Metal Lee is ready to learn the secret technique of Taijutsu masters. But first he’s just gotta overcome his massive anxiety. 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. Team 5 is easily the most tolerant group on the show. Continuing the trend of fleshing out characters other than Boruto on this series, “Another Side of Anxiety” focuses on Metal, the son of perennial Naruto fan favorite Rock Lee. Metal’s always shown himself to be extremely talented, with one major flaw holding him back–he can’t stand being watched, getting extreme anxiety as soon as he realizes anyone is placing any sort of expectation on him. In a world that’s grown so much more modern, it’s not a bad idea to have a character reacting to a world where someone’s always looking. Though to be honest a ninja shouldn’t be being seen in the first place…
In any case, the episode starts with Metal having bought a medallion online which is meant to banish his nervousness. Obviously it’s a piece of junk, but no one in the episode can bring themselves to tell him that–even though it never works. Team 5 is given a priceless item to transport, and the second they hand it to him he gets nervous and immediately drops it. Assuming he just needs “more” of the charm, Metal wastes his other two accessory slots on more medallions. Not only do they not work, they make him even less effective as a ninja. He makes so much noise he attracts the attention of their target, leading to them failing the mission and a thief escaping.
His team usually gives him a pass, but this week Iwabe’s finally had enough, claiming that it’s definitely Metal’s fault they failed the mission. And to be fair…how many times can they be held back by the same person? Iwabe and Denki cover up each other’s weaknesses with their strengths, while Metal’s the oddball who drags them both down.
2. It’s great to see Might Guy back to normal. During the Chuunin Tournament we got a glimpse of him and he had this zoned out, broken look in his eyes like the Eight Gates had just destroyed him mentally, but here he’s…basically just Guy Sensei in a wheelchair. While Metal is trying to figure out why his dad won’t help him learn the Eight Gates, Guy arrives with a twist on the Dramatic Entry using his one working leg. Given their current tech, they should be able to come up with something to help him gain full control back, though for now he’s basically just in rehab and it seems to be going especially well.
3. Only in anime is the One Legged Man actually ahead in the ass-kicking contest. Metal helps Guy go to the Ninja Academy to teach some students there, where he talks about the sacrifices he made to bring peace. Guy gets all the respect he deserves, with the students hanging on his every word–making it all the more hilarious when they ask who injured him and his response is, “*dramatic pause* …I forgot!”
But before anyone can think he’s not every bit the fighter he used to be, he volunteers to show off the results of his time rehabbing, asking Metal and Iwabe to face off against him in a one on one showdown. Unsurprisingly, even fighting with just one leg he embarrasses the both of them, not even letting them get a single hit before knocking them both out with ease.
4. It’s an obvious twist in hindsight, but it seems like we’re going for Metal Lee: Anxious Master. Metal’s entire reasoning behind buying all these Calming Medallions in the first place was because he was supposed to learn the one technique from his father that could actually be passed on in a line of people who can’t use ninjutsu: mastering the Eight Gates, the technique that allows one to open their chakra gates and surpass the limits of their bodies.
Once Rock realizes Metal isn’t prepared to face up to the anxiety within him, he decides to pass on teaching him anything, leading to Metal’s excursion with Might Guy. Still, eventually Rock realizes his son isn’t going to get it without an object lesson, so he challenges Metal to a one on one match–with an arena full of people watching him. While Metal can’t figure out how to get rid of his nervousness, he refuses to back down–and it actually turns into a benefit. A twist on the “Drunken Master” style, Metal’s anxious movements make him impossible to predict, and eventually he unlocks the first gate, gaining a single hit off his father through usage of the Leaf Hurricane Kick.
5. Having said all that, I can’t understand why anyone would keep giving him assignments he clearly can’t handle. The whole point of this episode isn’t having him get over his anxiety, it’s that he needs to embrace it rather than running away. But that still makes him the Konoha Anxious Ninja, so why are we giving him priceless artifacts to hold?
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.