5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 32: “The Quest for Souvenirs”

by Sage Ashford

Boruto and the rest of the kids in the Ninja Academy return from the Hidden Mist Village. But why is Himawari being so cold to her older brother? Remember, if you like this article, please share it everwhere you can. And also, if you’ve got any questions or comments on 5 Point Discussions be sure to hit me up on Twitter @SageShinigami!

1. The first few minutes of this episode nearly made me cut the episode off, but since I try to keep in mind that I do this for my fans, I stuck through it. The source of my rage? Well, after a seven episode arc where Boruto helped quell a rebellion and people were attempting to kill him for roughly half of it, you’d THINK that if the academy discovered his actions, he’d be lauded for helping out the Hidden Mist Village. I mean, Boruto was responsible for exactly none of it–he ran after Iwabee to bring him back to the group and that’s what caused them to run into Shizuma’s henchmen, which lead to Denki getting kidnapped. He helped solve that, but then Shizuma tried to get Kagura to turn traitor. The Mizukage’s answer to this was simply let the rebellion happen and quell it with extreme prejudice, even if it meant killing his candidate to become the next Mizukage.

At every point, Boruto got involved to save lives and when it was over, all he wanted was to go back to the Hidden Leaf village and be left alone. He saved war from breaking out and narrowly avoided being killed himself–all of this is laudable, and yet because he lied about it they sentenced him, Sarada, and Iwabee to painting the sidewalks, or whatever, while the other kids laughed mockingly. I’m sure the lesson there was “you should be honest”, but given that this is a NINJA academy and learning to be duplicitous is a good part of your job, even THAT doesn’t make sense.

2. We get a brief glimpse into Orochimaru’s lair and there’s the distinct sense that he’s back to his old tricks again, in that…he’s totally back to his old tricks again. Suigetsu explains everything that happened back in the Hidden Mist village, and he seems disappointed that war didn’t break out, since that would mean he could move around freely again. As someone who didn’t finish off Naruto, I’m still wondering how Konoha Public Enemy #1 is still allowed to operate, but I appreciate that even in this cool-off episode you can tell there are some pieces moving around still.

Also we get to look back at the Hidden Mist village, where everyone involved in Shizuma’s uprising has apparently been jailed, placed in a “rehabilitation” center that’s secret from the rest of the world. That’s a little uncomfortable in a world where the use of Jutsu is basically “magic” and they could be brainwashed, but it probably wouldn’t look good if any of them got free to tell the truth. It does feel unfair that somehow Kagura got off scot-free though–even if he helped take Shizuma down, he’s also a big part of how they did so much damage in the first place.

3. Boruto goes through a lot of trouble this episode because he managed to forget the souvenir he promised to bring his little sister Himawari before the field trip started. He spends the majority of the second half of this episode trying to track something down for her, but refuses to ask his father for help, which means the kid is still just as much of a blockhead as ever. Boruto forgot her souvenir because he spent the last arc stopping an entire city from having a violent coup d’etat break out–which is the kind of work his dad has to accomplish on a daily basis, though admittedly without as much blood or fighting. You’d think his experience would bring them closer and help him to understand all of what his dad goes through, but…NOPE, he’s still just as angry at his dad for not being “normal” as ever.

4. After lots of running around, Sarada points Boruto to a hidden store in the village that’s meant to keep tons of imported items from other villages, and might have the sweets Boruto promised his sister. That raises a lot of questions about how imports and tariffs work that there’s no way this series is gonna answer, but we’ll put that aside. He chases down the shop, only to learn that it’s run by an old lady who “only sells to people she likes”. By accident, it’s revealed that she plays Shinobi Bout just like him, and he challenges her to a game to be allowed to buy the sweets. So now I have a more pertinent question: who runs a business like this?? It’s out of the way in a location that few people would ever run across, AND if she doesn’t “like” you you can’t buy from her unless you challenge her to some stupid kids card game? Is this Boruto or Yu-Gi-Oh/Cardfight Vanguard/Buddyfight/Oh-my-goodness-why-are-there-so-many-card-based-anime??

In any case, Boruto gives up the game because he can see her cards in the vases behind her, and for his honesty he’s rewarded with the sweets for his sister. He starts to bring them home so he can give her the souvenir and he can move on with her none the wiser, but after Kagura sends him a letter about how he was ashamed to say goodbye after what he’d done, Boruto decides it’d be better if he came clean. Like I said, this episode is all about honesty…which is still a questionable lesson in a series where once the best way to pass a test was to find the most creative way to cheat, but whatever.

5. Next Episode: If this week’s episode was about being honest, then next week’s seems to be about not being lazy. Inojin starts drawing his Super Beast Scrolls in advance so he won’t have to do them during combat, but if he keeps it up, he’ll lose his ability to be a ninja forever! Uh-oh. See you guys back here in seven!

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.