This is the article on volume 16 of the manga. For chapter 138, head to The Konoha Crush, Ended!!.
Konoha Crush, Ended!!
(木ノ葉崩し、終結!!, Konoha Kuzushi, Shūketsu!!)
Volume Info
Previous The Naruto Shinobi Handbook!!
Volume 16
Next Itachi's Power!!
Pages 192
Release Date
Japanese March 4, 2003 ISBN (4-08-873394-4) Icon - Search
English September 4, 2007 ISBN (978-1-4215-1090-3) Icon - Search

Konoha Crush, Ended!! (木ノ葉崩し、終結!!, Konoha Kuzushi, Shūketsu!!) is volume 16 of the Naruto manga.

Chapter 136

"The Final Blow…!!" (最後の一撃…!!, Saigo no Ichigeki…!!)

Naruto manages to wake Gaara up, suppressing Shukaku's personality again. Angered by Naruto's actions, Gaara tries to crush him with sand, but Gamabunta protects him with his tongue. Remembering that Sakura's life is at risk, Naruto is flooded with the Nine-Tails' chakra. He charges at Gaara and Gaara tries to restrain him, but Naruto persists, eventually head-butting him. The Shukaku likeness crumbles and both Naruto and Gaara fall to the earth, ready to exchange one final blow. At the Chūnin Exams stadium the invaders have been dealt with. The Third Hokage, meanwhile, realises that he lacks the strength to remove Orochimaru's entire soul and settles for putting an end to his schemes.

Chapter 137

"Konoha Shinobi…!!" (木ノ葉の忍…!!, Konoha no Shinobi…!!)

Orochimaru encourages the Third Hokage to give up and die, especially since nothing he does can stop him from destroying Konoha and its inhabitants. The Third ridicules Orochimaru for never having appreciated the calibre of Konoha ninja. At the same time, all across the village, the veteran ninja come to the village's defence; Yūgao Uzuki vows to avenge Hayate; Hiashi Hyūga defeats dozens of invaders; the fathers of Team 10 team up again for the first time in years; Shibi Aburame saves his son Shino from the poison he earlier inhaled; Tsume, Hana Inuzuka, and their ninken prepare for battle; the two remaining invaders in the Chūnin Exams stadium are surrounded; Naruto and Gaara leap at each other. Promising to teach Orochimaru that strength is not determined by one's techniques, the Third uses the Dead Demon Consuming Seal to seal away his arms. The Third looks upon his former student one last time and dies smiling, just as Naruto manages to defeat Gaara.

Chapter 138

"Konoha Crush, Ended!!" (木ノ葉崩し、終結!!, Konoha Kuzushi, Shūketsu!!)

Gaara, defeated, and Naruto, exhausted, fall to the ground. The lifeless body of the Third Hokage falls to the ground and Orochimaru curses him for sealing his arms, thereby leaving him unable to perform techniques. Now unable to continue the Konoha Crush, Orochimaru flees with the Sound Four in tow. Seeing this, Baki and Kabuto follow suit, knowing they have been defeated. Temari collects Kankurō and Sasuke makes sure Sakura is okay before proceeding to Naruto. Naruto crawls towards Gaara, who, fearing he is going to be finished off, tells him to stay away. Naruto only sympathises with everything Gaara has gone through, telling him that he might have ended up just like him if he hadn't found friends. Accordingly, if Gaara harms those friends, Naruto will have no choice but to kill him. Seeing that Naruto's strength is gained from fighting for others, Gaara questions his practice of thinking only for himself. While Temari and Kankurō carry him home, he apologises to them which shocks Temari and Kankurō. The remaining invaders flee Konoha and the Konoha ninja gather around the Third's body.

Chapter 139

"That Person's Name is…!!" (その者の名は…!!, Sono Mono no Na wa…!!)

Two cloaked individuals look upon a devastated Konoha. Two days after the failed Konoha Crush, a funeral for the Third Hokage is held. Iruka comforts the Third's grandson, Konohamaru, and reflects on his own experiences with the Third; when Iruka was upset by the death of his parents, the Third assured him that they and all others who die in the village's service live on so long as Konoha exists. Kakashi and Yūgao visit the Memorial Stone in memory of others that have died before going to the ceremony. Jiraiya watches them and thinks about his time under the Third's tutelage, shedding a tear over how perverted he and his master were. Naruto asks Iruka why people die to protect others, to which Iruka responds it is human nature. Agreeing, Naruto leaves with the rest of Team 7 and Iruka remarks that the Third will inevitably be replaced by someone else who is an equally great Hokage.

Chapter 140

"Approaching…!!" (接近…!!, Sekkin…!!)

