Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 30 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The final battle kicks off this week as our heroes face off against the New Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. As last week's preview indicated, episode 30 mainly focuses on Sarada's fight against Buton, though Chojuro and Iwabe also see some action. While there are a few stand-out moments, this is a fairly by-the-numbers action episode whose primary purpose is to clear away the small fry so Boruto can have his big showdown with Kagura (and possibly Shizuma) next week.
Separated from the rest of the group, Sarada quickly finds herself at a disadvantage when fighting her opponent. In order to prevent the young Uchiha from seeing through her techniques with the Sharingan, Buton (who we learn is the daughter of former Swordsman Raiga Kurosuki) wastes no time in putting some distance between them. To make matters worse, Buton's twin-sword Kiba (no, not that Kiba) enables her to amplify her chakra. Luckily, with the help of a cleverly utilized genjutsu and her knowledge of science, Sarada is eventually able to trick her opponent and take her out of commission.
Meanwhile, Chojuro decides to stop pulling his punches and knocks out Hebiichigo and Hassaku, prompting a frightened Kyoho to surrender. As Ichirota prepares to jump in, Iwabe arrives on the scene just in time to stop him. After falling victim to his opponent's feint, Ichirota activates the scroll full of explosive tags lining the Shikubi, causing a powerful explosion. Elsewhere, Kagura attempts to engage Boruto in combat despite the latter's attempts at making him see reason. Kagura ends the episode by informing Boruto that the two had very different experiences growing up.
In a show like this, it's narratively necessary for the good guys to emerge victorious, but it's still surprising to see how quickly Sarada and Iwabe get the jump on their opponents. As the Mizukage, it makes sense that Chojuro is able to take on three of the Swordsmen all by himself, but it's much stranger for two non-genin to take down relatively experienced young adults so quickly. Sarada, for example, is able to use the Sharingan to her full advantage despite having virtually no formal training in this area. Still, the battle does a great job of illustrating Sarada's penchant for quick thinking and her ability to remain calm in seemingly dire situations. Since the perpetually held-back Iwabe is a couple years older than his peers, seeing him stand on even footing with Ichirota makes more sense, but it still feels a little strange.
In light of how action-heavy this week's episode is, it's disappointing that the character movement is fairly stiff and choppy. Fortunately, this only has a minimal impact on the Sarada-centric portion, which revolves more around planning and psychological combat than outright brawling. In its relatively brief life, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations has had its share of impressive battle episodes, and while the latest chapter isn't among the best, it's by no means bad. As an opening act for the main event (i.e., Boruto vs. Kagura), it's perfectly serviceable.
At the end of the day, episode 30 is on the high end of average. While the animation may not be particularly impressive and the new Seven Swordsmen of the Mist grow less menacing by the week, Sarada, Chojuro, and Iwabe all have a few cool moments. With Boruto and Kagura set to take each other on next week, here's hoping the latest arc can deliver a strong finish.
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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