Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime is finally reconnecting its manga source material - following a lengthy hiatus that's been dragging on fans' nerves for over a year now. Boruto is (not surprisingly) taking a much longer path through the events of the "Mujina Bandits Arc" from the manga, which has taken the form of an entire preamble to the main arc, which has seen Boruto, Mitsuki, and Sarada go undercover in the Shinobi Prison within Hozuki Castle, to get intel from a convict that has information about the Mujina gang. While Boruto episode 144 "Kokuri's Secret" still hasn't revealed the anime version of the Mujina Gang in full, we did get our first look at the villains!
Warning! SPOILERS for Boruto Episode 144 Follow!
Team 7's mission in Hozuki Castle is to locate former Mujina Gang member Kokuri, who has become a marked man, ever since word got out that he not only deserted the Mujina Gang, but also knows the location of the money they stole during a violent robbery. While Boruto and Team 7 are trying to pump Kokuri about information on the Mujina, another member of the gang (Tsukiyo) is trying to put Kokuri back into the gang's clutches.
As it turns out, everyone has the wrong idea about Kokuri. After Sarada uses her Genjutsu to trap Kokuri in a fantasy that coerces him to confess what he did with the Mujina Gang's money. In fact, Kokuri was never really a full-fledged member of the Mujina Gang, but rather an accountant that worked with the gang. When Kokuri realized the money he took from the gang was the same money from the violent robbery, he panicked and ran. Kokuri dumped the money into a local charity, but eventually the Mujina caught up to him and cornered him on a cliff overlooking a waterfall. That's where we get our first tease of the full Mujina Gang in anime form:
As fans of the Boruto manga know all too well, the Mujina Gang is a fearsome crew of bandits that are collect from various Shinobi villages. Their leader, Shojoji, is an especially nightmarish villain - like Marvel's Kingpin he's a robust-yet-agile and extremely powerful fighter, with jutsu skills that range from the Corpse Clone Technique to mastery of Wind jutsu in both offensive and defensive measures.
This first tease of the Mujina Bandits in anime form leaves out Shojoji, so that's something Boruto fans still have to look forward to.
Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, Naruto follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The series ran for 700 chapters overall, and was adapted into an anime series by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex that ran from 2002 to 2017. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations which is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.
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