Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 110 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Things take a turn for the serious as Mirai and Tatsumi break away from their elders and journey to the fabled spring whose existence was revealed last week. Although Mirai is somewhat skeptical, she agrees to escort Tatsumi, reasoning that it will be a “research” mission. While Mirai has a boatload of questions for Asuma, Tatsumi wishes to make amends with her mother for an argument they had on the eve of her death. When the girls reach their destination—a well-hidden cave—they find 18 other young women (presumably the missing girls mentioned in passing in the previous episode), all of whom wish to speak with deceased loved ones and were brought here by disciples of Jashin. With Mirai and Tatsumi present, the group's leader, Ryuki, who claims to have discovered a safe alternative to the Resurrection Jutsu, declares that the ritual can now begin. One by one, the girls wander into a mysterious mist, where they're greeted by the silhouettes of their dead loved ones. The episode ends with Mirai on the cusp of making contact with what appears to be Asuma.
While this arc has primarily focused on comedy up until this point, the latest installment opts to jettison the silly stuff as the storyline heads into its endgame. Of course, without Guy and Kakashi around, Mirai can't really act as a tsukkomi, so this makes sense. Also, with the arc now having a bona fide antagonist in the form of Ryuki, keeping things light may have undermined the threat he presents. Whether Ryuki is directly connected to Hidan remains to be seen, but Mirai going up against a disciple of Jashin seems like a satisfying way to bring things full-circle. Even if she's ultimately unable to communicate with Asuma, the forthcoming battle will hopefully provide her with the closure she's been seeking. Though not a major complaint, Mirai abandoning Kakashi and Guy feels somewhat at odds with her character. Sure, she's smart enough to realize that neither of them actually needs a bodyguard, but given what we've seen, it seems unlikely that she'd walk away from her mission. (Yes, she vowed to come back before they woke up, but what if an enemy attacked at night?) This is likely meant to illustrate just how much she wants to see her father, but had she run this idea by her elders, they would probably have been interested in investigating the spring as well, making her dereliction of duty feel completely unnecessary.
While some of the choices Mirai has made up to this point (such as meddling in Kiba and Tamaki's fight) have been questionable, she still seems entirely too willing to believe in the authenticity of the fabled spring. Furthermore, the fact that none of the other girls—some of whom have been in the cave for a month—see a problem with any of this strains credulity. (Also, if they were there willingly, why were their disappearances regarded as abductions?) Even after asking Ryuki a perfectly sensible question and failing to get a believable response, Mirai is perfectly willing to indulge him. For the most part, it seems like she's unaffected by the proceedings, neither suspicious nor overly excited about what's going on around her.
Even though the first two-thirds are fairly uneventful, episode 110 never feels slow as Mirai and Tatsumi come within a hair's breadth of accomplishing their goal. While the episode's execution could stand to be better, this does feel like the organic end to Mirai's emotional arc, even if the character herself can't decide how to feel about it.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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