Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×261 Review – “Kawaki Enters the Ninja Academy”

Boruto episode 261 review
Kawaki bluntly asks Kae to be his friend in ‘Kawaki Enters the Ninja Academy’ (Screengrab: Boruto anime episode 261)

Boruto anime episode 261, titled ‘Kawaki Enters the Ninja Academy’, served as a promising debut for a new multi-episode arc that seems ready to give Kawaki more character development.

The premise of the current arc was basically Kawaki being sent to the Ninja Academy in the Hidden Leaf Village because of his mission to protect a foreign exchange student named Kae Yukiwari. Turns out, Kae’s no ordinary student. She’s a princess from the Land of Bamboo. Due to being the next in line to wear the crown, her life’s in danger from mysterious assassins hired by someone who wants to take her place.

I liked the comedic moments featured in this episode. Of course, Kawaki didn’t know how to introduce himself to the rest of his classmates. It also didn’t help that he’s older than the kids by a bunch of years and he’s also bored with needing to go through low-level training sessions. Kawaki being so forward about wanting to be Kae’s friend was definitely a highlight for me. The way he told Eiki that he was “hitting on” Kae because Kawaki didn’t know the actual meaning of such a term made me laugh.

Even though Kawaki’s trying to get to know Kae as part of his mission, it is obvious that he will begin to see her as an actual friend in the upcoming episodes. That will play into him wanting to rescue her when she inevitably gets kidnapped or finds herself in danger. As Naruto mentioned in his speech at the beginning of the episode, being a student at the Ninja Academy is more than just getting to learn how to fight. It’s also about forming strong bonds with others.

I appreciated the writers giving Kae some layers instead of simply having her be a character Kawaki’s supposed to protect. Kae clearly felt pressured due to always needing to maintain a prim and proper façade in front of the media and the general public. Kae’s trying to savor the time she’s got while staying in Konoha before needing to return to fulfilling her royal duties. It was nice to see her show a bit of her actual personality in front of Kawaki.

As for Kawaki’s dynamic with Eiki, I hope ‘Kawaki Enters the Ninja Academy’ ends up being the last time we have to see Eiki trying to mess with Kawaki to impress Kae. I have my fingers crossed that Eiki learned his lesson after stealing and using a Summoning Scroll in order to attack Kawaki near the end of the episode. But then again, he did get knocked out and didn’t get to see the summoned animal being one-shotted by Kawaki. So, I guess Eiki won’t change yet? Hmmm.

The episode also showed Himawari‘s observant nature. She figured out something was up with Kawaki when he continued to act strange in class, especially around Kae. I liked how she suggested that Kawaki buy a romance novel as a gift for Kae because she liked reading such books. Himawari also took matters into her own hands and decided to eavesdrop on Kawaki and Naruto to learn that Kawaki had been given a mission to protect Kae.

I’m looking forward to seeing if Himawari will keep things to herself or if she will let Kawaki know about what she heard and express her interest in working together.

What did you think of ‘Kawaki Enters the Ninja Academy’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

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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