"Loneliness" (孤独, Kodoku) is episode 58 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
At the top of the Fire Temple, Sora trips Naruto and sends him down the flights of stairs, citing it to be "divine retribution". This further's Naruto's irritation towards Sora, but stops when he notices all the glares the other monks give Sora, which seems familiar to him. In the Fire Temple, monk Chiriku explains that the men whose graves were robbed were all fallen members of the Twelve Guardian Ninja, shinobi who were sworn to protect the Land of Fire's daimyō. Naruto is confused over the existence of the Guardian Ninja, wondering why they would be required to protect the Land of Fire if the shinobi of Konohagakure, a village located in the Land of Fire, are also sworn to protect it. Yamato explains that the shinobi of Konoha protect the nation as a whole with the Guardian Ninja are tasked with protecting only the daimyō, the feudal lord who is the head of the Land of Fire. He also reveals that Asuma was once one of the twelve guardians.
Naruto and Sakura are impressed, and Chiriku hopes Asuma is still well. Chiriku divulges more about the Guardians, explaining that once long ago, all twelve were assigned to protect the daimyō; however, six of them wished to have all the neighbouring lands under the Fire Daimyō's control in the Land of Fire and attempted to invade them. Once the daimyō had caught wind of their plans, he had ordered the other six to eliminate the conspiratorial half, in which a battle ensued, leaving only Asuma and Chiriku as the survivors. Sai realises that this means that the men whose tombs were defiled and whose bodies were taken were friends and comrades of Asuma and Chiriku, thus making the issue personal for them. Sai drives his point home when he compares it to what Naruto and Sakura must feel if the same ever happened to Sasuke. Naruto gives Chiriku his word that they will apprehend the grave robbers once and for all.
Outside the temple, the team witnesses the monks sparring, and Naruto notices that Sora is holding back. Entering the sparring match himself, Naruto and Sora begin exchanging blows, although Sora's attacks are much more forceful. Sora tells Naruto that he would bestow a new name upon the genin for the afterlife, but after noticing all the other monks staring at him, Sora becomes enraged and his attacks lose focus, allowing Naruto to easily dodge all of them; Naruto manages to land a kick in Sora's face as Chiriku ends the match. As Sora storms off, under the glare of the other monks, Naruto retreats to treat his bruise; Sai attempts to wipe his brow, an idea he picked up from his book. After Naruto asks him what Sora meant by bestowing a name for the afterlife, he interprets it as a friendly nickname and heads off to find Sora.
He finds Sora practising his Beast Tearing Gale Palm technique, cracking boulders and nearly collapsing the cave. Naruto inquires him over his usage of Wind Release, and Sora retaliates by attempting to hit Naruto; Naruto easily avoids and blocks all of Sora's moves. Sora asks whether Naruto was always this annoying, and Naruto responds that people always thought so; he also deduces, based on the glares Sora gets, that Sora must also feel the same. Sora admits that nobody likes him, but that out of everyone, he dislikes himself the most. He blames it on a hidden power he possesses inside of him, one that he believes he cannot get rid of but needs in order to avenge his father's murder. Before he can continue on any further, he notices a patrol bird from one of the hidden tombs and he, along with Naruto, return to the temple. There, Chiriku notifies them that another tomb has been broken into, and Team Yamato, along with Sora, head towards another tomb to prevent the next attack. After they leave, the grave robbers arrive at the Fire Temple.
- When he was first introduced in this episode, the head monk of the Fire Temple was depicted with black eyebrows, but in a later episode, he was depicted with white ones.
|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|
|Sora||Daisuke Hirakawa||平川 大輔||Hirakawa Daisuke||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Chiriku||Akio Otsuka||大塚 明夫||Ōtsuka Akio||Kirk Thornton|
|High priest||Ryuji Nakagi||仲木 隆司||Nakaji Ryūji||William Knight|
|Fire Temple ninja monks||Kentaro Tone|