Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 143

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 143 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

Team 7 continues to peel back the layers of the mystery surrounding Kokuri and Tsukiyo in a ninja-flavored whodunit. Having established that one of their three cellmates is responsible for stealing the keycard, Boruto and Mitsuki set to work deducing who the guilty party is, and with Benga threatening to place both the culprit and all of his cellmates in solitary and extend their sentences, time is of the essence. Arai quickly takes the reins of this investigation, first accusing Kamata and then Kedama of the crimes in question. Although both serve as suitable red herrings, Arai eventually gives himself away as the culprit and is subsequently apprehended and taken to solitary. However, with Benga more suspicious than ever about the connection between Boruto and Kokuri, Tsukiyo immediately seeing through Sarada's cover story, and many questions remaining about Kokuri's true nature, our heroes can't afford to let their guard down just yet.

With the exception of a few short scenes, episode 143 is set entirely in Boruto and Mitsuki's prison cell, which imbues the proceedings with the air of locked room mystery. All the ingredients for this type of setup are fully present, with Boruto and Mitsuki occupying the detective role, the various cellmates serving as suspects, and Arai acting as a serviceable fake-out character. While the true culprit shouldn't be hard to ascertain for anyone familiar with this genre, the episode does a decent job of keeping the audience guessing and establishing that none of the suspects are completely trustworthy. This may not be a particularly intricate mystery, but provided you're not looking to Boruto for top-notch detective fiction, it's an entertaining enough 23 minutes.

Since the latest installment is essentially a bottle episode, there isn't much going on visually this week, and the direction doesn't really attempt to offset this by injecting eye-catching visuals or unique framing. This isn't a deal breaker by any means, but given how drab and unadorned the cell is, any attempts at adding eye candy would have been appreciated. On the plus side, the ease with which Arai is brought to justice suggests that twists and turns of a more intricate nature are in the pipeline, and with many of Kokuri's crimes left vague, it would be interesting to discover that this unassuming nerd is a far more sinister figure than his demeanor suggests. (As Arai points out, he was in the Mujina Gang, after all.)

With a limited setting and complete lack of action, the Mujina Gang arc's third chapter isn't as exciting as the two that preceded it, but it does involve the boys solving an integral part of the overarching mystery. Both the ominous ending and post-credits preview suggest that more surprises await, and in light how entertaining this arc has been thus far, the forthcoming endgame is likely to prove memorable.

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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