Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 50 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
This week, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations marks yet another box on the long-running shonen anime checklist: the unnecessary clip show. With the Chunin exams right around the corner, Konohamaru, Udon, Moegi, and Shino get together to decide which students will be permitted to participate. This framing device paves the way for recaps of earlier episodes, as well as basic rundowns of the show's major characters. Although Konohamaru is initially hesitant to allow Boruto to take the exams, he eventually relents after some nudging from his peers and a Boruto-love-fest with Boruto's aunt, Hanabi.
While the framing device is believable enough and helps add some humor to the proceedings, the interactions between various instructors aren't as entertaining as some fans may expect. There are some stand-out moments toward the end when the gang is drinking at a local pub, but for the most part, the teachers' sole purpose is to set up clips and remind the audience of things they've already seen. To be fair, now that the show has been around for about a year, this seems like an appropriate time for a refresher, but none of the story arcs have been long or complex enough so far to warrant a clip show at this juncture. They haven't had the same impact as some of the parent series' stories one year in.
Furthermore, the flashbacks and character descriptions are so condensed that people who aren't already familiar with the series are liable to walk away confused. If one of the episode's aims had been to bring new viewers up to speed, it certainly fails in this regard. Even viewers who actually want a refresher course on the show's earlier episodes will likely be disappointed, since the recaps provided by Konohamaru and company barely scratch the surface of what transpired in these stories.
Clip shows are basically unavoidable when it comes to series like this, and this is far from the worst example of one. Even so, this is absolutely skippable for all but the most hardened Boruto fanatic, although it is kind of fun to see the adult versions of Konohamaru, Udon, and Moegi interact with one another—and to see poor Shino get some more screen time. Unless your memories of the show's characters and stories are exceptionally hazy, you probably won't get much out of episode 50.
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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