With Ku’s plans in ruins, all that’s left for Team 7 is to bring down the leader himself. 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. “Mitsuki’s Will” began this arc, roughly eighteen episodes ago. And now, with all the sub bosses down, the adds beaten, and the final boss on the ropes, Teams 5 and 15 want to go into co-op mode to wrap things up? This isn’t the big stand the kids think it is–they would’ve been better off saying the group was under even higher scrutiny after both Team 7 and 10 went off on their own without permission. Showing up at the end like this is like the guy who tries to pitch in on the clean up once everything’s already clean. No, no one cares that you wiped the tables and counters down, we just spent the last few hours vacuuming up all the dirt left by the Akuta golems, dude.
2. My major complaint about this arc had been how much time we spent focusing on everyone else other than the person the arc had been about all along. That complaint has been assuaged (though not eliminated) with these last two episodes. Finally Mitsuki gets to express himself–we see him understand that on some level he did want to spend time with beings that were manufactured, to see what they were like. But the arc has also taught him how much he cares about the friends he’s made since coming to Konoha village. But while he understands his friends think of him as just as human as they are, he still has some growing to do, as he talks about sacrificing himself so the others can escape because “Orochimaru has clones of him”. But Boruto is there to point out that there’s only one Mitsuki, leading to the final battle between them and Ku.
3. Despite several days in story away from one another, their teamwork is smooth as ever: Sarada’s strength and sharingan, Mitsuki’s versatility, and Boruto’s shadow clone trickery and Rasengan mastery combine to put the leader of Ohnoki’s army of golems on his ass in pretty short order. Earlier in this arc I thought someone else would eventually step up and stop Ku rather than leaving it to the kids. But having seen this fight, I’m glad that never happened. It was important to show what Team 7 was capable of when reunited. Yeah ultimately it’s down to Ohnoki to bring Ku down in a final, pretty sweet particle jutsu “beam struggle” battle, but by then Ku’s artificial heart has already been blown out of his chest and he’s literally falling apart. This does raise some questions given how easily they seemed to knock out the Tsuchikage, but we’ll write that off as Main Character Powers and keep it moving.
4. Ohnoki’s final speech here sums up why shonen anime series are able to connect with so many people and maintain so much popularity: “Carrying it out is no easy task. At times, you may even lose it. People can always rediscover one’s will. Even if you think it’s useless and you abandon your will after coming up against many barriers…if you’ve been given a chance to face yourself, you can pick up the pieces and start over. There are many sides to a will, you know. Keep on polishing it, just like that…and in time, it will be the strongest will in the world. That’s what it means to live a human life.”
Granted, Ohnoki’s saying this while he’s dying, but it’s because he’s at the end of his life that it has so much meaning. It’s what literally took him from just another kid in the Hidden Stone village into the village’s leader, and it’s what caused him to sacrifice his life to save three children from a city that wasn’t even his. Because it’s never too late. Even if you’re old, even if you’ve made mistakes, you can always move forward if you’re willing to examine yourself honestly. So many anime waste time with pseudo-intellectual bullshit that has no practical purpose in the day to day lives of people watching–it just makes you “feel” smart seeing it. Series like this, even when they can get cringy, carry with them an emotional resonance that can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Yeah, even I’m surprised I’m praising Boruto this much, but credit where it’s due you know?
5. Plot wise, we know the cavalry took so long because Naruto and the others took a lot of time cutting through red tape to get permission to enter the Land of the Hidden Stone. They even bothered to show us Shikamaru snapping on people over the phone, but in my head the real reason is because Naruto had to spend something like an hour digging his fancy Hokage hat out of his closet. Still, if nothing else it gives us a hint at Mitsuki’s chances of redemption in the Hidden Leaf, with Konohamaru putting aside what happened between their father/grandfather and embracing him, while he gets to see the other genin rushing into the Hidden Stone Village to greet him.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.
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