Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 170 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The next morning, Boruto proudly proclaims that he's mastered the technique, but a skeptical Kakashi insists on one final test and escorts his pupil to a facility run by the Leaf's police force. Ibiki then arrives on the scene with the recently-incarcerated Shojoji, whom Kakashi tasks Boruto with defeating. The Copy Ninja reasons that if the younger Uzumaki is unable to beat the Mujina Gang's former boss, revenge against Deepa will remain a pipe dream.
It's been a while since Boruto has had any extended interactions with his peers outside of Team 7, so Team 10 stepping in to assist him makes for a welcome change of pace. Although the lifelong friendship between Boruto and Shikadai hasn't received as much focus in the show's post-Ninja Academy era, the latter's willingness to drop everything and help his friend train serves as a good reminder of how close the boys are. While he remains as headstrong as ever, Boruto shows a tremendous amount of maturity in his acknowledgement that his current training is more about self-improvement than exacting revenge on Deepa.
Kakashi's plan to gauge how far Boruto has come by pitting him against Shojoji is certainly a unique way to measure the young man's progress, though it seems pretty reckless, even with the Copy Ninja's supervision. Also, since Boruto largely managed to hold his own against Shojoji in their previous battle, defeating him here may not be the best indicator that he's ready to face someone on Deepa's level.
It's always interesting to see members of the Hidden Leaf 12 get together and engage in adult discussions, and the girls' night out makes for a fun episode highlight. As far as Sakura's moral support goes, Ino and Hinata stick to their characterizations, with Ino loudly criticizing Sakura even while attempting to assuage her anxieties, and Hinata mostly just sitting quietly despite this outing being her idea. Though Sakura shows the smallest ounce of backbone against her husband for the sake of their daughter's wellbeing, she quickly reverts back to her habit of deferring to everything he wants (to the point of being totally fine with him being a non-presence 90 percent of the time) during her vent session. Sasuke wasn't even upset with her, yet she's still worried that they “argued” because she didn't agree with him wholeheartedly. While disappointing, this behavior is not out-of-character. In fairness to Sasuke, Sarada's training isn't that intense by Naruto-verse standards, but given his personal history and the threat their daughter is now facing, Sakura's concerns are certainly valid.
Another training-focused installment, episode 170 is a well-rounded chapter in Boruto's journey, with strategy and thought being as important to the titular character's advancement as pure physical strength. The secondary focus on Sakura coming to terms with accepting her worries over her daughter without letting them interfere with the child's growth is a nice touch, and it's satisfying to see Team 10's firsthand experience with Deepa put to practical use.
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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