“Boruto,” Episode 12: “Boruto and Mitsuki”

I think this week’s review is going to be on the shorter side relative to the others, but make no mistake, guys—this episode was LOVELY.

And I think the key word this time around was “legacy.”

Resuming our usual format of having an early glimpse right off the bat, the episode opens up with Mitsuki once again enjoying a moonlit night, alone save for a small white snake.
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In this scene, he continues reporting to the unnamed individual at the other end and confirms for us that the chakra situation is the work of the Foundation. What’s more, he also reveals what the creature or project is known as: Gozu Tennou. (Hopefully that will be translated in the next episode…)

When we return from the song break, we are greeted with a flashback revealing that—and this isn’t surprising at all, given his being from the Sound Village—Mitsuki spent some of his early days floating around in stasis. Present as well are two shadowy figures, their identities not revealed.
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Flashback over, we find ourselves at the Academy. Split up into teams, the students face a challenging time obstacle course, which proves too difficult for a considerable number of them.
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Teamed together are Boruto, Mitsuki, and Denki. Clearly the weakest in terms of ninjutsu, Denki is determined to improve his skills, and Boruto makes sure to cheer his teammate on. I like how encouraging Boruto’s being (see, THIS is the type of “supportiveness” we need, people—supporting people in good things!), but I do agree with X’s point: they really shoulda either saved for later or done it while moving!

Although I do think that perhaps it was quite deliberately done, and meant to show that a competition like this barely even registers with Boruto relative to the importance of encouraging his friends.

Ahh, and come to think of it…X noted the fact that Boruto and Mitsuki had a significant amount of time left by the time they reached the last obstacle: the wall. I hadn’t been sure how to interpret the clock initially, because I didn’t know how that would’ve ranked them in regards to the other competitors. But in hindsight I was probably overthinking it; having nearly a full minute left would probably have put them at the top.

And we’ve already seen both Boruto and Mitsuki demonstrate their formidable physical aptitude before. So all signs point to the fact that they would’ve aced this test as well…

…were it not for one little problem.
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Bowing out of the competition, Denki urges his teammates on ahead, but Boruto is having none of it. Between the Shadow Clones and Mitsuki’s Extend-O arms, Denki is finally able to make it to the top. The team finishes out of time, but together nonetheless.
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Another student essentially tells Boruto to drop the “dead weight,” so to speak, but Boruto once again has his friend’s back, insisting that the others just aren’t seeing the full picture.

Directly afterwards we get to hear the results of the exam. We already know Boruto and Co have exceeded the time limit, and it is soon implied that a third or so of the class has been taken out by the obstacles themselves. However, those that remain fall prey instead to a surprising (well, not entirely so to me, heh…) pronouncement by Shino: They ALL fail!
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Apparently, Kakashi’s fashion sensibilities have inspired the next generation.

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And guess what? Not much could’ve made me happier! Having Shino say this as a teacher has a significance for me beyond just showing that he personally has internalized these mantras. What it suggests to me instead is that these principles are now being passed down by the Academy itself. The values taught to the previous generations by people like Minato and Kakashi are now being handed down to entire classes.

For me it’s very reminiscent of last week’s episode, where Boruto was learning the same lesson that a resurrected Itachi had shared with Naruto years prior: teamwork and the sharing of burdens doesn’t just go one way; while you should be there for your friends, don’t forget that they are also there for you when needed.

So this lesson at the school is one reason that I felt legacy was the theme of this episode. Here we see the legacies of former teachers and the core values they passed down to their teams. It also shows Naruto’s impact, because he more than anyone else spread those

Moving on, Konohamaru and a young woman I’m 95 percent sure is his old teammate, Moegi (wait, were her eyes always that color???), inform the class that they will be visiting from time to time for the purpose of essentially scouting out recruits for the three-man cells that will eventually be formed.

That scene concluded, we hang out with the boys for a bit as they discuss the status of the Ghost Incidents. As it turns out, there have be no more incidents since the events of Episode 11, leading the team to speculate that they now have the culprit spooked, due to how close they came the last time to apprehending him.
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Shikadai notes that it’ll likely be all the more difficult finding him again because of that, but on balance also points out that the culprit had continued attacking despite already knowing that the team was after him, which, as Denki chimed in to say, suggests a measure of urgency or desperation on his (or her) part. For that reason, the team still may have some hope of finding this individual, because simply hiding out may not be a long-term option for him at this point.

