Title: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 7
Author: Masahi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shonen, Battle
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
In the seventh volume of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, we pick up with Boruto and company coming across a passed out boy. Suddenly, one of the Outers of Kara, Garo, shows up and attempts to take him back. The boy fights back and ends up defeating Garo. Meanwhile, Delta has joined Koji by his side as he watches the battle from afar. He decides to let Konoha take the boy into custody after watching an interaction with Boruto in regards to their Karma marks. Koji believes that this will lead to an even greater power that might please Kara’s leader, Jigen.
For the rest of the volume, Naruto ends up watching over the boy, who we now know is called Kawaki. Kawaki and Boruto have a bit of a rocky start but things do end up getting smoothed over… somewhat… towards the end. As things calm down, the threat of Kara still remains on the horizon.
Story-wise, the volume went far and short distances at the same time. We learned about the mysterious boy, his name, his background, and that he was the vessel Kara was searching for. After that, the story came to a screeching halt as the volume focused on building on Kawaki as a character, which isn’t a bad thing. There was no real cliffhanger at the end which is a bit unusual for a Naruto/Boruto volume. This leads me to believe that we’ll get some more slice-of-life stuff in volume eight along with the beginnings of the next set of battle and/or action.
Obviously, the big focus here is Kawaki. We learn that his body is artificial. Unlike other creations, his body mostly a scientific ninja tool. In other words, his body is flesh and blood but inside are microscopic nanomachines that can stimulate and manipulate his cells to transform his body. This was seen during the battle with Garo where he transformed his arm into a bony spear and used it as a weapon. Plus, his Karma mark is the same as Boruto’s in the sense that it can absorb jutsu. Absorbing jutsu is also, interestingly enough, the same as one of the six paths powers of the Rinnegan. Given the fact that Boruto received his Karma mark after the battle with Momoshiki Otsutsuki, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Karma is one of the six paths of the Rinnegan without possessing the eyes. How Jigen ended up with it and how he passed it along to Kawaki is still a huge mystery.
Still, Kawaki isn’t very trusting of others and often has a sour attitude because of it. You can’t really blame him after coming from a broken home and being bought by Jigen only to be used as a science experiment. In that regard, Jigen is much like a new version of Orochimaru. It makes you wonder what would happen if the two of them met and collaborated on something. Hmm…
Outside of this, we learned a little bit about Jigen’s personality. He’s pretty ruthless in his actions but he’s also very calm and patient. That’s a dangerous combination for a main villain to have. It means he can be calculated and is not someone to succumb to pressure but, at the same time, he would not hesitate to completely annihilate anyone or anything that stood in his way. These personality types often make for the most dangerous villains so that’s pretty interesting to see Jigen in that role. We all know that there will come a time where a battle will happen to him. When it goes, I’m expecting big things from it!
Another great volume of Boruto! Our new character is certainly interesting but now that we have a taste of what Karma is, there are more questions than answers which is what you need for a great plot hook. The character building, in the end, wasn’t wasted as it established the kind of character that Kawaki is. They way they are building him up; however, shows that he’s going to be sticking around for the long haul. This is the kind of series where you can tell who is going to be featured in the long term and who is going to be sticking around for the purposes of a story arc. There is usually more care and detail in a character’s backstory and if that backstory ties into the main plot, chances are, they’re sticking around. Kawaki meets all of that criteria so whether he’s a new main character or a new supporting character, we know that he’s going to be a major focal point of this series.
I don’t think Kara will make a move just yet. Koji is content with observing things for now. I expect there to be more development between Kawaki and Boruto next volume as the two of them have some discussions about their Karma mark. We may learn more about the mark and once we do, they may end up experimenting with each other’s marks to see how they react in unison. Once they do, I fully expect Koji and Delta to strike, leading to our big battle to finish off this arc.
We will have to wait and see!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media