"Separation" (別離, Betsuri) is episode 149 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Naruto arrives at Shiranami's cabin, only to be bound by ropes. Looking up, he is shocked to see the Magaki Group, the four bandits who had attacked Hotaru earlier. Meanwhile, Hotaru is encountered by Shiranami, who explains how his father Hāto had been killed by enemy shinobi who wanted the Tsuchigumo clan's forbidden technique, and how En no Gyōja had banished him elsewhere since he knew how to use the kinjutsu as well. Glad to have found Shiranami, Hotaru writes a note to Utakata and sends a carrier pigeon to deliver the message; angered, Shiranami uses his Character Bind Technique to have a kanji appear on his hand and take flight, in an attempt to chase down the carrier bird, while he knocks Hotaru out.
Drifting in his bubble, Utakata witnesses the carrier pigeon being chased and saves it by dispelling the kanji. Upon reading the note, he finds himself glad to be rid of Hotaru since she has found Shiranami, although he is also unsettled. Meanwhile in the cabin, Naruto is shocked to find out that Shiranami is the leader of the bandits; the bandits proceed to trap Naruto in a purple barrier that siphons his chakra, with Chūshin claiming that no one could escape from it. Naruto, drawing on the power of the Nine-Tails' chakra, overloads the barrier and causes the cabin to explode. The four bandits decide to up the ante and create a more powerful variant of their barrier, which renders Naruto unconscious. Before they can kill Naruto, the bandits are attacked by Utakata, who had heard how Shiranami was their leader. Enraged and wanting to know where Hotaru is, Utakata enters into his initial jinchūriki form, and the four bandits decide to leave.
At Mount Katsuragi, Yamato is told by Sai that Hotaru has gone missing. In the woods, Utakata searches the ground for clues, telling Naruto that both Hotaru's master and his master have not trained them properly since they lack the basics. Naruto claims that Jiraiya did teach him the basics, as well as honed his taijutsu and ninjutsu while also teaching him powerful techniques. He asks what Utakata learned from his master, and Utakata recalls a memory in which his master berated him for risking his life unnecessarily while also showing his gratitude that his pupil was alive.
Utakata and Naruto find themselves at the Tsuchigumo clan's village, where they find out that all the villagers are being controlled by Shiranami. Whilst trying to defend themselves without killing the villagers, they are encountered by the four bandits, who use explosive tags. However, the duo are saved by the arrival of Team 7; Yamato uses his Wood Release to restrain the villagers while using his Wood Release: Wood Locking Wall to shield himself, Sai and Sakura while Utakata shields himself and Naruto with his Bubble Dome. Yamato tells the two to go on save Hotaru while they deal with the external foes. Inside his hideout, Shiranami reveals to Hotaru, as he prepares to steal the kinjutsu, that it was he who killed his own father just to acquire the forbidden technique.
|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|
|Utakata||Kenichi Suzumura||鈴村 健一||Suzumura Ken'ichi||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Hotaru||Megumi Toyoguchi||豊口 めぐみ||Toyoguchi Megumi||Kari Wahlgren|
|Harusame||Kenji Yamauchi||山内 健嗣||Yamauchi Kenji||Wally Wingert|
|Shiranami||Takeshi Kusao||草尾 毅||Kusao Takeshi||Matthew Mercer|
|Akaboshi||Akimitsu Takase||高瀬 右光||Takase Akimitsu||Christopher Corey Smith|
|Chūshin||Yohei Tadano||多田野 曜平||Tadano Yōhei||Vic Mignogna|
|Nangō||Nobuaki Kanemitsu||金光 宣明||Kanemitsu Nobuaki||Kyle Hebert|
|Benten||Chikara Osaka||逢坂 力||Ōsaka Chikara||Michael Yurchak|
|Peasant||Taira Kikumoto||菊本 平||Kikumoto Taira||Kyle Hebert|
|Girl||Mai Todo||藤堂 真衣||Tōdō Mai||Ali Hillis|