|"The Kazekage Stands Tall"|
|(風影として…!, Kazekage to Shite…!)|
|Previous||"The Jinchūriki of the Sand"|
|Episode||Naruto: Shippūden #5 (Watch Online)|
|Arc||Kazekage Rescue Mission|
|Manga||Naruto Chapter #249|
|Japanese||March 15, 2007|
|English||November 4, 2009|
Naruto and Sakura successfully pass the Bell test, prompting Tsunade to place the duo in the newly formed Team Kakashi, led by Kakashi. Heading back to the village, Naruto and Sakura decide to go to Ramen Ichiraku to eat, asking Kakashi to treat them. Jiraiya appears and tells Kakashi that the Akatsuki are on the move, reminding Kakashi that Naruto is under his care once more before leaving. Kakashi tells Naruto and Sakura that he needs to go as well, leaving the pair alone. As there's only two of them now, Naruto asks whether their dinner would count as a date, to which Sakura states it would if Naruto pays for ramen; Naruto however, does not have enough to cover both of their meals.
Meanwhile, Gaara manages to use his sand to ensnare Deidara's left arm and crushes it with Sand Binding Coffin, much to the Suna shinobi's delight. Realising Gaara's ultimate defense is the sand from his gourd, which is infused with chakra, Deidara changes his strategy, attempting to destroy Sunagakure instead. Baki fears that the fight will draw Shukaku out of Gaara, thus endangering the lives of everyone in Suna. Kankurō tells Baki not to worry, as he knows Gaara will never harm anyone in the village. He reminisces about the time when Gaara shared his dream to be Kazekage, in ordet to form a bond with everyone in the village and be someone loved and respected, crediting his newfound perspective on life to Naruto. Seeing the progress of the battle, Sunagakure makes the necessary precautions to evacuate the villagers and support their Kazekage. Deidara, realising that they are going to join the fight as well, proceeds to use the last of his Explosive Clay to create an explosive C3 bomb, which he drops on the village.
- The moon is seen in many different sizes during this episode. The cloud cover also changes frequently, at one point going behind the moon.
|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|
|Kakashi Hatake||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko||Dave Wittenberg|
|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|
|Jiraiya||Hochu Otsuka||大塚 芳忠||Ōtsuka Hōchū||David Lodge|
|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|
|Sunagakure's Shinobi||Hideo Watanabe|