Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 127

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 127 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

This week, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations offers up a laidback lead-in to its latest arc. After seeing an old photo of Jiraiya, Boruto becomes obsessed with learning more about the shinobi who taught his father. Since the man himself is deceased, Boruto, Sarada, and Cho-Cho embark on a quest to track down the Make-Out Tactics series. However, because of the series' graphic nature, various adults make out a point of hindering the kids' efforts at every opportunity. Throughout the search, the audience is treated to a couple of news reports detailing the recent discovery of an ancient relic on the sea floor. In the end, Boruto is able to find all five books in his father's study, but Hinata is able to intervene before he's able to read them. Meanwhile at the Hokage's office, Shikamaru informs Naruto and Sasuke that border guards have reported that Urashiki has been indiscriminately stealing chakra in his hunt for the Tailed Beasts.

Like the previous installment, episode 127 is a relatively low-key affair. While certain portions of the episode are clearly setting up future events, comedic character interactions account for the bulk of the proceedings. Since these characters spend so much of their time on perilous adventures, it's often satisfying to see them take part in the same shenanigans normal kids would get into. Additionally, it's been a surprisingly long time since Boruto touched base with Sarada, and it was nice to see her again after her month-long absence. That said, the episode's central joke—the adults trying to prevent the kids from reading erotica—wears thin rather quickly. There also isn't a great deal of difference between the various adults' reactions to the kids' antics.

Though it would quickly bring an end to the episode's whole conceit, the fact that none of the kids are aware of Jiraiya's exploits or know about Sasuke's temporary defection from the Leaf strains credulity. Has the village made a concerted effort to hide certain parts of its recent history from the first post-war generation? Is Boruto so disinterested in his father that he never thought to ask how he learned his various techniques? Also, neither of Naruto's children was ever curious about how their parents met? This may be an effort to bring new viewers up to speed and provide Naruto lifers with a refresher, but it comes across as strange and clunky in-universe.

The Boruto/Sasuke relationship continues to be one of the series' most interesting elements. Sasuke lavishing praise on Jiraiya—the man who helped shape his former rival into the man he is today—indicates a fair amount of growth and maturity. Furthermore, the perpetually stoic Sasuke is actually responsible for one of the episode's funniest moments. Instead of panicking or acting embarrassed when Boruto raises the topic of Make-Out Tactics, Sasuke responds with a dead-serious, “Don't go there.”

While it paves the way for some decent comedy, Sarada and Boruto's naivety make them seem far younger than they are, and their cluelessness about basic Hidden Leaf history just makes them seem unnaturally oblivious—especially Sarada, who's supposed to be smarter than Boruto. Still, it's fun to see the kids and adults interact naturally in a low-stress setting, even if the core joke grows stale. Hopefully, all this table-setting pays off as a seemingly ambitious storyline unfolds in the coming weeks.

Rating:

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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