What is it? This 40 minute special was a DVD sendaway available from Shonen Jump in Japan. The reader filled out a form and sent in 1700 yen to receive the special DVD. The story involves a young ninja named Shibuki from Hidden Waterfall who tries to come to terms with what it means to be a hero and leader of his village.
What's the story? Shibuki, the young new leader of Hidden Waterfall village, has hired Team 7 to protect him on his return to his home village. After arriving at the base of the waterfall at the village, two young children named Shizuku and Himatsu rush to greet Shibuki. Under the suggestion of these two young villagers, Shibuki hires Team 7 to help him clean up trash from the waterfall nearby.
During this time Shibuki has been very unnerved, frightened at any sudden surprises. When a bird swoops from the sky he cringes in fear. The bird is actually a messenger bird from Leaf Village. It was sent to contact Hatake Kakashi to let him know of an important Jounin gathering. Because of that he returns home as his team finishes up their cleaning mission. Naruto then states that unlike Shibuki he is not a coward, and that one day he will be Hokage. Angered by his talk, Shizuku hits Naruto. Losing his balance, Naruto ends up stepping in dog crap, much to the delight of Shizuki and Himatsu.
We then see a group of Hidden Rain ninja and a mysterious middle-aged man. Their names are Hisame, Kirisame, Kuresame and Suien. The group are seeking the "Hero Water," an elixir from the Hidden village which has special properties.
As Naruto and Team 7 finish their cleaning, an older woman stumbles from the forest. We learn she is the mother of Shizuku. She has a kunai in her back and warns that their village is being attacked. Sasuke directs Sakura to take the woman to a safe location. Naruto tells Shibuki to tell him the secret entrance to the village, he wants to get revenge for the woman. The frightened Shibuki tells Naruto it is hopeless and that the Leaf Genin can not do anything.
Sasuke jumps to knock Naruto and Shibuki down to the ground, just then a group of the attackers emerge from the falls. As the attackers unload a fury of kunai, Sasuke unfolds his Fuuma Shuriken. After he hurls it into the air, it knocks down the incoming kunai and then splits using the Kage Fuusha technique. The large shuriken then proceeds to cut through several of the attackers, killing them. The leader of the group, Murasame, avoids being hit and retreats to safety.
Shibuki then leads Naruto and Sasuke to the hidden entrance of the village. We then switch back to Sakura as she tends to the wounds of the elder woman. Appearing from nowhere, the Rain Missing-Nin Kirisame knocks out Sakura from behind and takes the two young villagers captive as hostages. As Naruto and Sasuke emerge from the hidden water entrance, they see that the Hidden village is strangely empty.
Sensing danger, Sasuke knocks Naruto back into the water and directs him to protect Shibuki. Just then, three attackers emerge to attack Sasuke. Sasuke jumps to incinerate the three with his grand fireball technique, but as he lands he is captured in a rope of water technique used by Murasame and Hisame. Then the mysterious man Suien arrives and tells the two Rain ninja that they should use Sasuke as another hostage. We learn that Suien is a former Jounin of Hidden Waterfall, who left the village and now returns to steal the Hero Water.
Leaving Naruto behind, Shibuki swims to the secret location of the Hero Water. Taking the Hero Water, Shibuki then overlooks his village to see the captured villagers and his former teacher Suien directing the attackers. Appearing from nowhere Naruto startles Shibuki. Just then Suien loudly yells for Shibuki to come out of hiding and bring them the Hero Water. Shibuki explains to Naruto that the water allows a ninja to have a ten-fold increase in chakra for a short period of time. By drinking drops of the water, the ninja of the village could increase their fighting ability to compensate for their villages lack of a strong Kage leader. Unfortunately in exchange for the power, the water also eats away at your life. That harmful effect necessitated the water being hidden away.
Years before Shibuki's father had drank the water when the village came under attack, unfortunately his body was too old to be able to handle the water and he passed away. Suien then yells for Shibuki to bring him the water, or he will start killing hostages. When Shizuku and Himatsu yell for Shibuki to remain hidden, Kirisame begins to beat the children with a whip of water. Naruto demands Shibuki do something but the young leader is unsure of himself.
Naruto tells Shibuki that those who gave their life to protect the village did a valiant thing. Naruto then leaves the young ninja behind and jumps down from the tree to confront Suien and his group. Unfortunately the vine Naruto swings on to attack the group breaks, and he plunges into the water below. Threatening to kill Shibuki, Suien swings his kunai to stab her. Naruto then rushes to knock her out of the way, resulting in Suien stabbing the Leaf Genin in the back. The group of attackers then begin to beat Naruto to get him to tell where Shibuki is hiding.
