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"Kanashimi wo Yasashisani (悲しみをやさしさに)" by little by little (Japan)
"Haruka Kanata (遥か彼方)" by Asian Kung-Fu Generation (U.S. TV)
The two Sand siblings, Temari and Kankuro, are both in a state of shock because they lost sight of Gaara, their younger brother. They frantically search the rooms of their inn, but with no luck. Little did they know that the one they are looking for has been long gone, and is heading towards the Konoha hospital.
Naruto, who has been sent to the hospital by Gamabunta after failing to remain on his back due to his loss of chakra, has been bedridden for three days. Shikamaru, who is waiting for Naruto to wake up, kills time by playing shogi by himself.
At the Yamanaka flower shop, Sakura decides to by a daffodil for Rock Lee, who is also bedridden at the hospital. Ino, who is taking care of the shop at the time, assumes that the flower is for Sasuke and tells Sakura that it is a waste of time if she`s planning to give to him. Sakura tells Ino that it`s for Lee, which changes Ino`s sly grin into a solemn face. They both sympathize with Lee and wish him a speedy recovery.
Naruto finally wakes up, but he has no idea where he is. Shikamaru tells him that he`s at the hospital and that he was sleeping for three days straight. After hearing that, Naruto jolts out of bed, surprising Shikamaru. Naruto asks him when the final competition of the Chuunin Exams was, and when Shikamaru tells him that it was tomorrow, Naruto goes crazy. He grabs Shikamaru by the collar and begins to rant about how he should be training, and how the `Pervy Sage` (Jiraiya) should be supervising his training. Naruto then begins to hysterically search for his clothes while continuing his rant. Shikamaru, whose both surprised and agitated with Naruto`s reaction, yells at Naruto and tells him to calm down. He explains how he shouldn’t be worrying about training the day before the competition and resting is the best thing he can do. Naruto calms down, but then tells Shikamaru that he`s hungry. Shikamaru offers him a basket of fruits, telling him that it was originally for Choji, but the doctors said that he couldn’t have any because of his indigestion. Naruto was about to eat a fruit, but then tells Shikamaru that they should go eat them in front of Choji just to tease him. Shikamaru likes the idea and they both head out to Choji`s room.
Sakura arrives to the hospital and heads to Lee`s room. She can sense an eerie presence behind her, but every time she turns, no one`s there. As Sakura walks down the hallway, Gaara`s shadow can be seen behind her. When Sakura arrives to Lee`s room, she replaces the wilting daffodil with the new one. She wishes for Lee`s recovery as he slept and then leaves his room. The moment Sakura leaves, Gaara appears in Lee`s room. Lee is still sound asleep and cannot sense what`s going on around him. Gaara stares coldly at Lee, and he slowly extends his hand above Lee's body. At that moment, Sakura stops in the hallway and heads back, saying that she forgot something.
Choji, who just heard a soft knock on his door, gets excited after seeing a basket of fruit waving at the door. He then sighs and tells them (without knowing who is at the door) that its not funny and that they know that he can't eat anything.
In Lee's room, Gaara gets a flashback of the first chuunin exam competition, when he crushed Lee's arm and leg and was about to finish him off, until he was interupted by Guy sensei. After the flashback, Gaara grips his head and starts to breathe heavily. He gets another flashback, but this time its of his past. He sees his child self sad and gripping his heart, and he sees a kind looking man. At the end of the flashback, he sees the kind looking man bloodied and dead, and little Gaara is crying and gripping his head. When the flashback ends, sand begins to engulf Lee's body. When Gaara is about to perform his sand burial juutsu, he suddenly stops and says that he cannot move his body. Naruto leaps and punches Gaara's face, stopping his juutsu. Shikamaru yells in pain and tells Naruto that he has Gaara in his shadow possession jutsu and if Naruto hits him, then he can feel it too. Naruto apologizes to Shikamaru, turns to Gaara, and asks him what he thinks he is doing to Lee.
At that moment, Choji sees that Ino was the one at the door. She asks him how he is doing and offers him the fruit. Choji gets really happy since he is being visited by a really pretty girl and she has food!
