Boruto anime episode 271, titled ‘Decision’, was about Kawaki making an important decision to determine the future of the human world. Also, kudos to the anime team for giving us some impressive fight choreography during Naruto vs Isshiki.
‘Decision’ was a very action-heavy episode and I enjoyed every second of it. Naruto’s a beast in his Baryon Mode. He was able to dodge Isshiki’s attacks with ease and counter with some powerful hits. In my opinion, the best fights in the Naruto/Boruto franchise involve Taijutsu. This week’s episode gave us a whole lot of that. I replayed a number of moments just so I could really take in all of the Taijutsu awesomeness.
The scene where Naruto unleashed a combo while Isshiki was midair made me remember the Tekken game series. Another cool scene was Naruto stopping Isshiki with his Chakra Tails and landing a punch right in Isshiki’s face. The explosion from Naruto’s Rasengan was also pretty to look at. So many good scenes! ‘Decision’ will clearly end up landing quite high on the ‘Top Battles’ list for many in the fandom.
The Baryon Mode gave Naruto the ability to easily throw away Isshiki’s heavy cubes and even keep up with Isshiki’s Chakra Rods (which Sasuke had trouble monitoring with his Sharingan). Sasuke being surprised by Naruto’s Baryon Mode made me smile. Of course, Sasuke would be surprised because, let’s be real, the Baryon Mode wasn’t a thing that existed back during the Naruto Shippuden years. In my opinion, it’s an entirely new powerup Kishimoto thought of later on to help Naruto stand a change against Isshiki in the Boruto franchise and to amp up the stakes.
As for how the Baryon Mode worked, we got an explanation from Kurama. Turns out, the massive boost given to Naruto in such a mode was produced by consuming Naruto and Kurama’s chakra. The Baryon Mode would continue to function until Naruto or Kurama (or both) ran out. Naruto’s willing to die to ensure Isshiki’s defeat and protect everyone. Naruto had to be careful about his moments and make every action count in order to avoid wasting precious chakra. He even needed to keep frivolous thoughts out of his mind.
Not only that, due to the Baryon Mode being all about consuming chakra, it was also able to shave off chakra from the opponent due to all chakra being connected. So, while Isshiki’s body was durable enough to withstand a beating from Naruto, the villainous Otsutsuki was unable to prevent his life energy from being drained away. Even though Isshiki had 20 hours to live, he was down to only five minutes after his intense battle with Naruto.
There’s one thing that confused me, though. If the Baryon Mode took away chakra from a person it came in contact with, why did it not harm Boruto when Naruto decided to protect his son by placing him inside one of the Chakra Tails? Is Naruto able to choose when he wanted the Baryon Mode to take away a person’s chakra? Or is a person’s chakra only depleted when Naruto used his fists? Hmmm.
The emotional moments in ‘Decision’ came from Kawaki. We got a scene where Amado’s quite surprised to learn about Naruto’s very generous nature. Naruto’s chakra was still fueling Kawaki’s prosthetic arm while he was fighting Isshiki in another dimension. However, Naruto’s gift proved to also be a curse for Kawaki because Isshiki was able to tap into Naruto’s chakra present in the prosthetic arm to summon Kawaki to the battlefield.
I liked how the anime writers handled Kawaki’s emotional turmoil. Kawaki’s a character suffering from PTSD. Remembering his childhood made it difficult for him to breathe or even move. The way Kawaki, while hiding, remembered how Jigen/Isshiki treated him was done quite well, in my opinion. Jigen/Isshiki used to countdown from 10 to 0 to force child Kawaki to come out of hiding or else they would destroy something child Kawaki loved. Isshiki used the same tactic in the present, this time with Naruto’s life on the line.
Remembering Naruto’s love is what gave Kawaki the courage to stand in front of Isshiki. He wasn’t going to allow Isshiki to kill the Hokage because of him. And while it’s clear Kawaki’s in dire need of actual therapy, I can’t fault Naruto/Boruto too much because such type of media has always been about how the power of love can give you the strength to face your demons instead of opting for actual therapy sessions.
At least, the concept of therapy exists in the Naruto/Boruto world. Sakura developed clinics to help kids suffering from psychological issues after the Fourth Great Ninja War in the Sakura Hiden novel. I wouldn’t mind a scene or two showing Kawaki going for psychological evaluation and getting the help he requires from a professional.
With Kawaki facing Isshiki, and Naruto, Sasuke, and Boruto down for the count, I’m looking forward to what will happen next!
What did you think of ‘Decision’?
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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