Boruto anime episode 276, ‘Welcome to the Maze’, offered an exciting start to the Squid Game-inspired arc. A bunch of people died and I’m looking forward to seeing just how far Boruto will go to save those around him.
‘Welcome to the Maze’ opened with Boruto waking up in a white room with a bunch of bunk beds and interacting with the other prisoners to figure out what happened. You could tell which characters would play an actual role in the story due to how they were animated, especially if you noticed the details featured in their outfits.
I liked how Boruto ended up meeting another ninja from Konoha named Kiseru Gankubi who recognized the Hokage’s son and also knew Konohamaru. Boruto also befriended a young ninja named Shamo. Due to how things went during the first test, Shamo’s definitely a liability and he caused Boruto to make a very risky move. Here’s to hoping that Shamo doesn’t get too distracted by a particular woman he’s crushing hard on and steps up to the plate down the line.
A girl ninja named Yatsume also seemed to have a friendly nature. She prevented Boruto and Shamo from dying as our lead tried to grab the ladder (that Kiseru somehow managed to make. I’m side-eying Kiseru for that very convenient assistance). A big guy named Namua also seemed sensible. While I’m okay with Boruto, Shamo, Yatsume, Namua, and Kiseru becoming a team, I highly doubt all of Boruto’s new friends will make it out alive at the end.
There was also an old ninja named Anaguma who was in charge of keeping a convict named Rokuro restrained. With how such stories usually go, it was obvious Rokuro wasn’t going to have his arms sealed for long. The scene where Rokuro asked a woman named Kakesu to free his arms while Anaguma yelled for her not to do so was handled well.
Rokuro’s definitely going to cause trouble because he’s clearly going to focus on self-preservation, even if meant letting others die or killing them himself. The same can be said about a girl who was a for-hire ninja. The episode didn’t share her name. I was a bit surprised that she agreed to help the guy with the briefcase after he hired her instead of simply letting him fall to his death and taking his briefcase.
As for who put everyone in such a dangerous game, we got introduced to a weird-looking puppet named Ouga. He lied about how there was an explosion that caused the Thunder Train to get derailed and the people currently present in the room were the only ones who survived the crash. According to Ouga the people in front of him likely possessed a subconscious ability to survive. He was interested in proving his hypothesis and studying what separated life and death.
The test subjects were forced to go through 5 challenges, with the first one in ‘Welcome to the Maze’ being named Collapse. The writers and animators did a good job of amping up the tension as the platform everyone was standing on started to crumble and Boruto and the rest had to figure out a way to get to safety. A number of deaths occurred and the death toll is only going to get higher as the arc continues because according to Ouga, the challenges will only get tougher from here on out.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I went through the promo for the current arc. But if the rest of the episodes are like ‘Welcome to the Maze’, this could end up being one of the most enjoyable non-manga arcs in Boruto.
What did you think of ‘Welcome to the Maze’?
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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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