Boruto’s fourth collection features Episodes 40 – 52, and, unlike most of these releases, it starts with some stand-alone episodes rather than in the middle of a story arc. The new Team 7 of Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki, the children of Naruto, Sasuke and Orochimaru (the latter we found out about at the end of the previous episode) along with their teacher Konohamaru, are the focus. The first three episodes see the group do some early, low-tier ninja missions, and although one of their first involves kidnappings and rogue ninjas, most of them are just helping members of the community, something Boruto finds boring (much like his old man did!). Due to the post-war Shinobi world being mainly at peace, Konohamaru says that missions into other nations are extremely rare nowadays, so hanging around their home town and helping the public will be more common for their generation, but of course it isn’t long until a major threat appears!
Well, I say major… major for ninja of their level. A group of bandits called the “Byakuya Gang” begin a series of robberies across the town, and Boruto is hot on their tail… until he finds out they’re giving their money to the poor and needy, which makes the young ninja ponder if stopping them is the right thing to do. During all this, Shikadai, the son of Shikamaru who has his father’s shadow manipulating ability as well as his love of shogi, befriends a new kid in town known as Ryogi. As the two play, it becomes increasingly obvious that Ryogi is a member of the Byakuya Gang, his rare Ice Release abilities being key to their success. Boruto and Shikadai soon realise that while Ryogi believes they’re doing what they do for the best, their leader Gekko is not… erm, very nice, to put it bluntly, and is clearly manipulating Ryogi, based on the child’s now deceased father being a former member.
So the drama comes from Boruto and Shikadai trying to bring Ryogi round to the truth, and you can probably guess what happens in the end, but I won’t spell it out and “spoil” it. This mini-arc lasts until Episode 47, with the last few episodes of the set being mostly stand-alone episodes based on the idea of the up-coming Chunin Exams causing excitement and panic in the young ninja. While a lot of these moments will seem extremely similar to a lot of other stand-alone “filler” (despite the fact this isn’t a straight manga adaptation…) there is one episode that focuses entirely on Squad 5 of Metal Lee (son of Rock Lee), Denki (the nerdy schoolmate Boruto befriended at the start of the series) and Iwabe (the brief rival-turned-ally of Boruto who has flunked the Chunin exam several times), who are taught by Udon, the adult version of the pal of Konohamaru whose only characteristic was having a glob of snot hanging from his child nose… Oddly this snot is now his main offensive weapon as a fully-fledged ninja, which erm… is handy, I guess? Anyway, this episode, combined with a focus on Shikadai in the previous arc, at least widened the Boruto cast a bit, after a heavy focus on the lead and his immediate teammates so far.
The last two episodes of this set begin the adaptation of the original Boruto movie, but I guess we’ll get to that properly in Set 5. “OVER” by Little Glee Monster is still our opening throughout most of the set, “It’s All in the Game” by Qyoto taking over for episode 52, and “Denshin Tamashii” by (*deep intake of breath) Game Jikkyo-sha Wakuwaku Band being your ending also up to Episode 51, with “Kacho Fugetsu” by Coalamode appearing on Episode 52. The extras are the usual clean opening and ending.
So Boruto: Naruto Next Generation Set 4 contains a mini-arc that may be extremely predictable, but is perfectly harmless and focuses on some different characters… for a bit. The rest is pretty throw-away though, clearly a come-down before we get into the bigger material for the next arc…