"The Artist Returns" (芸術家再び, Geijutsuka Futatabi) is episode 255 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
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.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山 力也||Koyama Rikiya||Matthew Mercer|
|Aoba Yamashiro||Kenjiro Tsuda||津田 健次郎||Tsuda Kenjirō||Wally Wingert|
|Might Guy||Masashi Ebara||江原 正士||Ebara Masashi||Skip Stellrecht|
|Killer B||Hisao Egawa||江川 央生||Egawa Hisao||Catero Colbert|
|Motoi||Daichi Endo||遠藤 大智||Endō Daichi||John DeMita|
|Third Tsuchikage: Ōnoki||Tomomichi Nishimura||西村 知道||Nishimura Tomomichi||Steve Blum|
|Akatsuchi||Kenta Miyake||三宅 健太||Miyake Kenta||Kyle Hebert|
|Kurotsuchi||Hana Takeda||武田 華||Takeda Hana||Laura Bailey|
|Madara Uchiha||Naoya Uchida||内田 直哉||Uchida Naoya||Neil Kaplan|
|Kabuto Yakushi||Nobutoshi Kanna||神奈 延年||Kanna Nobutoshi||Henry Dittman|
|Deidara||Katsuhiko Kawamoto||川本 克彦||Kawamoto Katsuhiko||Roger Craig Smith|
|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|