|Episode||Naruto: Shippūden #54 (Watch Online)|
|Arc||Twelve Guardian Ninja (Arc)|
|Manga||Naruto Chapter #311, Naruto Chapter #312|
|Japanese||April 3, 2008|
|English||November 3, 2010|
Naruto has a nightmare about his Version 2 form wreaking havoc, causing him to wake up and question his dream. Sai is in the Konoha Library reading books on how to create and forge friendships. Sakura spots him in the library and invites him to come with her and Naruto to visit Kakashi at the Konoha Hospital, stating that as a member of Team Kakashi, he should meet their leader. Naruto is sitting on some steps, musing over Sasuke's remarks about giving himself over to Orochimaru if it ensured exacting his vengeance upon Itachi. He is broken out of his reverie by Sakura, although he is irritated to see Sai. As Sakura calls Naruto a dummy, Sai remembers an excerpt from the library book that explained how friends use nicknames to breed familiarity and sustain a friendship. He asks Sakura and Naruto if he may enter their conversation, surprising them. He reveals what he was doing in the library, to their astonishment. Sakura is taken aback by his desire to form a friendship while Naruto, who did not think Sai would ever care about their friendship, tells him not to worry and to let it come naturally. Wanting to create nicknames for the two, Sai is unable to find the correct words and is told by Sakura to use personality traits as a basis. After checking Sakura out, which causes her to blushes, he smiles and calls her ugly; Naruto attempts to restrain her, but she proceeds to beat both him and Sai up.
As they visit Kakashi in the hospital, Kakashi notices that Naruto and Sai are bruised and wonders if the two got into a fight. Naruto attempts to tell Kakashi that they met Sasuke, but Kakashi tells them that he already knows as Yamato had debriefed him. Naruto and Sakura remark that Sasuke has gotten exceedingly strong, the latter even believing that he may be undertaking drug enhancement under Kabuto's supervision in order to accelerate his growth. Kakashi states that the team would simply have to get stronger, especially Naruto, to whom he has devised a new training strategy. When Naruto inquires about the strategy, Kakashi tells him that the two of them will be creating a brand new, unique ninjutsu technique more powerful than the Rasengan that only he would be able to use. Before they can get into the specifics, Asuma and the rest of Team 10 enter the room. Asuma wishes to speak to Kakashi in private while telling Teams 7 and 10 to enjoy a barbeque lunch on his behalf. Ino notices Sai and develops an infatuation on him; Shikamaru and Chōji also notice and remember Sai, but Sai introduces himself to them and explains the reasoning behind his attack, which was to test Naruto since they were going to be teammates. Shikamaru privately tells Naruto that Tsunade had informed him about his encounter with Sasuke, and now that the Chūnin Exams were over, he would be free to tag along the next time. He does, however, remark that Naruto has missed the exams due to his mission and therefore is still a genin.
Shikamaru excuses himself from the restaurant in order to help the Nara clan with some medicinal task, although his true motive is to join Asuma and Kakashi's conversation regarding the Akatsuki. Asuma states that word of their activities has increased outside of the village, and due to their hunt for tailed beasts, it would only be a matter of time before they reached Konoha. Shikamaru also wonders whether Naruto would be able to defend himself, seeing as Gaara, who is a Kage, lost. Kakashi states that Naruto will get strong enough in time.
At the restaurant, Ino sits next to Sai in an attempt to be close to him. Chōji is told by Ino to introduce himself to Sai before eating, and Sai, wanting to create a nickname for him based on personality traits, begins to call him a fatso; however, both Naruto and Sakura predict his choice of words and Naruto gets up and covers his mouth, telling Sai that fatso is not an acceptable word to call Chōji. Sai realises that certain words are not acceptable to use as nicknames, and after his incident with Sakura, believes that women do not like to be called what they look like; instead, he chooses to refer to women as the opposite of what they are. After looking at Ino, he decides to call her beautiful. Naruto sighs in relief as Sai has finally managed to compliment a girl without her beating him up, but looks to Sakura to see how she would react; Sakura, irked that Sai called her ugly but called Ino beautiful, proceeds to trash the restaurant and pounds Sai.
- This episode is the first to be in the 16:9 high definition ratio.
|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|
|Sai||Satoshi Hino||日野 聡||Hino Satoshi||Benjamin Diskin|
|Kakashi Hatake||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko||Dave Wittenberg|
|Asuma Sarutobi||Jurota Kosugi||小杉十郎太||Kosugi Jūrōta||Doug Erholtz|
|Shikamaru Nara||Shotaro Morikubo||森久保祥太郎||Morikubo Shōtarō||Tom Gibis|
|Ino Yamanaka||Ryoka Yuzuki||柚木 涼香||Yuzuki Ryōka||Colleen O'Shaughnessey|
|Chōji Akimichi||Kentaro Ito||伊藤健太郎||Itō Kentarō||Robbie Rist|
|Fifth Hokage: Tsunade||Masako Katsuki||勝生真沙子||Katsuki Masako||Debi Mae West|
|Shizune||Keiko Nemoto||根本 圭子||Nemoto Keiko||Megan Hollingshead|
|Fudō||Atsushi Imaruoka||伊丸 岡篤||Imaruoka Atsushi||Travis Willingham|
|Fuen||Yoji Ueda||上田 燿司||Ueda Yōji||Vic Mignogna|
|Konoha Anbu||Kazuyuki Okitsu||興津 和幸||Okitsu Kazuyuki||Steven Blum|