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Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 47 »« Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 45

Boruto -Naruto Next Generations- – 46

“Go! The Crest of Night Strategy”

「決行!! 極夜(きょくや)作戦」 (Kekkou! ! Goku yoru (kyokuya) sakusen)

False Revolution

Having arrived at the scene of protests long before Naruto, I think Kiba is clearly more deserving of the Hokage position he has always vied for. Haha, said no one ever!
Smart quips aside, I do feel somewhat disappointed that the revolution was induced through a cheap genjutsu seal. I reckon it would have been more interesting, had it been the product of genuine mass discontent. Naruto would have been presented with the most difficult situation of all, with no bad guys to beat up, and only angry citizens to face. I would like to have seen how he might have fared, if the situation had escalated. Then again, as a kid’s show primarily, I understand that Boruto has an obligation not to put the good guys in too much of a negative light. Despite the fact that events took this turn, alleviating much of the culpability from Naruto’s shoulders, I’m glad he stepped up to address the presence of issues inherent to the modernising process. His speech was charismatic, and no veiled attempt was made to entirely offload the blame, as most modern politicians would do. When villages on the outskirts were struggling to access clean water, while our new generation live a rather decadent life style, I’d say that there’s a lot of room for improvement. Good on Naruto for recognising this, and I would like to see what he does next to resolve the problem, before I further praise or criticise him.

Textbook Diversion

I really enjoyed the parallel they drew between the organised heist, and the games of shogi that Ryogi played against Shikamaru. You could feel the bond forged between the two, when Shikamaru spotted out the real intention behind the protests, due to being familiar with this particular strategy. After making a beeline for Katasuke’s laboratory, it turns out his hunch was right on the mark.
The true goal of the Byakuya Gang was the encyclopaedic Ninjutsu Scroll stored there. These scrolls have come a long way these days, and it was really cool to see how their progression mirrors that of data storage in our world, where they can also increase in capacity. However, I don’t think that storing all the researched Ninjutsu in the world on one scroll is a good idea, especially where there’s no security or encryption. That’s just asking for trouble – putting up little protection for something that would cause even Orochimaru to salivate. Anyway, the value of technology is becoming increasing apparent, and its potential for evolution is pretty much limitless. Why leave that facility unguarded, even at times of unrest? As such, it baffles me how Konohagakure fails to recognise the importance that Katasuke’s laboratory holds in a modernised era.

Concluding Thoughts

Though the protests against the Kaminarimon Corporation have basically ended, due to the dispersion of the genjutsu seals, the adults still need to stick around to make sure that people are okay. After all, emotions are still running high, and there are probably a load of confused individuals who have suddenly regained their bearing. Personally, I doubt they could even catch up to the thieves without the ability to track them down, especially since they tailgated onto a train. In fact, it comes down to Shikadai and Boruto to apprehend Gekko, and prevent him from successfully getting away with the prized ninja scroll. What’s more, I’m incredibly excited for next week. Even if Shikadai successfully talks some sense into Ryogi, it wouldn’t be difficult for Gekko to apply a genjutsu seal, to have him slavishly carry out evil biddings. Thankfully, that means the likelihoods of a ninja fight are pretty high, and I look forwards to seeing what we’re about to get next. Judging by the crisp previews, it would seem to me that they’ve pumped a lot of budget as well as resources into this next episode, and I honestly can’t wait to see what measures of action or Talk no Jutsu might come around.
Ultimately, it would seem that capitalism has prevailed. However, I’m hoping that Boruto will eventually return to bringing up socio-economic issues, because it has been a really interesting topic that has provoked a breadth of political discourse atypical of a shounen series. Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but do let me know if you prefer it when these themes end up being explored!

February 26, 2018 at 9:47 am
  • February 26, 2018 at 11:59 am5ofSpades

    Funny how Naruto’s speech of how everything will get better if we all work hard together because we are in a transition period is also used frequently by the Chinese government to explain increasing wage gap, hyper-inflated housing prices, unemployment, decreasing workers’ rights, and environmental ruin…

    Let’s wait and see if any of the issues raise get better or worse in a few arcs.

    • March 1, 2018 at 3:05 amZaiden

      Hey 5ofSpades! While Naruto’s speech warrants some scrutiny, I would like to examine your critique of China’s economic outlook, and address some of your points. I do think comparisons are deserved, because Konohagakure’s rapid economic expansion does mirror that of China’s. It is occurring at an unprecedented rate, complete with painful teething problems. But progress is undeniable, and should not be dismissed, because there is a lot of stuff that can be learned or even implemented in Western economies.

      Statements of confidence reflect well in the economy, and most political leaders want to avoid expressing difficulties encountered, for fear of causing a drop in stocks/shares. It’s certainly not a thing that only China does. In fact, Naruto’s speech vaguely reminds me of Theresa May’s reassurances over Brexit, asides from the fact that I’m actually willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, those problems are hardly limited to China, and are experienced in Western economies as well, so I’m not exactly sure if the country has been unfairly singled out.

