5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 51: “Boruto’s Birthday”

by Sage Ashford

It’s Boruto’s birthday, and Naruto’s nowhere to be found. But they’ve got bigger troubles, as they have to investigate the whereabouts of some thieves in another village! Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. The start of this week’s episode sees Team 7 return from another mission after having finished it successfully. This time it was just watching over an animal as its “bodyguard”, but it’s still one more win in the column for them. But as they’re about to leave the mission headquarters, a few older ninja crack jokes on Team 7 for being “prodigies” with a 100 percent success rate on all their missions. They teasingly imply it’s because Boruto’s the Hokage’s son and maybe think he’s been getting easy missions…but it feels weird considering their first mission together was shutting down a pair of rogue ninja. Most recently they helped take down the Byakuya Gang, a group of ninjas who nearly stole state secrets from the village.
These kids are obviously jerks, but it’s not Boruto’s job to try and explain all he’s done for the city. He’s done so many cool things and yet he still has this incessant need to prove himself.

2. “Boruto’s Birthday” features a look at how terrible a parent Naruto is. On one level it makes sense; he trained to become the best ninja in the village, not the best dad. He barely even knows how family works when it comes to being a son, so how’s he gonna know how to be a dad?  On the other hand, it shows Boruto out to be a whiny little brat because his dad’s constantly missing his birthdays, dinners with the family…but it’s for a good reason. He’s literally protecting the village from harm, making sure not just his family, but everyone’s family is safe an taken care of.
Fortunately, they bring Himawari into it as well so Boruto can at least get mad at his dad for a less selfish reason than “He wasn’t at my birthday party.

3. There are a lot of hints pointing towards the story finally getting to cover the Chuunin Exams and the overall events of Boruto: The Movie in this episode. Like, there are so many that if you know what’s coming it’s almost kind of beating you over the head with it. Mentions of Himawari’s birthday drawing near like in the film, seeing Katasuke continue working on the kote in order to eventually give to Naruto for the Exams, and the appearance of White Zetsu.  (More on that later.)
It’s crazy that it’s taken us over fifty episodes to get to what’s kind of the starting point of Boruto’s popularity in the first place. Especially since the the film is over two years old, but that’s what happens when your manga chapters come out once a month, I guess.

4. The key conflict to this week’s episode comes from the latest mission Boruto and the others get assigned. They’re asked to take care of a group of thieves that jumped off a moving train and are now hiding in a complex mine system. But by the time Team 7 arrives, only one thief has made it out of the mine alive. He’s screaming incoherently and begging to be left alone, after seeing a “white creature” tear into his friends. This bit at the beginning of the episode was shot in such a way that I almost thought it was Boruto watching a movie and we’d segue into the “real” episode later. Plus…are we still doing thieves?
Well…no, it seems not. After only one thief remained, they were informed that there was a gigantic white creature  and that was all I could think about it once I heard it. Konohamaru having actually dealt with pieces of the Great Ninja War, you’d think he would have immediately thought of Zetsu and got his team all the way out of there. But instead he decides to risk it, and the group make their way into the mine. While there they find the corpses of the other thieves, before being attacked by the giant monster…that’s actually White Zetsu, a major part of Naruto series villain Kaguya’s plan to take over.

5. Next Episode: The battle against White Zetsu begins! But more importantly…what’s Sarada’s dad doing here? This is about to get real heavy, real fast–especially when Sasuke is doing research into Kaguya’s even worse monstrosity she planned on siccing on Konoha Village.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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