After a series of action-packed episodes, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations slows things down this week as the characters deal with the aftermath of the Otsutsukis” attack. With Naruto unaccounted for, Hinata seriously injured, and Mitsuki missing his chakra, Boruto begins to feel the weight of his recent actions and reflect on his relationship with his old man. Although Boruto fears the worst, Sasuke informs him that Naruto wasn”t killed—but rather taken by the Otsutsukis. With the aid of the five Kage, Sasuke mounts a rescue mission. Though the Kage are initially against the idea, Sasuke convinces them to allow Boruto to come along. As Sasuke informs his pupil, if he and the Kage are taken out, Boruto”s help will prove crucial in turning things around. Armed with Sasuke”s abandoned forehead protector and his father”s old jacket, Boruto follows the adults through a dimensional portal opened by Sasuke and prepares for the fight his life.
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While it”s true that Boruto has had his share of adventures throughout the show”s run, the Otsutsukis” attack is arguably his first taste of large-scale destruction. Having grown up during a time of relative peace, Boruto has been able to lead a fairly normal life (for a ninja, anyway) and worry about normal kid stuff—i.e., his father not spending enough time with the family. Now that he”s seen the kinds of threats his father contended with on a semi-regular basis growing up, it”s possible he”ll develop a new respect for the trials undergone by the previous generation. This might also give him a better understanding of why his dad spends so much time at the office.
Although Boruto is undeniably the episode”s core focus, the latest installment is notable for showcasing Sasuke”s seldom-seen soft side. When he finds Boruto plagued by guilt, he”s the one who encourages him to take it easy on himself and reminds him that Naruto had once been in a very similar situation. Despite retaining his trademark bluntness, it”s clear that Sasuke has a soft spot for Boruto. True, this rescue mission is a task better suited to the adults, but as the main character, Boruto needs to be present for the bulk of the action, and Sasuke”s reason for bringing him along doesn”t seem overly contrived. It”s also possible that Sasuke knows more about Boruto”s true abilities than he”s letting on, which means the TV version of the upcoming battle may hold some surprises in store.
It”s a small relief to see that Boruto”s friends don”t appear to bear him any ill will in light of the Shinobi Gauntlet incident. True to character, Shikadai shows the most maturity of the bunch. In addition to not being angry with Boruto, he realizes that now is the worst possible time to complain about the inconclusive exams—even though Cho-Cho can”t help but lament about them. Even Sarada, who”s never been shy about calling Boruto out on his nonsense, elects not to chastise him for his cheating. As Sasuke aptly points out, Boruto has a much broader support network than his father did at this point in his life.
Padded with just a smidge too many flashbacks, episode 63 is a solid lead-in to the upcoming final battle. In effect, it”s the eye of the hurricane, a short period of rest before the action is kicked back into high gear. It”s an important episode that helps Boruto come to some stark realizations after a period of self-reflection, readying him to potentially turn the corner in his relationship with his father.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is currently streaming onCrunchyroll.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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