to relent, Sen entraps Team Guy in a genjutsu once again. After this, Team Shira rendezvous with two of the Suna teams, and instructs them to retrieve a scroll from the other teams. Ultimately, Shira and his teammates are betrayed, and find themselves cornered, but Team Guy arrives to their rescue. Questioning Team Shira's motives, Sen reveals to Team Guy that Shira had only recently become a shinobi. Seemingly confused as to why someone of his calibre had only become a shinobi, Lee comes to the conclusion that Shira — like himself — is incapable of performing ninjutsu and genjutsu, revealing that he had known this when the two exchanged fists the previous day.

Lee and Shira

Lee and Shira's new-found respect for one another.

Sen tells Lee and the others that Shira was not allowed to enter the Academy when he was a child because of this reason, as he was deemed unfit to be a shinobi, and was ridiculed for it. Eventually, thanks to his hard work, this all changed, with Gaara declaring Shira a shinobi, and abolishing the rule established by his father. After hearing Shira's story, Lee is overfilled with contempt for the men that treated Shira harshly, and runs off to pursue them. Confronting Goji and his teammates, Lee tells them to apologise to Shira for their harsh words. However, the men refuse, and Lee is caught in yet another genjutsu. As Neji and Tenten arrive to his rescue, Lee attempts to finish off what he started. Shira intervenes, and states he has only himself to blame having not trained hard enough. Not only that, Shira goes as far as to handing over his scroll to Team Goji, but his offer is declined, and instead, they offer their scroll to Shira. As Team Goji departs, Lee asks for a fight with Shira, which he accepts.

Lee vs Shira

Lee and Shira clash.

As the two exchange fierce attacks, both seem to be equally on par with one another. Observing the battle, Neji notes that Lee will sustain more damage due to Shira having a much superior physique. Eventually noticing that he is at a disadvantage, Lee attempts to open the Eight Gates, but his tenketsu has been blocked by Shira earlier on. Shira then resorts to using his Silent Fist by attacking without making a sound, further putting the pressure on Lee. Remembering one of his training sessions with Guy, Lee is able to predict and counter Shira's moves. Lee is then able to open the Eight Gates once more after Shira released his tenketsu. Shira activates his own variant of the Eight Gates — the Seven Heavens Breathing Method, which enhances his lung capacity. Though for a fleeting moment both are evenly matched, Lee gains the upper hand; the Fifth Gate proving to be too much for Shira, culminating in Lee's victory. Elsewhere, Gaara is informed by his subjects that Kegon and Yōrō are in reality jōnin in disguise. Ordering them not to tell anyone else about this, Gaara begins to spy on Team Fū, only for Fū to notice his sand eye forcing him to cancel the technique. After spying on Team Fū, Gaara begins to realise the truth about Fū.

Day Two

Escape vs Pursuit

Team Kazami make their escape atop Moguranmaru.

The following day, Team Kazami of Kusagakure encounter Team Kurenai who seem to possess the opposite scroll they seek. These two teams then engage in battle. However, it is all part of Team Kazami's plot to find out which member has the scroll. With Kiba exposed as the holder of the scroll, Team Kazami lead a joint effort to successfully obtain the Earth Scroll. Burami then unleashes his unique Smell Sphere technique, paralysing his opponents. In spite of that, Team Kurenai fight on with sheer willpower alone, much to Burami's dismay. Muyami summons a giant mole, and, atop the creature, he and his teammates make their escape. Luckily, Shino managed to place one of his kikaichū on Moguranmaru, and Team Kurenai make their pursuit. Once again, Team Kurenai fall to their opponents' prey, and end up inside a quicksand. Though they seemingly fall to their deaths, a last-ditch effort by Akamaru rescues Team Kurenai. With Team Kazami out of Hinata's range of vision, Kiba uses his sense of smell to track them down.

Team Kurenai pursue Team Kazami who, upon realising they are being followed, uses Burami to remove their scent so Kiba and Akamaru could no longer track them. Furthermore, Shino's insects are unable to track down the Kusagakure trio as they left mirages of themselves. As his teammates discuss their strategy to track down Team Kazami, Kiba is inspired by Naruto's unwavering determination as he vows to retrieve the scrolls. Team Kurenai's search takes them to the middle of the desert, facing Team Kazami. Despite being outmatched, Shino's plan to fake his teammates' deaths with his insects gives them the advantage as they defeat their respective opponents, and gain both scrolls to advance.

