Every Single Naruto & Shippuden Story Arc, In Chronological Order
The Narutoseries is one of the most well-known franchises worldwide. The series follows a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki, who strives to become the Hokage of his village, the Hidden Leaf. Although he has the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed inside him and is shunned because of it, he works hard to become strong.
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Together with the sequel series Naruto Shippuden, the anime ran for 15 years from October 3, 2002, to March 23, 2017. Along with the series came many story arcs. Here are all of the story arcs in both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, in chronological order.
49 Prologue — Land Of Waves (Naruto / Episodes 1—19)
Prologue — Land Of Waves ran from episodes 1 to 19 in the original Naruto anime. Fans can fondly remember the series's debut, with the first serious mission Team 7 causing them to encounter Zabuza and Haku—the most well-liked villains in the series.
This arc shows Team 7 getting into the first stages of understanding how serious being a ninja can be, as well as understanding not every ninja is a clear-cut definition of "evil" and "good"—as Zabuza ended up realizing what was truly important to him in the end.
48 Chunin Exams (Naruto / Episodes 20—67)
The Chunin Exams Arc ran from episodes 20 to 67 in the original Naruto anime. The chunin exams had the ninja handle some of the toughest tests thrown their way, from them attempting to figure out how to truly work together, from participating to near-death battles in the Forest of Death.
This arc marked the first appearance of Orochimaru, fully displayed all of the Kohona 11, and introduced Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro.
47 Konoha Crush (Naruto / Episodes 68—80)
The Konoha Crush Arc ran from episodes 68 to 80 in the original Naruto anime. Before the chunin exams could even get into their final stages, Orochimaru attacked the Hidden Leaf, to which Hiruzen—the Third Hokage—and his pupil battled to the death.
Although his death was ultimately in vain, the impact it left on the characters—and especially Naruto—could be felt throughout the village, which kicked off the next arc.
46 Search For Tsunade (Naruto / Episodes 81—100)
The Search For Tsunade Arc ran from episodes 81 to 100 in the original Naruto anime. After the Third Hokage's death, the running for a new Hokage to fill the previous one's shoes began. This also marked the first appearance of the Akatsuki, which revealed that Itachi Uchiha—Sasuke's brother who massacred his entire clan—was a part of it.
Naruto went on a journey together with Jiraiya where he first trained to master the Rasengan and had Orochimaru and Jiraiya both competing to recruit her.
45 Land Of Tea Escort Mission (Naruto / Episodes 102—106)
The Land Of Tea Escort Mission Arc ran from episodes 102 to 106 in the original Naruto anime. As a filler arc, it followed Team 7 on a mission that wasn't mentioned in the manga. The plot was simple—to help a genin from the Hidden Leaf, Idate Morino, win a race.
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The reason for this is the shortage of jonin after Orochimaru attacks the Hidden Leaf, so Team 7 was the only option left to aid the Wasabi family on an escort mission.
44 Sasuke Recovery Mission (Naruto / Episodes 107—135)
The Sasuke Recovery Mission Arc ran from episodes 107 to 135 in the original Naruto anime. After Sasuke received his curse mark from Orochimaru during the chunin exams and was called weak by Itachi during the Search For Tsunade, Sasuke wanted more power.
To do so, he decided to leave the village—leading to the Hidden Leaf's Konoha 11 to search for him with the order to stop him from joining Orochimaru, no matter what. Naruto and Sasuke had their first fight at the Valley of the End in this story arc, and it was the last canonical arc in the original Naruto series while the rest were fillers.
43 Land Of Rice Fields Investigation Mission (Naruto / Episodes 136—141)
The Land of Rice Fields Investigation Mission Arc ran from episodes 136 to 141 in the original Naruto anime. After Sasuke departed and defected to Orochimaru's side, only Naruto and Sakura were left of Team 7.
During this time, Jiraiya took the helm, and they went on a mission to investigate Orochimaru's whereabouts, hoping to get more information on Sasuke.
42 Mizuki Tracking Mission (Naruto / Episodes 142—147)
The Mizuki Tracking Mission Arc ran from episodes 142 to 147 in the original Naruto anime. Mizuki was the original antagonist responsible for Naruto gaining the information about the sacred ninja scroll that had the Shadow Clone Jutsu written inside of it.
In this story arc, Iruka gains the help and support of Naruto to recapture Mizuki.
41 Bikochu Search Mission (Naruto / Episodes 148—151)
The Bikochu Search Mission Arc ran from episodes 148 to 151 in the original Naruto anime. Instead of teaming up with Sakura or the remainder of Team 7, Naruto instead joins Team 8, so he can help search for the rare bikochu beetle—an insect that was used by the Aburame clan with the capabilities of searching for anything that was lost.
