‘Two sides of the same coin’

Hana tries to deal with her evil psyche in ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 270)

boruto anime episode 270, titled “Two Sides of the Same Coin,” was all about giving answers about the mysterious killer who was supposed to kill Kae.

The previous episode offered confirmation that Kae was never in danger from her butler (ex-shinobi) Batora. He risked his life to protect Kae from the killer before Kawaki showed up. I liked how the previous episode left Kawaki with certain suspicions about the killer’s death and how the situation was handled in the Land of Bamboo. “Two Sides of the Same Coin” continued that storyline and explore Hana’s past.

I think it was clear to everyone that something was wrong with Hana. Her overly timid nature just didn’t fit her position as a teacher at the Ninja Academy. The writers also dropped a lot of hints, especially when she fell to her knees during episode 268 due to a headache. Hana was exhausted and the current episode gave us the reason.

With Hana returning to teach after her short stay in the infirmary, it is revealed that she couldn’t quite remember finding herself under a pile of rubble when Kawaki was chasing the killer. “Two sides of the same coin” made Hana retrace her steps, trying to make sense of things. And while she didn’t realize what had happened to her as she walked through the Ninja Academy, the truth hit hard when she went home. Hana was indeed the killer, but the “how” and “why” were still missing for her.

I loved the way the writers explained everything. Turns out there were two Hana, in a psychological sense. The real Hana (let’s call her Hana A) was the shy character we knew. However, there was also another Hana, a ruthless one, who hid deep in Hana A’s psyche. Let’s call her Hana B.

An orphan, Hana A, and a bunch of other children (about 50 of them) were trained as ninjas by the minister of the country of bamboo. The training process was brutal, with the final test being an all-out battle with the survivors allowed to graduate. Hana A didn’t want to kill anyone, but she also wanted to live. The psychological toll of what she had to do led Hana A to create another version of herself, the version that was okay with doing things Hana A didn’t want to.

I mean, it’s not the most original backstory, but I think I’ll pass it by because it gets the job done and explains why Hana A was so confused about what really happened at the Ninja Academy. In addition, the writers did a good job of explaining why no one ever suspected Hana A, as she was placed as a sleep agent in the Hidden Leaf Village 10 years ago, in the aftermath of the Great Ninja War, as a child. Now that Hana A has been able to maintain her cover for ten years, I wonder how many other sleep cops are currently present in different villages.

You would also assume that Hana B would have left the mission after the minister was arrested for wanting Kae to be killed so her younger brother could take her place on the throne. But I think Hana B is a very devoted ninja.

The psychological struggle for control between Hana A and Hana B was well depicted, right down to the changes in body language as Hana B wrestled control from Hana A. The scene at the end of the episode where Kawaki noticed Hana (not realizing that it was Hana was) B) crushing a butterfly and then proceeding to throw away the petals the students collected for her was fun. With what Kawaki saw, I wonder how long it will be before he realizes that Kae is in danger from her teacher.

Two sides of the same coin Boruto anime episode 270 review
Hana A is chained up by Hana B in ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’ (Screengrab: Boruto Anime Episode 270)

With how things usually play in the Naruto/Boruto franchise, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hana is banned from the Hidden Leaf Village or given the psychological help she needs. I highly doubt that Naruto would order her to be punished after listening to her story. That’s not who Naruto is as a character. Not only that, but Hana A intervened when Hana B was ready to stab Kae. So I see Naruto forgives her.

I expect the inevitable Hana B vs Kawaki showdown will be fun. Kawaki is way out of her league in strength, but I think Hana B should still be able to give him a little hard time if she’s not concerned about keeping a disguise. I see her trying to sneak attack by making Kawaki hesitate by pretending to be Hana A.

How about ‘Two sides of the same coin’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haqi

Farid has a double master’s degree in psychology and biotechnology and 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 shows, anime/manga, video games and movies.

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