Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 26 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Boruto's class trip takes an expectedly dark turn in the latest Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Although the Hidden Mist Village has undergone massive improvements in recent years, a certain percentage of its inhabitants are having a difficult time adjusting to prolonged peace and economic prosperity. Since Boruto and company have led relatively sheltered lives (at least compared to previous generations), it's interesting to see them get their first taste of culture shock. The field trip arc's second installment does a commendable job of establishing the new setting, introducing an intriguing conflict, and leaving the audience eager to learn what comes next.
As the tour of the Hidden Mist rolls on, Shino's class visits the office of Chōjūrō, who has succeeded Mei as Mizukage. After addressing the class, Chōjūrō talks to Kagura about following in his footsteps, only to have the young shinobi declare that he's not suited to leading the village. Mitsuki later reveals that in addition to being favored for the next Mizukage, Kagura has also been chosen as a successor to the newly-reformed Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. When the class visits the Mist Academy's training grounds, Chōjūrō suggests that Kagura and Boruto engage in a practice match. Although Kagura quickly emerges the victor, he's noticeably shaken, and it takes him several seconds to fully regain his composure. Things come to a head when the class visits a memorial for fallen Mist shinobi. Iwabe reveals that his grandfather died fighting the Fourth Mizukage and becomes combative when Kagura offers an apology. The group is then approached by a band of street thugs intent on starting a fight with the visiting Leaf students. (These thugs appear to serve Shizuma, who we met last week.) Iwabe is able to drive them off by taking down their leader, but in order to save face, the thugs later kidnap Denki and dare his friends to come to his rescue.
Although the parent series' anime-original guest characters generally ran the gamut from “bland” to “insufferably bland,” Kagura has proven reasonably interesting thus far. Not only is he under tremendous pressure to take on a leadership role in his village, he wants to prevent the Hidden Mist from returning to its former state at any cost. Ninja stuff aside, anyone who's felt overburdened with responsibility or pulled in multiple directions is liable to find him relatable. However, Inojin's attempt at likening Kagura to Boruto is somewhat forced. While he may be the son of his village's head honcho, no one appears to have lofty expectations of Boruto, nor does he express any desire to follow in his father's footsteps.
Iwabe's reason for holding a grudge against the Mist is fairly by-the-books and a little disappointing. His point is that the village's unsavory past is far from a distant memory, but his anger toward Kagura—who Iwabe even acknowledges wasn't there and is in no way responsible for his grandfather's death—is unreasonable. This is likely a precursor to Iwabe coming to accept Kagura, and by extension, abandoning his grudge—which is once again pretty by-the-books. Kagura seems to be hiding something in his muted reaction to Iwabe's rage. It demonstrates more guilt than he ought to feel, given that he's too young to have actively contributed to the Mist's blood-soaked past.
So far, the field trip arc has proven to be about Kagura, with Boruto and his crew serving as prominent supporting characters. Still, Boruto himself has stepped up at several points, showing far more responsibility than we've seen in the past. Going off the preview, it looks like Boruto is going to organize his own rescue effort instead of alerting the adults to Denki's predicament, but he just wouldn't be himself if he always did the smart thing.
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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