Tag: Boruto

Boruto Episode 111

Boruto Episode 111

The Steam Ninja Scrolls

I’m sorry for anyone who was expecting a Fruits Basket episode review today, but I think I’m going to remove that series from my weekly review lineup. However, I’ll still be watching it so you can look forward to a review at the end of the season.

With that said, Boruto is finally back. Well, sort of. I haven’t had Boruto included in my weekly review lineup for about a month and a half now because, let’s face it, there isn’t much to discuss when it comes to filler episodes. But I really wanted to talk about this episode in particular, so here we are.

For the remainder of the Spring season, and into the Summer season, I’ll typically only be reviewing Boruto episodes which follow the main story (i.e. not filler). Any week in which the Boruto is filler that I don’t think has enough interesting content to discuss will have a miscellaneous series review instead (because I have a backlog of those).

Now that you know why I’ve brought Boruto back, and how I’ll be dealing with it in the future, it’s time to set the stage for today’s episode review. The Steam Ninja Scrolls is a six-part arc which follows Mirai Sarutobi as she escorts Kakashi and Guy around the Land of Steam.

Today’s episode, “Mirai’s King!” is the final part of the arc. And while I think this arc could have been executed a lot better, such as by replacing the first four episodes with meaningful content, it had a good conclusion which made it worthwhile.

Mirai’s King!

So in episode 110 it’s revealed that there’s a sect of Jashin worshipers who are behind the rumors of a hot spring which lets people speak to the dead. If you aren’t familiar with Jashin, don’t worry, I’ll explain all that in the next section. For now all you need to know is that Mirai’s father, Asuma, was killed by a follower of Jashin.

It’s unclear at exactly what moment Mirai realizes that the person promising to allow her to see her father is a Jashin follower, but she notices something isn’t quite right early on. Ryuki, the leader of the cult, mentions that he’s perfected a version of the reanimation jutsu, which is a red flag.

He then has all the girls who want to speak to their dead loved ones enter a cloud of steam which casts a mind control genjutsu on them. Luckily for Mirai, she’s a genjutsu specialist thanks to her mother, Kurenai, and so is unaffected by it.

Mirai then confirms her suspicions by tricking Ryuki into claiming that he knows fake information that she planted. So now that she knows his claim that he can bring back the dead, or even speak to them, is a lie, it’s time to defeat him and rescue the other girls.

Also during this arc Mirai learns that the “king” all shinobi must protect is the future, or mirai (未来). This is because shinobi must protect the future of the younger generations. Asuma also named his daughter Mirai so that his students, Shikamaru, Choji, and Ino, would always remember to protect her.

The Way of Jashin

I understand that there may be some people who watch Boruto that haven’t actually seen the original Naruto series or Shippūden. If that’s you then high highly suggest you go back and watch those for two reasons. The first is that they’re simply better than Boruto. The second is that it will help you understand Boruto a lot more.

So let me just explain who Jashin is, why there’s a cult following him, and why this matters for Mirai. Jashin is a god of death who we never actually see throughout the entire franchise. In fact, before this cult appears during this arc of Boruto, there has only ever been one other known follower of Jashin.

That man’s name was Hidan, he was a member of the terrorist organization Akatsuki, and he was the one who killed Mirai’s father. This latter part is the reason Ryuki wants to kill Mirai, so that he can be similar to Hidan, whom he reveres.

Tatsumi under the Body Possession Blood jutsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Tatsumi under the Body Possession Blood jutsu

But Hidan is much more interesting than Ryuki because Ryuki is a fraud while Hidan is the real deal. Even now, Hidan is still the only known true follower of the Way of Jashin, which is what makes him so much fun to discuss.

Hidan formed a pact with the god Jashin by sacrificing countless humans in his name. In return, Jashin granted Hidan immortality, making him the only true immortal in the entire franchise. Hidan also has access to a curse ability which Ryuki attempts to recreate via jutsu.

