Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 87 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The first of the five Fabrications is removed from the equation in this week's action-packed Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Having located Ohnoki and Boruto, Kakou proceeds to engage the latter in battle after his master orders that the boy be apprehended. As things begin to heat up, Boruto is joined by Cho-Cho and Sarada, who provide invaluable assistance. With his life-force growing weaker by the second, Kakou's body gives out just as he's about to deal the finishing blow to Boruto, resulting in his death. Unfortunately, our heroes don't have much time to celebrate before Kirara, who's successfully captured Inojin and Akatsuchi, arrives on the scene and apprehends the rest of the gang.
Meanwhile, the recently-escaped Shikadai infiltrates the Akuta-infested palace and places a call to his father. Fully briefed on the situation, Shikamaru and Naruto resolve to reach out to the other Hidden Villages and the feudal lords of their respective countries and obtain their approval to intervene in the Hidden Stone's current emergency.
Episode 87 is notable for being one of this arc's most action-heavy installments to date. In light of how much time passes between big battles in this series, it's easy to forget that Boruto's parent franchise was largely known for its intricate fights and action set pieces (and in the case of its anime adaptation, copious amounts of filler). Fortunately, the latest installment manages to meet all the criteria of a solid battle episode. Not only does it feature consistently on-point visuals and fluid animation, it also gives each combatant multiple opportunities to show off their signature moves. Interestingly, in the end, it isn't Boruto's skill or ninjutsu prowess that saves him from certain doom—it's Kakou's fragile body giving out at the last possible second. Even though the boy has gone toe-to-toe with members of the Otsutsuki Clan and has proven to be a much faster learner than his old man, it's clear that his skills could still use some fine-tuning.
Given his role in the story, just the right amount of emotion is injected into Kakou's death. He didn't receive enough character development or individual focus to warrant a prolonged death knell, nor was he insignificant enough to warrant an unremarked-upon death. Like all of the Fabrications, there were traces of humanity in him, and the screenwriters were smart to make the audience feel a little bad about his passing without treating said passing with undue importance. Notably, Ohnoki, who recently insisted that the Fabrications possessed no will of their own, shows traces of second-guessing himself in light of Kakou's fate.
With Naruto, Shikamaru, Tsunade, and Kakashi now involved, the ensuing political intrigue may prove engrossing. The feudal lords are mentioned so infrequently that it's easy to forget that each of the Hidden Villages serves a much larger parent country. On the other hand, the adults' involvement adds yet another layer to an arc that currently spans almost four months. Still, if we can get a few more fights like the one that encompassed most of this week's episode, it might be okay if this story spins its wheels for a little while longer.
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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