The newest chapter of the “Naruto” sequel, “Boruto,” just released, coming out of Shueisha’s “V Jump” magazine. And chapter 45, despite lacking the intense action that has made the last few months of “Boruto” so exciting for readers, brings an equal amount of thrill and intrigue in the form of an info dump.
To begin, the chapter picks up right where the previous left off as Amado tries to gain amnesty in the Hidden Lead Village, trading his knowledge for safety. Despite this being a ninja manga, with espionage, warfare and betrayal, we ironically have never seen anyone defect from a group and subsequently seek out amnesty from a Hidden Village.
Typically, it goes the other way around, where a ninja will go rogue from their village and sell their abilities to an organization. To ignore the Akatsuki, that was the case with Zabuza and Haku back in the early days of “Naruto.”
To flip that around and have a member of a villainous organization defect to the good guys is both unique and curious for the series, and has provided the readers with the perfect way to gain insight into the origins of Kara, as it the moment its existence makes little sense.
I’ll be honest, I found this chapter to be highly compelling, though I do have my reservations. The information we got this chapter was low hanging fruit to put it simply, revelations that we kind of already knew. So, on that front, we didn’t get anything jaw dropping. However that is not where my reservations come from.
I always welcome well timed info dumps, as they almost always make for some of the most memorable chapters in a series, but its important that the info dumps don’t dispel all the mysteries. If you answer them all, they better lead to deeper mysteries, more rabbit holes to dive into, because otherwise the readers will get bored once they know everything.
That’s where my reservations for this chapter, and the next few, come into play. More questions weren’t raised in this chapter, so will the things we learn dispel the mystery that keeps us so interested in characters like Kashin Koji? These characters have been the subject of innumerable online discussions and videos.
This chapter didn’t just provide information, though. We got to see an entirely new side of Shikamaru, a very proactive side at that. Shikamaru is known for is lazy, go where the wind takes him approach to life, yet this chapter highlighted just how age and fatherhood has changed him as a man.
I feel as though we haven’t truly seen much of that from the other characters of the old generation, because frankly most of them are the exact same character they were when they were young.
Some readers might take issue with it for any number of reasons, and I considered those things as well when I read, but I’m taking the stance that this character development is logical, relatable and verily human. For Shikamaru to not behave in the way he does here would make him far less relatable, particularly for readers who grew up with these characters and might very well be at the same place in life as them. That’s something I’d certainly like to see more of that this chapter is practically the first of.
Furthermore, the best way for the manga to continue might actually be to cut away from the interrogation meeting, and have it come back only once they’ve given Amado amnesty in the Hidden Leaf. That way, the reader can be continuously fed the answers to mysteries throughout months’ worth of chapters, rather than having it be given to us all at once.
If that’s how the manga progresses, I think we’re in for a treat. Even if it doesn’t go that way, I’m sure there’s alternate paths that will be just as fulfilling and will make this chapter pay off. In the end, this is one of those chapters where it’s almost perfect but is unfortunately dependent on what comes after it to truly determine how strong it is.