The Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha (過去篇～木ノ葉の軌跡～, Kako Hen: Konoha no Kiseki) is an arc of the Naruto: Shippūden anime. It covers episodes 176 to 196. This arc is shown as multiple flashbacks from different characters, such as Iruka remembering the time he first met Naruto and Kakashi remembering when he was appointed as leader of Team 7 from his perspective. The first flashback takes place prior Part I while the rest all take place before the time-skip showing how Naruto had changed in the eyes of these different characters. This arc is preceded by Pain's Assault and is followed by the Five Kage Summit.
After Naruto defeated Pain, Iruka, along with Suzume and Daikoku Funeno approach the ruins of the Academy to salvage things for class. They split up and Iruka sees the destroyed academy, remembering when he began as a teacher and the day Hiruzen Sarutobi assigned Naruto Uzumaki to his class. Though he refused at first, due to Naruto being the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails, Iruka accepts.
The next day, Naruto pulls a prank on Iruka but instead of scolding him, Iruka tells Naruto sit in his seat, remembering the advice given to him from Daikoku. When seeing Naruto being bullied by the other students because of his failed attempts to be better than Sasuke, Iruka tells them not to bother a kid like him. The next day, Naruto learns that Sasuke is the only surviving member of the Uchiha clan.
After class, Naruto wants to join Hibachi and his friends in their "test of courage" though Hibachi tells him to not follow them. Naruto pranks them later in the night by dressing up as a fox demon. Hearing them say they saw a fox demon, Iruka runs to the Konoha grave site and learns it's Naruto. Recognising Iruka's glare as the same one everyone else in the village gives him, Naruto runs off with the intent not to return to the Academy again.
The next day, with Naruto is absent in class and denied to be seen by the Third Hokage, Iruka sits in the park where he meets Kakashi Hatake and discusses his issues of being Naruto's teacher. Kakashi remembers when after his mission with him, Iruka decides to become an instructor at the Academy to pass the Will of Fire to the next generation.
Hibachi and his friends decide to let Naruto in their group if he would do their test of courage. Hibachi was told by his father that in the hills, there are corpses left by enemy ninja. Naruto agrees to get an item from a corpse in the hills. Hibachi tells his friends that there are still enemy ninja in the hills after Naruto left. When Iruka sees that Naruto is absent in class, Hibachi says he hasn't seen him, but Shikamaru Nara, having heard of his trick, tells Iruka who runs out the classroom to find Naruto. Remembering Suzume telling him of the enemy ninja, Iruka tries to find Naruto before the enemy ninja find him. Elsewhere, Kakashi hears from Shikamaru and Chōji that Iruka went to look for Naruto in the hills.
Iruka finds Naruto and tries to get him to go back to the Academy, but Naruto refuses and tells him that he doesn't understand him. Naruto uses his Sexy Technique to escape Iruka before finding a kunai with a paper on it. Three enemy kunoichi approach Naruto, demanding that he gives them the kunai but he refuses, having them resort to get it by force. Finding his Sexy Technique useless on women, Naruto flees before running into Iruka as he protects the boy while evading the kunoichi until Kakashi arrives and easily defeats the female ninja.
Iruka gives the Third Hokage the paper that was hidden on the kunai that Naruto found. Iruka then thanks Hiruzen for making him Naruto's teacher which made him remember why he became a teacher. Now being strict with Naruto to keep him from getting into trouble, Iruka's after class lecture on the Will of Fire gave Naruto his aspirations to become the next Hokage someday so everyone would respect and look up to him.
When Naruto and Sakura go get water for the comatose Tsunade, Kakashi has a flashback of when he was appointed as the leader of Team 7 after the team's formation. He watches Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura, seeing Naruto and Sasuke's constant competition and remembers what Minato and Obito said to him about teamwork and those abandoning their comrades are worse than scum. Meanwhile, Koharu and Homura discuss with Hiruzen of his decision of having Naruto outside the village and being put in the same team as Sasuke. Danzō listens in on their discussion and thinks Hiruzen put Naruto and Sasuke in the same team due to the Uchiha being able to control the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox with the Sharingan which he thinks is a good idea. After noticing Sakura depressed, Naruto tries to pick a fight with Sasuke though all his techniques are no use against Sasuke. Sasuke easily beats Naruto and the members of Team 7 decide to go meet their squad leader. Kakashi's flashback ends, knowing as the group's leader, it is up to him to put a stop to Sasuke's road of hatred.