Naruto planned to use the forehead protector Sasuke left behind to search for Sasuke by his scent. The arc was well-received for its comedic undertones and the appearance of four rarely appearing characters; Shino Aburame, Hinata Hyuga, Kiba Inazuka, and Akamaru.
40 Kurosuki Family Removal Mission (Naruto / Episodes 152—157)
The Kurosaki Family Removal Mission Arc ran from episodes 152 to 157 in the original Naruto anime. As another comedic filler arc, this time, it featured Team Guy and supernatural happenings. Although all Naruto wishes to do is train, Jiraiya is nowhere to be found.
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As he has nothing else to do, he decides to join Team Guy with their mission of dealing with the Kurosaki family—namely, a jonin from the family named Raiga Kurosaki.
39 Gosunkugi Capture Mission (Naruto / Episodes 159—160)
The Gosunkugi Capture Mission Arc ran from episodes 159 to 160 in the original Naruto anime. Naruto once again heads out together with Team 8 to help a bounty hunter and bladesmith named Sazanami—formerly known as Tokichi—help clear his name.
While they are out searching for Gosunkugi, they come across him instead and vow to help clear his name, together with trying to find the elusive ninja they were sent to find.
38 Cursed Warrior Extermination Mission (Naruto / Episodes 162—167)
The Cursed Warrior Extermination Mission Arc ran from episodes 162 to 167 in the original Naruto anime. Naruto once again decides to join an excursion of ninja, this time composed of Tenten and Rock Lee, as they go on to explore a ghost.
They do so by heading to the Land of Birds—a small country in the Naruto universe between the Land of Wind and the Land of Earth.
37 Kaima Capture Mission (Naruto / Episodes 169—173)
The Kaima Capture Mission Arc ran from episodes 169 to 173 in the original Naruto anime. The team that Naruto joins is composed of Anko Mitarashi, Ino Yamanaka, and Shino Aburame.
Anko is on the lookout for information about her former teacher, so Naruto decides to join her so he can try and get any information about Sasuke's whereabouts.
36 Buried Gold Excavation Mission (Naruto / Episodes 175—176)
The Buried Gold Excavation Mission Arc ran from episodes 175 to 176 in the original Naruto anime. Team 8's teamwork is lacking, so Naruto is paired up with Kiba and Hinata so he can somehow help them improve it. In truth, this is because they all have low success rates with each of their missions—excluding Shino—and Tsunade has noticed this.
Kiba rarely listens, Naruto runs headfirst into issues, and Hinata avoids confrontation, wasting her capabilities. Tsunade then gives them an ultimatum—either improve their teamwork or be sent back to the Academy to redo their ninja training.
35 Star Guard Mission (Naruto / Episodes 178—183)
The Star Guard Mission Arc ran from episodes 178 to 183 in the original Naruto anime. Perhaps the most well-known filler arc is the Star Guard Mission Arc—and for a good reason. The story follows Naruto and Team Guy as they head to Hoshigakure to help the villagers protect their sacred star, but much more was put into the story.
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The characters Sumaru and Natsuhi, in particular, turned into fan-favorite filler characters, and the lullaby "Natsuhiboshi" turned into quite a heartfelt memory.
34 Peddlers Escort Mission (Naruto / Episodes 187—191)
The Peddlers Escort Mission Arc ran from episodes 187 to 191 in the original Naruto anime. This filler episode follows Naruto as he goes on a mission with Hinata Hyuga and Chojo Akimichi to protect peddlers traveling from the Land of Vegetables.
A trio targets them called the Janin—three brothers who can use special jutsu and use it for evil instead of good.
33 Third Great Beast Arc (Naruto / Episodes 195—196)
Third Great Beast Arc ran from episodes 195 to 196 in the original Naruto anime. This arc has more of a focus on Might Guy and Rock Lee. Together with the two, Naruto helps Might Guy be wrapped up in Yagura's—a genin from the Hidden Leaf Village—plot and thirst for revenge.
Although Might Guy was supposedly supposed to train him, he did not, which resulted in him trying to get revenge against him.
32 Konoha Plans Recapture Mission (Naruto / Episodes 197—201)
The Konoha Plans Recapture Mission Arc ran from episodes 197 to 201 in the original Naruto anime. This arc focuses on the Konoha 11 joining together to help protect the village once again, as it targets attacks—such as Orochimaru's failed invasion.
This time, Naruto and the Konoha 11 work together to stop a ninja from the Kagero Village from destroying their home.
31 Yakumo Kurama Rescue Mission (Naruto / Episodes 203—207)
The Yakumo Kurama Rescue Mission Arc ran from episodes 203 to 207 in the original Naruto anime. This arc focuses on none other than Team 8's leader Kurenai Yuhi.
