Tag: Boruto

Boruto Episode 182

Boruto Episode 182

Kara Karma

For the second week in a row, I need to start my Boruto episode review off with a correction. Last week, I said that Amado is either going to be the VIII (8th) or IX (9th) inner of Kara because Kawaki is the X (10th). After seeing the OP again, I’ve realized that’s incorrect.

Kawaki is actually the IX (9th) member, which means Amado would have to be the VIII (8th). I stand by everything else I said about Kara’s Inners in last week’s review, though.

Moving on to this week, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 182 introduced two new pieces of information. First is the existence of a power known as karma. And second is the idea that the vessel is unable to move itself, and therefore had to have been tampered with by someone.

Jigen from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Jigen

Starting with karma, the name doesn’t seem to fit with the ability Jigen describes. The word karma has to do with fate. But Jigen claims to have sensed the vessel move with his karma. So my best guess is that karma is some sort of “enlightened” form of sensory jutsu that Jigen is able to use. It is notable that he doesn’t use the word jutsu, though.

As for the movement of the vessel, Jigen claims that someone had to interfere with it in order for it to move. That implies that the vessel can’t move on its own. Additionally, it’s implied that karma is needed to move the vessel, both by the fact that Jigen’s karma sensed it and by Jigen stating that Victor couldn’t have done it.

Additionally, if I understood those implications correctly, it would mean that there are other Inners who can use karma. And perhaps Jigen confides in Amado because Amado can’t use karma, so he knows Amado wasn’t the traitor.

At this point, I’m going to guess that the vessel (which is pretty clearly Kawaki), awakened karma on its own. I don’t know how because we know literally nothing about karma at this point. But that’s my guess based on nothing.

Scientific Ninja Tools Have Gone Too Far

I’ve written about the advanced technology within the Boruto series multiple times by now. But there was something in this episode that made me need to revisit this topic. Of course, I’m talking about Konohamaru’s scroll USB flash drive.

When it comes to most of the advanced technology in the Boruto series, I can accept it. Holographic monitors, bio-engineering, and scientific ninja tools are all fine in my book. And although it’s odd, I’ll even accept that despite having all of these advancements, they still don’t have long-range communication.

But the one thing I can’t accept is Konohamaru pulling a scroll USB flash drive out of his back pocket like it’s nothing. Honestly, when he pulled out the scroll, I thought he was about to use it to summon a flash drive of some sort. So you can imagine my shock when he popped the cap off to reveal that the scroll itself was the flash drive.

Konohamaru using a scroll USB flash drive from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Konohamaru using a scroll USB flash drive

There’s just something about the technology in this series that doesn’t add up. How can they be so advanced in some aspects, such as medical technology, and be so primitive in others, such as communication technology? The scroll USB is the definitive example of this problem.

The Leaf Village’s top scientists developed USB technology. That’s good. But rather than making it compact like our modern USBs, they opted for a full-size scroll design.

I guess the idea here is that shinobi are already used to using scrolls. After all, scrolls are used to store and summon a variety of things. And flash drives are used to store and “summon” data. So naturally — at least in their eyes — the flash drive should be a scroll. What’s next? Are they going to invent guns that look like kunai because those are the weapons shinobi are used to?

Ao’s Mission

At the end of the previous episode review, I mentioned that Ao appeared to be an Outer of Kara. Originally, I didn’t think that this would turn out to be the case. But the preview for this week’s episode made it pretty clear. And now that we’ve seen episode 182, we know for certain that it’s the case.

Why Ao would join Kara as an Outer is still unclear. He fought alongside the Allied Shinobi Forces during the Fourth Great War, so I don’t see him now allying himself with a group that wants to destroy the peace. That means the ultimate goal of Kara is probably a “noble” one, even if a bit twisted.

Of course, you could also always say that after the war, Ao felt that the peace made shinobi like himself useless. In that scenario, perhaps he would have sided with an “evil” organization. After all, the only thing he really knows is war. He was one of the premier assassins for the Hidden Mist Village.

Ao from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Ao

We may not know why Ao would join Kara, but at least it’s now been confirmed that he was the one who obtained the scientific ninja tool leaks from Katasuke. And, this also clears Katasuke of any involvement with Kara.

Although Katasuke had previously been cleared by Naruto, I wasn’t convinced. Now that we know Ao erased his memories of their encounter and was planning to kill him if he remembered, I can finally say he’s cleared for real. And I also have to say that Ao must really believe in Kara’s goal if he’s willing to kill the man who saved his life after the war.

