There really is something to be said for “It’s always the quiet ones.” All I expected from this week’s episode was continuing where the previous episode left off. What I didn’t quite expect was for Shino to go all, if you’ll pardon my expression, bat crap crazy.
Having previously called Boruto, Shikadai, and Mitsuki out to a practice field, Shino prepares to give them what he calls “our final lesson.” Shikadai insists that Boruto and Mitsuki apologize for whatever they did, but Shino’s insects attack regardless. Mitsuki retaliates and is impressed that the insects catch his kunai with webs. Just then, Boruto suddenly notices the same ominous aura surrounding Shino as he’d seen on the others. Shino vents his frustration at not being taken seriously as a teacher and of having his hard work amount to nothing. He also declares that he feels liberated and that all his worries were a lie, perhaps even all the years of being overlooked and underappreciated.
Shikadai attempts to stop him with Shadow Paralysis, but the swarming insects bypass it and latch onto Boruto. Mitsuki blows the insects away with Wind Release and, in an eerily familiar manor, extends his arms to retrieve Boruto. Using a smoke bomb, the trio retreats and considers their options. Realizing how strong Shino is and how serious his intent, Boruto suggests seeking help from another teacher. But Mitsuki dismisses the idea, since Shino’s bugs have already spread through the forest and would likely find them before they can make it out.
Sometime later, Shino catches up to them and Boruto and Shikadai attempt to escape with a paper bomb. This fails, but they manage to escape again and regroup with Mitsuki who claims he got lost. With very few options left, Mitsuki suggests killing Shino. However, Shikadai proposes a less lethal plan, pointing out that so far Shino has paid no heed to the amount he uses. But in order to separate him from his insects, they would need someone to act as bait. Shikadai suggests Mitsuki as bait but Boruto, wanting to make up for causing Shino to snap, volunteers instead, reminding them that he can still make shadow clones even with his depleted chakra.
And thus, their plan is put into action. Boruto confronts Shino with a few shadow clones and although Shino manages to avoid them, Boruto uses the insects’ webs to place a paper bomb behind him. Shikadai once again tries to catch him with Shadow Paralysis, but Shino dodges it again, having figured out their plan to lure onto the water. Shikadai then points out that Shino has already used most of his insects and Mitsuki, who’d been hanging back, extends his arms and pulls Shino under the water. In a last ditch effort, Shino release aquatic insects, but Mitsuki responds with Lightning Release, shocking the insects and freeing Shino of the possessing aura. He drops Shino on land, but having spent most of his chakra, he starts to drown. Boruto dives in, but soon finds his own chakra too low. And despite being drained of chakra himself, Shino dives in and manages to save them by summoning a giant insect.
Later that day, the trio apologizes to Shino for underestimating him, finally acknowledging his skills, while he in turn apologizes for attacking them. Afterwards, he reports to Naruto about the incident, saying he has no idea of when or where he was possessed. Both Naruto and Shikamaru consider it a minor miracle that Shino wasn’t himself at the time, otherwise the students might not have fared so well. Since the ominous force seems capable of affecting even a jonin level psyche, they agree the situation can no longer be ignored and ask Shino to help them investigate.
I gotta say, I thought Shino’s rant at the beginning was pretty decent. Any good villain, even a temporary one, should have a brief raison d’être speech. Shikadai and Mitsuki kept asking Boruto about the mysterious aura only he can see, but that’s all that was said about it. Kinda expected someone to come up with a theory as to what’s causing it beyond unspoken suspicion. Shino seems to have been vaguely aware of himself while he was possessed, so maybe that’s a clue. The preview for the next episode seems to imply some sort of love confession is involved. Honestly, I hope it’s a little less embarrassing than all those girls trying to confess to Sasuke.