What’s so interesting about Hidan’s curse, however, is that as far as we know it’s not a jutsu. This is actually a power granted to Hidan by the god Jashin. If Hidan ingests the blood of his opponent, he can begin a human sacrifice ritual to Jashin.

When this happens, his skin turns black and he gains white markings which resemble bones all over his body. He then creates a diagram out of blood on the ground, and whatever damage he receives while within this diagram is reflected onto the person whose blood he consumed.

For example, when he killed Asuma he stabbed himself through the chest with his scythe, thus stabbing Asuma through the chest as well. But thanks to Hidan’s immortality, his wound isn’t fatal while Asuma’s is. To this day Hidan is still technically alive, though his body has been dismembered and placed in a pit which has been filled in.

Ryuki

Ryuki’s policy seems to be “fake it ’til you make it.” He isn’t really a follower of the Way of Jashin, and instead simply uses it as an excuse to cause mayhem. I mean, Hidan caused a lot more mayhem, but technically he was doing it as part of his offerings to Jashin.

That said, Ryuki wishes to be a follower of the Way of Jashin for his own selfish gain. He wants immortality and believes that sacrificing humans to the god of death will grant him this power. Ryuki wants to sacrifice people to gain immortality, while Hidan was granted immortality so that he could sacrifice people.

Also the fact that Ryuki claims Mirai counts as a sacrifice of 100 because she’s Asuma’s daughter further proves that his faith is false. By saying that, he’s trying to cheat the system and gain immortality quicker, which is something a true follower probably wouldn’t do.

Mirai vs. Ryuki from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mirai vs. Ryuki

It should also be noted that the jutsu Ryuki comes up with doesn’t even work the same way as Hidan’s curse. Hidan’s own body becomes tied to the body of his opponent so that they take the same damage. Ryuki on the other hand ties a doll to the body of his opponents so any damage the doll receives, the enemy does too.

Further, the markings which would normally appear on Hidan instead appear on the victim of Ryuki’s jutsu. What I’m trying to say here is that although Ryuki tried his best to recreate Hidan’s curse, the jutsu he developed is inherently different.

In the end Mirai defeats Ryuki by tricking him with one of her genjutsu and then punching him with her chakra blades.

Conclusion

This arc actually opened up an interesting question for me. This is the second arc in Boruto which has an antagonist who attempts to follow in the footsteps of one of the Akatsuki members. First we had Shin Uchiha who was attempting to revive the Akatsuki for Itachi, and now we have Ryuki following Hidan.

Does this mean we’ll have more antagonists later on in Boruto who follow in the footsteps of other Akatsuki members? Oh, also I guess Kisame’s son technically counts as well, so there’s a third.

So what did you think of this arc in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? It wasn’t an anime original filler arc, but it was a light novel arc separate from the main plot, which is filler as far as I’m concerned. However, it ended up being pretty decent all things considered.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any upcoming posts or schedule changes. I should be tweeting out my Summer review schedule within the next two weeks, so look forward to that.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about becoming a supporter of this blog and the benefits you’ll receive for doing so, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Loading Likes...
Boruto Episode 102

Boruto Episode 102

Melee!

The curse mark filler arc continues, and at the end of last week’s episode it was revealed that Tosaka was actually the villain all along. You might also remember how I’ve repeatedly brought up the fact that the Boruto series pushes an anti-science agenda. Well, this episode reinforces that.

It’s kind of hard to see argue against that point when the antagonist’s goal is to create the ultimate weapon and they’re saying things like, “the power of science will control the curse mark at last” and “now you know how passionate I am about my research.”

Nothing is left to the imagination. When the power of science and being passionate about research are the signs of a villain, it’s easy to make a connection between science and bad things.

Another pairing of science and bad guys comes from the Land of Rivers researchers using stun guns. Maybe you didn’t pick up on this, but it stood out to me as soon as Suigetsu got electrocuted the first time.

