5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 71: “The Hardest Rock In The World”

by Sage Ashford

With the arrival of all the other Kage to Konoha, Boruto and the others are assigned as bodyguards. But when one of the oldest Kage disappears, it’s up to them to find him! 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. After a month of focusing on other characters, we switched back to a focus on Team 7 at the worst time. During one of Team 10’s missions working at a poultry farm (I’m really starting to think the Konoha village doesn’t know how being a ninja works), Inojin stumbles upon an egg laid by one of the chickens. Just as he picks it up to show off to the rest of the team, out hatches a baby chick which believes he’s it’s mother. While the point of this scene is to bring up the idea of “imprinting” and how Mitsuki’s emotions about Boruto may not necessarily be genuine, I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t have used an episode about the sardonic Inojin bonding with this adorable chick.

2. It’s great that the fallout of the events of the movie are being followed up on so quickly. After all, getting attacked by three dudes who were enough to wreck part of your main cities and knock out four of the best ninja on the continent is probably something you’d want to do more research into. After a month-long break from that plotline, we pick it back up this episode with a summit of the Kages so they can figure out exactly what they should do about the potential of there being an entire army of chakra-eating aliens who wants to wipe out their planet just so they can enjoy a few more years of wielding stolen power.
There’s not much discussion, other than “Sasuke’s out finding stuff and we should probably be a little more vigilant”, but at least they’re not forgetting about one of the only long term plot threads they have. It feels good seeing the adults handle the grown-up business while the kids are off doing whatever, and makes much more sense than most series where the grown-ups are useless and the kids do all the work.

Also, shouts out to Kakashi and the older Kages who were invited as a formality and choose to spend their time calmly listening and eating fruit. They’re fighting a terrifying threat to be sure, but they’re always doing that. The heroes who’ve just become used to all the insanity and only ratchet their intensity up when it’s time to go to work are the best.

3. The majority of Team 7’s time in this episode is spent watching the older Tsuchikage, Ohnoki the Fence-Sitter. A man in his 100s, he plays the usual role of a doddering old man everyone thinks is senile but is actually more on the ball than everyone else. Team 7 tries to convince him to go to the summit, but he turns them down and instead wants them to take him around the city. Much like the other older Kage, he’s dealt with crazy stuff before…and given how the meeting covered very little, looking at modern Konoha was probably a better usage of his time.
Sarada ignores his request at first, but Boruto decides to take him around to get the answer to a riddle his father gave him: “What’s the hardest rock in the world?” For whatever reason, Boruto thought this referred to an actual rock, so it made sense (to him) to ask the guy from the Village Hidden By Rocks.  Naturally, it winds up being a trick question, referring to one’s foundation and willpower, something which is all the more enlightening for Mitsuki.

4. Mitsuki’s been an enigma from the first episode he appeared in, but no one’s ever questioned him because he never rocks the boat much. But this episode seems to be the start of a Mitsuki-centric arc, starting with a flashback to his initial “creation” and assignment to Konoha. After several dozen episodes of being something of a hanger-on, he’s started to develop more emotions and human-like behaviors. He’s started having dreams, eating food, and questioning the purpose behind his creation, and whether his devotion to Boruto is something he did on his own or part of his programming.
Most of the episode is spent focusing on other stories–Team 7 watching over Ohtsuki, the Kage Summit–but this remains ever present in the background, though lacking the kind of overbearing ominousness that would lead anyone to think something awful was going to happen by the end of the episode.  We do get a surprise, but it doesn’t quite feel as upending as what could have been, when Mitsuki arrives at his apartment to find someone has broken in.
Reading a note he finds inside, he immediately sets off and winds up attacking a group of security guards at a post elsewhere.  In a lot of series this would be considered huge, but…this is the Naruto universe. Same place where Sasuke nearly killed his teammates a half dozen times, plotted the destruction of his home village, and stoked the flames of war several times…and all it resulted in was him being a deadbeat dad, which probably would’ve happened anyway.  Right now Mitsuki’s actions barely merit a slap on the wrist, and we don’t even know what’s pushed him to act this way yet.

5. Next Episode: Team 7 is broken apart once again, as Boruto and Sarada come to terms with Mitsuki having turned his back on the village.

Potentially the best thing about this trailer, aside from me finally catching up enough to make commenting on Next Ep Previews at all, is seeing Tsunade, because I missed her and it sucked not having her around for the Kage Summit even though everyone else was there. Also worth mention is what crappy friends Sarada and Boruto sounded like. They aren’t aware of Mitsuki’s parents or home life, they just see him at work and then hang out a little afterwards and don’t even care what happens afterwards. No wonder he turned evil.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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