Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 257

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 257

There’s Nothing Some CGI Can’t Fix

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 257 was a good episode. I know it’s filler. But, it was actually good for a filler episode. It was entertaining, had a good message, included neat callbacks, and had good animation at the end.

I guess the message of the episode is a good place to start this review. So, as we saw, the producer of the new Kagemasa movie is into using CGI. Rather than filming on set with props and makeup, he opts to use an empty studio with a green screen.

This also means that Konohamaru doesn’t need to do his own stunts. Instead of transforming into Naruto, CGI will make Konohamaru look like Naruto. And instead of using a Rasengan, CGI will put that in after the fact, as well.

Konohamaru playing Naruto in a movie from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 257
Konohamaru playing Naruto in a movie

Even things like getting lines wrong or not acting like the character don’t matter. With the magic of editing, the team can fix all those problems in post-production. And, all this reliance on technology ties into a main theme of the Boruto series. The whole series is about being wary of relying too much on technology.

We saw this theme way back when Boruto cheated during the chunin exams. And we also saw it recently with the Hidden Mist’s Shinonome project in the Funato Clan arc.

Technology isn’t inherently bad. That’s not the point the series is trying to make. Instead, we should use technology to complement doing things ourselves, the “old-fashioned way.”

This is exactly where the episode ends up. The director and producer determine the way to make the best movie is by combining both of their skills. CGI can’t replace onsite shooting. But, it can add flair that traditional effects can’t replicate.

Evil Jammer Kagemasa!

We haven’t seen Kagemasa for a long time. I’m not even sure when the last time he was in an episode was. But, the only other time I’ve written about Kagemasa before was in part 2 of my discussion of dōjutsu.

His dōjutsu is the Magan, which has the ability to paralyze those he looks at. While the Magan isn’t mentioned or used within this episode, there’s still a reference to it. When Kagemasa shows up at the end of the episode, he says “My eyes ache, telling me to defend the powerless…” I don’t see how that can’t be a reference to his dōjutsu.

Kagemasa’s epithet could also be a reference to his Magan. He’s known as Evil Jammer Kagemasa. That doesn’t mean he’s evil and a jammer. It means he jams (stops) evil. And as I mentioned, the Magan has the ability to paralyze people, thus jamming them.

Evil Jammer Kagemasa from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 257
Evil Jammer Kagemasa

Over 4 years ago I said it would be cool to see the Magan used for real. It hasn’t happened yet. And I know that’s because the Magan is a made-up dōjutsu. But, it still would have been great if Gongorō Kamakura, the actor who plays Kagemasa, revealed it was real.

We also know from early in the series that Gongorō is a former shinobi. So, he does have combat experience. And as a former shinobi, it’s not entirely out of the question that he could have a real dōjutsu. He’s said to do his own stunts. So, is using the Magan one such stunt?

Also, since I’ve never actually discussed Kagemasa before, let’s go over his name. He’s named after the samurai Kamakura Gongorō Kagemasa. The samurai Kagemasa is also the protagonist of the kabuki play Shibaraku. This explains why he’s an actor in Boruto.

Hokage Konohamaru Sarutobi

It should be pretty obvious to everyone that Konohamaru Sarutobi is going to be the next Hokage. I know being the Hokage is Sarada’s dream. But, there’s no reason Naruto has to be the Hokage all the way until Sarada is ready for the role.

This week, Konohamaru got a chance to play the role that will one day be his. And, I really enjoyed seeing that. To be clear, I don’t mean him playing the role of Hokage in the movie. I mean him playing the role of Hokage when he saved the assistant director.

When Kagemasa asks Konohamaru if he’s going to give up, we got a great scene. Konohamaru sees the two Hokage he’s connected to — Naruto and Hiruzen. These are the two men he’s looked up to his entire life. And in this moment, he realizes that he can’t give up if he’s ever going to reach their level.

Konohamaru using a Rasengan from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 257
Konohamaru using a Rasengan

So, what does Konohamaru do to save the day? Exactly what Shikamaru said at the start of the episode. He said that the movie ends with a Rasengan. So, it’s fitting that Konohamaru uses his Rasengan at the end of the episode while the cameras are rolling.

I also have to say that I was very surprised by the animation quality at the end of the episode. Rasengan are usually animated well regardless of the episode. But, I can’t say I was expecting Konohamaru’s Rasengan scene to look as good as it did.

If every filler episode was like this, I wouldn’t mind filler at all. It was a genuinely good episode, despite the fact that it didn’t further the plot in any way. We got to see some good Konohamaru content. Now let’s do the same thing for some other characters.

Conclusion

Next week’s episode looks interesting because it looks a lot like an earlier episode. It involves Mirai, a hot spring, and maybe even some ghosts. That sounds a lot like Episode 108 to me. That’s The Haunted Inn! episode of The Steam Ninja Scrolls arc. Unfortunately, I didn’t review Episode 108 back then.

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My review of Episode 258 is available now.


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