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Find the Crimson Four-Leaf Clover!

"Find the Crimson Four-Leaf Clover!"
17 Minute Original Animated Video

What is it? This short 17 minute one-shot special was released on DVD at the Jump Festa convention in 2003. It involves Konohamaru seeking Naruto's help to find a legendary four-leaf clover that makes wishes come true. The story appears to fall into continuity sometime after Naruto becomes a Genin and before the Wave Country arc. Though it could also possibly fall in right before the Chuunin Exam.

What's the story? Early one morning Konohamaru sneaks into Naruto's apartment and wakes him out of bed. He tells Naruto he has formed the "Konohamaru Corps" and that their first mission is to find the legendary crimson four-leaf clover. He tells Naruto that a classmate he likes named Yoshino Kaede is having to leave Hidden Leaf because her father is being transfered out of town for a mission.

We then cut to a flashback of the previous day. Kaede is speaking with some of her school friends, telling them she will be leaving the next day. She states she does not want to leave the village. Her friend then says if only they could find the legendary four-leaf clover, because it is said if you find it your wish comes true. The clover is located at Akagahara though, a forbidden area. Kaede says she wishes she could find Konohamaru to say goodbye, but they are unable to locate him. They walk off and we find Konohamaru reveal himself behind his wall disguise crying.

We then return to Naruto's apartment, he asks Konohamaru if he likes that girl and an embarassed Konohamaru says yes. He then begs Naruto to help him. Naruto then asks if it is a mission, Konohamaru says yes. So Naruto says he'll do it. The next scene finds Sakura and Sasuke waiting on a bridge for Kakashi to arrive. He is late as usual, Sakura is surprised that Naruto is late as well. She then thinks to herself that this is a great chance for romance time with Sasuke. Naruto and Konohamaru appear running towards Sakura. Her hopes dashed, she and Sasuke listen as Naruto tells them they are going to Akagahara and will try and be back before Kakashi arrives. Naruto and Konohamaru then continue running towards the forbidden area.

They arrive at Akagahara to see it fenced off with barbed wire and a warning from the Hokage not to enter. Naruto and Konohamaru ignore the warning and jump the fence, Konohamaru then points at a red field of clovers in the distance. Taking the initiative, Naruto jumps down off the fence into Akagahara, only to immediately fall into a hidden pit with bamboo spikes at the bottom. He is able to brace himself against the wall and stop himself. Konohamaru tells Naruto the place is dangerous and was the former location of the Chuunin Exam. When Naruto hears this he states that he will need to be able to beat the dangers if he has any chance to become Hokage. Naruto then jumps out of the pit and leaps from tree to tree to get to the clover patch, setting off traps all along the way. We hear Naruto scream and then cut back to the bridge.

On the bridge Kakashi has finally arrived and apologized for being late. Kakashi asks where Naruto is and Sasuke tells him he went to Akagahara. Kakashi then states if Naruto did go there, he is going to die. We go back to Naruto and Konohamaru running for dear life as traps explode all around them. They have been running for hours and Konohamaru demands Naruto do something to get them to their target. Naruto uses Kage Bunshin no jutsu, only to cause the clones to set off even more traps. Fortunately the last explosion allows them to get enough air to make it into the clover patch.

Naruto and Konohamaru begin searching but they are unable to find a clover with four leaves. Konohamaru then sadly states that because of the time it took to get there and the time it would take in turn to get back out, they won't make it back in time to say goodbye to Kaede. Konohamaru thinks the situation is hopeless but Naruto tells him that they shouldn't give up no matter what.

We then see Kaede at her house getting ready to leave, she is sad becaues she is having to say goodbye to everyone. Back at Akagahara Konohamaru looks under a statue and finds the clover they were searching for. He and Naruto have to push a statue out of the way to get to it though, with the statue out of the way Konohamaru triumphantly grabs the clover. Unfortunately the statue being moved triggers attack maerionettes to appear from the ground and attack the two. Outside of Akagahara Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi look into the forbidden area. Kakashi states the area brings back memories, as he took his Chuunin Exam there. Kakashi looks into the area with binoculars and sees that the marionette ninja squad has been activated. Kakashi then decides to give Sakura and Sasuke a mission, go into Akagahara and rescue Naruto. Sasuke states it will be good training for the Chuunin Exam so he and a reluctant Sakura jump into the forbidden area.

