Even though Boruto anime episode 216, titled ‘Sacrifice’, had some repetitive information, I liked certain changes the anime writing team made. Also, the action sequences were cool to watch.
With Boruto having teleported Isshiki to a different dimension and Sasuke arriving there with Naruto, ‘Sacrifice’ was all about the three ninjas trying their best to prevent Isshiki from traveling back to Konoha and kidnapping Kawaki. Yes, Isshiki only had a day or two to live. However, even with such a nerf, Isshiki’s not a foe to be underestimated. He made quick work of Naruto and Sasuke. Seeing the iconic duo being kicked around by Isshiki was fun. Naruto and Sasuke needed something powerful to even stand a chance against such an OP foe. Of course, Naruto came through at the very end. But I’ll get to it in a bit.
My favorite scene from the battle was the one with Naruto and Sasuke teaming up against Isshiki to land at least one hit. With Naruto holding Isshiki in place with his chakra hands to allow Sasuke to come in with his Chidori attack, the powerful Otsutsuki summoned a bunch of gigantic cubes to crush them. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of the visual below. Everything slowed down during that moment. Such a creative decision helped to amp up the intensity and make viewers feel a bit anxious about whether or not Sasuke’s Chidori could hit Isshiki in time.
Due to Naruto and Sasuke being down for the count, Boruto had no other choice but to enter the fight. Boruto’s theory about Isshiki not wanting to kill him proved correct. Turns out, Isshiki had decided to keep Boruto alive so he could feed our young ninja to the Ten-Tails. According to Amado, the Otsutsuki traveled in pairs because the lower-ranked Otsutsuki was to be fed to the Ten-Tails to create the Divine Tree. The higher ranking Otsutsuki would then eat the Chakra Fruit while the sacrificed one would be resurrected via a vessel. Also, sacrificing a healthy Otsutsuki led to a more potent fruit.
Kaguya, as a lower-ranked Otsutsuki, was supposed to sacrifice herself for Isshiki so he could eat the Divine Chakra Fruit that would be created after destroying every life on Earth. However, she betrayed Isshiki.
The Kara organization’s initial plan was to feed Jigen to the Ten-Tails and have Isshiki be resurrected through Kawaki’s Karma Mark. But due to Boruto becoming Momoshiki’s vessel, the plan changed. Now, Boruto was to be sacrificed to the Ten-Tails and Isshiki could still go ahead and resurrect himself after implanting another Karma Mark on Kawaki.
I liked Boruto using his importance to try and stop Isshiki. Pointing a kunai at his neck, Boruto was willing to kill himself to protect everyone. Boruto’s resolve linked to the conversation he had with Sasuke in the previous episode. Our young hero was prepared to die the moment the current battle occurred. Even though Boruto’s strategy didn’t work against Isshiki, I still liked seeing Boruto making his determination to save the world crystal clear even if it came at the cost of his life.
With Naruto, Sasuke, and Boruto facing Isshiki, the rest of the episode had Amado deliver information about the Otsutsuki Clan to Kawaki, Shikamaru, Sumire, and Katasuke. Amado had been following a lengthy strategy, but at this point in time, he was unsure about the outcome. He did what he could to give Naruto and Sasuke a fighting chance against Isshiki. He couldn’t do anything else but wait while staying in the hidden underground bunker with Kawaki and the others.
As for Kawaki, finally being free of the Karma Mark after so long had raised conflicting feelings. Ever since Kawaki was a kid, Jigen had been emotionally manipulating Kawaki to think that the metaphorical hole in his heart could only be sealed by the Karma Mark. No matter how much love and affection Kawaki received, all of those warm emotions would still leak from said hole and leave Kawaki alone and empty. The Karma Mark, while dangerous, was part of Kawaki’s being. Now that he doesn’t have it anymore, I’m looking forward to the anime exploring Kawaki coming to terms with his new normal. I liked Amado asking Kawaki if he was irritated due to feeling powerless or if he was grieving because he had lost the Karma Mark.
The biggest moment in ‘Sacrifice’ dealt with Naruto debuting a new form after getting a powerup from Kurama. Called the Baryon Mode in the manga, such a tremendous boost in power came at a steep cost. I think the writers did a good job of showing why Naruto accepted Kurama’s offer. The Baryon Mode would kill Naruto. However, he was going to die anyway against Isshiki due to the gap in power levels. So, it made sense for Naruto to accept Kurama’s conditions. Similar to his son, Naruto’s also willing to put his life on the line to save others.
As for the design of the Baryon Mode, I think I liked it better in the manga. The anime made the tails behind Naruto look like starfish limbs and thus, less intimidating. Also, with Naruto not wearing a black shirt (as in the manga), the color scheme looked off in the anime. And while Naruto getting a powerup is exciting, as far as my opinion goes, there’s no way Kishimoto had thought of creating the Baryon Mode all the way back during the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden years. In a sense, the Baryon Mode can be considered a plot convenience to allow Naruto to fight Isshiki. Even Naruto questioned why Kurama hadn’t told him about such a form before. At least, the franchise is being a little self-aware.
Having said that, I’m looking forward to the collectible figures and other merchandise featuring Naruto’s Baryon Mode. I’m also excited about Baryon Mode Naruto vs Isshiki in the next episode.
Some other thoughts and questions:
- If Boruto had been able to stop one of Isshiki’s giant cubes with his Rasengan, I would have gone on a rant about the random power scaling occurring in Boruto.
- I liked how Isshiki used Sasuke’s determination to protect Boruto against the Uchiha. As far as Isshik’s concerned, humans caring for each other is a weakness.
- YES to Isshiki breaking Boruto’s arm to showcase he wasn’t playing around. Wanting him alive didn’t mean Isshiki couldn’t hurt him.
- I still think Isshiki should have teleported back to Konoha after sending Naruto to another dimension and gravely injuring Sasuke. It wasn’t as if he was running out of chakra while operating on a limited lifespan. Sasuke and Boruto wouldn’t have been able to keep tailing him, in my opinion.
What did you think of ‘Sacrifice’?
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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