5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 41: “Strength in Unity”
by Sage Ashford
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1. Well, I was half right. The kidnapper who snatched Kiri up last episode decided to betray her father by having him killed. But surprisingly, it wasn’t to gain control of the village, it was to sell the deed to the bridge to get rich. It’s a curveball, it’s also kind of disappointing. The show isn’t clear on the economics of the world of Boruto, but you’d think a village elder would be living a cushy enough lifestyle not to want to ruin his home town. It was logical as a power hungry “let me run it all” kind of thing, but for a one-time sale, it feels much more limited.
Also, I was hoping that Kiri hadn’t said anything because she suspected someone in the town of trying to be a traitor, but she couldn’t figure out who. Instead, it turns out to be because she’s so concerned with doing things on her own that she nearly gets killed.
2. What saves her, though, is the fact that the two ninja that the village elder employed…don’t actually seem to be ninja. As it turns out, both are actually former ninja who lost their jobs after the Great War. This isn’t a surprise–an era of peace on the level of what their world currently enjoys should’ve definitely put a damper on the need for ninja as anything more than a defense force and people doing bodyguard and ultra-high level espionage. Still, it kinda seems like these guys became ex-shinobi because they were untrustworthy jerks.
Discovering the amount of money the deed is worth, they immediately decide to murder their client. That’s the kind of disloyalty that would be punishable by any other village, but when you’re trying to stay alive a pay-off like the kind the village elder was aiming for is essential, one guesses. But this doesn’t satisfy them, and even after Konohamaru arrives to hand them the deed they attempt to kill both Kiri and Team 7. Unfortunately…
3. I have a slight issue with the logic that lead to Team 7 facing down Ashimaru, one of the two ninja. Konohamaru tries to hold both ninja off while the Team escapes with Kiri, but a costly mistake leads to him being captured long enough for Ashimaru to escape while Hidari finishes Konohamaru off. Due to an injury suffered when the ex-ninja tried to off Kiri, Team 7 has to stop and treat one of her wounds, allowing Ashimaru to catch back up. Sarada suggests that they’re not powerful enough to fight the guy if he catches up to them, so they should just face him head on? It seems like the kind of idiotic plan that Boruto would come up with. I can only guess it was a mistranslation, or perhaps she was saying that facing him would be easier than allowing him to attack them both.
Either way, if you were expecting something to give our heroes a challenge, think again. The only lesson learned here was one about teamwork–the group studied the movements of their opponent carefully and struck when they got their best opportunity, using Sarada’s strength to give the knock-out in a single hit.
4. Ughhh. Team 7 saves the village leader so they name the town after them? I pointed out last episode how this whole thing feels like a giant rip-off of the Zabuza/Haku arc, and it winds up being true. Things are much more low-stakes and the whole thing is over quicker because the ninja aren’t the same caliber of threat, while this iteration of Team 7 is way more powerful, but still.
I get the overall idea behind all this: Boruto’s kind of a stubborn kid who needs to learn things through in-field experience, so he gets to see what happens to people who try to work alone while ignoring the value of teamwork. Of course, this is a lesson that he really should’ve absorbed when Kakashi told his graduating class the only reason they even have their genin headbands is because they worked together, but hey. Teaching lessons several times over is how things tend to work in real life right?
5. Next Episode: After a mission where the group barely makes it back without major harm, the team’s been forced to perform a lot of menial tasks. But then Konohamaru recruits the group to stop a bank robber! How does the mission go?
I love that no one gets out of doing the boring missions like walking dogs and getting cats out of trees. The setting of Boruto has no idea how ninja worked in real life, but they work for his own universe–for a team to develop a close attachment to their village, otherwise useless missions, such as the ones we saw the Ino-Shika-Cho group do, wouldn’t have much point. This is how the kids get to know the people of the village, and in knowing them want to protect everyone. It makes sense, even if they’re being roundabout with it.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.