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"Haruka Kanata (遥か彼方)" by: Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Japan)
"Rise" by Jeremy Sweet and Ian Nickus (U.S. TV)
A brief recap of the ending of the previous episode is shown. Orochimaru encounters Anko and escapes, while Rock Lee and his team scout the forest. After a battle with Orochimaru, Naruto and Sasuke have become unconscious. Sakura lays them under the bottom of a tree, which is shaped somewhat like an igloo. She tends to them by putting moist towels on their foreheads. While protecting the two, Sakura eventually becomes tired and falls asleep.
Naruto becomes conscious again, along with Sasuke. This causes Sakura to wake up and be filled with joy.
From a distance, she sees Orochimaru behind a bush, who lunges at them. As he does so, he begins to take on the form of a snake. Sakura tries to warn Naruto and Sasuke, but is for some reason unable to speak. Before Orochimaru is able to attack the three of them, Sakura wakes up and realizes that it was just a dream.Suddenly, a bush begins to rustle behind her. She pulls out a kunai knife for protection and turns around, only to find a squirrel. The squirrel begins to run towards her, but Sakura throws a knife just in
front of it, causing it to run away. The three sound ninja watch from afar. One of them wonders whether or
not Sakura was able to notice the explosive tag attached to the back of the squirrel, but another one
of them thinks that it was for another reason. He suggests that the three of them make their move on
Sasuke and the others.
Rock Lee is running across the trees. He stops for a moment and sees leaves beginning to fall. He thinks
that if he is able to catch them all before they touch the ground, Sakura will begin to like him and that if
he misses just one, it will continue to be a one-sided relationship. With a fire lit within himself, he
lunges at the leaves, catching them one-by-one. As he catches the 19th leaf, he lands against a tree, but
sees the 20th leaf descending. With the leaf just narrowly within grasp, he sees the squirrel from
before on its back with the explosive tag beginning to ignite. He decides to turn his attention towards the
squirrel and save it. Elsewhere, Hyuuga Neji calls out Shikamaru, Ino, and Chouji, who are shocked to have been discovered hiding behind the bushes. The three begin to talk amongst themselves, discussing how their run-and-hide plan has failed and that they must use a backup plan. They emerge from the bushes and begin to flatter Neji. Ino tries to seduce him and unties her hair. Realizing that it was only Ino's team, Neji leaves and tells them to get lost. Ino becomes angry at the fact that Neji wasn't seduced and begins to shake her fists at him. Without turning around, Neji was able to know this and asks if she wanted to fight him. She tells him no and he continues to leave. The three go into hiding again and Ino comes up with the idea to attack a team weaker than them.
Day has arrived once again. As Sakura struggles to stay awake, she is approached by the Sound ninja. One
of them demands that she wake Sasuke up in order for them to fight him. Another wants to start fighting
immediately, but the first ninja realizes that she has set a booby trap and that throwing the kunai knife at
the squirrel was to prevent it from setting it off. He decides to have the three of them attack. In a last
attempt to stop them, Sakura activates another trap, causing a large tree trunk to swing at them, but the
first ninja is able to stop it easily and the three head straight for her.
Suddenly, Rock Lee appears before her and challenges the Sound ninja. Sakura wonders why he is helping her, stating that she is, after all, the enemy, but Lee refers to what he said to her before, that he will
protect her until he dies. The first ninja pulls up his sleeve and charges straight at Lee. Sakura throws
her kunai knife at him, but misses. Lee digs into the ground with his arm and pulls out a large root,
stopping the ninja's attack. Rather than dodging his attacks, Lee decides to block them because he realizes
that there is something more to his attacks, as seen before. Shikamaru and his team continue to look for a team weaker than them. Ino complains that they are unable to find anyone, but Shikamaru reasons that it is
because the only team weaker than them is Naruto's. Ino becomes angry because he indirectly insulted
Sasuke. Chouji, who is sitting on a tree branch, spots something in the distance. Neji and Tenten report back to their meeting spot, but find that Lee hasn't returned. The two decide to go out and find him. In a flashback, we find Lee, Gai, Neji, and Tenten training. With Tenten and Neji worn out, Lee begins to
celebrate as he was the only one able to master a technique that Gai taught them. Gai tries to talk to
Lee, but ignores him due to his overwhelming joy. He punches him in order to get his attention and tells
him that the technique he has just mastered is forbidden. It puts a lot of strain on the human muscles. Normally, humans only use 20% of their muscles' power, but this technique uses their full
power, which would cause them to be destroyed. The brain normally keeps the muscle power being used under control, but the technique stops this from happening. He begins to tell Lee that he may only use the
technique under on condition.
Back to the present, Lee begins to partially remove the bandages around his arms as he prepares to use the technique. The first Sound ninja begins to charge at Lee. The condition is revealed to be that it must be
used in order to protect a precious person - in Lee's case, Sakura. Just before the ninja reaches Lee, he
disappears. He appears suddenly and delivers a kick straight up to the ninja's head, launching him into
the air. Lee pushes himself into the air right behind him and wraps the loose bandages around the ninja. He
starts to descend with the ninja head first and performs Omote Renge (Front Lotus/Initial Lotus). In response, the second ninja digs his hands into the ground, reducing the impact with a jutsu. The first
ninja is able to survive the attack. He heads straight for Lee. Lee has lost a considerable amount of power due to the technique and is barely able to dodge the enemy's cut, but suffers anyway due to his ability to manipulate sound. Lee's vision becomes blurry and he falls to the ground.
"Harmonia (ハルモニア)" by Rythem
|Rock Lee ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Sakura Haruno ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Naruto Uzumaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Sasuke Uchiha ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Neji Hyuga ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Ino Yamanaka ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Choji Akimichi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Shikamaru Nara ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Might Guy ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Masashi Kishimoto||Original Concept||He is the creator, writer, and artist, of the successfully popular manga and anime series: NARUTO|