"The Orange Spark" (オレンジ色の輝き, Orenji-iro no Kagayaki) is episode 246 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Naruto's senjutsu-enhanced Ultra-Big Ball Rasengan is ineffective against the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. The fox immediately uses its paw to crush Naruto, although the one in his clutches is none other than a shadow clone. The real Naruto, along with two shadow clones, are hidden behind one of the Eight-Tails' tentacles. A shadow clones rushes out to grab one of the nine tails and flips the fox onto its back, as the real Naruto and the other shadow clone hurl their Wind Release: Rasenshuriken. As the attack strikes the tailed beast, Naruto begins to absorb some of the fox's chakra; however, the fox responds by sending its own anger and malice through the chakra Naruto is siphoning. As the fox's influence begins to take over Naruto, he loses his Sage Mode as his body begins to transform into his Version 2 form. Naruto proclaims that he must get away and return to the real world, only for a voice to tell him that it is okay to stay.
On the outside, Yamato and Killer B are surprised to see that only half of Naruto's body has transformed. Meanwhile, Naruto finds himself in a different environment facing a red-haired woman. He initially believes her to be the Nine-Tails' true form, but when she replies using dattebane, Naruto recognises the verbal tic as being akin to his own dattebayo. The woman muses that she has always had a verbal tic and that she hopes she did not pass it down to Naruto, and wonders why Minato did not tell him about her. Hearing this, Naruto begins to shed tears as he realises that the woman in front of him is none other than his mother, and rushes forward to hug her. At the same time, Adamantine Sealing Chains emerge out of Naruto and bind the fox, who is shocked as he recognises it as Kushina Uzumaki's doing.
Kushina explains to her son that Minato had sealed a portion of her chakra using the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style in the event that Naruto opened the Four Symbols Seal in an attempt to control the Nine-Tails power, all so that she could lend him a hand. Naruto, however, is simply awestruck by his mother's beauty, flattering her. She apologises for Naruto getting her face, although she deems him lucky for acquiring Minato's yellow hair. Naruto replies that if he had things his way, he wishes he would have inherited his mother's red hair. Kushina smiles, revealing that only Minato and Naruto have ever complimented her hair. Naruto then decides to take the opportunity to ask his mother a question he's always wanted to know — how his parents met.
Shortly after Kushina emigrated to Konoha, she was picked on relentlessly for being an outsider and for having red hair. She would respond by beating any of the male children who hassled her, and the only boy who did not pick on her was Minato. Minato had once witnessed the older genin brother of a frequent tormentor physically assault her as punishment, although he did not intervene. One day, a group of Kumo-nin decided to kidnap her because she was a member of the Uzumaki clan. Despite believing no one would ever save her, she left tiny strands of her hair behind to create a trail. Unbeknownst to her, Minato had noticed it and came to her rescue, defeating all three of her kidnappers and carrying her back to the village. He told her that he found her hair beautiful and thus had noticed the trail right away, and that the reason he never interfered before is because he knew she was a strong girl who could handle herself in a fight. At that moment, she fell in love with Minato, who came to love her as well.
Naruto giggles uncontrollably as he hears his mother's tale, sporting a huge grin. As a reward for complimenting her hair, Kushina tells Naruto that she is going to tell him something she's only ever said to Minato before, and tells him that she loves him. Naruto is stunned to hear his mother say that, and she laughs as she notices his expression. She wonders aloud what the combination of Konoha's Yellow Flash and the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero would produce, and Naruto proudly declares that it would be Konoha's Orange Hokage. Kushina smiles as she remarks that she once wanted to be Konoha's first female Hokage and that Naruto would be continuing on the very same dream of being Hokage that she and Minato shared.
- The image of Naruto and his parents that appears after he gives his nickname is the cover of volume 53.
- In this episode, the fact that Kushina migrated to Konohagakure is played on very heavily. She even stated that she didn't hold much hope to be rescued when kidnapped by Kumo-nin. However in the manga, this is not the case as she told Naruto that Konoha immediately sent out a search party to look for her.
- Kushina mentions that her hair became her own "red thread of fate". The red string of fate, also referred to as the 'red thread of destiny', 'red thread of fate', and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of men and women who are destined to be soul mates and will one day marry each other. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soul-mates or a twin flame.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Kushina Uzumaki||Emi Shinohara||篠原 恵美||Shinohara Emi||Laura Bailey|
|Minato Namikaze (child)||Miyu Irino||入野 自由||Irino Miyu||Tony Oliver|
|Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山 力也||Koyama Rikiya||Matthew Mercer|
|Killer B||Hisao Egawa||江川 央生||Egawa Hisao||Catero Colbert|
|Nine-Tailed Fox||Tessho Genda||玄田 哲章||Genda Tesshō||Paul St. Peter|
|Kumo shinobi||Ryuichi Kijima|
|Academy students||Kayo Ishida|
|Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|
- ↑ Naruto chapter 498, page 15