Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×290 & 291 Review – “Presence” & “Control”

Boruto anime episode 291 Control review
Boruto and Kawaki are ready to fight Code in ‘Control’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 291)

Boruto anime episodes 290, ‘Presence’, and 291, ‘Control’, featured a well-choreographed and well-animated fight sequence as the anime neared its hiatus.

The fact that the creatives behind the Boruto anime have decided to pause the series for a number of not-yet-announced months came as a surprise to me. From what I know, the Boruto anime has been performing well in viewership numbers. And I really thought the anime would go back to delivering anime-only content once the current situation with Code got dealt with.

However, it was recently announced that there wouldn’t be any anime-only content on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future. The main Boruto anime will be going on an indefinite hiatus after episode 293, which will air on March 26, 2023. And that’s just… wow!

On the one hand, I’m glad about the news. The upcoming hiatus could mean that the anime studio will have more time to really polish up the episodes once the series returns for what is being called ‘Boruto Part 2′. The animation showcased in ‘Presence’ and ‘Control’ was quite impressive. Also, giving viewers ‘filler-ish’ content after what’s about to happen to Boruto and the rest of the characters in episodes 292 and 293 wouldn’t make narrative sense.

But, on the other hand, I would have liked the Boruto anime to continue by adapting the rest of the Retsuden and Hiden novels as some kind of “flashback” storytelling technique until it was time for the manga-canon material to be adapted. Hmmmm.

From what I can decipher, the fandom’s split right now. I will get a better idea of the fandom’s status once the final episode airs in March and fans begin to “miss” having a weekly Boruto anime episode to watch, filler or otherwise.

In good news, the manga’s ongoing. And there’s been an announcement about some kind of 20th Anniversary celebratory anime (four episodes are planned) releasing in September of this year. So, yeah, as I said, I will have a better idea of where the fandom stands regarding the hiatus in a couple of months.

As for ‘Presence’ and ‘Control’, episode 290 revealed Kawaki’s plan now that he’s not strong enough to protect Naruto anymore. Kawaki’s not dealing well with being assigned a 24/7 bodyguard who has been tasked with monitoring his and Boruto’s location due to them being Code’s targets. ‘Control’ opened with Inojin basically telling Kawaki a way to bypass Konoha’s Sensory Unit team. Kawaki just needed to erase his Chakra signature. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what Kawaki decided to do due to having Otsutsuki DNA inside of him.

I could understand why Kawaki would want to negotiate with Code about sparing Konoha, especially Naruto. But I also think that Kawaki should have had enough sense to realize that Code was never going to agree to his terms. As far as Code’s concerned, everyone on Earth was going to die anyway when the Chakra Fruit was harvested. He just wanted to kill Naruto, Sasuke, Kawaki, and Boruto with his bare hands.

I think the entire sequence of Kawaki running away from Naruto’s house with Boruto sensing that something was wrong was handled better in the anime than in the manga. The anime adaptation allowed Naruto to come across as a character who was willing to listen to what Boruto had to say during such a situation.

Another scene I liked was the one where Shikamaru talked to Amado on the roof of the Hokage office. Both men realized that there was something off about Kawaki’s devotion to Naruto. As Shikamaru put it, Kawaki’s feelings toward Naruto were more than “daddy issues” that arose due to Kawaki not having experienced parental love. According to Amado, there was a thin line between obsession and love, and Kawaki was fully in the obsession category. Every decision Kawaki made was for Naruto’s well-being. Kawaki didn’t even care if the result would cost him his own life. All that mattered was Naruto’s survival.

I also liked how Shikamaru side-eyed Amado during their conversation. According to Shikamaru, all of this could still be part of Amado’s strategy. And while I don’t think Amado had a contingency plan for every unexpected thing that came his way, I do think that Amado was ready for most of what’s happened up to this point. ‘Control’ made it clear that Amado was still hoping for “something” to happen when Sai told him about Kawaki running away from Konoha and encountering Code. Sumire clocked Amado’s state. And I have my fingers crossed that Sumire being tasked with keeping an eye on Amado leads to a good payoff.

With Boruto pursuing Kawaki and using his own Chakra signature as bait to alert the Sensory Unit, it was nice to see that, unlike Kawaki, Boruto realized that there was no sense in trying to talk to someone like Code. I really enjoy moments where Talk-No Jutsu isn’t used. Code needed to be put down and Boruto was ready to do just that. There was no way he was going to allow Code to take Kawaki away.

Boruto anime episode 292 review
BoruShiki is ready to mess Code up in ‘Control’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 292)

Boruto vs Code allowed our lead character to learn a bit more about the Karma Mark. According to Code, the Karma Mark didn’t just enhance a user’s power and speed. It also gave the user a gateway to the battle experience of the Otsutsuki said user was a vessel for. Tapping into that “genetic memory” is what allowed Boruto to put up a fight against Code. Apparently, Amado’s medication worked to aid Boruto with using the Karma Mark’s powers without Momoshiki taking control of Boruto’s mind.

Kawaki deciding to team up with Boruto to fight Code made sense even though just a moment ago Kawaki had agreed to go with Code to meet the “mysterious” person that had an influence on Code. As I had mentioned, Kawaki would do anything to ensure Naruto’s survival. And being able to defeat Code right there, alongside Boruto, felt like a better plan.

The end of ‘Control’ had Momoshiki being sassy and managing to take over Boruto’s body, much to Code’s disdain. There’s no way Code would be able to fight such an opponent without taking away his limiters. With BoruShiki ready to give Code a whopping and Naruto and Shikamaru making their way to the battlefield, I can’t wait for a huge moment from the manga to be adapted! I can see why the creative team decided to take a hiatus after that particular moment!

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • Code’s ability to teleport himself, other people, and even certain attacks using his Claw Marks does look quite impressive in anime form. It’s a very annoying ability. But it sure looks cool.
  • It’s revealed that Code’s Claw Marks can’t be absorbed by the Karma Seal because they are infused with iron from Code’s blood and thus are a physical manifestation of Chakra. Or something to that effect.
  • Kawaki showed how smart he was by realizing that there was someone else (Eida) strong enough to influence Code.
  • Seeing BoruShiki back in action is going to make Kawaki feel even more insecure about not being powerful enough to protect Naruto.
  • While I would have liked for Hinata to accompany Naruto and Shikamaru, I can understand why Naruto asked her to stay home with Himawari from a character and plot standpoint. There’s no way Naruto’s going to put his wife in danger if he can help it.
  • Boruto being unable to move while Momoshiki took over his body did have an effective creepy vibe to it.
  • Not Eida being jealous of the “brotherly” bond shared between Boruto and Kawaki!    

What did you think of ‘Presence’ and ‘Control’? How do you feel about the upcoming hiatus?

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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