Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 129

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 129 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

It's Back to the Future: Boruto-style as Boruto and Sasuke explore the Hidden Leaf Village of yesteryear. As Karasuki explains, the disturbance our heroes caused last week resulted in Boruto and Sasuke being flung to a later time period than Urashiki (whom the turtle surmises will arrive in a few days) intended. Since young Naruto is Urashiki's target, the boys plan to find him and provide him with protection in advance of the villain's arrival. It isn't long before Boruto and Sasuke come face to face with Naruto and Jiraiya, who are fresh from a peeping session at a local bathhouse. With the village currently on high alert as a result of young Sasuke's recent defection, Tsunade tasks Naruto and the Pervy Sage with keeping an eye on the new arrivals, who claim to be traveling performers. Shortly thereafter, Jiraiya bails to chase skirts, and Sasuke retreats into the shadows to avoid coming into contact with young Sakura. In an effort to avoid losing both people he was assigned to observe, Naruto takes Boruto home with him. After treating his guest to a “feast” of instant ramen, Naruto proceeds to ask Boruto about his father and observes that the younger Uzumaki seems to enjoy talking about his old man.

A solidly humor-focused installment, this week's outing is an entertaining trip to the past—both for Boruto and his audience. It's been a long time since the dearly departed Jiraiya graced us with his presence, and even though he's at his most generic this week, it's still great to see him again. In the same vein, while Tsunade is still alive and kicking in the current timeline, she's been almost entirely absent from Boruto's adventures, making her latest appearance feel like a reunion with an old friend. The initial meeting between Boruto and young Naruto goes about as awkwardly as one might expect, and it's an amusing clash of two similar yet different personalities. (Strangely, no one seems to notice that the two are practically identical in appearance.)

While there's no shortage of comedy this week, not all the jokes hit their marks. At no point is this more apparent than the scenes with Jiraiya. Although his perverse nature often served as an effective vehicle for comedy in the parent series, the peeping tom schtick goes on here for several beats too long and is only intermittently amusing. Strangely, Boruto barely seems fazed by the fact that one of the legendary Sannin is a complete lech or by his father's complicity in the Pervy Sage's schemes. In fact, rather than express any bemusement, Boruto opts to roll out his new Sexy Jutsu—a promising bit that isn't really mined to its full potential.

With the time travel story in its earliest stages, episode 129 lays out our heroes' mission and provides plenty of laughs along the way. Naruto and Boruto may butt heads, but by episode's end, they've established a good rapport. If the rest of the storyline can maintain the same balance between comedy, callbacks, and genuine heart, this may well prove to be one of Boruto's finest outings.

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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