Boruto anime episode 289, titled ‘Qualifications’, was about introducing yet another player to Code’s team. It also focused on Kawaki and Boruto’s feelings regarding the Karma Mark.
‘Qualifications’ opened with a flashback featuring a kid Kawaki and Code. While Kawaki never wanted to become Isshiki’s Vessel, Code was different. Being able to prove useful to his God was Code’s primary goal. However, Code never got to achieve said goal because he was considered unsuitable to become the perfect Vessel. He was left with the White Karma while Kawaki got the actual Black Karma. The flashback added to why Code had always felt jealous of Kawaki. He would have killed Kawaki back then if Isshiki hadn’t forbidden him to do so. And with Kawaki playing a major role in Isshiki’s death, Code was now out for blood.
I liked seeing Kawaki’s conflicted feelings toward the Karma Mark. He wanted to get rid of it. But that came with a huge loss in power. During a checkup session, Amado could tell that Kawaki felt frustrated about now being strong enough to protect Naruto anymore. According to Amado, there was a high likelihood of Naruto dying if he faced Code alone (having lost the Nine-Tails Chakra inside of him).
Amado telling Kawaki that he could still access Isshiki’s powers if he agreed to get the Karma Mark again made me side-eye Amado. You could tell that Amado’s intentions to give Kawaki his Karma Mark again were more than simply helping Kawaki use the Karma Mark as only a weapon to protect Naruto. Amado more or less came clean about having a hidden agenda when Sumire confronted him about his plans. He didn’t let slip what his endgame was, but he was definitely up to something. Here’s hoping Sumire’s able to throw a wrench into Amado’s plans if they are revealed to be dangerous to Konoha. Amado did say he didn’t intend to harm Konoha. But I don’t trust him.
With his entire childhood focused on becoming powerful, ‘Qualifications’ showed Kawaki going through an identity crisis without the Karma Mark. He didn’t even consider himself worthy enough to remain in Konoha. While I appreciated Shikadai, Inojin, and Chocho stepping in to calm him down and insist that he was indeed part of Konoha, Kawaki needed to listen to those words coming from Naruto.
The anime team handled those particular scenes between Naruto and Kawaki quite well. Naruto’s goal of becoming Hokage included treating everyone in Konoha as his family. As far as Naruto’s concerned, Kawaki was his adoptive son regardless of Kawaki possessing the Karma Mark or not. He was a member of the Uzumaki family and there was nothing Kawaki could say to change that.
With Kawaki seeking power and being encouraged by Amado to agree to the Karma Mark again, Boruto’s scared of his Karma Mark. The anime-only scene where Boruto didn’t want to have a sparring match with Himawari because he was afraid of the Karma Mark taking over and hurting his little sister was handled well. The moment even led to Himawari showing concern for her brother, near the end of the episode, by asking if Kawaki would be able to help Boruto when the time came. You can tell that things are going to change in a major way for the Uzumaki household and I can’t wait to see it happen!
As for what our villains were up to, Eida felt bad after seeing Kawaki feeling helpless about not being able to protect Naruto. And even though Code was under her Charm Ability, he was still resistant enough to tell Eida that he wouldn’t spare anyone else except for Kawaki, even if she wanted him to. Not killing Naruto and Sasuke wasn’t up for debate.
Code’s resistance to Eida’s Charm Ability showed that while her unique skill worked to prevent others from hurting her, she didn’t have full control of other people when it came to making them follow her orders. Code’s thirst for revenge was able to override Eida’s ability.
Bug also showed some level of resistance. He couldn’t do anything to harm Eida outright. But he was able to curse her and Code out in his thoughts. Bug also tried to make the two leave the facility as soon as possible. Of course, that didn’t work. But at least Bug tried.
Due to Eida wanting Kawaki to fall in love with her, Code did bring up a good point. Code wouldn’t be able to protect Eida if Kawaki (who was immune to her Charm Ability) decided to attack her. Kawaki wasn’t going to be all friendly with Eida after he learned that she was in cahoots with Code. Said possibility led to Eida deciding to unlock her actual little brother, an android named Daemon.
Daemon’s introduction in the manga was confusing as far as his powers were concerned. And I think the depiction behind his Reflective Ability was still confusing in the anime. I get that it’s a deliberate decision from the creators. But still. I would have liked to see the anime drop a few more hints about how Daemon’s powers to Reflect attacks in such a manner worked.
Whether you intended to kill him or not, just the intent to attack Daemon was enough for his Reflective Ability to make the attacker experience the end result of an attack. His OP ability was automatic. So, sneak attacks were out of the question. Not only that, but Daemon’s combat abilities surpassed those of Jigen. Daemon was so fast that Code didn’t even notice the little boy come out of the pod he was being held in.
I liked how Daemon’s ability concerned Code. He even asked Eida if she was keeping some of her powers hidden from him. So, yeah, I guess we can look forward to both Eida and Daemon exhibiting new abilities depending on what the plot requires down the line.
As of right now, Eida and Code are all about biding their time for the right opportunity to strike Konoha. And with the emotional turmoil Kawaki’s going through, the chance to attack might just present itself very soon.
What did you think of ‘Qualifications’? How do you suppose Daemon’s Reflective Ability works? What is Kawaki planning?
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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