Apparently, Yakumo Kurama is the last remaining member of the Kurama clan, a clan skilled with genjutsu and has valuable kekkei genkai users. She is in danger, and Naruto joins Kurenai in helping rescue her from her attackers.
30 Gantetsu Escort Mission (Naruto / Episodes 209—212)
Gantetsu Escort Mission ran from episodes 209 to 212 in the original Naruto anime. Naruto teams up with both Sakura and Lee to help aid in transferring a criminal to prison.
Said criminal is a part of the Shinobazu and is extremely dangerous, leading to various difficulties with their mission.
29 Menma Memory Search Mission (Naruto / Episodes 213—215)
Menma Memory Search Mission ran from episodes 213 to 215 in the original Naruto anime. Menma is a ninja who was from the Land of Rice Fields, but he has amnesia. Naruto decides to help the young boy regain his lost memories.
As they grow closer, Naruto and Menma become fast friends—but not everything is as it seems with Menma or the people who are after his life.
28 Sunagakure Support Mission (Naruto / Episodes 216—220)
Sunagakure Support Mission ran from episodes 216 to 220 in the original Naruto anime. The last filler arc in the Naruto series that wraps up everything has the Konoha 11 head to the Village Hidden in the Sand to help reduce a girl named Matsuri.
The Four Celestial Symbols Men captured the genin from the Village Hidden in the Sand, and she has no one to rely upon besides them—and Gaara—to rescue her.
27 Kazekage Rescue Mission (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 1—32)
The Kazekage Rescue Mission Arc ran from episodes 1 to 32 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The first arc of the series follows Gaara being targeted by the Akatsuki to extract Shukaku—the One-Tails—from him.
From the battle against Sasori, Sakura, and Lady Chiyo to Naruto trying desperately to rescue his friend, the first story arc kicked off Naruto Shipudden was memorable.
26 Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 33—53)
The Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission Arc ran from episodes 33 to 53 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The new Team 7 now features a ninja who goes by the name Sai and is led by Kakashi Hatake—as he feels guilt for letting down his team.
Together, the four of them head to Tenchi Bridge to follow Sasuke and bring him back to the Hidden Leaf. This story arc features the battle Naruto had with Orochimaru and showed how the Nine-Tailed Fox could control him.
25 Twelve Guardian Ninja (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 54—71)
The Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc ran from episodes 54 to 71 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This is the first filler arc of Naruto Shippuden and shows Naruto's training to get better at chakra control and his wind nature with Kakashi and Asuma.
It also features the filler character Sora—a monk from the Land of Fire who is the pseudo-jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Fox.
24 Akatsuki Suppression Mission (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 72—88)
The Akatsuki Suppression Mission Arc ran from episodes 72 to 88 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This story arc introduced the Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakazu—with Hidan being both hated and loved for taking the life of Asuma Sarutobi.
Together with the first canon one, this arc showed how much darker Naruto Shippuden was in comparison to the original series, as it showed that people could die.
23 Three-Tails' Appearance (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 89—112)
The Three-Tails' Appearance Arc ran from episodes 89 to 112 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This arc introduced another filler character who fans grew to love—Guren.
This story arc showed the Hidden Leaf Village, the Akatsuki, and Team Guren's efforts to capture the Three-Tails—a Tailed Beast, used to reside within Yagura Karatachi, the Fourth Mizukage who lost his life after having it extracted from him.
22 Itachi Pursuit Mission (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 113—118)
The Itachi Pursuit Mission Arc ran from episodes 113 to 118 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The anime began to focus more on Sasuke around this part, as it showed both Sasuke and Naruto's attempts to find Itachi.
Sasuke also formed the first iteration of Taka—a group composed of Suigetsu Hozuki, Jugo, and Karin Uzumaki.
21 Kakashi Gaiden (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 119—120)
The Kakashi Gaiden Arc ran from episodes 119 to 120 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This two-episode story arc adapted the side story The Kakashi Side Story ~ A Boy's Life on the Battlefield ~.
It explained Kakashi's backstory in-depth, how he dealt with being on Team Minato, his rivalry with Obito, and his past with his father, who took his own life due to guilt.
20 Tale Of Jiraiya The Gallant (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 127—133)
The Tale Of Jiraiya, The Gallant Arc, ran from episodes 127 to 133 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This story arc followed Jiraiya as he discovered that Pain was actually Nagato—his first and former pupil—and his journey to stop him from attacking the Hidden Leaf Village.
Jiraiya lost his life to him and the six other Pains, but he still went out with a smile—and one that fans couldn't help but cry about.
