Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 108 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The road trip continues as our heroes match wits with the supernatural in this week's Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Joined by Tenten (who came to bring Mirai additional clothes and personal items), the gang sets to work investigating strange goings-on at their latest stop on the hot springs tour. Guy is petrified by the prospect of a facing off against a non-corporeal opponent, Kakashi is characteristically indifferent, Tenten just wants to have a good time, and Mirai is dead-set on proving that the culprit is flesh-and-blood. In the end, Mirai's efforts pay off, and the perpetrator is revealed to be a young girl by the name of Tatsumi, who's embarking on a hot springs tour in honor of her recently-departed mother despite having no money. Although Tenten suggests handing Tatsumi over to the authorities, Mirai insists that she join the group and assures Kakashi that she'll cover her expenses. Having acquired a new travel companion, the gang bids farewell to Tenten and departs the inn—but not before discovering that Mirai inadvertently released an actual vengeful spirit during her security check in her attempts to catch Tatsumi.
As far as this franchise's humor-focused installments go, episode 108 is fairly standard-grade. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, but for the most part, the comedy is relatively low-key. It's still a fun enough watch, but the jokes, pacing, and general narrative don't feel as ambitious as the previous two installments. Surprisingly, some of this week's biggest laughs come courtesy of Tenten, who's previously functioned as a comic foil in the parent series and the resident tsukkomi in Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals. Not only is she completely down for a ghost-hunting adventure, she has as much fun with this setup as possible and displays a mischievous side that's she's kept very well-hidden until this point. Perhaps no longer having to act as the team mom for Team Guy has helped her mellow out and made her more amenable to cutting loose in her adult years. Despite being a regular presence in the parent series' anime-original content, Tenten's appearances in Boruto have been sparse and brief, so it's nice to spend an entire episode with her, even if she's shoehorned into the story.
Mirai, Kakashi, and Guy (and the familiar guest characters who drop in and out) have thus far been an entertaining trio to watch, and the addition of Tatsumi seems like it could throw a wrench into what's already a winning dynamic. In fairness, the audience hasn't really had a chance to get acquainted with her yet, and it's possible the story will be richer for including her. After all, it always seemed unlikely that this arc would simply be a series of self-contained misadventures. At present, however, she doesn't seem particularly interesting, even if her presence is meant to facilitate development in the overarching narrative.
Boruto Minus Boruto continues to amuse, though it's beginning to feel like an entirely different show at this point. The current arc shows no signs of concluding anytime soon, so it's a good thing these characters have managed to stay so entertaining. With any luck, the inclusion of Tatsumi will serve as a boon rather than a hindrance as the gang continues its travels.
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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