Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Things heat up as Boruto and company come closer to catching the mastermind behind the Leaf's wave of possessions and chakra thefts. Although it would have been nice to see even more progress made on the overarching plot front, episode 11 does a decent job of advancing the story without overloading the audience with new information. At present, it's unclear whether the current storyline will serve as a one-off or if it will prominently factor into the show's big picture, but in either case, it'll be worth seeing the mystery unfold.
Following the incident at the water purification plant, Sumire and her friends find themselves hospitalized, and Naruto tells his son to stop playing detective. However, he softens his stance on the issue after Shino speaks up on Boruto's behalf. With their teacher's tacit blessing, Boruto, Mitsuki, and Shikadai enlist the help of their classmates in tracking down the Ghost while completing their job shadowing assignment. Once the group is able to get a read on their foe's patterns, they catch him/her/it in the act of possessing Komari, the village's straight-laced postmaster. Although the villain's true identity remains a mystery, the perpetrator's face is hidden behind a mask that bears a strong resemblance to the one worn by ANBU members. While the rest of the group deals with the possessed Komari, Mitsuki pursues the masked figure into a sewer before strangely opting to let them go. The episode ends with an otherworldly ninja beast (which looks strikingly similar to the one Boruto summoned in episode 4) stating to no one in particular that “the negative chakra of the weak-hearted opens the door created by the Hashirama Cell and becomes the nourishment that will awaken Nue.”
It was disappointing that the audience is never shown the specifics of what went down at the water purification plant. We're told that a plant worker was possessed and went on a rampage, prompting Sumire to protect her friends and incur serious injuries, but a quick flashback to the incident would have been appreciated. It's also revealed that Naruto was responsible for rescuing Sumire. However, whether this means he did battle with the Ghost or simply arrived on the scene after the victim's chakra was drained is never explained. Still, it's hinted that Sumire may have a deeper connection to the Ghost, so it's possible that flashbacks will be forthcoming.
Since the main group has felt fragmented as of late, it was nice to see everyone come together and collaborate on a plan. Even Denki, Iwabe, Inojin, and Metal, all of whom have been woefully underused in recent weeks, are able to get in on the action. Iwabe and Metal in particular are responsible for two of the episode's biggest laughs. Unfortunately, Sarada, who plays an important role in every other piece of Boruto media, isn't part of the group effort and only makes a brief cameo at the beginning of the episode. While Boruto and Sarada's relationship doesn't begin to blossom until after they graduate from the Academy, it's unclear why she couldn't have played a role in the aforementioned plan.
The Ghost may still be at large, but as evidenced by the past two episodes, Boruto and his cohorts are steadily gaining the upper hand on their enemy. Since the past few installments have all contained plot advancement and important developments, next week's episode will hopefully prove just as fascinating. After watching the post-credits preview, it's clear that both Mitsuki and Sumire somehow fit into the bigger picture.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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