19 Fated Battle Between Brothers (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 134—143)
The Fated Battle Between Brothers Arc ran from episodes 134 to 143 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. After Jiraiya's death, the next story arc dealt with Sasuke finding Itachi first and battling him to fight death.
Although the battle was wonderful, the one thing fans will remember from this story arc is how Itachi turned out not to be as big as a villain the story led others to believe.
18 Six-Tails Unleashed (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 144—151)
The Six-Tails Unleashed Arc ran from episodes 144 to 151 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The arc introduced another filler character named Utakata, who was also the jinchuriki of the Six-Tails.
He has a student named Hotaru, who he cares about dearly, although he doesn't express it as much as he should.
17 Pain's Assault (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 152—169 & 172—175)
The Pain Assault Arc ran from episodes 152 to 175 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The arc featured the long-awaited battle between Naruto and Jiraiya's former student and killer, Pain—otherwise known as Nagato.
Including this, it also featured that Naruto is actually the son of the Fourth Hokage that he admired so much and the love memorable confession from Hinata.
16 Past Arc: The Locus Of Konoha (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 176—196)
The Past Arc: The Locus Of Konoha Arc ran from episodes 176 to 196 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This story arc is different from every other filler arc shown thus far, as it was shown from multiple perspectives.
The arc featured imagery from Iruka's first meeting with Naruto from Kakashi's thoughts when he was first put in charge of Team 7.
15 Five Kage Summit (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 197—214)
The Five Kage Summit Arc ran from episodes 197 to 214 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The famed Kage Summit focuses on Naruto with a more unhappy and hopeless demeanor than usual, as he wishes to ask the Kage not to execute Sasuke for his crimes.
It also introduces the more serious version of Tobi, the Akatsuki member no one truly cared about until he showed he was dangerous after killing Konan at the end of the Pain Assault Arc.
14 Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 215—222)
The Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown Arc ran from episodes 215 to 222 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. After Sakura attempts to "kill" Sasuke with a poisoned kunai after failing to sway Naruto with a lie, Naruto and Sasuke battle again.
This also marks the beginning traces of the war and shows Sasuke's hellbent focus on getting revenge on the Hidden Leaf Village for causing Itachi to suffer.
13 Paradise Life On A Boat (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 223—242)
The Paradise Life On A Boat Arc ran from episodes 223 to 242 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This is perhaps the most disliked arc from the Naruto Shippuden franchise, as it made its debut during the height of the Fourth Shinobi World War.
If it were placed anywhere else, fans would've probably liked it better. This story arc focuses on Naruto and the rest of the team as they search for the Land of Lighting atop a boat so they can keep him there during the war.
12 Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 261—270, 272—289, 296—31 & 312—321)
The Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation Arc ran from episodes 261 to 321, with various fillers and intermission in between, in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This part of the war introduces the reincarnated Hokage and other famous ninja as they join the fray.
Naruto cannot only meet his father in person—albeit sadly—but it turns out that he doesn't even have all of Kurama sealed inside of him. It also shows Naruto momentarily lose hope, to which he regains it after the aid of Hinata and the rest of the ninja.
11 Power (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 290—295)
The Power Arc ran from episodes 290 to 395 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This arc was a special case, as it was created to commemorate the series reaching 500 episodes.
The arc features Naruto and the rest of Team 7 investigating a mysterious incident.
10 Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 322—348 & 362—375)
The Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax Arc ran from episodes 322 to 375 in the Naruto Shippuden anime.
At the climax of the Fourth Shinobi World War, it featured all of the Kage fighting together to defeat Madara.
9 Kakashi's Anbu Arc: The Shinobi That Lives In The Darkness (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 349—361)
The Kakashi Anbu ran from episodes 349 to 361 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This story arc features Kakashi as the protagonist, as well as Itachi as a supporting character.
This story arc gives an in-depth look at his background in the Anbu and the backstories of Yamato. It even gives more insight into Itachi as a character.
8 Birth Of The Ten-Tails' Jinchuriki (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 378—388, 391—393, 414—421 & 424—431)
The Birth Of The Ten-Tails' Jinchuriki Arc ran from episodes 378 to 431, with various fillers and intermission in between, in the Naruto Shippuden anime.
The war is heating up, and Obito becomes the jinchuriki for the Ten-Tails amidst everything that has transpired.
7 Jiraiya Shinobi Handbook: The Tale Of Naruto The Hero (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 432—450)
The Jiraiya Shinobi Handbook: The Tale Of Naruto The Hero Arc ran from episodes 432 to 450 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This story arc is both satisfying yet sad.
It features a story-within-a-story type of tale and focuses on a novel written by Jiraiya. Within it, everyone is friends, Tsunade's family isn't dead, and her fiance became the Hokage.
