Boruto: Naruto Next Generations – 02
「火影の息子…!!」 (Hokage no Musuko…!!)
“The Hokage’s Son!!”
Growing from a stubborn young boy who vowed to become Hokage and save his friend, Naruto overcame all the odds and made his seemingly impossible dreams come true. It’s funny how I took for granted, that after becoming Hokage, Naruto would automatically receive all the recognition and respect he yearned for all his life. But seeing it actually happening with kids in Boruto’s class admiring Naruto really made me realise how I am truly proud for him.
Having witnessed Naruto’s own journey to becoming Hokage, it’s easy to assume that the new generation of ninjas are spoilt and unnecessarily edgy. Nevertheless, this conclusion leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as it parallels various unwarranted criticisms often directed towards the millennials. Every generation has their own struggles, even in times of peace. For example, the rise in mental health issues that came with the age of social media is no trivial matter, even if those suffering have not lived through poverty or war.
Anyway, that’s enough going off on tangents. Let’s get on with talking about the episode!
Following two weeks of suspension, Boruto finally attends ninja academy with his ninja pals. And of course, Hinata made sure those two weeks were productive. But his school debut was not particularly smooth. Accusations of riding off Naruto’s coattails are thrown at him and he gets into trouble with Iwabe, who is the strongest member of his class.
So it goes without saying that we are then treated to a ninjutsu showdown harking back to the baby days of Naruto. While I love huge epic battles just like anyone else, some nostalgia goes a long way too. The action choreography was on point, though there were certainly moments that wouldn’t seem out of place in a dancing routine. I have to say there was one thing that left me deeply disappointed. What the heck is this? Where did my old school ninja run go to? Minor dissatisfaction aside, I was pleased that the action was not fighting for the sake of fighting. Boruto was standing up for Denki and showed that victory could be attained, through cunning battle tactics defeating raw strength.
Had it not been forbidden by the rules of the fight, I think that Iwabe (Hamazoe Shinya) would have easily wiped the floor with Boruto using his Earth Release, but Inojin intervenes before those rules are broken. Speaking of Inojin (Abe Atushi), am I the only person who thought he was a girl based on the previews?!? His mannerism leaves a lot to be desired, as it seemed to be an unpleasant mix between Ino’s haughtiness and Sai’s social awkwardness. Although I can’t say I approve of his attitude, especially when he slapped away Boruto’s attempted handshake with that goddamn smirk on his face, at least he redeemed himself towards the end of the episode.
Boruto is more like his father than he realises: Catchphrase no Jutsu (Dattebasa), Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, Talk no Jutsu, Power of Friendship no Jutsu, etc. Presumably we will see the list continue extending in later episodes, which looks promising so far. However, I hope the similarities don’t go too far - otherwise the story will become one where Boruto beats Bain, then becomes the Bokage of Bonoha village.
Iwabe’s dislike of peace is still a mystery to me. There are many possible explanations, ranging from misplaced fury at Konoha’s education system itself, to possibly having lost important people in the Fourth Shinobi War. But I look forwards to seeing when the anime will try to cover this. Although this may seem too obvious, I was also left wondering if Iwabe was the same person as Kawaki. It would be interesting to see how Iwabe falls from his Hokage aspirations, while Boruto goes from rejecting the ninja path to accepting it.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is incredibly fun and I want to continue writing posts for it. However, my real-life term time schedule would make this so difficult to keep up with in terms of punctual releases. By next week, after writing the third post for this series, I will have made my decision. Regardless of the outcome, it is my hope that you will understand and accept my choice without feeling too disappointed.
Meru-sempai for the Bokage of Bonoha line
ED: 「Dreamy Johnny」by The Peggies