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Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 11

「黒幕の影」 (Kuromaku no kage)
“The Shadow of The Mastermind”

In hindsight, letting the children go on work experience trips was a pretty bad idea. The Ghost Syndrome incidents still hadn’t been resolved, and seeing someone finally get hurt really hammered it home. Naruto has a point about Boruto being fortunate enough to avoid any kind of serious injuries. Seeing this serious side of Naruto, where he acts really mature and strict feels so weird, because can you imagine finally seeing the day where Naruto pulls somebody’s ear?!? But it fit well into a situation where general safety, and potentially even lives were at stake. I would have been really disappointed in Naruto if he goofed off here, given the gravity of the circumstances.

No situation is straightforward. Although I feel inclined to side with Naruto’s objection, that letting the kids continue with their investigation is dangerous, Shino isn’t entirely wrong when he voices his opinions. I was actually pretty damn gobsmacked, when a teacher like Shino dared to step out of line, and I daresay he successfully out-Talk no Jutsu‘d the President Ninja Jesus. Naruto, have a taste of your own medicine! I suppose it helps that they knew each other well from back in the days, especially since Shino was a part of the Sasuke Retrieval Squad. That said, the kids are actually quite competent and Boruto’s special eye gives them an advantage when it comes to scouting out occurrences of the Ghost Syndrome. Mitsuki also seems to have cards hidden up his sleeves, which makes it unlikely that any harm will come to them. While they definitely shouldn’t be relied upon as the main task-force for this investigation, there’s nothing stopping them from taking up an auxiliary role to support ongoing efforts.

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

Strangely, I didn’t think Sai’s involvement in the investigations possibly had deeper meaning, namely guilt borne out of his affiliation with ‘The Foundation’. It should have been an obvious connection, once Danzo and the Hashirama Cell were brought up last episode. Sai denouncing Danzo’s twisted ideology as misguided really shows how Naruto changed him, considering Sai’s prior unwavering loyalty towards Danzo. It should seem obvious that this programme was intended for creating a super army out of ordinary civilians, capable of fighting off threats to Konohakagure.

Speaking of which, if Naruto can invite Sai out for ramen, what stops him from inviting Boruto out for ramen? Heck, this could even be extended to the whole family. Given the technological advancements in the current era, surely the existence of phones should make it easy to communicate, by making a call to home? It makes me wonder if Naruto is intentionally avoiding extensive use of technology, so that he can strictly abide by edicts of the Ninja tradition. Of course, there’s no real evidence to make this kind of statement. However, these details can possibly be inferred where Naruto refuses to accept help from others or utilise modern technology, while working on his Hokage duties.

SHADOW IN THE POST OFFICE

Last week, I had predicted that the postman Tayori would be the next person to fall foul of the Ghost Syndrome. Instead, his boss was afflicted by the condition, rampaging across the Post Office depot. And the trap was sprung. Not only did Boruto and Co catch the Masked Assailant in the middle of the act, they also verified their suspicions that someone was keeping tabs on their activities, in order to coordinate the Ghost Syndrome outbreaks in locations they were not present at. However, the Masked Assailant immediately hightails away from the scene of crime, leaving Boruto and friends to deal with an out of control person who you would think has letters and packages as his Nature Transformation. Thankfully, no lessons were taken from Konan, so this issue was quickly resolved. Only Boruto could see it, but I have to wonder what the subsequent spiralling vortex of sentient, dark chakra meant.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

So, who is the Masked Assailant? I’m getting a creeping suspicion that it’s Sumire. All the other Ninja Academy students were there to apprehend the mysterious masked figure apart from her. And if you think about the moment where she looks out of the window wistfully at her classmates getting picked up by their parents, you might think that she was an orphan. Thus, it makes sense that she may have been picked up and exploited by a third party. Possibly Orochimaru, since the Ghost Syndrome is afflicted through the bite of a corporeal serpent, not to mention we all know his love for unscrupulous experiments and little orphaned kiddies. The fact that Mitsuki let go of the Masked Assailant in the water pipes further reinforces that suspicion, and makes me wonder if Mitsuki is Orochimaru’s agent, tasked with smoothly seeing through this operation. If both Sumire and Mitsuki turned out to be rogue, I think it would make for a really interesting arc resolution. For someone who staunchly believes in protecting those he cares for, how will Boruto handle a situation where his friends turn out to be behind these harmful incidents?

Judging by the preview, the next episode will focus on the relationship between Boruto and Mitsuki. What I have really liked so far about Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is the fantastic development of friendships between each member of the new generation. Every little interaction is authentic and feels good to watch, an example being when Shikadai steps in to protect Boruto from the assaulting flurry of letters. This episode made me realise how much I would loved to have seen Shikadai, Mitsuki, and Boruto forming a team together. It’s too bad Shikadai’s fate was sealed the moment he was born.

Preview

June 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm
21 comments »
  • June 14, 2017 at 7:48 pmdean

    I don’t think that Orochimaru is involved much with this. The “ghost” is a Nue a yokai that is part baboon and part snake (think Zabimaru from Bleach), so it is the Nue who infects them. Well the Nue was what Boruto summoned during boys vs girls match, so I guess he might eventually make a summoning contract with him.

    Naruto sticking too much to ninja traditions will probably be his downfalls and one of the main reasons for the destruction of Konoha.

    Btw, Shino was not in the retrival squad.