Meanwhile, Team Ajisai is confronted by Team Komugi, who insist to fight for their scroll. Not wanting to bother with a team beneath them, Ajisai and her comrades flee. During the night, Ajisai recalls Konan assigning them to partake the Chūnin Exams in order to, if they are able, capture a certain jinchūriki and/or gain intel on skilled shinobi from other villages. Elsewhere, Team Guy prepare dinner at nightfall. Unintentionally insulted by Lee while complimenting her usefulness in sealing items, Tenten walks off in a huff. She then thinks back to training with Might Guy, who also complimented her usefulness in her techniques, much to Tenten's annoyance, who wishes to have her own special technique.

Day Three


Team Ajisai make another escape from Team Guy.

The next day, both Team Guy and Team Ajisai converge at the desert ruins and briefly clash. The Ame team again makes another escape, but is tracked by Neji's Byakugan, forcing them to continue the engagement. During the fight, however, Tenten and Ajisai are trapped deep beneath the ruins. Postponing their fight, both the teams separately search for their trapped teammates. Tenten awakens to find herself and Ajisai trapped underground. Tenten walks up to a seemingly unconscious Ajisai to offer water, not knowing the Ame kunoichi plans to strike her with her guard down. Tenten, however, calmly asked Ajisai to put her weapon away and offered her some water. Ajisai refused "charity" from one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries, instead summoning her own water. While making her dislike of later nations known, Ajisai agreed to a truce and work with Tenten to escape the ruins. Outside the ruins, Neji, Lee, Fuyō, and Suiren decide to cooperate as well to find their teammates after Team Komugi retreat due to the numbers were against them.

Finding a way out, Ajisai and Tenten face a giant ant that leads them to its nest with a way out, however they ended up being chased by them. Ambushed by the ants outside, Team Ajisai and Team Guy face the ant legion to rescue both and simultaneously trying to break the wreckage wall. On the other side, Ajisai tries to seal the big part of the wall. Ajisai's effort, however, isn't enough as she begs Tenten's help to destroy the wreckage wall. Motivated by Ajisai's words, Tenten summons an big amount of water putting an end to the wall. Once on the surface and reunited with their respective teammates, Team Guy and Team Ajisai agreed to not continue fighting and instead promised to meet each other in the third exam.

Somewhere in the oasis of the Demon Desert, Ameno extracts poison out of a wounded genin from another Sunagakure team while Shishio is searching for nearby shinobi. Meanwhile, Chōji Akimichi, Ino Yamanaka and Sakura Haruno are in a need for supplies after a confrontation with another team, leading Sakura and Ino to bicker with each other. On their way, they are suddenly attacked by a giant scorpion, which gets defeated by Chōji and Sakura, to which Ino can't help but to admire their growth. While healing Sakura's injured hand, Ino recalls her past visit to the Yamanaka, Nara, and Akimichi Clan Memorial alongside her father Inoichi, who wanted to prepare her for the lengthy training of their clan's hiden, forcing Ino to wriggle herself out of the situation, unwilling to undergo something that takes several years to accomplish. While celebrating Chōji leaving the hospital after his confrontation with the Sound Five, Ino decided to become Tsunade's subordinate like Sakura did before. Tsunade accepted to test her for three months, time Ino needed to learn how to revive an octopus, which she ultimately accomplished after hard study sessions alongside Sakura. Afterwards, Ino finally realised her "own place" and decided to undergo the training in her clan's hiden after all, thanking Sakura for opening her eyes. While Sakura, Ino and Chōji eat the flesh of the recently killed scorpion, Team Ameno detects them and prepares to head towards them.