      Wage-gap issues certainly exist when it comes to the divide between rich and poor, but on a corporate level, I wouldn’t consider it to be too different from the gap observed in places like the USA or the UK. The difference being that the cost of living is substantially lower in China, as a result of the government controlling the price of rent, utilities and essential foods, so the wage of a factory worker can easily support a family. Compare this to the UK, which has seen a surge in people relying on food banks, as real time wages are unable to keep up with the increasing cost of living. Moving on, the wage gap is especially pronounced between men and women. However, I would attribute this as being a result of the outlook of Asian culture, due to Confucian values. As a school of thought professing strict hierarchical structure, suggesting that women take up a primarily domestic role, we can even observe it in many other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea, though the extent may vary.

      I wouldn’t know much about the property market, although I’m aware there’s been quite a ridiculous bubble in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. That said, I do take issue with Chinese arrangements regarding property law. There is practically no such thing as a ‘freehold’, where an individual can outright own land. Everything is owned by the government, who sell out property in leases. Anyway, you’ll actually notice in the first episode how Konohagakure seems to be suffering from housing issues, with construction spilling outwards in a way similar to Brazilian favelas. It looks like there’s no more space to develop land, which would be a symptom of hyper-inflated housing prices. More high rise blocks are needed, to provide affordable living arrangements to the workforce at large, and I think that’s the next step Konohagakure should be taking to keep up with its own economic expansion.

      Regarding the unemployment rate underneath 4% in 2017, that’s actually better than quite a few developed economies in the West. If we look at the largest economies in Europe according to statistics recorded by Eurostat, e.g. the UK, France and Germany, all of their unemployment rates are worse compared to China. Low unemployment is always a good thing, but I don’t think unemployment itself is entirely avoidable. As a result of industrial demands, where a shinobi’s skills offers great versatility in many career fields, I would expect that employment wouldn’t be too bad for Konohagakure in present times.

      Worker’s rights are incredibly dire, and I believe China should really look into their labour policies. Unfortunately, they’ve continued to have a terrible track record on human rights, and don’t seem to care about what the rest of the world might think. I don’t expect any improvement here in the near future. It also annoys me whenever they bring up historic wrongdoings from long ago, e.g. British child miners in Victorian times, as if to justify faults within this parameter. Konoha clearly has issues with protecting the rights of workers, as we saw in the episode where the game developer had been exploited by their higher ups, so Naruto has a lot of progress to achieve in this area.

      As for environmental ruin, I agree it’s an existing issue, but China are making attempts to tackle it, which should be recognised. There’s been a clear initiative on their behalf to invest in renewable energy sources, and have done a much better job of it compared to many Western countries. Obviously the population size is ridiculous, but taking the most recent data collection of ecological footprint into account (which would include pollution caused by factories), one American person creates the same amount of environmental damage as 2.5 British people, or 10 Chinese people. I’m very happy to say that the West has done a much poorer job in this regard, and as the consumer market that ultimately benefits from products causing severe pollution problems in China, I actually feel somewhat complicit. At the moment, I don’t think environmental issues are a concern in the Narutoverse. Chakra and nature transformations are essentially an infinite supply of renewable energy, that would seem to provide for the bulk of energy production. As such, their reliance on non-renewable sources of energy would most likely be easily sustainable.

      To conclude, I think you make many valid points, but perhaps your criticisms of China’s economic outlook might have been slightly unfair, and I have outlined what I consider to be a more balanced analysis that might shed some useful insight for others.

      • March 1, 2018 at 8:41 pm5ofSpades

        China because I don’t feel comfortable criticizing other people’s home countries as harshly. And both my love and frustration for China run deep. Many issues plague many developed and developing countries all around, yet the villagers clapping to Naruto reminds me the most of how we used to clap as students, firmly believing our country was the best place to live, especially if we did everything our elders told us to, while issues ranging from visible corruption in the elementary school board to parents’ unemployment via mass lay-offs were right there in our faces.

        And instead of a criticism, it is more meant as an observation. At every step, most people believe there is no other way. Sacrifice the few, sacrifice the poor, sacrifice the land, we have to get rich first, and then someone else will turn around to fix it all later. Stay quiet, do your assigned part, suffer now for the greater good. I too, still do not see another way to rapidly develop and expand the way China did without paving over a lot of things along the way. Screw higher human rights and the environment, people want to be fed and housed first. Screw labour rights, you are lucky to have a job with all this competition. At this point I don’t even support actual elections in China for another 50 years. Corruption is too deep no matter the name of the party, and average education level is not up to par yet. Probably should get everyone running water and access to secondary education before even considering elections… But Xi going for indefinite terms does make one feel extremely uncomfortable. If he goes senile, or an eventual successor is incompetent, we’d be in for another ‘great leap forward’.