Typically we’d expect lightning style jutsu to be used in a situation like this, but the antagonists don’t do that. Instead, they use stun guns, which remove the user from the act of electrocuting their opponent slightly. Good guys electrocute people themselves, bad guys use technology to do it for them.

Maybe in a future arc we’ll see a bad guy use a drone to drop bombs on a village, and the good guys will have to stop them by defeating the bad guys the old-fashioned way, with their fists, jutsu, and the power of teamwork.

Karin and Sarada

Speaking of fists, jutsu, and the power of teamwork, the first of two main fights to take place in this episode is between Karin, Sarada, and one of the curse mark twins (the dinosaur one). I actually liked this fight for three reasons:

  1. The dinosaur curse mark user got punched in the face.
  2. I forgot the Uzumaki clan specialize in sealing jutsu.
  3. It reminded me of Sarada’s potential.

Skipping over that first reason, I tend to forget that the Uzumaki clan specialize in sealing jutsu. The spiral seal which was (I don’t think it still is) on Naruto’s stomach was an Uzumaki clan seal, and the one who placed it there was his mother. Other than that, the fact that the Uzumaki clan specializes in this never matters.

So, you can probably understand why I forgot this was something the clan was known for until Karin breaks out a chakra chain jutsu in the middle of this fight. But, what I loved about this so much is that I didn’t think, “wow, she’s suddenly acquiring new jutsu that fit the situation.” Instead I thought, “oh, right. She can do that.”

Sarada Uchiha beating one of the curse mark twins from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Sarada beating one of the curse mark twins

The other reason I liked this fight was because it, and Karin, reminded me of Sarada’s true potential. She has the Sharingan like her father, and she’s perfected her chakra control like her mother. Together, this is a pretty lethal combination.

Historically, members of the Uchiha clan relied heavily on their dōjutsu and ninjutsu, making them great at mid-range combat. However, while Sarada can certainly still fight in that way, her true power lies in close quarters combat.

No, she doesn’t (yet) have the self-healing capabilities of Sakura, but thanks to her strength she can finish a fight in just one punch man. The problem, there is landing that punch. But, thanks to the fact that Sarada also has the Sharingan, this isn’t really an issue as we saw.

Team 15

The other fight of the episode wasn’t as interesting as far as I was concerned, although I do enjoy watching Wasabi fight. I’m pretty sure I brought this up in my ranking of the Boruto genin, but Wasabi would be so much more fun to watch if she swapped cat cloaks mid-fight.

It’s also actually kind of nice to see that Namida is no longer completely useless. I don’t exactly like that she has an ethereal, rainbow megaphone with wings that floats in front of her face, but her new jutsu is pretty cool, especially since we don’t see many that are sound-based anymore.

But, the star of this fight was Sumire without a doubt. Even when she wasn’t using Nue, she was doing a decent job of holding her own against the second curse mark twin. None of the original Naruto cast specialized in water style jutsu, so it’s pretty fun to watch her fight.

She used the water pistol jutsu, the water clone jutsu, and even a water wall jutsu (which failed to stop boulders). But unfortunately in the end she relied on Nue to finish the fight. I get that Nue is really what sets Sumire apart, not her use of the water style, but I just don’t like Nue.

It’s not the summon part I dislike, it’s Nue itself. If Sumire used a summon that wasn’t a mythical creature I think I’d be more accepting of it. It’s not like toads, snakes, and slugs are the only real animals available for summoning. Those are just the ones used by the Sannin.

We’ve also seen dogs, tortoises, sharks, salamanders, hawks, monkeys, and more used as summons. Why not give some more love to these other summons rather than sticking to the Toad/Snake/Slug trio and then using a mythical creature like a nue?

I know this is getting off topic, but do you know how disappointed I was when Konohamaru went for the toad summoning pact over the monkey one like his grandfather? Maybe in the future it will be revealed that he has a dual pact like Sasuke.

Perfect Curse Mark

Back to the episode at hand, all of Tosaka’s evil research was for one purpose: to create the ultimate, weaponized curse seal. To do this, he had to observe Jūgo’s curse seal in action, as well as obtain some samples of it.

