Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 163

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 163 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

The gang meets up with an old ally and encounters a terrifying new enemy in this week's Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. As it turns out, the Lightning Style users Team 7 encountered last week are a trio of Hidden Cloud shinobi led by Omoi. After Konohamaru briefs Omoi on their current predicament, the latter determines that Sakuya's murder and the theft of the Hashirama Cell were perpetrated by ninja from the Hidden Haze and decides to aid the Leaf shinobi in their efforts. Before the group can catch up with the three lookalikes, they find themselves face to face with the mysterious figure working to retrieve the cell on Victor's behalf. While Omoi's crew stays behind to take on their new enemy, Boruto and company continue their pursuit of the Haze ninja. However, they're only able to find one member of the trio—Yuuga, who stayed behind to buy the other two enough time to cross the border with their prize.

Although there isn't a lot of progress made on the plot front this week, episode 163 largely gets by on crisp visuals, satisfying action, and fun character interactions. It's great to check in with Omoi, and his negative thinking spirals are as hilarious as ever. As usual, his propensity for fretting over outlandish worst-case scenarios makes for an amusing juxtaposition to the straight-to-the-point demeanor he displays 95 percent of the time. (Even the reliably level-headed Sarada thinks he worries too much.) Still, his fears aren't entirely unfounded. For example, the Hashirama Cell is apparently so volatile that the Hidden Haze ninja have to slow down their movements to avoid triggering an explosion.

Despite projecting a menacing air and coming off as a credible threat, Victor's assassin is fairly one-note in the personality department. (Granted, this is pretty standard for the Naruto-verse's anime-original antagonists.) While murdering every person he comes across helps build him up as someone you wouldn't want to mess with, it isn't a terribly original quirk for a shonen anime villain to possess. Cookie-cutter personality aside, his look is an interesting departure from this franchise's usual designs and almost seems like something that would be more at home in Hunter x Hunter than Boruto. Even a shinobi as skilled and prolific as Omoi is barely able to touch the guy, so the Cloud trio is likely in for an arduous battle. If nothing else, a ninja who fights exclusively with his fists is a fun idea, and the prospect of learning more about this technique is certainly intriguing.

An action-packed episode with a sprinkling of comedy, this week's installment brings the gang one step closer to getting their hands on the Hashirama Cell. It's been a long time since we've checked in with Omoi, and it's a treat to see him back in action—both when it comes to his combat prowess and his excessive worrying. Since the Cloud ninja are the ones going up against Victor's assassin, it stands to reason that Yuuga, Team 7's new opponent, will turn out to be an even more powerful foe, especially if the Forbidden Jutsu of Death teased in the preview is any indication.

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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