"Sasori's Real Face" (サソリの素顔, Sasori no Sugao) is episode 21 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
With his puppet destroyed, Sasori reveals himself to Chiyo and Sakura, looking no older than when he left his village over twenty years ago. Chiyo and Sakura are both unable to believe that Sasori has not aged in two decades. Meanwhile, Temari's team, along with Kankurō and Ebizō, decide to make their way towards the Land of Rivers, in order to support the Kazekage Rescue Team. Kankurō tells Temari to take a break, which Temari protests, until Kankurō points out the members of her team are exhausted and unable to continue. Although Temari is able to persuade them to push themselves past their limits in order to save their Kazekage, Ebizō tells the others to take notice of where they have stopped. Looking around, the team realise that they are standing on the same battlefield where Team Kakashi fought Itachi. Ebizō claims that since they are in Akatsuki territory, blindly rushing in, and to do so exhausted, would result in swift and sudden annihilation. While the team decides to rest, Ebizō tells them the tale of the strongest ninja in Sunagakure's history, the Third Kazekage, and how one day he was mysteriously kidnapped. He tells the Suna ninja that the village searched for him for years, with the Anbu even searching in secret. However, they were unable to find his corpse or even how he was kidnapped. Ebizō states that during the time that Suna searched for the Third Kazekage, the village entered into a state of panic that allowed enemy ninja from a rival village to invade Suna and cause a war. Believing that such bloodshed could have been avoided had Suna dealt with the crisis in a calm fashion, Ebizō tells the team not to repeat Suna's mistakes from the days of the Third Kazekage.
Back in the Akatsuki hideout, Sasori uses Hiruko's head to launch another round of poison-tipped senbon, only for Sakura to dodge them all once more. However, this time he realises that it is Chiyo who is pulling the strings, using Sakura as her own human puppet. He then summons a new puppet to battle with, revealed to be none other than the Third Kazekage. Chiyo realises that it is Sasori who kidnapped and killed the Third around a decade ago, and is appalled to learn that he transformed the Third into a human puppet. While she finds his association with Akatsuki regrettable, she finds his betrayal to his village the most despicable, holding him responsible for the murders of the last three Kazekage - the Third, the fourth, and Gaara, the Fifth, despite Orochimaru killing the Fourth. Sasori claims that it was one of his spies that was complicit in the murder of the Fourth, but admits that the Akatsuki and Orochimaru have some shared history. Wanting some answers, Sakura tells Sasori that he will tell her what she wants to know. Not wanting to drag out their fight, as he needs to aid Deidara outside capture Naruto, Sasori uses the Third Kazekage puppet to launch more poison senbon towards Sakura; Chiyo manages to have Sakura evade the attack successfully. Using the Third Kazekage's poison blades, Sasori tries to stab Sakura, but the attack is blocked by Hiruko's tail, which Chiyo controls with her chakra threads. However, the blades are powerful enough to break Hiruko's already powerful tail. Having no other method to protect Sakura, Chiyo is unable to block Sasori's Thousand Hands Manipulation Force. However, she is able to masterfully control Sakura to avoid any damage and pull her out of harm's way. Sasori counters by releasing poison gas, knowing that despite Chiyo controlling Sakura, there is no way she could prevent Sakura from inhaling the fumes.
On the outside, Deidara flies away with Gaara's corpse, prompting Naruto to follow him. Since Team Guy is occupied and Deidara was strong enough to beat Gaara, Kakashi decides to follow Naruto, leaving Sakura and Chiyo to defeat Sasori on their own.
|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|
|Might Guy||Masashi Ebara||江原 正士||Ebara Masashi||Skip Stellrecht|
|Rock Lee||Yoichi Masukawa||増川 洋一||Masukawa Yōichi||Brian Donovan|
|Neji Hyūga||Koichi Tochika||遠近 孝一||Tōchika Kōichi||Steve Staley|
|Tenten||Yukari Tamura||田村 ゆかり||Tamura Yukari||Danielle Judovits|
|Temari||Romi Park||朴 璐美||Paku Romi||Tara Platt|
|Kankurō||Yasuyuki Kase||加瀬 康之||Kase Yasuyuki||Michael Lindsay|
|Ebizō||Ken Shiroyama||城山 堅||Shiroyama Ken||Kyle Hebert|
|Sasori||Takahiro Sakurai||櫻井 孝宏||Sakurai Takahiro||Johnny Yong Bosch|
|Deidara||Katsuhiko Kawamoto||川本 克彦||Kawamoto Katsuhiko||Roger Craig Smith|
|Matsuri||Maya Sakamoto||坂本 真綾||Sakamoto Māya||Michelle Ruff|
|Suna shinobi||Kanako Tojo|
|Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|