Thanks to teams 7 and 15 he was finally able to accomplish this, and his perfect curse mark is the result. However, let me make it perfectly clear that I don’t believe Tosaka was able to actually perfect the curse mark.

I refuse to believe that Orochimaru wasn’t able to perfect the curse mark, but then after only a single day with a sample from Jūgo, Tosaka was able to. My prediction is that something’s going to go terribly wrong with this “perfect” curse mark.

Tosaka's curse mark from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Tosaka’s curse mark

Tosaka also uses himself as the test subject for his perfect curse mark, so there’s even more of a hint that it’s all going to go wrong. Theoretically, Jūgo could simply remove the curse mark from Tosaka, but this won’t be viable since Jūgo’s currently undergoing a curse mark transformation of his own.

So, why did Tosaka infect himself with his newly created curse mark, and why did he then force Jūgo to also undergo a curse mark transformation? Simply put, because he wants to prove that his artificially created curse mark is stronger than the original.

It’s your classic case of technology vs. the natural world, and that’s how we know this isn’t going to go Tosaka’s way (also the fact that he’s the bad guy). But, I still think that Jūgo won’t be the one to defeat Tosaka. In the end, Tosaka’s curse mark will defeat itself in some way.

As for what his curse mark looks like, it’s the same, boring pattern that we saw on the curse mark twins as well as Wasabi and Namida while they were infected. His partial transformation also resembles Jūgo’s, so we can assume the complete transformation will as well.

Remember when curse marks and their transformations were actually unique and more demonic?

Conclusion

So, what did you think of this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? Which of the two fights did you enjoy more? Did you like watching Karin and Sarada, or did you like watching Sumire carry Team 15? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this episode review, then be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. You should also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you can become a supporter, and the benefits you’ll receive for doing so, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Boruto episode 111 is my next available review of this series.

Loading Likes...
Boruto Episode 101

Boruto Episode 101

Jūgo’s Reinforcements

Just as Boruto and the gang are wondering what they should do next, Jūgo’s reinforcements, Karin and Suigetsu appear. And, they have none other than an unconscious Sumire with them.

Karin and Suigetsu were sent on a mission by Orochimaru to locate Jūgo and bring him back to one of the laboratories. However, Boruto doesn’t want them to take Jūgo away because his work of healing all the wild geese is still unfinished.

And, despite Suigetsu explaining to him that retrieving Jūgo is a higher priority than saving some geese, Boruto is having none of it. Further, Boruto still insists that Jūgo can simply choose to stop being affected by the curse mark if he tries hard enough.

Karin and Suigetsu from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Karin and Suigetsu

Unfortunately, even though Karin and Suigetsu have arrived to save Jūgo, and make it clear that he’s their priority, it doesn’t seem like we’ll get to see them in action. Thanks to Boruto being a white knight, Suigetsu isn’t allowed to go on a rampage and destroy the entire village while rescuing Jūgo.

Not that Karin is really known for her offensive capabilities, but I really wanted to see the two of them take on the two curse mark users from the Land of Rivers. But, since it doesn’t look like we’ll get to see them fight very much, let’s briefly discuss their signature abilities so I can at least pretend like something cool will happen.

Karin and Suigetsu

I don’t believe it’s been revealed within the Boruto anime yet, but Karin is actually a member of the Uzumaki clan. This means that although she’s like family to Sarada, she is family to Boruto. This was something that was revealed back in Shippūden, but only a few characters actually know about it.

In fact, other than herself, the only other characters who I think know that Karin is an Uzumaki are Suigetsu, Jūgo, Sasuke, and Orochimaru. But, what does the fact that she’s an Uzumaki have to do with anything?

Well, that’s kind of where her special ability comes from. You might not have realized this just from looking at Naruto, but the Uzumaki clan is able to heal themselves rapidly due to a quirk with their chakra. However, Karin’s chakra is exceptionally potent, even for an Uzumaki.