Naruto and Sakura meet up with Tazuna and Inari, who came to help rebuild the village. Naruto has a flashback that takes place after Team 7 finished their mission in the Land of Waves. Naruto remembers he had forgotten an Ramen Ichiraku coupon at Inari's house and runs back to go get it. Tazuna finds the coupon and Inari decides to give it to Naruto. On his way, Inari runs into Akane and his friends who try to pick on him with Team 7 gone. Zōri and Waraji hear of this and kidnap the kids.
Sakura and Sasuke, who was ordered by Kakashi to bring back Naruto, learn from Tazuna that Inari had went to meet up with them. Meanwhile, the remnants of Gatō's thugs decide to take Gatō's place and hold Inari and the others for ransom. Naruto finds his coupon and also traces of a struggle. Sasuke also notice cuts on the trees from a sword which Naruto remembers it was from Gatō's two bodyguards.
At the thugs’ hideout, Inari and the others escape from the thugs. Inari decides to distract them while Akane and his friends escape. Inari is chased into a dead end by the thugs but jumps into the water. While swimming away, Naruto and Sasuke find Inari and pull him out of the river. The thugs find him and fight Naruto and Sasuke, who are no match against them. When the thugs were about to flee, the villagers surround them, forcing them to give up. Akane and his friends apologise to Inari for bullying him and they all become friends. Then Inari tells Naruto he left his coupon at his house so then Naruto checks his pocket and wonders why its missing, Sasuke then tells Naruto that it probably drifted while he was at the river pulling out Inari, much to his dismay. The flashback ends and Inari decides to make it up to Naruto by building a new better Ramen Ichiraku for him.
In flashback of Naruto and Sakura's, Team 7 are on a mission to take an ostrich called Condor to his home. They arrive at a village where they see a swordsman named Tsukado who has a vendetta to carry on a man named Katazu who killed his distant relative Shikazo. Tsukado fails to defeat him so Naruto decides to teach him unusual revenge lessons. When Mr. Ostrich is running wild and about to run over a little girl, Tsukado shows his hidden skills to stop him shocking Naruto. Tsukado can't seem to use his skills against Katazu as the look he gives him seems to drain him.
The next day, a man named Kanabun and his gang bring Katazu to Tsukado who want to profit off their fight. Tsukado doesn't hold back and manages to get the upper hand though Naruto notices something is wrong. Naruto suddenly stops the fight, saying Katazu couldn't have killed Shikazo as he sword isn't sharpened and the look of his eyes. Katazu reveals that his twin brother Kageki accidentally killed Shikazo. Kageki loaned him some money and after his child's birth, he needed money and asked Shikazo if he can be repaid. Shikazo refused and they begin fighting, resulting in Shikazo falling and hitting his head hard on a stone, killing him. Katazu has then took his brother's identity and attracted Shikazo's pursuers while Kageki and his family went into hiding.
Tsukado decides not to kill him and ends their years of fighting though Kanabun wants them to keep fighting. The swordsmen, Team 7 and Mr. Ostrich chase the Kanabun Gang out of town. While going back home, Naruto wonders if it ended alright and Kakashi says it depends on them, there the flashback ends
Gaara's First Bond
At Sunagakure, Gaara, Kankurō and Temari learn of Akatsuki's invasion of Konoha. Kankurō wonders if they'll be able to rebuild though Gaara knows they will since they have Naruto and has a flashback. Team 7 are sent on a mission to stop a group of bandits located between Konoha and Suna, resulting in the two villages working together for the first time since Suna's invasion though Naruto is reluctant about it. They meet with a team from Suna who are lead by Gaara, shocking Team 7. Gaara introduces his subordinates, Yaoki and Korobi who are scared of Gaara's sand abilities. Kakashi notices a change in Gaara, noticing he is mellower than he was before and no longer has his bloodthirsty lust.
Both Gaara and Kakashi decide to split up so they can simultaneously attack the bandit base from different sides located on mountain. But before they do, Gaara secretly informs Kakashi that he is being followed by another group from Suna and hopes he won't be a burden though Kakashi is completely fine with it as the more they overcome, the stronger both their village's bond will be. Hiding in the trees are a group of Suna ninja who plan on killing Gaara. When Gaara's team are heading to their direction, Gaara is ambushed by the group of ninja who uses techniques that prevents Gaara from using his sand. Gaara tells Yaoki and Korobi to flee as the ninja are only after him. Team 7 notice another group of Suna ninja who are watching them. When realising they aim to kill Gaara, Naruto runs off to find Gaara while the rest of Team 7 fight the assassination squad.
