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In Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles, after a two-and-a-half year time skip, Naruto shows physical growth, sports a new outfit, and appears to not only have increased in strength, speed, and techniques, but intelligence as well, Kakashi even said that Naruto has become more cunning. However, Naruto is still Genin, since he hasn't had a chance to take the Chunin Exams again. According to Tsunade, Naruto is also slowly adopting some of Jiraiya's perverted traits. During his apprenticeship under Jiraiya, Naruto was able to read the latest of the "Icha Icha" series written by Jiraiya, although when he presents a copy to Kakashi, he says he thought it was boring.
It seems Naruto's feelings for Sakura have matured. He does not seem to have a child-like crush anymore. They have a very easy time communicating with each other, despite the nearly three-year separation. They are capable of having a casual conversation together, and they seem to like spending time together. Naruto is now noticeably taller than Sakura and some of his other friends. (In Part I, he is made fun of for being shorter than her.)
It was when Team 7 was on the way to Sunagakure that Naruto finally reveals to Sakura and Temari that the demon fox was sealed inside him. Sakura sympathizes with him, as does Temari, who is very grateful to Naruto for the change in her little brother, Gaara. With this revelation, Sakura begins to understand why the village hated him and why he was so alone growing up. It is also shown that Sasuke's defection still affects Naruto and Sakura, and when the whole of Team 7 (minus Kakashi) finally meets after two and a half years, Sasuke greets them, as he did when they became a team, with cold indifference, and says he doesn't care if he becomes Orochimaru's vessel as long as Itachi will die. He even attempts to kill Sakura and Naruto. Later, after Sasuke leaves with Orochimaru and Kabuto, Naruto and Sakura are clearly upset that he is no longer the Sasuke they knew.
After his 'reunion' with Sasuke, and the realization that after all his special training he is no closer to saving Sasuke, Naruto sinks into a deep depression. His outlook is changed, however, when Kakashi tells him that he will train Naruto to create a unique jutsu that could possibly give him the strength to finally meet Sasuke on an even level. Finally receiving the one-on-one training with Kakashi that he has always desired, and with his last encounter with Sasuke driving him, Naruto becomes more serious and focused than he's ever been. During his training, Kakashi remarks that he believes Naruto will surpass the Fourth Hokage and later, even sees a vision of the Fourth Hokage around Naruto.
Naruto has displayed a few new abilities since the start of Hurricane Chronicles. His ability to release the demon fox's chakra, and the subsequent lack of control of it as a result, has increased dramatically. Naruto can now use the two or three tail states with ease, although it is a dangerous and harmful technique to use. Sometime during his training with Jiraiya, Naruto transformed into a four-tailed form of the demon fox, although this is extremely dangerous since he starts losing control at this state. Orochimaru states that this form is powerful enough to actually kill him. Jiraiya mentions that the seal holding the demon fox is becoming weaker, accounting for the ease with which its chakra escapes.
Naruto has greatly improved his ninjutsu and taijutsu post-timeskip; he has also become a much better tactician, creating a few shadow clones for specific purposes rather than creating several dozen shadow clones and hoping for the best. He managed to catch Kakashi by surprise during his second bell test, and even used Kakashi's obsession to the Icha Icha novels to his advantage. Naruto is also starting to wield and become more skilled with weapons other than regular kunai or shurikens, as seen in the Rescue Gaara arc. Like Tenten, he carries a scroll to sum
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