Inojin suggests that perhaps they should just leave things to the adults at this point rather that worrying about it too much themselves, but Boruto isn’t ready to let go yet.
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As most of the group heads off for lunch, Mitsuki stays behind to chat for a moment with Shikadai.
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It seems Mitsuki can’t quite make sense of his own actions in having helped out earlier. Evidently, that sort of behavior wasn’t in his wheelhouse before. Although this moment was far less dramatic, it still reminds me of that scene where Sasuke risked his life to shield Naruto from Haku’s attacks, but couldn’t quite explain why he had felt moved to do so.
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What can I say? Like father, like son—those two rub off on ya!

After that scene ends, we switch to a little teachers’ conference comprising Shino, Konohamaru, and Almost-Certainly-Moegi. Even with the way the previous exam had gone, it turns out that they’re still pleased overall by how this current group of students has been developing.
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Of particular note to Moegi are Iwabe Yuino and the one and only Boruto Uzumaki, whom Konohamaru is only too happy to gush about.
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Despite being the center of trouble and chaos, Boruto is also the center and uniting force of the class itself, whether his fellow students consciously realize it or not.
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We get to see more of that effect in the next scene, where a now motivated Iwabe is hitting the books (and it still tickles me that Boruto is actually so good at math, given the way his dad struggled with things like that in school).
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(Meanwhile Mitsuki watches eerily in the background…)
Also, as a random note, I know Boruto’s eating a yakisoba bun here, but all I can think of is Sonic the Hedgehog and his chili dogs…which sound delicious right about now.

In any case, Mitsuki catches up with Iwabe later and questions him about his own relationship to Boruto, asking if Boruto’s involvement is the reason that he’s been fitting into class better. (And I love Iwabe’s whole, “What you tryin’ to say?” reaction when Mitsuki points out his prior state of disaffection.)

But the questioning doesn’t go all one way, however. As school lets out, it’s Inojin’s turn to be the inquisitive background lurker.
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Of course, Mitsuki soon turns the tables and uses it as an opportunity to continue delving into just what it is that has made Boruto so magnetic.
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Ever helpful, Inojin is quick to respond.
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Fortunately, Inojin doesn’t just leave it at such a blunt and simplified comment. Instead, he basically gives us an insight—a summary, really—into why Boruto behaves the way he does and why the others find it appealing. Because of how people would prejudge him and his circumstances due to his lineage, Boruto’s become determined to be seen as his own person and judged in his own right. And he extends this same opportunity to others; he lets them determine how they’re going to act and gives them a chance to chart their own courses rather than assuming they’ll stick with what seems to be the predetermined one.

That explains why he was so quick to befriend the former bully and why he doesn’t peg Denki as being hopeless at ninjutsu. When people show by their actions that they want to turn over a new page, he’s right there to cheer them on and give them a chance.

Of course, all of this has it downsides. For one thing, his determination to distinguish himself from his father sometimes leads to his making things needlessly hard or complicated. The chaos that results isn’t exactly ideal, and Inojin notes one person in particular whom this boy probably wears out with his antics: the Class Rep.

For some reason, Mitsuki zeroes in on that statement like a laser, and wastes little time in making his way over to the hospital.
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Okay, bear with me guys. Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but Mitsuki was giving me some SERIOUS assassin vibes at a couple of different places in this episode, and this was one of them. Come to think of it, it’s a bit reminiscent of that scene with Gaara during the Chunin Exams—back during his Homicidal Maniac days. As though people aren’t ALREADY scared of hospitals…

In any case, Mitsuki proceeds to once again bring up topic of Boruto’s interpersonal relationships. (This boy would make a good commentator, no?)
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Holy cripes. Two things about this.

