Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 15 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Episode 15 ties a ribbon around the Ghost arc, officially bringing Boruto: Naruto Next Generations' first major storyline to an end. Although the bulk of this week's installment is dedicated to Sumire's fate, the final few minutes lay the groundwork for a much larger conflict with members of the franchise's go-to group of villains. Foreshadowing aside, this episode is almost exactly what was expected after seeing last week's preview: a relatively slow-paced epilogue that culminates in an obvious conclusion. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing on its own, episode 15 offers little in the way of surprises or subverted expectations.
With the Gozu Tennou destroyed and Sumire in custody, life has returned to normal in the Hidden Leaf Village. Since no one was injured during Nue's rampage, Naruto opts for leniency and refuses to impose any discernible punishment on Sumire. (It's only fair, considering he's forgiven other antagonists for far worse.) Still, given that the class rep's actions essentially amount to treason, both she and the adults in power aren't sure whether returning to the Academy is the best course of action for her. Predictably, Boruto and company are saddened by the prospect of no longer being able to see their friend. Fortunately, their worries are all for naught, as Sumire eventually returns to school to be greeted with a warm reception. Meanwhile, construction has finally wrapped on the portion of the building Shino's class destroyed, and the students are instructed to form new three-person teams. With Shikadai electing to continue the Ino-Shika-Cho tradition by partnering with Inojin and ChoCho, Boruto and Mistuki now find themselves in need of third team member, and as Iwabe reveals, Sarada is currently spoken for.
The final few minutes find Naruto (or more accurately, one of his shadow clones) meeting with Sasuke and handing over a scroll revealing that Danzo came perilously close to understanding Kaguya's Hidden Jutsu. Sasuke then reveals that this may bring him closer to reaching the Time-Space where Kaguya existed. Meanwhile, on the moon, the probable-Otsuki who appeared in Boruto's dream exposits that the Jougan (which is apparently the name of Boruto's Byakugan-like eye power) won't be needed for a while and that “the gods will soon be descending upon this land.” Elsewhere, Momoshiki and Kinshiki, the villains from the Boruto feature film, discuss tears forming in Kaguya's world and resolve to get to the bottom of the situation.
For all intents and purposes, this week's Boruto Naruto Next Generations is an epilogue, a denouement of the action after last week's climax of the Ghost storyline. The proceedings are fairly by-the-books, and this is definitely one of the show's less eventful outings, but it feels necessary nonetheless. Boruto and his classmates overlooking Sumire's crimes nicely drives home the theme of forgiveness, which was central to the parent series. It will be interesting to see whether this storyline has any notable impacts on Sumire's character moving forward or if she'll simply fall back into the role she occupied prior to her past coming to light.
The capture-the-flag exercise that takes place toward the end of the episode is a great way to inject some liveliness and levity into an otherwise somber installment. Like their parents, Inojin, Shikadai, and ChoCho have a unique way of working together, and Inojin's inherited calligraphy technique brings a fresh ingredient to this time-tested trio. Similarly, Boruto and Mitsuki continue to work well as a team and appear to be even more in sync than in previous battles. It was actually a little disappointing that the newly-reconstructed area wasn't destroyed again (other than the scaffolding), as this would make for a solid running gag. However, it was amusing to watch Shino stress out over the possibility.
While far from the show's liveliest installment, episode 15 is a serviceable endcap for Boruto's first story arc. Judging by the preview, it looks like we'll be getting one-shot fillers until the Sarada-centric Hokage and the Seventh Spring storyline kicks off, but taking a short breather between arcs could prove interesting. We'll have to wait and see how Kinshiki and Momoshiki will factor into future installments, considering Boruto isn't supposed to meet them for another few years.
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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