Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 66 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The small-screen adaptation of Boruto's feature film debut comes to a satisfying end this week. With Momoshiki defeated and Urashiki unaccounted for, life gradually returns to normal in the Hidden Leaf. Naruto is once again buried under a mountain of paperwork, Sasuke is preparing to head out on another journey, and the areas leveled by the invaders are steadily being rebuilt.
In light of the Otsutsukis' attack, the Chunin exams were officially canceled, meaning none of the examinees were able to advance to the next level. Although Boruto is able to make peace with Shikadai (who never seemed all that angry at him anyway), Shinki doesn't accept his apology quite as readily and expresses interest in a future rematch. Mitsuki has a rare check-in with Orochimaru and is lightly scolded for almost using Sage Jutsu in front of a large audience. However, his parent still encourages him to come home more often. With things finally calmed down, Naruto and Hinata surprise their children with a dual birthday party to make up for the ones Naruto missed. In the end, Boruto reiterates his desire to forge his own path, one independent of his father and grandfather. After the credits, Urashiki is seen brooding in front of the wreckage of the Divine Tree his brethren attempted to cultivate. Reasoning that Boruto may pose a threat to the Otsutsukis in the future, he decides to launch a preemptive strike.
In light of the plethora of game-changing events that occurred throughout this arc, it makes sense to devote an entire installment to the aftermath. As far as tying up loose ends goes, episode 66 certainly delivers. In addition to showing Boruto make amends with his peers for the shinobi gauntlet incident, this latest installment sets up a number of potentially interesting plot threads for future stories, such as Shinki's desire to fight Boruto, Boruto's vow to support Sarada's efforts at becoming Hokage, and Urashiki's resolve to go on the offensive. Strangely, in this version, Mitsuki doesn't reveal his parentage to his friends, so their discovery of his origins is likely to prove more narratively significant down the road. Everyone readily forgiving Boruto for his misconduct during the exams feels a touch unrealistic, but at the end of the day, this speaks to the strength of the friendships he's forged throughout the series.
While there's nothing amazing about this epilogue, the arc wouldn't feel complete without it. Both Boruto and Sarada make progress in their relationships with their fathers, Gaara and Shinki have a heart-to-heart (or whatever passes for one with them), and Boruto has more or less decided on a path for the future. Furthermore, with Urashiki currently plotting his revenge, the show now has a clearly defined master villain. Then again, the parent series changed its Big Bad several times, so it's entirely possible that Urashiki is only occupying this role temporarily.
As a full-circle conclusion to the show's longest arc yet, episode 66 may not have the oomph of more recent installments, but it's a necessary part of the story nonetheless. Even though the show looks to be transitioning back to side-stories for the foreseeable future, if this latest arc is any indication of what we can expect moving forward, we have a lot to look forward to.
Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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