Boruto Episode 178

Boruto Episode 178

Ao of the Hidden Mist

If you’ve been following along with my Boruto episode reviews, you may have noticed that I’m a fan of episodes that tie back into previous parts of the series. I understand that there are probably a lot of Boruto viewers who never watched Naruto or Shippūden, and I like when Boruto explains a bit of that history to them.

With that said, I don’t think that this episode did the best job of that. I do think it was a very good episode overall for other reasons, but let’s first go over where it failed.

My main issue with this series is that the way it chose to explain the past was by showing us a flashback and having it overlaid with awkward exposition. I would have rather had just the flashback or just the exposition than both of them together. And if we’re going the exposition route, it shouldn’t be Shikamaru explaining the past to Ino. Ino already knows it.

Ao from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Ao

What I think this episode did very well was to reintroduce Ao into the series while also developing his character. Ao was a sensory shinobi of the Hidden Mist who was a member of their hunter division and later the right-hand to the Mizukage.

An important part of Ao’s character was also the fact that he was the only non-Hyūga to wield a Byakugan. It looks like he no longer has his Byakugan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s brought up later when he inevitably meets Boruto and learns that his mother is from the Hyūga clan.

Overall though, I liked seeing a slightly more vulnerable side of Ao. He seems to have been suffering from survivor’s guilt, and it was nice to see him finally get to pay his respects to Shikaku and Inoichi.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day isn’t a new thing in Boruto; it’s come up in previous episodes. However, one thing I don’t remember about it is whether it’s solely for the Fourth Great Shinobi War or if it covers all of the previous wars. I don’t feel like they would have different holidays for each war, so it must include them all.

I bring this up because this episode focused heavily on the Fourth Great Shinobi War and took place at the monument to it. There’s a different monument that stands in recognition of those who lost their lives during the Third Great Shinobi War. And we can probably assume the same is true for the two wars before that.

It’s also worth noting that Tsunade was the speaker during this event. There were probably multiple speakers, including Naruto. But I think the focus was on Tsunade here because she was the Hokage during the war. Interestingly though, we actually didn’t see either of the other living Kage at all.

Hinata and Himawari observing Remembrance Day from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Hinata and Himawari observing Remembrance Day

I’ll assume that Naruto was just somewhere off-stage waiting for his turn to speak. But what about Kakashi? My bet is that Kakashi was at the monument to the Third Great Shinobi War instead. Technically speaking, Obito died during the Fourth War, but for argument’s sake, both he and Rin died during the Third War.

For this reason, the Third War will always be the event that Kakashi will remember. But I’m pretty sure we already had an episode dedicated to Kakashi remembering them, so I get why it wasn’t shown here.

One final thing I want to bring up in this section is that I don’t think the Boruto series has ever actually explained how Neji died — Neji being Hinata’s cousin whom she’s seen holding a picture of in the screenshot above.

Neji died because Hinata jumped in front of Naruto to save him from the Ten-Tails during the war and Neji, in turn, jumped in front of Hinata to save her. So yes, we can absolutely blame Naruto for the death of Neji even if nobody in-universe does.

Our Fathers’ Example

I may not have liked the earlier flashback/exposition, but towards the end of the episode, I felt that it got it right. After Shikamaru asks Ao whether or not his father truly believed that they could defeat the Ten-Tails with his plan, Ao explains how Shikaku and Inoichi’s final moments went.

Why was this so good? First, I’m fairly certain this isn’t a scene ripped directly from Shippūden. I do think we got a shortened version of this scene back then, but I’m pretty sure what we saw in this episode was new. And on top of that, Ao, someone who was there, was explaining what happened to Shikamaru, someone who wasn’t.

Shikaku Nara and Inoichi Yamanaka from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Shikaku Nara and Inoichi Yamanaka

Another thing I liked was that this episode gave closure to Shikamaru and Ino. This is a bit odd though because we weren’t aware that they needed closure until this episode. Normally you would think that bringing up something like this would only amount to a cheap attempt at creating emotion. But I thought it worked well here.

Maybe for someone who hasn’t watched Shippūden this scene and the episode as a whole wouldn’t have had the same impact. If you’re a Boruto-only watcher, let me know how you felt about it. Also, why haven’t you watched Naruto and Shippūden?

And as a final point on this topic, I found it interesting that Choji and Choza (Choji’s father) didn’t make an appearance. Choza was the teammate of Shikaku and Inoichi. He wouldn’t have had any information regarding what Shikaku was thinking in the end, but he could have at least made an appearance and offered up some advice.

Conclusion

What do you think about Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 178? Was it a good episode despite having no action? Is there anyone you would have liked to see make an appearance and weigh in on Shikaku and Inoichi’s final thoughts? And what do you think Ao’s role is going to be moving forward? He has to have some role outside of this episode.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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