The Chuunin Exams are right around the corner, and all the genin are getting prepared for it! But will their late game training be enough? 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. We’re one week closer to the Chuunin Exams, even though it feels like I’ve been talking about them for months now. The Konoha genin have finally been approved to enter the tournament and they’ve started training. In the original series when this happened, the young ninja of the Hidden Leaf felt under-prepared because Konoha was simply much kinder than other villages. They didn’t raise kids that murdered at the drop of a hat like Gaara, or have whole classes kill one another until one was left standing like the Bloody Mist Village did.
This time around, they’re still under-prepared…but it’s more ’cause they’re lazy than anything else. Team 15 gets creeped out just because their leader Sumire has come up with plans for fighting Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki–even though they’re clearly the most talented members of their class and all of them should seriously be figuring out ways to beat them. Meanwhile, this generation of InoShikaCho are training under Shikadai’s mom Temari, but even though they’ve got the best teamwork, Shikadai’s unwillingness to try until recently has put them well behind where they could be. And Denki, Metal, and Iwabe have been downgraded to comic relief territory, so that’s pretty much it for their relevance. Team 7 is made up of the class’ best ninja…but they have the absolute worst teamwork by far. If they’re lucky, maybe one of these groups clears round 1. Maybe.
2. I’m not sure what happened between Naruto and Boruto, but Killer Bee’s turned to trash. The Otsutsuki Clan are a bunch of aliens who go around to different planet feeding off the chakra plants of each world’s world tree. The main villain of Naruto, Kaguya, was supposed to create fruit from Earth’s world tree, but instead went off and did her own thing. Meanwhile, the chakra of Earth’s world tree was split into a number of different Tailed Beasts–including Killer Bee’s eight tails and Naruto’s Nine Tails.
Since Killer Bee’s the closest, the Otsutsuki Clan members immediately go seek him out. Now despite Sasuke–someone who isn’t a tailed beast at all–holding his own for several minutes against one of these guys, Killer Bee immediately gets wrecked. He blocks one technique, then gets hit by an improved version of that same technique and suddenly he’s out. And rather than escaping, or toughing it out, Killer Bee’s human form just keeps up the character’s stupid rapping gimmick. The clan absorbs his energy with ease, and though they only get a few small pills–that basically takes care of one of what should’ve been the most challenging fights.
3. Despite the Chuunin Exams nearing, Naruto, Shikamaru, and Kakashi all wind up discussing the findings over the past few weeks. They realize the White Zetsus existed not as a weapon to fight them, but to fight something else Kaguya was afraid of. They mostly disappeared in the aftermath of the Great Ninja War, but now they’ve started moving again to deal with the Otsutsuki Clan. Just one of these was enough to kick off the last great ninja war, now they’ve got three on their hands. Uh-oh.
Even though this show is called Boruto, it feels like one arc following these three would be amazing. They’ve all changed immeasurably since the days Shikamaru was a lazy schlub who couldn’t be bothered, and Naruto was a cheeky brat who just kept telling everyone he was going to be the Hokage. As a Jinchuriki, Naruto is going to be at the center of much of the combat this arc, but that’s not what I mean. There’s so much work involved keeping a city like this together–at times of peace even moreso than during times of war and effective cold war like much of when Naruto was set, and even a mini-arc that showed what these three have to put up with while Boruto and the other kids spend their days whining would be aces.
4. Since the Chuunin Exams involve all villages, we spend a brief period of time over in the Sand Village with Gaara. Early on, Temari informs us Gaara’s taken on a son, and we get to meet him here. Despite having upgraded into Kindler, Gentler Gaara 2.0 a long time ago, his adopted son looks just as intense as Gaara used to be. If he’s got similar levels of power, Konoha’s kids are screwed.
Gaara sends the kids on their way, then notes he’ll be right behind them after he finishes up some work, when he gets contacted by Shuukaku, the One Tailed Beast. Shuukaku points out that he lost contact with Killer Trash Bee, and that Gaara should probably watch out. Guess the Tailed Beast kids are going to have to team up together once again.
5. After using the Scientific Ninja Tool to get accepted by Sasuke for training, Boruto starts to feel guilty about the ease of its use. He spends much of this episode training the hard way to up the technique on his shuriken toss, but it’s slow work. While training with Sasuke, he finally decides to ask him about his father’s weaknesses. Unfortunately, after years of battle and training, he’s told Naruto doesn’t actually have weaknesses anymore. Boruto tries to find out about the weaknesses of his past, looking for any attempt to exploit an advantage.
While trying to fight his father is still stupid, he’s working hard at something and that’s what matters. Again, the frustrating thing about this arc is watching it roll back so much of his character development. Boruto’s been an inspiration to his class since the first arc ended, so it’s good he’s at least debating whether or not to use the ninja tool. Still, before this arc wraps up it’s a given that he caves at a crucial moment–he’s got to have one major mistake to atone for and use as a learning and growth experience.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Netflix and Hulu.