Boruto Episode 124

Boruto Episode 124

Decision Time

Due to this arc focusing on Boruto and Shinki, I’ve been thinking a lot about how Shinki relates to previously known shinobi. And since this episode showcases him using some of the jutsu of his elders, I think this is as good a time as any to dive head first into that discussion.

Shinki is an extremely interesting character due to his backstory — or lack thereof. We know that he’s not Gaara’s real son, but rather that he was adopted. Aside from that, we know nothing about who his real family is. However, it’s safe to assume they’re all dead considering he now lives as Gaara’s son.

The thing is, Shinki has a Kekkei Genkai which is a big deal. When I went through the chakra natures of the Hidden Leaf Village genin, I made sure to point out that none of them are Kekkei Genkai holders — except for Sarada and potentially Boruto, but those two are different.

Shinki’s Kekkei Genkai is the Iron Release. This is a major clue because as far as we’ve seen there are very few people who can use this Kekkei Genkai without wielding Shukaku’s chakra.

The Fourth and Fifth Kazekage — Rasa and Gaara — are able to use Iron Release (though in Gaara’s case it’s unclear where he gets this ability from). However, Shinki is adopted so he isn’t related to them. This leaves the Third Kazekage as Shinki’s likely ancestor.

I’m hoping that Shinki’s lineage is revealed one day, but for now I’m going to assume he’s the grandson of the Third Kazekage. There are also two other Iron Release users, but they aren’t from the Sand Village so they likely aren’t related to Shinki.

Secret Black Art: Black Iron

This week’s episode also showcases Shinki using two jutsu from his adopted family. The first we see him use is the Secret Black Art: Black Iron sealing jutsu. This jutsu involves summoning a demonic, skeletal puppet which seals an opponent in iron sand after clamping its jaws down on them.

Shinki explains that he learned this jutsu from Kankuro, though Kankuro can’t actually use it himself in the exact same way. Kankuro doesn’t have the Iron Release Kekkei Genkai, so if he were to use this jutsu it would probably use normal sand, not iron sand.

It’s unclear whether or not the use of iron sand would make this sealing technique more powerful. My assumption is that it wouldn’t, and that the iron sand version is just what Shinki uses because he can. Either way, it’s no match for Urashiki Ōtsutsuki.

Shinki's Black Iron jutsu sealing Urashiki Ōtsutsuki from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Shinki’s Black Iron jutsu sealing Urashiki

The second jutsu we see Shinki use is the Third Eye of Iron Sand jutsu. Previously we’ve seen Gaara use the Third Eye jutsu with regular sand, so we can assume it was Gaara who taught Shinki this technique. Again, the fact that Shinki uses iron sand doesn’t seem to improve this jutsu.

However, there is one way in which Shinki’s Iron Release could make certain jutsu more powerful. He’s also able to use the Lightning Release, so maybe we’ll get to see him electrify his iron sand techniques and use them in interesting ways in the future. And he may have already done this in the past, I just don’t remember.

The Long Way Around

So, after sealing Urashiki for what seems like only a few minutes, Shinki and Boruto are able to escape. The only problem is that, like all members of the Ōtsutsuki clan, Urashiki has the Byakugan. This allows him to track Shinki and Boruto over long distances.

Luckily, Shinki determines the distance at which Urashiki’s Byakugan works and comes up with a plan. Once they’re out of his sight, the pair makes a detour so that Urashiki passes by them and continues on the shortest route to the Hidden Leaf Village.

And this is when they realize that there’s actually a second problem. The lands of Fire, Wind, and Stone are all separated by a canyon. Between the lands of Fire and Wind there’s really only one major bridge, and so now that Urashiki has gone ahead of the pair, he can simply wait and ambush them at the bridge.

At this point, Shinki and Boruto have a major problem. They took a longer route in order to escape from Urashiki in the short term, but they’ve blocked off their path in the long term. Also, Shinki is running out of chakra by this point due to all the jutsu he had been using.

Decoy Operation

Surprisingly, it’s Boruto who comes up with a solution to their problem. Although the bridge guarded by Urashiki is the shortest route to the Leaf Village, it’s not the only one. But, if the pair take the long way around, Urashiki will likely notice after they don’t show up to the bridge for too long.

To get around this, Shinki and Boruto split up. Shinki will take Shukaku the long way around while Boruto will face Urashiki as the distraction. Although Shinki agrees with this plan, it’s clear that Boruto has no way of defeating Urashiki alone. In fact, I don’t even think the pair of them can defeat him.

Urashiki seems to be the weakest member of the Ōtsutsuki clan we’ve met over the years, but he’s still an Ōtsutsuki. In fact, no Ōtsutsuki clan member has ever been defeated without Naruto’s direct intervention. But, I don’t think Naruto is going to be showing up this time.

Shinki of the Sand from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Shinki of the Sand

Instead, Sasuke is most likely going to be the one to save the day. We know that he’s attempting to return to his own dimension currently, but to do so he needs to save up more chakra. In the meantime, based on the next episode preview, it looks like Shinki is going to turn back and help Boruto.

Boruto has one of his shadow clones disguised as Shinki using the transformation jutsu, but I don’t believe that’s who we saw fighting alongside Boruto in the preview. We were shown Shinki using his iron sand technique, and that’s not something Boruto’s clone would be able to do.

The pair, along with Shukaku perhaps, will likely hold off Urashiki during episode 125. Then, Sasuke will appear in episode 126 and help them take down Urashiki.

Conclusion

What do you think about Shinki? Do you think he’s related to the Third Kazekage? Is he actually related to Gaara somehow? Do his ancestors originate from outside the land of Wind? And how do you think he and Boruto will be able to hold of Urashiki? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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