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|Chūnin Challenge: Rock Lee vs. Sasuke!|
Kiai Hyaku-Nijū Pāsento Naude Rokku na Chōsenjō!
March 6, 2003
February 4, 2006
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Chūnin Challenge: Rock Lee vs. Sasuke! (気合い120％ ナウでロックな挑戦状!, Kiai Hyaku-Nijū Pāsento Naude Rokku na Chōsenjō!) is episode 22 of the original Naruto anime.
Sasuke has attracted the attention of Rock Lee, who challenges him to a fight. Rock Lee is not only interested in seeing how his skills match up against a descendant of the Uchiha clan, but he also has a mad crush on Sakura, much to her dismay. Feeling neglected in his team-mates' shadows, Naruto offers to fight in Sasuke's place. Without wasting time, he charges, but is easily knocked out by Rock Lee. Rock Lee explains that they cannot beat him because he is the strongest of the Konohagakure Genin right now. Now interested, Sasuke accepts his challenge. Sasuke attacks and is met by Lee's Leaf Hurricane and gets knocked backwards. As he gets back up, he prepares to use his Sharingan to figure out Rock Lee's technique. He again charges Rock Lee, but again, Rock Lee is able to hit him. Rock Lee explains that his moves are neither ninjutsu or genjutsu - just taijutsu, also known as hand to hand combat. With hand to hand fighting, Sasuke's Sharingan isn't helpful because even if he can see the techniques, his body can't move fast enough to react. Rock Lee does Shadow of the Dancing Leaf to finish off Sasuke, but a large turtle stops his attack before it hits.
The turtle seemingly reprimands Rock Lee for using his forbidden technique, leaving Naruto to think the turtle is Rock Lee's sensei. Might Guy (Rock Lee's actual sensei) appears on top of the turtle and punches Rock Lee hard in the face as punishment. Then Guy hugs Rock Lee, and the two cry. Team 7 are dumbstruck, and Sasuke can't believe he was beaten by a freak. Guy asks the team how his eternal rival, Kakashi, is doing. He's ahead in the match record, which stands at 50 wins and 49 losses. Guy also says that he is much faster and stronger than Kakashi.
When Guy leaves, Rock Lee confesses that he is not the strongest genin - Neji Hyūga, Lee's team-mate is. Naruto needles Sasuke, saying that Rock Lee obviously trains harder than Sasuke. In the end, the team focuses their attention on the Chūnin Exam.