English Dub Review: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations “The Night of Shooting Stars”

Ninja fishing isn’t as much fun as it sounds like it would be.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Boruto is enjoying a lunch by himself when his friends roll around to shoot the shit and enjoy their day. On the TV they see a personality who lost a bunch of weight and became a television cooking star. His dish this day is the “Eternal” carp which Mitsuki recognizes as a rare fish. Excited, Boruto convinces everyone to go look for this particular fish with him on a camping trip.

Boruto grabs all the supplies for the fishing, while the girls go and grab the ingredients for the curry they’ll make once they catch the carp. Sarada has a conversation with her mom about the power of friendship, and the next day everyone is off to the campsite.

At camp, everyone gets settled in, and Boruto immediately hits the lake to try and catch the carp. The Eternal Carp beats him, however, by breaking Boruto’s line. Boruto vows not to give out on his quest, but everyone is getting pretty hungry and isn’t interested in waiting for Boruto to find the fish.

Later that night, everyone revels in how much fun they’re having camping together. Boruto isn’t having it, however, as he wants to keep on finding this fish before the trip is over. Sarada and Sumire keep Boruto company on this mission, and Sumire confesses how much she’s changed because of Boruto. When Boruto catches a line, Sumire uses Nue, her summoned creature to try and help Boruto, which makes his line unbreakable. Shikadai joins in as well to try and help Boruto with the line, while Mitsuki does the same, electrocuting the river to weaken the fish.

With their combined efforts, Boruto and his friends are able to catch the Eternal Carp and enjoy dining on the fish. Everyone enjoys their night together, contemplating just what great friends they’ve become. Elsewhere, a strange, white-skinned man contemplated Boruto and his attempts to defy fate.

Our Take:

Even for Boruto, this episode was a groaner. I already don’t expect much from this show, considering that it has the emotional maturity of a 12 year old, but even then, this episode still has managed to disappoint me. This isn’t the kind of thing I’d expect to  see from a popular anime. Rather, I’d expect this level of storytelling from a Disney channel cartoon or some other such thing, where making a good story isn’t as important as setting up a hackneyed moral about the importance of friendship.

Oh yes, this is bad. It’s as bad as the day is long, both because it tries to do so little in making an entertaining episode of anime, and because what little ambition it does have is completely wasted on it’s shoddy storytelling. This is the sort of episode that, if it appeared in the original “Naruto”, would be decried as a ridiculous filler episode, not even a little bit worth watching. I simply do not care about Boruto and friends trying to catch a fish. Not even a little bit. There is no tension in this plot, no drama, no pathos, not the least bit of anything that feels like it has relevancy. Instead of any other plot that we could be watching involving the youth of Konoha, we’re watching them go on a fishing trip. A boring, milquetoast, white bread, fishing trip, where nothing of value is gained.

Shoehorning a moral about “The power of friendship” simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to the quality of storytelling I expect from the successor to one of the most popular anime of all time. It’s almost insulting how weak this plot is and how little it does to try and be even a little bit entertaining. There’s so little to critique here because there’s so little that even matters. This episode is supposed to be some kind of checkpoint for the bond of each of the young ninjas that have bonded with Boruto, but it ends up feeling more like an undeserved pat on the back. I don’t know if anyone is convinced by this nonsense, but if I was a fan of this show, I’d be disappointed that it made such a lame episode. There’s nothing worth seeing here, and if you’re interested in the long term plot of Boruto, then you can easily skip this episode without anything being missed.

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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