Naruto finds Yaoki and Korobi and learns Gaara is danger. He asks them why they abandoned their friend which leaves Yaoki and Korobi wondering if Gaara is their friend. Naruto rescues Gaara from the assassination squad with multiple shadow clones who fight them off with the help of Yaoki and Korobi who tell Gaara they're his friends. Gaara then easily takes out the rest of the ninja. Team 7 and Gaara's team continue and finish their mission and they bid each other farewell. After Team 7 leaves, Gaara asks Yaoki and Korobi what they said to him and they happily say they're his friends which brings a smile to Gaara. The flashback ends and Gaara thanks Naruto for helping him form his first bond with Konoha.
Chōji and Naruto bring lunch to Sakura and Shizune with Naruto leaving to assist rebuilding Ichiraku afterwards. Upon hearing Chōji quote the saying, "Fools never catch a cold", Sakura gets a flashback of catching Naruto's cold. Sakura sees Tsunade at her office, where she collapses. Tsunade then speculates the cause to be the chakra virus. The illness, which turns chakra into a terrible flu, was found long ago in another village, where Naruto had recently gone to for a mission. Tsunade, not wanting to contaminate the village, orders Shizune and a team of medical ninja to capture Naruto.
The medical-nin try to capture Naruto, who thinks that they are after him for overeating ramen, but fail as he escapes them every time. The next morning, Naruto finds the village deserted and gets shot at from a distance from one of the medical ninja. Naruto finds the ninja and learns that the villagers were evacuated to a safe shelter and that Tsunade had ordered Naruto's capture without explaining the reason. Shizune and a team of medical ninja then arrive and chase after Naruto, who tries to locate Tsunade. Naruto finds Tsunade, who tries to corner him with tall walls. Chōji, Kiba and Tenten, who were also ordered to capture Naruto, each stand on different sides. Though they defeat many groups of shadow clones, they are unable to capture the real Naruto.
The real Naruto flees to Konoha Hospital, distracting Shino with another shadow clone as he hides in one of the rooms. Naruto then discovers the room to be where Sasuke was recuperating in after their mission from the Land of Tea. Learning Naruto was the source of ruckus occurring outside, Sasuke kicks Naruto out of his room, allowing the medical ninja to grab him. After getting results from Naruto, Shizune tells Tsunade that he does not have the chakra virus but had sneezed due to the pepper he had in his pocket, with Sakura just having an allergic reaction from said sneeze. After his release, Naruto demands an apology from Tsunade for her mistake; however, she covers it up by claiming the entire event as an "emergency drill".
Tenten and Neji Hyūga arrive at a Konoha Tool Research Lab for more tools due the weakened military power after Pain's invasion. In a flashback, Might Guy has Naruto join Team Guy on a mission with Rock Lee in the hospital. For the mission, Guy assigns Tenten as captain of the team. Team Tenten arrives at the lab and ask the tool maker, Iō for more tools. He shows them some of his latest tools though all of them are completely useless. The impatient Tenten then demands for the tools they need from them. The team checks on Iō's progress but went missing. Neji uses his Byakugan and finds Iō hidden deep under the lab. They get past all of the traps placed with Tenten's help and find a stash of Iō's tools. Iō is impressed with Tenten's skills and decides to test her with his latest invention when suddenly one of the traps outside is triggered.
They all run outside to see two ninja named Gameru and Kusune who demand more tools from Iō who refuses. Naruto and Neji decide to fight them and they summon two prototype tools of Iō's, Dakō and Tsurukame. Iō's apprentice, Shōseki confesses that he sold them the tools. With Naruto and Neji struggling with the two ninja, Iō has Tenten use his latest invention, Jidanda. Tenten uses exploding tags to lift the giant iron ball in the air with the recoils of the explosions and throws Jidanda at Gameru and Kusune. Though the attack was blocked by Tsuru-Kame, the Jidanda reveals exploding tags inside and explodes on Gameru and Kusune. After the fight, Iō takes Jidanda back from Tenten, who was hoping to keep it, to make more adjustments to it. Naruto and Neji cheer her up with complementing on how great she was in the fight. The flashback ends and Tenten hopes that Iō finished the adjustments to Jidanda.
