Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 82 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
Boruto and the gang come one step closer to uncovering Ku's master plan in this week's surprisingly easygoing installment. With Inojin laying low in a nearby cave with Chibi Akuta (who now goes by the name “Akkun”), the others make their way into the Hidden Stone. After learning Ohnoki's address from an elderly restaurateur who happens to be a die-hard Tsuchikage fanboy, the kids are greeted at the door by Akatsuchi, who informs them of Kurotsuchi's disappearance (which is being kept secret from the public) and brings them to see his grandfather. While initially warm and receptive to his guests, Ohnoki's tone quickly changes when Boruto briefs him on the situation with Mitsuki, and he orders Akatsuchi to escort them back to the Leaf. When Boruto demands an explanation, the group is suddenly surrounded by several full-sized Akuta as Ku approaches Ohnoki, removes his mask, addresses him as “my dear father,” and informs him that “the test subject is ready.” Meanwhile, in the Leaf, Konohamaru insists on being sent to the Hidden Stone, since the Mitsuki incident now involves his entire team.
Like the previous installment, episode 82 unfolds at a very leisurely pace, with nothing of any real consequence occurring until the episode's final moments. As Inojin hangs out with Akkun and continues to develop a rapport with the little creature, the rest of our heroes casually wander around the Hidden Stone, enjoy a nice meal, and reach their intended destination without any notable hassle. While this doesn't make for a particularly riveting episode, it's not exactly boring, either—and these characters are fun enough that simply watching them hang out and shoot the breeze can often prove entertaining. Nonetheless, regardless of whether or not this was intentional, the laidback nature of the episode helps make the shocker ending all the more effective.
That said, certain portions of the episode feel padded, and some of the jokes fall short of their marks. For example, the scene in which Cho-Cho's rumbling stomach draws the attention of a large crowd who finds these sounds endlessly amusing goes on far too long and is more puzzling than outright funny. Similarly, the other jokes about Cho-Cho's voracious appetite essentially amount to rehashes of previous gags. The gang sweet-talking the Ohnoki-obsessed restaurant proprietor had the potential to be much funnier, but the bit is quickly run into the ground. Of course, this isn't to say that every one of the episode's attempts at levity falls flat. The restaurateur's collection of Ohnoki swag produces some genuinely amusing sight gags, and Inojin's back-and-forths with Akkun continue to be a highlight of the current arc.
While far from dull, this week's Boruto is largely uneventful until the final few moments. A fair portion of the jokes and comic timing leave a lot to be desired, and Mitsuki, the story's most important player, is once again notably absent. Still, if the twist ending is any indication, episode 82 may ultimately prove to be the calm before the storm.
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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