As Team Asuma were reaching the oasis water, they were stopped by Team Ameno. Ameno politely suggested to the Konoha-nin to hand over their scroll, and in return her team would allow them to pass to get to the oasis water and give them medical treatment if needed. However, Team Asuma refused the offer. Ino takes the initiative of attacking the Suna-nin first by launching a few kunai but her attack fails and she is knocked unconscious by Shishio's sand lions. While Sakura and Chōji battled Ameno and Kōji, Shishio infused his chakra onto the ground. When set, Shishio cloaks his teammates from sight. This puts Team Ameno at an advantage as neither Sakura or Chōji could detect the enemies properly. As Sakura and Chōji began defeated by the Suna-nin, Ino awoke, sensing the enemies' location and warned her teammates in time to have them counter to hit their opponent before they could strike. However, Ameno is able to heal her teammates. The Suna-nin attack again, and because of the sensing barrier Shishio used, Ino can't sense his now invisible teammates again. While restrained, Ino forces herself to transfer her teammates' thoughts to one another to help them warn one another of incoming attacks they could see from one another's blind spot where the enemy attacked from. This allowed Sakura and Chōji to defeat the Suna-nin but Team Asuma ultimately decides not to take their scroll since they have two matching scrolls with them. After the medical-nin from both teams healed one another's teammates, they part ways, promising each other to meet in the third phase. Then, Ino promises herself to train with her father after the exam while Inoichi think that she can become the most powerful ninja of their clan.

As Team Asuma were taking a different route to bring their set of scrolls to the centre building to avoid being ambushed, Sakura suddenly collapses due to her constant flow of chakra for the Strength of a Hundred Seal. After remembeing her training with Tsunade, she awakens just as her team are confronted by Team Saya. Saya makes it clear that she wants Ino and Sakura to herself, leaving her teammates, Mamushi and Sana, to battle Chōji. Saya's Puppet Imitation Technique proves to be a which allowed her to invade Ino's mind and completely control her due to her puppet doll having her hair sample. Leaving Ino's body, Saya uses the same method on a gigantic Chōji when he captures her teammates. With Saya using Chōji as her pawn, Ino uses her Mind Body Switch Technique to enter Chōji's mind and try to kick the enemy kunoichi out as Sakura tries to figure out to deal with currently controlled Chōji, seeing as she doesn't have enough chakra to both flow chakra for the seal and battle at the same time.

Meanwhile, at Orochimaru's hideout, Sasuke, having an ulterior motive to test Suigetsu and Karin's abilities, releases Suigetsu from his containment and joins Karin to bring him back. Ultimately, Suigetsu is put into a jelly-like state after being hit by Karin's chakra chain.

As Chōji, while under the control of Saya's Puppet Imitation Technique, charges at Sakura, Ino takes over her foe's control over her teammate and charges at Team Saya instead. Mamushi and Sana manage to avoid the attack, but Saya takes the full blow, what was later revealed to be a Body Replacement Technique. Taking the look of her puppet, Saya manages to regroup with her allies, claiming that she doesn't care about the Chūnin Exams anymore and that she wants revenge. As Team Asuma head toward the main tower, Sakura begins thinking about how weak she was before and that she always needed Naruto and Sasuke to protect her.

At the same time, Jiraiya is seen training Naruto, asking Gerotora to weaken the seal on Naruto's belly. As the seal weakens, the boy falls under the control of the Nine-Tails, manifesting four tails and attacking his master. After the fight, the two are seen laying in hospital beds, with Naruto apologising about what he had done to Jiraiya, only for him to say that it wasn't his fault. As Jiraiya asks whether the boy will give up, Naruto tells him that he won't, even if it'll seem impossible.

Futari no Senaka

Team Asuma fighting against Saya's sand dolls.

Meanwhile, Sana uses her Sandstorm Technique to stop Team Asuma in their tracks. As the team realises that the sandstorm is unnatural and that someone is after them, Saya uses her Cursed Sand Puppet Technique to create sand dolls in order to attack and confuse her foes, with Sana using her Sand Cloak Techniqueto disguise Mamushi as one of the creations. As Chōji fends off the dolls, one of them turns out to be Mamushi, who uses his snake topoison both him and Ino. Sakura, recalling her surgery and the request to Tsunade for an acceptance in the Chūnin Exams, manages to replenish her chakra and finish off her foes in one blow. She then removes the poison from her allies and thanks them for letting her join their team.

Gaara creates his Third Eye to observe the events in the Demon Desert. At the same time, Yōrō and Kegon try to convince Fū to go to the direction of the tower, with her speaking up that she wants to find some friends first. Her mind quickly changes, however, when her teammates bring up Shibuki. Meanwhile, Gaara notices Team Matsuri, who are heading towards the tower, with Mikoshi informing his teammates about a plan, which would involve them getting the scroll they need.

