The Opposing Side of Anxiety
So to start off, Team 5 is in charge of transporting an fragile pottery and Metal is feeling confident in himself especially as he got a good luck necklace to help him overcome his free especially how he is going to do something soon…but one cut later he messed up and the pottery was destroyed which does bring Metal’s confidences a bit down but regardless he does want to learn from his father how to use the Eight Inner Gates. For those who are new to the Naruto series, the Eight Inner Gates are parts in the body that holds a huge amount of chakra and unleashing the gates will grant the user a boost in power and the more gates that are unlocked, the stronger the user but the flip side is that it will strain the user and the effect gets bigger with more gates. Basically this is the taijutsu user’s bread and butter and Metal was going to learn this from his Father Lee but after seeing the charm that Metal got, he postpone the training as Metal lacked something but Metal doesn’t know what but figures that it was tied to his anxiety. As Metal thinks we are introduced to someone we haven’t seen in forever, Might Guy as the two get along as…huh…what’s a master of a student of a son? I don’t know but anyways Metal explains his dilemma as Guy invites him to the Leaf Academy as he was going to go there anyways and wants Metal to tag along and Denki and Iwabe happened to drop by as well as Iwabe becomes a fan boy with Guy…which that is kind of hard to believe but he’s praising him for being one of the heroes from the Great Ninja War. Anyways off topic, Guy is there to teach the students about taijutsu and how he put his life on the line to save the world, even though that it cost him his right leg and despite this he doesn’t remember the opponent which is a running gag for Guy as he has a hard time remembering people especially Kisame but whatever we got a mini fight on our hands with Iwabe and Metal taking on Guy despite his right leg. Turns out after 15 years of therapy Guy has gotten the hang of battling with just one leg as he was able to take out the both of them without any problem which kind of puts Metal’s position even worse as he was jealous that Guy is still pretty strong despite the handicap and how he couldn’t conquer the anxiety so it seems like he is stuck without any idea of what to do. Heck the next day Team 5 was in charge of spying on someone but they got away because Metal was wearing more charms that made the noise which puts Team 5 in a bad track record.
Things look bad for Metal but Lee approached his son and challenged him to a 1 on 1 fight and landing a single blow on Lee would make Metal the winner but the catch is Lee would invite people to watch the match which puts Metal in a bad situation as he wanted to prove himself to the person he looks up the most but he doesn’t want his anxiety to take over. So this was kind of worries me as what path would Metal take, would he have the anxiety take control or just unrealistically abandon it as it was the moment that the episode takes it’s stand on the subject and Metal’s answer I believe was just right as it’s in the middle. All this time Metal Lee was worrying that he should attack and conquer the anxiety and while it is doable to face the fears completely, it doesn’t happen right away and takes time and that’s what’s messing him up as he is worrying about trying to cure it rather than the goal in question. So rather tossing it aside, he accepted it, tossed away the necklaces and confronted his father leading to honestly a great fight. Sure Metal is still nervous having to face Lee with a crowd but because he has accepted his problems he works around it and this somehow created a new fighting style on the fly as due to his minor panic state his movements, power and speed is making Metal hard to predict and Lee has a hard time keeping up with him in his base form which kind of reminds me of the Loopy/Drunken Fist from Part I…so is this fighting style the Anxiety Fist (which sounds terrible) and wouldn’t you know it, because of all the adrenaline that was building up in Metal he managed to unlock the first gate, the Gate of Opening which made him land a solid hit making Metal the winner as Guy, Lee and Metal hug it out in the only way that they know how to.
So overall I actually think this is a great episode as unlike the previous mini arc where nothing much happened even though that this is a side story, it did felt that stuff was happening as between the character growth and how to confront problems by working around them, this had more weight to it. Not to mention that it handle the subject matter very well especially the outcome as Metal is getting better but still has anxiety problem as it would be wishful thinking to wish the problem away but one step at a time with working with your problems rather than against it. Not to mention that the pay off was great with the fighting between Metal and Lee short but sweet. So this is something that was missing and I’m glad that Boruto manage to get it’s groove back.