|Manga||Volume #5, Boruto Chapter #16|
|Anime||Boruto Episode #158|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga|
In the anime, Mugino had been a close friend of Konohamaru Sarutobi for years. In various missions together, Mugino more than once saved Konohamaru's life. After the Fourth Shinobi World War ended and peace was established between the Five Great Nations and many other smaller shinobi nations, there were still much conflict in other nations that sparked smaller wars. Mugino was assigned as part of a team to pacify these uprisings. The mission lasted for three years.
As Konohamaru noted, Mugino was a man of utter selflessness. He would sooner sacrifice himself let himself become a burden to his allies. Mugino proved this when confronted by Ao, attempting to stop the enemy by committing a suicidal-kill assault. In the anime, while at heart a caring person, Mugino was also shown to be a very no-nonsense and matter-of-fact individual. His years of constant missions away from the village led him to constantly be on guard, never blindly trusting anyone. In battle, he is very methodical and problematic, quickly assessing the situation to come up with the most logical solution. He likewise proves to be a very resolved and strong-willed man, able to endure a life-threatening situation without losing his composure. However, his self-possession is such that it hinders his communication with those that aren't used to him, as he expects others to be as logical as him.
Mugino was a bespectacled, square-jawed man. He wore the standard Konoha-nin attire complete with a forehead protector which he wore like a bandana and flak jacket. In the anime, he also wore an orange neck-warmer with white stripes.
In the anime, having been trusted to be part of a three-year-long mission to pacify various small wars, Mugino was implied to be a very capable ninja. Even more, Konohamaru, one of Konohagakure's top jōnin, openly praised Mugino and accredited much of his survival to Mugino.
In the anime, he was very capable in taijutsu, able to evade his foes and restrain them with holds, showing noticeable raw strength to hold up a much larger and heavier foe. He also had considerable chakra reserves, able to endure having most of it being absorbed, and still able to fight on.
Mugino could use Earth Release to cause a cave to collapse in order to bury a target in the rubble. In the anime, his usage of Earth Release was expanded as he is able to fire earth projectiles from his mouth. He also had prowess in Fūinjutsu, able to work unison with others to destroy barriers.
Kara Actuation Arc
In the anime, shortly after finally returning home from his three-year mission, Mugino was assigned to a search-and-rescue mission in the Land of Valleys, for having extensive knowledge of the area. He was assigned alongside Team 7. Upon arriving in the Land of Valleys, they met their client, Mia. She explained that her village houses one of the leading medical care and research companies in the world. Her husband Anato, was on a research mission, but his group suddenly went missing. While the company refused to disclose any information in fear of their research getting leaked out, the Konoha-nin were able to sneak the information needed. Upon arriving at the research team's last location, they were confronted by Victor the company's president, and his personal guards. They were also looking for the research team, and discovered that most of them were killed. It was decided to join efforts. Soon, they found a cave. Inside, they found Anato, whose body was altered into a malleable state and mindlessly attacked them.
After the team failed to restrain Anato, Victor and his crew appeared and subdued him with a relentless barrage of Lightning Release. Victor promised they would return Anato to the village for treatment. With their mission technically completed, the Konoha-nin decided to return to the Konohagakure. Along the way, Mitsuki became ill and his body was taking on the same properties as Anato. Mugino brought them to Yubina, a former medical-nin. Despite the woman's eccentric nature, Mugino assured his team of her skills. After Mitsuki was treated, Yubina determined that during the fight with Anato, Mitsuki was infected by some of the First Hokage's cellular structure. Yubina also revealed that a girl had shown up in a similar case, and rumors that the black market was harvesting the late Hokage's cells for sale. They decided that while Mitsuki would stay behind to recover, the rest would go the source in the Land of Silence.
There, they learned that a worker from Victor's company came by weeks ago with the Hashirama Cell before suddenly disappearing. They also heard rumours that a man was in the area with connections to the Hashirama Cell. It turned out to be missing-nin named Kirisaki with unique medical ninjutsu prowess. After Boruto lured him away, they were able to detain him. They learned that he was expecting to meet someone about the Hashirama Cell the following day. They decided to impersonate Kirisaki to acquire the Hashirama Cell. There, after fooling the man into believing it was really Kirisaki, the man revealed to be a butler of Lady Sakuya. She desired to use the Hashirama Cell on herself under the misguided delusion that it would let her live forever and even more, restore her youth and former beauty. At the castle, Sarada and Mugino waited outside as a barrier around it prevented infiltration. Soon after, an alarm was sounded. It was revealed that someone had killed Sakuya.
The Konoha-nin were framed for the murder, all as a cover for the real killers to safely escape with the stolen Hashirama Cell. Everyone in the city began hunting them down, in hopes of getting a reward for their capture. Upon being cornered, they were aided by a young boy named Katara. He led them through an underground network that the children of the city used for their own society. At the base, the Konoha-nin met up with Mitsuki. After he fully recovered and his antibodies helped cure Kona, she helped Mitsuki sneak into the city. The children's network were able to quickly find the true killers. Once outside the country's borders, Mugino and Konohamaru split up from the genin to find their targets.
