Boruto Episode 98

Boruto Episode 98

The Cursed Forest

It’s time for (hopefully) the final filler arc before we get back into the real action of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. I predicted the series would get back to main content at episode 100 or 101, and that’s what I’m sticking to, so I’ll be extremely disappointed if there’s more filler after this.

But, at the very least it seems like this next episode has the potential to be decent. The general premise for this current arc is that Teams 7 and 15 are on a joint mission to a small village which has been attacked by monstrous birds, and it’s up to them to solve the mystery.

However, that alone wouldn’t make for a good filler arc. Instead we’re reintroduced to an old character, who I’ll get to later on, and it seems like there’s actually going to be some real action.

Sumire, Wasabi, and Namida of Team 15 from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Sumire, Wasabi, and Namida

Unfortunately, although Team 15 is taking part in this mission as well, Hanabi isn’t present. There’s apparently been a breach in the Hidden Leaf and she’s helping track down the intruder. My guess is that this intruder has something to do with the next real arc.

So, with Konohamaru in the lead, Teams 7 and 15 head out on their mission along with Mr. Tosaka who’s there to help out. But, when they arrive at the village they find that the situation is much worse than they were initially led to believe.

Rather than there just being strange wildlife activity in the area, monster birds have been attacking the villagers and leaving them branded with curse marks which cause them to go berserk. Further, there’s a monster lurking in the forest whose roars can be heard from miles around.

In case you haven’t picked up on this, it’s pretty common for people putting in mission requests to lie about the details of the mission. You’d think the Hidden Leaf would do something about this, but just about every mission seems to be ranked lower than it should due to misinformation.

Mr. Tosaka

While Boruto and Mitsuki were on their way to meet up with the rest of their comrades before the mission, they happen to run into a strange ornithologist named Mr. Tosaka. Mr. Tosaka has an unhealthy obsession with birds that compels him to lick anything related to them.

But, Mr. Tosaka isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. He’s simply the escortee of this filler arc escort mission. Mr. Tosaka was sent along on the mission because it was thought to simply be about the strange behavior of some birds.

That said, he’ll likely play an “important” role in the next episode or two. And, by important I of course mean that he’ll probably get kidnapped or something and have to be saved, because if we’re being honest, I don’t see what else he could possibly bring to the table.

Oh, and we’ll likely learn the moral of the story from him. At the beginning of the episode he taught Boruto and Mitsuki about genes, and at the end of the arc we’ll probably see that Boruto now accepts the genes which were passed down to him by his parents.

Hooray for biology, I guess.

Jūgo

But, let’s be honest, the only good thing to come out of today’s episode is that Jūgo has finally reappeared. Sarada previously met him when she visited Orochimaru’s hideout, but he didn’t really have much of a role at that point in the series, much like the rest of the former Hebi members.

I mean, he’s still not going to have a role after this filler arc, but at least we can pretend Jūgo is important for now. It’s even possible that Jūgo will help Boruto accept the genes he received from his parents by telling him the tale of how Jūgo’s clan pass the curse mark down between generations.

Or, maybe we’ll even see that the mark on Boruto’s hand left by Momoshiki is a curse mark similar to the one Jūgo has. I already assumed it was a curse mark of some sort, but perhaps Jūgo will be able to shed some more light on it.

Jūgo's curse mark transformation from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Jūgo’s curse mark transformation

Also, while Jūgo is set up to be the antagonist of this arc, I’m 100% certain that isn’t really the case. Yes, he’s dangerous when he’s in his curse mark transformation, but other than that Jūgo is a pacifist, as anyone who’s watched Shippūden will know.

It seems that the true antagonists are somewhere upstream, since the river water appears to be the source of the curse mark which is affecting both the local wildlife and human populations. So, if Jūgo isn’t the issue, then what does he have to do with everything?

From what we saw, it looks like Jūgo has the ability to remove the curse marks from the affected villagers, and probably the wildlife as well. However, this would be like taking their curse marks into himself, and therefore cause him to go berserk, which is why he locks himself away in a cave in the forest.

So, while Boruto and the villagers may see Jūgo as a monster, he’s actually trying to save them all from the effects of the curse mark.

Next Episode

I haven’t included a “next episode” section in quite a while, but due to the fact that there isn’t really all that much to discuss with these filler episodes, I figured, “why not?” So, what can we expect from the next episode of Boruto, and what are my predictions for it?

For starters, the next episode preview showed us that although this is going to be a filler episode, it may be quite an exciting one. Not only do we meet two new antagonists, who we can assume are responsible for the curse marks appearing in the village, but we also get a fight between Konohamaru and Jūgo.

My guess is that the new antagonists in this arc won’t actually be all that important as far as the main plot goes, but their character designs at least looked interesting so let’s hope they have some interesting jutsu to match.

As for Konohamaru vs. Jūgo, I’ve been wanting to see a fight with Konohamaru going “all-out” for quite a while now, and my wish might finally be granted. From the small portion of the fight that was teased, it seems like there’s going to be some good choreography, and hopefully that means an increase in animation quality as well.

Boruto as a series isn’t all that visually appealing, but when the animators decide to go all-in, it (and its predecessors) look better than just about every other shounen anime out there. I’d honestly love if Boruto was changed into a seasonal anime if it meant the animation quality was always that high.

But, despite whether or not we get some well-animated fight scenes in the next episode, I don’t think the arc is going to conclude here. This next episode may turn out to be the climax of the arc as far as I’m concerned, but my guess is that one more episode will be needed to wrap things up.

So, expect this arc to conclude with episode 100, and then hopefully episode 101 will get back on track with the main plot. However, I’ll say this right now, if there’s another standalone filler episode after this filler arc, don’t expect me to do a review of it.

Conclusion

So, what did you think of this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? Did the fact that Jūgo showed up really redeem it? And, at what episode do you think we’ll finally get back to the main plot? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you enjoyed today’s review even though it was of a filler episode, click the like button ❤ down below. And, give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any of my latest content.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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