The latest manga issue of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations was amazing. I really enjoyed all of the information we got in ‘Predestined Fate’ and I can’t wait to see what happens next. However, I’m a bit disappointed with the overall narrative arc in Boruto being the same as the one we got in Naruto.
The issue opened with Kashin Koji managing to engulf Jigen in flames. While Boruto was worried that Jigen would be able to absorb the flames because of the Karma mark, Kawaki told him that doing so was impossible because the flames weren’t made of chakra. But then it did look like Jigen was absorbing all of the fire and I, like Boruto, was very surprised. As if the Karma mark wasn’t already overpowered, right?
Fortunately, it was explained that Jigen was shrinking the flames instead of absorbing them. I appreciated getting to learn more about Isshiki’s special ability. Turns out, he can shrink and regrow non-living things around him. The only living being he can use the ability on happens to be himself. I mean, who would have guessed that a powerful villain in the Boruto franchise was going to be similar to Marvel’s Ant-Man? Ha!
‘Predestined Fate’ was full of twists and turns. At one point, it looked like Amado had betrayed Naruto by taking advantage of the Hokage’s kindness. I enjoyed how the creative team (Mikio Ikemoto and Ukyou Kodachi) maintained tension throughout this chapter.
There were three major reveals in this month’s installment, as far as I can tell. The first dealt with how the Karma marks from other vessels disappeared when an Otsutsuki’s fully reborn. This meant that due to Isshiki being forced to use Jigen’s body to resurrect himself, Kawaki’s Karma mark vanished.
Now, I’m not sure if Kawaki will regain the Karma mark from Isshiki or if Momoshiki (or some other Otsutsuki) will give him one. I say this because we know (from the first chapter) that Kawaki’s body won’t remain Karma-free for long. So, it will be interesting to see what will happen to him in the upcoming chapters.
The second revelation focused on showing Isshiki’s true form. In my opinion, Isshiki has a very cool character design (complete with some very queer-looking pants).
The third reveal finally shared Kashin Koji’s identity with readers. Yes, he’s Jiraiya’s clone. But due to the fandom speculating (for a very long time) that Kashin was a clone, the reveal was kind of “meh!” for me. It was nice to get an official confirmation, though. I wonder how Naruto will react to the news if (and when) he finds out.
Coming to what I didn’t like; well the title ‘Predestined Fate’ said it all. One of my biggest criticisms, when it came to Naruto, was about how the narrative always mentioned hard work and determination only to have the hero’s journey boil down to being born special.
The same thing has been going on in Boruto. You’re either born special or you’re useless down the line. Naruto and Sasuke are reincarnations of Indra and Asura. And we know that Boruto and Salad’s genetic makeup makes them very special, too. That’s why I continue to roll my eyes whenever Boruto or Naruto talk about working hard to achieve their goals. That’s also one of the reasons I’m a fan of Sakura Haruno. She doesn’t belong to some special clan or bloodline and she achieved greatness through actual hard work and perseverance.
I don’t think “You’re-either-born-special-or-you’re-nothing” is a great lesson to have in a franchise that’s primarily targeted at a younger audience. But Naruto became mega-popular with such a theme, so I guess Boruto will be okay, too?
Anyway, what did you think of ‘Predestined Fate’? 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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