Boruto: Naruto Next Generations “The Other Side of the Moon” Review
Even still this week, everyone throws the label around that this Mitsuki focused arc is filler, but I struggle to see it that way. Of course there are bigger things to jump into after the events of the Otsutsuki invasion, but this is the first story since then that has actually held some importance. We are talking about a main character who now is being fully explored. No more vagueness, holding back, or distance that you would have found troubling between Mitsuki and everyone else.
Honestly, I find this whole rescue mission for Mitsuki to be nostalgic. From the minute that Boruto and Sarada took their leave to find him, instantly memories of the chase of Sasuke came to mind. That was of course more action-packed, but the familiarity in reason was all the same. They want to find their friend, they want to bring him home, they want to understand everything about him which they didn’t before. Up to this point I still struggled with the way I felt about Boruto. Sometimes he can be a genuine kid, and other times he can be obnoxious and annoying. This fortunately was one of those times where he was the latter. He accepted the fact that he didn’t know everything about Mitsuki that he was so arrogantly confident about before, he accepted the truth and looked from a different angle, and he stuck true to the things he knew to be true above anything else. This was also an important moment for Sarada as well. This whole act of rebellion on their part was out of character for her, but it is a testament to her growth that she is standing by a comrade when facts of a situation speak against him.
Running into Orochimaru was a treat. You honestly never know what goes through this guy’s head, but this is the first episode where there was no denying that he is a changed man. He has had touching moments with Mitsuki before, but that didn’t tell all. This interaction with Boruto and Sarada did. Everything about the way he approached giving them answers was commendable. I was impressed because for the type of person he is, he is very wise about letting people realize their own path. He tells you only what you think you need to hear, but lets you figure out everything else on your own. For Boruto and Sarada, that meant figuring out how much Mitsuki truly meant to them when faced with the truth of where he grew up, how he was created, and the choices he was left to make for himself.
Seeing Karin and Suigetsu again was also fun. One would think they would have moved on by now to do their own thing, but to see them still assisting Orochimaru and able to do so happily was refreshing. You look at them, and there was the look of two people who were actually free to do what they want without loyalty to a village.
Getting back to the grown-ups in the village. The conversation they had was interesting because of the split perspective of the situation. On one hand you had the circle that they were going in because some could do nothing but criticize, and then on the other hand you have those who were able to remember the reason why they were there in the first place. This is the first time where decisions made by Naruto have come into question, but it was also an important time to address the mindset of those who have truly progressed with the times, and those who are still trapped in a world before the Great War. Nonetheless, it was nice to see Tsunadae back into a role of relevance, even if only to show that she hasn’t died off during the gap in time between Naruto Shippuden and Boruto.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations “The Other Side of the Moon” was a good reaffirmation of the relationship of Team 7. This will probably be the biggest test for their durability, for now, but it will be worth it in the longrun considering their dynamic will only improve by the way that this ends.