The Boruto Anime Just Brought Back a Fan-Favorite Shinobi Team

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime, Episode 101: "Jugo's Reinforcments."

The Boruto anime started off cutting its own path in order to distance itself from the end of Naruto: Shippuden, and also to give the series some space from the manga. However, recent episodes have brought back key elements from the Naruto franchise, turning nearly forgotten elements into important pillars once more.

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Now, due to a Cursed Seal infection threatening the outskirts of Boruto's village, Konoha, a fan-favorite team that Boruto's father often fought has been thrust back into the limelight: Sasuke's Taka, aka Team Hawk.

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In the Naruto-Verse, Taka consisted of Sasuke, Jugo, Karin and Suigetsu, a clan of teenage shinobi the then-evil Orochimaru assembled to overthrow terrorist organizations like the Akatsuki, as well as innocent villages like Konoha. When Sasuke eventually saw the light and redeemed himself alongside Naruto in the big war against Uchiha Madara, Obito and Kaguya, Taka followed suit and joined the great ninja alliance. They helped Naruto's legion to save the day, but since then, Taka haven't really been given agency ... until now.

In the current anime arc, apart from the Cursed Seals infecting villages and animals nearby, Boruto's unit finds itself trying to save Jugo, who no longer seems to have control over his mark and is once more turning into a beastly Hulk. It's no surprise Taka shows up looking for him, because Jugo was, after all, Orochimaru's guinea pig, experimented upon to make Sasuke more powerful. When Boruto's team tries to hunt Jugo, who's gone into seclusion, they end up butting heads with Karin and Suigetsu, which arouses their suspicion over whether Orochimaru has reverted to his villainous ways.

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Taka assures Boruto that isn't the case, and they're simply here to help a friend. Jugo is no longer obligated to Taka, but that doesn't mean they won't come running when he's in trouble. In fact, they want to get to him before Konoha and other villages try to apprehend the marauding ninja, or before anyone attacks Orochimaru, thinking he's responsible for the current predicament. What makes Taka so important in this rescue mission is they know how to quell Jugo, which is crucial because Boruto & Co. are inexperienced for the job. Bringing in outside assistance from other villages would escalate the situation, and Boruto doesn't want that. Thus, he entrusts Taka to run point.

Some fans see this dedicated arc as Taka finally getting justice. While they were important to Sasuke, he stole most of the limelight in the old series. However, that didn't stop fans from loving them. Karin actually belongs to the red-haired Uzumaki clan Naruto's mother was from, and was even thought at one point to be the mother of Sasuke's daughter, Sarada, instead of Sakura. Here, both get to bond, allowing Karin to educate Sarada on her father's misunderstood past, and the path to his redemption.

As for Suigetsu, while Karin is a healer and invaluable in battle, he's more comedy relief. But still, as a water-bender, he packs some serious punch, and folks are eager to see him sparring with Jugo as a throwback to their training days, when Suigetsu reminded everyone to underestimate him at their own peril.

Ultimately, they represent one of the most intriguing teams from the Naruto era, and seeing as they've returned, fans are also hoping Sasuke (who's turned into a roaming patrolman) reunites with them too. That's because not only was Sasuke the warrior they looked up to most, he viewed Jugo as a brother, not a monster, and may well be the key to saving his soul.

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