“The Chunin Exams: The Recommendation Meeting”
To be honest, there’s not much new to write about, considering most of the episode was comprised of flashbacks to previous arcs. But I suppose it makes sense that when deciding who will take the Chunin exams, instructors will look at how kids spent their time in ninja education – which means an introspective gaze at everything that has transpired thus far. While it was interesting to see these events through the perspective of the jonin squad leaders, I feel like these were largely done at a face value, without going into any real depth. In fact, Konohamaru’s reasoning was totally out of character, for having doubts over Boruto taking the Chuunin Exams. If he’d insinuated a lack of maturity, I would have accepted that, because it’s undeniable that Boruto is still a brat. But to pin the majority of Boruto’s achievements down to luck is unwarranted, not to mention being concerned at how Boruto might flag in the face of a real challenge. We’ve seen time and time again how he’s stubbornly refused to back down, notably with Kakashi, and repeatedly stands up in order to attain his goals. Fortunately, Konohamaru comes to his senses once Moegi chastises him, and abandons going down such a sticky rabbit hole.
For me, Hanabi became the other takeaway from this episode, and she completely stole the spotlight after downing some liquor. She offered some wisdom in reassuring Konohamaru over Boruto’s capabilities, then went on to get Shino drunk, which caused a Hokage-level problem after he lost control of his bugs. Unfortunate for Naruto, who already had a lot of work on his plate, considering how Konohagakure are set to host the Chuunin Exams.
Although Hanabi sweetened the blow of a recap episode, it wasn’t enough to entirely offset my qualms. Rather than dedicating most of this episode to flashbacks, it would have been nice to have had the first segment deal with the instructors perspective on who should take the Chunin exams, while using the occasional flashback as a backup for their opinions. Then, the second half of the episode could have revolved around Naruto dealing with Shino’s drunken rampage, which I would like to have seen. But I suppose that would miss the point of a recap episode, which are typically designated in a way that allows anime production staff some time to catch a breath. If the later episodes are going to be better, especially the ones that focus on the Chunin Exam arc, then I’ll have no real complaints to make.