Boruto Episode 78

Boruto Episode 78

Introduction

I can’t write about this episode without starting off talking about the elephant in the room: Chocho. No, I don’t mean her size, I mean the fact that she’s suddenly unpretrified  (depretrified?) without any sort of explanation.

We don’t see how she becomes unpetrified, she doesn’t know that she was even petrified to begin with, and the rest of the gang aren’t giving us any hints either. Basically, Chocho was such a disposable character, that her reappearance doesn’t even deserve an explanation.

Now, you might be thinking that because she was brought back, that’s evidence that she’s not a disposable character, but you’d be wrong. Instead, I see it as proof that she’s so useful as a disposable character, she was brought back simply so she can be disposed of multiple times in the future.

I see this as another example of the writers of Boruto being lazy as well. While it’s true that Naruto and Shippūden had their plot inconsistencies, they never went out of their way to bring up the fact that there was a plot inconsistency just to remind you it was there.

Instead, this is simply an example of lazy writers who aren’t treating their audience as intelligent. It’s things like this, as well as the general animation quality, that keep Boruto ranked below its predecessors.

Everyone’s Motives

While that initial scene involving Chocho was bad, the rest of the episode was mediocre at best. We learn a few new, potentially interesting pieces of information, but it was largely just setup for what’s to come in the next episode.

After confirming that Mitsuki’s captors are from the Hidden Stone, the genin split into two groups. Boruto, Sarada, and Shikadai will continue pursuing Mitsuki, while Inojin and Chocho go back to the Hidden Leaf to inform them of the new developments.

It’s at this point where we get yet another example of how useless Chocho is. In his explanation of why Shikadai selected Inojin and Chocho to be the two to return to the village, he says it’s because they’re the two most suited for that job.

It’s clear that Inojin is the most suited for the job because, as we see him do, he can use his Super Beast Scroll Jutsu to simply fly above the forest and reach the village by taking the shortest route. However, Chocho doesn’t have any jutsu which makes her any better at traveling than anyone else.

None of the genin try to give a reason as to why Chocho is perfectly suited for this mission, and we aren’t shown a shot of Chocho doing anything special either. Simply put, Chocho was going to be useless anyway, so she might as well have less screen time so she doesn’t need to be animated.

On their way back to the village, Inojin and Chocho come across some Leaf jonin who have been paralyzed, probably as a result of a jutsu of one of Mitsuki’s captors. This is the final scene of the episode which involves either one of them.

Meanwhile, Mitsuki continues travelling towards the Hidden Stone with two of his captors, as well as two clay golems. The other two captors who we briefly saw in a prior episode have already made their way to the Hidden Stone to meet up with their leader.

Kokuyou, Mitsuki, and Sekiei from the anime Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Kokuyou, Mitsuki, and Sekiei

It’s at this point that we learn the interesting information. While distinct from the clay golems who are with them, Mitsuki’s captors are themselves homunculi (artificial humans). We learn that because of this, they have significantly shorter lives than humans, which is where their interest in Mitsuki comes into play.

It seems that they believe they’ll be able to discover how to become human if they experiment on Mitsuki, who is a clone/artificial human himself, albeit a more advanced one. This is basically the same plot as Fullmetal Alchemist, in which the homunculi want a philosopher’s stone so that they can become human.

Their leader, Ku, is essentially the Hidden Stone’s version of Orochimaru at this point in time. He’s created artificial humans, studied forbidden jutsu, and is creating an army of some sort. The army I’m speaking of is made up of the clay golems, which are essentially clay versions of White Zetsu.

When Kokuyou kills one of these golems, there’s a strange air of both pity and mourning. This either hints at the clay golems being made from the souls of humans, similar to how the Reanimation Jutsu uses human bodies as vessels, or it hints at the homunculi seeing the golems as their brethren since they too aren’t human.

The only reason I would say the first option is viable is because the second of the golems traveling with the group appears to mourn the death of the first. If they were really like White Zetsu, this wouldn’t be the case.

The next character grouping we see are the jonin and kage-ranked ninja. Naruto and Shikamaru have come to the conclusion that the ones who attacked the gate and kidnapped Mitsuki were in fact from the Hidden Stone after the gatekeeper regains consciousness.

However, in this time of peace, it doesn’t make sense for the Hidden Stone to launch an attack on the Hidden Leaf. Naruto chooses to send a tracking team to the Hidden Stone, but first calls Kurotsuchi, the Tsuchikage, to inform her about their discovery.

While Kurotsuchi declines to allow the Leaf shinobi entrance into the Land of Earth, but instead agrees to launch her own investigation, capture Mitsuki and those who have abducted him, and safely return Boruto and Sarada (and probably Shikadai), who are making their way towards the border.

The final group of the episode is Boruto, Sarada, and Shikadai. While continuing to pursue Mitsuki and his captors, they come across evidence of a “battle,” which is actually just the remains of the clay golem Kokuyou killed. They interpret this as Mitsuki fighting back, and continue to hurry.

They finally catch up to an active battle between Kokuyou, the golems, and some Leaf jonin, but all of the jonin are defeated by the time the genin are close enough to tell what’s going on. The Leaf must really be in decline if those guys were jonin though, because they were pretty pathetic.

At the very end of the episode, the genin come face to face with Kokuyou, who asks them if they’re pursuers as well.

Next Episode

In the next episode, the genin will finally be reunited with Mitsuki, that is, if the title isn’t a lie. I, for one, am skeptical of this outcome though, because that would mean they’d have to get past Kokuyou within one episode, which doesn’t seem likely.

If the fight against the giant snake Garaga was spread across three episodes, I don’t see how the fight against one of the main antagonists for this arc would be wrapped up in only one. Perhaps instead of defeating him, Shikadai and Sarada keep him distracted while Boruto goes on ahead.

It’s also possible that some Leaf or Stone jonin appear to rescue the genin and Kokuyou is forced to flee, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m also interested in learning what Kokuyou’s jutsu is, because it doesn’t seem like he’s the one behind the golems.

Conclusion

So what did you think of this episode? Do you think this arc is going to pan out and actually be good? I was hopeful at first, but the more I see of this antagonist organization, the less hopeful I am that this arc is really going anywhere I haven’t seen before.

At the very least, maybe we’ll finally get to see more of the Hidden Stone village, since that’s currently the most unknown of the five major villages.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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