Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 92 of
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ?
After 21 episodes, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations' longest story arc to date comes to a close. In the wake of last week's big battle, the genin are sent back to the Hidden Leaf as the Hidden Stone mourns the loss of its Third Tsuchikage. The media covers up the incident by characterizing it as a rebellion by dissidents in the Stone's current administration. The body of the unnamed scientist who assisted the Fabrications is never recovered, and Orochimaru is left to wonder how his technology fell into someone else's hands.
Even though Boruto and the gang's insubordination helped avert a worst-case scenario, the members of Team 7 have their genin status revoked and Mitsuki is grilled about his involvement in the Fabrications' scheme. As Boruto reflects on the fact that there are many sides to a person's will, he bids farewell to Garaga and realizes that he and Mitsuki now share an even stronger connection that they did before. Following a visit from Akatsuchi and Kurotsuchi, who insists that she'll gladly allow Boruto and company to become Hidden Stone shinobi, Naruto decides to reinstate Team 7's genin status, paving the way for his son's continued adventures.
Though most of the story beats are fairly predictable and Team 7 never seems to be in danger of losing their genin status for good, episode 92 is a solid denouement to this massive arc. Boruto and Sarada are reunited with their worried families, Mitsuki is ultimately vindicated and found to have acted in the Leaf's best interest, and Garaga learns that some friendships can withstand the ultimate test. It's a shame Garaga doesn't actually stick around, though, as his departure slightly lessens the importance of Boruto forming his first summoning contract. (True, Garaga's lack of presence in the companion manga may have served as an indicator of this development.) Boruto finding his Heart Stone as he weeps for Ohnoki and Mitsuki holding a symbolic funeral for the Fabrications are both emotionally affecting moments that do justice to the arc's central theme: there are many different sides to every person, and no one is definitively good or evil.
At the end of the day, Mitsuki emerges as the latest arc's MVP—which is fitting, as he's arguably its most important character. Throughout the past few installments, the character has displayed some genuine growth by empathizing with the Fabrications' plight and placing pictures of all of his friends—not just Boruto—by his bedside. While the events of this arc are unlikely to prompt immediate changes in Mitsuki's overall demeanor, his actions this week illustrate that he's come a long way since we first met him.
Despite a lot of meandering in its first half, Boruto's latest arc is able to conclude in a satisfying fashion. Sure, letting the gang off with a slap on the wrist is likely to result in more rule-breaking down the line, but this time around, they were simply following in their parents' footsteps and adhering to Kakashi's old mantra: “Shinobi who break the rules are scum, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum.”
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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