In order to avoid being known as “Team Repeater”, Iwabe, Metal, and Denki get recruited to do a documentary to recruit new students! 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. What works about this series being largely filler is that it gets to create continuity between arcs rather than have to pretend it never happened afterwards. We get to see how the ninja of Konoha react to the valid charges the Byakuya Gang had concerning the city. Even better, Naruto and Shikamaru have started helping the villages just outside of Konoha in an attempt to bring them out of the abject poverty we saw in that arc’s initial episode.
And elsewhere, Iwabe’s also left affected by the events of Byakuya Gang. At the very start of that story, he and the rest of Team 5 got benched for going against orders, leaving them out from the action the remainder of that arc. After repeating in the Ninja Academy for multiple years, Iwabe’s pretty upset about missing his chance to get noticed–especially with the Chuunin Exam coming up so soon. After all, once you get out of feeling like you’ve been running in place for years, why would you ever want to go back?
2. Hilariously though, Iwabe’s concern isn’t even valid. As the economy of the world modernizes, becoming a ninja has become less and less of a sought after career. Which…if you could avoid a career that’s likely to get you killed but make the same (or more) money, why wouldn’t you?
As the Hokage, Naruto and several other higher-ups working at Konoha have to come up with a plan to drum up new recruits. That’s a little creepy when you think about it: since Genin are always children, they’re essentially trying to be more effective recruiting child soldiers. Eventually, they settle on creating a documentary featuring the recently graduated Genin, and Team 5 is chosen as the team to help create the footage.
…Unfortunately, none of them can act because they’re all camera shy. Eventually the director of the film decides they should just show off cool ninja techniques, but once that wrecks the city, their leader Udon (from Naruto’s Konohamaru Ninja Squad!) decides to pull the team off the mission. You’d think after being constantly preached at that ninja are there to protect the city, they would understand what they did wrong, but nope. Sometimes you have to teach kids the same lessons a few times until it clicks.
3. While Iwabe is sulking over potentially being forced to be a repeater Genin, he and the group run across the director, who’s still trying to finish his documentary. He’d called Team 5 rejects because they’d been suspended not that long ago, but he and his camera crew wind up needing their help after the building they’re filming in nearly collapses on their heads. To the best of their ability, they keep the film crew from immediate danger…but they’re all young and it is an entire building collapsing.
So it comes down to Udon’s abilities to save them all…with a snot jutsu? I’m not gonna lie, I hate it when anime pretends gross stuff like say…90 percent of bodily fluids can still be cool. They try to brush it off as still being like this beautiful icy technique. But nah fam, this was gross. At least it only stopped the building from collapsing and didn’t actually touch anyone.
4. This is yet another episode where Naruto has the most important/relevant appearance. After Team 5 saves the director, they get recognized for their bravery by being allowed to meet with the Hokage himself. There, they learn something fascinating: Naruto’s true past as the goofball failure of the Ninja Academy. Much of the episode centers around this, with Team 5 learning that their mentors and seniors have all changed drastically as they aged. It’s a powerful realization; understanding that just because you’re a screw up as a kid doesn’t mean you can’t get it together as you grow up.
Moreover, Naruto’s desire to not let a single kid slip through the cracks brings Iwabe to tears. He’s spent so many years being an outcast because he was just the kid who kept repeating the last year of Ninja Academy, so learning that the most important person in the village cares about him is almost life-affirming.
…Plus they also learn that Naruto basically jumped straight from Genin to Hokage, because much like politics in the real world, you don’t need much experience to take the highest office in the land, I guess.
5. Next Episode: Looks like we’re switching gears from the upcoming Chuunin Exams for a bit to focus on the all-girl Team 15. They’ve got their own Genin missions to deal with, but it looks like their clashing personalities are making it much more difficult to complete them than normal. They need a leader to help them smooth out the rough edges, but since Sumire has all the forcefulness of plywood, that might be hard to come by.
I’m excited for next week’s episode. For one, there’s a lot of room to develop these characters given that most of them are anime originals. For a show with such a large number of women characters, it’s frustrating how little focus they get. Plus, Hanabi Hyuuga is awesome and I want more of her.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.