Boruto, and its predecessor Naruto, are both superb tv shows. They’re very complex, and they’re mythologically grounded, and they touch on eternal themes.
In the episode released this week for example, the story on the outside looked like the main character Boruto’s mission was solely to slay the giant snake and take his Dragon Scale, in order to trade it in for information about his friend who betrayed the village.
But more deeply than that (and more explicitly as well!) it was about trust. You see, the snake from who Boruto was attempting to steal the Dragon Scale was once in a summoning contract with a human. But one day, when both of them were fighting side by side, they started to loose the battle they were in. It was the snake and his human partner versus like 50 ninja.
After a while, the human said “hey Garaga, let’s retreat, because we’re going to loose.” Garaga, the snake, said “no, we can’t leave without winning! I’m going to go forward, and you should back me up.” But when Garaga charged forward, he was overcome by a bright flash in his right eye, and then he could no longer see. It was his human partner who had slashed him with a chidori (a lightning bolt, roughly speaking).
Garaga, of course once betrayed by this man, no longer believed that he could trust this man. But he took it further: he could no longer trust man as such. Since that day onwards, he has hated humans, and wants nothing but to kill them.
Garaga’s basic philosophy de vivre c’est que tu ne peux jamais faire confiance a un human, parce que la confiance est seulment quelque chose pour utiliser par la personne plus forte contre l’autre plus fiable.
And so then the only thing, according to the internal logic of Garaga’s basic philosophy is that you can only create stable relationships that last on the basis of fear. If you want to enslave someone else, then you have to be able to kill them at a moment’s notice. Now, Garaga doesn’t seem to be interested in taking someone else as his slave, as he is just a nuisance to the snakes nearby, and just wants to eat Boruto and his friends.
The reason Garaga halts at eating Boruto on the spot is because he would like to see Boruto being betrayed by his traiter friend Mitsuki, instead of just being gobbled down. This suggests that Garaga still has some hope that he’s wrong about trust and about humanity, and that some small part of him wants to be convinced otherwise.
Boruto, because he’s a very honest and true person, says to Garaga, when Garaga tells him that he knows nothing about the world and about trust, that it’s true: he really doesn’t know about trust, nor does he know about how people should be.
But Boruto, because he’s a very brave and pragmatic and confident person, decides to risk his life to prove Garaga wrong. Boruto tells Garaga that he should become his personal summoning. That way Garaga can enjoy watching Mitsuki betray Boruto. Boruto says that either he’s right, that Mitsuki didn’t betray the village, or that he’s wrong, that he really doesn’t know Mitsuki and that he’s a fool for believing him.
Boruto risks his life by promising Garaga that if he’s wrong, that Garaga can eat him, as well as have the pleasure of watching Mitsuki betray him. If he’s right? Well they never say what’ll happen.
Garaga is incredulous! He thinks that trust is something that people use to take advantage of other people. But Boruto thinks otherwise. He says that trust is lending a hand to someone when they need help. Garaga thinks this is pure bullshit, and then lunges at Boruto! But he sees flashes of his old summoner human partner, and they were positive, so I guess Garaga really wants to trust this kid and have him prove him wrong. He stops the lunge at the last minute, and asks Boruto: what’ll you do if you’re wrong?
Boruto says that Garaga can kill him if he is. Until then, Garaga will be his personal summon.
What Boruto does here is he invokes the best part of Garaga. He saysL yeah, I really don’t know what I’m doing. But I will see, and you should come along for the ride. You just have more of a reward in the future if I’m wrong. But if I’m right, then you get freedom.
I still don’t understand why from Garaga’s point he would bother saying yes. That doesn’t make complete sense to me. Maybe what the writers were trying to say was that even in the worst sorts of people, there’s a kernel of good which you can invoke, and that doing so is your best chance of making it out alive.
Also, Boruto and his gang of friends are freaking cool! They just go after their old friend when he abandons the village and they end up in this snake cave which is waay to difficult for them, and they decide to continue on. In the end, Boruto gets a freaking summoning. Amazing. #goals.