“Breakthrough” Boruto Anime Episode 280 Review

“Breakthrough” Boruto Anime Episode 280 Review

Breakthrough Boruto anime episode 280 review
Shamo is injured during Boruto and Kiseru’s fight in “Breakthrough” (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 280)

Boruto anime episode 280, ‘Breakthrough’, ended up giving me a very unexpected revelation about the experiments that Boruto has been trying to survive. I can’t wait to see how this arc will end!

“Breakthrough” picked up where the previous episode left off, with Boruto deciding to confront Kiseru and get him to tell the truth about whether he’s working with Ouga and whether he killed any of the other prisoners. If you’ve been following my reviews of this particular arc, you’d already know that I quickly put the anime writers on the side for trying to make Kiseru the bad guy. I could sense there was something more to him and I’m glad my theory was confirmed as the last episode progressed.

It was revealed that Kiseru was actually a double agent. Working for the Great Five Nations’ Joint Investigation Team, he had been tasked with infiltrating the Kara organization as an outside member to gather information. His current mission was to get to the bottom of why a bunch of people had disappeared from all over the Five Great Nations. It turns out that some Jonin were also missing while trying to uncover the truth behind the disappearances, with the last message from Kiseru’s best friend (a ninja who also went on the same mission) about how his team shouldn’t trust anything they see.

I really liked how the characters came to learn about what was going on. Shamo and Yatsume learned the truth about Kiseru after he dropped a scroll containing certain details. Lettuce, Mitsuki, and Kawaki were brought into the loop after confronting three hooded ninjas who were revealed to be from Konoha’s ANBU division.

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The scene where Salad realized something was fishy was handled well. I liked how she decided to test the mysterious ninja woman in front of her and realized that her opponent was actually from Konoha. I understand that some people may not have liked lettuce being thrown to the ground by the mystery woman. But from what I could gather, Salad was holding back during their brief fight because she wanted to check if the woman would use Konoha’s fighting style or not.

Lettuce being the one to pick up on something suspicious made sense for her character. After all, she is Team 7’s leader and a Chunin-level ninja. However, I think Mitsuki should have sensed something as well. He attended and graduated from the Leaf Ninja Academy. I didn’t expect Kawaki to have a similar intuition because he is new to Konoha. But anyway, kudos to the salad!

Although learning about Kiseru’s true identity allowed Salad, Mitsuki, and Kawaki to feel better about Boruto’s fate, they soon changed their minds after talking more with the ANBU ninjas. Understandably, the ANBU ninjas were concerned about Kiseru’s mental health. They hadn’t heard from him in a while, and they were worried that maintaining his cover might mess with his mind. He wouldn’t be the first to break under the pressure of being a double agent, especially when the job is accompanied by a sense of isolation because you can’t actually bond with the people around you. Kiseru also had a personal stake in the mission because he was trying to find his best friend. So that added another layer of stress.

When Boruto fought Kiseru, ‘Breakthrough’ also spent some time giving Shamo some character development. Shamo realized that he had “support character” energy. And you know what? It is OK. Not everyone can be the main character. However, what Shamo could do was work through his fear and take on the responsibility of telling Boruto the truth about Kiseru before the two hurt each other more.

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The scene where Shamo ran directly into Kiseru and Boruto’s line of fire reminded me of how Sakura tried to do the same during Sasuke vs Naruto decades ago. Although Boruto was able to deflect the Rasengan to avoid harming Shamo, Kiseru was unable to stop the attack and ended up injuring Shamo. At least the young ninja didn’t die and was able to tell Boruto what he knew.

As for the big reveal, it connected to the message of not trusting anything you saw. Boruto talking about Kiseru’s fake personality being just an illusion made Kiseru connect certain dots in his mind and conclude that all the experiments were indeed fake.

Truth be told, I had no idea that Boruto and the rest of the prisoners were trapped in some sort of advanced Genjutsu/simulation. I didn’t even see that theory come up during fan discussions. So, yes, the revelation really surprised me.

Kiseru, a trained medical ninja, helped Boruto escape from the Genjutsu/simulation by stabbing the protagonist’s chest with a kunai and then using Medical Jutsu to free Boruto from the Genjutsu’s influence. The scene where Boruto realized that everyone was being held in pods made for a very exciting image. Of course, I can’t wait to see how he will help the other prisoners escape.

The fact that the prisoners are still alive in the real world made me happy because I ended up liking Batta as a character. Although Batta died during the experiment in the previous episode, I believe she is still alive inside the pod. The same goes for Namua who sacrificed herself to keep the gate open for Yatsume, Rokuro and Shamo.

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Also, what will happen to criminals like Rokuro? Will he be sent to prison when he is released from Genjutsu?

And who the hell kidnapped and put everyone in Genjutsu in the first place? Is Yatsume the real villain? I hope the anime writers are able to provide satisfactory answers when the arc ends next week.

For those wondering, after the current arc’s finale, the Boruto the anime series will begin to adapt Sasuke Retsuden. The first episode of that particular arc will air on January 8, 2023. From what I know (and I could be wrong about this), Sasuke Retsuden arc will last six episodes. I’m very interested to see how the anime writers will decide to fit the story in the stream Boruto timeline, considering the events of Sasuke Retsuden the novel was supposed to take place before the Kawaki and Kara stuff. Anyway, whatever the anime writers decide to do, I can’t wait to see Sakura and Sasuke work together!

What did you think of “Breakthrough”? Were you surprised to hear about the Genjutsu/simulation reveal?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Master in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books, including Missing in Somerville and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV series, anime/manga, video games and movies.

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