Title: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 9
Author: Masahi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shonen, Battle
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
The ninth volume of Boruto opens up with the fight between Naruto and Delta. I have to hand it to Boruto for being a complete idiot here. Despite Kawaki blatantly telling him Naruto’s plan and to not interfere, Boruto does just that and ends up getting Himawari caught up in everything. Kawaki ends up making the save and a sacrifice for her which causes Naruto to put an end to the fight. Delta is about to be taken in for interrogation but she self-destructs but it’s okay since she has multiple copies of her body stored in a facility and, apparently, the drone has her memories saved as a backup. Gotta like pseudo immortal characters! It’s no surprise since we’ve seen it with Orochimaru and Kakuzu before.
After the fight, Kawaki receives a prosthetic hand infused with Naruto’s chakra which means in order for it to work, Naruto has to be constantly molding chakra day and night. Okay, that seems a little too far-fetched, but alas, here we are. I would hope that this is temporary until they can come up with one for him that is attuned to his own chakra but we’ll see. After receiving that gift, however, Kawaki wants to be trained by Naruto in the ways of Ninjutsu. There is a bit of an ulterior motive behind that as they know that they will have to defeat Jigen, leader of Kara, to end all of this and his power is way beyond their own at the moment. There is even talks that Naruto’s power may not be enough to stop him.
So, just how powerful is Jigen?
We answer that after Sai gathers some intel which leads him to a pair of coordinates. Sai senses a trap but Sasuke goes anyway to figure it out. He sees projections of Kinshiki, Momoshiki, and Kaguya Otsutsuki. Strange by his absence is Haguromo… the Sage of the Six Paths. I would have thought for sure they would have included him here but I digress. There, there is a perfect Rinnegan symbol in the middle of this space and below it is a tailed beast with a perfect RInnegan. Suddenly, a person shows up and it is believed to be Jigen himself. He reveals that the tailed beast is, in fact, the Ten Tails that everyone fought in the fourth great ninja war. Jigen ended up absorbing his power and transformed into a being that Sasauke saw as one of the projections, possibly tying him to the Otsutsuki clan itself! Jigen states that he’s going after Kawaki and Boruto himself!
Wow… this was a really interesting volume, story-wise. Although Jigen possibly being a part of the Otsutsuki clan is a little too convenient but it does make sense. It was stated that they traveled in pairs and we saw Kinshiki and Momoshiki together but we only saw Kaguya alone… but one could have assumed that Hagoromo could have been the second one for Kaguya but then again, Hagoromo was her son so that wouldn’t really make much sense. Still, it would also explain why Jigen would be more powerful than Naruto despite him having Sage of the Six Path powers himself.
Also, there was an interesting theory about Karma and the same mark on Tsunade and Sakura’s foreheads. The Mitotic mark was thought to be a ninjutsu but it could actually be something derived from Karma. Apparently, Orochimaru knew a little bit more about it (of course he would, wouldn’t he?).
Kawaki received a good bit of development here. He is more and more trusting of Boruto but we all know that there is a turn coming for him in the future. Both the anime and the manga opened up with a grown-up Boruto fighting a grown-up Kawaki. It was another Sasuke/Naruto moment and it looks as if they are repeating the same storyline here except Kawaki isn’t going to get trained by Orochimaru but Naruto instead. Still, for now, he’s at least warming up to Boruto but part of me thinks that he’s just using the Hidden Leaf to get his revenge on Jigen. We’ll see.
Next up is Jigen himself. I covered a lot him during the story section but what was hinted at here truly sets him up to be the prime evil of this series. Then again, we all thought that was Madara in Naruto and then Kishimoto went 17 directions from Sunday with the plot and we ended up in this whole Otsutsuki Clan thing so, who knows? Given that Jigen is supposedly linked to the clan and they are the highest threats in the Naruto universe at the present time, I don’t think there will be a swerve this time. Boruto seems like a more straightforward story than Naruto but that could change over time. Right now, though, Kara looks like the group the beat, and Jigen looks to be the final boss of this series. I just hope they are not rushing to a conclusion immediately because it seems way too soon to even pull something like this off.
When the Naruto/Boruto series stays on track with its main storylines and doesn’t deviate with filler, it’s amazing. This volume is no different. I still like the fact that the manga differs from the anime (although as of the time of this writing, the anime had already begun the Kara arc). It allows us to explore the world of Boruto in a different fashion. It reminds of Rockman.EXE (Mega Man Battle Network) where the games, the manga, and the anime all told unique and individual stories with some similarities between them. You didn’t really know which one was canon (I’m just going to assume the games) but you ended up enjoying the ride regardless.
That’s how I feel about Boruto. Both the anime and the manga have some pretty good story arcs (when they stay on them) and it’s keeping me entertained. If you are an anime-only viewer, pick up the manga as I believe that you won’t be disappointed in it!
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This item was provided for review by VIZ Media