6 Kaguya Otsutsuki Strikes (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 451—455, 458—468 & 470—479)
The Kaguya Otsutsuki Arc ran from episodes 451 to 479, with various fillers and intermission in between, in the Naruto Shippuden anime. The first appearance of Kaguya shows the looming end to the war and the backstory of the character.
In this story arc, Kaguya's sons are also explained in detail and the parallels between them and Naruto and Sasuke.
5 Itachi Shinden Book: Light And Darkness (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 452—458)
Itachi Shinden Book: Light And Darkness ran from episodes 452 to 458 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This arc actually serves as an intermission in between Kaguya's appearance.
It focuses on Itachi's life before the Uchiha Clan Downfall, as well as his best friend, Shisui. Aside from showing him training from a young age, it also gives more insight into his thoughts and why he did everything the way he did.
4 Childhood (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 480—483)
The Childhood Arc ran from episodes 480 to 483 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This story arc is unique, as it shows both a Part A and Part B for each character and how their memories connect with the other.
For example, two of the first episodes are called "Naruto and Hinata" and "Sasuke and Sakura" and show their precious memories at that time in their childhood.
3 Sasuke Shinden: Book Of Sunrise (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 484—488)
Sasuke Shinden: Book Of Sunrise ran from episodes 484 to 488 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This arc adapts the light novel of the same name from Sasuke's point of view.
After the Fourth Shinobi War, Sasuke becomes a wanderer and goes on various missions. The story arc, in particular, focuses on Sasuke meeting a young girl named Chino, a kunoichi from the deceased Chinoike clan.
2 Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting In Silent Darkness (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 489—493)
Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting In Silent Darkness ran from 489 to 493 in the Naruto Shippuden anime. This arc adapts the light novel of the same name from Shikamaru's point of view.
It focuses on Shikamaru's life two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War and takes place after Sasuke Shinden: Book Of Sunrise. It deals with Shikamaru taking time to reflect on his life and his ever-growing pile of responsibilities.
1 Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day For A Wedding (Naruto Shippuden / Episodes 494—500)
Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day For A Wedding ran from episodes 494 to 500—the final episode of the Naruto Shippuden anime. The Naruto series's final arc finishes with the Konaha 11 and the rest of the important people to Naruto and Hinata trying to figure out what they should get for their wedding.
It is a relaxing and comedic couple of episodes that finish with various conversations between characters. It also shows the character growth and impacts Naruto had on everyone in his life.
NEXT: 10 Times Naruto Proved He Loved Hinata
Next10 Anime Villains With The Most Unique GoalsAbout The Author
Brianna Albert is an author, writer, reader, and seasonal anime watcher. She has been watching anime since before Naruto became Hokage and trying to figure out how to bend air since she was in kindergarten. She now works for Valnet, Inc, writing anime lists on Comic Book Resources, writing about television on Screenrant, as well as editing as a Junior Editor. In her spare time, she writes romance novels, works as a freelance Japanese translator, catches hearts in otome games, and binge watches K-Dramas. You can follow her and her witty tweets at @bagariellebook.
The Entire Naruto Storyline Finally Explained
By Alex G./March 5, 2020 11:18 am EDT/Updated: Aug. 13, 2020 12:29 pm EDT
It's not quite as sprawling as laughably long animated series like One Piece, but jumping into the world of Naruto at this point is still quite a daunting task.
The long-running and beloved show, based on Masashi Kishimoto's manga of the same name, follows a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki as he navigates a world built around mystical control of in-born, elemental abilities. It takes long enough to tell the story of his training in these arts that many of the young fans of the show age right along with him.
The show is split into two separate storylines: the original Naruto following the young ninja-in-training as a child, and Naruto: Shippuden picking up with his later exploits as a teenager. While you might think this would make it easier to digest, the two shows come to a whopping 720 episodes between them. To give you a better idea of scale, the Adult Swim anime block Toonami began airing Shippuden's 500 episodes on a weekly basis in 2014. They are scheduled to finally wrap the series in 2024.
Before you get discouraged by the massive pile of cartoon ninja-related homework, let us walk you through the world of the series. You'd be hard-pressed to find any story that needs 720 episodes to wrap itself up, but that doesn't mean the eventual tale told by Naruto isn't worth a bit of investment.
A world of ninjas
Both Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden are set on a fictionalized Earth where people are born with innate, elemental chakra powers. The world, as it exists, is divided into five global powers and some smaller countries. These countries are named and organized around the dominant elemental trait of the people who live there.
