edit"Painful Decision"
Painful Decision
(苦渋の決断, Kujū no Ketsudan)
Episode data
Previous "Naruto's Plea"
Episode Naruto: Shippūden #201 (Watch Online)
Next "Racing Lightning"
Arc Five Kage Summit (Arc)
Manga Naruto Chapter #458, Naruto Chapter #459, Naruto Chapter #460
Japanese March 3, 2011
English August 10, 2013
"Painful Decision" (苦渋の決断, Kujū no Ketsudan) is episode 201 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.


After hearing that Danzō has been chosen as the leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces, Sasuke and his team head out, slipping by the samurai guards. The Fourth Raikage demands to know why Danzō was chosen and not him, since Kumogakure has yet to produce any shinobi that are members of the Akatsuki. Mifune, the general of the Land of Iron, explains that the Raikage is unsuitable for leadership due to giving in to his emotions often. Gaara is too young to assume leadership of five allied nations despite the title of Kazekage; adversely, the Third Tsuchikage is too old, and he is also not an ideal candidate due to the fact that he has employed the services of the Akatsuki numerous times in the past. Since the Akatsuki is rumoured to have been conceived in Kirigakure, the Fifth Mizukage is not qualified to lead without possible suspicions arising, thus leaving Danzō, the Sixth Hokage, to be the favorable choice.

Meanwhile, Ino begins to cry after hearing about the execution order placed on Sasuke. Shikamaru, assuming command of the remaining members of the Konoha 11, goes to Sakura's tent to talk to her when he hears the conversation occurring inside. Sai approaches Sakura and asks her how she and Naruto can fight for Sasuke so much when he does nothing but cause them pain, and that despite his lack of understanding over emotions, he feels anger over their pain. He asks Sakura what promise Naruto made to her, prompting Sakura to gasp and remember the promise Naruto made to her about bringing Sasuke back no matter what, even when he had failed. Sai reveals that Naruto is in love with her, and Sakura realises that she has been causing Naruto the same pain that Sasuke had been causing her. Shikamaru enters the tent and explains that he and the others would be heading out to eliminate Sasuke and would like Team 7's approval, citing that failing to do so would start a war between Kumogakure and Konohagakure. After he warns Sakura that he would need to complete this mission with or without her blessing, Shikamaru is aghast to discover that Naruto has already gone to the Land of Iron to meet the Raikage. To his surprise, Sakura agrees to it and find Naruto, explaining that she would like to take the opportunity to break the news to Naruto to atone for the suffering she caused him.

Back at the summit, Ao uses his Byakugan and discovers that Mifune is being manipulated by Shisui Uchiha's genjutsu, which is being cast by Danzō. He interrupts the summit, asking Danzō to reveal his right eye. When questioned, he explains his suspicions and how he was able to deduce the genjutsu with his Byakugan, which he took as a trophy of war from a fallen Hyūga. He tells the other kage that Danzō is in possession of Shisui's eye and is casting Shisui's genjutsu to obtain leadership of the Allied Forces, and that the genjutsu is so powerful that the victim is not even aware that they are being influenced. However, the summit is then crashed by White Zetsu, who notifies them that Sasuke is somewhere in the building.

Elsewhere, Naruto prepares to go to sleep, musing about how Sasuke has been consumed by vengeance and wonders why Sasuke won't return home now that he has killed Itachi and succeeded in his quest for revenge. His thoughts are then interrupted by the arrival of Tobi, who tells Naruto that it is time for the two to converse.