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BORUTO -NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS- – 04 »« BORUTO -NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS- – 02

BORUTO -NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS- – 03

「暴走、メタル・リー!!」 (Bousou, Metaru Rii!!)
“Metal Lee Goes Wild!!”

Forewords

I was surprised that Metal Lee didn’t place near the top in the physical training exercise. Could it be he was using the old-school trick of heavy weights to handicap himself? Apparently not, as the problem was related to Metal Lee having performance anxiety. A surprise for sure but a welcome one, because it manages to set him apart from Rock Lee. I like this kind of direction and hope the series decides to take a similar approach for all the other young shinobi too.

Episode Impressions

Shino’s claim of pulling pranks in his younger days was quite a stretch of the imagination. But kudos for him to trying to reach out to the kids. While he doesn’t have control of the class, it is a flaw that can be worked on. Not to mention he already possesses indispensable qualities for a teacher in his patience and empathy.

Metal presents an interesting dynamic to the continuing ethos of hard work overcoming talent, by possessing a fatal flaw, that is enough to potentially mitigate positive benefits being derived from his efforts. We see him continually messing up throughout the episode, and although this initially starts off as comedy, you quickly begin to feel bad for him. Even more so when Metal accidentally undid the crew’s painstaking renovation of the Hokage Rock. Boruto’s attempt at switching the topic to eating at a burger chain in order to deflect the blame and resentment from Metal was kind and thoughtful, though it could not stop the damage caused by Shikadai’s harsh words.

Seeing Temari berate Shikadai for getting into trouble before proceeding to rinse Shikamaru too was absolutely hilarious. She is truly a fearsome woman and while this fiery temperament contrasts with her chill from the old days, it makes for some pretty good comic relief. More importantly, Shikamaru teaches Shikadai a valuable lesson: nobody is perfect so accept and live with the human flaws that your friends have.

Shikadai’s attempt at apologising do not go according to plan. Instead, we are treated to seeing Metal’s potential, when the dark chakra causes him to indiscriminately attack people, looking like an evil Kung-Fu villain in the process. Shikadai had no qualms calling upon the Joestar Family’s Secret Technique, and improvises a coordinated strategy utilising the skillsets of Boruto and Inojin to restrain Metal. Props to their success but a lot of questions are left in the air. The mystery of the dark chakra and Boruto’s special eye deepens, and the appearance of a dark figure from the first few seconds possibly relates to these sequences of strange events.

Concluding Thoughts

Shikadai is more like his mother in terms of bluntly speaking their minds whereas Shikamaru would not both being so outspoken for fear of provoking trouble. But is this distinction notable enough to distinguish him from his father? So far, I would like to see the series go further but I’m satisfied that an attempt has been made.

Boruto’s resentment towards Naruto largely stems from feeling angry on behalf of Hinata and Himawari being neglected. This is a cute pout that must be protected! While I’m happy to see that Naruto is taking his job of Hokage incredibly seriously, it saddens me to see that he isn’t providing a very good home environment for his children. You’d think that considering what he went through, Naruto would work harder to provide a nicer home environment for his children. But you know, even our heroes are humans too.

People often criticise this series for the fact that its young characters possess similarities to their parents. However, it is a central theme to the series that cannot really be avoided. Might Guy sacrifices so much in the fight against Madara by losing the use of his leg and becoming permanently bound to a wheelchair. A cripple he may be but his legacy lives on through Rock who passes it down to Metal. This could be described as a way in which the Will of Fire manifests itself, and for me justifies why the franchise can be so great and beautiful. It can get repetitive but it is so bloody inspirational nonetheless, and the task will be for the anime staff to reinvent the ways in which the Will of Fire passes between generations.

We haven’t seen much of Metal so far but he has certainly distinguished himself from Rock Lee in my eyes. Although he hasn’t completely overcome his anxiety yet, Metal is making progress with the help of his new ninja pals.

Preview

April 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm
11 comments »
  • April 19, 2017 at 2:42 pmJohnPeacekeeper

    I think Metal Lee’s portrayal is a nice deconstruction; where he’s still in the whole “hard work is everything” shtick, he shows the reasonable drawback of fearing that all that hard work meant nothing if he fails anyway

    • April 19, 2017 at 2:49 pmZaiden

      Metal is mined from ores, which are rocks in themselves. I’d say there’s some pretty deep symbolism going on there.

