5 Point Discussions – Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 80: “Mitsuki’s Friend”

by Sage Ashford

What does it mean to be human? To have friends? Can a human created rather than born even answer these questions, or understand the answers? 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. It took two months and eight episodes, but this arc finally centers it’s focus on Mitsuki for a bit. Once again, we return to the crucial moment at the beginning of the arc when Mitsuki left the village, and while I’ve been calling it a kidnapping despite evidence to the contrary, it turns out I was spot on. These artificial humans from the Hidden Stone Village let Mitsuki come willingly, but were fully prepared to kidnap him and force him to comply if he said no. The only thing Mitsuki was able to do was try and minimize the damage by knocking the guard chunin unconscious instead of letting them be murdered.

2. This arc could use a lot less Boruto whining about how he was a bad friend, and a lot more of Mitsuki and Sekiei talking about what it means to be human. For a while now, the group has been claiming they can offer Mitsuki a truth he needs, but these last few episodes have made it painfully obvious the only side in this group that’s truly benefitting in a material way are the Earth ninja. While still traveling to the Hidden Stone village, Sekiei starts to weaken, and we’re reminded this group is only slightly more permanent than the Akuta sand golems, except their lives can be extended while the sand golems presumably can’t.
Kokuyou leaves Sekiei with Mitsuki to get help, and while he’s gone we get to see the two bond. So far, Sekiei is clearly the most like Mitsuki–they’re closest in age, and have the same curiosity about the habits of natural humans. They talk about the meaningless habits of humans, with Mitsuki explaining what it means to sleep, to dream, to get hungry. It’s a cute moment, and I really wouldn’t have minded if we skipped some of the stuff focusing on the title character to get more of it.

3. In sharp contrast to Black Clover’s “magical meritocracy”, clearly the people chosen to lead the five villages are not necessarily the most powerful ninja. I argued how stupid it was to just give the most power to the person with the most magic, and I stand by my argument…but maybe you should at least travel with the most powerful ninja as your bodyguards? While Tsuchikage is looking into what Naruto asked her about, she runs into the infamous Lord Ku and one of his artificial humans–her generic ninja entourage is easily knocked out, then she gets captured. The kage are supposed to be impressive, but every time I see them in Boruto they’re somehow getting jobbed out to villains that will inevitably be taken out by a gang of genin. (Or the genin will at the very least play a major role in doing so.)

4. Anime has the most unique ways of making friends, like wrapping a bomb around someone’s neck and interrogating them. Nothing like having someone’s life in your hands to make you closer, right? Just as Sekiei is about to die, he decides to learn the truth about what Mitsuki’s been hiding, forcibly interrogating Mitsuki by wrapping one of his clay bombs around his neck, and learning he stopped them from killing the chuunin of the Hidden Leaf, and sent a message to Boruto. Sekiei claims this was a betrayal, but that if he died no one else would be aware and so Mitsuki would be safe.
But before Sekiei can go through with this act of self sacrifice, the rest of the group return, and inject him with whatever’s keeping them all from cracking to bits. Weirdly, the group tries to blame Mitsuki for this, despite knowing they’ve apparently got the same shelf life as a gallon of milk. They threaten to knock Mitsuki out, but Sekiei wakes up long enough to protect him, then claims they can be friends now because they share a secret. But ultimately, I’ve got a feeling by the end of this none of them are going to make it out alive.

5. The end of the episode shows us how we finally managed to get a Mitsuki focus in an arc that’s meant to be about Mitsuki in the first place: Boruto’s knocked out. Maybe that should happen more often.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

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