5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 35: “The Parent-Teacher Conference”

by Sage Ashford

As a reporter comes to the Ninja Academy to talk about the childrens’ plans after they graduate, Boruto tries to discover what his own purpose is behind becoming a ninja. Will he figure out his answer, or quit because it’s too much work? 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 episode could have easily fallen for the trap of settling into the boring routine of displaying each of the students just having conversations with their teacher Shino while their parents were present, but instead it chooses to take a more introspective approach that centers around the series’ titular character. While Naruto never had training or skills, but a single goal he took so seriously that his hard work and dedication took him where he wanted to go, Boruto has the exact opposite issue; he’s got all the ability in the world, but doesn’t really have a purpose behind his actions. He joined ninja school to piss his dad off, and in all the time he’s been attending school, he’s never applied a single thought beyond that.
This is why Boruto, as a character, has such trouble winning people over. Everyone can identify with a person who’s legitimately trying their best, but who’s got sympathy for a guy who spends most of his time goofing off and still aces every test and assignment while still playing video games and going out with the guys?

2. I get the feeling that a lot of Boruto fans like to clown Sarada because she’s Sakura’s daughter, so cutting her down by proxy means you’re also cutting down Sakura. But when it really comes down to it…Sarada’s looking like the only student in this class of ninja that even deserves to become a genin at all. While every other member of her class is aiming to become a ninja for superficial reasons, like pleasing one’s parents, or because it makes life easier, Sarada seems to be one of the only students devoted to the cause of protecting and helping Konoha. Obviously Denki wants to become a ninja pretty badly too, but he doesn’t even have half the talent that the rest of his class has, while Sarada is one of the best students in the school. If everyone failed except her, I would only be surprised for plot reasons–logically it would absolutely make the most sense.

3. Every new episode of Boruto I watch makes me realize I should really finish the manga for the original series. So much of this episode (and the series itself) seems centered around how society’s changed since the era of Naruto and his class of ninja, and how ushering in an era of peace has allowed for careers other than ninja to be flourish. People are able to move on to other things after they retire from being ninja, going on to star in films or attain other high-profile jobs, when there was a time when this wasn’t even possible. That the series spends so much time delving into how the world would have logically changed in peace time is one of the primary things that makes Boruto so compelling, but…
C’mon fam, there’s no way things are so cool that Orochimaru can just show up for a PTA meeting like this. We’ve gone past actually sensible progression and landed smack-dab into comedy fanfic land. It’s not that I don’t understand Orochimaru sending his kid to Konoha to see how things have developed, but having him just walk into the city (and the school!) so he can sit down and discuss his kid’s career prospects?? Cut that out.

4. Despite Sarada clearly being the one that’s earned the right to move on more than anyone else, she’s still having trouble properly making strides towards her goal. Fortunately, the series has finally decided to do something about it this week by letting the guy who’s born to be the next Hokage give her some guidance. Early in the episode, while we’re hearing everyone’s goals coming out of Ninja Academy, we see a pair of girls who’ve been present in the series since day one (but haven’t gotten that much development) talk about their own intentions.
One claims she wants to be a ninja, while the other decides she’ll stop after graduation and get a regular job to help her parents out. It seems normal enough, until we learn that their different career paths is leading to a rift in their friendship, one Sarada believes she can only watch and do nothing about. …At least until Boruto shows up and points out that problems like these are actually exactly what a Hokage-in-training is meant to fix. It’s good she was shown this flaw, and hopefully in the future we see her actually try to adapt as far as fixing this issue.

5. Next Episode: Kakashi’s over the Genin Exams?! This entire episode has had a reporter talking to all the students that are getting ready for graduation, and it seemed fishy because most characters in a show this large usually have a more important, wider purpose than appearing in a single episode and vanishing forever. I would’ve believed it was Orochimaru at first, but that turned out to be a red herring, and the actual reveal was so much cooler. It turns out that it’s the former Sixth Hokage, Kakashi! And next episode he’ll be helping out the Ninja Academy with grading the youngsters on their final exam. Wait, isn’t this the guy who once failed an entire class of Genin because he didn’t think they were good enough? Uh-oh. All this talk about graduation could be just a fairy tale!
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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