Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 65 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Boruto and company pull out all the stops to defeat the super-powered Momoshiki in a final battle of epic proportions. After effortlessly taking down the Five Kage, Momoshiki sets his sights on the Uzumakis and Sasuke. Through the combined efforts of Naruto and Sasuke, Momoshiki is nearly defeated, but thanks to some timely interference from Katasuke (who apparently followed the rescue team through the dimensional gate unnoticed), the villain regains enough chakra to continue his assault. However, with Sasuke's Chidori and a super-sized Rasengan crafted by Boruto and his father, Momoshiki is completely destroyed. Before fading away, Momoshiki warns Boruto that he can see his destiny and that his blue eyes will eventually take everything from him. He also informs his opponent that “those who defeat gods cannot return to being ordinary individuals,” but instead of being intimidated, Boruto proudly accepts his fate as the son of Naruto Uzumaki.
The fast-paced, fluidly animated action is the highlight of this episode, and even if a chunk of the material is lifted directly from the film version, it's one of the series' best battle episodes to date. In previous installments, the general aesthetics made it pretty clear which scenes were taken from the movie and which were original material, but it's a little harder to make that distinction this time around, as the TV visuals are on par with the film's. If not for the fact that a fair portion of the action is technically preexisting footage (with the addition of Momoshiki's new character design), episode 65 would merit a comparison to the Naruto vs. Sasuke fights from the parent series.
Even with all the frenetic action, the episode finds room for just the right amount of schmaltz. Boruto and Naruto combining their Rasengans into a massive ball of energy is arguably this arc's most emotionally resonant moment. Not only is it a visually arresting display, it's also symbolic of Naruto and Boruto setting aside their differences and working toward a common goal. At various points throughout the episode, the Uzumakis find themselves in awe of each other's combat proficiency, and by the end, it feels as if Boruto has a newfound respect for his old man. The seeds for this development were planted in the last installment, but this episode marks the true resolution to all of the misunderstandings and mistakes that almost drove them apart irrevocably. Whether these two will continue to get along remains to be seen, but it would certainly make sense for the events of this arc to have a lasting impact on their relationship.
In light of Urashiki's absence this week, it stands to reason that they're saving him for future stories. Given the time spent building him up as a threat, it's disappointing that he didn't factor into the final battle. Also, using the Otsuotsukis as antagonists so often kind of diminishes their mystique and makes them seem like less substantial a threat. Lack of Urashiki aside, episode 65 is an action-packed rollercoaster ride that's likely to entertain fans across the board. Even if you've seen the movie multiple times, the small-screen version of this fight is not to be missed.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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