        All you need is one bad Kage to screw a whole village after all.

  • February 26, 2018 at 1:55 pmMistic

    Despite the fact that events took this turn, alleviating much of the culpability from Naruto’s shoulders, I’m glad he stepped up to address the existence of issues. His speech was charismatic, and no attempt was made to entirely offload the blame, as most modern politicians would do.

    I feel the same way. You know, when the first mind-controlled demonstrator appeared, I feared the worst: “no, please, don’t say that all the commotion and anger was due to mind control!”.

    Of course, this being Boruto, I should have known better.

    It was made clear that the majority of the demonstrators weren’t being hypnotised, only the leading ones who were spilling fake news about the company. As you say, Naruto didn’t pass the buck in his speech and acknowledged that people had legitimate grievances. And then, when his audience started clapping, I noticed a last, subtle detail: most of them ended up joining the applause… but not all. A reminder that Naruto’s speech won’t be bought by everyone, perhaps?

    I mean, Naruto’s speech wasn’t revolutionary in the slightest. It’s ironic, the biggest troublemaker of his generation actually arrived to power and introduced the changes he hoped for lawfully, without breaking the system.

    • March 1, 2018 at 3:17 amZaiden

      Hey Mistic, totally agreed! Really happy they didn’t just lump it all under the excuse of mind control no jutsu. Also, really great catch, specifically what you said about a lot of people not clapping. I’d initially attributed this to the confusion, due to the situation suddenly changing. But it makes better sense that there are people who aren’t buying into Naruto’s Talk no Jutsu, who had legitimate grievances without the need for being placed under a genjutsu seal.

      In terms of doing something revolutionary, I hope that Naruto will eventually put aside this whole shinobi pride of doing everything on his lonesome, and recognise that Konohagakure needs a more effective and efficient administration.

  • February 26, 2018 at 7:37 pmqwert

    The timeless lessons taught through Naruto. Trust the government, corporations are your friend and people only protest because they’re tricked into it or have ulterior motives… wait… what?

    • March 1, 2018 at 1:51 amZaiden

      I share the exact same sentiments as well. They took a situation that was totally meant to have far greater complexities, then dumbed it down in a rather dissatisfying way. In all fairness, they probably don’t want kids to be influenced by socialist inclinations.

  • February 26, 2018 at 9:52 pmWorldwidedepp

    They really think, these Kids will solve the problem of the Adults? Hey it’s Boruto not “who an child save the World!”

    • February 26, 2018 at 9:53 pmWorldwidedepp

      The problems of the Adults should be solved by the adults, not running away and “hope” that the next generation will fix that..

    • February 27, 2018 at 9:26 amNayrael

      Wat? Kids have had a very minor role in this operation, and punished when they tried to bite more than they could chew. If you mean that Shikamaru let Boruto and Shikadai go, Shikamaru already explained that he was unable to go because there were higher priorities so they had to let them handle it (at least until other Chuunins and Jounins could come).

      • February 27, 2018 at 10:50 amWorldwidedepp

        Good good then, well lets see. Naruto had an time skip where he grown a little bit older. Lets see if Boruto will have the same… I was worried that they just do the same with Boruto what they done with Naruto. But in Naruto’s time it was an hidden War. Boruto is “official” an Child of Peace. This Arc is very heavy, i do not know if the Kids watching Boruto understand it correctly

        But perhaps i am to old for this stuff

  • February 28, 2018 at 6:05 amShahir Hameed

    I agree. I think the social-economic plotline should come back. Maybe it could be used in a future storyline that would have a dire impact on what will become of the Hidden Leaf Village

    • March 1, 2018 at 3:18 amZaiden

      I think the ultimate cause of Konohagakure’s downfall will be a result of the Narutoverse’s scientific and technological progression. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing socio-economic tensions causing disillusionment in individuals who will come to play a pivotal role in said downfall, e.g. Kawaki.

      • March 1, 2018 at 9:08 amShahir Hameed

        It would give ligitimate weight of a number of ninjas would consider joining the enemy because of what has happened because of the economic problem that hasn’t been solved. Would partly serve as one of the reasons that the village fell as it’s an act of retaliation. Maybe some ninjas do not like how the political structure is currently formed and would want a different system to replace it. Ultimately a new war could break out in the future. Possibly a civil war that would involve nearly every village. Namely the ruling class and the population. I do agree that the scientific and technological progression could factor in it

      • March 1, 2018 at 9:14 amShahir Hameed

        You are also right mentioning Kawaki. His involvement could very well be the result of the socio-economic problems and the corruption that came, and that he does not approve of it. Becoming part of a faction that will no doubt bring down the Hidden Leaf Village, and maybe other villages as well

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