Boruto Episode 153

Boruto Episode 153

Harmony in Gold

Obviously Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 153 wasn’t exactly a good episode. It was a filler episode following the filler genin team. That’s right, now that Sumire has left Team 15 to join the research team, and Tsubaki has joined Team 15, all three members are anime original characters.

But, although I still don’t like Namida, Team 15 is actually pretty high up on my personal tier list. And I don’t mean a tier list of how powerful the team is, but how much I like the characters. Obviously Team 7 is probably at the top of this list because all three members are pretty good characters.

But I think Team 15 might be second with two out of three good characters. I still think that Wasabi has a lot of potential due to her Cat Cloak jutsu, and Tsubaki is the best new girl of the Boruto series. As for Namida, at least she has a sound-based jutsu, which is pretty unique.

Teams 5 and 10 both only have one character I really like — Iwabe and Shikadai respectively. Denki and Metal on Team 5 are pretty low tier, as are Inojin and Chouchou on Team 10. I’d like to say Metal and Inojin are good, but they’re both just infinitely worse versions of their fathers.

Tsubaki Kurogane suggesting a competition from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Tsubaki Kurogane suggesting a competition

Anyway, today’s discussion is really going to focus on Tsubaki — not just because the episode focused on her, but because she’s the best girl. Tsubaki has the best character design, best personality, and is potentially the strongest female genin currently.

Sarada is probably stronger, but we haven’t seen her stats.

And speaking of stats, I wasn’t really going to touch on the character stats shown in this episode because we don’t actually know what what stats they were and we don’t have any real reference. But I will say that compared to her teammates, Tsubaki’s stats were far higher.

Team 15 vs. Team 5

The moral of this episode is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Team 15 may have individually stronger members, specifically Tsubaki, but Team 5 has better teamwork, and is therefore the stronger team overall.

However, if we actually look at the compatibility of the members which make up these two teams, they’re not that great. The best teams are those which specialize for one particular type of mission, or those whose jutsu compliment each other perfectly.

A great example of a specialized team is Team 8 from Naruto. Team 8 was made up of Shino Aburame, Hinata Hyuuga, and Kiba Inuzuka (and Akamaru). All of these characters specialize in tracking down enemy shinobi in different ways, so when put together, they create the ultimate tracking team.

Tsubaki Kurogane from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Tsubaki Kurogane

In Boruto we don’t have a specialized team like that within the four core genin teams of the series. And even if we add Teams 25 and 40 into the mix, neither of them are really specialized — though Team 40 does have some good complimentary jutsu.

The Ino-Shika-Cho trio, Team 10, is the pinnacle of complimentary jutsu. I’d say the Boruto version of this team is a bit worse because Inojin specializes in the Super Beast Scroll rather than the Mind Transfer jutsu, but the team synergy is still there.

So what about Team 15? We have Tsubaki who’s basically a fully offensive samurai, able to take on large numbers of opponents single-handedly. Then we have Wasabi, who’s basically a tracking shinobi with some added power. And Namida is more of a long-ranged, single-target attacker.

And, while it would make sense for Namida to be the team’s medic, that role actually falls on Wasabi instead. Team 15 is just all over the place.

Snowstorm Slash

When Sumire was a member of the team, I’d say they were the designated tracking team of the genin, but now each member specializes in something completely different. And now that we’ve established that Team 15 doesn’t have any real synergy, we can take a look at how Tsubaki in particular makes this even worse.

The problem with characters like Tsubaki is that she requires the full support of her teammates. She’s not someone you add to a team in order to make it more effective or stronger. She’s someone you have to build a team around from the start if you really want to make use of her abilities to the fullest.

As I said, she’s fully offensive. She doesn’t know any ninjutsu, so she has no supporting abilities whatsoever. Every part of her “kit” is specialized to allow her to deal as much damage as possible. So that’s the first reason she doesn’t really add to a team, but the bigger reason is her attacks themselves.

Tsubaki preparing to use her Snowstorm Slash from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Tsubaki preparing to use her Snowstorm Slash

Let’s look at her signature attack, Snowstorm Slash, as an example. The first issue with this attack is that it’s an area of effect attack. Yes, it can take out a large number of opponents at once, but it also doesn’t differentiate between friend and foe — so her teammates need to back off for her to use it.

The second issue with Snowstorm Slash is that it also takes Tsubaki out of the fight once she uses it. This technique uses a large amount of chakra, which Tsubaki doesn’t have all that much of considering she’s a samurai, not a shinobi.

So when you look at how Tsubaki fits into a team, the conclusion is that she doesn’t. A team needs to fit around her instead by including support shinobi who can boost Tsubaki’s abilities. In that regard, she’s a lot like Enko Onikuma of Team 40 — the demon girl whose team members specialize in sealing jutsu in case she goes berserk.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Tsubaki is best girl.

But actually, while I do really like her, Tsubaki is a terrible addition to Team 15 — as illustrated by Team 15’s success rate dropping ever since she joined. But what do you think about Tsubaki? Do you actually think she’s a good fit for the team? And who would you pair her up with to take full advantage of her abilities? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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