Title: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 5 Author: Masahi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Shonen, Battle Publication Date: March 5, 2019
In the fifth volume of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, The group Kara holds a meeting where they reveal that they have lost the vessel that is key to their plans. They aim to take it back as Koji states that he will be the one to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Boruto takes on Naruto in a one-on-one sparring match but it was revealed that Naruto used a scientific ninja tool to aid his victory. After being disqualified and having his ninja status revoked due to using one, Boruto is extremely angered by this and refuses to take a mission that would cause him to guard Katasuke as he brings Naruto’s hand to the research lab int Ryutan.
Meanwhile, the plot thickens when Konohamaru investigates a crashed ship carrying a container that has been emptied. They were suddenly attacked. We switch to Mitsuki and Sarada trying to convince Boruto to take the mission. Like always, they eventually do and end up in Ryutan where they meet up with Sumire, the class rep, along with Akita, one of the head researchers there. While there, Naruto contacts Boruto and tells him he’s no longer on that mission. They lost contact with Konohamaru and wants Team 7 and Katasuke to investigate. When they arrive, they are attacked by what they believe to be puppets but are actually scientific ninja tools themselves.
After the battle, Lord Ao from the Mist Village appears. It appears that combat cannot be avoided with him and the volume comes to an end.
This was a great beginning to a new story arc! Seems like this arc is going to deal with Boruto’s hatred for ninja tools and his slow acceptance of them. We also got a small peek into the new Kara faction. Sasuke even mentions that they have powers equal to that of the Otsutsuki clan, which makes them a lot stronger than the Akatsuki of old. It also appears that their factions is divided up between Inner and Outer agents. As the labels imply, Outers are on the outside and are called upon by the Inners to perform tasks. When an Inner actually shows up for a task, like in the case of Koji, it’s usually a sign that the task is extremely important.
Despite everything that happened, the mystique of what the vessel is and why its important was glossed over. While it was done on purpose to keep the reader guessing, I felt that withholding the information kind of made this volume drag on a bit. There wasn’t much action in it, to begin with, and I felt they spent a bit too much time on Boruto’s issues with the ninja tools. I got the point after the first chapter but to keep having him state his hatred over and over kind of took away from the story a bit.
In case you couldn’t tell from the story section, Boruto hates scientific ninja tools. He’s already coming around to the idea of ninja using them. It was all because of what happened to him that he hates them so much. Naruto even stated that ninja tools were never banned from the ninja world… just that they were banned from the chunin exams. That makes a lot of sense but because of what happened to him, Boruto just couldn’t buy any of that. Outside of this, Boruto didn’t really get much development. He’s still the same character… just with a touch of recovery from his disdain for tools.
Sarada, on the other hand, had a very subtle moment that kind of broke one of my predictions. She was asked by Sumire if she felt a certain way if other girls went after Boruto. Sarada said she had no feelings whatsoever when it came to that specific subject which lead me to believe that Sarada doesn’t really care for Boruto in a romantic way. I was ready to ship the two of them but apparently, I may be wrong in thinking that. Sumire, on the other hand, made is SUPER obvious that she wants Boruto in the worst way possible. Maybe that’ll be a spark to bring Sarada’s true feelings out? Who knows? I’m not about to give up on my ship just yet, though!
Katasuke got a little bit of development. After the Otsutsuki attack, he was informed that he was placed under a genjutsu and information about the ninja tools could have been leaked. He’s having some inner conflict over this mission because he feels a bit responsible for everything. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll see an atonement in an unfavorable way.
Akita is another new character and outside of her being a colleague of Katasuke’s, there’s not much we know about her right now. She is HIGHLY energetic, though and gets really excited over developing new ninja tools or improving on ones that have already been created. She really loves her work!
Finally, we have Lord Ao from the Hidden Mist. He hasn’t been back to the village since the great war. He lost a hand and has been treated by Katasuke in the form of a ninja tool prosthetic. He seemed very friendly and was quick to even teach Boruto a lesson about ninja tools. Despite the friendly encounter, he’s revealed to be an Outer for Kara which is why he attacks them at the end of the volume. Makes you wonder if his friendship with Katasuke will get him to reconsider or if some other unfavorable outcome will be the result of this.
Lots of character development in this volume. We are introduced to a couple of new characters, get caught up with one of the originals at the beginning of the series, and we start a brand-new arc! I was hoping we would get to see more of Kara… especially some of them in action. While their power is only rumored and discussed, we really haven’t seen it in action. Right now, they don’t even feel like the big bad group just yet. Perhaps if we saw a demonstration of what they were capable of, it would have built them up a bit more. I say this because we’ve seen groups show up (like the arc with Shun) and then just get eradicated by Naruto and Sasuke. Even the Otsutsuki Clan fell to the two of them which makes me wonder why a group like Kara should be taken seriously if they’re on the same level?
No demonstration of power in this volume kind of dismisses them for now. I expect them to get more involved next volume, especially Koji. I’m sure they will build them up to be a major threat but I’m just not getting those vibes at this point in time. Then again, at the beginning of a new arc, you wouldn’t expect that from the Naruto/Boruto series. Kishimoto (or Ikemoto in this case) tend to add a bunch of fluff at the start of an arc before they really just go all-in with it. There’s still time for this to get really good and if this series’ past is any indication, then I’m sure it will get good pretty quickly!