Boruto: Naruto Next Generations‘ time travel arc has ironically been a breath of fresh air despite the series revisiting the original Naruto in celebration of Masashi Kishimoto’s 20th Anniversary. This is largely in part because it’s an original story featuring the returning Sannin, Jiraiya, in a crucial role as Boruto and Sasuke try and protect the young Naruto from being attacked by Urashiki. But because Jiraiya has been gone from the series for so long, it’s been all too easy to forget just how cunning of a ninja Jiraiya actually was. But the latest episode had a pretty great reminder as his strategy took down Urashiki.
When Urashiki teased that his Blue Rinnegan had time travel powers, Jiraiya and Boruto quickly pieced together that he was transporting himself through time somehow rather than just having foresight into the future. Using that knowledge, they took Urashiki down a peg.
— Abdul Zoldyck (@Abdul_S17) December 1, 2019
Ever since Urashiki managed to get the better of Jiraiya in a previous episode, it’s clear that Jiraiya has been trying to figure out the secret of this new Rinnegan power the entire time. But in Episode 134, he and Boruto realize that the blood that’s landed on Urashiki has dried at a faster rate than their own blood stains. Jiraiya posits that this means Urashiki is either using heat, wind, or something else.
Eliminating the other two options in their discussion, Jiraiya theorizes that Urashiki himself is moving through time. With this knowledge, they lure Urashiki to a new location and Jiraiya summons a giant toad. But instead of his normal summon, he places all four of them instead of its mouth. The poison toxins of the toad’s body will hurt them all over time, but because Urashiki sped up his own time, the poison hit him faster.
With this, Jiraiya reminded fans just how effective of a ninja he really was in his heyday. If he didn’t lose his life all those years ago, maybe he would’ve made a major difference against the Otsutsuki Clan later on? But since this fight with Urashiki clearly won’t have an impact on his future, these small brief moments of cunning are all fans will get to see of Jiraiya for the immediate future.
Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto for Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, Naruto follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The series ran for 700 chapters overall, and was adapted into an anime series by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex that ran from 2002 to 2017. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations which is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.