"Writhe" (うごめく, Ugomeku) is episode 56 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Naruto continues with with his chakra nature training, with Yamato on standby, although he can only manage to cause some leaves to tear. Kakashi tells him to dispel his clones in order to gain the cumulative knowledge, but after Naruto almost faints, he also mentions that Naruto would gain cumulative fatigue. Not wanting to give up when he feels so close, Naruto uses the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique to resume his training once more, this time with all the shadow clones possessing the prior knowledge and experience. Struck with a thought, Naruto asks Kakashi whether there are any other shinobi in Konoha who possess Wind Release, in order for him to ask them for advice. Kakashi tells him that he does know one person who does, who would most likely be playing shōgi at the moment.
At the same time, Asuma Sarutobi and Shikamaru are playing shōgi, with the winner having to pay for Team Asuma's next post-win barbecue. Asuma loses the game, but Shikamaru's victory is cut short by the arrival of Naruto, who wishes to have Asuma give him tips on wind-natured chakra. Shikamaru is in disbelief that Naruto is attempting chakra nature training, claiming it to be too difficult for Naruto to master. Asuma himself is surprised that Naruto is a wind nature type, but agrees to give advice if Naruto is willing to pick up Team Asuma's tab on their next dinner. After checking Gama-chan, his frog purse, Naruto claims he has just enough money to do so, and agrees. Asuma produces his Chakra Blades, and infuses them with his wind-type chakra. Naruto attempts to do so as well, albeit not to the same degree as Asuma's, the latter claiming that Naruto should grind his chakra against one another. Naruto questions why one would infuse their chakra into blades when the blades are already sharp as is. Asuma tells Naruto to throw the blades at the trees; when Naruto does so, it hits a tree, but Asuma's goes through the tree and penetrates a boulder. He tells Naruto that he was holding back and that he could have gone through the boulder as well. Naruto enthusiastically thanks Asuma for his advice, which Asuma promises to offer if Naruto is willing to pick the team's dinner bill. Naruto dispels himself, much to Shikamaru's surprise, revealing himself to have been nothing more than a shadow clone. Shikamaru adds that Asuma was cruel for passing on the bill to Naruto, due to Chōji Akimichi's appetite.
In Tsunade's office, Shizune notifies Tsunade regarding an assault on a neighbouring village in the Land of Fire, which she believes to be the work of Amegakure. Tsuande is infuriated that one of the allied nations would risk starting a war by attacking another nation and asks for Asuma's team. Shizune brings up her concern over keeping Naruto in the village in the event that it was the Akatsuki, and Tsunade decides to send him out on a D-ranked mission regarding grave robbers. Meanwhile, The Naruto shadow clone returns to the clearing and shares the advice with the other Naruto's, unaware that Sai is watching him and drawing his likeness. Naruto manages to use Asuma's advice to grind his chakra against one another, and him and his shadow clones manage to tear their leaves in two. Feeling elated at his success, Naruto dispels the clones to acquire their experience, although the combined fatigue causes him to pass out. Kakashi catches the unconscious Naruto, and Sai, along with Sakura, who had joined at the last moment, come rushing out. After asking if Naruto is alright, Sakura notifies Kakashi that the team is wanted by Tsunade.
At the Yamanaka flower shop, Asuma buys a bouquet of flowers, although he doesn't reveal to whom. Ino tells him to say hi to Kurenai for her, causing Asuma to go red and wonder how she found out. Shikamaru and Chōji also see Asuma step out of the store with flowers and they tell him to wish Kurenai well. Asuma asks how they know, and Shikamaru tells him that despite his efforts to hide their relationship, everybody is already aware of it. Chōji prods Shikamaru to move on to more pressing matters, and Shikamaru notifies Asuma and Ino that the entire team is being tasked to go out on a mission by Tsunade.
Team Asuma arrives at Tsunade's office, where the Hokage debriefs them on their mission and notifies the team that the Akatsuki may be involved. She tells them all to take great care, and dismisses them. On a rooftop, Asuma stares longingly at Kurenai, who is in her room, but decides against approaching her and instead prepares to set off with his team. They notice Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Yamato heading off on a mission as a well, with Naruto being irritated that his training was interrupted for a mission. Konohamaru and the rest of Team Ebisu pass by, having caught another cat as per their mission. He wishes Naruto and Uncle Asuma well on their mission, prompting to Naruto to wonder why Konohamaru referred to Asuma as his uncle. Shikamaru notifies him that Asuma is the Third Hokage's son and hence Konohamaru's actual uncle. Naruto is surprised to learn of this, as are Ino and Chōji. Asuma dismisses his parentage as no big deal, but Naruto tells him that he feels like he has a special bond with Asuma since they share the same chakra nature type, and that the bond is strengthened by the fact that Asuma is the son of the Third Hokage. As Team Yamato begin to depart on their mission, Asuma reminds Naruto of his advice and asks Yamato to protect Naruto.
Back in Tsunade's office, Kakashi reports on Naruto's training methods and is given a separate mission by the Hokage. Meanwhile, a group of individuals look upon the devastating aftermath of an attacked village, stating that the Land of Fire will rise to the top once more, albeit only after Konohagakure is destroyed.
|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|
|Kakashi Hatake||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko||Dave Wittenberg|
|Asuma Sarutobi||Jurota Kosugi||小杉 十郎太||Kosugi Jūrōta||Doug Erholtz|
|Shikamaru Nara||Shotaro Morikubo||森久保 祥太郎||Morikubo Shōtarō||Tom Gibis|
|Ino Yamanaka||Ryoka Yuzuki||柚木 涼香||Yuzuki Ryōka||Colleen O'Shaughnessey|
|Chōji Akimichi||Kentaro Ito||伊藤 健太郎||Itō Kentarō||Robbie Rist|
|Fifth Hokage: Tsunade||Masako Katsuki||勝生 真沙子||Katsuki Masako||Debi Mae West|
|Konohamaru||Ikue Otani||大谷 育江||Ōtani Ikue||Colleen O'Shaughnessey|
|Shizune||Keiko Nemoto||根本 圭子||Nemoto Keiko||Megan Hollingshead|
|Furido||Kazuya Nakai||中井 和哉||Nakai Kazuya||Pete Sepenuk|