The series starts off with a preview of Naruto and Sakura's eventual reunion with Sasuke, but before too much is revealed, we jump back to Naruto first returning to the Hidden Leaf village after more than two years of training.
Naruto himself is older and taller, and sporting a new outfit, and while he seems at first to be wiser and more mature, Sakura, who has also grown quite a bit in the intervening years, quickly realizes that his time with "Pervy Sage" hasn't really done much to the character's maturity. Naruto and Jiraiya aren't in town long though, before they are summoned by Lady Tsunade.
What Naruto quickly learns is that all of his old friends have not only aged along with him, but also advanced in rank. In fact, the only member of their class to still hold the rank of Genin is Naruto, and Shikamaru has even gone further and become a Jonin. So naturally, Naruto wants to jump into the next Chunin exams and take his rightful rank. Too bad the forms have all been submitted and the participants have already been chosen, so it looks like Naruto will have to wait for the next round of tests before advancing.
After being turned down for the Chunin exams, Sakura, who has been training with Tsunade for years now, joins Naruto in the training grounds with Kakashi, and learn that they shall re-form their old squad, well mostly. While Sasuke's replacement isn't named yet, there will be a new character to join what will be called Team Kakashi. But first, Sakura and Naruto have to prove that their abilities really have grown over the years. Kakashi puts to them the same test he did when they first became Ninja. They must steal a pair of bells from his person.
Meanwhile, in Sunagakure, the Village Hidden in the Sands, the Akatsuki are starting to kick off the next phase of their plan. Two of the cult's members, Deidara and Sasori, have started an attack of the village in hopes of drawing out the new Kazekage, none other than Gaara. In the ensuing fight, we not only get to see some of Gaara's new strength, but also a taste of what Deidara has to offer, namely his explosive clay creatures.
A lot happens in Naruto Shippuden: Volume 1, but it is all buildup to some of the more intense fights the Naruto universe has seen yet, and of course, it all has to lead up to Naruto and Sakura's eventual encounter with Sasuke. As a teaser for the rest of the Shippuden series, Volume 1 does a great job. Any Naruto fan should want to at least watch these episodes, if not buy the volume outright.