Boruto Episode 164

Boruto Episode 164

The Forbidden Jutsu of Death

There are a lot of forbidden jutsu in the world of Naruto and Boruto. In fact, it may be easy to forget that the Shadow Clone jutsu that’s synonymous with the franchise is a forbidden jutsu itself. But there are only a few jutsu that are forbidden because they’re guaranteed to kill the user — and one such jutsu was used in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 164.

Unfortunately for Yuuga, the user of this jutsu, this is a really bad jutsu to sacrifice your life to use. To illustrate why this is the case, we first need to take a quick look at some of the other jutsu that sacrifice their users.

The "One who beckons all to the otherworld" from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
The “One who beckons all to the otherworld”
  • The Twin Snake Sacrifice Jutsu is used by forming hand signs in unison with your opponent. It then kills both users.
  • Deidara’s C0 explosive clay jutsu turns his body into a bomb, killing him and anyone around. It was strong enough to kill the giant snake Manda.
  • The Reaper Death Seal trades the user’s life to seal the chakra (life force) of opponents they touch. Hiruzen uses it on the reanimated first and second Hokage and almost kills Orochimaru as well.
  • The Eight Inner Gates technique kills its user after they open the Eighth Gate of Death and expend all of their chakra.
  • Rinne Tensei is a mass-reanimation-type jutsu that only someone with the Rinnegan can perform. The user then dies.

There are probably some that I missed, but this list covers most of them. Also, interestingly, the Twin Snake Sacrifice Jutsu is the only self-sacrifice jutsu on this list that has never been used to completion in the series.

But why is the self-sacrifice jutsu used in this episode so bad? It first kills the user, then erects a barrier that can be released by a mere two jonin, and finally summons a monster from hell that chases chakra, not specific opponents, and can be taken down by a punch and two Rasengan.

Nothing about the jutsu is guaranteed and it’s not even particularly strong.

Boruto and Mugino

I believe it was last week that I discussed how Boruto and Mugino are supposed to have differences of opinion in this arc and then eventually learn to respect one another. And in that discussion, I mentioned that there doesn’t seem to be a natural way to do that in this arc because of the relationship they already have.

This episode attempted to insert a conflict between Boruto and Mugino that wasn’t needed. Mugino wants to take down the barrier and leave the monster while Boruto wants to take down the monster and hopes the barrier will fall with it. But, there’s not really a disagreement here because Boruto accepts Mugino’s plan.

The only conflict between the two in this episode arises solely out of how Mugino shot down Boruto’s plan. They understand the points each other is trying to make. Mugino just isn’t very tactful with his words. I wouldn’t really consider that a conflict.

Konohamaru and Mugino releasing the barrier from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Konohamaru and Mugino releasing the barrier

There is one way in which this situation could have been turned into a conflict between them, though. And I’m actually very surprised that this didn’t happen because it would have been extremely easy to include and still fit into both of their characters.

As I said, Boruto wanted to take down the barrier by defeating the monster while Mugino wanted to avoid the monster and take down the barrier on its own. So, why did nobody bring up the fact that Mugino was willing to let the monster rampage unchecked after the barrier was down?

Boruto could have simply brought this up claiming that it’s wrong for them to leave a threat like that unchecked. Mugino would have then responded that their mission is to recover the Hashirama Cell first and foremost. That could have been the conflict, and the episode still could have ended the same exact way.

What’s the Moral of the Arc?

In case you weren’t aware, basically every arc in Boruto has a moral or lesson to be learned by the end. Initially, it appeared as though the moral of this arc was going to be the classic: both your mission and your friends are important, so you should find a way not to sacrifice either.

We’ve seen other arcs in the past that have had this same moral to various degrees. But it’s now looking like that’s not the moral of the arc. And from what I’m seeing, this arc could end up with a very interesting moral if it continues down the path it’s currently on.

Basically, we’re headed towards the lesson of the arc being that there are some things worth risking your life for. That’s not something I expected from Boruto. I agree with it in some senses, but in others, I don’t. And it’s that grayness of this lesson that I figured they would avoid considering the seriousness of the outcome.

Boruto using Rasengan from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto using Rasengan

This isn’t saying that sometimes you need to stand up for something you believe in. This is saying that there are some things worth losing your life to achieve. That’s not a message that should be promoted carelessly and I’m interested in seeing how the rest of the arc deals with it.

Normally at this point in the arc, I would say that the lesson would be that your life is more important than your mission. However, the reason I think the opposite is the lesson this time around is that Boruto already feels that way. Boruto can’t comprehend sacrificing your life for the sake of a mission.

So my bet is that the arc will put a slightly different spin on the lesson to make it more palatable. For example, the next or last of the quadruplets might explain that it’s not their mission that they’re willing to throw away their lives for, but rather that it’s to protect their friends, family, and community back home.

It’s still kind of a heavy subject, though.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 164? Do you think the jutsu Yuuga used was worth sacrificing his life? Do you think there will actually be a meaningful conflict between Boruto and Mugino in this arc? And what do you think the moral of the arc is? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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