Training Ground Zero
In the ruins of Konoha, Mr. Ostrich decides to tell the story of his "rivalry" with Naruto to his young and how Naruto would interfere with his freedom. Tsunade assigns Naruto to capture Mr. Ostrich who escaped again into Training Ground Zero. Unlike last time, Mr. Ostrich trained himself into becoming a nindachō. Tsunade has Kotetsu Hagane captain of the team of Naruto, Shino and Lee. Izumo Kamizuki learns of Kotetsu's mission and whines about not being with Kotetsu which annoys Tsunade. Kotetsu has Shino locate Mr. Ostrich with his kikaichū and the team manages to find him who laughs at Naruto. Shino has Naruto to try and distract him while he would surprise him with his bugs. Naruto makes an insult about Mr. Ostrich's father but makes a fool of himself instead. Shino's bugs get eaten by fly traps and the ostrich makes an escape. Lee runs after him but runs into a boxing kangaroo. Mr. Ostrich runs to Naruto and surprises him with his ability to speak. Naruto, Kotetsu and Lee all struggle in fighting against the powerful animals and decide to retreat.
Kotetsu decides for the team to longer hold back against them when suddenly Mr. Ostrich and the kangaroo find them. Mr. Ostrich, who now names himself Condor, is tired of humans domesticating animals and formed a team of ninja animals. Shino tries to sneak his bugs to Condor again but they are eaten yet again by an anteater that is part of Condor's team. The team battles against the animals, who prove to be a handful for them. Kotetsu decides to use his Conch Shell Mace to fight Condor who is knocked down by his powerful kicks. Izumo arrives and yells at Kotetsu to run from Condor's attack. Izumo uses his Water Release: Starch Syrup Capturing Field to trap Condor and Kotetsu manages to strike down Condor. The rest of the team manages to defeat the other animals they were fighting. Izumo arrived to help out Kotetsu but resulted in leaving a stack of Tsunade's paperwork unfinished. Kotetsu decides to make it up by finishing the work for him. The flashback ends and Naruto finds Condor who is surprised to see he escaped yet again and chases after him.
Lee arrives at Tsunade's tent and asks Sakura how she is feeling though Sakura nods her head no. Lee brought a bottle of medicine Guy made for her to get well and has a flashback of when Tsunade told him he could no longer become a ninja. Naruto and Sakura find Ino Yamanaka at the hospital who tells them they have a mission together. They say their hellos to Lee in his room. Lee accidentally drops his youth drink bottle that Guy made for him but Naruto catches it and drinks it all, putting Lee in dismay. Lee explains that, with the drink, he would be able to recover a little faster. Naruto decides to go see Guy and have him make another drink. Guy appoints Naruto to a mission to go to Mount Jofuku to retrieve the Jofuku Flower, a medicinal herb said to cure any illness, which is the missing ingredient in the medicine he is making. Before setting off, Naruto puts on the green jumpsuit that Guy gave him.
Naruto meets Sakura and Ino at the village gate who were waiting to leave with Naruto to their mission. Naruto tells them of his mission at Mount Jofuku which is also the place of his team's mission. The team takes a break at a small tea soup where the old lady there warns them of Jofuku Forest that has ghosts of dead ninja wandering about. The team head to Jofuku Forest where they find a large sign blocking a path. Naruto decides to go through it with Sakura and Ino following him, having no choice. Naruto finds the Jofuku Flowers but upon pulling them causes some sand appearing that forms into Gaara after the mention of him from Ino. The team is shocked to see "Gaara" and decide to retreat but suddenly the Gaara impostor starts attacking Naruto, having the same abilities as the real Gaara. Ino tries her Mind Body Switch Technique on the impostor but cannot sense a consciousness in it. Naruto destroys the Gaara impostor with the Naruto Uzumaki Combo and a Rasengan. Suddenly they are approached by an old medical ninja from Konoha named Furofuki who is doing research in the forest.
Sakura asks Furofuki who or what was the Gaara impostor. They are then answered that it was a Jofuku Flower, which assumes the form of the nemesis of whoever pulls it. They give Furofuki the letter that they were assigned to do and are given another mission by her to take loads of Jofuku Flowers back to Konoha. With the final ingredient at hand, Guy is able to finish the medicine and makes a bowl full of medicine balls for Lee. Lee is shocked to hear that Sakura and her team did this and decides to recover as soon as possible. While Lee starts devouring the horribly tasting medicine balls, Guy does 1000 push-ups, not wanting Lee to be the only one to suffer, and the flashback ends.
