Naruto is in the clutches of the Otsutsuki Clan, and their plan to recreate the Chakra Tree is almost finished. Can the Four Kage, Sasuke, and Boruto save Naruto in time? 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 I expected the least from this arc was honest self-reflection on the part of Naruto. While in the being drained of his chakra by Momoshiki, they have a thinly veiled conversation on the benefit of hard work to earn power versus being given massive amounts of power easily for no work at all. It’s meant to be down on Boruto for resorting to using the Scientific Ninja Tool, but that still makes no sense because being a ninja is about subterfuge and cheating and doing whatever it takes to win.
Still, Naruto realizes that Boruto was right, and he spent too much time being Hokage instead of being a father, which resulted in his son deciding to cheat. It’s not an excuse, but again–everyone else spent time training with their parents while Naruto’s son trained with his father’s rival ’cause his dad was too busy rubber stamping mountains of paper. Even his right-hand man Shikamaru helped his son to specifically figure out a way around Boruto/Naruto’s signature move.
2. We even got some reflection on the side of Boruto as well. After fifty plus episodes of Boruto not being honest, he finally admits the truth to his father after Boruto and the other Kage show up to save him–all he ever wanted was the usual laundry list of things boys want from absentee dads: time and approval. While he was pretty whiny about it, the truth is Boruto maybe had a point when he said Naruto grew up without a family so maybe sometimes he forgets about what he’s missing out on while he’s protecting the village, and it’s arguably more insulting that all Naruto can be bothered to send are clones that poof out at the most hilariously inopportune moments.
At the end of their conversation, which goes on about thirty seconds too long before you remember the shonen genre all but invented the idea that Talking Is a Free Action, Naruto and Boruto see a little more eye to eye, and finally I have hope that Boruto will stop being a whiny brat and approach the coolness he had from the first thirty episodes.
3. Speaking of fathers and sons, there’s a bit where Shikamaru gets to talk to his clone son Shikadai about why they’re not all abandoning the village. Since they’ve got no idea if the soldiers they fought are the only enemies, it would be a mistake to leave Konoha unprotected. It’s not necessary, but it’s appreciated they bothered to explain why the Otsutsuki Clan is only fighting six people when they could’ve just rained an army of ninja down on them.
4. And this is the point where I realize a large part of this arc is literally the Cell Saga retrofitted into the Naruto universe. After Sasuke and a couple of the Kages successfully incapacitate Kinshiki Otsutsuki, they move in on Momoshiki. Fortunately before they wasted their time lobbing jutsu at him, Boruto points out Momoshiki can absorb any jutsu and toss it right back at the user. So already this guy is just Android 19 on keto.
….But then once he realizes he’s spent two episodes trash talking only to risk literally getting beaten stupid, he reveals the Otsutsuki Clan’s ultimate ability–Kinshiki transforms himself into a chakra pill that Momoshiki consumes to gain a transformation. So now he’s become Cell, only with a more blatant cannibalism angle to things. Well, there’s something to be said for how this makes the plays into the idea of passing on from father to son and how the ninja pass techniques on through dedication and training while the Otsutsuki apparently eat their old people.
Though this is clearly a riff on the Cell Saga, it doesn’t quite manage to produce an enemy quite as charismatic.
5. Next Episode: Refusing to give in, the enemy has taken the battle to an entirely new level after consuming the chakra of his adoptive father.
As usual I have questions: if the whole thing about the Otsutsuki Clan is how they use cheats to get further rather than putting in actual effort, just how is Momoshiki handing out work with just Taijutsu like this? Did he absorb his father’s ability to throw hands? Still, looks like things are only going to get more intense from here–good thing he doesn’t have someone else he can absorb. Oh wait.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.