Season 1 Episode 32

Sakura Blossoms!

Aired Thursday 7:30 PM May 06, 2006 on TV Tokyo

Episode Recap

Rock Lee drops to his knees as Sakura looks on concerned. Her teammates still lie unconscious behind her. Lee cringes in pain as his ears bleed. Sound nin Dosu explains his technique. The attack wasn't just physical. He explains that he uses sound that is emitted from the special device that he has on his arm to cause vibrations that affect the inner ear. The eardrum will shatter at anything above 150 decibels. By applying a shock to the semicircular canals, an opponent will lose his sense of balance, so Lee won't be able to move his body for a while. Feeling left out, Zaku decides to explain his technique used to control supersonic waves and air pressure. As Lee may recall, Zaku can send air into the ground creating a cushion, which is how he saved Dosu from Initial Lotus. Zaku taunts Rock Lee and says that he's pretty good at taijutsu but it won't work on them because they have the jutsu of the future. Lee senses he's in trouble and remembers Gai telling him to use technique when he must protect someone important.

Dosu attacks Lee to get to Sakura. She pulls out her kunai, and throws it at Dosu. He gets mad and attacks Sakura but Lee throws himself in front of Dosu using Konoha Whirlwind. Dosu blocks and then attacks with sound. His arm amplifies the sound that is generated inside to its maximum, like a speaker. He can also use his chakra and join it into the target. Lee drops to the ground from the pain and lack of balance.

With Lee down, Dosu sets his sights on Sakura. She throws her kunai, but he easily blocks, as Team 10 watches from the sidelines. Shikamaru asks Ino if she's just going to sit back and watch now that her childhood friend is in grave danger. Ino has a flashback to the two as children. She remembers Sakura asking her if she liked Sasuke. When the answer became apparent that she did as well, Sakura declared them rivals from that day forth. Again, Shikamaru asks her what to do. Ino has a moment of self doubt as Zaku blocks a kunai attack from Sakura. Sound nin Kin then grabs Sakura by the hair and holds her back as she encourages Zaku to kill Sasuke in front of her. Sakura cries in despair, wallowing in self pity until she snaps out of it and decides that it's her turn to protect her friends.

As Zaku makes his way to Sasuke, Sakura takes her first real step towards becoming a nin. She pulls out her kunai and cuts her own hair, releasing her from Kin's grasp. She understands now that Sasuke and Naruto have always protected her… always told her to stay back. She thinks back to the Zabuza fight, and how just now, Lee fought with his life to protect her. She decides it's her turn to protect everyone else.

Sakura performs her seals to perform replacement technique. She runs at Zaku throwing several kunai. He uses Air Cutter to hurl them back at her. Sensing danger, Sakura stops and with another replacement technique, lunges at Zaku from above. He can't believe she'd try yet another replacement technique and again throws his kunai at her. This time she fools him, is hit by the kunai, but gets close enough to hit him. She then pins him to the ground, preventing him from moving.

Ino watches the fight with additional memories. When Sakura was little, kids made fun of her big forehead. Ino gave her a ribbon as a sign of friendship and told her that kids pick on her because she hides her forehead. When she actually as her hair tied back, she's cute. Ino then introduces Sakura to her friends. One day, Sakura announced to the group that he likes Sasuke. They aren't surprised, as Sasuke is the most popular boy in school. She decides to grow her hair long because Sasuke likes girls with long hair.

Ino continues to watch as Zaku repeatedly hits Sakura until she releases her grasp. Team 10 then come to the rescue.