1. That creepy smile when he was asking her about how she felt made me feel like he was gonna kill her if she gave whatever he considered to be the wrong answer. “Oh, you feel stressed? Let me fix that. snaps neck

2. Is he trying to predict whom the next possession will be? In each case it’s been an individual who was already stressed out and agitated over something, which seems to trigger their vulnerability to their thing, or perhaps more accurately, make them a target for it.

I only just thought of that angle for Mitsuki, and this sheds a whole new light on the purpose of his questions.

In any case, confirmed in this scene is the fact that Sumire is an orphan. What’s more, she also reveals that her father was a ninja but that she doesn’t share his talent for it. She notes that joining the class has been a bright spot for her, and also makes a vague but rather ominous-sounding comment with regards to it.
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Her tone and expression especially make it seem like she’s remorseful about something. (What exactly HAVE you been doing, Sumire?)

Still not done probing, Mitsuki has one last question for her:
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The girl simply replies that she wants things to be over quickly, and we leave it at that.

After a 10-second scene that mainly involves Mitsuki smiling creepily at our protagonist (and I thought Sai was bad about that!)….

…we get to move on to a very warm and fuzzy segment of the episode, as Mitsuki pays his first visit (that we know of…) to the Uzumaki-Hyuga household.
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And once again Boruto needs to take a chill pill. I’d be happy to have someone experience my parents’ excellent cooking abilities—especially my mother’s—and I’d be darn happy to get some of that good food myself!

Now, I do realize that it can be a bit awkward when you feel like your host has gone overboard for you—especially if you find yourself worrying that food is gonna be wasted as a result. But I really think Boruto needs to just chill out here and stop worrying about trying to act aloof or whatever the heck he calls himself doing.

And as another note, for someone who otherwise seems so sociable, it’s interesting that Boruto rarely has friends over. Is he simply embarrassed at his family in a classic child way, or is there something deeper going on there? I hope we delve into that in the future. It doesn’t seem like a purposeless thing for them to allude to.

In any case, Hinata and Himawari have a lovely bit of good news to share: Dad’s gonna be home for dinner! Boruto’s response?
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And look at the ladies’ expressions. Ha, give it up, bro! Even your baby sister knows you’re full of it!

Posturing over, the two head off to hang out in Boruto’s room until dinner’s ready. Y’all already know where this is going—more questions! While Mitsuki oohs and ahhs over Naruto’s legendary status, Boruto once again insists that Dear Old Dad isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, promoting Mitsuki to ask Boruto how he really feels about the man when it comes down to it.

Stymied, Boruto is saved by the dinner bell, so to speak. And dinner isn’t the only thing that’s arrived!

Über cuteness ensues as Himawari tells Naruto about her day.
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Boruto of course plays hard to get, although Naruto once again brushes off his son’s petulance and instead focuses on greeting our inquisitive guest.
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Finally together, the family sits down and prepares to dig in. However, before he can get in a bite of his wife’s flipping delicious looking food, Naruto freezes mid-grab.
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The scene cuts from the house back to the headquarters. Speaking to one of Naruto’s Shadow Clones, our man Shikamaru reveals that the Barrier Team has reported that a strange chakra is currently spreading across the village. He encourages Naruto to enjoy the rare time at home until there are further developments, but Naruto refuses. Frankly, I’d be quite on edge myself; that whole situation sounds very, very ominous.
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Now back with the household, we see Naruto inform his family that he’ll have to leave once more—so much for the family dinner. Thoroughly fed up, Boruto lashes out at his father before storming off.
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Mitsuki makes an impression with our harried father by offering to speak to Boruto himself and smooth things over.
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This leads to one of the most touching scenes of the episode. We get some direct insight as Boruto opens up and reveals how things in his family have changed, and why he resents the situation with his father so much.
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And in a moment that brought tears to my eyes, Mitsuki pokes through the armor and notes that despite his words, he can tell that Boruto really does love his dad.
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Indeed, that’s the thing about relationships; the more you love someone, the deeper things can cut and the more they hurt.

We also finally get to see the context for what Boruto said in the preview for this episodes. He sees his dad as having abandoned the family in order to serve the purposes of the village as a whole.

