It's Boruto or nothing, baby!

Let’s Talk About It: Metal Lee Eight Gates Episode

And we’re back with more Boruto, way faster than I thought I’d be, really thought this arc of Metal learning how to unlock the eight gates would be longer than an episode, but you know, being finished with it sooner is better than later. Also I don’t know how they could’ve stretched this “arc” out longer than an episode.

Overall this was a cute episode and I enjoy it when characters outside of Boruto and his team get some spotlight. One of the flaws of Boruto’s Dad was that there wasn’t as much of a focus on the side characters near the end of the series, so it’s good that this series, even if it’s not so important an episode, is giving some attention to others.

Metal Lee overcoming anxiety. Boruto and company are unimpressed.
Remember when we thought trinkets actually had mystical elements and could cure you? Boy, the 2000s were wild.

This episode covers Metal Lee’s struggle with anxiety, in that when he notices people looking at him he gets anxious and becomes unable to perform at his regular prowess. He becomes a klutz when under observation. And he wants to overcome that, because once you take away his anxiety, he’s a pretty talented and strong ninja. At the beginning of this episode, Metal relies on the use of a pendant to ward off his anxiety and the results are catastrophic. He drops a priceless national treasure which ruins his mission. Afterwards he goes off with his father, Rock Lee, to train. Rock Lee says that it’s finally time for Metal to learn the technique Rock learned from his mentor, Might Guy.

Metal Lee disappointed by Rock Lee.
I’m gonna keep bagging on this trinket. It’s just so dumb.

Before their training can start, Rock Lee backs out of training upon seeing Metal relying on his trinket. Rock Lee says that Metal isn’t ready and leaves, which confuses and disappoints Metal. The young ninja, rather than thinking the trinket is the cause, believes that his father is disappointed in his inability to get rid of his anxiety. This in turn just makes Metal Lee dig deeper into his hole.

Metal then runs into Might Guy (or as I call him, the GOAT…well now he’s a wounded GOAT who can’t fully use both legs) and talks about his problem. Might Guy decides to take the young ninja under his wing for the day and brings him to a lecture he’s giving at the Ninja Academy. There the pair meet Metal’s other teammates, Denki and Iwabe. Might Guy gives a lecture about taijutsu and how his skills allowed him to assist Boruto’s Dad against Madara (a fight you can find in Boruto’s Dad: Shippuden). A student from the academy then asks Might Guy if he regretted his injury that, for the most part, keeps him bound to a wheel chair, and Might Guy responds that he can’t lament over what has happened, but rather that he’s come to accept his situation as what it is. It’s something that he’s confronted and won’t run away from.

Might Guy preparing to spar. Injured Might Guy.
Look at this man. He only has one functioning leg and doesn’t rely on trinkets.

After that wonderful speech that Metal doesn’t quite yet understand, Might Guy gives a taijutsu demonstration where he spars against Metal and Iwabe with one leg. Metal’s anxiety once again gets the best of him and the two genin get pummeled. This only put Metal into a deeper rut, and later we see him now with three trinkets in order to control his anxiety–which of course doesn’t work, and he screws up another mission. This episode presents a lot of failure for the young shinobi.

Rock Lee challenging Metal Lee. A father challenges his son.
Though they’re not pictured in this image, around Metal’s neck is three gaudy trinkets.

His father challenges him to a fight. One condition for the fight, because everyone knows if it were a serious fight Rock Lee would absolutely wash Metal Lee, is that Metal just has to land a hit on his father to win (think of when Vegeta gave that challenge to Trunks in the beginning of the Majin Buu arc in DBZ). The other condition for the fight is that it’ll be in front of a live audience, so people will be actively watching Metal as he fights. Unsure as to whether he wants to take this challenge, Metal Lee receives some more advice from Might Guy. Might tells him that he’s a person that gets nervous and anxious. That’s his true self and something he should accept.

Metal Lee's anxiety fist.
Look what he can do without the trinkets.

At the fight, Metal decides to accept his anxiety as not something he should try to get rid of, but something he should accept, and he finally gets rid of those god awful trinkets. While fighting, the stares from the audience, of course, makes Metal anxious, but this anxiousness changes his movements. It changes his fighting styles. His moves are sporadic, unpredictable, wild. It resembles Rock Lee when he fought drunken fist style during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. In a way it’s a nice call back. With this style, Metal unconsciously unlocks the first gate and knocks his father away, winning the fight.

Metal Lee unconsciously activating the first gate.
I have no more jokes about trinkets.

At first I wanted to call this episode filler, but I’m going to refrain from that, because I hope that this’ll be a change for Metal Lee and that this style will appear more in the series, it’s similar to Rock’s drunken fist, but is able to be combined with the eight gates, which will be destructive and make Metal Lee a force to reckon with later on.

But also, this episode was great, because hopefully there are kids, or even adults, out there who watched this episode, suffering from anxiety, and are more comfortable with their disposition. Hopefully, like Metal, they’ll accept themselves as they are, because why lament over a set back? We should all enjoy our spring time of youth.

While not entirely related to this episode, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Strikers comes out on August 31st, so I leave you with a trailer for the game. Later days.

 

 

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