This week’s episode of Boruto follows the period between the second and final section of the re-started Chunin exams. Last week, the genin rescued mock injured ninja and battled current chunin. Only those who both succeeded in rescuing an “injured” person and returned to the entrance of the stage passed. The sole exception to this was Boruto, who demonstrated strong character by rescuing multiple people but running over time. The final stage, meant to divide the possible promotion recipients in half, is a series of one-on-one battles. Boruto episode 222 follows the genin as they train and prepare for those fights.
In general, I found this episode underwhelming. In previous chunin exams, this in-between period was dedicated to visuals of training. This time, the overwhelming majority of the content was simply dialogue. The ninja discussed plans, received advice, and reminisced. The only actual training we caught wind of was either a tease or very basic.
Because of that, Boruto episode 222 primarily caused me to wonder about how certain members of the cast will fare next week. Characters like Denki lack strong combat skills and rely on tools and science. Others, like Tsubaki, are relatively underused in the anime and likely have some tricks up their sleeves. I didn’t feel as though this episode did more than last week’s to introduce them and served moreso as a placeholder in time.
Training and Development
All of the current Genin’s training was basic and/or offscreen. Ideally, this means that there will be some new tricks and attacks revealed at the exams that we just didn’t see yet. This has happened in the past; when Sasuke vanished with Kakashi during the original series, he returned with massively increased skills. If the current genin managed to undergo similar training and learn something new, it could be the case that the episode didn’t want to ruin any surprises. This is clearly the case for Denki, who created a scientific ninja tool capable of easily beating Metal Lee, but whose tool we didn’t see any detailed shots of.
Despite that, we did get a good bit of dialogue between Sasuke and Sarada that I want to zero in on. Unlike the manga, the anime gives us plenty of chances to observe Naruto and Sasuke in their weakened states. It’s incredible to hear any thoughts from Sasuke on how he feels about the loss of his Rinnegan. I would have appreciated him perhaps giving Sarada some training with the Chidori. But, he does note that she is more talented than he was at his age.
This is important because Sasuke, as I said earlier, was a beast by this point in the chunin exams. If Sarada is truly at that level, she’ll be amazing in next week’s episodes. As for the rest of the ninja, I don’t expect too much from them. Hopefully, I’ll be surprised.
Combat to Come
From the episode preview, the fight between Inojin and Hoki looks promising. Boruto episode 222 did establish that Inojin has improved the success rate of the mind transfer jutsu. But, given Chocho managed to resist it, I have a feeling he’s going to have a hard time using that jutsu on Hoki. Hoki, if I had to guess, is going to have abilities vaguely connected to the Japanese story “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.” Hoki’s last name is the same bamboo cutter as the characters of that story. Like other connections to mythology in the Naruto series, he’s likely to have unique abilities with connections to old stories. Given the preview at the end of Boruto episode 222, those powers are probably some reference to creating rock formations similar to Mt. Fuji.
For the rest of the fights, it remains to be seen exactly how detailed each one is. Should each fight be its own episode, we’re in for great action for several weeks. If I had to guess though, I think this arc will continue to rush its pace and pump out quick fights. Hopefully, I’m proven wrong.
Boruto episode 223 images courtesy of VRV
BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS © 2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2017 BORUTO. All Rights Reserved.