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Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 37 »« Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 34, 35

Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 36

「卒業試験、開始!!」 (Sotsugyou shiken kaishi…!!!)
“The Graduation Exam Begins!”

What It Takes

When Kakashi brought out the silver bell, I knew we were in for a treat. As we know, the task of stealing one is pretty much impossible, and it’s amusing to see how badly the kids seem to underestimate their teachers. The test is simply meant to gauge how students choose to react under challenging situations, in order to determine their suitability for becoming shinobi.

Becoming a ninja is no joke, and I fully agree with Kakashi’s criticisms of the new generation. This man did through losing his closest comrades, and for most of his life, the burden of killing Rin and being unable to save Obito. When people are trying to become ninja, because that’s what their friends are doing, it feels like such a far cry from an age where lives depended on it. Not that it’s their fault, but these kids know nothing about the pain, suffering and loss incurred by their parent’s generation, to bring them an era of peace.

When intervening to mediate the situation between Namida and Wasabi, Sarada might have held noble intentions. But could it be said that she was very naïve in pushing forwards someone who evidently lacked resolve, and severely underestimates what it takes to become a ninja?

Boruto vs Kakashi

Power levels from the previous generation significantly distort my perceptions of strength. When you consider what the likes of Sasuke, Neji, Kakashi and Minato could pull off as kids, it’s sometimes difficult to perceive Boruto as a genius. But this episode reminded me that Boruto is actually quite an extraordinary talent. In terms of taijutsu, he can keep up with Konohamaru. What’s more, he even landed a kick on Kakashi. If you recall Team 7′s first test in the original series, neither Naruto or Sasuke could manage this feat, let alone a punch. Although his nature element manipulation is fairly basic, I’m also impressed by the way he can meld aspects of lightning and wind into an original technique, using it to augment strength and speed.

He obviously still has a long way to go, seeing how he has failed to grasp the true meaning behind such an examination. Forging ahead with that kind of reckless abandon is an attitude unbefitting for someone who aspires to be a ninja, because it may compromise the life of a teammate on dangerous missions. But Boruto is a kid who deeply cares for his friends, so he should have it in him to make such a realisation, and eventually pass the exam.

Concluding Thoughts

I have no doubt that our new generation will become genin. That said, these adaptations to Kakashi’s bell test keep me guessing on how they might manage it. In my mind, everyone has demonstrated flashes of the criteria needed to pass the exam. Rather than getting caught up with the limited number of bells, students have finally recognised that they need to team up, in order to take down their teachers. As such, I would say that the group tackling Anko have the right idea. Meanwhile, Sarada and Sumire possess some pretty remarkable chemistry, and are putting up a good fight against Konohamaru.

Though I’m disappointed that Mitsuki defeated Shino off-screen, I’m still glad that we’re headed straight to the crux of the matter. A distinct shortcoming in Naruto was how concurrent and ongoing fights seemed to drag on for too many episodes. However, this issue has been completely avoided, which was an improvement I didn’t expect. That way, Mitsuki can hurry along and assist in finding the answer, since this is not something I think Boruto can do by himself.

Preview

December 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm
17 comments »
  • December 11, 2017 at 2:42 pmDude

    Still, if the whole point of the test is not just skills but actual resolve and a “real reason” for being a ninja.

    Then how did Boruto became who he was to get disqualified from the Chuunin exams?

    Again, I’d rather wish they came out to explain that they’ll retcon the movie version of Boruto, its a dissonant thing now.

    • December 11, 2017 at 3:10 pmZaiden

      Cheating and protecting your comrades are not mutually exclusive, so I don’t see it as something that conflicts. For me, the dissonance comes from the fact that he’s ordinarily the kind of person who wouldn’t think about even cheating – as seen with the written examination.

      In terms of consistency, this could be similar to a situation where an athlete gets caught using a drug. Maybe it was their first time, and they ordinarily wouldn’t cheat, only the temptation was too much.

    • December 12, 2017 at 8:39 amLord Nayrael

      Boruto did not cheat because he was weak.
      He cheated because he wanted to minimize the possibility of defeat.
      Even in the movie, Boruto was shown to be extremely talented. What he lacked was respect for the way of the Shinobi, which is something that is still an issue about him in the Anime (this and the last ep focused on his halfheartedness about his own profession).

