“Team 7: The First Mission”
The Struggle between Father and Son
To me, the primary aim of adding hostile interactions between Naruto and Boruto is clear. The series is angling towards a tension that might serve as a foundation for the inevitable breaking point, one that will lead down a predetermined rabbit hole. Movie watchers and manga readers, you will know exactly what I’m referencing. But for the sake of those unaware, I won’t explain everything that’s on my mind. For better or worse, it seems that Boruto is finally working to bring consistency with future events, rather than fully retconning source material.
That aside, I think that Naruto sees painful similarities between himself and Boruto. From what I can tell, he actively distances himself from any association with his early past. Where’s the charisma of datteba-yore? The burden of responsibility has clearly deprived Naruto of his fun-loving spirit, and I’m actually disappointed with the way he’s chosen to address his dysfunctional father-son relationship with Boruto. His stone-cold approach to Boruto’s cockiness feels like an emotional reaction. Has Naruto forgotten how he was an even bigger punk, sitting with his back turned to the Hokage as protest? From this, we can see that Naruto seemingly lacks the tolerance and empathy we often saw from Sandaime and Iruka. He might not have had a father himself, but how could he forget their kindness, and how it saved him? While they would chide him, you could feel the understanding and care in their words. Instead, Boruto gets a whole load of nothing in terms of his emotional validation. Yeah, the boy needs some serious ass whoppin’, because he sure as heck drove everyone crazy this episode. However, I feel quite sorry for him. When you don’t see your father most of the time, and he coldly brushes you off like that, wouldn’t you feel really hurt as well? You love your father, who seems unhappy to see you, and from that perspective, I can understand how badly it hurts Boruto.
Bridge Village 2.0
I got hit by some serious deja vu after spotting a bridge. As expected, rogue ninjas make their entrance, suddenly throwing some complications into one of Team 7’s starting missions. Huh, now where have I heard that one before?
Anyway, I like how the situation has unfolded. A plucky girl by the name of Lady Kiri is the village chief, and her right hand man may as well be Denki’s long-lost older brother. Knowing that it’s a huge source of revenue, the neighbouring village are interested in stealing the bridge’s deed, hiring out bandits for the task. Enter our young ninjas, who are suddenly in prime position to kick some bad guy booty. However, the execution of the premise is rather underwhelming. When our trio see an innocent man getting stabbed through the heart, I get that medical ninjutsu can do wonders. But I’m amazed that nobody batted an eye, where it looked like someone ran the serious risk of dying.
That said, it didn’t take away from the following action sequence, where the blades did more than simply clash. You could visualise the force and inertia behind each swing, particularly the way in which it was overwhelming Boruto. If this is a mere indication of what is going to come, I’m super excited for future action scenes.
While I know that Sasuke operates from the shadows, I found it hilarious how he was excluded from Konoha’s ‘strongest’ lineup. Even Kiba was included, and I’m pretty sure the creators know exactly what they were doing.
My prayers have been answered, and we finally get a calculated villain. Rather than openly engaging in battle, he strikes from the shadows, launching a pre-emptive night attack against Neo Team 7. As well as leaving them in a tough spot, he also achieves his goal of kidnapping Kiri. Most of all, I admire how he isn’t stupid enough to think he can directly take on the Hidden Leaf’s veteran ninja. These kind have clearly become a rare and dying breed, and I just hope the scriptwriter don’t find a way to ruin his promise as a villain. So far, it’s looking pretty good though, and I look forwards to finding out more about his motives.
ED4: 「デンシンタマシイ」(Denshin Tamashii) by ゲーム実況者わくわくバンド