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The Kara Actuation Arc (殻始動編, Kara Shidō-hen) is the seventeenth arc of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime, which ran from episodes 157 to 177. It is preceded by the Mujina Bandits Arc and is followed by the Ao Arc.
Kara's trails in Amegakure
Having learned from Team 25 that there was an alleged Kara hideout in Amegakure, Sasuke and Sai arrived in the village to investigate a building that used to be a sewage treatment facility, until it was abandoned due to a toxic gas incident that caused several fatalities, while commenting on how the village's repairs aren't progressing at all. Sensing someone, Sasuke and Sai swiftly exposed and subdued a man named Garashi Tōno who accused them of killing his friends but they were able to convince him that they were Konoha shinobi and with the fact that the ones who killed their friends might be the same ones they're looking for, asks for his story. Garashi explains he learned ninjutsu from an old man who raised orphans like him who lost their families during wars and recognizes the name Kara when Sai asks about them, and shows them a design he copied from them, revealing he and his friends investigated the place when Kara showed up, glimpsing something like an experiment, only to be spotted and all of Garashi's friends were killed by poisoned gas while the building collapsed into parts, though Garashi is sure that there are still places with the gas. Sasuke asks Garashi to take them to Kara's hideout and Garashi agrees in exchange that they help him recover his friends' remains in return.
At the hideout, Garashi warns them not to wander in side paths, and that depending on the airflow, the places with poison gas changes. They arrive at a blocked passage, which Sasuke breaks open with Chidori. However, it turns out that Garashi was actually a member of Kara and when Sasuke and Sai entered, they found a clone on the ground and a trap waiting for them as gas begins filling the room, revealing Garashi was the one who he killed his friends with the gas because no one would save them, but Kara offered him hope. Fortunately, Sasuke and Sai had anticipated Garashi was a member of Kara all along and the ones Garashi trapped were clones, having noticed that Garashi was careful avoiding dangerous areas along the way, but rushed in near the end, and how he was strangely calm despite being emotional when getting close to his friends would make him emotional. It also turns out that Garashi's mask wasn't designed to protect him from the poisoned gas and he begins to collapse but refuses to let himself be interrogated, still seeing that Kara, while willing to abandon him, had given him more hope than anyone and kills himself as a trap placed by Kara begins to collapse the building. Sai draws a bird for them to escape and they were able to spot remnants of experiments, but unable to investigate, could only conclude that not only they confirmed that Kara actually exists, but also that they have sympathizers and return to Konoha to report that to Naruto and Shikamaru, as well as also that Kara's experiments are likely biological, Sasuke recognizing the equipment as similar to those he saw when he was with Orochimaru. Naruto then reveals that Katasuke Tōno had been influenced by a third party and had leaked their work out as Ino had learned after repeated search into his mind. They decide to reinstate him in order to hasten the testing of Scientific Ninja Tools, which without him has slowed down considerably, something they can't afford when their work has been leaked. Meanwhile, Kara holds a meeting, where the leader reports the death of Garashi and the destruction of their old facility left behind in Amegakure, visibly irritated by the loss of one of their allies only for the destruction of an old facility that should have been destroyed long ago, as an elderly member appears visibly disgruntled, before deciding to close the matter as the shinobi world hasn't realized anything yet.
Team 7's arrival on the Land of Valleys and Discovery of Hashirama Cells
As Boruto excelled in his training of shurikenjutsu, impressing Sasuke, he wanted to find out more about Kara, as Shojoji's intel stated that Kara may know about the seal on his hand, but Sasuke made it clear he can't do that as going against such an unknown enemy will only end badly and told him to simply continue training and doing his assigned missions, despite admitting how he sounded hypocritical as he himself had left the village, before giving him a glove to hide his seal, which draws attention. Boruto agrees and promises to fulfill any mission given perfectly, only to soon get bored when Team 7 are assigned a missing person's mission in the Land of Valleys, with a recently returned Mugino accompanying them as he is familiar with the region and appearing terse with Konohamaru's excitement.
