Sumire and the girls of Team 15 are assigned to recover a group of escaped zoo animals! But can the team keep it together to even finish the mission? 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. Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki make very brief appearances this week. Seemingly this episode, the one before it, and the one after are all set around the same two days or so–so Boruto and Team 7 pop up after finishing the mission they got last week. Sarada’s pretty annoyed with him because the mission took far too long to complete because Boruto got them lost, and Mitsuki agrees they should just follow Sarada from now on. And that’s the last we see of them until the very end, where Boruto and Mitsuki cheer on Team 15 for their good work by the end. The classic “the main characters are bowing aside this week, but we need to remind you the show’s still about them” appearance.
2. Man, “Wasabi and Namida” really made me feel for Suika, the woman who hands out all the missions. The girls get a mission to recover a bunch of animals that escaped from a zoo after someone let them out, and they’re pretty hyped to help the village out as best they can. Suika’s the happiest I’ve seen her since she first appeared, because this is such a sharp contrast to both Boruto and Shikadai. While Shikadai would complain regardless of what mission he got, Boruto basically terrorizes her. I wish she’d just tell him the truth: he gets trash missions ’cause he’s a trash-ass Genin and no one trusts him to do cool stuff yet.
Anyway, Hanabi leaves the mission to them because things look fairly simple. It doesn’t take long for the girls to capture them all, thanks to the help of some adorable animal outfits sewn by Sumire that mask the human scent. It’s good Hanabi is already establishing some trust with her young ninja, as sometimes the Jonin coming along just feels like the RPG where you’ve got that one over-leveled character you sub in whenever things get too difficult. Here the girls do most of their work on their own, though things go wrong after Wasabi gets bitten by an adorable rabbit for trying to take her mate away.
3. This week’s conflict arises from Wasabi and Namida’s friendship. When Namida admits to not reacting fast enough to save Wasabi from getting bitten because something spooked her, it sets off a huge argument. I can’t help finding it weird anyone could complain at a person whose name literally means “tears” because they cry so often, but that’s what we get most of the episode.
It eventually leads to Namida rushing off on her own to find the last animal, a Miniature Monkey that’s the reason all the animals escaped to begin with. It’s even got keys on its neck. She captures it, but also learns there was one last animal that didn’t make the list: a giant wolf. It takes the teamwork of all three girls to bring it down, but they handle it with such ease their teacher Hanabi doesn’t even need to step in.
Considering the original series’ problems with portraying women, I’m low-key shocked this episode exists. The men are kept to minimal appearances’, the girls have problems but manage to resolve it through understanding and caring about one another, and they team up to bring down a threat that’s technically out of their weight class. It’s not Vivid Strike levels of letting women be bad ass, but it’s still pretty good.
4. The last problem the girls tackle this week are Sumire’s origins. If you missed it, Sumire was revealed to be an enemy of Konoha very early on in the series. Experimented on and given control over a chakra-absorbing monster known as Nue, she was meant to be someone’s instrument of vengeance on Konoha for a perceived betrayal. Fortunately, Boruto managed to get through to her and the village elite shut down her attack. And after some intense monitoring, she was allowed back.
Now, obviously Boruto would’ve told at least his friends, who likely would have told everyone else, so her secret wasn’t ever a secret at all. But she didn’t know that so it still weighed on her, and this episode it was a major reason why she felt uncomfortable around her teammates and nervous about contributing. But after Wasabi and Namida made up, it gave her the courage to come clean. Fortunately, they had already accepted her for what happened a long time ago. Now from here, I hope that Sumire is able to develop more, because they’re out of school now and seeing her stammer about things when there’s work to be done isn’t going to work.
5. Next Episode: With the Chuunin Exams fast approaching, all the Jonin in charge of certain teams have to figure out which students they want to recommend for the exam! Which Genin will be allowed a shot at promotion, and which will be forced into waiting another year?
I would’ve believed that for the fiftieth episode they would have attempted to develop the plot a bit more. But nope, enjoy more padding and filler while the manga continues to move at the glacial pace of 40 pages a month. That said, I am all about seeing a bunch of older ninja get drunk and talk about how their students are idiots, so sign me up.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.