Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 160

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 160 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

The mystery of the recently surfaced Hashirama Cell deepens in this week's Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Upon their arrival in the Land of Silence, the gang discovers that Gengo's ousting failed to bring about long-term peace or prosperity. With poverty and lawlessness running rampant, the country has become a haven for rogue ninja from other nations. Through an exchange with a local merchant, Boruto and company learn that a member of Anato's research team recently sold the Hashirama Cell on the black market and subsequently vanished without a trace. Soon after, the group's investigation leads them to Kirisaki, a rogue medical ninja from the Land of Mist who was summoned to the village by a mysterious client in need of his knowledge of the Hashirama Cell.

After apprehending Kirisaki, Konohamaru transforms into him and, with Boruto in tow, proceeds to meet his client. However, instead of the client, the two are greeted by an elderly man who identifies himself as the client's butler. To confirm that “Kirisaki” is indeed the real deal, the butler reveals that he's currently infected with the Hashirama Cell and tasks the doctor with treating his ailment—much to the surprise of Boruto and Konohamaru.

While this isn't the show's first foray into exploring the less prosperous shinobi nations, it's always fascinating to get a look at the lives of people outside of the Big Five. Since the Leaf is among the most robust hidden villages (especially during Boruto's time), it's easy to forget that life isn't so rosy for a sizable portion of the Naruto-verse's populace. Using the Land of Silence as a backdrop is a fun continuity nod to Shikamaru's Story (and its animated adaptation), although the revelation that Gengo's defeat ultimately had very little impact undermines all the hard work that went into taking him down.

Boruto, who is alternately Team 7's most immature member and a highly skilled genin, is remarkably capable throughout the proceedings. Though frustrated by the Land of Silence's general state of affairs, he's able to successfully shake down a shady merchant and trick Kirisaki through his use of the Sexy Jutsu. It doesn't feel beyond his capabilities or anything, but the level of expertise he displays this week is a prime example of him being conveniently in over his head or fully in a command of a situation depending on the needs of the narrative. Although Naruto got more than enough mileage out of the Sexy Jutsu, Boruto's seduction of Kirisaki is arguably one of the technique's most practical applications to date—even if watching a woman who's really a child entice a grown adult is uncomfortable, joke or not.

Episodes like this, wherein the characters focus on investigation and subterfuge more than straight-up combat, nicely reflect the show's shinobi roots and make for a fun change of pace. While the gang only makes a small amount of progress in their latest mission, the mystery surrounding the Hashirama Cell becomes considerably more complex and fascinating. Who are the quadruplets who beat Boruto to the Sexy Jutsu idea? Who is the enigmatic old man's employer? How does all this connect to Victor? With any luck, next week's installment will begin providing some of the answers we seek.

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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