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Naruto Season: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine
Shippuuden Season: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine

Anime Guide: Season 3 (Episodes 53-78)
Naruto Season Three of the series started in Fall of 2003. The series just got done with some of its fan favorite fights and this season would nearly see the end of the Chuunin Exam/Invasion Arc.

The Music

Opening Two: "Haruka Kanata" by Asian Kung-Fu Generation

Episodes: 26-53 (Only Episode 53 for this Season)

Opening Three: "Kanashimi o Yasashisa ni" by little by little

Episodes: 54-77

Opening Four: "GO!!!" by Flow

Episodes: 78-103 (Only Episode 78 for this Season)

Closing Three: Viva*rock (Japanese side) by Orange Range

Episodes: 52-64 (Only Episodes 53-64 for this Season)

Closing Four: ALIVE by Raiko

Episodes: 65-77

Closing Five: Ima Made Nandomo by Za Masumisairu (The Massmissile)

Episodes: 78-89 (Only Episode 78 for this Season)
The Story Arcs
Episode 52-58: Chuunin Exam Test Three Training (Cont.)

Episode 53: "Aiyashibaraku! Ero-sennin toujou! ~ Coming soon! The Pervert Hermit Enters!"

Airdate: 10/08/2003 Chapters covered: 91, 92

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The mysterious toad hermit reveals himself as Jiraiya, and spurns Naruto's direction to train him since he knocked out his current teacher Ebisu. Jiraiya bolts and tries to avoid Naruto's demands, but Naruto finally convinces him to help. Jiraiya removes the seal Orochimaru placed on Naruto, and teaches him water walking.

Episode 54: "Ero-sennin jikiden Kuchiyose no Jutsu dattebayo!! ~ The Pervert Hermit's Direct Skill Transmission, The Summoning Technique!!"

Airdate: 10/15/2003 Chapters covered: 91, 92

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Sound Genin Dosu is killed by Gaara after thinking he can remove him early. Chuunin Examiner Gekkou Hayate is killed after overhearing a plan by Sound and Sand to destroy Konoha. Jiraiya decides to teach Naruto how to summon toads. Naruto proves a washout early, being able to only summon tadpoles.

Episode 55: "Setsunai omoi Negaiwokometa ichirin ~ Painful Feelings, The Single Flower With a Wish on It"

Airdate: 10/22/2003 Chapters covered: 92, 93

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Konoha ninja meet to discuss the Orochimaru situation. Ino and Sakura go to the hospital to leave a flower and get well wishes for Rock Lee.

Episode 56: "Sei ka shi ka!? Menkyokaiden wa inochigake! ~ Life or Death!? Risking One's Life to Get Initiated into the Secrets of the Art!"

Airdate: 10/29/2003 Chapters covered: 94, 95

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Iruka teaches his class about the Hokage and Sandaime himself joins in to help teach what it means to protect your friends. Jiraiya treats Naruto for once and lets him experience many joyful things... until he pushes him off a cliff! Naruto must look inside himself and call upon the Kyuubi if he is to have any chance to summon a toad and survive.

Episode 57: "Tonda! Haneda! Mogutta! Gama oyabun toujou!! ~ He flew! He Jumped! He Dived! The Toad Boss Enters!!"

Airdate: 11/05/2003 Chapters covered: 95, 96

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Naruto has done it, he has summoned a gigantic toad to save his life. The toad doesn't take very kindly to Naruto, and stubbornly jumps around to try and get Naruto off his back. The toad boss Gambunta eventually accepts Naruto as his subordinate after Naruto managed to hold on for so long.

Episode 58: "Shinobi yoru ma no te! Nerawareta byoushitsu ~ The Hand of the Demon Sneaks In! The Targeted Hospital Room"

Airdate: 11/12/2003 Chapters covered: 96, 97

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Naruto recuperates in the hospital and meets Shikamaru who was visiting an injured Choji. They manage to stop Gaara from killing an unconscious Lee. Gaara recounts how a demon was put inside him. Gaara moves to strike but Guy appears and sends Gaara on his way.
Episode 59-67: Chuunin Exam Test Three

The next arc details Naruto's participation in the Third Test of the Chuunin Exam. This "mini-arc" is part of a larger "Chuunin Exam/Invasion" arc which will span until Episode 81.

In the following summaries, Orange = Filler.

Episode 59: "Moo Retsu Moo Tsui Moo Dasshu Hansen kaishi dattebayo ~ Moo Furious, Moo Chase, Moo Dash; The Final Selection Begins"

Airdate: 11/19/2003 Chapters covered: 98

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Naruto meets Hinata and she gives him words of encouragement. He realizes he is late for the Third Test and rushes to the stadium. He gets chased by bulls along the way and Konohamaru tries to help him find a shortcut to the stadium. He is barely able to avoid the bulls and make it in time for the commencement of the matches.

