List of Naruto: Shippuden episodes (season 4)
The episodes of the fourth season of the anime series Naruto: Shippuden are directed by Hayato Date and produced by Studio Pierrot and TV Tokyo. They are based on Part II of the Naruto manga series by Masashi Kishimoto. The season follows the return of the criminal organization Akatsuki who are searching for the hosts of the tailed-beasts and their encounter with ninjas from the village Konohagakure. The fourth season was broadcast on TV Tokyo in Japan, between August 21 and December 11, 2008. The season was later released on four DVDs in Japan by Aniplex between January 14 and May 13, 2009. The season was referred to by these DVDs as the chapter of Immortal Devastators — Hidan and Kakuzu (不死の破壊者、飛段・角都 Fushi no Hakaisha Hidan Kakuzu?).
On January 2, 2009 Viz Media and Crunchyroll began providing subtitled Naruto: Shippuden episodes. The English dub aired on Disney XD between March 16 and July 23, 2011. Viz Media released the season in two DVD boxes on April 26, 2011 and July 12, 2011. Manga Entertainment also collected it in two DVD boxes with the first one released on July 11, 2011 and the second set to November 7, 2011.
The opening themes for this season were "Blue Bird" (ブルーバード?, Burūbādo) by Ikimono-gakari to episode 77, and "Closer" by Joe Inoue from episode 78 onward, and the ending themes were "Broken Youth" by NICO Touches the Walls to episode 77, and "Long Kiss Good Bye" by Halcali from episode 78 onward. The second feature movie, Naruto Shippūden 2: Bonds, which is based on the Naruto: Shippuden series, was released on August 2, 2008. The broadcast versions of episodes 70-73 include scenes from the movie in the opening themes, while still retaining the original music.
|EP#||Title||Original airdate||English airdate|
|72||"The Quietly Approaching Threat"
"Shinobiyoru kyōi" (忍び寄る脅威)
|August 21, 2008||March 16, 2011|
|Asuma apologizes at the grave of the Third Hokage for not understanding his advice concerning what the "king" of the Fire Country is. At the hospital, Naruto and Sai recover, and Naruto resumes his training. Tsunade receives a report from Kakashi that Akatsuki is again on the move. Elsewhere, Yugito Nii, the Two Tails Jinchūriki, struggles against Hidan and Kakuzu and unleashes her beast form, but is defeated and captured. Hidan and Kakuzu then turn their attention to the Fire Country for their next target.|
"Akatsuki shinkō" (“暁”侵攻)
|August 28, 2008||March 23, 2011|
|Zetsu arrives to take Yugito away, as Hidan and Kakuzu head off for their next assignment. Naruto meanwhile proceeds to the next step of his training, the cutting of a waterfall. Hidan and Kakuzu reach the Fire Temple and manage to break in. Once inside, they fight Chiriku, the head monk, so that Kakuzu would be able to attain the bounty on his head. Chiriku puts up a strong fight, but is ultimately defeated and killed. Afterwards, Hidan and Kakuzu move out to claim their bounty and thereafter target their next Jinchūriki.|
|74||"Under the Starry Sky"
"Hoshizora no moto de" (星空の下で)
|September 4, 2008||March 30, 2011|
|The second stage of Naruto's training continues, while Tsunade sends out the Niju Shotai, twenty teams composed of four ninja each, to deal with and exterminate the Akatsuki members in the Fire Country. Shikamaru leaves with Asuma, Izumo and Kotetsu, whereas Ino and Choji leave with Raido and Aoba. That night, Sakura cries over her picture of Team 7, and Naruto, after witnessing a shooting star, manages to clear the second stage of his training, but subsequently collapses from hunger and exhaustion almost immediately afterward.|
|75||"The Old Monk's Prayer"
"Rōsō no inori" (老僧の祈り)
|September 11, 2008||April 6, 2011|
|Asuma's team arrives at the Fire Temple and mourns Chiriku's death. Izumo realizes that the Akatsuki must be trying to claim the bounty on his head. Elsewhere, Hidan and Kakuzu continue towards the bounty exchange point. At Ichiraku, Kakashi tells Naruto that he has something up his sleeve that will surprise him. Back at the training ground, Kakashi informs Naruto what the true purpose of his new training is and begins his explanation by showing Naruto his own mastery of the Rasengan.|
|76||"The Next Step"
"Tsuginaru suteppu" (次なる段階)
|September 25, 2008||April 13, 2011|
