Episodes 287 and 288 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations portray the villain Code much differently than the manga, and that’s a good thing.
Warning: Spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations episode 288 and beyondThe Boruto anime is rectifying the manga’s mistake of nerfing a powerful villain who’s ostensibly stronger than the nearly undefeatable Jigen, but hasn’t been portrayed as such.
First, in episode 287 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Code battles and defeats an anime-exclusive opponent upon his arrival at Boro’s hideout where the mysterious Eida has been stored. Before his demise, which is apparently too brutal to capture on screen, Code’s enemy bulks up and then transforms into some sort of monster after injecting himself with a serum that his companions refer to as performance enhancers. In the following episode, Code punches a wall after Eida ridicules how Jigen died in Boruto, a reaction that Code says is restrained considering he claims that in any other circumstance, he would have ripped her apart for speaking harshly of his beloved master.
Boruto’s Anime Makes Code Much More Threatening
Both events are quite different from how things originally transpired in the manga. In the Boruto manga, when Code first arrives at Boro’s hideout, he only has to contend with lowly henchmen who he takes out in quick succession. Although Code defeats the performance enhancer with relative ease in the anime, the nameless opponent is still portrayed as a boss-like character, which requires Code to put in some effort. It also still counts as a win for Code, which is critical. In the manga, Code has lost against everyone he’s fought, which is odd since he’s been described as being more powerful than Jigen and yet, readers haven’t seen anything to suggest that this is actually the case.
When Code meets Boruto’s ridiculously powerful Eida, the manga has him react to her explanation of how his master died differently. He only glares at her. Although the look is menacing, it isn’t half as intimidating as punching a wall, saying he won’t allow her to speak badly of his master, and then describing the gory details of how he would punish her. The anime’s retcon of Code’s response in episode 288 is an escalation of his earlier attempt on Eida’s life. In both the anime and manga, Code tries to stab her but can’t follow through because of her power. Now, in episode 288, the anime has him fail again, but he still channels out some of his aggression. This shows a version of Code that is fighting Eida’s control over himself rather than just letting her step all over him.
Boruto’s Anime Gives Code His Dignity Back
Code’s defiance of Eida also serves another purpose. It strengthens his resolve to maintain his own identity. Threatening and acting aggressively towards Eida is one thing, but protecting the good name of his master Jigen is more aligned with his goals and beliefs. Code is so obsessed with Jigen that Jigen was able to change the younger villain’s ways even though it put his life at risk. Before Boruto‘s Code, Jigen destroyed any cyborgs who surpassed him, and even though Code later did just that, Jigen allowed him to live because of Code’s loyalty. By allowing Code to stand up for Jigen even against someone as powerful as Eida, the anime lets Code stand up for himself. By the manga failing to have Code do this, Code literally gives up on his own morals. Code might be affected by Eida like everyone else is in Boruto who isn’t an Ohtsutsuki or a blood relative, but he’s not willing to change who he is for her, and that portrays him as more of a force to be reckoned with, as it should be.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is streaming on Crunchyroll.