English Dub Review: Boruto “A Ninja’s Job”

 

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

After the thrilling(?) fight last time, Boruto has become dissatisfied with how menial his team’s missions have been lately, worried that he’s not doing anything that will get any attention. His prayers are answered when a bankrobber/suicide bomber holds himself up in a bank!…but he’s such a failure at holding the place down that everyone’s left and he has no idea how to get into the safe. So, Boruto ends up going inside to act as a negotiator and hostage to help the man, a former game programmer named Haguruma, figure a way out of this mess. Haguruma explains that while he was happy with the hard work he had at his last job, his boss was running their entire staff ragged. But when they tried to stand up for themselves, he was framed for selling secrets and got fired, which put an end to the complaining.

Soon, Haguruma found himself at the end of his rope and rob this bank and planned to kill himself because no one ever acknowledged his hard work. But to his surprise, the last game he worked on is one that Boruto just picked up today, meaning he is a sign that someone is paying attention to everything he did! And so, Boruto learns a valuable lesson that jobs don’t need glory to be important! Also, Haguruma effectively gets to go free AND he gets a job at Denki’s dad’s company, which I’m sure will not do any sort of background checks whatsoever! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…

Meanwhile, it’s revealed that someone else gave Haguruma the idea to rob the bank, and a mysterious group sneaks around the village…

OUR TAKE

Wow, was the two-parter just so exhausting that the animation staff had to come up with a breather to get their wind back? Because this episode felt like the definition of spinning your wheels. Boruto doesn’t feel like he’s learned anything and is reverting to the most bratty aspects of himself, constantly looking for attention and praise and even intending to bug his dad for better missions. I wouldn’t mind this so much if not for a couple things. One being that they seem to be really eager to ape how bratty Naruto himself could get early on in his time as Genin, only he at least had an endearing reason for wanting positive attention, mainly because he had been (and was still being) abused and harassed for things he couldn’t control and wanted to fix that. Boruto hasn’t had to deal with anything close to that.

The second is that this sort of selfishness would be a bit more tolerable if it were coming from a supporting character like Chocho or Iwabe, but not the TITLE CHARACTER. Having your name in the title kind of implies that your arc is the most important. You’re allowed to be a brat at times, but this just feels flat and uninspired as a motivation, which is probably why it’s resolved so fast and hopefully we don’t have to deal with that anymore. When we’re nearly through the first year of the show, Boruto should have a clear idea that he’s in a profession where his life is on the line, and therefore give him reason to get his act together. We even had Kakashi give him that very lesson, which I guess has been mentally tossed out the window!

But wait, we’re living in much more peaceful times apparently, so ninja don’t get into as many fights anymore, right? Well then WHY DOES THIS SHOW EXIST?! We’re all just waiting on the next major conflict to happen so let’s just get to it already! We’re almost a year into the show and we have no stakes or tension. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS? WHY SHOULD WE CARE WHAT HAPPENS? For all its flaws, at least the Avatar sequel, Legend of Korra, knew to jump ahead far enough that things would have advanced to the point where a new sort of conflict would arise, not banking on references and older versions of characters who are shells of their former selves. We’ve had Naruto’s story, we’ve seen bits of Minato’s, and I’m thoroughly fed up with Boruto’s, so give us…I don’t know, VERUTO’S story and see if you can’t come up with something exciting out of that.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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