Naruto revisited the Third Hokage in an emotional flashback in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations' newest episode. After a long wait, the anime has officially laid the ground work for the Vessel arc that will bring in fan favorite characters like Kawaki and the remaining Kara members to the anime officially. The latest few episodes of the series have been taking the first steps into what manga fans might recognize of the arc, but the newest episode took some time to further flesh out one of the newer additions to the anime instead, Mugino. As it turns out he's got a past tying into the Third Hokage.
Episode 180 of the series gives us more of a look into Mugino's personality outside of missions, and it appears that he's a much different person than Boruto could have expected. This also goes for his back story, which Mugino reveals that he was once given a special opportunity by the Third Hokage after attempting to assassinate him.
Mugino’s backstory was beautifully constructed. Kids during the war era were indeed victims of such assassinations, being told to kill someone to save their own lives. I’m glad that the anime highlighted this. pic.twitter.com/BbFPuLz2YY— Abdul Zoldyck (@Abdul_S17) December 27, 2020
As Mugino explained, he had lost his parents at a young age and ended up being kidnapped and forced to be an assassin. After working his way to a place where he could be alone with the Third Hokage, Sarutobi then foils the young Mugino's attack and learns that Mugino is being held hostage by a dangerous jutsu. Helping him by defeating those keeping him hostage, Sarutobi then holds the young Mugino close and apologizes that children are being used as disposable weapons.
Following this, Sarutobi gives Mugino a letter of recommendation that will allow him to enter Konoha and even says he'd like it if Mugino and his grandson Konohamaru would become friends. But by the time Mugino was able to make his way to Konoha, Sarutobi had already been killed. But the flashback comes to a close with the young Mugino becoming friends with a young Konohamaru.
To be blunt, Mugino had nowhere near this same amount of development in the original manga version of the events so seeing his past tie into a flashback cameo from the Third Hokage is one plus the anime's take on the Kawaki saga has over the original. But what do you think? How did you feel seeing the Third Hokage again? What did you think of Mugino's back story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!