|Kakashi reveals that the Rasengan is an incomplete jutsu as he is not able to combine his own elemental chakra affinity into it, just as its creator, the Fourth Hokage could not do. He then presumes that Naruto might be the first one to be able to do so. Meanwhile, Asuma sends word to the other teams about the Akatsuki’s location and proceeds on. Kakuzu then exchanges Chiriku's corpse. Naruto's training increases his stress to the point that the Nine-Tailed Fox tries to break free, but Yamato manages to suppress it entirely.|
|September 25, 2008||April 20, 2011|
|Asuma’s team reaches the bounty station and ambushes Hidan. Izumo and Kotetsu attack, but are unable to kill him despite stabbing vital organs due to Hidan's immortality. Asuma says that if they retreat, Konoha will be endangered. Shikamaru realizes that Asuma is considering sacrificing himself to help defeat the enemy. Asuma begins fighting Hidan, while Shikamaru distracts him by forcing him to dodge his Shadow Sewing Jutsu. Hidan cuts Asuma on the cheek with his scythe, draws a circle of blood on the ground and steps in it, as Asuma uses a Fire Style Jutsu to engulf Hidan in flame.|
"Kudasareta sabaki" (下された裁き)
|October 2, 2008||April 27, 2011|
|Asuma’s Fire Jutsu strikes Hidan, but, to his team's surprise, Asuma gets burnt as well. Hidan then reveals his ability to link his body to his opponent's after ingesting their blood. Asuma rushes at Hidan, but collapses after Hidan stabs himself in the leg, thereby injuring Asuma. Shikamaru realizes Hidan needs to be in the circle for his curse ritual to take effect, and so, uses his Shadow Possession Jutsu to force Hidan to step out of it. As he does so, Asuma gets to strike a finishing blow on Hidan. As Hidan screams, Asuma decapitates Hidan with his chakra knife.|
"Todokanu zekkyō" (届かぬ絶叫)
|October 2, 2008||May 4, 2011|
|Hidan’s immortality enables him to stay alive even with his head cut off, although he cannot move his body. Seeing this, Kakuzu sews Hidan's head back on his body with threads that sprout from his body. Izumo and Kotetsu try to attack Kakuzu, but he manages to grab them both by using his body threads, restraining them and suffocating them as well. Hidan, now able to move again, returns to the circle and stabs himself with the blades of his scythe, and he finishes the ritual by stabbing himself in the chest with another spike, fatally wounding Asuma.|
"Saigo no kotoba" (最期の言葉)
|October 16, 2008||May 11, 2011|
|Asuma is mortally wounded and collapses. Shortly thereafter, Ino, Choji, Aoba and Raido appear as the team's backup. Hidan and Kakuzu prove to be a match for them too, but they're ordered back to the hideout by their "leader" to seal the Two Tails. They retreat, warning the group that they will return. Ino tries to treat Asuma with her medical jutsu, but fails, as Hidan's attacks had damaged his vital organs. Asuma leaves advice for his students, and whispers to Shikamaru the identity of the "king" that Konoha must protect. As he smokes a final cigarette, he dies.|
"Kanashiki shirase" (悲しき報せ)
|October 23, 2008||May 18, 2011|
|Naruto struggles to combine the shape and elemental manipulation in the Rasengan. Elsewhere, the Akatsuki begin sealing the two-tailed beast, and the Akatsuki "leader" reveals Akatsuki plans to use the tailed beasts to cause conflict in the ninja nations, serving as mercenaries at a lower cost than the ninja of the hidden villages, replacing them, having monopoly on war and eventually taking over the world. Meanwhile, news of Asuma's death reaches Konoha just as Naruto realizes the solution is to use two shadow clones instead of one.|
|October 30, 2008||May 25, 2011|
|A funeral is held for Asuma, but Shikamaru does not attend it, choosing instead to sulk at home. After a careful prodding by his father during a game of Shogi, Shikamaru works through his emotions, and comes up with a strategy to defeat Asuma's killers, Hidan and Kakuzu. Team 10 visits Asuma's grave before setting out for revenge, but Tsunade stops them, telling them that they need a four-man squad and backup for the mission. But Kakashi volunteers as the leader of the team, when it becomes clear Team 10 has no intention of backing down.|
|83||"Target: Locked On"
"Tāgetto Rokkuon" (標的捕捉)
|November 6, 2008||June 1, 2011|
