5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 60: “The Hidden Leaf Vs. The Hidden Sand”

by Sage Ashford

The semi-finals come to an end, as Sarada and Mitsuki both finish their matches! Will every member of Team 7 make it to the finals? 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. Araya has been a question mark for a while now. He easily tore through Inojin despite looking fairly generic, and that leads him to a semi-finals match with Sarada. Sarada throws a lot at him, from close quarters combat with kunai to using her sharingan to predict his moves and even trying to trap him in a genjutsu. Curiously, he ignores every attempt, and starts causing serious damage to her with his spear.

But since Sarada is the smartest ninja of the Hidden Leaf genin class, she remembers the Hidden Sand has a specialty in puppet-class ninja. From there, she draws the real Araya out using her super strength, destroying a piece of the arena he’s been hiding in. Flustered, the puppet master is distracted and tries taking her out in one last ditch effort. But in her spare time, Sarada’s managed to learn her father’s flame jutsu, and becomes one of the few to ever do anything useful with it by taking out Araya’s puppet, winning the match.

2. This match is something of a rarity in shonen battle tournaments: ace versus ace. Typically, matches like these tend to involve an underdog and a superior fighter, and how involved the show makes each match is based on how they subvert or execute their tropes. Sometimes the underdog is obvious, sometimes the audience thinks they know the underdog but the tables turn mid way through the match. Sometimes the underdog wins, sometimes they catch a beating because the difference is too much to overcome.

This is a rare example of both characters entering as the respective ace of their village and getting to throw down. Mitsuki has a wide variety of techniques available to him, and he tries the majority of them on Shinki’s Iron Sand barrier…though unfortunately it’s to no avail. The best trick he has–summoning a snake made of pure lightning, breaks through Shinki’s Iron Wall long enough to get an attack off…but Shinki’s just as skilled without his sand as he is with it, and he manages to evade a decisive blow long enough to reassemble his sand. Running low on chakra, Mitsuki has one final ability remaining to him–his ability to go Sage Mode, but realizing showing off such a high level ability would raise more questions than he could answer, he decides to surrender instead in order to keep hanging out with Boruto and Sarada.

Still, disappointing as the ending is this is easily the most interesting fight the show’s scene in several episodes. Hopefully these two can get in a rematch sooner instead of later.

3. I get that Team 10 all got roflstomped by the Hidden Sand (except for Shikadai who just lost to a cheat code), but man. Do they have to do their teacher like this? While lamenting their loss at a barbecue spot, Inojin takes advantage of his teacher being distracted to order multiple, large plates of food for the table.

Given their team leader Moegi is basically a teacher, she’s probably making garbage wages and the group single-handedly bankrupted her for the rest of the month with this trick. Jeez, I know ya’ll lost but did you have to make your teacher lose too?

4. We see Boruto trying to get in some last minute training, but I can’t help wondering–what’s the point?  Is there anything he can learn in a day that he shouldn’t have known already? At best he could try and work a little harder on mastering the Rasengan, but so long as he has the scientific ninja tool he seems to have given up on that.

Sasuke shows him the Chidori, and Boruto immediately wants to learn it because it looks awesome and would likely be incredibly useful in the coming battle.  …Unfortunately, the Chidori requires the accuracy of the Sharingan to pull off.  Still, he gives Boruto the idea to focus his abilities more on learning lightning style jutsu, which he seems to have an affinity for. This seems like a smart idea, considering the attack that looked to do the most damage to Shinki was Mitsuki’s Lightning Snake.

He also tells Boruto a story of a stupid young boy who chased power at all costs and how it nearly brought him to ruin…but fortunately his friend pulled him back from the brink. Boruto points out this won’t be a problem for him, because he’s surrounded with great people..but there’s still a strong chance once this all blows up in his face he doesn’t take it very well.  Especially since it’s possible his friends abandon him for cheating in the first place.

5. Next Episode: The final portion of the Chuunin Exam turns out to be a battle royal between the winners of A, B, and C block. Because Shinki is straight up video game boss levels of overpowered, Boruto and Sarada agree to team up in order to take him down. Everything about this match up is still unfair though, even with the tactics of Sarada and the usually superior abilities of Boruto working together. Will they be able to take him down?  Probably. Can they do it without relying on Boruto’s scientific ninja tool? ….Probably not.

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