Boruto Episode 172

Boruto Episode 172

The “White” Kid with Dreadlocks

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 172 was almost entirely filler. Though, there were some important details towards the end of the episode. But, let’s start with the filler stuff first, specifically the character of Nattou, a young boy who’s staying in the hospital.

Nattou’s personality and mystery illness aside, the reason I find him interesting is that he’s a “white” character with dreadlocks. I say “white” because, as is the case in most anime, Nattou is most likely “Asian,” not white. However, in the West, such characters are often viewed as white.

And, this got me thinking about the various peoples within the world of Boruto (and Naruto). So to start this discussion, allow me to just say that while I may refer to certain groups of characters using terms like “Asian,” this isn’t really correct since Asia isn’t a thing in Naruto.

Nattou from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Nattou

Starting with the Leaf Village and the Land of Fire in general, this is the region of the world that seems to be the equivalent of Japan. Generally speaking, everyone from this region has black or brown hair and often darker colored eyes. The Uchiha and Hyūga clans are also from this region, and they’re pretty clearly “Japanese.”

The Land of Wind is a pretty odd place because it’s a sun-scorched desert, and yet, the people there have decently fair skin. People there seem like a mix between Near-Eastern and European. The Land of Stone, meanwhile, appears to be more akin to mainland Asia, specifically China.

As with the Land of Wind, the Land of Lightning is an odd place. The people there have the darkest skin, and are often referred to as “black,” and yet the environment in which they live doesn’t appear to reflect this. And lastly, the Land of Water is just Atlantis, I guess, because there are shark people there.

But what about Naruto? He’s from the Land of Fire, and yet he has blond hair and blue eyes. Well, Naruto is one of the few characters who I would really classify as “white” in the series. His family is actually from the Land of Whirlpools, not the Land of Fire, which explains why he looks different.

A Signature of Fear

As odd as it may seem, I actually thought that the middle portion of this episode was quite good. I hate Denki and Metal, but I actually do like Iwabe has a character, so I don’t mind episodes that feature him prominently. However, that’s not why I liked this part of the episode.

I liked it because it reinforced the idea that Orochimaru is a dangerous guy for newer viewers. Throughout Boruto, there have been mentions of Orochimaru being evil and dangerous. But generally, when we see him, he’s being a somewhat decent parent and isn’t causing anyone any trouble.

With this episode, some of Orochimaru’s past crimes were highlighted to explain why he’s so feared to viewers who may not have watched the parts of the series before Boruto. Specifically, the fact that he attacked the Leaf Village and killed both the Fourth Kazekage and Third Hokage was brought up.

Orochimaru's trading card from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Orochimaru’s trading card

However, I would like to point out that it’s not really as if Orochimaru killed both of those Kage in a fair fight. Rasa (the Fourth Kazekage) was very strong, but he was betrayed by Orochimaru in a surprise attack. And Hiruzen (the Third Hokage) was even stronger but failed to kill Orochimaru with the Reaper Death Seal in part because Orochimaru was his pupil.

Today, Orochimaru could probably defeat Gaara, but there’s no way he would be able to take down Naruto. Naruto is still a jinchūriki, while Gaara is not. But, it’s also not as if Naruto is the only person who could defeat Orochimaru. Orochimaru is strong, but there’s a fair number who are stronger.

Within the Leaf Village specifically, there’s Sasuke, Kakashi, and probably Guy who could defeat Orochimaru. Then, there are others who would put up a very close fight, such as Yamato, Sai, Sakura, and Tsunade.

Something you may have forgotten about is that Sasuke has actually killed Orochimaru in the past.

Training Drawbacks

As you probably noticed, while this episode focused on Denki, Metal, and Iwabe, it wasn’t a training arc for them. They didn’t get any stronger, and in fact, they didn’t train at all. All they did was walk into Orochimaru’s hideout, get beaten up by Suigetsu, and then get Orochimaru’s autograph.

So with that in mind, you may be thinking that they’re going to be severely outclassed by Team 7 after their training arc. While this is somewhat true, it seems that Team 7’s training arc won’t be as influential as we (I) might have first thought.

Last week, I mentioned how Mitsuki might actually come back from his treatment being weaker than he originally was. As for Sarada, her training seems to mainly be focused on using her Sharingan to see things better. And with Boruto, while he has developed a strong jutsu, it’s not one that he can reliably use.

Boruto and Sarada from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto and Sarada

In the end, I think we’ll see a Team 7 that isn’t all that much stronger than they were before their training arc. Mitsuki might be a bit weaker, while Boruto and Sarada might be a bit stronger. Overall, their team-wide strength doesn’t seem like it’s going to change that much. It will just be more balanced.

And, that’s why I think we aren’t really seeing any of the other teams going through similar training. They’re already balanced, unlike how Team 7 was. If Team 7 was really getting significantly stronger here, we would expect to see the other teams following suit.

I’m also interested to see how Boruto eventually overcomes the limitations of his new jutsu. Perhaps the mark on his left hand will have something to do with it. In the meantime, he could just have a shadow clone use the jutsu because a shadow clone losing an arm doesn’t matter in the long run.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 172? Do you think the Hidden Leaf genin are going to be getting significant upgrades any time soon? Who else do you think could defeat Orochimaru? And, what do you think Nattou’s mystery illness was? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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