5 Point Discussions – Boruto – Naruto Next Generations 61: “The Iron Sand User: Shinki”

by Sage Ashford

The Chuunin Exams come to an end. But who comes out on top?  Shinki of the Hidden Sand, or Sarada or Boruto from the Hidden Leaf? 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. Boruto and Sarada decide early on to go two on one against Shinki, but unfortunately for them his abilities make him perfect to fight against multiple opponents. Or even single opponents. He’s basically good against everyone. They at least realize as a user of magnetized iron sand his weakness is likely electricity to disrupts his control, but neither of them is skilled enough with electricity to stop him.
So Shinki just gets to show off.  He abuses all of his techniques, from changing his iron sand into rocket-powered fists to covering himself in it and taking on a flying bird-like form. Sarada refuses to give in, but since Shinki is basically Bora the Spear at this point he just places enough iron molecules on her to act like a homing beacon and fillets her with his iron feathers. This fight is fun if you like watching people get stomped helplessly, because almost nothing these two do even matters.

2. Why is Shinki even allowed to compete? He spends much of this episode mocking the Hidden Leaf, claiming their entire village is worthless aside from it’s Hokage, but it feels hollow coming from him.  He’s gifted with some kind of all-powerful kekkai genkai that most people don’t even have. We talk about Boruto, but this whole match was rigged from the jump–no one from any village stood a chance except Mitsuki, who couldn’t even use his best weapon.
But the rest of these kids? They’re all using the most basic of basic jutsu, spending most of their time battling with kunai and occasionally mixing it up by using bomb tags. Shinki enters at a level leaps and bounds above all of them, and it feels like he should’ve just been allowed to opt out of this, like the child genius who skips several grades at once and goes straight to high school or something.

3. There’s a lot in this episode that’s pretty illuminating. For one, we see the limits of what genin Naruto would’ve been capable of if his chakra hadn’t been all screwed up because of the Nine Tail seal….and if he couldn’t access that massive well of chakra in times of extreme duress. After Sarada gets KO’d, Boruto tries one last ditch effort with the help of his clones–combining his wind based Boruto stream technique with his own lighting attack, while Shinki sends a giant spear at him. He manages to crack the spear, but he can’t actually break it–and so he finds himself nearly about to lose.
But at that point, he realizes he can’t take the idea of being so far behind his father, and finally just snaps and gives in to the desire to use the scientific ninja tool. Y’know, like…every other time he has since he cleared the first round.  He uses Kakashi’s Purple Lightning technique and demolishes Shinki’s iron sand, knocking him out and winning the tournament.
….Except Naruto’s not an idiot, and realizes what’s happened. He immediately exposes Boruto in front of all the contestants, and has him disqualified. I gotta admit, this is pretty honest of him, but at the same time…why though? He had an unfair advantage? So did Araya–he was using a puppet and no one knew, meaning he got all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks.  Being a ninja is about subterfuge, so technically Boruto’s done literally nothing wrong.
Of course, the village doesn’t see it that way, and immediately calls him garbage for cheating.  Y’know. The same ninja who all had to cheat to pass rounds of either the chuunin exam or the Ninja Academy. Those people. Even Shikadai and Sarada turn their backs on him, leaving the young ninja distraught.
…And then Naruto takes his headband, claiming he’s not fit to be a ninja anymore either. I really think they’re misunderstanding what it means to be a “ninja” in the first place, but oh well. Boruto breaks down, enraged at his father for never having time for him. That’d be a weird claim to make, except earlier Shinki points out that his father taught him everything he knew. That’s when you realize Boruto had to learn the Sharingan from freaking Sasuke, and the only thing his dad must’ve taught him is the Shadow Clone–a technique nearly everyone knows. Considering Naruto has more transformations as Goku and as many special techniques as Vegeta, maybe he could’ve done a better job.

4. But while Boruto’s experiencing the worst moment of his life, things get much worse when Katasuke shows up, with a camera crew. It becomes obvious he was using Boruto, who was stupid enough to fall for taking the Ninja Tool, in order to show off how powerful his invention is.
Besides this feeling like a 180 from the goofy demeanor Katasuke displayed when he was first introduced, this still feels like the most stupid thing he could’ve done. A weapon this powerful should’ve stayed in the Leaf’s arsenal in case of trouble, but he just exposes it to the world. Granted, it’s incredible power allowed Boruto to take Shinki out with ease…but if literally anyone can get it, doesn’t it place everyone back at zero?

5. Next Episode: Looks like none of those questions matter, though. The Otsutsuki Tribe has arrived, so there’s no more time to berate Boruto for his bad decision making skills. They’re after the chakra of the Nine Tails so they can revive the Chakra Tree. Things are about to get hectic really quick, as Sasuke and Boruto both take the field in order to protect the village…and the world.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.

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