Original Japanese title: The Funeral March For Those Who Live
The episode begins at what appears to be a rainy funeral service. Men dressed in black are carrying a coffin to its burial site. Among the men is one who is lamenting at the loss of the supposed 'dead' man, talking good things of his father and such. As he rambles on and on, the coffin shakes and the man is apparently not dead. Nonetheless, he is buried alive.
High above, three men watch the funeral service and take this as an opportunity to escape the village. One is still grieving over their buried friend, named Kanpanchi, but there is no time to worry about that.
The funeral service ends, and a small, timid voice points out that three people have left the village, meaning that there'll probably be another funeral soon.
As the storm rages, a large rock crumbles and the three soon find themselves plunging into the water...
...and the very next morning, are currently being hauled on the back of Uzumaki Naruto, who struggles to get them some help. He passes by Rock Lee, who is training yet again with weights to get stronger.
At the Hokage's office, Anko reports to Tsunade that her mission to escort Swamp Country feudal lord Chichiatsu-sama was a success...and then eats the last of Tsunade's dango.
Gai is next, scrambling in and yelling about his completed mission, and as he is about to be given his S-rank mission, Tsunade tells Shizune to bring her Neji, Tenten, and Lee for another mission. Gai is ecstatic, believing that his group should handle this no problem, but Naruto is coming along as well. Gai literally SCREAMS in Tsunade's face, demanding an explanation for that, but she simply answers..."Just because."
She speaks of the three men Naruto found and how they have a mission request from Katabame Kinzan, the village they came from but went downhill when the Kurosuke Family arrived six months ago, killing random people for no reason. The team's mission is to escort the three back when they've recovered and get rid of this Kurosuke family.
Of course, Naruto objects to such an easy mission (which tempts Tsunade's patience), as he is STILL trying to train harder and get a mission that'll lead him to Sasuke. Tsunade yanks Naruto across her desk and reminds him that he's still some genin who butts into mission he wasn't called for and doesn't get to PICK his own missions.
Tsunade assigns Neji as the leader and says that watching Naruto would be good training for him. The Hyuuga states that he'd rather not, but he understands. This once again irks Tsunade. Naruto leaves in a huff, with Lee and Neji following him. Tenten tries to apologize on behalf of the boys for their rude behavior..but she laughs nervously and rushes after the others. As this happens, Tsunade's is pretty pissed off at this moment and her patience has worn thin as she throws her chair out the window in anger. (A scream is heard upon impact). Tsunade cannot believe the nerve of these children who would dare defy her, but in the midst of this rage and possible PMS'ing, Gai asks who the leader of the Kurosuke Family is: some person named Raiga, which confirms Gai's suspicious after a rumor he'd heard on his previous mission.
In the hall, Naruto is just complaining to himself.
"Ero-sennin's not back, and my missions are lame. This sucks!"
His anger disappears immediately when he spots Sakura on a balcony. She is healing a bird's damaged wing and it flies away, though Sakura is upset that the bird was separated from its friends...who fly by anyway.
As it seems, Sakura and Naruto are about to have what would be a moment to talk, but Lee walks by and see the two...blowing it.
Lee: "Naruto-kun. I'm sorry. Did I interrupt?"
Naruto: Big time.
Lee has come to tell Naruto something, so he drags him away...just as two men come upstairs, carrying the chair that Tsunade threw out the window earlier. One of the men AND the chair has a bump with blood coming out of it. (Yes, the chair had a bump)
At the ramen shop, Naruto learns that the Kurosuke leader is one of the Seven Shinobi Lords. Naruto has NO idea what that is, but Lee reminds him when he names two former members: Zabuza and Kisame (for those who don't know, he follows Itachi around). Both belonged to the Hidden Mist Village's group called the Seven Shinobi Lords.
Naruto is still confused, even after realizing that there may be some type of connection between this Raiga, Kisame, and Itachi. And WHO was chasing after Itachi? Sasuke, of course! So the plan is that in this Katabame Kinzan, there may be some answers to where Sasuke is. Naruto rethinks this, remembering that this came from Gai sensei, but Lee believes that ANYTHING coming from Gai can only be one hundred percent accurate.
As everyone leaves Konoha for the mission, Lee points out that he has a friend who owns a shop near Kinzan, so he proposes that be their staging area.
Naruto is also late, but arrives as everyone is gathered. Does he know the way? ...No.
Everyone stops for lunch, with Naruto and Lee doing some after lunch training, each promising not to lose to the other. One of the three men is eager to rescue Kanpanchi (the one buried alive at the beginning), though it's not likely that he'd survive that long being buried underground alive.
As they progress, Lee begins mumbling about how they're getting close; apparently he can feel it from the sleepiness he's having. Naruto thinks that Lee is sleepwalking, but he's not, as he once did a three day marathon along the road they're currently on....while sleepwalking. "It was a Springtime of Youth miracle with Gai-sensei," he says.
Lee begins picking up the faint smell of curry and points ahead.
"Yes! It's over there! It's the Curry Shop of Life!"
Lee runs up to an elderly woman outside the shop. Her name is Sanshou and is apparently the mastermind behind the 'live saving curry' that Lee rambles about. He begins to reminisce back to when Gai was teaching him defensive and offensive techniques when he became a Genin.
The two are seen in a flashback running past the curry shop....then seen running past it yet again at a later time, only they're running in their sleep. Sanshou points out to the boy in the shop, Karashi, that if he had their type of spirit, he wouldn't be such a softie against bullies.
EVEN LATER in the rain, Lee is sleep running past the curry shop, and that next morning, on the THIRD DAY, they're still running. Lee finally collapses, possibly from exhaustion, and is taken into the shop. Sanshou feeds him some curry, but he does not awake. She adds more spices to the mix, but even then, he does not open his eyes and is still dead asleep. Karashi and Sanshou now add EVEN MORE to the mix and give Lee some of this new concoction they've created. When he swallows it, Lee's face goes red as if he's about to spit fire and he awakens.
Back to reality, the 'curry of life' is placed in front of everyone. All but Lee are a bit skeptical. Lee dips his spoon into the glass of water first and everyone watches with unblinking eyes as he digs into the bubbling curry. His face goes burning red again, but he seemed to enjoy it, claiming that the spice is perfect.
Everyone else digs into the curry.....Naruto, Tenten, Neji, and the three men ALL go burning red and yell at the top of their lungs; the curry is apparently too hot for them to handle. Neji appears to be frozen in his place from shock (or his tongue's still on fire), and everyone else is either stunned or KO'd.
Lee points out that he hasn't seen Karashi, who, after seeing Lee and Gai, became so energetic that he left the village. As this happens, Tenten is the first to spring back to life by downing a glass of water and Lee requests that retrieving Karashi should be added to the mission.
Neji, however, is still stuck in the same position after the curry, so Tenten has to feed him water before he regains function of his body and tells the three men that they shouldn't leave the curry shop for their own safety.
That evening, two of the men inform them that Rokusuke (the third man) has disappeared and likely went to the village himself. Naruto suggests they just go attack, or as Lee puts it, DESTROY them. The two men and the four shinobi head off.
As the episode ends, that same small, timid voice from the beginning utters "Someone...is coming." Another points out that there'll be another funeral very soon.