Seeing Naruto's selfless actions to protect people he doesn't know, Shibuki ponders what he should do. The villagers held below then yell that Shibuki is a hero and that he can defeat the attackers. Gaining courage, Shibuki decides that he needs to take action. As the attackers continue to beat Naruto, a swirling vortex of water appears from nowhere and knocks Hisame, Murasame and Kirisame unconscious. The water then disperses to reveal Shibuki.
The attacking soldiers then charge to attack Shibuki, but he uses the water dragon technique to pummel them. Seeing his body covered in chakra, Sakura is amazed by the young ninja. Suien then asks Shibuki if he ingested the Hero Water. Shibuki tells the Missing-Nin that he did, and that he plans to defeat the attackers. Shibuki and Suien then form swords of water and charge each other. The two men exchange strikes and Suien knocks Shibuki's sword away. Taking the opening, Suien impales Shibuki with his sword.
As he lay bleeding, Shibuki urges himself to get up and protect everyone. Suien then examines Shibuki's motionless body and finds the hidden Hero Water. He then drinks a large gulp of the water, grealty increasing his chakra amount. Finding some strength, Naruto stands and throws a kunai at Suien. Naruto states he won't forgive Suien for what he did and he will defeat him.
Using Kage Bunshin, Naruto attempts his Naruto Rendan technique but his kicks cannot break past Suien's chakra barrier. Suien then knocks away Naruto and his clones with a fierce punch. He then quickly moves to again strike Naruto. The young villagers say it is hopeless but Sasuke tells them not to give up. Sasuke is suddenly cut down by a small jet of water thrown by Shibuki who attempts to stand and help out. Shibuki tells Sasuke to take the kids and run away or they will all be killed. Sasuke states he will stand and fight.
Gloating about how much power he has, Suien is surprised by Sasuke as he jumps and hurls his Fuuma Shuriken. Using it as a distraction, Naruto appears from Suien's blindspot and strikes the Waterfall ninja into the water below. Not stopped for long, Suien jumps from the water to attack the two Leaf Genin. Moving with extreme quickness and power, Suien knocks Naruto several hundred meters into the village. Sasuke then uses his mythical fire-flower technique against Suien. Using a wall of water to block the incoming fire, the flames are put out but the kunai they are hiding continue through. Suien is then forced to use his chakra to deflect them away.
Sasuke then chasitizes Suien. He tells them that anyone can get strength from drinking the Hero Water, but that is not real strength. Suien tells Sasuke to shut up and he kicks the Uchiha into the tree behind him. Seeing that Sasuke is still alive, Suien surmises the waters effect is fading so he drinks more of the Hero Water.
Emerging from the rubble, Naruto states that Shibuki had real strength in protecting his village. Filling with the Kyuubi chakra, Naruto rushes across the surface of the water to strike Suien. The two ninja exchange a heavy blow but the Kyuubi power wins out and Suien is knocked backwards. Seeing an opening, Sasuke uses his dragon fire technique to incompass the Waterfall ninja and break the bottle of Hero Water. Suien is blasted into the air and Naruto uses his Tajuu Kage Bunshin technique. Not believing what he is seeing, Suien attempts to fight the clones but they easily pummel him into submission. Dispersing the clones, Naruto himself lays one final hit into Suien's face and knocks him to the base of the large waterfall.
A short time passes and Kakashi returns to pick up his team. Naruto tells Shibuki he is a real hero, he was able to drink the water and not have any ill effects. That he is a true hero of his Hidden village. Shibuki tells Naruto he was always a coward, but Naruto helped him believe in himself. Team 7 then goes to leave and Shizuku and Himatsu wish the team luck. They tell Naruto not to step in dog crap this time and Naruto tells them good ninjas don't do that. Turning to leave, Naruto then unfortunately steps in another pile of crap.
My rating? I would give this special an 7/10. The story sets up the Hidden Rain Missing-Nins as fairly intelligent and strong bad guys, but we get no real glimpse of that power as the water vortex proceeds to knock them unconscious fairly quickly. The plot also sets up Hisame as being the smartest of their village and that doesn't pay off either... The story also does not resolve what happened to them and Suien at the end. Beyond that the story flies by at a quick pace and has some funny moments and interesting action. Also Hidden Waterfall has a nice home village, the animation team did a nice job depicting the large cavernous area that hides it and the large tree inside. The idea of the story is nice, it just could have been executed better.
Continuity problems? In the story Sakura has her short hair and Sasuke wears his blue shirt and his hair isn't that long. That makes it difficult to place in the timeline. If it could go anywhere, it could fit fine in right before Itachi and Kisame first arrive. Nothing in the story directly conflicts with information in the manga or anime at this point in time. It is possible Kishimoto will reveal more information about Hidden Waterfall in the future, but at this point in time there are no issues.