Boruto anime episode 282, titled ‘Sasuke Story: Infiltration’, served as the debut of the highly-anticipated anime adaptation of Sasuke Retsuden. Not only that, but the current arc also adapted content from Kakashi Retsuden. I’m here for it!
I have to say that watching the Sasuke Retsuden anime was a very different experience for me. This is the first time I’m watching an anime adaptation where the anime episodes are so close to what’s currently happening in the manga. Usually, the anime storyline is years behind the ongoing manga’s timeline or the manga has already concluded.
A major thing I liked about ‘Sasuke Story: Infiltration’ was that the anime writers did a lot to differentiate the novel, manga, and the anime series. Yes, the story was basically the same, but there were enough creative decisions being made in the manga and the anime to ensure fans got something different from each iteration.
Unlike the novel and the manga, the debut episode had the Sasuke Retsuden storyline be told via flashback as Sasuke traveled the land in search of Code. I liked how the flashback was brought about by Sasuke remembering his time in the Land of Redaku after he heard two women being excited over wedding rings in a pub. Sasuke learned about the concept behind wedding rings years ago when he arrived at the Tatar Observatory to help find a cure for Naruto’s Chakra illness.
Not only that, but I was very surprised to see that Kakashi Retsuden was also being adapted. As someone who enjoyed reading the Kakashi Retsuden novel, I hope the entire thing gets adapted and we get to see the major confrontation between Kakashi and an army of ninjas.
‘Sasuke Story: Infiltration’ showed that there were two leads related to the cure. Kakashi was sent to the Land of Redaku to see if there was anything the Sage of Six Paths left behind during his time in the royal capital. However, he soon found himself in a political situation.
Turns out, the Prime Minister more or less took control of the land after the King’s death. And currently, Kakashi was posing as a tutor to young Prince Nanara, who left the palace to live in the Nagare Village. It would take Kakashi time to gain the type of access he required to read the private documents being passed down the royal bloodline. Also, the inhabitants of the land were experiencing a dreadful famine. So, there’s tension due to that, too.
Even though he only had a few minutes of screen time, I felt sorry for Prince Nanara. The poor boy wasn’t taught to read or write. He didn’t know what he could do to help his people and especially his sister Princess Minari. The Prime Minister had also locked the library. It’s quite obvious that the Prime Minister wasn’t a good person. He was ready for war, wanting to take someone else’s resourceful land as a solution to the famine impacting the Land of Redaku.
There’s a lot of politics involved in the Kakashi Retsuden novel, and I have my fingers crossed that the anime adaptation does the story justice as it tries to simultaneously go over the events that occurred in Kakashi Retsuden and Sasuke Retsuden.
Due to Kakashi needing more time, of course, Sasuke wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing while Naruto was in pain. It was in character for Sasuke to head out ASAP after he learned about Naruto’s illness upon his return to Konoha. Naruto tried to stop him. But Sasuke wasn’t having any of it. With Kakashi snooping around the royal family, Sasuke decided to check out the other lead that was related to the Tatar Observatory established by Janmaru Tatar.
‘Sasuke Story: Infiltration’ set the stage. It had Sasuke meet his new cellmates. The men included Jiji (who got a minimum sentence of six months after being caught stealing food), Penzila (who got a minimum sentence of one year due to marriage fraud to pay off gambling debts), and Ganno (who was going to stay in prison for 17 years for treason). Sasuke interacted with them as you would expect him to. He wasn’t going to befriend his cellmates, but he was going to look out for them (to a reasonable limit) if they got into trouble.
Sasuke also let the other prisoners know that even though he was new, he was definitely at the top of the food chain. The scene where he easily handled a bunch of troublemakers that tried to bully him in the cafeteria was animated well. Even the guards hesitated to confront Sasuke after he threw them an intimidating look.
We also got the first fight between Meno the velociraptor and Sasuke. I get that certain fans roll their eyes at Sasuke not being able to defeat a raptor. But I think they should take context into consideration. Sasuke could obliterate the entire Tatar Observatory and everyone in it if he wanted to. But he can’t risk blowing his cover. At least, not yet. He needed to stay inside the establishment as long as possible to find any clue pointing to a cure for Naruto’s illness. And that included not killing Meno, unless completely necessary.
While I liked some of the creative decisions the anime took to differentiate itself from what occurred in the manga, I do feel that the reveal of Zanzul having glass eyes that were immune to Sasuke’s OP Sharingan was done a lot better in the manga. There was just something about the motionless nature of the panel depicting Zanzul’s creepy eyes and the look of surprise and concern on Sasuke’s face.
With Sasuke getting ready to sneak out from his cell again in the next episode, I can’t wait for him to realize that Sakura was already inside the Tatar Observatory, too. Here’s to hoping a particular scene showcasing Sakaura’s perfect Chakra Control gets justice in the anime series because I felt the manga retelling lacking.
The powerful husband and wife duo will need to get their Sherlock on to crack a bunch of riddles to not only find a cure for Naruto but to also get to the bottom of what’s really happening inside the Tatar Observatory and how it’s connected to what Kakashi’s witnessing during his time around the royal family.
I’m so excited!
We also got new opening and ending songs, ‘Shukumen’ by Asian Kung-Fu Generations and ‘See You Again’ by Humbledders. They were okay, in my opinion. The animation during the opening did make me laugh, though. I liked how it showcased Boruto’s peers during an action sequence. But it was bittersweet because the fandom knows that characters like Denki, Iwabe, and more don’t exist in the manga and won’t be featured in any fights (as of yet).
What did you think of ‘Sasuke Story: Infiltration’?
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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