「最後の授業…!!」 (Saigo no Jugyou…!!)
“The Final Lesson”
Shino’s Unorthodox Lesson
Seeing Terminator Shino unleashed was pretty fun, albeit less exciting than I expected. Some people might have disliked the fact Shino lost his mental composure, perceiving it as a copout designed to give the kids a fighting chance. While it was unsatisfactory being unable to see him operate at full capacity, it remains fairly consistent with what we have seen so far in Boruto, since the dark chakra shroud has been noted to inhibit an individual’s rationale and ability to make calculations.
To give an analogy, it’s like fighting against a really powerful unit in a video game that is being managed by mediocre AI. In Fire Emblem: Heroes, you bait the enemy Hector into coming within your range, then BAM, spring your trap onto him. Even juggernauts are susceptible to a well coordinated strategy, and this is not limited to Hector or Shino-sensei.
As follows, the kids ran away while making observations on Shino’s behaviour and attack patterns during his pursuit. This allowed them to formulate a clever strategy upon safely regrouping. Boruto uses shadow clones to bait Shino into letting his guard down for an explosive kunai, and the threat of Shikadai’s shadow to reposition him on top of water, so that Mitsuki can launch a surprise ambush to submerge Shino. Finally, Mitsuki taking out Shino with a healthy dose of lightning release submerged in water. KO!!
Although the kids won the fight this time round, one note of criticism is how the bugs can consume away trees, but don’t so much as scratch Boruto. My only explanation for this is that fully draining the tree’s chakra causes it to disintegrate, whereas Boruto himself has not been fully drained.
Shino Redeems Himself
Even having prevailed over Shino, Boruto and Mitsuki have run out of chakra and are on the cusp of drowning. A fatigued Shino musters up the last of his energy to throw himself into the pool, and summon a giant flying insect in order to save his students. For all his flaws, he earnestly wishes the best for his students even if he has to put himself at extreme risk.
I suppose this isn’t much of a redemption, in the sense that Shino never meant malice in the first place. His attacks were an involuntary bout of automatism, controlling him to do evil. Nevertheless, he saves his student’s lives and proves himself wrong – from when he said he wasn’t suited to be a teacher earlier in the episode. Kurenai herself gives words of insight regarding her former student and the reasons why Shino will make a fantastic teacher in the long-run given more experience – he never stops reaching out to people in spite of his awkward social skills. This mini-arc really helped flesh out Shino’s character, and the successfully added depth makes me even more optimistic for the show’s ability to flesh out any of its other cast members later on.
Boruto and Co
Boruto saving Mitsuki from drowning explains why Mitsuki seems to exhibit a fierce sense of loyalty towards Boruto. Previously I had been pretty confused as to why such a standoffish Mitsuki eventually came around to holding Boruto on a pedestal. Finally, this aspect of their relationship has developments to back it up. Despite how he can be obnoxious and cocky, we can see Boruto is a truly good kid who has a heart of gold and means well.
I’m also enjoying the dynamic between Shikadai and Boruto, particularly when they horseplay around or throw casual digs at each other. Watching them get surprised by Shino, and give off similarly shocked facial expressions was quite hilarious. It feels like Shikadai is the older brother in their dynamic, as he frequently chides Boruto for his cheeky conduct but continually looks out for him.
The adults are finally onto something and are looking to take precautions regarding this dark chakra shroud. Presumably more is yet to come and I suspect the chakra shroud will be taking over a shinobi of a higher caliber than Shino. Judging from the next episode preview, this might not happen for a fair while, but I sense action will take place somewhere in the near future.
Though I have to say, I’m happy to see the new generation girls won’t be getting shafted. They will be receiving decent screentime, allowing for character development on their behalf, and that would already indicate a remarkable improvement from Naruto’s lack of similar kind of focus.
My exams are approaching soon, so either I’ll find one of the sempais on RandomC to help cover for me, or at worst coverage of Boruto will be on hold for about a week. More information on this will be available next week, so stay tuned!
The kids will likely complain to the Ninja card makers about Shino’s card rarity.
Shino = one of Moses’s ten plagues
Teachers are dime a dozen, whereas there can only be one Hokage at a time.
I remember card collecting when I was younger. Match Attax, cards about Premier League football (or as Americans might call it soccer) were all the rage. I supported a team called Arsenal back then, and still do to this day! Thierry Henry was my favourite player, so his card was probably the one I valued the most. I remember being pretty lucky to get my hands on it.
The card collecting is also reminding me of the Gatcha system in Fire Emblem Heroes, where you try to pull for high rarity units. In fact, it is what I based my photoshop on!
Hector is a tanky green unit. Tanks are usually susceptible to being kited and nuked from range by magic. But Hector? He has a distant counter built into his kit, which is often run in conjunction with an ability called Vantage that gives him priority when being attacked under a certain HP threshold. Couple this with his insane bulk with his insane attack stats, and this means most mages probably can’t throw a spell a Hector, for fear of getting wiped out in a quick counter.