      • December 16, 2017 at 12:55 amKaleRylan

        It’s true, even in the scene before he decides to cheat he mentions that he had figured out I believe water and lightning manipulation. So he would have been at or above Sasuke’s level at that age. He basically was cheating for the same reason he does everything else; to get back at his dad for not appreciating the achievements he does have.

        Honestly, I can relate. I was diagnosed with a nearly photographic memory (truly photographic memories are by and large fictional) when I was in 3rd grade, so my whole life by and large school and things of that sort have been relatively simple. But having that sort of talent doesn’t make you some sort of demigod. Success still takes work and even when you do work you can and will fail. The frustration comes when people ignore your efforts because you’re a ‘genius’ so you just should be that good and blast you when you fail because how can a genius fail?

        It can warp you a bit.

  • December 11, 2017 at 7:46 pm5ofSpades

    Movie version Boruto will be very strange to see once the next exam arc hits.
    I wonder how dark they will make this show. Does Namida already have a death flag? Getting peer-encouraged to be a ninja when she and her family weren’t sure, only to die/get seriously hurt once mission dangers ramp up? And if things start to get bad again, and the need for large numbers of shinobi arises again, would the academy graduates who decided to pursue other careers be the first to be conscripted?

    On the other hand Kakashi is being a bit unfair on the kids. Isn’t this what you’ve fought for all your life? What the village was all about? To have peace and let kids be kids? Now they are acting like kids, the adults are discontent because ‘this new generation is not like us’.

    But he is also right in a way. Children training to be elite military squads will definitely get into trouble later when they expect ninja to be fun and games. Future PTSD much?

    • December 11, 2017 at 9:02 pmKabble

      Frankly, I think the ‘let the kids be kids’ concept begins and ends at their decision on whether or not to become ninja or at least complete basic ninja training.
      If I recall correctly the children choosing to not be ninja had had the option of either completing the graduation exam for basic ninja training to be more appealing in other job industries or to take the general school test and proceed to like middle school.
      So, of course, anyone taking the graduate exam is either interested in becoming a ninja or at least having a grasp of basic ninja skills.
      I wouldn’t take that lightly either if the objective is to breed the next generation of defense/military.
      That being said, of course adults are looking down on the kids; tale as old as time!
      I get this feeling the series will get heaps darker. It’s been exploring themes surrounding the inevitable end of forever.
      I hope this series becomes much more mature than Naruto ever did.

  • December 11, 2017 at 9:34 pmKabble

    Kakashi understands the inadequacies of genius and has firsthand experience with prodigal talent being detrimental to the combat environment.
    It manifested in Kakashi through his inability to work with a team and strict adherence to rules and regulations. He was a great soldier, but incapable of fruitful teamwork.
    With Boruto it manifests laziness and nonchalance. He can work in a team and fight as a ninja, but he doesn’t understand the implications of being a ninja and the weight it has on life and death.
    One is a flight risk to themselves, the other themselves and others. One is heaps more influential and carries more potential.
    Boruto has a natural charisma Naruto never possessed outside of his resolve and is much more influential than he’s aware of. He’s passionately dedicated to his friends, but only as friends.
    When he learns to redirect that passion into fighting, leading, and coordination the boy will be nuts.

    So, yeah. Kakashi see’s shades of himself in Boruto, but also see’s his potential negatively radiating presently. He’ll fix the boy eventually….maybe not before the Chunin exams since that’s canon if I recall correctly.

  • December 11, 2017 at 10:08 pmChris hall

  • December 11, 2017 at 11:02 pmL002

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2036%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    It’s so interesting to see Hinata mark II when she is worried about Boruto.

    I find it funny that Boruto is so good at studying, to get a 100 on his exam, that is totally different compared to Naruto. Must be Hinata’s genetics that contribute to Boruto’s brain.

    • December 12, 2017 at 8:43 amLord Nayrael

      He did not even study, at least not much (which he pointed out). Basically, hje was given a problem, and came with a solution or answer himself. And yes, that it the extreme opposite of his dad.

      What I also found funny was the Transformation Test. His dad failed at it miserably while the entire class passed it perfectly, while Boruto did it perfectly while the rest of the class was so-so. Another funny anti-parallel (which also furthers Kakashi’s point: most of this generation, even if good in their clan’s unique skills, fail at basics)

  • December 12, 2017 at 12:56 pmJohnPeacekeeper

    This is was hella late.

