Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 131

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 131 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

After two solidly humor-focused installments, Boruto puts the brakes on the comedy and ratchets up the stakes. Hoping to extract the Nine Tails' chakra, Urashiki abducts Naruto, only to have his plans hindered by the sealing jutsu used to control Kurama. As a result of Urashiki's efforts, the chakra beings to leak, causing Naruto to enter beast mode. Boruto, Sasuke, and Jiraiya arrive on the scene in time to chase off Urashiki (who claims to have found a way to steal the chakra) and place a new seal on Naruto. Before Naruto comes to, Jiraiya shares Naruto's backstory with Boruto, who's shocked to discover that his old man had it so rough as a kid. Realizing that Urashiki is bound to resurface, Jiraiya floats the idea of training Naruto and Boruto together—a prospect that both boys are hesitant to accept.

With Urashiki's arrival and Naruto's imminent peril, the arc undergoes a significant tonal shift this week. While the past two installments have been mostly fun and games, episode 131 helps reestablish Urashiki as a formidable threat and get the audience invested in the meat of the story. The situation is made even more dangerous by young Naruto's inability to control the Nine Tails' chakra and Kurama's general unwillingness to cooperate with humans. (Even Urashiki hesitates when he realizes Kurama is going to go on a rampage if the seal is completely removed.) Of course, Urashiki was never going to succeed in his goal this early in the game, but the villain outsmarting two legendary jonin and quickly nabbing his target provides a steady dose of tension.

The cues are subtle, but Jiraiya definitely seems to suspect a connection between Boruto and Naruto—a refreshing prospect with so many other characters oblivious to their near-identical appearances. He takes note of Boruto's easy use of the Rasengan and the way the boy makes a connection with Naruto to stop his chakra from going berserk. With Jiraiya keeping an eye on the Uzumakis, it'll be interesting to see how future-father and son train together and if these events affect the future in any way. While it's satisfying to see Boruto learn more about his father's past, the fact that he seemingly knows nothing about Naruto's childhood continues to strain credulity. One would think certain aspects of Naruto's backstory—being ostracized by the village at large and struggling to contain Kurama, for example—would be common knowledge to his immediate family.

Although he doesn't spend a lot of time battling our heroes this week, Urashiki's ability to outmaneuver some of the Naruto-verse's best and brightest aptly illustrates how much a threat he presents. In fact, it's only his own hesitance to release the Nine Tails that leads to his failure this episode. With Naruto and Boruto training under one of the legendary Sannin in preparation for his next assault, some exciting action is presumably on the horizon.

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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