「自分の証明」 (Jibun no Shoumei)
“Proof of Oneself”
BORUTO V HYUGA
Thinking Boruto would be beaten black and blue by gramps, I was kind of disappointed when
Hanabi Hanabae stepped in to spar. Only that feeling lasted for about a second or two because Hanabae is damn gorgeous and a sassy aunt at that. She definitely knows it too… en garde!
Stellar fight sequence choreography, maybe even the best we have seen in the <i>Boruto</i> TV series so far. Contrasting from the scrappy fights that formed a part of Naruto’s underdog narrative, it was refreshing to see Boruto really think outside of the box when it came to using shadow clones. This could be seen where Boruto incorporated his clones into various taijutsu combos, rather than summoning them en mass to overwhelm opponents. Utilising shadow clones to halt aerial knockbacks and launch counterattacks from a difficult position seemed like a highly technical and really ingenuous application of the technique.
Not that Boruto ever stood a chance against Hanabae once she got serious, but seeing the taijutsu exchange between the two was an incredible treat. I feel that since the Chunin Exam Arc, the gentle fist style has been criminally underused for such a fluid fighting style that is visually pleasing to the eyes.
One thing that Boruto certainly inherited from his dad is the ability to grit his teeth and hide his pain behind a smile. I can understand Boruto’s frustration, at being unable to vindicate his Byakugan claim. And Hanabae shows exactly why she is best aunt. She senses that Boruto is feeling under the weather and seeks to reassure him during his moment of weakness and doubt.
Unfortunately, this is something I have to criticise Naruto for. I can understand that he wants to exercise caution in approaching the situation. However, I feel he should be much more open and hold a transparent line of communications with Boruto. Though credit is due, where he took the time to take Boruto to see Hiashi. But the boy is in need of something more substantial, like some proper emotional support.
Not much to talk about here. Boruto gets reaffirmation that his ocular powers are no fluke, by observing dark chakra emanating off a by-passer. Turns out this person is not so random and is actually the famous actor for Kagemasa, in the midst of suffering from an identity crisis: he’s clearly been brainwashed into thinking he’s a member of the Akamichi clan. Thus ensues the formulaic dark chakra possession of the week, where it’s Sarada’s turn to help out Boruto this time round.
There is an unspoken beauty in how Sarada views Boruto as an idiot, yet completely trusts him anyway. Quite similar to the deep emotional bond, as well as trust held between Naruto and Sasuke back in the days. Speaking of which, the Fuma Shuriken Transformation combo they used to attack Kagemasa… what a damn throwback to their fathers’ fight against Zabuza! Hahaha, maybe a throw forwards, because that’s the direction in which the shuriken is travelling. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved it. In fact, it was exactly Episode 9 in the original Naruto that the fight with Zabuza happened, making this throwback perfectly synchronised to the original series. You really couldn’t ask for more.
However, it seems incredibly unrealistic that these Ninja Academy kids are bodying all these high level shinobi like it’s nobody’s business. First Shino, and now Kagemasa. Regardless of the supposed ‘loss of control’ handicap created by the dark chakra, I think this needs to stop before more proficient ninja are shamed to the point of spoiling their legacy. I know I chucked my guts laughing when Kiba chimed in with his Hokage aspirations during the Fourth Shinobi War, during the infamous moment of insanity where it seemed everyone was suddenly called dibs on wanting to become the next Hokage. That was the day Kiba became a permanent joke character to me. If all it takes to defeat you is one smelly fart, then your Hokage claim is most likely void by default. But wouldn’t it still be annoying if the likes of Kiba or Tenten were also reduced to expendable villain fodder, even under extenuating circumstances?
Boruto’s eyes probably have something to do with the Otsutsuki clan, considering Naruto is descended from Hagoromo via Asura’s progeny of the Uzumaki clan, whereas Hinata by virtue of her Byakugan is descended from Hamura. I would go as far as saying that… possibly the infamous Hyuga Conspiracy holds some weight? If you have never heard of it, I highly recommend checking out the link I just provided. If I were to graciously opine my superior taste, it ranks up there as being one of the most entertaining reads relating to the franchise.
Looking at the previews for next episode, I get the feeling Danzo and the upper echelons of Root have something to do with the dark chakra problems. Also seems like someone may said something to incredibly piss off Chou Chou. Hopefully this isn’t a sign that she will be the next victim to fall foul of the dark chakra? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
NOTICE: As of today, my exams are finally over. So coverage should back to normal for the rest of summer! Apologies for the slight delay in this post.