Title:Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 13 Author: Masahi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Digital Pages: 176 Genre: Shonen, Battle PublicationDate: January 4, 2022
The time for talking is over and the time for the decisive battle has begun! In Volume 13 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Kashin Koji is still locked in battle with Isshiki; however, it was pretty inevitable that Koji would end up being defeated. Since we are a volume removed, I don’t mind spilling the beans but it was great to see Koji using all of Jiraiya’s moves with him being a clone of him. It definitely brought back some feels. The fact that Koji escaped makes me wonder if we will see a Naruto/pseudo-Jiraiya reunion in the future?
Once Koji is gone, Isshiki turns his attention to Konoha. Obviously, he wants Kawaki but both Naruto and Sasuke show up to confront him. After using Boruto as a secret weapon and transporting Isshiki to another dimension, Naruto and Sasuke give chase where round two between them begins; however, Isshiki is way more powerful in this form than when they fought Jigen. It gets to the point where Naruto has to pull out the ultimate trump card… which is where our volume ends.
In the middle of all of the action, Amado clues us in as to why Isshiki wants Kawaki and why he can’t pull the trigger on killing Boruto. It also ends up spilling into the original series and what Kaguya was meant to accomplish and how those plans changed/got delayed.
Here, Boruto and Kawaki got some indirect development thanks to Amado spilling the beans on Isshiki’s ultimate goal. We know that Kawaki’s karma is, indeed, gone and since Isshiki needs him to implant a new karma, his time is running out. Isshiki only has a couple of days to live so the whole battle against him is to either stall him as long as possible to give the others a fighting chance or to wear him down and shorten his lifespan as much as possible.
Boruto being the key to the fight shows that you can fight in other ways besides using power and I loved that dynamic to this battle. We learn a bit more about how far along Boruto is in his Ohtsutsukification… aka… how close he is to becoming taken over by Momoshiki. Boruto did show some tremendous courage here in this battle. He’s way more mature and grown-up than we all gave him credit for that adds a nice dimension to his character. In my opinion, this was needed to help set him apart from being just a Naruto clone at that point in time.
There was a lot of great action in this volume but it was balanced out well with a continuation from the info dump we received the last time around. All of the pieces of the puzzle surrounding karma, the ten tails, Isshiki, and his goals are on the table. Now, it seems that the only thing left to do is take Isshiki down or stall him long enough until his life runs out. With the way this volume ended, I suspect we will arrive at that point in Volume 14.
The character development here was pretty nice as it still doesn’t solve Boruto’s problem nor Kawaki’s; however, with Isshiki’s impending defeat (come on, the bad guys never win in a shonen series), it makes you wonder where Kawaki will go from there. Perhaps, he could train to become a proper ninja but that remains to be seen. It’s also pretty curious because he has the karma in the opening scene of the series where he’s about to fight a grown-up Boruto. Something is going to happen along the way where he gets karma back but it still remains to be seen just how that happens. Plus, by showing the readers the end goal from the onset, it’s also obvious that Boruto isn’t going to turn into Momoshiki.
The path to get there, though. That’s the interesting part and so far, it has been really good!