Thanks to this, she can heal people by having them bite her and suck out some of her chakra. She actually mentions this ability in today’s episode as a way to heal Sumire, but then doesn’t end up using it.

As for Suigetsu, his special ability is that his body can literally just turn into a puddle of water. Move over Rimuru, Suigetsu was the original slime boy (and he has a moe fang so he’s better). But, this ability is actually quite useful as it almost makes him immortal.

He can’t get cut, or crushed, or stabbed, or anything really. I guess he could get evaporated, but I don’t think that would work unless he was currently in his liquid form. Basically, he’s a water clone that’s actually alive.

And, he’s a pseudo member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, although I don’t believe he’s in possession of any of the swords currently. He previously used the Executioner’s Blade.

A Daring Rescue!

Alright, so Karin and Suigetsu are here, they know what the situation regarding Jūgo is, and we know what their abilities are. Now it’s time to go over the plan of attack. How exactly are they going to rescue Jūgo, Konohamaru, Wasabi, and Namida?

Karin decides to use a diversionary tactic by which she and Sarada will lure the two curse seal users away from the Land of Rivers scientists’ base of operations. Then, while the main combatants from the Land of Rivers are occupied, Suigetsu, Boruto, Mitsuki, and Sumire will infiltrate the base and execute the rescue operation.

However, what I found strange about this plan was the fact that Sumire doesn’t go along with Sarada and Karin as part of the distraction. Instead, Sarada uses the transformation jutsu to disguise herself as Sumire to lure the enemy shinobi out.

Sumire wasn’t really needed to free Wasabi and Namida, and she probably would have been more useful if she had gone with Sarada and Karin. Not only would she serve as another fighter for their side against the enemies, but since she’s fought the enemies before, she has information on them which could be useful.

I also didn’t like how the villains did that whole thing where they explain how to foil their plans to the heroes because they think there’s no way the heroes could possibly take advantage of that information. Why did the twins tell Wasabi and Namida that the cure for their curse marks was in the room with them?

In fact, why was there a cure in the same room as them to begin with?

The True Villain Revealed

In the end, the rescue plan goes all wrong. The Land of Rivers twins realize that they’re getting lured away from the base, and so one of them heads back just in case. This means that Sarada and Karin’s part of the plan was a failure.

The twin that heads back also runs into Sumire, Namida, and Wasabi on the way, meaning that their rescue was a failure too. And, finally, Suigetsu and Boruto are both injected with tranquilizers before they’re able to rescue Jūgo.

At least we didn’t see Mitsuki fail his portion of the mission, so it’s possible that he rescued Konohamaru without a problem. If this is indeed the case, we’ll probably see Mitsuki and Konohamaru come to the rescue of Boruto and Suigetsu.

As for the twins, Sarada and Karin will have to take care of the one while Team 15 takes care of the other. I don’t expect much from the fight involving Team 15, but at least the fight with Sarada and Karin may be entertaining to watch.

Mr. Tosaka from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mr. Tosaka

And, at the end of the episode it was revealed that Tosaka was the main villain the whole time. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect this. I figured he would just end up being the escortee of this escort mission, as is usually the case when some random villager is sent along on a mission.

But, I guess I should have seen it coming. After all, Tosaka is a scientist, and Boruto pushes an anti-science agenda pretty heavily.

Conclusion

What did you think of this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? Were you happy to see Suigetsu and Karin return once again? I know I was. And, did you expect that Tosaka was going to be the villain of the arc? If so, at what point?

If you enjoyed today’s post, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. And, give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any of my future content both here and elsewhere. Just yesterday I wrote about the projected top 18 anime of 2019 for another site, a link to which can be found on Twitter.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. If you’re interested in becoming a supporter of this blog as well, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama for more information.

My review of the next episode is available here.

Loading Likes...
Boruto Episode 100

Boruto Episode 100

The Predestined Path

It’s the 100th episode of Boruto, and so obviously this is going to be a momentous one. Or not, because we’re still in the middle of a filler arc about geese which teaches us about DNA. Go, science!