After leaving for his two year training with Jiraiya, Naruto begins training to prepare to counter genjutsu when he meets Sasuke again. Jiraiya summons Gamariki to help train Naruto to cancel genjutsu by putting in under a weird genjutsu by kissing him. Naruto finds Jiraiya, Sasuke and Sakura all with the appearance of Gamariki in the weird genjutsu world. Naruto tries to cancel it by disrupting his inner chakra flow but ends up knocking Gamariki into a river, having Jiraiya release Naruto from genjutsu. Outside the village they were at, Jiraiya and Naruto disrupt his chakra flow on a lake which he keeps failing at. At the end of the day, Jiraiya remembers why he chose to teach Naruto. He sees his student, Minato Namikaze as a son, which makes Naruto like a grandson to him. The next day, Naruto successfully manages to disrupt his inner chakra without falling into the lake, completing the first part of his genjutsu training.
To complete the final part of the genjutsu training, Jiraiya takes Naruto to a village he once visited on his journeys that is surrounded by a forest that gives off something to someone's chakra flow to the brain similar to genjutsu. Jiraiya finds a wall around the village and him and Naruto are shot by Chilli Pepper Bombs. The boy who shot the pills named Tanishi whose parents once gave Jiraiya a place to stay during his journey. Tanishi demands them to leave when he hears the other villagers coming. Jiraiya and Naruto sneak in the village and demand Tanishi the situation. Tanishi tells about a group of missing-nin from Amegakure led by a ninja named Kandachi who were hiding from their village and wanted to take over his village. He threatened the women and children will be killed if word comes out of their presence at the village. Tanishi's father Sukune stood up against the ninja by freeing them from their genjutsu by shooting a chilli pepper bomb at them. Kandachi brutally murdered Sukune who died to end protecting his village. To that day, Tanishi thought of his father as a fool for getting himself killed. Jiraiya knocks out Tanishi after being told to leave the village.
Jiraiya, pretending to be caught by Naruto, disguised as Tanishi, takes him to Kandachi who remembers Jiraiya. Jiraiya wonders why the right man of Hanzō ran from his village which Kandachi states no longer has a leader and is longer their village. The real Tanishi arrives, exposing of Naruto and Jiraiya's plan. Keeping his promise, Kandachi summons the Conch King and decides to have the hostage villagers killed. Tanishi begs Kandachi to spare the villagers but does not hear him out. While Jiraiya saves the villagers, Naruto decides to take on Kandachi and the Conch King but his Rasengan does no damage to the creature. The two beat Naruto down constantly and Tanishi wonders why Naruto is being such a fool that doesn't give up. Naruto tells Tanishi to take the villagers to safety while he fights Kandachi and the Conch King. With the help of a fellow villager and Jiraiya, Tanishi takes the villagers to safety. Jiraiya joins Naruto to fight Kandachi and the two are put under the Water Release Genjutsu: Mystic Fog Prison by the Conch King.
With arrival of Tanishi, deciding to be a fool like Naruto and his father, releases Naruto and Jiraiya from the genjutsu with the chilli pepper bomb. The Jiraiya with Naruto turns out to be a shadow clone and the real Jiraiya tells Naruto to create a more powerful Rasengan similar to the one that knocked out Gamariki. Naruto works on creating the Rasengan while Jiraiya held on to the Conch King with Wild Lion's Mane Technique. After Naruto finished creating his first Big Ball Rasengan, he uses it to defeat Kandachi and the Conch King. After the battle, Naruto asks Kandachi why he couldn't have asked the village to hide him and his group and tells him he is no fool which Naruto responds to by punching him saying if he has, things would've gone better. With the Ame ninja gone, Naruto and Jiraiya, along with the villagers, mourn for Sukune, telling him that they are finally free. Naruto and Jiraiya leave the village and sees Naruto as a grandson to him which seemed to freak out Naruto.
A group of ninja cats led by a giant cat visit Nekobaa's shop who want to buy tools from her. While finding an old book of hers, a picture of Team 7 with a giant paw print falls from which the cat leader picks up and has a flashback. Team 7 is hired by Nekobaa to get the paw print of the boss of the ninja cat underworld, Nekomata to put in her Paw Encyclopaedia which was a game played by Itachi Uchiha and Sasuke when they were younger. The mention of Itachi angers Sasuke and leaves to prepare for the mission. Nekobaa explains to Naruto and Sakura of the Uchiha brothers’ game where Itachi would assign Sasuke to collect paw prints from fast cats to large lions. Sometime Sasuke stopped playing the game and two paw prints remained. Nekobaa collected one of the two paw prints from Yugito Nii, the jinchūriki of the Two-Tails and asks Team 7 to collect the last one from Nekomata who has hidden himself in a fortress.
