"Friends You Can Count On" (仲間の背中, Nakama no Senaka) is episode 236 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
A ladybug appears on Naruto's ship, which reminds him of an insect user whose name he cannot remember. Meanwhile, in Konohagakure, Shino is telling a story to a few younger students that are curious about the upcoming war. Shino tells them that he is scared but he is not worried because he has friends he can depend on. Shino recounts a mission he had when he was a genin, in which Team 8 was tasked to capture a bandit. The mission was initially unsuccessful, as Suika was able to defeat Shino in close combat taijutsu, since insect-users were not proficient at it, and at the same time called him weak and mocked his use of insects in battle.
With his pride hurt, Shino locked himself away at his home, but Kiba, Akamaru, and Hinata opted to help him train to improve his taijutsu instead. Despite Shino refusing at first, Kiba mentioned how Shino's pride was still wounded due to Naruto never remembering his name and how he was not a member of the Sasuke Recovery Team. After being told that Kurenai had made it an order, Shino acquiesced.
After honing his skills, Shino continued to wallow and announced that he was leaving Team 8 due to his fear that he would be unable to protect his comrades. Kiba and Hinata later tracked down Suika but were overwhelmed and eventually caught in the direct line of one of his attacks. However, they are saved by Shino, who then engaged Suika in close-combat and eventually overwhelmed him with his Iron Mountain Leaning. Hinata then freed herself and Kiba and defeated Suika with Gentle Fist and Fang Passing Fang. It is later revealed that Kurenai, who was noticeably absent during the events, had been watching over them all along. As Kurenai and Hinata relieved themselves in the hot springs, Kiba was freaked out by Shino's pores opening and the release of his kikaichū in the water.
Back on the ship, Naruto is still unable to remember Shino. As Shino finishes sharing his tale with the students, he somehow senses that Naruto is unable to remember him and gets frustrated.
- A running gag in this episode is that while soaking in the hot springs, Shino's pores seemingly open up too much because of the heat, allowing his bugs to leave his body. This greatly creeps Kiba out. This seems to be a deviated recreation of him at a hot spring on the cover of chapter 541.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Shino Aburame||Shinji Kawada||川田 紳司||Kawada Shinji||Derek Stephen Prince|
|Kiba Inuzuka||Kosuke Toriumi||鳥海 浩輔||Toriumi Kōsuke||Kyle Herbert|
|Hinata Hyūga||Nana Mizuki||水樹 奈々||Mizuki Nana||Stephanie Sheh|
|Kurenai Yūhi||Rumi Ochiai||落合 るみ||Ochiai Rumi||Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|
|Suika||Kazuki Yao||矢尾 一樹||Yao Kazuki|