Boruto anime episode 228, titled ‘Kawaki’s Path to Becoming a Ninja’, showed Kawaki being sent on different missions to see if he had what it takes to become a ninja. I’m interested in seeing how he will develop as a character by the end of this mini-arc.
With Code still out there, I was a bit confused about why the anime was going to let Kawaki leave the village on missions. Shouldn’t he remain in the village under constant surveillance? ‘Kawaki’s Path to Becoming a Ninja’ gave an explanation even though I think it wasn’t the best one.
Turns out, Naruto was into sending Kawaki out on missions to encourage Kawaki to bond with ninjas his age. Naruto’s kind of right when he said that if Kawaki made friends, those friends would be more willing to protect him from external threats.
Kawaki’s predicament reminded Naruto of his childhood. Naruto grew up with the Nine-Tailed Beast sealed inside of him. He was feared and hated by the Hidden Leaf Village. However, Naruto was still given the chance to become a ninja and make strong bonds with his peers. He wasn’t forced to remain inside the village forever. So, Naruto wasn’t going to force Kawaki to remain in the village either, even though Code still wanted revenge.
I appreciated the writers giving me an explanation, but I still thought it was a weak one. The fact that Amado got kidnapped during the recent Chunin Exams should be enough reason for Naruto to keep an even stricter eye on Kawaki’s whereabouts. But I guess the anime writers needed an excuse to feature Kawaki in a bunch of episodes again.
Due to Kawaki not going through the usual ninja training by graduating from the Ninja Academy, his path to becoming a ninja involved being sent on D-Rank missions inside or near the village. If he proved himself capable, he would be given the rank of Genin.
However, it was easier said than done for Kawaki. After messing up a mission (involving a feral panda) with Denki’s team, he proceeded to mess another mission (involving a runaway kid) with Wasabi’s team. Kawaki making the kid faint by extending his scientifically-enhanced arm made me laugh, but his treatment of the kid resulted in Wasabi’s team being scolded by the kid’s mother.
‘Kawaki’s Path to Becoming a Ninja’ continued to show that Kawaki didn’t know how to interact with other people. He grew up being punished and tortured by Jigen/Isshiki. He had no purpose in life other than to become a vessel for Isshiki’s resurrection via the Karma Mark. Being in the village and getting to live a free life was something very new and confusing to him. Kawaki had spent years learning that strength was the only thing that mattered. Forming bonds with others was a weakness.
Kawaki’s conversation with Salad helped him a bit. She told him she was still training after becoming a Chunin because she wanted to be selected as the Hokage one day. Her goal meant she needed to grow stronger to properly protect her teammates and the rest of the village, the way Naruto did.
With Kawaki looking up to Naruto, I want to see him put more effort into becoming friends with the rest of the young characters in the anime. In a sense, he’s already had a similar conversation with Kurama before. Kurama told Kawaki why friendship was important to Naruto. I hope the anime writers give us a quick flashback to that particular moment in the next episode.
‘Kawaki’s Path to Becoming a Ninja’ ended with Kawaki deciding to accompany Shikadai and Chocho on a C-Rank mission to escort a young client named Mozuku to the Land of Calm of Seas. Of course, something bad will happen and I’m looking forward to seeing how the mission will develop Kawaki as a character and if he’s able to strengthen his bond with Shikadai.
Some other thoughts and questions!
- Hinata’s conversation with Boruto about being patient with Kawaki was a nice one. She realized how different Kawaki’s childhood was and that he needed time when it came to opening up to others.
- Kawaki deciding to bring a bag of taiyaki home was a sweet gesture.
- Turns out, Kawaki’s body will attack you if you try to wake him up in the morning. Ha!
What did you think of ‘Kawaki’s Path to Becoming a Ninja’?
Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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