    Though, this is easily the best episode thus far for me; it really encapsulated each character well.

    Sumire and Sarada… kind of the Hinata + Sakura tag team we wish we saw more of. Only more balanced in that both mainly use Ninjutsu with Summoning/Super Strength seeing secondary use.

    I also kinda wonder how Mitsuki vs Anko couldn’ve gone down, considering their extreme similarities in fighting styles. I was also honestly hoping she’d suddenly turn sexy while fighting and her new self is more or less just for the hell of it.

    I was on the edge of my seat with Boruto vs Kakashi though. Once again, already surpassed his dad as a ninja when he struck a solid blow on Kakashi–one that ISN’T deterred by issues relating to depth perception

    And it really hammers in that Kakashi sees himself in Boruto just as Sasuke does. But he also knows all the negative points that come with it.

    And it makes sense, a ninja who doesn’t fully understand his position, but also having tremendous abilty, will paint a huge target on his back for either assassination or kidnapping and/or brainwashing.

    I also really like that they keep the theme that one of Boruto’s talents, apart from planning two steps ahead, is his ability to innovatively merge jutsus. I swear one of these days he’ll combine Uzumaki Barrage with Lion Combo or something. And when he was speeding towards Kakashi with Boruto Stream, you KNOW Kakashi saw a reflection of his younger self using Chidori recklessly.

    One thing that struck me was that, as opposed to what everyone else thought, Naruto hadn’t taught Boruto Shadow Clone Jutsu, the kid had watched and learned it on his own. This makes me wonder, while Shadow Clones are actually a difficult jutsu that only looks easy when used by Naruto, Boruto might share the same specific talent Kakashi himself has even before the Sharingan: learning and innovating quickly

    Calling it now, during Boruto vs Kakashi, the former will figure out how Kakashi’s Purple Lightning works (if the latter tries to use it as a scare tactic). He had to have learned it from somewhere, somewhen.

    This does make me wonder, would Kakashi (reluctantly) pass Boruto if the kid actually did manage to take the bell without learning what Kakashi wanted to drive into him at all? He’s been known to be ruthless as an examiner, even when he passes his students–but what if a student DID beat him?

    • December 12, 2017 at 5:19 pmZaiden

      Sorry for the delays, final week of my university term was last week, and chock full of exams.

      And it really hammers in that Kakashi sees himself in Boruto just as Sasuke does. But he also knows all the negative points that come with it.

      You make a great point about Kakashi seeing the same shortcomings in Boruto that he used to have at that age, and to me, it seems like Kakashi is actively trying to steer Boruto away from making those same mistakes. It’s a tough kind of love, but a teacher’s love nonetheless.

      One thing that struck me was that, as opposed to what everyone else thought, Naruto hadn’t taught Boruto Shadow Clone Jutsu, the kid had watched and learned it on his own.

      I think it was previously mentioned that Boruto never asked Naruto to teach him the Shadow Clone Technique. Naruto makes it look easy, because he doesn’t have to worry about chakra control. The hand seal is easy, but I imagine Boruto’s would have to be a lot more precise, to maximise the number of clones he can generate.

      the former will figure out how Kakashi’s Purple Lightning works

      While I would love to see Boruto use Purple Lightning, I would be satisfied with first seeing him pick up Chidori, Raikiri, etc.

      ould Kakashi (reluctantly) pass Boruto if the kid actually did manage to take the bell

      If a student did manage to get the bells from Kakashi, they probably wouldn’t need to go through the ninja educational system, and would simply view it as being an optional choice. I think Mitsuki might have been such a student, so yeah.

  • December 12, 2017 at 2:40 pmMistic

    Power levels from the previous generation significantly distort my perceptions of strength. When you consider what the likes of Sasuke, Neji, Kakashi and Minato could pull off as kids, it’s sometimes difficult to perceive Boruto as a genius.

    Really? Neji and Sasuke were definitely advanced students, but I can’t remember anything they could do that Boruto wouldn’t be able to match at the same age (minus specific eye powers, of course). Boruto hasn’t graduated from the academy yet and I’d dare to say (as Kakashi did) that he’s already at a good enough level to take part in the chunin exams. As for Minato and Kakashi himself, we really don’t know too much about their achievemnts before they became proper ninja.