As for Ao’s new mission, he’s been tasked with retrieving the vessel and killing anyone with knowledge of it — Konohamaru and Mugino. I’m interested to see how Ao stacks up against them considering, as he mentioned, he hasn’t seen real combat in 16 years.

With a wounded Mugino to protect, I think Konohamaru will be at a disadvantage. But if Mugino was out of the equation, Konohamaru wouldn’t really have to worry about Ao at this point. Ao is past his prime and Konohamaru is in his prime. And while the series doesn’t like to paint Konohamaru as all that strong, we’ve seen on a few occasions that he really is.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 182? How do you think karma is awakened? What other modern technologies do you want to see used in absurd ways? And how do you see this mission ending for Ao? In my opinion, he has to switch sides at some point and help fight against Kara.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Boruto Episode 181

Boruto Episode 181

Numbering the Inners

To start off this review of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 181, I want to correct some misunderstandings I had in previous episode reviews. First, it would seem that Jigen really is the leader of Kara despite not having the lowest Roman numeral tattooed on his face.

Second, everyone who has a direct connection to Jigen is considered an Inner. Originally I thought that Victor and Amado may simply be scientists working for Kara, but it turns out they’re fully-fledged Inners. And going along with that, I’m pretty sure the triangle tattoo that Victor has is actually the Roman numeral V (5).

The question that then brings up is, what number is Delta? She has a triangle aesthetic, but if Victor is already V (5), then what’s Delta’s numeral? Since her whole thing is triangles, you might think that she’s III (3). But, I think the actual III (3) is the larger man with the beard and mustache — he has three vertical lines on his face.

Jigen is obviously IV (4), Deepa was VII (7), and the man referred to as Code is VI (6). That means we have the numbers 3-7 confirmed. What about the rest?

Well, my guess is actually that Delta is I (1), Koji is II (2), and Amado is VIII (8) or IX (9). Delta does have a single line down her forehead, which is why I think she’s I (1). We can’t see all of Koji’s face, but he has a line coming down from each eye, so I think he’s II (2). And that leaves VIII (8) or IX (9) for Amado.

Now, why am I saying that Amado could be IX (9) instead of just VIII (8)? Well, if you paid attention to the new OP, you’d see that Kawaki is X (10). So if Amado is VIII (8), there still must be — or must have been — a IX (9) before Kawaki. So I think for now we can assume Amado is one of those two numbers, but we can’t say which one.

Who is Koji Kashin?

I don’t read the Boruto manga and I generally try to avoid spoilers of any kind. But occasionally, I do see pieces of discussion happening about it on Twitter. And one of these pieces I saw a while back was about the identity of Koji Kashin when he was introduced in the manga.

There won’t be any spoilers in this review, so you don’t have to worry about that. I actually don’t even know anything more about Koji than you do at this point. All I know is that when his design was revealed, people were speculating that he might be Jiraiya because they look somewhat similar.

Koji Kashin using a fire style jutsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generation
Koji Kashin using a fire style jutsu

So what evidence do we have so far for Koji being Jiraiya? Well, he has the lines coming down from his eyes and he has white hair. Those are the two things it seemed that manga readers latched onto. He also claims to have some connection with the Hidden Leaf Village. And he’s proficient in fire style jutsu, which is the Hidden Leaf’s specialty.

Now, why do I think that Koji isn’t Jiraiya? The biggest thing is that Jiraiya died. Sure, it could be retconned so that he survived somehow, but I don’t see that happening. The next thing is that his hair isn’t spiky like Jiraiya’s. And the lines coming down from his eyes are black, not red — something manga readers didn’t know at the time.

And as one, final nail in the coffin, Koji doesn’t have the same voice actor as Jiraiya. Jiraiya was voiced by Hōchū Ōtsuka and Koji is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura.

But, it is clear that Koji’s identity is going to be important considering his connection to the Hidden Leaf and proficiency at fire style jutsu. It’s possible related to Jiraiya in some way. We don’t know Jiraiya’s family name, after all. But, I think even that’s unlikely.

Naruto vs. Boruto

Although the exhibition match between Naruto and Boruto was set up to be the climax of the episode, I actually thought it was the least interesting part. There wasn’t any crazy choreography in this fight. And for the most part, it was just Naruto and Boruto standing on opposite sides of the arena.

The first of two big reveals in this fight is that Boruto can use water style jutsu. I know that he used the scientific ninja tool to use water style during the chunin exams. But I’m pretty sure that we’ve seen Boruto use water style since then. Maybe I’m wrong, but I felt like this had already been revealed.

