Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 105 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
In its second consecutive Mitsuki-centric installment, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations gifts us with an unnecessary clip show. Having experienced physical discomfort and disquieting dreams in the wake of the Hidden Stone incident, Mitsuki seeks the aid of Orochimaru, who hooks him up to a machine that enables his memories to be viewed as if they were video files. (Which is some next-level tech, even for Orochimaru.) While viewing the Cliff's notes version of the Fabrication arc, Orochimaru and Log ascertain that Mitsuki feels guilty and conflicted after aiding Ku and company. Fearing that Mitsuki's brain can't keep up with such rapid growth, Orochimaru floats the idea of erasing his son's memory but ultimately leaves the decision in Mitsuki's hands. In the end, Mitsuki decides against the mind wipe and returns to his normal life as Orochimaru looks forward to the boy's continued growth.
Unlike the series' previous clip show (which was also disappointing but at least appropriately timed), this one makes the perplexing decision of summarizing an arc that concluded over three months ago. Had this aired immediately after the conclusion of the Fabrication arc, it still would've been a slog, but the timing would be somewhat understandable. Most of the episode is made up of Orochimaru and Log talking over clips from the aforementioned arc and restating obvious plot points and character motivations. (Yes, this was their first time viewing these events, but the audience has known these things for months.) Having them view Mitsuki's memories through literal video clips of the Hidden Stone incident on a computer monitor is a very clunky and unintentionally meta framing device that feels too silly to be believable, even in the show's reality. Many of these clips include observations of Mitsuki from the outside—rather than from his own eyes, as one would expect from a memory.
On the plus side, the episode provides a small amount of new insight into Mitsuki's character and gives us a look at how Orochimaru processes his son's development. Furthermore, a new cute scene with Mikazuki will probably delight fans of Mitsuki's new roommate. At the end of the day, however, Orochimaru's musings on a months-old arc don't really mean much, and viewers wouldn't be remiss to fast-forward through a good chunk of the proceedings.
While clip shows have thus far proven rare in this series, it's never fun to be presented with a slapdash rundown of a recent storyline. Having concluded in early February, the Fabrication arc's pertinent points are still fresh in the minds of most viewers. On the flipside, if you haven't seen the arc in question, episode 105 is more likely to sow confusion than provide a cogent summary of the story. There's a good chance the prospect of wiping Mitsuki's memory will reemerge at some point, but other than that, nothing from Boruto's second clip show is likely to have any impact of future installments.
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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