Boruto anime Episode 224, titled ‘The Legend of the Monster Cat’, showed Iwabe and Wasabi battle it out during the final round of the Chunin Exams. However, I feel that what transpired between those two can’t really be deemed an actual battle.
While Episode 223 showed Inojin and Houki doing their best to win against each other, ‘The Legend of the Monster Cat’ focused more on exploring Wasabi and Iwabe as characters. Iwabe is all about becoming the Hokage one day. That’s why he wanted to win his upcoming battle and be promoted to the Chunin level. In contrast, Wasabi was into being an amazing ninja and not necessarily interested in becoming the next Hokage candidate.
I do think that the writers did a good job of showcasing the pressure Wasabi was under. The entire Izuno Clan was hoping for her success because she’s the only one from the clan to progress at such a rapid pace. Apparently, there were a bunch of Chunin in the Izuno Clan. However, those ninjas didn’t get promoted to the Chunin level until they were adults. Not only that, the clan didn’t have a single Jonin level ninja. That’s why Wasabi making it to the final round of the Chunin Exams at such a young age impressed the entire clan.
The Izuno Clan wanted her to become the Hokage down the line and Wasabi didn’t want to be seen as a major disappointment, especially in front of her parents and grandmother who walked into the locker room to cheer for Wasabi before the match.
I found myself feeling sorry for Wasabi. I think many of us can relate to what she’s going through. A majority of people have experienced the pressure stemming from certain expectations imposed upon them by family members. Wasabi didn’t want to become a Hokage. But she didn’t have it in her to be truthful about her goals to her family and the rest of the clan. The pressure she’s under even made her drop to her knees in the locker room as her teammates Namida and Tsubaki tried to console her. Turns out, Namida’s clan was similar to the Izuno Clan, but unlike Wasabi, she wasn’t under the same pressure to succeed.
I liked how Iwabe called Wasabi out during their match. He didn’t appreciate Wasabi not being her usual high-energy self. He wanted her to give him a good fight. And while they both exchanged a couple of blows, the episode decided to make the action take a back seat by having Wasabi and Iwabe get into a verbal spat.
Iwabe wasn’t ready to let Wasabi take his dream of becoming a Hokage away from him even though Wasabi tried to assure him that her goals were different. Iwabe refusing to believe Wasabi, because her family was cheering her on to become the Hokage, made me laugh. He really thought she was trying to deliberately mislead him when it came to what she wanted to achieve as a ninja.
I appreciated Wasabi being realistic about the Hokage situation. Even though Iwabe wanted to become the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, the chances of him securing such a position were basically nonexistent. With how events unfolded in the Naruto franchise and how they likely will progress in Boruto, Wasabi made several points. Wasabi and Iwabe weren’t from well-known clans or genetically gifted (like Boruto and Salad) to even be dreaming about becoming the next Hokage. That’s why, according to Wasabi, it was better to focus on becoming a capable ninja instead of wasting time aiming for something that’s unachievable.
It’s also during their argument that we got to learn a bit more about the Izuno Clan’s legend about a powerful cat (hence the title of this episode). The Izuno Clan had a secret jutsu that could call forth the strength of a giant cat to protect the user. No one in the clan had ever managed to summon the cat and Wasabi suspected her grandmother made the whole thing up.
In my opinion, the primary theme in ‘The Legend of the Monster Cat’ was how one should always continue dreaming even if some dreams were unattainable. Iwabe wasn’t a fan of Wasabi’s attitude and how she was telling him not to aim high as a ninja. To Iwabe’s annoyance, Wasabi even refused to use the scroll her grandmother gave her to summon the legendary cat because she wasn’t confident enough in her skills to accomplish such a feat.
Iwabe’s stubborn nature (dreams were important to him, okay!) led him to exhaust a whole lot of chakra to create a giant cat statue to motivate Wasabi. Frankly, I have no idea what the writers were trying to accomplish by having Iwabe create such a statue. I think the writers could have done a better job of making Wasabi feel motivated enough to use her grandmother’s scroll during her fight with Iwabe.
Having said that, I’m glad she was able to unleash the power of the legendary cat to protect an exhausted Iwabe when the statue’s head fell toward him. It was time for Wasabi to gain a powerup and this episode gave one to her. Fingers crossed we get to see her use the Monster Cat Beckoning Jutsu during an actual battle. I want to see how large the legendary cat’s cloak could become and what type of stat boosts it gave Wasabi. Also, for how long can she keep such a mode activated?
I liked how the cat-like chakra enveloping Wasabi resembled the maneki-neko. Regardless of her not wanting to become the Hokage, I guess Wasabi’s destined to bring good luck to her clan.
Now, I do have mixed feelings about Wasabi winning the match because Iwabe was too exhausted to keep going. On one hand, I’m glad she made her clan proud, on the other hand, I don’t think Wasabi’s skilled enough to be deemed a Chunin. Yes, she got a major power boost, but brute power has never been shown to be the sole reason for someone to become a Chunin in the Naruto/Boruto franchise. I guess, Wasabi rushing to save Iwabe’s life played a role? Hmmm.
I still think the rule about how the winner of each battle will be promoted to Chunin makes no sense. In the past, even if a ninja failed to win a fight, they could be promoted to the Chunin level if they showed the necessary skills. Also, even winning didn’t guarantee a promotion if the necessary skills weren’t demonstrated by the winner during their battle.
The next match will be between Salad and Chocho. I’m very excited to see what happens!
As for Mitsuki and Boruto, they were still tailing the mysterious group that kidnapped Amado and took him away from the village. It’s clear that Boruto and Mitsuki won’t make it back to the Chunin Exams in time and will be disqualified. Also, I’m still side-eyeing their little side mission. Something doesn’t feel right. How can an important person like Amado be kidnapped from the village without a single alarm going off? Are Boruto and Mitsuki being tested by someone?
Shinki and his teammates arriving at the Hidden Leaf Village to watch the final round of the Chunin Exams was a welcome sight. Turns out, Shinki and his team had been promoted to Chunin a while ago. With Shinki noticing Kawaki, I hope the two get to interact soon.
What did you think of ‘The Legend of the Monster Cat’?
Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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