English Dub Review: Boruto “The Figure I Want to Be”

 

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Shikadai and Boruto chase Ryogi and Gekko onto the train. While the two former friends hesitate to fight, Gekko’s mind control of Ryogi forces him. He uses an Ice Style technique to make Boruto see illusions that make him lash out, but Shikadai stops him with his Shadow Paralysis Jutsu. After that, they split up as Boruto corners Gekko and Shikadai confronts Ryogi, whose mind control starts to make him think his parents’ murder is right in front of him. He’s sort of right, as Gekko confesses to being the one who truly killed his parents, then taking Ryogi under his wing. Shikadai eventually stops him, with Gekko being stopped by Naruto.

In the aftermath, Shikadai tells Ryogi that he can’t understand his hardships, but things will work out. Gekko is imprisoned along with Ryogi, the Ninjutsu tech is returned, and we never talk about anything that happened in the last few episodes ever again.

OUR TAKE

And so the Byakuya Gang Arc concludes with a light thud, likely being about as disposable as it initially seemed. Aside from Shikadai learning to maybe be more proactive and less passive, as well as the rather transparent set up for the movie adaptation arc, I don’t expect any of this to have any noticeable impact on the ongoing story going forward. Ryogi’s going to rot in jail for the foreseeable future, big businesses in the Leaf Village now have a blank check to make all of their workers into wage slaves, and Shikadai is probably still going to be the laid back and indecisive one of his group because he is basically just a clone of his father at that age. No serious talk about gradually dividing social groups or dwindling income inequality, it’s just “bad guys are bad and good guys working for them are just being abused and controlled”.

I’ve made my opinions very clear about the failure to properly execute that, so let’s talk about Ryogi since we’re likely not going to get another chance. I admit I did like that one of the other kids got to have their own pal to bond with, however short their time together was, and how Shogi acts as a metaphor for their respective character developments, much like it was for Shikamaru back in the old show. Ryogi’s ice powers also do have a lot of versatility, as ice powers tend to have, making fights have a lot of different ways to happen wherever there’s moisture or temperature at play. I guess I just wish that they had more in common with his personality or situation or even as a proper match against Shikadai. Sure, ice is cool in a lot of ways (haha) and can make for some neat looking fights, but it seems like that was the priority before having thematic symmetry.

Would I want Ryogi to come back at a later time? Maybe, but hopefully with some more distinct techniques to use or some better lines for Johnny Yong Bosch to do his best with. But as he was written here, he might just be better off stuck in that cell. At the very least, he’ll have three square meals and a roof over his head. And hopefully this world isn’t so close to ours that the Leaf has privatized prisons. Anyway, next time, MORE FILLER!

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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