Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Episode 73

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 73 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?

The mystery surrounding Mitsuki's disappearance grows even more complex as Boruto and Sarada seek answers from their teammate's elusive parent. Upon arriving at Orochimaru's research lab, Boruto is shocked to find two other Mitsuki clones in different stages of development. Despite being bothered by Orochimaru's seeming lack of concern over Mitsuki's disappearance, Boruto tasks him with running some tests on the messenger snake his wayward teammate left behind. When the tests fail to generate any helpful results, Orochimaru suggests having a figure known as the White Snake Sage extract and analyze the snake's thoughts. The next phase of their mission clear, Boruto and Sarada head to Ryuchi Cave (the Sage's home) but are quickly intercepted by Team Moegi, who are intent on bringing them back to the village.

With only minimal progress made on the story front, this week's episode is largely able to get by on its entertaining character interactions. For example, this is the first time Boruto and Orochimaru have met, and although their dynamic is about what you'd expect, it's fascinating nonetheless, with the brash youth having no patience for Orochimaru's enigmatic riddles and poetic turns of phrases. Even though Boruto doesn't appear to think much of Orochimaru, it's clear that his father's former nemesis sees a lot of promise in the lad and thinks he can help Mitsuki mature into a more rounded person. Since the gang is visiting Orochimaru's lab, it's kind of a shame to see Karin and Suigetsu relegated to brief cameos. Sure, Sarada's already met them, but it would've been fun to see them engage in some extended interactions with Boruto. Also a highlight this episode is Naruto's exchange with Konohamaru, which is surprisingly poignant, and it marks one of the few times a character from the previous generation has taken issue with Orochimaru's past misdeeds. While Naruto obviously had his reasons, Konohamaru's frustration at not being told that one of his pupils is the son of his grandfather's killer is palpable.

Boruto and Sarada's determination to bring Mitsuki back into the fold is somewhat reminiscent of Naruto and Sakura's attempts to bring Sasuke back to the Hidden Leaf. Like his old man, Boruto is willing to go up against his peers if it means locating his best friend. Orochimaru even states that Boruto is just like the Naruto of old. While it's highly likely that Boruto and Sarada will eventually convince Team Moegi to aid them in their quest, the prospect of a Team 7/Ino-Shika-Cho face-off is certainly exciting.

Although Boruto and Sarada only come a little closer to tracking down Mitsuki this week, they learn a great deal about their friend's pre-Hidden Leaf life. Despite criticizing Orochimaru's parenting skills, Boruto has a brief about-face when he discovers that he doesn't know nearly as much about his best friend as he likes to think. It's frustrating to see our heroes impeded by obstacle after obstacle—they now have to fight their own friends in order to continue on their journey—but this is hopefully in service of making the forthcoming payoffs feel even more rewarding.

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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