    Also, I do agree with Kakashi that this generation isn’t taking being a ninja as seriously as previous ones, when everyone was aware they could die, but I don’t think it’s a matter of motivation. As Hinata revealed, she became a ninja because she was expected to do so, not because she chose that path (like Denki, basically).

    It’s even more ironic because Shikamaru, one of the most solid members of the previous generation, was famous at the same age for his chronic laziness and lack of motivation. And yet he was the first of his class to become chunin, with the moral that consistent talent and a clear head were more important for a ninja than colourful shows of powers and a passionate drive.

    • December 12, 2017 at 5:11 pmZaiden

      Really? Neji and Sasuke were definitely advanced students, but I can’t remember anything they could do that Boruto wouldn’t be able to match at the same age (minus specific eye powers, of course).

      From my perspective, Boruto’s genius is an effortless one, that allows him to quickly pick up on things. There’s nothing in particular that I would say he excels at, and he comes across as being slightly more than a jack of all trades. It’s also not a kind of genius augmented by any kekkai genkai. But there’s always more than meets the eye.

      In the context of achievements at this age, perhaps it’s right to exclude Minato, since we don’t see much from him. However, Kakashi’s record speaks for itself. Boruto is around 10, right? Because that’s the age Kakashi became a jounin.

      Although he was slightly older, Neji’s mastery of the Hyuga clan’s Gentle Fist left such a deep impression on me. Even for a Sharingan user, Sasuke has the uncanny ability to adapt copied skills in a way that suited him – i.e. Rock Lee’s Shadow of the Dancing Leaf. He was also driven by a desire to achieve revenge at all costs, which drove him to be the best that he could be, pushing his comparative strength to a great height.

      I suppose in retrospect, if we were to exclude the talent of hardwork, Itachi is probably the closest match in terms of pure talent.

      It’s even more ironic because Shikamaru, one of the most solid members of the previous generation, was famous at the same age for his chronic laziness and lack of motivation

      To add to your point, Shikamaru even failed to properly account for the safety of his comrades during Sasuke’s retrieval, something that his father severely berated him for. However, you could say he still had a passion and a drive for protecting his friends, seeing how he stood by Choji from a very young age and inspired an undying loyalty.

      • December 13, 2017 at 7:38 amMistic

        I can definitely see the point that Boruto’s genius may look less significant because he hasn’t mastered any discipline; instead, he’s very good at a wide range of moves.

        That said, I still consider Boruto a match for his immediate forebears. Kakashi does have the record to support him, but neither Sasuke (who hadn’t even awakened the sharingan at that point) nor Naruto (who had vast amounts of chakra but no skills) were in a better position. As for Neji, I always understood that the moral of the chunin exams was that he was overrated and overhyped, and that such in-universe hype became his weakness when it blinded them to the potential of his younger colleagues, who ended up surpassing him that year.

        However, you could say he still had a passion and a drive for protecting his friends, seeing how he stood by Choji from a very young age and inspired an undying loyalty.

        If that’s good enough motivation, no one should doubt Boruto either. From Denki to Kagura, he’s jumped to save every person he’s befriended. In the process, he’s saved Konoha from being nuked and prevented a civil war in the Hidden Mist. And all of that before graduating from the academy. None in Naruto’s generation can boast such a record at the same age.

        Of course, the irony was that Naruto’s generation, now considered the golden standard, was at their time also considered to be inferior to the previous one.

  • December 16, 2017 at 4:11 amK

    There’s something genuine about the anime Boruto. The anime Naruto expands the manga that is Naruto but by having nothing to really anchor it, the end product of Boruto felt true. It’s not a series of copies but the real deal. I like it.

  • December 17, 2017 at 3:23 pmman_iii

    Ahh finally some progression. I hope they can do more field trips. More Chuunin exams. Like how do you test students for Genjutsu? or Ninjustu ? or Taijutsu ? or Kekkei Genkai ? or Senjutsu ? Better affinity testing ? Who can summon Mist in the Desert ? Who can light a fire in the middle of the ocean ? etc.

    I’d love to see exchange students :-D And some CIA / FBI / spy-stuff. James Bond 007 :-)

    Its the way Naruto was full of intrigue, little deception, spying, sabotage, counter-espionage, straight-out war, and in the middle of it the Chuunin exam! Invasion! Training! Injury! Subversion! Flashbacks! Sadness! Joy! etc.

    Looks like I am gonna start skipping through the old stuff and get into the good stuff now.

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