5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 57: “The Reason I Can’t Lose”

by Sage Ashford

The second round of the Chuunin Exams begin! This time the rules are capture the flag!  With eight teams still remaining, only four will manage to survive to the final round; will Team 7 be one of them? 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. For this arc, Boruto appears to be running into a problem most “gifted” kids have to deal with eventually: they’re challenged by something natural talent can’t get them over, so they start complaining and making excuses to run away from something they aren’t immediately good at.  Boruto’s been an exceptionally talented ninja from the very beginning, but the most simple of Sasuke’s training is breaking him.  Despite coming much further with the Rasengan than even his father did, his inability to do so perfectly causes him to take Katasuke up on his offer of a scientific ninja tool.  This episode, it’s his inability to pass Advanced Shuriken Throw 202.  Instead of continuing to work, he claims it’s a skill that Sarada would know better, because “throwing shuriken is a part of the Uchiha bloodline”.
That makes zero sense, so Sasuke immediately shuts his logic down by performing Naruto’s signature “Shadow Clone Jutsu”, creating eight perfect clones.  Inspired to prove he can do the same, Boruto generates his clones as well…but creates only four.  One more than usual, but the new one actually starts criticizing Boruto’s abilities.  Man, how much do you have to suck for a clone of you to trash talk you?  The others start arguing with him for being so mouthy when he’s new around here, but then Boruto tries to one up his father by claiming if his father can make a thousand clones, he’ll make ten thousand…and then the entire group turns on him.  This isn’t the best look for our hero to start the episode off.

2. Elsewhere, the clandestine meetings of higher ranked shinobi continue, as Sasuke and the Mizukage meet up with Gaara.  Gaara tells them on his way to the village he was attacked–the story flashes back to him on a train, where Urashiki Otsutsuki successfully infiltrates the room with ease.  Urashiki immediately attacks Gaara, who throws up his classic sand shield…but it doesn’t work.  Whatever Urashiki’s abilities are, they easily penetrate Gaara’s sand, and he plants a hook inside of Gaara to pull out the Tailed Beast chakra he’s hiding within.  Doing so, he successfully breaks the tie Gaara has with Shukaku, before immediately teleporting away before the guards can do anything to stop him.
Recapping this with the group, it’s suggested they bring the Exams to an end to prepare for whatever the Otsutsuki Clan has planned, but unfortunately the unique nature of this Chuunin Exam and it being sponsored by all the villages of the ninja world make that an impossibility without creating other political issues.  So the exam rolls on, where we put innocent kids in danger just to avoid causing a ruckus amongst the rarely seen feudal lords.  Seems like peace isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be.

3. The Second Round begins in earnest here, as all the teams start to face off against each other in three on three “capture the flag” matches.  InoShikaCho easily wins their qualifier, but others don’t end up being so lucky.  The girls spent so much time making fun of Sumire for having plans to defeat Boruto and Team 7, but they get washed by the bubblegum using jerks on Team Yurui.
Meanwhile, the goofballs on Team 5 wind up facing Gaara’s son Shinki.  This is the only fight I feel could’ve gotten a bit more time–Denki and Iwabe get flattened in a matter of seconds against Shinki, while Metal puts on his best performance yet.  This is a flashback to the legendary match Gaara and Rock Lee had during the Chuunin Exam in Naruto, but it doesn’t have nearly the amount of time to manage to give us the same epic feel.   Exactly like Gaara, Shinki has a sand shield covering him…but his is made of iron.   Metal strikes away until his fists are literally dripping blood, but it’s not enough; the rest of the other team easily steals his team’s flag while Denki and Iwabe are incapacitated.

4. The last match is Team 7 vs. the Senka Triplets.  Honestly, Team 7’s plan was trash and they deserved to lose for it.  Thinking Boruto would be able to protect the flag, Sarada and Mitsuki both abandon their post in order to go steal the Senka Brothers’ flag.  It’s a trap from the jump; none of the Senka Brothers are there, as they know in a fight like this offense is all that matters.
All three of them arrive to Boruto’s area, and Boruto initially believes he can win, as he creates his four clones and gets ready for a fight.   But the Senka Brothers have something to reveal: they can use Shadow Clone Jutsu as well.  And while it isn’t as good as Boruto, all three of them create three clones each, leaving Boruto desperately outnumbered because his friends though it’d be a good idea to leave him alone.
The group easily beat Boruto down, dispatching his clones, but before they can take his flag, he activates the ninja tool.  Summoning a massive wave of water to push them away, he combines it with lightning jutsu to dispatch all their clones and knock them out, leaving their flag safe.  Watching from afar, Temari wonders why he didn’t use the hand signals for the water jutsu, but without knowing of the ninja tool’s existence, assumes Boruto simply used the signals faster than she could see.
With the team making the third round, an excited Naruto actually goes home to congratulate his son in person.  It’s an adorable moment, as you realize Naruto kinda sucks at being a dad…because he never had one.  He’s doing the best he can though, and confusing his son in the process with all this positive reinforcement.  Boruto definitely wanted to beat his dad up, but it’s impossible when Naruto’s cheering him on from the sidelines.

5. Next Episode: It’s all come down to this!  Boruto and the others are in the third round, where they have to battle one on one in order to bring home a victory!  Who’ll survive, gaining the rank of Chuunin in these final few ninja?  And will Boruto crack and give in to using the ninja tool again?
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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