|Episode||Naruto: Shippūden #259 (Watch Online)|
|Japanese||April 19, 2012|
|English||September 13, 2014|
Sasuke trains by himself, attacking a huge boulder with his Chidori, while remembering his battle with Gaara. After he struck Gaara's partially-transformed arm, the latter merely regenerated one with his sand while Sasuke was rendered unable to move due to his reliance on the Cursed Seal of Heaven. However, he was spared from death by the timely arrival of Naruto, who proceeded to kick Gaara in the face. Gaara restrained Sakura, who attempted to shield Sasuke from any harm. In anger as well an overwhelming desire to protect his comrade, Naruto faced off against Gaara, attacking the jinchūriki with his All Directions Shuriken and his new, extemporaneous technique — the Naruto Uzumaki Two Thousand Combo. Pushed to his limit, Gaara unleashed Shukaku, his tailed beast, while Naruto summoned Gamabunta in order to match his foe's strength. His ability to use the Summoning Technique despite using most of his chakra for his Multiple Shadow Clone Technique stuns both Pakkun and Sasuke, with the latter perplexed at how and when Naruto became strong.
Shortly after finishing his training, he discovers that his older brother Itachi has returned to Konoha in search of Naruto. He locates his brother in an inn, along with his partner Kisame Hoshigaki. Sasuke attempts to kill Itachi with Chidori, although Itachi is easily able to stop the attack and proceeds to break Sasuke's arm and kick him aside, declaring that he is not interested in Sasuke and is only here for Naruto. Naruto and Sasuke are saved by Jiraiya, who summons Gama to block Kisame's Samehada. Sasuke asks Naruto not to interfere, but is easily subdued by Itachi, who punches him and proclaims that Sasuke could never defeat him as his hatred is not strong enough, and subsequently tortures Sasuke with his Tsukuyomi, forcing his younger brother to relive the memories of the Uchiha Clan Downfall for the next twenty-four hours. Jiraiya uses his Summoning: Toad Mouth Bind to ensnare the two Akatsuki members, though they are able to escape due to Itachi's Amaterasu.
Sasuke is healed from his trauma by Tsunade, much to Naruto's happiness. However, Sasuke is infuriated at Naruto's surge in improvement and challenges Naruto to a fight, which the latter accepts. Sasuke and Naruto go at one another with Chidori and Rasengan, while Sakura runs in between the attacks to stop them. As the two genin realise that they cannot stop their trajectory, they are thrown out of the way by Kakashi, who berates Sasuke for using Chidori against a teammate while also asking Jiraiya why he taught Naruto the Rasengan. Jiraiya retorts that Kakashi is being hypocritical, having passed on the Chidori to someone who wants only revenge. Sasuke notices the damage caused by Naruto's Rasengan and is only further angered by Naruto's improvement. Later that night, as Sasuke considers his future, he is attacked by the Sound Four, Orochimaru's bodyguards, who taunt him by calling him weak and defeat him without difficulty. They offer him a chance to come with them in order to gain power from Orochimaru and give him time to consider his choice before departing. Sasuke fumes as he realises that he needs that kind of power if he ever wishes to defeat Itachi.
- In the original depiction of the battle on top of the hospital, sheets are present on the lines. However, in this depiction, none are present.
- In this episode, the Sound Four's clothes have a different colour. Tayuya's clothes are pink, Kidōmaru's are light blue. Jirōbō's are creme, while Sakon's and Ukon's are brown.
|Naruto Uzumaki||うずまきナルト||Uzumaki Naruto||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko|
|Sakura Haruno||春野サクラ||Haruno Sakura||Chie Nakamura||中村 千絵||Nakamura Chie|
|Sasuke Uchiha||うちはサスケ||Uchiha Sasuke||Noriaki Sugiyama||杉山 紀彰||Sugiyama Noriaki|
|Kakashi Hatake||はたけカカシ||Hatake Kakashi||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko|
|Jiraiya||自来也||Jiraiya||Hōchū Ōtsuka||大塚 芳忠||Ōtsuka Hōchū|
|Fifth Hokage: Tsunade||五代目火影・綱手||Godaime Hokage: Tsunade||Masako Katsuki||勝生真沙子||Katsuki Masako|
|Itachi Uchiha||うちはイタチ||Uchiha Itachi||Hideo Ishikawa||石川 英郎||Ishikawa Hideo|
|Kisame Hoshigaki||干柿鬼鮫||Hoshigaki Kisame||Tomoyuki Dan||檀 臣幸||Dan Tomoyuki|
|Gaara||我愛羅||Gaara||Akira Ishida||石田 彰||Ishida Akira|
|Kidōmaru||鬼童丸||Kidōmaru||Susumu Chiba||千葉 進歩||Chiba Susumu|
|Sakon||左近||Sakon||Shunsuke Sakuya||咲野 俊介||Sakuya Shunsuke|
|Tayuya||多由也||Tayuya||Akeno Watanabe||渡辺 明乃||Watanabe Akeno|