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The Yakumo Kurama Rescue Mission (鞍馬八雲救出任務, Kurama Yakumo Kyūshutsu Ninmu) spans from episodes 203 to 207 of the Naruto anime. This arc is preceded by the Konoha Plans Recapture Mission and is followed by the Prized Artefact Escort Mission and the Gantetsu Escort Mission.
While continuing his solo training, Naruto came across a young girl painting portrait of Konoha. While watching her do so, she strangely drew a bolt of lightning striking the village. To Naruto's shock, the village suddenly did get struck by lightning, causing the Ninja Academy to become engulfed in flames. While following the girl to figure things out, Naruto was stopped by two medical-nin and an Anbu who drugged and took her somewhere. Naruto soon returned to the village only to learn that recently, Kurenai gave up her position as sensei of Team 8.
Not wanting his friends to be sad, Naruto went to find Kurenai and try to reason with her. After failing to make Kurenai change her mind, Naruto went to talk to Tsunade. Instead of doing so, he bumped into Sakura who revealed that Kurenai quit because of new development from an old student of hers named Yakumo Kurama, a student with an unheard of natural aptitude for genjutsu. Deciding to investigate further, Naruto found Yakumo at her family's mansion and disguised himself as Kurenai to gain access. Inside, he found several pictures of various horrors, including the image of Kurenai being stabbed in the heart. Seeing this picture somehow caused Naruto become suddenly struck by an overwhelming fear as if he himself was stabbed and a vision of a demonic looking Yakumo. After being discovered, Naruto was drugged and knocked out. While so, Naruto had a dream about Yakumo and Kurenai which showed that despite Yakumo badly wanting to be a ninja, Kurenai refused to let her and instead decided to perform a fūinjutsu to seal away her power.
Later, it was discovered that Yakumo came from a noble clan of Konoha that was once infamous for its high aptitude and strong usage of genjutsu but lost much of their reputation ever since Yakumo's parents, the head of the Kurama clan, died. It was also revealed that the Kurama clan had a very rare and powerful Kekkei genkai, but without proper guidance was deemed too dangerous. Naruto was then joined up in a mission to protect Yakumo with Might Guy, Sakura, and Team 8 as Yakumo was being targeted by members of the Kurama clan, including Yakumo's uncle Unkai. Naruto and his team managed to find Yakumo, who was protected by Kurenai in time to save them from the Kurama clan. After Sakura treated Kurenai and Yakumo, Yakumo revealed to Naruto that she was put under Kurenai's care back then because of a special order from the Third Hokage due to Yakumo's weak body but strong and unstable powers. She also revealed that she overheard the Third Hokage talking to Kurenai about the Kurama clan's power being a threat to the village that had to be dealt with. To Naruto's even greater shock, Yakumo's parents were killed in a horrible fire that Yakumo suspected was the Third Hokage's doing. Then upon returning to the village, the team found it in ruins with no signs of life. While searching for others, Naruto was found by Unkai. He explained to Naruto that the "destroyed" village was actually a giant genjutsu casted by Yakumo. Unkai also explained that he and the Kurama clan were after Yakumo because they feared her powers were becoming too unstable and dangerous for the village's safety. He explained that Yakumo's Kekkei genkai allows her to cast genjutsu that stimulate the mind so much, that it can cause actual damage, even to the point of death. The problem is, without proper care and training, the Kekkei genkai's power can turn against the user by creating a second, highly dangerous, personality known as Ido. Because of this, the Third Hokage and Kurenai realised there was no choice but to destroy Yakumo's power before the second mind took over.
Willing to sacrifice himself, Unkai knocked Naruto out to block his senses, making the genjutsu powerless and helping Naruto to escape. Doing so unfortunately let Unkai terribly wounded. Naruto and Team 8 quickly went after Kurenai and Yakumo, only to be caught in another of her genjutsu. Despite Kurenai's pleas for Naruto not to, Naruto began telling Yakumo the truth about her powers. Doing so caused her to finally remember how her parents died, which caused her inner-demon to finally break free. While Naruto had a heated struggled against it, Kurenai pleaded with Yakumo to help as she was the only one who could stop it. While scared and unsure of herself, Yakumo was convinced by Kurenai that this was still her power and could learn to make this power a great tool if she overcame the darkness. Yakumo managed to destroy the monster and save Naruto, finally purging herself of the darkness. Afterwards, it was learned that all this time, Yakumo still cared for Kurenai as a mother-figure. With Kurenai's final mission from the Third Hokage finally completed, Kurenai felt she could now resume her role as leader of Team 8. While Naruto was happy for his friends, this adventure reminded him that he still had to worry about his inner demon and save Sasuke from his darkness.
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|203||"Kurenai's Decision: Team 8 Left Behind"||5 October 2006||15 November 2008|
|204||"Yakumo's Sealed Power"||5 October 2006||22 November 2008|
|205||"Kurenai's Top Secret Mission: The Promise with the Third Hokage"||5 October 2006||27 December 2008|
|206||"Genjutsu or Reality?"||19 October 2006||3 January 2009|
|207||"The Supposed Sealed Ability"||26 October 2006||10 January 2009|