Outside the shop, Sasuke prepares for the mission, hoping to pass the boundary his brother set. Nekobaa gives Team 7 cat ears to infiltrate Nekomata's fortress. After being guided by Hina and Denka, Team 7 head to the fortress. At first they managed to fool the guards but after Naruto blows his cover, the cats alert the other cats of intruders. Sasuke and Sakura sneak in without Naruto and split up to find Nekomata. They both manage to find Nekomata's location from other cats and head to his location but run into cats they are forced to fight though they defeat in the end. Sasuke finds Nekomata who is surprised Sasuke got by all his guards. Nekomata begins the fight by placing Sasuke under a genjutsu but Sasuke breaks it with the Sharingan.
For the rest of the fight Nekomata relies on brute force. When Sasuke was about to be killed, Naruto and Sakura arrive to save him. Naruto decides to take on Nekomata though Sasuke decides to beat him himself with a bunch of kunai with exploding tags hanging above Nekomata which Sasuke had thrown during the fight. The ceiling collapses on Nekomata, defeating him and Sasuke collects the last paw print, ending the flashback. Nekomata remembers seven years before his fight with Sasuke that he fought and lost to Itachi who told him Sasuke will fight him in seven years and to not hold back on him. Nekobaa states that it is unfortunate that the two brothers who loved each other eventually began to have hatred towards to each other.
An elderly ninja named Kosuke Maruboshi has a flashback of a mission he had with Naruto years before Konoha's destruction. Kosuke is a ninja of Konoha who has been genin for fifty years. Naruto is tasked with patrolling areas near the village after the invasion, so other countries won't try invading them, and is surprised to learn that Kosuke is a ninja who's on the same team as this for the mission, and also about the famous Konoha ninja he served under. Naruto and the other members come to enjoy his presence, finding him very useful to have around.
During the mission Kosuke shares a bit of his history, including missions under the Second and Third Hokage. When Iwa-nin start to attack, the jōnin of the group stay behind to allow Naruto and Kosuke to alert the village. The Iwa-nin eventually reach them, but they're able to shrug them off. Naruto questions Kosuke about a high-level technique he used. The kunoichi captain of the Iwa nin reaches them, and gets angry when she learns so many of her genin troop were defeated by few genin. Kosuke tells Naruto to go on without him and starts fighting her, using techniques he learned from previous Hokage. Naruto comes back and Kosuke defeats the kunoichi. At the present, Kosuke sees Naruto from afar, and remembers serving under the Fourth Hokage, and muses to himself that the Fourth left behind a fine son, meaning he's one of the few people who was aware of Naruto's lineage.
After seeing a travelling musician visiting Konohagakure while the citizens are rebuilding, Kakashi Hatake remembers his and Team 7's incident with Hanare of the Jōmae Village. After returning from a mission, Team 7 sees Anbu members taking a captured spy in for questioning. When she resists Ibiki's interrogation, they decided to have Inoichi Yamanaka to read her mind. He learns that she didn't find anything about Konoha, but finds it curious that she knows nothing about her own village, and is surprised to see a young Kakashi in her memories. Kakashi has no memory of Hanare, and Inoichi suggests he spends time with Hanare, hoping he can use the Sharingan to learn more about Hanare. Kakashi and Hanare walk around the village. Ino lets Sakura know Kakashi is with someone, and rushes to see for herself, meeting Naruto and Sasuke on the way, who already know, and are also interested. Hanare tells Kakashi who she met him years ago when she was lost, and how he helped her find her way back. They try to eavesdrop on the two, but end up falling on top of them, knocking Kakashi directly on top of Hanare, uncovering his Sharingan. The three cover up by saying they approve Kakashi and Hanare's supposed relationship.
Konoha learns that Hanare's village has a Konoha jōnin in custody, and agree to a hostage exchange. Kakashi objects to the trade. During the trade, Kakashi explodes the bridge on which the trade occurred, intending to take Hanare back. The Jōmae Village head tells her to rush back to the village with the information she collected. When Team 7 corners him, the village head commits suicide to prevent information leaking. Hanare reaches a cliff, and Kakashi reaches her. He tells her that he knows about her special information gathering technique, which allows her to look inside her own mind, and read the mind of those probing her mind, because he accidentally copied with the Sharingan when he was knocked on top of her. Hanare tells him that she has erased all the information she had on Konoha, because for the first time, she felt like was home and belonged somewhere when Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura accepted her, having never known her parents and being raised out of her village. By the time the others reach him, Kakashi is alone, claiming Hanare jumped off the cliff when she was cornered. Hanare lived, and is seen walking where she met Kakashi as a kid.
