Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×284 Review – “Sasuke’s Story: The Secret In The Cellar”

Secret In The Cellar - Boruto Anime Episode 284 Review
Sakura as Fandal meeting Zanzul in ‘Sasuke’s Story: The Secret In The Cellar’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 284)

Boruto anime episode 284, titled ‘Sasuke’s Story: The Secret In The Cellar’, featured a whole lot of unexpected scenes. With how the story’s being told, I think the anime adaptation of Sasuke Retsuden will be over before the manga version.

‘Sasuke’s Story: The Secret In The Cellar’ opened up by replaying the closing scene from the previous episode, which had a mysterious person eavesdropping on Sakura and Sasuke as they tried to learn more about the mystery surrounding the Ultra Particles. The fact that Sakura and Sasuke were unable to sense someone overhearing their conversation made no sense to me. Maybe the person was able to hide his Chakra signature from them? Hmmm. I guess we can chalk that up to plot convenience.

Due to their next course of action being breaking into the secret cellar under Zanzul’s office, I liked the plan the husband and wife duo came up with. Sakura was going to disguise herself as the messenger who was making his way to Tatar Observatory to deliver a message (from the Prime Minister) to Zanzul. However, before I talk about how the plan went, let’s go over the scene that happened inside Sasuke’s prison cell the night before.

That particular scene showed that Jiji had figured out Meno’s patrol schedule. He explained away his method by stating how his fiancé was into horseback riding and he learned a lot about animals from her. Not only that, but Jiji had also noticed Meno spending time under the almond tree. The raptor didn’t eat the almonds. So, Jiji speculated that it probably liked the almond tree’s scent.

Seeing Jiji borrow Ganno’s almond tree twig to call Meno close enough to the prison cell to pat it did a lot to showcase that Meno, while being a dangerous dinosaur, was still an animal with certain emotions. Meno wasn’t going to harm anyone unless they broke the rules, something Penzila found out real quick when his foot accidentally crossed the prison cell boundary to pat Meno.

Coming back to Sasuke and Sakura’s plan to get to the secret cellar, I liked the scene where Sakura tried to gain as much information as possible from the messenger, Fandal, as she led him into a room where Sasuke was waiting to put him under Genjutsu. As a mere messenger, Fandal wasn’t going to know much about what Zanzul and the Prime Minister were cooking up, but still, Sakura got enough information to help her keep Zanzul distracted while Sasuke (who had transformed into Fandal’s staff) broke into the cellar.

In a surprising addition, which wasn’t in the manga, we got to see Sakura share with Sasuke what she knew about Zanzul’s artificial eye after going through certain reports she found in the infirmary. It’s revealed that the technology being used to create such artificial eyes was specific to the Land of Redaku. From my understanding, the artificial eye used the visual abilities of another person for the owner of the artificial eye to see. So, in a sense, Zanzul was using another person’s vision to see around him. That’s why Saskue’s Genjutsu didn’t work on Zanzul.

Even though the artificial eye being able to not be impacted by Sasuke’s OP Genjutsu did make it an impressive ocular item, it wasn’t without weakness. The artificial eye’s vision wasn’t the best, especially when taking in one’s surroundings from the sides and higher levels. Zanzul’s poor vision did come in handy while Sakura kept him distracted so Sasuke could unlock the door to the cellar.

The scene where Sasuke fashioned himself a fake key to open the cellar door was handled well. Sasuke’s ability to map the shape of the keyhole showed his impressive Chakra control. In the novel, it’s explained that ninjas with high levels of Chakra control were able to open locked doors in various ways. For example, Naruto used mini Rasengans while Shikamaru used his Shadow Jutsu.

Deviating from the manga, by quite a lot, ‘The Secret In The Cellar’ gave viewers a whole lot of details about what Zanzul’s been doing in the cellar with numerous chickens and the fossils the prisoners were being forced to dig up. Sasuke was able to connect the dots and realize that Zanzul was using a technique similar to the forbidden Edo Tensei to reincarnate dinosaurs in the present timeline. 

Sasuke’s rematch with Meno was handled well when he decided to approach the velociraptor as a time-displaced animal. Even though Sasuke didn’t notice the paper tag that’s usually used during the Edo Tensei process to control a reincarnated being, he did theorize that Zanzul’s technique worked similarly. Seeing Sasuke infuse his own Chakra into Meno by holding onto Meno’s tongue was weirdly cool to witness. The same was true for the supercooled Mist Style Jutsu he used to numb the injury Meno got last night when trying to bite at Penzila.

So, yeah, with his Genjutsu overriding Meno’s orders from Zanzul, Sasuke’s got himself a pet dinosaur. I’m looking forward to seeing how Meno will aid Sasuke during the inevitable battle against Zanzul and the mysterious man he’s been working with. We are getting near to seeing Sakura punch some dinosaurs, too!

Having said that, I’m a bit uncertain about how I feel about the anime writing team deciding to reveal so much about what’s happening at the Tatar Observatory this soon. I remember how the novel took its time to show all its cards. Similarly, the manga also allowed the mystery to develop a bit more. Zanzul having an accomplice was a huge moment in the novel and that will likely be replicated in the manga, too.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the anime’s really speeding through the story. And having the anime tell a story before the manga can conclude does feel weird to me.

Anyway, the next episode will feature the much-anticipated lake scene between Sakura and Sasuke. I’m always ready to see Sasuke be open about his feelings because he rarely says anything. I have my fingers crossed that the anime team is able to do the romantic and emotional vibes justice before our co-leads are thrown into dinosaur-related chaos.

What did you think of Boruto anime episode 284 ‘Sasuke’s Story: The Secret In the Cellar’? Were you surprised to learn about Zanzul’s plan so soon?

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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