So, how should one approach Hector? In a rock, paper and scissor system, green units are susceptible to red units and getting killed in one hit before he can activate his retaliate. So you have to gather red units with high attack such as Ike (Boruto), Ryoma (Shikadai) and Tharja (Mitsuki) in order to deal with Hector.
Shino can be scary when he wants. As for Boruto and Mitsuki… I’m 99% sure that this episode sparked the imagination of more than one yaoi fanfic writer XD
To be honest, I’m pretty relieved that the adults finally found out about the mysterious possessing entity. I know that “kids knowing something important while grown-ups remain oblivious” is a staple of fiction, but after the crazy things the ruling generation lived, and especially after Shino became a victim of it, more genre-blindness couldn’t be justified.
I think the doujins already wrote themselves after the movie came out. But I guess even more after this episode.
The adults catching on was a step in the right direction, because the issue was beginning to extend beyond the ambit of being contained by the kids (especially after the event of Capture the Flag), and it would be unnatural to keep the grown ups ignorant. Knowledge of the danger can only provide caution, and does not afford absolute protection from this dark chakra shroud. So I look forwards to seeing how it may play out possessing more powerful figures within Konohagakure. I’d probably have to rule out Naruto being susceptible due to the Nine Tails Fox being sealed inside of him, that would presumably help shake him back to his senses.
Hey, it’s that giant insect from Shino’s Infinite Tsukuyomi; looks like he finally found it.
Nice catch! And it makes sense. Once your dream comes true, then what? I think Boruto answered that question for Shino really nicely.
I know they explain it (kind of), but sucked how weak Shino was.
Always was a pet peeve of mine how Nerfed Shino was in Naruto/Shippuden also 🙁
Really if even one bug can make it close enough to bite/sting, it should be gameover. You’d be poisoned or paralyzed. Only high tier wind/fire users should be able to beat a bug master, yet 3 kids (not even genin yet) manage pretty easy.
This anime has some BIG, HUGE, COLOSSAL shoes to fill… So far, IMO, it has fallen short.
The fight was okay, not good, not bad, just okay; although I agree that their strategy was well thought.
However, if you give Shino’s insects the capabilities of devouring whole trees in a matter of seconds, realise that Boruto would have been eaten bone clean before they even had the time of coming with such plan.
Despite that, my biggest problem is the menace that seems to be omnipresent and always preying on whomever finds himself dealing with a bout of depression. It lacks impact and it’s too random and what’s worst, it’s being stretched longer than it should.
When we look back at Naruto, by episode 6 we had cruised through the cool Kakashi lessons and were already on route to the land of the waves – Zabuza and his badass sword awaited there.
In Boruto we have an undefined boring menace by an undefined character as we sit through a bunch of episodes that would make proud the blandest of the Naruto fillers.
One cannot so easily compare the legacy of a 700 chapter manga, with a fledgling anime currently at 6 episodes. A lot of people may impose expectations from Naruto upon Boruto, but I’ve come to see it as pretty much its own standalone series that seeks to deal with different issues.
Although Boruto has gotten off to a slower start, I’m rather satisfied with the amount of character development they are investing into our young ninja, who don’t seem to be entirely sure of their identity in a world growing increasingly distant from past traditions. In my opinion, this reflects a rather common trend in problems we are starting to see manifest amongst the youths of the 21st Century. We have to remember each generation deals with a different struggle. Not to mention it’s pretty difficult for a peaceful era to top times of war in that regard.
In this era of peace, it’s difficult to come by cool battles against strong villains, in the midst of a political climate promoting violent conduct and brutality between the Hidden Villages. Instead, we’re presented with an influx of trade bolstering shinobi economies akin to globalisation, as well as children living through a time of unprecedented modernisation with rapid technological growth. We deal with the question of whether the ninja are still relevant in the current Narutoverse. If haromy is being maintained by close political ties that are protected by economic interests, then what is the need for mercenary enforcement to achieve peace?
I agree that Boruto’s villain is pretty lacklustre at the moment. Haku and Zabuza were incredible ‘villains’, in that they were very much humans capable of experiencing our wide range of emotions, which is what made their deaths very difficult for me to take. They also allowed us to see the compassion Naruto holds towards others, based upon his own experiences of sadness and suffering, even towards people who are supposed to be his enemies. It draws an emotionally powerful connotation which Boruto is certainly lacking.
Otherwise, I’m not expecting Boruto to pull out an amazing villain, but I’m hoping they will get down to the Genin exams and following activities soon enough.
You make a fair point when it comes to the issues approached by the anime, a point that I agree with fully. The message is there, the point is clear, but there are several ways of expressing the same idea, especially when it comes to a shounen. My rant is more against the process that they chose, rather than the message – which, as you clearly stated, is a pressing matter that relates to the modern ways of living.
Character development is a nice thing, every story needs it, but in anime, books, movies or any other form of entertainment, such slow paced process puts the consumers of such forms of art through the equivalent of an over-amount-of-exposition overdose. On with the plot already!
P.S. – I just found out that there is a Boruto manga kind of thing, after all. Anyway, it seems that the first episodes will be an anime original ark (Fillers if you wish), which explains a lot.
You don’t need a license to drive a sandwich.