“Boruto: Naruto Next Generations” Manga Issue 61 Review: Madness

Madness Boruto manga issue 61 review
Amado on the Cover Page for ‘Madness’ (Image: Boruto Manga Issue 61)

Boruto manga chapter 61, titled ‘Madness’, showed Kawaki make a huge decision that will impact what’s to come next. Having said that, I did find the overall issue to be a bit boring.

‘Madness’ opened up with Boruto and Kawaki hanging out with Inojin and Shikadai. Boruto’s clearly not happy about being under surveillance 24/7 due to the possibility of Code coming to attack him and Kawaki without warning. The current chapter had Inojin explain quite a lot about the chakra-sensing security system his mom Ino ran throughout the village. We have seen this particular security system be created in the anime already. That’s why having Inojin give such an explanation in the manga felt like a waste of panels to me. I know Kawaki needed to know about how the system worked to enact his plan in the end, but still, I think the information could have been delivered utilizing fewer pages.

Also, Inojin’s explanation still didn’t explain how Kashin Koji was able to enter and then roam around the Hidden Leaf Village without raising red flags. According to Inojin, when a person entered the village, their unique chakra signature was compared to the database to determine if they were a resident of the village, someone familiar, a stranger, or a potential enemy. When Kashin Koji entered the village, of course, his chakra signature was detected to be that of a Hidden Leaf Village shinobi due to Kashin Koji being a clone of Jiraiya. However, Jiraiya died years ago. So, why the heck didn’t the security system results make someone at least raise an eyebrow over a legendary dead ninja’s chakra signature reentering the premises?

The Hidden Leaf Village has experienced the horrors of the Edo Tensei jutsu during the Fourth Great Ninja War. They know dead people can be resurrected using such a forbidden jutsu. So, why didn’t the database flag Kashin Koji’s presence inside the village?

Let’s assume Kashin Koji was able to enter because he’s capable of suppressing his chakra. But what about after he entered the village? Why didn’t anyone on the security team clock the chakra signature of a well-known deceased shinobi while Kashin Koji was walking around? And don’t say he was able to continue suppressing his chakra because the recent Boruto anime episode showed Inojin tracking Kashin Koji’s chakra signature and worrying about losing it if Kashin Koji walked into a crowed because Inojin wasn’t skilled enough as a sensory ninja yet. 

I guess when it comes to Kashin Koji entering the village undetected and staying there for a couple of days, I will have to chalk it up to the creative team deliberately ignoring their own fictional set of rules to push the narrative in a certain direction. Sigh!

Anyway, the name for the chapter’s title, ‘Madness’, came from the conversation Shikamaru and Amado had while smoking cigarettes on the roof of the Hokage building. According to Amado, he hadn’t anticipated Kawaki forming a very strong bond with Naruto. Apparently, Kawaki’s connection with Naruto went deeper than Kawaki experiencing the usual father issues due to never experiencing familial love.

Shikamaru compared Kawaki’s feelings for Naruto to Code’s devotion to the Otsutsuki God. Kawaki and Code would sacrifice anything for whom they believed in. I knew Kawaki saw himself as part of Naruto’s family. But I wasn’t expecting his emotions to be so intense. No wonder he keeps thinking of doing something, anything, to ensure Naruto remains out of harm’s way.

With Kawaki deciding to run away from the village near the end of the chapter, after suppressing his chakra signature (which, apparently, came easy to those from the Otsutsuki Clan) and using a Shadow Clone to distract the sensory ninja stationed outside Naruto’s house, I’m unsure about what he plans to do. Amado has already offered him the chance to regain a new Karma Mark to access the Otsutsuki power still inside of him. But instead of going to Amado to become more powerful, seeing Kawaki run away from the village came as a surprise to me.

Does he plan to defeat Code on his own without involving Naruto? I mean, I get that Kawaki’s angry and worried, but going up against Code without gaining some sort of powerup doesn’t sound like a good move. Let’s see what happens next because after learning about Kawaki’s escape from the village by Eida, Code’s chasing after him.

Kawaki running away and Boruto being worried about his adopted brother did remind me of the ‘Sasuke Retrieval Arc’ from the early days of Naruto. I continue to share how I don’t want the main narrative in Boruto to be Naruto vs Sasuke 2.0, but as the manga chapters continue moving the story forward, I think I’m hoping in vain. Currently, Kawaki and Boruto do seem to be a rehash of Sasuke and Naruto. And that’s just disappointing. I expected better from Masashi Kishimoto.

Also, if Salad doesn’t end up being the second strongest ninja in the Boruto franchise, similar to her father Sasuke, Kishimoto will have yet again failed when it comes to creating well-written female characters. He keeps pushing Salad to the sideline to prop up Kawaki. If Kishimoto still doesn’t know how to write fictional women after being called out during the Naruto years, he needs to reexamine his storytelling skills.

This is a department where mangaka Tite Kubo exceeds. Even though the women in Bleach are usually scantily-clad, at least Kubo places them in positions of power, offers them moments to shine, and gives them motivations that don’t revolve around a male love interest. In comparison, gaining the affections of their male crushes played a huge role in the backstories for Sakura, Hinata, and Ino during Naruto. Even in the present timeline, Sumire’s crushing hard on Boruto. Like, come on, Kishimoto. Do better!

As for the rest of ‘Madness’, Sasuke doing his own things while checking out the Claw Marks that Code left behind was interesting. It’s been ten days since the last major battle and the Hidden Leaf Village is still on high alert due to the threat posed by Code. The scene also showed how certain ninjas reacted to someone as infamous as Sasuke. Yes, he saved the world, but he also did a whole lot of bad stuff before coming back to the good side. While one of the guards was annoyed and suspicious of Sasuke, another one thought Sasuke was cool. Also, with Kawaki outside the village and Code going after him, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sasuke intervened.

madness boruto manga chapter 61 review
Eida using her Senrigan in ‘Madness’ (Image: Boruto Manga Issue 61)

We finally got to see Eida use her Senrigan ability to track Kawaki. I think the panel showed that Eida needed to activate her ability if she wanted to see what a particular person was doing in the present, instead of the Senrigan feeding her information all day long. I also think that her left eye is for watching the present while her right eye allows her to look at past events. I could be wrong. But it will be interesting to see what theories the fandom comes up with. And yes, Code’s lips (and later his ear) appearing on a Claw Mark on Eida’s arm so he could communicate with her was gross.

What did you think of Boruto manga chapter 61 ‘Madness’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

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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