Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 35 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The road to graduation rolls on as Shino's students sit down for parent-teacher conferences and conduct exit interviews. With the final exams slated to begin in the next week, episode 35 serves as the calm before the storm, giving our heroes one last breather before things start to heat up. Even though Boruto has yet to officially graduate, the latest installment feels like a turning point for the character. Although he's content with having fun and enjoying his carefree life, he's starting to recognize that change is creeping up on him as his time at the Academy comes to a close.
After finishing up his parent-teacher conference (at which Naruto is predictably absent), Boruto is approached by Kakashi in his Sukea guise and asked to assist the “reporter” in interviewing students preparing to take their graduation exams. Through interviews with various supporting characters, we learn that a number of Boruto's classmates aren't planning on becoming shinobi after graduation, opting instead to attend normal middle schools and pursue less dangerous lines of work. Although Boruto assumed that all his peers would become ninja, Sukea reveals that prolonged peace has lessened the demand for seasoned warriors. Further complicating matters is Boruto's failure to decide on a specific path, especially when most of his classmates have specific career goals in mind. Boruto ultimately decides that there's no reason to plot out his entire life at this point in time, though Sukea warns him that putting off this decision for too long will result in trouble down the road. Meanwhile, Mitsuki decides to remain in the Leaf after graduation because Boruto is too interesting to leave behind. The episode closes on a conversation between Kakashi and Iruka, where it's revealed that the Sixth will be supervising the upcoming exams—which he has no intention of making easy.
The fact that graduation is already upon us continues to be a distraction, although this episode gets points for making an effort to shed some light on the issue. Based on Sukea's interviews and exposition, it can be inferred that the shinobi curriculum is merely one option open to children who attend the Academy. (The series' premiere alluded to this as well, but it's stated more explicitly here.) Still, it's strange that Boruto's class is deemed ready to take Kakashi's ominous sounding exam after only a year or so of ninja training. Judging from the preview, it looks like a Chunin-level test is in store for students who only have a fraction of the previous generation's education.
Initial confusion over the Leaf's new education system aside, people with ninja training choosing to pursue other lines of work is an interesting way to illustrate just how much Kishimoto's world has changed since the end of the Fourth Shinobi World War. In addition to the impressive technological advancement and rapid expansion, this Leaf is a starkly different place than the one Naruto and company grew up in. However, as Kakashi hints at the end of the episode, growing accustomed to peace can lead to complacency. In light of Kakashi's warning and the events of the field trip arc, the theme of peaceful contemporary life leading to unpreparedness against significant threats will likely reemerge in a big way.
There's no action to speak of this week, but that's not terribly uncommon in Boruto's one-off episodes. Parent-teacher conferences and exit interviews are suitable hooks for an episode that's all about moving forward, and it was fun to check in with Kakashi and Orochimaru again. With graduation exams set to begin next week, the relaxed tone of the past few installments may not last much longer.
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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