Team 7 and Team 10 run into Garaga, the menace of Ryuchi Valley. But are they really ready to take on this massive threat? Also, is there a traitor in the wings at Konoha? 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. After dealing with the White Snake Sage and their assistants, the group gets to set out deeper into Ryuchi Cave to find Garaga, the giant snake that’s been causing the White Snake Sage trouble. Despite being told Garaga’s a “giant snake”, they still manage to underestimate how big he is until they finally run into him–he’s so large they barely recognize they’re walking past him until it’s too late. They try to mount an offensive, but spend most of their time just trying to stay alive…and even that barely works. Sarada nearly gets chomped on, until a different snake arrives and attacks Garaga, giving the group enough time to escape and regroup.
I wanted to joke about how the group didn’t seem to understand the meaning of the words “giant snake”, but their relative ineptitude is actually a bit endearing. With barely any experience in dealing with situations like this without the presence of multiple adults, they’re supposed to make a bunch of mistakes and overestimate their abilities. It’s not a Goblin Slayer-like situation where they’re “too dumb to live”, but their inability to close the deal makes for much better drama than a team of kid geniuses wrapping this up in a couple weeks.
2. In a neat bit of continuity, the group is saved from Garaga by Sasuke’s summon animal, another giant snake named Aoda, He’s pretty laid back and well-mannered, which is about the usual for people surrounding Sasuke; even when they aren’t actually people, they’re still better people than he is. Aoda mentions he only helped to save Sasuke’s daughter Sarada, then advises them not to keep attacking Garaga, even saying that most of the other snakes in Ryuchi Valley don’t like him either. This bit of contrast is appreciated–up til now, the snakes have all been either monsters willing to eat children for wandering into their home, or duplicitous enough to send those same children to their doom against an even larger snake.
Aoda’s the first decent one we’ve met–he’s so polite he can even deal with Boruto being a jerk while only taking minimal offense. Instead he encourages them to just…go home instead of continuing to endanger their lives.
3. This arc really is incredible. It’s had time to talk about Boruto’s guilt over never having truly attempted to understand Mitsuki. It’s had time to talk about how Naruto’s gotten in trouble with the village elders and has endangered his job for allowing Mitsuki in, especially now that he seems to have betrayed the village. This episode even gives us an entire scene devoted to the other genin in Team 7 and Team 10’s class to talk about their concern for Boruto, Sarada and the others. I don’t hate this arc, but it’s just incredible that we’ve got time to deal with Team Sumire and Team Denki, the groups who barely deal with anything more serious than finding missing pets and guarding vases, but no time to actually show the character this arc is actually about. We’re several episodes deep and Mitsuki’s whereabouts and thoughts are just as much a mystery now as they were when things began.
4. Several episodes ago, I pointed out how absolutely garbage the security seems inside the Hokage building–so of course this episode reveals they’ve had a traitor in their midst all along. Apparently being good at cracking other people’s security doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at bolstering your own. As the chuunin who’s been unconscious since the start of the arc begins to wake up, we learn the one protecting him, Yurito, is apparently working for whoever’s responsible for the attack on the village. Given a group of genin were able to sneak right up on the Hokage and every other important ninja in his staff without being noticed, the only surprising part to this plot twist is it didn’t happen sooner.
5. Considering the massive, randomly placed stone statues at the start of the episode, it feels like we should have seen a snake possessing the ability to turn people into stone coming. After getting Aoda to agree to help them, the group try to attack again. With a better idea of what they’re dealing with, Shikadai is able to come up with a plan to slow Garaga down–between Chocho growing giant, Aoda’s attacks, and his own shadow paralysis jutsu, it almost seems like they’ll finally be able to attain Garaga’s Reverse Scale without incident.
….And then Garaga spits out some creepy goo onto Chocho, leaving us with the largest ninja statue this side of the Valley of the End. Welp, between them narrowly avoiding being eaten and this, the last thing I want to hear when they finally find Mitsuki is any garbage arguments like “they don’t care”.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.