Warning: SPOILERS for episode #288 of BorutoThe training fight between Boruto and Kawaki in episode #288 of the Boruto anime shows how different this sequel is from Naruto, and not in a positive way. While in Naruto power never came easy to the characters, and it was clear that, when it did, there was a price to pay for it, Boruto simply accepts Kawaki’s suggestion to use the Otsutsuki’s Karma in battle, without caring for the consequences.
The Boruto anime is currently adapting the Code Arc from the manga. Code is the last survivor of the Inner Circle of Kara, an organization built by Isshiki Otsutsuki to facilitate his ascension by harvesting the Chakra Fruit. After Isshiki’s death, his disciple Code took on the mission of destroying Konoha and feeding either Boruto or Kawaki (who both have Otsutsuki genes in their bodies) to the Ten-Tails. Aware of Code’s threat to the village and to Naruto, Boruto, Kawaki, and the rest of Team 7 are training to be ready to fight back.
Boruto’s Karma Is An Unfair Power-Up With No Real Drawbacks
In episode #288 of Boruto, Kawaki and Boruto disagree on the best way to get stronger. While Boruto wants to follow Sarada’s guidance and train in the traditional shinobi way, Kawaki insists that the only way to get strong enough to fight Code is to use the power of Karma, which Boruto got after Momoshiki Otsutsuki invaded his body. The two kids fight to settle their differences, and Boruto wins, but only after using his Karma. This makes him reconsider his position, however, and Boruto simply decides that, while using Karma powers reinforces Momoshiki’s hold on his body, he still needs to do it.
This is exactly the opposite of what happened in Naruto. The presence of the Nine-Tails inside Naruto’s body gave him a significant power boost, but he always refrained from using it (until, later in the series, he made peace with Kurama), except for the times when he lost control. This is best shown in Naruto’s epic battle against Pain. After seeing Hinata almost killed, Naruto loses control and goes berserk, releasing eight tails. However, thanks to the intervention of Minato’s spirit, Naruto resumes control, and he beats Pain only with the shinobi and sage arts that Jiraiya taught him. This in general a recurring theme in Naruto (at least until the final stretch of the series), and it’s also visible in Sasuke’s descent into darkness after his betrayal of Konoha.
Boruto Has Missed Naruto‘s Important Lesson About The Price Of Power
This ties in with another major issue in Boruto. At the current stage of the story, the two main characters mostly fight with the power of Karma. This, compared to the complex techniques seen in Naruto, is incredibly easy, as it requires no seals, almost no chakra manipulation, and its effects are absurdly overpowered, which makes the fights in Boruto look much duller. Just compare Naruto and Sasuke’s unforgettable battles with those between Kawaki and Boruto, and the problem is clear. Adding the fact that, as confirmed by episode #288, the story completely dismisses the idea that for a big, “unfair” power there is always a price to pay, this shows that Boruto has completely missed one of Naruto‘s most important themes.
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Boruto is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.