For example, the five great powers are named the Land of Earth, the Land of Wind, the Land of Lightning, the Land of Water and the Land of Fire. The countries are ruled over by monarchs and protected by a warrior class of ninjas who have honed their elemental powers. These armies are maintained by training young people who show promise in hidden villages that double as academies. The young ninjas are frequently called upon to perform tasks using their powers, sustaining the village by earning money while also building up their experience.
It's in this world that we are introduced to an impetous young orphan with a chip on his shoulder: Naruto Uzumaki.
Naruto's parents were incredibly talented fighters for the Land of Fire, and his mother Kushina contained powers that were beyond even the most gifted ninjas. Her immense reserve of chakra allowed her to be a rare carrier of a demon spirit called a Nine-Tailed Fox. These beasts were sealed inside humans who could control them, giving them incredible powers while also making them responsible for containing the monster.
Naruto's mother was attacked by the leader of a renegade ninja group when she was most vulnerable: during the birth of her son. The attacker was able to unseal Kushina's beast, and the resulting rampage destroyed the Uzumakis' home village. Both of Naruto's parents were killed in the fight, with his father sacrificing himself to stop the beast's destruction. In the process, he sealed a portion of the beast inside his infant son.
The orphaned Naruto containing this power at such a young age, and that power coming from a beast that destroyed his village, made him an outcast even as the village looked after his well-being.
Brash and unsocialized, Naruto makes himself a bit of a nuisance if only to get people to look at him. He pulls pranks on the local villagers and frequently offends his elders for a break from the typical wide berth that people who know his origin give him. The village is largely happy to him leave when he's sent off to have his talents crafted at ninja academy.
Once in the Academy, the cast fills out with a whole crew of young ninjas. We come to learn that they are all trying to be the best possible fighter in the Academy, though their motivations are quite different.
Naruto longs to be revered for his fighting talents because of the neglect he endured for most of his life. He develops a friendship with his classmate Sakura Haruno and a rivalry with the preternaturally talented Sasuke Uchiha. While Naruto is constantly frustrated by Sasuke's talent, and the way that it keeps Naruto from being held up in the highest regard by his trainers and classmates, the pair eventually become close friends.
Through this growing friendship, we learn that Sasuke is equally driven by a tragic origin story. His entire clan was murdered by his older brother Itachi, who is a member of the shadowy organization of rogue shinobi who killed Naruto's parents. Sasuke hopes to become a skilled fighter so he can seek out his brother and kill him.
We learn that Sasuke was always compared to his older brother, and it tormented him in the same way Sasuke's gifts bothered Naruto. He could never quite measure up. He returned home one day from training to find that his brother had killed his entire family. His brother projected visions of the grisly murders into his Sasuke's mind, and when Sasuke asked why he would kill their clan, he told him it was a test of his abilities.
Sasuke's fascination with revenge drives him mad. He goes rogue and abandons his friendships with his classmates. His choice to pursue life outside of the structure of the villages and kingdoms pushes him down into the criminal underbelly of the shinobi world. He joins a group called the Sound Four after he becomes frustrated with the speed at which his ninjitsu skills are developing.
Leaving the village
The first series is brought to a close by the end of Sasuke and Naruto's friendship. The young ninjas clash after the Academy tracks Sasuke down. Powered by the substances that the Sound Four have given him, Sasuke is much stronger than he was when he ran away from the Academy.
The incredibly intense fight forces Naruto to call upon the beast trapped inside of him. Even so, he is overpowered by Sasuke. Though he does not wish to be foiled by any further attacks from Naruto, Sasuke ultimately spares his former friend's life. He feels that killing his unconcious friend would make him too much like his brother. In a symbolic gesture, he leaves the head protector he wore at the Academy by Naruto's body.
In the background of all this, there are looming attacks from rogue leaders and the secret organization called Akatsuki. Knowing that the potential for global war is brewing, and that Naruto will have to get much stronger to face the coming threat, a renowned ninja named Jiraiya takes Naruto out of the academy for personal training.
The timeline jumps forward several years between the end of Naruto and the beginning of Shippuden. The series begins with an older Naruto returning to the academy and we learn the progress of his friends. The trio at the center of the series are all training under legendary ninjas in individualized programs. Sakura has become an incredible healer, Naruto's abilities are much improved, and Sasuke is still on the run under the tutelage of the disgraced shinobi Orochimaru.
The new series deals with the older ninjas fighting against the growing forces of the Akatsuki, who stage bolder and bolder attacks on various cities as cover to attempt to steal the sealed beast powers that a small class of fighters like Naruto possess.
At the same time, the series offers a resolution to Sasuke's years-long quest to exact vengeance on his brother. Sasuke finds his brother and they engage in a long, drawn-out battle that features several feints and mind projections. Using their illusory ninjitsu abilities, the brothers go through several battles that end in gruesome and psychedelic ways, only for it to be revealed that the battle has yet to start outside of their minds.