Kabuto examines Orochimaru, concluding that there is nothing he can do to remove the Third Hokage's seal. He at least finds a positive in Sasuke's progress, though regrets that Orochimaru has had to go through so much for Sasuke since he could not defeat Itachi. Meanwhile, Koharu Utatane and Homura Mitokado approach Jiraiya and tell him that, after Sunagakure found the Fourth Kazekage's body, they surrendered to Konoha, their entire involvement in the Konoha Crush having been Orochimaru's doing. With the village's situation and the Third's death, they ask Jiraiya to become the next Hokage. He declines, offering to find Tsunade for the position instead, but requests that Naruto be allowed to come with him. Meanwhile, Kakashi tails two suspicious individuals. Because he has business with Sasuke, he has Kurenai and Asuma follow the two.

Chapter 141

"Itachi Uchiha!!" (うちはイタチ!!, Uchiha Itachi!!)

Asuma and Kurenai confront the two cloaked individuals. Discovered, the two reveal themselves as Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki. Recognising how dangerous they are, Asuma and Kurenai prepare for battle. Asuma blocks Kisame's sword attack with his knuckle blades while Kurenai prepares to use a genjutsu on Itachi and Kisame. Kisame's manages to overpower Asuma and his sword slices his shoulder. Kurenai's genjutsu takes effect, but Itachi easily reverses it onto Kurenai. Itachi then takes the initiative of attacking her while she's in the genjutsu, but she breaks it just in time to evade his lethal attack. Meanwhile, Asuma is able to avoid Kisame's sword swings, and then delivers a cut to Kisame's face with his chakra-enhanced knuckle blade. As the battle begins to get more intense, Kakashi arrives to aid Kurenai and Asuma, apologising for intervening in their battle, but that he felt a bit uneasy about who they may be up against.

Chapter 142

"Kakashi vs. Itachi" (カカシvsイタチ, Kakashi Bāsasu Itachi)

Kakashi expresses surprise over the identities of the two men he had been following as Kisame and, more particularly, Itachi. When Kisame tries to take him on, Itachi tells him to stand down, citing that they are too equal in strength and that a fight would only become an inconvenience. As he would not have these same problems, he attacks Kakashi. Seeing Itachi's Mangekyō Sharingan, Kakashi instructs Asuma and Kurenai to shut their eyes since they are no match for him. Itachi uses Tsukuyomi on Kakashi, who just barely endures the attack because of his Sharingan. Struggling to remain standing, Kakashi asks why they have come to Konoha. Itachi replies that they are after the Fourth Hokage's legacy.

Chapter 143

"The Fourth's Legacy!!" (四代目の遺産!!, Yondaime no Isan!!)

Knowing that Itachi and Kisame are after Naruto, Kakashi recalled about an earlier conversation he had with Jiraiya. Jiraiya informed Kakashi that he would thereafter being looking after Naruto, fearing that an organisation called Akatsuki might someday come after him because of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox sealed within him. Knowing Itachi is part of Akatsuki, Kakashi asks if this is correct. Angry that Kakashi knows about their organisation, Itachi instructs Kisame to capture Kakashi. As Kisame moves to attack Guy appears and repels him. Seeing that things are becoming too difficult, Itachi leaves with Kisame. Meanwhile, Jiraiya tries to convince Naruto to help him look for Tsunade. Naruto has no interest until hearing that he can learn a technique stronger than Sasuke's Chidori, at which point he eagerly accompanies Jiraiya out of Konoha.

Chapter 144

"Pursuers" (追跡者, Tsuisekisha)

Naruto asks why Jiraiya was so determined to teach him a new technique, and theorises that it's because he has some special ability. Jiraiya replies that it's because Naruto reminds him of the Fourth Hokage. Meanwhile, Sasuke continues to train, trying to become as strong as Naruto was during his fight with Gaara for whenever he meets his brother, Itachi. When he visits Kakashi later and finds Kakashi unconscious, he learns that he was defeated by Itachi, who has returned to Konoha to capture Naruto. Sasuke goes looking for him and picks up on his trail, hoping to find him before Itachi does. Jiraiya and Naruto check into a motel a few miles from Konoha. When they catch a woman's attention, Jiraiya sends Naruto to their room so that he can try his luck. When someone knocks at their door a short while later, Naruto assumes Jiraiya has already been turned down and opens it. He instead finds Itachi.

Author's Note

Recently, in movies... What?! Film commentary again?! ...But it's pretty much the only thing I can write about... Sorry. So, back to the story... These days, there are usually three performers per character or role. The first is the billed actor (the star). The second is the stunt man. And then there is the CGI stuntman for particularly dangerous scenes or difficult camera shots. They're very well constructed. At this rate we, may even at this rate we may even eventually stop needing real actors...

Masashi Kishimoto, 2003