    • June 15, 2017 at 4:33 amMistic

      Given the sudden spotlight of Root in the last two chapters (with Sai here implying that the culprit behind the attacks is most likely poisoned by their ideology), I wonder if the Nue is some sort of secret Root WMD that is being activated now to destroy Konoha’s current statu quo.

      The prospect that Boruto may make a summoning contract with the Nue in the future is promising. I mean, this is the Narutoverse we’re talking about; becoming friends with mythological beasts that until that moment were considered forces of evil and destruction is part of its charm.

    • June 16, 2017 at 4:36 amZaiden

      Orochimaru probably won’t be too involved, and I do think it’s time for new villains to make themselves known. But it would just be a pretty funny outcome, that would reinforce the ‘Orochimaru is subtly a pedo’ narrative.

      The Nue does look to be a subject of incredible interest. However, given the lack of Nue summoning in the Boruto movie, I’m not sure if Boruto will form a summoning contract with it. Would be a cool outcome though!

      And I did mess up with the Sasuke Retrieval Squad. Mixed it up the ‘Stop Gaara from going on a rampage’ squad, where Shino put up a pretty solid showing against Kankuro. Still, I feel Shino was able to demonstrate that he had the back of his fellow shinobi around this time early on.

  • June 14, 2017 at 8:45 pmRoxis

    Seriously, compared to Goku Naruto is far better father than him.

    • June 15, 2017 at 1:55 amDude

      Still a terrible father though. Naruto plain sucks.

      • June 15, 2017 at 2:56 amJohnPeacekeeper

        At least Ichigo won’t have as much baggage as either

      • June 15, 2017 at 5:51 amDude

        Man at least Ichigo’s dad is actively involved with family.

      • June 16, 2017 at 4:05 pmroxis

        Naruto is following traditional japanese awkaward father. You will find many types father like Naruto in any japanese work.
        Goku on other hand….no comment you guys know how jerk this guy is than Naruto.

    • June 16, 2017 at 4:46 amZaiden

      I don’t think either were ready for parenthood, in addition to the responsibilities they had.

    • June 16, 2017 at 5:06 pmLyfe

      In fairness Goku is a man-child. Despite everything that has happened to date in Dragon Ball, Goku still behaves like a child. He even fights for fun, even when the sake of the world or universe is at stake.

    • June 17, 2017 at 10:54 pmKaleRylan

      I’m glad Roxis at least is aware of this. Naruto isn’t really supposed to be a ‘bad’ father, he’s just supposed to be a Japanese father. That said, it’s sort of interesting that while the resolution (from the movie) is Boruto realizing his father is awesome and still cares about him despite never being there (basically designed to justify shitty japanese fathers) they also have an entire narrative about how Boruto doesn’t understand and feels abandoned by his father (thereby pointing out that the traditional japanese father still kind of sucks).

      • June 19, 2017 at 10:04 amKiritsugu

        When Boruto started, I found myself predicting that Boruto would be the last victim of the “ghost” (lame name is lame) mainly due to his father issues. In the end, in the true OVA spirit that Boruto shows, they would make up, leading Boruto to finally solve the problem. If something like that happens, it will be really bad, cringe worthy even.

  • June 15, 2017 at 3:03 amtanz

    HMMM so the class representative isn’t in the ending theme. INTERESTING.

    • June 15, 2017 at 4:44 amLord Nayrael

      She is though: look at the final scene of the ED where the kids are shown from atop while the camera turns around.

  • June 15, 2017 at 4:48 amMistic

    Honestly, Boruto is again a good example of consistently good enough writing that tries to avoid pitfalls as often as it can. For every moment I expected characters to hold the Idiot Ball, the writers of Boruto made sure it didn’t happen:

    -When Boruto felt guilty about what happened in the water plant, I thought “a hero complex? Boruto, you can’t be everywhere; if anything, you should feel guilty about botching the mail delivery”. Then Boruto proceeds to point out that his failure was exactly that.

    -When Naruto gave his fatherly speech, I thought: “Come on, Naruto, you are the most triumphant example that kid ninjas are able to do far better than adults”. Then Shino reminds him of that point.

    -When everyone made the plan to cover all Konoha, I thought: “That’s good, but you are leaving the mail headquarters undefended”. Guess what? The kids turned it into the cornerstone of their plan.

    The writing of Boruto is showing a high degree of self-awareness (that “We haven’t learned how to walk on water yet” by Inojin was gold XD). Other series (like this very season’s Re:Creators) should take a lesson or two from this.

    • June 15, 2017 at 5:15 amK

      The writing deserve praise.

    • June 16, 2017 at 4:48 amZaiden

      This kind of writing appeals both to older fans of the original Naruto and the younger newcomers to the franchise. Props to the writing team for being so intelligent in amicably bridging the generation gap.

  • June 15, 2017 at 4:06 pmLulu

    Now I know what my favorite super power is, Mail Manipulation!!!!

    • June 16, 2017 at 10:46 pmL002

      The perfect power for a mailman

  • June 15, 2017 at 6:03 pmL002

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2001.jpg
    Mmmm, I can’t help but wonder if the class rep is the culprit. With the exception of Hinata, sometimes the “nervous and shy” girls are the most suspicious characters

    • June 19, 2017 at 10:09 amKiritsugu

      By that order of reasoning the Gothic lolita who is always hodling a bear in profound silence would the ultimate enemy xD Don’t know who the hell am I talking about, type “Boruto Gothic Girl” on google and check out the image section.

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