As the team rushes towards the tower, they get noticed by Hōichi. At the same time, Fugi recalls his meeting with Hōichi and their plan to seal Shukaku in a tea kettle, with Gaara being the necessary sacrifice for it, and creates a barrier that overwrites the village's Sensing Barrier and creates a huge sandstorm in the surrounding area. The headquarters notice the issue, with Kankurō and Temari quickly rounding-up the available troops and leaving to help out the genin who are taking the Chūnin Exams in the desert.

Meanwhile, two shinobi are seen standing guard in front of Gaara's office, checking up on him so that he wouldn't leave the room, only to be fooled by a sand clone. As the sandstorm rages on, many teams collapse from exhaustion, but are eventually saved by Kankurō, Temari and other Sunagakure shinobi. Team Guy manages to shield themselves from the sandstorm. Meanwhile, Team Matsuri are seen struggling, with Mikoshi accidentally falling in quicksand. As his teammates try to help him get out, Fū overhears them and rushes to their aid, recalling her past and friendship with Shibuki.

As Matsuri and Yukata both fall into the sand alongside their teammate, they are saved by Fū's Net-Shaped Prison. Fū uses her healing ability to treat them, only to be approached by Gaara, who tells her about Naruto and notes her likeness to him. Fū tries to give Matsuri her scroll, but the kunoichi refuses to accept it, recalling the training she had with Gaara. At the same time, Hōichi notices the Kazekage and prepares to attack.

Asuma, Kurenai, and Guy are seen observing the sandstorm, noting that postponing the Chūnin Exams was a wise decision. As the three approach the desert, they are stopped by Sunagakure shinobi. The jōnin try to deceive their way through, only for Suna shinobi to respond that the second rounds of the Chūnin Exam is under their village's jurisdiction. Despite their efforts, a large cloud of sand provides the jōnin easy coverage and they quickly run through into the desert.

Meanwhile, as the other teams are safely waiting for the sandstorm to subside, Kankurō and Temari, alongside other Exploration Group members, manage to rescue many genin and lead them out to safety. At the same time, a shinobi enters Gaara's office in hopes of reporting the events that are happening in the desert, only for him to notice that the Kazekage had left a sand clone in his place.

Shukaku Being Extracted

Gaara's tailed beast chakra about to be taken by Hōichi.

Meanwhile, the real Gaara encourages Team Matsuri to continue their way through the Chūnin Exams. As the three head on, they hear a strange melody and realise that the terrain is not in their favour for an enemy attack. Hōichi animates their shadows, strangling the three in order to call out Gaara. With the jinchūriki's arrival, Hōichi sets his plan in motion and uses his sealing technique to latch on to Shukaku in order to pull him from the inside its jinchūriki. As the Kazekage orders Matsuri, Yukata and Mikoshi to leave, the three decide to head out to the central tower to get help. Despite that, Yukata quickly collapses, leaving Matsuri to go on ahead alone, with Mikoshi staying with Yukata.

Meanwhile, a carefree Fū notices a tailed beast's chakra calling for help and rushes to Gaara's aid. As the kunoichi touches the chain, she gets electrocuted. Realising that the kunoichi is also a jinchūriki, Hōichi decides to test the power of his seal and tries to extract her tailed beast at the same time.

As the sandstorm subsides, Neji informs Lee and Tenten, who are encouraged to head out to the direction of the tower, that they hold two heaven scrolls, noting that he didn't have a chance to tell his teammates due to the recent events. Neji then uses his Byakugan to scout the surrounding area, catching the sight of a weary Matsuri. The three genin then run to the kunoichi's aid, with Lee mistaking Neji's intents and asking if he wants to steal the scroll from a shinobi in danger, only to be corrected by Tenten. As they approach Matsuri, she tells them that Gaara's in danger and asks them to go and help the Kazekage in battle.

Matsuri offers Team Guy her "Heaven Scroll" in exchange for helping her rescue Gaara from Hōichi, with the Konohagakure team deciding to help her out without a reward. As Neji, with the help of his Byakugan, pinpoints the Kazekage's location, the four decide to go to his aid, even if it would mean defaulting the Chūnin Exams in the process. Meanwhile, Hōichi continues to pull the tailed beast chakra from both and Gaara. In response to her opponent's technique, the girl creates a cocoon using her chakra threads, which delays the chakra absorption caused by the chains. With Gaara informing her that nobody will come to their rescue, Fū tells him not to lose hope, making the boy find her behaviour to be similar to Naruto's. At the same time, Kurenai, Asuma, and Guy notice the Kazekage's absence in the village, confirming that their fear of Gaara setting himself as bait to lure out the enemy was fulfilled. The three then notice Yukata and Mikoshi, struggling in the desert.