Episode 60: "Byakugan tai Kage Bunshin! Ore wa zettee katsu!! ~ Byakugan VS Shadow Clone! I Will Definitely Win!!"

Airdate: 11/26/2003 Chapters covered: 99, 100

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Naruto gets matched against Hyuuga Neji and gets his chance to take revenge against Neji for how he treats people. Naruto tries to use Kage Bunshin and get the upper hand on Neji, but his opponent manages to defeat the clones using his Byakugan eye!

Episode 61: "Shikaku zero! Mou hitotsu no zettai bougyo ~ Zero Blind Spots! Another Absolute Defense"

Airdate: 12/03/2003 Chapters covered: 100, 101, 102

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Naruto's clones are no match against Neji's ultimate defense, the Kaiten. Neji managed to learn this main house move with no proper training. This wasn't the only move, Neji strikes Naruto with Hakke Rokujuuyonshou cutting off his chakra. With Naruto injured but still fighting, Neji reveals his clans sordid past and how they betrayed his father.

Episode 62: "Ochikobore no Sokojikara! ~ Drop Out's Latent Power!"

Airdate: 12/10/2003 Chapters covered: 103, 104, 105

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Naruto draws upon the power of the Kyuubi and gets a rush of chakra. He and Neji fight like never before, when the dust settles, Naruto is down and Neji stands. Instantly Naruto pops from the ground, uppercutting Neji and knocking him out for the win! A clone remained on the ground, while the real Naruto dug underground to surprise Neji.

Episode 63: "Shikkaku!? Kiken! Maedaoshi! Haran fukumi no daihonsen! ~ Disqualification!? Danger! Moving Ahead of Schedule! The Troubling Tone of the Great Final Selection"

Airdate: 12/17/2003 Chapters covered: 105, 106

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Neji is taken away to be treated and his uncle comes begging for forgiveness! Neji then learns the truth of the clans past and his father. Naruto gets approval from Konoha for the first time through cheers. Sasuke is next but since he is absent his match gets delayed. Kankurou panics because Sasuke's absence ruins their plans so he forfeits his match with Shino. Up next is Shikamaru!

Episode 64: "Kumo ha ii naa... yaruki zero no otoko ~ The Clouds Are Nice... The Guy With Zero Motivation"

Airdate: 12/24/2003 Chapters covered: 106, 107, 108

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Shikamaru and Temari must now face each other. It's a battle of smarts as Shikamaru retreats to the shadows to figure out his battle plan and avoid Temari's attacks. Shikamaru manages to capture Temari by using the hole Naruto dug earlier to extend his shadow. But what's this? Shikamaru is in a position to win but gives up because he is almost out of chakra.

Episode 65: "Gekitotsu! Konoha mai Suna ugomeku shunkan ~ Clash! The Moment The Leaf Whirls and The Sand Squirms"

Airdate: 01/07/2004 Chapters covered: 109, 110

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With time running out, Sasuke and Kakashi finally return from their training. Naruto and Shikamaru witness Gaara killing two Grass ninja with no emotion and remember back to the time they stopped him from killing Lee. Naruto then decides to go tell Kakashi to call off Sasuke's match with Gaara.

Episode 66: "Arashi wo yobu otoko!! Sasuke no geji mayu ryuu taijutsu! ~ The Man Who Calls The Storm!! Sasuke's Bushy-Eyebrows Style Body Skills!"

Airdate: 01/14/2004 Chapters covered: 111, 112

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This episode aired with episode 67 in a one hour "Sasuke goes wild" special. Sasuke begins his assault against Gaara and doesn't have much success until he begins to mimic the moves of Lee he copied in the past! Gaara retreats into his sand cocoon and begins his changing process...

Episode 67: "Date ni okureta wake janai! Kyuukyoku ougi • Chidori tanjou!! ~ I Wasn't Late for Nothing! Ultimate Secret • Chidori is Born!!"

Airdate: 01/14/2004 Chapters covered: 112, 113, 114

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This episode aired with episode 66 in a one hour "Sasuke goes wild" special. Sasuke uses Chidori against Gaara and manages to draw blood against his opponent. Outside the village, Sand and Sound ninja move into position. When the word is given, Kazekage's guards set off an explosive smoke grenade and the invading ninja move in.
Episode 68-80: Konoha Invasion

This arc deals with the invasion of Konoha by Hidden Sound and Sand. As the ninja attack, monumental battles erupt between Sandaime Hokage and Orochimaru, and between Naruto and Gaara.

This mini-arc will be the last of the larger Chuunin Exam/Invasion arc.

In the following summaries, Orange = Filler.

Episode 68: "'Konoha Kuzushi' Shidou! ~ 'Leaf Crumbling' Starts!"

