If you’re a huge NARUTO fan like myself, then you’ve been doing your best to stay up to date with its sequel series BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATION. It’s a little easier said than done as the anime seems to be doing its own story while incorporating content from the manga. It has felt like a long journey so far and knowing the BORUTO anime still has so much ground to cover is certainly unnerving. However, one reason BORUTO fans push forward in the series is to learn more about Kawaki, the character who will bring ruin to the Hidden Leaf Village in the future. At long last, Kawaki made his manga debut in chapter 23 on April 28th. With his debut, it seems the BORUTO franchise is finally looking to get serious.

Minor spoilers ahead for BORUTO.

A Peaceful World in Ruin

BORUTO takes place several years after NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ends. At this point in time, the beloved characters we all grew up with have begun the next chapters of their lives as adults. Some characters married and even had kids, while others became teachers/jonin. Naruto became the 7th Hokage, revitalized his broken bond with peer Sasuke Uchiha, and ushered in an unprecedented period of peace in the ninja world. The story of this series follows Naruto and Hinata Hyuga’s son, Boruto, and his adventures as a ninja. The manga and anime adapt content from BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE but eventually move it into its own original story.

BORUTO teased its original story right from the beginning. The Hidden Leaf Village had been destroyed once again, and Naruto is presumed dead. We then get our first look at a matured Boruto who looks like he has been through hell. His clothes are dirty, he’s kneeling from fatigue, and one of his eyes has been slashed. Boruto looks across at the man (Kawaki) who seems responsible for it all. Kawaki states that the age of ninja is over. In response, Boruto proudly states he is a ninja, and the two resume their battle before a flashback begins.

Kawaki’s Long-Awaited Debut

Kawaki made some strong first impressions in his opening fight scene with Boruto. For starters, he simply looks like a badass. He has some strange markings on his left arm, later revealed as a power called “Karma,” that looks like a cool tattoo sleeve. This, coupled with his punk-styled hair, makes him look like a character you don’t want to mess with. Aside from his great character design, Kawaki appears to be a powerful adversary. At one point he says, “I’ll be sending you to meet the 7th, Boruto.” This implies he might be strong enough to kill Naruto, the 7th Hokage, which is no easy task considering Naruto’s god-like strength. Kawaki’s strength and style made him intriguing right from the start. Unfortunately, he vanished moments after his memorable debut.

Kawaki claims to have killed the 7th Hokage, Naruto
Kawaki’s bold claim | Image: Crunchyroll

Kawaki has resurfaced at a surprising time in the manga. Boruto and his companions just finished fighting Ao, a powerful ninja from the Hidden Waterfall Village. Ao pushed Boruto and his friends to the limit with mirror drones (puppets controlled remotely with chakra). Briefly after Ao’s death, Kashin — a member of the mysterious group known as Kara — arrived at the scene. He skirmishes briefly with Boruto’s group and awakens Boruto’s karma power (the curious tattoo markings seen on his arm during his opening fight with Kawaki). The battle wraps up quickly and Boruto’s team take their leave. Along the way, they stumble onto several broken mirror drones. Boruto’s teacher, Konohomaru, remarks that whoever did this must be a powerful ninja considering how much Boruto’s experienced group struggled with the drones. Boruto’s company soon finds Kawaki unconscious in a crater, while also discovering that Kawaki possesses the Karma power as well.

What to Expect from BORUTO Moving Forward

The highly anticipated battle between Kawaki and Boruto is still months, possibly years, away. Nevertheless, there is still plenty to look forward to and speculate over. Personally, I’m going to have a blast ruminating over Kawaki’s character. I’d like to imagine he is BORUTO’s version of Sasuke. If this is the case, don’t expect Kawaki to be evil right away. Expect him to befriend Boruto and become an integral part of the story before switching sides. This would make him a multi-dimensional character, and a much better villain in my opinion. Regardless of how BORUTO uses Kawaki right away, it certainly seems the franchise is ready to start making some noise once again in the manga and anime community.

Featured Image Courtesy of Crunchyroll

The Opening Scene of BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS Shows Off a Bleak Future for the Series

One Comment

  1. Mela

    October 28, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Is this from the current boruto animation? I haven’t watched him being in the series of boruto yet. but i did see him in most updates on the manga of boruto. I’m confused since the anime and the manga are not on the same line.

    Reply

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