The pair eventually do fall into a pitched battle, blasting each other with ever-increasing attacks. Sasuke notices that his brother is off, and determines that Itachi was weakened before the start of the fight.
Eventually overcome by his injuries, Itachi approaches his brother, who can also no longer fight. Itachi taps Sasuke on the forehead before dying of exhaustion, leaving a bloody trail down Sasuke's face.
When Sasuke awakens after collapsing, Itachi's true backstory is revealed. He learns that Itachi murdered his clan as a part of his sworn oath to protect their home. The elders of the Uchiha clan were planning a coup, thereby throwing the relatively stable Land of Fire back into a series of small wars. Itachi, who was a child during the last Great War between the nations, realized that turning on his clan was the only way to prevent uncountable deaths. He killed his entire family and was labeled a traitor, but all the while he was working in service to his country.
The traitor status served a dual purpose, protecting Sasuke from being viewed with suspicion and allowing Itachi to infiltrate the rogue shinobi organization Akatsuki. He worked as a spy for the Land of Fire, passing on information about their battle plans to leadership and keeping himself alive just long enough so that his brother could come and have his revenge.
Revenge and more tragedy
Sasuke is not the dyed-in-the-wool patriot that his late brother was. Seeing the machinations of his home laid plain, and the way they were willing to sacrifice his entire family for their own well-being, pushes Sasuke to the actual areas that his brother was only engaging in as a double agent.
The murder of his clan and his all-consuming quest for revenge had effectively ruined Sasuke's life. He turned his back on his friends and his home, left the Academy before his training was over, fell in with an evil shinobi who nearly destroyed him and ultimately murdered his last living relative, all in the service of a lie. Figuring all of this out led him to vow that he would see his village burned.
His new goal in life becomes "the the complete and utter destruction of Konoha." He joins the Akatsuki to further his goals.
Immediately before the battle between brothers, more is discovered about the organization to which Itachi nominally belongs. In a battle between Naruto's mentor Jiraiya and Akatsuki leader Nagato, the core ideology of the group is revealed: They hope to unleash all of the sealed beasts in one attack (called the Infinite Tsukuyomi) that will seal the entire world in a dream forever.
The group is made up of disillusioned Shinobi who, seeing the effects of several great wars between nations, hope to put a permanent end to the concept of war. Jiraiya is killed in the battle before he can share any information about the group and its leadership.
The leaders of the Five Great Nations meet to discuss how to deal with the growing threat of the Akatsuki. Leaders of the rebel group send Satsuke to attack the meeting and leave the leaders in a weakened state. Sasuke fails in his mission, and the Akatsuki are unable to demand anything from the global powers. Instead, the Akatsuki declares war on all five nations, prompting a global battle with allied superpowers on one side and an incredibly dangerous splinter group on the other.
The leader of the group, who has gone under the name Tobi throughout the series, is the same person who attacked Naruto's parents on the day of his birth. Then, as now, he seeks the spirits to create the superweapon that would turn the world to a dream state. He is frequently shown as masked, but in his declaration of war, he reveals he's a surviving member of Sasuke's Uchiha clan named Obito. He joined the group after he was thought to have died in the last Great War. Like many of the series' older characters, the bloodshed he had seen made him a staunch pacifist. However, when he couldn't force the leaders to cave to his demands, turning over their beasts in service of his plan, he started yet another world war.
Returning to the fold
The rebel group, lead by yet another believed-dead member of the Uchiha clan, is eventually successful in launching their superweapon. The havoc brought upon the world by the revival of the Ten-Tails beast forces a few of the series' baddies to re-evaluate their priorities. Tobi eventually turns on the entire project, sacrificing himself in an attempt to save the world.
Sasuke also begins to question the current world order, and reflects on his brother's commitment to keep his homeland safe. He opts to join the side of the great nations, and while he is viewed with distrust by his former colleagues, he ultimately helps thwart the beast that was released on the world.
Sasuke vows to remake the world under a better system, and after the war ends, he attempts to kill the five leaders as his first step toward a better world. This leads to a series-culminating battle between Naruto and Sasuke. They admit that they both view each other as brothers. The battle ends with both characters grievously injured and slowly bleeding out. They spend several days lying next to each other, talking about their bonds and atoning for their various wrongs. Ultimately, they are found by Sakura, who heals them both so they can remove the dream world weapon used on the world.
If that's somehow not enough, there's plenty more Naruto out there in the world. We'd be remiss to not point out that the entire series is based on a manga that ran for 15 years. There are 72 volumes in the comic, written by Masashi Kishimoto, and its insane popularity makes it one of the most easy-to-find books in the genre.
