Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 115 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
This week, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations shines a spotlight on the seldom-seen Team 25. Comprised of perceptive puppet user Hako Kuroi, muscular defense aficionado Renga Kokubo, and Kakashi-worshipping photographic-memory-reliant Houki Taketori, the aforementioned team is having trouble operating as a cohesive unit. After their jonin is injured during a mission, the trio is left without a leader and tasked with helping out at the Leaf's understaffed post office as the village's top ninja furiously work to bring down a serial bomber. While investigating a complaint about Houki and company, Kakashi (in his Sukea guise) observes the dysfunctional genin and forms an understanding of their respective strengths. Following a quick pop-in from Boruto and Sarada, who are hot on the trail of the bomber, Houki discovers that the guilty party has sent several bombs through the post office, prompting Team 25 to locate and disarm them. Satisfied that the gang can now function as a team, Kakashi recommends that they be placed under the command of Sai, who believes Team 25 will be perfect for intelligence missions.
Though it's a little late in the series to be spotlight a new trio of genin, the members of Team 25 are all interesting in their own right and seem like good candidates for future Boruto-less adventures. Between Hako's Gothic Lolita attire and Sherlock Holmes-level powers of deduction, Rengo's surprisingly powerful defense move, and Hako's anal retentive need to control his team, these genin have an entertaining dynamic. Ninja from Boruto's class being identified as suitable candidates for espionage missions is a welcome change of pace, as the regular stable of genin already has its fair share of heavy hitters and close-combat fighters. It's also nice to see a team made up entirely of kids with no discernible connection to the previous generation receive their own episode. While Team 15 has had a few solo outings, they've been the only exception to the rule until this point.
The screenwriters could have mined Houki's hero worship of Kakashi for a few more laughs (especially since he confesses his admiration for the Sixth Hokage to “Sukea”), but it's easy to see this comedy cow drying up pretty quickly. Furthermore, introducing a character who worships a Hokage other than Naruto is a fun way to shake things up—particularly when the Hokage in question was essentially a placeholder. The lesson the kids ultimately learn—how to respect one another and complement each other's strengths—is one that we've seen learned by countless other teams throughout the course of this franchise and its parent series, but episode 115's featured players are all likable enough to make their victory feel gratifying and well-earned.
Once again, Boruto functions as a guest character in his own show, with this week's appearance making him seem like a hero out of an action movie. Though he and Sarada ultimately apprehend the bomber off-screen, Team 25 takes care of the loose ends, using their special skills to uncover something the more “capable” genin overlooked. Another worthwhile one-shot, episode 115 effectively endears a trio of former background extras to the audience in a fast-paced, character-driven adventure.
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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