|"Heir to Darkness"|
|(闇の後継者, Yami no Kōkeisha)|
|Previous||"Rogue Ninja's Past"|
|Episode||Naruto: Shippūden #148 (Watch Online)|
|Japanese||February 18, 2010|
|English||July 9, 2012|
Naruto is enraged upon seeing the seal upon Hotaru's back, remembering how he was treated during his childhood for being a jinchūriki. Back at Mount Katsuragi, Naruto pressures Tonbee and asks how he could have allowed En no Gyōja to have sealed the Tsuchigumo clan's forbidden technique within his own granddaughter. However, Hotaru reveals that she had specifically asked for it, since it was her grandfather's wishes to use the kinjutsu to restore the clan to its former glory and that a student must obey his or her master's wishes. Utakata shuns her for her opinion, remembering being strapped down and attacked by his own master, Harusame. Tonbee decides that for the sake of the clan and for Hotaru's safety, he will remove the seal from her back, thus rendering the forbidden technique useless; he adds that En no Gyōja would never have sealed the kinjutsu on her back if there was no way to undo it, prompting that no master would do such a thing. As Utakata muses whether Tsurugi's words regarding his master Harusame's intentions, the group is unaware that they are being spied by Shiranami, the leader of the four bandits, who has heard their entire conversation. After Hotaru refuses to have the seal removed, she is slapped by Utakata and flees; Naruto, Utakata and Sakura follow her while Sai, under personal instructions from Yamato, stays behind.
At En no Gyōja's grave, Naruto and Utakata convince Hotaru to return and have her seal removed. Hotaru, nonetheless, finds another alternative — she reveals that her grandfather's very first pupil, Hāto, had a son named Shiranami who possessed even greater skill than his father, and that if Shiranami received the clan's forbidden technique then their hopes for clan restoration would not be lost. Shiranami, who is eavesdropping on their conversation, is surprised to hear his name being spoken. Naruto, understanding what it feels like to have a power sealed within the body and being hunted because of it, promises Hotaru that he will find Shiranami.
Naruto uses his Multiple Shadow Clone Technique to travel through various villages until he finds a man who knows where Shiranami lives. In Konoha, Tsunade and Shizune receive word through Sai's ink bird, who relays the situation to them. In order to prevent the clan's forbidden technique from being used by another nation, Tsunade agrees for Konoha to protect and give Hotaru refuge while the seal is either removed or passed down to Shiranami.
Meanwhile, Utakata decides to leave Mount Katsuragi and drifts through mid-air in his bubble, wanting to lure Tsurugi out so that they may talk. The Kiri hunter-nin spot Utakata and decide to intercept him, only to find their path blocked by one of Pain's multi-headed dogs.
|Naruto Uzumaki||うずまきナルト||Uzumaki Naruto||Junko Takeuchi||竹内順子||Takeuchi Junko|
|Sakura Haruno||春野サクラ||Haruno Sakura||Chie Nakamura||中村千絵||Nakamura Chie|
|Sai||サイ||Sai||Satoshi Hino||日野聡||Hino Satoshi|
|Yamato||ヤマト||Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山力也||Koyama Rikiya|
|Utakata||ウタカタ||Utakata||Ken'ichi Suzumura||鈴村健一||Suzumura Ken'ichi|
|Hotaru||ホタル||Hotaru||Megumi Toyoguchi||豊口めぐみ||Toyoguchi Megumi|
|Tonbee||遁兵衛||Tonbee||Shōzō Sasaki||佐々木省三||Sasaki Shōzō|
|Shiranami||シラナミ||Shiranami||Takeshi Kusao||草尾毅||Kusao Takashi|
|Fifth Hokage: Tsunade||五代目火影・綱手||Godaime Hokage: Tsunade||Masako Katsuki||勝生真沙子||Katsuki Masako|
|Shizune||シズネ||Shizune||Keiko Nemoto||根本圭子||Nemoto Keiko|
|En no Gyōja||役の行者||En no Gyōja||Gorō Sanada||真田五郎||Sanada Gorō|
|Tsurugi||ツルギ||Tsurugi||Tadahisa Saizen||西前忠久||Saizen Tadahisa|
|Kirigakure Hunter-nin||霧隠の里の追忍||Kirigakure no sato no oinin||Taira Kikumoto||菊本平||Kikumoto Taira|