Title: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 4
Author: Masahi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shonen, Battle
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
In the fourth volume of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Boruto is continuing his mission to bodyguard Tento, the son of the Land of Fire’s Daimo. Boruto feels that dealing with this spoiled, rich brat would be a pain but after talking to him and getting to know him, he realizes that Tento isn’t that much different than himself. Tento even likes to play Extreme Ninja Cards, too and has all the rare cards thanks to having his own credit card. He offers to give Boruto a super rare card that he’s always wanted but Boruto refuses, saying that he’d rather get the card through his own hard work.
With his mission over, Team 7 is summoned back to Konohamaru where he gives them their first B-Rank mission. Boruto realizes that Tento slipped the card into his pocket before he left and he felt bad about keeping it. Boruto goes to return the card when he finds out that Tento was kidnapped. Boruto abandons his mission to go rescue Tento where he ends up battling Shojoji, a ninja who can transform into others by eating them. If they brain remains intact, he also gains all of their memories. Shojoji posed as Yamaoka, one of Tento’s caregivers in order to kidnap him and hold him for ransom.
Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki put an end to him but not before Shojoji noticed the mark on Boruto’s palm. Apparently, the mark belongs to an organization called Kara, The Husk. The volume ends with Kara beginning to set a plan in motion.
What seemed like a standing side mission turned into something completely interesting. The mark on Boruto’s palm grew during his battle and even paralyzed him. That’s an interesting effect. The fact that it was likened to Orochimaru’s curse marks is interesting but the fact that it actually belonged to an Akatsuki-like group is a bit perplexing. Does this mean that Kara, The Husk have ties to the Otsutsuki clan? Needless to say, things got a bit interesting at the end of this volume.
The Boruto/Sarada relationship tease continued in this volume… big time! Sarada easily let Boruto abandon his B-Rank mission without any explanation whatsoever. She even acted really smitten with Boruto afterward, going as far as to take her glasses off and strike a pose that spoke volumes about her hidden interest in him. This is so weird to see being an anime watcher and seeing just how different her character is there compared to her manga counterpart… although, she’s starting to come around in the anime as well… just not to this degree. Makes me wonder if the two of them will actually end up together in the future.
Tento really came into his own and I didn’t find him quite as annoying as the previous volume. Once you got to understand him, you felt like you could relate to him. The fact that he wanted to be a ninja sounded like a joke at first but he actually put some honest effort into it and even helped out Boruto during his fight with Shojoji. Dare I say that I actually enjoyed the Tento character? For a character that just seems perfectly created for a filler episode of an anime, he sure grew on you pretty quickly. I guess that’s the power of Ukyo Kodachi’s storytelling!
Shojoji was an interesting villain, although short-lived. His power was quite interesting and I’m actually a bit miffed that it was wasted on a transitional villain like him. Given the introduction of Kara, The Husk, I would have thought an interesting jutsu would have been saved for one of their members. Nevertheless, he served his job as a supporting character and even helped further the mystery behind Boruto’s curse mark. For a character that had only one purpose, he did his job in a good way.
An interesting twist to end this volume. It really appears that this Kara group will be this story’s version of the Akatsuki although there only seems to be five members of the group. Like Akatsuki, they all wear full cloaks but they are simply black and featureless. I’m sure we’ll begin to know more about them and their goals in the next volume.
This was a pretty straightforward volume of Boruto. We have a nice little cooldown story from the Momoshiki arc and it helped to bridge that story into the next major plot point. It didn’t answer any lingering questions but instead raised some new ones all while keeping the interest levels high. It’s still weird reading the manga and watching the anime as both platforms are telling two completely different stories, although there has been some crossover from time to time. At the same time, it’s still pretty cool to see the franchise approached from two completely different directions!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media