      Ignoring my corny pun, Metal brings an interesting dynamic to the continuing ethos of hard work overcoming talent, set down by Might Guy and Rock Lee, by possessing a fatal flaw that is enough to mitigate positive benefits being derived from his efforts. To be fair the kid is only 7-8, so he has time to build up confidence, after which I imagine he will be some nice and humble kid unlike his exuberant predecessors. I think it goes to show that Boruto isn’t exactly a carbon copy of Naruto like quite a few people were saying.

      • April 20, 2017 at 12:23 amJohnPeacekeeper

        I agree, and I think even Shikadai, while seemingly the most similar to his dad like Metal was, is actually vastly different, and not just in his manner of speaking. He’s surprisingly hard working–albeit reluctantly–especially compared to Boruto, who completely relies on talent to get by–and we know real life examples of how far that can take you before you realize equal amounts of effort is needed to bring that potential to its peak. I think they even mentioned this in the new arc in the manga.

  • April 19, 2017 at 3:41 pmMistic

    It can’t be coincidence that Boruto thought of asking his mother about Byakugan after taking a good look at Himawari’s eyes. The Beast could awaken at any time. No wonder Boruto is angry at his father. Upsetting Himawari puts everyone in the family at risk!

    More seriously, it’s evident this episode tried to develop Metal Lee and Shikadai beyond being carbon-copies of their respective fathers. They succeeded with Metal but I agree that Shikadai needs more work.

    • April 19, 2017 at 7:05 pmZaiden

      An angry Himawari is no joke, but really too cute at the same time.

      I think most of the cast need more work, but we’ve got quite a few episodes to achieve substantial progress, so I’m not too worried. Plus I’m sure I’ll enjoy the experience regardless.

  • April 19, 2017 at 4:40 pmLyfe

    Naruto may not provide the best home environment for his kids, but he provides a good environment for his kids to live and grow up in by working hard as Hokage and keeping everyone around him safe.

    The by-product of being in such an important job is that he won’t have the time he wants to be with those he loves. Self sacrifice and all that for the greater good.

    • April 19, 2017 at 4:49 pmZaiden

      That’s definitely true, and I’m starting to think that as well as appealing to the Japanese kids, maybe Boruto is something Japanese parents can enjoy too. Japan has something of a workaholic culture, so I can imagine many of the parents can relate to Naruto’s struggles of balancing providing for the family in addition to physically being present.

      I don’t think his mountains of paperwork is intended to keep everyone safe. Now that we find ourselves in an era of peace and diplomacy following the Fourth Great Shinobi War, there will naturally be a lot more paperwork to handle, resulting from the change in priorities when it comes to running the Hidden Leaf Village.

      The increase in industrial output and trade, in conjunction with the perceivable lack of a sophisticated service industry (Finance, Banking, Legal Firms, etc) to help regulate and facilitate this economic growth leaves Naruto to shoulder the bulk of the burden.

      Since he is the Hokage and the man in charge of everything it’s left upon him to regulate everything and have the final say. Because this kind of peace is relatively new to the Narutoverse, Konoha hasn’t come up with an efficient way to handle the increased load of paperwork, hence a lot of it falls onto Naruto to manage. Factor in that written paperwork type stuff was never really Naruto’s forte from his schooldays, but the fact he is nevertheless passionate for his job as Hokage, and you get a man who spends 2 sleepless nights in the office slaving away at the paperwork.

      So it is a type of self-sacrifice as you have put it, and an extension of keeping everyone safe by maintaining the diplomacy and peace of the current era. However, I don’t see why he wouldn’t try to organise something more bureaucratic where the task can be delegated effectively amongst a governing body, as opposed to shouldering the entire burden himself.

  • April 21, 2017 at 1:56 amGinobi47

  • April 21, 2017 at 10:07 amkaito-kaiser

  • April 21, 2017 at 10:09 amkaito-kaiser

  • May 3, 2017 at 1:22 amprejsu

    So, anyone ready to venture a guess who is Metal Lee’s mom?

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