Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 64 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Our heroes kick off the final battle against Momoshiki and Kinshiki this week, as Boruto and his father finally find some common ground. Before Momoshiki can finish extracting Naruto's chakra, Boruto, Sasuke, and the Kage arrive on the scene, free the Seventh, and engage the Otsutsukis in battle. Now that Naruto has had time to reflect on his son's situation, he's come to empathize with him and understand his constant desire for recognition. While the Uzumakis reconcile, the others are able to subdue Kinshiki. Per Boruto's warning, they abstain from using jutsu while battling these otherworldly foes, as this would result in their techniques being replicated and used against them. Just as Boruto and his old man throw their hats in the ring, Kinshiki transforms himself into a piece of chakra fruit that Momoshiki subsequently consumes, causing him to transform into an intimidating fusion of himself and his companion.
Since the previous installment was essentially an episode-length lead-in to this battle, it would be reasonable to expect episode 64 to be a non-stop action extravaganza, but that isn't the case. While the episode does feature a couple of well-choreographed fight sequences, the overall pacing is more in line with what one might expect from the parent series. In fact, the first half of the episode is largely composed of flashbacks to the Nue arc and standard-grade villain proselytizing, and the action doesn't really begin to ramp up until the latter half. The small-screen adaptation of this storyline has certainly provided certain characters and plot elements with more breathing room, but in this instance, the TV pacing takes some wind of the narrative's sails. While this is par for the course in many long-running shonen series, Boruto has typically elected to avoid such fluff, presumably as a result of not being strictly beholden to a concurrently running manga. Then again, with the addition of Urashiki, who may serve as this arc's new final boss, this whole fight may simply be an appetizer before the main course.
If there's one advantage to Naruto spending half the episode incapacitated, it's that he finally has time to reflect on his relationship with Boruto and consider the reasons his son decided to cheat on the exam. Likewise, Boruto is finally able to cut his dad some slack after seeing the sacrifice he made for the village and being confronted with the very real possibility of losing his father for good. At present, it's too early to say how much, if at all, this story will affect their dynamic long-term, but seeing these two get along is always a refreshing change of pace.
Although the current arc is in the process of wrapping up, the Otsutsukis aren't about to go down without a fight. Considering how much effort it took to defeat Kaguya and Toneri, it stands to reason that their brethren are going to present a considerable challenge for the Leaf's finest. However, with the Uzumaki men united, the newly-merged Momoshiki and Kinshiki (Momoki? Kimomo?) are going to have their work cut out for them.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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