The 7-episode manga arc created to flesh out the upcoming Mujina Bandits finally came to an end this week in Boruto. While ‘The Fateful Moonlit Battle’ did feature some enjoyable scenes, the arc, as a whole, could have been a couple of episodes shorter.
When the Hozuki Castle arc was announced, I was excited. I wanted to see Boruto, Mitsuki, and Salad trying their best to keep Kokuri safe in prison while also trying to conceal their identities as Hidden Leaf Village shinobi. The arc started out well enough. But after three episodes, it began to drag. What could have been a mini-story filled with twists and turns ended up feeling too predictable.
The main characters made decisions that felt like plot conveniences rather than organic choices the cast would have made during certain situations. So, you can see why I couldn’t make myself sit down and type out a review each week. It was a mess.
Having said that, ‘The Fateful Moonlit Battle’ did (kind of) redeem the Hozuki Castle (or Hozuki Prison) arc. This episode had some enjoyable twists even though I think the battle was stretched to fill up some of the running time.
The fact Salad, Mitsuki, and Boruto couldn’t figure out they could counter the shadow clones with another source of light made me roll my eyes. Did they learn nothing from being around Shikadai?
The anime and manga have let the fandom know that Team 7 is smart. That’s why seeing the young ninjas take too long to figure out stuff or make easily avoidable mistakes for the sake of the plot doesn’t feel right to me.
Salad is the daughter of Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha (both highly intelligent characters in the Boruto and Naruto franchise). Her brain should be on alert 24/7 during missions. Mitsuki and Boruto are very capable, too. As a team, they shouldn’t be taking too long to see through enemy strategies.
Anyway, ‘The Fateful Moonlit Battle’ gave Kokuri a chance to prove his worth to our young heroes and he came through when they needed him. But I still think Team 7 should have been able to figure out the weakness of the shadow clones on their own.
Kokuri’s fate did make me a bit sad. I wasn’t expecting him to die and have Shojoji take his identity. Seeing how it was Shojoji who had been fighting Team 7 really took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting him to play such a big role in the Hozuki Prison arc.
As for his Corpse Clone Jutsu, I’ll be disappointed if the anime censors it too much. The manga made it clear that Shojoji’s jutsu involved eating the brains of a person (while they’re still alive) to copy their identity. This week’s episode only showed Shojoji (posing as Tsukiyo) opening his mouth to devour Kokuri’s brain before fading to black.
Maybe the anime didn’t show all of the details in this episode because they want the viewers to be shocked when Shojoji uses the jutsu on the character that will be showing up in the next episode? (The manga readers know who I’m talking about.)
Let’s see what happens.
And before I close my review, I have to say I couldn’t help but smile when Mitsuki told Salad and Boruto that he liked living in Hozuki Prison.
Ha! Of course, Mitsuki enjoyed living in prison for a week! He got to be cellmates with Boruto and spent every waking second of his life around him. I’m looking forward to seeing how the writers decide to handle their relationship as the story progresses and the characters grow older.
What did you think of ‘The Fateful Moonlit Battle’? Are you excited about the Mujina Bandits arc from the manga getting adapted in the upcoming episode?
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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