Either way, the water style jutsu Boruto uses here is on a pretty large scale. He doesn’t just create a jet of water as would normally be expected. He’s able to create large waves of water that don’t just dissipate once he’s done with the jutsu.

Naruto facing Boruto's water style jutsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Naruto facing Boruto’s water style jutsu

We also saw him combine his lightning style with the water style just as he did during the chunin exam. I liked this because it showed his growth. What he could only do before with the help of a tool, he can now do through his own strength and abilities. Well, except for Kakashi’s Purple Lightning jutsu.

The other big reveal is Naruto’s new prosthetic arm. As was explained, Katasuke designed it to function like the Rinnegan Momoshiki had in his palms. Both Momoshiki and this new prosthetic are able to absorb jutsu. However, Momoshiki is then able to expel those jutsu back at their users with enhanced power.

I’m interested to see how this new prosthetic comes into play. Has Katasuke equipped one of the Kara with a similar tool? Will Naruto end up relying on it too heavily and lose a fight because of that? Or will it actually turn out to be helpful in a future battle?

The Vessel

At this point, I don’t think there should be any doubt about Kawaki being the “vessel” referred to by Kara. He was prominently featured in the new OP, even showing off his X (10) facial tattoo. What’s uncertain is how he’s going to fit into the existing story.

From what we saw of him in episode 1, it’s clear that he’s an antagonist of some sort. He seems to have helped destroy the Hidden Leaf Village and even claims to have done something to Naruto. Then, in the previous OP, he was depicted as a sort of foil to Boruto’s character.

However, in the new OP, we see a different side of Kawaki. Rather than being an antagonist or even a foil/rival to Boruto, he’s shown as an ally. Keep in mind that the events that take place within the OPs aren’t necessarily canon. But even so, we’re shown Boruto and Kawaki teaming up to fight Jigen.

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

If I had to guess, I’d say that the fight depicted in this OP is supposed to take place after the confrontation between Boruto and Kawaki shown in episode 1. I think it will be kind of like how Sasuke was an “antagonist” for most of Naruto: Shippuden, but then swapped sides for the final battle during the war.

Boruto doesn’t yet have his own version of Sasuke. He, Sarada, and Mitsuki all get along well and work together. Perhaps Kawaki is the rival that Boruto needs in order to get stronger. I think it would also be interesting if Kawaki is Jigen’s son. That could give him and Boruto something in common if they both want to prove their strength to their fathers.

I really thought Kawaki was going to be shown in this episode, but it seems that we’ll have to wait. I’m guessing that he won’t even make an appearance next week either.

Ao’s Kara Connection

For this last section, I just want to briefly touch on the next episode preview. It appears that Ao is indeed an Outer of Kara. We were shown a scene of him meeting up with Koji, so I’m assuming Ao is the Outer Koji said he would enlist for this mission.

What I still don’t understand is why Ao would join up with Kara. Ao is a hero of the Fourth Great Shinobi War. He’s respected and recognized as a great shinobi. So why would he join a terrorist organization like Kara?

Unfortunately, since we still know absolutely nothing about Kara’s end goal, I can’t even begin to speculate. I doubt Ao is being threatened in any way. One reason for him to join them is if he believes their goal to be a noble one. But maybe he simply joined because Victor saved his life after the war. With Victor dead, Ao might swap sides once again.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 181? Do you think I’m right about the remaining unconfirmed Kara Inner numbers? Do you think Koji is connected to Jiraiya in any way? And what do you think about the new OP and ED? I like them, but they’re not my favorites of the series.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Boruto Episode 180

Boruto Episode 180

Hiruzen Sarutobi

On the surface, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 180 seems like it’s just a filler episode. However, it actually sets up episode 181, which should be a very important episode. Next week, I believe we’re finally going to see Kawaki, the person Boruto was fighting in episode 1, introduced into the series.

But before we can get to Kawaki’s entrance, we need to revisit Mugino’s plotline and add a bit more background to his character. Up until now, all we’ve really known about Mugino is that he’s Konohamaru’s friend and a very capable shinobi in his own right who’s sent out on long-term missions.

Now, we know that Mugino wasn’t originally from the Hidden Leaf Village. I don’t believe it was stated exactly where he grew up, but he was a war orphan living somewhere in the Land of Fire. He was then scooped up by a group opposed to the Third Hokage and trained to assassinate Hiruzen Sarutobi.

Mugino's picture of Hiruzen Sarutobi from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mugino’s picture of Hiruzen Sarutobi

While there were most likely multiple groups that wanted Hiruzen dead after the Third Great Shinobi War, there’s one group, in particular, that was probably controlling Mugino. This organization was known as Root.