As they travel to the Land of Valleys, Mugino reveals he spent the last few years mediating conflicts between smaller nations, as while peace may have settled on the Five Great Shinobi Nations, it has only increased the conflicts of the smaller ones, but remains terse as Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki was clearly displeased but Konohamaru defended Mugino as he simply wasn't the type to be friendly. Upon arriving, they report to Mia, who requested the mission and tells them that the missing person is her husband Anato, a researcher for a medical supplies' company, who was supposed to have return after a one month work related trip, but it's been three weeks since his intended return date, and the company won't divulge anything due to trade secrets and begged them to find him. Upon arriving at the company where Anato worked, the receptionist assures Mia she'll be updated, as they have also sent a search party to look for Anato, but refuses to divulge more information even as a distressed Mia made a scene. Mitsuki, with help from his snake, managed to learn where the company's search party was sent to look for Anato, a place he told Mia about and went there only to be surrounded by other shinobi. Victor told his underlings to stand down, surprising them that the head of the company is involved in the search and explained his motivations is to create a regeneration therapy capable of prolonging life and healing any injuries, having been badly injured in the Fourth Shinobi World War, which Victor expresses scorn at the shinobi for repeatedly naming the Great Wars as it's just a war for civilians. The two groups exchange information, and narrow down Anato's possible location by ruling out places they've already investigated, coming into a cave, finding tree roots and branches inside, before finding Anato on the other side. Anato unexpectedly attacks them. The shinobi struggled as they didn't want to hurt him, but Victor had his underlings strike down Anato before taking him back to his company, promising to do everything in his power to save Anato and telling them to return to the Hidden Leaf Village.
As Boruto felt extremely frustrated and guilty over being unable to return Anato's wedding ring, Victor had Anato researched for a specific material and when it wasn't found, had his employees kill him as he wasn't useful anymore and soon learned of a report of a mismatch on the number of search party members and corpses found and that the material they were looking went missing to. Soon enough, Mitsuki collapses as something spreads from his arm that was bitten by one of his snakes that failed to restrain Anato and Mugino and Team 7 took him to a doctor named Yubina who Mugino states is extremely skilled. Despite initial misgivings seeing Yubina's apparent sadism, Yubina quickly proved herself worthy of their trust and with help from Sarada, succesfully removed the matter from Mitsuki that was affecting him. Yubina, commenting on how unique Mitsuki's body was, reveals that the wood chip that she extracted from Mitsuki was created by Wood Release and a young girl who is suffering similar symptoms when Mugino and Konohamaru expressed disbelief that it was caused by Hashirama's Cells, confirming that it was true. She also revealed that there have been rumors of it being sold at a black market, much to Mugino and Konohamaru's terror, as there is only one place around the land that has a black market: The Land of Silence, a lawless place filled with rogues all around the world that cannot be reached with the authority of a shinobi.
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|157||"Kara's Footprints"||19 July 2020|
|158||"The Man Who Disappeared"||26 July 2020|
|159||"The Hashirama Cell"||2 August 2020|
|160||"To the Land of Silence"||9 August 2020|
|161||"The Castle of Nightmares"||16 August 2020|
|162||"Escaping the Tightening Net"||23 August 2020|
|163||"The Pursuers"||30 August 2020|
|164||"The Forbidden Jutsu of Death"||6 September 2020|
|165||"The Quadruplets' Duty"||13 September 2020|
|166||"Death Match"||20 September 2020|
|167||"Their Decision"||27 September 2020|
|168||"Training Begins!"||4 October 2020|
|169||"A Joint Mission with the Sand"||11 October 2020|
|170||"A New Rasengan"||18 October 2020|
|171||"The Results of Training "||25 October 2020|
|172||"A Signature of Fear"||1 November 2020|
|173||"The Secret Behind the Underground Room"||8 November 2020|
|174||"The Revival of the God Tree"||15 November 2020|
|175||"Beyond the Limits!"||22 November 2020|
|176||"Blockade the A-Un Gate!"||29 November 2020|
|177||"The Iron Wall's Sensing System"||6 December 2020|