Airdate: 01/28/2004 Chapters covered: 115, 116

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Sand and Sound begin their invasion of Leaf. Kazekage abducts Sandaime Hokage and then reveals himself to be Orochimaru in disguise. Baki directs Temari and Kankurou to take their younger brother outside the village to prepare him for his part in the invasion.

Episode 69: "Matte mashita! A ranku ninmu dattebayo!! ~ I Was Waiting! It's an A-rank Mission!!"

Airdate: 02/04/2004 Chapters covered: 117, 118

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Kakashi has Sakura wake an unconscious Naruto and then chases after Sasuke who has fled after Gaara. Orochimaru and Sandaime Hokage begin to battle, with Orochimaru revealing a horrible new forbidden technique.

Episode 70: "Nigegoshi NO. 1 Mendokusei ga yarukkya nee!! ~ Number 1 in Preparing to Flee, It's Troublesome But I'm Willing To Do It!!"

Airdate: 02/11/2004 Chapters covered: 118, 119

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Orochimaru summons the First and Second Hokage to fight at his side. Outside Konoha, Pakkun lets the group know ninja are following them. Shikamaru stays behind to delay them. He lays a trap, but his chakra isn't enough to hold them and the Sound move to strike. Asuma appears from nowhere and quickly dispatches them much to Shikamaru's relief.

Episode 71: "Kokonmusou! 'Hokage' toiu reberu no tatakai ~ Unparalleled in History! Called A 'Hokage' Level Battle"

Airdate: 02/18/2004 Chapters covered: 120, 121

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Nidaime and Shodai begin their battle against Sandaime. The battle rages at levels beyond average. High level jutsu are used by all those involved to try to gain an advantage. Sandaime finally summons Enma, the elder monkey king to help him in battle.

Episode 72: "Hokage no ayamachi Kamen no shita no sugao ~ The Hokage's Error, The True Face Under the Mask"

Airdate: 02/25/2004 Chapters covered: 121, 122

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Temari stays behind to fight Sasuke, but he quickly dispatches her. Sandaime remembers back to his past, and how he had a chance to kill Orochimaru and failed to take action. He states this time it will be different, thinking over his duty to protect the village with his very life, he calls forth the Death God with a forbidden technique, to stop Orochimaru once and for all!

Episode 73: "Kinjutsu ougi! 'Shiki Fuujin' ~ Secret Forbidden Technique! 'Corpse Spirit Sealing Method'"

Airdate: 03/03/2004 Chapters covered: 123, 124

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Sandaime summons the Death God and uses it to remove the souls of the two previous Hokages. Then he quickly moves to grab Orochimaru and rip out his soul as well!

Episode 74: "Kyougaku! Gaara no Shoutai ~ Astonishment! Gaara's True Shape"

Airdate: 03/10/2004 Chapters covered: 125, 126

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Shino catches up to Sasuke and finally gets his chance to fight Kankurou. Shino defeats Kankurou, but not before he manages to poison the Leaf ninja. Sasuke reaches Gaara and the young Hidden Sand ninja draws sand to his body to form a grotesque Tanuki-like form. Unfortunately the events are causing Gaara to go more and more insane.

Episode 75: "Genkai okoete... Sasuke no ketsudan!! ~ Exceeding the Limit... Sasuke's Decision!!"

Airdate: 03/17/2004 Chapters covered: 127, 128

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Sasuke thinks back to his training with Kakashi, and his sensei's warnings of the harm which can come if he does Chidori too many times. Sasuke decides the events require him to go farther, so he does another Chidori, but it activates his cursed seal! With Gaara looming to attack, Naruto arrives to save the day!

Episode 76: "Tsukiyo no ansatsusha ~ Assassin of the Moonlit Night"

Airdate: 03/24/2004 Chapters covered: 129, 130

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We flashback to Gaara's childhood and learn how his uncle cared for him. Gaara was a lonely child who most children were afraid of. In the present, Gaara pins Sakura to a tree and the sand holding her begins to constrict.

Episode 77: "Hikari to Yami Gaara toiu na ~ Light and Darkness, The Name Called Gaara"

Airdate: 03/31/2004 Chapters covered: 131, 132

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Gaara tells Naruto how assassins were sent to kill him, and how his very uncle also tried to kill him. His uncle said he blamed Gaara for his sister's death. The event scarred Gaara and caused him to mark "Love" onto his forehead. In the present, Naruto moves to protect Sakura.

Episode 78: "Bakuhatsu! Kore zo Naruto ninpouchooou!! ~ Explosion! These are the Naruto Ninja Chroniclesss!!"

Airdate: 04/07/2004 Chapters covered: 133, 134, 135

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Naruto creates a massive amount of clones and begins his attack. Pummeling Gaara into submission, his opponent changes into his full gigantic Tanuki form. When Naruto begins to get surrounded for a Desert Coffin attack, he summons Gamabunta to help him fight!
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