Meanwhile, Matsuri and Team Guy make it to their destination, noticing the cocoon and Hōichi, playing his biwa. As Yōrō and Kegon arrive, looking for their comrade, Neji uses his Byakugan on the cocoon, realising that both Gaara and Fū's tailed beasts are being extracted. The two jōnin ready their weapons against Neji, only for him to convince them to work together. After he devises a plan, Yōro, Kegon, Matsuri, and Lee attack Hōichi, only for the priest to block their attacks with his barrier ninjutsu. As Matsuri notes that their attacks aren't helping their current situation, Lee assures the girl that their efforts would buy Neji and Tenten time. At the same time, Neji uses a chakra sword to pierce through the cocoon. After the first attempt failed, the Hyūga uses his Gentle Fist: Tenketsu Needle technique a second time to halt the chains' chakra absorption. When Hōichi notices that the chains are no longer active, he begins fearing that the chains will target him. Failing to stop the technique, Hōichi's chakra gets sealed, only for him to be freed by Neji, due to Gaara's plea. As Fū thanks Neji for his help, Kurenai, Asuma and Guy arrive, only to note that their help is no longer needed.

The Exam's End & The Aftermath

As the Suna ninja search for their Kazekage, Gaara appears and orders for the continuation of the Chūnin Exams. He later communicates with Fugi via sand clone, making the latter realise that Hōichi had failed in his assassination and had been defeated. As Gaara talks about his changes as a person and his hopes for the village, Fugi slowly realises that he had misjudged Gaara. Feeling ashamed of his actions in attempting to usurp Gaara, he commits seppuku.

Meanwhile, Matsuri challenges Shira to a battle in order to see whether the will of the Kazekage has passed on to them, as his students. Shira then wins the battle, which prompts Matsuri to offer her team's scroll; however, Team Shira declines due to them having the same scroll. Due to domestic complications within the village, Gaara announces the cancellation of the third stage of the exams. In order to assess the participants' performance in the exams, detailed reports of each team were sent to their villages, leaving the decisions of promotion to their respective leader.

Tsunade Promoting Genin

The Konoha teams meet with Tsunade to get their verdict.

After the exams, Team Ajisai is promoted to chūnin by Konan and is immediately assigned an S-rank mission, which however results in Ajisai's death. Her corpse is then delivered to a tower where it is picked up by Konan. Meanwhile, and her team are ambushed by Hidan and Kakuzu. At the Hokage Residence, Tsunade promotes Kiba, Shino, Hinata, Sakura, Chōji, and Ino to chūnin, while declining the promotion of Team Komugi. Despite being unable to attain the two scrolls needed, Tenten and Lee are promoted to chūnin while Neji is given a double-promotion to jōnin for his actions in saving the Kazekage. Elsewhere, Naruto and Jiraiya start to return back to Konoha after Naruto's training.


# Episode Title Japanese Airdate English Airdate
394 "The New Chūnin Exams" 8 January 2015
395 "The Chūnin Exams Begin!" 15 January 2015
396 "The Three Questions" 22 January 2015
397 "One Worthy as a Leader" 29 January 2015
398 "The Night Before the Second Exam" 5 February 2015
399 "Demon Desert Survival" 12 February 2015
400 "As a Taijutsu User" 19 February 2015
401 "The Ultimate" 26 February 2015
402 "Escape vs. Pursuit" 5 March 2015
403 "Unwavering Gutsiness" 12 March 2015
404 "Tenten's Troubles" 19 March 2015
405 "The Imprisoned Pair" 26 March 2015
406 "The Place Where I Belong" 2 April 2015
407 "The Yamanaka Clan: Secret Ninjutsu" 9 April 2015
408 "The Cursed Puppet" 16 April 2015
409 "Their Backs" 23 April 2015
410 "The Hidden Plot Set Into Motion" 30 April 2015
411 "The Targeted Tailed Beast" 7 May 2015
412 "Neji's Judgment" 14 May 2015
413 "Hopes Entrusted to the Future" 21 May 2015

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