Boruto: Naruto Next Generations “Sasuke’s Shadow” Review
Last week was a big development for the Boruto series. The Chunin Exam arc is right around the corner, though this was quite the bomb to drop on Team 7’s lap so quick.A white zetsu still alive after all these years? There’s some questions raised about this appearance and what it could mean for this age of peace. Regardless, the title of this episode shakes things up when not yet were we prepared to see Sasuke yet. It might be a return, it might not, but his presence is always welcomed for the action alone.
Encountering this White Zetsu was intense from the minute both sides clashed. They were prepared for this thing to have some tricks up its sleeve having multiple elemental chakras, but that didn’t prepare them for the savagery it dished out. Konohomaru had his moment here, which was a long time coming. While he lacks in demonstration of power in combat, he has been impressive when it comes to taking charge as a team leader. His strategy when it counted most took advantage of what everyone is capable of when the mission called for nothing less than teamwork and dynamic. I was only disappointed in the animation of his big finish for the encounter with the white zetsu. When you do a rasengan, you expect a bit more flair and impact than what we got in that moment.
How being overpowered like this weighed on Boruto was a good transition from his earlier confidence going into this mission. Like I have said before, part of the fun for his character is seeing him humbled when the opportunity arises. Once again he was probably the weakest character in this episode when he had to learn things the hard way. Clearly this is going to be a habit which unlike with Naruto isn’t backed up with any true grit or power. A situation like this was great for Mitsuki on the other hand who you would assume knows a lot about the white zetsu and their history. They may be refusing to reveal that his dad is Orochimaru, but it keeps his mystique going strong for the time being. Especially since there has to be someone knowledgeable in the area of sciences to draw that line between fact and assumption.
At the end of the day this story was worth telling to set-up the threats to come. We know where this is all going, though now is the time for these ninja to get the message as well. Everything with Naruto leading up to this point made a difference considering his expeditions of what remained from the last great war didn’t go without warrant. Not to mention they added more context to what Sasuke has been up to out there. If his skills weren’t hyped up before, they surely were now. Now with that said, I don’t think he was that critical to the story of this episode for the title to have his name in it. Even if we weren’t to expect him to appear till the time of the chunin exam, it is still misleading to make it seem like right now he was important to what helped Team 7 take down this mutated white zetsu.
The new opening was a nice touch. This show was due for one since the end of the Hidden Mist arc. Its more fitting for the upcoming Chunin Exam arc as it teases a lot about the characters involved in the story to unfold. The same can be said for the closing theme as well. For those who haven’t seen the movie of course. Both were fitting for the change of atmosphere and tone that the show is soon to take with the world getting a bit more serious.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations “Sasuke’s Shadow” added so much needed anticipation for what comes next. Boruto is slowly pushed towards the idea that he needs to rely on ninja tools instead of his own skills, theories are stronger that a dangerous foe is around the corner, and the return of Sasuke was hyped up properly despite his name in the title being unnecessary. They accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.