Kakashi Gaiden

Kakashi Gaiden is a six-part spinoff manga based on the popular manga Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto published the miniseries in place of the regular Naruto storyline in Shonen Jump, which lasts through chapters 239-244. The gaiden acts as an intermission between the end of the first Naruto arc and the brand-new story arc, which skips ahead two-and-a-half years into the future. This is a manga-only arc, as the anime series skipped this and went directly to the first arc of Naruto: Shippuden.

Plot / Details:
The story surrounds a 13 year-old Kakashi Hatake, who embarks on a mission with his team, which includes another boy named Obito Uchiha, from the same clan as Sasuke Uchiha, a medic kunoichi named Rin, and their teacher, the future Fourth Hokage (from here on referred to as the Fourth for simplicity). They were first seen in the team portrait from flashbacks at the conclusion of the Chunin Exam arc.

This arc answers many questions about Kakashi's past. It is learned how Kakashi receives his Sharingan, the identity of Obito, and when Kakashi became a Jonin. It also gives a first glimpse of who the Fourth was, when he was still alive.

In the midst of the Third Great Shinobi War, at a meeting to hear their new mission, Kakashi receives gifts for advancement to Jonin from his teammate Rin and his Jonin sensei, the future Fourth Hokage. His other teammate, Obito, has forgotten a gift and becomes annoyed at Kakashi. Kakashi dismisses Obito as useless but Obito says once he awakens his Sharingan he will surpass Kakashi. The Fourth tells his team their mission: they must travel through the Grass Country in the midst of a conflict between Iwagakure and Konohagakure to destroy a bridge. Along the way, the Konoha ninja notice that they are being watched from the trees by Mahiru, an Iwagakure ninja. Kakashi sees this as a good time to use his new jutsu: the One Thousand Birds.

Kakashi bolts away to attack their hidden foe. Faced with the clone defense, Kakashi is unable to determine the location of the real ninja, striking the harmless clones, rendering his attack useless. Mahiru uses the mayhem to attack a defenseless Obito, but the Fourth rescues him from harm. Meanwhile, Kakashi is attacked by the real Mahiru, who buries his katana deep into Kakashi's right shoulder. Kakashi narrowly escapes death with a timely diving tackle by the Fourth, who attaches a special tag onto the Rock-nin's foot in the process. Assured of the team's well-being, having transported them a safe distance away, and leaving Rin to care for Kakashi's wound, the Fourth instantly transports behind Mahiru using his Flying Thunder God Technique. Mahiru is shocked to have faced "Konoha's Yellow Flash" and fallen to him so easily.

The Fourth returns to find the team at each others' throats, with Kakashi calling Obito a coward for freezing up on the battle field. The Fourth tells Kakashi to never again use the One Thousand Birds, because of its inherent flaw: Kakashi's eyes are not fast enough to see his opponent's counter, leaving him in great danger. After some constructive criticism, The Fourth decides that rest is in order. Disturbed by the day's events and Kakashi's abrasive behavior, Obito is unable to sleep and seeks out the Fourth to ask him why Kakashi acts the way he does. The Fourth tells him of how Kakashi's legendary father, Sakumo Hatake (also known as Konoha's White Fang), killed himself after the village looked down on him for rescuing his teammates rather than completing his mission.

After Rin uses her abilities to heal Kakashi's wounds, the Fourth tells the team that they have to split up: the Fourth heading off alone, leaving the group to be led by Kakashi. Kakashi then leads his team further into Rock territory to accomplish their objective. Two Iwagakure ninja, Kakko and Taiseki appear and ambush the trio. They manage to capture Rin and flee. Obito tells Kakashi he is going after Rin but Kakashi, as the team leader, decides that they should complete their mission. Obito then hits Kakashi telling him his father was a true hero when he decided to protect his friends. Obito then goes off on his own to save Rin while Kakashi walks the opposite way.

The Fourth arrives to help the outnumbered Konoha ninja in battle by using his Flying Thunder God Technique to decimate the opposing army. Elsewhere in the Land of Grass, Obito's words press heavily upon Kakashi's conscience, while Obito, himself, finds where the Iwagakure ninja are hiding Rin. But as Obito plots his plan of action, Taiseki, having observed Obito's entrance, sneaks behind Obito using an invisibility jutsu. Yet before Taiseki is able to strike Obito, Kakashi arrives, successfully deflecting the fatal blow, but does not escape unscathed himself, receiving a blinding slash across his left eye in the process. Obito is scared and begins to cry, eventually focusing so that he can finally activate his Sharingan. Using it, he is now able to see his invisible attacker and kill him.

Kakashi bandages his eye and he and Obito approach a cave to save the weakening Rin from the Kakko, the remaining Iwagakure ninja. Using their skills, they strike Kakko and save Rin. However, the battle had weakened the cave and, in a last ditch effort to destroy the young shinobi, Kakko uses Earth Release: Rock Lodging Destruction, causing the cave to crumble in upon itself. With rocks falling in around the Konoha ninja, Obito throws Kakashi out of the way of a falling rock trapping himself instead, crushing the entire right side of his body. Mortally wounded and knowing his life is over, Obito tells Rin to remove his remaining eye and offer it - along with the Sharingan - to Kakashi as a belated present and final gift to Kakashi for being promoted to Jonin. Obito tells Kakashi he is a great ninja and that he can become Kakashi's eye and help them all live on. A short time passes and Kakashi emerges from the rubble a holder of the Sharingan.

When Kakashi emerges he strikes out against Kakko and manages to kill him using his fully perfected Chidori. More Iwagakure ninja arrive and cause a further cave-in, forcing Rin and Kakashi to leave Obito behind as the rubble envelops him. Angered, Kakashi goes to fight his opponents, he gets his Chidori ready and uses the special kunai given to him from the Fourth. Before the enemies attack him, Kakashi throws the kunai and then passes out due to lack of chakra. Kakashi awakens to find their enemies defeated and the Fourth beside him. The Fourth explains that the special kunai he gave Kakashi alerts him when it is thrown. The Fourth then apologizes for not arriving sooner. The remaining team members cherish their memories of Obito and go on to destroy the bridge.

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