Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 162

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 162 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

As the battle for the Hashirama Cell heats up, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations turns in another eventful installment. With every thief and mercenary in the Land of Silence out to get them, the gang makes every effort to shake their pursuers, but when our heroes find themselves hopelessly surrounded, it seems their only option is to fight. However, thanks to some timely assistance from Katara (the boy-thief Boruto helped out a couple of weeks back), the Leaf shinobi are able to escape into the sewers, where two familiar faces await: Mitsuki and a fully-cured Kona, the Hashirama-afflicted girl from Yubina's clinic, who's also revealed to be Katara's sister. Upon being briefed on Boruto and company's situation, Katara hits up his underground network of sewer children for info on the earring-wearing lookalikes. After learning their location, the boy leads his visitors to the edge of the country's border, where they hope to head off their targets. The gang then splits up, with the adults and children opting to track the lookalikes separately. Shortly thereafter, Team 7 is attacked by a shadowy trio of Lightning Style users, setting the stage for what will presumably be a high-stakes skirmish. Further complicating matters, the sinister figure with whom Victor was conversing last week has just arrived in the Land of Silence, and he appears to have a penchant for indiscriminate homicide.

Since Boruto and Mugino have very different personalities and approaches to missions, an entire episode in which the two are forced to work together in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds seems like an entertaining twenty-four minutes. While this unlikely pairing initially appears to be this week's main focus, very little time is actually devoted to the duo. In fact, outside of a humorous scene that involves Mugino kicking Boruto into a drainage ditch to remove his scent, the two don't really clash all that much. Ultimately, the episode opts for plot progression over character building, which isn't necessarily a bad thing—and it's entirely possible that Boruto and Mugino will clash in a more meaningful way before the arc is over.

Though the prospect of an all-out fight in a trap-laden castle is never realized, episode 162 does manage to provide us with an impressive action spectacle: the crash of the giant airship the Hidden Leaf ninja manage to commandeer. Still, in order to make the arrival of the airship a surprise, Boruto and Mugino aren't shown perpetrating this theft, and the gang doesn't get to revel in their escape very long before it's blown out of the sky. (Fortunately, Mugino is able to pilot it, though Boruto wouldn't have known this when he came up with the plan.) In addition to being a visually arresting sequence, the downing of the airship is a great illustration of how dangerous and dedicated the Land of Silence's residents can be when money is at stake. However, despite their predicament, it's a little strange that the Leaf shinobi show no concern for the people in the dwellings into which the ship crashes.

While there isn't quite as much action as the episode's premise would suggest, this week's installment contains enough humor, spectacle, and story progression to make for a fast-paced, enjoyable watch. It's great to see Mitsuki back in action, and the existence of a community of savvy children living beneath the surface of the Land of Silence is a fun, if narratively convenient, element to toss into the mix. Furthermore, with shinobi from other villages out to claim the Hashirama Cell and the arrival of the Victor's pierrot-like colleague, things are unlikely to slow down for Team 7 any time soon.

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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