Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×218 Review – “Partner”

Partner Boruto anime episode 218 review
Isshiki grabbing Kawaki in ‘Partner’ (Screengrab: Boruto anime episode 218)

Boruto anime episode 218, titled ‘Partner’, gave Kawaki some closure while also making Naruto go through a very emotional moment. Naruto’s life won’t be the same.

While I understand how certain fans wanted Naruto and Sasuke to defeat Isshiki, I think it made sense for Kawaki to deliver the final blow. Isshiki had been treating Kawaki as a tool for years. He continued to drill in the insecurity about how Kawaki will never find love and how the young man will always have a hole in his heart. Seeing Kawaki face Isshiki made me happy. He needed to take such a step to retake his power from Isshiki.

In the end, Isshiki underestimating Kawaki led to his downfall. I liked seeing Kawaki use a Shadow Clone jutsu (which he learned from Naruto) to fool Isshiki into placing the Karma Mark on a Chakra-based Kawaki instead of Kawaki’s original body. Watching Isshiki’s body deteriorate in front of Kawaki made me smile. Kawaki finally crushing Isshiki’s body into dust was well-deserved. A villain like Isshiki deserved his fate.

Even though Kawaki’s free of Isshiki, there’s still a lot that needs to be dealt with. With Isshiki off the board (or is he?), Boroshiki decided to make an appearance by instantly destroying Sasuke’s Rinnegan with a kunai. ‘Partner’ allowed Boroshiki to explain his plan to Sasuke, Naruto, and Kawaki. By not having to worry about Isshiki anymore, Boroshiki’s determined to eat the Chakra fruit all by himself. It’s revealed that even though Kawaki didn’t have a Karma Mark, 80% of his DNA had already undergone Otsutsukification. Boroshiki could still feed Kawaki to the Ten-Tails to produce a decent-sized Chakra fruit. Sigh! Poor Kawaki can’t catch a break.

Another piece of important information came courtesy of Sasuke’s impressive analytical skills. He’s able to deduce that Momoshiki’s able to take over Boruto’s body whenever our young hero ran out of chakra. In order to bring Boruto back, Sasuke had to find a way to force Momoshiki to absorb chakra from an offensive jutsu. I enjoyed how Sasuke relentlessly attacked Boroshiki to test his theory. As mentioned before, Sasuke’s okay with killing Boruto if push came to shove.

The title of this episode, ‘Partner’, was shown to link to two relationships. Having spent a lot of time together, Boruto and Kawaki had grown closer to each other. Kawaki saw a younger brother in Boruto. Basically, Boruto’s family was his family now. The love and affection from Boruto’s family helped fill the hole in Kawaki’s heart. And he wasn’t going to let go of his bonds that easily. He wasn’t a fan of seeing Momoshiki taking control of Boruto’s body.

Similar to how Naruto and the rest of the ninjas were ready to sacrifice themselves to protect the Hidden Leaf Village, Kawaki was willing to do everything possible to keep Boruto and his family safe. Kawaki using a fire jutsu on himself to force Boroshiki to absorb said jutsu was a move that required a lot of willpower. Kawaki’s actions showed that he was willing to hurt himself if it ensured Boruto’s wellbeing.

The other relationship focused on in this episode was the one between Naruto and Kurama. Using the Baryon Mode came with a steep price and it was time for Naruto to pay up. I do feel the writing team did an impressive job of properly showcasing the gravity of the situation. It was time for Naruto to say goodbye to Kurama and I could feel the emotions emanate from the screen. The fact that Naruto was ready to enter the afterlife with Kurama (so they could still be together) but it wasn’t his time to die yet hit me right in the feels.

Even though Naruto formed a bunch of friendships as he grew older, Kurama’s been with him since Naruto was a baby. Losing Kurama didn’t just mean Naruto was losing a friend, a guardian, or a family member, it meant Naruto was losing a part of himself. The end credits sequence sharing visuals from the Kurama-related pivotal moments in Naruto’s life during Naruto and Naruto Shippuden was an emotionally heavy punch to the gut. And then we got a scene with Naruto crying for Kurama to not leave him. My heart!

While Kurama’s no more, ‘Partner’ did show that Naruto still had a lot more people to live for. It wasn’t his time to leave the world. Not yet. I hope the anime writers decide to spend more time exploring Naruto’s feelings after losing Kurama because the manga, unfortunately, glossed over the whole thing. Naruto’s life won’t be the same without Kurama and I want to see the fallout be properly handled in the anime.

With our main characters getting ready to return to the village after defeating Isshiki, it looks like the anime will take a break from adapting the manga for a while. We are going to get another Chunin Exams arc this month. I do think conducting another Chunin Exams is the best way to showcase how Boruto’s peers have grown as ninjas while he takes a backseat. Personally, I don’t want to see Boruto participate in the exams due to having the Karma Mark. But let’s see what happens. According to certain fan theories, Salad will be unlocking her third tomoe Sharingan during the exams. So, fingers crossed! She’s in dire need of a powerup as the lead female character in the series.

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • The other tailed-beasts sensing Kurama’s death was a nice touch. I guess Naruto can borrow a bit of power from the remaining tail-beasts when necessary? Time will tell.
  • Seeing Kawaki use his deactivated prosthetic arm to mold chakra for a fire jutsu took me by surprise.
  • Will Sasuke be able to get his Rinnegan healed? Can Sakura use her impressive medical jutsu on his eye or throw him into a piece of Katsuyu to help regrow the Rinnegan?
  • I liked seeing how Sasuke placed an unconscious Naruto’s head on his lap. Sasuke isn’t the best when it comes to showing affection. So, I love getting to see such little moments. 
  • It will be interesting to learn how much power Naruto has lost now that he doesn’t have access to Kurama’s massive chakra. The same goes for Sasuke. If Sasuke’s not able to get his Rinnegan healed, what impact will it have on his power level?
  • It made sense for Kurama to not tell all of the details about the Baryon Mode to Naruto. Due to Naruto’s personality, he wasn’t going to accept going along with activating such a power boost if he knew it would only cost Kurama’s life.

What did you think of ‘Partner’? Do you think the writers did justice to Kurama saying goodbye to Naruto?

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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