English Dub Review: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations “The New Seven Ninja Swordsmen”

It’s time for a revolution.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Kagura has just been admitted in the new organization of the “Seven Ninja Swordsmen”, after being convinced by his former teacher Shizuma that doing so would be for the best of the village. The swordsmen proceed to break into the vault containing the different swords of the Ninja Swordsmen and wield them against the puppets installed as a defense in the vault. Shizuma explains that the swordsmen will be enacting a revolution on the village, one that is worthy of the bloody lineage Kagura has flowing through his veins.

Meanwhile, Chojuro realizes what’s happened and issues a gag order on what’s going on at the advice of Mei, the former Mizukage. Boruto and Sarada also approach Chojuro and insist on helping the situation, even though they’re just a couple of kiddos. Boruto and Sarada then figure themselves out a plan so they can escape from the confines of their field trip group, allowing them to make their move. Mitsuki, who is also interested in what’s going on, explains to Suigetsu that he shouldn’t get involved with this situation, at the behest of Orochimaru.

The Seven Swordsmen make their move, which is to desecrate the Memorial Stone that serves as a reminder of the village’s bloody past. However, they’re met by Boruto, Sarada and Chojuro, who isn’t about to let them get what they want. The battle begins and Shizuma defends his troops with a barrier, which allows one of his minions to destroy the earth beneath them and plunge Sarada into a cavern beneath the ground. The battle continues with no end in sight, as Chojuro fights for the future of his village.

Our Take”

We’re through the looking glass now, and the Boruto “Ninja Swordsmen” arc is in full swing. Kagura, who has been one of the more interesting characters added to the show in some time, is lost to the wiles of the Ninja Swordsmen, who promise him a better future in exchange for his support in joining them. Yet, despite every effort of this episode to make for an actual dramatic plot, there’s far too much that hamstrings this episode, from its lacking characters to its frustrating cast that has sought to undermine anything this show has tried to create since the beginning.

There’s something deeply concerning about seeing these seven no-name ninjas wielding swords with such history and significance. Fans of the series will no doubt recognize Zabuza’s sword, which carries a personal significance for anyone who’s watched this series from the beginning. Perhaps this isn’t so objective, but seeing some mook carry it feels just…wrong. It’s an unfortunate failure of this series that highlights a larger problem with this show, it’s an inability to establish characters that feel legitimate and real. I had been quite fond of Kagura since the last few episodes, but I can’t really abide this show being so careless with the swords of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen. Though they were a group that never got much development in the original series, if this show can’t properly get it’s business together and make characters that I care about and am interested in, then having the “Seven Ninja Swordsmen” be such pointless and uninteresting mooks is just an insult to those who loved the original series.

But still, despite that particular gripe I have with the episode, the biggest one here is that Boruto won’t stop rearing his ugly head. Since the beginning, the heir to Konoha has proven himself to be an annoying Mary Sue, incapable of creating an empathetic bond between the audience and his character. All he seems to do is highlight the difficulties this show has had, and remind us that this show does not have nearly the same pathos that the original series once had. If one enjoys Boruto’s shenanigans, then they might find this episode palatable, but I think it gets in the way of an otherwise serviceable plot of politics and revolution within the Mist Village.

There are some aspects to this episode that are enjoyable, but for the most part, it’s a failure. A show simply cannot escape the failing foundation that it has been built upon, and unfortunately, Boruto is the worst part of the show that shares his namesake. It’s alright in the sense that it’s functional and not insulting, but not an episode I’ll be remembering any time soon.

Erich Hau

Erich is a northern California based writer on the front lines of the nerd frontier. When he's not burning the midnight oil he enjoys musicals, smooth jazz, and a good cup of dark roast. Cream and sugar not included.

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