Root was a subdivision of the Anbu that was controlled by Danzō Shimura rather than the Hokage, Hiruzen. They wore the same masks that the Anbu wear (as we see the assassins in this episode do) and they used curse marks to control people (as we see they do to Mugino in this episode).

Furthermore, Danzō had aspirations of becoming the Hokage. And in order to achieve this goal, he needed to eliminate Hiruzen — something he was known for attempting on multiple occasions.

The Assassin, Mugino

After watching this episode, you may have been left wondering what the point of building up Mugino’s character in this way at this particular time is. I’m fairly certain that the purpose of this episode was to set up Mugino’s death — very possibly at the hands of Kawaki.

Before the second fight against Deepa and Victor, we got a death flag scene for Mugino in which he was told by a fortune teller that someone close to him would die and that only he could stop it. After this, Mugino joins Konohamaru on his mission to investigate Victor.

At the time, I assumed Mugino would die during that mission. But as we know, that’s not what happened. However, it doesn’t seem like Mugino is out of the woods yet. Episode 180 doubled down on that original death flag and added in a few others just to make it even more clear that his time is coming.

Mugino attempting to assassinate the Third Hokage from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mugino attempting to assassinate the Third Hokage

First, Mugino tells Boruto about his encounter with the fortune teller, thus setting that flag once again. Second, he tells Boruto that he’s going away on a dangerous mission with Konohamaru. Third, we see that Mugino doesn’t really have any possessions tying him to this world. Those death flags are pretty big, but they’re not all.

Fourth, Mugino asks Boruto to look after his pet turtle, which is the only reason he would otherwise have to come back alive. Fifth, we now know that Mugino is indebted to Konohamaru’s grandfather, and so will probably give his life for Konohamaru to make it up. And sixth, Mugino states that he will always believe a child in need.

That sixth point is pretty major considering that I believe Kawaki is about to appear. Kawaki looks to be a teenager, so Mugino will probably try to help him. However, since we already know Kawaki is an antagonist, Mugino’s good nature will probably put Konohamaru at risk. And that’s when Mugino will give his life to protect him.

Katasuke and the Vessel

I’ve mentioned many times, including just last week, that I’m certain Katasuke is the source of the Hidden Leaf Village’s ongoing leaks. And, as if right on cue, Katasuke made an appearance in this week’s episode. But what you may have noticed is that Naruto and Shikamaru don’t appear to suspect him. Why is that?

The simple reason is that after the initial incident involving Katasuke, it was revealed that he was under the influence of genjutsu. The implication here is that someone else was controlling him and making him leak information against his will. This seemingly absolves Katasuke of any wrongdoing.

While I do recognize the possibility that everything is exactly as it seems, I still don’t believe that’s entirely the case. I was going to say that there’s nobody I can think of who would put a genjutsu on Katasuke, but then I remembered that Ao was just recently reintroduced into the series.

Mugino's final death flag from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mugino’s final death flag

I think it’s possible that Ao is involved in the genjutsu that was placed on Katasuke. Of course, that would mean that Ao is working with Kara, which seems unlikely. But at the same time, there hasn’t been anyone else introduced with access to the Leaf Village — and Ao already established that he knows Katasuke.

Whether or not Ao is involved, I think Katasuke is working for Kara as an outer. Either Katasuke placed the genjutsu on himself or he allowed another Kara member to do so. It feels like the series is trying a bit too hard to make us think that Katasuke is entirely innocent for that to really be the case.

In the end, we may learn that Katasuke is an outer who was using Ao as a test subject. In that scenario, Ao could help Boruto & co. catch Katasuke in the act.

Conclusion

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 180 was a pretty good episode disguised as pure filler. It gave me a chance to write about Root, it set up a million (at least six) death flags for Mugino, and it brought Katasuke back to the forefront. Oh, and it set up what I assume will be Kawaki’s entrance into the series next week.

What do you think of this episode? Are there any details I missed regarding Mugino’s past that would disqualify Root as being the organization that used him? Do you think Mugino is going to die? What about Konohamaru? And do you think Katasuke is a traitor or a victim? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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Boruto Episode 179

Boruto Episode 179

Victor’s Scheme

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 179 was a bit of an odd episode due to how it handled the Kara organization. The curtain was pulled back and we got to see a lot of their inner workings as well as multiple member identities. That’s pretty different from how the Akatsuki was handled.

