It seems as though I’m here writing another post…about Boruto. Wasn’t that long ago when I last wrote about this series, but I think I’m going to cover this show as each arc ends, that way it’s all fresh in my mind and I don’t have to watch the episodes (for insignificant arcs) all over again after an actual plot important arc happens. What I’m saying is that I’m just making everything convenient for me.
Anyways the mini filler arc about Chocho just ended, and boy do I have some complex feelings about its timing. This is mainly because A) The last arc was so good and episode 65 is one of the greatest expressions of animation to grace my eyes, so following with a filler arc kind of halts all of the hype the audience could have had and B) As I’ve already mentioned, this arc was about Chocho and, from comments I’ve read via Crunchyroll, no one likes Chocho. No wait. Very few people like Chocho. They find her annoying. They dislike her. And I don’t want to call the hate filled comments sexist, but they kind of are. They hate her for essentially being a girl version of Choji and they didn’t hate Choji for being Choji. I’m pretty okay with her existence, though. She’s pretty funny and, until this arc, it was pretty interesting to see an overweight character who’s main personality trait wasn’t the fact that they’re overweight. It’s just that after this past arc, you kind of wanted to go on more with the narrative, how will Boruto’s life change after defeating a god? Will we learn more about his dojutsu? Who is the next enemy? Etc. etc. No one really wants filler as the immediate follow up, but then again, when is an actual appropriate moment for filler?
Even though I didn’t want this filler and didn’t expect much from it, I actually ended up liking this arc a bit. Not for the plot or the writing, those elements were kind of bad, but the messages behind the arc were great, and yes there was more than one message (the other one was very subtle though). And even though I shouldn’t value a message an arc is trying to express over the narrative, since the narrative is what should essentially drive a story based show, this is just one of those rare cases.
To summarize what goes on in this arc, essentially Team 7 (Boruto, Sarada, Mitsuki) and Team 10 (Shikadai, Chocho, Inojin) are tasked with being bodyguards for an actor and actress of a popular drama who’ve been receiving death threats. Chocho has a crush on the male actor Tomaru, and for plot reasons, of course, Team 10 is assigned to him. In order to impress him, Chocho uses one of her family’s signature moves to change her appearance to look slimmer. The problem is that this appearance makes her weaker than normal, because she can’t use her chakra the way it’s supposed to be used while in that form. As one might expect with this set up, of course the arc explores the topic of body image. This is an arc where the usually confident, sassy, and hilarious Chocho is in doubt regarding her beauty. Usually she’s fine with how she looks, but Tomaru has shaken her foundation. Eventually her regular form is revealed and Tomaru says that he doesn’t care for fat chicks and Chocho is expectedly upset about that. We find out that the death threats were all a set up by the actress, so she could stay prominent. Chocho saves Tomaru in her regular form, and of course Tomaru develops a sense of respect and admiration for her.
This arc had quite a few flaws. It was predictable. From the moment I saw the preview for the first episode of this arc, I knew what was going to happen, and as the episodes strolled along I kept wondering why this arc was three episodes instead of two. It didn’t need a whole three episodes. There were a quite a few moments, especially when other characters commented on not only the physical, but also the personality, changes in Chocho where you could sense that the writers were padding the episode out. And other times it felt like the writers didn’t quite know what to do with the episode outside of the main driving points, kind of like when a student writes an essay that needs to be twelve-hundred words, but their main argument can be closed out in five-hundred, so they meander aimlessly for a while before closing it all out. But one of the most heavy handed moments was when Mitsuki gave a whole lesson infused speech to Chocho. Though it runs with Mitsuki’s character, his ignorance of human nature, to repeat things and heavy-handedly drive a point home, the problem is that he drove the point about three times and it really felt like they were padding out the episode.
There was one other issue I had with this episode, and it was the fact that there was potential for Tomaru and Chocho to be lovers or form a relationship. My issue is that, though we sometimes forget this, Chocho is like twelve or thirteen and Tomaru is an adult. That’s creepy guys. Pretty no bueno.
But once again, this arc had a good lesson about body image. Chocho is powerless in her more appealing image. In the end her overweight form is her strength and therefore beautiful, also Chocho acts more like herself in that form rather than as a shy and timid girl (which she is not). Over all, her regular form is what works best for her, and after saving Tomaru it’s her regular form that gains romantic favor with him. Chocho learns to accept herself again. And with Netflix movies like Insatiable out there, it’s good to tell audiences, especially younger ones, that you don’t have to change yourself for anyone (change if you want to) and that you are beautiful as you are (boys, y’all are beautiful too).
But this arc also tackled gender, and I didn’t really expect that to happen, which is pretty cool. In the first episode of this arc, Mitsuki asks Orochimaru if they’re his mother or father. And Orochimaru answers that they’ve been a men and women in life (since, you know, they stole all types of bodies and is definitely just a snake controlling bodies at this point) and that it doesn’t matter what they are. At the end of this arc, after observing Chocho’s whole debacle about appearance, Mitsuki comes to accept Orochimaru’s answer. And that’s super cool, especially when regarding the young audience who’ll watch this and hopefully understand that gender isn’t really important and doesn’t need to be binary. And now I hope I run into a kid who’ll tell me that gender isn’t really of much importance when defining a person and that a snake parent from an anime taught them this.
Anyways, that’s my take on this arc. Was it good? No. Was it terrible? Also no. But it was enjoyable enough and hopefully this next filler arc will be slightly entertaining or at least action packed. Metal Lee is gonna learn about unlocking his gates. I leave you with two snake people talking about life (and fighting too). Later days.