Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 42 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
After returning home from its first official mission, Team 7 is tasked with a comparatively lower-key assignment in Boruto's latest adventure. In fact, episode 42 is arguably the show's lowest-stakes installment to date. Although it's all but stated that this is simply the precursor to a larger arc, this week's outing is dull when taken on its own, so anyone hoping for an action-heavy episode is liable to be disappointed. Fortunately, a number of amusing jokes and a mildly interesting guest character save it from being a total bust.
Unsatisfied with going on dull D-rank missions, Boruto is desperate for action. Not only does he want excitement—he craves the recognition and admiration that come with being a hero. When Team 7 is dispatched to help foil a bank robbery, Boruto believes his ship has finally come in. However, when the gang arrives on the scene, they learn that the bank has already been safely evacuated and its only remaining occupant is Haguruma, a comically incompetent would-be robber armed with homemade explosives. Hoping to talk the man down, Boruto enters the bank and hears him out. As it turns out, Haguruma is a former video game designer who racked up a substantial amount of debt after being unjustly fired from his job. Upon learning that Boruto is a die-hard fan of the games he created, Haguruma is overjoyed to discover that his efforts truly meant something to someone and agrees to give himself up quietly. Reasoning that he never posed a serious threat to anyone but himself, the police decide to go easy on the guy, and at Boruto's urging, Denki agrees to find him a job at the Kaminarimon Company. Satisfied that he was able to help Haguruma, Boruto learns that there's value in a job with no glory. The episode ends with police officer Kotaro Fuuma informing Konohamaru that Haguruma was actively encouraged to rob the bank by a mysterious figure who approached him as he was about to throw himself in front of a train.
Although Konohamaru acknowledges that the team's first mission was an anomaly, it's strange to follow up the previous arc with such a low-stakes episode. While expecting our heroes to face off against substantial threats in every story is unrealistic, episode 42 feels a little too down to earth, even if it's ultimately one piece of a larger puzzle. To be fair, the episode's core message seems to be that not every mission is going to be an action extravaganza, and it's interesting to learn that Naruto's gift for talking enemies into submission has been passed down to his son.
Boruto's desire for flashier jobs that result in adulation is clearly setting the boy up to learn to seek more meaningful rewards from doing his job. It's hardly subtle, but this is a show aimed at kids, and subtlety isn't exactly this franchise's strong suit. At the same time, seeing Boruto learn to keep his ego in check is starting to get tiresome. Bluster is a big part of the character's personality, but it's now reached a point where his behavior runs counter to lessons he's learned in previous stories.
While this is among the show's least eventful episodes yet, Boruto learns that lower-key missions can change lives too. (Though given his track record, he'll probably forget this in short order.) With the Byakuya Gang, Team 7's newest foes, set to make their entrance next week, a more exciting episode is likely on the horizon.
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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