This is the article on volume 23. For chapter 206, head to Trouble…!!.
(苦境…!!, Kukyō…!!)
Volume Info
Previous Reincarnation…!!
Volume 23 (Read Online)
Next Crisis, Crisis, Crisis!!
Pages 192
Release Date
Japanese August 4, 2004 (ISBN 4-08-873639-6)
English November 6, 2007 (ISBN 978-1-4215-1859-6)

Trouble…!! (苦境…!!, Kukyō…!!) is volume 23 of the Naruto manga.

Chapter 200

"Just as Planned…!!" (計算通り…!!, Keisandōri…!!)

The Sasuke Recovery Team turns out to be nothing but Naruto's shadow clones. While Sakon is preoccupied with the clones, the actual team members manage to take the coffin containing Sasuke away from Tayuya. Sakon, enraged, pursues them and singles out Akamaru, who is covering their escape. Kiba saves him but the three of them are flung off a cliff. Shikamaru instructs Naruto to take the coffin while he goes to help Kiba and Akamaru, but they are attacked by Kimimaro.

Chapter 201

"Not as Planned…!!" (計算違い…!!, Keisan Chigai…!!)

Kimimaro takes the coffin containing Sasuke from Shikamaru and Naruto. While Tayuya is stunned to see him, the former, dying leader of the Sound Four, Kimimaro tells her that he won't kill her if she deals with Shikamaru and Naruto. He leaves to take Sasuke to Orochimaru. Naruto and Shikamaru team up against Tayuya, but Naruto only pretends to engage her in battle, instead following Kimimaro and finding him in a field. Orochimaru elsewhere mourns having not been able to take Kimimaro as a host body, his kekkei genkai being most desirable.

Chapter 202

"Three Wishes!!" (三つの願い!!, Mittsu no Negai!!)

When questioned by Naruto, Kimimaro explains that Orochimaru wishes to take Sasuke's body for himself. Enraged at the prospect, Naruto taps into the Nine-Tails' chakra and surrounds Kimimaro with hundreds of shadow clones. Meanwhile, Tayuya asks Shikamaru about his practice of sacrificing one of his teammates to defeat one member of the Sound Four just to retrieve Sasuke. Shikamaru regrets that he had to, but explains that they all would have risked their lives for Sasuke, a friend, with or without his orders. As they prepare for battle, Tayuya summons her Doki. Elsewhere, Kiba and Akamaru believe they have an advantage of numbers over Sakon. They find that Sakon is not alone, his brother Ukon fighting alongside him.

Chapter 203

"Sakon's Secret" (左近の秘密, Sakon no Himitsu)

Naruto's shadow clones attack, but Kimimaro, preparing his kekkei genkai, is not concerned. Elsewhere, Sakon, with the help of his cursed seal, and Ukon overpower Kiba. Interested in ending the battle quickly, Ukon advances his cursed seal to its second level and forces Sakon to do the same. Akamaru knows they are outmatched so he convinces Kiba to perform a joint combination. Taking on the form of a double-headed wolf, Kiba and Akamaru attack the joined brothers with their new technique. Meanwhile, Shikamaru struggles to avoid the Doki's attacks, but is able to notice that Tayuya controls them with her Demonic Flute.

Chapter 204

"Ukon's Ability" (右近の能力, Ukon no Nōryoku)

Sakon and Ukon are split apart because of Kiba and Akamaru's attack. They believe they have won, only to find that the brothers easily recover from the separation. They try to attack again, but are blocked. When Sakon and Ukon counter-attack Akamaru puts himself in danger to protect Kiba. While Akamaru manages to blind Sakon at the last minute, Ukon is able to join with Kiba's body. He tells Kiba that he will kill Kiba from the inside, destroying his cells and leaving unfazed once Kiba is dead. Needing to help Akamaru, Kiba stabs himself, taking advantage of the fact that Ukon, merged with him, will suffer the same injuries.

Chapter 205

"Kiba's Determination!!" (キバの決意!!, Kiba no Ketsui!!)

Ukon is amazed that Kiba would stab himself just to kill him. As Kiba goes for a killing blow, Ukon exits his body to avoid further damage. Kiba takes this time to gather Akamaru and escape. Ukon, exhausted, rejoins with Sakon and demands that, once Sakon has found Kiba and Akamaru, they kill them together. Meanwhile, Kimimaro is able to destroy wave after wave of Naruto's shadow clones, his dancing, acrobatic movements and his ability to use his own bones as weapons being more than a match.

Chapter 206

"Trouble…!!" (苦境…!!, Kukyō…!!)

Kimimaro continues to keep Naruto away from Sasuke's coffin, using his dances and bones to prevent any of Naruto's shadow clones from getting through. Elsewhere, an injured Kiba and an incapacitated Akamaru hide from Sakon. When he sees that he is leaving a blood trail, allowing Sakon to follow them, Kiba abandons his coat and flees down river with Akamaru. Meanwhile, Shikamaru is given no opportunities to attack, Tayuya's control over her Doki allowing her to cover all possibilities. Playing a new tune on her Demonic Flute, Tayuya has the Doki attack.

Chapter 207

"Playing Without Rook and Bishop" (飛車角落ち, Hishakakuochi)

The Doki produce spiritual effigies that can pursue Shikamaru beyond their physical range and through physical matter, all in accordance with the music played by Tayuya. Shikamaru falls back and formulates a plan. He starts focusing his attacks on Tayuya, the Doki's controller. Tayuya surrounds herself with the Doki to act as shields against the attacks and retaliate towards the attacks' source. Shikamaru then reveals himself, so Tayuya groups the Doki together and has them attack. Having figured out what every finger arrangement on Tayuya's Demonic Flute causes the Doki to do, Shikamaru knows what to expect, allowing him to capture the Doki with his shadow.

Chapter 208

"The First Move was a Fake-Out!!" (一手目はフェイク!!, Itteme wa Feiku!!)

Having lost control of the Doki, Tayuya sends them away to keep Shikamaru from using them against her. She once again does as Shikamaru had planned; not only has she got rid of the Doki, something he could not do, but in doing so she did not notice his shadow approaching her, allowing him to catch her. Tayuya activates level two of her cursed seal to escape his control and traps him in a genjutsu. Shikamaru unsuccessfully throws a kunai at her. Tayuya picks up the kunai and approaches him to kill him with it, only to be trapped by his shadow again. Having broken the genjutsu, it was revealed that Shikamaru threw the kunai to Tayuya to trick her into coming close enough that she couldn't overpower his shadow again.

Author's Note

It's been a year since I moved into my current apartment and I just recently realised something... I can see Mt. Fuji from my porch. It took me this long to notice!

Masashi Kishimoto, 2004

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