‘Return’ had a number of character development moments that I really enjoyed. Also, it’s clear that Naruto and co. still have one more threat to take care of.
‘Return’ opened with Boruto trying to activate the Teleportation Jutsu so he, Naruto, Sasuke, and Kawaki could head back to the Hidden Leaf Village. Sasuke was unable to do it because of his damaged Rinnegan. I liked Boruto’s hesitancy during the process. Kawaki, rightfully, called Boruto out over how he couldn’t activate the Teleportation Jutsu because he was afraid Momoshiki would take control of his body again.
Though Boruto, during a shouting match with Kawaki, was able to activate the Teleportation Jutsu, I understood why Boruto would experience such a mental block in the first place. The Karma Mark’s able to give Boruto an impressive power boost. However, it came with a high cost. The continued presence of the Karma Mark meant that Momoshiki resurrecting via Boruto’s body was inevitable. And Boruto was not a fan of Momoshiki taking over his body to attack his friends. I’m looking forward to seeing how the anime writers will explore Boruto’s thoughts regarding the Karma Mark and the emotional toll accompanying it.
With our heroes returning to Konoha, we got a character-centric scene between Boruto and Salad. Boruto felt guilty over attacking Sasuke and damaging his Rinnegan as Boroshiki. I liked how he apologized to Salad even though it wasn’t his fault. The scene helped show Salad’s growth as a young ninja. She was aware of accidents occurring during missions and she wasn’t going to fault Boruto for attacking her father because she knew Boruto would never deliberately hurt Sasuke. Furthermore, Sasuke also chimed in to put Boruto’s mind at ease. There’s no need for Boruto to feel bad about his actions as Boroshiki.
There was also another moment where Salad and Mitsuki told Boruto to stop apologizing. Turns out, due to the unpredictable nature of the Karma Mark, Shikamaru had ordered Team 7 to be disbanded until the adults figured out to prevent Boroshiki from appearing again. While Salad was disappointed over the team getting disbanded, she wasn’t going to blame Boruto and be angry at him. Both Salad and Mitsuki were willing to offer their support to Boruto. I liked how they realized Boruto needed some space before he could talk to them about his feelings. Right now, he wanted to be alone with his thoughts.
Boruto’s definitely going to need help from his friends and others to get rid of the Karma Mark. Similar to how Boruto helped free Kawaki from Isshiki’s Karma Mark, he’s willing to do anything possible to repay the favor by helping Boruto be free from Momoshiki’s control. Katasuke’s also focusing on finding a way to aid Boruto.
With Boruto going through his own emotional turmoil, I also liked seeing Naruto address his feelings about losing Kurama during his fight with Isshiki. Due to Kurama now being gone, Naruto felt there was an emptiness inside of him. I think the writers did a good job of explaining why Naruto wouldn’t continue to be depressed over Kurama’s death because Nine-Tailed Beast wouldn’t have liked Naruto to act in such a manner. Naruto’s going to miss Kurama, of course, but he also needed to focus on the threat Code posed to the world (which I’ll get to in a bit).
‘Return’ gave us an answer to how much power Naruto and Sasuke lost during their previous battle. According to Sakura and Katasuke, Naruto didn’t have access to Kurama’s immense chakra anymore. Not only that, but he also won’t be able to activate a variety of OP Jutsus like he was able to before. I think Naruto took the news well. Apparently, Naruto had a good sense of self-awareness. Even he knew that his ability to use OP attacks due to tapping into the chakra of Tailed-Beasts was kind of like cheating.
Sasuke took his health-related news well, too. From what I couldn’t understand, he can’t use the Rinnegan anymore. I still don’t know why Sakura can’t just throw Sasuke into a piece of Katsuyu to regenerate the Rinnegan. Maybe Katasuke and Sakura will figure out a way to regenerate the Rinnegan down the line? Perhaps Orochimaru might have some tips?
Speaking of Sakura, I liked seeing her be present during this particular scene. She’s the top medical ninja and the next-in-line for the Hokage position (along with Shikamaru). Sakura should be involved in what’s going on in the village while having ties to the Scientific Ninja Research Department. Not only did she share Naruto and Sasuke’s medical test results with them, but she was also the one to tell Boruto and Kawaki about how their bodies had undergone 80% of the Otsutsukification process.
Another important piece of information was delivered by Amado. He’s the one who told Naruto, Shikamaru, and Sai that they weren’t out of the woods yet. While the Kara organization had disbanded, Code was still out there. According to Amado, Code’s far more powerful than Jigen. Code’s religious devotion to the Otsutsuki led Code to have limiters placed on his body so Jigen’s authority wouldn’t be questioned. We also got to learn about Code being an imperfect vessel for Isshiki. Code could still access Otsutsuki powers via the Karma Mark, but his body couldn’t be used to revive Isshiki.
‘Return’ showed Isshiki’s soul paying a short visit to Code before dying. Isshiki handed over the will of the Otsutsuki to Code. So, you know Code’s going to begin his journey of revenge. He’s coming for Naruto, Sasuke, Boruto, Kawaki, and Amado. Now, the Boruto manga chapter 55 did show us an image of Otsutsuki God during this scene. However, the anime took it out. Let’s see when the Otsutsuki God plotline appears in the anime (if it even does).
Another set of scenes I want to talk about involved Sumire. ‘Return’ gave a lot of content to BoruSumi shippers. The episode showed Sumire, on more than one occasion, being very worried about Boruto’s wellbeing. Her peers, including Salad and Chocho, also sensed her feelings toward Boruto. Even Sumire’s not sure why she’s so worried about Boruto in such a manner. She’s even ready to assist with Katasuki’s research to address the situation involving Boruto’s Karma Mark. From what I can tell, I think Boruto and Sumire will be endgame. But let’s see what happens.
Some other thoughts and questions:
- I do feel Boruto being vocal about Kawkai being like a brother to him does a lot to prevent Mitsuki from becoming an emotional mess. I still have my fingers crossed that the true endgame is Boruto and Mitsuki. Ha!
- Do you think it makes sense that Amado didn’t realize Kashin Koji was able to survive his battle with Jigen/Isshiki? I thought Amado would have placed some kind of tracker on all of his cyborgs.
- We got confirmation that Amado still had a couple of Delta’s extra bodies around.
- Amado had also created a bunch of cyborgs more powerful than Jigen.
- Mitsuki brought forth a good point about people idolizing their heroes and then being disappointed if said heroes don’t deliver. The bigger the fanfare around a hero the bigger the backlash during a hero’s failure.
What did you think of ‘Return’?
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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