Boruto anime episode 270, titled ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’, was all about providing answers about the mysterious assassin tasked with killing Kae.
The previous episode offered confirmation about Kae never being in any danger from her butler (ex-shinobi) Batora. He put his life on the line to protect Kae from the assassin before Kawaki showed up. I liked how the previous episode left Kawaki with certain suspicions about the assassin’s death and how the situation was being handled in the Land of Bamboo. ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’ continued with that story thread along with exploring Hana’s past.
I think it was obvious to everyone that something was up with Hana. Her overly timid nature just didn’t gel well with her position of being a teacher at the Ninja Academy. The writers were also dropping a bunch of hints, especially when she fell to her knees due to a headache during episode 268. Hana was exhausted and the current episode gave us the reason.
With Hana coming back to teach after her short stay in the infirmary, it’s revealed that she couldn’t properly remember how she found herself under a whole lot of rubble when Kawaki was pursuing the assassin. ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’ had Hana retrace her steps, trying to make sense of things. And while she didn’t realize what had happened to her while walking around the Ninja Academy, the truth hit her hard when she went home. Hana was indeed the assassin but the “how” and the “why” were still missing for her.
I liked the way the writers explained everything. Turns out, there were two Hana, in a psychological sense. The true Hana (let’s call her Hana A) was the shy character we were familiar with. However, there was also another Hana, a ruthless one, hiding deep inside Hana A’s psyche. Let’s call her Hana B.
An orphan, Hana A and a bunch of other kids (around 50 of them) were trained as ninjas by the Minister of the Land of Bamboo. The training process was brutal, with the final test being an all-out battle with the survivors being allowed to graduate. Hana A didn’t want to kill anyone but she also wanted to live. The psychological toll of what she was being forced to do led Hana A to create a different version of herself, the version that was okay with doing things Hana A didn’t want to.
I mean, it’s not the most original backstory, but I think I will let it pass because it gets the job done and explains why Hana A was so confused about what was actually happening at the Ninja Academy. Furthermore, the writers did a good job of explaining why no one ever suspected Hana A because she, as a kid, was placed in the Hidden Leaf Village as a sleeper agent 10 years ago, in the aftermath of the Great Ninja War. With Hana A being able to maintain her cover for a decade, I do wonder how many other sleeper agents are currently present in different villages.
Also, one would assume that Hana B would have abandoned the mission after the Minister was arrested for wanting Kae killed so her younger brother could take her place on the throne. But I guess Hana B’s a very dedicated ninja.
The psychological struggle for control between Hana A and Hana B was portrayed well, down to the changes in body language when Hana B wrestled control away from Hana A. The scene near the end of the episode where Kawaki noticed Hana (not realizing it was Hana B) crush a butterfly and then proceed to throw away the flower petals the students collected for her was nice. With what Kawaki saw, I wonder how long it will take for him to realize that Kae’s in danger from her teacher.
With how things usually play out in the Naruto/Boruto franchise, I won’t be surprised if Hana’s exiled from the Hidden Leaf Village or is provided with the psychological help she needs. I highly doubt Naruto would order her to be punished after listening to her story. That’s not who Naruto is as a character. Not only that, but Hana A did intervene when Hana B was ready to stab Kae. So, I can see Naruto forgiving her.
I expect the inevitable Hana B vs Kawaki confrontation to be fun. Kawaki’s way out of her league in terms of power, but I think Hana B should still be able to make it a bit tough for him when she’s not concerned about maintaining a disguise. I can see her try and land a sneak attack by making Kawaki hesitate by pretending to be Hana A.
What did you think of ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’?
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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