It’s arcs like these that really remind me that this series is a shounen series, meaning it’s for a younger, male demographic. When your battle anime is trying to teach you middle school level science, you know you’ve found yourself in a shounen filler arc.

But, what if this arc isn’t just trying to teach us how genes work? What if there’s some larger goal, lesson, or view about the world we’re supposed to take away from this arc? And, if there is such an overarching theme, what is it?

If you’ve been following my Boruto episode reviews for some time then you should be aware that Boruto has a specific agenda when it comes to the lessons each arc teaches. Typically these lessons end with Boruto learning that while technology is helpful, it shouldn’t be solely relied on.

So, what better way to tie this arc about genes into the overarching theme then by having Boruto learn some lesson about the artificial altering of DNA? This is where I’m expecting the current arc to head.

My assumption is that Boruto will learn that gene altering is a thing that exists, and then he’ll suggest using it to cure Jūgo of his curse mark, as well as make the domesticated goose able to fly. But, as he’ll learn, it’s not that simple, and there are a lot of ethical questions that need to be answered.

So, there you have it. That’s my prediction for the remainder of this arc. I can’t wait until this series really starts going off the rails as the writers go more and more down the anti-technology path. Maybe by the time we get to the sequel series Boruto will be an anti-vaxxer.

The Goose Is Loose

The series’ distrust of science aside, in this episode everything begins to go wrong for Boruto & co. First Boruto learns that you can’t fly just by believing in yourself, then all the infected geese they captured get released, and finally Jūgo’s medicine gets stolen and he’s captured by the Land of Rivers.

Skipping over that first problem, the release of the geese, stealing of Jūgo’s medicine, and the eventual capture of Jūgo are all related. Earlier on in this arc I made the obvious prediction that the Land of Rivers was involved with the spread of the curse mark through the wild goose population, and this is confirmed in this episode.

I also predicted that they were after Jūgo so that they could study his curse mark, just like Orochimaru originally did, and thereby perfect their own. Again, this seems to be confirmed, likely to the surprise of no one.

Boruto holding a domesticated goose from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto holding a domesticated goose

However, what was surprising is that the village which requested the aid of the Hidden Leaf appears to be working with the scientists from the Land of Rivers. At this point we don’t know if they’ve been working together from the start, or if this is merely a new development.

What we do know is that this clearly isn’t a mutual relationship. The village seemingly has nothing to gain from working with the Land of Rivers, and the experiments conducted by the scientists are actually negatively impacting the lives of the villagers.

Why would the village trust them unless they either:

  1. Don’t know the Land of Rivers is behind the curse mark “infection.”
  2. Believe that this curse mark research is going to benefit them in the long-run somehow.

Curse Marks

So, what about the curse marks themselves? As we saw, the two Land of Rivers shinobi have devices around their necks which activate them, but why is this? Previously I assumed these were some sort of pseudo-curse mark creating gadgets, but they actually appear to be true curse marks.

And, if they really are true curse marks, then what’s the purpose of the neck devices used to activate them? Theoretically they should be able to activate their curse marks on demand without a device. Are these ninja actually homunculi who need the device in order to fully utilize their powers?

Also, I forgot how stupid full curse mark transformations looked until I saw the two Land of Rivers ninja activate theirs. I don’t like Jūgo’s transformation either, but I tend to think of his as his unique jutsu. For everyone else it just takes their character design, turns up the “edgy-ness,” and then continues to go too far.

Seriously, why did the girl suddenly turn into the animal form of Elias from The Ancient Magus’ Bride?

Complete curse mark transformations from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Complete curse mark transformations

But, going back to how these curse marks seem to be the real deal and not just cheap reproductions, the fact that they can be spread is important. Just as the curse mark developed by Orochimaru was spread via him biting his victims, this new curse mark is spread via biting too as we saw.

