Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×278 Review – “Musical Chairs”

Musical Chairs Boruto Anime episode 278 review
Yatsume tries to stop the ceiling in ‘Musical Chairs’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 278)

Boruto anime episode 278, ‘Musical Chairs’, took the time to explore the motivations of a bunch of characters while Salad and her team continued to look for Boruto.

With only eight people left to face three more of Ouga’s experiments, ‘Musical Chairs’ allowed certain characters to share their idea of hope to help get through what’s to come. Yatsume talked about how she was going to change her hair color the moment she got free. Boruto shared how he wanted to one day become an awesome ninja like his Master Sasuke. Shamo talked about going to meet his grandmother. Apparently, he gave her a very hard time and he wanted to make up for it. And Kiseru wanted to visit the hot springs he used to go to with his grandfather.

The more “layered” motivations came from Batta and Namua. Turns out, Namua had a tattoo on his right arm that Rokuro recognized as a mark that was only given to convicted murderers. We got a flashback of how Namua used to be a person who crossed a lot of lines to get what he desired, including killing and stealing from numerous people. However, as he continued to steal and kill, he experienced some kind of existential crisis which made him think that his death would be next. He couldn’t even sleep because of the paranoia. But then a chance meeting with a priest helped Namua distance himself from worldly desires and devote himself to asceticism.

With Namua having shared his backstory and motivation, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one to be killed next in an upcoming episode.

As for Batta, she revealed that she needed money to buy a private island. It was a very materialistic goal which kind of didn’t gel well with how Batta was experiencing guilt over killing two innocent people during the previous experiment. That’s why I liked how the writers finally revealed Batta’s true intentions and how her backstory involved rich people taking over the island she was born in to make some kind of resort. Rich people not caring about locals and taking over their homes is a real-world problem. Even after resorts are built, local traditions and customs are ignored. Batta wanted to collect lots of money to buy the island back.

Batta also revealed something huge to Boruto near the end of the episode (which I will get to in a bit). And again, similar to Namua, I will be very surprised if she’s able to make it out alive once Ouga’s defeated.

The so-called rich guy, Mr. Fugou, who hired Batta as his protector and was walking around carrying a briefcase was shown to be a liar. Turns out, there wasn’t any money inside his briefcase at all. Instead, he was carrying a picture of his family and what looked like some kind of bottle. Apparently, there’s a payment he had to make to a certain client otherwise his company would be in trouble. I’m looking forward to seeing how Batta will react after she realizes that Fugou’s been lying to her. 

Musical Chairs Boruto anime episode 278 review
Batta uses her Sensory-Type Jutsu to find the floor’s weak spot in ‘Musical Chairs’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 278)

The third experiment was called ‘Pressure’ and it entailed the eight contestants being trapped in an empty cylindrical-type room with the ceiling slowly coming down. They had to figure out a way to escape or else get crushed to death. The reveal of three safe spots made me remember the Saw film series. Ouga wanted the eight contestants to kill each other so only three of them would be able to secure a hiding spot each.

Of course, Boruto had another plan. Using a Water-Style Jutsu to extinguish Kiseru’s flame arrows made Boruto realize that the floor wasn’t very thick as the water found a way to be drained. So, Boruto, Kiseru, and Namua worked together to break the floor while Shamo tried to slow down the ceiling. With Batta also willing to help by using her Sensory-Type Jutsu to pinpoint a weak spot in the floor, I think at this point only Rokuro’s supposed to be an actual villainous character.

With only two more experiments left, let’s see who is able to survive alongside Boruto. Everyone has learned the importance of teamwork due to Boruto, except for Rokuro. And I highly doubt he will turn a new leaf unless the expected outcome favors him in some manner.

Also, Batta telling Boruto about there being another mole in their group did complicate things. That particular reveal linked to Salad and Kawaki finding out from Konoha’s criminal database that Kiseru operated as an Outer Kara member. If you have been keeping up with my reviews, you would know that I side-eyed Kiseru the moment he was able to create a ladder during the first experiment. However, I do feel that there’s still more to Kiseru. I think the writers are trying to mess with the audience. Yes, Kiseru worked as an Outer Kara member. But there’s a possibility that he had changed. Right?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Yatsume or Shamo are revealed to be working for Ouga instead. Yatsume’s motivation of wanting to change her hair color after getting free did come across as weak compared to the hope other characters were holding onto. And Shamo’s wimpiness could be an act. Hmmm.

I did mention in my previous episode’s review how it felt weird not to see Kawaki accompanying Mitsuki and Salad on their mission to search for Boruto. So, it was nice to have Kawaki participate in the mission during ‘Musical Chairs’. Kawaki tagged along with Salad after she found a list of people who were on the Thunder Train that went missing. It was her idea to run those names through the database to see if anything strange came up.

Again, having Salad and Kawaki learn about Kiseru being an Outer Kara member felt way too convenient especially when that scene was linked to Batta revealing the name of the mole to Boruto, a name, mind you, that we didn’t get to hear. She couldn’t have named someone other than Kiseru as far as I can tell.

Also, considering that Naruto’s son went missing with a bunch of other people, you would think that Sai would be on the case ASAP. But then again, the writers did need to give Salad and her crew something to do.

What did you think of ‘Musical Chairs’? Who will die next?

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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