‘Stray Dog’ was all about allowing Sumire to connect with Kawaki over their past trauma. It also shared more information about Kawaki’s personality.
Many in the Boruto fandom had predicted the writers exploring the dynamic between Sumire and Kawaki down the line. Both young ninjas went through a lot during their childhood. Sumire was used by her father as a weapon to destroy the Hidden Leaf Village while Kawaki was continuously experimented on by the Kara organization for nefarious purposes.
‘Stray Dog’ had Sumire talk about her past with Kawaki. She figured he had gone through something similar the moment he said she was a monster like him (during the previous episode). Kawaki still had his guard up around her, though. The scene where he lost his cool when she took out a syringe (containing a nutritional supplement) made sense considering his past experiences as a test subject.
Sumire’s definitely looking out for Kawaki. She even told Naruto about their conversation and how she had sensed intense sadness in Kawaki’s eyes. She wanted Kawaki to get another chance the same way she got one after coming very close to destroying the village.
As far as shipping is concerned, I don’t ship Sumire and Kawaki. I’m not entirely against it. However, the latest manga chapter offered more support for Sumire and Boruto being endgame. And coming to what’s been currently shown in the anime, I think it’s problematic when a woman’s kindness toward a man is immediately misconstrued as her being in love with him. It’s a weird trope in media I’m not a fan of.
How many women in the real world have had to brush away a man’s romantic advances because he thought her being friendly or showing a normal level of decency during a conversation was a sign for him to hit on her?
Anyway, another thing I liked about ‘Stray Dog’ was how the writers handled Kawaki’s personality. Having gone through numerous unfortunate situations, you would think Kawaki would become a person with no regard for human life. But that’s not Kawaki. There’s a lot of kindness inside him even if he continued to keep his distance from others.
The scene where a starving and injured Kawaki gave an entire loaf of bread to a hungry dog was quite emotional. Not only that, Kawaki even tore the sleeve of his hospital gown to bandage up the dog’s injured leg. My heart!
With Naruto finally getting to meet Kawaki by the end of ‘Stray Dog,’ I’m looking forward to seeing Kawaki slowly allowing other people into his life.
Now, Sai did tell Naruto how bringing Kawaki to the village would make them all vulnerable. I would like the writers to explore Kawaki’s guilt about staying in the village and risking the lives of the villagers because he knows the Kara organization will come looking for him.
Some other thoughts and questions:
- Kawaki trying to find food to speed up his regenerative abilities reminded me of how Kamala Khan‘s powers worked in Marvel Comics. She too has to eat a lot after healing herself.
- Do you think Kawaki will get to see the stray dog again?
- The police officers attacking Kawaki without worrying about Sumire also getting hurt in the process was just wow! I hope Naruto addresses said situation with the police department. The scene immediately made me think of the protests going on over police brutality.
What did you think of ‘Stray Dog’?
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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