The Hidden Mist Village is looking pretty good these days.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
It’s field trip time for Boruto and his classmates. At the behest of the Hokage, Naruto, Boruto’s class is to be sent to the Hidden Mist Village in a sort of cultural exchange with one of Konoha’s allies. Before they depart, however, Boruto gets pushed into being the “student leader” of the trip by Sarada. Boruto protests, but it’s a moot point, he’s gonna be responsible for his classmates like it or not. Everyone is excited to go, except for Iwabe, who has suspicions about the Mist Village, being acquainted with it’s violent and bloody past.
The class leaves the village and heads out to the Hidden Mist Village on *Sigh* a ninja cruise liner. The ocean is sparkling and beautiful, and the kids of Konoha are in awe at their exciting new adventure. Boruto gets some gruff from Sarada and the other girls of his class for not respecting the Hokage, and later in the evening, he spends some time with Mitsuki trying to learn some of his techniques.
The next morning, the ship arrives at the Hidden Mist Village, a shimmering metropolis in the middle of the ocean. Everyone is amazed at how beautiful the village is. It doesn’t look a thing like the horrible nightmare it was said to be in the past. To guide them through the village, a mist ninja named Kagura Karatachi meets the kids. However, despite his kind gaze, Iwabe wanders off into a side alley, and Boruto chases after him. Iwabe has suspicions that the city they’re seeing is just a front and not the real Hidden Mist Village.
In the dark and foreboding alleyway, Boruto and Iwabe get ambushed by a couple of thugs. Boruto jumps into action to help his friend and impresses one of them, Shizuna, enough to get the other to lay off. Shizuna seems to recognize Boruto, however, and gives him the warning to be careful in the “Blood Mist Village”, potentially confirming Iwabe’s fears.
There’s still a lot of flak surrounding this series that prevents me from getting too enthused with it, but this week’s episode has a lot more going for it than some of the other ridiculous and annoying episodes of Boruto that I’ve become used to watching this show. This is a humble start to the next arc, focusing more on establishing character conflicts and themes for the episodes to come, which is alright. It doesn’t make this episode particularly intense or interesting, but it sets up a few ideas that can pay off well in the future. I enjoy the idea of the Hidden Mist Village struggling with its old reputation, but how well that idea is executed remains to be seen at this point.
The two main conflicts introduced in this episode are Boruto’s potential as a leader of his team and Iwabe’s suspicions of the Hidden Mist Village. Boruto’s rejection of leadership stems from his misplaced anger towards his old man, which, as he been discussed before, is still poorly established and kind of a waste. However, Iwabe seems to have something else going on in relation to the Hidden Mist Village that interests me. Not revealing Iwabe’s “secret” here is a wise move, it gives us a little mystery to hold onto as we keep on going.
The real problem with this episode, though, is that it drags like nothing else. There is an enormous amount of obvious padding in the episode that just fills things out without doing much to entertain. If you’re not interested in the back and forth between Boruto and his classmates, like me, then there isn’t much to enjoy here. A little bit of action at the end of does spice things up, but there’s so much faffing about with children that it gets lost in the mix.
Too much of this episode feels like a field trip story in some “Disney Channel” cartoon about high school. I expect a little from Boruto, as I have since the beginning of the series because it’s got such a legacy to live up to. Since it hasn’t even established the major themes of the series yet, there isn’t much to compel to what the show wants to do, if it has any long-term goals in the first place. There’s stuff that works here, but it’s still not anything I would watch in a non-critical capacity.