The 99th episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations saw Team 7 on a mission to a village on the outskirts of the Land of Fire, which has been afflicted with violent attacks by birds. The team had just discovered that Sasuke's old teammate Jugo was on location, and his cursed Sage Transformation was acting up again, causing Jugo to rampage as a berserk monster near the Land of Rivers. The new episode dealt with Boruto and Co. trying to redeem Jugo and figure out the true source of the cursed birds - but it ended with a stunning reveal!
While Team 7 handled the Jugo situation in the Land of Rivers, Team 15 (Wasabi, Sumire, Namida) had been dispatched back to Konoha to report the situation to Naruto and Co. - but the young genin were ambushed by two new mysterious foes, who revealed the unique power to manifest Cursed Seal Marks at the literal touch of a button!
We'll have to wait for episode 100 of the Boruto anime to learn more about who these new villains are, and where they come from - and what their larger plot for using these powers might be. However, just from the brief teaser at the end of this "Jugo and The Curse Mark" episode, we do know one thing: someone in the Shinobi Countries has been doing some kind of experimentation with Curse Seals!
The first suspect is of course Orochimaru, whose Cursed Seals of Heaven and Earth are two of the strongest chakra boosters there are in the series. It's also a fact that Orochimaru's Otogakure Village base is directly opposite the Land of Rivers, with Konohagakure wedged between them. That basically means that anyone with access to Konohagakure could move between Otogakure and the Land of Rivers doing this Cursed Seal experimenting, giving Orochimaru the right amount of plausible deniability.
The other possibility is that someone in the Land of Rivers is doing experiments with weaponizing Cursed Seals, and Orochimaru isn't the culprit after all. That reveal would mirror the recent Mitsuki Disappearance Arc, in which we discover that old man Onoki was using Hidden Stone as a lab to create his own breed of non-human soldiers, using White Zetsu technology as a basis. If it turns out the Land of Rivers is responsible for this, then Boruto will be slowly but surely revealing an informal arms race taking place in the shinobi countries - which would definitely feed right into the major story arc currently unfolding in the manga!
Boruto airs new episodes weekly on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.
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