Boruto Episode 85

Boruto Episode 85

The Heart Stone

It’s said that the only way to escape from the Sanzu Plains is to find one’s heart stone. But, did you know that not only does each individual have a heart stone, but the entire Hidden Stone village has one too? For those of you who are familiar with Shippūden, the scene pictured below may be familiar.

When the third Tsuchikage, Ohnoki, was a child, he served as the maintainer of the village’s heart stone, which is an ordinary looking stone upon a pedestal surrounded by a pool filled with similar stones. One day, while polishing the heart stone of the village, Ohnoki dropped it into the pool and was unable to find it among all the others

However, when the second Tsuchikage, Mu, learned of what Ohnoki had done, he simply picked up a new stone out of the pool and placed it on the pedestal. To the young Ohnoki this seemed to show that the heart stone of the village wasn’t anything special.

But, Mu then explained that it doesn’t matter which stone is chosen to be the heart stone of the village because each and every stone has the potential to be special, just like the potential to be great lies within each citizen of the village. The heart stone is the Hidden Stone’s version of the Leaf’s will of fire.

Ohnoki and the second Tsuchikage, Mu, from the anime Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Ohnoki and the second Tsuchikage, Mu

I’ve said it before, but I think these references to events from the original Naruto and Shippūden series are my favorite parts of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. It’s not like all of the scenes referenced were anything special, but it’s nice to have some fan service like this for those who have been with the series for the past 16 years.

Sekki’s Ultimate Technique

While surviving in the Sanzu Plains and barely attempting to locate his heart stone, Boruto comes across a Hidden Stone genin who’s been in the plains for a couple of days as training. This boy’s name is Sekki, and I’ll forgive you for not remembering that he existed.

We actually met Sekki back during the chunin exam arc, but he and his team were eliminated in the first round and so didn’t leave much of an impression. In fact, they weren’t even around long enough to learn what kinds of jutsu he and his team are capable of.

And, since jutsu aren’t able to be used in the Sanzu Plains, even after this episode we still don’t know exactly what Sekki’s capable of. However, at the very least, we do learn that he has an “ultimate technique,” which appears to be fairly strong taijutsu. The only issue is that he always misses.

When Sekki’s ultimate technique (his fist) hits a large boulder, it cracks and shatters, proving that there’s actually more going on here than just Sekki making stuff up. However, compared to the likes of Metal Lee or Sarada Uchiha, Sekki’s taijutsu doesn’t stack up.

After punching the boulder, we see that Sekki’s hand takes significant damage. On the contrary, someone like Metal Lee, who has trained their body to withstand such impact, would likely be completely unfazed after doing the same thing.

And, although I’m not entirely sure if Sarada’s punches count as taijutsu, she too would be able to smash boulders without any harm to herself. For those wondering, the reason I don’t know if Sarada’s punches are taijutsu is because she actually infuses chakra into her fists. So perhaps it’s more apt to say that Sarada uses enhanced taijutsu.

But, although Sekki’s ultimate technique may have the downside of causing himself pain, it certainly doesn’t lack in power. In fact, if he didn’t hit a boulder, it shouldn’t cause him any pain at all. The only issue with that is the fact that he can never seem to hit his targets with it.

Over the course of the episode we learn that Sekki is training in the Sanzu Plains because his late grandmother always wanted him to be able to find his heart stone. Unfortunately for Sekki, finding his heart stone wasn’t as easy as he imagined, and he quickly ran out of food and water.

Also, along with underestimating the Sanzu Plains, he doesn’t really seem to want to train, much like Boruto. Although Ohnoki does point out that it’s no wonder Boruto doesn’t want to train, because he didn’t willingly enter the Sanzu Plains for that purpose.

In the end, Sekki finds his heart stone when a giant wolf attacks him and Boruto, and he has to use his ultimate technique to defeat it. The stone he was holding in his fist at the time he punched the wolf becomes his heart stone and then leads him, Boruto, and Ohnoki out of the plains.

We also learn that Sekki’s goal is to be the next Tsuchikage, and I hope this doesn’t actually come to pass. I already hated Chōjūrō before he became the Mizukage, and I still hate him now, so I’d prefer if we didn’t get another loser kage like him.

The Human Paradox

While Boruto has been messing around with Ohnoki and Sekki in the Sanzu Plains, the homunculi have been having troubles of their own in the Hidden Stone village. The doctor in charge of deciphering Mitsuki’s curse seal has discovered that the missing ingredient the Hidden Stone homunculi need to survive is a human heart.

This then brings up the question of, just whose heart was implanted into Mitsuki, and how will he feel once he learns this dark truth?

Perhaps nobody had to die for Mitsuki to be born, and the heart implanted into him was actually grown in a lab, much like we can do with various body parts today. Or, maybe the heart within Mitsuki actually once belonged to Orochimaru himself, who now has no need for it due to his self-body modifications.

Regardless of where Mitsuki’s heart originally came from, the real question at hand is what do the homunculi do next? Ku recognizes that the homunculi were born to protect humans, and so killing humans to extract their hearts would go against their purpose for being created.

He also knows that Ohnoki wouldn’t want them to kill humans in order to make themselves become more human-like either. However, Ku also reasons that if they were to simply kill five humans so that they have enough hearts for each of the homunculi, they would be able to live long enough to save even more humans.

This line of reasoning is what I’ll be referring to as the human paradox. The end goal of the homunculi is to save humans, but they need to kill humans in order to do so. It’s kind of like the classic sci-fi trope in which an AI determines that humans are the most dangerous thing to other humans, and so in order to protect all the humans, it must kill them all.

And, if you think it’s strange that Boruto would have sci-fi tropes, let me direct you to a previous post in which I explain how Boruto is actually a sci-fi anime.

But, while this certainly is a paradox, I would argue that the homunculi have already come to a conclusion regarding it in the past. When leading Mitsuki to the Hidden Stone village, Kokuyou killed a significant number of Hidden Leaf shinobi, which itself is already contradicting his purpose for living.

In fact, if the homunculi are ever used to wage war against humans, then they’re contradicting their original purpose. They were, in fact, expressly created to defend the Hidden Stone from outside invaders such as the Ōtsutsuki clan, not other shinobi.

At the end of the episode, Ku determines that the sacrifice of five human lives is worth it so long as the homunculi can then save many more. He also decides not to use Hidden Stone citizens, and luckily for him, there are currently five Hidden Lead genin within their grasp.

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? Do you like Sekki as a character and want him to stick around? Where do you think Mitsuki’s heart came from? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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