5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 84: “Ohnoki’s Thoughts, Ku’s Thoughts”

by Sage Ashford

Boruto-Next-Generations

Boruto and Ohnoki find themselves trapped in an impossible situation together. Will they be able to come to an understanding? 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. This is one of the few times I’ve ever been okay with Boruto’s cocky mindset. After saving Ohnoki, he spends the entire night running from the Akuta, running past his rendezvous point with the rest of the team just to remain safe. Hours later, the former Tsuchikage finally wakes up and Boruto gets a chance to understand what’s going on in his mind.  Ohnoki complains about Boruto and everyone his age being weak, which…seriously? While the other four Kage got beat to sleep by the Otsutsuki Clan, Boruto (with tons of help from Naruto and Sasuke, admittedly) was responsible for landing the final blow to finish their leader off.

Boruto is by no means one of my favorite anime, but one thing I love about the series is how consistently topical it manages to be. From episodes about civil unrest from the poor in the outskirts of Konoha village to ones about game developers depressed about corporate culture and being used and tossed away like garbage, every time you think this show is content to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, it tosses a curveball at us. Now they return to an idea almost a year ago, with respect to the kids of today being weaker than previous generations, a criticism often levied at millenials and Gen Z’ers in real life. And much like in real life, Ohnoki is conveniently both overlooking exceptional youth from the generation and ignoring his own generation’s responsibility to those who come afterwards.  Speaking of…

2. No wonder the Hidden Stone lost so many younger ninja in their last attack–their training methods are garbage.  While fleeing the Akuta, Boruto gets lost and runs into a strange part of the Hidden Stone village–a former training ground for their genin, where jutsu is forbidden and you can’t escape without passing the test, involving finding a spirit stone. While there, ninja are meant to prove they can be self-sufficient, and survive on their own in the harsh desert–collecting food and water until they finally come across the spirit.

And while yeah, Boruto sucks at the job and has to rely on help from Ohnoki, this also has jack squat to do with why their ninja died. They were killed in combat with rogue ninja, and Ohnoki’s answer is teaching Boruto how to be an Eagle Scout?  Shouldn’t they be learning how to…I dunno, fight?

3. While Shikadai is captured and Boruto is lost in the desert with Ohnoki, the girls actually managed to make it back to their rendezvous point. Exhausted, they start to make plans to regroup and find their missing people alongside Inojin, who’s managed to teach Akkun how to talk…though the only thing he knows how to say currently is “Chubs”, Inojin’s nickname for ChoCho. For what’s ostensibly just a part of an Akuta, Akkun’s sure managed to advance pretty quickly; it’s gone from affectionate pet to learning (extremely) basic speech with incredible speed. All of this brings us to the big reveal of this episode.

4. When Mitsuki finally gets to meet Ku, the man who summoned him, we learn something unexpected: Ku is an artificial being as well. Yes, while technically referring to Ohnoki as “father” is correct, he was artificially grown as well, designed to help in Ohnoki’s mission of protecting the youth of the village. Mitsuki confronts Ku and they get to talk a bit about their purposes as synthetic beings and the meaning of one possessing a will to do things. While Ku believes his entire purpose is to be used by other people, Mitsuki wants the freedom to choose his own purpose.

All of this brings us to the ultimate flaw in Ohnoki’s plan: the beings he’s creating–they all have feelings. The plot for Ku’s subordinates–Sekiei and the others–centers around all of them having developed intensely human like thought processes and behaviors just in the short time they’ve existed. Meanwhile, even the Akuta Inojin found is developed enough to learn and to bond with the first person he found. Ohnoki’s spent all this time worrying about protecting the humans, without realizing he’s created an entirely separate set of living, sentient beings that deserve to be cared for as well.  While he wanted an easy out to the loss of life his village suffered, it’s becoming more obvious there’s really no such thing.

5. Next Episode: Before Boruto gives up hope entirely, he decides to make one more attempt at finding the Heart Stone so he can escape the Sanzu Plains. Elsewhere, it’s looking like Shikadai’s about to be pulled into Ohnoki’s experiments! Man, hopefully Sarada and the others can save one of these two. And where’s Konohamaru?

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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