After easily defeating both Wasabi and Namida, the enemy shinobi proceed to infect them with their curse marks in this way. However, what’s different with this curse mark compared to Orochimaru’s is that everyone has the same curse mark pattern on their bodies.

With the curse mark developed by Orochimaru, every person infected with it has a unique pattern. So, is this a hint that this new curse mark is indeed an inferior reproduction in some way? Or, is this the artists just being lazy and not designing unique curse marks for each character?

Next Episode

I almost forgot to mention that this week’s episode also included some fairly nice animation. But, while this week’s episode was decent from an animation perspective, next week’s episode looks like it will be decent from a fan service perspective.

And, no, I don’t mean obligatory swimsuit episode kind of fan service, I mean the bringing old characters back kind. Suigetsu and Karin are making a return, this time to rescue Jūgo from his Land of Rivers captors.

We’ve seen these two in the Boruto series before, but they haven’t really done all that much. Every time we see them they’re basically just background characters, not even supporting characters. I’m hoping that this time around it will be different and we’ll actually get to see them in action.

Just thinking of how the two of them would absolutely destroy the two curse mark fakes is enough to give me hope for the next episode. Though, to be fair if there is a fight between the four of them, it may not even be in the next episode, but instead in the one after that.

Conclusion

Overall, this episode wasn’t as bad as I originally thought. Yes, I don’t care about the middle school level science they’re teaching us and I think the curse mark transformations are pretty dumb. But, there was also decent animation and the opportunity for me to theorize a good bit about the future of the arc.

So, what did you think of this episode? Let me know down in the comments. And, while you’re down there, click the like button ❤ if you enjoyed this week’s review. You should also give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on my latest content both on this site and elsewhere.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier, along with Rob Wright and Keyboard Kadabra for supporting at the Kouhai tier, this month. For more information on becoming a supporter, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

Loading Likes...
Boruto Episode 99

Boruto Episode 99

Jūgo and The Curse Mark

The filler arc about Jūgo, birds, and science continues in this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, and yet I was actually looking forward to it this time around. Why did I want to watch a filler episode? Because of that sweet, sweet sakuga during the Konohamaru vs. Jūgo fight.

But, while that was certainly the highlight of the episode, most of the episode was boring and I couldn’t have cared less about it. That said, this arc does appear to be leading into the next major arc, which is something I’ll get to towards the end of this review.

It’s also worth noting that while I had hoped episode 100 would be the last in this arc, and that the next arc would start with episode 101, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Based on the next episode preview, nothing is going to be wrapped up in episode 100, so we may have to wait another week (or two depending on if there’s a gap).

Sakuga

A fight scene like the one in today’s episode only comes around roughly once every 20 episodes, so it’s always a welcome sight. Previously we’ve had Sakura vs. Shin, Orochimaru vs. Mitsuki (adult), Naruto and Sasuke vs. Momoshiki, and the fight against that red-haired homunculus from the Hidden Stone arc.

And, finally, Konohamaru Sarutobi is getting his chance to shine. I’ve been waiting for this moment since the start of the series, and although I’m not sure if Konohamaru can ever pass Kakashi, he’s still a pretty awesome team leader.

But, while I loved this fight, brief as it was, there are still some things it made me think about when it comes to both sakuga in Boruto, and the fights which may lie in the future.

Konohamaru Sarutobi vs. Jūgo from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Konohamaru vs. Jūgo

As for the sakuga, I appreciate when fight scenes receive a higher quality of animation, as I’m sure everyone does, but I do wish that we saw more jutsu used during them. Typically, the fights which get the best animation in this series also tend to be ones which focus on taijutsu, not ninjutsu.

For some of you, this might seem like a no-brainer because taijutsu lends itself more readily to choreography that works will better animation. But, I’d like to see more ninjutsu mixed into the fights. Yes, Konohamaru uses a Rasengan, but that’s just to finish the fight.

What I mean is that I’d like to see him use a Rasengan, and maybe the Mud Wall, or other various jutsu while also fighting using taijutsu. Just sprinkle some ninjutsu in the fight, but in ways that don’t disrupt the choreography of the taijutsu.

