Boruto Episode 185

Boruto Episode 185

Tools

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 185 went by pretty quickly this week despite the lack of action. This episode focused heavily on the idea and role of tools. What are tools and how should they be used? The Hidden Leaf shinobi and Kara have some varying answers to these questions.

Throughout most of the Boruto series, Boruto’s character has been grappling with the question of whether scientific ninja tools are inherently good or bad. I’ve written about this a lot already, so I’m not going to get into it again here.

But what’s important to notice in this episode is that Boruto finally seems to have made up his mind. He’s come to the conclusion that tools aren’t inherently good or bad. What makes a tool either good or bad is how it was intended to be used and how someone uses it. So basically, he figured out what everyone already knows.

Boruto wearing a scientific ninja tool from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto wearing a scientific ninja tool

As for the tools created by Dr. Katasuke, Boruto understands that they were created with the intent of improving people’s lives and making them smile. So even if the enemy is using tools based on Katasuke’s research, Boruto doesn’t place the blame on Katasuke.

What’s going to be interesting going forward is how Boruto rationalizes Ao’s use of scientific ninja tools. Obviously, Ao is using these tools to do harm rather than good. But considering Ao views himself as no more than a tool of Kara, is Boruto going to blame him?

I think it could go one of two ways. Either Boruto reminds Ao that he’s a person, not a tool. Or, Boruto reminds Ao that tools aren’t inherently good or bad and that he can make his own decisions regarding how he’s used as a tool.

Kara Infighting

Last week on Twitter, I saw someone mention how they’re enjoying all of the anime-only scenes featuring the Kara members because it lets us get to know them. I don’t read the Boruto manga, so I don’t know how much of these scenes is anime-only and how much is from the source.

But, I have to say that I disagree with their sentiment. I’ve written at length about the Akatsuki before because they’re a great antagonist organization. However, I feel that Kara is missing a lot of the mystique that made the Akatsuki so interesting.

Members and pairs of the Akatsuki were slowly revealed over a long period of time in both Naruto and Shippūden. For example, Itachi and Kisame were the first Akatsuki members to be introduced back in Naruto episode 80. Nagato, the leader of the Akatsuki, wasn’t revealed until Shippūden episode 128. That’s a span of 268 episodes.

Delta from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Delta

Meanwhile, we were introduced to all of the Kara Inners within a span of about 20 episodes. And not only were we introduced to all of them within this time, but two of the nine have already been killed.

I get that if you’re a manga reader, you might enjoy some of these Kara scenes because they add characterization. But you’re also coming from the perspective of someone who’s already completed arcs focusing on these characters. For anime watchers, this is their introduction to the characters.

And honestly, I don’t think it’s a good introduction to the antagonists. I’d much rather have Kara be some shadowy organization that gets revealed over time. Revealing them all upfront and letting us get to know them just removes the suspense. I don’t feel like any of them are real threats — and that may also be partially due to their character designs.

Ao’s Goal

The next episode is going to feature the fight between the Hidden Leaf shinobi and Ao. But I don’t see this being the end of Ao’s arc. There has to be more to it considering that we don’t exactly know why he joined Kara. He might be defeated by Boruto next week. However, even if this occurs, I feel that he still has a role to play.

Really, all we know about Ao’s involvement with Kara right now is that “[his] goal is to break away from the life of a shinobi.” What he means by that is a complete mystery at this point in time. And I don’t see his reasoning for joining Kara being left so ambiguous.

But, let’s try to unpack the goal Ao claims to have. What does he mean by “break away from the life of a shinobi” and why would he want to do that in the first place?

Koji meeting up with Ao from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Koji meeting up with Ao

Starting with the why, I think it’s fairly clear that this stems from what he went through after the war. We know he suffers from survivor’s guilt after being the only person to survive the destruction of the Allied Shinobi Forces command center.

However, you might expect that surviving the war in such a way would turn him into a pacifist. That’s clearly not what happened. So why is he now aggressively anti-shinobi? Is it because he feels that shinobi are the cause of the wars and destruction. Probably not.

I’m going to take a guess here and say that the reason Ao now wants to view himself as a tool rather than a shinobi is that tools don’t have to make decisions. I think he’s haunted by the decisions he had to make during the war and as a shinobi in general. If he views himself as a mere tool, he doesn’t have to worry about making tough decisions and feeling guilt over them.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 185? How do you think Boruto is going to talk-no-jutsu Ao into backing down? What are your thoughts on how the members of Kara have been introduced? And why do you think Ao’s goal is to be a tool rather than a shinobi? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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