|Previous||"The Kazekage Stands Tall"|
|Episode||Naruto: Shippūden #6 (Watch Online)|
|Arc||Kazekage Rescue Mission|
|Manga||Naruto Chapter #249|
|Opening||"Hero's Come Back!!"|
|Ending||"Shooting Star ~Shooting Star~"|
|Japanese||March 29, 2007|
|English||November 11, 2009|
Naruto visits Ramen Ichiraku after a while, stating that the place has not changed a bit. Teuchi and Ayame are surprised as well as relished. Teuchi asks Naruto to order anything he wants. However, Iruka arrives, stating it is his treat. He asks Naruto about Sakura to which Naruto replies that if he knew Iruka would be treating him, he would definitely have brought her along. Meanwhile, Sakura ponders over her decision of not letting Naruto to treat her half a bowl of ramen.
In Sunagakure, Gaara manages to protect the village from Deidara's C3 using his Air Sand Protective Wall, though it costs him a large amount of chakra. Some, like Kankurō, praise Gaara for his effort stating that they expect nothing less from the Kazekage. Suddenly, Deidara explodes his small bird near Gaara's defensive shell of sand, but Gaara is unharmed because of the sand enclosing him. Meanwhile, Baki is informed of the completion of attack preparations. Gaara notices the emergence of small clay ants from within his shell. Deidara reveals that when Gaara crushed his arm, he managed to mix some of his explosive clay with sand. Deidara activates the clay bomb ants and blows up the shell of protective sand around Gaara.
On the other hand, Iruka remembers the time when Naruto was much younger. Naruto grows despondent due to the fact that out of all his classmates, only he has been left as a genin. To this, Iruka encourages him by making him realize that he has been privately trained by Jiraiya, one of the legendary Sannin. The two then talk about Naruto's training that leads them to the discussion of Gaara becoming the Kazekage. Back in Sunagakure, the sand from Gaara's defensive shell begins to pour down as his shield disintegrates.
Tsunade and Shizune argue about the mission that should be assigned to Team Kakashi. Tsunade proposes a B-rank mission whereas Shizune insists upon a D-rank mission, stating her concern about the Nine-Tails present inside Naruto. Finally, they agree upon a C-rank mission. When the Kazekage becomes vulnerable due to the loss of the sand protection, Sunagakure shinobi try to attack Deidara, still riding his clay bird, to no avail. Sasori is frustrated at being kept waiting. Already weak, with his last bit of power, Gaara manages to move the sand he used to protect the village from C3 out of the village. The Sunagakure shinobi make an unsuccessful attempt at rescuing Gaara. Deidara succeeds in capturing Gaara.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Sakura Haruno||Chie Nakamura||中村 千絵||Nakamura Chie||Kate Higgins|
|Fifth Hokage: Tsunade||Masako Katsuki||勝生 真沙子||Katsuki Masako||Debi Mae West|
|Iruka Umino||Toshihiko Seki||関 俊彦||Seki Toshihiko||Quinton Flynn|
|Shizune||Keiko Nemoto||根本 圭子||Nemoto Keiko||Megan Hollingshead|
|Gaara||Akira Ishida||石田 彰||Ishida Akira||Liam O'Brien|
|Kankurō||Yasuyuki Kase||加瀬 康之||Kase Yasuyuki||Michael Lindsay|
|Baki||Joji Nakata||中田 譲治||Nakata Jōji||Sam Riegel|
|Deidara||Katsuhiko Kawamoto||川本 克彦||Kawamoto Katsuhiko||Roger Craig Smith|
|Sasori||Yutaka Aoyama||青山 穣||Aoyama Yutaka||J.B. Blanc|
|Teuchi||Eisuke Asakura||朝倉 栄介||Asakura Eisuke||Lex Lang|
|Ayame||Masayo Hosono||細野 雅世||Hosono Masayo||Danielle Judovits|
|Sunagakure's Shinobi||Hideo Watanabe|