Boruto Episode 91

Boruto Episode 91

Ohnoki’s Will

Did anyone else catch the scene that was taken directly from Naruto: Shippūden in this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? In case you don’t know what scene I’m referring to, it was the scene in which a young Ohnoki was polishing the rock and the first Tsuchikage, Ishikawa, throws it away and replaces it.

You may recall that I brought up this scene in one of my previous Boruto episode reviews, but I didn’t expect them to actually go ahead and reuse it. Also, I should point out that in the past I probably said that the second Tsuchikage, Mū, could fly like Ohnoki, but I meant Ishikawa. It’s crazy, but sometimes even I get names of side characters mixed up.

But, what’s even more interesting than the reuse of a scene from Shippūden is the fact that this anime original arc actually has an effect on the wider world. I was fully expecting the homunculi to be defeated, and then everyone else to return to their normal lives, but as we’ll see, this isn’t the case.

However, even though this arc does have a slight effect on the future of the series (and I mean very slight), I’m glad it’s over. I wanted to learn more about the Hidden Stone village, which I did, but at the same time the entire arc felt like filler, which it basically was.

If you’re not aware of how filler works in the Naruto franchise, let me break it down for you. There are two different types: episodic filler and arc filler.

Episodic filler are single, or sometimes a couple, episodes which can be skipped without missing out on anything. Arc filler, which I would consider this Hidden Stone arc to be, is much longer and doesn’t really progress the overall narrative. However, if you skip arc filler, you’ll be missing out on tiny pieces of information which are helpful for the real arcs.

Sage Mode

The final homunculi left to defeat is the leader, Ku, but he’s no longer an ordinary homunculi like the others. Ku has obtained a heart, which we can assume came from the scientist who created the homunculi and was working to perfect them.

With this heart, Ku’s power is apparently increased, and there are two ways in which we’re told this is the case. First, his Particle Style jutsu has become much larger, and second, he’s now shirtless so that he can show off his muscles. This second one may sound stupid, but it’s a pretty common shounen battle trope.

Interestingly, Mitsuki whips out his sage mode once again for this fight. Previously, we saw him activate his sage mode both during the Ōtsutsuki clan attack on the chunin exams, and when he faced Orochimaru and one of his own clones. So, let’s see what we can learn about his sage mode this time around.

Mitsuki vs. Ku from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Mitsuki vs. Ku

Unfortunately, there’s not much to learn because Mitsuki’s sage mode has actually been downgraded since the last time we saw it. But, it still does have at least one unique feature, which is the chakra cloak that surrounds him. No other sage mode transformation in the series has visible chakra like Mitsuki’s.

That said, I mentioned that his sage mode has been downgraded. While he still has this chakra cloak surrounding him, it now simply resembles fire. The other times we saw Mitsuki using his sage mode the chakra cloak took the form of snakes, hinting towards this being some form of snake sage jutsu.

Mitsuki is also notably lacking the single horn protruding from his head and dark coloration around his eyes which were key features of his transformation previously. One could argue that this is a sign of him being able to control his sage mode better, but somehow I think this isn’t the case.

As far as I’m concerned, there are three possible reasons for Mitsuki’s sage mode appearing different this time around. The first is that he’s still in a weakened state from when he was attacked during the chunin exam. The second is that he doesn’t want to go all out against Ku for some reason. And, the third is that the artists simply either forgot what his sage mode was supposed to look like, or did a bad job.

Defeat of Ku

Despite his use of sage mode, Mitsuki is still no match for the powered-up Ku on his own. And, this is where the rest of Team 7 comes into play; or at least Boruto and Sarada, Konohamaru is nowhere to be seen. It’s also important to notice that once his teammates reappear, Mitsuki no longer uses his sage mode.

But, even if he had continued to use his sage mode, this still would have been a difficult fight for the trio of genin. Yes, Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki are stronger than any genin have the right to be, but their opponent is still a master of the Particle Style, and that’s not something which should be overlooked.

If you’d like to learn more about how the different styles of jutsu match up against one another, check out my post on which chakra nature is the best.

In the end, it took all three genin members of Team 7 to bring down Ku, even if it was only temporarily. Sarada and Mitsuki were able to restrain him for a short amount of time, but it was just enough to allow Boruto to land a surprise Rasengan attack to Ku’s heart.

Boruto Uzumaki from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Boruto Uzumaki

However, as I hinted at, this attack doesn’t actually finish Ku off for good. And, this is when things begin to make a little less sense. We know that the heart was keeping Ku alive as well as powering up his attacks, but even after losing the heart, Ku’s attacks are still as strong as ever.

In fact, he’s still able to go head to head with Ohnoki’s particle jutsu for a bit before finally being overcome by it and killed. I would have much rather seen Ku not be able to fully use his particle style after his heart was destroyed, because, honestly, the particle style isn’t that exciting to see used in a fight.

And, I know that this is Ohnoki’s fight and all, so I’m fine with him dealing the final blow to Ku, but how awesome would it have been if Konohamaru got his time to shine? After Ku gets back up from Boruto’s Rasengan attack, Konohamaru could have swooped in and held off Ku until Ohnoki arrived.

Seriously though, when is Konohamaru going to get a sakuga fight? We know he’s strong, but I want to see him actually go all out against a worthy opponent in an extremely well animated fight. The only two real sakuga fights we’ve had in Boruto so far were Sakura vs. Shin and Naruto & Sasuke vs. Momoshiki.

Ohnoki the Fence Sitter

Now that Ohnoki has defeated his clone, Ku, his life is ending due to the immense amount of chakra he used combined with his old age. I really expected him to pull through, but in the end he succumbs to his injuries. Ohnoki’s death is the one lasting impact this arc is going to have on the rest of the series.

Not only is he the one non-arc specific character to die, but he also takes a number of special jutsu to the grave with him. Once Ku had been defeated, Ohnoki was the last shinobi in existence who we know could use the Particle Style jutsu. This also makes Akatsuchi the only remaining shinobi who can fly via a dedicated jutsu.

But, flying aside, the loss of the last Particle Style user is kind of a big deal. The Particle Style is the only known Kekkei Tōta, which is a combination of three different chakra natures, in this case Earth, Wind, and Fire. Further, there have only been two natural users of the Particle Style, Ohnoki and Mū (not Ishikawa this time).

We can also assume that the only reason Ku and Kakou were also able to use the particle style was due to them being artificially created based on Ohnoki. And, before you say that Kurotsuchi can just learn the Particle Style since she’s the Tsuchikage as well as Ohnoki’s granddaughter, no, she can’t.

Kurotsuchi may have an affinity for Earth and Fire (among others), but she doesn’t have an affinity for Wind and so she can’t use the Particle Style. Further, even if she had an affinity for all three, that’s still not a guarantee that she would be able to use the particle style.

And, this brings up a topic which I find interesting: are the younger generations of shinobi weaker than their predecessors? I could go into that discussion right now, but I think I’ll save it for a separate post in the future.


What did you think of this week’s episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations? Why do you think Mitsuki’s sage mode looked different from the previous times we saw it? And, how do you think the death of Ohnoki might shake things up in the series? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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