As for fights which may take place in the future, the fact that we already know Konohamaru’s backstory worries me slightly. The Kakashi vs. Obito fight was arguably the best one in all of Shippūden, and it wasn’t just because of the animation and choreography, but also because of the story it told.

Now, I’m using Konohamaru as an example here, but this really applies to all of the adult characters in Boruto. Their backgrounds aren’t mysteries like Kakashi’s was, and so I’m not sure if we’ll ever get a fight like the Kakashi vs. Obito fight from any of them.

Since we already know everything about the current adult characters, it seems like the range of stories which can be told for them is limited. So, why is this an issue? Because that just means that either the children have to carry the series, or the series has to be carried by fan service which panders to older fans of Naruto.

The Land of Rivers

The Land of Rivers is a neighboring country to the Land of Fire, and is home to the Village Hidden in Valleys. This is also where the very first Akatsuki hideout was located, in which Sakura defeated Sasori. That second part is just a fun fact, I don’t actually think anything I’m going to discuss next has to do with the Akatsuki.

But, just because the Land of Rivers isn’t connected to the Akatsuki like the Hidden Rain village was, doesn’t mean they aren’t up to something. While Team 7 was investigating the curse marks found on the birds, they happened to wander across the border into the Land of Rivers and were stopped by some scientists there.

These scientists claimed to also be investigating the birds, though it quickly becomes apparent that they aren’t investigating them in the same way. Rather than trying to help the birds, these scientists may have actually been the ones who infected the birds with the curse mark in the first place.

Further, they’re interested in Jūgo, likely because his clan’s curse mark is the progenitor of all other curse marks. Basically, it works in the same way that sage mode does, in that through his curse mark Jūgo is able to absorb the surrounding nature energy.

This is why people such as Orochimaru were interested in Jūgo and his curse mark. It’s an easy way to gain power quickly, especially for those who aren’t compatible with senjutsu (like Sasuke).

So, now that we know the Land of Rivers seems to be interested in studying curse marks, what does that really have to do with anything? This is where the two new antagonists come in.

The Dawn of a New Age

We don’t yet know their names, or where their from, but we do know that these two enemy ninja are siblings. My assumption is that they’re from the Land of Rivers, and that they’re working with the scientists to study curse marks in some capacity.

My reasoning for this is that they’re both wearing devices around their necks which, when turned on, activate curse marks on their bodies. These devices are likely the product of the Land of Rivers’ scientists.

Mysterious enemy shinobi from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mysterious enemy shinobi

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has always been about the struggle between the traditional and the modern. We’ve seen this dynamic multiple times, especially during the chunin exam arc when Boruto is disqualified for using a scientific ninja tool, and I’ve previously discussed it in my post about the series transitioning from fantasy to sci-fi.

Again, this dynamic seems to be coming to the forefront, which is partially why I suspect this arc is setting up the next major arc. Clearly these two mystery shinobi are enemies, and the fact that they’re using technology to induce a condition that harnesses nature energy is a big deal.

Could this upcoming arc finally solve the mystery surrounding the mark on Boruto’s hand? My guess is that his mark is a curse mark of some sort based on what we saw of it way back in episode one, so will it finally begin to play a role?

And, if Boruto’s curse mark does begin to actually matter, does this mean we’re going to finally be formally introduced to Kawaki, Boruto’s enemy in that opening scene? Either way, this next arc is sure to shake things up in the world of shinobi as curse marks begin to spread beyond Orochimaru’s experiments.

Conclusion

So, what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? Did you enjoy the Konohamaru vs. Jūgo fight? Do you think the Land of Rivers is connected to the curse marks? And, what do you think of the new curse mark inducing technology? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below, and give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, and not all of those posts are going to be on this site in the future, so Twitter is the best way to stay up to date.

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

My review of the next episode is available here.

Loading Likes...
Bitnami