There are also continuing adventures from Naruto's son Boruto. His story has been ongoing since 2016, and is still cranking out new manga at a pretty steady clip. He's also featured in his own movie, one of 11 films that the series has produced so far. One movie, The Last, picks up after the events of Shippuden and follows the core of the series as they go on a mission to stop the moon from falling.
It would take you nearly 12 days of non-stop watching to get through it all, and countless more to get through the manga. If this summary made you feel like diving in, we'll see you in six months.
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EVERY NARUTO STORY ARC DETAILED (NO FILLERS)
Naruto Shippuden Anime Canon Story Arcs
Kazakage Rescue Mission
The Akatsuki have made their first move and it's against the Hidden Sand. Gaara has been kidnapped and The remnants of Team 7 are sent after him.
The Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission
Team 7 has been reformed. Captain Yamamoto and Sai join the team as they investigate a lead into Orochimaru. A battle ensues.
Akatsuki Suppression Mission
The Hidden Leaf is officially after the Akatsuki. Starting with members Hidan and Kakuzu. This arc heavily focuses on Team 10. Asuma Sarutobi shows his greatness.
Itachi Pursuit Mission
Sasuke is out free with his own small team now, Taka. He has assembled his own crew to finally hunt down Itachi and exact his revenge. Naruto and his own team are also after Itachi, but in the hopes of using him to bait Sasuke back to them.
Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant
Jiraiya goes on his own journey to investigate the Akatsuki and learn the secrets of their leader, Pain. The two encounter each other and one of the most impressive battles of the series ensues.
Fated Battle Between Brothers
Sasuke and Itachi finally go head to head. The secrets of Itachi are finally revealed.
After the direct encounter in the Hidden Rain, Pain goes to the Hidden Leaf to destroy the entire village. Naruto undergoes training to learn the Sage Technique.
Five Kage Summit
After Sasuke and his team, now working for the Akatsuki, kidnap the eight tails Jinchuriki the Raikage calls for a Kage Summit to declare the Akatsuki a threat to the Five Great Nations. Sasuke and his team interrupt the Summit and the real threat responsible for the Akastuki reveals himself. The Fourth Great Shinobi War begins.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
Episodes 215-222 and 243-256
This entire arc is about the Five Great Nations preparing for the war.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
The Fourth Shinobi War begins and the battles are on all fronts. Gaara is put in charge of the Allied Shinobi Forces. The Hidden Mists former Seven Shinobi Swordsmen are brought into the fray. Old allies and foes do battle again whether they are willing or not.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Madara Uchiha is brought in to the battle as the fighting escalates to unimaginable levels.
Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
Episodes 378-388 and 391-393
Obito’s Will of Fire
On the brink of death, Obito overcomes & allies with Naruto.
Might Gai To The Rescue
Sasuke’s wind blows Kabuto’s way & Gai takes on Madara.
The Red Beast Emerges
Gai unleashes the red vapor & Naruto awakens.
Infinite Tsukuyomi Activate
Madara Absorbs The Divine Tree & Naruto & Sasuke go on the offensive.
A Mother’s Love
Kaguya Otsutsuki awakens to reclaim her chakra.
During the battle, Naruto & Sasuke learn that Kaguya can summon
Kakashi’s Team 7
With the battle drawing to a close, Kaguya aims to separate Naruto & Sasuke, Obito reaffirms his original dream, Team 7 prevails--Kakashi style & Naruto saves his friend from darkness.
Eternal Bonds of Friendship
Sasuke battles surviving members of a former rival Chinoike clan. Sai experiences love for the first time & Naruto & Hinata get married.
The purpose of the Fourth Shinobi War comes to Light with the premature summon of the Legendary Ten Tailed Beast. The entire Shinobi World looks as though it's about to end.
Naruto Uzumaki, a mischievous adolescent ninja, struggles as he searches for recognition and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the village's leader and strongest ninja.
Many years ago, in the hidden village of Konoha, lived a great demon fox. When it swung one of it's nine tails, a tsunami occurred. The fourth hokage sealed this demon fox inside a boy in exchange for his own life. Naruto was that boy, and he grew up with no family, and the villagers hated him thinking that he himself was the demon fox. Naruto's dream is to become Hokage, and have the villagers acknowledge him.
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But sleeping when next to you is such a miracle as Nastya was in her sky-blue bathing suit is impossible. She was chirping something cheerfully, pointing to her son building a sand castle, and an old checked army count clicked in my head. Helping me at least look put together.
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I also love it when she, lying on her back, hugs me with her legs behind my neck. Breathes heavily in pleasure. Only sometimes it starts to moan when I fuck her at an accelerated pace.