Jugo and Team 7 aren’t too far off from saving the geese infected with the curse. But does everyone in the forest have the same honorable intentions? 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. One of the first things this episode does is answer why Jugo hasn’t been taking the miracle drugs to avoid his transformation from the very beginning, instead of just hiding in a cave and screaming his lungs out like someone spoiled the ending for Avengers: Endgame. The drug works as a tranquilizer, dulling his senses and making him feel sluggish–a surprisingly realistic side effect. Worse, they have a limited amount of usage. Over time, he builds up resistance to it and they don’t work as long. With that in mind, Jugo avoiding them unless needed was surprisingly the most logical decision he could’ve made.
2. If this arc has a flaw it’s the overwhelming amount of focus it’s placed on birds. If they were going for an overall environmentalist slant I’d be all for it, but this is literally just about a single species of infected birds, and everyone involves just seems to care way too much. In the confines of a single episode this would be great, but stretched out into an entire multi-episode arc it’s difficult to keep caring.
3. This is the weakness of a Team 7 operating without Konohamaru as their leader. Last episode, we saw the shady peeps from the Land of Rivers watching over Boruto and the others while working with Jugo. So while we don’t see it happening, it’s a good assumption to make when Jugo’s medicine goes missing that they’re the ones who took it. Jugo inevitably has another attack, but with no medicine to stop the transformation he turns into a monster. He attacks Team 7, but when they get out of his sight he makes a break for the nearest group of humans–the village who put in the request. He’s there for barely a few moments before the Land of Rivers show up with (surprise) a powerful tranquilizer to knock Jugo out.
For Sarada, Boruto, and Mitsuki things spin out of control from here. The Land of Rivers agents are adults, and they finesse their way into gaining full control of the situation: monitoring Jugo, the remaining infected geese, and even the girls from Team 15. (More on that later.) They can’t even get Konohamaru out of the area, and without his authority the group is cowed by adult authority and majority edict.
4. The political intrigue of this episode gets a little spicy. Not only did the elder summon aid from both Konoha and the Land of Rivers, when the Land of Rivers informs Team 7 they’ve been monitoring them, the elder turns on the Konoha ninja. To begin with, it’s already suspect that a village was able to call aid from two different nations. But then he blames Boruto and the others for not informing him of the monster’s identity as Jugo, despite not bothering to inform them there WAS a monster or that the Curse Seal was involved and contagious. They were given completely different intel than what was needed, so the indignation here actually makes it much harder to sympathize with their plight. It does make it easier to feel for Boruto and the others, though.
5. As for where Team 15’s been, unsurprisingly that answer involved being given more fades than a barber shop on Thursday. The two they ran into turned out to be curse mark wielders themselves, and they use their powers to easily incapacitate two thirds of the group, leaving only Sumire to barely escape with the help of her summon, Nue. The remaining girls are both infected with the Curse Mark to leave them unable to talk or fight back, and they’re dragged back to Land of Rivers’ investigators. It’s safe to say now that whatever the Land of Rivers has planned, it’s nothing good. We’ve gone from seven useful characters to three in a flash, but next episode seems like it aims to change that.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available on Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu for streaming.