Title: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Vol. 14
Author: Masashi Kishimoto (Creator), Mikio Ikemoto (Art), Ukyo Kodachi (Story)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shonen, Battle
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Volume 14 of Boruto sees the conclusion to the Naruto vs Isshiki fight. At the end of the last volume, we saw Kurama and Naruto fuse together. This new mode is referred to as Baryon Mode and is described as a nuclear fusion of sorts. While other modes such as Six Paths Sage Mode rely on power drawn from another source until it is expended, Baryon Mode fuses Kurama and Naruto’s chakra together until it completely runs out.
Of course, we all know what happens to a person if their chakra runs out. This means that the battle between Naruto and Isshiki is now a race against time; however, Isshiki, who has plenty of time left, didn’t know about one of Baryon Mode’s abilities. Whenever someone is struck with a physical attack by someone in Baryon Mode, part of their life force is stolen from them. This means that Isshiki’s time to live is being chipped away with every blow he takes!
By the time he realizes this, he has only five minutes left to live. Isshiki gets smart and realizes that Kawaki’s prosthetic arm is being powered by Naruto’s chakra. He uses that link to teleport Kawaki to their location. His goal is to implant him with a brand-new karma before his life force runs out. With seconds left… he succeeds… or so he thought.
With Isshiki defeated for good, it’s time to go home; however, an unexpected event occurs that pushes Sasuke and Kawaki to their limits. Once that situation is dissolved, it is time to return back home; however, the threat is far from over. The volume closes out with Code receiving a message… a message which will set him up as the next major threat!
Even though the bulk of this volume was dedicated to action, there was still quite a bit of character development going on here.
First off, Kurama. To see him grow from an out-of-control raging tailed beast to this has been quite the journey. Here, he has another defining moment that shows the clear bond between himself and Naruto. Without going into too much detail about Baryon Mode and the outcome of the fight, Kurama ended up as one of the best characters in the series, in my opinion, and this volume showcases that perfectly.
While his appearance was brief, Code became your typical religious zealot. Nothing is more dangerous than someone who will blindly follow a higher power and carry out deeds in their name… especially when Code is about to receive a MAJOR power-up.
The bond between Kawaki and Boruto continues to grow. After the battle, Kawaki vows to stick with Boruto until his karma is completely erased. After Boruto helped him with getting rid of his, he felt that he owed it to Boruto to free him. They are beginning to act like a couple of siblings which really shows how much they have connected.
There was a lot of great action in this volume coupled with some pretty big plot twists. While it is true Isshiki is no more, nobody left that battle unscathed. This was the type of battle where the goal was to shift the balance of power. One could even say that this was a passing of the torch moment as it’s now time for Boruto and Kawaki to gain strength and reach the levels that seemed unreachable thanks to being overshadowed by Naruto and Sasuke.
Also, we know that the Otsutsuki Clan is far from finished with their mission. Momoshiki is still a threat and now has a radicalized Code to deal with. Plus, with everything having gone according to plan, we also have to see how Amado is going to factor into things going forward.
There is a lot of story left to tell but this has been one of the most impactful volumes of Boruto so far and, by far, one of the best! I don’t see things picking back up in Vol. 15 as everyone deserves a bit of rest. I’m sure we’ll get an info dump, and maybe see Code make his first moves but that’s about it. Our characters have earned some R&R after this arc. Let them have it!
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This item was provided for review by VIZ Media.