Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ‒ Episode 173

2 weeks ago 11

Victor puts it all on the table as the gang's latest adventure enters its endgame in this week's Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Wanting to give Mia some closure, Boruto and Sarada travel to the Land of Valleys to return Anato's ring and explain what happened to her husband. Meanwhile, while waiting for his replacement organs, Mitsuki discovers that the rest of Team 7 has returned to the Land of Valleys. Although he desperately wants to back his friends up, Log and Orochimaru refuse to let him leave.

Back at Victor's headquarters, the Land of Valley's feudal lord arrives for his tour of the research facility. Although the lord is initially very impressed with what he sees, his bodyguards soon release him from a genjutsu Victor's assistant placed him under, revealing that everything he saw was an illusion. The bodyguards then reveal that they're actually Konohamaru and Mugino and proceed to engage Victor in combat. His trickery revealed, Victor presses an ominous red button and releases a massive plant that bears a striking resemblance to the Divine Tree. In its insatiable quest for nourishment, the plant consumes the still-nameless doctor as it grows at an alarming rate. After hearing troubling noises emanating from the facility, Boruto and Sarada decide to head inside and assist their sensei.

After three months of build-up, it's satisfying to see Team 7's latest mission come full circle. Given everything Victor and Deepa went through to get their hands on the Hashirama Cell, it stood to reason that they had something huge in the pipeline, and plans don't get much huger than the potential resurrection of the Divine Tree. Since the original Divine Tree represented a final boss-caliber obstacle for the original Team 7, it's sure to put the team's current iteration through its pace—and then some! While Boruto and Sarada being in the Land of Valleys right as the carnage begins to unfold feels a bit too convenient, there's no way they wouldn't have been present for the forthcoming final battle, and there are certainly less feasible reasons for them to be visiting the aforementioned nation. Although Mitsuki's current condition (and unfinished replacement organs) may suggest that the gang won't be able to rely on his Sage Mode Hail Mary this time around, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which he doesn't show up to help at some point.

Though the tension is palpable as Victor and his assistant lead the feudal lord through their facilities, there are several moments that strain credulity somewhat—Victor not entering the decontamination group with the rest, for example. True, after being placed under a genjutsu, the lord is unlikely to ask inconvenient questions about anything, but prior to being “decontaminated,” it's strange that Victor's absence doesn't strike him as odd. After all, being the CEO doesn't preclude him from bringing contaminants into his own research lab. When Mugino becomes aware that Victor's severed hand is moving and about to push a big red button, he fails to act despite having plenty of time to pin it down with a kunai or hit it with another attack. Also, Victor's assistant gathering a large group of employees in a single room for the monstrous plant to consume suggests that unleashing his creation today had been his plan all along. If that's the case, why? Is there any reason the plant's awakening needed to coincide with the feudal lord's visit? Wouldn't it have been less of a headache for everyone involved to release this terror before or after a state visit instead of during one?

With Victor's master plan now in full effect, we'll soon see if all of Boruto and Sarada's training pays off. Now that he no longer has to bother hiding his true nature, Victor and his cohorts are free to go all-out. Since Victor and Deepa have thus far proven to be a challenge beyond Team 7's capabilities, one can't help but wonder what awaits our newly-trained heroes in this high-stakes rematch.

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Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.

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