Naruto asks Gaara what he was doing to Lee again, and Gaara bluntly replies saying that he was going to kill him. Naruto and Shikamaru are dumbfounded. Shikamaru cannot believe how he can answer so calmly, especially being under the Shadow Poseession Jutsu. Shikamaru asks Gaara why he wants to do that. Is he not satisfied with his victory aginst him in the first competition, or did he hold a grudge against Lee? Gaara simply replies by telling him that he just feels like killing him. Naruto snaps at Gaara telling him that thats such a selfish reason, and Shikamaru says that he must've had a lousy upbringing. Shikamaru is actually very nervous about the situation he and Naruto are in and wants to strategize a way out of it. Gaara then tells them that if they get in his way, he'll kill them both too. Naruto snaps again, telling him that he should go ahead if he thinks he can. Shikamaru trys to calm Naruto down, so they wouldn't get into trouble. He decides to bluff their way out by telling Gaara that he and Naruto have techniques that Gaara hasn't seen yet, and that Gaara is in a vulnerable position since its two against one. Gaara repeats what he says before; if they get in his way, he`ll kill them. Naruto snaps again, telling him that there is no way he can. Shikamaru tells Naruto to stop making Gaara mad, since he is a monster. Naruto scoffs, telling him that he`s got a real monster inside of him, and there is no way he can lose to him.
Sakura reaches and opens the room door. When she walks in, the room is empty. She says that she thought Naruto was in this room. Her thoughts were confirmed when she noticed how messy Naruto's bed was. She assumes that it means that Naruto is okay and she heads out the hospital.
Shikamaru nudges Naruto and tells him to stop provoking him. Gaara tells Naruto that he too has a real monster inside of him, surprising both Shikamaru and Naruto. He tells them that he did have a bad upbringing and that he killed his mother during her child birth. His father, the kazekage, cast a juutsu on Gaara, possessing him by a Sand Spirit called Shukaku - a spirit of an old monk from the Sand Village that was sealed in a tea caldron. The fear was evident in both Naruto and Shikamaru`s eyes. Shikamaru then says that having such a jutsu cast on a baby was crazy. Naruto couldn`t believe that Gaara could possibly have a demon inside him too. Shikamaru then tells Gaara that his parents have a very twisted way to show their love. Gaara scoffs at the word `love`, telling them that he has no feelings for his family whatsoever. Being the son of the kazekage, Gaara was protected, pampered, and was taught many powerful juutsu. However, after a certain ``incident`` everything changed.
When Shikamaru and Naruto ask him what happened, Gaara tells them that by the age of six, his father tried to kill him more times that he could count. This surprises both Shikamaru and Naruto. Shikamaru then tells Gaara that he just told them that his father pampered and protected him, why did he want to kill him? Gaara tells them that people are feared when they become too strong, and that was his case. In time, the villagers began to realize that Gaara had emotional problems due to the juutsu cast on him. The kazekage, created Gaara as the ultimate weapon to protect the village, but he became a threat to the very village he was supposed to protect. After losing the only purpose he was born for, Gaara would always ask himself why go on living? He needed to find a purpose, for living without a purpose was like being dead. Shikamaru had no idea what Gaara was talking about, but Naruto understood every word, and realizes that he is the same as him. Gaara finally found an answer; his purpose of living is in the killing of others. As lomg as there are people to kill in the world, He will never disappear. Shikamaru is now terrified and cannot comprehend Gaara`s words. Naruto begins to reflect on his own life. He remembers when he had no purpose, but was able to find one thanks to Iruka-sensei. Naruto asks himself if he could`ve became like Gaara if it weren`t for Iruka-sensei`s guidance? Naruto realizes that they are so different yet, they are so much alike. He knew that he couldn`t beat Gaara.
Naruto begins to get scared and backs away from Gaara. Shikamaru notices Naruto`s fear, and gets distracted. At that moment, Gaara`s sand rises in front of Shikamaru and Naruto, despite being under Shikamaru`s juutsu. Gaara is now prepared to attack them. Shikamaru glances at Naruto and realizes that he is scared stiff. He starts yelling at Naruto to snap him out of it, but there is no use. The sand is now headed towards them, and right before it reaches them, the door slides open. Guy-sensei enters the room and stops the fight. When Gaara sees Guy-sensei, he gets the same flashback of his past. This time he can hear his child voice echoing in his head; ``Don`t leave me alone`` as he stands by himself, ``I`m not bleeding but it hurts`` as he clenches his heart, and asking himself ``What am I?!`` as he cries. When the flashback ends, Gaara`s sand recedes and he walks out the door. At the door, he stops and turns to Naruto and Shikamaru and tells them to wait, he will kill them all.
"Viva Rock ~Japanese Side~ (ビバ★ロック ～japanese side～)" by Orange Range
|Kankuro ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Temari ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Ino Yamanaka ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Choji Akimichi ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Sakura Haruno ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Rock Lee ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Might Guy ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Gaara ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Shikamaru Nara ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Naruto Uzumaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Rion Kujo||Episode Director|
|Masashi Kishimoto||Original Concept||He is the creator, writer, and artist, of the successfully popular manga and anime series: NARUTO|
|Yukimaro Otsubo||Animation Director|