Quickly however, they were alerted by an attack on the genin and returned. The attackers were revealed to be Omoi and his team, sent by the Fifth Raikage to retrieve the Hashirama Cell for Konohagakure. After explaining the situation, the group worked together to hunt down the true thieves, who were deduced to be shinobi from the Land of Haze. Along the way, they were intercepted by Deepa, who was also looking for the Hashirama Cell. Omoi's team decided to face the new threat while the Konoha-nin moved on. Soon after, Mugino and his team was intercepted by one of the thieves, Yūga, who determined to complete his mission of delivering the Hashirama Cell to his land at all cost.
He unleashed a self-sacrificing technique to ensnare the Konoha-nin in a barrier and summon a destructive demon. Mugino and Konohamaru attempted to destroy the barrier, but were quickly stopped by the demon. Realising that the demon's main tactic was to absorb chakra from its target, Mugino restrained the demon, letting it absorb his chakra long enough for Konohamaru and Boruto to destroy the demon with their respective Rasengan. Later, after Mugino recovered enough, he bluntly told the genin that they have to open their perspective if they want to be real ninja. Boruto countered that while Mugino may be right, he needs to work on his communication skills, which Mugino was left bashful about. The team resumed tracking the Haze-nin.
Upon catching up with the remaining foes, the Konoha-nin were tricked and caught by Hiruga self-sacrificing technique that produced a restraining sludge. As it became clear that the technique would drag all near him underground, Omoi arrived. Battered, he revealed that Deepa killed his allies and was on his way to the Land of Haze to get the Hashirama Cell. Worrying for his remaining brother, Hiruga cancelled his technique and rushed off. While Omoi could not join his allies, he warned them that Deepa was seemingly impervious to all forms of attack.
Upon catching up to Hiruga's older brother, Asaka, it took some convincing that Hiruga was truly him and that there was a new threat. Before a truce could be agreed upon, Deepa arrived and swiftly struck down the remaining quadruplets. Boruto was furious and attacked the man, only for his kunai to harmlessly bounce off Deepa's body. The man explained that he is able to manipulate all the carbon is around him, including in his own body to become invulnerable. Victor arrived, and revealed to be allied with Deepa. Victor split up the jōnin from the genin in the team, where Konohamaru and Mugino faced Victor. He proved deceptively capable, manifesting a separate set of powerful arms that proved able to battle back the Konoha-nin. Soon, Victor noticed that Deepa's battle was causing an unusual amount of damage to the area and decided to investigate, sparing Konohamaru and Mugino.
Mugino and Konohamaru found out from Yubina that the genin found their way back to her for after being critically injured. On their way back to Konohagakure, which was better equipped to treat them, they left Mitsuki under Orochimaru's care. An old pet shop owner foretold the death of a close friend that only Mugino could stop, so he worked his way into Konohamaru's mission to the Land of Valleys to covertly investigate Victor's company. He was pleased to hear the Boruto and Sarada made the mature decision of not joining their mission, but instead focus on training to get stronger.
Days later, Konohamaru and Mugino returned to Victory's company, politely discussing their previous encounter. Victor offered to forget about that on the grounds that the Konoha-nin were just on mission so there was no need to take things personally. After some light pleasantries, they asked Victor how he originally acquired the Hashirama Cell and what he intended to do with it. Victor simply said he desires to expand his medical research for the good of the world with "his" resources. The Mugino took exception to that remark on the grounds that the First Hokage was a member of their village. Victor countered that it was his company's technology that stabilised the genetic sample. Deciding there was nothing left to discuss, he had the Konoha-nin escorted out. Soon afterwards, the two Konoha-nin snuck back into begin their real investigation.
As they sneaked in deeper, they soon saw that several new patients were brought to a restricted area, never to come out. To Konohamaru's surprise, he saw a doctor from Iwagakure that supposedly died during the Fabrication Uprising. While trying to sneak in further, Mugino and Konohamaru were cut off by a security system that blocked their entrance into the secret lab.
After an airship crashed on the outskirts of the village, he and Konohamaru Sarutobi were assigned the task of investigating the wreckage. While he stood guard outside as Konohamaru ventured into the wreckage, he was attacked by an unseen foe. When Konohamaru rushed to his aid, Mugino cursed his carelessness as he slumped to the ground.
Mugino is taken by Konohamaru to a nearby cave to flee from the autonomous puppets guarding the blimp, where Konohamaru tends to his wounds. After the rest of Team Konohamaru arrives with Katasuke, they catch each other up on the recent events. When Ao attacks them, Mugino attempts to restrain Ao, and is fatally injured by a concealed energy blade within the Kiri-nin's prosthetic arm. Instead, Mugino opts to collapse the cave on Ao and himself to give the others a chance to escape.