Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 119 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Konohamaru's ill-fated love story comes to a close in an action-packed, bittersweet Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. With the wedding ritual complete, Remon and Kankitsu prepare to cut Soma's horns with Kuen's sword, thereby resealing him for another century. However, the possessed Kankitsu uses this opportunity to destroy the sealing stone, setting Soma free. Despite some timely help from Konohamaru, Boruto, and Enra (a ninja monkey and Konohamaru's personal summon), Remon is ultimately forced to follow in Kuen's footsteps by sealing Soma inside her body and having Konohamaru sever his horns. With both horns destroyed, the monster is gone for good, but so too are Remon's memories.
Rather than reintroduce himself to the newly amnesiac Remon, Konohamaru leaves Daidai Village without seeing her again. As he explains to Boruto, “Some things you just understand without even putting them into words.” Sometime later, Kankitsu serves Remon a lunch that befits her love for sour things: Lightning Burger's super-sour lemon burger. After taking her first bite, tears begin to pour down her face as she's overcome with nostalgia. Meanwhile in the Hidden Leaf, Boruto brings the same burger to Konohamaru. Despite his previously-expressed distaste for it, Konohamaru takes a bite and wistfully opines on its sourness.
For the most part, episode 119 is able to wrap up a solidly middle-of-the-road arc in an emotional and intermittently surprising fashion. In an interesting subversion, it's Remon—and not Konohamaru—who emerges as the hero of the story. While he and Boruto certainly pulled their weight, their efforts ultimately weren't enough to prevent Remon from sacrificing every memory she'd accumulated throughout her life. Although Konohamaru's goal had been to vanquish Soma and protect Remon, in the end, he was only able to accomplish the former. Sure, when all is said and done, the good guys emerged victorious, but their victory came at a tremendous cost. Going into this arc's finale, it was pretty clear that Konohamaru was probably going to have his heart broken, but Remon forgetting about him (and everything that's ever happened to her, for that matter) provides an additional emotional gut-punch.
Like the characters in the movie Boruto scoffed at in this arc's first episode, Konohamaru and Remon are destined to go their separate ways. Even without the memory loss, it's unclear if Remon reciprocated Konoharmu's affections, although it's unlikely, given her feelings for Kankitsu before he was possessed by Soma. The comically unappetizing lemon burger continues to serve as an effective symbol of the time they spent together. Remon, like Boruto when he lost his memories, bites into it thinking she's never had one before. Konohamaru, despite disliking it, eats one as a tribute of sorts to the woman he'll likely never see again. It's an interesting way to tie the story's key players together and is arguably one of Lightning Burger's most bizarre menu items to date.
While the little ape seems charismatic enough, introducing Enra in the middle of the Soma battle feels strange. It's possible that this character has made appearances in other pieces of Naruto-related media, but prior to this, I can't ever recall seeing him in animated form. Given how quickly he came and went and how little his assistance actually impacted the proceedings, this may not have been the best opportunity to roll him out. However, in fairness, another Konohamaru-centric story probably isn't in the cards for a good long while, and this may have prompted the producers to adopt a “now or never” approach toward introducing his personal summon.
Konohamaru's brush with unrequited love may not be the most memorable story Boruto has given us, but it's a decent character spotlight for someone who was desperately in need of one. Since the show has already delivered several stories about the romantic woes of the current generation of Leaf shinobi, a tale about adult love starring one of the previous generation's few confirmed bachelors is an entertaining change of pace.
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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