Boruto insists that he will not repeat his father’s mistake, and his words strike a chord with Mitsuki.
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Also…I didn’t realize this before, but having turned the volume up when I rewatched it, I can confirm what DBZ Cuban was saying—one of those mysterious figures was definitely Orochimaru. That very distinctive voice—and laugh!—seals the deal. Based on what’s being said, it would seem that he is the singular parent that Mitsuki keeps referring to. (The creepy vibe must be at least slightly hereditary…although it’s not a certainly that our lab junkie even used any of his own DNA to spawn Mitsuki. You never quite know with a slippery son of a gun like Orochimaru.)

Perhaps especially moved by Boruto’s words just then, Mitsuki finally reaches the point promised in the preview: the revelation he has for his fiery and angsty companion.

The secret is—fanfare, please!—that he knows who’s behind the Ghost Incidents.
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And who, might you ask, is it? Aww, that’s cute—you actually thought they were gonna tell you this episode!

NOPE. Instead, we’re simply left with Boruto’s moment of astonishment as he registers Mitsuki’s admission.
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It’s not all teasing for us viewers, though. In the preview for the next episode (oh yeah, we’re gettin’ straight into this, people!), we get a crucial piece of information: the individual responsible is someone who’s had contact with all of the victims. What’s more, judging by Boruto’s angry reaction, it sounds like it’s someone he knows.

What’s more, we also find out we’re gonna be graced with a very special cameo: KAKASHI!!!!!!!!!!!
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Was that enough exclamation points, or do I need to use more?

Just heck yeah! What’s more, he’s fighting right alongside Sai. I really hope we get to see at least a little good collaboration between these two, especially since it’s a chance to observe how they relate to and work with each other as mutual adults now.

I don’t anticipate seeing a LOT of that, but I really do hope to get at least a taste of it next episode, and then see more of it in the not-super-distant future. Even though this show is most definitely about the younger generations, it still gives us some new opportunities with the previous ones as well.

Of course, none of this is the biggest news of the preview. Nah, that honor goes to the nue itself! Yup, this beast has finally come out to play, and he’s a GIANT. I’m talking tailed-beast size here. In fact, I’m kinda wondering if the Foundation’s intention in creating him was to essentially synthesize a tailed beast, rather than being stuck with the already existing ones scattered across the ninja lands.

In any case, you know we have to do the episode wrap-up and some theories right now, so let’s get to it.

Even though it was a fairly quiet one, much like Episode 10, I liked this one a heck of a lot better. Even with the fairly mundane things like the class trials, I didn’t feel like it was dragging; the episode felt like it went by quite quickly, actually—perhaps because of all the different angles covered.

I think this is a good place to mention another example of legacy: Boruto’s similarities to his father. Just as his father before him, Boruto is becoming the glue of his social circle, a uniting force. But in a twist of irony, Boruto’s own path is being motivated by his desire not to be like his father…despite how similar the two are turning out to be.

Naruto wrote the Goddarned book about valuing those close to you, yet now his son sees that area as being his father’s failing, one he’s determined not to emulate. As stern as I may be about Boruto and his attitude sometimes, I will acknowledge here that he has a point, and that Naruto is partially at fault here. In a way, Boruto is unknowingly trying to continue a legacy that Naruto himself has dropped the ball on to some degree.

I wonder if part of the problem is the fact that he lived a life where the whole village became his family, but had no nuclear one. So as a result perhaps he doesn’t understand the degree to which a nuclear family does need to take precedence now that he has one.

I’m not saying that he doesn’t value his family; I’m simply saying that perhaps he doesn’t quite know how to treat them as a whole, much like what he said about not knowing how to really be a father because he never had that role model.

Ahh, and here’s a good place to mention a peeve with this episode. Once again, credit to X for raising this issue: the Shadow Clones. It’s understandable that they wouldn’t be a full replacement—if having the real him matters to his family, then conversely it also matters to the village as a whole. Having said that, it’s a mystery why he doesn’t make more use of them the way he has this night. Even though he did end up needing to come in himself this time around, I suspect that his Clones would’ve been sufficient on many other nights.

I’m really not upset at the cliffhanger the way some people have been, especially since episode 13 looks like it’s going to be so bloody good, so the Shadow Clone logical issue is the biggest flaw of the episode for me, by far.

