This episode begins with Naruto still struggling to combine shape and elemental manipulation to create his new technique. Naruto’s will begins to falter as even he is on the verge of giving up, as the training method gets too vigorous. He then gets his head back up and starts to train, but accidentally pushes himself too far and lets the “Devil’s Cloak” out.
He then falls back down and Kakashi tries to console him. Sai and Sakura are standing in between the trees, silently watching his training. Sakura’s trust in Naruto’s capability begins to fall. She says that adding nature manipulation to an already high-level techinque might be too much for even Naruto to master. But Sai knows that deep down Sakura still believes in Naruto. He regains her confidence in Naruto by criticising on how Naruto cannot master the new technique, which angers her and gives out her true feelings.
Kakashi unintentionally gives Naruto some advice on his training which at once, strikes Naruto and he resumes his training. Elsewhere, the Akatsuki begin sealing the two-tailed beast. Hidan is angry at the Akatsuki leader as he could not finish off his prey from the last fight. He lets out his anger about the fact the Akatsuki is becoming yet another “get-rich-quick scheme.”
But, the Akatsuki leader contradicts him that Akatsuki’s real plans have still not been put into act. He says that war will always be present, as what all people truly want is to fight. Hidan reveals that he is the second newest member of the organization after Tobi, and thus hasn’t been informed of Akatsuki’s true goals. The plans were broken down into 3 steps. First was to amass money. The second was to use the money to create the first mercenary organization the shinobi world had seen. He then explains how they are exactly opposite to the Five Shinobi Villages. Finally, he says that the third and final step would be world domination.
Back in Konoha, Shikamaru and the rest have now returned. They are seen in Tsunade’s office, telling her about Asuma’s death. On the other hand, Naruto’s training is going well as he now understands how to combine shape and elemental manipulation. He finally combines them, and creates a new technique. He is then distracted by Kakashi, which puts an end to his technique. News of Asuma’s death reaches Naruto, which startles him.
Summarizing the review, this episode is one of the classic Naruto exploitation episodes where a lot of information about character backgrounds and goals are revealed. Akatsuki’s true goals are revealed, which shows the audience the sinister nature of the organization. Naruto finally gets a hang of his training and is on the way to create an even more powerful technique than the Rasengan. Things will get interesting from now, hopefully, as this is what all Naruto fans have been waiting for.
The animation quality was top notch. The glimpse of Naruto’s new techinque was animated fluidly. The opening themes and ending themes remain the same.
And on that note,