Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 55

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 55 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

The countdown to the Chunin exams continues as both the heroes and villains gear up for the battle ahead. Still frustrated by his lack of progress while training under Sasuke, Boruto continues to cut corners with the help of Katasuke's invention. As the other teams train for the upcoming exams, the Otsutsukis begin putting their plan into motion. After being briefed on the Tailed Beasts by Urashiki, Momoshiki and Kinshiki set to work collecting the two remaining Jinchuriki, starting with Killer Bee. Once the group takes possession of Bee and Gyuki, they set their sights on their next targets: Naruto and Kurama.

Thus far, the additions made to the feature film's storyline have helped add depth without making things feel padded or protracted. Since the TV series is presenting this tale as a long-form arc instead of a 90-minute movie, the general pacing is much slower, but the story has yet to suffer as a result. In fact, if the scenes taken directly from the film didn't present such a noticeable aesthetic contrast to the TV-quality visuals, it would be easy to forget the current arc originated as a movie. As was the case with previous installments, episode 55 is able to aptly build tension, provide each character with a clearly defined role, and conclude on a thematically appropriate and unobtrusive moment. In effect, they've managed to add small climaxes to each installment, providing enough excitement to keep viewers who are intimately familiar with the film version to keep tuning in.

Urashiki continues to make a welcome addition to the main cast. On their own, Momoshiki and Kinshiki were fairly stoic and uninteresting, so pairing them with a cohort who's jovial and upbeat makes for a good balance. In addition to adding some levity to the dynamic, Urashiki's fun-loving personality helps set him apart from the other Otsutsuskis who have appeared throughout the series. Instead of being robotic in appearance and demeanor, he cuts loose at every opportunity and appears to be having fun with the task at hand. Seeing how his presence affects the story's climax (if at all) should prove interesting in the weeks ahead.

With the exams set to commence next week, the small screen version of Boruto: Naruto the Movie is heading into a more action-driven part of the story. Interestingly, the preview primarily features footage from the movie, but seeing as the various phases of the exams accounted for a reasonably small portion of the film, it's a safe bet that the TV series will fill in plenty of gaps. Adapting a self-contained movie into a longer format while simultaneously incorporating it into the broader mythology of an ongoing TV series is no mean feat, particularly when portions of the film are spliced with new footage that looks noticeably different. Fortunately, despite the odds being stacked against it, Boruto has managed to make this tricky process look easy week after week.

Rating: B+

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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