Back in the clover fields the marionettes begin to attack Naruto and Konohamaru. Naruto tells Konohamaru to run and find Kaede, he states he will be fine if he is left behind. Naruto manages to beat a couple of the attackers off but a new swarm lunges to overpower him. Just at that moment a fireball pours through the attackers. Sasuke and Sakura have appeared just in time to help. Sakura tells tells Naruto that Kakashi said if the statue is returned to its original spot then the marionette attackers will go away. Naruto then yells to Konohamaru to return the statue to its place, it is heavy for Konohamaru so he has trouble lifting it. Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke then continue to fight the marionettes, but they are unable to make headway. New marionette attackers appear to replace the ones they destroy. The trio are almost out of chakra when the attackers finally fall back to the ground. Konohamaru has replaced the statue and they are safe finally, or so they think. One final marionette opens its mouth to launch a kunai at Narutos head. Thankfully Kakashi appears and easily plucks it out of the air. He tells them they did good to hold their own against them.

Naruto asks Konohamaru if he still has the four-leaf clover and Konohamaru excitedly states he does. He retrieves it only to see one of the leaves fall off. We then return to the village where Konohamaru presents Kaede with the clover, he see has glued the fallen leaf back to the main clover. He tells Kaede to make a wish. In the distance Sakura, Sasuke, Naruto and Kakashi watch the two young avademy students. Sakura asks if the clover will really grant a wish. Kakashi says he is not sure, but that Akakgahara was a place Genin would go to fulfill their ninja dream, if they returned safely they would become Chuunin. Over time the legend became if you returned safely your wish would come true. Dejectedly Naruto says they went through it all for nothing, Kakashi lets him know though it did bring some good.

Konohamaru and Kaede are then showing making a wish at dusk. Keade's mother then tells her it is time to go. Sadly Konohamaru states the wish must have failed because a leaf fell off. Kaede tells him no, her wish will come true. She is going to use the clover as a reminder of Konohamaru. By having the clover it will be like Konohamaru is always with her. Kaede then kisses Konohamaru goodbye and she and her family ride off into the distance.

Kakashi tells his team it is time for them to return to their mission, the team acts distraught at having to start their mission at such a late hour. Kakashi then tells them he will take them to Ichiraku Ramen. This perks up the team, but then he adds he won't be paying for Naruto's though. To which all three of the team yell "Cheapskate!"

My rating? A nice little short story, it features Konohamaru in a nice role. Hard-core shonen fans will probably be bored by it. At 17 minutes in length (minus 1 1/2 minutes of credits) the story flies by pretty fast. We find some interesting, if possibly apocryphal information. That being the team used this opportunity to train for the Chuunin Exam, and that Kakashi himself took his Chuunin Exam at Akagahara. Comparing Akagahara to the location Naruto later takes his Chuunin Exam is a big difference. In size comparison Akagahara appears very small. It may be possible the clover patch just happens to be located near one of the outer fences. Otherwise if the clover patch is the center then the area can't be but 150 acres in size. Naruto's Exam area also is a more wild jungle area. The majority of dangers seem to be the marrionettes, exploding mines, kunai and spiked bamboo pits. Is interesting to see the difference between one area which lets the students go free in a dangerous jungle, and another that focuses more on set traps instead.

Continuity problems? This story could fall into continuity fine except for one minor problem. The problem is the location of the four-Leaf clover being at an area where the Chuunin Exam was previously held. If Naruto was aware of that and knew he needed to be able to handle a Chuunin Exam area to become Hokage, then his ignorance of what the Chuunin Exam is in the regular series in episode 21 would seem out of place. Another story point which could later pose problems was Kakashi's assertion he had taken his Chuunin Exam at Akagahara. While minor, this could pose a potential continuity flaw later in the series if Kishimoto ever addresses that topic. Also be on the look out for marionettes resembling Karasu.