|This is the article on the episode. For the chapter, head to Homecoming.|
"Homecoming" (帰郷, Kikyō) is episode 1 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
The episode begins with Naruto, Sakura and an unknown man running down a dimly-lit tunnelled hallway, checking every door in order to find Sasuke Uchiha. After spotting light at the end of the tunnel, where another man awaits, Naruto and Sakura exit the tunnel to find Sasuke watching them from above. Naruto and Sasuke remember their last encounter at the Valley of the End, and Naruto asks Sasuke how come Sasuke did not kill him that day. Sasuke remembers Itachi's words regarding the Mangekyō Sharingan and tells Naruto that he didn't want to kill him to obtain power the way Itachi did. Sasuke then instantaneously comes down, and keeping one arm around Naruto, mocks his dream of being Hokage. While Naruto muses about how he couldn't even save his friend, let alone be Hokage, Sasuke pulls out his sword and prepares to kill Naruto. The Nine-Tailed Fox then offers his power to Naruto, but asks Naruto to remove the seal holding the demon fox in place. Before Naruto can do so, he is interrupted by Sasuke. Naruto is surprised that Sasuke is "inside of him" and Sasuke realises that Naruto's incredible source of power stems from the Nine-Tails, surprised that such a beast is kept confined in Naruto. The demon fox replies that he is impressed that Sasuke was able to see him inside of Naruto, even with his Sharingan, and adds that Sasuke is the spitting image of Madara Uchiha. Sasuke manages to dispel the fox's spirit and claims that he does not know who Madara is.
In the present day, Team Ebisu is scampering out of a forest in Konoha, chasing a cat. Konohamaru runs into Teuchi, the owner of Ramen Ichiraku. Teuchi immediately berates "Naruto", before remembering that it is Konohamaru and that Naruto is no longer in Konoha. After completing their mission, Konohomaru asks for a tougher mission so that he may challenge himself. Ebisu states that they are only genin, and Tsunade adds that fresh graduates from the Academy only get D-rank missions. Konohamaru sits down on the floor and asks for a tougher mission, the same way Naruto did following his mission capturing the very same cat. Konohamaru tells them that they are all looking at the Seventh Hokage. When Tsunade asks why he said seventh instead of sixth, Konohamaru states that the position of Sixth Hokage will go to none other than Naruto. The mention of Naruto's words elicits surprise from Iruka, Tsunade and Ebisu. As Team Ebisu leaves, Tsunade remarks that while Konohamaru may or may not be the future Seventh Hokage, he is definitely just like Naruto. Shizune then adds that Naruto and Jiraiya should be returning from their training and travel soon.
At the same moment, Naruto and Jiraiya emerge out of the forest and enter through Konoha's border gate. The two ninja stationed at the border recognise the two instantly. After entering the village, Naruto climbs up a pole and, standing on top of a tower, announces that Konoha hasn't changed for a bit and proudly declares that he has returned to Konoha. He notices Tsunade's face on Hokage Rock, and realises that that is the only difference. Konohamaru, Udon and Moegi spot Sakura and Konohamaru asks where she's headed to. Sakura tells him that Tsunade asked her to run an errand by the front gate and invites them to tag along. As they get there, the two guards tell them that someone special just arrived and is currently inside the village. Realising that Naruto has returned, Sakura and Konohamaru rush through the village and find him. Sakura instantly notices that Naruto is taller than her now, and admires how mature he has become. She asks him whether she looks like a woman now, but he tells her that she does not, and that she looks the same as she did before, angering her. Konohamaru then decides to show Naruto his Sexy Technique, telling Naruto that he has managed to get the curves just right. Naruto then admonishes Konohamaru for using such a technique and that such a move is beneath him, prompting Sakura to reflect on how Naruto has changed on the inside as well, admiring the new mature Naruto while also slightly missing the younger, rambunctious Naruto. However, Naruto then prepares to show Konohamaru as a much more advanced version of the Sexy Technique, igniting Sakura's anger and causing her to punch Naruto, sending him flying through concrete. Jiraiya is surprised at Sakura's temper and strength and realises that Tsunade has groomed Sakura into a secondary version of herself. Meanwhile, Sakura continues to berate Naruto for pulling a move like that when they have just reunited after nearly three years.
Jiraiya, Sakura and Naruto then head to Tsunade's office to report the former two's arrival. Tsunade is glad that they have returned, and asks Naruto to show her what he has learned. She tells him that she has found an opponent for him and Sakura to fight, and that she purposely withheld him from missions the past few days so that he could be at his best. Naruto wonders who the opponent could be just as the door opens, causing Naruto to gasp.
- It was first aired along with episode 2 as an hour-long premiere special.
- The first part of the episode shows Naruto's first post-timeskip reunion with Sasuke, something that does not actually occur until Naruto: Shippūden episode 51.
- Konohamaru and his team's capture of Tora the cat is identical to a mission Team 7 went on in the first Naruto anime, where Team 7 found Tora.
- The way Konohamaru demands for a more challenging mission and then proceeds to sit on the floor and announce himself as a future Hokage is also identical to Naruto's actions after the latter caught the same cat.
- The way Naruto and Jiraiya come back to Konoha after the time skip in Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 4 was more similar to that of the manga than the anime, as he saw Kakashi before he saw Team Ebisu and Sakura.
- Adult Swim premiered this episode on January 5, 2014 uncut to replace Naruto on their Toonami block.