Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 100 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Our heroes don't come any closer to solving their latest mystery, and Jugo's predicament becomes even more perilous in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations' 100th episode. With Team 7 and Tosaka's help, Jugo sets out to de-Curse Mark every goose in the area before it comes time for them to migrate. However, with his tranquilizer gradually becoming less effective and the time between transformations getting progressively shorter, the gang has their work cut out for them. Things come to a head when the tranquilizer reserves vanish, resulting in a fully-transformed Jugo making his way back the village that contracted the Leaf shinobi and attacking its inhabitants. Before things get too crazy, however, the Land of Rivers research team appears on the scene, knocks Jugo out, and takes him into custody. This time around, the team has two previously unseen members: the brother and sister who intercepted Team 15 last week.
Unhappy with Team 7's reluctance to reveal Jugo's true nature, the village elder cancels the contract and orders the Leaf ninja to return home. When Boruto points out that Team 15 is already retrieving reinforcements, the research team brings out Wasabi and Namida—both unconscious on stretchers and sporting Curse Marks. The siblings claim to have only found two-thirds of Team 15, but in actuality, they're the ones who infected them with Curse Marks, while Sumire was able to escape with Nue's help and is currently lying low in the woods. Although Team 7 has no choice but to return to the Leaf, Tosaka, whose assistance has been requested by the research team, assures Boruto that he'll keep an eye on his injured friends in his absence.
While the episode's latter half contains a fair amount of action, the first half is relatively quiet and reflective. Instead of being boring, however, this relaxed atmosphere nicely complements Jugo's introverted personality and affinity for nature, as well as Tosaka's passion for all things ornithological. It's also satisfying to see Jugo grow to trust Team 7 and willingly accept their assistance despite his general aversion to humanity. Through a system of teamwork and mutual trust, both parties are able to develop a routine to keep his curse contained. Although Jugo's typically a tough nut to crack, this is arguably the most agreeable he's ever been—which is something of a turning point for his character.
Unfortunately, all the progress the gang makes is walked back in the second half, with the final few minutes of the episode serving as an extended “all is lost” moment. Even with his friends' wellbeing on the line, Boruto realizes he doesn't have a leg to stand on in response to the village elder's complaints, and his shame, regret, and despair are certainly palpable. Luckily, Boruto has proven himself a master at obtaining victory from the jaws of defeat, and this mountain of setbacks is likely to make his inevitable triumph all the more satisfying. As far as anime-original antagonists go, the Curse Mark siblings are fairly by-the-books, though if nothing else, their abilities are moderately intriguing. While shinobi who are able to control Curse Marks aren't exactly an anomaly in the Naruto-verse, they're rare enough to elicit some excitement when they show up.
Despite being the show's 100th installment, Boruto's latest outing doesn't make any discernible effort to commemorate this milestone—which is understandable, considering this episode is part of a larger arc. Nonetheless, it's a serviceable mid-arc installment, full of both quiet introspection and tension-filled (albeit brief) action sequences. With the preview teasing the arrival of Suigetsu and Karin, it wouldn't be surprising to see this storyline shed its introspective side in favor of bigger battles in the coming weeks.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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