"Hiruko vs. Two Kunoichi!" (ヒルコVS二人の女忍者, Hiruko vs. Futari no Kunoichi) is episode 20 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Naruto chases after Deidara, unaware that Deidara is baiting him. However, Kakashi also tags along, telling Sakura and Chiyo to handle Sasori until Team Guy manages to return. Wanting to fight Naruto alone, Deidara tells Kakashi that Sasori is much stronger than him, and therefore he should go back in order to aid Sakura and Chiyo. Naruto agrees, but Kakashi remains. Kakashi decides to use his Sharingan against Deidara since the latter managed to defeat Gaara, who was a Kage. Deidara finds Naruto's behaviour odd, stating that with the exception of Gaara, they have killed two Jinchūriki before, and that no one came to their rescue; he adds that most people were actually glad to be rid of them. He understands that Naruto must have some desire to save another of his kind, but finds the notion pathetic.
Back inside the Akatsuki hideout, Chiyo explains that the Sasori they see in front of them is not Sasori's actual body, but in fact a puppet named Hiruko. Sakura wonders where Sasori is, as she does not see someone behind Hiruko pulling his strings, and is shocked to learn that Sasori is operating Hiruko from within. Chiyo explains that since puppet masters are not good at close combat and rely on their puppets to attack, this leaves the puppeteers themselves vulnerable, hence why Sasori created Hiruko, to counteract that weakness. Chiyo reveals that Sasori was once a master puppeteer in Sunagakure, but at some point began to transform human corpses into human puppets, which Sasori considered a form of art. The puppet they see in front of them, Hiruko, is actually the body of a shinobi from a neighbouring village whose corpse Sasori used. Chiyo tells Sakura that she joined the Kazekage Rescue Team believing she could stop Sasori, as she knew how Hiruko operated, but reveals that Sasori has improved and refined the puppet. Nonetheless, they believe they have the advantage and Chiyo shares a secret with Sakura, which Sasori is unable to hear.
Finally ready to start their battle, Chiyo and Sakura rush at Sasori/Hiruko. Sasori uses Prepared Puppet: Eight Waves of Needles, which causes poison-laced senbon to rapidly fire out of Hiruko's mouth. Both Chiyo and Sakura are able to dodge every single senbon. Sasori resorts to releasing Hiruko's arm and launching it as a projectile, which releases even more poison-laced senbon. Once more, Chiyo and Sakura are able to avoid every single one of them, to Sasori's disbelief. While he is able to understand Chiyo's masterful dodging, as she is an expert puppeteer herself, he is unable to comprehend how Sakura was able to do so as well. While Chiyo stands idly, Sakura rushes towards Hiruko. Sasori attempts to jab her using Hiruko's poison-tipped tail but his attack is blocked by Chiyo, leaving Hiruko vulnerable. Using her Chakra Enhanced Strength, Sakura lands a massive blow on Hiruko, destroying the human puppet. Sasori manages to get out of the rubble, but keeps his face covered. Chiyo demands that he turn around and face them, claiming she waited 20 years and travelled all this way just to see her grandson's face once more.
|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|
|Kakashi Hatake||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko||Dave Wittenberg|
|Chiyo||Ikuko Tani||谷 育子||Tani Ikuko||Barbara Goodson|
|Sasori||Yutaka Aoyama||青山 穣||Aoyama Yutaka||J.B. Blanc|
|Deidara||Katsuhiko Kawamoto||川本 克彦||Kawamoto Katsuhiko||Roger Craig Smith|