The latest episode of the Boruto anime began a new anime arc. Our young heroes were sent to the Shinobi Prison (AKA Hozuki Castle) to complete a dangerous mission. I’m not really sure if they will succeed, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of the current arc.
When it comes to the Boruto anime, it can be a bit confusing to determine how much of the content is supposed to be canon. The manga has referenced stuff that happened in the anime. Also, the anime episodes seem to be connected to the Boruto and Naruto novels, too.
Of course, the confusion has led to many fans arguing online about what’s canon and what’s filler when it comes to the anime and the novels. It’s weird.
Anyway, ‘The Shinobi Prison: Hozuki Castle’ episode and the overall current arc, in my opinion, are supposed to be taken as canon (or at least, most of it is meant to be). Apparently, the writers wanted to flesh out some of the background content mentioned in the manga’s ‘Mujina Bandits’ arc.
The episode opened with Boruto and Mitsuki being transported to the ninja prison. As someone who watched the 2011’s Blood Prison movie, I liked the sense of nostalgia I experienced as the young heroes made their way into the prison and got the Fire Style: Celestial Prison jutsu placed on them by Lord Mujo.
The Blood Prison movie showed prisoners being burned to death if they tried to leave the area the prison was on. The Boruto anime seemed to have lessened the impact by not making the jutsu deadly, which is understandable considering this series airs on TV.
Team 7’s mission dealt with protecting a guy named Kokuri. After deserting the Mujina gang, he kept a low profile because he didn’t want to get killed by his ex-gang. The Mujina members didn’t take kindly to deserters.
After getting caught stealing, Kokuri was sent to Hozuki Castle. Unfortunately, an important member of the gang, named Tsukiyo, was also sent there. So, of course, Kokuri feared for his life and turned to the Hidden Leafe Village for help.
Now, I get how Boruto and Mitsuki being sent to a shinobi prison might not feel right to some viewers because these characters are quite young. However, I would like to remind them that in the world of Boruto and Naruto, ninjas even younger than Mitsuki and Boruto (they are supposed to 12 or 13) have committed horrendous crimes. So, many young ninjas aren’t necessarily like traditional kids.
Seeing Boruto and Mitsuki fitting into prison life was fun to watch. Boruto didn’t come across as well-equipped when it came to dealing with the other inmates. However, Mitsuki was ready to stand up for his boyfriend and I loved that! No one better mess with Boruto as long as Mitsuki is around.
Mitsuki looks after his man! I have to stan!
Another thing I enjoyed was how Salad was sent on the same mission. Being an all-men prison, I had seen some rumors online about Salad disguising herself as a boy to enter the facility. I’m glad the writers didn’t go down that route. It just wouldn’t have worked in the long run.
The writers made Salad enter the prison as a young researcher interested in becoming a journalist. Due to her role, she was able to move around the prison to gain intel while Boruto and Mitsuki stayed close to the inmates to keep an eye on Kokuri.
From what I can tell, there’s going to be a lot of backstabbing in this arc. I hope Boruto is able to keep ahead of potential enemies. One of his character flaws is that he’s very trusting of others. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kokuri tries to harm Boruto and his friends.
Right now, I’m very interested in seeing how this arc progresses.
And yes, the latest episode did remind me of how Sasuke, to enter a facility, disguised himself as a prisoner and Sakura entered by posing as an ordinary doctor to gain information about how to save Naruto’s life in the recently released Saskue Retsuden novel. I hope that novel is adapted by the anime, too.
What did you think of ‘The Shinobi Prison: Hozuki Castle’? 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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