5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 99: “Jugo And The Curse Mark”

by Sage Ashford

Boruto-Next-Generations

Boruto and Sarada learn the secret behind the curse mark affecting the wildlife near Konoha. But how did Jugo find out about this at all? 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. How is it we’re almost one hundred episodes in to this series and still strongly referencing the original series? While an “inexperienced” Team 7 is facing off against a transformed Jugo, they’re narrowly saved by an arriving Konohamaru. Konohamaru tries to fight against an overwhelming opponent while keeping his charges alive, only to accidentally get caught by Jugo and get his chakra drained. He uses a Rasengan to damage Jugo in a last ditch effort, but with no chakra left he winds up bed-ridden for several days, leaving Team 7 to their own.

It’s not quite Kakashi vs. Zabuza, but it’s pretty close. I’m not mad at deliberate callbacks, but Boruto should be doing the work to separate itself from Naruto somewhat when it’s now in the triple digits as a shonen series. It’s impossible to do it entirely, and that’d be to the show’s detriment, but you can have Naruto characters while not having such blatant references. Plus, what’s Konohamaru’s deal? Boruto helped save the world, and Team 7 stopped a bunch of clay ninja with superpowers from conquering another village–at this point treating them like support isn’t utilizing them properly. It made sense for Kakashi–he was knocked out for a week and those scrubs had to learn how to wall-run. Sarada’s got the Sharingan and Boruto the Rasengan–they’re the New Game Plus of their parents, man.

2. It did NOT take long for Team 15 to be knocked out of the picture. While Konohamaru’s bed-ridden, he asks Team 7 to continue watching the village and working on the mission, but tells Team 15 to go back to Konoha for back up. It’s sound logic because the mission intelligence was off, but it still short sells Team 15. Sumire helped save Boruto’s life–at least let her stick around and change the chemistry of the team up some.

3. So much of this episode is devoted to figuring out the obvious. Rather than the leads using common sense, so many minutes are wasted reaching conclusions the viewers figure out instantly. They watch Jugo touch a mutated bird and transform it to normal, but need to see it multiple times before they realize he’s absorbing their curse mark energy. They’ve seen Jugo transform uncontrollably and go from stoic to murderous, but still don’t understand why he asks them to stay away from him. It’s just such a waste of time. They should be figuring this stuff out so we can move on to other things, especially since there’s clearly more than meets the eye happening.

4. Speaking of that, Team 15 tries to go back home and runs directly into a pair of mysterious kids. Of course it’s never as simple as just retrieving the back-up necessary–everyone tried that last arc and no one showed up until the fights were already finished. And because Boruto is Naruto on crack in terms of power levels, not only do the birds and several random villagers have Curse Marks, so do these kids. I’m wondering if they even bother to show the team fighting, or do we just skip to them having gotten wrecked.

5. Boruto and the others eventually get through to Jugo, and they work together to both find and help the birds, and control Jugo’s Curse Mark through medicine and locking him away when he goes out of control. Still, while they’re searching for more birds, they encounter some “ninja” from the Land of the River. You’d think at least someone would manage to be from something that wasn’t found everywhere. They question Boruto about information, but look so much like villains he doesn’t tell them anything. Well, at least he knows how to do that right.

But since they’re sneaky bad guys, they follow Boruto and Team 7 around enough to find Jugo, even if we don’t know why they’re looking for him. It’s beginning to seem less like this is an Orochimaru thing, and more like someone’s trying to do Curse Mark experiments to gain a military edge.

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

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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