Konohamaru, Udon and Moegi ask to interview Neji about Naruto, for a report they're doing for academy students, who want to know more about Naruto. Neji hesitates, but agrees to talk with them. He tells them about what happened after he lost his fight to Naruto in the chūnin exams. After Hiashi revealed him the circumstances of Hizashi's death, Tenten spoke with Neji. They're interrupted by the invasion, with fights breaking out throughout Konoha. Neji finds his grandfather, a Hyūga clan elder, defeated. He learns that two Kumo spectators took the invasion as a chance and kidnapped Hinata to take her Byakugan. The elder urges him to rescue Hinata no matter what. They find Kiba and Akamaru and set out to rescue Hinata.
On the way, they run into a trap, but Tenten stays behind to take care of it and lets the others go ahead. They close in on the two Kumo-nin, who notice that the trap has been triggered, and begin to leave. Hinata, having awakened, strikes one of her captors. Kiba charges in. Smoke bombs explode and he leaves with Hinata. One of the captors tries to attack Kiba, who strikes back with a Gentle Fist manoeuvre, defeating the Kumo-nin. Neji disguised himself as Kiba and fled the smoke bomb site, leaving Kiba and the real Hinata behind. The remaining kidnapper begins fighting using long range earth release techniques, and almost defeats Neji, but Hiashi appears and defeats him when he tries to escape. Neji asks why Hiashi would leave Konoha during the invasion, learning that Hiashi cares about his daughter, and that Hiashi sees Neji as a memento from his younger brother, Hizashi.
Konohamaru complains that the story had nothing to do with Naruto, and Neji tells him that Naruto was the most important thing about the story. Without him, it might not even have happened. He remembers how Hinata apologised for the trouble she caused Neji, but he told her that he did it because he wanted to, his battle with Naruto having changed him.
The Man Who Died Twice
When Naruto was asked by Shikamaru and Shiho to see if he recognises anyone in the photos they were able to recover, Naruto grabs one and leaves. He then thinks back to how he met the man in the photo. He remembers a time when he found a tag with the name Kisuke written on it. We then see Naruto sitting on his bed. He sees a man sitting on the other side, and after realising he is a "ghost", he starts screaming. Naruto asks him who he is, but the man does not remember. After the man sees a tulip in Konoha, he suddenly remembers who he is and how he became to be a ghost. His name was Kisuke Maboroshi, an Anbu operative investigating infiltration of spies into Konoha. When he was alive he was investigating a suspect named Sabiru. After following him around, he was discovered, and the two clashed. The battle ended with Sabiru sealing away Kisuke's soul.
Naruto, disguised as Kisuke, breaks into a meeting involving Konoha's security system and accuses Sabiru of being a spy. When Sabiru says that the real Kisuke is dead, Naruto escapes with Kakashi and Sabiru on his trail. At some point in the chase, Kakashi caught Naruto, and gave Naruto a chance to prove Sabiru guilty of the murders of Kisuke and his wife. When Sabiru confessed to Naruto that he did kill the two, Kakashi appeared ready to arrest him, but Sabiru was promptly taken out by Kabuto Yakushi who was hidden in the trees. Near the end of the day, Kisuke's soul is ready to depart and says good-bye to Naruto. Back in the present, Naruto places a bouquet of tulips on the gravestone of Kisuke, just as he promised him he would do whenever he remembers him.
The Worst Three-Legged Race
While Kiba Inuzuka and Akamaru were delivering some items, Sakura Haruno and Naruto Uzumaki were watching. Sakura commented on how Naruto and Sasuke were inseparable those days and Naruto had a flashback to a mission where Team Kakashi had to retrieve a golden statue, which was stolen by a band of thieves from a Feudal Princess. As Naruto and Sasuke retrieve the statue, Sakura gets taken hostage. At first, Sasuke insists on continuing the mission, but Naruto tells him that those who abandon their friends are worse than scum. When they finally find Sakura and the bandits, it was at first hard for them because their hands got stuck together. However, one by one, through teamwork, the two quickly defeated the bandits and their leader, Jako. Although their mission was a success, the statue itself was very damaged, but Kakashi Hatake said that it could be melted down and re-casted. When Naruto complained about his hand being stuck to Sasuke's, Sakura said that it will naturally fall apart within two or three days, much to the disappointment of Naruto and Sasuke.
