Boruto: Naruto Next Generations 1×168 Review – “Training Begins!”

Training Begins Boruto anime 168 review
Kakashi teaching Boruto in ‘Training Begins!’ (Image: Screengrab)

‘Training Begins’ showed us what kind of hard work Boruto and Salad will be putting behind their abilities to grow stronger. Also, it’s clear we haven’t seen the last of Deepa and Victor.

I enjoyed seeing Boruto and Salad train in the latest Boruto anime episode. Showing the struggle of main characters in a story is important if you want the audience to know that while gifted, said main characters also have to put in the work. And I think ‘Training Begins!’ was able to accomplish that.

Boruto went to Kakashi to help level-up his Rasengan while Salad trained with her father, Sasuke. I liked how straightforward Kakashi was with Boruto. The young ninja wanted to create a Giant Rasengan like Naruto. However, Kakashi flat out stated that such a jutsu was impossible for Boruto because he didn’t have the Nine-Tails Beast Chakra inside of him. Due to having far less chakra than his father, Boruto would have to think of another way to make his Rasengan stronger.

The solution involved changes in Chakra Nature. We know that Boruto’s already able to create the Vanishing Rasengan by using the Lightning Chakra Nature (apparently). But said Rasengan, from what I could tell, didn’t pack enough of a punch. It’s supposed to be good for surprise attacks, though.

With Boruto also having an affinity for Wind Chakra Nature, that’s what he decided to add to his Rasengan. Of course, it linked to Naruto’s ability to create the Wind Style: Rasen Shuriken attack. Boruto’s jutsu isn’t going to be as big as Naruto’s, but at least it’s something. He even created a clone of himself to help with molding Chakra. This again was a call-back to how Naruto used to create his Rasen Shuriken attack.

Now, there were some fan theories about Boruto being able to mold Fire Chakra Nature. While I understand where such a theory came from (fire being used to melt Deepa’s carbon-based armor), I think many of us knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Boruto, from what I can tell, doesn’t have an affinity for Fire Chakra Nature. Salad, on the other hand, does. And you know what? Taking away an ability from the only girl in the 3-person team to prop up the main boy character is… well, that’s not good optics.

If you’re someone who wanted Boruto to have a Fire-Style Rasengan (and push Salad to the side), I think you should look into why you came up with such a thought in the first place.

Talking about Salad, her training with Sasuke involved strengthening her one-tomoe Sharingan to better analyze incoming attacks. Like Kakashi, Sasuke was also straightforward with his student. He told Salad that she couldn’t train to unlock a two-tomoe or three-tomoe Sharingan because it needed to happen on its own under emotionally straining circumstances. And yes, she needed a better Sharingan to learn how to properly use Chidori against an opponent. 

As for the emotional beasts in ‘Training Begins!’, Salad and Boruto thought about Mitsuki. The two felt guilty over how he severely injured himself to protect them. We also saw Himawari and Hinata send a note and food to Boruto to help with his training. Sakura, while hiding behind a tree, looked at Sasuke training their daughter.

The episode again showed Sakura worrying about Salad because she hadn’t fully recovered yet. We saw Sakura being worried in the previous episode, too. I wonder if such scenes will build-up to Sakura having a conversation with Salad and Boruto about the emotions they’re feeling after Deepa defeated them or if Sakura will accompany them during an upcoming mission.

The preview material for the next couple of episodes does share that Deepa’s still around. With the Hashirama Cell arc involving medical technology, I wouldn’t mind seeing Sakura playing some kind of role in it.

‘Training Begins!’ showed Konohamaru and Mugino visiting Victor’s research lab. I liked the tense interaction between the three characters. Victor knew the two ninjas couldn’t resort to violence and risk creating political issues. However, I wasn’t expecting Mugino to lose his cool. Isn’t he supposed to know better as a ninja who’s handled politically sensitive situations before?

With Konohamaru and Mugino breaking into Victor’s lab, I wonder what they will stumble upon. I have a feeling Victor’s still keeping an eye on them.

Exciting stuff!

What did you think of ‘Training Begins!’?

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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