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"The Artist Returns" (芸術家再び, Geijutsuka Futatabi) is episode 255 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.

Summary

Deidara detonates his clay bird, but only destroys a rock clone; the real Ōnoki is out of range with Kurotsuchi and Akatsuchi by his side. Kurotsuchi greets Deidara warmly while Akatsuchi wonders how Deidara is alive, while Ōnoki explains that it is Orochimaru's Summoning: Impure World Reincarnation technique. Meanwhile, Manda II, a genetically enhanced clone of the original Manda, swims through the water and kills the giant squid guarding the Island Turtle. Kabuto remarks that Manda II has found the island and flies off, controlling Deidara, who protests as he is not in control over his own body.

Manda II bites one of the turtle's flippers as Deidara detonates a clay jellyfish underneath the turtle, flipping it over. As the turtle flips, Yamato uses his Wood Release: Nativity of a Sea of Trees technique to create a forest to save them. Naruto decides to check out the situation on the surface, but is dissuaded by Yamato and Aoba, who stress the importance of his S-rank mission and how he must prioritise that. Yamato, Aoba, and Motoi head to the surface where they encounter Yamato. Deidara is tasked with fighting off Ōnoki and Akatsuchi, while Kurotsuchi engages in combat against Yamato. She uses her Lava Release: Quicklime Congealing Technique in conjugation with Water Release: Water Trumpet to create a quick-drying cement to hold him in place. Yamato uses Wood Release: Wood Spikes Ring to hold Kabuto in place as Aoba heads off to extract intelligence from him, but Kabuto discards his body using the Orochimaru-Style Body Replacement Technique and emerges out of his mouth as a serpentine snake, causing Aoba to fall into the cement while he swallows Yamato whole.

Deidara and Ōnoki duel over the air, with the former attempting to kill the Tsuchikage using his C4 while the latter prepares to counter it with his Dust Release: Detachment of the Primitive World Technique. However, Deidara is swiftly recalled by Kabuto, who slithers into Manda II's nostril and dispels them back to the Mountains' Graveyard. Ōnoki frees Aoba, pondering whether Yamato was the intended target all along and warns them that Yamato can easily be interrogated due to Madara Uchiha's visual prowess. Back at the hideout, Kabuto delivers Yamato to Tobi and Zetsu. Tobi is irritated as Kabuto did not retrieve the Eight and Nine-Tails like he was assigned, but Kabuto justifies his decisions by claiming that Yamato is Naruto's guardian and thus would hold valuable information, while also adding that using Yamato's Wood Release, he could improve both Zetsu and the White Zetsu Army. Tobi tells him to speed the process, revealing the Rinnegan eye he had transplanted from Nagato's corpse and telling Kabuto that the eye is craving for war.

Credits

RoleSeiyūEnglish Voice Actor
EnglishJapaneseRōmaji
Naruto UzumakiJunko Takeuchi竹内 順子Takeuchi JunkoMaile Flanagan
YamatoRikiya Koyama小山 力也Koyama RikiyaMatthew Mercer
Aoba YamashiroKenjiro Tsuda津田 健次郎Tsuda KenjirōWally Wingert
Might GuyMasashi Ebara江原 正士Ebara MasashiSkip Stellrecht
Killer BHisao Egawa江川 央生Egawa HisaoCatero Colbert
MotoiDaichi Endo遠藤 大智Endō DaichiJohn DeMita
Third Tsuchikage: ŌnokiTomomichi Nishimura西村 知道Nishimura TomomichiSteve Blum
AkatsuchiKenta Miyake三宅 健太Miyake KentaKyle Hebert
KurotsuchiHana Takeda武田 華Takeda HanaLaura Bailey
Madara UchihaNaoya Uchida内田 直哉Uchida NaoyaNeil Kaplan
Kabuto YakushiNobutoshi Kanna神奈 延年Kanna NobutoshiHenry Dittman
DeidaraKatsuhiko Kawamoto川本 克彦Kawamoto KatsuhikoRoger Craig Smith
Rock LeeYoichi Masukawa増川 洋一Masukawa YōichiBrian Donovan
Neji HyūgaKoichi Tochika遠近 孝一Tōchika KōichiSteve Staley
TentenYukari Tamura田村 ゆかりTamura YukariDanielle Judovits
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