|This is the article on episode 258 of Naruto: Shippūden. For episode 450 of Naruto: Shippūden, head to Rival.|
"Rivals" (ライバル, Raibaru) is episode 258 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
As Team 7 returns to Konoha following the completion of their mission in the Land of Waves, Naruto lashes out against Sasuke for thinking that he was better than everybody else. Sasuke smugly replies that he doesn't think that he is better than everybody, only that he is better than Naruto. Naruto becomes irked at Sasuke's comment, although Sasuke merely tells him to become stronger than him if he really wishes to settle their score.
Some time after, Team 7, along with the other ninja teams that passed the first round of the Chūnin Exams, are brought to the Forest of Death for the second stage. Their proctor, Anko Mitarashi, debriefs them on their task — each team would be given either a Heaven scroll or an Earth scroll, and must survive five days in the forest whilst trying to retrieve the other scroll. There are three rules — all three members must arrive at the tower before five days with both scrolls; if a member if injured or incapacitated, the team becomes eliminated; lastly, scrolls cannot be read by the teams, with immediate disqualification being given to those who do.
In the forest, Sasuke and Sakura are attacked by Shiore, a shinobi from Kusagakure. Sasuke is nearly killed by him, and decides to relinquish his scroll to save his life. However, Naruto returns to the fray, blocking Shiore's path with shuriken and punching Sasuke. He tells Sasuke that he never knew him to be a coward who would freeze up in the middle of a battle. Shiore concurs, much to Sasuke's shock, and he summons a giant snake, using Wind Release: Great Breakthrough to blow Naruto away. Sasuke warns Naruto to run away, but Naruto, tapping into the chakra of the Nine-Tails, is able to kill the snake, saving Sasuke's life and asking Sasuke if he was alright in a condescending tone, repeating the same words Sasuke had uttered to him after their encounter with the Demon Brothers. Sasuke is amazes at Naruto's newfound strength and remarks how he cannot ever hope to defeat his brother if he cannot deal with Shiore, and pulls out a Fūma Shuriken along with shuriken and wire strings in order to fight back.
After surviving their encounter with Orochimaru, who had been impersonating Shiore, the trio join forces with Kabuto, a fellow shinobi from Konoha. The four are ambushed by Team Oboro, who combine a genjutsu known as the Mist Servant Technique along with the Haze Clone Technique and the Earth Release: Underground Projection Fish Technique to assault them while avoiding any damage themselves. Using his Sharingan, Sasuke confirms that it is a mere genjutsu, although the four of them decide to fight until all the clones are defeated.
As the four tire out, Oboro and his fellow Ame-nin present themselves, intent on finishing the weakened team. However, they are surprised when they discover that the four tired shinobi is actually Naruto and three shadow clones, having used the Transformation Technique to disguise his clones as Kabuto, Sasuke, and Sakura, while the three were in fact hiding in the trees, recovering while waiting for the enemies to show themselves. Sasuke tells Naruto to take a break, citing that he would take over. Not wanting to allow Sasuke credit for defeating the enemies, Naruto punches all three unconscious with a single blow, stunning Sasuke, who is amazed at Naruto's ability to still move despite having depleted most of his chakra and continuously fighting for five days.
Team 7 successfully complete the second round of the exams, with Sasuke fuming over Naruto's sudden improvement, remarking that they would not have passed without him. Sakura attempts to convince him to drop out due to the Cursed Seal of Heaven, but Sasuke reprimands her and notifies her that all he wishes is to be strong and therefore must fight other strong people, such as the people who passed the second round. Naruto is angered at Sasuke's reaction towards Sakura's concern, but is speechless when Sasuke quickly responds that Naruto is one of those strong people who he wishes to fight the most.
Some time after, Kakashi is undergoing the Cliff Climbing Practice when he is confronted by Sasuke, who asks Kakashi to train him so that he can obtain the power necessary to surpass Naruto and achieve his goal. Kakashi states that members of the Uchiha clan are known for their Fire Release abilities, but believes that Sasuke is like him and may possess Lightning Release. Using litmus paper, Kakashi's suspicion is confirmed and he declares that he would finally be able to pass down his own unique technique to someone.
The final rounds of the exams begin, with Sasuke and Kakashi arriving just mere moments before Sasuke could be eliminated. Kakashi apologises for their tardiness while Naruto warns Sasuke not to lose. Sasuke inquires as to how Naruto's match went, and Naruto proudly declares that he won, and thus would like to fight Sasuke in the last round. Grinning, Sasuke reaffirms that he wishes to fight Naruto as well.
|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|
|Sasuke Uchiha||Noriaki Sugiyama||杉山 紀彰||Sugiyama Noriaki||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Kakashi Hatake||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko||Dave Wittenberg|
|Genma Shiranui||Hiroaki Hirata||平田 広明||Hirata Hiroaki||Johnny Yong Bosch|
|Anko Mitarashi||Takako Honda||本田 貴子||Honda Takako||Laura Bailey|
|Kabuto Yakushi||Nobutoshi Kanna||神奈 延年||Kanna Nobutoshi||Henry Dittman|
|Kusa-nin: Orochimaru||Yuriko Yamaguchi||山口 由里子||Yamaguchi Yuriko||Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|
|Oboro||Ryuichi Kijima||木島 隆一||Kijima Ryūichi||Stephen Apostolina|
|Mubi||Yoji Ueda||上田 燿司||Ueda Yōji||Sam Riegel|
|Kagari||Masao Harada||原田 正夫||Harada Masao||Doug Erholtz|