This arc of Boruto, both in the anime and the manga, is one of my favorites. And within this arc, the portion of the story adapted in Boruto episode 215 is some of the series’ strongest thematic material. While much of Boruto tackles notions of generational strength and fatherhood, one theme constant throughout Naruto was always lacking. In both parts of Naruto, the Will of Fire and everything similar to it was constantly on the screen. Naruto and others consistently gained massive boosts in power to protect those around them. Moreover, the relatively even distribution of screen time across more people lets this effect show in a variety of forms. For the first time in Boruto, I felt the emotional appeal of multiple generations of ninja.
Kashin Koji represents Jiraiya, echoing the toad sage’s final fight against Pain. Truly, the style, dialogue, and candor of that battle even matches the story of Jiraiya’s book The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi. Fans of the original series will remember this is the book where Naruto’s name originated. Moreover, it’s a textual manifestation of the stubborn tenacity by which Ninja overcome adversity and summon strength beyond their limits.
I’ve been waiting quite some time to feel this energy in Boruto. Many of the power-ups and bursts of action feel very unearned, especially when connected to Karma. Triumphant moments like Sarada’s use of Chidori came close, but Boruto episode 215 did much better. I’ll be going over the parts of the episode I found most interesting. Additionally, I’ll touch on a few slight changes the anime made to the manga storyline. For the most part, these changes were welcome in my opinion.
Preparing for Isshiki’s Arrival
The episode begins with Isshiki and Kashin Koji, the latter having just been curb-stomped by the former even when coming in with preparation. Koji manages to use the reverse-summoning technique to escape, and Isshiki ridicules him before moving to the Leaf village. The moments between this transition and Naruto’s intercepting of Isshiki are where the anime adds original context, so I want to focus there.
The change the anime made was interesting. For those who don’t follow the manga, that version of Isshiki’s arrival went something like this: Isshiki arrives while Naruto and company are discussing whether Boruto should fight at all. Naruto immediately leaves to confront Isshiki, and Boruto and Sasuke discuss Boruto’s resolve to die in battle. Then, Amada and Kawaki are escorted to safety by Sai. Before Naruto arrives, Isshiki easily takes out some nameless Leaf ninja.
The anime version stretched and changed this. The Leaf is much more proactive and evacuates early. Rather than nameless ninja, known Leaf jonin from the series stall for time against Isshiki. Of course, they all get one shot, but it’s a rather nice moment for the show. Boruto as an anime has started to follow Naruto, Sasuke, Boruto, and Kawaki almost exclusively. I would’ve appreciated the other characters having a real fight rather than getting off-screened, but it’s something. The last key change was strange. Naruto has to unseal an area for Kawaki’s hiding and Sai implies only he can do it. That implies either that seal is something beyond kage level or is personalized to Naruto’s chakra. Personally, I imagine this is going to be a detail that turns into a filler arc, but I don’t have conclusive thoughts on it yet.
Confronting the Enemy
Boruto episode 215 also made some slight changes to the order of dialogue. In this version, we got to see the majority of the conversation between Boruto and Sasuke prior to the fight against Isshiki. It gives more context to Boruto’s actions and makes him seem a bit more resolved and confident than scared. The music and tone of voice add plenty of weight to this scene and I’m pretty happy with how it came across. The expression of Boruto’s face was much better; dark shadows and eyeliners conveyed emotions closer to reluctant strength rather than naïveté and obstinance. It’s the same sort of emotion conveyed when Koji walked into certain death or when Naruto told Boruto not to worry about him fighting an enemy who trounced him while in a weaker form.
Obviously, there wasn’t too much action in this episode. Like those prior, we’re sitting at about a chapter and a half per episode pace. The bigger fights are still yet to come and the brief action sequences before them haven’t had much extra detail thrown in. Based on the episode previews, information released in Shonen Jump, and the progression of the story, the next two episodes are not ones you’ll want to miss.
Check out last week’s review here!
Boruto Episode 211 Images courtesy of VRV
BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS © 2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2017 BORUTO. All Rights Reserved.