Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 142

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 142 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations continues its foray into prison intrigue this week as our heroes find themselves a few steps closer to unraveling some of this arc's core mysteries. In an effort to protect Kokuri from future attacks, Mujo, the lord of Hozuki Castle, proposes that the would-be snitch be relocated to Boruto's cell following his recovery. Unfortunately, these efforts are shot down by Benga, the prison's corrupt chief warden. Hoping to learn Benga's weakness, Boruto appeals to Doragu, Hozuki Castle's foremost information broker, who agrees to help in return for Boruto swiping a bulb from one of the prison's watch towers. Despite being set up to fail, Boruto is able to carry out the task and, per the deal, receives detailed written records of Benga's shady dealings with inmates. Upon seeing these records for himself, Mujo decides to move Kokuri into Boruto's cell against Benga's wishes. However, following Kokuri's arrival, Team 7 concludes that the person who stole a key card and attacked Kokuri is one of Boruto and Mitsuki's three roomies: Arai, Kamata, or Kedama.

Since last week's installment did most of the heavy lifting set-up wise, episode 142 allows Team 7 to tackle their latest assignment in earnest. While this show and its parent series have experimented with action-light mystery arcs in the past, the results have been decidedly mixed. Based on what we've seen so far, the latest storyline represents a franchise high point for this type of plot. With Boruto and Mitsuki pretending to be bound by the Celestial Prison, their opportunities for using ninjutsu are limited, but at no point do the proceedings feel hindered by the relative lack of action. For example, the sequence in which Boruto narrowly evades detection while stealing the watch tower bulb is memorable, tension-fraught, and exciting despite the limited animation.

For the second week in a row, Sarada isn't given much to do. Although her eavesdropping uncovers a key piece of information, it's disheartening to see her simply listening in on a private conversation instead of uncovering pertinent info through investigation and subterfuge. Since this “aspiring journalist” has essentially been given free rein of the Naruto-verse's most notorious prison, it seems like there should be more opportunities for her to use her unique gifts.

With multiple mysteries up in the air and Kokuri's safety still at risk, Boruto and company have their work cut out for them. Solid screenwriting and direction make a seemingly simple prison infiltration feel every bit as perilous as Team 7's most harrowing adventures. Even the elements that are commonly found in stories of this type—corrupt wardens, abundant red herrings, assorted wild cards—feel fresh and original in Kishimoto's world. Whether things are exactly as they seem or more twists and turns await, I look forward to what the gang uncovers next.

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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