|This is the article on the episode. For the movie, head to Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds.|
"Bonds" (つながり, Tsunagari) is episode 48 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Team Kakashi enter Sai's room, with Yamato using his Wood Release: Hand Tool Manipulation technique to make his finger into a key. Sakura returns his picture book to him, which Sai appreciates. Naruto angrily questions Sai over his betrayal of the team. As his mission was to keep his agenda a secret from Team Kakashi, Sai declares his mission a failure, and since he cannot overpower the three of them at once, he decides to reveal his true mission to them. In order to gain control over Konoha, Danzō had sent him to be Orochimaru's aide, conspiring with him to destroy Konoha. Sakura remembers the loss of life the last time Orochimaru had attempted to destroy Konoha, including the death of the Third Hokage, but Sai is indifferent. Yamato explains that Sai is from Root, a special unit formed by Danzō that utilises specialized training in order to suppress emotions; he adds that the training is similar to those used in Kirigakure. Naruto remembers that that is the village where Zabuza hails from, and recalls his encounter with the famous swordsman, who revealed that Kiri's graduation exam entailed the murder of classmates in order to pass.
Sakura, however, does not believe that emotions can be suppressed completely, citing that Sai's appreciation over gaining his picture book back is proof of it. She goes on to state that his care for the book is due to the fact that is the only thing that reminds him that he has a brother whom he shared a bond with. Sai claims that there was no such bond, and adds that his name isn't even Sai; rather, he has no name and his mere existence is to serve as Danzō's tool. He does reveal that his brother isn't his actual blood brother, but merely a fellow boy he grew up with inside of Root. Yamato believes that Sai ended up murdering his brother, but Sai, with a tinge of emotion, tells them that he did not murder his brother, and that the latter succumbed to illness. Sai had been drawing his picture book to present it to him as a gift, but when his brother died, Sai did not have idea how to finish the book and suppressed any personal thoughts thereafter.
Meanwhile, Kabuto is headed back to Sai's room in order to retrieve the envelope he left there, which contains the personnel files of Konoha's Anbu personally assigned to the Hokage Guard Platoon. However, as he unlocks the door, he finds the room empty, with no trace of the envelope. Team Kakashi, along with Sai, had relocated on the surface outside of the base. Using his Wood Release, Yamato binds Sai. Naruto states that with Sai out of the way, their mission is to save Sasuke, just like it was before. Sai is confused over his motives, and reveals that he had just met Sasuke a short while ago, and that Sasuke showed no concern for Naruto. Sai is unable to comprehend why Naruto would want to save someone who does not want to be saved, who does not reciprocate the same bond Naruto seems to share with him, especially when he is not under direct orders to do so. Naruto tells Sai that there was a time when he hated Sasuke, as Sasuke was top of the class while he himself was at the bottom. However, over time the two forged a bond, and Naruto credits Sasuke as the first person to truly accept him. Naruto claims that it is due to that bond that he will protect Sasuke, even if it means taking down Orochimaru, who Sai told them was always with Sasuke. Sai is slightly moved by Naruto's words, but remains indifferent. Naruto, however, prepares himself to go rescue Sasuke.
- When Sai goes to look at the book that belonged to his brother, after Sakura asks him "Why do you still treasure that picture book so much?", the image of Shin has blond hair instead of grey hair. This is an error in the animation.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Sakura Haruno||Chie Nakamura||中村 千絵||Nakamura Chie||Kate Higgins|
|Sai||Satoshi Hino||日野 聡||Hino Satoshi||Benjamin Diskin|
|Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山 力也||Koyama Rikiya||Troy Baker|