What lies in the past of the mysterious third member of Team 7? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. This week’s episode is a focus on Mitsuki, but starts out with a discussion between Mitsuki and Sarada over their missing teammate, Boruto, and it’s a good summation of who these people are at the moment. Boruto’s a person who screws around and does his own thing regardless of what he’s told, Sarada takes her career super seriously because of the goal she’s trying to reach, and Mitsuki just quietly follows along, serving as the glue that keeps the other two idiots from killing each other.
Regarding Sarada, though: I become more concerned that she’ll ever actually become Hokage. Naruto definitely wanted to be Hokage but he did things his way, and really only reached his goal because of the sheer number of times he’d protected the village and placed its safety over his own. Both Tsunade and Kakashi only took the job because at the time they were literally the best people available to do so. Sarada seems much more solemn and serious about her duties and what they mean. I’m excited about what that might mean, but it remains to be seen if they’ll let her have it or pass it off to Boruto for the third time in a single bloodline.
Coming to that, there’s a lot to play with there: Sarada’s a Uchiha even if the rest of that bloodline is dead. How many people of the old guard would be okay with finally letting one of them attain control over the village? Lastly, Sarada seems more willing to do “whatever it takes”, a mindset that could take the village back down some darker paths of the past. Still, all of that’s some seriously late game stuff, so let’s get on with the meat of this episode.
2. After the initial discussion we wind up with a flashback to Mitsuki’s past, where he awakens in the care of Orochimaru and Suigetsu. Immediately, they explain to him that he’s lost his memories, but something feels…off, from the very start. Mitsuki even feels a mental attack from Orochimaru demanding that he help because Mitsuki is his child. Of course, you expect Orochimaru to be kind of controlling and generally a dick, so this attack makes sense at first. Still, the truth winds up being quite a surprise.
3. The plot of this episode is revealed as a trick from the very beginning. Mitsuki is told that Orochimaru needs his help in order to fight a ninja capable of removing people’s memories and taking them for his own. Orochimaru intends to recover Mitsuki’s lost memories as well as take something from this ninja that initially belonged to him. After a decently choreographed sword fight, he manages to stop their opponent with a snake bite, inserting enough poison into him to render him inert while leaving Mitsuki and going to retrieve what he’s been looking for.
In the meantime, their opponent gets Mitsuki to take off his mask and reveal the truth: that he and Mitsuki are both clones of Orochimaru. When that happens, he declares that both of them are creations that shouldn’t exist, and that they’re twisted creations of what God intended, while Orochimaru declares he only did what God already allowed him to do. The two of them both demand Mitsuki choose a side—to work with Orochimaru and live on, or strike Orochimaru down to end this cycle of artificial life.
Frustrated with their attempts to mold him into what they want, Mitsuki transforms into Sage Mode and snatches the capsule Orochimaru needed to create more clones away before leaving them to do whatever they want while he makes his own decisions.
Of course, it was all a trick from the very beginning. Both Orochimaru and older Mitsuki were simply working together, trying to see if this latest clone was capable of expressing his own free will, and doing what he wanted because he wanted to rather than doing what he’s told. And inside the capsule…
4. So in this, it feels weird that Mitsuki is now so eager to follow someone after an entire episode centered around him choosing to follow no one. But that’s actually what’s special about it. He chooses to follow Boruto, to stand by his side and help him, because he sees something in Boruto that he finds worth following. He’s not being forced, or even asked, by Boruto to do any of what he does. The choice is his, and has remained his from the day he abandoned Orochimaru’s lab.
This was actually a pretty neat episode centering around the meaning and importance of free will, though I’d still love to know exactly when Orochimaru turned into a decent person.
5. Next Episode: The team goes on their first mission! Will it be a breeze like Boruto thinks? Wait, he wants to go after the highest-ranked jobs?!
Oh man, I usually don’t want Boruto to fail, but if he actually gets the highest-ranked mission next week I’m going to really want him to fall on his face. Seriously, even C Rank missions contain a significant amount of risk–and he just barely survived against a Kakashi that was clearly screwing around. You’d think by now he’d have curbed some of that cockiness, but a quick mission failure would hopefully do that for him.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.