Team 10's Teamwork
Team 10 tries to round up some hogs for the villagers to eat. Noticing their teamwork, Shikamaru remembers a time where the team also worked closely together in order to complete a mission. After a Village Headman's granddaughter was kidnapped by Baji, he hired Konohagakure's Team 7 and Team 10 for assistance. When the teams accepted the mission to stop Baji and rescue the girl, an ex-bandit named Tōfu acted as their guide. Shikamaru then instructed Asuma and Kakashi to find an alternate route to the Baji's fortress. Tofu later gets captured and is revealed to be a double agent working for the gang leader. When the six genin infiltrated the fortress, Shikamaru agreed to a hostage exchange between him and Tofu in order to find out the location of the Headman's granddaughter. Ino and Chōji managed to find the tower where the hostages were held, and later, helped defeat Baji. The mission ended with a success, the bandit group were captured, and the Headman's granddaughter was rescued. The scene then shifts back to present time, where Ino and Shikamaru leave Chōji the arduous task of carrying all the hogs back to the village.
Drive Towards Darkness
While on the way to Konoha, Taka briefly stops by a construction Sasuke recognises. He thinks back to when he first came across it. During a training section near the location, Sasuke remembers how he was falling behind Naruto after he defeated Gaara. He punches a tree and uses Chidori to take some of them out. A girl named Naho almost falls from a cliff nearby and Sasuke saves her. Later, Sasuke and Kakashi had been sent to investigate national wanted list criminals, and Naruto, Sakura and have been sent to escort Naho, a relative of the Fire Daimyō, to Shizume village. Naho wants Sasuke to escort her, but he was with Kakashi in another mission. Naruto disguises himself as Sasuke so Naho agrees to go with them. After Sasuke and Kakashi noted that the fortress was empty, Naho's group was intercepted by Sadai and his associates. Naruto, Sakura, and Naho come across the criminal and his associates. Naruto defeats the associates, but can't take down their leader. They're all captured. Kakashi uses his ninken to track the criminal. Sasuke appears and the leader mocks him, mentioning he alone in his clan wasn't worth killing, mirroring Itachi's words. Sasuke takes on the leader, who reveals an Earth Release armour, the reason he's able to take on so many attacks. Sasuke defeats him with Chidori, and proceeds to keep punching him. Kakashi stops him and Sasuke goes back to Konoha by himself. Naho comments that Sasuke is scary, but Naruto assures her that Sasuke just has a lot going on with him at the moment, and promises to take her to see him once he's better.
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|176||"Rookie Instructor Iruka"||2 September 2010||30 March 2013|
|177||"Iruka's Ordeal"||9 September 2010||6 April 2013|
|178||"Iruka's Decision"||16 September 2010||6 April 2013|
|179||"Kakashi Hatake, the Jōnin in Charge"||30 September 2010||6 April 2013|
|180||"Inari's Courage Put to the Test"||7 October 2010||6 April 2013|
|181||"Naruto's School of Revenge"||14 October 2010||13 April 2013|
|182||"Gaara's Bond"||21 October 2010||13 April 2013|
|183||"Naruto: Outbreak"||28 October 2010||13 April 2013|
|184||"Deploy! Team Tenten"||4 November 2010||13 April 2013|
|185||"Animal District"||11 November 2010||20 April 2013|
|186||"Ah, the Medicine of Youth"||18 November 2010||27 April 2013|
|187||"Gutsy Master and Student: The Training"||25 November 2010||4 May 2013|
|188||"Record of the Gutsy Ninja Master and Student"||25 November 2010||11 May 2013|
|189||"Sasuke's Paw Encyclopaedia"||2 December 2010||18 May 2013|
|190||"Naruto and the Old Soldier"||9 December 2010||25 May 2013|
|191||"Kakashi Love Song"||16 December 2010||1 June 2013|
|192||"Neji Chronicles"||23 December 2010||8 June 2013|
|193||"The Man Who Died Twice"||6 January 2011||15 June 2013|
|194||"The Worst Three-Legged Race"||13 January 2011||22 June 2013|
|195||"Team 10's Teamwork"||20 January 2011||29 June 2013|
|196||"Drive Towards Darkness"||27 January 2011||6 July 2013|