Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 112 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
This week, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations follows up a solid side-story arc with its second clip show in as many months. Although quite a bit of time has passed since the disastrous chunin exams, Naruto and Shikamaru are only now getting around to determining which of the genin to promote. Abiding by the weird rule that only one person can be promoted, the two set to work recapping the events of the chunin exam arc. (Does this rule only apply to exams that are interfered with?) In light of Boruto's cheating, his father refuses to even consider him for promotion, but both men look favorably upon another member of Team 7: Sarada. However, when Sasuke shows up to report his findings on Urashiki, the topic shifts to the Fabrication incident, and after considering how well Shikadai conducted himself throughout that mission, they ultimately decide to award him the promotion.
While Shikadai being promoted to chunin is likely to factor into future stories, the show didn't need to commemorate this development with yet another clip show—and a particularly boring one, at that. The discussions regarding the various genins' strengths and weaknesses aren't very engaging, and the fact that the dialogue from many recapped scenes is played over Naruto and Shikamaru's musings make the proceedings feel like even more of a chore to follow. The logic behind only promoting one genin is also never explained. If Boruto's cheating and the Otsutsuki assault irreparably tainted the results, why promote anyone? If the one-person rule only applies to exams that have been interfered with, why did most of the supporting cast receive promotions after the anime-original second chunin exam arc in the parent series? Not only were these exams interfered with, the proctors canceled the final phase, leaving them incomplete. (Neji was even double promoted for his performance in these exams.)
The fact that Shikadai, who's essentially a carbon copy of his father, is the sole genin to earn a promotion feels repetitive and somewhat unsatisfying. If this series wants to carve out a unique identity for itself, promoting the son of the man who received the same promotion first in the parent series may not be the wisest course of action. Also, since he's being promoted based on the actions he took during the Fabrication arc—a completely separate affair from the chunin exams—the selection process comes off feeling sloppy and improvised. By this logic, every member of Team 7 should receive a promotion for the various high-level missions they've undertaken. Furthermore, if mission conduct is such a vitally important factor in these decisions, what's the point of the exams? At least Sarada almost got the promotion before her own father subtly talked Naruto and Shikamaru out of it. This could have made for an interesting development and helped shake up Team 7's dynamic, but the producers likely wanted the three main characters to remain the same rank.
Since the first chunin of the current generation is chosen, it's difficult to recommend skipping this episode entirely. Plus, Shikadai's new rank is likely to play an important role in the story moving forward—as early as next week, if the preview is any indication. It's just a shame that such an important milestone is attached to the show's least impressive clip show yet.
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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