Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 141

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 141 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

Following its latest smattering of one-off misadventures, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations dives into a brand new story arc this week. When Kokuri, a former member of the Mujina Gang, is arrested in the Land of Grass and imprisoned in Hozuki Castle (the setting of Naruto Shippūden: Blood Prison), Naruto and other Hidden Leaf brass see an opportunity. Although the Mujina Gang has been creating chaos all over the Land of Fire, its leader's identity and ninja techniques remain a complete mystery. Since Kokuri had fled the organization after stealing money, he's a prime target for assassination—especially now that Tsukiyo, the gang's second-in-command, is doing time in Hozuki Castle as well. In return for protection, Kokuri has agreed to spill the beans, but since his temporary protection order is being held up by the Land of Grass, Naruto decides to send Team 7 to keep him safe until the government is able to sort things out. While Boruto and Mitsuki pose as inmates, Sarada enters the prison in the guise of an aspiring journalist. Shortly after Boruto makes contact with the perpetually timid Kokuri, a mysterious assailant who's in possession of one of Hozuki Castle's key cards is able to stab the would-be snitch in the shoulder and escape before the guards arrive.

As a table-setting episode, the latest arc's introductory installment is fairly solid. The show wastes no time in laying out the stakes, clearly outlining the gang's latest mission and introducing us to this adventure's key players. At no point do the proceedings feel too vague or like too much of an info dump, and the direction does a great job of creating a distinctly prison-like atmosphere. Naruto's rationale for assigning this mission to a trio of genin feels contrived, but they had to get these kids into Hozuki Castle somehow. Nonetheless, two young boys seem noticeably out of place in a facility full of adult convicts, but fortunately, no inmates see fit to remark on this. (Though it's weird how despite being undercover, Boruto and Mitsuki continue using their real names.)

This arc also marks the first time in a good long while we've seen Team 7 (sans Konohamaru) undertake a big mission together. Since Mitsuki and Sarada were largely absent from the past two arcs, it's satisfying to see the main trio function as a cohesive unit again. As is often the case, Mitsuki emerges as this week's MVP—first by turning the “finders keepers” rule around on his cellmate, and later by craftily using his snakes to obtain the Chinese lantern plants Boruto needs. Sarada feels underutilized thus far, but as this is only the introductory episode, it's entirely possible she'll play a more active role in the coming weeks.

Episode 141 is a strong start to what appears to be an intriguing story arc. While there's likely to be plenty of action down the road, this episode helps illustrate that Team 7 isn't all about brute force and is capable of stealth and deception under the right circumstances. Boruto's latest mission has all the trappings of a good prison intrigue story, and it's exciting to see where things will go from here.


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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