Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 90 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
The Fabrications' numbers continue to thin as Boruto and company keep fighting their way through the endgame. After a gravely injured Ku flees the scene of last week's battle, Boruto and Sarada continue their interrupted fight against Kirara while Mitsuki takes on Sekiei. When Kirara combines her remaining Akuta to create an enormous golem-like monstrosity, Boruto summons the long-absent Garaga to finish the beast off. Likewise, Sarada takes down Kirara through a combination of cunning and raw skill. Meanwhile, Mitsuki is able to nullify Sekiei's Earth Style attacks with his Lighting Style jutsu. Although Mitsuki assures his fallen opponent that Orochimaru will be able to create a heart for him, Sekiei realizes that his body won't hold out for that long. As he crumbles before Mitsuki's eyes, Sekiei opines that he wishes he had what Mitsuki has: a special person to protect. Their respective opponents defeated, the members of Team 7 rendezvous outside of Fabrication HQ to take down Ku and put an end to this nightmare. However, having just extracted the heart of the unnamed scientist and implanted it in himself, the leader of the Fabrications is now more powerful than ever before.
Like the past few installments, episode 90 contains a fair amount of action. However, instead of the runtime being dominated by a single battle, this episode features two important fights in their entirety. Since this series isn't burdened by the pacing constraints involved with airing alongside a concurrently-running parent manga, neither fight is drawn out, and both are fast-paced and to-the-point. (Yes, there is a Boruto manga, but it's a very different animal from its companion anime.) Although blending CG with traditional animation doesn't always result in an attractive-looking finished product, the Garaga vs. Golem Monster sequence manages to pull off its visuals fairly well. It's still pretty obvious when the combatants are rendered in CG, but the animators seem to have made a genuine effort to make these models blend in with their 2D surroundings as organically as possible. As Kirara was the only Fabrication general the writers made no attempt at making sympathetic, it's fitting that her death knell is the shortest yet.
In the case of Mitsuki and Sekiei, there's a significant emotional component to their battle. This sequence may not be as flashy as the giant monster fight, but it packs more of a punch because of all the focus this arc has placed on these two artificial humans exploring their burgeoning friendship. Taciturn Mitsuki seems genuinely impacted by Sekiei's death, even though he never intended to betray the Hidden Leaf and support the Fabrications. The moment where the boys attempt to pound fists, only for Sekiei's fist to crumble to dust before making contact with Mitsuki's, is arguably this arc's most impactful exchange. Saddened, Mitsuki leaves his fist hanging for several long seconds before moving on. In the end, finding someone like him has helped the once-emotionless Mitsuki begin growing as a person. While Mitsuki having no intention of betraying his best friend doesn't come as much of a surprise, his loyalty resulted in the betrayal of another friend—Sekiei.
With two Fabrication generals dispatched in a single episode, this arc appears to be picking up the pace before heading into its well-earned climax. However, now that he's received a significant power boost and is understandably enraged by the loss of his comrades, it's unlikely that Ku will go down without a fight.
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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