|Tsunade tells Sakura that Team 7 will be Team 10's backup, but only if Naruto finishes his training within 24 hours. Elsewhere, Shikamaru quickly adjusts the team's strategy to include Kakashi and Yugito dies after having the two tails extracted from her. After Hidan and Kakuzu are found, Shikamaru pins their shadows with Asuma's chakra knives imbued with his chakra. Using his Shadow Possession Jutsu, he forces Hidan to attack Kakuzu, but Kakuzu dodges the attempt, after revealing that he had secretly detached his arm during Shikamaru's previous attack to remove the chakra knife pinning his shadow. With Kakuzu cornered, Choji then attacks Kakuzu from above.|
"Kakuzu no nōryoku" (角都の能力)
|November 13, 2008||June 8, 2011|
|Choji's spiked cannonball attack proves ineffective against Kakuzu's special ability, which enables him to harden his skin. In Konoha, Naruto learns more about the five elemental chakra natures and their strengths and weaknesses in relation to each other. Kakuzu gets struck by Kakashi's Lightning Blade right through his heart, but survives and produces four masked entities from his back, one of which dies, as it had been struck by Kakashi. Kakuzu then uses the masks to attack Team 10 with powerful Wind, Lightning and Fire Jutsus.|
|85||"The Terrifying Secret"
"Osorubeki himitsu" (恐るべき秘密)
|November 20, 2008||June 15, 2011|
|Shikamaru realizes Kakuzu has five hearts, each of which must be killed to defeat him. He also reasons that separating Kakuzu from Hidan is the only way to defeat them, and, so he uses Shadow Possession Jutsu to lead Hidan into a dense forest. Kakuzu combines two of his hearts into a single entity and prepares to face Kakashi, Ino and Choji to get a replacement heart. At the same time, in the forest, amidst numerous explosive tags that Shikamaru had set up for the Akatsuki duo, Hidan strikes Shikamaru with his spear, drawing his blood and ingests it. He then prepares to use his curse ritual to kill Shikamaru.|
"Shikamaru no sai" (シカマルの才)
|December 4, 2008||June 22, 2011|
|Hidan stabs himself in the chest, but instead of mortally wounding Shikamaru, he accidentally destroys another one of Kakuzu's hearts. When demanded an explanation from Hidan about why he still was alive, Shikamaru reveals to have poured Kakazu's blood (that Kakashi had retrieved earlier in a capsule) on Hidan's spear, and so he had killed one of Kakuzu's hearts. He also traps Hidan with his Shadow Possession Jutsu. Being temporarily incapacitated, Kakuzu's remaining three hearts return to his body, with one sacrificing itself to become his heart. Just as Kakuzu is about to finish them off with another Fire-Wind Jutsu, Team 7 composed of Naruto, Sakura, Sai and led by Yamato arrives just in time to stop the attack with Naruto and Yamato's Wind-Water Jutsu combo with Naruto apologizing for being late as Team 7 brace themselves for battle against Kakuzu.|
|87||"When You Curse Someone, You Dig Your Own Grave"
"Hito o norowaba ana futatsu" (人を呪わば穴二つ)
|December 4, 2008||June 29, 2011|
|Sakura and Sai leave to help Shikamaru. Hidan attempts to break out of Shikamaru's weakened Shadow Possession Jutsu on him, but Shikamaru pulls the explosive tags onto Hidan's body. Shikamaru then opens a trap hole that he had prepared, and reveals his plan to bury Hidan beneath the Nara family woods. He has a vision of Asuma entrusting his "will of fire" to him, and then throws his lighter to ignite the tags on Hidan, which explode and dismember the latter. Meanwhile, Naruto prepares the new Jutsu that he had been developing, Wind Style: Rasen Shuriken.|
|88||"Wind Style: Rasen Shuriken!"
"Fūton: Rasenshuriken!" (風遁·螺旋手裏剣!)
|December 11, 2008||July 6, 2011|
|Naruto attacks Kakuzu with Rasen Shuriken, but his attack dissipates before he can land a hit. Meanwhile, with Hidan's dismembered remains in the trap hole, Shikamaru uses another explosive tag to fill in the hole to finally bury Hidan, ultimately avenging Asuma's death. He is joined by Sakura and Sai, and they head back to the others. Naruto once again creates a Rasen Shuriken, and Kakuzu switches to a long-range mode to counter his attack. As Naruto, with his shadow clones, rush towards Kakuzu, the latter flies over and nails the original Naruto. But this is revealed to be a shadow clone, and the real Naruto manages to lands a critical hit with the second Rasen Shuriken, destroying both of Kakuzu's replacement hearts.|
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