And speaking of the Akatsuki, I have to mention how much more I like that organization compared to Kara. To be fair, we don’t really know the full extent of Kara’s goals or how the organization is structured. But from what we do know, I much prefer the Akatsuki’s “righteous” goal and two-man team structure.

At the very least, we know that Kara’s primary goal involves both the Ōtsutsuki clan’s markings and a vessel. I’ve predicted before that they’re trying to manufacture an artificial Ōtsutsuki clan member, and I still believe that to be the case. However, that doesn’t really explain what their ultimate goal is.

A space-time gate used by Kara from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
A space-time gate used by Kara

What does Kara achieve by artificially creating an Ōtsutsuki member? They would gain a powerful weapon. But would they be able to control it? And what would they use that weapon to accomplish? For now, a big issue with Kara seems to be that they don’t have a truly unified goal. All of the members seem to be after something different.

Deepa was searching for all the “flavors” of the world, which I took to mean that he just wanted to try different things, not necessarily foods. Victor seems to be searching for immortality. And while we don’t know what the other members are searching for yet, I have a feeling they’re going to have different goals as well.

That’s a problem because it leads to the members all working against each other to achieve their own goals, as we see Victor doing now.

Delta and Amado

The more we learn about the internal structure of the Kara organization, the less it actually makes sense to me. With the Akatsuki, it was easy to understand. There were 10 members broken into two-man teams based on both their compatibility and commonalities. But how is Kara structured?

We know that there are two primary parts of Kara. There are the Inners and the Outers. That much is fairly easy to understand. Those who are actually members of the organization are the Inners. Those who work to support the goals of the organization from the outside are the Outers.

But where it gets a bit more confusing is how the Inners are seemingly split up into groups as well. Some Inners, like Deepa and Jigen, have Roman numeral facial tattoos. Originally this is something I thought every Inner would have. But it turns out that Victor, Amado, and Delta are all Inners without these tattoos.

Delta of Kara from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Delta of Kara

Victor and Amado appear to be non-combatant members of Kara. Obviously, Victor is very capable of combat. But their roles within Kara seem to be to perform research, not to fight. So, perhaps that’s why they don’t have numbers. However, Delta seems to go against this somewhat.

Delta is clearly a combatant. And yet, she doesn’t have a number. But her name and motif are references to the delta symbol Δ. While Victor doesn’t have a number tattooed on his face, he does have an upside-down Δ. So does that mean these two are connected?

From what we’ve seen and heard of Delta, I’m guessing that she’s an artificial human. She might be a homunculus, but she definitely has some artificial body parts. So perhaps she’s based on Victor’s DNA in some way or was originally created by his laboratory.

Jigen’s Vessel

Continuing on with the structure of Kara, I was thinking about what Deepa and Jigen could have in common that the other three known Inners don’t. Why would those two specifically have Roman numeral tattoos? What if they both have Ōtsutsuki clan markings just like Boruto?

There wasn’t really any indication that Deepa had one of these markings. However, Deepa was also an anime-only character. It may simply have not been revealed that he had one of these markings because the connection between the markings and certain Inners of Kara is going to be revealed later on by manga material.

Jigen is a bit different. Again, we don’t know if he has one of these markings, but the diamond mark on his chin looks just like the diamond mark on Boruto’s palm. So maybe that’s his Ōtsutsuki mark.

Jigen of Kara from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Jigen of Kara

Moving on a bit, I want to talk about this “vessel” that Jigen has been cultivating. Remember Kawaki all the way back from the opening scene of Boruto episode 1? I think he’s this vessel. And there are a few reasons for why I think this.

First, he uses the same mark ability that Boruto does in their fight. So that’s probably an Ōtsutsuki mark. Second, the airship carrying the vessel has been damaged over the Leaf Village, so that would explain how Boruto and Kawaki first come into contact with each other.

And third, I rewatched that scene and it looks like Kawaki may have a Roman numeral tattoo above his right eye. It looked like “II” to me, but I could be wrong. It could also simply be two eyebrow piercings side-by-side because it looks like that as well. Also, Kawaki being Kara’s secret weapon would explain how he was able to destroy the Leaf Village and “send Naruto somewhere.”

Hopefully, Kawaki shows up soon because it’s been 178 episodes since we first saw him and I’ve been waiting for him this whole time.

Conclusion

What do you think of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 179? Is Kara as good of an antagonist organization as the Akatsuki? What do you think is the significance of the Roman numeral tattoos? And when is Kawaki finally going to show up? He probably won’t next week since it’s a Mugino background episode, but maybe soon.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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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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