Now, before I give the score, we gotta go for theories. Who the heck IS this culprit?! Again, maybe I’m overthinking this, but if I’m wrong, I will absolutely admit it. That said, the very fact that it seems so apparent to others that Sumire is the culprit makes me think that maybe she’s NOT. I do wonder, though, if either she or even Boruto himself will be the last possession, especially with Mitsuki’s questions about their emotional states.

Someone also said something in a YouTube comment about spotting a purplish snake on or near Boruto in the preview, although I’m not seeing anything when I watch it myself. Perhaps they mean the purplish flow of chakra in this first-person shot from Boruto’s perspective?
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In any case, my realization about the possible purpose of Mitsuki’s questions is the main reason I’m suspecting that he or Sumire may end up being possessed by the Chakra…or perhaps by the very flesh-and-blood creature itself.

In fact…holy freaking cripes. Mitsuki is also able to see the Chakra, right? Well, who is the one person whom Boruto would have the most difficultly in detecting the possession of? HIMSELF!!!! For all we know, Boruto may have actually become possessed before, during, or after that sudden outburst at the table!!

Oh, wow. I will be so dang happy if I’ve managed to call this. Heck, that would be more than enough to cushion being wrong about who the culprit is. At this point I still don’t think it’s Sumire and can’t think of who it would likely be instead.

One thing that’s particularly messing me up is the statement about contact. It’s someone who’s had contact with all of them, right? Well who had contact with Kagemasa prior to his possession? We saw Boruto and Sarada there after his possession, but neither them nor any other familiar faces there beforehand.

Although…we do know that Sarada was already in the vicinity by the time Boruto arrived at the poster, so thus may have been around Kagemasa immediately prior to then. And she’s possibly been the most aloof, in terms of how often we see her with the rest of the team. We know she’s driven and an Honors Student, which she claims explains her absences. She also ranked just below Boruto in that timed trial where he first found out about Iwabe.

However, having said all of that, I don’t feel very comfortable accusing her, either.

Tell you what, guys. I won’t fully commit to that idea, so if she does turn out to be the culprit, I won’t be able to fully take credit as being right, either.

In any case, time for the episode score. As far as how I felt about this episode, it was a definite nine for me, believe it or not. The way the cliffhanger was perhaps a touch annoying, simply because the preview for this episode made it seem like more time would be spent on the answer rather than waiting until the end of the episode for the confession and then leaving us hanging once more.

To be fair, the only thing promised by that preview was that Mitsuki had something to tell Boruto—and he did. He informed him that he already knows who the culprit is. That in and of itself is a confession, and the matter of the culprit’s identity is honestly a second question. So it’s not like the writers really owed us that information in this episode.

So the biggest issue in this episode for me is instead the matter of why Naruto doesn’t make use of his Shadow Clones for his family’s sake more often. However, I do have reason to be at least somewhat optimistic here. The writers did make sure to explain to us previously why Boruto couldn’t use his Clones for the mail delivery. (And come to think of it, that also gives us one explanation as to why he didn’t simply make three Clones and let them help Denki for him at the wall. Although I suspect that it may have also mattered to him simply to be there personally for his friend.)

So, with all that considered, I’m giving this episode a conditional score: 8.5. “Conditional” because I will gladly bump that up to the originally desired 9 if they come through for me and give us a good explanation about the Clone matter.

Well, that’s all for this episode, guys! A quiet episode yet also a wonderful, varied, informative, and heartwarming one. And I cannot wait till Episode 13!! The mood conveyed in the preview—heck, even before that, during Shikamaru’s report—feels dark, intense, moody, and all sorts of kickbutt! And Kakashi is gonna be in it, dangit!

Now, as a final note, someone in another YT comment insisted it was fake, that it wasn’t really him.
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If that happens, I am gonna be absolutely furious. And quite possibly cry if we find out that anything bad has happened to the legend himself. And then, once I’m done crying, I’ll probably be about ready to go Himawari on those writers. (Verbally, of course.)

All I can say is that they better freaking do right by him. I’m good with that cliffhanger, but pulling some nonsense like that truly will tick me off!
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