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The Ao Arc (青編, Ao-hen), also known as the Vessel Arc (器編, Utsuwa-hen) in the anime, is an arc of the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. It spans from volumes 5 to 6, and covers chapters 16 to 23 and episode 178 to 187. In the manga, it is preceded by the Mujina Bandits Arc. In the anime, it is preceded by the Kara Actuation Arc. In both medias, is followed by the Kawaki Arc.
Threat of Kara
As the Inners of Kara are summoned to a meeting by Jigen, he informs the members that the vessel has been lost. As two members voice their frustration, Victor reassures them everything will be fine. Jigen informs Victor that Amado is absent due to being reassigned to another mission. He mentions that while their group accounted for a loss in time, the event was a preventable human error. As Victor suggests they should mobilise an Outer to collect data on the new Scientific Ninja Tool, Koji voices his desire to handle the situation himself, which the group allows him to do. Concluding the meeting, Jigen ends the genjutsu. Afterwards, Victor curses Koji and the members that mocked him, leading to Koji revealing himself to the man, and explaining he was present with him before the meeting started. Preparing to attack Koji, he is struct by a kunai and set ablaze. Overcoming the Victor's regeneration jutsu, he dies, leading Koji noting that he's linked to Konohagakure.
In Konoha's Training Hall, shinobi watch Boruto and Naruto fight. Using shadow clones to distract his father, Boruto throws his Rasengan at Naruto, which vanishes before him. Not sure how his father countered his technique, Boruto attacks with lighting-infused waves, which Naruto blocks with his Earth Release wall. Impaling the wall with his hand, he absorbs the techniques with hand. Noticing the hand is still situated in the wall, Naruto appears behind Boruto, and swifts kick the genin, prompting Shikamaru to end the duel. Looking over at Naruto, Boruto notices his father is missing his right hand with it still in the wall, followed by Naruto telling Boruto he's got stronger.
At the Hokage office, Boruto is informed Naruto's hand was a Scientific Ninja Tool, which outrages him. Naruto explains he instructed Katasuke to make the tool after getting the idea from the battle against the Ōtsutsuki clan, and goes onto explaining its mechanics. Still outraged Naruto, Sasuke arrives, and tells his student that the tool itself isn't wrong, but the key is how you use it. On the Land of Fire border, Konohamaru and Mugino investigate a crashed blimp. Discovering a containing inside it, something approaches them in the distance.
|#||English title||WSJ release date||Volume number|
|16||"Vessel"||25 September 2017||5|
|17||"Ao "||30 October 2017||5|
|18||"Hands"||4 December 2017||5|
|19||"Puppets "||15 January 2018||5|
|20||"Scientific Ninja Tools "||5 February 2018||6|
|21||"How You Use It"||12 March 2018||6|
|22||"The Conclusion to a Fierce Battle!"||9 April 2018||6|
|23||"Kāma "||21 May 2018||6|
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|178||"Our Fathers' Example"||13 December 2020|
|179||"Victor's Scheme"||20 December 2020|
|180||"The Assassin, Mugino"||27 December 2020|
|181||"The Vessel"||10 January 2021|
|182||"Ao "||17 January 2021|
|183||"The Hand"||24 January 2021|
|184||"Puppets "||31 January 2021|
|185||"Tools "||7 February 2021|
|186||"How You Use It "||14 February 2021|
|187||"Kāma "||21 February 2021|
- Originally named Kara Arc (殻編, Kara-hen) in the WSJ #2426.